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The New Prince: What does Charlottesville teach about America’s class consciousness?

The attacks in Charlottesville raises a lot of important questions about the nature of class consciousness in America. Here’s what we have learned.

Haneul Na'avi

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The Romans never liked the dictum we constantly hear from the wise men of our day, that time will take care of things. — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The aftermath of the Unite the Right protests in Charlottesville, VA raises very important questions about class consciousness in the United States.

Following the Occupy Movement—a subsidy of the Open Society Foundation—and January Women’s March, also linked to over 50 Soros organisations, disturbing trend have revealed that American “class consciousness” is merely the work of billionaire reactionaries.

The 11-12 August rally featured two eclectic camps, whose interactions led to the catastrophe which killed 32 year-old Heather Hayer and two police officers.

The first camp, the alt-Right, was a loose confederation of social-chauvinists, including Charlottesville’s own Proud Boy James Kessler, the League of the South, and others protesting the impending removal of a venerated Robert E. Lee statue.

Alt-Right participants were an umbrella of “pro-Confederate, National Socialist, Republican, Libertarian, Neoreactionary and other post-egalitarian viewpoints”, one observer highlighted, which worked in favour of US intelligence agencies and organisations to brand these groups as racist, extremists, bigots, terrorists, ad nauseam.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre communicated beforehand that,

Unite the Right” is expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members – all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency.

However, these groups were emboldened by those within the Obama presidency as well, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange noticed.

“The new face of America is eerily familiar,” he tweeted, pointing out the rally’s striking resemblance to the Ukrainian Euromaidan colour revolution.

However, the other camp was a loose confederation of “antifascists”—Leftist reactionaries and enraged Hillary Clinton supporters—some whom employ subversive, agitational tactics.

Libcom explains,

At a regional and national level, [Antifascist Action] actions were mainly based around countering known – or intelligence-indicated – fascist mobilisations. […] These militant AFA mobilisations had the desired effect – the fascists were stopped.

Contrasting American media propaganda, the US Department of Homeland Security (surprisingly) blacklisted AntiFa as an extremist organisation just two months prior to the event.  It warned

“In the past year, Antifa groups have become active across the United States, employing a variety of methods to disrupt demonstrations” 

Most notably, a 7 April video reveals an AntiFa branch taunting—who else—George Soros, after he neglected to pay them for joining the “Fight for $15/ hr.” rally.

As US president Donald Trump struggles to placate both his critics and followers, America’s dilemmatic liberal democracy has turned into a teratoma of various malignant ideologies.

Consequently, one must criticise the underlying bourgeois character of American democracy in order to assess possible outcomes of the growing conflict.

What is American democracy?

American democracy is, in reality, liberal bourgeois democracy, which is oligarchy beneath a thin veneer of republicanism. All power in America is oligarchic and the democratic expression thereof is the product and responsibility of those that wield American capital against the majority.

This democracy is still subject to, according to Marxian philosophy, the base (material) and superstructure (idealism/ immaterial). Oligarchy controls the means of production (base) and influences the American people via bourgeois propaganda (the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.).

The groups in Charlottesville represent superstructural expressions of this bourgeois democracy, controlled by capitalists, whose manufactured protests lead to agitation, whipping America’s emotionalist, liberal public into consent (Annuit Cœptis).

Oligarchy benefits from this dialectic process by securing its power, allowing the superstructure to progress more amicably as oligarchy (base) centralises and concentrates capital via imperialism.

Additionally, it was established in a previous Duran article why oligarchy prefers liberal democracies, where Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin highlighted that,

Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.

This is entirely true. To accept American (capitalist) democracy, one must accept slavery as an indivisible aspect thereof.

American democracy is a synthesis of Athenian democracy, where one-third of all Greek residents were slaves, and capitalism, a political economy advantageous to bourgeois slave owners, designed to gradually extract the greatest amount of surplus value from human labour and concentrate it within the hands of the bourgeoisie—a natural consequence of capitalism.

