FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wall Street Sells Subprime History 

Photo by Dave Center | CC BY 2.0

Like a glossy real estate magazine the bimonthly Foreign Affairs attracts the eye. And so like a mortgage salesman the Council on Foreign Relations pitches the Dream without mentioning the Nightmare. Its high class narrative on the primacy of “private property” (the US kind) at home and abroad baits the reader before switching to the lowest ideological standards there are. Conclusion: the Empire – like the mortgages – rests on an intellectual foundation of sand.

The January/February edition of Foreign Affairs epitomizes this bait and switch – this glossy sandcastle – that condemns its fraudulent take on the world.

The words “the undead past” on the cover of the illustrious magazine piques the curiosity. The expectation when opening the pages is one of deep historical questioning. Unsettling words about a “living history” provoke a dialectical framework. One that can only make the status quo nervous. But Foreign Affairs is the status quo. So what the fuck?

The opening “ghost story” is good though. It’s believable. White supremacy is an undead issue in America. The legacy of America’s founding fathers lives on. The social structure which the long dead slaveowners created is still present. The fact that it is necessary today to point out that Black Lives Matter proves the point.

The author – a Harvard academic – cares about America. She reveals a truth that pains her. Indeed she wants her country to live up to its founding ideals. Her agenda is pro-America even if its critical of America.

The Council on Foreign Relations however has another agenda. It is pro-America too but in the imperial sense. Its raison d’être is to make foreigners obey America. It can absorb criticism of America once that criticism is inside out – once it respects or idolizes America’s institutions.

White supremacy therefore can be discussed once the goal is to make America “stronger” – ironically, of course, this means making the white establishment stronger but that’s another ghost story.

For the Council on Foreign Relations America’s relationship with the world is a zero-sum game. There’s no give and take. There’s no nuanced interpretation – as there is in the interpretation of white America. Its winner takes all on the world stage. Its the American Empire and the wealth that comes with it über alles.

This imperial prism or ideology devalues the Council’s viewpoint. It may to a certain degree be objective and insightful at moments when it looks inside America. But it is subjective, prejudiced and downright deceitful when it looks outside.

And in this imperium “the dead” are fair game. Indeed it is the familiar business of the Holocaust Industry – keeping the memory of the dead alive so as to make a political killing.

And wouldn’t you know it – on the cover of the January/February edition of Foreign Affairs is the fucking “Holocaust of holocausts”. A photo of “Jewish stepping stones” is served up as eye candy.

Its a classic Freudian slip – since this is exactly what the Council on Foreign Relations are doing: walking all over the dead – the Jewish dead included. Instead of the “undead past” the headline should read “let’s exploit the dead” for ideological purposes. Again.

After the white supremacy story the Council’s con job kicks in: whitewash America and its allies and blacken its enemies. And it does so by shamelessly using the dead of Russia and China. And the dead of Rwanda and Germany are there too – as ammunition – in the Council’s hatchet job.

The zombie stories in the January/February edition of Foreign Affairs concerning Russia and China are a numbers game. The kind that’s meant to blind. Millions, billions and zillions of revolutionary dead are conjured up to de-legitimize the current governments of Russia and China. It’s a case of the “Holocaust Industry” being put to use by the “Regime Change Industry”.

Compared to the careful consideration of the American Revolution and its white supremacist legacy – the Council’s considerations of the Russian and Chinese Revolutions and their respective Stalinist and Maoist legacies are child like and hysterical.

Whereas Foreign Affairs handles with gloves the structural problems of the US – the historical problems of Russia and China are butchered. Which makes one wonder if Russia and China had a problem to begin with?

The real problem in the eyes of Foreign Affairs – of course – is the contemporary independence of Russia and China. And the only shit it can throw at Moscow and Beijing today – it seems – are the revolutionary “problems” of yesterday: the “holocausts” or as Foreign Affairs puts it “the evils of history”.

According to the establishment’s magazine of choice the governments of both Russia and China are incapable of remembering the “dead” of Stalin and Mao. This judgment is meant to question everything about these governments. In particular the humanity of both.

The Council’s lesson for the world is: if Russia and China today don’t recall Stalin and Mao the way America recalls Stalin and Mao then the governments of Russia and China deserve zero respect. To be a legitimate member of the “international community” means agreeing with America’s version of evil. Or at least the version of it that’s propounded by Foreign Affairs.

The Council on Foreign Relations fears nothing more than a Marxist Revolution. So much so that even the memory of a Marxist Revolution is feared by the “venerable” Council. And its willing to bulldoze history in order to expunge un-American memory: ie. Marxism.

However the fundamental point for all concerned is that the Council (a key part of the US state) is also willing to bulldoze – in the here and now – any country or government that doesn’t conform to America’s political memory.

By dehumanizing the ability of Russia and China to “remember correctly” Foreign Affairs (the US establishment) is firing a warning shot (another one) across the bow of the Russian and Chinese states.

Knowledge is not just power – its also war. However like any weapon knowledge can backfire – memory can backfire. And in an overstretched Empire – such as the American Empire today – knowledge and memory can be overstretched to the point where it is counterproductive.

By going on and on about the millions, billions and zillions of dead in Russia and China (and elsewhere) the US establishment exposes not it’s empathy but it’s politics. The memory of Foreign Affairs is overtly political. It condemns a priori anything good about Stalin and Mao. Because it condemns a priori the Russian and Chinese Revolutions.

And so it condemns itself to ridicule. Even when the Russians and Chinese have respect for Stalin and Mao the US thought police insist that they are wrong – as if the US thought police (the Council on Foreign Relations) speaks Russian and Chinese or lives in Russia and China.

The bottom line is that the Council on Foreign Relations is Wall Street. It is as Laurence H. Schoup writes – Wall Street’s think tank. It is diametrically opposed to the working class and peasants who supported and still support Stalin and Mao. Indeed it knows nothing of the reality of revolutionary Russia and China.

The supremacy of Red Russia or Red China in the past and the bits that remain today were not and are not evil or holocaust based. To dismiss them as such is pure ideology. Its the ideology of millionaires, billionaires and zillionaires. Its the ideology of the white supremacists.

Its an ideology that’s not based on fact but on fiction – the fiction that Stalin and Mao had in the past and have in the present no popular base. Stalin’s defeat of Nazi Germany and Mao’s defeat of landlordism were and still are extremely popular. Not popular in Wall Street but in the backstreets of Russia and China.

Our wager is that Stalin and Mao are remembered correctly by the people and governments of Russia and China. The industrialization of Russia and the cultural revolution in China were complicated but definitely not evil experiences. The mass production of tanks and atomic bombs saved Russia from the white supremacists of Germany and America. And the repression of Confucianism and those “elites” attracted to it and capitalism kept the search for revolutionary justice in China alive.

In all of this recent history people did die and must be remembered. However the remembrance must take into account real history and real popular revolutions. Reality though is a foreign concept in Wall Street. There was little or no reality behind the mortgages that collapsed the Western economic system in 2008. And likewise there’s little or no reality behind the “history”  being sold in Wall Street today.

This dumbing-down of history reflects the dumbing-down of economics (and indeed the dumbing-down of politics) that is now undermining the West. To keep the West going as a project requires – it seems – that the West be dumb. If that’s the case then the West and Wall Street – with or without the white supremacy – has no future. And who knows – the supremacy of the Reds might return. Not just in Russia and China but everywhere.

More articles by:

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail