Wednesday, April 16, 2014

About the relativity of bravery

Turkey, international NGOs and many good fellows feel very brave to send people in front of the Israeli army....where are they after two years of bloodshed in Syria? or in face of UN's claims of toture in Crimea?
Well, where were they also in Tibet? Burundi? Somalia? Sudan.....

Bottom line, others will do for you only when it's easy and not really risky.

Ukraine's fate and the fall of western liberalism

Regardless of which side you support in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict (or the Syrian conflict), there are a few obvious conclusions to draw.

First, the USA and EU credibility were substantially damaged . They seems to be good at making promises, but when needed they aren't there. Compare Bashar Al-Assad, Russia and Iran's ally to Mubarak, USA's ally.

Second, no one will protect you but your own. International treaties are worthless in front of aggression since no one will enforce them for you. People are still being gassed in Syria according to some reports, and no one does a thing. Ukrainian soil was invaded by one of the sides who signed on an agreement to protect it in exchange of Ukraine's nuclear disarmament - the other signers USA and UK did nothing to prevent it.

Third, the international left is silent and worthless. It seems that ideals are relative and applied selectively. It means they are applied only when it's easy to do so. Liberals world wide did nothing to stop the conflict in Ukraine nor the massacre in Syria. I'm not even talking about human shields to fly over to Syria to protect its people - I'm merely talking about substantial demonstrations or funds mobilization. Ukrainians, Syrians and Russians are all left alone to their destiny.

Fourth, if you are not wiling to die, someone will kill you. Yes, you are sounds like the jungle law. If Ukraine would have posed fierce opposition in Crimea, even is symbolic - showing its people determination to protect their territory, there is a chance that Putin would have reconsidered his moves. Given the anemic response of the west and the disgrace of the Ukrainian army, there is no chance whatsoever that the Russian army will stay away of East Ukraine and the Russian population over there. Why should they?

The domino building of global order is quickly crumbling and we will all pay the price.
Again, brutal force as the upper hand - the more brutal you are the less chance there is  someone will stop you.

The healthy, wealthy and well fed idealists of EU and USA, again lost any survival instincts. They may be afraid or just living in a world of fairy tales.

The only 'good' side to this sad story, is that if we thought that the world was being racist when not helping out the millions massacred in Sudan, Burundi and other places - we can rest assure that they won't help also 'paler' kinds. Sad.

Now just come to think how will it affect other conflicts for an instance the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Will anyone trust international guarantees, agreements and forces? Or will instead everyone uphold Darwin's simple and so-painful true of survival of the fittest?

I think you already know the answer. Just go to YouTube and search for 'Syria'. I promise you wont sleep tonight after watching this.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The price of treason

During years the liberal democratic countries supported authoritarian friendly regimes in the Arab world. They  even enjoyed the perks of having friendly soil in which some of the limitations of the democratic world did not apply. They also gained some tranquillity from the dreaded dream of extreme Islam control over those countries.

The west never turned its back to these allies, until they really needed its support. The west first sin was never making a real effort to create a liberal social infrastructure in these countries. Dictatorship was just fine. They didn't want to take any risks. So, they sacrificed principals for realpolitik.

However, when their allies needed them and were really threatened, the second sin took the stage. The west's secular allies were sacrificed also in the name of realpolitik.  A stupid idea that this will get the west some points with the upcoming regimes.

The role of left parties and thinkers in this play of hypocrisy, betrayal and short sighting is appalling and showing again the weakness versus opposing forces in house and worldwide. The voices raising mainly from the European left who preferred to side with the Muslim Brotherhood s and not with the secular Authoritarian regimes are just incomprehensible. One could understand if they had fiercely supported liberal-secular groups and warned them from playing into the hands of the Islamist extremists, but that was not the case in Egypt, isn't in Syria and was never with the Palestinians.

Now the liberal countries look hypocritical for not promoting what they claim to be their core liberal values and for not standing by its official allies or even by its ideological allies (liberal sectors). And all this, for what? For supporting upcoming regimes which ideologically will be opposed to liberalism, that will clash with the small liberal elites in this countries.

In a tough neighborhood a man with no principals and no friends left has only one resource in hand - force. You can definitely expect that force will be needed. So much blood will be shed in order to reassert what was lost during years of hypocrisy.

The most amazing thing of all is how some columnists are partying and declaring that Russia's stand is getting weaker together with Al-Assad.  In the very short term and tactically speaking this is correct. However, you tell me - next time you'll be out looking for an ally - who would you like by your side - Obama and Sarkozy (pick any European leader) or Putin?

Liberals should have made a priority to support the liberals in every country and then apply realpolitik to serve their needs or just stick by their allies. What's done is done. Now it is time to reassess who are the liberalism's allies.

A personal note as someone living in the middle east. I believe there is no way around. The nations of the region have a chance to take a great lesson on self defining their fate. We will all pay the price of these lessons, either high or low, but there is no way around learning and experiencing which was never done. Like in Europe, when people didn't understand the benefits of democracy and liberalism they easily gave it up. Eventually, I believe, things will improve. You ask: when will this occur? Sincerely, I have no idea.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Celebrating at the Bastille - Unconscious Leftists

I couldn't be more amazed to watch the joy of the socialist celebrations in France after taking the elections.
These elections have proven that liberal France is dead - or at least that socialists don't really have a liberal French majority.
Even when the far right casted about 20% of the votes and refused to vote for Sarkozy, Hollande barely got 50% of the votes with very little difference over Sarkozy.
The votes Hollande got consisted of classic liberals (modern liberals, secular, feminist, gay, etc) but also of a large contingent of people who voted just to oppose the Republican Secular strict agenda lead by Sarkozy. These people (mainly marginalized and extremized communities) do not understand or share the values of the liberal left that sincerely embraces them - in some cases even despise them. Hollande couldn't have refused to these votes, but I'm not sure his people understand the undercurrents.
If we do the simple arithmetic, the liberals in France are an absolute minority which managed to take the elections supported by non-liberal populations based on an ad-hoc need.
I would assume that given this anti-Sarkozy coalition, Hollande's administration will evade promoting a "Franchising" policy and not even liberal education to all the French population. The amazing Republican building will be growingly under attack from left and from right.

By the end of Hollande's term the far right in France will be stronger and bigger than ever as well as the non-liberal communities who voted him.
Does Hollande have an alternative? Yes he does. He must take the middle path, cherish the Republican liberal values even at the expense of losing a chunk of his voters. The other way will be far too disastrous for the liberal essence of the republic. Hollande's administration must see itself as the last defender of the Republican values. Otherwise, I'm afraid there will be nothing to stand between the troops of La-Pen and Immigrants' gangs that will clash in the streets.

The Conquest of the Bastille (CC Wikipedia)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sustainable Liberalism?

In an era where sustainability is one of the most common buzzwords spread by liberals worldwide we have the right to ask ourselves: Is Liberalism itself sustainable?

Liberal ideas carry a lot of real world attributes which we commonly define as positive, like tolerance, human and civil rights, advance of knowledge, higher life standards, novelty by free minds - just to mention a few.*
However, Liberalism bears also a terrible pain. It carries at its womb a time bomb that will bring to its own destruction. Either this aggressive tumor or one of its complications will kill liberalism. Its self assuredness and pacifism.

Modern liberalism is pacifist. Its main stream adherents do not want to fight in real wars. Actually, many times they do not want to fight at all. The belief in Liberalism embeds the belief in man kindness, benevolence and an ever improving world. So, if the good always win and if everyone are good, why should one fight at all.

This liberalism is light years away from the much more realist founders of liberalism or the revolutionaries of the French Revolution, who lived the oppression that they wanted to oust with their liberal ideas.They knew they had to fight and die for the life they wanted.

Modern liberals, mainly western ones, have never felt oppression, commonly the worst thing they went through is unemployment.We grew up in welfare states, we saw too many movies in which the good guys always win and whenever we felt blue we could just open the TV to watch a movie, read a book, go for a drink or go shopping. We didn't have to be out fighting for our families' or ideas' survival.

If you have ever participated in an elections campaign, felt the stress in the days before the elections and celebrated with multitudes a victory, you probably know that feeling of an essential battle been won. A tide of strong feelings that you didn't know exist in you. But, a few days later the feeling is gone. This emotion, this fervor lacks in the liberal movement and when it exists it is commonly turned in the wrong direction.

Some additional characteristics add to the clinical history of our soon to be defeated liberal camp.

Liberal people make little children, while non liberals tend to have many.

Liberal communities (if you can call community to an agglomeration of individuals) tend to be tolerant to ideas that threat their way of life even in a violent way, while non liberal communities do not reciprocate and do not allow liberal ideas to freely enter their realm.

Liberals tend more than others to focus on career and material achievements over ideology and community life. Individualism is venerated while the general good which requires an effort to defend is left for others to do. It is a kind of outsourced values implementation. NGOs to which we contribute from time to time, tweet their links, share their Facebook posts or rarely manifest for are the perfect conscience purifier.

Our family life is a sterile from ideas and actions, and even when it is full with ideals passed to our children, we are rarely activists - thus teaching our children what hypocrisy and that a good liberal doesn't have to stand for his ideas.

Liberal which are activists prefer to reprimand their own community or other liberal communities for not being liberal enough towards others, while exalting non-liberals as mere noble savages. It is safer to verbally castigate a liberal society, since the attached price tag is low. When you attack a non liberal society you may be required to pay higher prices which almost no contemporary liberal is willing to pay.

Living such a sweet life, never having to really fight for your way of life and convictions, tunes down our instincts. Most of us are not able anymore to correctly identify who are the essential rivals. This is easily exemplified by cooperation of leftist organizations with dictatorships and undemocratic regimes. So, either these organizations aren't liberal or they are blind and cannot recognize the enemy. Maybe they cannot take seriously any enemy - after all they believe, the good guys will always win.

Human character is shaped like that of other animals through struggles, combats and playing-training towards them. When daily life is left out of any existential struggle and when we are educated that nothing is worth fighting for, we suppress those basic instincts.