Economic History clarifies the following,

[It] is fair to say […] that ancient Greece was a “slave dependent society” [that] were so essential to the economy; and they became so thoroughly embedded into the every day life and values of the society that without slavery, ancient Greek civilization could not have existed in the manner it did. In Classical Athens […] there were around 120,000 slaves [who] comprised over a third of the total population and outnumbered adult male citizens by three to one.

The BBC extrapolates from this:

The architects of the first democracies of the modern era, post-revolutionary France and the United States, claimed a line of descent from classical Greek demokratia – ‘government of the people by the people for the people’, as Abraham Lincoln put it. 

Capitalist proponent Adam Smith himself focused more on the economic disadvantages of slavery (slave vs. freeman productivity), but abjured on the matter of its continued existence.  He passively lamented that 

“Slavery therefore has been universal in the beginnings of society, and the love of dominion and authority over others will probably make it perpetual” 

As in ancient Greece, American slavery is chattel slavery, and has neither been abolished nor diminished in importance. The 13th amendment industrialises slavery by entrusting the judicial system, not the people, to regulate the influx of slaves into the prison system. It states that,

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The key word is “except”, and therefore, Americans must “accept” slavery in all its instituted forms as a necessary component. Both slave institutions will not disappear as a consequence of the Left or Right because, as long as there is liberal democracy, Americans will depend on them.

What is the primary source of conflict between the Left and Right?

It is uncertain why these two camps—the alt-Right and alt-Left—are enemies, and on the contrary, their only conflict is based on competing forms of subservience to slavery.

Charlottesville was not a battle between nationalists and antifascists, but a battle between superstructures within the pre-Industrialist and post-Industrialist epochs of slavery.

A previous Duran article highlighted Karl Marx’s comments on historical materialism,

At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production [which] turn into their fetters.

This is precisely what is happening. To procure new modes of slavery, the American bourgeoisie use colour revolutions to facilitate transitions of power between rulers.

Niccoló Machiavelli explains in his masterpiece, The Prince (Ch. 5),

[If] the inhabitants are not dispersed or driven into quarrelling factions, they will never forget the former government or order of things, and will quickly revert to it at every opportunity […] in republics, there is more vitality, more hatred, and more desire for revenge. The memory of former freedom simply will not leave the people in peace.

However, these “quarrelling factions” belong to the same class stratum— the petit-bourgeoisie. Had America any shred of class consciousness in its virulent 241-year existence, these two camps could unite under a proletariat vanguard.

For instance, Karl Marx clearly states in his essay, “The American Civil War”,

[The] number of actual slaveholders in the South of the Union does not amount to more than three hundred thousand, a narrow oligarchy that is confronted with many millions of so-called poor whites, whose numbers have been constantly growing through concentration of landed property and whose condition is only to be compared with that of the Roman plebeians in the period of Rome’s extreme decline.

He continues,

Only by acquisition and the prospect of acquisition of new Territories, as well as by filibustering expeditions, is it possible to square the interests of these poor whites with those of the slaveholders, to give their restless thirst for action a harmless direction and to tame them with the prospect of one day becoming slaveholders themselves.

So, the “Right” are nothing more than instruments of American bourgeois power, middle-managing serfs, content with the crumbs falling from the tables of oligarchy, also susceptible to the pangs of economic volatility, of wage slavery, and the crises of capitalism when they unfold.

Yet, they claim that their “racial superiority” is a “fortunate” material condition; even more than the blessings of hollowed cheeks and protruding stomachs from “their” bourgeoisie!

Conversely, the “alt-Left”, despite labelling others as fascists, no one, absolutely no one encompasses the evils of modern imperialism better than they.

If there was any “alternative” to the Left, then surely history was rife with examples around 1933.

Even the most simple of Bolsheviks could point out the three grievous sins of the “alt-Left”—spontaneity, idealism, and a lack of class consciousness—but the most fundamental flaw in Leftist reasoning is a lack of understanding of the role and function of the State.

AntiFa class consciousness is best described as liberalism—rather than scientific socialism—endangering the worker’s movement by prioritising race (idealism) instead of class (material condition), and their spontaneous, leaderless platform is antithetical to socialist development.

