Commentaries on current events, political economy, and the Communist movement from a Marxist-Leninist perspective.
Zigedy highly recommends the Marxist-Leninist website, MLToday.com, where many of his longer articles appear.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018
big losers in the recent NPR/PBS
polling (January 08-10-2018) are Congress, the two parties, and the
media. Based on the poll, most people in the US have “not very
much” or “no confidence” in the legislative body, corporate
news and entertainment, or the Democratic or Republican parties. In
fact, over two-thirds of those surveyed lack confidence in the media
and nearly three-fourths show little or no confidence in Congress!
light of these numbers, one can only wonder when the pitchforks are
coming out. Clearly, dissatisfaction with major US institutions
extends very broadly. Yet these results are not new. Nearly a decade
ago, a similar Gallup
poll showed that only 11% of respondents had a “great deal” or
“quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. A
Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in
2014 showed that both parties earned a decidedly more negative than a
positive image. That same poll put the approval rate for Congress at
pundits and political operatives who discount the depth of
dissatisfaction and disregard the festering anger in the US are
doomed to misread the meaning of past and most-recent elections. The
mainstream media mock Trump’s “fake news” charges while
blithely ignoring the negative sentiments of the population toward
the news industry. Don’t media elites see that “lack of
confidence” is, in fact, a scathing indictment of their own
collective performance in delivering the truth?
to recognize the widespread disdain for core US political
institutions hinders the understanding that Trumpism is not merely a
malignant political alternative, but the consequence
of a long history of malignant political alternatives; Trump isn't the cause of the problem, he's the result of the problem. As much as
Trump disgusts with his vulgarity, he openly expresses thoughts
shared by other powerful people who voice them only behind the walls
of their mansions or private clubs. As much as Trump attacks the
living standards of working people and degrades their safety net, he
stands at the end of a relentless, unrelieved half-century of assault
on the gains won in the New Deal era. As much as Trump has embraced
belligerence and aggression in his foreign policy, he has only
belatedly and somewhat reluctantly fallen in line with the
imperialist agenda crafted and executed by his predecessors in the
has Defense Secretary ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis to remind him of the
agenda. The Wall Street Journal tells
us (January 19, 2018) that Trump recently proposed to call off joint
ROK/US military exercises as a pacifying gesture to Kim Jung Un.
Mattis stepped in and purportedly flattered him with “Your
instincts are absolutely correct,” while cajoling him into
betraying those same instincts and going forward with the exercises.
Incredibly, Mattis is the figure that many liberals cite as the
restraining force in the Trump White House.
America Great Again” is the mark of an empire facing increasingly
effective threats from imperialist rivals as well as anti-imperialist
resistance. While the dream of a Pax Americana imposed on the world
is now discredited, Trumpism clings to the illusion that robust,
blustery nationalism is the answer to an increasingly fruitless globalism.
year, in his lengthy, candid valedictory
with Jeffrey Goldberg in The
magazine, one will find many hints of Obama’s lost confidence in
the aggressive reordering of the world that he inherited and that was
represented in his administration by Clinton, Rice, Power, and
Rhodes. Mattis and General Kelly play that same role of
sabre-rattlers and war-instigators in the Trump administration
despite the popular caricature of them as wise counsel to a wild man.
Trump, the missionary mask, so long a feature of US imperialism, is
cast off. The “humanitarian, human rights” pose used so
skillfully by Clinton and Obama’s war makers is of little interest
to Trump and his consort. Any renegade thoughts Trump may have of
exercising his self-proclaimed “deal” skills or imagined “charm”
in negotiating with rivals are quickly squashed by the two pillars of
militarism (Mattis and Kelly) within the Trump administration.
better times, one could count on a sizeable segment of activist
liberals to stand with the anti-imperialist left against US
militarism and aggression. But, today, they have been mesmerized by a
phantasmagoric anti-Russia campaign framed to distract attention away
from real issues and the chronically flawed democratic process.
from the demonstrated thinness of liberal principles, the NPR/PBS
NewsHour/Marist poll explains
exactly why RussiaGate could gain traction despite a lack of
evidence. Behind the hysteria are two institutions that retain a
great deal of misplaced confidence with the public: the FBI and the
military. And behind that confidence is a glorifying and
romanticizing of the two in popular culture, especially since the
onset of the Mission Impossible-like War on Terror. Network and cable
television feature drama of attractive, upright, and diligent FBI
agents standing between the US public and chaos, night after night.
Similarly, the military enjoys a heroic stature nourished by the
media, the entertainment industry, and the chicken-hawk elites whose
children never see the enlistment office.
the self-deception lurking behind this cult of self-righteousness,
while speaking in Santa Fe recently: “Every time Trump says or does
something that is xenophobic, or bigoted, or militaristic, or
threatening, people always say, ‘This is not what America is
about,’... I always react to that by saying, ‘It’s not?’”
RussiaGate mania is now runaway paranoia, perfectly suited to turn
the populace from its real problems. Democratic Party operatives have
crossed over to insanity, detecting Russia behind the announced
candidacy of Chelsea Manning for US Senate. Neera Tanden, prominent
head of the Center for American Progress, smelled a Kremlin plot
behind Manning running against a corporate Democratic Senator. It may
be a long wait for the soft left and the identity Democrats to render
support to the heroic Manning. But then they wouldn’t comprehend
the real heroism of serving jail time for exposing US war atrocities.
by its success in fabricating RussiaGate from nothing, the FBI has
turned its scrutiny on the People's Republic of China. Our intrepid
spy hunters are casting their vigilance on Rupert Murdoch’s
ex-trophy wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, a prominent DC socialite.
According to “sources” friendly to The
Wall Street Journal, Ms Murdoch
lobbied for a Chinese garden funded by the PRC at the National
Arboretum. The FBI explained that the Arboretum was less than 5 miles
from the White House and the Capitol. And, if that were not enough,
the plan included a 70-foot tower that the FBI feared might be used
if the Chinese could not rent a room in a six- or seven-story
building in downtown DC to further their nefarious plot without spending $100 million on a Chinese garden.
we have a prominent figure who might
have lobbied for a project that
served PRC intelligence purposes by constructing a 70-foot tower that
a surveillance purpose. But this twisted conspiracy tale goes
further-- Ms Murdoch socialized
with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner! The FBI has a picture of them
together! Of course, that is the point of this inane exercise:
meddling in US politics. Let’s see if deranged liberals buy this,
we have the NBCstory
that reports that a CIA agent who retired in 2007 has been arrested
for collaborating with the PRC. But there is a hitch: “U.S.
officials told NBC News they don't believe Lee ever will be charged
as a spy, in part because they don't have all the proof they might
need, and in part because they would not want to air the evidence
they do have in a public courtroom.” A careful read of the NBC
article might lead one to believe that the CIA is embarrassed because
their PRC counterparts broke the secret communication system that the
CIA used to communicate with their covert agents. One might further
surmise that Jerry Chun Shing Lee is the patsy for this failure. But
the uncritical, trusting media report the damaging charge even though
sources admit that “...they don't have all the proof they
might need…” A fine example of a responsible press in the age of
the US empire undergoes further and further stress, more and more
dysfunction, the search for scapegoats and distractions will only
intensify, and the barbarism of apocalyptical conflict will grow even
It is not enough to take a
small step or two back from the brink, as liberals and the
compromised left would like. Delivering a world two steps from
catastrophe is a feckless award to future generations.
angry, disappointed public that has lost confidence in its
institutions is searching for a new, more promising road forward.
Isn’t it the time to bring the promise of democracy and social
justice embedded in socialism before the US public?