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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The Russian Meddling

The US National Bureau of Economic Research says that an equivalent of over a trillion dollars has been moved out of Russia and into the US and Western Europe in the wake of the USSR’s collapse. At least half of this sum ended up in the US. 

This is an enormous amount of money. A huge injection of capital. Those in the US who profited from this injection have every reason to want the money to keep coming. They created a whole system that serviced the needs of the Russian oligarchy because that oligarchy was bringing in all this money and engineering a sophisticated network for laundering these and other profits.

The system in question existed on many levels. There is a political branch, a judiciary branch, there is a business one, there are think tanks, journalists, artists, and academics who (sometimes kinda sorta maybe even unwittingly) erected an ideological justification for tolerating the status quo. 

It’s ironic that the former Communist and KGB leaders (which is what every single of those Russian oligarchs is) managed to exploit the weaknesses of the capitalist system – capital rules! there is nothing more important than capital accumulation! – so damn well. 

This isn’t an issue of any single presidential administration. Why do you think Obama sat so vapidly by while Russia invaded one country after another? He did it for the same reason he run over to Wall Street to deliver speeches the moment after his mandate ended. These are the people he served. This was his one and true constituency. And those fat cats would not have appreciated anything that stood in the way of the enormous capital flows coming towards them from Eastern Europe. 

And yes, of course, Hillary’s uranium deal was scandalous and immoral. Just like everything Bush Jr did in his treatment of Russia. It’s not the problem of one person, one president, one campaign, one administration. It’s a flaw in the entire system. Not a bug but a feature. 

We are not powerless in this whole deal. Our power is in understanding what is going on and not letting ourselves to be seduced into supporting this ridiculous and evil system. We are not getting any of these crazy profits that go to hide in off-shore bank accounts. Why should we work to support this dirty money-laundering stratagem? If we all stop playing the game today, right now, that’s the only way for us to win.

Remember when I talked about Jim McGuigan’s concept of “cool capitalism”? Cool capitalism seduces by giving you something that you truly want and value. In return, you close your eyes to some things and accept what you are secretly eager to accept anyway. 

Folks! Talking about “the Trump collusion” is like treating a late-stage AIDS victim for acne. It’s actually counterproductive because noticing a tiny part of the truth at the expense of the larger picture is a denial of the greater truth. The true resistance is to notice this entire dirty scheme and hold your gaze on it. Let’s at least start talking about this. Let’s at least stop pretending that this is something new that arose fifteen seconds ago. Let’s finally recognize what’s been happening in the last 25 years. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fun. And that is how we will know that we are finally not being dumb, impotent pawns of cool capitalism.

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3 thoughts on “The Russian Meddling

  1. You mean, let’s start having the 100% useful conversation that we absolutely refuse to have, instead of the 5% useful conversation that maybe, maybe we’re willing to tentatively begin?

    In your analogy, ‘the Trump collusion’ is Kaposi’s sarcoma.

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    • People are so eagerly jumping on this tiny little part of the story because they want to hide from themselves their own complicity in establishing, supporting and / or maintaining this system. So it’s not useful, not even by 0,005%. It’s counterproductive.

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  2. As I have said since 2008, bolchevists are the most extreme capitalists.

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