RT America Announces New Ark Initiative

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Dear Readers:

Huzzah!

For those who are not familiar with the history of America’s national anthem: When author Francis Scott Key railed about “slaves”, he wasn’t being metaphorical. He meant literal African slaves, who had the gall to fight on England’s side, once they had been promised their freedom. Well, we can’t let that happen, can we? One must wash out, with blood, their foul footstep’s pollution. Oh wait! We shouldn’t talk about such unpleasant things, because that makes us sound too woke.

So, I saw this editorial in RT America this morning. See, it is not an over-reach at all. The RT editors are only depicting themselves as the literal “ark” that will save Western Civilization through the coming Dark Age. Them plus loyal commenters such as “Nebula” who applauds: “RT is a beacon of free speech. Freedom of speech is the biggest enemy to the enemy of mankind, the khazarian Jews!”

Never fear, stalwart Nebula! RT America shall be the shining beacon that stands for all the good ideals of Western Civilization, standing tall and fighting back, even as the Khazarian Zio-Jews, woke transgender freaks, ebony-skinned arsonists, and other like-minded Apes take over our planet: “RT plans to help disseminate the unfiltered ideas of key thinkers through a series of independent projects, including multimedia programs, lectures and interviews, broadcast and theatrical films and shows, and published work.”

As the Dark Ages encroach, RT America will be there to help the forces of Light.

Sounds great! We will get to read all the suppressed voices, all in one portal! And it’s not like RT has a political slant… oh wait, they do!

While RT has no set political bias, those who stand against postmodernist trends, moral relativism, and endless revisionism in Western educational institutions are under the greatest threat of extinction in an increasingly intolerant environment. Often deprived of many key pathways to economic self-sufficiency in the Western media ecosystem, these voices will receive the greatest support.

RT’s initiative is in line with a broader revival of Eastern Europe as a center of intellectual thought, designed to preserve the achievements of the Enlightenment and prevent the continent from falling into a new Dark Age of cultural decline and irrelevance.

Who even knew that Eastern Europe is a center of intellectual thought? What you talkin’ ’bout, man? Poland?

Let’s Make America Great Again! (We got too pussified…)

Okay, so it has not been a secret even to the most simple-minded blastocyst on this planet, that RT America decided, a long time ago, to throw in their lot with the American “traditional” right-wing Republican types. Trumpites, or whatever. Who are maybe not as grotesquely sinister as the Democratic Party, but still rather nauseating in their own right. Perhaps Russian President Putin and his handmaiden, Margarita Simonyan, are under the impression that the Trumpites, with their more orthodox (small “o”) views on gender, gays, and blacks, etc. will come to Russia’s ideological defense once the American Military Industrial Complex decides it’s time for Barbarossa 2.0. Highly dubious, in my view. I personally think they will be cheering on the war just as rabidly as the Liberals, but I hope I don’t get to be proved right, one way or another. Meanwhile, I personally suspect that Margarita and her minions actually have no clue what America is all about. They know literally nothing about America and its inner workings. Its caste and class systems. Its insidious taboos. To these Russian Liberals, America is just a lost Shangri-La. Lost, but they want to bring it back, as they imagined it, in their youth. A center of White European Civilization. An ark of freedom and democracy. That shining city on the hill!

Woke Warriors are stealing America away from these sweet patriotic children.

Take, for example, this earlier Chef-d’œuvre from last week’s Thanksgiving Holiday. Take it. Please. As soon as I saw this rather subtle piece of propaganda, I knew that I wanted to take it apart, molecule by molecule. For starters, note the illustrating image, so filled with pathos: Three little white children ecstatic in their childish hopes and dreams [well, to be honest, the middle child, a boy, could be black, probably not, but it’s hard to say] … Draping themselves in the American flag and pointing up at the sun as if to say: “There is our shining future on the horizon! Now, if only somebody doesn’t steal it from us…”

Here is the conflict: These three adorable children will walk into school and be brainwashed by accurate historical accounts barefaced lies about their glorious nation’s inglorious past.