Lenin exposed this clearly in “What is to Be Done”,

We have said that there could not have been Social-Democratic consciousness among the workers. It would have to be brought to them from without. The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade union consciousness, i.e., the conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight the employers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labour legislation, etc.

This is handicap of the AntiFa movement; adding a “kopek to a ruble” with trade-unionist tactics, or, as Americans would say, “trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents” ($15 in this case!).

The AntiFa’s maxim is to “keep the fascists out of the streets” (but not its own treasuries), but how does it equate racism with fascism? Debunking this Leftist fallacy lies in the role of the state.

In different forms of political economy, the state wields a dictatorship corresponding to its aim:

– Fascism = dictatorship of the corporation, withers away the public wealth, establishes the primacy of private industrial and finance capital

– Nazism = dictatorship of an ethnicity, withers away other ethnicities, establishes a dominant nation-state

– Communism: dictatorship of the proletariat, withers away class antagonisms and private wealth, establishes a classless workers’ society.

– Democracy = dictatorship of the majority, withers away Federal dictatorship, establishes an liberal bourgeois society

Additionally, the best evidence against the alt-Left is to, firstly, define it. The alt-Left, in its simplest terms, is nothing more than a betrayal of Socialism—fascism itself.

A Spectator article clarifies this,

Mussolini, a revolutionary socialist, founded Fascism in 1919 as an alternative revolutionary movement of the Left: The First World War had made him, and many other European Socialists, realise an essential truth: People are more loyal to their country than their class.

The article continues, citing Benito Mussolini himself in a 1932 interview with Emil Ludwig,

Naturally there is no such thing as a pure race, not even a Jewish one … Race: it is a sentiment, not a reality, it is 95% sentiment. I don’t believe that it is possible to prove biologically that a race is more or less pure …Anti-Semitism does not exist in Italy. The Jews have behaved well as citizens, and as soldiers, they have fought courageously.’

With this in mind, the question remains: what exactly is fascism to the AntiFa? Fascism focuses on private wealth and state control, in which race is an integrative rather than divisive tool. However, the alt-Left remains loyal to identities and abhors State control, and this error becomes to fascism and nationalist-socialism a blade used to carve the public into warring factions.

Hypocritically, the “Left” decries Trump and any odd racist as fascists, “except” (key word) industrial-scale corporatists in the previous Obama administration and others responsible for exterminating hundreds of thousands across the Middle East, Ukraine, and Venezuela, caused by refusing to reach any consensus based on the means of production, but to liberal idealism.

Had these primitivists studied scientific socialism instead of “anti-Capitalism”—whatever that means—they wouldn’t bludgeon other sections of the working class like Neanderthals for being comparatively as ignorant as themselves, and they could explain these concepts sufficiently to raise everyone’s class consciousness and unite these two factions of the American proletariat!

Lenin mentioned in Left-Wing Communism that,

The Communists’ proper tactics should consist in utilising these vacillations, not ignoring them; utilising [these] calls for concessions to elements that are turning towards the proletariat […] in addition to fighting those who turn towards the bourgeoisie […] This is a lengthy process, and the hasty “decision”—“No compromises, no manoeuvres”—can only prejudice the strengthening of the revolutionary proletariat’s influence and the enlargement of its forces.

However, he warns that,

Of course, to very young and inexperienced revolutionaries, as well as to petty-bourgeois revolutionaries of even very respectable age and great experience, it seems extremely “dangerous”, incomprehensible and wrong to “permit compromises”.

Potential Outcomes

Charlottesville was merely one example of a long history of failures in the American (and Western) Left. It was a meeting of counterrevolutionaries, under the guidance of the bourgeoisie, for the benefit of the centralising state authority and targeting embryonic forms of resistance.

One can understand that the alt-Right are reactionary, but the corporatist support thrown behind the alt-Left, mainly the AntiFa movement, only reinforces the depravity of the postmodern “Left”.

As a result, what is certain to happen is one of two options:

1. A long-overdue civil war that will benefit the bourgeoisie exponentially.
2. Continued in-fighting amongst proletarians that will benefit the bourgeoisie dialectically.

