Venezuela Recovering from Sanctions in New Post-Petro Economic Plan

“I think our oil industry is going to grow and be maybe even more important than it was before, because now we know how to do many things by ourselves that we thought that we couldn’t. And the sanctions helped us in that sense.” — Jorge Arreaza, Venezuelan Minister of Basic Industries

Continue reading Venezuela Recovering from Sanctions in New Post-Petro Economic Plan

‘I wish my tribal ancestors had not helped the Pilgrims survive their first year’

It’s unlikely the Pilgrims would have survived without the help of the Wampanoag in 1621. Now one ancestor of the Indigenous tribe tells RT of her regret at the assistance given, and of the problems her people continue to face.

Continue reading ‘I wish my tribal ancestors had not helped the Pilgrims survive their first year’

How Bill Gates Bankrolls The Guardian that Claims Not Backed by Billionaires

It likes to tap its readers for donations by claiming it’s funded by them, not the mega-wealthy. But, in reality, billionaires have forked out millions to support the UK’s premier right-on, left-of-centre newspaper.

Continue reading How Bill Gates Bankrolls The Guardian that Claims Not Backed by Billionaires

Revolutionary Front Seizes Haiti’s Largest Fuel Terminal as US Weighs Military Intervention

Jimmy Cherizier and the FRG9 have taken control of Haiti’s most important shipping terminal, demanding the resignation and trial of Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry. While the Biden administration is reluctant to intervene, the Beltway establishment is ramping up the pressure.

Continue reading Revolutionary Front Seizes Haiti’s Largest Fuel Terminal as US Weighs Military Intervention

UN-Backed Banker Alliance Announces “Green” Plan to Transform the Global Financial System

The most powerful private financial interests in the world, under the cover of COP26, have developed a plan to transform the global financial system by fusing with institutions like the World Bank and using them to further erode national sovereignty in the developing world.

Continue reading UN-Backed Banker Alliance Announces “Green” Plan to Transform the Global Financial System

EU Weaponizes Belarus Border, Blaming Minsk and Moscow

Brussels is shirking its legal obligations in order to avoid internal tensions with populist opposition to capitalist corporate-controlled Europe.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made a stark accusation against Belarus and Russia, claiming they are weaponizing the migration problem on the border with Poland. This is a cowardly move to divert blame. It is also recklessly escalating confrontation.

Speaking to media after a White House meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, the top European Union official said the task at hand was about “protecting our democracies” from “cynical hybrid warfare”. She explicitly accused Belarus of weaponizing migration and destabilizing the EU.

Von der Leyen did not mention Russia by name but her comments implied Moscow was colluding with its neighbor and ally to create geopolitical tensions by facilitating an influx of migrants into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. She also cited unproven previous allegations of election interference and cyberattacks attributed to Russia as precedents for the current “hybrid warfare” with migration.

Other EU leaders have been more openly provocative. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki this week claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “masterminding” a plot in cahoots with Belarus to flood the EU with migrants. This is a rehash of an old claim dating back to 2015 when more than one million refugees entered the EU. That mass movement was claimed then to be “hybrid warfare” orchestrated by Putin to wreak havoc in the bloc.

Such a claim is based on irrational Russophobia that does not stand up with facts, then or now.

Most of the refugees stranded at the Belarus borders with Poland and the Baltic states are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. This was the same as in 2015. The common denominator is that these three source countries have been subjected to war and aggression by the United States and its European NATO allies over two decades. That is the root of the phenomenal migration to Europe. One can also factor in the NATO destruction of Libya in 2011 as another gateway for mass migration.

The EU is weaponizing the issue by distorting the cause: alleging that it is Russia and Belarus creating the human tide when in fact it has been illegal imperialist wars and regime-change operations conducted by the United States and the Europeans.

It is Poland and EU members that are deploying thousands of troops, tanks and barbed wire along the border with Belarus. This is an abomination of supposed “European values” and respect for international laws of asylum. The fiasco of Brussels financially supporting the construction of barbed wire fences is an international disgrace. Pointedly, this rush to ring-fence Europe comes exactly 32 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, this week condemned the EU’s xenophobic, militarized response to people seeking asylum.

The heavy-handed EU response is way out of proportion to the actual numbers involved. It is estimated that some 8,000 people have crossed over the Belarusian border into the European Union this year.

In 2015, the influx of an estimated one million refugees into Europe from U.S.-led wars in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia provoked an existential political crisis for the European Union. Eastern European member states like Poland and Hungary refused to share quotas for resettling asylum seekers. Germany took on a disproportionate share under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy. That policy had huge negative repercussions for the entire bloc.

It led to bitter tensions between member states and within states. The rise of populist anti-EU political parties was largely driven by a perception of foreign migrants inundating societies.

The EU desperately wants to avoid a repetition of that internal political crisis. Thus it is moving swiftly to make Poland and the Baltic states the “line of defense”. This explains the sudden militarization of border controls with Belarus.

The EU is drawing up another round of economic sanctions against Belarus next week, accusing its President Alexander Lukashenko of “gangsterism” and “human trafficking”. The possible imposition of sanctions on Russian airlines is also being mulled on the back of allegations that Moscow is colluding with Minsk in pushing migrants towards the EU. This is a reckless escalation of tensions.

Russia has flatly rejected any such allegations. Moscow says the EU needs to talk directly with Minsk to resolve the problem. One idea proposed by the Kremlin is for Brussels to provide financial aid to Belarus to implement a rational system of asylum application and resettlement. But the suspicion is that that is the last thing the EU wants to do. It simply wants to block any migration to avoid internal political strife. To do that, it needs to blockade Belarus. That blockade is having a deleterious impact on the economy of Belarus from normal border crossings for trade and haulage being stymied.

The underlying problem also goes back partly to the EU’s hostile policy towards Belarus. Brussels has controversially interfered in Belarus, along with the United States, in claiming that its presidential election last year was a sham. The EU refuses to recognize the re-election of Lukashenko and has slapped several rounds of sanctions on the country while claiming that an exiled opposition candidate is the real winner.

The Belarus government says it can’t afford to accommodate refugees coming through its territory en route to their desired destination of the European Union. Given the background hostility of the EU towards Belarus, it is understandable if Minsk is not exactly overseeing border controls. It’s a kind of “screw you” gesture to the European bloc for its interference in Belarus’ political affairs. Von der Leyen and other officials are going further by claiming that Minsk is deliberately organizing flights of refugees from various Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates.

Under international law, the EU is obliged to receive asylum seekers. The European governments have created millions of displaced people from their criminal wars and machinations along with the United States. But Brussels is shirking its legal obligations in order to avoid internal tensions with member states over immigration and populist opposition to capitalist corporate-controlled Europe. But by weaponizing the matter, the EU is recklessly winding up tensions with Belarus and Russia. The culprit is Europe’s moral and political cowardice to live up to its responsibilities by seeking to shift the blame on to others.

Finian Cunningham is a former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

‘I’m a doctor and I fear we will never regain the public’s trust after Covid’

One undeniable outcome of the pandemic is that the public’s faith in scientific and medical authorities is perhaps at its lowest point in living memory – and no objective observer can truly be surprised.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US President’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci and US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams told us not to wear masks, until they instructed us to wear one everywhere we went.

The Covid vaccines were declared to be effective at preventing the spread of disease, until breakthrough cases around the globe proved that wasn’t so, and that effectiveness was downgraded to “against hospitalization and death.”

Both The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, two of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, have issued embarrassing retractions to widely publicized papers eventually found to have too little validity to be published.

Anyone who suggested that the pandemic originated in a Wuhan laboratory and not a Chinese wet market was labeled a conspiracy theorist by official sources who later had to admit they were possibly correct. The same proved true for everyone who accused Fauci and the National Institutes of Health of funding gain-of-function research at the lab: they were crazy, until they were right.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged all pregnant women to be vaccinated, asserting that the new injections were completely safe. Now, a new review of that same data suggests that one in eight women spontaneously aborted her pregnancy after getting the jab.

Even medical terms – such as ‘herd immunity’, and the word ‘vaccine’ itself – have literally been redefined over the past few months.

All this has shocked a great number of informed, educated people around the world. Should it, though? In fact, a brief glance through the history of science demonstrates that scientists being completely and utterly wrong – in retrospect, often comically so – is the norm, not an aberration. It’s long past time for modern scientific researchers to discover a proper sense of humility and to step down from the pedestal of secular priesthood they’ve ascended.

Stories about an advisory panel’s recommendation to the Food and Drug Administration to approve a Moderna booster shot contained a quote that most might find truly incredible. “It’s more a gut feeling rather than based on really truly serious data,” said biochemistry professor Dr Patrick Moore. “The data itself is not strong, but it is certainly going in the direction that is supportive of this vote.”

How can a scientific advisory panel make such a recommendation while admitting it’s based on feeling, not fact? In fact, it happens all the time. ‘Medical consensus’ is a term that carries an authoritative denotation, yet it simply means that a bunch of experts got together and decided amongst themselves what’s correct.

The problem is that, today and in the past, those experts – in virtually every field – are so often wrong. 

Climate data has been gathered and climate modeling performed for almost a century now, and dire predictions have proceeded accordingly for 50 years. Famines would hit the United States in the 1970s; a new ice age would freeze the globe, while energy demand would boil rivers dry; the depletion of the ozone layer would lay waste to life on Earth. Perhaps the most dramatic was the promise in 1969 that “everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in twenty years.” These doomsayers were highly trained scientists from major universities and national research centers, not street-corner cultists wearing cardboard signs. Nevertheless, the deadlines passed without apocalypse.

Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774 and nitrous oxide soon after, cementing his rightful place in the history of science. His great discovery was made in the course of his pursuit of phlogiston theory; in fact, he initially called oxygen “dephlogosticated air.” For about a century, from the 1660s to the 1770s, fire was thought by the scientific community to be the result of combustible materials emitting a substance or essence called phlogiston. Very few readers are likely to have heard of phlogiston theory, and even a schoolchild might chuckle at the idea, but Priestley would have vehemently argued for his position, delivering treatise after treatise defending the gospel of phlogistons.

A Greek physician (to gladiators Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus, for those familiar with the film) named Galen developed a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy in the 2nd-century Roman Empire. His studies improved medical knowledge, certainly; for example, Galen showed that vessels carried blood, and not air, which overturned 400 years of physiological theory. His anatomical and physiological ideas were considered authoritative and went uncontested by students of medicine for 1,300 years. However, in the 1500s, Andreas Vesalius, a Flemish physician and anatomist, realized Galen had derived much of his ‘knowledge’ of human anatomy from apes and pigs. Abandoning Galen and redoing the work himself, this time on actual human cadavers, he wrote and illustrated the first modern anatomy textbook and erased Galen from medical training (though not history).

medical theories once broadly considered true and now seen as incomplete, inaccurate, or utterly fictional with no tether to reality whatsoever, is extraordinarily long. Naturally, modern researchers will argue that those past scientists were wrong, but we know better now, and scientists today are promoting and teaching accurate information. 

Are they?

Have the experts been right on Covid-19, or have they littered the past two years with unfulfilled predictions, bad advice, and misinformation? Are there any true ‘experts’ on a novel disease at all?

What else are we being told is ‘scientific fact’ that future generations will chuckle at while shaking their heads?

Anthropogenic climate change that will wreak untold havoc unless the jet-setting governments of the world can have more of your money and control over your lives?

Gender theory that relegates chromosomal and biological reality to an incidental genetic quirk that must be corrected by hormone therapy and surgery?

Uniformitarianism – Hutton’s and Lyell’s presupposition that Earth’s geologic features are a result of the same gradual processes seen today, and not singular catastrophes – which forms the bedrock foundation of modern geology?

