THE BETRAYAL BY THE BLACK ELITE
In this episode of Days of Revolt host Chris Hedges continues his
conversation with Dr. Cornel West to discuss the way in which the black
prophetic tradition has been supplanted by black elitism and
FULL VIDEO LINK:
In a speech to the Lib-Dem conference Gina Miller lamented the fact that “centrism is really struggling to make headway” before going on to call people to the left and right “fascists” with “cold hard ideologies”.
The obvious problem with centrism is that the term itself is a complete misnomer that implies that hovering aimlessly around near the centre has some special moral virtue no matter how far off into the political extremes the prevailing political orthodoxy might go.
Thus during the post-war decades the political centre was the mixed economy of public ownership of vital infrastructure, services and industries combined with a strong welfare state and regulated capitalism (a position occupied by Labour, the Liberals, and the Tories), and the privatise everything, “greed is good” deregulate the financial sector right-wingers were fringe lunatics.
Fast forward to 1979 and the hard-right fringe were propelled into power and their mass privatisation, welfare-wrecking, deregulation mania has continued unabated for four decades with truly appalling consequences.
Just look at the behaviour of the self-declared centrists between 2010 and 2016 and you can see the disastrous consequences of this morally weak and utterly wrong-headed determination to occupy the centre ground between raving ideological extremism of the Tories and the Blairism that went before it:
Centrist collusion with Tory austerity dogma had appalling consequences: The longest period of sustained wage devaluation on record, public services put under massive strain or shut down entirely, in-work benefits slashed, soaring food bank dependency, exploitative employment practices like Zero Hours Contracts and fake self-employment spreading like wildfire …
Then it came to the Brexit vote and suddenly the complacent centrists were trapped in a pit of their own digging. The far-right Brextremists opportunistically blamed immigrants and the EU for the wage collapse, the failing public services, the in-work poverty, the suffering … But the centrists couldn’t fight back with the truth that these things were the result of austerity, because they were all complicit with austerity.
The only way the centrists have countered the far-right anti-immigrant anti-EU lies would have been to admit that ‘centrism’ itself was a fraud!
Amazingly centrists still occupy this bubble of delusion that it’s somehow morally superior to triangulate with hard-right Tory austerity dogma than to oppose it. That all the ‘centrist’ MPs abstaining on Theresa May’s vile “hostile environment” policy was acceptable and palatable xenophobia, but the xenophobic Brextremist lies were somehow so much worse than a policy they couldn’t even be bothered to oppose that eventually led to British citizens dying in exile abroad!
The problem is that centrists promised us that their watered down version of neoliberalism would bring prosperity, but what it’s actually delivered is Tory austerity dogma, collapsing wages, failing public services, exploitative employment practices, ridiculous privatisation scams, grotesque “hostile environment” policies, soaring in-work poverty, and eventually the centrist‘s own worst nightmare; Brexit.
But rather than admit their culpability in creating this dreadful situation, they’re intent on moral high-horsing and abusing everyone to the left, and everyone to the right of them as “fascists”!
And it’s exactly this kind of self-aggrandising and aloof sneering that’s going to keep them in the political wilderness, because like it or not, the idea of aimlessly drifting around in the totally artificial territory of the ‘centre ground’ is finished.
The choice now is between the hard-right neoliberals who want to keep us on the same course we’ve been on for four decades (more privatisation, more undermining of workers rights, more public service cutbacks, more under-investment in infrastructure spending and research and development, more welfare cuts for the poor, more tax cuts and lavish handouts for the mega-rich) or those on the left who want to change direction and make Britain more of a high-tech, high-skill society with a decent welfare system like Norway, Finland, Germany, or Denmark.
Of course it’s necessary to take an ideological position to step away from the complacency and aimlessness of the political ‘centre’, but there’s nothing “cold” or “hard” about opposing the political orthodoxy of welfare cuts on the most vulnerable people in society (the sick, the disabled, the working poor, the jobless, the children, the elderly and infirm …) in order to lavish corporations and the mega-rich with ever more tax cuts and handouts.
Quite the contrary, it takes a “cold hard” heart to go along with such barbarity solely because you want to maintain the illusion that by doing so you’re somehow a ‘moderate’ occupying the ‘centre ground’!
When centrism actively helps the Tories grind the most vulnerable people in society into absolute destitution for five years in order to feed the greed of the mega-rich, and then centrists accuse others who object to this horrific agenda of “fascism” and having “cold hard ideologies” then you really can’t expect anyone other than your ever-diminishing echo chamber of delusional ‘centrists’ to applaud your unbelievably hypocritical message.
Since the atrocities in 2001, the 11th of September has become a national day of mawkish commemoration in the United States, despite the fact that the same kind of extreme Islamist terrorists are still wreaking havoc across Europe and the Middle East, largely thanks to the US invasion of Iraq that followed 9/11 and ended up creating the biggest lawless terrorism breeding ground on earth.
It would take an extremely blinkered view of history to not know that in the 1980s the US actually funded, supplied and trained Al Qaida in Afghanistan, when they were considered “brave freedom fighters“ against the Soviet occupation by the western media.
It would take more historical ignorance/revisionism to fail to realise that the US intervened to fight alongside Islamist militias in Kosovo in the late 1990s, support for Islamist fanatics that was provided several years after the first Al Qaida attack on the World Trade Center in 1993!
And it would take a severe level of self-deception to deny that the September 11th terrorist attacks are “blowback” from the United States’ foreign policy tactics from the mid 20th Century onward.