Please note how laconic and subtle is this propaganda piece. The actual story was told with the photograph. The words are just bare utterances, left to the reader to decode. The writer simply quotes The Public Schools Director, and it is super-clear to the reader that this is all bullshit, because how can a normal person even say such things with a straight face:

Thanksgiving is a day that can be difficult for many to celebrate as we reflect on the history of the holiday and the horrors inflicted on our indigenous populations,” DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee said in an email sent to the families of students on November 18.

He added that, for those who did choose to celebrate, the equity team was sharing suggestions “for how you can consider decolonizing your Thanksgiving.” 

Stupid right? Except that it’s all true. The colonists did steal the land, and they did bring in captives from Africa, doomed to multi-generational slavery. But in case the reader is wondering, “What is so wrong about acknowledging this?” the writer of the propaganda piece ends with a tweet that tells you how you are actually supposed to respond in your gut:

Looking for another reason to escape the public education propaganda camps, here it is,” the former chaplain of the Idaho Senate, Bryan Fischer, wrote on Twitter, commenting on the article that had brought Ferebee’s email to the attention of the wider public.

So, a chaplain to a state Senate tells you that this is all B.S. and you should oppose this “revisionist” curriculum in the schools. Comparing it to, say, Chinese propaganda camps. And implying that the broader public will rise up against this monstrous infringements of their rights. This is a staple trick of a propaganda piece, by the way. To feign neutrality but end with a quote of the person who represents your actual point of view.

Mourn the America that was lost to the Apes…

Clearly RT America wants you to take the side of the Senate Chaplain, who insists that American history should be taught as it used to be, pre-post-modernism, namely, by gently whitewashing all those unpleasant stains such as slavery and genocide. Because that’s not what America is really all about. It’s about the freedom and the liberty, and the democracy, and showing the world how to do everything right. Right?

Commenter GrandeRonde gets it:

“I think it should be pretty clear to everyone by now……… this type of BS is meant to destroy our society and culture. They are trying do devalue and destroy our history. This country’s history is what it is….. good and bad…. and it’s “OURS”. Friggin’ commies…we don’t want you here.”

Simonyan agrees. She don’t want friggin’ commies in America either. She wants America to be the America of her girlhood dreams. When everybody was rich and white and free.

In conclusion: I don’t quite understand why the Russian government has decided to throw in its lot with the Trumpers and the Nebulas and the GrandeRondes of this world. Pushing traditional American values and American exceptionalism? What’s in it for Russia? The Russian government would do better, in my humble opinion, to side with the de-constructionists, the post-modernists, and the Critical Race Theorists. Who stress the slavery and the genocide and all that jazz. RT America could push that ideology instead, under the rubric: “Who the hell are you to lecture us about democracy?” Instead, Simonyan and her minions make Russia ideologically vulnerable to American pretensions, by accepting the basic postulates of American Exceptionalism. Have they really thought this through, in other words?

Oh well. I reckon it’s hopeless to rail against RT’s new editorial premise. Which only makes official that which was already visibly in place. Realistically, this ark of Western civilization has already set sail and there is no chance of returning it to port. Not with all those hungry animals aboard.

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13 Responses to RT America Announces New Ark Initiative

  1. Ben says:

    Oh, man, so much that could be said about this.

    This is an issue where the right, for once, isn’t completely wrong.

    Being on the right, almost by definition they don’t employ coherent logic, so even when they stumble upon a correct stance their understanding of the problem is incomplete at best. The right can’t offer up a definition of what they call ‘Critical Race Theory’ that doesn’t seem like it came out of a fever dream, but they are actually talking about a thing, or several interrelated things, that definitely exist.

    The ‘woke’ really do exist, and they are insufferable at best, and actively a danger to intellectual inquiry at worst. The college safe spaces where dissent isn’t allowed, the infantilization of students, censorship, both active and self-imposed, that all very much exists.

    While I don’t doubt that the type of person RT America gives a voice to really would be upset by any portrayal of US history that touches on anything remotely negative, the current wave of 1619-style ‘woke history’ really is revisionism falsification. The best (and only actually coherent) critiques of it have come from the Trots as WSWS: https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/event/1619

    Contrary to what the Nikole Hannah-Jones types think, US history has never shied away from its many ugly aspects. Indian genocide and forced relocation, slavery and Jim Crow, forced Japanese internment, etc, none of these have been hidden in the textbooks. Woke revisionist history is firstly arguing against a strawman, and in place of that fictitious enemy offering up its own fabrications that center slavery and racism as omnipresent and omnipotent original sins that are intrinsic to the white American character (and ‘white’ is whoever the woke feel like saying it is; Asians have been virtually white for years).

    Yes, the US was founded on genocide. So what? No, seriously, so what? Does that make mass murder and racism somehow, magically, intrinsic aspects of American culture or the American psyche? If you think so, you’re not actually making a materialist critique of history. You’re dealing in idealism, or even full on spiritual, mystical claims.

    Every country and people has ugly stuff in their history. Often extremely ugly; Russia and China have their own ugly imperial histories (it should be pointed out that the Great Wall, ostensibly built to keep the ‘barbarians’ out…is now roughly in the middle of the country). Japan used to be inhabited by Jomon peoples, today the only ones left being the Ainu in Hokkaido. They went West too: Okinawa isn’t Japanese. It’s Ryukyuan (which isn’t even given the dignity of being a legally regonized minority. To main islander Japanese they’re just weird Japanese, and Okinawa is just the quaint place you fly to on a high school trip and where most of the US occupation bases are outsourced). Would we be justified in describing the Japanese as inherently genocidal colonists?

    Go back far enough and ask what happened to all our cousin homo sapiens subspecies. We’ll never know for sure, but probably a lot of murder and rape; Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA continues to exist in many humans to this day. So is all of humanity now inherently tainted by some original sin?

    Statements like ‘decolonize your Thanksgiving’ are profoundly meaningless. Celebrate it, or don’t. I literally don’t care. This is all just culture war bullshit. Let’s talk about who owns stuff. I went on a twenty mile bike ride a couple weeks ago (I had legs when I started; they were gone by the end). The homeless camps were ubiquitous along the bike trails. And they were of all colors and sexes. *That’s* what America is. All the woke drivel is a distraction to avoid talking about the problems that actually matter, and how we got here.

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    • Ben says:

      Also, ‘post-modernism’. The right literally doesn’t know what it’s talking about here. What they’re trying, clumsily to describe, a particularly braindead type of woke ‘discourse’, lots of ‘your truth’ type stuff that doesn’t respect objective historical or physical facts, that certainly exists. But it has nothing to do with either French philosophers or the German Frankfurt School. Contrary to what people like Jordan Peterson, who is always ranting about ‘postmodern cultural Marxism’, think, both of the above were, broadly, founded as a counter to Marxism and the failure of world revolution to happen.

      The French started from a position of skepticism of all grand narrative claims, like Marxism and its clear division of history and claims about inevitable historical processes, and the Germans basically delved into cultural criticism to rationalize why most of the working class failed to rise up in its own interests (‘nothing to lose but your chains’ so…why didn’t they?). French post-modernism (really post-structuralism) was a direct repudiation of Marxism, and the Frankfurt School was basically a complete divergence from historical materialism that has nothing to do with Marxism anymore.

      The only thing the woke have in common with any of the above is that they’ve adopted some perverted form of truth relativism. But it’s not actually anything Foucault, etc, would have recognized. Because the point the post-structuralists were making was never that an objective truth doesn’t exist, it was that what is ‘true’ from a practical point of view is very much a social question. Foucault’s big example was how the treatment of the mentally ill has radically changed throughout history. Literally no French post-modernist philosopher ever said something like ‘biological sex doesn’t exist’. At absolute best this is the result of some idiot first-year student completely misunderstanding what he was reading. Both the woke and their right critics literally have no idea what they’re talking about vis a vis post-modernism.

