Deciphering Ideological Labels

Eric Zuesse

On October 29th, France24 bannered “Sarkozy to meet Putin as French right looks to Russia,” and promulgated, as is often done, a widespread misconception about ideology: that everything the “right” does is conservative, and everything the “left” does is progressive or perhaps (depending upon what “liberal” means, if it means something) liberal. A deeper understanding of what is “progressive” versus what is “conservative,” is needed, because progressivism is really nothing else than a support for democracy (which is “progress”), and conservatism is nothing else than a support for dictatorship (which is regress, and which is the only type of government that even existed in the world to any significant extent, until the American Revolution in 1776. The American Revolution – the overthrow of the aristocracy (which happened to be Britain’s aristocracy) – actually introduced democracy into the world. America was born when colonialism here died, and that was British colonialism over the American colonies. The “divine right of kings” ended and the modern world began on that occasion in this land. Some conservatives say that instead the American Revolution introduced “republicanism” into the world, or “federalism” into the world, but there was nothing new in those concepts, whereas the concept of democracy – the sovereignty of “We, the People,” instead of some god or king or other dictator – is what the American Revolution was really all about. However, now, in the 21st Century, the United States of America leads the world in actually pushing for an international-corporate dictatorship. That’s not democracy; it’s not progress. What’s evolving here is instead a new and far vaster form of dictatorship. It is profoundly regressive.

Sometimes, the left is actually conservative (such as was the case in the Soviet Union, due to Marx’s “dictatorship of the proletariat” there). (Any form of dictatorship is conservative.) And sometimes the right is actually progressive (such as is the case of French right-wingers who oppose any international dictatorship, including Obama’s proposed TTIP, TTP, and TISA trade-treaties, which would create a fascist world government. For nationalistic right-wingers (such as Nicholas Sarkozy or Marine LePen, or in other countries) to oppose the imposition of American or any other international-corporate dictatorship upon their nation, is progressive, not conservative.

Julian Assange – after reviewing censorship by the press, of hundreds of thousands of internal governmental communications from many countries which wikipedia has released to the entire press, and after seeing where it’s been published and where not – has said that the most extreme censorship of all, concerns international relations, not domestic issues. Ideology starts from the global level, and penetrates down to the local level, not the reverse (such as is commonly assumed). And, regardless of whether supporting democracy, or supporting dictatorship (to name here the two real poles in ideology), a government can intelligently be evaluated only by its actions, never by its lying propaganda (which unfortunately is the norm). This explains the importance of wikileaks, which stands for democracy itself, rather than for or against any particular nations. Assange isn’t merely very well-informed; he is also non-partisan. He wants the public to be informed, as well; and is willing to sacrifice himself, if need be, in order to advance his cause, which is democracy worldwide. Thus, he has been, in effect, under house-arrest in Britain for years, in order to stifle wikileaks. After all: democracy is made impossible if the public are being lied to, not only by their government but by the ‘news’ media. What exists when the public are being deceived is dictatorship, instead.

One can tell whether a nation is a democracy or else a dictatorship, better by examining its foreign affairs, than by examining its domestic affairs. That’s why, as Assange has said, censorship – the manipulation of political public opinion – is more intensive in international affairs, than it is in domestic affairs.

Today’s United States will here be examined in this light:

The U.S. during Barack Obama’s Presidency has overthrown* the democratically elected and popular progressive President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, and replaced him with a succession of police-state fascists whose rule has caused Honduras to have the world’s highest murder-rate because that government doesn’t care at all about the welfare of the public, but only about protecting the wealth of that country’s small aristocracy (which aristocracy had been threatened by President Zelaya’s land-reform program and other anti-feudal policies, and which aristocracy Obama wanted to preserve and has preserved).

The U.S. during Barack Obama’s Presidency bombed Libya into a failed state, eliminated Libya’s pro-Russian dictator Gaddafi and replaced him with something far worse for Libyans and for the world. That nation’s per-capita income plunged 50% while jihadist gangs (the most extreme dictatorships imaginable) have taken over large swaths of the territory there, and are now selling Libya’s oil to fund the spread of Sunni dictatorship or “Caliphate,” an international instead of merely national dictatorship. The purpose of this American-led operation was to eliminate an ally of Russia, not really to spread democracy. Hillary Clinton was delighted: “We came, we saw, he died!”

The U.S. during Barack Obama’s Presidency overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, claiming that he was corrupt (actually the U.S. had long been trying to overthrow Ukraine’s democracy, even before Yanukovych came into power there), though all post-Soviet-era Ukrainian Presidents have been corrupt (the U.S. complaint was just an excuse to overthrow him); and America installed there to replace Yanukovych a regime controlled by anti-Russian racist fascists who promptly pushed for Ukraine to join NATO, the anti-Russia club that under American leadership has been expanding right up to Russia’s very borders even though the deal with Mikhail Gorbachev at the end of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, had been that if the Berlin Wall were to fall, then NATO would not expand “one inch to the east” – in other words, that the U.S. would not try to conquer Russia by expanding NATO to Russia’s borders (as subsequent U.S. Presidents have been doing) and perhaps then by building missile-bases that are just a few minutes strike-time away from Moscow.

