What Does Solidarity Mean on the Left?

Greece is white, it is European, and therefore the eyes of the entire Western “progressive” world are now directed towards Athens: will its government dare to default, would Greece leave the euro-zone and eventually the European Union? As if the answer to this question could change the world; as if Athens is where the fate of humanity will be decided.

Some 10 thousand kilometers away, Ecuador is predominantly indigenous, and therefore, inhabited by ‘un-people’, to borrow from George Orwell’s colorful terminology. Battered by its own, mainly Euro-centric and pale-skinned ‘elites’ who are enjoying extremely close links with both the EU and the United States, Ecuador and its determinedly left-wing government can count very little on international solidarity, especially on the camaraderie from ‘so-called progressive’ movements in the West.

After all, non-white, non-Western people are expected to suffer. Even the Left in the West is ‘accustomed to’ their agony.

Frankly, almost nobody in Europe or in the United States wants those left-wing governments in Latin America, in Asia or in Africa, to succeed. That is ‘well hidden secret’, or at least ‘an uncomfortable truth’!

China, South Africa, Venezuela, Ecuador, and other countries all over the world have been addressed and treated in the most despicable, patronizing, and even racist way by so-called left-wing individuals and groups in the West.

The Left has become virtually defunct in both Europe and in North America. But it continues to be distressingly self-righteous, self-indulged, bossy, and arrogant. It does not govern and does not inspire almost anybody, anymore. It has become shamefully cowardly and lazy. But it behaves as if it would be holding some God-given right to judge and advise others: those who do fight, those who do inspire, and those who do govern! It is evident that it wants non-Western, socialist and communist governments and movements, those that are proudly governing all over the world, to go straight to hell!

“If we collapsed, let others collapse as well!” is the unpronounced motto.

It is because the Left in Europe and the US is constructed on a Christian and Euro-centric frame-of-mind, with exceptionalism and supremacist sentiments at its core.

Of course such things are never pronounced in Paris, London, Rome, or New York, but there is a perfect consensus there, that only the Western thinkers and leaders are qualified and should be trusted with ‘saving the world’. And only they ought to be allowed to decide which country qualifies to be called socialist or communist, democratic or tyrannical, progressive or regressive.

Unable to lead, and most likely unwilling to govern, too lethargic and intellectually spent, most of Western ‘progressive’ thinkers are constantly regurgitating lunatic economic and political theories that no one in other parts of the world, especially the poor world, would ever take seriously, let alone want to implement. Those Western ‘progressive leaders’ are also demanding grotesque levels of purity from the Latin American and Asian left-wing leaders. Simultaneously, they demand great sacrifice from non-Western people: “Let us consume and live high-life, as poor us, we cannot help it. But let them care about environment and live in austerity.”

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And so, while Greece votes on its financial future, Ecuador is facing one of the most vicious subversions in its history. It is facing it alone. It appears that everyone from non-Latin American left who matters is now in Athens. As far as I know, there are no solidarity ‘delegates’ descending on Quito!

Ecuador has now been abandoned, not unlike Venezuela was, for already quite some time.

I was recently invited to speak on an important television channel based in Iran, to talk about Palestine and Greece. I refused. My argument was clear: both Palestine and Greece have already received enough solidarity from ‘us’ in Latin America. Now our revolutions are facing great threats. They are being attacked. We are human, too! We also need help; we need solidarity.

To give credit where credit is due, the Iranian editor put me on hold after expressing her concern about the situation in Latin America. A few minutes later she came back to me, via Skype: “I talked to our director and he told me to interview you on Ecuador. He said: they are our brothers. We fall together or we will survive together!”

Naturally, such statements and gestures are remembered for the rest of life!

But that’s Tehran, not London or Paris or Chicago!

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My priority now is Ecuador. My priority is Latin America. This is where I see great battle for the future of humanity taking place. Here and in Asia. Definitely not in Europe!

Latin American governments here are not perfect. The Chinese government is not perfect either. But they are doing all they can, after decades and centuries of plunder, after Europe, the United States, in unison with local elites and multinational companies, were pillaging and raping everything “south of the border”.

Corruption could not be eradicated in one year or in one decade. Imported religious and moral corruptions were shaping entire “Latin America” (which is, thankfully, becoming less and less ‘Latin’ these days) by murderous and greedy Westerners, for generations. Things can improve, greatly, in one decade or even in one year, but horror structures built during long centuries could not be fully reversed. ‘The Process’ has to be in place for many years, uninterrupted.

Yes, we are not perfect, but we are trying to get better as we go. We are moving forward! We are trying to, going and falling, passing through fire, filth, conspiracies, and intrigues. We are moving forward, damn it!

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Ecuadorian elites are protesting and they are sabotaging everything great that was done by President Rafael Correa and his administration. Many think that a coup is in the air.

Not one word about progress: new highways and airports, modern hospitals and schools, medical posts, countless playgrounds for children, free culture, libraries… The right-wing in Ecuador owns most of the media. Not much positive is written about Ecuador by Western ‘progressive’ media outlets, either. Dissident Voice is an exception!

Not much good is written about China, Vietnam, Eritrea, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Iran. To Western purists, all these countries are not good enough, not socialist enough, not as they define socialism or communism, not as they define democracy! 6 or 7 thousand years of Chinese culture mean nothing. Everything has to be measured and defined only by Western standards.

Russia is different: it is not socialist at all (although it adopted the great internationalist Soviet foreign policy), but it is predominantly white, and so it gets plenty of emotional support, fiery speeches, and declarations of love and support.

Many Chinese comrades I spoke to in Beijing fully gave up on the Western left; they see it, mainly, as the most reactionary force (ideologically), when it comes to non-white left wing countries and governments. And I couldn’t agree more!

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Greece should default. That fortress, fascist European Union, should not bully it.

But Greece should fight for internationalist, global ideals.

Yet we all know, that what it is fighting for is just its own gain… or for survival of its high standards of living.

When things were going well, when money was flowing in, when Greek farmers began driving the latest models of German cars on smooth motorways, Greek people were not protesting. And they were not asking where the money came from. It mainly came from plundering the non-Western world, of ‘un-people’. That was fine, wasn’t it?

I was in Greece, recently. I spoke to many people, including those from their Left, mainly from the Left. Almost nobody had any clue about what is going on in Latin America. No one cared. Even in Turkey they are monitoring what goes on in Caracas or La Paz.

But not in Athens – in Athens nobody gives a flying f…!

Many were still complaining bitterly about illegal immigration from Africa! Don’t those writers who are now writing flattering essays, glorifying Greek people, know that? Or do they pretend not to see and hear?

Greece is fighting for its own goals. Its incomes dropped, from 1,400 to 800 euros a month, per capita, in many cases. Terrible, but in many African nations where the money to support Greek farmers often came from (by the EU finishing off African agriculture), incomes are sitting at around 30 euros per month. I tried to address these issues in Athens, but encountered stone faces and total bewilderment, even hostility. I was told: “But we are used to different standards!”

And therefore I repeat: what is happening in Greece is not some left-wing, internationalist revolution.

Greeks are fighting for Greece.

Latin America is fighting for humanity! It never exploited anybody. It sent doctors, teachers, all over the world. It sent oil to the poor, even in the United States. It supplied unfortunate countries like East Timor with trainers. It offered solidarity to Palestine, Iran, so many others!

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If Ecuador will come under direct fire, I will go back, and I will stand by it, doing all I can to support it. And if the Western Left will do nothing to help, I will break, fully and categorically, all my ties with it!

As many wrote: Greece will survive. “It is, after all, in Europe”. Even when it is down, it is, somehow, up.

We, “down here”, will not have another chance. And if we fall, entire non-Western world will fall with us!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are the revolutionary novel Aurora and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: Exposing Lies Of The Empire and Fighting Against Western Imperialism. View his other books here. Watch his Rwanda Gambit, a documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. He continues to work around the world and can be reached through his website and Twitter. Read other articles by Andre.