Andre Vltchek – Failures of The Western Left
It is tough to fight any real war. And it takes true guts, discipline and determination to win it.
For years and decades, the so-called ‘left’ in the West has been moderately critical of North American (and sometimes even of European) imperialism and neo-colonialism. But whenever some individual or country rose up and began openly challenging the Empire, most of the Western left-wing intellectuals simply closed their eyes, and refused to offer their full, unconditional support to those who were putting their lives (and often even the existence of their countries) on the line.
I will never forget all those derogatory punches directed at Hugo Chavez, punches coming from members of the ‘anti-Communist left’, after he dared to insult George W. Bush at the United Nations in 2006, calling him a “devil” and choking, theatrically, from the sulfur that was still ‘hanging in the air’ after the US President’s appearance at the General Assembly.
I will not be dropping names here, but readers would be surprised if they knew how many of those iconic leaders of the US left described Chavez and his speech as ‘impolite’, ‘counter-productive’, and even ‘insulting’.
Tens of millions of people have died because of Western imperialism, after WWII. Under the horrid leadership of George W Bush, Afghanistan and Iraq have been reduced to ruins… But one has to remain ‘polite’, ‘objective’ and cool headed?
Well, that is not how real revolutions have been ignited. This is not how the successful anti-colonialist wars are fought. When the real battle begins, ‘politeness’ is actually mostly unacceptable, simply because the oppressed masses are endlessly pissed off, and they want their feelings to be registered and expressed by the leaders. Even the search for ‘objectivity’ is often out of place, when still fragile revolutions have to face the entire monumental hostile propaganda of the regime – of the Empire.
But the question is: do most of the Western leftists really support revolutions and anti-colonialist struggles of the oppressed world?
I believe they don’t. And this is clearly visible from reading most of the so-called alternative media in both North America and Europe.
Whoever stands up, whoever leads his nation into battle against the Western global dictatorship, is almost immediately defined as a demagogue. He or she is most likely christened ‘undemocratic’, and not just by the mass and ‘liberal’ media, but also on the pages of the so-called ‘alternative’ and ‘progressive’ Western press. Not all, but some, and frankly: most of it!
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Chavez actually received very little support from Western ‘left-wing’ intellectuals. And now when Venezuela is bleeding, the ‘Bolivarian Republic’ can only count on a handful of revolutionary Latin American nations, as well as on China, Iran and Russia; definitely not on the robust, organized and militant solidarity from Western countries.
Cuba received even less support than Venezuela. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, no attempt was actually made by Western leftists to bail the heroic nation out. It was China, in the end, which ran to its rescue and saved Cuban socialism. (When I wrote about it, I got hundreds of Western leftists at my throat, and in the end it took Fidel to confirm, in his ‘Reflections’, what I was saying, to get them off my back). Then, when the Obama administration began making dangerous advances on Havana, almost everyone in the West began screwing those cynical grimaces: ‘you see; now everything will collapse! They will buy Cuba!’ They didn’t. I travelled to the beloved green island, and it was so clear from the first moment there, that the ‘revolution is not for sale’. But you will not read it often in the Western ‘progressive’ media.
It is of course not just Latin America that is ‘disliked’ by the progressives in the West. Actually, Latin America is still at least getting some nominal support there.
China and Russia, two powerful nations, which are now standing openly against Western imperialism, are despised by virtually all ‘liberals’ and by most of the Western ‘left’. In those circles, there is total ignorance about the Chinese type of democracy, about its ancient culture, and about it’s complex but extremely successful form of Communism (or calls it ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’). Like parrots, the Western leftists repeat ‘liberal’ propaganda that ‘China is being capitalist’, or that it is being ruled by ‘state capitalism’. The internationalism of Chinese foreign policy is constantly played down, even mocked.
The hostility of the Western ‘left’ towards China has disgusted many Chinese leaders and intellectuals. I only realized the extent of this revulsion, when I spoke, last year, at the First World Cultural Forum in Beijing, and mingled with the thinkers at the China Academy of Social Sciences, the right (intellectual) arm of the government and the Party.
China can count on its allies in Russia, Latin America, Africa and elsewhere, but definitely not in the West. It is pointless to even mention Russia or South Africa.
Russia, ‘the victim’ during the horrid Yeltsin years was ‘embraced’ by the Western left. Russia the warrior, Russia the adversary to Western imperialism, is, once again, loathed.
It appears that the ‘progressives’ in the United States and Europe really prefer ‘victims’. They can, somehow, feel pity and even write a few lines about the ‘suffering of defenseless women and children’ in the countries that the West is plundering and raping. That does not extend to all countries that are being brutalized, but at least to some…
What they don’t like at all, are strong men and women that have decided to fight: to defend their rights, to face the Empire.
The Syrian government is hated. The North Korean government is despised. The President of the Philippines is judged by Western liberal media measures: as a vulgar freak who is killing thousands of ‘innocent’ drug pushers and consumers (definitely not as a possibly new Sukarno who is willing to send the entire West to hell).
Whatever the Western ‘left’ thinks about North Korea and its government (and in fact, I think, it cannot really think much, as it is fully ignorant about it), the main reason why the DPRK is hated so much by the West regime, is because it, together with Cuba, basically liberated Africa. It fought for the freedom of Angola and Namibia, it flew Egyptian MIGs against Israel, it struggled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as well as in many other countries, and it sent aid, teachers and doctors to the entire continent devastated by the Western colonialist barbarity.
Much good it received in return! At best, indifference, at worse, total spite!
Some say that the Western ‘left’ doesn’t want to take power, anymore. It lost all of its important battles. It became toothless, impotent, and angry about the world and itself.
When in January 2016 I spoke at the Italian Parliament (ending up insulting the West for its global plunder, hypocrisy), I mingled a lot with the 5 Star Movement, which had actually invited me to Rome. I spent time with its radical left wing. There are some great people there, but overall, it soon became clear that this potentially the biggest political movement in the country is actually horrified of coming to power! It does not really want to govern.
But then, why call those weak bizarre selfish Western entities – the ‘left wing’? Why confuse terms, and by that, why discredit those true revolutionaries, those true fighters, who are risking, sacrificing their lives, right now, all over the world?
Wars are all extremely ugly. I have covered many of them, and I know… But some of them, those that are fought for the survival of humanity, or for survival of the particular countries, are inevitable. One either fights, or the entire Planet ends up being colonised and oppressed, in shackles.
If one decides to fight, then there has to be discipline and single-mindedness; total determination. Or the battle is lost from the very beginning!
When the freedom and survival of one’s motherland is at stake, things get very serious, ‘dead-serious’. Battle is not a discussion club. It is not some chat.
If we, as ‘leftists’, have already once decided that imperialism and colonialism (or ‘neo-colonialism’) are the greatest evils destroying our humanity, then we have to show discipline and join ranks, and support those who are at the frontline.
Otherwise we will become an irrelevant laughingstock, and history will and should judge us harshly!
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.