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Review: "Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism" by Andre Vltchek
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How can I write a review of Andre Vltchek’s new book Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism? I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Andre himself says that:

“There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please; no footnotes! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. If allowed to read them, even a child can understand.”.

He is speaking about the works of other great revolutionary writers, not himself. I think Andre is a great revolutionary writer, too. But, who am I to speak for Andre? Read his great works for yourself, and you will understand them without my introduction. You will find that Andre has the guts to put himself out there, let it all hang out, and expose his vulnerabilities as well as his wisdom…

But I am damned if I don’t write a book review for Andre’s book, because I told him I would give it a try. I don’t want to let him down. This is the best I can do. So, you can stop reading right here if you wish, and just buy Andre’s book and let him speak to you for himself.

Our struggling revolutionary artists whom still speak and write the truth need all the support we can give them. That goes for the alternative media site you are reading this on. We are in a war, an information and propaganda war. Truth tellers are an endangered species. The Empire is trying to shut them up and shut them down.


Now if you are still with me, I do have a few words to say. Take what I say that you like and leave the rest.

A lot of people are not going to like Andre’s book “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”, I can tell you that right now. The first to hate it will be the Empire, because they fear truth-tellers more than bomb-throwers. The next who will not like Andre’s book will be the smug critics who want to nitpick his every word. I am not talking about the Deep State and its Mockingbirds. I am talking about the so-called liberal/progressives; especially the ones that never get off of the “proverbial couches of spinelessness”, which Andre speaks of. You have to be brave to put up with their shit. This is the time when we should be organizing and supporting each other, instead of criticizing, and letting the Empire divide us. Andre is a revolutionary writer and doer that is on a mission that is bigger than himself. It is called “life”. Look at his website “Vltchek’s World in Words and Images” to see what he has been doing with his life.

As Andre says: “Obedient and cowardly masses hate those who are different”. Different is an understatement to describe Andre Vitchek. You’ll not find many like him in Europe or North America. You may have to go to South America, Africa, Asia, or Russia to find such uniquely honest voices.

Russia is the perfect metaphor for Andre: Russia is neither Europe nor Asia; it is both and neither. Like Russia, Andre is unique. He is neither this nor that. He is a writer, philosopher, photo journalist, pamphleteer, activist, witness and doer. He is all of those things, but above all he is a humanist and an artist. He is an optimistic pessimist. Only a hopeless optimist would say:

“One day, hopefully soon, humanism will win over dark nihilism; people will live for other people and not for some cold profits, religious dogmas and “Western values”.

Western values, now that is an oxymoron if there ever was one. Andre is a pessimist that sees and writes about the anti-humanism and the soullessness of so-called Western values. He exposes it for what it is: gray, cold and without spirit.

Andre says he is a Communist in an era when being a communist is not fashionable. Most liberal/progressives are afraid to mention John Maynard Keynes, let alone Marx, Lenin and Mao.

For a while in 2016 pseudo-socialism was popular among supporters of Bernie Sanders, whom claimed to be a socialist. He promised his followers what every poll shows that most Americans want: universal healthcare, low cost higher education, better infrastructure, strong economic safety nets, and $15 dollars an hour minimum wage. Where have all these so-called socialists gone now that Bernie disillusioned them? Chasing illusionary Russian spies, it seems.

Sanders and his “Sandernistas” rarely talked about ending US illegal wars of aggression in 2016. If liberal/progressives had insisted that Bernie take an anti-war platform and a reduction of the Empire’s military-industrial-complex, then Bernie might well be in the White House now, instead of Trump. Instead most of the Sandernistas told liberal/progressives to shut up about the wars. They said it would be political suicide for Bernie to bring up war during a presidential campaign. Sandernistas said not to worry, because Bernie was secretly antiwar. We fell for that one with Obama, who committed more war crimes than George W. Bush.

Andre has the guts to say that liberal/progressives do not deserve free college, universal healthcare and all the goodies that Bernie was selling us, while also peddling the trillion dollar F-35 boondoggle. I agree with Andre, especially since Bernie sold out his loyal followers, and sheep dogged for warmongering Hillary. We do not deserve social programs at home, while the Empire is killing millions of people with all the US illegal wars of aggression. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

“A time comes when silence is betrayal— I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube.”

The Empire’s “destructive suction tube” is waging all sorts of wars: military, economic and propaganda. It is waging economic terrorism against the Global South. The Empire-backed World Bank, IMF and gangster banking monopolies force austerity on the poor of the world. Those poor countries in the Global South that are under attack by the Empire’s economic terrorist organizations do not get to have Bernie’s socialism. Not only do I agree with Andre that we do not deserve Bernie’s social programs, nor do we have funds or the energies for them. Bernie and the Sandernistas rarely spoke about rehabilitation of America’s poor; it was all about the middle class. Silence is betrayal.

Whatever the Empire does in foreign lands, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost. The Empire keeps crushing countries of the Global South whose leaders want to use their country’s natural resources for their own people. Anti-colonial revolutionaries like Castro, Che and Ho were personally vilified for not embracing the Empire’s neocolonial model of capitalism. The Empire conspires to overthrow governments that nationalize their country’s natural resources, and have social programs for the people.

The Empire always wants enemies. The public never seems to question why the most powerful military the world has ever known, supposedly has so many poor weak enemies threatening it. It is all a pretext for the Empire to extract wealth from the Global South for the benefit of oligarchs.

The Empire never stops plotting to overthrow revolutionary leaders. Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Russia, Cuba and North Korea are under attack because they want to go their own way. There will be economic warfare, propaganda warfare, and political warfare, and when those don’t work to impose conformity and compliance; there is always the military option. For the Empire “all options are always on the table”, including the nuclear option. The Empire would rather see the destruction of the entire world, than to coexist with a threat to its hegemony.


Now the cry goes out that the Russians are coming! Those like myself that lived through the Cold War are seeing history repeated. The paranoia, propaganda, lies, repression, persecution and provocations are déjà vu. The US has encircled Russia with military bases, and plays war games on its border. We are told, and we are supposed to believe that Russia is the aggressor and an expansionist threat.

Georgia attacks South Ossetia, and we are told that Russia invaded Georgia. The US midwifes a coup against an elected government in Ukraine, but it is Russia that is blamed for destabilizing Ukraine. Crimea has a referendum to rejoin Russia, and we are told that the Russians used military force to annex Crimea. The US has criminally invaded Syria, but we are told that Russia invaded Syria, even though they are there legally.

We are supposed to be afraid that Putin will “destroy the West’s democracy” by sowing dissention, chaos and meddling in US elections. If anybody wants to destroy America’s democracy, then they are several decades too late. It has already been mostly destroyed. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated, except for the 2nd Amendment, which is enabling the worst fascistic elements in the US to heavily arm themselves. The police are militarized. The US has secret police, secret courts, and secret prisons.

Nationalism that breeds repression at home and wars abroad is running amok. The people no longer have the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Protesters are restricted to so-called free-speech zones, and they are subject to indiscriminate mass arrest. The people are told to obey the government, but it is the government that is supposed to obey the people in a democracy. Those that don’t worship the flag, and praise militarism are accused of being unpatriotic.

Andre has much to say on all the above issues in his book “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”. The book is a collection of many of his great writing of the past few years. Shorter versions of his essays have been published in articles by non-Western media, such as the New Eastern Outlook (NEO) as well as Western alternative media such as The Greanville Post.

Andre writes about the Empire’s many crimes. Terrible crimes have been committed against millions of people who have done the West no harm, and were of no threat. The Empire and its vassal states punish people of the Global South for being born in countries with vast natural resources that the Empire covets. Andre gives these victims a voice and a human face.

Andre’s writings are not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. He will pound the truth into you on every page, and you may not be able to put his book down, as I could not. The reader realizes that Andre is on a mission. Part of that mission is to be the conscience of the world, and to make sure that the victimized are not forgotten and that they are not alone. Andre has a great capacity for empathy. His writing, videos and documentaries cry out for the world to have empathy too. The world is empathy deficient.

Even for those that already intellectually know the truths that Andre writes about, will have that truth pound into their hearts and souls. Unfortunately, the people that are ignorant of the truth are the most likely ones not to read Andre. We all know people like that. They are our brother-in-law, neighbors, and the students and professors in our institutions of so-called higher learning. Our schools do not teach the important truths and philosophies anymore. They have just become vocational schools turning out accountants, lawyers, propagandist, stockbrokers, and super sales people to keep churning money in the economy, so that it flows up the food chain.

In every direction one turns now they face a barrage of propaganda put out by the Empire. Most Americans are isolated and know very little about the rest of the world. For many people the mainstream media is their only source for information. What they get is a steady stream of propaganda that Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and Russia are evil. They believe it, just like when I was a child, I believed the US propaganda during the Cold War. Russia was both feared and ridiculed when I was growing up. I was told that communism never works, and that Russia cannot even make toilets that flush. Imagine how surprised I was when I finally went to Russia and found out that their toilets work just fine.

When I mentioned the above story to someone who was regurgitating anti-Putin propaganda he asked me a rhetorical question:

“As for Russia, besides the toilets flushing, was there anything you wanted to buy there besides vodka and nesting dolls? Or do they have anything that you would wish that we imported (like Japanese cars or Chinese clothing or Swiss watches, etc.)?”

I know that Andre gets the stupidity of that question. In the Empire one is only valuable for what they have to sell. It is all about dollars and cents, and the logic of the market. The market determines the value of everything, including people. If it has a market price, then it has value. If not then it is worthless and of no value, according to the market.

Andre writes about things that are priceless and have great value. They are the things of life that make us human, instead of robots. There is no market for love and living a fulfilling life. It is free if one knows how to find it. Andre helps to show us the way.

Besides Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism Andre has written many other books, such as Exposing Lies of the Empire, a novel titled Aurora and many other books. Andre is a world class philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, poet, playwright, and photographer. He is a true revolutionary. He is a human being. His website is .

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  1. FB says:

    Always enjoy Mr. Viltchek’s work…we used to see it in CounterPunch…but that was before the scumbag St. Clair decided money from George Soros was more important…

  2. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    Nationalism that breeds repression at home is bretty gud, when aimed at those who don’t belong in our home. Who wouldn’t “repress” invaders in their home, anyway? You let 20 Somalis in your home, and tell us how soon you’ll resort to repressing them out the door, ok?

  3. Excerpt from Thomas Sowell’s book Intellectuals and Society:

    What preferences are revealed by the actual behavior of intellectuals—especially in their social crusades—and how do such revealed preferences compare with their rhetoric? The professed beliefs of intellectuals center about their concern for others—especially for the poor, for minorities, for “social justice” and for protecting endangered species and saving the environment, for example. Their rhetoric is too familiar and too pervasive to require elaboration here. The real question, however, is: What are their revealed preferences?

    The phrase “unintended consequences” has become a cliché precisely because so many policies and programs intended, for example, to better the situation of the less fortunate have in fact made their situation worse, that it is no longer possible to regard good intentions as automatic harbingers of good results. Anyone whose primary concern is in improving the lot of the less fortunate would therefore, by this time, after decades of experience with negative “unintended consequences,” see a need not only to invest time and efforts to turn good intentions into policies and programs, but also to invest time and efforts afterwards into trying to ferret out answers as to what the actual consequences of those policies and programs have been.

    Moreover, anyone whose primary concern was improving the lot of the less fortunate would also be alert and receptive to other factors from beyond the vision of the intellectuals, when those other factors have been found empirically to have helped advance the well-being of the less fortunate, even if in ways not contemplated by the intelligentsia and even if in ways counter to the beliefs or visions of the intelligentsia.


    In short, one of the ways to test whether expressed concerns for the well-being of the less fortunate represent primarily a concern for that well-being or a use of the less fortunate as a means to condemn society, or to seek either political or moral authority over society—to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil—would be to see the revealed preferences of intellectuals in terms of how much time and energy they invest in promoting their vision, as compared to how much time and energy they invest in scrutinizing (1) the actual consequences of things done in the name of that vision and (2) benefits to the less fortunate created outside that vision and even counter to that vision.

    Crusaders for a “living wage” or to end “sweatshop labor” in the Third World, for example, may invest great amounts of time and energy promoting those goals but virtually none in scrutinizing the many studies done in countries around the world to discover the actual consequences of minimum wage laws in general or of “living wage” laws in particular. These consequences have included such things as higher levels of unemployment and longer periods of unemployment, especially for the least skilled and least experienced segments of the population. Whether one agrees with or disputes these studies, the crucial question here is whether one bothers to read them at all.

    If the real purpose of social crusades is to make the less fortunate better off, then the actual consequences of such policies as wage control become central and require investigation, in order to avoid “unintended consequences” which have already become widely recognized in the context of many other policies. But if the real purpose of social crusades is to proclaim oneself to be on the side of the angels, then such investigations have a low priority, if any priority at all, since the goal of being on the side of the angels is accomplished when the policies have been advocated and then instituted, after which social crusaders can move on to other issues. The revealed preference of many, if not most, of the intelligentsia has been to be on the side of the angels.

    The same conclusion is hard to avoid when looking at the response of intellectuals to improvements in the condition of the poor that follow policies or circumstances which offer no opportunities to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. For example, under new economic policies beginning in the 1990s, tens of millions of people in India have risen above that country’s official poverty level. In China, under similar policies begun earlier, a million people a month have risen out of poverty. Surely anyone concerned with the fate of the less fortunate would want to know how this desirable development came about for such vast numbers of very poor people—and therefore how similar improvements might be produced elsewhere in the world. But these and other dramatic increases in living standards, based ultimately on the production of more wealth, arouse little or no interest among most intellectuals.

    However important for the poor, these developments offer no opportunities for the intelligentsia to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil—and that is what their revealed preferences show repeatedly to be their real priority. Questions about what policies or conditions increase or decrease the rate of growth of output seldom arouse the interest of most intellectuals, even though such changes have done more to reduce poverty—in both rich and poor countries—than changes in the distribution of income have done. French writer Raymond Aron has suggested that achieving the ostensible goals of the left without using the methods favored by the left actually provokes resentments:

    “In fact the European Left has a grudge against the United States mainly because the latter has succeeded by means which were not laid down in the revolutionary code. Prosperity, power, the tendency towards uniformity of economic conditions—these results have been achieved by private initiative, by competition rather than State intervention, in other words by capitalism, which every well-brought-up intellectual has been taught to despise.”

