|Morning Screen Grab from Kiev|
Generally speaking, people have a right -- and duty -- to rise up in the face of tyranny and oppression. It's not easy, and it can be very risky for those who engage in it, but by and large, large scale social progress is made by means of protests and uprisings of the oppressed all over the world and in all eras.
Generally speaking, the progress that has been made through the means of protests and uprisings has been more or less liberating to those who have previously been oppressed, and that liberation has generally led to more liberation from tyranny and oppression. Thus, most uprisings of the sort we have witnessed for decades now, since the beginning of the fragmentation of the Soviet Union in the '80s, have led to more and more liberated societies and nations.
But the liberation from tyrannical regimes, be they Communist or otherwise, often comes at a huge price to the erstwhile liberated masses, a price that's paid in institutional failure, economic collapse, desperate living conditions, and destruction of social cohesion. The notion that what is lost is somehow "creative" -- thus the term, "creative destruction" so popular among the economic, social and political hit men (and women, I'm looking at you, Legarde) and mercenaries roaming the globe -- simply ignores or even celebrates the suffering left in the wake of so many Color Revolutions and the like over the years.
"Ukraine is burning" ran a breathless headline by one of my favorite authors over at dKos, jpmassar, one of the usually brightest and most keyed in to matters of uprising, revolt, and revolution they have over there. Well, I'd been watching the livestream from Kiev for a good portion of the day already, a livestream that I noted was labeled: Євромайдан -- революция,(ie: "Euromaidan -- Revolution"), in the upper right corner, something most Americans might miss because they can't read the Cyrillic alphabet, and the corner label would just appear to be some gibberish in a foreign language. Probably (ick) Russian and therefore, given the way media and politics work in the world, slanted to favor the (ick) Russian point of view about (the foreign and unfamiliar) Ukraine.
Uh, no. In fact, the video feed was coming from a rather slick media operation run by the rebels who were burning their barricades in a spectacle in Independence Square in Kiev. As I watched the livestream, it was clear this wasn't just a slick media operation, the visuals were being consciously designed for maximum propaganda impact, not unlike Soviet filmmaking back in the day. It was really very well done, I have to say, but at the same time, it was highly deceptive and manipulative.
First of all, the images made it seem as if the city was on fire -- it's not -- and that the uprising was... general. It's not. These sorts of things don't generally involve a large percentage of the whole population, but they can involve a large proportion of a certain segment of that population (which is apparently what was going on in Cairo and Egypt too just prior to the al Sisi coup which overthrew the Morsi government and led to a brutal and bloody crack-down on Muslim Brotherhood resistance to the coup. But I'll get to that in due time...) The theory is that if a large enough segment of a single population sector or multiple sectors can be convinced to participate in demonstrations and protests and rebellion, then the Revolution is not only nigh, it has already come -- and quite likely whatever results from it will be something like victory for the rebels.
Revolution does not require and will hardly ever involve the whole population in any case. Most people will rationally choose to stay out of the way.
The images last night from Kiev also made it seem that there was some kind of "heroic" action taking place. Debris was being continually fed into the bonfires burning ("gloriously") in Maidan Square, luridly illuminating the scene. Police and firefighters were occasionally seen milling around the margins of what seemed to be a large -- but indistinct -- crowd. Now and then, there would be close ups of the fires and some silhouettes of the crowd passing back and forth in front of the blaze. From time to time, fireworks would be ignited and Molotov cocktails would fly through the air. There was no sound most of the time, but occasionally, there would be heard the pop-pop-pop of gunfire or fireworks, and from time to time, one could hear what sounded like many voices raised in song (was it the Ukrainian national anthem? It was.) Flags were flying, but what was on them was indistinguishable in the dark and the smoke. Some seemed tattered, battle worn, others more or less pristine.
The images from from at least three cameras, and probably more, were being intricately and expertly interwoven, so as to show close-ups, medium and long shots in turn, and at one point, a camera was focused on the silhouette of a young person climbing the outside of a building near the square. A lurid orange glow came from inside the building, and soon enough it would be apparent that the building was on fire. What was the silhouetted figure doing, though? I couldn't tell, and I didn't watch that scene long enough to find out, but in daytime views this morning, it appears he may have been heroically hanging a heroic Revolutionary banner on the outside of the burning trade union building -- or maybe he was just showing off, who knows? It made for some dramatic imagery, however.
Since the murderous rampages of Al Sisi's forces in Cairo in response to protests against the military coup there, I haven't been much inclined to watch the Global Revolution streams or closely follow the various uprisings that have been or are taking place, whether in Venezuela or Thailand, Ukraine or Bosnia or much of anywhere else, because it seems to me that they are all rightist rebellions for the purpose of installing rightist regimes which will serve the interests of international finance. It's sickening.
This is not at all what the Occupy Movement was and is about, but every one of these uprisings is using Occupy tactics (along with a little ultra-violence) to gain and have its way. It has reached the point where even otherwise rightist supporters are wary and somewhat puzzled at what is going on.
It's fairly obvious to me. By utilizing the successful tactics of the Arab Spring and the later Occupy Movement to gain the attention and widespread sympathy of media and oppressed peoples around the world, factions of the oppressor class are seeking to mobilize media and world opinion on their behalf to undermine and overthrow governments which dare to take more interest in the people than in the oppressors.
This is obviously what's been going on in Caracas, so obvious it's breathtaking in its chutzpah. But in Thailand, Bosnia, and Turkey it's not been so obvious at all, as it seems the rebels have valid complaints and they are not trying to impose rightist rule -- and the oppression of the lower orders that goes with it -- at least not on the surface. Scratch a bit below the surface, however, and you will find many of the same dynamics, of a minority class based revolt, generally of the relatively well off, backed by a rising plutocratic class, trying to force ("inject") their interests into the popular consciousness enough to be able to overthrow the duly constituted and elected government and replace it with their own unelected one.
They use the tactics of Occupy, Arab Spring, and the Color Revolutions of Gene Sharp -- because they work, or they can work. But their intentions are to impose, to rule, to plunder, and to oppress.
Kiev is not actually burning, but it could erupt in flames at any time. The fires in the square last night were for show, and the show is one of a rightist, populist character, one we're seeing more and more of around the world.
And I have no doubt our metastasizing surveillance and security state apparat is deeply involved in every one of these uprisings. But will that story ever be told in the chest thumping, fist pumping, but largely content-free New Media ventures of Omidyar or any other billionaire? I doubt it.
Even the once iconoclastic Mark Ames and Yasha Levine now of Pando appear to be neutered and are mostly silent about the global rightist coups.
Yes, it's alarming.