Look At Their Evil Propaganda, Not Our Identical Evil Propaganda

Originally published by ANewDomain.net:

America, they tell us, is exceptional.

Exceptionally wrong about how exceptional it is.

Here comes today’s New York Times to re-re-re-reconfirm that with an Opinion piece headlined “The New Dictators Rule by Velvet Fist.”

“In recent decades, a new brand of authoritarian government has evolved that is better adapted to an era of global media, economic interdependence and information technology. The ‘soft’ dictators concentrate power, stifling opposition and eliminating checks and balances, while using hardly any violence,” write Professors Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treismanmay. “These illiberal leaders — Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela — threaten to reshape the world order in their image, replacing principles of freedom and law — albeit imperfectly upheld by Western powers — with cynicism and corruption.”

“Imperfectly upheld,” indeed.

They Depose Democratically Elected Presidents, Don’t They?

Like, for example, how the democratically elected president of Venezuela – the above-mentioned Hugo Chávez was overthrown by a corporate junta backed by the CIA and the Bush administration, as well as the slobbering editorial page and front page of — ahem — the New York Times.

Or how the democratically elected president of Honduras was overthrown by military coup backed by the CIA and the Obama administration, and, oh yeah, the New York Times.

Or how Judith Miller used the Times to convince the American people who Saddam had WMDs, used to justify the disastrous Iraq War.

“The West needs to understand how these regimes work and how to confront them.”

We Do the Same Exact Stuff

Read on, and it doesn’t take long to see that the West, and in particular the United States, well understand how these regimes work – because the US deploys many of the same strategies and tactics to quash opposition.

“The new autocrats often get to power through reasonably fair elections. Mr. Chávez, for instance, won in 1998 in what international observers called one of the most transparent votes in Venezuela’s history,” Guriev and Treismanmay admit. This, I suppose I should concede, is different from the American model, which included two consecutive presidential elections widely viewed as having been stolen: the 2000 judicial coup d’état precipitated by the Florida recount, and the stealing of the pivotal state of Ohio in 2004 via poll manipulation, both to the benefit of George W. Bush.

“The new autocrats use propaganda, censorship and other information-based tricks to inflate their ratings and to convince citizens of their superiority over available alternatives,” say Guriev and Treismanmay.

Here, in the meat of the matter, it is difficult to see any difference between the United States and these so-called “soft dictatorships.” No American newspaper, for example, employs a socialist opinion columnist, much less a communist one – even though these leftist ideologies are very popular among American citizens. Instead, in the United States, the only acceptable “mainstream” ideological discourse takes place on what is, by global standards, the far right: militantly procapitalist, contemptuous of such liberal ideals as leniency in sentencing, opposition to the death penalty, anti-militarism, and basic social safety net policies, like paid parental leave.

“They dominate the Internet by blocking access to independent websites, hiring ‘trolls’ to flood comments pages with pro-regime spam, and paying hackers to vandalize opposition online media sites,” Guriev and Treismanmay point out. How awful! But the same thing happens here, as numerous reports of trolls hired by the Bush and now the Obama administrations attest.

A “Pocket of Democratic Opposition”…to Hillary

“The new dictatorships preserve a pocket of democratic opposition to simulate competition.”

Um…Bernie Sanders, anyone?

“The new autocrats are not squeamish — they can viciously repress separatists or club unarmed protesters. But violence reveals the regime’s true nature and turns supporters into opponent.”

See, for example, the Obama Administration-coordinated police crackdown on the nonviolent Occupy Wall Street movement.

“And violence is not just costly — it’s unnecessary. Instead, the new authoritarians immobilize political rivals with endless court proceedings, interrogations and other legal formalities.”

Yup. The US does that too. The IRS conducts audits of political rivals. They harass them at TSA checkpoints at the airport, and when they cross US borders. They even force them into exile.

My favorite part comes at the end: “Western democracies should provide objective native-language news broadcasts to counter the propaganda and censorship.”

Can we start with the US? That would be…exceptional.

18 thoughts on “Look At Their Evil Propaganda, Not Our Identical Evil Propaganda

  1. “They” want to make the world safe for communism, while “we” want to enslave the world and force our capitalistic ideals on everyone.

    … or is it the other way around … are we making the world safe for capitalism? Just ask a random citizen of the Muddle East how that’s been working out.

    Take an even bigger step back, we choose our allies based on whether the military dictator calls himself a capitalist or calls himself a communist. Either way his actual behavior is moot.

    Neither China nor Russia ever achieved a communist society, yet we preach the evils of commusism with them as the poster boys. If we ever had a democratic republic it’s gone now. (BTW, North Korea’s official name is “The Democratic People’s Republic of”)

    • Communism is a completely stateless, classless society. No, of course the Soviet Union, nor China or any other country has achieved that. The U.$. Empire must be destroyed before socialism can fully take hold throughout the world, much less communism; but the USSR and others did their best to try and put humanity on that path. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with this capitalist, imperialist bullshit.

      Also, please don’t mock North Korea or any other socialist country. They are not perfect, but they are doing their best against all odds to fend off rapacious capitalism and provide for the genuine human rights and needs of their people. I wonder how you would deal with the massive carpet bombing of your country. Maybe you would also adhere to a strong, united, militant and hierarchical society. The thing about dictatorships is that they are a lot harder to overthrow than so-called “democracies.”

      Don’t fall for the propaganda of U.$. sociopathic elites! Unite behind the Russia-China anti-Imperialist alliance!

      • Sorry, but neither Russia nor China has any interest in becoming a true communist state; NK even less so. The ruling class has no intention of ever stepping down. (Much like in the US)

      • Wow, prolecenter, who’s a rube now? N. Korea “doing its best…to provide genuine human rights?” China is “anti-imperialist?” And some old school Marxism? World-wide communism? How’s progress been on that? I’ll check back in with you in yet another 50 years.

      • North Korea is a neo-royalist state masquerading as a struggling communist paradise. So far, its leadership has remained hereditary.


  2. By far the most ridiculous aspect of this kind of reporting is that US newspapers regularly refer to the leaders of foreign countries as “dictators” despite simultaneously acknowledging their free and fair elections. The New York Times once reported breathlessly one day about the very real possibility of the opposition winning the next election; and two days later, after he won by a relatively small margin, they had gone back to calling him a dictator.

    Sisi, meanwhile, is always a “president”.

  3. Jack Heart, who told you everything you think you know about North Korea, or China, or about Marxism? Was it the mainstream media, Hollywood movies, bought and paid for academicians?

    You have fallen for some intense propaganda. How do you really know what you think you know? Do your own research. Go to the source and get the other side’s story.

    • International human rights groups taught me about China and N Korea. Marx, Engels, Lenin, and the Frankfurt School taught me about Marxism, the goal of which is to destroy Western Civilization, making it the most evil ideology I know of, edging out even Nazism.

    • prole – Don’t waste your time replying to Jack.

      Two weeks ago, he couldn’t even *define* communism, much less participate in any sort of meaningful conversation about it.

  4. CrazyH, you simply don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. And there’s no such thing as a communist state, as communism means a stateless society. The leaders of countries that are under attack by the Empire had better not step down, or their countries will be conquered, wrecked and ruined!

    • Prole, you have no room to talk about being brainwashed by propaganda. Okay, substitute “Communist Society” for “Communist State” – you know damn good and well what I’m talking about. (Yes, I have read the Communist Manifesto and other writings by Trotsky and Marx)

      Do you seriously believe that Putin or Jong-un have any intention of living the same lifestyles as the proletariats? Russia had nearly seventy years to transition from socialism to communism – yet they still had gulags and secret police. Is that your idea of a classless society? Have you ever talked to anyone who actually lived in the USSR? They had no illusions about the government’s intentions.

      There are huge class disparities in all three countries we’ve discussed, and the leaders like it that way. NK calls it self a communist society so what? Are they stateless? As I pointed up earlier, they also call themselves a democratic republic, Do yo believe that as well?

      Communism has some good ideas, sure, but they’ve never been implemented on a country-wide basis anywhere. Instead it’s been used as propaganda tool over & over. You want a bunch of peasants to support your bid for power? You don’t tell them that you want to replace the Tsar with a military dictator, they’d never support you. Instead, you tell them you want to create a worker’s paradise. You throw the Tsar out, then you rule with an iron fist. Why the hell do you think Stalin had Trosky assassinated?

      • CrazyH, I have actually talked to people who were born and raised in socialist countries. Of course, you will find some of them who will badmouth their home countries and socialism, but there are others who tell a very different story. I’ve also talked to and read accounts of people who have visited North Korea and China. You may not like those countries no matter what, but my friend I am telling you that you seem to be getting a very one-sided CIA propaganda version of socialist countries past and present.

        I hope you will accept the possibility that you have incomplete or false information and do more independent research. More guys to consult in your research are people like William Blum and Michael Parenti. Blum has an “Anti-Empire Report” monthly email newsletter you can subscribe to or search through on his website.

        Also, here is a very interesting article by a woman who grew up in Hungary during the Cold War who describes her life growing up there:


      • I hope you will accept the possibility that you have incomplete or false information and do more independent research.

      • The NK/USSR is/was a “democratic republic” no more or less than is the USA, it’s just how the elite defines the limitations of each. “Egalitarian” America corporately organizes its DR paradigm via a class-based capitalism. Royally chartered England and Japan capitalistically variates their stratified societies with a neo-feudalistic flavor.

        The older the culture, the more complex and ossified are its institutions. Technically you know, while the Tzar and his heirs lost their empire with their lives, with the USSR’s disintegration, the intellectually two-dimensional paleo-Zionists who conquered Royal Russia also went extinct. Out of hundreds of millions of years, 3 dozen centuries or so still means that, biologically, we’re barely out of the stone age. The evolution of politics has barely begun. The development curve of biology still limits humankind’s own political evolution.


  5. To learn more about real socialism of the Marxist-Leninist variety, go to blogs like Stalin’s Moustache, “What’s Left” by Stephen Gowans, The Greanville Post, Cyrano’s Journal Today, or Prole Center.

    • To learn more about real socialism of the Marxist-Leninist variety, read books by people who actually lived there. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, would be a good starting point.

      • Solzhenitsyn was a charlatan and his views were pretty conservative and he got more reactionary as he got older. He pined away for the days of the Tsar. Also, he got off with a pretty light sentence (I think about 8 years in prison) given that he was writing letters to his buddy where they spoke of forming an organization to overthrow the government – this during a time of total war with the Nazis who were poised to completely destroy the USSR!