[Cross-posted from European Tribune – where dissent is NOT troll rated!]
The U.S. Suprme Court decision on Citizen United was an excellent starting shot to undermine the People’s Vote and the essence of Democracy. By the People and For the People. Sounds neatly as a form of Social Democracy similar to what Europe set out to be after WWII. The attacks of 9/11 and the violence that spread across the globe gave a clear edge to right-wing nationalists and populists based on Xenophobia and Islamophobia. Catering to the Jewish State of Israel and the Atlantic Conservatives who shaped politics towards Brexit and the Victory of self-made “politician” Donald Trump, the Outsider to be crowned in the U.S. Capitol. It won’t stop there as the storm of the conservative movement gathers speed across the Western world underpinned by an excuberant Wall Street. Until the banks and financial institutions fail again. So be forewarned!
A long read …
What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking
American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress.
Continued below the fold …
Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton’s defeat. Then everything changed.
A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.
The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind.
Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords.
Related some of my recent posts …
○ Xenophobia and Islamophobia Roots of Today’s Triad of Evil
○ Geopolitics Oil & Gas: As US Sanctions on Iran Kick In
○ British Spooks Exploiting Populist Insurgency for Anti-Russia Campaign