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Dave Silver
Democracy Now and the Death of Boris Yeltsin: Anti-Communism in Liberal Disguise

April 24,2007

The leading alternative and progressive media, Democracy Now, had as a leading segment of the hour program the death of Boris Yeltsin and as its guest Katrina  Vanden Heuvel the editor of the oldest weekly liberal magazine, The Nation. 

Amy Goodman starts off by indicating that the British Prime Minister considered Yeltsin “a remarkable man.”  Before introducing her guest she compared the deaths Yeltsin caused in the Chechenya independence struggle with that of Stalin.  Just as many left of center have in the past characterized the “opposition” as the good democrats that want some perestroika and glasnost as George Bush was sending messages of solidarity to the people in the Ukraine waiving those orange flags and calling for “democracy.”

Enter Katrina from her liberal podium.  She observed that Yeltsin missed the ball as he rejected a more “democratic referendum” that Gorbachev offered on how best to dismantle the Soviet Union and go down the capitalist road.  What Katrina failed to mention that it was Gorby, once the general-secretary of the CPSU, that legitimized and made legal the abolishing of the Party.  Amy characterized Michael Gorbachev as the leader of the “country’s chaotic (sic) transition from communism (if she read Marx at least she would have said socialism) to capitalist democracy.”  Worthy of neo-liberal corporate ideology.

Katrina responded that while a lot of Russians are pissed about their horrendous post Soviet lives she’s not sure whether the people are better off now than before the counter-revolution.  Something like whether the Iraqis are better off after “Mission Accomplished.”

Anti communism in Liberal and Left disguise is alive and well in many Left currents such as neo-Marxism, Social Democratic and the “new” Left.   Those infected by what I like to call the new thinking virus cannot be progressive, anti-imperialist, anti-racist or anti globalization for they have fallen victim to what Marx called an antagonistic contradiction sort of like a “compassionate capitalism.”



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