The cursorial theory of bird evolution, at the moment dominant over arboreal theory, that leads to such eye-popping declarations as “the hummingbird is the smallest dinosaur”?

The popular understanding and perception of dinosaurs in general, largely created by artist renderings and pure paleontologist guesswork from fossilized partial skeletons? 

Darwinian evolution, dependent on trillions of mutations that both add de novo genetic information and impart a survival benefit, despite no such mutation, in any organism, ever being described?

In some circles, both academic and cultural, even questioning one of these ‘scientific facts’ will result in ostracism and derision. That’s always been the dominant attitude of any consensus of scientists, and one imagines it likely always will be. Considering the current and growing misgivings of the trustworthiness of scientific and medical authorities, perhaps two pieces of advice might be useful.

First, to the general public: science is a process of epistemology – that is, how things can be known – which is incredibly useful, but limited in scope. The scientific method depends on an experiment being repeatable and measurable. Hence, scientific inquiry is definitionally limited to the present and the material. Beware any ‘scientific expert’ making dispositive assertions about the past or the future and attempting to shout everyone else out of the room.

Second, to physicians, researchers, and the scientific and medical communities at large: approach your roles with some humility. Even children have immediate access to pocket computers, with libraries of information. Yes, that includes piles of misinformation that need to be corrected. That said, you do no one favors, yourselves most of all, when you overstep the bounds of experimental knowledge and adopt the roles of priests, prophets, and oracles. Your collective lack of humility, as we’ve seen over and over in the context of Covid-19, can result in real harm. 

For the public to regain its faith in science, scientists must cast off the arrogant authority that at this point is tattered and torn anyway.

R. M. Huffman is a physician, author, and observer of culture.

COP26: A Heady Mix of Climate Hysteria, Fear-Mongering, & Quasi-Religious Worshiping at The Altar of ‘The Science’

From every corner of the planet, private jets – responsible for 50% of all aviation emissions – have flown into Glasgow for the annual ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP26).

Continue reading COP26: A Heady Mix of Climate Hysteria, Fear-Mongering, & Quasi-Religious Worshiping at The Altar of ‘The Science’

The Great Reset, A Fake Utopia Being Sold to Us By Charlatans

As we exit the pandemic, expect to hear much more about The Great Reset and building back better. Far from resulting in a low-carbon dream life, though, it’s a cartoonish fantasy that will hand the global elite even more power.

‘The Great Reset’ is a term that has been bandied about quite readily by most Western neo-liberal politicians. So often, in fact, and without proper explanation, that it strikes the prudent observer as a kind of paid advertisement.

But what is it exactly? The term rose to prominence at the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in June 2020. It was initially launched by the Prince of Wales, before being absorbed into the philosophy of the sartorially dystopian sci-fi villain Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

The Great Reset refers to a plan to rebuild the world’s infrastructure ‘in a sustainable way’ following the economic ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and to establish a global treaty to prevent future pandemics, or as it is described more formally, to “build a more robust international health architecture that will protect future generations.” If you ever hear people talking about “building back better,” they are referring to The Great Reset.

Probably the most disturbing part of The Great Reset is how much it strongly resembles business-as-usual, only with EXTRA globalism. Most of the plan’s outlines include a further weakening of national boundaries and individual national autonomy, in favour of a more ‘universal governance.’ As usual, it is the rapidly vanishing Western middle class which must shoulder this burden, as their freedoms are further curtailed to meet the quotas of corporate-media-fuelled activism.

Regardless, many world leaders, no doubt charmed into acquiescence by Schwab’s commandingly sinister Blofeld-esque wardrobe, agreed to the Great Reset, including Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Mark Rutte, Pedro Sánchez, Erna Solberg and Volodymyr Zelensky. According to John Kerry, Joe Biden’s administration is on board, too.

