I’m neither a member of the Socialist Equality Party, host of World Socialist Website, nor likely to become one. I find SEP good on some things (e.g. defence of Syria, where most of the left takes at face value an evidence-free and even evidence-defying slew of self-serving Western accusations) but weak or risible on others (e.g. the hype that Trump posed a credible threat of fascist coup).
I say WSWS is a curate’s egg. Take with ample salt, and avoid its more scrambled offerings.
Here’s one that pretty much calls it right. China’s true crime – gob-smackingly transparent if we only wake up and smell the coffee – is that of breaking out of its allocated role as source of low paid labour for Western capital. Giants like Apple were happy to export capital and jobs to have iPhones made in China for eighty bucks apiece in sweatshops on the eastern seaboard. But now China is not simply an economic superpower – even doing its own outsourcing to labour pools in Vietnam – but is about to overtake the USA as the economic superpower.
And neither Wall Street nor Washington like this one bit.
Russia’s recovery from the Yeltsin years defied Wall Street plans for her economy. It sent the West (i.e. the West’s real rulers) into a frenzy, also self serving, of Russophobia. No allegation – witness the Skripal and Navalny cases1 – was too comic-book silly to be served up to western media consumers unaware of being more product than customers; their most exploitable conceit a belief that media driven by market forces (indirectly in the case of state broadcasters) could possibly be independent speakers of truth to power.2
So too does a China rising send corporate media and politicians into Sinophobic overdrive. The attacks are on many fronts but the example here is Covid-19. This piece, by Andre Damon, ran yesterday on WSWS:
Washington’s Wuhan laboratory lie
In the face of universal scientific consensus on the natural origins of COVID-19, the Biden administration and the US media have doubled down on the lie that the disease was released from a Chinese laboratory.
There is not a shred of truth to this claim. The most recent, and most damning, refutation came from members of the World Health Organization team researching the origins of the pandemic. They announced that the WHO would abandon any investigation into a man-made origin of the disease because there was no evidence to support the claim.
Professor Liang Wannian from Tsinghua University, speaking at the WHO press conference, made clear that the theory that the “virus was engineered by humans” had “already been refuted by the whole scientific community around the world.”
As to the claim that the virus escaped from a laboratory by accident, Liang added, “in all the laboratories in Wuhan, there is no existing virus of SARS-CoV-2. If there is no existence of this virus, there will be no way that this virus would be linked.”
WHO food safety expert Peter Ben Embarek added that “nowhere previously was this particular virus researched or identified or known.”
Read the full piece (1467 words) on the WSWS site …
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- One of the many credulity stretchers in the official Skripals narrative is the whopping coincidence that first on the scene was the British Army’s most senior nurse. As for Mr Navalny, a BTL comment I came upon (can’t recall where) nails it. “Putin poisons water in hotel room. Navalny gets sick and is taken to Russian state hospital. Nobody kills him there, though a hospital is an easy place to do so. Doctors find no poison, authorities approve his transfer to Berlin, where medics find novichok and accuse Russia. France agrees, the EU imposes sanctions. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?”
- To those who regard media willingness to embarrass senior politicians and wealthy individuals from time to time as proof of fierce independence, I offer Chomsky: ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.’