Populism for Peace

Populism for Peace

A populist pro-peace movement could end the empire without even trying.

The US foreign policy establishment has inflicted unspeakable horrors on the world. And it has done a remarkable job of rationalizing these horrors or — even more effectively — directing the American public’s attention away from them.

Foreign policy horrors are simply not an important issue for most American voters. Voters care about issues that directly impact their own lives.

But to overthrow an establishment you need a populist movement. None of the special interests within the establishment stand to benefit from radical changes that drastically reduce its power. Instead of reforming from within you need to attack from without. But to accomplish that you need the support of the masses.

So this seems to be an impossible situation: To end the US empire you need the support of the American public, but the American public doesn’t know enough or care enough about the millions of lives around the world that are ruined by that empire.

Sure, you can try to educate voters, plead with them, get them passionate about this issue, convince them that it is the morally right thing to do. Make them care.

Or you can try to appeal to their self-interest, pointing out the enormous costs of the empire and the risk of blowback.

But the institutions that are most influential in shaping the opinions of the American public — mainstream media, universities, think tanks, popular culture — are either very much part of the foreign policy establishment, or have also mostly simply ignored its horrors.

On the other hand, there have been successful examples of populist revolts in Western countries. Donald Trump, for example, came from outside of the political establishment and was widely loathed by them and their media allies. At least initially. But Trump appealed directly to the voters, breaking through the barriers the political and media elites put in his way.

How did he do it?

Most Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the establishment. Many loathe it. That’s what Trump tapped into.

Trump focused on the issues that voters cared about, in a way that voters care about. Issues such as immigration, corruption, national pride, and even wasteful wars had been ignored or made taboo by the elites. Sure, sometimes the elites would pay lip service to these concerns, but they were never really serious about addressing them in a way that would satisfy voters. And voters knew it. So Trump attacked the elites head-on.

Not by trying to persuade them, reasoning with them, working within the establishment. No, Trump launched a frontal assault on that establishment. He exposed them, ruthlessly mocked them and called them out.

Voters liked that. Some of them truly believed Trump was on their side, others just enjoyed the show. The establishment had never experienced anything like Trump. All their usual defenses failed.

And so Trump won.

Of course, Trump was never a serious person or politician. He had no principles to defend, other than himself. He had no organizational apparatus behind him. And he needed constant adoration. And so, once the Republican nominee, Trump was swiftly and comfortably absorbed by the establishment, or at least by certain influential factions within it.

Right now, Trump is not much more than the populist figurehead for a thoroughly establishmentarian class. But he did beat them, at least initially. And that’s the lesson there. The establishment can be beat.

And if, unlike in the case of Trump, it is done by a candidate or movement that actually is principled and that does not need the institutional, financial and social support of the establishment, a movement that has its own ideas, its own organization, the long term outcome may well be much better than what we saw with Trump.

Where, though, does that leave those of us who want to end the empire? Sure, we loathe the establishment too, and we are more than willing to attack them head-on. But Trump campaigned on issues voters cared about and voters don’t care about the horrors of the empire.

The thing is: They don’t have to.

From the fact that voters don’t sufficiently care about foreign policy horrors it does not follow that they will not support a populist movement that wants to end those horrors. It’s just that ending those horrors will not be the primary reason for their support.

A pro-peace populist movement that focuses on issues voters care about and that are ignored or only paid lip service to by the existing parties, and a movement that is passionately anti-establishment, and willing and able to attack the elites head-on can succeed for those reasons alone.

If that same movement also happens to be pro-peace and anti-empire, then OK, good, so what?

After all, we just established that voters don’t care about foreign policy. But this works both ways: Voters don’t care enough about a pro-peace foreign policy for that pro-peace policy to be the deciding factor in who to support. But voters also don’t care enough about foreign policy for the pro-peace position to be a reason not to support that movement!

The situation is even better than that: It would be difficult to get voters to support a foreign policy that requires them to make sacrifices. If the core of that foreign policy is to actively do good in the world, by offering aid and other such things, that will be a hard sell. You have to convince voters to care about people far away, people they will never meet or even see on a screen.

But a pro-peace foreign policy is not a policy that wants to start doing good. It just wants to stop doing bad.

Peace does not require voters to make sacrifices. Voters were never benefiting from the aggressive foreign policy of the empire anyway. It costs voters nothing to end it.

In fact, the empire exists to exploit those very same voters. The empire takes massive amounts of the American public’s money and redistributes it among a wide variety of corporate special interests: Weapons producers, big energy, consulting companies and so on. What’s more, the empire gets tens of thousands of Americans killed or wounded or traumatized.

And here’s the beauty: A pro-peace movement that focuses on the issues voters care about and that is passionately anti-establishment reverses the burden of proof: If you want to campaign on peace and ending the empire you have to educate the voters and convince them the empire is not just morally wrong but also bad for them.

If instead you are pro-peace but you primarily campaign on the populist issues voters do care about, the empire can’t compete with you on the populist issues and now they would have to actually convince voters that it is in their best interest to support the empire that exploits them!