    Another excerpt from Intellectuals and Society:

    One of the sources of the credibility and influence of intellectuals with the vision of the anointed is that they are often seen as people promoting the interests of the less fortunate, rather than people promoting their own financial self-interest. But financial self-interests are by no means the only self-interests, nor necessarily the most dangerous self-interests. As T.S. Eliot put it:

    “Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

  4. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. We know all that. And West does not fit into definition of nihilism.
    But there are some who need refreshment course.

  5. Can you still really call them “revolutionaries” when the ideas and strategies are 150 years old? When every leftist for generations has been saying the same things, is it still a visionary act of courage?

    I’d welcome a truly revolutionary solution. I’m not convinced it’s coming from this tradition.

  6. I’ve never taken Andre Vltchek seriously and Mr Pear is very obviousy a pro-Putin propagandist.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Che Guava
  7. I do not want to undermine Andre Vltchek or David Pear, even though Andre tends to get carried away, IMHO. I’d like to correct at least one thing. Regarding Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, at the beginning the US media (including all TV channels) reported events as they were: Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Georgian troops are shelling Tskhinval, killed many Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers. Then they got their marching orders and turned the story the opposite way: Russia invaded Georgia. Their assumption was that the US public is too dumb to remember what was said the day before. The sad thing is, they were right.

    As far as Syria is concerned, the lies were there from day one. Thanks to propaganda, most Americans don’t even know that Russia and Iran are in Syria legally, on the invitation of its legitimate government represented in the UN, whereas the US is there illegally by both international and US law.

    The same is true about Yemen: genocidal war by Saudis and other Gulf satrapies against Yemen was always presented as something good, whereas Yemeni resistance to foreign occupiers as something bad. The US in Yemen went the whole mile, showing its true colors for all to see: in the fight against Houthis it allied itself not only with Saudis, but even with their copycats ISIS, created and armed by the US for Saudi money.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Anon
  8. @Michael Kenny

    Key words: pot, kettle, black.

  9. ” Georgia attacks South Ossetia, ”
    It did, with huge loans Israeli military hardware was bought, Israel was in the process of upgrading Migs in Georgia.
    President at the time Saaskiville now is in Ukrainian prison, or under investigation by Kiev.
    If he still has a nationality, I do not know.
    The Georgian attack was a fiasco, there is just a tunnel between N and S Ossetia.
    The Georgian plan was to block the exit to the south, to prevent Russian tanks getting through.
    This had to be done with artillery, firing over a mountain, guided by two Israeli drones.
    Russia succeeded in the signals from the drones reaching a satellite, so no blocking, the tanks came to the rescue.
    To this day the Georgian people are paying for the loans.
    Israeli technology seems not first class.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  10. @jilles dykstra

    Correction: Saakashvili is not in prison, even though he richly deserves to be (just ask Ossetians: they’d love to hang him for his crimes, but can’t get their hands on him, more’s the pity). In fact, his Ukrainian citizenship was revoked, he is now in the Netherlands, of all places.

    As to Israel, it may not be the technology issue. Israel tends to hedge its bets. They like to get their shekels anywhere they can, but certainly won’t go out on a limb for something worthless and inconsequential, like Georgia.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  11. Che Guava says:

    Vltchek is a privileged fool and some kind of evil propagandist.

    Look at the places he stays, always 4- or 5-star hotels (except when he stays in a place where there are none), who pays for all of that?

    Perhaps he is independently wealthy on a grand scale.

    Don’t think so.

    In the immortal words of P.K. Dick in A Scanner Darkly, he is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

  12. Che Guava says:
    @Michael Kenny

    That is a very simplistic view (and implies that you have read very little of Vltchek).

    I stopped about two years ago, he is so full of lies, it was tiring to see them.

    Have an old comment on this site (when stupid Counterpunch was still publishing his semi-deranged articles, not that Counterpunch has not gone even worse since) … except that his articles are absent, a small improvement, more than made up for by the newly added other bullshit artists.

    Vltchek is either super-wealthy or subsidized by somebody, it sure is not the Russian state or any of its arms.

    • Replies: @denk
  13. Humanism won’t succeed simply because it goes against the grain of Judeo-Christian-Islamic creed, which thrives on the fear mongering about their deity, concocted out of despotic desert cultures and would relegate, especially, Jews and Arabs to practical nothingness, thus depriving them of their livelihoods. Christianity maybe condusive to the ideas of brotherhood without the need for bloodshed but it too is too rigid and dependent upon harvesting of souls that aren’t in peril. Ex nihilo fit nihil!