The elites which carry the ideas of every regime are always the first ones to become complacent, lose their instincts and take the path towards the extinction of their own regime. Elites, being spoiled and living well, tend to become cosmopolitan, less provincial and supposedly more and more liberal. This is a stage of suicidal liberalism. Liberalism like any other idea must keep its vitality. It must have a Carthage to rival with if it wants to avoid petrification.

* These 'positive' and benevolent attributes can be considered such only in certain situations. When being a 'good guy' gets you or someone from your family/community killed by the 'bad guys' in your neighborhood, there is no meaning anymore to 'being good'.

Sometimes I feel that Hollywood is one of the main problems of the modern liberalism. Darwin taught us that the fittest, the fiercest and the strongest survives. Extremists, dictators and racists twisted the ideas trying to justify some of the most horrible deeds in human history. Liberals decided that they will negate and turn their back to any notion of Darwinism in politics and society. This is where Hollywood gets into the picture. It seems that liberals truly tend to believe that the good guys will always win. I find no possible explanations to that but two - stupidity or watching too many Hollywood movies.

Hi everybody! Wake up! Bad guys do win if you do not fight back! You cannot assume that wife beaters and child abusers will change their ways nor you can assume the same about crazy extremists, people who think a certain deity allowed them to kill others or deprive their women from basic rights.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sad May 1st

May 1st is always a day of mixed feelings for me.

On one hand, I tremble thinking about the achievements of socialism and liberalism in the past 200 years and about empowered workers, actually previously slaves, marching and waving red flags - celebrating their dignity.
On the other hand, I think about the great failures, the wars that weren't prevented, the depths of terror to which red flags led and the great betrayal at the end of the 20th century.

I couldn't have for you my fellow readers a better example than the following.

Today a Spaniard friend talked with me about the economical situation in Spain. He started ranting about the situation, the crazy cut downs of the right wing government which is 'selling the country to the Germans'

A: Our government is demented. They are changing laws related to demonstrations expecting that during the summer Spain will burn with manifestations. I didn't expect the right wing government to be so much more radical than the already capitalist previous leftist government. They are handing the country to the Germans.
B: Why to the Germans?
A: Because all the terrible things are done at the request of the German banks.
B: I think you don't fully understand the Germans. Merkel really thinks that the south Europeans are irresponsible and need to learn a lesson.
A: Maybe. But the responsibility should be shared. Investors can't be immune to risk. They invest in Spanish banks and exposed themselves. Their gamble went wrong and instead of them coping with the results, the Spanish state is being sold part by part.
B: Well, that's what Spain (and others) did to Argentina years ago...and the Spanish left didn't even blink...
A: In fact the left here doesn't exist. It's a mere third way.
B: At least Germans are coherent.
A: The pace of changes is brutal. It will take here 2 years to destroy here the welfare state, the same kind of destruction that took you (Israel) 20 years.
B: I tell you again that the life of Argentinians was destroyed much faster, they didn't even have the support, even if virtual, of something like the EU or anyone in the world that could care that they were going down.
A: True. Many times I tell to my Argentinian acquaintances that their past is our future.
B: Other countries in the world were destroyed in months in civil wars and nobody cared. And the Spanish left...what did it do for the Greek people?

An important clarification. I truly believe that people and governments should be the first responsibles for their own deeds and not blame others. There is no redemption for a society which doesn't take responsibility and take bold steps to amend what's wrong internally. Whether the amendment should be brutal austerity or ultra-capitalist changes is debatable. Since economics isn't an exact science, there isn't one formula.

On the ideological level, people who didn't show any empathy and didn't reach out to others shouldn't be surprised when no one shows empathy and doesn't reach out to them.

The failure of the left is global. Instead of establishing a moral stand in hard times, it spent its time on other things and now when the bad times come to their step door people start whining. It didn't rally for people who lost everything, it didn't rally for millions of peoples massacred worldwide, it didn't manifest for human rights in dictatorships. It always opted for fashionable causes.

And no, my left wing party isn't any better.

Workers of the world, show compassion to others! (even when your own middle-class-stomach is full)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

No competition to capitalism and the rotting west

Hegel made a correct observation that dialectics between two opposites (thesis and anti-thesis) creates new matter (synthesis) and promotes the advance of history.
Currently, when the leftist ideas championed by the USSR and socialist movements were demolished, there is no counter thesis to create dialectics versus the capitalism, which in its turn causes the rotting and decay of capitalism.

This way, the basis of the western renaissance, the logic questioning of subject, competition between ideas and cycling improvement is in danger.

While Capitalism and Socialism were contending against each other, new and advanced forms of matter appeared in the friction lines - social-democracy, welfare state, social security and more.

Nowadays, it seems that regardless whether you are a western capitalist, a middle eastern Islamist, a nationalist Russian or a competitive Chinese - money is a tool and a goal at the same time. Thus, they do not challenge capitalism and capitalism isn't really challenging their core values. This way, western liberalism (what we used to wrongly call, leftism) is left without a defender and is vanished from the ideological arena.

I agree that these ideologies currently competing on world dominance do have dialectics between them, but not sure these dialectic currents are positive.

The left has left and we are left alone. It's our own responsibility to bring up a new notion of liberalism.