The multitudes in Europe and North America did not really pay attention, did not notice, but in so many parts of the world, the Left was elected or it fought and won revolutions that propelled it to power. This is a totally different world than it was some twenty years ago; we are living in increasingly optimistic times, full of wonderful alternatives.
For the first time in centuries it seems possible to dream about a world that will not be defined by Western imperialism and colonialism!
In so many places, people are once again in charge of their countries, standing tall, building their cities and villages, erecting towers and bridges, putting to work mighty turbines, giving light to the poor, healing the sick and educating those who were kept in darkness, for decades and centuries, as a result of Western colonialism and savage capitalism.
Entire modern and ecological neighborhoods are growing up all over China; entire cities are being built, with enormous parks and public exercise grounds, with childcare centers and all the modern sanitation facilities, as well as wide sidewalks and incredibly cheap and super modern public transportation.
In Latin America, former slums are being converted into cultural centers, connected to the rest of the other urban areas by super modern cable cars.
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Cuba, despite its extremely low incomes (if measured in dollar terms), joined the exclusive group of countries with a ‘very high development index’, as calculated by the UNDP. That group also consists of other Latin American countries with socialist governments – Chile and Argentina.
Many things that would be unimaginable just a decade or two ago, are now considered normal. The Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, has been elected for a second time. During the Western-backed Pinochet’s dictatorship, she was held prisoner and brutally tortured. Her father, a military man loyal to Allende, was murdered. She was eventually exiled and became a doctor in East Germany. Ms. Bachelet now governs from the same palace – La Moneda – that was bombed to ashes during the fascist onslaught. Her country with only 18 million inhabitants, is an intellectual powerhouse, as are Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Chile is not ‘purely’ socialist, but it is implementing sweeping socialist reforms. Now it is so rich that tens of thousands of jobless Europeans are seeking work in its cities and countryside.
In Brazil, a lady, a former guerrilla leader, is lifting tens of millions out of poverty, while turning her country into one of the most important and loved nations on earth. It is one of the pillars of BRICS. Its intellectuals, filmmakers, and writers, are stirring emotions and giving birth to dreams about a much better world.
It is all thoroughly breathtaking, if one really pays attention, if one is there, if one goes out of his or her way to follow the events!
In South Africa, formerly hopeless slums are now full of life and hope, and initiatives, many connected by modern bus lanes and trains. They have stadiums, malls and fitness centers, modern hospitals and schools. By many measures, socialist South Africa is a super first world country, but still with terrible social problems. But each and every problem it has is discussed, openly and honestly, and thousands of impressive initiatives are moving this awesome country forward! As I wrote in my recent report from there, in South Africa, the African continent is rising!
Eritrea, Iran, and North Korea, are standing defiantly against Western embargos and intimidation. Their people work hard in order to maintain their freedom to move forward their own way, without taking diktats from the same nations that used to plunder and humiliate them.
And Russia, the mighty Russia that was once on its knees, during that monstrous government of the pro-Western puppet Boris Yeltsin, is now back in its saddle, standing on the side of many progressive nations, all over the world. It has forgiven a tremendous, multi-billion dollar debt to Cuba, it is forging powerful alliances with Venezuela, Brazil, and other left-wing nations, and above all, it is finally creating a grand alliance with China.
The world has never been so close to a real breakthrough – to true freedom.
But much of the Western Left refuses to acknowledge that this is a great opportunity for mankind.
It is because it feels left behind, humiliated by the tremendous defeat on its own turf.
It is because, despite all the rhetoric and political correctness, many of its members are actually chauvinists, and even racist. And many thinkers in China, Russia, Africa and Latin America, are actually aware of it.
The perception of the Western Left is that a revolution – a true and pure revolution – has to always come from Europe or North America. It is the West that has to liberate poor Asians, Latin Americans and Africans.
The Chinese revolution is ‘impure’. Who cares that hundreds of millions, the majority of the country, are now eating healthy and nutritious food, live in good housing with high quality services, travel on modern modes of transportation, and getting a very good education? Who cares? It is ‘not real communism’, according to most of the Western left-wing gurus, or it is not even socialism, according to some!