  14. Olorin says:

    Our struggling revolutionary artists whom still speak and write

    Lost me right there.

  15. Anon[647] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Too many blacks and too much Diversity were never going to make Socialism work in Venezuela.

    Among Nordics, socialism meant work hard, pay into system, and get some back.

    Among Diversity, socialism means GIMME FREE STUFF.

    • Replies: @redmudhooch
  16. @Anon

    socialism means GIMME FREE STUFF

    No, what we have now (capitalism) means gimme free stuff. Look around you.

    What “socialists” want is folks to paid enough by their employer that they don’t need “free stuff”
    Aren’t you tired of paying to subsidize someones income? Wouldn’t you rather Wal-mart or Mcdonalds paid them a fair wage? I would. Make healthcare affordable, and no one would need to get it free.

    Its funny that no one can see that our current system (capitalism) is what is driving mass immigration. Be it by war and destruction of these folks homelands, the capitalists stealing their resources and impoverishing them, or from their greed and demand for cheaper and cheaper labor, look to Wall St. (capitalists) if you want someone to blame for all the immigration.

    Capitalism, especially in its American-Liberal-Republican guise, is neither efficient nor rational. The specific definition of these terms don’t matter – they fail on all counts. The gains of capitalism go to the unproductive – bankers and middlemen, not producers, inventors or entrepreneurs. Capital mobility means that a firm can hold an entire community hostage. It can demand low wages and regulations or they’ll walk – destroying an entire area and showing the moral compass of its managers. They demand tax breaks and subsidies in this “market” system or they will relocate somewhere else that will indulge them. They invest in slave labor regions, then sell the product back to the “home” country at prices just below that of domestic producers, thus pocketing an immense, wasteful and irrational profit.

    We should nationalize our resources here in America, kick out all of the international thieves. Sadly there are no politicians on either side that would do the things necessary to get us out of this mess….

  17. Respect says:

    In the last couple of years about 2,000.000 venezuelans have emigrated from Venezuela , half of them to Colombia

    Simon Bolivar at the end of his life recognized the disaster he had organized , he said ” I have plowed in the sea and sowed in the wind ”

    Latinamerica changed its dependence from Spain , exausted from the napoleonic french invasion , for a dependence from the USA and England .

  18. George says:

    “was there anything you wanted to buy there besides vodka and nesting dolls?”

    Plus the obvious commodity products. Worth noting is that Russia provides value-added such as pipelines, information technology, ect. Also noteworthy is the military hardware.

  19. “The Empire would rather see the destruction of the entire world, than to coexist with a threat to its hegemony.”

    Too vague. We need names, addresses and recent photographs.

  20. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    evil [???]propagandist.

    please elaborate

    he is so full of lies, it was tiring to see them.

    please elaborate

    Look at the places he stays, always 4- or 5-star hotels

    Did he tell you ?

    Vltchek is either super-wealthy or subsidized by somebody, it sure is not the Russian state or any of its arms.

    Who might that sponsor be ?

  21. @AnonFromTN

    Did not know we have him here, but I now remember vaguely that he has a Dutch wife
    About Israeli weapons deals with Georgia, they got paid.

  22. Anonymous [AKA "Siskin"] says:

    Vltchek is a poor imitation of the “useful idiots” of the Communist era: Wilfred Burchett, Rewi Alley, Felix Greene etc. At least they were charismatic individuals and talented writers, no matter how hollow their propaganda was.

    My favorite thing about Vltchek is the interactions (totally real and not imagined while sitting in his hotel room) he has with The People™ he encounters on his travels. When in Proud, Democratic, Socialist nations they are always full of joy and hope, singing revolutionary songs; when in the dreaded West or the capitals of its venal allies, they are crude, vapid, ugly creatures either too obsessed with themselves or too busy complaining about falling living standards and open borders to venerate The Global South.

    I remember one essay by him where he complains about the half-assed treatment his Western publishers give him when he returns to the US to deal with contracts and legal matters (he’s still a US citizen, conveniently.) I realized he’s used to being treated as a guest of honor in police states and turdworld basketcases, it must hurt to come back to the cruel reality of the West, where he’s just an old guy with a funny accent who writes vanity published print-on-demand books. In the Global South he’s a celebrated poet and novelist and philosopher and documentary maker and playwright.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  23. Anon[436] • Disclaimer says:

    I have read many assertions over the last few years to similar effect as yours that ISIS was “created and armed by the US” but never any evidence or credible sources (if any claimed sources at all). Assuming you are not referring to arms for supposedly moderate rebels going astray can you do better? Any evidence?

  24. Che Guava says:

    Your post is nonsenical. There is no point in serious responses.

    As for four and five-star hotels, yes he does, he wrote an extended whine about the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and posted it on Counterpunch , I wrote a response on this site because the topic arose on some thread, IIRC, but perhaps it was on another site.