The Left and Right are wings of the same class stratum, and things may have been different had the AntiFa not liberally applied violence in Charlottesville. In his book, “War in Human Civilisation”, Azar Gat sums up the Left-Right dialectic brilliantly, in which the opposing camps will experience,

“a ‘Red Queen Effect’ […] without gaining the advantage over their rivals or making any gain—that is, they all lost in comparison with what they might have had in the absence of conflict.”

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bluewater
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bluewater

these criminally insane psychopaths are determined to plunge the nation into a full-scale civil war.

Charlottesville and the August 21st solar eclipse

Just as Sandy Hook was staged one week before 12/21/2012,
Charlottesville was likewise engineered to go down a week before
Monday’s eclipse. This timing is by purposeful design, and the quicker folks wake up to this fact the better prepared everyone can be.
8/21/2017——-9/23 9/24…Jewish holidays/satanic rituals…..Black magik

comment image

samo war
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samo war

who is us CHe Gewara ?

FiendlyNeighbourhoodTerrorist
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Western leftism is tribalism, pure and simple. Anyone who knows anything about how tribes work – anyone who has spent any time around tribal people – knows well that the tribal identity is the most important thing. Tribal people fear exclusion from the tribe more than literally anything else. They will – and I am absolutely not joking – agree that day is night or black is white if that is what the tribe orders them to believe today, and if tomorrow the tribe declares that night is day and white is black, why, they will agree with that too.… Read more »

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

I sometimes get the feeling that this article dignifies subversion and psychopathy with an attempt at scientific analysis. Surely the tangle of intrigues and lines of force, between these foot soldiers and the Deep State Oligarchy which funds them plays out in recognizable ways, not because it can be explained scientifically by Marx and Lenin but because the way of amoral corruption and lust for power, though broad, is not limitless. Things flow this way, not because of theories and alleged laws, but in an ad hoc fashion. Whatever works, will do. And what works is force and the money… Read more »

Feudal Peasant
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Feudal Peasant

I cannot intelligently make any comments, other than thank for for this very informative article.

Avramijevdan
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Avramijevdan

Libtards: These right wingers are Nazis Rightards: These liberals are Nazis. Libtards: They are racists, these Nazis. Rightards: They are racists, these Nazis. Libtards: The hate America and our freedom. Rightards: They hate America and our freedom. How about the history? Libtards and Rightards: We don’t care about history and will misrepresent whatever it is in question. Libtards: We never did anything wrong, we are exceptionals. Rigtards: We never did anything wrong, if some wrong was done, it was Jews who did it, not us.We are exceptionals. And so on, It goes like that for an hour and as time… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

The U.S Constitution lists every person of color as 3/5th of a human being…..still today!!!. Slavery officially ended 1865 which is a Myth because ONLY the rebel States’ slaves were freed. (See below) Slavery remained in the rest of the U.S. Lincoln is portrayed as a hero which he wasn’t If the issue were one of statues, we should do away with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s statues all of whom had slaves. Americans are not educated but indoctrinated. Racism and white supremacists are institutionalized in America. It comes from the top down. School segregation finally ended in the 60s…..very… Read more »

TecumsehUnfaced
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my2Cents
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my2Cents

Very interesting…Sounds as if tariffs and “other” hostile acts from the North led to the secession….in order to have the South succumb to the North demands on slavery….Have to read it again…learned that it was a bit more nasty than I thought. Thanks for the link….

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

There’s just as much bull in there as in the Declaration of Independence. Look up Garry Wills Inventing America.

Yes, there are lots of issues with Lincoln. There is a lot of speculation that can be made on what if he hadn’t been such an enthusiastic supporter of the Northern railroad barons.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Lincoln suffered “Melancholy” all his life…which is Clinical Depression. At that time it was common to use opiates and cocaine from he local drugstore. He had digestive issues for which he took the cure of the day which was “blue mass” which is mercury which most likely caused him to have mercury poisoning. He suffered from erratic behavior and anger outbursts which some believed were related to the “blue mass”..He took this stuff while in the White House. No doubt they affected his judgements. The man was ill!!! And here we have Freud who too was a druggy https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/08/10/3-facts-you-might-not-know-about-freud-and-his-biggest-addiction/ Here’s… Read more »

Anja Boettcher
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Anja Boettcher

The blocking function is a good thing.

