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Book Review – “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”

David William Pear

How can I write a review of Andre Vltchek’s new book Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism? I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Andre himself says that:

There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please; no footnotes! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. If allowed to read them, even a child can understand.”

He is speaking about the works of other great revolutionary writers, not himself. I think Andre is a great revolutionary writer, too. But, who am I to speak for Andre or greatness? Read his great works for yourself, and you will understand them without my introduction. You will find that Andre has the guts to put himself out there, let it all hang out, and expose his vulnerabilities as well as his wisdom…

But I am damned if I don’t write a book review for Andre’s book, because I told him I would give it a try. I don’t want to let him down, but this is the best I can do, which is not good enough. So, you can stop reading right here if you wish, and just buy Andre’s book and let him speak to you for himself.

Our struggling revolutionary artists who still speak and write the truth need all the support we can give them. That goes for the alternative media site you are reading this on, such as The Greanville Post. We are in a war, an information and propaganda war. Truth tellers are an endangered species. The Empire is trying to shut them up and shut them down.

Now if you are still with me, I do have a few words to say. Take what I say that you like and leave the rest.

A lot of people are not going to like Andre’s book “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”, I can tell you that right now. The first to hate it will be the Empire, because they fear truth more than bombs. The next group who will not like Andre’s book will be the smug critics who want to nitpick his every word. I am not talking about the Deep State and its Mockingbirds. I am talking about the so-called liberal/progressives; especially the ones that never get off of the “proverbial couches of spinelessness”, which Andre speak of.

You have to be brave to put up with that shit, but it is obvious that Andre is a revolutionary writer and doer that is on a mission that is bigger than himself. It is called “life”. This is the time when we should be organizing and supporting each other, instead of criticizing each other, and letting the Empire divide us.

As Andre says: “Obedient and cowardly masses hate those who are different”. Different is an understatement to describe Andre Vitchek. You’ll not find many like him in Europe or North America. You would have to go to South America, Africa, Asia, or Russia to find such uniquely honest voices.

Russia is the perfect metaphor for Andre: Russia is neither Europe nor Asia; it is both and neither. Like Russia, Andre is unique. He is neither this nor that. He is a writer, philosopher, photo journalist, pamphleteer, activist, witness and doer. He is all of those things, but above all he is a humanist and an artist. He is an optimistic pessimist. Only a hopeless optimist would say:

One day, hopefully soon, humanism will win over dark nihilism; people will live for other people and not for some cold profits, religious dogmas and “Western values”.

Western values, now that is an oxymoron if there ever was one. Andre is a pessimist that sees and writes about the anti-humanism and the soullessness of so-called Western values. He exposes it for what it is: gray, cold and without spirit.

Andre says he is a Communist in an era when being a communist is not fashionable. Most liberal/progressives are afraid to mention John Maynard Keynes, let alone Marx, Lenin and Mao.

For a while in 2016 socialism was popular among supporters of Bernie Sanders, who claimed to be a socialist. He promised his followers what every poll shows that most Americans want: universal healthcare, low cost higher education, better economic safety nets, and $15 dollars an hour minimum wage. Where have all the socialists gone now that Bernie disillusioned them?

The Sanders and his “Sandernistas” rarely talked about ending US illegal wars of aggression. If liberal/progressives had insisted that Bernie take an anti-war platform and a reduction of the military-industrial-complex, then Bernie might well be in the White House now, instead of Trump. Instead most of the Sandernistas told liberal/progressives to shut up about the wars. They said it would be political suicide for Bernie to bring up war during a presidential campaign. Sandernistas said not to worry about the wars, because Bernie was secretly antiwar. We fell for that one with Obama, who committed more war crimes than George W. Bush.

Andre has the guts to say that liberal/progressives do not deserve free college, universal healthcare and all the goodies that Bernie was selling us, while also selling us the trillion dollar F-35 boondoggle. I agree with Andre, especially since Bernie sold out his loyal followers, and sheep dogged for warmongering Hillary. We do not deserve socialism at home with all the US illegal wars of aggression. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

A time comes when silence is betrayal… I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube.”

The Empire is waging all sorts of wars: militarily, economic and propaganda. It is waging economic terrorism against the Global South. The Empire-backed World Bank, IMF and banking monopolies force austerity on the poor of the world. Those poor countries in the Global South that are under attack by the Empire’s economic terrorist organizations do not get to have Bernie’s socialism. Not only do I agree with Andre that until the wars are stopped we in the Empire do not deserve Bernie’s socialism, nor do we have funds or the energies for it. Bernie and the Sandernistas rarely spoke about rehabilitation of America’s poor; it was all about the middle class.

Whatever the Empire does in its foreign policy, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost. The Empire keeps crushing countries of the Global South whose leaders want to use their country’s natural resources for their own people. Leaders like Castro, Che and Ho were personally vilified for not embracing capitalism. The Empire keeps conspiring to overthrow governments that nationalize their natural resources, and have social programs for the people.

