13 September 2013 — The Bullet • Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 877
Some Explanations About the Fall of ‘Real Socialism’
Why did ‘real socialism’ and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. With respect to the Soviet Union, one very interesting explanation that has been suggested is that it’s all the fault of Mikhail Gorbachev. And not simply the errors of Gorbachev but the treachery. Those who offer this explanation rely in particular upon a document which is sometimes described as his confession. This document begins as follows:
Barack Obama’s fervent drive for yet more war carries a number of important lessons in terms of propaganda and the extent to which the “progressive left” literati can be persuaded to jump on the homicidal bandwagon.
While doing virtually nothing to fix the real problems of money in politics, the government is trying to introduce a new law that will shut down vast swathes of political commentary and scrutiny for a whole year before general elections.
“U.S. prepares for possible retaliatory strike against Syria,” announces a Los Angeles Times headline, even though Syria has not attacked the United States or any of its occupied territories or imperial forces and has no intention to do so.
Now that the Egyptian Army has decided to break the stalemate and cleanse the public space of Islamist protesters, and the result is hundreds of deaths, one should first just imagine what an uproar this would have caused if the same bloodbath were to happen, say, in Iran. However, it is more urgent to take a step back and focus on the absent third party in the ongoing conflict: Where are the protesters who took over Tahrir Square two-and-a-half years ago? Is their role now not weirdly similar to the role of the Muslim Brotherhood during the 2011 Arab Spring—that of the impassive observer?
“Lord! You know well that my keen desire is to carry out Your commandments and to serve Thee with all my heart, O light of my eyes. If I were free I would pass the whole day and night in prayers. But what should I do when you have made me a slave of a human being?”
These were the words of the female Muslim mystic and poet, Rabia Al-Adawiya. Her journey from slavery to freedom served as a generational testament of the resolve of the individual who was armed with faith and nothing else.
A new tactic has been added to the US democracy promotion arsenal, where ‘color revolutions’ are too difficult, and ‘postmodern coups’ fail.
The smoke is already clearing in the wake of Egypt’s latest coup—the whodunnit and why. All traces of the post-2011 attempts to reform and clean up the corruption of the previous 40 years are systematically being erased. All appointees under Morsi are being replaced by military officials and old-guard Mubarakites. A state of emergency and trials by military courts are in place. Complete disregard for legal norms—presided over by the Mubarakite head of the Supreme Constitutional Court and interim President Adly Mansour—is the order of the day.
Egyptian security forces launched a massive crackdown on pro-democracy protestors killing around 300 people this morning. Despite near universal condemnation for the violence, the U.S. government has refused cut off the multi-billion dollar aid program that pays companies to provide support to the Egyptian government.
Last week Inigo Gilmore’s documentary, South Africa’s Dirty Cops, was screened on British television. It deals with the torture and murder that have become common at the hands of the South African police and includes an examination of the two most high profile cases of political violence on the part of our police in recent years – the murder of Andries Tatane in Ficksburg in April 2011 and the Marikana Massacre in August last year.
Saudi Arabia policies are enormously hypocritical. They discriminate against 10 percent of their own population, the Shiites, while saying they are intervening in Syria for more democracy, journalist Pepe Escobar told RT.
FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Own report) – A recently published book, by one of the most influential German newspaper publishers, is pleading for a transition toward “less democracy.” The “voice of the people” and the “emancipatory Zeitgeist, putting everything into question,” has a too “paralyzing influence” on current governance, writes the publishing house in its blurb for the book. The author therefore demands to “correct the system” for “more efficient policy making.” These “corrections” must include the dismantlement of democratic participation. Continue reading this...
In the huge barrel of plutocratic arrogance rotten apples don’t come much bigger than Gina Rinehart, the cantankerous, cheap, and mean-spirited Australian mining heiress for whom Randian hyper individualism and the law of the jungle come as naturally as breathing.
1 The Conference of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is a continuity and a breakthrough in its course, which started in 2000, continued with its official founding in 2004, and was sealed when it took on the historic responsibility to deliver the Greek people from the catastrophic neoliberal memoranda policies that have turned our country into a debt colony and led its creative, social, and productive forces to marginalization.