But the general agreement of the Western leaders is absolutely typical of any agenda which is espoused by NATO, the UN, or the WEF. If an emotionally charged, politically vague and ultimately ineffectual edict or bill is proposed by one of these entities – each resembling a shabby, globe-trotting team of insurance salesmen – our effete politicians line up to show the most fervent compliance.

As a rule, it seems their solutions to specific environmental or scientific problems mysteriously become entwined with LGBTQ+ rights, workplace equity, open borders initiatives and other unrelated social justice causes. It’s as though any goals they have are somehow unilaterally from the same source, or entail the same solution, regardless of causality or consequence. Therefore, a united response to a global pandemic mysteriously also equals trans rights activism.

In their own words, “No single government or multilateral agency can address this (pandemic) threat alone. Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly co-ordinated fashion.”

There are many other sweeping sentiments expressed by Schwab and his acolytes which can seem either trite or threatening. Consider “the gulf between what markets value and what people value will close” and “we want more attention paid to scientific experts. No one can “self-isolate” from climate change so we all need to “act in advance and in solidarity.” There is much talk of the pursuit of “fairer and equitable outcomes.”

International treaties always tend to be about concentrating power. It’s one of those rules of life, for realists, as there is no escaping power dynamics in human affairs. Real problems don’t often have feel-good solutions. Often, they require ‘solutions that sound mean’, that don’t sound good on a corporate goals bulletin. Initiatives like The Great Reset all entail the gradual loss of the autonomy of individual nations, as their decision-making power is transferred to an international, disembodied rule-maker.

It has been, without a doubt, a globalist fantasy for a long time, but the key question is: do they realise what they are doing or not?

As far as their amazing coordinated pandemic response goes, this appears to be nothing more than forced world-wide vaccinations for EVERYBODY. According to Klaus Schwab himself: “As long as not everybody is vaccinated, nobody will be safe.” To which the attendant neo-liberal world leaders nodded in re-affirming unison, repeating in unison their mantra: “Global public good.”

Schwab, despite appearing like an immortal brothel-keeper at Kublai Khan’s Xanadu, is really cut from the same cloth as your typical EU technocrat. His ideas are not creative, they are quite staid and pedestrian, and research of his career shows they have been unchanged since the 1970s. He has consistently been preaching the very same thing, like a broken record.

Schwab believes we can achieve environmental solutions without altering capitalism in the slightest, by creating treaties of “mutual accountability and shared responsibility, transparency and co-operation within the international system.” His idea involves ‘ethical capitalism’ – where the excesses of capitalism will somehow be held at bay by ‘ethical stakeholders,’ to whom the corporations will be held accountable, while (conveniently) the elites and systems already in place will continue as they are. This is the master plan of the World Economic Forum, largely unchanged for 40 years.

The result? A green technocracy, one assumes, with a WEF-mandated ‘ethical stakeholder’ apparatus, a worldwide spiderweb organisation ruling by the threatened fears of pandemic and carbon doom. No section of society would be exempt from edicts of ‘the new treaty.’

The Great Reset website appears to be little more than an advertisement for modern pod-living. It seems to style itself as a low-carbon dream-life (without loss of modern convenience) to effeminate hipsters. One can see slovenly-looking neo-liberal youths, frequent references to LGBTQ+ values, and an overall urgency about carbon footprints.

There is a hint of Adbusters about the website, creator of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Despite the fact that the WEF and Davos and all associated entities are entirely elite institutions, the website styles itself on grassroots urban activism. There is much cringeworthy symbology in its white papers, such as a green and rainbow flag-combination with fey slogans like ‘we salute you, zoom queen!’

Schwab refers to the aim of The Great Reset as “the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” with the first being powered by water and steam, the second introducing mass production, and the third electronic automation. The fourth will blur the lines between “physical, digital and biological spheres.”

In this grab-bag of magical advances, he lists, “fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.”