    I was acquainted with some staff and managers there when working nearby, drinking together after work. Nice people. Do not at all believe his whining, and yes, it is certainly four- or five-star.

    By induction, that is his pattern.

    He appears to have taken down his rant on that.

    As for money, I have no idea if he is an independently wealthy globe-trotter or a subsidised one, and, if the latter, by whom. Neither do you. Sure has much money behind him.

    If you read his scrawlings, his three-dollar-bill phoney nature is clear, I have better things to do than spend an hour or so gathering representative examples, and, as with the Imperial Hotel example, he may be very concerned with taking down the worst of his brain farts.

    Pepe Escobar has a superficially similar outlook, but I appreciate his writing, even if not always to agreeing, and believe that he is sincere.

    I recommend that you read post 22 in this thread, by commentor Siskin, it is very relevant to your silly questions.

    • Replies: @denk
    , @denk
  25. Che Guava says:

    I am agreeing and thank you for expressing similar thoughts to mine (and better expression on many points)!

    Except on one point, Burchett may have been one of Lenin’s ‘useful idiots’ at times, but he was also a very brave and interesting war reporter, not least when he was the first into Hiroshima and to taking photos after that atrocity. Not the only time he was brilliant, but the clearest example.

    Since we have just passed the latest anniversaries, Burchett’s documentation there should not be forgotten, he was there before the U.S.A. military teams taking horrific and horrifically cold footage of the results (mainly on stolen Fuji film at the time). Just for research on the evil effects.

  26. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    Your post is nonsenical. There is no point in serious responses.

    yOUR make some serious accusations about Vltchek, like ‘evil propagandist’.
    I ask you to elaborate .
    Thats all

    I was acquainted with some staff and managers there when working nearby, drinking together after work. Nice people. Do not at all believe his whining, and yes, it is certainly four- or five-star.

    By induction, that is his pattern. [???]

    dun get what you mean,
    YOu claim he stayed in a 4/5 star hotel in jp

    ‘by induction’ [???] ===>

    you come to the conclusion…

    * he stays, always 4- or 5-star hotels (except when he stays in a place where there are none) ??*

    [As for money, I have no idea if he is an independently wealthy globe-trotter or a subsidised one, and, if the latter, by whom. Neither do you. ]

    Thats why I ask.

    YOu do insinuate that he could be sponsored by someone …but surely not the Russians.
    Im simply curious about whom do you think might be his sponsor. ?

    I have better things to do than spend an hour or so gathering representative examples,]

    The onus is on you to show evidence...or else

    I recommend that you read post 22 in this thread, by commentor Siskin, it is very relevant to your silly questions.]

    forget about siskin.

    Silly ?
    So Im supposed to take your words for it, assume Vltchek guilty as charged, ?

  27. USSA says:

    “Or do they have anything that you would wish that we imported?”

    That’s actually a very good question. We should import good-faith respect for human rights like Russians enjoy. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that Russian respect for human rights is incomparably better than the bad-faith screw job US serfs get from their crooked government.

    Russia kicks this government’s ass on all of the five key overall criteria for human rights protection.

    You can compare the two countries directly by chapter and verse.



    One complication is that the US government thinks your human rights are crap, so they avoid reporting on most of the duties of the state.

    Russians get a much better deal than poor downtrodden Americans do. If Putin nuked Washington with a Tsar Bomba and ran this country from the Kremlin, your rights and freedoms would improve by leaps and bounds overnight. Simply because Russia has world-standard human rights protections in place. The US government fights tooth and nail to keep those protections out of your reach.

    One example: if you think the US government screwed you, can you appeal to international human rights panels for review? Not if you’re American. If you’re Russian, that protection is written into the constitution.

  28. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    I’d seem to me that evil propaganda are fukus speciality….

    Exhibit A
    The Indon genocide

    *The fourth means of support was propaganda operations. On 5 October a “political adviser” at the British intelligence base in Singapore reported to the Foreign Office in London that: “we should not miss the present opportunity to use the situation to our advantage… I recommend that we should have no hesitation in doing what we can surreptitiously to blacken the PKI in the eyes of the army and the people of Indonesia”. The Foreign Office replied: “We certainly do not exclude any unattributable propaganda or psywar [psychological warfare] activities which would contribute to weakening the PKI permanently. We therefore agree with the [above] recommendation… Suitable propaganda themes might be… Chinese interference in particular arms shipments; PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign communists”.*

    Here’s Vltchek the anti-propagandist.

