Editor’s note: Special thanks to the editor of the Tumblr blog The Muck of Ages for standing up and addressing this sort of nasty propaganda. There was someone else who said something, I cannot remember who it was, that inspired me to jot down what is presented below. It is indeed refreshing to know that there are people, progressive people, willing not just to condemn, but to explain, why such behaviour is wrong and detrimental to civil discourse. Please read her editorial here:: Blocking conversations about radical politics on Tumblr:: She pretty much came to the same conclusion that I did:
There are a few accounts currently posting graphic photos of mutilated bodies and tagging them all as #marxism, #leninism, #communism, #revolution, etc.
These accounts are clearly created by the same person (similar user names, similar or same content between each account).
The content is clearly spam intended to disrupt conversation (and the usefulness of the tag search) of one slice of radical politics on Tumblr.
The images are useless at best and intense triggers for those with PTSD at worst.
These accounts clearly violate Tumblr’s Community Guidelines.
So apparently the inspiration for this rather long-winded editorial is no longer necessary. The individual Tumblr account mentioned in the commentary seems to no longer exist and for the obvious reasons, I am glad of this. This particular individual’s account is just one extreme of a long-existing paradigm of political negativity that we all should be concerned with regardless of political opinion or party affiliation. This person’s account is a descriptively glaring example of just how lowbrow, juvenile, underhanded and patently vicious the right-wing can be when it comes to utilising bullying propaganda, lies and shameless indignity in order to gain social and political leverage. When it comes to utilising social media to promote the Big Lie, the conservatives amongst us are, without question, always ready, willing and unable to help themselves from being the biggest bastards in the room. Having said that, here is an abbreviated version without attempting to explain everything at once. The full version will be republished later as part of a larger work.
Read on (in brief) about my observations as to why some conservatives cannot help using belligerence instead of reason…
— [10.15.2012 — revised due to space considerations: 2012-10-17T09:12:20+00:00] —
‘There will be many changes in the future, the day will even come when capitalism disappears in the United States, but our feeling of friendship for the people that helped us in those decisive and critical years, when we faced starvation and extermination, will be everlasting. This adds to our gratitude to the people that blazed the trail of the socialist revolution and that, at the cost of millions of lives, freed the world from the scourge of fascism. Our confidence in Lenin’s Homeland is unbounded, because in the course of more than half a century the Soviet revolution has proved its adherence to the principles and consistent line of behavior in its international policy. It has shown this not only in Cuba but also in Vietnam, in the Middle East, in the Portuguese colonies fighting for their independence, in Chile, Cyprus, Yemen, Angola and every other part of the world where the national liberation movement confronts colonialism and imperialism, as it once did in an exemplary manner with the heroic Spanish people. This incontestable truth has not been invalidated by a single exception, and in the long run any slanderous attempt to deny history’s objective facts will be useless. The U.S.S.R. has also made a decisive contribution to world peace, without which, in this epoch of growing scarcity of raw materials and fuel, the imperialist powers would have launched upon a new and voracious partition of the world. The mere existence of the powerful Soviet State makes this alternative impossible. Its detractors, who try to deny this, are like dogs barking at the moon’.
- Fidel Castro, First Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (1975)
Tumblr is an excellent resource for those interested in citizen-driven media, data research and peer-to-peer opinion sharing. While I do take strong issue with people who misuse open social media, (meaning those unconscionable ogres who post adult-theme matter without regard for those who have no business viewing such material) I generally stand on the side of practising free speech. Where I do draw a line however is when this right — and privilege — is abused solely for purposes of political gain and xenophobic social engineering.
In this case I am referring to are a series of Tumblr accounts that are attempting to violently shock those who happen to come across the hashtags #marxism #leninism #revolution #solitarysocialist into blindly fearing left-wing political ideologies, people and governments by instilling terror within the viewer. We see this device used everyday in the racist propaganda produced to embarrass and discredit President Barack H. Obama and by extension, all other ethnic and religious minorities in the United States.
