Category Archives: Nationalism

Catholic Communism: The Story of the Catholic Left in Europe

The link between Catholicism and the Left has been ongoing for some time now. In Eastern Europe, especially in Czechoslovakia, Catholic Communists were common enough to form an actual movement. Obviously there were Catholic Communists in Spain and particularly in the Basque Country. The ETA was virtually a Catholic Communist revolutionary movement. The armed Left, especially the Communists, started killing priests in the Spanish Civil War. Although burning churches has been an odd tradition in Spain for a good century now, the actual killing of priests did not go over well. Of course the same could be said of the great IRA in Ireland, most of whom were Catholics.

In Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, unfortunately, the Catholics were virulently anti-Communist for whatever reason. The Communists under Stalin brutally repressed the church, killing many priests and lay workers. In Poland and Ukraine, Catholicism got wrapped up in an anti-Communism in a horrible way. One of the main beefs against Communism particularly in Poland was that the Communists were not only anti-nationalists but mostly that they were anti-Catholic. At any rate, Catholicism and nationalism are so wrapped together in Poland that one can hardly see where one ends and the other begins.

Nevertheless, most of the virulent Polish nationalist Catholic anti-Communist were committed socialists. However, many of these folks who were often also anti-Semites as these Poles linked Communism with Jews. Anti-Semitism in Poland is as old as dirt. Yitzhak Rabin once noted that Poles learn their anti-Semitism at their mother’s breast – it’s that deeply rooted in the culture. There was a nationalist rally in Poland recently that drew a huge crowd of 50,000. One of the things that they demanded was a Judenfrei Poland. The problem is that there are probably no more than 4,000 Jews in Poland to this day. One wonders what evil effects such a tiny community could have on the national body politic, yet this shows you the intensity and paranoia of Polish antisemitism.

In Eastern Europe, there is a big difference between a socialist and a Communist. Almost everyone you meet in Eastern Europe is a socialist or practically one, although Poland is particularly pathetic in this regard, a sorry habit in light of the centuries of abuse the reactionary feudal lords committed against the 95% serf Poles for centuries. The Polish ruling class is still feudal in nature and has changed little since the days of the lords of the land. It also has deep ties to a deeply conservative Polish army, which has always had strong links to the feudal royal ruling classes.

It is a little told story, but when Communism first came to Poland, it was quite popular, particularly among the downtrodden peasants. It was also very popular among the urban proletariat and to some extent among intellectuals. But the brutality of the Polish Communists working in the model of Stalin quickly doomed the project. The Polish Communists were hoist on their own petard. Even Stalin recognized the futility of the project. “Imposing Communism on the Poles,” Stalin said, “Was like trying to put a saddle on a cow.” Basically doomed from Day one.

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About that Coup in Turkey

Remember the bizarre coup a year ago in the summer, which Turkish President Erdogan said was fomented by his arch rival Gulen and his network?

This coup is an example of just how dirty and evil geopolitics really is. The truth is that geopolitics is a dirty game where only sociopaths need apply. If  you’re not already a sociopath, you will have to act like one in order to play this nasty game. If you’re not a sociopath, I have a hard time seeing how you can even engage in geopolitics considering all the dirty business you will have to engage in.

Back to the coup.

Actually Gulen and the Gulenists had nothing whatsoever to do with the coup. The coup was actually staged by secular Ataturkist Turkish nationalists in the military over Erdogan’s attempt to Islamicize a secular state and his disgusting corruption. It looks like Erdogan was warned about the coup beforehand by someone, possibly the Russians.

It also looks like the US was involved in the coup and definitely had foreknowledge. The US motivation for the coup would have been to punish and remove Erdogan for his recent moves cozying up with the Russians, as Erdogan had started making friendly with them only a week before the coup. This infuriated the Deep State, so they activated their coup network in the Turkish military. This network already had their own reasons for wanting Erdogan out.

It looks like Erdogan knew that the coup was going to go down and simply allowed it to happen so he could use it to his devious advantage. Erdogan already had lists with tens of thousands of names on them of his enemies to be arrested in case of a coup. Obviously these lists had been made up long beforehand and were sitting in some drawer just waiting to be used.

So he whipped them out and arrested ~40,000 of his enemies, mostly people who were part of this Gulen Network, which actually had nothing whatsoever to do with the coup. Gulen is an Islamist just like Erdogan and in fact, he was close to Erdogan until they had some sort of falling out, which resulted in Gulen’s becoming Enemy #1. Gulen does indeed have a network in the military and all around society, but they are not secular and were not involved in the coup. We can tell who the coup plotters were by the language used in the statements they issued during the coup. The wording used would only be used by Turkish secular Ataturkist nationalists. Many of Erdogan’s enemies were killed in the roundups. Much more were arrested and thrown in prison, where many of them were tortured.

Anyway, Erdogan immediately blamed Gulen (falsely) and then set about dismantling his network in Turkey while also shutting down most of the opposition press and arresting most of the opposition politicians. As of now, Erdogan is simply dictator of Turkey. Turkey is also an untouchable member of NATO of all things.

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Alt Left: Homage to Catalonia

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“This level of repression in Catalonia has not been seen since the Franco dictatorship.” – American academics

The Catalan people are having a revolution.

A referendum was held in Catalan territories today to decide if Catalonia should secede from Spain. The Spanish state called out the Guardia Civil to stop the vote. Incredible footage of  police beating up and shooting rubber bullets at voters were broadcast on the Net. Even more dramatic footage emerged of Catalan firefighters battling Guardia Civil police in the streets. That footage was simply breathtaking.