Seing your post is followed by a rat-tail of comments wearing the title “This user is blocked”, I can well imagine what they are about, withoug needing to read that dirt.

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

If either of these groups had any significant social consciousness, they would be assaulting Wall Street, not fighting over silly statues.

XRGRSF
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XRGRSF

More than anything else unified social consciousness terrifies the ruling elite.

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

So they have worked very hard at developing the art of busting it. One of the most clever and morally repugnant of their champions was Edward Bernays, who was much admired by Joseph Goebbels.

Lorettaochaidez
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Lorettaochaidez

Style97h

Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Michellefescobar
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Michellefescobar

Planet94e

Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Jennifermslone
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Jennifermslone

my co worker’s mom makes $71 each hour at home, she has been unemployed for two months and the previous month her payoff was $12023 working on the laptop a couple of hours every day.➤ see➤ this
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DenLilleAbe
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DenLilleAbe

The alt right has almost destroyed the conservative wing of American politics. The GOP has been on a self destructing car ride for years , fuelled by ignorant bastards like the the Turtle, God call him home soon, who has destroyed the right, by their obstruction, A country needs at least two parties, preferably more.Else no democracy, just China. But the conservatives are not credible, Bannon anyone ? I personally hail Americans who shoved up in force and rejected the Fascists in Charlotteville…. I am Danish, I still have have a packet unopened of chewing gum, inherited from my father… Read more »

FiendlyNeighbourhoodTerrorist
Guest

What’s wrong with China? How many countries has China invaded in the last 16 years on false pretences and which Chinese President dropped bombs every three minutes for the eight years of his (mis/) rule?

DenLilleAbe
Guest
DenLilleAbe

Well I can only upvote you and say : none..

beverly
Guest
beverly

Charlottesville was another false flag operation designed to assist in the coup to oust Trump as well as distract/divide/conquer. While the sheeple are busy fighting over inanimate objects, the empire is busy cementing a fascist agenda. Notice the majority of those ranting about confederate statues are white. The few blacks chiming in are the usual suspects: race hustlers like Sharpton and the Soros/Dem controlled BLM and their gullible sheeple who jump on the bandwagon when it rolls by. The average black person (of which I am) is ambivalent, oblivious, or just doesn’t care about these statues. Most blacks or whites… Read more »

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The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ Are Unstoppable: “Now, The Elites Are Afraid”

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms.

The Duran

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Authored by Christophe Guilluy via Spiked-Online.com:


The gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement has rattled the French establishment. For several months, crowds ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands have been taking to the streets every weekend across the whole of France. They have had enormous success, extracting major concessions from the government. They continue to march.

Back in 2014, geographer Christopher Guilluy’s study of la France périphérique (peripheral France) caused a media sensation. It drew attention to the economic, cultural and political exclusion of the working classes, most of whom now live outside the major cities. It highlighted the conditions that would later give rise to the yellow-vest phenomenon. Guilluy has developed on these themes in his recent books, No Society and The Twilight of the Elite: Prosperity, the Periphery and the Future of Francespiked caught up with Guilluy to get his view on the causes and consequences of the yellow-vest movement.

spiked: What exactly do you mean by ‘peripheral France’?

Christophe Guilluy: ‘Peripheral France’ is about the geographic distribution of the working classes across France. Fifteen years ago, I noticed that the majority of working-class people actually live very far away from the major globalised cities – far from Paris, Lyon and Toulouse, and also very far from London and New York.

Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places.

They tend to be people in work, but who don’t earn very much, between 1000€ and 2000€ per month. Some of them are very poor if they are unemployed. Others were once middle-class. What they all have in common is that they live in areas where there is hardly any work left. They know that even if they have a job today, they could lose it tomorrow and they won’t find anything else.

spiked: What is the role of culture in the yellow-vest movement?

Guilluy: Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.