And that is an even more impossible situation to put the establishment in than the situation the pro-peace movement was in when it thought it had to make voters care about peace.

Peace, after all, was at least beneficial to the voters. That intellectual case was easy to make. The difficulty was in making voters care enough about it to change their votes.

But the empire doesn’t even have an intellectual case for its position. And now it also has the burden of proof.

So in short: A populist pro-peace movement can succeed. But it can only succeed by focusing on other issues that voters care about — issues the establishment actively ignores, trivializes or only pays lip service to — and by being passionately and proudly anti-establishment. The pro-peace position just comes along for the ride, and can and will be easily defended when attacked, and then implemented if we win.

Koen Swinkels

@koenswinkels

Sexy Abby Martin vs American Empire

Sexy Abby Martin vs American Empire

What is this banging hot white chick doing in the Gaza Strip or Venezuela?

In this offensive political comedy episode, we follow the sexy journalist Abby Martin, to dive into how the Secret CIA Empire actually works.  From Coups in Venezuela and Ukraine, to propaganda of the empire though the map.

Year Zero 86: Mike Maharrey on The Defend the Guard Act

Year Zero 84: Scott Horton on American Primacy Pt 1

In Part 1 of this 2 part interview Tommy and Scott address Ukraine, Russia, and Iran. US foreign policy for the last 100 years has left millions dead around the world, and there doesn’t seem to be a slow down in the interventionism of the US. What is the goal? Why is Ukraine important? And is Iran really a threat?

Listen to Year Zero

Bolivia’s Coup Explained with Comedy

Bolivia’s Coup Explained with Comedy

Get the suppressed truth on Bolivia’s recent Coup in a fun humor format.  We roast western media outlets that deny that this is even a coup.

 

The United States has a long history of corrupt coups in Latin America.  Is Bolivia any different?  The State Department and Donald Trump think so!

 

Evo Morales was the president of Bolivia before the military asked him to resign.  Some allege that he broke the constitution by seeking an additional term.  Others claim that the United States is behind the coup.  What is the real story?  Tune in…

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Edward Snowden Comedy Tribute

Edward Snowden Comedy Tribute

Did you know the NSA keeps a permanent record of your movement through your cellphone’s location?

Is the government’s mass surveillance program even legal?

Edward Snowden is the NSA whistleblower who revealed the extent of the government’s bulk data collection.  In this episode, we go over some of his shocking revelations about the Patriot Act and Stellar Wind (the program of warrantless wiretapping).

Find our upcoming schedule on:
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And the Courage Foundation here:

http://couragefound.org/

Fear is the Liberty Killer

Fear is the Liberty Killer

An overused term that is invoked to describe the United States, the largest government in the history of mankind, is “free country.” Does anyone actually believe that, or is it something to use as a bludgeon against those who seek to change particulars about said leviathan that they deem to be essential; their pet issue? Whether it is the right to own guns with “conservatives” (allegedly protected by a piece of paper), or abortion with the left (same, the Supreme Court decision invoked the 4th Amendment), that phrase, “free country,” is a dagger thrown at anyone who would seek to restrict either. This raises a question; how free are you if you have to point to a document that has been twisted and manipulated into meaning just about anything by 9 priests with lifetime appointments? Many in history have disagreed with the meaning of the 1st Amendment which is written in such a way that a 5-year-old clearly understands it. That is, until they get into a government school that teaches them that what they saw as logical as a youngster, is much more complicated. Especially when you take people’s “safety” into account. 

It is clear to anyone who examines it, that when a new law is passed, government agency created, or there is just an expansion of local, state or federal law enforcement, the reasons given to the public to justify this are ones that are meant to induce only one emotion; fear. Fear is the great liberty killer and a society that has been taught that the government is here to be their protector and provider in all things, allows its unlimited expansion when that emotion is created by those who seek to rule them. This is clear when you break down certain issues. 

Foreign Policy and the ‘War on Terror’ 

When you bring up 9/11 to people you get varied reactions. Emotions such as sadness and rage are most common in this author’s experience. Many times, both are present. The one response you rarely hear is fear. Why? People see that as an emotion to be embarrassed about. When you’re mourning a loss or fuming with anger, everyone sees those as justifiable. No one want to been seen as scared. Especially in a “free country.” 

Don’t be fooled, fear was the reason people accepted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It directly led to people’s support for the TSA and the “PATRIOT Act.” Fear is how people justify their elderly parents and grandparents, and young children, being groped and probed by publicly-funded deviants in every airport in the land. It’s all to keep us safe from those terrorists who “hate us for our freedoms.” If that were true, considering how much liberty has been lost, shouldn’t that be a mild dislike by now? Who are you trying to fool? This is about seeing a terrorist at every gate in every airport, and God forbid someone wearing a hijab gets on your plane! 

The ‘War on Drugs’ 

Let’s congratulate “drugs” for winning the “War on Drugs.” And, if we’re honest, the majority of this “war” is about a plant that grows in nature and doesn’t need to be processed to be used. Referring to cannabis as a “drug” is one of the greatest propaganda achievements in the history of tyrannies. Yet, it was sold as an “evil weed” through fear, full stop.  