One video I saw showed armed Spanish police raiding a polling station, grabbing ballot boxes, trashing them and throwing them on the floor, scattering the votes. Other police were confiscating ballot boxes full of ballots from angry voters who were engaged in a tug of war with police, trying to keep the ballots from being confiscated.

I saw that and thought, “This is what fascism looks like.”

Indeed, the Conservative Party that now rules Spain has deep roots to Francoist Fascism. The Fascists never went away after the return of democracy to Spain. Instead, there are still millions of Spaniards who support fascism. I have been to their Internet sites. Those are large sites with hundreds of people commenting on them. Most of the Fascist supporters drifted back into politics and although the Conservative Party has no official fascist links, nevertheless the remaining fascists are still associated with that party if they are associated with any party at all. It is like the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda or the relationship of White Supremacists to the Republican Party.

Earlier today, the votes apparently were counted and the referendum appears to have won by a landslide vote. The President of the region of Catalonia urged the Legislature to implement the resolution voted on and to declare the independence of Catalonia from Spain. That was about eleven hours ago or around noon PST.

What do the Catalan people want? Land and Freedom, nothing less. Instead they got 1984. Shame!

From 1937 to 2017, the spirit of the Catalan people remains unbroken. The cry, “¡No pasarán!” yet rings through the streets of Barcelona, the echoes of eighty years.

What I saw in the faces of those Catalan protesters, no power can disinherit. No explosion that ever burst can shatter the crystal spirit of the Catalan people.

The voice of independence radiates across Spain and the rest of Europe, shaking the very foundations the EU.

Let the EU bureaucrats tremble at a Catalan Revolution. The Catalans have nothing to lose but their Nationalist chains. They have a Europe to win.

Nations want to be free. Let freedom ring across the lands!

 

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Poland Talks Alt Left! Polish Left Political Journal Discusses the Alt Left movement with a Focus on My and Rabbit’s Writing: “Race Realism, Or Center-Left on Culture,” by Michael Smolen

Race Realism, Or Center-Left on Culture

MICHAŁ SMOLEŃ

Writer for Respubliki Nowa. He writes about social philosophy and innovation.

March 13, 2017

Krytyka Polityczna

Two marginal racist bloggers from the US claim to start a new movement on the Left.

We are beautifully different on the Left, and it’s one of the great things about us.. Each leftwing tendency focuses on a slightly different target group and offers a slightly different view of the world situation. So it is worthwhile to rise above the divisions, often driven more by personal conflict than actual ideology, and to open ourselves up to the entire spectrum of the leftwing media, all the way from liberal center-left to very radical. Disagreement is natural, and ferment is creative. Sometimes, nevertheless, people on the left advocate disappointing ideologies that are hard for the rest of us to get behind.

THE LATEST FASHION

The article started out interesting anyway: “I would like to criticize the leftwing of the Vistula backwater for not being aware of the latest leftwing tendencies emanating from our leftwing brethren from the Fatherland of the World Creative Class” – begins an article about the “Alt Left” written by Dr. Hab. Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz which appeared in New Citizen, a Polish leftwing social justice magazine. I regard foreign influences as inevitable and often useful, so naturally I was interested in this new leftwing movement outside the mainstream which has so far escaped my attention.

After today often encountered failure characteristics “Hipster-Left”, focused on easy wojenkach culture, the author writes about the new collective actor on the political scene, “The Alt Right – a rebirth of the “Old Hard Right” – ethnopolitical, traditionalist, populist – in a new postmodern form. A sort of return to the roots. And the Alt Right managed to overcome the Mainstream Left on its own home turf: to win the support or the workers by emphasizing economics and de-emphasizing cultural issues. Think a somewhat obsolete Thomas Frank.

A flashing red light at this point heralds a warning. Did Donald Trump really gain the support of part of the White working class through the efforts of the teenage racist trolls under the leadership of Richard Spencer – the elegant (at least when not performing a Seig Heil), erudite, and informal leader of the Alt Right?

You are probably thinking of the Centrist Democrats so disliked by Tomasiewicz. It seems however that the notion that the anti-elitist mood of working class Trump voters (many of whom supported Obama in the past) was powered by the notions of the Alt Right leader Spencer is not only factually questionable but also overly bleak in that it elides the appeal of Trump to a section of the electorate steeped in US nationalism. Or perhaps this is just a problem of the Old Left?

Tomasiewicz :

Some believe that the challenge posed by the Alt Right requires a symmetrical response: the creation of an alternative to the Mainstream Left emphasizing the forgotten foundations of Leftism, such as the primacy of economics over culture, the relationship of the base to the superstructure, and a return to the Marxian thesis that ‘existence shapes consciousness.’

Next there is a quote from a manifesto from Alternative Left writer Robert Lindsay proclaiming,

We will be leftwing on economic matters […] but rather Centrist in the sphere of culture.

Tomasiewicz later cites another vague point in Lindsay’s manifesto of the Alternative Left. This vision paints a picture of the Social Democratic movement distanced from the alleged excesses of Cultural Left, materialistic in the old style, although “small and diverse” – which, although it should not be imitated in the dark (we as Poles have common sense), nevertheless deserves our at least with fingers crossed.

RACIAL REALISM

So what’s wrong with this picture? More than you’d expect. The author refers to two online sources for information about the Alt Left, and clicking on either of them reveals some rather disturbing content. The Altleft.com site notes at the top of the page that it is The Left Wing of the Alt Right. Nothing dziwnegi therefore that it is enough time to go through the lengthy scraps to find the few real gems. In the text quoted by Tomasiewicz, we find this passage:

Though I disagree with him on some ideological points…It just so happens that I support Richard Spencer and repeatedly defended him when some oversensitive (and often sanctimonious) factions or some prominent individuals of the AltRight unsuccessfully tried to sacrifice him to improve the image of the movement.

