In the last article on the fake left, one of the greatest menaces to socialist politics in the West today, I criticized the hypocrisy of the Euston Manifesto clique. Now it is time to turn towards their American equivalent, the so-called Cold War liberals and the supposed ‘radical democrats’ who represent the left foot of imperialism. For several decades they have found their home at Dissent magazine and its sister paper Democratiya, which recently has merged into the former. It is worth taking a brief look at the content and outlook of these bulwarks of false leftism in America, since they are all too common among the intelligentsia in the wake of the massive expansion of militarism in the West since the days of Eisenhower-Kennedy. Moreover, it is precisely the claims to left-wing, even socialist, legitimacy that makes these tendencies of thought so dangerous; it hopelessly muddles the boundaries between genuine socialism of whatever stripe and a liberalism that is dressed up in the language of the social-democracy of old but has more in common with Noske than with Marx. It is not because of sectarianism that we must insist on the importance of differentiating an essentially liberal attitude to politics – even a ‘left liberal’ one – and socialism, but it is because sometimes a similarity of language can mask highly significant differences in the goals either group genuinely seeks and the interests they represent in practice. Continue reading “More on the Fake Left: The Chimaera of “Dissent” Magazine”
The referendum on political and judicial reform which had held Turkey in a state of tension has been decisively resolved in favor of the ruling AK Party of Prime Minister Erdogan. The vote, covering 26 amendments to the Turkish constitution, went a surprisingly confident 58%-42% in favor of the reform, which has widely been interpreted as a strong vote of confidence in the government. This despite the continuous obstructions to various reform proposals on the part of the AKP by the nationalist clique controlling the Turkish judiciary and much of its civil service, including a injunction by the constitutional court against legalizing the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in public places such as universities. The previous Turkish constitution of 1980 itself had been created after a military coup by nationalist forces ushered in an almost 20 year uninterrupted rule of this section of Turkish society, which is strongly reliant on the military, the Turkish bourgeoisie (centered largely in Istanbul) and its intelligentsia. The democratic legitimacy of the successive nationalist governments can be highly doubted despite their veneer of liberalism and their appeals to the liberal West, in particular with an eye to the repeated attempts (some successful) to ban any opposing party which threatened to be too successful and did not support their lines on the religion question or the Kurdish one. Continue reading “A Reform Bill for Turkey”
“Beware of conservatives bearing gifts.” This should be the lesson that every leftist and progressive of whatever stripe had learned over the many decades and even centuries of political struggle. When the right attempts to oppose the policies of the left, this is what one would expect, and obstructionist and backward as it may be at times, it at least expresses real interests in a straightforward manner. When on the other hand they start pretending to help the left, whether under the guise of ‘shared values’ or by attempting to draw them into a politics of liberal talking and reactionary doing, things get seriously dangerous. However, most of the 19th as well as the 20th century has had a left wing strong enough to constantly be on the offensive against such attempts, to learn to identify them and to combat them effectively by showing time and again how the liberalism of the right doesn’t really mean what it pretends to mean. Unfortunately, these days the serious left has been diminished so much that they are weak and easily caught unawares, and many of the supporters of the new generation are not rooted enough in history to recognize them. This gives ample opportunity for the worst kind of false flag operations undertaken under the banner of the ‘modern left’ and similar phrases.
No, this is not some conspiratorial rant. Continue reading “The Useless Manifesto: The Folly of the Fake Left”
Well-known anthropologist and popular science writer Jared Diamond has written an opinion article in the New York Times in which he praises various large multinationals for adopting a supposedly more ‘green’ way of operating, since their profit incentive forces them to do so.(1) He is particularly lavish in his praise for the Chevron oil group, which is or was active in oil projects in New Guinea, the region Diamond is professionally specialized in. He has written about their activities in New Guinea before in his book Collapse, where he also lauded their supposed efforts to improve the environment.(2) Continue reading “Jared Diamond and the ‘green’ capitalists”
The great capitalist dystopia of Dubai, a huge speculation bubble in paradisical tourist islands and business skyscrapers built on the slave-labor of South Asian migrant workers, is on the verge of collapse. Even though it is located in one of the driest and hottest parts of the world, its developer-king, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, saw a bright future for the place as the great playground of modern cosmopolitan capital. Indeed he presented himself and the whole project as a capitalist variation on the ‘enlightened kingdom’ of the old concept of the philosopher-king: none of those pesky things like regulations and taxes, or even good taste, could stand in the way of capitalist development here. In Dubai, anything would and should be possible on a larger and more commercial scale than ever before seen. Continue reading “The Fall of the House of Dubai”