This sounds like cartoonish optimism, as many of these technologies are anything but clean and don’t seem to de facto relate to side-stepping out of industrialism or anything else. On top of that, fewer than 9% of companies use the machine learning, robotics, touch screens and other advanced technologies listed as somehow ‘changing everything.’ Stakeholder capitalism, as a concept, does not explain itself as foolproof, and will no doubt be freely interpreted by the likes of Silicon Valley or supply chain conglomerates.

The jewel in the crown of Great Reset optimism has to be the belief that the advent of AI will alter everything positively, again without specifics, to somehow create a low-carbon new world.

It appears at best to be all be smoke and mirrors, a childish corporate fantasy manufactured by isolated bean counters. At worst, it is an intentional power-grab by unaccountable international agencies and hidden oligarchs.

Either way, it is a fake utopia at the price of privacy and autonomy, sold to us by used-car salesmen who think they are princes. 

Brendan Heard is an author, op-ed writer, painter, blogger, and designer who has worked in international media. Follow him on Twitter @Trad_West_Art

Klaus Schwab’s Marx: A Sorcerer With the Powers of the Netherworld

Combining Marxian ideas of historical materialism and technological determinism with fascist-futurist ideas of technocracy and bureaucratic managerial scientism, the World Economic Forum pursues a path of ‘inclusivity’ for the managerial class elite.

Continue reading Klaus Schwab’s Marx: A Sorcerer With the Powers of the Netherworld

Why can’t we Americans do what the Afghans did, and take back control of our country?

The death of friends due to Covid lockdowns and political persecution won’t discourage us – instead, they plant in us new seeds of resistance. Crappy movies and books can’t distract us forever.

Since the Taliban’s unexpected success in reclaiming their country, the one thing I’ve been losing sleep over is, well, why can’t we have what they have? Are we Americans really so gaslit and demoralized by the self-anointed “adults in the room” that we dare not challenge their presence? Things are already bad and getting worse for too many of us. The ongoing improperly motivated Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates are backing many of us into corners out of which we have no choice but to fight.

Just the other day, I was riding a public bus to purchase a vehicle in a distant town. The driver refused admittance to a scraggly man who had clearly been waiting for too long under the scorching sun. In all but America’s greatest metropolises, to ride the bus is to be a member of the nation’s underclass. It means you are carless, and might as well be shoeless.

On this particularly sweltering day, the scraggly man was told there was no room on the bus for him, and he would have to wait a half-hour more for the next bus. Our bus was almost completely empty, yet Covid restrictions were such that 75% of seats had to remain empty. Swerving, the driver barked into his mirror at another passenger to pull his mask up over his nose. 

My mind drifted to my best friend, Alex Häkkinen, the father of my godchild. Alex had supported me both artistically and politically since I was in college, both before and after I dropped out in 2009, three years into a physics degree. He supported me both financially and emotionally, both when I was riding the rails and when I was writing and producing avant-garde dissident plays in New York City. 

Alex is the only person I know to have died as a result of Covid and its lockdowns. In his case, he took his life this past April, aged 37, with a massive, deliberate dose of an industrial solvent. Alex, a cosmonaut and lifelong advocate of responsible drug use, had always embraced such substances for their powerfully hypnotic, sleep-inducing qualities.

On the bus was a worn-out man hiding a puppy in a paper bag – puppies, like maskless faces, are not allowed on the bus. But the puppy’s presence brought me and my fellow passengers out of our respective shells. We chatted. A particularly flustered young man on the bus, I learnt, was on his way to a drug-related court appointment in the state capital. We spoke of his reliance on the bus, and how he had had to reschedule his court date due to some bus-related logistical dilemma he had faced. I could not help but wonder about the scraggly man who had been denied a seat on the bus, how badly his day might have been screwed, and how much further he would be pushed off the chessboard of American society.