The U.S. during Barack Obama’s Presidency has tried its utmost to overthrow Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, whom even U.S. polling of Syrians shows to have approval-ratings consistently above 50% from the Syrian people. Assad’s government is allied with Russia; and Obama here is again thrusting his hate-Russia policy front-and-center, to such an extent that Russia’s recent bombing campaign in Syria to get rid of jihadists there is receiving no support but only opposition from the Obama regime, which insists upon overthrowing Assad. America’s aim there is a failed state, no democracy at all; in fact, it would be broken up into mainly Sunni dictatorships.

Assange has commented about other aspects of this Western dictatorship led by America, in Der Spiegel, on 20 July 2015:

SPIEGEL: [The anti-police-state American leaker Edward] Snowden is trapped in Moscow, Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for submitting classified documents to WikiLeaks. Did this not deter other potential whistleblowers?

Assange: It was designed to be a very strong deterrent. However, a number of people have come forward subsequent to that and these acts of repression have a mixed effect. Obviously, sentencing someone to 35 years in prison does have some deterrent effect. But it also erodes the perception of the US Government as a legitimate authority. Being perceived as a just authority is the key to legitimacy. Edward Snowden told me they had abused Manning in a way that contributed to his decision to become a whistleblower, because it shows the system is incapable of reforming itself.

That’s a dictatorship. Like in all dictatorships (Hitler’s was also an example, though it functioned differently in some other ways), the first victims of the government’s squelching of the public are minorities; and courageous individuals who try to get the word out about what’s really happening are perhaps the smallest minority of all; and so Obama has gone after them first.

Also like Hitler’s aspirations, Obama’s are global and not merely domestic. For examples, see this about the TPP, and this about the TTIP.

The United States became a dictatorship only after Ronald Reagan became President in 1981. Just at the time when the Soviet Union broke up, and its former member-states headed to become democracies, the United States (if not also most of its NATO allies) headed towards dictatorship, and is now solidly into it. (Bernie Sanders in the current U.S. Presidential primaries is hoping to reverse that trend and to restore the FDR-progressive pro-democracy American tradition, but that’s considered a longshot effort in today’s fascist America.) 

Here is the only scientific analysis of whether the U.S. is a democracy, and it concludes, clearly, that it is not and has not been a democracy since around 1980.

When Obama in private told the assembled Wall Street CEOs assembled inside the White House on 27 March 2009 “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” he was referring to the Wall Street chieftains whom, and whose investors, his Administration was bailing out with taxpayer dollars, as being like the Blacks that the KKK had infamously chased with pitchforks and then hung; and he was referring to the American public who had been ripped off by them and who were now bailing them out, as being instead like the KKK bigots with pitchforks who had chased and hung Blacks. This was a fitting way for a fascist leader to describe the public, to the elite who are actually ripping them off.

The only progressive, otherwise called “democratic,” hope for the world, is for Obama’s regime to be repudiated by America’s allies: for his trade-treaties to be rejected, NATO to be abolished, and the EU to either ally with Russia or else break up entirely into again independent nations, so that a different, and perhaps far more democratic, new United States of Europe, might emerge to replace the international-corporate EU that has emerged since the first Bilderberg meeting in 1954. If Obama-ism, international fascist world government by the world’s mega-corporations, is not stopped; then, as the UN’s chief spokesperson for democracy has asserted, the result will be, “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots.”

Obama has repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” So: what he disagrees with Adolf Hitler about there is the identity of “the indispensable nation,” which Hitler instead held to be “Deutschland über alles.” He’s not disagreeing with Hitler about the very idea that one’s own nation is indispensable and that none other is ‘indispensable’ (that all others are inferior)– the idea of supremacism itself. That’s a dictatorial idea, not a democratic one. Never a democratic one. There is no equality of rights in it. What’s in it is more like master-slave, than it’s like democracy of any sort.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter recently acknowledged that the U.S. is now a dictatorship. If he is correct about that – and he is – then what does this say about the EU, and about NATO?

If some right-wingers (such as Sarkozy) are asserting the right of their own nation’s people to determine the rules by which they live, instead of an international-corporate fascism to dictate to them, then this is progressive, not at all conservative. And, if some left-wingers are asserting the right of the controlling stockholders in international corporations to determine those rules, then that is conservative, not at all progressive.

Sometimes dictatorship doesn’t arrive by guns. Sometimes, dictatorship can arrive by secret agreements, and by deceiving the public.

* NOTE: To say here that Obama “overthrew” President Zelaya, is, in this instance, to mean that he definitely enabled the coup-junta to stay in power and to block Zelaya from being restored to power; and that Obama might, possibly, also have helped the plotters to remove Zelaya. So, this is a lesser form of indictment than can be made against Obama for (for example) his coup that definitely overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President in February 2014 and that initiated a civil war in Ukraine.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.