In their astonishing zeal to turn the United States into a xenophobic Anglo-Saxon, corporatist-owned, Christian-operated, über-conservative state that oversees a planetary neoliberal empire, conservatives are doing everything and anything possible to win. Democrat Party supporters and progressives are not the people producing images depicting the first Black US Head-of-State as a monkey, as a Nazi, and much worse. The openly racist propaganda ministers who influence the current GOP and the bigoted rabble who have hijacked their party are the individuals who are responsible for this. Not liberals. [CPAC welcomes white nationalists - Salon http://ow.ly/evmNH] And while much can be said about White liberal hypocrisy, very few would be so crass as to call Mr. Obama a ‘Tar Baby’ and state that ‘Some girls rape easy’. But apparently conservatives do find honour in such attitudes. If this were not so, Todd Akin would have been forgotten about as a politician long ago.
No, conservative thinking and ideology is with us. And it holds sway only because it is the chief theology of the powerful, the heartless and the hypocritical. Ayn Rand, an ardent and contradictory proponent of philosophical selfishness preached her theory of Objectivism, yet was in her last days supported by what she railed against. State welfare. The #Occupy Movement was spurred by the taxpayer-funded bailout of the Wall Street banking and automotive industries which were connected to the sub-prime mortgage scandal by the ‘smart fellows’ who created the derivatives market that led to the present breakdown of the international economy in the first place.
The proprietor of these accounts is undoubtedly a hard-line conservative that is clearly taking his/her notes on public relations from the example set forth by the steadfast refusal of the mainstream GOP to address the neo-Confederate revival that is occurring within its midst. Acting nefariously under the Machiavellian assumption that in flooding the social networks with gruesome images of people who have died in conflict, this will ‘help’ stop the spread of communism. The late ‘Tail-Gunner’ Senator Joe McCarthy would would be proud. So would Joseph Goebbels, as this is his historical legacy. The use of unbelievable falsehoods by the elite passed off as ‘facts’ to the common people that need not be proved at all. Their faith in the upper-classes is all that is required to be a good citizen. Even if perdition is certainly approaching, belief in Romans 13 is all one needs to be seen as ‘normal’ in a conservative world.
This is conservative thinking by way of their own example. [Arkansas State Rep: ‘If Slavery Were So God-Awful, Why Didn’t Jesus Or Paul Condemn It?’ | http://ow.ly/evmGU] It is not only antiquated, but an ungenial and despicable perspective of utter moral darkness that the world can do without. Such a mentality is bent, if not mentally retarded, on a variety of levels too numerous and too polluted to do justice within the space of a brief commentary.
Seeking to psychologically force web-surfers away from seeking information and peer-exchange about left-wing ideas is detestable enough, but I can find no credible excuse for such repulsive political behaviour in a post-World War Two world. This is the sort of evidence that shows that the lessons of the European Holocaust have apparently taught the conservative lobbies nothing. The individual(s) who work to manage these pages are no better than the people that produced the violence depicted in their posts. This person(s) proves the left-wing moral analysis of the right to be painfully true: right-wing cheerleaders are merely two steps away from being outright fascists. They only need a bit of a push in the wrong direction.
Far right sociopolitical theory makes for a cesspool of legitimate politics. And this spitefully conservative attempt at fear and loathing is particularly telling because the primary intent of the effort is to attack and disrupt the very psychic core of people who are only looking for information. This account goes after folks randomly, haphazardly targeting others without concern for how these macabre images may seriously affect emotionally sensitive viewers simply seeking to read about progressive political issues according to the tags they entered into a Tumblr search box.
These are not images of silly cartoons lampooning one political viewpoint or
another. These are violently graphic representations of savage, human-on-human conflict that are designed to unsettle (and
perhaps emotionally cripple) viewers into avoiding a particular political perspective. Perhaps forever. It is a reckless and purposefully revolting example of not simply political partisanship, but the true face of conservative chauvinism stripped of all its artificial pretences. This is right-wing thinking at its lowest depths. And it is the number one problem that is splitting our increasingly globalised society apart at the seams.
It can logically be said that total responsibility for the level of hostility that exists in the world around us lies squarely at the feet of conservatives and their parochial comprehension of what life is and should be about. Not just for themselves, but for everyone else on Earth as well. Whether they want it or not. This where it becomes foolish to disagree with Marx, because he was correct when he identified ideological conservatism as a political movement that promotes nothing but pure selfishness. For that is exactly what conservative ideology is, a creed for the greedy. The fact that conservative sociopolitical systems have routinely shown themselves to be the primary plague of the poor, the exploited and the downtrodden does not distress them in the slightest. They relish in it.
