I’m listening to a conference call about the election in Venezuela as Venezuelans elect candidates for the National Constituent Assembly; the panel of commentators is discussing what this election really means for Venezuelans and the world. As the U.S. spreads its devil’s sulfur around the world oppressing people’s representative governments, governments for the people’s good, not corporate good, the left cannot ever let its guard down. Neo-colonialism must be fought for indigenous people’s rights to a living wage without exploitation. But the Venezuelan revolution hasn't received unanimous support from progressive people around the world. Why is this?
On the left, there is too much division and swaying to oblige one's capitalist upbringing subverted by propaganda and guilt. I have to fight off comfortable feelings towards worker exploitation by apologists supporting neo-liberal policies of international sweatshops; who doesn’t like inexpensive products. Who can resist the carbon monoxide producing comfort of private vehicles?
But there is another casualty in the propaganda war between socialist and capitalist supporters; that it is correct for “progressive” people to insult conservatives who occasionally speak some truth. Let me give you an example about a fellow ex-pat who posted a video on Facebook from a Trump supporting “fascist.” I ended our dialogue and unfriending him.
Someone from Taipei posted a meme of a young Trump supporter who argued that dictionaries have changed their definition of “fascist” over the past few years and made the word decidedly “rightist,” a word that means nothing and is not the opposite of a leftist. The ex-pat's goal in posting the video was to show how convoluted Trump supporters are by saying that Black Block violence at G20 was just as fascist by not allowing the leaders of the capitalist world to speak their minds, a trait attributed to “fascist” in old and new English dictionaries alike.
My fellow ex-pat from Taipei didn’t like my agreeing with any point of the Trump supporter. I wrote, “He's only correct that dictionaries shouldn't change their definitions so suddenly; they usually evolve over time.” I commented about the Nazi fascism mentioned in the Facebook video, but the anti-Trump ex-pat was having none of it: “So what you're saying is he's wrong about Hitler because it's only true for a segment of society? Seems like you're grasping for something.” It was then I realized this ex-pat was hostile to my neutral comment. However, I commented further, but it only seemed to upset him more; his goal in posting the meme was being ignored by me and he was upset. He responded rudely: “To spin zone the point of the video into some weird ass history lecture about Hitler.” I asked if he was a fascist by not allowing me my opinion; he denied he was, but he is as fascist as the Trump supporter. He proved the dictionary revision was wrong; a leftist can be a fascist, too; it's called "totalitarianism."
A few weeks ago there was another Facebook incident that drew me in; a viewer from an anarchist group posted, gleefully, a video of a pedestrian in a street action in Venezuela who blind-sided a national guardsman smashing him in the face with a motorcycle helmet. I commented that this guardsman was trying to stop sabotage against civilians by agent provocateurs who are funded by U.S. CIA anti-revolutionary forces who don’t want to lose lucrative exploitation for their corporate sponsors. When I pointed this out, the foolish “anarchist” responded “Kill all the police.”
In these and other confrontations on Facebook with cyber-friends, the element of workers’ rights is side-stepped altogether. What was the root of disgust about the G20 Summit in Germany should not be lost in the violence; it was against the exploitation of workers through the system we have known all our lives, top-down profit motive from business owners in commercial capitalism; workers aren’t being paid enough to support themselves or their families.
There is no black and white in reason; what is wrong for the right is wrong for the left. Not all police are bad if they represent a people’s government. Not all Trump supporters are stupid when they point out a liberal conspiracy to change the definition of “fascist” in new editions of English dictionaries.