Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

You’re Not Actually Helping When You “Support” Protesters In Empire-Targeted Nations

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2022

Interesting perspective from an (anti-war) leftist

Caitlin Johnstone

Truthout has a recent article titled “The Left Can Support Protesters in China Without Shilling for US Imperialism” with a subtitle asserting that “Chinese workers and Uyghurs need solidarity from leftists worldwide,” and it at no point attempts to defend either one of those titular claims.

The article features comments from New York University’s Rebecca E Karl and is replete with leftist-sounding phraseology like “heteronormative patriarchy” and “the hegemonic hold of white power,” but what it does not contain is any attempt to substantiate the claim that the left can support protesters in China without shilling for US imperialism or the claim that they need solidarity from leftists worldwide.

This is because those claims are entirely baseless. I run into such claims all the time and often challenge them when I encounter them, and nobody has ever once been able to logically and coherently explain to me what is gained by leftists in the English-speaking world displaying “support” or “solidarity” with protesters in nations like China and Iran that are targeted for regime change by the US-centralized empire. Nobody has ever once been able to provide me with a good explanation of how leftists can throw their weight behind narratives that are being exploited for propaganda against empire-targeted governments without assisting those propaganda campaigns.

This is because no good explanation exists.

Truthout @truthout

Chinese workers and Uyghurs need solidarity from leftists worldwide — not an escalation in anti-Chinese hostility. truthout.orgThe Left Can Support Protesters in China Without Shilling for US ImperialismChinese workers and Uyghurs need solidarity from leftists worldwide — not an escalation in anti-Chinese hostility.5:02 PM ∙ Dec 17, 202234Likes12Retweets

And I don’t mean to single out Truthout for this; pushing leftists to help decry empire-targeted governments is something that’s done all the time by western leftist and leftish media. Jacobin ran an article last month insisting that “the international left must formulate a way to effectively express solidarity” with protesters in Iran, and Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein was recently making the same case regarding Chinese protesters as well. Any time there are protests in an empire-targeted country, we are presented with Official Leftists admonishing us that we must add our voices to the mainstream fray in cheering them on.

And it’s always for unclear, inarticulately argued reasons. It’s generally framed as something that leftists should just assume is inherently true because it’s presented with leftist-sounding jargon like “solidarity”, but nobody ever clarifies what actual, concrete benefits are delivered to protesters in empire-targeted governments by expressions of solidarity from the west, or how those benefits outweigh the negative drawbacks of helping to amplify condemnations of a government that the empire is trying to manufacture consent for aggressions against. 

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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