    *Pramoedya Ananta Toer – the greatest Indonesian writer who spent more than ten years in Buru concentration camp – died without receiving Nobel Price for either peace or literature. Naturally, the concentration camp he was locked in was our own concentration camp – our ally Suharto who killed between 2 and 3 million people after 1965 US-sponsored coup built it. Most of those killed were Communists, people belonging to Chinese minority, opposition intellectuals, atheists and teachers! Before he passed away, Pramoedya shared with me his Marxist ideals and the fact that for decades he was defending people of Chinese minority in Indonesia. That had not qualified his for any Nobel Price. He was not even a member of ‘civil society’ or pro-Western NGO! *

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  29. Che Guava says:


    You have a point there, have read much on the Soekarno to Soeharto transition (use of old spellings intentional), mass-murder of at least 500,000 ‘communists’, U.S.A. direction of it, etc. People should know about, it was a great crime.

    What people really need to understand about Indonesia *now* is that, after the ejection of the Dutch, it remains a colonialist empire, only now the rulers are the upper classes of Java.

    Most of the people in many other parts of their empire (west Papua, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan, several others) would prefer to go their own way, and for the Javanese (and, I suppose, Sumatrans, under the transmigrasi policy) to go away and leave them alone.

    An empire that should collapse, for sure.

  30. Che Guava says:

    It does not stop my impression that Vltchek is as phoney as a three-dollar bill.

    ( ̄ー ̄)

    • Replies: @denk
  31. @Anon

    You’re right, of course, but the problem is that the totally fake Nationalism of Hitler (Nazism), the Bushes, Hitlery, Ziobama, Frau Merkel, and so forth – which in reality are merely puppets of the the Rothschilds, von Schröders, Warburgs, and the likes – gives you both repression at home, and Somalis in your home. See the episodes at Oriental Review for at least some truth about that.

  32. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    Vltchek is a B.S. buster like me.

    Exhbit India….

    Here’s the fairy tale version, fed to the world 24×7.

    India is the world’s largest democracy, it shares many common values with the USA, world’s oldest democray.

    Here’s the reality check, first person account, brought to you by the intrepid reporter Vltchek.

    [fukusIndia do share many ‘values’, but it has nuthin to do with democracy and all that jazz…;-)]

    The ignoramus siskin call Vltchek ‘useful idiot’ [sic]
    Well, the fairly tale version of our world is meant for idiots.


  33. Che Guava says:

    I do not know about you and your true thoughts and heart, but I made my own mind up about Vltchek some years ago, and Siskin is to well express something very close to my own thoughts.

    You are of course, free to say anything within reason here, I am not a mod, and sure would not ban you if I were, but you may well benefit from a second thought on Vltchek (some strange kind of fake) by yourself.

    What I said is from direct experience, sure not of him, but of hotel managers and workers he was whining about.

    Siskin’s post on Vltchek’s reality seems very realistic. He is some kind of creep, full of ‘muh entitlement’, and treating staff at his four- and five-star hotels badly, between bouts of pretending to be Regis Debray, another player who was likely a fake to a large extent.

    Hegel’s history repeating as tragedy and then farce doesn’t even apply here, Debray’s activities were already somewhat farcical, Vltchek takes it into a further territory of nonsense.

    • Replies: @denk
  34. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    To recap…

    YOu’ve provided zero evidence to justify calling Vltchek an ‘evil propagandist‘, your murky account of that hotel episode notwithstanding.

    AV has a long and proven record of fighting against fukus evil propaganda.

    Exhibit 3

    A re-post

    Please Do Not Poison My Brain With The US Elections!
    [This is a gem, especially for those who still insist that Trump is playing some kind of 4d chess with the deep state]

    U.S. “Jihadi Express”: Indonesia – Afghanistan, Syria, Philippines

    India’s Shame

    tip of an iceberg


    All rhetoric, no substance.
    I dont even bother to reply.

    siskin is pissed that AV expose’ of USA’s underbelly shatter his fantasy of USA… the ‘shining light on the hill’,
    Hence AV the commies ‘useful idiot’.

    Well I think siskin reeks like an empire’s useful asset.


    • Replies: @Che Guava
  35. Che Guava says:

    I hardly think that Vltchek is taken seriously enough by anybody to be some kind of ‘target’ for disinfo, let alone anything else.

    Alright, you think he is great.

    I have read enough (much, before he was dumped by Counterpunch) to think he is a fake. Of course, Counterpunch of now is dumping many good writers, but their dumping of Vltchek was earlier.

    So, I am agreeing with Siskin on it (a single-post commentor to now, possibly to remain so, so not good on that point).

    Still, agree with what Siskin was saying, have read enough of Vltchek to have formed my own negative opinion some years ago.

    The hotel bs was the thing convincing me that he is a fraud, sure, he seems to have had it removed, does not mean that he was doing that for anything more than for self-serving reasons.

    His writing is, in general, unconvincing, even on genuine things, as you are citing.

    Repeating myself, where is the money from?

    His little adventures, in between staying in four- and five-star hotels, in combination, likely at least business or first-class flights, very expensive.

