The struggle between “socialist” Bernie Sanders and “New Democrat” Hillary Clinton points out an old conflict underlying the nature of Democratic Party politics which could be regarded as “the love that dare not speak its name.”
That “love” is the Democratic Party’s relationship with the “real” left of yesteryear, and what it represents to today’s politically-transgendered Democratic Party. The real left, as in the “Communist” left and the Democratic Party, at one time had a lot in common. The American Communist Party’s influence on programs such as Social Security, civil rights and taxing the rich worked its way so far into Franklin Roosevelt’s White House that, by 1944, an angry Joseph P. Kennedy warned Roosevelt that, “They will write you down in history, if you don’t get rid of them, as incompetent, and they will open the way for the Communist line.”
That fearful threat, of course, never happened. Liberal intellectuals (with a lot of help from the CIA) circumvented the Communist line by inventing an artificial “left” of their own that, over time, successfully marginalized the real left and delegitimized it.
Democratic Party liberals fought the Communists to the bitter end in Vietnam and elsewhere, but by 1980 had so lost track of their own identity that they easily fell to Ronald Reagan’s New Right.
The mass movement of the American people away from left-leaning democratic populism came as a profound shock to Democratic Party regulars exhausted from their struggles with the left. Vice President Walter Mondale’s devastating 49 state defeat to Reagan in 1984 sealed the left’s fate and, in 1985, the party was lobotomized of any left-sided ideology at all, merging with its intellectual other.
The transformation came in the form of the Democratic Leadership Council, DLC — a non-profit corporation whose goal was to the recast the old Democratic Party into a go-go pro-business conservative mold. From the start the DLC maintained a strong neo-conservative agenda, especially in foreign policy. Its selection of Bill Clinton as chairman in 1990 helped cement its acceptance with the general public but the split within the party grew even deeper. These “New Democrats” sold themselves as centrist reformers but behaved more like merchant bankers and, within a few years, ushered in a raft of privatizations, Wall Street giveaways, tough-on-crime laws, and deregulated trade rules that would rob the middle class and set a course toward financial ruin.
The New Democrats were quickly swapping tried and true Democratic Party values for tried and true Republican virtues, and within no time had banished the real “left” in anything but name from the political process.
Prior to the 1990s, old Democrats were careful to reconcile their rank and file with the “limousine liberals” who financed candidates and funded campaigns, but according to the author of Reinventing Democrats, Kenneth Baer, the DLC was now brazenly selling itself as an “elite organization [within the party] funded by elite-corporate and private-donors.”
As a self-described socialist, Sanders’ candidacy has clearly moved the New Democrat Hillary Clinton further to the real left than her Wall Street-friendly establishment supporters feel comfortable. Their discomfort with single payer health care and the breaking up of Wall Street’s big banks was thinly disguised in a recent New York Times endorsement of Clinton’s nomination, which sought to dismiss Sanders’ “socialist” policy ideas as simply unrealistic, while New Democrat Hillary Clinton’s proposals are “very good, and achievable.” Yet here, instead of assuring her bonafides as a genuine leader, the Times’ endorsement only leaves readers wondering whether Hillary Clinton’s “achievable proposals” aren’t simply more of the same old hyped-up New Democrat chimeras that will disappear into thin air once the doors to the White House close behind her.
It is beyond doubt that Hillary Clinton will not change her expansionist internationalist views, no matter what she promises or delivers in terms of domestic social programs. Like all New Democrats, she demands a tough military response to virtually all of America’s foreign policy problems, even after it has consistently proven to worsen America’s security. But without demanding profound and permanent changes in America’s neoconservative interventionist foreign policy, Bernie Sanders as President won’t make any difference either.
America’s next president will have to deal with neocon-inspired crises in foreign policy that grow more dangerous by the day. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine, Russia, China, Iran and NATO expansion sit atop a long list of hot-button issues that could quickly turn into violent conflicts far more deadly than World Wars I and II. But unless Sanders is willing to face down the fact that these crises are the product of a neoconservative philosophy of unending war, he will fare no better than his predecessors.
One might assume from Republican campaign rhetoric that Democrats are a soft touch when it comes to interventionist policies, but the rhetoric and the reality say very different things. Jimmy Carter promised in his inaugural address to rid the world of nuclear weapons, then proceeded to lay the groundwork for direct military intervention in the Middle East and the largest military buildup since World War II. Everyone credits Reagan for putting the US back into the deep freeze of the Cold War, but if it hadn’t been for Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s provocative covert actions inside the Soviet Union, Afghanistan and Eastern Europe — intended to poison US/Soviet relations — Reagan’s unnecessary buildup would never have gotten off the ground. It’s a longstanding joke that presidents rarely keep campaign promises. Over a hundred years ago Woodrow Wilson promised to keep America neutral and out of World War I. In the run up to the 1940 presidential elections, Franklin Roosevelt said “I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” And so it is with President Obama, a man honored with a Nobel Peace Prize presumably for his commitment to abolishing nuclear weapons, who may well go down in history as the man who made the Apocalypse doable because of his proposed trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade.
