Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Counterpunch “Unites Against Imperialism”.

with 8 comments


To the Barricades!

CounterPunch looks reality in the face.

“In countless interviews, in personal letters, in face-to-face discussions, the questions I keep being asked are becoming very similar: “Now that it is obvious that the West is ready and willing to destroy everything that stands in its way to the total domination of the planet, what can still be done?”

“… if there is no determined resistance, or defence of the basic values on which humanity is based, there will soon be nothing except absolute slavery, market fundamentalism, in brief a society much more appalling than Orwell or Huxley could ever envision.”

“The good news is, that there is resistance!” says André Vltchek

“I am talking about Cuba and Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, Uruguay, China, Russia, Eritrea, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Iran, and many other nations of our wonderful and diverse planet.”

“Iran: Is there any country (maybe except Cuba and Russia), which has suffered from Western terror more than this old cultural powerhouse?”

“Let us first stop Western aggressions, imperialism and neo-colonialism, and only then, let us sort out our differences and determine the ideological way forward for the progressive forces on this planet.

Until then, to the barricades, to the battleships and to the television stations and magazines!

Of course we will win, but it will take some balls and ovaries, as they say in Latin America!”


CounterPunch cannot count this Blog amongst its fans.

Its founding figure Alexander Cockburn (1941 – 2012)  has received affectionate, adulatory,  reminiscences in the pages of New Left Review – a journal he was also associated with.

Following his death Robin Blackburn claimed in (NLR No 76 2012)  that “Alexander’s outlaw columns and newsletter, CounterPunch, held the new power elites to account and showed up the conformism of the serious organs of opinion.”

He was a ” franc-tireur, often roving behind enemy lines, alert to the infinite varieties of liberal claptrap, and unveiling the real world of Big Money and the National Security State”.

A kind of Marxist Hunter S.Thompson.

In short he was a wise guy spilling the “inside dope”.

Perry Anderson, another friend,wrote (Counterpuncher. NLR 85. 2014) “What did this feeling for l’Amérique profonde, as Robin Blackburn has called it, mean for his politics?”

Amongst other traits  it seems to have meant a large collection of vintage cars, and a love of guns contributing a lot towards his wandering off onto the wilder shores of cranky ideology.

He attacked “warmism” – the reality of global warming – and defended to the teeth the right to “bear arms”.

Anderson explained the former stand  in terms which both lovers of rare words, and and those given to over-used  (French) clichés can only admire.

It was the result of an “attachment to barouches pre-dating catalytic converters; perhaps an element of épater—he refused political correctness in any form.”

Lethal weapons for Anderson, perhaps recalling shooting parties Hibernian Estates, were no big deal,  “Fire-arms he defended as a patrimony of the American Revolution, whose rifle shows were vibrant displays of anti-government strains in popular culture.”

There is plenty more to say, but not worth saying about somebody whose imprint is already fading.

Though one should add that Cockburn had the good sense to see through the pretensions of Occupy Wall Street.  This  is to his credit.

His legacy, Counterpunch, often seems to be a cross between the old GDR Schwarze Kanal  and Hollywood Confidential.

You half expect articles about desperate West Germans smuggling butter out of the land of milk and milk that was the East German Workers’ State.

Or, to follow the analogy more exactly, it is simply a long sarcastic scream dubbed over the latest news about the USA and the West.

Plus a bit of titillation: Very hush hush.

Nobody, but nobody, is going to the barricades on reading Vltchek.

Who would put these countries in the same list, “Cuba and Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, Uruguay, China, Russia, Eritrea , Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Iran…”

And Iran? (to cite but one, we could continue….).

Many of us would vigorously protest against any US-led attack on the country.

But to claim that the blood-stained Islamist dictatorship merits support as an ” old cultural powerhouse”?

Then there is the coupling of South American social democracies, left governments with Eritrea, one of the worst dictatorships on the planet, and…well we could go on and on.

Fuck off mate! 


Written by Andrew Coates

April 26, 2014 at 10:39 am

8 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on oogenhand.


    April 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm

  2. Unfortunately, the kind of clap-trap peddled as “anti imperialism” by Cockburn and Counterpunch is becoming increasingly common on what passes fro the “left” in the West. Having given up on Marxism or, indeed, any kind of pro-working class analysis of the world, populists and poseurs of the Galloway/Milne /German variety seem to have adopted “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” as their guiding philosophy. Hence their prediliction for third world dictatorships, Chinese turbo-capitalism, Putin’s imperialism and Islamism (except, strangely, in Syria where they tend to prefer Assad)..

    Jim Denham

    April 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

  3. True Jim.

    The André Vltchek article illustrates a mood rather than an analysis.

    Andrew Coates

    April 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

  4. Due to advancing confusion as I age, I misread this as ‘Counterfire’. I only realised my mistake when I re-read it.

    Sue R

    April 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm

  5. Well said Jim Denham. The God of Marxism failed them and rather than admit that they have wasted their lives they look for new gurus and new mantras.


    April 27, 2014 at 6:45 am

  6. CounterPunch proves nothing whatsoever about Marxism.

    They are American populists.

    Andrew Coates

    April 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

  7. Jim Denham, along with the majority of the decents, would relish any blood stained US led attack on any country, and I suspect he Tendance would spend more time justifying the crime or distracting us with smokescreens rather than denouncing it. Such is the drone supporting left.

    This article reminds me of the Daily Mails attack on the ‘woman beater’ Thomas Piketty. Forget the arguments, forget debating what he says, lets deflect with some moralism – a classic tactic of drone supporting leftists.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    May 4, 2014 at 9:34 am

  8. “Having given up on Marxism or, indeed, any kind of pro-working class analysis of the world”

    Denham will one day explain how supporting every calamity the West indulges in is in any way presenting a working class position, especially considering that most productive workers live well outside the Western world. Surely Marxism calls for independent working class action, not tailing behind imperialist interest?

    “populists and poseurs of the Galloway/Milne /German variety seem to have adopted “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” as their guiding philosophy.”

    Jim Denham believes that workers waving reactionary banners should be supported, “British jobs for British workers” etc, this is populism. Galloway took an anti British army stance at a time it was going into battle, you cannot get more anti populist than that. This banding around terms without meaning is very reminiscent of Orwellian newspeak.

    “Putin’s imperialism and Islamism (except, strangely, in Syria where they tend to prefer Assad)”

    Of course Jim Denham is a keen supporter of Islamism in Syria and far right nationalism in Ukraine, in fact his analysis of the world (how ambitious) pretty much equates to whatever coincides with the interests of US imperialism. And, of course, Denham view of imperialism is exactly constructed to deny its very existence (by negating it with itself!), or to strip it of all its real character, as only an apologist would do.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    May 4, 2014 at 10:03 am

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