The Brexit vote had a lot to do with culture, too, I think. It was more than just the question of leaving the EU. Many voters wanted to remind the political class that they exist. That’s what French people are using the gilets jaunes for – to say we exist. We are seeing the same phenomenon in populist revolts across the world.

spiked: How have the working-classes come to be excluded?

Guilluy: All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

spiked: What role has the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

Guilluy: We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.

A lot has been made of the fact that the yellow vests’ demands vary a great deal. But above all, it’s a demand for democracy. Fundamentally, they are democrats – they want to be taken seriously and they want to be integrated into the economic order.

spiked: How can we begin to address these demands?

Guilluy: First of all, the bourgeoisie needs a cultural revolution, particularly in universities and in the media. They need to stop insulting the working class, to stop thinking of all the gilets jaunes as imbeciles.

Cultural respect is fundamental: there will be no economic or political integration until there is cultural integration. Then, of course, we need to think differently about the economy. That means dispensing with neoliberal dogma. We need to think beyond Paris, London and New York.

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US Blunders Have Made Russia The Global Trade Pivot

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead

The Duran

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Authored by Mathew Maavak via ActivistPost.com:


The year 2019 had barely begun before news emerged that six Russian sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Benin. It was perhaps a foretaste of risks to come. As nations reel from deteriorating economic conditions, instances of piracy and other forms of supply chain disruptions are bound to increase.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 107 cases of piracy were noted during the first half of 2018 vis-à-vis 87 throughout 2017.  The 2018 tally included 32 cases in Southeast Asian waters and 48 along African shores – representing 75% of the total. To put this figure into perspective, Asian behemoths India and China – despite their vast shorelines – recorded only 2 cases of piracy each during the study period. Russia had none. In terms of hostages taken, the IMB tally read 102 in H1 2018 vs 63 in H1 2017.

Piracy adds to shipping and retail costs worldwide as security, insurance and salaries are hiked to match associated risks in maritime transport. Merchant vessels will also take longer and costlier routes to avoid piracy hotspots.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report in 2016 sums up the perils ahead:

As over 90% of global trade is carried out by sea, the economic effects of maritime crime can be crippling. Maritime crime includes not only criminal activity directed at vessels or maritime structures, but also the use of the high seas to perpetrate transnational organized crimes such as smuggling of persons or illicit substances.  These forms of maritime crime can have devastating human consequences.

Indeed, cases of human trafficking, organ harvesting, and the smuggling of illicit substances and counterfeit goods are proliferating worldwide in tandem with rising systemic debt and suspect international agendas.

Australia offers a case in point. While it fantasizes over a Quad of allies in the Indo-Pacific – to “save Asians from China” – criminal elements from Hong Kong, Malaysia to squeaky-clean Singapore have been routinely trafficking drugs, tobacco and people right into Sydney harbour for years,  swelling the local organised crime economy to as much as $47.4 billion (Australian dollars presumably) between 2016 and 2017.

With criminal elements expected to thrive during a severe recession, they will likely enjoy a degree of prosecutorial shielding from state actors and local politicians. But this is not a Southeast Asian problem alone; any superpower wishing to disrupt Asia-Europe trade arteries – the main engine of global growth – will have targets of opportunity across oceans and lands.  The US-led war against Syria had not only cratered one potential trans-Eurasia energy and trade node, it served as a boon for child traffickingorgan harvesting and slavery as well. Yet, it is President Bashar al-Assad who is repeatedly labelled a “butcher” by the Anglo-American media.

Ultimately, industries in Asia and Europe will seek safer transit routes for their products. The inference here is inevitable: the greatest logistical undertaking in history – China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – will be highly dependent on Russian security umbrella, particularly in Central Asia. Russia also offers an alternative transit option via the Northern Sea Route, thereby avoiding any potential pan-Turkic ructions in Central Asia in the future.

Russo- and Sinophobia explained?

In retrospect, Washington’s reckless policies post-Sept 11 2001 seem aimed at disrupting growing synergies between Asia and Europe. This hypothesis helps explain the relentless US-led agitprops against Russia, China and Iran.

