Smearing for Soros

Question: What do you call a Palestinian radical that thinks George Soros’ involvement in US left politics is germane to a discussion of movement objectives?

Well if you’re notorious Twitter nuisance, shameless liar and justifiably failed citizen journo Taryn Fivek,  you call them a nazi. Or, rather, you suggest it by noting that their perfectly innocuous tweet about movement goals has been faved by an alt-right account.

Does anyone else find this vehement smearing of anyone raising questions about Soros’ involvement in US left politics odd? I mean, look at Fivek in the whole conversation here, so invested in shutting down debate that she shows no reluctance to appear extremely dumb, condescending, evasive and underhanded.  It’s almost like being a fucking asshole is her job.

Let’s cut the shit, again. Soros involvement in Left politics, including Black Lives Matter and now the anti-Trump protests by way of his support for MoveOn, isn’t a theory. It’s an established fact. People who scoff at this are outing themselves as either complete ignoramuses or professional trolls. That there are anti-semitic theories about Soros as leader of a Jewish conspiracy is entirely irrelevant to the discussion, apart from its utility to creeps like Fivek, weirdly invested in shutting people up with guilt by association.

The left critique of Soros is really quite simple and reasonable: he makes considerable investments in US “progressive” politics and, as a billionaire,  is uniquely positioned to shape the movements and organizations he contributes money to. These political commitments in the US must be assessed against his lengthy history of funding destabilization campaigns in other countries, particularly against socialists in Eastern Europe. It’s abundantly clear that a principled Left politics is not what drives him, as his recent alliance with fascists in Ukraine dramatically shows. Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford argues here that, in relation to African Americans, Soros and pals’ aim is to “transform leftish activist organizations into loyal, dependent annexes of the Democratic Party.” The objective is containment, not liberation.

Since the Soros Fund was Hillary Clinton’s fourth largest donor, his involvement in the Love Trumps Hate fest that erupted immediately after the election certainly merits the scrutiny of anyone who is neither a billionaire nor a fan of Hillary Clinton or her party. To say this is not to diminish the legitimate concern of many of the protest participants. In fact, it works against they’re being exploited. It is also entirely irrelevant that Trump scum are pointing fingers at Soros also, unless it’s also anti-semitic by association to oppose the TPP or to feel good about Clinton’s ruin. This should all be obvious, but thanks to a political environment dominated by upper middle class ignoramuses, social climbers and outright trolls like Fivek, even the obvious is up for grabs.

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38 Responses to Smearing for Soros

  1. roastyagain says:

    Since we’re discussing Soros funding popular movements, and the pure dismissive tone she takes when people question it, some quotes from someone who’s writing I used to quite like:

    “Why do we fail to make this distinction, between legitimate popular movements and the rise of fascism?” -manyfesto (aka Emma Quangel, aka Taryn Fivek, from the comments here: https://writerswithoutmoney.com/2014/10/04/weev-vice-magazine-and-the-unspeakable/ in 2014)

    “Apparently, a time of dark reaction such as this is the wrong time to consider the possibility.” -manyfesto (from a post, dripping with irony now, discussing people being ‘disciplined’ on the left: https://manyfesto.org/2014/06/11/lets-talk-discipline/)

    Oh, and my favorite of all, also from her “Discipline” essay:

    “If someone suggests something that sounds conspiratorial, don’t laugh. Listen and learn.” -manyfesto

    I really liked the 2014 version of Fivek way better.

  2. Richard Estes says:

    I’m at a loss to understand how anyone could believe that Soros has a benign motivation for his contributions to social movements.

    • Tarzie says:

      No one with a true radical analysis does. It’s impossible.

      What’s happening here, is you have high status “activists” sucking at the Soros teat — mostly without telling anyone — belittling anyone that suggests his motives are impure. Then the little army of half-wits, whose main interest in life is feeling all knowy and superior, just recapitulate this belittling without even thinking about it. It’s all about varying layers of self-interest. The vain little recapitulators are the worst, because the payoff is only self-superiority. At least the ones at the top are getting paid.

    • Franklin says:

      Have you seen this?

  3. Appalled says:

    We’ve seen this kind of social media meltdown often from ambitious, disingenuous people. It’s hard work simultaneously to burnish the brand, cater to the disparate requirements of several market segments, and remain plausibly Marxist, or at least in harmony with the line adopted by this or that communist micro-sect.