At yet another stop, a man with a pronounced juggalo aspect but sharp eyes got on. He was visibly resistant to having to keep a mask up over his nose. When I noticed his eyes darting around at me and the other passengers as he reluctantly dug into his pocket for one, I felt the ageless spirit of insurrection sweep over me. “I don’t care if you don’t wear a mask,” I volunteered. A handful of us, even a middle-aged lady seated nearby, burst into discussion. The cure was worse than the disease, and our compliance with the ruling class’s agenda was not only destroying our individual lives, but, in doing so, eroding all of mankind’s dearest hopes of a better world. 

I vocally tinkered with the idea of all of us refusing to wear our masks. The middle-aged lady gently pushed back on my words, certain that such a mutiny would attract police intervention. “No, you don’t understand,” I explained to her. “If everybody were to refuse to comply, then the authorities would lose all power over us.” She acknowledged this fundamental point, yet I quieted down all the same. Today would not be the day. But I felt a newfound optimism about the possibility of revolution in an American population so thoroughly inoculated against the very notion of collective group action.

As we all settled down, I looked out of the window. Alex’s death had emboldened me to write a previous op-ed for RT back in May, but that boldness had, by now, mostly withered. Although I miss Alex dearly, and regret that I was too bogged down in my own lockdown-related tribulations to intervene, even when I knew he would soon kill himself, I understand that his sacrifice has breathed a new vigor into my own life that had so profoundly overlapped with his own. I searched my memory for other people I had known who had passed away. It took me a moment, but I recalled Andrew Dodson, a man with whom I had corresponded extensively about the American political situation back in 2016 until his death in March 2018, aged 34.  

Andrew, an electrical engineering student in Boston, had died in the long, drawn-out aftermath of 2017’s Unite the Right rally. I had connected him with a journalist at The Atlantic that I had met the year before. Daniel Lombroso had struck me as somewhat enlightened, and so I had kept in touch with him. After all, I had always enjoyed reading The Atlantic for the intellectual detachment I perceived in it. When Daniel had asked if I’d been present at Unite the Right, and, if not, whether I could connect him with somebody who had been, Andrew immediately came to mind. 

While I have no idea what went on between the two of them, Andrew messaged me some days later, angrily complaining that “my guy” had betrayed him, doxxing him by name and putting him in danger of baseless legal persecution and career destruction. I didn’t know how to respond. I confronted Daniel about it and he washed his hands of it, insisting that Andrew had freely revealed his identity himself. Though it may be true that Andrew had freely revealed his identity, and that Daniel had more or less abided by boilerplate journalistic ethics, the raw material of Daniel’s reporting nevertheless kicked off a chain of events that eventually led to Andrew’s death via a massive heroin overdose. After being the target of relentless “antifascist activism,” he lost his job and was excommunicated from his social life after being outed as a furry. I talked to Andrew regularly during his downward spiral of the next six months. Even if I’m not supposed to call it a deliberate suicide, it was most certainly a death of despair.

Our society – its power structure, at least – relishes any opportunity to facilitate the self-destruction of whosoever ceases to fear it. Despite being an integral part of the ideological apparatus that ended in Andrew’s death, even if he doesn’t bear personal culpability per se, Daniel went on to assemble his footage of alt-right political activities into a well-funded documentary produced by The Atlantic, its biases carefully cropped from view. The Atlantic is owned by the so-called Emerson Collective, the sole purpose of which is political advocacy through “impact investments.” It was founded by Apple heiress Laurene Powell Jobs (net worth $17.7 billion), and the sole purpose of that political advocacy, in turn, is to safeguard, however obliquely, the interests of heiresses and billionaires such as Laurene Powell Jobs. Daniel Lombroso is not and never was open-minded – he is a careerist.

The norm persists that revolutionary inklings in America are deftly co-opted and misdirected – if not murderously nipped in the bud, as was the case with Andrew – by the ideological and cultural apparatuses of the investor class. Would-be dissidents are corralled, generally along racial lines, either in the direction of mindless boomer patriotism or else anti-white identity politics. How much money trickles down to you from the largesse of the post-American global economy depends on how paradoxical and self-defeating your anti-establishment ideals are. 

A prime example of how would-be speakers of truth neuter their own messages can be found in the Aspen Institute’s Anand Giridharadas’s ‘Winners Take All’. The book could have been a seismic indictment of the ways and means of global capital’s death grip on humanity, but it wavers between silence and complicity in its subtle bait-and-switch, allowing whiteness to exist as the tashlich fish for the sins of the investor class and their agents. Giridharadas’s would-be savior from the iniquity wrought by so-called non-profit foundations, Darren Walker – an outwardly repentant president of the Ford Foundation – is proved by Giridharadas to be a false messiah. 

Damningly, however, the book identifies Walker as such only after he literally becomes a paid spokesman for PepsiCo, even when he had, all along, zealously conflated richness with whiteness. The conflation of richness with whiteness should be taken as the gold standard of phony scrutiny of the ruling class. Because Giridharadas’s book only barely misses the mark of speaking truth to power, meeting just the minimum quantum of establishment-friendliness, however, its publication was greeted with far less fanfare than other books, such as Isabel Wilkerson’s disingenuous ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents’ or Ijeoma Oluo’s sophomoric and genocidal ‘Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America’, etc. If you’re going to betray revolution, Anand, don’t tiptoe around about it.

Though it may seem a law of nature that the enemies of humanity wield absolute power as kingmakers and agenda-setters, this is an illusion. The cards are not marked in advance. History’s Davids and Goliaths were not forged into myth ex nihilo. Due to the stultifying effect of ideological strings that come attached to signal-boosting funds and resources allotted to thinkers and dramatists, there is an ongoing renaissance, in the world of letters, among those who refuse to fall into rank under our prevailing power structure, which privileges the few at the expense of the many. 

What these underdogs lack in resources, they make up for in creativity and determination to sway the minds of the restless. Where establishment-friendly dramatists today see their asinine visions fast-tracked to become big-budget (or even any-budget) films, dissident writers wage a guerrilla war through self-published books. The names of outsider artists such as Brandon Adamson, Francis Nally, Ben Arzate, Robert Stark, and Matthew Pegas come to mind. Instead of writing and directing films like the “talented” Edson Oda’s ‘Nine Days’ (2020) – it’s just a pretentious, Afrocentric rehash of 2007’s ‘Wristcutters: A Love Story’ – they write underground books with an earnestness that is all but forgotten in our day and age. While the standard bearers of the prevailing cult of the individual are busy forever declaring victory in a culture war they have supposedly long since won, there are those among us fighting, however humbly, a culture war whose existence the ruling class cannot bring itself to acknowledge. 

In Matthew Pegas’s ‘Dragon Day’ – an exquisitely structured ‘Rules of Attraction’ for an age in which the scapegoating of low-status white males is a celebrated ritual – one such outsider is forced to endure and ultimately triumph over academia’s cynical opportunists. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, they speak in upvoice as they zealously throw other white males, such as the novel’s protagonist, under the bus for their own career advancement. The villain is a charismatic professor at a small liberal arts college in rural Pennsylvania. Despite being an ostensible leftist, he in fact commutes each weekend to New York City to join his – drumroll – corporate lawyer wife at their penthouse apartment. Insidiously, the professor moonlights online as an anonymous pied piper, leading young incels like the protagonist down the ruinous and self-defeating path of hierarchy worship. Instead of signaling to the unimaginative masses the bounds of permitted discourse within polite society, where our eyes may gaze and where they may not, authors such as Pegas and others operate at the fringes, swaying not the frightful many but the indomitable few.  

The cliché that man’s predilections for self-interested opportunism and vanity render stillborn all efforts of collective group action in the pursuit of justice – it is a lie. The evil embodied by our current social order is no less evil, nor more viable, simply for the fact that it enfranchises and domesticates opportunism, rather than taking half-measures to stymie it. The end game of the American world order is unendurable for most of us, and we are slowly but surely building the cultural vocabulary with which to say as much. A better world is possible.

Al Stankard, a political dissident and novelist living in New York City.

Beyond the Smoke & Mirrors