Truth means absolutely nothing to the conservative mind. [10 Most Shameless Romney Debate Lies — Alternet http://ow.ly/ewZYq] Nor does the moral discipline of their religions or their professed belief in a just G-d that comforts the weak and those who are defiant in the face of true evil. Conservatives embody the very evils that they claim to be against. Conservatives of any political persuasion are by nature bullies. They will belligerently chase, beat and maim others outside of their own brood and cheer-on the immorality of violence, racism, misogyny and social discrimination under the pontifical excuse of promoting ‘Peace’ and ‘Justice’.
As we all know, this is a lie of the greatest magnitude. [Martin Bashir - Why birther ‘jokes’ earn GOP applause - Dem Undergd http://ow.ly/ex0wP] Blessed capitalism at this juncture unquestioningly controls the entire global sphere and commands a paralysing influence in all areas of modern life. Only a dolt or a conservative would deny that the immense power and wealth of the West is, not in fact and in deed, the dominant paradigm. And only a dimwit believes that this did not occur without the conscious use of blunt force.
And while communism and its sincere adherents may be unceremoniously despised in the west, when it comes to making money, communism in name is forgiven by the moneyed elite. [Panetta, in Historic Vietnam Visit, Sees ‘Tremendous Potential Here’ | CNSNews http://ow.ly/ex18M] Russia, China and Vietnam are by this point in history, state-capitalist structures that look nothing like the old systems. And in spite of their tense histories with the West, they are all welcomed now as business partners and creditors by the very same capitalist elitists who regularly insult them behind their backs and often to their faces in the press. [Insulting China | The Nation http://ow.ly/ex1pQ] And worse, the utter hypocrisy of it all does not stop there.
The late President Ronald Reagan and Iran-Contra was just the tip of the iceberg. Try reviewing the Sen. Frank Church hearings (specifically, United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) from 1975 if you think conservative fearfulness is not a social problem for those who are not a part of the extant social system: [COINTELPRO: Final Report of the Senate Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities, Book III http://ow.ly/ex2ei]
Just take a long, hard look at the recent de-listing of the violent, anti-imperialist, Marxist-Islamist, (an ideologically funky contradiction of grand proportions) terrorist cult, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) and the various uber-capitalist American conservatives who accepted significant financial compensation in return for making that possible. [Hillary Clinton Is Taking a Shady Iranian Dissident Group Off the Terror List - Global - The Atlantic Wire http://ow.ly/evnCM] As Glenn Greenwald writing for Salon curiously observed:
‘There are several remarkable aspects to this story. The first is that there are numerous Muslims inside the U.S. who have been prosecuted for providing “material support for Terrorism” for doing far less than these American politicians are publicly doing on behalf of a designated Terrorist group…Yet here we have numerous American political figures receiving substantial fees from a group which is legally designated under American law as a Terrorist organization. Beyond that, they are meeting with the Terrorist leaders of that group repeatedly (Howard Dean told NPR last year about the group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi: “I have actually had dinner with Mrs. Rajavi on numerous occasions. I do not find her very terrorist-like” and has even insisted that she should be recognized as Iran’s President, while Rudy Giuliani publicly told her at a Paris conference in December: “These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace”).
- Israel, MEK and state sponsor of Terror groups - Salon http://ow.ly/evnZC
Although it is quite true that former senior US officials of both main political factions have advocated on behalf of the MEK, [Big Time Dems Join GOPers In Support Of Iranian Terror Group | TPMMuckraker http://ow.ly/evnoZ] it is still notable that staunch conservatives such as career diplomat John R. Bolton, Tom Ridge and Rudy Giuliani of post-911 fame would ever support such an organisation at all. Lest we forget, these are the very same politicians and security professionals who incessantly warn us everyday about the persistent threats we face from global communism and the Islamists who use violence as a means to achieve their political aims.
The extremist leadership and followers of the MEK embody absolutely everything conservatives everywhere claim to be against. Especially in the US. When US neoconservative Rep. Peter King decided to lambaste the whistleblowing news agency WikiLeaks by labelling them as a terrorist organisation and broadly demonise the entire global Islamic community as maniacal radicals, he neglected to come forward about his own active role in promoting Irish republican terrorism against the British government. [Rep. King and the IRA: The End of an Extraordinary Affair? - NY Sun http://ow.ly/evodr] As journalist Marian Wang of ProPublica expertly put it for salon.com:
Yesterday Rep. Peter King was mocked on The Daily Show, and today he’s in the New York Times for his longtime support of the Irish Republican Army — which killed hundreds of civilians in attacks against the British. While acknowledging that “terrorism is terrorism,” the New York politician made no apologies for his support of the IRA, telling the Times that “the I.R.A. never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.” King’s not the only American politician to have publicly supported a terrorist group. An Iranian militant group known as the Mujahadin-e Khalq, or MEK, has also enjoyed the support of several prominent U.S. political figures despite the group’s designation as a terrorist organization. According to the State Department, the group’s killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians during the 1970s, had ties to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and uses “propaganda and terrorism” to wage a worldwide campaign against the Iranian government, even while in exile. The group claims to have renounced terrorism in 2003. MEK’s prominent U.S. supporters – mostly Republicans, but some Democrats too – have attended pro-MEK events and personally voiced support for the removal of MEK from the U.S. terror list.
That was back in 2011. [For Peter King, Lawmaker Examining Terror, a Pro-I.R.A. Past - NYTimes http://ow.ly/evopn] And as of this writing, the MEK are now free to act and do as they will. And they have, even going so far as to physically attack members of the Iranian government on the streets of New York City, in full view of police and security personnel, who were visiting the United Nations for a series of talks: [Just Delisted MKO Terrorist Attack Iran Diplomat In New York http://ow.ly/evhCz]
This is a matter of predatory conservative factional politics, not partisan Republican versus Democrat parlour games or a struggle between ‘Good and Evil’. When right-wing advocates speak of democracy and justice they are, in truth, only speaking for, to and about themselves, not to the masses of the people. And looking at things from their uniquely insular perspective, this makes perfect sense. [Study: Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain | Raw Story http://ow.ly/ex2Mn]
It is generally assumed by conservative thinkers that what they desire for themselves is appropriate universally. Even after it has been made clear to them that their influence and involvement is not wanted or welcomed. Wars have begun this way. And many armed and social conflicts of the contemporary period can be traced to colonialist circumstances that have yet to be resolved even after the invader has gone home. [The Cold War in Africa: a history (2006-2012) - African Stu. Centre http://ow.ly/exb6w]
This is why is is accurate to say that the world is not controlled by the peaceful. It is instead ruled by people who will choose to erode the fabric of civil society for their own individual ends regardless of how the outcome may impact others. These are the conservative oligarchs that are aided by the theologians who lay claim to know everything, own everything and then demand the right to use overwhelming force to protect themselves from those whom they have robbed. Through the power of the state and the church, conservative forces rule the day. Democracy in their view is the privilege of those who can either buy it for themselves or take it by force.
Think about it. Few of us consider historically that the unsympathetic concepts of kingdoms; royal bloodlines; the state; empire; eugenics; Judeophobia; fascism; colonialism; racism; theology and state-sponsored violence and genocide are indeed conservative, not liberal ideas. The view that equal social opportunity, common ownership of life-sustaining resources and the freedom of the individual to express themselves is what defines progressive philosophies and principles. The true progressive understands that we all need each other to survive on this planet and that when we are all allowed to develop to our fullest human potential collectively and individually, everyone benefits.
Conservatives reject this idea outright. Chiefly through ignorance about the very subjects they rail against. The majority of anti-communist, anti-socialist and multicultural naysayers know absolutely nothing about what they speak. They don’t understand left-wing politics or even their own political ideologies very well if at all. They do not understand that Josef Stalin does not represent the totality of left-wing ideology no more than Adolf Hitler represents the grand sum of 20th century Western European thought and behaviour. These specimens were extreme examples of what came before them. And both exhibited an arrogance that negated reason or ethical consideration for the general welfare of others.
These men wanted what they wanted and in both cases, the governments and socioeconomic systems they perverted were forced under duress into ultraconservative variations of their own ideals. Using back-door subversion and bribery to gain political influence over the state and overt violence against active dissenters on the streets, civil society capitulated to their will. This is just the opposite of liberalism, isn’t it? Economist Adam Smith identified it as the ‘Vile Maxim of Mankind’. The belief that argues in favour of limited control over the means of production and commerce by a few, insisting that this benefits society as a whole. [Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776: All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. http://ow.ly/ex8vH]
This sociopolitical theory is the basis of western conservative thought. It believes in placing barriers that purposely retard the lower-classes and social undesirables from attaining control over their own lives, their resources and their labour. And this is precisely why nearly all conservative and absolutely all far-right arguments, no matter who makes them, should be flatly ignored on face value alone. The established histories of conservative sociopolitical movements across the world and over the ages clearly document a moral quandary precious few conservatives will dare to admit. Their philosophy, (if you can call it that) is based upon the acceptance and practise of unchecked human-on-human inequity and exploitation.
In situations of Indigenous, enslaved and colonialised peoples, lands, names and even whole identities have been co-opted for the greater glory of the invader. Is this not the present situation in Occupied Tibet and in Anglophone North America? Consider this dynamic when Native Peoples voice indignation over how they are represented in traditional Americana. Objectively investigate the genocidal racism of Native American mascots in the US and understand how seriously many Indians regard the issue. This hateful practise is often defended as being ‘respectful’ to Indigenous Americans because most settlers can and will make claim to at least one distant Aboriginal relative, whether true or imagined, that they believe magically justifies whatever discrimination and exploitation they engage in as ‘Americans’ today.
Social power is defined, categorised and utilised in whatever manner the ‘ownership society’ chooses it to be. This is as true in the Dominican Republic and Zimbabwe as it is in Occupied Hawai’i and Toronto, Canada. And this is also why the brutish types, because they are the sorts who have no scruples when it comes to slitting the throats of the innocent, are the breed that rule the world. Might makes for Right in their view of the world. It is they who have ignored the rules of ethical conduct in a just and civil society whilst falsely blaming their neighbour for the deed. Decent people, conscious, caring and sensible people, left-wing people, do everything possible to avoid conflict. We would rather talk with others than fight. We love life and we want to see the human family and all other organic things live, grow and surpass what we have managed to accomplish without the rule of violence and intimidation.
This includes being willing to work with those who do not share our particular personal biases and political worldview. We can agree to disagree on most issues except when it comes to social and human justice. This is our base principle. All of us or none. This cannot be said of the conservative who when offered the chance to share power, spends more time attempting to take over the institution instead of trying to sustain it. There are lessons here for the left if we are pay attention to our political and national histories. We must never forget just how easy it is for things to go wrong when things lean exclusively to the right. And, we must also remember that it was the organised left and republican governments attempting to work alongside conservatives as equal partners in government and society that often made this possible.
It was V. I. Lenin who appointed Stalin to the position of General Secretary of the party in 1922. And less than a year later, he came to realise that he had acted in
error. There was no violent takeover of the party that the public could see. Stalin and his thugs moved behind the scenes to secure their grip on the government. German president Paul von Hindenburg was urged incessantly by both the political right-wing and the wealthy military-industrial complex to give Hitler a political position of importance to the republic. Once he did in 1933, Hitler’s conservative government used existing conservative laws, (the infamous Reichstag Decree — Reichstagsbrandverordnung, and the Enabling Act — Ermächtigungsgesetz) to legally strangle the German population, liquidate its ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, the infirm and to proceed openly with their plans for Aryan Lebensraumpolitik across the entire European subcontinent. Again, no major struggle, just a legalised coup d’état that took full advantage of depressed social conditions, institutional biases to achieve a strictly partisan end game.
This is why populist right-wing denunciations of hard-line governments, radical non-Christian theocracies and covetous family dynasties such as the House of Saud are acts of profound deception. The covert gangster elements inherent within these state systems are far more similar than they are different from one another. While Stalin and Hitler respectively came from opposing political ideologies, as individuals, their view of the world was exactly the same. These were people not lumbered with concern for others, only their own personal needs, desires and fears. They were willing to go to any lengths to secure for themselves a world of their own liking. A fictional world in which a conservative coward could feel safe because everything about them is either predisposed or forced to concede to their petty personal determinations.
