Does it pay ‘to be good’? Is it still possible to play by the rules in this mad world, governed by brigands?
What if the rules are defined and ratified by all countries of the world, but a small group of the strongest (militarily) nations totally ignores them, while using its professional propagandists to reinterpret them in the most bizarre ways?
Describing the world, I often feel that I am back in my primary school.
When I was a child, I had the misfortune of growing up in a racist Czechoslovakia. Being born in the Soviet Union, and having an half Russian and half Asian mother, I was brutally beaten up between classes, from the age of seven. I was systematically attacked by a gang of boys, and humiliated and hit for having ‘Asian ears’, for having an ‘Asian mother’, for being Russian. During winters, my shoes were taken out into the bitter cold and pissed into. The urine turned into ice. The only consolation was that ‘at least’ I was Russian and Chinese. If I was a Gypsy (Roma) boy, I would most likely not have made it, at least without losing an eye, or without having my hands broken.
I tried to be polite. I did my best to ‘play by the rules’. I fought back, first only half-heartedly.
Until one day, when a kid who lived next door, fired his air gun and barely missed my eye. Just like that, simply because I was Russian… and Asian, just because he had nothing better to do, at that particular moment. And because he felt so proud to be Czech and European. Also, because I refused to eat their shit, to accept their ‘superiority’, and humiliate myself in front of them. Both mother and I were miserable in Czechoslovakia, both of us dreamt about our Leningrad. But she made a personal mistake and we were stuck in a hostile, provincial and bombastic society which wanted to “go back to Europe”, and once again be part of the bloc of countries, which has been ruling and oppressing the world, for centuries.
The air gun and almost losing my eye turned out to be the last straw. I teamed up with my friend, Karel, whose only ‘guilt’ was that at 10, he weighed almost 100 kilograms. It was not his fault, it was a genetic issue, but the kids also ridiculed him, eventually turning him into a punching bag. He was a gentle, good-natured kid who loved music and science-fiction novels. We were friends. We used to plan our space travels towards the distant galaxies, together. But at that point, we said ‘enough’! We hit back, terribly. After two or three years of suffering, we began fighting the gang, with the same force and brutality that they had applied towards us and in fact towards all those around us who were ‘different’, or at least weak and defenseless.
And we won. Not by reason, but by courage and strength. I wish we did not have to fight, but we had no choice. We soon discovered, how strong we were. And once we began, the only way to survive was to win the battle. And we did win. The kids, who used to torment us, were actually cowards. Once we won and secured some respect, we also began sheltering and protecting the ‘others’, mainly weak boys and girls from our school, who were also suffering attacks from the gang of those ‘normal’, white, and mainstream Czechs.
There are self-proclaimed rulers of the world: Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. And there are two other groups: the nations which are fully cooperating with the West (such as Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, South Korea, Colombia or Uganda), and those that are decisively refusing to accept Western dictates, such as Russia, China, DPRK, Syria, Eritrea, Iran, South Africa, Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia.
The first group does almost nothing to change the world. It goes with the flow. It accepts the rule of the bullies. It collaborates, and while it is at it, tries to at least gain some privileges, most of the time unsuccessfully.
The second group is well aware of the dismal state of the world. It maneuvers, resists, and sometimes fights for its survival, or for the survival of others. It tries to stick to its principles, or to what used to be called ‘universal values’.
But can it really survive without confrontation?
The West does not tolerate any dissent. Its culture has been, for centuries, exceedingly aggressive, bellicose, and extremist: “You are with us, that is ‘under us’, or you are against us. If against us, you will be crushed and shackled, robbed, raped, beaten and in the end, forced to do what we order, anyway.”
Russia is perhaps the only nation which has survived, unconquered and for centuries, but at the unimaginable price of tens of millions of its people. It has been invaded, again and again, by the Scandinavians, French, Brits, Germans, and even Czechs. The attacks occurred regularly, justified by bizarre rhetoric: ‘Russia was strong’, or ‘it was weak’. It was attacked ‘because of its Great October Socialist Revolution’, or simply because it was Communist. Any grotesque ‘justification’ was just fine, as far as the West was concerned. Russia had to be invaded, plundered and terribly injured just because it was resisting, because it stood on its feet, and free.
Even the great China could not withstand Western assaults. It was broken, divided, humiliated; its capital city ransacked by the French and Brits.
Nothing and no one could survive the Western assaults: in the end, not even the proud and determined Afghanistan.
A Chinese scholar Li Gang wrote in his “The Way We Think: Chinese View of Life Philosophy”:
“Harmony” is an important category of thought in traditional Chinese culture. Although the concept initially comes from philosophy, it stands for a stable and integrated social life. It directly influences Chinese people’s way of thinking and dealing with the world… In the ancient classic works of China, “harmony” can, in essence, be understood as being harmonious. Ancient people stressed the harmony of the universe and the natural environment, the harmony between humans and nature, and what is more, the harmony between people… Traditional Chinese people take the principle as a way of life and they try their best to have friendly and harmonious relations. In order to reach “harmony”, people treat each other with sincerity, tolerance and love, and do not interfere in other people’s business. As the saying goes, “Well water does not intrude into river water”
Could anything be further from the philosophy of Western culture, which is based on the constant need to interfere, conquer and control?