      (you don’t even have to like the French post-structuralists. A critique I’ve heard that I think holds a lot of water is that they were basically going a long way to very pretentiously and needlessly obscurely make points that were actually not new or radical, and that aren’t really that deep or profound)

      As for the Frankfurt School, that has even less to do with any of this, and basically is just referenced because it’s a collection of leftist (I would actually dispute this, since what they were doing was basically completely ancillary to historical materialism) big heads doing obscure stuff the right doesn’t really understand, and doesn’t want to even try to understand, but views as malevolent. Referencing the Frankfurt School is like referencing the Illuminati, basically.

      What’s really funny in all of this is that you can very easily take from both the French and the Frankfurt School a lot of tools for analyzing late capitalism and consumerism and paint a very, very unflattering picture of many woke issues. To me the current trans phenomenon feels like nothing so much as a symptom of a hyper-capitalist society in a particularly virulent phase of psychosis. There’s a lot to be said about memetic cultural symbol reproduction going on with how suddenly every teen fancies they’re really the opposite sex or non-binary. It’s mostly a fad that will burn itself out sooner or later, but not before a bunch of people have done irreparable damage to their bodies with drugs and even surgery, and the rest of us on the actual left are going to be held to account via guilt by association with the woke.

      (saying the above will get you smeared as a cryptonazi ‘reactionary’)

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      • yalensis says:

        Wow! Thanks again, Ben, for your erudition. I had no idea what they were talking about with the “French” school and the “Frankfurt” school, but you clearly do. So it’s great that you are in a position where you can debate these dilettantes. I’m not sure RT America has even published the names yet of the various “animals on the ark”. Probably the usually grifters that they feature on a regular basis. I hope somebody like you will hop on to the RT forum and engage them in debate.

        As for the whole transgender thing, I think there have always been a tiny number of transgender people in every society. It’s a real thing, but on a very small level. With the advent of medical technology, some of these people have been able to get what they need. It’s one of those things that should be just their own business and kept private. Elevating this phenomenon to a mass level is just carnival pure and simple.

        Like a lot in “woke” is carnival, including pretending that teenage girls can fly and beat up giants, and that sort of thing. It’s all just carnival, a temporary turning of the tables. Like when, for one day, the beggar pretends to be the King, and the King serves him dinner. After the carnival ends, normal life goes on, under the rules of the “normal” patriarchal hierarchy. And those who pushed these fantasies as reality, will then have to deal with some very disappointed people who really imagined they had wings, and now find they are just ordinary wingless peons being crushed under the boots of the very real oligarchy.

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        • Ben says:

          I’m open to the possibility that there are a few people around who genuinely feel like they’ve been ‘born in the wrong body’ (although the concept of distinct and wholly different male and female brains has actually not been remotely demonstrated by science). But that isn’t what I see going on with the vast, vast majority of supposed trans people.

          Basically I see the trans ‘movement’ as the result of a confluence of factors in the last ten years. One is that LGB activists, after having completely and totally won on the gay marriage issue (which, just to be clear, absolutely should be legal. If we’re going to have marriage, there is no coherent reason not to allow gay marriage), went looking for the next thing they could be ‘on the right side of history’ of. There are parts of the left (or perhaps I should say liberals who think they’re on the left) who are very susceptible to being roped into whatever new fad comes along and is sold as ‘progress’. I’m not doubting their earnestness, I’m doubting their critical thinking skills.

          Another is that there is a lot of money to be made in selling sex change hormones, so there’s the pharmaceutical angle (it’s perhaps worth noting here that the founder and owner of United Therapeutics is a transwoman).

          There’s also the fact that because the US is increasingly an oligarchy, the pet agendas of absurdly rich people can get a lot of play. One of the reasons gay marriage happened so quickly was because there are in fact rich gay people on the right who wanted it, and the Republican party made the decision that this wasn’t a hill they were particularly willing to die on. Jennifer Pritzker is a billionaire transwoman I would point to. I know that by saying that I’m sounding dangerously close to an Alex Jones type, ranting about the ‘gay agenda’ and George Soros. I don’t think there is any agenda to ‘turn us gay’ (you can’t turn people gay), but I think it should be self-evident that rich people and entities absolutely engage in attempts at social engineering. They champion causes they care about, and they care either because they see money to be made, or because they earnestly care about the issue, or some combination of the two. And then they get people who are convinced that this is the next big thing in the quest for social progress on board with them.

          Then they start putting out messages to influence people, which brings me to yet another factor, which is that kids are dumb and impressionable. And by ‘kid’ I mean anyone under the age of about 25, when the prefrontal cortex finishes fully forming. Kids are easily influenced and manipulated, and peer pressure is a massive thing. A woman named Abigail Shrier has written a book, the thesis of which is basically that the current tsunami of F2M claims among teenage girls (who at this point seem to outnumber the people claiming to be M2F) is a kind of social contagion like anorexia was a decade or so ago. Also telling people ‘you don’t have to be a girl if you don’t want to’ is probably an enticing message to many. Just on the outside looking in (I of course have no personal experience of it), female puberty is very traumatizing. You now have to deal with things like periods every month, and you’re developing secondary sex characteristics that make you a sex object whether you like it or not. And now along comes a bunch of media and adults assuring you that you don’t have to navigate the transition of girl to woman if you don’t want to.

          For the male side, well, I’ll just say that I’ve spent a lot of time observing and interacting with M2F trans people, both in real life and on the internet, and they are legendarily horny. I am very much convinced that both “I can’t get a girlfriend, so I will become the girlfriend” (there is very conspicuously a certain type of guy who most often ends up coming out as trans) and autogynephilia (where it’s basically an elaborate fetish) are absolutely widespread phenomenon.

          And this is all happening in the context of a slowly collapsing late capitalism. ‘Biological sex as subscription service’ is of course something you would expect to see in a thoroughly neoliberalized culture.

          I want to stress again the ten year thing. This basically wasn’t a thing even a decade ago. My ‘reactionary’ stance would have been ‘woke’ (not that the term even existed yet) back in 2010. Because I don’t want to turn the clock back to 1950, I want to turn it back to 2010. Things were in a pretty good place then. There was no right or wrong way to be a boy or girl, just be into whatever it is you were into. ‘Sex isn’t the same as gender’ was a cliche people seemed to actually understand. That one was a biological reality, and the other was a social construct applied over that biology.

          Now we’re going back into the 1950s from a different direction. Now if you’re not stereotypically masculine, it’s because you’re actually a woman trapped in a male body, and you need to transition and become hyperfeminine.

          A decade ago it was normal to lambast gay conversion therapy. But now we have the woke version of it: you aren’t gay, just change your sex.

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          • Ben says:

            Also, if and when the transgender cultural war is won, the woke will go looking for the next thing to champion. My guess is that it’ll be pedophiles, who have already started laying the groundwork be attempting to relabel themselves as ‘minor-attracted persons’.

            I know this is literally, word for word, a slippery slope argument that the right has been deploying for years, and I always dismissed it because of the issue of informed legal consent. I thought that would be a barrier no one would cross, that activists would only restrict themselves to the activities of adults and leave kids alone. But we’re already at the point where many of the woke want us to seriously consider claims like ‘my 11 year old is convinced she’s a boy, so I’m going to start her on transition hormones’. The ‘moderate’ position in this is being presented as ‘wait and see’, which is, I shit you not, give the kid puberty delaying hormones and see if they grow out of their trans phase or not.

            So we’re already at the point of messing around with kids. It’s not a huge step from that to ‘this child has decided to have a sexual relationship with this adult’, as if children know fuckall about anything to be making such decisions.

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            • yalensis says:

              Yeah, that whole kid thing is tricky. Righties have been using that as a talking point for decades: First gay marriage will be legalized, and next pedophilia will be legalized, and after that bestiality. And then eventually, I reckon, children having sex with ponies will be perfectly okay.
              We used to laugh at such arguments and mock the Right, but you’re right, wokie pedophiles are already fiddling with the idea of child consent and the age of consent. And then other people come in with arguments like, Well, in [a certain southern state], girls can get married at the age of 14. And we already know that in places like Afghanistan, you see 40-year-old men taking literal child-brides who are only 8 or 9. So, there is the notion that “it’s all cultural”, so maybe the idea of establishing universal human legal standards (enforced by the United Nations? what a joke!) and criticizing “moral relativism” is not so silly after all…

              I have no answers to any of this. I do believe that adults should not engage in sexual acts with minors under any circumstances, but I have no clue what the age of consent should be. 18 seems too old, but 14 seems too young. Or, if the brain doesn’t actually sew itself together until 25, maybe 25 should be the age of consent!

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          • yalensis says:

            Excellent comment, Ben. I think I agree with you that we need to turn the clock back to 2010. I think people in “Western culture” mostly had this tricky issues sorted out by then, in a way that satisified most people and wasn’t too ridiculous. For Russians that would still be a bridge too far, because the Russian establishment (and public opinion) opposes even gay marriage. I remember when I first heard about gay marriage, I thought that was a bridge too far, and gays should just lobby for “civil union”, or whatever the watered-down equivalent was. But then somebody convinced me that variant didn’t meet all the nitty-gritty issues involving money, estates, inheritance, visitation rights, and all that jazz. As a good Marxist, I had to agree with that financial assessment. But I would just warn my gay friends: “Never get married unless you are also assured you can get a divorce later on…” which turned out to be good advice for some of them. Never enter into a union that cannot be dissolved, if necessary. You might love somebody today, but tomorrow you can’t wait to be a million miles away from them.

            You also make very good points out the pharmaceutical industry, their stake in all of this, and also the point that the rich oligarchs can easily get the broad public fired up about their own favorite causes. That’s what wealth and power can get you: influence. It has been so since Roman times, and even before.

            Re. the hormones, I think puberty-delaying hormones were a thing even before “wokeness”, but limited mainly to athletes, like girl gymnasts who needed to delay puberty until, say, after the Olympics. Also, I know girls who would sell their soul not to have that monthly period under any circumstances; and I am told there are ways to avoid that; so why not? I mean, people should own their own bodies and not have it legislated what to do with them. I have a libertarian attitude even towards anorexics: If they want to starve themselves, that’s their business, it’s cruel to tie them down in a hospital bed and force-feed them. Which is what is done, alas, in certain hospitals. Although, if they are minors, then by definition they can’t make their own decisions.

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    • yalensis says:

      Excellent points, Ben. It’s one of those cases where both sides of this phony debate are literally wrong. It’s interesting that you cite the WSWS piece on 1619, I had read that too and thought they made some good points. Although I am wary of these fake Trots, because the pundit(s) who wrote that piece (which I think is their Politburo equivalent) also got all hysterical about the Trumpites and the “fascist” January 6 insurrection in the U.S. I “covered” their silly reactions in this piece involving pearl-clutchiing hysterics. And, by the way, they also proposed censorship as the solution, in this case pushing for the FBI and the rest of the American establishment to censor Trump and his followers, whom, in their infantile fever they had confused with Generalissimo Franco.

      In conclusion: both “woke” and un-woke always end up supporting censorship, that’s the one thing they can agree on! They also agree that capitalism is to remain untouched, the oligarchs should continue to amass all the loot, and all the problems of capitalism are just the problems of individual people.

      On the issue of school textbooks: It’s true that slavery and genocide are mentioned, but Americans have traditionally been taught a watered-down version which presents these episodes as just “bumps along the road” leading to American supremacy and American exceptionalism. They have traditionally taught a telelogical view in which America marches forward into the future, via Manifest Destiny and under God’s benevolent wing. I think that’s the real danger there, a trap which I believe RT America is neatly falling into, when they climb into bed with the American Right. Furthermore, I don’t believe their new bedfellows will help Russia one whit once the war starts. They will just spout God Bless America! and unleash the cannons. They don’t love Russia, they love America.

      Having said that, I agree that the extreme wokies are even wronger than the Righties in many ways. And yes, all of human history is a history of migrations, genocides, and the like. It isn’t just America. But America is the main problem in the world right now, I guess that’s where I am coming from…

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      • Soredemos says:

        You have to take WSWS on a case by case basis. Whatever their faults on other issues, they’ve been probably the primary vehicle for historians to push back against the wholesale fabrication that is the 1619 Project.

        The first 80+ years of the history of the US makes literally zero sense if you try and remove slavery as being *the* central issue that was massively divisive and which cropped up again and again before finally culminating in full scale war. All the stuff the 1619 scam pretends is some sort of super secret lore that has been hidden from the general public has been well covered in literally centuries of American historiography. 1619 can only exist because it exploits a large, credulous audience who have never sat down and read a real book before.

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        • yalensis says:

          Hi, Soredemos, thank you for your comment!

          But I am not sure I am understand correctly the two sides of this particular polemic.
          You make some very good points about American history being all about slavery (at least for the first 80 years), but is that not precisely what the 1619 Project is also claiming?

          From I understand, the “1619 Project” was launched by the New York Times to push the idea that the slavery form of economic development lay at the foundation of the American Republic. I can’t really see anything to argue with that, although knowing the NYT I am sure they have a nefarious purpose in mind. I am guessing their ideological purpose is to pit the races against each other and turn the class war into a race war.

          But then we get the “Marxist” retort to this, and WSWS Philosopher David North seems to be pushing back against this notion that “it was all about slavery” and seems like he is trying to salvage something of the “American dream” and the notion that the American revolutionaries really did offer something valuable to the world. I believe he quotes Marx and Engels as to the somewhat progressive nature of the American thinkers like Jefferson and Paine and the like. It’s true that they fought against monarchy and sort of discredited the idea of autocracy, which is progressive, I guess. But it hard to dispute that they were fighting to maintain the slave-owner’s way of life against various challenges. Still, I appreciate the complexity of history, and trying to put everything in context, which simple-brained wokies fail to do. Jefferson can be both a good guy and a bad guy at the same time, that’s the complexity of the Hegelian dialectic.

          It’s very odd, though. One cannot trust the New York Times further than one can toss it into the bushes for the raccoons to sh*t on. But I don’t trust WSWS either, why are they pushing back against obvious truths? I personally suspect they are degenerating away from Marxism and trying to crawl back inside the Democratic Party, just like the Stalinist Communist Party did before them. Why else would they try to defend the traditional American view of history? Good Marxists should be tearing American history apart!

          Please help me, I am confused!
          🙂

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          • Ben says:

            ‘Soredemos’ above is me; it’s an alias I use elsewhere and I selected the wrong name from the autofill box.

            Anyway, 1619 is selling a narrative of spiritual corruption. They’re not interested in the complexities of real history. It was an inherently bad faith endeavor from the start. And also one that has been subject to constant revision, including the original key claim that said 1619 should be viewed as the new, ‘real’ date of the found of the US because it was the first time that African slaves were brought to a North American colony, thus marking the beginning of the slavery that 1619 believe is the true unifying through-line of *all* US history (incidentally, they weren’t; that group in 1619 were indentured servants, a subtle but meaningful distinction that 1619 doesn’t care about because it doesn’t fit the moralizing narrative they’re trying to sell). The New York Times fancies itself a ‘paper of record’, but they’re no longer even that. Fortunately we have things like the internet archive, and there are people who keep track of the changes, like here: https://twitter.com/PhilWMagness/status/1467190112794542082.

            They’re not making a materialist critique like Marx did (Marx’s summary of the ‘rebellion of the 300,000 oligarchs’ is probably the best overall assessment of the conflict from the 19th century. A lot of modern scholarship is basically brushing away false narratives like the Lost Cause lie to arrive at a very similar economic argument as Marx had at the very time it was happening). Nikole Hannah-Jones is part of a specific group of racialist obscurantists like Ibram X. Kendi and Ta-Nehisi Coates whose core thesis is basically that racism is a spooky malevolent spirit that wanders the earth infecting people. ‘White people’ are just inherently racist, and their racism is the the key component that all of US history revolves around.

            The fact that Frederick Douglass unironically believed in the promise and potential of the 1776 revolution and wanted its benefits extended to enslaved people isn’t the type of thing you’ll encounter in the pages of the 1619 project. Instead you’ll get ‘history’ influenced by people like Gerald Horne, who wrote a whole book about how 1776 was actually a preemptive counter-revolution meant to preserve slavery against British abolitionists. I’ve read his book; it’s terrible and doesn’t actually even begin to make his case, much less prove it.

            Jefferson seemed to have genuinely not liked slavery, but not so much that he didn’t continue to engage in it because his lifestyle and finances required him to. Which is a dynamic Marx and Lenin would completely understand: you need to seize power and force change, because trying to appeal to your rulers better natures is seldom going to get you anywhere.

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            • yalensis says:

              Thanks, Ben, for clearing up that confusion about the different aliases. As usual you make a lot of excellent points.
              Confusing indentured servants with slaves is one of those tricks the anti-Marxists use to blur over important distinctions. One of the distinctive features of the American slave system was that the status of slave was inherited and multi-generational (although individual slaves could occasionally buy their way out of it). This is quite different from a status of temporary slave or identured servant. Also, the American variant literally breeded slaves like animals, sometimes they were not even allowed to pick their own spouse. Nobody can stress often enough, or hard enough, just how vicious this system was. I encourage everybody to read “Uncle’s Tom Cabin” it’s a true classic on this theme.

              Yeah, I have no patience for the Black Nationalists and pan-Africanists like Ta-Nehisi Coates. They confuse everything and jumble everything together: apples, oranges, every fruit possible. If I am not mistaken, Coates flunked out of Howard University. He went there expecting to jive with a bunch of like-minded “brothers and sisters”, instead he encountered a very strict curriculum. Howard is a reputable institution, with well-respected professors who teach real African history and real African-American history. His professors tried to set him straight about some of his kooky ideas. But he didn’t want to encounter actual history, or actual facts, so he quit.

              Still, at least Coates is not as stupid as some of the more extreme black nationalists who are pushing this idea of “melanin” as the key force in history. One could choke with laughter. I read one of them on a forum, he was so dumb that he confused “melanin” (a pigment) with “melatonin” (a hormone), and claimed white people don’t enough of it, that’s why they are so vicious.

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            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – as to the issue of Frederick Douglass, he belonged to a set of black leaders (including Martin Luther King, later) who believed in integrating blacks into the existing American system, with all its history. The deal was: Blacks will accept American history as portrayed by the descendants of European colonists, in return for getting a piece of the action.
              I think that was an intelligent political strategy and would have worked to a certain degree. At a certain point the vast majority of ethnic “whites” were also cool with the idea, they were ready to accept to accept blacks into the community and just wanted to see an end to the racial conflict.

              Unfortunately, after King’s assassination, I think that political strategy became impossible. The American ruling class made it clear they will not tolerate anything that brings people together. So they started to launch various racist initiatives, like the War on Drugs, and all of that, and it’s been downhill ever since.

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