America’s political freedom relies on safe and rational foreign policy decisions. The Patriot Act, NSA spying and a perpetual War on Terror are but three consequences of a foreign policy that is neither safe nor rational. Supporters of Bernie Sanders assume that he will make foreign policy decisions free from the inbred neoconservative biases of his chief opponent, but what will the Vermont Senator’s supporters do should their candidate fall in line with the status quo after the election, as Obama did, and fail to deliver on his promises?
Americans, both left and right, are ill informed when it comes to their leaders. Most Americans would be horrified to learn that many of the neoconservatives behind America’s permanent war culture learned their trade under the tutelage of RAND military analyst Albert Wohlstetter, a follower of Leon Trotsky, the leader of the Red Army and a close compatriot to Vladimir Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
Wohlstetter was one of the many godfathers of the neoconservative political movement. Over the course of 30 years he moved seamlessly from Communism to Capitalism and between Republicans and Democrats, even secretly misadvising John F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaign about a “bomber gap” that didn’t exist. In the process he helped to shift American political and military thinking toward permanent war by applying the political philosophy of none other than Leon Trotsky.
Americans would have to reexamine every assumption they have about their political system when they realize the core, flag-waving architects of Ronald Reagan’s New Right were Trotskyites. Had it not been for Joseph Stalin, they might have been running the Soviet Union but, instead, they are now running the United States.
So where does Bernie Sanders hang his hat in this maelstrom of a century old struggle to control of the world? With all the insane and somewhat fascist rhetoric issuing from Donald Trump’s campaign, one idea worth stealing is the one that riles the neoconservatives of both parties: Sanders’ desire to overthrow the neocon ideological agenda of endless war, a political belief system that still rules Washington foreign policy circles.
Bernie Sanders’ supporters must come to understand that the only way he can make good on his promise of single payer healthcare, more social security and repairing America’s broken infrastructure is to adopt this pragmatic foreign policy position as his own. To not only beat Hillary Clinton, but a Republican contender as well, he must offer a viable and doable alternative to a continued foreign policy of endless war and he must articulate it now, before it is too late.
Nationalism and Its Discontents: The Meaning of Trump
At the end of the cold war, a cadre of neoconservative intellectuals surveyed the debris of the fallen Soviet colossus and boldly proclaimed “the end of history.” The West, said Francis Fukuyama, writing in The National Interest, had won not only the cold war but also the war of ideas – for all time. We were inevitably embarked on a pathway to a “universal homogenous state,” and although the pageant of History (always capitalized!) would continue to “unfold” along a rather bumpy road, in the end it would prove to be a highway to US hegemony over the entire earth. In a symposium commenting on Fukuyama’s thesis, the ever-practical Charles Krauthammer nevertheless insisted that it would be necessary for the United States to hurry History along by force of arms. In a subsequent polemic in Foreign Affairs, he argued that we ought to take advantage of “the unipolar moment” to “integrate” the US, Japan, and Europe into a “super-sovereign” global empire united by a “new universalism” – which, he averred, “is not as outrageous as it sounds.”
Blinded by hubris, enthralled by the possibilities of unlimited power, the neocons – and their liberal internationalist doppelgangers on the other side of the political spectrum – didn’t see the nationalist backlash coming. Read the full article here.
WASHINGTON — The day before Thanksgiving, President Obama reassured Americans there was “no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland.” Seven days later came an explosion of gunfire and the deadliest terrorist attack in America since Sept. 11, 2001. Read the full article here.
By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
“For the first time in my very long life… we are, and I don’t want to sound alarmist but I am alarmed, closer to the actual possibility of war with Russia than we have ever been since the Cuban missile crisis. That’s how bad it’s been.” Stephen Cohen on the Tom Hartman show April 2, 2015
Retired Russia historian Stephen Cohen along with a small handful of academics, journalists and former government officials (who believed the Cold War had ended and would never return) point their fingers at the Western Neocon establishment for America’s latest outbreak of what can only be referred to as late stage imperial dementia. Neocons Robert Kagan and wife Victoria Nuland have certainly done their share of the heavy lifting to make Ukraine the staging ground for what increasingly appears to be a NATO blitzkrieg on Moscow. As columnist William Pfaff wrote in one of his final articles (April 1, 2015 Putin and the Neo-Conservatives) “The energy behind the coup in Ukraine and the proposals to deploy Western arms and re-launch the crisis is generally and I think correctly, recognized as the work of the neoconservative alliance in Washington to which President Obama seems to have sub-leased his European policy.” But whatever the determination of the neocon plot to forge ahead with a further destabilization of Russia’s borders, they are only the barking dogs of the master imperialist whose grand design has been slowly creeping over the globe since he stepped into the Oval office as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter in 1977.
