Russian Press Takes the Side of American Right vs “Feral” Left

Dear Readers:

In this global world that we live in, everybody’s business is everybody’s business.  Just be sure — I beg people — if you are digging into somebody else’s business —  to please get it right!

Exhibit A:  This opinion piece in the Russian newspaper VZGLIAD.  The author is Viktoria Nikiforova.  Her headline reads:

American Media Persecuted a Teenager Because of his “Racist” Smile

And that statement is true enough, at least true enough for government work.  So, these right-wing kids troop off to their Catholic Anti-Abortion Rally wearing Donald Trump MAGA caps; they meet up with some nutty people also exercising their right of free speech; the kid doesn’t know what to say or do, and he shows his grille.  For which the so-called “Liberal” establishment press jumps all over him, like a pack of dingoes on a snausage.

All true enough.  And, to Nikiforova’s credit, she does attempt to adduce the American context.  Slavery, genocide, yada yada.  But still doesn’t quite get it right.

A reasonable debate ensued …. NOT!

Her piece is not necessarily a one-off.  I have recently noticed a tendency in the Russian press, including RT, to take the side of the American Right and Alt-Right against the “American Left”.  It’s as if, after everything that has happened, they still believe that Donald Trump is a good guy.  In the American context, in the last election, Trump was not a good guy.  This boorish violent sexual predator was merely the lesser of two evils!  (Which tells you everything you need to know about American politics.)

Even more disturbingly, some of these pundits, as Nikiforova does, have started to employ American racial terminology, such as the word “whites” (белого подростка).  Such terms are mostly alien to Russian discourse.  Most Russians do not refer to themselves by their skin color.  Russia never had an issue with race or caste slavery, never engaged in the African slave trade, and never set up colonies in Africa.  Russia, in other words, never had a “Negro” problem.  Until now.  Because certain ill-meaning people are trying to import those concepts into Russia, along with the teachings of “scientific racism”.  I am not saying that Nikiforova is one of those people!  But she may be somewhat falling for their B.S., that’s my concern.  And this is the kind of “globalism” that Russia certainly does not need, thank you very much.

What Is The American Left?

The words “American Left” I put in quotes above, because the concept itself is either a sham; or is the ludicrous caricature, indeed, that its foes portray.

These guys are actual Leftists.

In the history of American “fringe” politics, there was the “Old Left” of the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s:  The Wobblies, the Communist Party, then the split between Stalinists and Trotskyists.  These people were, indeed, what you would call Leftists.  The “New Left” of the 1960’s contained some fragments of the Old Left, plus a ton of Maoists, but also included some very wacky elements which could not even be considered “Left” at all; if “Left” means what it originally meant:  Socialist.  And no, you cannot be counted as a “Leftie” just because you go to a yoga class.

What passes for the so-called “American Left” nowadays is even wackier and less socialistic than it was in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Some people even consider Hillary Clinton to be a leftist!  Other ignorant people believe that “Leftism” consists of being black, or feminist, or pro-gay.  And that’s not it at all.  True Leftism means what it always did:  Socialist and/or Communist.  True Leftism has no place for anarchists, fascists, hippies or mystics — precisely the type of people that Americans think of, when you say the word “left” !  As for women’s rights — true Leftism distinguishes between “bourgeois feminism” and the righteous sexual equality of proletarian women.  Women hold up half the sky, yada yada.  As for gays — well, admittedly, the Left does not have a good record there.  But suffice it to say, that Identity Politics as practiced by the pseudo-left is not the same thing as true Leftism.  A person can be as gay as a blade of grass, and still be a right-wing shit.

These guys are not…

With those concepts out of the way, it is time to turn to Nikiforova’s op-ed.  In which she sheds copious tears over the bullying of the famous “Covington teen”, that innocent victim who now senses a gold mine under his sneakers.

One sees Nikiforova’s maternal instincts kick in as she defends the American teenager (подросток), schoolboy (школьник), boy-child (мальчик) from the horrific witch-hunt to which he has been subjected.  And ends her piece with the true pathos of a type of Émile Zola protecting the innocents of this world:  “The ideological war in the U.S. is being waged without any rules [that bit is true].  The situation with Sandmann has proved that they do not even spare children.”

O, what a wicked world!  Innocent “children” who go on marches in Washington D.C. in their innocent attempt to prevent grown women from getting access to family planning tools (not just abortions, but also contraceptive pills) — are subjected to Liberal witch hunts!

Nicholas Sandmann, of course, is the 16-year-old teenager (not child, well maybe technically) who was shocked when his political activism in Washington DC led to a national scandal. So shocked that he and his parents are now sitting on top of a potential fortune:  They plan to sue the Washington Post for $250 million bucks!

What Is The American Right?

I will not bother to recap the well-known story, which occurred this past January 18, how Nick and his friends from the Covington Catholic School of Kentucky met up with two other (admittedly wacky) organizations in a 3-way confrontation that might be called a Confederacy of Dunces.  All parties were expecting a fight, instead a hockey game broke out.  Nick’s $250-million-dollar smile angered some people, and touched the heartstrings of others.  None of this has anything to do with Russia, of course.  But some Russian commenters decided to take sides, nonetheless.  Taking the side of the American Right.

Okay, a brief survey of the American Right.  The American Right is partitioned into two major sections:  The Old Right, which dates from the Civil War and, to a certain degree, are still fighting the Civil War.  These people truly are the “racist white crackers” of which Nick and his friends were unjustly accused.  They include the Old Confederacy, the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party and the John Birch Society.  Yes, these people still all exist, in various guises.  Just like the Black Hundreds still exist in Russia!  In the U.S., their ranks have been repleted, over the years, with elements of the Alt-Right, Pepe the Frog, and the so-called “scientific racists”.  A segment of them are ferocious Jew-haters.  If you need to know how these people think, just read the comment sections of Unz and certain RT threads.