The Empire never stops plotting to overthrow revolutionary leaders. Venezuela, Iran, Russia and North Korea are under attack because they want to go their own way. There will be economic warfare, propaganda warfare, political warfare and when those don’t work to impose conformity and compliance; then there will be the Empire’s military option. For the Empire “all options are always on the table”, including the nuclear option. The Empire would rather see the destruction of the entire world, than to coexist with a threat to its hegemony.

Now the cry goes out again that the Russians are coming! Those like myself that lived through the Cold War are seeing it repeated. The paranoia, propaganda, lies, repression, persecution and provocations are déjà vu. The US has encircled Russia with military bases, and plays war games on Russia’s border. We are told, and we are supposed to believe that Russia is the aggressor and an expansionist threat.

Georgia attacks South Ossetia, and we are told that Russia invaded Georgia. The US midwifes a coup against an elected government in Ukraine, but it is Russia that is blamed for destabilizing Ukraine. Crimea has a referendum to rejoin Russia, and we are told that the Russians used military force to annex Crimea. The US has criminally invaded Syria, but we are told that Russia invaded Syria, even though they are there legally. The Empire always needs and wants enemies.

We are supposed to be afraid that Putin will “destroy the West’s democracy” by sowing dissention, chaos and his meddling in US elections with a few Facebook ads. If anybody wants to destroy America’s democracy, then they are several decades too late. It has already been mostly destroyed. The Bill of Rights have been eviscerated, except for the 2nd Amendment, which is enabling the worst fascistic tendencies in the US to heavily arm themselves. The police are militarized. The US has secret police, secret courts, and secret prisons.

Nationalism that breeds repression at home and wars abroad is running amok. The people no longer have the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Protesters are restricted to so-called free-speech zones, and they are subject to indiscriminate mass arrest. The people are told to obey the government, but it is the government that is supposed to obey the people in a democracy.

Andre has much to say on all the above issues in his book “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”. The book is a collection of many of his great writing of the past few years. Shorter versions of his essays have been published in articles by non-Western media, such as the New Eastern Outlook (NEO) as well as Western alternative media such as The Greanville Post.

Andre writes about the Empire’s many crimes. Terrible crimes have been committed against millions of people who have done the West no harm, and were of no threat to the West. The Empire and its vassal states punish people of the Global South for being born in countries with vast natural resources that the Empire covets. Andre gives these victims a voice and a human face.

Andre’s writings are not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. He will pound the truth into you on every page, and you may not be able to put his book down, as I could not. The reader realizes that Andre is on a mission. Part of that mission is to be the conscience of the world, and to make sure that the victimized are not forgotten and that they are not alone. Andre has a great capacity for empathy for the victims of the Empire. His writing, videos and documentaries cry out for the world to have empathy too. The world is empathy deficient.

Even for those that already intellectually know the truths that Andre writes about, will have that truth pound into their hearts and souls. Unfortunately, the people that are ignorant of the truth, are the most likely ones not to read Andre. We all know people like that. They are our brother-in-law, neighbors, and the students and professors in our institutions of so-called higher learning. Our schools do not teach the important truths and philosophies anymore. They have just become vocational schools turning out accountants, lawyers, propagandist, stockbrokers, and super sales people to keep churning money in the economy, so that it moves up the food chain.

In every direction one turns now they face a barrage of propaganda put out by the Empire. Most Americans are isolated and know very little about the rest of the world. For many people the mainstream media is their only source for information. What they get is a steady stream of propaganda that Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and Russia are evil. They believe it, just like when I was a child, I believed the US propaganda during the Cold War. Russia was both feared and ridiculed when I was growing up. I was told that communism does not work, and that Russia cannot even make toilets that flush correctly. Imagine how surprised I was when I finally went to Russia and found out that their toilets work just fine.

When I mentioned the above story to someone who was regurgitating anti-Putin propaganda he asked me a rhetorical question:

As for Russia, besides the toilets flushing, was there anything you wanted to buy there besides vodka and nesting dolls? Or do they have anything that you would wish that we imported (like Japanese cars or Chinese clothing or Swiss watches, etc.)?”

I know that Andre gets the stupidity of that question. In the Empire one is only valuable for what they have to sell. It is all about dollars and cents, and the logic of the market. The market determines the value of everything, including people. If it has a market price, then it has value. If not then it is worthless and of no value, according to the market.

Andre writes about things that are priceless and have great value. They are the things of life that make us human, instead of robots. There is no market for love and living a fulfilling life. It is free if one knows how to find it. Andre helps to show us the way.

Besides Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism Andre has written many other books, such as Exposing Lies of the Empire, a novel titled Aurora and many other books. Andre is a world class philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, poet, playwright, and photographer. He is a true revolutionary. He is a human being.

David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on economic, political and social issues. His articles have been published by OpEdNews, The Greanville Post, The Real News Network, Truth Out, Consortium News, Global Research, and many other publications. David is active in social issues relating to peace, race relations and religious freedom, homelessness and equal justice. David is a member of Veterans for Peace, Saint Pete for Peace, CodePink, and International Solidarity Movement.

