What Strange Corruption

This is how you call out fascist scum.

100 Flamingos

The Racist Venezuelan Bourgeoisie’s Accusations Against Chavistas Are Pure Projection

Social media truly is the great democratizer. Where else can Twitter trolls and bot armies create a web of baseless rumors that make their way into the empire’s leading publications? For example:

“Maduro is a murdering criminal starving Venezuelan children while he loots the country like Chavez did. When supposed socialist Chavez died the richest Venezuelan in the world was his daughter w billions. Same w Maduro. Looting Venezuelan wealth. Giving it to himself & Cuba!” (source)

So much to unpack, but this is a template used throughout social media in various forms. Make unsourced allegations of mass murder, purposeful starvation (especially of The Children), corruption, and looting. This is a more sophisticated version (really!) in which Chávez is separated from socialism with the word “supposed,” meant to give the accuser some leverage on the left. You…

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12 Responses to What Strange Corruption

  1. Philippe Forest says:

    very much miss reading your take on things, tarzie. hope you be well.

    • Tarzie says:

      i’m doin’ ok. I hope you are well also.

      • philippe says:

        sure would love to read your thoughts on what’s been going on in the last year. on my end, family still vegan, still healthy. bought a little bit of land out in the country and have started a very small scale permaculture homestead (composting our on poop, to boot:). hope you be well~

      • Tarzie says:

        Congrats on the homestead! I admire you for doing that. I’ve done a bit of vegetable gardening the past two summers, and have enjoyed it, despite my paltry yields. I’m in a concrete jungle so I have to do it all with raised beds and buckets in small spaces. It sounds corny, but it really does connect you to nature in a nourishing way. For me there is a tension between its rigorous demands and my slacker nature, but that’s mostly a good thing.

        Wonderful that your whole family is vegan.Between the country air, water and home-grown organic veggies, you should all live to be a hundred. I’m curious if anxiety about where society’s heading had anything to do with your land purchase. I’m also curious if the country is familiar territory already, or are you, like me, city born and bred? I’ve always felt a need to live in cities, but I’m feeling that less as I get older and social conditions decline. I certainly regret not factoring green space into my last move. When I lived in Brooklyn, I was just down the street from Prospect Park, where I took my dog every day. It never occurred to me how much I would miss that. I think i have a brain glitch where the part that knows what I need is entirely separate from the verbal, analytical part that makes important decisions. Fortunately I’m very adaptable, perhaps to a fault.

        I have the impulse to write but none of the old incentives. During this wacky year, pretty much every sect of the so-called left completed its flight from philosophical materialism, including people I once admired. Everything I hated about ‘the discourse’ five years ago has gotten exponentially worse since I put myself out to pasture, not least the tendency toward Manichean witch-hunts and overconfident moralizing. It’s hard to write when you can’t imagine anything like an appreciative, or at least intellectually engaging, audience. If I were going to do it again, my concerns would be very different from where they were back in the day. I’m starting to think a preoccupation with politics is a symptom of mental illness. At the very least, people who spend whole days online need a reminder that they’re going to die, and there’s no getting back a wasted day.

        What are you thinking about these days?

      • philippe says:

        thank you. we’re very grateful to have it and to be able to enjoy it….

        you asked if anxiety led us to it. it (although it’s more like dread, disbelief, and disgust, really) most certainly moved us in this direction. though we’ve always spent all of our free time camping and climbing and thus were no strangers to the outdoors…. we wanted a green, clean, quiet landscape far far from the city we, but mostly our son, could connect with, learn from, and care for. we also wanted to become less dependent on a frighteningly unhealthy and oppressive food system. but really, it was my wife’s tearful admission, after yet another ugly and terrifying encounter with an aggressive male automobilist who nearly ran her over as she was riding her bicycle to work, that she could never truly be happy in the city (she grew up on a farm in western kansas), that pushed us in this direction. we started looking and were fortunate enough to find a few acres that’ll require work, but no more than our limited experience and eagerness to learn and work can handle. been busy reading books on permaculture and humanure composting ever since. our land was clearcut some thirty years ago which means the forest is meek and needs a loving hand to find its bearings sooner than later; i’d like to see it thrive before my time’s up. of course, left to it’s own it would find its way back to health, but that would take more time than i have left (i’m 50). forests get really messy after a savage commercial cut and the competition on the ground (and below) is such that few trees grow to be strong and tall enough to reach maturity (again, in my lifetime). so right now we’re busy hauling fallen (never dead!) trees, trunks and branches out of the woods and using them to build raised beds (à la hugelkultur!). 

        our land is, for the most part, on a slope which means that when you’re not in the woods, your gaze is drawn to the treeline of the slopes and mountains on the other side of the valley. that view of unlimited horizon is the most soothing thing i’ve known. it rightsizes me and makes me feel wholesome. that sounds corny, to me, only when uttered without humility. to be honest, i aim to die here. i’m in no hurry, of course. i want to see my son grow into adulthood, and if my life is any measure, he’ll get there when i’m well into my 80s…..

        what i’m thinking about these days?…. the ease with which my family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances surrendered, rejected, renounced critical thought comes up often; the ease with which they turned on those of us who ‘dared’ simply question the value of extended lockdown, masking of children, 8pm curfew….. i’ve pretty much always been so far left of everyone (in my circle) and, yet, in the last year i’ve been labeled a racist, ableist, ageist, sexist, conspiracist, capitalist fascist for questioning ‘our’ governments response to covid and pointing out the many glaring incoherencies that make up most of it. i think about the unprecedented censorship of dissenting discourse; the amount of conflicting ‘evidence’ out for consumption is also mind-stopping, disabling, suffocating. i’ve never seen anything like it. ‘la pensée unique’ is celebrated on the front page of mainstream dailies regularly. it’s all very very depressing. and i’m of that select, very privileged group for whom lockdown was truly something of a work holiday (our business having been forced shut for most of the last year).

        i’m sorry to hear you’ve adapted to less greenery. Is your dog ok (with it)?

