25
   

Rising fascism in the US

 
 
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2022 11:32 am
The war in Ukraine is on the cover of Vogue magazine. The whole thing has the earmarks of crowd-pleasing glossy propaganda.

Can’t link you to a write-up of this Sanders-inspired new American Left that my opinions seem to fit me into currently because it has no formal organization. It’s been strangled in its crib during the last two election cycles by establishment Democrats, but keeps reviving. Probably will never make it through a primary. We basically want universal healthcare, avoidance of war, a severe clampdown on corruption, term limits, equality, unions….

There are a couple of emerging parties trying to borrow Sanders’ momentum and mantle, but they’re pretenders.




Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2022 12:18 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:
The war in Ukraine is on the cover of Vogue magazine. The whole thing has the earmarks of crowd-pleasing glossy propaganda.



Actually, it's a photo of Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska.
https://i.imgur.com/uxW3xUJ.jpg
Portrait of Bravery: Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska
(The link is the report in the July 26, 2022 edition.)
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2022 12:19 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
…and why is that,Walter?
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2022 12:26 pm
The Hill, YouTube lefty news commentary on Ukraine’s propaganda

https://youtu.be/r-D_WwUm_VI
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2022 03:23 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:
All of these developments highlight a bizarre alliance between the two ends of the political spectrum. The question is: Why?


It's merely coincidental, and as Dutkiewicz points out, "This is not simply a question of polarization but of something deeper: the increasing nonexistence of a shared understanding of political reality."
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2022 06:38 am
Why More People Are Upset About Zelensky’s Vogue Cover Than Russia’s War Crimes

Once again, people’s anger is entirely misplaced

https://miro.medium.com/max/700/1*lqf8F7aW70hIXTWw-bJf3g.jpeg
Ms Olena Zelenska and President Volodymyr Zelensky, photo by Annie Leibovitz/Vogue

Katie Jgln wrote:
The internet is enraged. Again.

Why this time?

Well, because the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and his wife were recently photographed by Annie Lebowitz — who travelled to Kyiv to meet them — and then featured in Vogue’s digital edition, accompanied by a lengthy interview.

And not that surprisingly, this has provoked quite a backlash.

Many said that the pictures were inappropriate and tasteless amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some went as far as to suggest that this photoshoot is ‘everything that is wrong with the world.’

And some used this as yet another opportunity for more of the same old ‘whataboutism,’ with one Twitter user writing: ‘I don’t remember Saddam Hussein’s wife being on the cover of Vogue when Iraq was illegally invaded.’

Right.

Because comparing a democratically elected leader and his wife who stayed in their country while it’s being invaded to a guy who invaded another country and was found guilty of crimes against humanity seems fair, doesn’t it?

But while everyone is busy picking apart this photoshoot, Ukraine is still going through hell. And Russian atrocity machine is still going at full speed, committing war crimes left, right and centre. Yet we don’t see nearly as many people being outraged about the latter, now do we?

No, we don’t.

Why not, though? And should we really condemn President Zelensky and his wife for trying to bring light to the dire situation in Ukraine by any means possible?

Zelensky’s Vogue photoshoot isn’t exactly about fashion or glamour

Unlike Zelenska’s first Ukrainian Vogue cover, which appeared in 2019, shortly after her husband was elected, this year’s feature doesn’t promote any luxury brands. It actually eschews fashion credits almost altogether.

There’s only one line, under one photograph, that notes that Ms Zelenska is wearing entirely Ukrainian designers. And while that might seem insignificant, it does take the commercial aspect out of the shoot.

Whatever it’s selling, it’s definitely not clothes.

No, it’s something entirely different.

For instance, one of the most ‘controversial’ and talked about images in this photoshoot shows Zelenska standing next to female soldiers. And that’s probably all that most people see in there.