When the gilet jaunes (yellow vest) protests rocked France weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before some pundits blamed it on Russia. US President Donald J. Trump cheered on; just as “billionaire activist” George Soros celebrated the refugee invasion of Europe and the Arab Spring earlier.  If the yellow vest contagion spreads to the Western half of Europe, its economies will flounder. Cui bono? A Russia that can reap benefits from the two-way BRI or Arctic trade routes or a moribund United States that can no longer rule roost in an increasingly multipolar world?

Trump’s diplomatic downgrade of the European Union and his opposition to the Nord Stream 2gas pipeline matches this trade-disruption hypothesis, as do pressures applied on India and China to drop energy and trade ties with Iran.  Washington’s trade war with Beijing and recent charges against Huawei – arguably Asia’s most valuable company – seem to fit this grand strategy.

If China concedes to importing more US products, Europe will bear the consequences. Asians love European products ranging from German cars to Italian shoes and Europe remains the favourite vacation destination for its growing middle class. Eastern European products and institutions are also beginning to gain traction in Asia. However, these emerging economies will suffer if their leaders cave in to Washington’s bogeyman fetish.

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough – at least theoretically – to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead.

In the meantime, as the US-led world crumbles, it looks like Russia is patiently biding its time to become the security guarantor and kingmaker of Asia-Europe trade.  A possible state of affairs wrought more by American inanity rather than Russian ingenuity…

Dr Mathew Maavak is a regular commentator on risk-related geostrategic issues.

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Historic Eastern Christianity: An Uncertain Future

The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Elias Samo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The survival of historic Eastern Christianity has never been as urgent as it is today. Christianity saw its beginning in Greater Syria which was subdivided by France and Britain after WWI into modern day Syria, Lebanon, Palestian/Israel and Jordan. The land that housed, nurtured and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ for over two millenniums, now threatens children of that faith. The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons:

  1. Greater Syria is the homeland of Jesus and Christianity. Abraham was from modern day Iraq, Moses from Egypt, and Muhammad from Mecca; Jesus was from Syria.
  1. Paul converted to Christianity and saw the light while walking through ‘The Street Called Straight’ in Damascus.
  1. Jesus’ followers were called Christians for the first time in Antioch, formerly part of Syria.
  1. One of the earliest churches, perhaps the earliest, is in Syria.

The potential demise of historic Eastern Christianity is reflected in the key question Christians ask: should we stay or emigrate? The urgent question – in the face of the ongoing regional turmoil – precipitated with the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and escalated since the Arab uprisings in 2011. Historic Eastern Christians’ fears were further magnified when Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archbishop Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church, both of metropolitan Aleppo, were kidnapped on April, 22, 2013; with no traces of their whereabouts, dead or alive, since. For many years, I was deputy, friend, and advisor to the Archbishop Ibrahim, which provided me an opportunity to meet many Christians. I have, over time, noticed the change in their sentiment, with more considering emigration after the uprising and the kidnapping of the two Archbishops. Historic Eastern Christians survived the Ottoman Genocide in 1915 and thereafter; they multiplied and thrived in the Fertile Crescent despite some atrocities until the start of the misnamed “Arab Spring” in early 2011. Prior to the “Arab Spring”, historic Eastern Christians were victims of violence on several occasions. In the mid-1930s, the historic Assyrian community in Iraq suffered violent onslaughts and were driven to Syria. In the 1970s and 1980s, during the Lebanese Civil War, Christians were victims of sectarian violence. During the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Christians were victims of widespread sectarian violence which led to mass migration. The “Arab Spring” began with great hope for the right of the people to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. However, it was swiftly hijacked by Islamists and Salafists and turned into an “Islamic Spring, an Arab Fall and a Christian Winter”; bringing along with it a new massacre of Christians. Presently, Eastern Christianity is at the mercy of clear and identifiable domestic, regional, and international, historic and contemporary conflicts in the Fertile Crescent, namely:

  1. Jihad vs. Ijtihad: A long standing conflict amongst Muslims between the sword vs. the pen.
  2. Sunni vs. Shiite: A conflict which began following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Arabism vs. Islamism: The former has territorial limitations, the later has no territorial limitations.
  4. Syria vs. Israel: It is an essential component of the Palestinian problem, not the presumed Arab- Israeli conflict.
  5. West vs. East: A throwback to the Cold War, or its revival.
  6. Historic Persian, Ottoman and Arab Empires animosities: Each seeking regional hegemony.