In another text by the author of the site (who goes by the pseudonym “Rabbit”) in response to an appeal to downplay the racial aspect of the Alternative Left brand, he said:

The Alt Left always been about race realism and gender realism. This is the whole fucking nail on the head!

What is race realism? It’s the familiar old and frightening idea that believes in biological differences between “races” of people, eg. in terms of IQ, which it stipulates as very important for races to gain social or political significance. AltLeft.com openly promotes White Nationalism, and at the same time is quite honest, which clearly shows in the title of one of his posts talking about the “unreality” of nonracist “race realism”. The post notes the hypocrisy of the supposedly nonracist race realists and asks a rhetorical question:

“What’s wrong with hatred anyway?”

What of the second author of the Alternative Left manifesto commented on by Tomasiewicz? Robert Lindsay is a prolific blogger who refers to himself as a “liberal race realist” (the title of his previous ideological project), who rejects Political Correctness and “Cultural Marxism” and in their stead proposes “positive White identity” and masculinity for men (to fight Gender Feminism and Radical Feminism).

Once again though – it is not difficult to see where Lindsay is really coming from. Although in the manifesto quoted by Tomasiewicz, Lindsay rejects “racist fascism”, it begins with an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement and ridicules people who talk about White privilege or have an “obsession about structural racism.”

According to Lindsay, to belong to Alt Left, one should accept “racial realism”, which is one of the three pillars of Alt Left ideology – the other two are leftwing views on economics, to which Lindsay moreover dedicates little space, and a special form of moral libertinism who boils down to formally supporting the basic rights of minorities combined with a gut hatred against the movements that are fighting for those very rights.

Lindsay seems to be less directly hateful – and more eccentric – than Rabbit, but his journalism nevertheless includes discussions about the abominations of gay sexual practices, alleged reasons why women cannot lead Western civilization, and complaints about aggressive and obnoxious “Jewy Jews” who are themselves responsible for anti-Semitism.

As for the Alt Left, this is all we need to know about it right here. Tomasiewicz refers only to Lindsay and the author of a blog about the “Left Wing of Alt Right” because that’s all there is to the Alternative Left. Otherwise, the concept still appears occasionally as a rhetorical device in journalism, primarily as an insult. So the entirety of this new and noteworthy movement is a small group of readers of two marginal blogs that are attempting to enrich the standard White Nationalism of the Alt Right with an aversion to neoliberalism and a promotion of anti-feminist libertarianism (the latter being merely a rejecting the traditionally conservative views of women).

LEFT PRIEST JOHN

The detailed reasons why this leftwing website published a fictitious post about a couple of marginal racists in the chronicle New Citizen are not something that should concern readers. Suffice to say that it is difficult to believe in the sincerity of the author, who was after all the one who first discovered the sites of these bloggers. Why did he go out of his way to ferret out these marginal bloggers? Nevertheless, I do not think however that one could accuse the editor-in-chief of tolerance for “race realism,” nor is the readership enthusiastic about this concept.

The case recalls to me deeper concerns of some Polish Left intellectuals’ dislike for the “Left of Manners” or Cultural Left. Often it is not so much about the demands of this faction but more about the alleged incompatibility of this project with the conservative nature of the Polish people. These charges are often simply unfair.

For this often based on fantasies – Maciej Gdula in Political Critique accurately dismantled the idea of the conservatism of the people that is shared by anti-elitist liberals as well as the current anti-elitist Left. A plea to keep the Left only about the workers and to reject helping different minorities seems particularly unfair when we look at the development in recent years of leftwing movements and characters (like Total in Poland or Bernie Sanders in the US), fully and harmoniously integrating cultural issues and economics.

The spectacular failure of this article on the “Alternative Left” to resonate on the Polish Left brings to light another problem. This article published in the New Citizen is the modern equivalent of the medieval legend about the state ruled by Father John, a Christian enclave somewhere in the distant Orient.

We can see that the Cultural Left is an imaginary issue on the Left in anecdotes written by various intellectuals as diverse as Remigiusz Okraska, Stephen Twardoch and David Wildstein that the notion of the good old-fashioned Polish people who do not care about these newfangled cultural oddities is every year moving further from reality.

Tomasiewicz article, in which the role of Father John played the Richard Spencer, stands out as an apology for some particularly nasty and in the Polish context completely unacceptable notions such as race realism (perhaps even our extremist ONR does not openly promote the idea of biological racism). We need only barely scrape the surface of almost any “Morally Centrist” manifesto’s concern for ordinary people to see the usual hatred and disgust for certain disadvantaged groups – sometimes consciously  but more often probably not. In this situation, to put on a mask of folk naiveté seems to be at best frivolous and at worst insincere and wicked, and we have not even begun to deal with the extreme views of of Rabbit of AltLeft.com which go so much further than that.

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Polish Political Scientist on the Alt Left

This is a very important article, the first review of the Alt Left ever written by an actual expert on politics, in this case a Political Science professor. The only problem is that he lives in Poland and he wrote this article in Polish! He seems to support the Alt Left. He discusses both me and Rabbit, but most of the focus is on me. And why not? I am the one who started this whole mess after all.

Here it is translated in the best translation I could do.

Alt-Left

Dr Hab. Jarosław Tomasiewicz

02-10-2017

For a decade I have criticized the Polish Left for intellectual impotence expressed in the mindless import of foreign designs. CTRL + C, CRTL + V. It is such a vicious circle: the peculiar combination of geopolitical, historical, socioeconomic and cultural factors has left the Left in Poland (aside from some historical exceptions) a lone minority.

