The War on People: the Belarus Edition

The War on People: the Belarus edition

The United States has a strange fetish with democracy. We really like it as long as the guy we support gets elected, but if those idiots in some god-forsaken third world country vote in the wrong guy we go insane. When asked about the CIA coup of the democratically elected president of Chile, Kissinger quipped that you can't allow people to waste democracy on Marxism. And so we spend millions of taxpayer dollars each year trying to influence the elections of various countries around the world. We'll leave self-determination to the birds.

Enter Belarus. A former satelite of the Soviet Union, Belarus has continued to resist capitalist exploitation and has maintained a remarkable level of prosperity for its citizens. On March 19 Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected despite fierce opposition by the U.S. In typical fashion the Lukashenko wins about 80% of the vote–something Bush couldn't dream of–and we call foul! We did the same thing in Venezuela when Chavez won.

Condoleeezza Rice identified Belarus as an "outpost of tyranny." Belarus has been moved near the top of the list of nations due for "regime change."

That's what we think of democracy. Try like hell to buy the election. If that doesn't work institute a military coup or some sort of rebellion. And finally, if none of that works, send in U.S. troops to institute regime change.

The Crime: Resisting Privatization

Under the leadership of Lukashenko since 1994, Belarus put a halt fo the privatizations and proceeded to use the country's resources to maintain the government's social programs and social infastructure. The World Bank describes the outcome: "The country retains many features of a planned economy with the government wielding significant control over the factors of production and the decisions of economic agents, a high tax burden and a major budget redistribution of funds aimed at supporting traditional companies and employment. The agricultural sector remains largely unreformed, small and medium enterprises have undergone a minimal level of development, and a considerable share of GDP is allocated to social expenditures."

So what do we do to a guy who is clearly helping his people with their full support? We demonize him, of course. Fund his opposition, and cry foul when he wins the election. Instead of shaking our opponent's hand and wishing him well in future endeavors, we begin funding revolutionary movements within the country.

The real terror being fought is any alternative to the current capitalist system. There is no alternative, Maggie Thatcher's famous phrase. The terror is that someone might notice that Belarus was ignoring capitalist demands and finding prosperity while the Russians embraced it and got their entire economy looted and left to rot. This is the real terror. The terror is that Lukashenko, Castro, Chavez, and the new guy in Bolivia show alternatives to how we organize ourselves and how we distribute wealth and power.

Published in: on May 19, 2006 at 1:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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