The Octant
Insights and reporting from Caleb Maupin

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In being defined merely by its opponents and fixating on a fear of Russia, a large chunk of the far-left has usurped the role held by the far-right during the Cold War.

In 1963, folk singer Bob Dylan, whose left-leaning lyrics seemed to define the liberal politics of the era, composed a song which was a  mockery of the right-wing anti-Communist organization known as the John Birch Society. He wrote:

Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blue

I didn’t know what in the world I was gonna do

Them Communists they was comin’ around

They was in the air

They was on the ground

They wouldn’t gimme no peace

The John Birch Society was easy to laugh at. This far-right organization was made up doctors, lawyers, and other middle class elements and operated in a clandestine manner. Its members were reportedly shown a “secret book” claiming to prove that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist, receiving orders from the Russians.

Invoking Russia To Attack Dissidents

However, for those involved in peace marches and activism for civil rights, the Birchers were more than just a joke. As McCarthyism ebbed after the death of Stalin and talk of detente dominated mainstream politics, the far-right took up the task of mobilizing to attack and silence left-wing activists.

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President Trump increasingly surrounds himself with anti-China fanatics, but in reality, his supporters may  find the truth about the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping to be quite inspiring.

When Donald Trump addressed his supporters in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, among those in attendance were members of an extremist, religious organization dedicated to toppling the Chinese government. The Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, distributed leaflets throughout the crowd promoting its publication “Epoch Times” stating that it is dedicated to “exposing communism.”

To the westerners Falun Gong seeks to recruit and influence, the religious cult appears to be merely a peaceful, exercise-oriented, spiritual organization. Many young non-Chinese urban professionals turn to it, seeing it almost as another version of yoga, mindfulness training, or group therapy. The extremism and politically charged nature of the group is well hidden from these naive, western recruits, and mostly reserved for its ethnically Chinese cadre.

However, the reality of the Falun Gong is not hard to find out, for those who really want to know the truth. Falun Gong refers to homosexuals as "demonic." The group believes that women’s suffrage is a sign of societal decay in a “dharma ending period.” The organization opposes interracial marriage, arguing that people of mixed racial backgrounds are without souls.

The organization glorifies feudalism in China, and sees the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to modernize the country, improve human rights, and raise the overall standard of living as a deviation from the “natural order” of ancient times when peasants “knew their place” serving “natural superiors” in the landowning class. The practices of the Falun Gong are rooted in the primitive, superstitious rituals intended to glorify this repressive structure.

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As CNN reporter, Gary Tuchman, mocked supporters of Donald Trump who displayed signs supporting the internet “Q-Anon” movement, he blatantly misrepresented a well-established fact.

Tuchman taunted one Trump supporter who said mainstream media was ‘weaponized by the CIA’ saying: “I don’t know anyone in the CIA except for a few people I’ve interviewed over the years? But weaponized by the CIA? What does that even mean?… Do you think I’m weaponized by the CIA?”

Xi Book

Politics in Western countries often involves celebrity gossip, scandals, rumors, and tweetstorms. Political leaders pander to adolescent sentiments among the public, cultivating a mindset akin to sports fans -- cheering on their favorite teams while booing their opponents.

However, when one opens the pages of Xi Jinping's "The Governance of China," the second volume now available in English, the pages present a lost art, something that was essential in building civilization: statecraft.

Oilfield

Why does the US media have an anti-Russian fixation? It’s not what the American people want to hear. 71% of the Ronald Reagan-loving, military-obsessed Republican Party approve of Trump meeting with Putin. On the other side, top liberal CNN commentator and former President Obama’s adviser, Van Jones has admitted in a video recording that the “Russiagate” story is a “big nothing burger” which Democrats are not interested in.  The Russia-fixated, Hillary Clinton-DNC liberal establishment now faces an upsurge of opposition from Democratic Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, who emphasize the need for populist economics reforms.

Conservatives don’t want to hear it. Liberals don’t want to hear it. Hating Russia is just not a bandwagon the U.S. public is ready to jump on. Yet, if one turns on American television, in the aftermath of the summit in Helsinki, the rhetoric and accusations against the government of the Russian Federation are almost endless.

Like Trump, Obama was also unable to resolve the tensions now being described as the “New Cold War.” Let’s not forget that Obama was elected saying he would “talk to Putin”. In the early years of Obama’s first term, he said he intended to “reset” relations with the Eurasian superpower, and was attacked for it by the Tea Party. The American people favor better relations with Russia, and politicians win votes for promising it, yet the dangerous trajectory continues. Why?

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One definition of the word ‘pessimism’ is “a lack of hope or confidence in the future.” Pessimism is certainly pervasive in western politics in the present epoch. The far-left, no longer drawing from Marxism and historical materialism, but rooted in New Left mysticism, post-modernism and de-construction, presents the future as an unfolding ecological catastrophe and high tech authoritarian nightmare. The right-wing narrative presents a nightmarish future of chaos, crime, and cultural decay, while advocate walls and isolationism to retreat from the global community.

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Throughout Trump’s presidency, the memory of Nixon has been invoked by both opponents and supporters of “The Donald.” Richard Nixon stands out as the only President in U.S. history to have resigned, and not completed his term in office.

During Trump’s presidential campaign, Trump used Nixon’s famous catch-phrases, referring to the “silent majority” and calling himself a “law and order” candidate. Roger Stone, who worked for the Nixon administration’s Office of Economic Opportunity, was notably on board with the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, outspoken Trump opponent Meryl Streep starred in the recently released film “The Post” dramatizing the Washington Post’s legal battle against the Nixon administration. Rachel Maddow and other liberal voices have compared allegations against Trump to the revelations surrounding the infamous Watergate Scandal.