The feeling of isolation meant that the Left waited for outside help (“Moscow yesterday, today Brussels”); elevating “brotherly international solidarity” instead of concentrating on the workers at home deepened the alienation of the Left. Where, a hundred years ago, the Left flourished intellectually (Brzozowski, Abramowski, Luxembourg, Kelles-Krauz, Machajski, Hempel – and many, many others), nowadays, after decades of importing foreign ideas and attempting to implant them in Polish culture, the Polish Left has become intellectually sterile. Bringing the Polish Left to the role of translator of external trends, I see not only me – a “very strange figure” as one of the leftwing editors once called me – but also the Left-leaning generals.

But there is no need to repeat myself as my position on this is well-known. On the contrary – I will criticize the Native Left of the Vistula Backwater for remaining unaware of the latest cutting edge Left political programs from our brethren born in the homeland of the World Creative Class, that is, America.

This latest development followed this pattern:

In recent years, the Hipster Left, now pretending to be a Radical Left, has sunk in the warm sun of a Liberal Mainstream now dominated by the geopolitical system. It was safe to fight for progress behind the back of the liberal state – obviously not to seek any pure utopia ostensibly criticized for “errors and distortions”, but it was still considered less evil than the menace of populism.

The Left was kept in check by the “enlightened absolutism” of the European Union and America reasserting itself as as the keystone of the global order under the leadership of  the benign Uncle Barack. In this way, a phenomenon characteristic of the final days of empires emerged.

First, the Imperialist Left who finance social reforms in the metropolis of the First World profited from the Developed World’s hegemonic oppression of the periphery – the people in the Third World – and therefore was interested in maintaining the existing oppressive geopolitical order This situation was described well by Bernard Semmel.

Next, the toothless Mainstream Right, centered on maximizing corporate profits, could still attempt to launch a Cultural War but was instead generally pushed into a deeply defensive position due to the increasing domination of culture by the Cultural Left.

Finally, the Far Right was more interested in their hysterical, sensationalist, and conspiratorial media than in the real world .

Until one day a Demon returned from the the past.

An “Alt Right” appeared on the scene. “The Alternative Right”: alternative to the Mainstream Right. The phenomenon is otherwise uneven. This is not a reactionary neoliberal/neoconservative New Right whose last expression was the Tea Party. Alt Right is the rebirth of the hard-core “Old Right” – ethnopolitical, traditionalist, populist – in new postmodernist forms. A unique return to the roots. And it was the Alt Rightists who managed to beat the mainstream left in its own field: to win the support of the workers using non-cultural terms (Thomas Frank was a bit outdated) and economics. Workers from the Core Belt backed protectionism against globalism.

For the Left, who has already forgotten the anti-imperialism that once characterized it, this is a geopolitical earthquake like a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles. Suddenly there was no point of support, no reference point. The Left must find himself given the reality of this new situation. We need self-criticism, reorientation, and re-evaluation. Answer the question: What is to be done? The most popular answer is: What we have always done, only moreso. Purge the ranks, dig in their positions.

This is a bourgeois reaction frightened by the status quo. The bureaucracies of the safe zones become the universities and the liberal self-governments of the big cities. Rolling Stone Magazine describes the formation of the anti-Trump coalition . There will be pro-immigrant groups, environmentalists, feminists, sexual minorities, gun control advocates, and  interestingly, “true conservatives” (the neoconservatives) who are reluctant to support Trump. Did I miss anyone? Did you notice? One group I failed to mention is the unions. It seems that the Left has insulted the workers. Instead of Democrats meeting with union leaders, Trump meets with them.

However, not all American Leftists are carnal cult members, confident that the repetition of certain rituals will provide them with prosperity. Some believe that the challenge of Alt-Right requires a symmetrical response: to create an alternative to the Left mainstream harkening back to the forgotten foundations of the left. Opponents see the emergence of the Alt-Left phenomenon as a new embodiment of the alliance of extremes, “the place where Pat Buchanan meets Ralph Nader, ” although Alt-Leftists reject any form of cooperation with actual fascists, hardcore racists, and obsessive and conspiratorial anti-Semites. Proponents argue that this is a de facto return to the tradition of the Old Left – “the Left as it was from the Second World War to the counter-culture of the 1960’s.”

This implies first and foremost, the primacy of economics over culture, the primordial basis of superstructure, and a return to the Marxian thesis that “being forms consciousness.” Contempt for the poor and losers in capitalist society is condemned as one of the worst sins of all.

“We will be Left on economic matters [but] more Centrist on culture,” wrote Robert Lindsay, a leading Alt Left thinker.

This approach puts the Alt Left in opposition to both technocratic social democrats that have long since taken up neoliberalism while abandoning the working class on the Right and the “Cultural Left” on the other side of the political spectrum. The Alt-Left sees the Right as simply “traitors to the working class – our class enemies,” according to Lindsay. But it is towards the second group, which the Alt-Left sees as “rootless cosmopolitans,” that the Alt-Left devotes most of its polemical fervor.

Alt Left tolerates the Cultural Left as long as they are relatively quiet about their antagonizing views. The Cultural Left is criticized not for the legitimacy or direction of cultural change but rather for its extremism.

Lindsay writes:

Gay Rights – yes! Gay politics – no! Support and tolerance for biological homosexuals to live their lives as they wish in freedom and happiness. On the other hand, homosexuality should not be exalted or promoted […].

Women’s rights – yes! Women’s politics – no! The Alternative Left supports equity feminism while rejecting  the gender feminism of radical feminists who hate men.

According to Alt-Leftists, the “Identity Politics” promoted by the Cultural Left led to the replacement of class struggle with racial and/or sexual conflict. In this view, White people were evil…and anyone who was not White was automatically a saint. This meant not only that all Whites were part of a racist class but that they also all shared collective responsibility and guilt. Let us note that while class membership can be changed relatively easily, race or gender cannot, which makes any antagonism engendered by race or gender insurmountable.

Another aspect of the Alternative Left is internationalism, but here it is understood as anti-imperialism instead of cosmopolitanism. Lindsay emphasizes that the desire of people to have a national, ethnic or religious identity should be seen as a right that can not be interfered with. The result is an acceptance of  the multiculturalism of immigrants in the first generation but the promotion of assimilation in the next. On the one hand, extreme patriotism and Western imperialism are also criticized –  the Alt Left even singles out Bernie Sanders, as as a “Cold War liberal”. On the other hand, the view that “the West is pure evil” is rejected. The Alt Left detaches itself from both anti-Semitism and Radical Zionism, accepting anti-Zionists but also moderate Zionists.

The American Alt Left has been around for only little over one year (the site Altleft.com appeared in November 2015), and is a small movement made up of a number of different strands or wings.

One of Lindsay’s followers wrote:

Unfortunately, Alt Left attracts a wide variety of weird people, and each one has their own clichéd ideas for what Alt Left should be.

Well, beginnings are always difficult.

Should Poles mimic the Alt Left? No. It is enough to return to our native traditions, a matter-of-fact, homegrown analysis of reality – simply common sense. Swallows can be seen.

Dr Hab. Jarosław Tomasiewicz,.born in 1962, is a political scientist and researcher at the Institute of History of the University of Silesia, a journalist, and an author of a number of books in recent years, Terrorism against Political Violence: An Encyclopedic Outline (2000), Between Fascism and Anarchism: New Ideas for a New Era (2000), New National Democratic Party Groups in the Third Republic (2003), Evil in the Name of Good: The Phenomenon of Political Violence (2009) and National Revolution: The Nationalist Ideas of Social Revolution in the Second Republic (2012), as well as many magazine, newspaper and journal articles. He is a regular contributor to The New Citizen.

New Citizen 13
Publisher: Association of Citizens
Website: kooperatywa.org

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“Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?” by Eric Walberg

My good friend Eric Walberg sets the record straight on the Ukraine War. Bottom line is every single thing you are being told in the Western media is propaganda of some sort. It’s either a distortion, misleading or out and out false. The number of Western media outlets offering the truth of what is going on over there is zero. This is what I mean by our controlled media and why I say that there is no dissident press in the West.

Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?

Eric Walberg

Putin is either an aggressive schemer, to be opposed and vilified at all costs, or a wise, restrained real-politician, balanced irreconcilable forces next door. Which is it?

The 2014 coup in Ukraine succeeded due to the fierce campaign led by neo-fascists, heirs to the Banderistas of 1940–50’s, now lauded as freedom fighters, but seen at the time as terrorists, murdering Ukrainians and Jews, and sabotaging a Ukraine in shambles after the war. They had almost zero support then, having collaborated with the Nazis to kill tens of thousands, but their hero, Stepan, was honored with a statue in 2011, erected by the godfather of the current anti-Russian coupmakers, the (disastrous) former President Viktor Yushchenko. Ukraine’s Soviet war veterans were outraged and the statue was torn down in 2013, just months before the coup, bringing the Bandera-lovers back to power.

The eastern Ukrainians, mostly native Russians, centered in Donetsk and Lugansk, saw the coup as a surreal rerun of WWII, this time with Banderistas triumphant. They had no real plan, but panicked at the thought of what was to come, and seized government buildings and declared themselves mini-republics, calling on Russia to come and rescue them, as was happening in Crimea.

A tall order. Putin empathized with his fellow Russians, now being bombed and boycotted by the Ukrainian forces, with a death toll of 10,000 so far. Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a “humanitarian convoy”, crossed the border into Ukrainian territory without the permission of the Ukrainian government.

This state of stalemate led the war to be labelled by some a war of aggression against poor Ukraine, a “frozen conflict”. The area has stayed a war zone, with dozens of soldiers and civilians killed each month. Close to 4,000 rebel fighters and the same number of ‘loyalists’ have been killed, along with 3,000 civilians. 1.5 million have been internally displaced; and a million have fled abroad, mostly to Russia.

A deal to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, was signed on 5 September 2014 but immediately collapsed. It called for reincorporation of the rebel territories under a federal system, with full rights of the Russian-speakers and open relations with the Russian Federation. Russia stands by the principles of the protocol, calling for Ukrainian borders to stay as they are, despite the pleas of the rebels. This restraint pleases neither side. The Russians clearly will not abandon their fellow Russians, but at the same time, refuse to invade and start a war with their unpredictable, basket-case of a neighbor. Russians are surely thinking: Ukrainians — you can’t get along with them or without them.

The Russian position is clear and firm: give Russian Ukrainian their rights, make our borders porous for locals and their relatives, revive shattered economic links among common peoples with a thousand years of common history. Get on with it.

The Ukrainian position is mostly hysterical, calling for NATO and Europe to fight off the Russkies, salvage the bankrupt economy, and ignore the creepy fascists. WWIII if necessary. The coupmakers are unrepentant as Ukraine slides deeper into insolvency, and corruption is getting worse (if that’s possible). Poroshenko is as unpopular as a leader can get, and only the threat of a Ukraine shattered in pieces gives him a life preserver among his citizens.

WWII replay

The West incited the coup and quickly embraced it, ignoring its unsavory origins in nostalgia for fascism. While it feigns shock and anger at Russian actions, it certainly can’t ignore that the Russians really had no choice, that their actions were/are both necessary and measured.

It looks suspiciously like the West is sitting back and enjoying the fisticuffs, reminding one of how the West sat back and let the Russians do the dirty work in WWII, defeating the Nazis, with the ‘Allies’ joining in the last year to warrant their claims (now the official story) that the US won the war — with a little help from its friends and even the nefarious Russians.

A messy conclusion to that war, the ultimate ‘frozen conflict’, the Cold War, that spawned the current many mini-frozen conflicts (Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Kosovo, not to mention ones farther afield, like Taiwan and Somaliland — all legacies of the Cold War).

‘No Pasaran!’

The plan is evolving, depending on what the Russians do. Putin’s red line is that Ukraine cannot – will not — join NATO. The NATO creep eastward, a violation from 1991 on of the implicit understanding with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, will not be tolerated.

The Ukrainian coup created a new scenario. If Russia had moved to support the rebel territories, form a customs union with open borders, aimed at eventual incorporation in the Russian Federation, that would have given the NATOphiles their trump card, and NATO and the EU would be hard pressed not to move in and try to salvage a bankrupt dysfunctional state, with the final coup as its prize: NATO now lined up surrounding Russia, the last real holdout against US world domination.

The Baltic ministates and (almost all) the Balkan ministates are now in the NATO fold. There are a few loose ends for the EU in the Balkans, but EU hegemony economically and US hegemony militarily are the new playing fields. Then there’s Turkey as a key NATO ally.

Whether this is an actual conspiracy or not only Russian hackers can tell, but the logic is there. Putin sees this logic and is not biting the bullet. Better a tolerable federated Ukraine where Russians are left in peace or another frozen conflict than NATO breathing fire on Russia’s borders.

The West played the ‘shock and anger’ card over Crimea, ignoring the fact that Crimea has been a key part of Russia since Catherine the Great incorporated it in 1783, the heart of Russian naval power, thoughtlessly given to Ukraine when Soviet internal borders were meaningless, populated by mostly Russians and Tatars.

As Ukrainian nationalism heated up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia still maintained its bases there, paying rent to Ukraine. But dreams by Ukrainian Russophobes to join NATO and the desire of NATO forces to occupy Crimea or that somehow Russia and NATO could share Crimean bases are nonsensical. Russia’s only option was to accede to Crimeans’ pleas.

‘Remember 1856!’

As if to taunt the Russians on Crimea, a British missile destroyer and a Turkish frigate docked at the port of Odessa in July for a joint NATO maritime exercise , several days after the US, Ukraine and 14 other nations deployed warships, combat aircraft and special operations teams for the ‘Sea Breeze 2017’ exercise off the Ukrainian coast.

It looks like a reenactment of western policy following the Crimean War in 1856, when Russia was denied its naval presence in the Black Sea, as Britain and France were preparing to take the Ottoman territories for themselves and keep Russia out in the cold. Combined with the NATO creep in the Baltics and Balkans, it also looks like a replay of the build up to WWII but without the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. To Stalin’s (sorry, Putin’s) discomfort, there is no split among the imperialists anymore. Germany et al are postmodern nations, nations without a foreign policy, beholden to the world hegemon, the US. There is only one thousand-year Reich (sorry, Pax Americana) on the table these days. History may repeat itself but in its own ways.

Frozen conflicts have a bad reputation, but peace is always better than war. Tempers cool over time, and past wrongs can be ironed out with reason and compromise. Donetsk and Lugansk will not hoist a white flag to Kiev given the bad blood. They will continue to get electricity and gas from Russia and revive their economies by reviving trade and industry with their real ally. Kiev should be careful in its game of trying to starve the rebels into submission. Russians as a people have never backed down when faced with a hostile enemy.

The longer the freeze continues, the more willy-nilly integration with the Russian economic sphere will proceed. Or rather the Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan formed in 2010, eliminating obstacles to trade and investment that went up after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moscow stands to benefit as a natural hub for regional finance and trade, and Ukraine is welcome. Win-win. A free trade pact as an economic strategy elevates the prospects of the entire region where Russia is a natural center of gravity. In 2015 the EACU was enlarged to include Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Russia imports labor from the ‘Stans’ and could well help Ukraine by inviting Ukrainians to work as well.

Sensible realpolitik by the West would take NATO away from Russian borders and push Ukraine to make an acceptable deal on a federal state structure to keep its own Russians and its neighbor happy. Sensible realpolitik by Ukraine would be to join the EACU, bringing ‘Little Russians’, ‘White Russians,’ and plain old Russians back together. This would be welcomed with relief by EU officials who have no military ax to grind and are not happy about the billions it would take to get Ukraine off life support.

More here and here.

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Filed under Armenia, Asia, Belarus, Britain, Cold War, Ethnic Nationalism, Eurasia, Europe, European, Fascism, France, Geopolitics, Germany, History, Imperialism, Journalism, Kazakhstan, Modern, Nationalism, Nazism, Near East, Political Science, Regional, Russia, South Asia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, USSR, War, World War 2

Just Got Interviewed by Al Jazeera

Just got interviewed by a writer from Al Jazeera for an upcoming piece on the Alt Left . The real Alt Left, not this fake crap the conservatives refer to as Alt Left, which they mean the Hard Left, PC Left, SJW Left, or Antifa Left. The real Alt Left is opposed to all of those factions in one way or another.

I just counted up members of Alt Left sites on Facebook and there were over 18,000 members of groups that appeared to pushing real Alt Left ideas. On the other hand, I would probably renounce 50% or more of those people. Alt-Leftist Empire is the largest group with over 10,000 members, and I completely renounce them. These entryists have captured the movement and turned it into some sort of Cultural Left Libertarian Nationalism. Or something. Most support Trump and neoliberal capitalism. Supporting either is grounds for expulsion. No Alt Left person should support Trump except in a perverse way (accelerationism) and of course you can never support neoliberalism.

This movement is like a runaway train and it has gotten out of the hands of the people who started it in a very bad way, but a lot of political movements are probably like that.

So an article on me and the Alt Left, including quotes, should run in Al Jazeera fairly soon. Another may appear in Alternet at some point later. The author was not real friendly to the Alt Left, but I would not say he was extremely hostile either. I really don’t care how they portray us. In Hollywood they say all publicity is good publicity and that may well be true in politics also.

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Filed under Capitalism, Cultural Marxists, Economics, Journalism, Left, Libertarianism, Nationalism, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, US Politics, Vanity

Now These Are Some Rightwingers I Could Get Behind

Supposedly this group of National Revolutionaries is referred to as part of the German “New Right.” If they’re rightwing, then so am I. And if this is what National Revolutionaries are like, I am one of them.

Assads, Saddam, Habash, Hillel, Le Pen, Ghaddafi, Saddam, Aflaq, Peron, Chavez, Morales, Ortega, Villa, Juarez, Dudayev, Ho, Fidel, Che, even the Kims, what the Hell, even Arafat, oh heck, let’s throw in Dugin, what are they all if not the ultimate nationalists?

A national economy for the people; a people’s economy for the nation. I even like some of those National Communists in Eastern Europe. If there’s anything in the toilet bowl of history, it’s internationalism. Nation comes first, the rest of you, noble as ye may be, are always second in line.

I am starting to think Michel Aflaq and the rest were onto something. And I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the great Gamel Nasser, hero of the Arabs. And as evil as Saddam was, at least he was for his people until his last day. “Long life Iraq!” he yelled before he swung from the rafters. I actually think Saddam was a better man than our traitorous nation-selling neoliberal elite which has taken over the Democratic and Republican Parties forever now.

You’re either for your people or you’re a traitor to the homeland. If you’re for  your people, you know that’s got to count for something. And traitors are why lamp-poles exist at all. Might as well make use of them.

“Outside of the Homeland, what else is there?”

– famous Iraqi Baathist.

“If I am not for myself, then who am I for?”

– Hillel.

Up with the nation! Up with the people! All power to the people!

When the National-Revolutionaries out ultra-lefted the ultra-left:

The strategy of the “basis group” demonstrated itself in the most spectacular fashion at the University of the Ruhr in Bochum. A group of neo-nationalist activists militated effectively there and founded a journal, the Ruhr-Studenten-Anzeiger. Around this militant newspaper, a Republikanischer Studentenbund (RSB ; League of Republican Students) organized in 1968 which aimed to become a counterweight to the leftist SDS.

Conflict would soon follow: the militants of the RSB criticized the SDS for organizing pointless strikes in order to consolidate their power over the student masses. In the course of a blockade organized by the leftists, the RSB took the university of Bochum by storm and proclaimed, in a populist-Marxist language, their hostility to the “exploiters” and “bonzes” of the SDS, having become stakeholders in the new establishment, where leftists had henceforth been accorded a place. The proclamations of the RSB, drafted by Singer, were stuffed with citations from Lenin, Marx, and Mao.

Singer also referred to the rhetoric of the German workers in Berlin against Ulbricht’s communist functionaries, during the June 1953 uprising. The revolting RSB students insulted the East German functionaries of the SED, calling them marionettes of the Soviets, “monkeys in glasses,” “fat cats,” and “paper-pushing reactionaries.” This appropriation of the Marxist vocabulary and style of Berlin Uprising of 1953 irritated the leftists as, ipso facto, they had lost the monopoly on militant shock-language and foresaw a possible intrusion of national-revolutionaries into their own milieus, with the evident risk of poaching and counter-attraction.

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Filed under Conservatism, Democrats, Economics, Europe, European, Germany, History, Internationalism, Left, Marxism, Nationalism, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Republicans, US Politics

Up with Alexandr Dugin

It’s quite popular to hate this guy, and everyone calls him a fascist, but he doesn’t seem very fascist to me. He never talks about race. All I know is if this guy is a fascist, I guess I must be a fascist too then.

He’s a Russian nationalist, and Russian nationalists don’t care about race. There was one armed Russian nationalist group fighting in the Donbass, and their only requirement for joining was to follow the Russian Orthodox religion and speak Russian fluently. I saw some very Asiatic looking faces in the group of armed men. Some of them were so Asiatic they could have been Kazakhs or even Tuvans.

Putin’s Defense Minister is a Tuvan. Putin is a Russian nationalist.

Russian nationalism is based on the theory of a Russian Empire. Traditionally, many non-Russian languages and several non-Russian Orthodox religions were part of the Russian Empire. The Russian Empire now would seem to imply everything encompassed in the Russian state.

There many official ethnicities and there are many official languages spoken throughout Russia today. Many to most of those languages have official state support, and with many of those languages, you can attend school in your native language. In some cases, I think you can even attend university in your native language. There are state-sponsored TV and radio stations and newspapers and magazines all in these languages. Many Russian ethnicities still grow up speaking their native language. Putin’s record on this has not been optimal, but he is driven by fear of secessionism as is the case with nearly all official languages of nation-states. Nevertheless, the language situation that was set up by the USSR still largely stands, and in many cases has expanded in recent years.