Harry Anslinger, the father of cannabis prohibition (the term cannabis is being used because “marijuana” was a word invented to sound ethnic, another fear tactic), knew how to manipulate “good Christians,” and the public in general, into being frightened of that “evil weed” that caused people to participate in the most “depraved” of actions. Here are some examples of Anslinger’s work: 

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer… 

Traffic in marijuana is increasing to such an extent that it has come to the be cause for the greatest national concern. This drug is as old as civilization itself. Homer wrote about, as a drug that made men forget their homes, and that turned them into swine. In Persia, a thousand years before Christ, there was a religious and military order founded which was called the Assassins and they derived their name from the drug called hashish which is now known in this country as marijuana. They were noted for their acts of cruelty, and the word “assassin” very aptly describes the drug. 

 This quote may be apocryphal, but is widely credited to him: 

Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. 

It’s all about fear. Tyrannies have counted on the easily manipulated masses to believe whatever embellishments of the truth, or outright lies, they peddle. From the beginning of the smallest clans to the birth of the modern nation-state, fear of the other, or the unknown, has been used to get individuals to collectivize allowing a small minority to dictate what is in their best interests when it comes to safety. It happened after 9/11 (and it’s only gotten worse), and it continues in the insane “War on Drugs” that is responsible for the “freest country in world” having the most people incarcerated per capita with the next closest country far off in the distance.  

If individuals fail to examine themselves when it comes to the level of fear they’re living with, and how this directly correlates to how much tyranny they’re willing to abide, the term “free country” will become even more of a punchline than it is at the present moment. Unless they are prepared to investigate from where, and how, these feelings of trepidation have come into their lives, they should count on the chains getting tighter, and the leash shortening. The ideas of true liberty can be foreign, even frightening, to those who have never considered them, who’ve been taught that the status quo is the best that can be expected. Doing everything to help the scales to fall from their eyes should be a priority to those who have already enjoyed the experience. 

Donald Trump wants to Leave Syria but Bomb Yemen?

Donald Trump wants to Leave Syria but Bomb Yemen?

Trump has called for some US troops to withdraw from northeastern Syria.  However this move has Democrats screaming about the local Kurds being abandoned who were our ally, that we were protecting.

However they are criticizing him for the wrong reasons.  The real hypocrisy is that Donald Trump wants to continue US aid to Saudi Arabia to bomb children in Yemen and withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.  In this episode, we break down the common thread between all these Middle Eastern conflicts.

 

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Iran & Israel: A Love Story

Iran & Israel: A Love Story

Did you know Iran offered to help the United States defeat al-Qaeda?

Israel and Iran both are isolated by the same Sunni Arab enemies.  They both funded the same terrorist group Hamas.  And they both rival for the attention of the United States.  Iran and Israel are now bitter enemies but looking back at the history, you might think these two were destined to be star-crossed lovers.  Where did it all go wrong?

Israel and Iran both are isolated by the same Sunni Arab enemies.  Where did these potential star crossed lovers go wrong?  Brand New Political Comedy, Iran & Israel, A Love Story:

Libertarian Comedian DESTROYS Joe Biden Ukraine Drama

Libertarian Comedian DESTROYS Joe Biden Ukraine Drama

Over a billion dollars of US aid to Ukraine went missing, as Joe Biden’s son got paid.

House Democrats bring forth their impeachment case of Donald Trump based on his phone call with Ukraine’s President to investigate Joe Biden, but what corruption is being covered up and what hard evidence has the “CNN whistleblower” actually presented?  Tune in to our brand new political comedy…

You can find the schedule of upcoming episodes (Topics & Dates) here: http://hypocritetwins.com/

The Irony of Iran/Israel Tensions

The Irony of Iran/Israel Tensions

There’s a huge irony that during the 1980s, when Iran talked the most shit, Israel armed them.  However, later in the 1990s, when Iran’s rhetoric moderated, Israel pressured America to increase sanctions.  How & why did this irony come about?

 

Some say this irony can be placed on Iran for sabotaging the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians by arming extremist terrorist groups that objected to the Oslo agreements. However, how did this tension first begin?  What is the root cause of it?  Who is to blame for the modern conflict and failed peace talks with the Palestinians?  Tune in to the brand new political comedy episode!

khamenei

Israel’s Siege of Beirut Explained for Dummies

Israel’s Siege of Beirut Explained for Dummies

Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to stop the PLO, led by Yasser Arafat.  Against the wishes of the United States, Israeli tanks surrounded Beirut and blasted the city with heavy artillery to force the Palestinians to surrender.  However, Arafat was hiding among a heavy urban civilian population and so there is heated debate over Israel’s artillery methods to extract him.

 

You may think you don’t care about debates of Lebanese civilian casualties, but the towers falling in Lebanon inspired Osama-bin-laden to commit atrocities on 9/11 in New York.  In addition, the massacres from Israel’s occupation of Lebanon led to the rise of Hezbollah.  How does this effect modern Iran, Israel, and American relations?  Tune in to find out!

 

You find the schedule of our upcoming episodes and Patreon on our brand new website:

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