WE delude ourselves that it’s our privilege to have been born into the most advanced edition of humanity. That science and technology, having unlocked more of the universe’s secrets than in any previous age – and at a greater rate – have bestowed upon us a level of sophistication that renders all previous civilisations savage.
It’s just that wars; their causes and the means by which we prosecute them, persist with the same regularity and with the same brutality of intent as in those periods we’re fond of calling the dark ages. It’s all still about power, land and wealth and it still involves lots of people (usually the weakest and most defenceless) being slain.
And so, science and reason having failed to turn swords into ploughshares, we construct another delusion: that those countries we fancy to be among the planet’s most civilised and advanced can bring delinquent nations to heel by waging ‘clean’ wars using ‘smart’ technology. This spares the sophisticated people of learned lands from dying in these struggles. And though they might decimate other peoples, well … it’s a lesser mischief when they fall. After all; they belong to societies we conveniently choose to call ‘medieval’ and ‘primitive’.
This allows us to overlook the historic role of our ‘civilised’ governments in sowing chaos in these lands and installing client psychopaths to administer them in a way that will always leave them free to be picked clean by the master states. It relies on the rest of us to have been so stupefied by mass consumerism, the propaganda of Hollywood and the right-wing media cartels that we lose the capacity to care very much.
The US, which fancies itself to be the most advanced nation of all, regularly provides us with classic examples of this model of governance. Perhaps the clearest illustration of this was the way it installed Augusto Pinochet in 1973 after Chile voted for a government that rejected the brute capitalism favoured by America.
It’s why it spent decades trying to murder Fidel Castro in Cuba and strangling its economy after its people chose to evict the Washington-backed mafia gangs who had sucked it dry and used it as a 24/7 casino. America was even prepared to sacrifice the rest of the world to a nuclear Armageddon when Cuba, understandably, reached out to the Soviet Union, the only country large enough to counter the menace of the super-power next door trying to destroy its government and its people.
When the brutality of the Shah of Iran and his thieving family were finally ejected by their long-suffering subjects in 1979 the civilised west who had feasted on his largesse spirited him away with his looted millions and, in classic and predictable fashion, took to condemning the new government as ‘primitive’ and ‘medieval’.
US diplomacy in that region – such as it was – concerned itself with restoring ‘decency’ and ‘progressiveness’ or, as it’s now known, Haliburtonism: siphoning off the natural resources of unstable countries to feed the capitalist cartels. When another client psycho, Saddam Hussein, went rogue, America and the west responded with customary sophistication: two wars; the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan and continuing turmoil in the Middle East.
In the Ukrainian crisis we can observe something of the same grotesque philosophy beginning to emerge that portrays western values as ‘progressive’ and those of other civilisations and traditions as ‘unrefined’. The master-nations have known for 20 years that Vladimir Putin was an unlit rocket, but so long as he and the oligarchs used the looted assets of Russia to fortify the capitalist economies of the west they were happy to accommodate him … until he too went off the reservation.
After five weeks, President Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine has now exhausted the lexicon of our opprobrium and outrage. And so now we’re starting on the Russian people themselves. Why are ‘decent’ and otherwise ‘intelligent’ Russians swallowing all of their mad president’s propaganda?
Can’t they see that he’s lost the plot and that this isn’t a military exercise for the purpose of de-nazifying Ukraine? Surely, they’re not that stupid? Of course, it must be due to them being a lot less sophisticated than us. That being unaccustomed to the pure and undistorted flow of information that we consume from the US and the west they are more susceptible to lies and disinformation.
What do Russians and other unkempt peoples see when they gaze upon America? This is a nation which is engaged in a violent, civil war against those of its own people who happen to be black, Hispanic or poor and which slaughtered and enslaved an entire indigenous civilisation in the name of Jesus and progress. And if these people should choose to consider radical political action to improve their situation they are branded Communists, which in America is akin to social leprosy. Its police force is hollowed out by violent racism and the evil doctrine of white supremacy. Their lives are also mortgaged to a predatory health system. Yet, somehow they’ve been persuaded to return governments who are beholden to Big Pharma, Big Healthcare and the National Rifle Association.
To maintain this chimera a fictional world has been constructed around them which views America as the main instrument of a vengeful, white, Christian God’s jealousy in bringing a faithless planet to heel. Hollywood, Netflix and HBO spin adult fantasies masquerading as morality tales in which the army, the flag and the right to use violence are deemed to be sacred.
Even ‘progressive’ dramas such as The West Wing are predicated on the universal truth that only in America can the full deposit of faith and righteousness be experienced. And where a ‘good’ president displays his fortitude and beneficence by having dark nights of the soul … before he blitzes an office block in the Middle East. The ‘left’ is represented by a party which is only admitted to Congress once they’ve bowed down to militarism; evangelical fanaticism and the National Rifle Association. This is a savage nation.
But sure; let’s pity those simpleton Russians for believing the propaganda of their elites.
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