Over the space of just a few years we’ve seen Al Qaida morph from US funded and supported allies in places like Afghanistan and Kosovo into supposedly the greatest ever threat to American freedom in history. A threat that has been used to impose all kinds of unconstitutional and totalitarian attacks on the liberties of American citizens (and citizens of the rest of the world) such as the “Patriot” Act and the incredible expansion of NSA spying activities.
This rapid conversion of Al Qaida from US allies to dangerous terrorists was bad enough, but the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies in 2013 were marred by the fact that the US government were straining at the leash to actually help Islamist terrorists in Syria by bombing the Syrian government and creating yet another Iraq style power vacuum for them to thrive in.
Just 12 years since after the 9/11 attacks and the US administration were assuming the American public to be so gullible and compliant that they would accept the US openly siding with the same kind of Islamist terrorists as those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, and inordinately more innocent civilians in Iraq,Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and in terrorist atrocities across Europe too during the last 17 years.
The extreme ignorance and gullibility that would be necessary for the American public to accept the idea that the US political establishment openly siding with Al Qaida and other extreme Wahabi Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, simply because their terrorist activities there coincide with American imperialist interests is also on display in the fact that so many Americans still believe the absurd narrative that “America fights for freedom and democracy across the World“.
|40 years ago the US backed a violent coup d’etat in Chile and the
imposition of a brutal neoliberal regime led by Augusto Pinochet.
One of the clearest demonstrations of the American determination to actually undermine and destroy freedom and democracy came in Chile after a US-backed military coup that took place on September 11th 1973.
This coup marked the birth of the toxic neoliberal ideology pushed by the Chicago school pseudo-economists.
In 1973 neoliberalism was a fringe anti-communist economic ideology supported by virtually nobody, today this bankrupt pseudo-economic gibberish is the global economic orthodoxy adhered to by almost all political parties in the West, and enforced across the globe by the machinery of the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.
To say that neoliberalism had a painful birth in Chile would be an understatement. The man that the neoliberals backed in Chile was a brutal dictator called General Pinochet.
During his dictatorship over 3,000 people were “disappeared” (captured and tortured to death) whilst another 28,000 were detained without trial, most of them suffering torture and in many cases sexual abuse too.
Aside from those tortured and killed and the families that survived them, other victims of this brutal US backed dictatorship included protesters that were burned alive in the streets by the police and musicians who had their fingers broken before being machine gunned to death.
|The Americans weren’t the only ones to back
Pinochet’s murderous right-wing dictatorship,
The Thatcher government in Britain
supported him too.
This brutal and oppressive Chilean regime was supported by the US administration because to successive American governments and their corporate backers, right-wing military dictatorship, imprisonment without trial, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings were an insignificant price to pay when it came to securing access to the Chilean economy so that it could be used as a playground for the neoliberal pseudo-economists from the Chicago School, and opened up for exploitation by US corporations.
The Chilean regime was part of the US financed Operation Condor, which was a plan to control the population of the southern cone of South America through the instillation of brutal right-wing military dictatorships.
The members of this anti-democratic group were the Pinochet military dictatorship in Chile, the Stroessner dictatorship in Paraguay, the Banzer military dictatorship in Bolivia, the Brazilian military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985 and the 12 year military dictatorship in Uruguay.
Undoubtedly the most brutal members of Operation Condor were the US backed Argentine Junta that joined in 1976, after the military coup against Isabel Perón.
|Photos of the disappeared in Buenos Aires, 2004.|
The US backed military dictatorship in Argentina was yet another playground for the Chicago school neoliberal pseudo-economists.
Whilst the US backed military dictatorship were busy murdering an estimated 30,000 Argentine civilians and torturing countless thousands more, “the Chicago Boys” were imposing their favoured economic ideology (deregulation, mass privatisation, lax tax enforcement, massive tax cuts for the rich, regressive tax hikes for the poor and ordinary, destruction of welfare provision, revocation of rights and liberties, wage repression … ), resulting in poverty and chaos for millions of Argentines.
The state terrorism of this savage regime meant that few people dared to speak out against this US-backed economic vandalism.
Some of the favoured tactics of the Argentine junta included torture, extrajudicial killings, throwing people out of aeroplanes without parachutes (death flights) and the kidnapping of pregnant women in order to steal their babies to give to supporters of the regime, after which the mothers were executed without trial.
In the late 1970s the US and the Argentine junta collaborated in “Operation Charly” to export their model of brutal right-wing dictatorship to Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala) and in 1980 the Argentine junta, the US administration and the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie collaborated to assist the “Cocaine Coup” in Bolivia which installed Luis García Meza.
Meza was another brutal dictator and upon his instillation in power he immediately outlawed all political parties, exiled opposition leaders, banned trade unions, silenced the press and oversaw the murder of over 1,000 people in just 13 months in power.
The 45th anniversary of the US backed military coup in Chile will pass virtually unnoticed in the United States, and great swathes of the public will continue to believe the comforting lies that the US has a history of promoting democracy and freedom, rather than a demonstrable history of deliberately and callously undermining them.
The millions of victims of the vile US backed Latin American dictatorships are not the only people that should be remembered on September the 11th.
The countless global victims of the vile “greed is a virtue” neoliberal pseudo-economic ideology devised by the Chicago Boys, supported by the US government and born in Chile on this day in 1973 also just as worthy of remembrance as the victims of the September 2001 atrocities.