So Evil Putin rigged the vote. Really?

19 Mar

Guardian, March 18, 2024. Click image to access story

CNN, March 18, 2024. Click image to access story

In 2023 Michael Hudson published The Collapse of Antiquity, its thesis that in the early Sumer civilisation a new king cancelled debt. Since interest rises exponentially while wealth creation does not, the logic is for power to accrue to a creditor elite. Debt forgiveness wiped the slate clean but the new king had to be powerful enough to drive it through. In today’s terms he had to be the thing Western liberals (labouring under the delusion that ours is a democracy rather than a creditor oligarchy) condemn in a Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. He had to be an authoritarian. 1

In 2020 only one billionaire – Jeff Bezos – had $100 billion. Today the entire top ten are centi-billionaires, their collective wealth a staggering $1.4 trillion. Will someone kindly tell me how such concentrations of wealth, the kind that buys governments, could coexist with any meaningful democracy? Thanks in anticipation.

Hold that thought.

Today I read the Guardian piece linked above. Here’s a challenge. Do as few will do, given the trust the Guardian enjoys. (A trust easily shown to be misplaced on matters where we most need truthfulness.) Read with a critical eye – it isn’t long – and ask yourself at every turn: where’s the evidence to back that headlined claim of Putin having contrived a landslide?

Hint: you may need to follow a link or two, but keep that simple question firmly in mind. 2

Meanwhile here’s Bangkok based former US Marine, Brian Berletic, at New Atlas. He’s been doing his own digging – he’s rather good at it – and wraps things up in a sprightly 17:58.

* * *

  1. In a recent post, Yanis Varoufakis on China-US tensions, I mentioned that China keeps its banking sector under tight control. Western financial media like The Economist and Business Insider have spent at least fifteen years telling us the Chinese economy is on the verge of collapse. Their remedy? Open up every sector to private capital! But how’s that working out in the West? Vital services in freefall while inequality soars is how. As for authoritarianism, what almost all who denounce China’s ‘lack of democracy’ know about decision making there could be written on the back of a stamp. I aim to post soon on how a different and more genuinely empowering form of democracy works in The People’s Republic. For his part Mr Putin – his vilification by Western know-nothings a textbook case of weak opinions strongly held – is undeniably a social conservative. I’m not, but I see the attraction for Russians who (a) have had living standards soar on his watch, after the IMF shock-therapy on Boris Yeltsin’s, and (b) look with bemused disdain on Western decadence: from filthy streets and third rate health care, to cancellation culture and the family in smithereens. I see economic neoliberalism and socio-political liberalism as two sides of the same coin. The one fuelled America’s blood-soaked drive, in far off countries where its people as opposed to its oligarchs faced no threat, to maintain hegemony via full spectrum dominance. The other furnishes a moral claim which does not stand up to serious and sustained scrutiny. The objective task of our corporate media, whatever lofty tales liberal or conservative editors might tell themselves, is to deflect, dilute, obfuscate, marginalise or otherwise  diminish the impact of such scrutiny.
  2. Samantha de Benderne, author of the Guardian piece, is an associate fellow at Chatham House. Here are a few examples of the balanced approach she adopts for the Guardian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *