Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference

The “categorical imperative” is the central concept in the ethical philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It refers to  an unconditional moral obligation binding in all cases and not dependent on someone’s inclination or purpose.

It refers to things you have to do. So (just for example) if you have water and you’re with someone dying of thirst, you share the water.  No matter who the other is. Because it is right to do so.

It also refers to things you can’t do. So (just for another example), if it is wrong (as a matter of principle) for a government in one country to interfere in the elections of another, the rule against it applies universally. It would be wrong for a foreign country to help a candidate in the U.S. to win.

But see this:

“Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisers Helped Yeltsin Win.”

Jesus! That almost sounds like interference in the Russian election of 1996. And it looks like the U.S. was  practically shouting it from the rooftops at the time, with glee. Why not? Russia under Yeltsin was bleeding horribly, no threat to the U.S. surely.

In fact, this electoral interference is the U.S. norm.  U.S. NGOs finance political groups and try to organize “color revolutions” all over the place. The U.S. has been far more inclined to such interference than Russia or the former Soviet Union over many decades.

In all the media discussion of the—scandalous, outrageous—alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election, there has been almost no reference to U.S. meddling in political processes in Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in recent years. Or reference to the fact that the State Department’s Victoria Nuland was able to orchestrate the Ukrainian coup of February 2014.

Washington has zero respect for other countries’ democratic institutions and cherishes ties with countries that have none (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, etc).

To those whining about Putin: spare me your indignation. As Hegel says, “The truth is the whole.” And when you look at the whole thing, you realize that the U.S. ruling class topples governments by overt or covert means relentlessly, much, much more incessantly than Moscow. And the U.S. media is virtually instructed not to talk about it, or problematize it. It indeed celebrates successes, when they occur, as when $ 5 billion invested result in a coup in Kiev.

I have been skeptical about the Russian election interference charges throughout. Now I am seeing some substance. But now more than ever the question should be: how does such “interference” compare with that conducted by the U.S. in many countries? And why is it right for one and not the other?

More articles by:

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail