Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

2015: Defending Humanity by Reason or Force


One more step, one more explosion of insanity, and all that humanity fought for, what it labored for and has been aiming at for years, centuries and millennia, may disappear in a monstrous series of blasts. Our planet might break into pieces, or it may get poisoned and become uninhabitable, forever.

Hyperbolic? Not at all, given the track record of the Empire: war after war, invasion after invasion, with hundreds of destabilized countries, murdered leaders, and overthrown governments.

The storyline may be similar to that of the famous novella by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”. We can foresee what may soon happen, we are warning that carnage is likely to take place in a very near future and on a grand scale, but our warnings, while registering, are not propelling almost anyone to action. But this may soon change.

Those who are now pushing the world to an irreversible disaster are clearly identifiable: they are market fundamentalists, conservative Christian dogmatists who believe in the superiority of their doctrine and of the ‘chosen nature’ of the Western people and culture, as well as the millions of their lackeys and minor cohorts: thousands of CEO’s and deranged ‘military strategists’.

If they are allowed to choose: to destroy the world or to lose control over it, they would opt for destruction. And they would have no regrets in ending billions of human lives, because their ‘logic’ and ‘morality’ have foundations in some bizarre and hazy ‘holy righteous’ dogmas, and because, during the long and dark centuries, they managed to cultivate countless arguments, designed to justify their lunacy.

The only circumstance, under which they would let the rest of us survive and exist, would be, if we were to become their unconditional slaves; not just servants, but slaves.

They want to rule over us and simultaneously they demand to be feared, admired and adored. Yes, the control, the submission, has to be total. And all those servile, shameful feelings we are expected to demonstrate have to be absolute, ‘pure’ and unconditional.

You are guessing correctly: it all has its roots somewhere ‘back there’ – in the era of the ‘Holy Inquisition’.

If we dare to resist, they are capable of nuking us, reducing all of us to dust, even if they and their families would also vanish in that fire.

It is because these people are true extremists and fanatics, because they want absolutely everything, because they are maniacs in possession not only of tremendous propaganda, surveillance and security apparatuses, but also of nukes.


After this regime and its rulers colonized and enslaved almost the entire planet Earth, there is very little decency left in the places that have fallen into their hands, as almost everything that used to be pure, everything natural and human, has been spat on, perverted, trivialized and commercialized.

People all over the world used to dream and desire things like solidarity, beauty, love, justice for all, equality and brotherhood, as well as permanent lack of fear.

Knowledge was supposed to have one and only purpose: to give people the intellectual tools to build better societies.

Now, children and adults go to schools to become obedient ants and half-wits, ready for the corporate drill. The more schooling and diplomas they receive the more stereotypical and conditioned their brains become.

In most of countries, medicine is nothing more than a well-remunerated business, while almost all pharmaceutical companies are busy plundering rainforests and registering their patents, instead of curing people.

Great science died, after being locked behind the doors of predominantly corporate laboratories or private universities and research centers. The best scientific brains are working for the military, or they are busy developing ‘products’ for markets, instead of advancing humanity.

The Arts, once the vanguard of human thought and progress, has been reduced to entertainment, into mainly indistinguishable mass of pop, as soulless and brainless, as the supermarkets or shopping malls. Instead of leading people to the barricades, instead of making them aim at something higher, artists have been reduced to the level of cheap entertainers.

Deliberately, form was put high above the substance. In all the major world cities ruled by the Empire, people in buses and trains now stare at the screens of their latest mobile phones, exchanging increasingly incomprehensible, idiotic and abbreviated infantile and self-centered messages. Hardly anyone reads books. Hardly anyone thinks. Hardly anyone has any feelings. Even love has become like that mass-produced pinkish pop cover of confetti.

Nobody seems to be happy. In the Empire itself, people are miserably atomized, lonely and lost. They are too scared to open their hearts to each other, to love, to give everything to others. In the colonies, horrendously retarded family and religious structures are put to work, to serve oppression, which in turn serves the Empire.

Ideals are being spat on, dragged through dirt by the omnipotent manufacturers of obedience and by their most powerful tools – the mass media, religious entrepreneurs, the private education system, and the pop entertainment machine. Only consumerism, commercialism, business achievements and loyalty to the regime are glorified. There is nothing that encourages people to dream of a much better world, or to struggle for a new, just and egalitarian society.

Any society or ideology that dares to put people first, is demonized, and ridiculed. It is ideologically attacked. If it refuses to succumb, it gets attacked militarily, it gets bombed, and eventually, it ends up being thoroughly destroyed.


The Western Empire insists on controlling everything of any substance. It has even managed to radicalize non-Christian religions, most strikingly Islam: first through the British support of Wahhabis, then through Western creation of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, that subsequently gave birth to Al-Qaeda, and recently by NATO’s creation of ISIS.

The Empire is only interested in controlling the world, not in its wellbeing or continued existence. It is actually showing a spectacular disinterest towards the survival of the human race and of our planet.

I have seen entire nations ‘sinking’, or becoming uninhabitable due to global warming: Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Marshall Islands. I have seen enormous islands like Sumatra or Borneo totally logged out, covered by black toxic rivers, thoroughly destroyed.

I have seen unimaginable horrors – cities that were fully abandoned to ‘market forces’ – Jakarta, Nairobi, Tegucigalpa…

I talked to people in New York City who were scared that they could get sick one day; not because of illness itself, but because they would not be able to pay their medical bills. I saw young people squashed under the deadly weight of student loans. I talked to armies of people who have ‘no idea what to do with their lives’ – all reason, all meaning for existence simply lost!

I have seen dozens of battlefields, cities and villages bombed to the ground. I saw millions of refugees. All this, so the Empire can maintain this monstrous self-serving and self-promoting system – a system which nobody really wants, and never really wanted.

And now, one more step, and it will trigger conflict with Russia, China, perhaps Iran…


The more I see, the more I think: We have to find a way how to disarm those maniacs who are ruling the world, as well finding a way how to disarm their servants and lackeys in the ‘client-states’.

This is absolute madness! This is not where humanity should be, right now. They have kidnapped humanity, detained progress, murdered dreams and covered entire continents with a dark, sarcastic, depressing blanket of nihilism.

Instead of creating beautiful music and poetry, instead of building public parks and ecological cities, we are choking our urban centers with cars; we are murdering millions of people over access to natural resources. We live for over-production and over-consumption, while billions are rotting alive in a gutter. We are overthrowing decent political leaders and murdering journalists who refuse to lie. We are spying on each other, cheating on each other, and torturing each other, intimidating each other, murdering each other and hating each other.

Most of the people have been made to forget that human beings are essentially optimistic, sharing and loving creatures. Most people have been made to forget, or were never allowed to know, that building better societies is much more glorious and fun than living in some extreme individualistic nightmare. Living for humanity, not for profit, not for a ‘me-me-me-goes first’ dogma, is fulfilling and actually gives meaning to one’s existence.


Our so-called ‘leaders’, political, religious and economic/business, belong in a mental institution.

How to get them there, would require, doubtlessly, an extremely delicate maneuver.

I suggest: let us promise them; let us give them, all the imaginable golden parachutes they desire. Anything: just to get rid of them; push them away from power.

They should be behind bars, of course, facing charges ranging from fraud to genocide, but punishing them is not my priority, at least not right now.

The priority is for humanity to survive – to survive as a multitude of free people, not as slaves.

Those maniacs know that they can thrive only in a world, which they have created. They have no kindness, no creative power. Their system can only flourish because of deception, intimidation, and terror.

That is why they and their system will never go voluntarily, and peacefully.

Life is business, for them. They don’t exist for humanity; they exist as slave-owners (slavery is a business for them, too, ever since the beginning) and as religious inquisitors; and they also exist for their deadly business games: for deals, for markets.

Let us find a way to buy back our world from them!

Let us find a way to buy grass and rivers, oceans and rainforests, ancient cities, creatures, trees and flowers.

Let us find a way to buy back the respect for human race. Let’s buy it from them and then, let us never sell it again. Let us not sell it to anyone, no matter how beautifully he plays his flute!

Let us recover, even at a price, logic and reason: let love be love again; let pain be pain, let justice be exactly that – justice – and nothing else!

Any price will do, as long as they leave this planet alone.

For millennia, their Crusades, their colonialism, their plunder has turned our world into an enormous globe of fear, of torture, of smoke and of grotesque parody on morality.

And after all that madness and terror that has been committed, some people are still taking this regime, this Molotov Cocktail of fundamentalist Christianity, imperialism and capitalism, seriously!

Please, let us not take it seriously, anymore. It is just a terrible joke, a nightmare, and an insult to the very essence of humanity.

Let us laugh at it, let us throw up looking at it, or, as I suggested: let us negotiate an immediate deal, even if we become thoroughly broke for some time.

But, under no circumstances, should we take it ‘seriously’, anymore. And let us not continue living like this, any longer!

This regime has perverted all great aspirations of humanity. It has derailed progress and destroyed hope. It has choked kindness and solidarity. It has robbed the great majority of people, and then suggested that ‘poverty should be eased through charity’. And it has murdered hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions.

Let us insult it. Let us laugh at it. Let us throw money in its face.

If it refuses to leave: let us fight it!


Look at all that nihilism surrounding us!

The Empire has no beautiful songs – songs about building the nations; it has no poetry that could cover our backs with goose bumps. It has no leaders who could, with hardly any security; stand on a balcony facing a crowd, sharing with people their passion for building a great world for all of us.

It has no loyalty, and it offers no certainty. ‘Love’ it produces is ‘interest and business oriented’, it does not last, and it is cannot be counted on.

The Empire cannot even fight, anymore, because it is sickly and cowardly. It murders millions, yes; but it murders them by pushing buttons and by flying drones, and by using proxy regimes – its colonies.

It is because the ideals of the Empire are low, because its religious dogmas are depressing, because capitalism is shallow, because neo-colonialism is immoral!


If the Empire kills us, we would all die for nothing – only so the Empire and its maniacs could thrive!

Therefore, let us not die! Let us fight for life, against the fascism that is now choking our throats.

Let us unite and shout:

“We Want This Earth Back!”

“We Want Kindness, Decency And Love Back!”

But these shouts should not be slogans at some protest marches. Protest marches do not work.

We either fight, or we change nothing. These should be the demands on our banners, our battle cries!

Ask anywhere in Latin America and Africa, in Asia and Oceania, in the Middle East, even in the epicenters of the Empire – in Europe and North America: the people want to live in a world free of constant fear and irrational guilt. They want hospitals to cure the sick and to prevent others from getting ill, schools to really educate, and housing to give a roof and shelter to people, cities and villages to offer a great quality of life to their inhabitants. They want certainty.

People want life to have meaning again… and to be full of beauty, of hope and dreams! They want to watch the stars above, and to dream. Sometimes they can’t even define it, anymore, but if you talk to them, this is what most of them really want.

“A journey of a thousand li begins with a single step”, said great Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, some 25 centuries ago.

But in order to make that very first step, one has to stand up, to be erect.

And in order to stand up, one has to be alive; one has to be determined.

True, it is sometimes easier to kneel or to prostrate, than to stand, than to walk forward, than to struggle. Sometimes it is easier to betray, than to remain loyal to one’s dream, to one’s love, to the essential principles.

But one truly lives only when he or she is upright, when marching forward and aiming at a better world, when keeping promises and pledges.

The Empire broke many; it bought many, or scared them into submission. But others are standing up. Not everyone is for sale, neither is everyone ready to serve.

The first steps are being made, everywhere. Many thousand li distances will soon be covered.

Fascism will be fought. Humanity will be defended! By reason or by force, the regime would have to yield to the interests of humanity. It will not be allowed to make that final, the most destructive step!

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: Fighting Against Western Imperialism‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 28, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Inside the Invisible Government; War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump
Andrew Levine
The Hillary Era is Coming: Worry!
Gary Leupp
Seven World-Historical Achievements of the Iraq Invasion of 2003
Paul Street
Standing Rock Water-Protectors Waterboarded While the Cleveland Indians Romped
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel: 1984 Everlasting
Michael Brenner
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Trump Era
Luciana Bohne
Crossing the Acheron: Back to Vietnam
Robert Hunziker
The Political Era of Climate Refugees
Stephen Cooper
Alabama’s Last Execution was an Atrocity
Ira Helfand
Nukes and the UN: a Historic Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
Pete Dolack
Work Harder So Speculators Can Get More
Joyce Nelson
Canadians Launch Constitutional Challenge Against CETA
John Laforge
US Uranium Weapons Have Been Used in Syria
Paul Edwards
The Vision Thing ’16
Arshad Khan
Hillary, Trump and Sartre: How Existentialism Disrobes the Major Presidential Candidates
Peter Lee
It’s ON! Between Duterte and America
Chris Zinda
The Bundy Acquittal: Tazing of #oregonstandoff
Joseph Grosso
Starchitects in the City: Vanity Fair and Gentrification
Patrick Carr
Economic Racial Disparity in North Carolina
David Swanson
Public vs. Media on War
Chris Gilbert
Demo Derby in Venezuela: The Left’s New Freewheeling Politics
Binoy Kampmark
Nobel Confusion: Ramos-Horta, Trump and World Disorder
Stephen Cooper
Alabama’s Last Execution Was an Atrocity
Sam Albert
Kids on Their Own in Calais: the Tip of an Iceberg-Cold World
Binoy Kampmark
Nobel Confusion: Ramos-Horta, Trump and World Disorder
Russell Mokhiber
Lucifer’s Banker: Bradley Birkenfeld on Corporate Crime in America
Ron Jacobs
Death to the Fascist Insect! The SLA and the Cops
Cesar Chelala
Embargo on Cuba is an Embarrassment for the United States
Jack Smith
And the Winner Is….
Ken Knabb
Beyond Voting: the Limits of Electoral Politics
Matt Peppe
An Alternate Narrative on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
The Israeli Trumpess
James Rothenberg
Water Under the Bridge
Louis Yako
Remembering Rasul Gamzatov: The Poet of the People
Brian Cloughley
The US, NATO and the Pope
When Nobody Returns: Palestinians Show They are People, Too
Louis Proyect
The Outsider-Insider: Isaac Babel’s Big Mistake
Simon Jones
The Human Lacunae in Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake”
Martin Billheimer
Now and Then, Ancient Sorceries
October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?