Such bullishness is indeed wrong. But conservatives or course see things very differently. They view day-to-day existence as an eternal struggle against others who think like themselves and those who stubbornly refuse to be the expendable exodus fodder for their petty intrigues. These people see the world through a dark lens of terror and trepidation that is truly of their own creation. They fear everything and they trust nothing. Not even themselves. This is the psychology of the schoolyard bully and this is why conservative people strive so diligently — and stoop so low — to prevent even the vaguest suggestion of lasting affirmative change. They will always speak of ‘doing right’ while they do just the opposite. The conservative will demand her or her rights while denying others the same respect.
Conservatives are liars. Let us be clear here about this. When it comes to manifesting integrity, social and political conservatives as a flock talk a good game but are indeed lacking in this respect. Conservatives lie. [Mitt Romney Lies About Father ‘Marching With Martin Luther King, Jr.’ - News Network http://ow.ly/exagk] And their expressed disdain for Cartesian common sense, honest science, free choice, true social equality and simple decency towards their fellow man and woman is quite revealing in its rage against collective betterment and universal harmony.
It should be achingly clear to all be now that conservatives often feel compelled to resort to insanely drastic measures in a reactionary panic to ideas and circumstances that challenge their patronising sense of entitlement. These are a breed of people, if we can give them that, who view the bloodletting of the defenceless as a pious sacrifice to the deities of wealth and privilege. This is why conservatives glorify war, rape and pillage, because it is through these acts of brigandage that one may acquire more than one’s fair share of what should be available to everyone. These are the values of the thug, not the rational socialists they portray as a threat to all that is ‘right’.
Conservatives are cowardly people at heart. [Study: Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain | Raw Story http://ow.ly/ex3bR] They fear everything and they are largely fuelled by insane envy and insatiable material greed. It is not unlike the cowardly apprehension of the town thief who when caught, is annoyingly disinclined to hand over what he has wilfully stolen. These are the ‘Honourable Gentlemen’ of Western Europe who have used the Bible in one hand and the gun in the other to get what they wanted. No less dastardly than the reviled strongmen of the past who used superstition and the sword to deprive the meek of what nature gave them to survive.
At this juncture we should be asking ourselves, in a democracy, serious questions about what we accept as legitimate as opposed to what we actually believe and understand to be true. And while most US voters will only be worrying about themselves, the peoples of the Fourth and Third Worlds look on with fear and trepidation towards another US presidential election that will ultimately decide the direction of their fate. They wonder aloud about what their lives will be like given the choices presented to US voters: a religious and political conservative Mormon Bishop whose faith teaches that Africans suffer the ‘Mark of Cain’, or a Democratic Party incumbent who has chosen to punish Africans, Arabs [‘Every Person Is Afraid of the Drones’: The Strikes’ Effect on Life in Pakistan - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic http://ow.ly/ex50Y] (at home as well as abroad) [Eric Holder: Reports of NYPD spying on Muslims ‘disturbing’ - POLITICO http://ow.ly/ex4DG] and the poor by faithfully following the path laid by the previous neocon administration and the extant Europocentric settler culture.
Either way, it is a descent into intellectual emptiness to suggest that conservative-thinking people and politicians of any stripe would do anything tangible to ‘fix’ the depressed and unjust state of affairs they have created and start doing right by the rest of us. Conservative ownership of public information and educational systems of course makes this social-cognitive imbalance possible. [Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid | Alternet http://ow.ly/ex37g] But by way of constructed lies, wilful omission and ample psychological violence, conservatives would have us forget that the injustice, war, rape and slaughter we witness around in the world is due to the acts of the strong, not the weak people the dominant callously prey upon. Their freewheeling use of force in the name of ‘Freedom and Democracy’ and sometimes G-d does little to make things palatable for the powerless.
But it certainly allows the powerful to feel secure in their ivory towers of self-imposed deceit and hypocrisy. Does it not?