We should call things what they are….. “progressive” politicians, camouflage and deception
by Jay Leslie
In nature, some predators camouflage themselves to lull an unsuspecting victim into complacency. It never goes well for the predator’s next meal.
This happens in politics, as well, and poses a potential hazard for progressives and socialist-minded people. All sorts of hostile forces disguise themselves as progressive or “populist” and draw the well-meaning into their orbit. Like PT Barnum once said, “there’s a sucker born every minute….”
For example, the “Peace and Freedom” candidacy of Willie Araujo in New Jersey.
Araujo ran in the Democratic primary for governor. His campaign “apparatus” seems to be him and his wife. There is no P&F affiliated group in NJ. (Maybe there should be.)
Araujo’s politics seem to be basic Democratic Party liberalism — and not any variety of socialism. Given P&F’s penchant for giving their ballot line to non-socialist candidates, it wouldn’t surprise me if they support him as a way of extending their organization nationally.
Last year’s debacle with Roseanne speaks volumes. Peace and Freedom gave their ballot line to Roseanne, who then refused to advocate for their platform. It would be fine with me if P&F became some sort of socialist party nationally, but only if P&F actually insists of compliance with a socialist program.
The SPUSA is running two young women (too young to take office constitutionally) for Gov. and Lt. Gov. as write-ins. The Larouchies are running someone as an independent on a “restore Glass-Steagall” line.
Araujo seems to have taken some of his program from the “United Front Against Austerity” which is the brainchild of conspiracy theorist Webster Tarpley. On the surface, the UFAA sounds ok. It’s not a socialist program against austerity, but for some, it might seem like a good start, with its call for job creation and nationalizing the Federal Reserve, etc..
But who is Webster Tarpley? Tarpley got his start with the Laroucheite National Caucus of Labor Committees, a quasi left formation that physically attacked socialist and communist groups in the 1970s. He was editor of the NCLC publication and ran for office on the Larouche “US Labor Party” line. More recently, he’s been a global warming denier and a 9/11 Truther.
In other words, disguised as a leftist enterprise, Tarpley and his “United Front” will attract people new to left politics, and before you know it, they get drawn into a destructive political path. (more later on what a united front is and isn’t)
Speaking of rightists disguised as “progressives”
Paul Craig Roberts, while critical of US policy, should NOT be considered in any way a progressive. His politics are definitely right-populist and he’s a white nationalist. It’s disturbing to me that so many left and progressive folks share his writing on facebook and other social media. Sure, he’s antiwar, but from an isolationist/anti-globalist perspective. (anti-globalist in the sense of opposing the one-world zionist/jewish government run by the Rothchilds and the Bilderbergers, blah blah blah)
He writes for -and raises money for- the white nationalist/anti-immigrant vdare.com site. His writing appears in the American Free Press. AFP is the successor publication to the semi-nazi Willis Carto’s, Spotlight newspaper. The Spotlight was well-known for holocaust denial and ties to neo-nazi and nativist groups.
Cong. McKinney and Paul Craig Roberts: the dangers of right populism
Last year, former Cong. Cynthia McKinney posted an interview with her conducted by Paul Craig Roberts. In this interview, McKinney makes some very important points regarding the question of political leadership.
“This is a very good question. Glen Ford now calls them the “misleadership class” because what is being provided by those with positional authority is not leadership. it is the opposite of leadership. Leadership is not about positional authority or media acceptance: it is about what one does and who one serves and the vision, sense of mission, one inspires in others. Going along to get along and sycophancy in abandonment of one’s professed values are not leadership. Individuals paraded on “mainstream” television and radio are not leaders. These are people who have accommodated themselves to the objectives of the current power wielders and shapers of US policy. “ bold my emphasis
At the beginning of this piece, Cong. McKinney writes:
“First of all, who is Dr. Paul Craig Roberts?
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.
And I am going to have a chance to meet him very soon because he spends some of his time right here in Georgia! Who knew!”
Who is Paul Craig Roberts, really? The description above is accurate to a point, but there’s more that we should understand. Roberts is a regular contributor to the vdare.com web site, a virulently anti-immigrant site run by Peter Brimelow. Brimelow is an immigrant from Britain and a former member of the fascist British National Party. Articles posted on VDARE , named for Virginia Dare (reputedly the first white child born in America) are all about the ills of immigration and the supposed inability of some groups to assimilate. Roberts’ articles appear on “progressive” sites like counterpunch and op-ed news.
PCR and VDARE -what’s his role? Is it possible that Roberts is published by VDARE and has no idea what the aims of this site are? No, Roberts heaps praise on VDARE founder Brimelow and also has written a fundraising appeal to sustain the site.
In this appeal he says:
“Peter has focused VDARE.COM on the immigration issue and what he calls the “National Question”—whether the U.S. can survive as a nation-state, the political expression of a particular people. I wholeheartedly endorse these objectives and applaud the compelling facts and analysis that VDARE.COM delivers because the Mainstream Media will not.” bold my emphasis
What Roberts has done here in a subtle way is to endorse the white nationalist outlook that the future of the US as a white-run republic is in danger due to demographic changes.
Dangers of alliances with the right
Right-wing populism is used to fool progressive-minded people into thinking that it’s possible for the right and left to form alliances against imperialist war and the predations of bankers. However, the themes pushed by the right many times offer shadowy conspiracies and subtle anti-semitism as “explanations” for wars and economic crises.
This is due to the lack of a politics based on a class analysis. What is necessary is the building of a political alternative based on a clear class perspective – not some sort of “classless” populism. This is the bone I have to pick with support for multi-class types of parties like the Greens. Without a clear orientation to workers and oppressed people, any such effort is doomed to blurred politics. It’s not “conspiracies” or “international bankers” that drive the system to war and exploitation but the predatory nature of a capitalist system based on profits. More on this later.