One is reminded of the proverbial saying, “When the elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Certainly, Eastern Christianity is suffering and threatened with extinction.

Syria was a model of religious tolerance, common living and peaceful interaction amongst its religious, sectarian, cultural and ethnic components. Seven years of turmoil, in which various international and regional powers manipulated segments of Syrian society by supplying them with an abundance of weapons, money and sectarian ideologies, has heightened Eastern Christians’ fears. During the seven-year turmoil in Syria, the entire society has suffered; Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Yazidis, Kurds, Christians and others. Christians, being a weak and peaceful component of the society, have suffered immensely. Ma’aloula; a religious treasure for Christians globally, and the only city in the world where Aramaic – the language of Jesus Christ – is spoken, was attacked and besieged by ISIS. Numerous historic Churches were damaged, and many destroyed. Christians in Raqqa were forced by ISIS into one of three options: 1. Pay a penalty in pure gold – known as a ‘Jizya’ to keep their life and practice their faith – albeit in secret only; 2. Convert into Islam; or 3. Face immediate death. To top their pain, the kidnap of the two prominent Archbishops meant no Eastern Christian believer was safe.

Amidst all the doom and gloom, however, there remains hope. The survival of Christianity depends on the actions and reactions of three parties:

Eastern Christians: During the last hundred years, 1915-2015, since the Ottoman Genocide, Eastern Christians have been victims of a history of massacres, which meant that every Eastern Christian was a martyr, a potential martyr or a witness of martyrdom; if you fool me once, shame on you, if you fool me twice, shame on me. The ongoing regional turmoil has heightened their sense of insecurity. The answer to an age-old question Eastern Christians had on their mind: To flee Westwards or remain in their land, in the face of death, is increasingly becoming the former.

Eastern Muslims: There is a difference in perceptions between Eastern Christians and mainstream Muslims regarding the massacres committed against Christians. When certain violent groups or individuals kill Christians, while shouting a traditional Islamic profession: “No God but one God and Muhammad is God’s messenger”, it is reasonable for Christians to assume the killers are Muslims. However, for mainstream Muslims, the killers do not represent Islam; they are extremists, violating basic Islamic norms such as Muhammad’s sayings, “Whoever hurts a Thummy – Christian or Jew – has hurt me”, “no compulsion in religion” and other Islamic norms regarding just treatment of people of the Book; Christians and Jews. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Muslim elites to impress upon their fellow Muslims that:

a. The three monotheistic religions believe in one God and all ‘faithfuls’ are equal in citizenship, rights and duties.

b. Christians participated in the rise of Arab Islamic civilization. They were pioneers in the modern Arab renaissance and they joined their Muslim brethren in resisting the Crusades, the Ottomans and Western colonialism.

c. Christians are natives of the land and they provide cultural, religious, educational, and economic, diversity.

d. Christians are a positive link between the Muslims and the Christian West, particularly in view of the rise of Islamophobia. Massacres of Christians and their migration provide a pretext for the further precipitation of Islamophobia.

e. Civilization is measured by the way it treats its minorities.

The Christian West: The Crusades, Western colonialism, creation and continued support of Israel, support of authoritarian Arab political systems, military interventions, regime change, and the destabilization of Arab states made Muslims view Eastern Christians ‘guilty by association’. The Christian West helped Jews come to Palestine to establish Israel. Shouldn’t the same Christian West also help Eastern Christians remain in their homeland, rather than facilitate their emigration? Western Christians, particularly Christian Zionists, believe that the existence of Israel is necessary for the return of Jesus to his homeland. However, it would be a great disappointment for Jesus to return to his homeland, Syria and not find any of his followers.

Prior to 2011, Eastern Christian religious leaders were encouraging Syrian Christians in the diaspora to return to Syria, their homeland, where life was safe and secure with great potential. Now, the same leaders are desperately trying to slow down Christian emigration. Eastern Christians’ loud cries for help to remain are blowing in the wind.

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