    Various elements of the brand inevitably clash and the whole thing flies apart.

    People with actual convictions and a coherent worldview can speak easily and frankly. But you can smell the flop sweat emanating from people who feel a need to strike “correct” but marketable postures at all times.

  4. Appalled says:

    I should add that this “Nazi faved your tweet” smear has got to stop. It’s difficult to imagine a tactic more dishonest or transparently fallacious. Might as well say that mailboxes are fascist because a Nazi once used one.

    There’s a tiny but thoroughly poisonous Twitter crowd that does this constantly. Some of them seem so deranged that they may have persuaded themselves that it’s meaningful, but most know perfectly well that it’s a bogus tactic. They pursue it anyway out of spite and because it gives them a little thrill.

    Fivek hangs out on the periphery of this crowd has evidently adopted this style of smear as a last-ditch defense when she’s been humiliated online.

    • Tarzie says:

      What I find so striking is that there are so many leftists that don’t seem to know what analysis is or, if they know what it is, they place no value on it. I consider being analytical and historical as much a part of being Left as advocating on behalf of equality and liberation. It follows that we have an absolute duty to consider Soros support against his other commitments. This is fucking basic. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that 90% of what people say on Left Twitter is entirely fallacious. Fivek gives no indication that she even knows what a fallacy is. Since she’s clearly a dishonest snake, there’s no telling what she knows, though. She reaches Charles Davis levels of self-abnegation in her willingness to look asinine for the swill she’s trying to sell here.

      When I used to confront people who would slag off my pieces, I’d always say, what are your objections? What did I get wrong? Invariably the reply was either evasive snark or some attack on my personality. It’s like fighting with really stupid spoiled children. To be on easy terms with these people I have to remind myself that their influence is increasingly restricted to their idiot circle jerks from which all sane people long ago departed and in about five years or less they’ll no longer pretend to be something other than booj liberals.

      • No soy yo says:

        “A fascist faved your tweet”: significant, and terrible. “Your funder funded fascists”: antisemitic to even mention it. You don’t need a lot of history or a very deep analysis to see how ridiculous that is. But everyone on the so-called left seems to think that words are more important than actions anyway.

        I think I started following you as a lurker at some point when you said about a previous post,”on further reflection, I’m going to back down on this,” or “fine-tune my argument” or “I changed my mind,” or something. The other issue with these jokers is that a discussion is just another opportunity to respond with their rehearsed lines. I’m very suspicious of people who never change their minds, since that’s another sign that they’re not constantly thinking and re-thinking.

      • Tarzie says:

        “A fascist faved your tweet”: significant, and terrible. “Your funder funded fascists”: antisemitic to even mention it.

        That is a brilliant way of putting it.

  5. Appalled says:

    You’re dead right as usual. There’s no logic, no coherence, no consistency even between successive tweets. They perceive the world through discrete, meme-y chunks of “storytelling” flying by at fantastic speed. Twitter is not only the ideal medium for this kind of chaotic sensibility, or rather insensibility, it also reinforces and rewards it.

  6. Hummus says:

    So at first I was like “alright break out the circular firing squad” but yo what the fuck is she doing I thought she was a tankie? But now I see she has a “project” and a brand now and God damn us white people sure are bad at this whole thing aren’t we? Don’t forget to share my indiegogo page, comrade.

    I’m writing a letter to Bob Avakian right now to have her card revoked.

    • Tarzie says:

      So at first I was like “alright break out the circular firing squad”

      I’m glad you fought the urge and you should be too. Surely you noticed that she fired the first shot.

      Not only does she have a brand and a project, she has a little cabal of frothing trolls who smear and harass people on her behalf. It’s a metamorphosis from victim to piece of shit to rival Amber Frost. But I chose her just as an example of a shitty little “spot the anti-semite” game being played against anyone raising concerns about soros that really needs to stop. And while we’re at it, let’s put a lid on randomly calling people nazis over literally nothing.

      Even when I liked her I found her authoritarian and this is an authoritarian way of dealing with other leftists.

      • Hummus says:

        Anyone who ever said Trump is Hitler bears the responsibility of killing this new Hitler before he presumably causes another world war/genocide/both.

        Never let them forget it.

      • No soy yo says:

        “Anyone who ever said Trump is Hitler bears the responsibility of killing this new Hitler before he presumably causes another world war/genocide/both.

        Never let them forget it.”

        True. I bring up the fact that they’re not even demanding Obama reduce this Nazi’s future power, but of course you’re right. I think if you ask people what they’d do if they had one trip in a time machine, the majority or plurality always says that they’d go back and kill Hitler. If this is actually a new kind of Hitler-like president, no need for a time machine!

      • No soy yo says:

        Thought I should mention in case it wasn’t clear that t don’t think this is a new kind of Hitler, so I’m not recommending anything to these jokers.

        But I don’t know which option is scarier: that all these people are actively lying that they think he’s a new Hitler, or that they think that posting safety pin selfies is the way to counter a new kind of Hitler.

        I was also reminded of a story I saw about a Rutgers Prof. who made a comment that he says was rhetorical about the second amendment and white people, and he got a visit from law enforcement and was taken forcibly for a mental health eval. And I saw several un-ironic Tweets that were blaming this on Trump, “it’s started already,” “Trump already rounding people up,” etc. So he was elected a week or so ago, won’t be inaugurated for two months and he’s already changed the attitude of local law enforcement? This is how much people don’t want to admit how bad things already are? Are they saying this wouldn’t have happened November 6?

      • Hummus says:

        I tried some of my politics out at the tenant association meeting we were helping to organize and they were mostly confused, unhappy liberal transplants to Bed-Stuy who couldn’t get beyond a very bitter “if you didn’t vote then you have no right to complain and it makes it easier for ‘THIS’ to happen,” ‘this’ certainly not being Already Existing Fascism nor Hillary Clinton’s inability to win a campaign.

        DID YOU KNOW TRUMP APPOINTED A RACIST AS ATTORNEY GENERAL? *GASPS*

        So uh like what do we do while waiting for everyone else to catch up

      • Tarzie says:

        To be fair, his appointments are particularly bad.

      • No soy yo says:

        Yes, the transition team must be having fun coming up with the most vile, bigoted old white man they can come up with for each post. Someone who couldn’t be confirmed as a judge 30 years ago because he was too racist? Attorney General. Etc. They can’t keep the populists and isolationists happy for long, so may as well appeal to the racists and misogynists. So far, we may need to go back to JFK to find a less diverse cabinet. Making America great again!

        On the other hand, it definitely plays into the colour (blue) revolution angle and not the fucked up system angle. So it’s a win-win for empire of course. And Chomsky’s right that all this is happening while the planet burns, which Hillary of course hammered home herself so many times. I mean, err, “all of the above energy!” “fracking!” “America’s already great!”

        The only good news is that hopefully we won’t have to hear this “color blind” bullshit as much these days.

  7. diane says:

    and directly before Hillary and Wall Street/Soros, et al (Die Hard Republicans all, no matter which side of the coin they Run For Office under, after all the US is a Republic, not a Democracy) there was Obombster and Wall Street/Soros, et al:

    10/24/07 Money Chooses Sides – In a barn-burning, record-smashing fund-raising campaign season, Barack Obama tapped a new breed of Manhattan donors and won the expectations game. But because of the new primary schedule, excess is barely enough.

    The conference room belonged to George Soros, the billionaire bête noire of the right [Yeah right, reminded of Dickie Mellon Scaife’s utter admiration -in that Vanity Fair piece (I think it was) – of Big Dawg Bill – diane]. After talking to Soros for an hour about his prospective bid for the White House, Obama walked down the hall and found assembled a dozen of the city’s heaviest-hitting Democratic fund-raisers: investment banker Hassan Nemazee, Wall Street power Blair Effron, private-equity hotshot Mark Gallogly, hedge-fund manager Orin Kramer. Most had been big-time John Kerry backers in 2004. Most had a connection to the Clintons. All were officially uncommitted for 2008.

  8. lecolonelchabert says:

    Thanks hugely for this.

  9. ctempel says:

    She’s been accruing points in a certain crew of phony rentier pseudointellectuals for a while now. Her shape shifting and lack of substantial knowledge is really something. And 2014 Taryn ripped off Klein’s valuable investigations wholesale, only ditching her poor imitation when (i assume) it no longer had shine in her circles. She’s a (often rather cryptic) upper class bore who used to boast about loving American Psycho and Philip K Dick.