    He is certainly not good enough a writer to gain the cash from published work. So where is the money from?

    Alright Denk, you are a fan, I am not.

    Likely we are to agreeing on many things, but not on this Vltchek.

    • Replies: @denk
  36. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    Back to square one !

    AV is fake, his writing sucks

    No evidence.

    I cited 5 great expose’
    [tip of an iceberg]


    He’s a sock puppet.
    [Imagine that, Vltchek dares to diss the empire and its cohorts ., must be a useful idiot for the commies]

    somebody pays Vltchek ?

    For all I know, or care, he might well be sponsored by the opposition.
    YOu say it couldnt be the Russians, do you think its the chicoms ?

    If so, I say well done!
    China should sponsor MORE good writers to counter the CIA’s mighty wurlitzer.
    Why leave the field all to fukus ?:?

    Info war is non trivial biz.
    The reason fukus could get away with it all for so long is due, no small measure, to its monopoly of ‘world opinion‘.

    If China doesnt have articulate English writers at home, out sourcing is the way to go.

    Bring it on.

    Vltchek’s controversy precedes him.
    The rednecks hate him by default, while the ‘progressives’ lambast him as a ‘self hating white’.
    Pilger suffer the same ignominy in Oz too.

    Im surprised there aint more detractors of AV in this thread.

    Agree to disagree

    IM of open mind.

    I rest my case.

  37. Che Guava says:

    Understanding your points in this post, and I also do not care where he is getting the cash for his international jet-set life.

    You believe that he is genuine, I do not, because his ranting is so OTT at times, and the background factors I mention.

    You say that you are surprised that there are so few anti-“AV” comments in this thread.

    The reason is obvious, he is of interest to very few. Until the slander of his luxury hotel (and that was many years ago), I always found his writing ridiculous, although reading it at times for a laugh at a poseur.

    He is too little-known, dull, crazily overstated in his writing, and hypocritical to have many readers now.

    Then only a certain type of new leftist would have continued to read his crap and believe his self-depiction, as I said, the farcical attempt to pose.

    Naturally, this thread has relatively few comments, because few people notice Vltchek, and it is a review of a book that nobody wants to read, not because it is a good book being overlooked, but because anyone who has follnwed his writing for some time knows that he is full of bs.

    Btw, I agree on Siskin is likely a throw-away account, but sock-puppetry is not allowed here.

    So, to do it (if so), Siskin is needing to use multiple IP address ranges. It would not surprise me if he were part of whatever the Israeli troll force is calling itself lately. It also would not surpsise me if it had nothing to do with that.

    None of that stops me agreeing with his comment on Vltchek, no matter the motivation. My impression is that Siskin just has similar thoughts to mine, is a fairly regular commentor here, and set up an account with an IP address outside the usual range.

    Having had experience as ‘admin.’ on a controversial U.S. site for some years, I do have a sense for such, even without access to the IP addresses.

    More than a little suspicion that your own account may be such, not that I am caring about it.

    It remains Siskin’s only post as of now. Why set up an account for one post if not having a strong feeling on the topic and already knowing the site pnlicies?

    • Replies: @daniel le mouche
  38. denk says:

    More than a little suspicion that your own account may be such,

    So I’ve been wasting time with a troll

  39. @Che Guava

    ‘He is too little-known, dull, crazily overstated in his writing, and hypocritical to have many readers now.’

    And yet the great Chomsky sat down and co-wrote a book with him. How? Why?

    • Replies: @OG
  40. OG says:
    @daniel le mouche

    All of vltchek’s writings are about ‘great’ people he meets. His writing is so bad and he is so obscure, I’m surprised anyone bothers to defend him and argue with che guava endlessly. Which leads me to suspect that this denk fellow is the ‘great’ AV himself.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  41. Che Guava says:

    I long ago lost the impression that Chomsky is great. His claim to fame as an innelluctual (mis-spelling intended) was ‘generative grammar’, clearly debunked since. I was sceptical even when reading some of his writing on it when it was still being taught as a serious hypothesis.

    Take that away, and what is left?

    Much pnlitical comment, some to the point, but also exhibiting massive biases and blind spots. What has any of it to do with his work as a prof.?

    Nothing, of course, he is simply the beneficiary of tribal nepotism.

    It is a little ike Freud’s psychiatry, nobody except Freudian shrinks takes it seriously now.

    … except post-modern leftists (Lacan as the exemplar, but also the many others who cite Lacan or Freud via Lacan).

    I will say one thing for Chomsky, at least his personal life seems to have been far less sleazy than that of Freud.

  42. Che Guava says:

    No, I am pretty sure he is not, though I suspect that he is the reincarnation of an earlier commentor who suddenly vanished some time ago.

    Of course, I don’t know that, and don’t really care.

    In any case, thank you for the kind words, and for raising points I did not make but with which I fully agree.

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