But what they don’t realise is that she’s literally standing in a war zone against the background of a military aeroplane’s wreckage at Antonov Airport in Hostomel. That’s the site of a pivotal battle in which Ukrainian forces beat Russian troops back from Kyiv.

I think it’s clear to anyone who saw these photos, read the whole interview and has been closely following the news about the war in Ukraine that this feature isn’t about Zelensky’s vanity.

Or romanticising the war.

It’s about telling the story of the pain and trauma Ukraine and its people have been through in these past months and years. And it’s about keeping their country’s needs alive in the international conversation and raising awareness of the atrocities still happening there.

And in a way, Zelensky and his wife did accomplish that.

They once again put the war in Ukraine in the headlines. And in the minds of people who may not have followed it as closely as others.

But while that’s great, I do wish people didn’t take this as yet another opportunity to ‘whatabout’ and ‘westplain.’

Because while chronically online people and politicians from across the political spectrum are busy reheating the same old nonsensical ideas, Ukrainians continue being slaughtered by Russian soldiers every single day.

And unless something changes, and it changes soon, this situation is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future.

Ukrainians don’t want to be heroes or martyrs — they just want to be heard

The war in Ukraine has now entered a crucial transitional phase.

Large swaths of the country’s east and south are under Russian occupation, including the Luhansk region — one of the two eastern regions that have been the focus of Russia’s invasion — while Russian troops keep doing what the Soviets and Red Army did years before them.

They conduct point-blank executions of civilians, deliberately bomb residential complexes, torture, rape and kill children. In the town of Bucha alone, local authorities have claimed that Russian forces slaughtered 31 children under 18.

And now they’re even castrating Ukrainian soldiers.

With every passing day, and certainly since the news about the Bucha massacre started circulating, it’s becoming clearer this isn’t a war only for territory or sovereignty. No, the Kremlin doesn’t just want to conquer Ukraine. It intends to eliminate Ukrainian-ness. And to exterminate those they cannot ‘de-Ukrainize.’

To put it shortly — it’s an ethnic cleansing campaign.

A genocide.

And Russia isn’t even trying to hide it.

In April, their state-owned media outlet RIA Novosti explicitly defined this genocidal goal, stating that ‘Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian construct’ that must be eliminated.

But that honestly shouldn’t surprise anyone who, like myself, comes from Eastern Europe or Central Asia.

Because our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and everyone who came before them have been through a very similar nightmare. Just not in this century. And as a result, we’re all too familiar with Russia’s perilous imperial dream, propaganda machine, and Russification processes.

Most of my family members don’t speak fluent Russian because they are fond of it. They speak Russian because they had no other choice.

For centuries on end, the Russian empire and then the leaders of the Soviet Union have attempted to erase our languages, our culture, and our traditions and even rewrite our history while exterminating everyone who resisted being Russified.

And although they repeatedly failed to Russify us, they’re still up to their old tricks hoping we’ve forgotten all about it.

But we haven’t.

Neither have Ukrainians.

That’s why they’re fighting back. That’s why they refuse to give up their hard-won independence and national identity to a terrorist state that’s already put them — and everyone else around them — through hell for a very long time.

But they don’t want to keep being martyrs and heroes. We already have so many of them in the history of our nations. No, Ukrainians want to be heard, understood and supported. And to be able live peacefully in their own country.

Is that too much to ask for?

We’ve really had enough of all the ‘whataboutism’ and ‘westplaining’

The thing is — contrary to what some still think — what’s happening in Ukraine today hasn’t just started. It started in 2014 in the eastern part of the country. And for eight solid years, not many people cared about it.

They only started caring once it transformed into a full-blown invasion earlier this year.

And some, not even then.

In the past months, the amount of ‘whataboutism’ and ‘westplaining’ in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war I’ve seen everywhere is astronomical.

It’s like there’s been a memo sent all over the world that every time someone brings up Ukraine, everyone in the West needs to put in their two cents — which a lot of the time just ends up being Russian propaganda — and everyone else needs to ask: but what about Palestine?

Or Yemen? Or Afghanistan?

What about all those other wars and tragedies that are completely unrelated to what’s happening in Ukraine?

And while I do not deny that Westerners privilege white over darker-skinned people, which results in double standards in media reporting, I feel like a lot of that anger and frustration is entirely misplaced.

Ukrainians are not responsible for the West’s racism, their response to this war or its media’s reporting bias. They are also not responsible for crimes committed by other nations.

And the fact that they have ‘blond hair and blue eyes’ — which largely isn’t even true— might make it easier for them to find refuge in other European countries, but it isn’t saving them from slaughter back home, is it?

Not really.

But let’s not forget that, like many other countries worldwide struggling today, Ukraine is a victim of imperialism, too. Just the Russian type. And the war against them is not only being conducted on the ground or in the air but also the digital sphere and the arena of public opinion.

Is it then that surprising that Zelensky and his wife are doing everything they can — including a Vogue photoshoot and interview — to keep their country’s plight front and centre?

I don’t think so.

And I couldn’t care less if they used carrier pigeons, smoke signals, or any other way to do so.

But if you do, and if you had a stronger reaction to this Vogue photoshoot than to the images of people tied up and executed in Bucha, or the video of Ukrainian soldiers being castrated with a box cutter, I don’t know what else to tell you.

It really shouldn’t be difficult to pick sides in a war waged by a dictatorially ruled nuclear power against a sovereign, democratic neighbouring state.

Or to acknowledge the stark reality of the Kremlin’s true intentions.

The West has already learned the lesson of what happens when you allow an authoritarian government to continue down the path of genocide.

We all did.

And we must remember it again.

medium
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2022 03:26 pm
The Thom Hartmann Program

Is greed good for the country? Hartmann discusses the Republican Party's divergence from the Eisenhower philosophy to the Reagan Revolution based on the premise that greed is good for the country. This is the trickle down theory of economics.

The "greed is good" credo was promoted by writer Ayn Rand, who held in high regard the credo of psychotic murderer William Hickman, "What's good for me is right."



0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2022 05:56 pm
@hightor,
That’s actually another great example of propaganda.
Who wrote this? Katy WHO?



Pure propaganda.
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2022 04:03 am
What the “Woke” Left and the Alt-Right Share

Russia's war in Ukraine has shown the defining political fault lines of our age to be fundamentally bogus. While the Kremlin represents the alt-right, and Europe stands for the politically correct liberal establishment, both sides ultimately are fighting over the spoils of a global capitalist system that they control.

Quote:
The Canadian psychologist and alt-right media fixture Jordan Peterson recently stumbled onto an important insight. In a podcast episode titled “Russia vs. Ukraine or Civil War in the West?,” he recognized a link between the war in Europe and the conflict between the liberal mainstream and the new populist right in North America and Europe.

Although Peterson initially condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression, his stance gradually morphs into a kind of metaphysical defense of Russia. Referencing Dostoevsky’s Diaries, he suggests that Western European hedonist individualism is far inferior to Russian collective spirituality, before duly endorsing the Kremlin’s designation of contemporary Western liberal civilization as “degenerate.” He describes postmodernism as a transformation of Marxism that seeks to destroy the foundations of Christian civilization. Viewed in this light, the war in Ukraine is a contest between traditional Christian values and a new form of communist degeneracy.

This language will be familiar to anyone familiar with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime, or with the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. As CNN’s John Blake put it, that day “marked the first time many Americans realized the US is facing a burgeoning White Christian nationalist movement,” which “uses Christian language to cloak sexism and hostility to Black people and non-White immigrants in its quest to create a White Christian America.” This worldview has now “infiltrated the religious mainstream so thoroughly that virtually any conservative Christian pastor who tries to challenge its ideology risks their career.”

The fact that Peterson has assumed a pro-Russian, anti-communist position is indicative of a broader trend. In the United States, many Republican Party lawmakers have refused to support Ukraine. J.D. Vance, a Donald Trump-backed Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, finds it “insulting and strategically stupid to devote billions of resources to Ukraine while ignoring the problems in our own country.” And Matt Gaetz, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Florida, is committed to ending US support for Ukraine if his party wins control of the chamber this November.

But does accepting Peterson’s premise that Russia’s war and the alt-right in the US are platoons of the same global movement mean that leftists should simply take the opposite side? Here, the situation gets more complicated. Although Peterson claims to oppose communism, he is attacking a major consequence of global capitalism. As Marx and Engels wrote more than 150 years ago in the first chapter of The Communist Manifesto:

“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. … All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.”

This observation is studiously ignored by leftist cultural theorists who still focus their critique on patriarchal ideology and practice. Yet surely the critique of patriarchy has reached its apotheosis at precisely the historical moment when patriarchy has lost its hegemonic role – that is, when market individualism has swept it away. After all, what becomes of patriarchal family values when a child can sue her parents for neglect and abuse (implying that parenthood is just another temporary and dissolvable contract between utility-maximizing individuals)?

Of course, such “leftists” are sheep in wolves’ clothing, telling themselves that they are radical revolutionaries as they defend the reigning establishment. Today, the melting away of pre-modern social relations and forms has already gone much further than Marx could have imagined. All facets of human identity are now becoming a matter of choice; nature is becoming more and more an object of technological manipulation.

The “civil war” that Peterson sees in the developed West is thus a chimera, a conflict between two versions of the same global capitalist system: unrestrained liberal individualism versus neo-fascist conservativism, which seeks to unite capitalist dynamism with traditional values and hierarchies.

There is a double paradox here. Western political correctness (“wokeness”) has displaced class struggle, producing a liberal elite that claims to protect threatened racial and sexual minorities in order to divert attention from its members’ own economic and political power. At the same time, this lie allows alt-right populists to present themselves as defenders of “real” people against corporate and “deep state” elites, even though they, too, occupy positions at the commanding heights of economic and political power.

Ultimately, both sides are fighting over the spoils of a system in which they are wholly complicit. Neither side really stands up for the exploited or has any interest in working-class solidarity. The implication is not that “left” and “right” are outdated notions – as one often hears – but rather that culture wars have displaced class struggle as the engine of politics.

Where does that leave Europe? The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall paints a bleak but accurate picture:

“Putin’s aim is the immiseration of Europe. By weaponising energy, food, refugees and information, Russia’s leader spreads the economic and political pain, creating wartime conditions for all. A long, cold, calamity-filled European winter of power shortages and turmoil looms. … Freezing pensioners, hungry children, empty supermarket shelves, unaffordable cost of living increases, devalued wages, strikes and street protests point to Sri Lanka-style meltdowns. An exaggeration? Not really.”

To prevent a total collapse into disorder, the state apparatus, in close coordination with other states and relying on local mobilizations of people, will have to regulate the distribution of energy and food, perhaps resorting to administration by the armed forces. Europe thus has a unique chance to leave behind its charmed life of isolated welfare, a bubble in which gas and electricity prices were the biggest worries. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently told Vogue, “Just try to imagine what I’m talking about happening to your home, to your country. Would you still be thinking about gas prices or electricity prices?”

He’s right. Europe is under attack, and it needs to mobilize, not just militarily but socially and economically as well. We should use the crisis to change our way of life, adopting values that will spare us from an ecological catastrophe in the coming decades. This may be our only chance.

projectsyndicate
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2022 04:29 am
@Lash,
Quote:
That’s actually another great example of propaganda.