18 Comments

  1. Francis Lee says

    Another day, another atrocity, this time in Yemen. A children’s bus was bombed by the Saudis killing up to 50 children and maiming countless others. This got a 30 second report on BBC breakfast time news. No outraged journalists, no ‘experts’ giving their opinions and so forth. Massacring Yemeni children elicits only a shrug; Yemeni children apparently don’t count. They are what Chomsky identified as ‘undeserving victims’ No White Helmets for them. This was not a military operations with civilian collatoral damage – it was simply mass murder of the innocents.

    This act alone speaks volumes about western ‘values’ and western ‘civilization’.

  2. Francis Lee says

    A new concept has come into being. It is called Russophrenia. That is to say a capacity to hold two contradictory ideas in the head simultaneously, very Orwellian. It is based upon the following two axioms.

    Russia is a weak, enfeebled, country which is no match for the AZ empire, and is nasty and dysfunctional to boot.
    Russia is a powerful revisionist state which is attempting to take over the world and therefore an existential threat to western democracy and values.

    Obviously Russia cannot be both, but that doesn’t stop the propaganda partisans performing intellectual contortions in managing to adapt. People who believe this cannot apparently see the inconsistencies in holding two mutually exclusive views. It goes beyond mere stupidity and even Jesuitical ‘reasoning’ bordering on clinical schizophrenia. Hence Russophrenia.

    Thus, ‘’A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency.’’ (Orwell – 1945)

  3. Antonyl says

    Nationalism that breeds repression at home and wars abroad is running amok. Again falling in Hllter’s trap of disgracing all aspects of Nationalism: only seeing the ugly ego face. A nation’s soul is totally different: non aggressive, just developing its own cultural niches, almost like female vs male :-). Countries are like persons with their own psychology.

    US deep state is US ego over the whole globe; Trump wants to get back to US for the US. Better for all different populations: identifying as a “world citizen” is a bridge too far today for 99.9% of homo Sapiens.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      An apologia for Israeli apartheid, grotesque chauvinism and racism. No state, not even its puppet, the USA, matches Israel for racist exclusivity and hatred of, and aggression towards, others. Hyper-nationalism in the Zionist fashion is ALL ugly ego, and brutal Id.

  4. Antonyl says

    I can’t comment here anymore from my normal IP address: has this site become a mirror of its nemesis?

    My guess: one of the main commenters here (Mulga..) is a big buddy of the site owners and doesn’t like different views. S/he also up votes her/himself xx times frequently, a flaw the Graun disabled long ago.

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    • Robbobbobin says

      “I can’t comment here anymore from my normal IP address…”

      Have you tried posting from any of your perverted, deviant, crazed or kinky IP addresses?

    • Antonyl says

      This is simply written prom a totally different computer elsewhere.

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      • BigB says

        Well, I can’t comment from home either. I can write comments but when I hit “post comment” the button and page freezes. I don’t think it’s Mulga or Admin’s fault: or OffG censorship …but given the current McCarthyite cyber-witch hunt climate: it would be interesting to know if it becomes widespread? That is if people can still comment. 🙁

          • BigB says

            Testing from a previously ‘shadow banned’ device (I’ve cleared the cache).

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Thanks for your kind regards. Upvoting myself? How gauche!

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  5. Gary Weglarz says

    If you have a minute, watch the “one minute” video compilation of anti-Russia madness from one single episode of Rachel Maddow, the highest rated opinion news show in the United States. Just a warning, you will learn more about the current state of the American psyche than you care to know, and you may find it a bit harder to sleep at night.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I love Madcow-she makes me think that the looming extinction of our species will not be an ENTIRELY negative phenomenon.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Simon Tisdall, in the Fraudian sewer, has-yet again. To call his latest contribution deranged, hate-crazed and Evil, as it plainly agitates for some sort of aggression against Russia, would, I believe, understate the sheer barking insanity of it, and the whole Russophobia mania.

  6. Is it a book review or a book and author promotion?
    Live not for ideas – but engage in genuine relations of shared worth because that is how you remember and grow who you truly are instead on being mind-phished by ideas that target your persona of fears, guilt, shame, hate, heartbreak, impotence and rage – as if to escape them by projecting onto pharmakoj and attacking them there.
    Living Idea connects you with everyone. You Are a Living Idea. Dead concepts serve a private agenda of secrets and lies.
    If you are entertaining a shabby sense of self – drop it – and align in the willingness for true – without first deciding what form or conditions that has to fit or meet to be allowed into your awareness.
    There is a baby in every bathwater. The wish to assign evils as if to be righteous or morally superior is USING others for your own fantasy gratification. This puts you on the resonance of the manipulative intent and opens a can of worms. Release and be released is not a passive acceptance of disintegrity – nor a blind eye to the identification and correction of error. But it is the inhibiting of the wish to hate and attack in others what we cannot abide in ourself. This of course is the reversal of the thinking of the world where Everything is BACKWARDS; everything is upside down! Doctors destroy health, Lawyers destroy justice, Universities destroy knowledge, Governments destroy freedom, Major media destroys information, And religions destroy spirituality”. ~ Michael Ellner

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