… really, these could just be shitposts, but they’re too serious for that, so I’m combining them into a convenient bullet-pointed list.
- Russia and Ukraine are both using cultural and ethnic minorities as scapegoats to keep the public in line. The Russians are notorious for systematically targeting LGBTQ+ people as a symbol of “Western decadence” and “extremism.” They’re also a convenient sacrificial lamb for the ultraconservative, rural Orthodox Christian voters that Putin depends on. The Ukrainians, meanwhile, are doing the same with ethnic Russians, as well as Russian-speaking Ukrainians and socialists who are critical of the government. Although some of these opponents are pro-Russian, not all are. To keep the support of the hardline nationalists, especially in the West, the central government will happily sacrifice these “superfluous Ukrainians.” I expect this from Russia, since its human-rights record has been spotty for a long time, but Ukraine’s actions disappoint me more because I expected better from a country that aspires to be more democratic than its former ruler. Being of Russian descent, speaking Russian, or preferring socialism over capitalism is not the same thing as supporting the Putin regime. (See also my comments about the Ukraine War being Russia’s proxy war against the West, and the own-goals by Ukraine and Russia.)
- People who support terrorists are assholes? Who would’ve thought? I hate to say this, but I have seen more empathy and compassion from progressive Zionists than anti-Zionists or hardline Netanyahu supporters. Every day I continue to be dumbfounded at how cruel, vengeful and inhumane some anti-Zionists can be. I can’t side with anyone who’s being that cruel and vindictive. Not in an anodyne “why don’t we all just get along when the Israeli government is doing monstrous things” way, but the idea that it is morally acceptable to kill civilians or take hostages for being “settlers.” I know there are several anti-Zionisms, but I am talking about the people who support or do nothing but make apologies for Hamas. I shouldn’t expect humane behaviour or decency from anyone who actively supports a terrorist organisation. I have said this before and I will say it again: this isn’t Nelson Mandela. Mandela wanted to make a South Africa for everyone. His goal was not to kill everyone in sight and kick out non-Black South Africans. Hamas’s goal is to eliminate and destroy, not merely to liberate.
- Western countries should drop sanctions against Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Not because anyone should approve of these countries’ practices (I certainly don’t, which is obvious to anyone who’s read this blog), but because the main people who suffer from these sanctions are ordinary Russians, North Koreans, and Iranians, not their leadership or oligarchs. Russia has enough global influence (and oil) to make up for the revenue lost from sanctions. The South African sanctions worked, but that’s probably because South Africa had historical ties to the West. American and British pressure worked. There’s no love lost between Iran/North Korea and the West, and the relationship between Russia and the West has been adversarial since at least 2014, after the Obama administration’s “Russian reset.”
- Many Marxists can be reductive and dismissive about any relationship of dominance and oppression that isn’t economic, but their universalism is refreshing in a polarised society. I’d like to see a communism that keeps some of Marx’s ideas but makes them more expansive, easier to understand and responsive to today’s modern needs.
- There’s a difference between being a supporter of human rights and being an identitarian woke-scold. In the first case, you acknowledge systemic oppression and want to rectify it. You do this by implementing policies that allow the historically oppressed group to be a full member of their society. It’s about including everyone, not acting at someone else’s expense. Identitarians, on the other hand, use real grievances to justify an eye-for-an-eye, dog-eat-dog, hyphenated-thing-to-reflect-violent-actions morality. Gandhi never said, “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind,” but it fits all the same. Social equity is not a zero-sum game. (This kind of violent “morality” is an own-goal by social justice activists… and I think that will be my next full post.)
- FUCK HAMAS, FUCK PUTIN, FUCK ZELENSKY, FUCK NETANYAHU. (I couldn’t resist.)