Only the Western thinkers can define such things as ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’, not Asians, and ‘Chinese socialism’ means nothing to them; it is just a pose, a charade.
Several years ago, in Venezuela, I travelled with a very prominent Western intellectual who had been reporting, very well I have to admit, on the events that have been taking place in the Bolivarian Republic. One evening, after several pints of beer, we began talking about China.
“I hate China”, she said. “I don’t trust Chinese people.”
I told her that I had travelled all over PRC and that I am extremely impressed and convinced that China is actually a very successful socialist, even Communist, country. She began arguing with me, passionately. I asked her whether she had ever visited China.
She replied, loudly and clearly: “I would never go there! I hate the place and I hate the people.”
Her statement impressed me: at least she was brutally honest and it was all in the open. Racism against Chinese people is hardly ever pronounced in Western ‘progressive’ circles. It is there, inside all that biased set of ‘analyses’. But it is never admitted. All is covered up by the ‘objective criticism’.
It begins with “can you imagine what would happen to our planet if every Chinese were to have his or her own car and television set, like us in the West?” and ends with “The Chinese are as brutal as we are and they have the same imperialist tendencies”.
While China’s transformation into a middle-class socialist society is clearly a miracle (but more than a miracle, it is actually proof of the superiority of central planning, and of the general excellence of the system), perhaps the single greatest success on our planet in the last 100 years, the Western Left mumbles something about what has happened is actually not pure, that it is not really Communist, and that in many ways it is all extremely sinister.
It is because, from their point of view, only what is designed and implemented in the West can be trusted. They would never say so, but it is by now so obvious! That scorn is directed at the great non-Western societies of China, South Africa or Venezuela! That black sarcasm. That overall lack of support for countries that are truly trying to take care of their people!
To most Western intellectuals, one billion human lives that have become comfortable and full of dignity, means nothing! It is because to them, Chinese people mean nothing, as individuals or as a group.
Instead of talking with pride and encouragement about the enormous parks and green areas of Chinese cities, all that is repeated ad infinitum is Beijing’s pollution, or the destruction of some ‘hutons’ – those filthy and unsanitary hives where dozens of families used to shit into one hole. That, to Western eyes, was good – stereotypical and typical of ‘ancient’ China, full of poor people. On the other hand, those proud, modern, high-quality housing towers with all their modern facilities, that are now the norm in all corners of the country, are ‘annoying’, even disturbing. And the fact that Chinese people want and have phones, good clothes, even cars, is seen as a proof of ‘consumerism’ and is used as an argument that China is not socialist, anymore! Because for many Western leftists, while they themselves have nothing against having villas by the sea, those living in the non-Western world have to be pure and poor, functioning like some sort of guinea pigs, if they want to be called Marxist.
No comrades! It is total bullshit! And by now it is clear who really cares for the people.
The goal of socialism or un-dogmatic communism is simple and clear – a better life for the people. Better cities and villages, less fear, more culture, education, dignity and yes, more fun!
And that is clearly what China is achieving, as well as South Africa, Venezuela and other socialist countries!
In the past few years, it has become evident that the West is ready to destroy everything that is standing in its path to the total dominance of the planet.
But suddenly, four powerful countries have refused to tolerate such banditry, and have become determined not to allow the global dictatorship to succeed. These countries are China, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia. There are more states joining, gradually, but this is the core.
The West has attempted to destroy Venezuela, openly and shamelessly, on several occasions, through orchestrated coups and by financing and supporting the ‘opposition’; some believe, even by assassinating the President of the nation.
The smear campaign that was directed against Caracas became epic! I have made several documentary films for Telesur, and I will never forget the words of one of the editors there, during the height of the anti-revolutionary riots sponsored by the West: “We are all working under the barrels of guns!”
It was a war then, and it still is, now. It is a war against fascism, and for humanity. Those who have not noticed should pay better attention.
And in a war, one has to choose sides.
The Western rulers also see China and Russia as the arch-enemies. Day and night, these two giant and mighty countries face vicious propaganda, smear and hate campaigns, provocations, and indirect attacks.
In Asia, the Empire’s goal is to isolate China, to provoke and to challenge it. The West is literally sticking a hot iron rod into the dragon’s mouth. This is common knowledge in the academia in both Philippines and Japan, two client-states of the West in the region. But it is a very little known unknown fact among the Western public.
So where is the mobilization by Western left-wing intellectuals, in support of China, which is clearly being threatened by the United States and its allies?
There is no such mobilization! Instead, some of the left-wing intellectuals are actually repeating, like parrots, most of the lies invented by the mass media outlets in both Europe and North America! All that nonsense about China having imperialist ambitions, in Asia and Africa!
If they would only bother to speak to the African people, they would hear that China is admired and seen as the hope, by the African majority. They will hear that “Chinese people are the first foreigners who treat Africans as human beings, even as equals”, as I was repeatedly told at infrastructure construction sites all over East Africa.
But the propaganda invented in the colonial centers like London, Paris or Berlin, is actually consumed and trusted, even disseminated further by many from the ranks of the Western Left! The West plundered, raped and destroyed tens of millions of African people. It hunted them down like animals, and turned them into slaves. It has perpetrated countless genocides, from those in which 10 millions died during the reign of the Belgian King Leopold II, to the German holocaust against the native Namibian people, or the present 8 million murderous drive to secure the supply of coltan and uranium, in DR Congo, using their Ugandan and Rwandan allies, and their deranged armies. Somalia is destabilized, Mali; tens of countries are screaming and bathed in blood. But ‘China has the same ambitions’!
And the Western Left is silent or complacent. A great majority of its members do not even bother or dare to travel to places where China is doing a great good.
When the US and Japanese air force flies over what China claims is its territory, when new military bases are built surrounding PRC, the Western Left does nothing, absolutely nothing, to support Beijing!
But when Russia was confronted, smeared and provoked, over Ukraine and Novorussia, there was actually almost immediate mobilization. It is good, very good, that there was one. But why did the Western Left suddenly opt for supporting the Russian government, which is actually not even socialist (although, by inertia from the Soviet days, it is still doing some great things for the nations oppressed by Western imperialism)? Why Russia and not others? Why Russia but not dozens of really socialist countries that are in great need of support?
Could it be that it is because Russia is a predominantly Western and ‘white’ country, while China, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, South Africa or Eritrea, are not?
There should be serious and honest soul-searching, answering these questions. And soon!
These days it appears that most Western left-wing intellectuals are not even seeking power, anymore. They are comfortable with their feeling defeated and powerlessness. They appear to enjoy hopelessness and gloom. They constantly describe the faults and crimes of the Empire, but are unwilling to really confront it, in any determined way. They do not build barricades and they hardly fight intellectually.
It actually gets much worse than that: there is an easily detectable and open hostility from the Western Left towards most of the left-wing and anti-imperialist governments, all over the world, be it Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, China, North Korea, South Africa or Eritrea.
Those trusted and supported are only underdogs – those who already lost. That is the company in which many Western progressive intellectuals feel good and cozy.
The strength of those who fought, proudly, against the neo-colonialism and corporatism, and who are now actually governing their countries (or at least some of them are), is being ridiculed, at times even demonized. Nothing is good enough and nothing is ‘sacred’ for the Left in Paris, Berlin or London: definitely not Cuba and Eritrea, South Africa or China.
Again, that ‘religious’ search for the ideal movements, parties and societies!
It is like trashing the French resistance or Serbian partisans, during WWII, for not being fully ‘democratic’ or considerate. Of course they were not! Because there was no time to try being perfect: they were not faultless, they were not ideologically refined; they were single-mindedly fighting a war against great evil.
The Western Left is playing safe, even when it comes to world history. Some are (have for decades now) even comparing the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany, that greatest of brainwashing propaganda scoops invented by the chief propagandists of the Empire! They are actually talking about that very Soviet Union, which helped dozens of enslaved nations to attain their independence from Western imperialism, that very Soviet Union which actually, almost single-handedly, defeated Nazi Germany at the price of more than 20 million of its people; that Soviet Union which helped to build and to educate newly independent countries on all continents. Such comparisons are not only historically ludicrous; they are insulting and outrageous! If the Western Left needs to compare something to German Nazism, it should be the European constitutional monarchies and the Western ‘democracies’ themselves, as well as Western colonialism – all these institutions and political/ideological concepts have been destroying hundreds of millions of lives on all continents, for centuries, and until now!
Chinese intellectuals are indignant. I spoke to some, in 2013, when Tsinghua University in Beijing held a seminar on my work.
All that I am writing here is actually well known in China, South America and Africa!
The arrogance and self-righteousness of the Western Left is infuriating and the result is that there is very little of a working relation now, between the European/ North American left-wing movements and the PRC. Predictably, again, the Europeans will say, “Because China is not left wing enough”. Rubbish! Ask Fidel Castro whether China is socialist. Ask the government of Venezuela, or South Africa.
The main problem actually is, that the Western Left is not internationalist enough, or not internationalist at all! And to me, and to so many other comrades worldwide, internationalism is the essence of true socialism.
What is the European Left fighting for? It fights primarily for the privileges of its own people, not for the privileges of the other people of the world. It cares nothing about who actually pays for that free medical care or free education, or for the subsidies that the European farmers get.
During the colonial era, hundreds of millions of destroyed and enslaved people in the colonies paid for all those palaces, theatres, railroads and parks of Europe. Not much has actually changed, even to date. Ruined West African farmers are dying so those French farmers get their subsidies, and drive BMW’s and other luxury cars for producing or not producing, depending on the year. Hundreds of millions of destitute, overworked people in the neo-colonies, with no medical insurance at all, pay for those old people in Europe so that they can have free clinics/hospitals/social clubs.
And the Western ‘Left’ is fighting for more privileges for the European people. China is nothing to them. China or Vietnam… Just some annoying Asian nations that are ‘taking ‘their’ jobs away’! Chinese or Vietnamese people are just the multitudes and are un-people.
While China is reintroducing free medical care, it pays for it by the labor of its own people. And so do of course Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.
The Western Left is narcissistic, undisciplined and arrogant, self-righteous and morally defunct. That is why it lost. That is why it has no spark. That is why it does not inspire people.
And the less people it inspires the more bitter it gets, more vitriolic.
It attacks the Soviet Union (post mortem), it attacks China, and it is buying into yet another Western propaganda scoop, that the Khmer Rouge were Communist genocidal forces, not a band of deranged rural desperados that came to power after the US murderous carpet-bombing of the Cambodian countryside. It attacks Cuba and Venezuela for being ‘undemocratic’, and with unforgiveable and sickening consistency, it attacks South Africa.
And even when China fights malaria in Africa, and builds schools and hospitals, when it defends tiny nations in Oceania from total destruction, due to the rise of the ocean level by building sea walls and by planting mangroves (I saw all this with my own eyes, as I have lived in both Oceania and Africa), it is still wrong, because the entire world has to be shit, just because the West and its policies are! This nihilism is sickening, it is defeatist and it is having a vile effect even on the people in the West itself.
One has to conclude, with shock, that most of what remains of the Western Left is actually anti-leftist!
As a result, the people of Latin America, of Asia and Africa, feel much better in each other’s company than with the progressive wing of their former colonizers, and they are increasingly seeking and finding inspiration in each other.
Russia has joined, too, in her own way. The more the merrier!
Almost 2 billion people are now living in or building their own socialist homelands. Each country is different in terms of culture and political models. Not one single country belonging to this group is perfect, but all of them are attempting to build a much better future for their citizens, and they are fighting against Western imperialism and fascism – for centuries now, really the only serious threat to the survival of our human race!
The world is now full of hope and optimism. The cranes are helping build and turbines are humming, new television stations and publications are inspiring billions to reject and fight the old colonialist propaganda.
It will be a good world in the foreseeable future. Maybe after some battles, but in the end, it will be.
Instead of preaching, the Western leftists should admit that they have failed, together with that aggressive Western culture, once described by the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung as pathology – a culture that has been enslaving the entire world for centuries.
Then, they should go and learn from the countries where the people have won, countries that are fighting for the survival of mankind!
Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. ‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.