I had to read this piece twice, and pinch myself, to make sure this isn’t a hallucination, but an article in Consortium News. It’s not satiric, but a deadly serious lament as to the vanished mass ferment of 2010.
What about the “global uprisings” last year—a year that FAIR looked back on, last December, as “the year of the protest”? The year that saw the Yellow Vests, and mass protests in Lebanon, Gaza, Chile, Haiti, Ecuador, and elsewhere all over Latin America (the continent rocked by an unprecedented wave of feminist protests in particular)? There also was the Bernie movement here. All those protests were blacked out or played down by “our free press,” which focused only on Hong Kong (as FAIR rightly noted) and Greta’s multitudes (as FAIR, believing in their righteousness, did not observe).
So what happened to all those “uprisings”? Three guesses. And—still more important—what about the massive protests going on right now? 250 million Indian farmers and workers—the biggest protest in the history of the planet—and huge outpourings in the streets of the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and elsewhere? According to Vishay Prashad (who evidently slept through that gigantic and protracted demo in his own country a few weeks ago), those “uprisings” either aren’t uprisings, or don’t meet with his approval.
That he would disapprove of those uprisings—and that Consortium News would feature his myopic article—is, sadly, no surprise, inasmuch as that once-great outlet ran a piece last April, by the UN Secretary-General, dismissing concerns about vaccine safety and the lockdowns’ dangerous consequences—including heightened mass surveillance—as “conspiracy theory.” That capitulation by Consortium News is all too typical of the “left” press today, which maintains its tight, now-dated focus on neoliberal economics, Western foreign policy, the non-progressive make-up of the incoming Biden apparat, the threat posed by “the right,” etc. (the same old same old that we get from Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Caitlin Johnstone, Chris Hedges and so many others), as if 2020 were 2010, or 2019, and not this unprecedented, “COVID-related” Year from Hell, which calls on all of us who really are progressive—that is, who love humanity, and believe profoundly in democracy—to face up to what’s really happening all around us, ask why, and tell it like it is, and so help stop it.
6 replies on “More psychotic blindness on “the left”: “What happened to the global uprisings of a decade ago?” asked Consortium News, as if the globe had not locked down THIS year….”
Yes, psychotic blindness of the left–100% agree!!
I gave up on ConsortiumNews a long time ago. The author seems to approve of the Arab Spring, thought that was run by the intelligence agencies, and I believe Tony Cartalucci of landdestroyer blog had the opposite take on those protests in Thailand.
Vijay Prashad’s article does not ignore present day protests. He refers specifically to the one in India and others at the end of his article which is simply a retrospective relating earlier protests to the present. Relating the past to the present is the opposite of myopic.
I, like many, am sceptical of all the Covid related propaganda and am torn when left wing dissenting voices whom I previously relied on to cut through mainstream propaganda seem now to be failing to do it for me. But I think your characterization of this article was unfair.
So true! This is how I am feeling regarding Consortium News and a lot of the left. It is such a disservice to Robert’s website. I feel he would have spoken out on Covid and the Great Reset. And they wonder why their fundraising is slow now. It’s because they no longer speak truth on the most important issues. It’s so sad and maddening. And they are pushing the experimental vaccines! That’s a betrayal of humanity! What happened to the left?!
I’m surprised you include Caitlin Johnstone and Chris hedges in this group. Can you cite specifics for them?
I’m curious about your comment about the “left” press. Those particular issues that you listed seem like legitimate issues, even though you called them “now dated”.
What do you think they should focus on instead?
Hi Mark, I’m a long time fan but have been troubled at the recent acceptance of long time leftists and anti-imperialists acceptance of the narrative on India being pushed by the mainstream media in America, Europe, and India. The left in America is being conned by the mainstream media from India just like the MSM in America is conning Americans. Both medias are aligned with the old establishment of both nations. The difference is that in India most of the people know their media is aligned with the establishment and most people don’t accept them as honest because they know their bias just like the left towards mainstream media in America. But in America the left doesn’t understand Indian politics for the most part because for years they have been accepting of India’s mainstream media as honest and not biased. Their bias is that like the big news outlets in America is out to regain power for the Democrats and are willing to lie and cheat and do anything for that goal, the mainstream media in India is aligned with the party out of power and their reporting is extremely biased. They are only out to regain power after the establishment lost to the populist BJP after ruling India for over 60 years. Imagine if the left in America believed everything from CNN or the NYTimes or any of the networks? Yet the left has no problem with believing the same media establishment pushing the same agenda from India.
Look at the reporting in the New York Times or the Washington Post or CNN about what has been going on in India since the BJP took power. It is 100% aligned with the Congress Party of India, the establishment of India. Yet the left in America and the UK/Europe take those sources they otherwise reject as biased, they take anything they say on India as gospel, unquestioningly. Why?
The same way that the media in America and the UK/Europe try to get away with being authoritative by using identity politics, by using appeals to anti-bigotry, is also used by the mainstream Indian media. They are all like peas in the pod. They have the same agenda and they have been lying non-stop about India for a number of years.
The recent propaganda you missed is about the report of “250 million” people on strike in India. That is completely untrue. It is a product of a propaganda campaign. And like so many others on the left outside of India, you repeated it without doing actual research to see if it was true.
1. The so-called strike was not really a strike (bharat bandh) and nowhere near 250 million took part. Most who did take part only partially closed their shops for part of one day, mostly because of threats. An Indian version of antifa (not antifa but with similar tactics on a far larger and deadlier scale) threatened shop owners to close or else they would be attacked. https://www.opindia.com/2020/12/visuals-bharat-bandh-farmers-harassment-defiance-modi-modi-chant/
2. The so-called strike was called by the so-called “farmers” who supposedly are on “strike.” In reality they are mostly self-employed, so they are not striking they are protesting. The supposed farmers are mostly not farmers, in fact most of them are middlemen who stand to lose revenue because the farm bill allows farmers to sell their produce directly to buyers, instead of previously being forced to go through middlemen–who are a sort of “farm mafia.”
3. If you look at pictures of the “farmers” you will notice that almost all are wearing turbans. Why is that? Because the majority of the people in the protests are from the Sikh community. The Sikhs wear turbans. Why are they almost all Sikhs doing the protesting? The protests are in reality being instigated by the cartels of middlemen from Sikh dominated states who have lied to the farmers about the farm bill because they want to keep their status as middlemen by force of law–which the new law takes away. They instill false fear that the farm bill will lead to exploitation by big buyers. But the bill makes clear that farmers have more freedom, not less. Still, because most Sikhs politically support the opposition Congress Party who are the main force pushing the protests, they are going along for political reasons. All the other recent protests in the world news from India have also been pushed by the Congress Party, the old establishment party–who like the Democrats they control mainstream media in India and all the major NGOs–the BJP whom they oppose is the newer populist movement party, whom are being attacked by the establishment through the use of phony ant–bigotry identity politics to take control of the streets, much like Democrats support antifa and “woke politics” in media and corporations to enforce their agenda through similar tactics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBxZ7Hu_5mA
4. What is really going on with the protests is purely political. The main opposition party (Congress Party) is behind the protests and the strike purely to try and lessen the popularity of the BJP. How do we know?
Fact: on their written electoral political platform from the last election cycle the Congress Party had proposed enacting the same exact new farm laws. But, after they lost to the BJP, and after then the BJP implemented those very same laws which the Congress had touted for years as great for farmers–Congress was suddenly very against the laws and started to lie to the farmers in union with the middlemen to create a negative political atmosphere against the BJP.
5. Other anti-BJP groups have joined the Congress Party and the “farmers” in order to push their own agendas as they have done for a number of years–since they all seek the result of the BJP losing popularity. At the protests you will hear all sorts of groups pushing their own various agendas–from the Sikh middlemen agenda, to the Congress Party political agenda, to the communist (Maoist) party agenda, to Islamists of various stripes, to Khalistani separatists, Christian Fundamentalists, and more. They are all lying to the farmers to get them to keep protesting in order to weaken the popularity of the BJP.
The same exact type of thing was done earlier with the riots over the giving of fast track citizenship to immigrants who had escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan because of not being Muslims (CAA). The opposition got the same coalition riled up to oppose fast track citizenship to those immigrants by lying to the Muslims in India that the law was going to be used to deny Muslims citizenship. It was a total crock. Muslims were not included in the new bill because it was about fast tracking citizenship of people escaping from Muslim countries because they were being persecuted for not being Muslim.
The current farm protests are being organized and led by the same coalition using lies as they typically do. See this about the CAA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKFGGtcmc1Y
More about the “strike”, aka Bharat (India) Bandh (Strike). This video and others from them can explain the scamming going on by the vested political and moneyed interests of the establishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmW5WX2mdQ