Thursday, 24 January 2019

Why do liberals and 'centrists' so often end up supporting the extreme-right?


First things first, this article is not intended as a defence of the Maduro government in Venezuela. Anyone who attempts to present it in such a way is simply lying in a desperate attempt to discredit what they don't like reading, and don't want other people to read.

Whether you like Nicolás Maduro or not, whether you understand the multitude of internal and external factors that have created the current situation in Venezuela or not, whether you even know anything much at all about the Venezuelan political system or not, there's one thing that's undeniable: Anyone who sides with a guy who appoints himself President of a country without standing in a Presidential election is displaying utter contempt for the concept of democracy.

This is exactly what's happened in Venezuela with Juan Guaidó appointing himself President of the country despite the fact he didn't even stand in the 2018 Presidential election, let alone win it.

Thus Venezuela now has two Presidents. One who won the 2018 Presidential election and the other who didn't even participate in it and simply appointed himself because he didn't like the outcome of the ballot he didn't even contest.

The United States immediately backed this anti-democratic coup and recognised the self-appointed coup-President, just like they rushed in to back the spectacularly failed 2002 coup in the country too.

Back in 2002 the US were the only country to recognise the coup leader Pedro Carmona as President of Venezuela before the coup rapidly collapsed and Hugo Chávez returned to power within two days.

The international reaction to this 2019 coup is very different, with numerous other countries rushing to throw their support behind this unelected self-appointed fake President.

The UK foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that the human rights defying Tory government support the unelected coup-President.

Another leader to have immediately thrown their support behind the coup-President is the recently elected Brazilian fascist Jair Bolsonaro.

Several other hard-right governments in Latin America have backed the unelected coup-President, including Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay.

None of this is remotely surprising given Britain's increasingly pathetic subservience to US foreign policy, and the massive historic divide in Latin America between US-backed right wing governments and US-opposed left-wing governments that has existed since the United States began their outrageous campaign of toppling left-leaning Latin American governments in the region decades ago.


What's ostensibly a lot more surprising is the way European liberals and self-declared centrists have been rushing to support the US-backed "regime change" that's happening in Venezuela. 

Take the leader of the Liberal grouping in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt. His reaction to the coup attempt has been to personally recognise the self-appointed coup-President, lie that he's elected when he didn't even stand in the 2018 Presidential election, and then call for the EU to join Trump and Bolsonaro in recognising this coup leader as the legitimate President!

The very same guy who was furiously attacking Donald Trump as an "autocrat" and "a threat to Europe" back in 2017 is now wilfully sitting on Trump's knee like a yapping imperialist poodle!

Another Liberal to jump on the extraordinary 'this is a good coup' bandwagon is the centrists' darling Emmanuel Macron, who even had the gall to praise the bravery of the anti-government protesters in Venezuela as the French state brutally attacks and systematically represses the gilets jaunes protests against his own government!


Everyone knows that this US-backed coup is all about access to Venezuela's oil reserves (the biggest in the world) because Donald Trump's already publicly declared that US interventionism should be used to steal the natural resources of other nations.

It's extraordinary that so many trendy liberals and self-declared centrists are openly supporting this US imperialist "regime change" agenda while Trump's people openly talk about the prospect of making the already desperate situation even worse by launching military action in Venezuela.

They can't pretend to not understand what the motivation actually is after Trump's spelled it out for them so clearly. And it's especially alarming given the way that these people really should have learned all about the appalling consequences of imperialist "regime change" agendas after the Iraq invasion in 2003, and the destruction of Libya in 2011.

Both of these countries have been reduced to lawless terrorism breeding grounds with humanitarian conditions far worse than they ever were under the authoritarian governments of Hussain and Gadaffi.


Of course it's understandable that European liberals are no great fans of Maduro (neither am I, and I'm a leftie), but what does it tell you about their political principles when they're clamouring to align themselves with Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro to support a brazenly anti-democratic coup?
Even if you believe the 2018 Presidential election in Venezuela was rigged, supporting a self-appointed coup-President who didn't even stand in the election is utterly nonsensical from a democratic point of view. 

And what does it tell you about their bone-headed refusal to learn the lessons of history when they wilfully ignore the unspeakable levels of death, destruction, and suffering that imperialist "regime change" policies have caused in Iraq and Syria to support the exact same imperialist agenda in Venezuela, only this time orchestrated by an even more unstable, profit-driven, and fanatically right-wing US President than George W. Bush was?

It's beyond question that anyone supporting the self-appointed and unelected fake-President Guaidó is siding with extreme-right ideologues like Trump and Bolsonaro, refusing to learn the lessons of history about the horrific consequences of imperialist "regime change" policies, and displaying their absolute contempt for the concept of democracy.

One of the most extraordinary things is that many of these liberals and centrists pledging support for the Venezuelan coup were the ones crying the loudest when Donald Trump won the US Presidential election, and bitterly decrying the rise of far-right populism when Bolsonaro won the Brazilian Presidential election in October 2018.

But scroll forward just a few months and these same trendy liberals and self-declared centrists are now wilfully stepping in line with the extreme-right demagogues they decried when they won power to actively support the transparently anti-democratic coup they've orchestrated in Venezuela.


This farce in Venezuela is far from the first time that liberals have ended up supporting and enabling extreme-right demagogues. We can delve into history to look at the way the liberal German establishment wilfully handed power the Nazis in 1933 by making Adolf Hitler Chancellor, or we can look to current day Italy to see how the trendy liberal MS5 party have enabled the fascist Lega Nord into power by joining them in a coalition government.

The fact is that given the choice between moving leftwards towards socialism, and rightwards towards fascism, an awful lot of self-declared centrists and trendy liberals will chose the fascist option because they understand that fascism goes hand-in-hand with corporatism meaning that their financial interests will be protected.

As long as corporations and their personal financial interests are protected, a lot of liberals and self-declared centrists are willing to overlook the obvious dangers of enabling the extreme-right into power, or siding with the extreme-right axis when it comes to global politics.
 

This centrist willingness to overlook the dangers of fascism most often comes from the position of extreme privilege.

Most wealthy, white, westerners know they have the least to fear from fascism (u
nless they have leftist political sympathies) because it's always the political left, minorities, the vulnerable, and people in the developing world who bear the brunt of the persecution and suffering under extreme-right rule.

Of course people should be able to recognise the thin end of a wedge, and they should be aware of Martin Niemöller's warning about the danger of escalating fascism (see picture), but in reality these coddled liberals and centrists keep making the same mistakes over and again.


Liberals and centrists will have tantrums for a while when fanatical right-wing ideologues like Trump or Bolsonaro are elected because they hate not having things their own way, and because deep in their hearts they know the extreme-right is wrong, but when push comes to shove they repeatedly fall into line and quickly start supporting them.

The gleeful reaction of so many self-declared centrists and trendy liberals to the anti-democratic US-backed imperialist coup in Venezuela is yet another perfect illustration of their outrageous tendency to wilfully align with and support the extreme-right thanks to the shared belief in corporatism.

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