  10. Appalled says:

    That “Nazi” account that faved Leila is obviously a sock – indeed it’s a really elaborate psyop of some sort seemingly intended to tar Reds with an anti-Semitic brush.

    See https://twitter.com/Itagliano12

    It follows only four accounts, two of which are Leila and Cordeliers – both Reds who have refused to toe the Fake Left line about HRC, Soros, etc. The avi is a photo of French actress Sandrine Kiberlain. There are many other sock giveaways that I won’t bother to list. The bio is lifted straight from a recent Sassy blog post.

    *Many* of the tweets are Xeroxed from authentic radicals, including Cordeliers and Tarzie. The phony Red tweets are interspersed with alt-right, pro-Trump, and antisemitic swill. If there’s a way to post screenshots here, I’d be glad to do so. (One of the tweets is taken from a Tarzie comment on this very blog.)

    The deception is so longstanding and elaborate it would have to be the work of a paid HRC operative, some kind of spook, or a truly demented obsessive personality.

    I’m not saying Taryn runs this sock, but I don’t really believe in coincidences.

    • Hummus says:

      I would be surprised if she didn’t this is LF as fuck

    • Appalled says:

      That fake Nazi account shut down almost immediately after we began to discuss it here, by the way. Further evidence that the whole thing was some kind of anti-anti-imp operation.

      • Tarzie says:

        Interesting. Can’t really see what the angle was, though it definitely dovetails with the calculatedly idiotic Fivek’s “If an anti-imperialist says something a nazi says, the anti-imperialist is a nazi also” fallacy. Considering the similarity, her use of it to smear a Palestinian anti-imperialist suggests complicity and must be seen as professional trolling.

        I can’t believe I ever defended that odious snake. Hilarious that the scumball is now complaining of being snitch-jacketed. She’s one of the more inept ones. So dull and unappealing that she can’t crack a Twitter following of 4,000, no matter how much attention she seeks and no matter how many times she changes her avatar. Is there any lifeform lower than an incompetent snitch?

      • Hummus says:

        LF you guys gotta keep the fuck up.

        Permaban discipline

  11. robert says:

    on the idea of “protecting fascist speech” cf. anti-semitic vs. anti-zionist speech. many a fascist or jew-hating neo-nazi has the highest admiration for ft. zion cuz those fuckers know how to get ‘er done. (sorry if this has already been pointed. no time to read thru comments at the moment.)

  12. Pingback: #J20: What Is The Point? | The Rancid Honeytrap

  13. a therapist of the left says:

    What in the world happened to Fivek? Even up until late 2015 she was fine. That “No Platform” thing rubbed me the wrong way in small part insofar; it’s a little patrician and gauche to adopt this posture of giving to the voiceless. I initially thought about donating because I liked her past work but I decided not to because it really bothered me that I couldn’t figure out who she was writing to and why she was doing this; surely her audience was not the vast majority of us given that the the people whom she interviewed are, if not us, then our neighbors, friends, family. It certainly seemed like a distinctly left-liberal change in attitude and self-branding but I suppose I chalked it up to her losing her job and figured that it probably still did more than good.

    Recently, though, this cuddling up to the foul racist and ultraleftist Brace Belden and the accompanying, continual refusal to engage with her communist Arab critics has really given me pause. I have a hard time making sense of her recent actions as anything other than a calculated attempt at rebranding. The old Fivek was a really insightful, bold person, if one who did seem frequently impolitic in her personal dealings (making fun of wealthy, right-wing second-gen Arab-Americans’ Arabic is a little lowkey-white supremacist, even if her targets are pretty shitty people). Beyond the NoPlatform imbroglio and the public scrapping with RK (which seems entirely personalistic to me), her whole public image seems distinctly less radical, more prone to gatekeeping and left-punching, and just sort of vapidly meme-ish. The way she talks about Richard Spencer, e.g., is so juvenile. I actually don’t agree with RK or Cords that it’s ultraleft as such to punch this guy, or that it was probably a false flag. But she continually presents the matter in language dripping with creepy irony-left machismo and seems intent on meme-ing the topic, making it a kind of big inside joke. That posture is so inimical to real organizing. And goodness, speaking of real organizing, her refusal to answer non-white critics on the basis that someone who is “probably older and more experienced in organizing” need not bother just drips with white supremacist venom.

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