Love him or hate him, Zbigniew Brzezinski stands apart as the inspiration for the Ukraine crisis. His 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives lays out the blueprint for how American primacists should feel towards drawing Ukraine away from Russia. (p. 46) “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.” He writes. “Without Ukraine, Russia… would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south.” Full text continues here
Whatever Russia is called outwardly, there is an inner eternal Russia whose embryonic character places her on an antithetical course to that of the USA
The rivalry between the USA and Russia is something more than geopolitics or economics. These are reflections of antithetical worldviews of a spiritual character. The German conservative historian-philosopher Oswald Spengler, who wrote of the morphology of cultures as having organic life-cycles, in his epochal book The Decline of The West had much to say about Russia that is too easily mistaken as being of a Russophobic nature. That is not the case, and Spengler wrote of Russia in similar terms to that of the ‘Slavophils’. Spengler, Dostoyevski, Berdyaev, and Solzhenistyn have much of relevance to say in analyzing the conflict between the USA and Russia. Considering the differences as fundamentally ‘spiritual’ explains why this conflict will continue and why the optimism among Western political circles at the prospect of a compliant Russia, fully integrated into the ‘world community’, was so short-lived.
Of the religious character of this confrontation, an American analyst, Paul Coyer, has written:
Amidst the geopolitical confrontation between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the US and its allies, little attention has been paid to the role played by religion either as a shaper of Russian domestic politics or as a means of understanding Putin’s international actions. The role of religion has long tended to get short thrift in the study of statecraft (although it has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance of late), yet nowhere has it played a more prominent role—and perhaps nowhere has its importance been more unrecognized—than in its role in supporting the Russian state and Russia’s current place in world affairs.
Spengler regarded Russians as formed by the vastness of the land-plain, as innately antagonistic to the Machine, as rooted in the soil, irrepressibly peasant, religious, and ‘primitive’. Without a wider understanding of Spengler’s philosophy, it appears that he was a Slavophobe. However, when Spengler wrote of these Russian characteristics, he was referring to the Russians as a still youthful people in contrast to the senile West. Hence the ‘primitive’ Russian is not synonymous with ‘primitivity’ as popularly understood at that time in regard to ‘primitive’ tribal peoples. Nor was it to be confounded with the Hitlerite perception of the ‘primitive Slav’ incapable of building his own State.
To Spengler, the ‘primitive peasant’ is the wellspring from which a people draws its healthiest elements during its epochs of cultural vigor. Agriculture is the foundation of a High Culture, enabling stable communities to diversify labor into specialization from which Civilization proceeds.
However, according to Spengler, each people has its own soul, a conception derived from the German Idealism of Herder, Fichte et al. A High Culture reflects that soul, whether in its mathematics, music, architecture; both in the arts and the physical sciences. The Russian soul is not the same as the Western Faustian, as Spengler called it, the ‘Magian’ of the Arabian civilization, or the Classical of the Hellenes and Romans. The Western Culture that was imposed on Russia by Peter the Great, what Spengler called Petrinism, is a veneer. Full article can be read here
By Josiah Bouricius on March 23, 2015
A series of dreams about the “Black Knight”, Paul’s 12th century Irish ancestor, begins to awaken him to this new reality and the threads connecting historical events and actors ranging from the Crusades to the Knights Templar to Queen Elizabeth and her mystical advisors to JFK and modern-day Afghanistan. The plot, based on solid historical research, centers around the Geraldine clan of Ireland whose descendants include John Fitzgerald Kennedy. While reading The Voice I experienced intuitions, dreams and synchronicities similar to those the authors wrote about. First published in 2000, The Voice is more relevant than ever in the context of current global events.
For further exploration I also recommend reading “Family of Secrets”, Russ Baker’s meticulously documented investigation of the Bush family and its rise to political power. According to a 2008 article in the Guardian, George Bush is a descendent of Lord Gilbert de Clare or “Strongbow”, the 12th century Earl of Pembroke, whose modern-day reincarnation is the primary villain in The Voice. Also check out the authors’ website grailwerk.com for more information about the philosophy and history that inspired The Voice
www.truthdig.com Posted on Jul 29, 2015
America’s first post-9/11 war, launched in Afghanistan in October 2001, is a grand symbol of our foreign policy failure. Fourteen years ago, Afghans were caught between two brutal and fundamentalist factions: the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. Today they are caught between four: the Taliban, government warlords who morphed from the Northern Alliance, U.S. forces and Islamic State.
But just a few months ago, Afghanistan’s first transition of power within an ostensibly democratic system took place, offering the promise of a better future under the U.S.-educated President Ashraf Ghani. The U.S. was to withdraw its forces and NATO nations had already begun doing so. Government-sponsored peace talks with the Taliban were meant to herald a stable future for the war-weary nation. But that future never came and what appeared as progress was only a facade. Read the full article here.
- An Urgent Message to Bernie Sanders’ Supporters
- Nationalism and Its Discontents: The Meaning of Trump
- TAKE A LOOK AT THESE STATISTICS
- Merry and Burl Hall interview Gould and Fitzgerald
- America Pivots to Brzezinski’s Delusion of Eurasian Conquest
- The Spiritual Roots of Russian-American Conflict
- A very thoughtful review of our multi-dimensional novel, The Voice!
- We Have Failed Afghanistan Again and Again
- Zbigniew Brzezinski and Ahriman, The Demon of the Lie
- America Pivots to Brzezinski’s Delusion of Eurasian Conquest
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- October 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- October 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- October 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- September 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008