Vice President Pence addresses March For Life 2019

The other major segment, and this is the group that Nick Sandmann belongs to, are the Christian Right.  These specimens are mainly Catholics, but also include Evangelicals.  They are not racists, however, because, as Christians, they also try to recruit black conservatives to their “pro-life” message.  Their main issues involve women, sexuality, and abortions.  President Trump and Vice President Pence can be said to belong to this phylum of the American political fauna.  This is why Pence attended, and addressed, the March For Life rally in question.  Whose major ire is directed against Planned Parenthood and contraception.  Critics of the “pro-lifers” have noted that their adulation of human life seems to stop the moment the sprog is born, as they traditionally oppose any “socialistic” type welfare programs.

Meanwhile, if Nick and his family win their lawsuit, then one may expect them to donate the entire $250 million to the Catholic Church and its pro-life movement!

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9 Responses to Russian Press Takes the Side of American Right vs “Feral” Left

  1. saskydisc says:

    Wobblies were largely anarchist communists…


    • yalensis says:

      Wobblies were good guys, IMHO. Their base was the actual industrial proletariat, and they led strikes, etc.
      Proof of their effectiveness was how much the bosses and Pinkertons hated them!


  2. Ryan Ward says:

    I have to say that I find the taxonomy of the American Right here a little lacking. The so-called “Old Right” is hardly one of two major segments of the American Right today. Sure, organizations like the KKK and so on still exist, as does the “Alt Right” (although mainly as an internet presence), but the numbers involved are miniscule. As for the other side mentioned here, the “Christian right”, any “Christian right” in America at the present moment is hardly a united entity. The 1980’s “moral majority” style Christian right which combines social conservatism with pro-market ideology is much weakened in recent years, as seen in the failure of this movement’s poster boy, Ted Cruz, in the last Republican primaries. Most of the energy on the American right now doesn’t fall neatly into either of these categories. The mixture of economic nationalism, centrist economics (generally free market, but protective of essential social programs like medicare, social security and so on) and moderately libertarian social views that elected Trump (inconsistent as Trump himself has been in actually implementing these priorities in office) is now the main strain on the American right, and doesn’t fit neatly into either of the categories listed here. Even most of the alternatives that are now being proposed on that side of the aisle are deeply influenced by “Trumpism”. Two good examples are Ross Douthat at New York Times and Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Both have been highly critical of Trump personally, but have largely taken on board large parts of the economic and social views he’s associated with. For example, Douthat has praised Oren Cass’s book “The Once and Future Worker”, which is more or less a polished and policy-savvy version of economic Trumpism, while Dreher has written approvingly of the idea of “American Gaullism”. In terms of social views, both have been far more concerned to limit government interference in private life and small business, to carve out space for traditionalists to live as they choose, then in the more ambitious legislative agenda of the older Christian right. This isn’t necessarily a difference in principle (I think it’s fair to say, for example, that both of them would ban abortion if they could), but the shift in tactics (accepting that social conservatives are on the back foot and need to aim at limited objectives) is definitely real.

    In regard to the actual article, I don’t see any evidence that Nikiforova actually ‘takes the side” of the American Right, or any part of it. What she does is to (rightfully) protest at the lynch mob tactics employed not only by anonymous Twitter trolls, but by high-profile people in academia and media. Quite apart from any ideological questions, it should be very concerning that supposedly respectable media outlets jumped on the pile-up without doing even the most basic due diligence (the full, unedited video was always available, but no one actually bothered to watch it before the first round of fainting couch editorials were written. Nor did the Washington Post, the newspaper targeted in the lawsuit, bother to even try to contact anyone associated with Covington Catholic before publishing on the event). Condemning this kind of extreme malpractice shouldn’t be a partisan matter. Personally, I hope Sandmann gets every penny he’s seeking. Journalism is a profession, just as medicine or law are. Just as doctors and lawyers are held accountable for failing to fulfill the obligations associated with their profession, so should journalists be.

    As a final aside, I think the American left (and by that term, I mean the kind of people you find at Jacobin and Counterpunch, along with various “antifascist” groups) need to take a hard look at their strategic choices. At the risk of sounding a bit Stalinist, I find that these groups’ reactions to things like the Covington Catholic fiasco often make them “objective neo-liberals”. Much as they might protest their “revolutionary” credentials, these people fairly reliably fall in line when WaPo and the NYT tell them to, so long as the object of the “2 minutes hate” is someone “on the right”. In regard to Covington Catholic specifically, Counterpunch fell right in line with talk of “young Kavanaughs” and so on. These same people can be relied on to side with well-financed bullies like the ACLU every time they decide to punch down and throw some small-time Christian photographer or baker against the wall. Meanwhile, “anti-fascist” thugs never seem to get around to “no-platforming” big establishment figures, but show up for every speech by someone who’s challenging the mainline from the “wrong” angle. Every time they do this, they reinforce the faux leftism of the Democratic/coastal mainline establishment, and what’s worse, make them look reasonable and moderate at the same time. Hilary Clinton couldn’t ask for any better allies than the editorial board of Counterpunch and the local black and red goons.


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Ryan, your comment makes a lot of sense.
      I am just concerned that Russia should not start adopting racialist views of certain elements who dare not speak their name…

      As for Covington kid, yeah, I think he’s a little shit, he’s a political activist not an angel, but yeah, I think he should get a monetary settlement from the lamestream media!


  3. et Al says:

    Most Russians do not refer to themselves by their skin color. Russia never had an issue with race or…

    Eh, what about ‘Chernoye dupi’ for anyone with darker skin and from the southern regions of Russia?


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