Naked Shills

Wow, Naked Capitalism is still shilling aggressively on behalf of its Russian owners. Even on a case as blatant as the recent poisoning they still can’t help themselves.

If you are one of the folks who ever took these buggers seriously, I hope you have reconsidered now that it’s obvious how much this is costing the country.

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4 thoughts on “Naked Shills”

  1. I am of the opinion that the West should not attempt to out-propaganda Putin for both practical and philosophical reasons.
    Since the end of the Cold War the West has grown somewhat complacent and unprofessional. From the practical perspective, there were precedents that undermined the credibility of the West in matters related to chemical weapons, most notably Saddam’s (absent by 2003) WMD. The West also failed to react as strongly as it should have reacted to the much clearer case of the annexation of Crimea, for example.

    But philosophical perspective is even more important – by trying to out-propaganda Putin the West is actually confirming the things that Putin has been saying all along – that “everybody messes in each other’s affairs, and perhaps Russia is even less hypocritical about it because it is doing it more openly”. The West should stick to the realms where it actually has moral superiority over the authoritarian nationalist regimes such as Putin’s Russia – to due process, proper legal proof, facts over short-term propagandist gains, freedom of open discussions even if (especially if) someone believes that they are “costing the country”. Our willingness to bear this cost is exactly what distinguishes us from Putin. Without it – what is the point? Just to win because we have bigger balls or more friends?

    And as long as we allow discussions, the statements made in the referred article should be discussed on their merit. Technical issues – on technical merit, not on their usefulness for teaching Russia a lesson. I actually admire the British for admitting some things that are not useful for them – a) that they do not have a solid proof of Russian origin and b) that they have and had samples themselves. Because every sensible national chemical warfare protection agency must have them. Otherwise it would not be a decent chemical warfare protection agency… (And this is actually the reason why Russian claims that they have none of it are ridiculous. Even if they have not developed “novichok” in the first place, which they did, they would have it by now. They would look much more trustworthy if they admitted having several grams and offered samples for comparison… They claim to be appalled by the British ultimatum… But wouldn’t appearing somewhat “weak” and yielding to this ultimatum be worth catching the British on a lie?)

    Even the Iranians have it… and yes, I have personally read that Iranian paper. Elicited an interesting reaction from my colleagues – “Are you not afraid to go read it, what if the Big Brother is watching?”. Actually this is a pretty sad illustration of the current state of affairs… given that the paper was published in a reputable journal (by Wiley and Sons), not on the site of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards…

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    1. “The West should stick to the realms where it actually has moral superiority over the authoritarian nationalist regimes such as Putin’s Russia”

      • Here is the rub, though: moral superiority, in whose eyes? Aside of the few quaint bastions of ultra-conservative thought that nobody takes seriously, the entire thrust of the West’s intellectual production is covering itself with ashes over its own horrible, irredeemable badness. Just this morning on FB I read a post of one of the leading intellectuals in my field praising the moral superiority of Russia in comparison to the evil West. Mind you, the guy is as Leftie as they get. So let’s stay morally superior for whose sake? The Trump voters? They couldn’t care less.

      “And as long as we allow discussions, the statements made in the referred article should be discussed on their merit.”

      • Again, there is a problem with this because I’m in the field of generating and disseminating ideas, and discussions on many issues are no longer allowed. A colleague in PoliSci tried to be mildly critical of Russia at a scholarly conference and was screamed down by irate colleagues who quoted YouTube videos as evidence of Russia’s utter un-complicity in the annexation of the Crimea.

      Yesterday I heard a Cuban artist who is an abject and fawning admirer of Fidel Castro speak of the US with a greater admiration than I have ever heard from any of my colleagues. They’d praise the devil himself if it serviced their wounded narcissism. We get together at conferences to discuss how to teach Cervantes in a way that would underscore the US’s evilness because that’s supposedly a way of engaging indifferent students.

      So yes, if I suspected anybody of a desire to get to the truth in the matter of this poisoning, I’d welcome any kind of inquiry into the matter. But I don’t. This is all part of the same old “we are the baddest baddies and let nobody dispute that title.”

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      1. Fortunately, the bubble of the extreme left-wing academia is not all there is in the world. In any case, somebody else being delusional is not an excuse for abandoning what one believes is right. And this not abandoning what one believes is right is done for oneself, ideally. For the sake of one’s own self-respect. Without that there will be just the group-think without end. And, well, some Trump supporters are more reasonable than some left-wingers. At least one can reason with them once they know you and you respect them as human beings.

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        1. “And, well, some Trump supporters are more reasonable than some left-wingers. At least one can reason with them once they know you and you respect them as human beings.”

          • Gosh, this I agree with a million percent. As I said only too many times before, I did not expect Trump’s win to cause be to become profoundly disappointed in my side. We stink. We need to get better. And the we doesn’t include you because you are Canadian and also clearly not one of the crazy pack.

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