Saturday, February 22, 2014

Institutional Failure and the Rise of the Rebel

I've been pondering the situations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, Bosnia, and so many other places where neo-Fascist uprisings are underway with the full support, let it be said, of the EU and the US Government and its dozens of "democracy" NGOs, as well as the no doubt abundant collaboration of our amazing and ever-so-patriotic black ops and security apparats. Not to forget our ever-eager propaganda media spreading lies and half-truths in order to shape American opinion in favor of these neo-Fascist led crises.

Why is this happening now, I wonder, and why is it so easy to bamboozle the masses to accept this bullshit as the genuine rise of the People? Why is it so easy for the propaganda media to evade the whole issue of the violence inherent in all of these revolts and pretend they are all "peaceful" and "innocent" and that they are being brutally attacked by corrupt, tyrannical governments? Never mind that these governments were, by and large, elected and are not behaving tyrannically in any relative or rational sense at all.

I saw Zbigniew Brzezinski on Charlie Rose last night night before last [this post has been in the hopper for a while, and will continue being edited...] prattling like the bitter old man he is about the Ukrainian Thing and going off into fantasies of Russia as Putin "wants it to be." His imagination is obsessed with Russia and "containing the Soviet Union," for in Putin he sees a reincarnation of Stalin and  the reassembled and reestablished Soviet Union, something that the Free World must prevent or destroy at all costs. The Ukrainian Thing has nothing to do with Ukraine, in other words. It's all about preventing the rise of the New Stalin and his perfidious reestablishment of the Soviet Union and its Empire of yore.

The man is mad. The man is out of his frigging mind. He's old and he's bitter and his hatred for Russia and the Russian people knows no bounds. He won't rest until the Russian state is no longer even a remnant of its Imperial and Soviet extent. He won't rest until it is gone altogether, shattered into a thousand pieces, in ruins and destitute. He is our Cato the Elder, I guess, screaming out: "Russia delenda est!!!" every chance he gets.

The horrible thing is that our remnant governmental institutions and much of the corporate sector that owns them believes this shit even more fundamentally than Brzezinski himself does. He's almost mild and sane compared to them. This is one reason why we have been inundated with such relentless and bloodthirsty propaganda about the the troubles in Ukraine -- but have heard and read so little about the almost identical uprisings elsewhere.

It is yet another instance of institutional failure on a massive scale and yet another instance of how the vacuum is filled with madness, brutality -- and wherever possible, with rebellion.

The insane fantasy that Russia under Putin is somehow seeking to re-create and re-assemble the Soviet Union, and Putin himself is trying to become The New Stalin has been driving much of American foreign policy in the region for as long as Putin has been on the political scene in Russia. Anyone who's not the drunk but compliant Yeltsin, in other words, is seen as a threat to be contained and/or overthrown, the sooner the better. The Global Hegemon will not be content with anything less than submission, abject, full and willing.

Our government has never gotten beyond its fantasies of the Soviet Union, and many of our institutions are similarly locked in combat with something that truly never was -- the great and powerful monster they think it was and believe it still is.

And that's why Ukraine is being torn apart by the EU and US. Rent as fully asunder as, oh, say Yugoslavia was, or as the Soviet Union itself was under Yeltsin, back in the day. Our failed institutions, locked in the past, are still fighting the subversive and hot wars they dreamed about winning during the Cold War.

This can be nothing but insanity.

As insane as the behavior of these failed institutions is, it doesn't mean that the rebellions themselves entirely lack legitimacy. As I've said in other posts, people under oppression have a right and duty to rise up against their oppressors. That should be a given.

The question is, do these rebels represent the genuinely oppressed? And what, ultimately, do they want?

In Venezuela, the fact that the people rising up are not oppressed is starkly obvious. The rebels are almost entirely composed of los ricos or their wannabes. They are often blonde, well-dressed, well-coiffed, well-housed, and well-educated. They are the upper crust of Venezuelan society, and they want their power back. They resent being ruled by the Lower Orders, people they consider to be "salvajes"  and "animales" -- people only fit to be ruled, not to rule over los caballeros themselves. The very idea of it, ptui!

These class and race divisions giving rise to rebellion in Venezuela are very stark and obvious as they have been throughout the Bolivarian Revolutionary period under Chavez and Maduro, and as they have been throughout Venezuela's history since it was settled by German immigrants under Spanish rule. Of course they want their power back. They believe it is their right. Democracy? Piffle!

The anti-Bolivarian propaganda in this country has been strenuous and relentless since the establishment of the Bolivarian Revolution in the late '90s. When there was a coup against Chavez in 2002, American media, led by the New York Times, exploded with joy and rapture. Unfortunately for the celebrators, the coup only lasted a couple of days, and Chavez regained his presidential palace to continue on the path he'd set -- toward ever more democracy and social justice, something populations in Latin America had long yearned for, yearnings long thwarted by institutions established to prevent the rise of the People. Ever. Institutions that were enabled by the Spanish, by the governments that won their independence from Spain, and not much later by the United States government which took charge of the Hemisphere as its own private backyard empire.

The Bolivarian Revolution reversed the power structure of Venezuela, putting the long oppressed majority in charge and curtailing the power of los ricos to rule over them. A rather mild version of social and economic justice was instituted. The rich were not deprived of their wealth -- at least not entirely -- only their power over the state, power which was reserved to The People as a whole.

The uprisings of the rich against that state of affairs have been ongoing for close to two decades, and they have often turned bloody. The state, under Chavez and Maduro, has been remarkably tolerant of the mischief made by the rebels, essentially declaring an amnesty for the rebels time and again, in an apparent effort to include them in the Revolution. The burden the rebels are attempting to throw off does not appear to be that of genuine oppression, for it is difficult to find any significant effort to oppress the rich in Venezuela or to confiscate their wealth, or to silence their voices, or to interfere significantly with their ways of life. The burden the rich in Venezuela seek to throw off is a psychological one, the burden of their own sense of powerlessness -- though they are not truly powerless in the Bolivarian system at all, not any more so than anyone else is truly powerless.

One of the remarkable features of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is the widespread use of direct democratic councils through which Venezuelans of all classes are empowered, and by which the country has been able to progress in the interests of all the people, not just a few.

And it is that very empowerment of the whole people as well as the extensive provision of basic housing, healthcare, education, and justice for all that the rebels seek to eliminate and destroy. When they talk about Maduro's "exit" they're talking about overthrowing the entire Bolivarian system and remaking Venezuela into a version of what it used to be, putting the closed sign on the institution of People's democracy and ending such frivolous nonsense as social and economic justice once and for all.
Now that the Ukrainian uprising has apparently succeeded in driving out Yanukovych and ending his rule (though it's not entirely certain), rebels in Caracas are no doubt encouraged. If they can only turn the military and police away from Maduro's government, they're home free, yes?

How might they do that?

Money talks, as we've been seeing in almost every corner of the globe, every aspect of life.

The rule of money, the failure of institutions, and the rise of rebels are all tied together. This year may well turn into one for the books.

[Events have intervened to cut short this post, though I'm sure it's quite long enough!]

No comments:

Post a Comment