        Thank you for taking the time to write back. I always looked forward to reading you. hope to do so again some day…. i’m not alone in this. there are a few us who (on twitter) occasionally ‘lament’ your absence. Your ability to build sound, highly informative, and compelling arguments was/is second to none.

        take care~

      • Tarzie says:

        that’s all very inspiring. Bless your heart for living out your principles and for taking such good care of your loved ones. I’m envious of your scenic views, among other things. that’s good for the soul. My neighborhood is pretty ugly, and if that’s not bad enough, I’ve become very acquainted with the sound of gunshots. I’ve even heard someone shot to death from my front stoop. So, suffice it to say, I sympathize with your wife, and I’ve never lived on a farm.

        My dog: I moved from Brooklyn as the result of a split with my partner. We both thought it was better for her to remain where she was with him. Had I been forced to take her into account I might have been smarter about proximity to a decent park. I’m planning to be out of here in a year or so, but I haven’t figured out where i’ll go.

        we’re very much on the same page about this past year. I found the mass, uncritical capitulation to covid orthodoxy horrifying, and also really mystifying. I try to bring the same analytical skills to bear on everything no matter where they lead me, indifferent to whether or not some shithead mob agrees or doesn’t. I foolishly credited a lot of other people with the same propensity, and their compliance made me briefly doubt myself. this is sort of what I meant by the flight from materialism, which I actually see on all sides of the covid question, and everything else, but particularly from the lockdown marxists who, if they had any self-awareness, would just walk off a cliff for the good of humanity. It felt very much like a betrayal and I was unable to remain civil. I’m now much more able to understand how societies quickly go completely bonkers, something that used to tax my imagination. Turns out all you have to do to get most radicals to comply with, and enforce, a completely new, oppressive, way of life is scare the shit out of them with demonstrably baseless statistics, a handful of scary anecdotes, tell them Cuba’s on board and that resistance is racist. That is really, in a nutshell, what every argument I got looked like, served always with a side of anti-conspiracist sneering. I think there is so much psychosocial stuff at work here, you could spend a lifetime studying it. This is some kind of horrible turning point. There is no question of that.

        I appreciate your kind words about my writing. Lately I admonish myself for doing so little good in the world, so it’s nice to be reminded I haven’t been a total loss.

        So glad you engaged. I really appreciate it.

  2. Man, the shit is really going down now. Troops in Europe. Borders closing. Big lies. Big show; they have that shit down like a motherfucker! And the marginalized that were marginalized have yet again been marginalized. Sure is lonely. There should be a hotline. “I wish to speak to someone who is awake, please.”

  3. Bot Nabq says:

    I see it’s been a while since you posted here, but I thought you might be interested to know you got a shoutout re Glenn Greenwald criticism from some left-liberal types after Greenwald’s “Tucker Carlson is a socialist” episode

    (Start video at 1:15)

    • Tarzie says:

      Ha. Thanks for the heads up. As usual, I was characterized wrong. The monetizing was more Pando’s beef than mine. This whole Greenwald thing going on now is so stupid. Greenwald’s actually less of a reactionary than he was when the same people cancelling him now spent every day on Twitter fighting for purchase on his nutsack. It’s so cute how social climbing conformists really believe its principle that makes them do what they do. At least GG’s a vegan and a vocal animal advocate now which has tempered my own famous dislike.

      Anyway, thanks again for thinking to let me know. It was kind of you.

      • Bot Nabq says:

        I feel the same way. I’ve been torn on all the Greenwald drama in recent years because most of the stuff people complain about him for nowadays are the areas he’s actually somewhat reasonable (eg Russiagate, intel skepticism, etc). The Carlson comment was admittedly ridiculous though.

        Belated thank you for maintaining this blog back in the day. Sharpest place on the web.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, the comment on Carlson, Bannon et al was stupid. However, only slightly moreso than applying the s-word to Sanders and The Squad. I’ve noticed the emergence of a political subclass on social media of nominal Marxists, adjacent to the Dirtbag Left, who reject right and left in favor of working class vs bourgeoisie. They’re often accused of flirting with the right. I know Greenwald has been on a few of their podcasts so I think he’s pilfering from them and dumbing it down at the same time. Greenwald is a political magpie. The Madonna of leftoid punditry.

        Thanks for your kind words about the blog. Now that I’ve found other, more satisfying interests, I kinda regret all the time I spent on the internet left. If I were going to do it over, I’d still write but I’d spend far less time in social media. That people found what I did here valuable takes some of the edge off my regret.

        I’m likely to start writing again at some point but it will be different than what I became known for.

  4. Philippe says:

    just a few words to let you know how much it lifted my spirits to read your brief take on the last year, and that i’m sorry to hear about your dog and the violence of your current, temporary, digs. also, we learned the ‘hard way’ that in our region ‘those who plant before june, plant twice’. not gonna make that mistake again:)

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