Can countries like China, or Iran, or Russia, really survive in a world that is being controlled by aggressive European and North American dogmas?
Or more precisely: could they survive peacefully, without being dragged into bloodstained confrontations?
The onset of the 21st Century is clearly indicating that ‘peaceful resistance’ to brutal Western attacks is counter-productive.
Begging for peace, at forums such as the United Nations, has been leading absolutely nowhere. One country after another has collapsed, and had no chance to be treated justly and to be protected by international law: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya.
The West and its allies like Saudi Arabia or Israel are always above the law. Or more precisely, they are the law. They twist and modify the law however it suits them; their political or business interests.
Harmony? No, they are absolutely not interested in things like harmony. And even if a huge country like China is, then it is seen as weak, and immediately taken advantage of.
Can the world survive if a group of countries plays totally against all the rules, while most of the planet tries to stick, meticulously, to international laws and regulations?
It can, but it would create a totally twisted, totally perverse world, as ours actually already is. It would be a world of impunity on one end, and of fear, slavery and servility at the other.
And it is not going to be a ‘peaceful world’, anyway, because the oppressor will always want more and more; it will not be satisfied until it is in total, absolute control of the planet.
Accepting tyranny is not an option.
So then, what is? Are we too scared to pronounce it?
If a country is attacked, it should defend itself, and fight.
As Russia did on so many occasions. As Syria is doing, at great sacrifice, but proudly. As Venezuela will and should do, if assaulted.
China and Russia are two great cultures, which were to some extent influenced by the West. When I say ‘influenced’, I mean forcefully ‘penetrated’, broken into, brutally violated. During that violent interaction, some positive elements of Western culture assimilated in the brains of its victims: music, food, even city planning. But the overall impact was extremely negative, and both China and Russia suffered, and have been suffering, greatly.
For decades, the West has been unleashing its propaganda and destructive forces, to ‘contain’ and devastate both countries at their core. The Soviet Union was tricked into Afghanistan and into a financially unsustainable arms race, and literally broken into pieces. For several dark years, Russia was facing confusion, intellectual, moral and social chaos, as well as humiliation. China got penetrated with extreme ‘market forces’, its academic institutions were infiltrated by armies of anti-Communist ‘intellectual’ warriors from Europe and North America.
The results were devastating. Both countries – China and Russia – were practically under attack, and forced to fight for their survival.
Both countries managed to identify the threat. They fought back, regrouped, and endured. Their cultures and their identities survived.
China is now a confident and powerful nation, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. Present-day Russia under the presidency of Vladimir Putin is one of the mightiest nations on earth, not only militarily, but also morally, intellectually and scientifically.
This is precisely what the West cannot ‘forgive’. With each new brilliant electric vehicle China produces, with each village embracing the so-called “Ecological Civilization”, the West panics, smears China, portrays it as an evil state. The more internationalist Russia becomes, the more it protects nations ruined by the West – be it Syria or Venezuela – more relentless are West’s attacks against its President, and its people.
Both China and Russia are using diplomacy for as long as it is constructive, but this time, when confronted with force, they indicate their willingness to use strength to defend themselves.
They are well aware of the fact that this is the only way to survive.
For China, harmony is essential. Russia also has developed its own concept of global harmony based on internationalist principles. There is hardly any doubt that under the leadership of China and Russia, our world would be able to tackle the most profound problems that it has been facing.
But harmony can only be implemented when there is global concept of goodwill, or at least a decisive dedication to save the world.
If a group of powerful nations is only obsessed with profits, control and plunder, and if it behaves like a thug for several long centuries, one has to act, and to defend the world; if there is no alternative, by force!
Only after victory, can true harmony be aimed at.
At the beginning of this essay, I told a story from my childhood, which I find symbolic.
One can compromise, one can be diplomatic, but never if one’s dignity and freedom was at risk. One can never negotiate indefinitely with those who are starving and enslaving billions of human beings, all over the world.
Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan and so many countries are now bleeding. Soon, Iran could be confronted. And Nicaragua. And DPRK. And perhaps China and Russia themselves could face yet another Western invasion.
A ‘harmonious world’ may have to be built later; definitely one day, but a little bit later.
First, we have to make sure that our humanity survives and that Western fascism cannot consume further millions of innocent human lives.
Like me and my big childhood friend Karel at an elementary school in former Czechoslovakia; Russia and China may have to once again stand up and confront ‘unharmonious barbarity’; they may have to fight, in order to prevent an even greater disaster.
They do not want to; they will do everything possible to prevent war. But the war is already raging. Western colonialism is back. The brutal gang of North American and European countries is blocking the road, clenching fists, shooting at everyone who dares to look up, and to meet their gaze: “Would you dare?” their eyes are saying.
“Yes, we would!” is the only correct answer.
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This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Four of his latest books are China and Ecological Civilization with John B. Cobb, Jr., Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.