The Left is the achievement of Western enlightenment.
Recall the authoritarian and reactionary governance in place that involved hundreds of years of warfare between politically absolute monarchies and the development of a mercantile class powerful enough, eventually, to stand up for their own interests and security.
The Soviet / post-Soviet Far Left indeed continued the Russian historical experience with paternal authoritarianism — and, of course, it built on the secret police organization established by Nicholas II (the Okhrana). The rest is more or less KGB history and a long history of motivating or driving politics based on the amplification of the victimization of numerous groups thrown beneath the wheels of history — or believing themselves so.
The formerly moderate Left’s — or “cultural left’s” — embrace of humanism, secularism, the broadest freedom possible for persons (as opposed to, say, impersonal “headcount”) is echoed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We were raised to believe in Man and Reason and great possibilities. It’s from the Russian side and, in part, the 19th Century and earlier portions of the 20th that we seem approving of authoritarianism and thuggery, frankly, in now polarized Left and Right camps.
One may suppose the center has not held — and we have forgotten many of the good things we as Americans were to embrace.
And the incumbent President has not been so? Has the news really been fake? Had his vendors been paid completely and on time at completion of work? And then with hindsight, we could update this chart appearing in POLITICO last March:
Here’s the nut: “Did he or didn’t he?” doesn’t matter.
What matters is America’s coherence in its confidence in its presidency.
Where is that now?
The prompting statement to the effect that the “Clintons are pathological liars.”
Even if accepted in the nonpartisan spirit, where are Americans with their critical evaluation of the present leadership?
While drafting this temperature-checking note, I had asked “Where is the United States today as regards the Skripal poisoning in the United Kingdom?”, and I had expected to find not much given President’s Trump image as an autocrat in line with Putin’s encouragement of EU / NATO “New Nationalism”, an element part and parcel in the prying apart of the Alliance.
The two log lines — ” . . . with UK ‘all the way'” and ” . . . hesitant to blame Russia for the attack . . . .” address the ambivalence and suspicions that have dogged the Trump Presidency from before the elections (perhaps starting with the eyebrow-raising Trump campaign association with the now indicted Paul Manafort).
However Americans may feel about the American President at this moment, it’s the “Phantom of the Soviet” and the “phantoms of the Soviet” in issues that are being spotlighted in relation to KGB-style political assassinations that in turn have been evaluated by the intelligence services of the three NATO states now apparently in agreement on their origins.
American holidays and strong community interaction with the military honor the military. Related concerts and parades are today legend for binding the nation into a coherent and cohesive entity worth defense and worthy of respect all around.
There are ancillaries in air shows and show components, e.g., Blue Angels, in other events.
The parading of missiles and tanks has been for most who produce that spectacle a boast and a threat associated with lesser power, not greater.
The Vietnam generation of military cannot be compensated nor, perhaps, repaired adequately, but all have been permanently honored, memorialized, remembered on the Mall and beyond that in America’s communities. If and where long-term disservice has been done, perhaps that conversation is the one that should be led by an American President.
“A Needle in the Rain”
(c)1996 J. S. Oppenheim & DRB Productions
Brief History Lesson Regarding the Vietnam Era and the Present
Hey, old college kids, remember the fatigue jackets, the grass, the Mobilization on the Mall, and the whole trippy deep ecology and far out peace thing?
Know that the Soviet Union invested $1 billion in the environmental and peace movements of the day (perhaps labor was already under way), and it got its money’s worth in the sabotaging of domestic will for that war. It would also come to lose influence with the hip when it demonstrated its true methods in “realpolitik” as it drove tanks into the Soviet satellite states that it had completely demoralized with its own narcissistic claptrap and thuggery.
I was young at the time — the last of the babies of the baby boomers — and on the draft rolls only briefly before our troops were brought home.
The “Active Measures” part of the Vietnam War is active today on Moscow’s part: disinformation, election meddling, war by proxy in support of kleptocratic dictatorships. If you approve of such methods and ends — much including the ownership of other humans as mere property and as well demonstrated by Moscow-aligned Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Grand Ayatollah Ali (“Hang ‘Em High”) Khamenei — do nothing, say nothing. If that’s not the world in which you wish the next generations to live, look back, get caught up on Orwell — or Hitchens on Orwell — for a start — and look forward to engaging in this now really different kind of war.
BackChannels believes the strong have cause to celebrate through national holidays and shared American events, but it is the weak that needs must put their muscle on display in parades.
When one works a few ideas around to a compressed or distilled state, one hates to lose them in cascades of commentary published through the social networks. Blogging helps preserve such thoughts and keep them available via keyword searches. This passage comes from an earlier take on the same theme:
With President Trump, the American public faces three deep challenges:
1) how do deal with disinformation in the long term — “Active Measures” from Russia’s machinery, deflection and related strategies involving information and (“Fake News!”) rhetoric;
2) how to resist our own deepening divisions to return to quintessential American ideals, principles, and values, starting with the valuing of integrity in business and government and consequent distaste for corruption;
3) how to address enemies that have found ways to blend and practice war indirectly, not only by proxy but with “frozen conflicts” aiding the movement of arms and narcotics worldwide and ability to deeply manipulate terrorism (e.g., see “Moscow Apartment Bombings”; read Anna Politkovskaya’s observations on the brutalizing of Chechen villages).
We may be in a little bit of trouble because the Cold War didn’t end quite where we thought it had and not much has prepared EU / NATO constituencies for its apparent phantoms and their still medieval political ambitions and views.