An ominous and alarming country on the other side of the ocean. Without history, without tradition, without roots. An artificial, aggressive, imposed reality, completely devoid of spirit, concentrated only on the material world and technical effectiveness, cold, indifferent, an advertisement shining with neon light and senseless luxury; darkened by pathological poverty, genetic degradation and the rupture of all and every person and thing, nature and culture. It is the result of a pure experiment of the European rationalist Utopians.

Today it is establishing its planetary dominion, the triumph of its way of life, its civilizational model over all the peoples of the earth. And over us. In itself and only in itself does it see ‘progress’ and ‘civilizational norms’, refusing everyone else the right to their own path, their own culture, their own system of values.

How wonderfully exactly does all this remind us of the prophecy concerning the coming into the world of the Antichrist… The king of the dead ‘green country’, that arose out of the abyss of the ancient crime…

To close down America is our religious duty…

– Aleksandr Dugin

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Filed under Christianity, Education, Ethnic Nationalism, Eurasia, Fascism, Journalism, Linguistics, Nationalism, Orthodox, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Religion, Russia, Sociolinguistics, USA, USSR

How I Determined Intelligibility For Turkic Lects

Steve: This is amazing. Well done. But how can you possibly know the degree of mutual intelligibility between two languages you don’t speak or know if something is a language or dialect when you don’t speak it? That seems strange. How is it worked out?

Linguists don’t speak all these languages we study. We just study languages, we don’t necessarily speak them. This is confused with the archaic use of the word linguist to mean polyglot. Honestly, many linguists do in fact speak more than one language, and quite a few of them have a pretty good knowledge of at least some of the languages that they study. But my mentor speaks only Turkish and English though he studies all Turkic languages. I don’t believe he has ever learned to speak any Turkic lect other than Turkish.

In reference to my paper here.

We are not looking for raw numbers. We just want to know if they can understand each other or not.

A lot of it is from talking to native speakers and also there was a lot of reading papers by other linguists. I also talked to other linguists a lot. Linguists typically simply state if two lects are intelligible or not. Also there is a basic idea among linguists of what the boundary is between a language and a dialect, and I used this knowledge a lot.

Can they understand each other? Yes or no. That’s pretty much about it. Also at some degree of structural difference, we can see the difference between a language and a dialect. It’s a judgement call, but linguists are pretty good at this.

There is a subsection of very loud linguists, mostly on the Internet, who like to screech a lot about this question cannot be answered by answered because of this or that red herring or some odd conundrums that work their way in. The thing is if you ask around enough, you will be able to get around all of the conundrums and you should be able to eventually reconcile all of the divergent responses to get some sort of a holistic or “big picture.” You finally “figure it out.” The answer to the question comes to you in a sort of a “seeing the answer as part of a larger picture” sort of thing.

The worst red herring is this notion that speakers from Group A will lie and say they do not understand speakers of Group B simply because they hate them so much. If this was such a concern, you would have think I would have run into it at some point. A much worse problem were ethnic nationalists who lie and say that they can understand neighboring tongues when they can’t.

The toxin called Pan-Turkism or Turkish ultranationalism comes into play here. It is almost normal for Turks to believe that there is only one Turkic languages, and it is called Turkish. All of the rest of the languages simply do not exist and are dialects of Turkish. I had to deal with regular attacks by extremely aggressive Ataturkists who insisted that any Turk could easily understand any other Turkic language. Actually my adviser told me that my piece would not be popular with the Pan-Turkics at all. I don’t really care as I consider them to be pond scum.

Granted, some of it was quite controversial and I got variable reports on intelligibility for some lects like Siberian Tatar vs. Tatar, the Altai languages, Kazakh vs. Kirghiz, Crimean Tatar vs. Turkish.

Where native speakers differ on such questions, often vociferously, you simply ask enough of them, talk to some experts and try to get a feel for that what best answer to the question is.

Some cases like Gagauz vs. Turkish probably need raw intelligibility testing. That’s the only one that is up in the air right now, but it is up in the air because the lects are so close. Intelligibility between Gagauz and Turkish is somewhere between  70-100%. In other words, they have marginal intelligibility at worst. My Gagauz expert who knows this language better than anyone though feels that Turkish intelligibility of Gagauz is less than 90%, which is where I drew the line at language and dialect.

It is also starting to look like Nogay is a simply a dialect of Kazakh instead of a separate language, but that might be a hard sell.

Some of these are seen as separate languages simply because they are spoken by different ethnies who do not want to be seen as part of the same group. Also they have different literary norms. Karapalkak is just a Kazakh dialect, but the speakers want to say they speak a separate language. Same with Bashkir, which is simply a dialect of Tatar. The case of Kazakh and Kirghiz is more controversial, but even here, we seem to be dealing with one language, yet the two dialects are spoken by different ethnies that have actually differentiated into two separate states, each with their own literary norm. Kazakhs wish to say they speak a language c called Kazakh and Kirghiz wish to say they speak a language called Kirghiz although they are probably really just one language.

We see a similar thing with Czech and Slovak. My recent research has proven that Czech and Slovak are actually a single language. But the dialects are spoken by different ethnic groups who claim different cultures and histories and they have actually divided into two different states, and each has its own literary norm.

It is here, where dialects become languages not via science by via politics, culture, history and sociology, that Weinrich’s famous dictum that “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy” comes into play.

Scientifically, these are all simply dialects of a single tongue but we call them languages for sociological, cultural and political reasons.

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Filed under Altaic, Balto-Slavic, Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Bashkir, Comparitive, Crimean Tatar, Czech, Dialectology, Gagauz, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Kazakh, Kipchak, Kyrgyz, Language Classification, Linguistics, Nationalism, Political Science, Slavic, Slovak, Sociolinguistics, Tatar, Turkic, Turkish, Ultranationalism