What makes it "propaganda" as opposed to it just being someone's online response to what she perceived as misplaced criticism? Or are all opinion pieces "propaganda", including those of USAmerican leftists critical of US assistance to Ukraine?
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 12:24 pm
Dick Cheney brands Donald Trump "greatest ever threat to our Republic."
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 01:54 pm
@coluber2001,

and Dick was the second greatest, back in the day...
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 03:06 pm
@Region Philbis,
Yeah. It takes one to know one. But apparently he still believes in a democracy.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 03:59 pm
@coluber2001,
Yep. Democracy was irrelevant when he ran the country, though. He thwarted democratic institutions through his machinations from within the vice-presidency, all under the table, e.g. the 2001 National Energy Policy Development Group.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 07:25 pm
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Quote:
That’s actually another great example of propaganda.

What makes it "propaganda" as opposed to it just being someone's online response to what she perceived as misplaced criticism? Or are all opinion pieces "propaganda", including those of USAmerican leftists critical of US assistance to Ukraine?

A couple of things make it propaganda.

One is extreme bias that uses weak argument relying almost completely on emotion. Propaganda supports one side of an issue, and refuses to give thoughtful due diligence in the unbiased exploration of the opposing opinion, and doesn’t rely on valid evidence to support the favored opinion. Ignoring strong evidence to the contrary of the opposing opinion, as well. Mindless cheerleading to fool people into agreement or to pressure them into keeping quiet.

You know, what passes for debate here in the last decade.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 08:11 pm
@Lash,
It's an opinion piece, nothing more. Opinion pieces like Jgln's seldom match the criteria you set out. The piece doesn't "fool" or "pressure" anyone into agreement or silence. It's part of a conversation, a dialogue, between people who disagree about Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some USAmericans are critical of US assistance to Ukraine, some aren't. I don't see anything sinister about it; it's part and parcel of any democratic system, the free exchange of ideas. Labeling unwelcome speech as "propaganda" is similar to labeling political movements as "fascist" – it works to stifle dialogue, not promote it.
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 08:32 pm
@hightor,
I hear you.

It still fits the definition of propaganda. As does a LOT of written material and news reports and rhetoric from the White House about the Ukraine war.

The *unified narrative* is what is dangerous. A‘news media’ that doesn’t critically question the prevailing political narrative coming from the WH and both political parties.

It is wrong.
PoliteMight
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2022 08:35 pm
@coluber2001,
Dick Cheney and Bush II ( who am I kidding all the Bushes ) deserves to be dropped down naked in the middle of Iran and given a public execution like at the end of "Brave Heart" but even more so like Saddam and Gadaffi not before being humiliated like the President from "Escape from NY" with the wig and lipstick and everything. He is a piece of a crap and if you think he is gods shining star your off your meds.

..........

Gadaffi offered free healthcare, tons of bonuses for having children via marriage, free education, and the nation had no debt at all.

Saddam was a fool but he was right about Kuwait.

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2022 10:29 am
@Lash,
Quote:
A‘news media’ that doesn’t critically question the prevailing political narrative coming from the WH and both political parties.

I've seen a number of articles which deviate from the prevailing political narrative, and these were in mainstream media outlets too. I think you raise an interesting point, several of them actually, but I don't feel that our march toward fascism is being directed by news reports and rhetoric concerning Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

More directly concerning is the attack on voting rights, extreme gerrymandering, moves to take over state elections and run them for partisan gain, and maybe most alarming of all, the specter of a Republican-led Constitutional Convention.
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2022 05:41 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:


More directly concerning is the attack on voting rights, extreme gerrymandering, moves to take over state elections and run them for partisan gain, and maybe most alarming of all, the specter of a Republican-led Constitutional Convention.


I agree about these issues being important, but we can at least count on the media to mention these topics from a critical perspective. The msm’s primary moneymaker is attacking Republicans.

The media very rarely critiques the failed policies and actions / inactions of their party—the Democrats. I’m still wondering about this recent drumbeat to get rid of Biden. An msm attack on a sitting Democrat president is unusual. I’d love to know the underlying motivation.
 

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