Our mainstream media is essentially an assembly line of propaganda that routinely renders complex foreign events down to simple and misleading binaries of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. So with regards to the Ukraine, events are reported in terms of defeat or victory for either ‘them’, Russia or ‘us’, ‘the west’.
The same simplistic playbook has been rolled out to explain tumult in Syria and Egypt and Libya…’good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ – ‘white hats’ and ‘black hats’.
However, a little simple but critically aware google searching, allied with a willingness to read more than a couple of hundred words, reveals something altogether different to what our media would have us believe constitutes the main elements and drivers behind increasingly frequent popular uprisings taking place in various countries.
Ukraine being a case in point, the two pieces I’ve linked to below are illustrative of a gulf that exists between people writing, ostentatiously at least, from a leftist perspective. (I’ve also linked to a list of other articles the respective authors have penned that, I’m sure, would reinforce the point)
In the other “Recipe for revolt: what do Ukraine, Turkey and Thailand have in common?” we have the depressingly familiar liberal apologist, this time in the shape of Simon Tisdall writing in ‘The Guardian’, couching argument and analysis deep within the defeatist framework of an orthodoxy that would have us focus almost exclusively on institutional power and treat ourselves; our motivations, our thoughts and our aspirations as, at best, a fleeting afterthought.
I don’t claim to have any deep knowledge of what is happening on the ground in the Ukraine. Neither do I have any deep knowledge on what the various motivations of people were, from Argentina to Egypt to Tunisia, or of what people, rather than institutions and their media mouthpieces, deemed important in those and other situations.
All I know is that liberal commentators, routinely presenting popular uprisings as a cause for angst rather than hope, doffing their caps to established authority, promoting simplistic ‘us’ versus ‘them’ narratives while peddling tired old clichés about ‘the good guys’ and ‘the bad guys’ are themselves (if such rigid dichotomies are to be used) very much one of ‘them’.