by Aidan O'Brien
So-called “progressives” fear Donald Trump’s nationalism more than they loath Hillary Clinton’s imperialism, which murders millions. If Trump fragmented America, disrupting the West’s plans for World War III, that “would be an unequivocally good thing.” However, most U.S. “progressives” don’t really care about America’s victims, only about themselves. “Clinton’s imperialism will not disturb their slumber.”
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
by Aidan O'Brien
This article previously appeared in Counterpunch.
“The West today, following the lead of Hitler and Hirohito, is marching on Russia and China.”
[Dublin] Have we reached the endgame of Western democracy? When we heard Chomsky, a week or two ago on Democracy Now, saying that if pushed he’d vote for Clinton, it felt like the end. So hell is this Hobbesian choice: xenophobia or genocide? And it’s seeing the best of us choose genocide.
Which is worse: the deportation of a few million or the destruction of a few million? Both are hellish but the extermination of millions is obviously worse. So why would Chomsky choose otherwise? He’s not alone. Western wisdom is behind Clinton even though she supported the Iraqi genocide; helped to organize the Libyan and Syrian genocides; and for the heck of it primed the weapons of genocide in Eastern Europe (Victoria Nuland is her girl).
All that Trump wants to do, in comparison, is to build a wall and reach out to the Klu Klux Klan. Yet he is supposedly the greatest threat to Western democracy. Although Trump’s foreign policy will probably be “genocide as usual” there is a chance, however tiny, that he will disrupt the West’s plans for World War III. We know that Clinton is part of the West’s foreign policy establishment. And we know that Trump is not. So why fear Trump more than Clinton?
The problem is nationalism. For Western Liberals and Leftists, nationalism is the dirtiest word there is. In their mistaken eyes it simply means fascism, protectionism, ethnic poison or just good old xenophobia. In the age of Globalization: nationalism is the bogeyman. And Trump is playing the part to perfection.
“Although Trump’s foreign policy will probably be ‘genocide as usual’ there is a chance, however tiny, that he will disrupt the West’s plans for World War III.”
This age of Globalization however is a euphemism for yet another period of Western Imperialism. The counterpoint to nationalism therefore is imperialism. But the word imperialism is rarely if ever mentioned in the West’s media. The talking heads and pen pushers laugh at the idea of Trump “making America great again” but remain silent in the knowledge that Clinton’s intention is to “make the American Empire great again”.
In general the West acts dumb when it comes to Western imperialism and it’s genocidal record. But it is very vocal when it comes to Western nationalism. As if nationalism rather than imperialism were to blame for everything.
If only it was true. If only nationalism was the problem. If only America was nationalist. If only America focussed on itself and it’s own borders. And left the rest of the world alone. If America was nationalist the rest of the world would rejoice. The rest of the world would feel safe.
And that’s the point. The world doesn’t feel safe because America is everywhere. It is imperialist. And if America were to suddenly return home and focus on itself, America for once would have to live like the rest of the world. America would have to live with America. America would have to live in fear of America. Is this what the critics of Trump fear the most?
Trump’s “nationalism” is a threat to Western Liberals and Leftists because it might force them to actually fight for their treasured value system for the first time in their lives. In contrast, Clinton’s imperialism will not disturb their slumber. Clinton’s killing fields will be far away in foreign lands. Whereas Trump’s killing fields might be at home.
“Globalization is a euphemism for yet another period of Western Imperialism.”
Instead of America warring with the rest of the world Trump raises the possibility of America warring with itself. What the Euro has done to Europe, Trump might do to America: fragment it. And this, for the victims of Western imperialism, would be an unequivocally good thing.
The only thing that can stop America’s genocidal foreign policy is America itself. In other words the only thing that can stop US imperialism today is US nationalism. If that means walls and xenophobia across the USA and maybe even self destruction (à la the EU) then so be it.
The USA and the EU deserve what they get – as long they are blind to their own crimes. In the EU, however, the endgame of Western democracy is more advanced. Xenophobia is already in power. And the deportations have already begun. And Western foreign policy (genocide) continues unabated. And whatever indignation there is among EU Liberals and Leftists is reserved for nationalism rather than for imperialism. The blindness continues.
A case in point is Yanis Varoufakis. Like Chomsky, Varoufakis is a leading dissident who finds domestic xenophobia (this time in Europe) more scary than foreign genocide. Nationalism again is his bogeyman rather than imperialism.
In his useful book And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Varoufakis analyses the crisis in the EU. However in 300 pages he doesn’t mention NATO (imperialism) once or seriously take into account the EU’s foreign policy. He fails to connect the social destruction of Greece to the total destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria. Even though the destroyers are the same people (the governments of NATO) Varoufakis stays silent. Eurocentric in the extreme, he doesn’t allow the current Arab holocaust (planned in Europe) to impinge upon his moral critique of the EU.
“Varoufakis fails to connect the social destruction of Greece to the total destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Indeed Varoufakis falls into the “despite all the evidence a united West is best” trap. Not only is he a committed Europeanist: he’s a committed Atlanticist as well. While being in awe of America’s New Dealers, he completely ignores America’s headhunters in NATO. Shocked by Europe’s economic establishment, he bypasses Europe’s (America’s) military establishment. Frustrated by Europe’s narrow minded elite, he himself is narrow minded before Europe’s crimes in the Eastern Mediterranean. The fate of Greece is caught up with the fate of Libya and Syria but he misses this. Or maybe the Arab genocide is just irrelevant?
Varoufakis and Chomsky think that we are living in a “1930s moment.” One fears the neo-nazi Golden Dawn and the other fears the irrational Republican Party (as if the Democratic Party is rational). They fear the collapse of Western Civilization. That ship however has already sailed. Or to put it more bluntly: the train to Auschwitz with Western Civilisation in it has already left the station. Again.
We are in truth living in a 1940s moment. The West today, following the lead of Hitler and Hirohito, is marching on Russia and China. And to keep the parallel frighteningly real, the West today has already carried out it’s own anti-Semitic genocide in the independent Arab nations. In the context of this horrendous bellicosity Trump and Golden Dawn are harmless. Harmless that is to the victims of imperialism. But not to the smooth planning of imperialism.
“The West today has already carried out it’s own anti-Semitic genocide in the independent Arab nations.”
It is not too late to exit hell however. There is a way out of this Western endgame.To continue as it is Western imperialism requires a blind Western united front. Open eyes are a danger to this blind march towards Armageddon. Independent nations are too. Especially independent Western nations. The wrong assumption is that nationalism means xenophobia. Trump and Golden Dawn might be xenophobic but not nationalism per se.
Our contention is that Western nationalism à la Ireland or Scotland or Catalonia or any other Western nation willing to try it positively can block the Empire by inverting the West’s divide and rule strategy. By freeing itself or themselves from NATO or the EU or the UK it or they can free the world (divide the West and liberate the rest).
The situation today in the West is so dangerous for the world (genocide) that even a negative nationalism à la France can be a positive spanner in the works of imperialism. Yes even the English nation can do it by voting for Brexit. And yes even the USA can do it by withdrawing into itself and sorting out it’s own genocidal demons.
To begin this self induced Western retreat however the West’s Liberals and Leftists will have to end their anti-nationalist dogma. To stop Western Imperialism it is imperative that the West be broken up. For this reason nationalism is a useful tool. Forget the fake political correctness. And place the welfare of the world first (the United Nations). Let’s be clear: it’s imperialism, stupid!
Aidan O’Brien is a hospital worker in Dublin, Ireland.