The battle against Russia is a new frontier of American policymaking: It is the globalization of BLM tactics and “cancel culture.” It is George Floydism converted from domestic cudgel to foreign policy doctrine. …
To those who remember summer 2020 or the days after January 6, the tactics used against Russia will sound quite familiar.
After January 6, major banks systematically cut off President Trump. Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank, and Banks United shuttered his accounts. Signature Bank took the added step of saying it would refuse services to any lawmaker objecting to the results of the 2020 election. Stripe halted payment processing for the Trump campaign as well as anybody present at January 6. Recently, Axios reported that American oligarchs have launched a “dark money” campaign to “target the livelihoods” of hundreds of lawyers who assisted President Trump in challenging the suspicious results of the 2020 election.
But where we once had the deplatforming of individuals or companies, we now have the deplatforming of whole countries.
Russia has been officially debanked. On the first weekend after the invasion, Western nations booted Russian banks off SWIFT. On the second weekend, Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal shut down their services in Russia, hitting tens of millions who used them for ordinary purchases.
After 2020, America’s most powerful law firms lined up to pay homage to George Floyd and pledge vast pro bono resources to BLM. After the presidential election, the press browbeat major firms into refusing to represent Trump in cases challenging the results. Now, law firms are being weaponized against Russia too. …
In 2020 and especially after January 6, domestic US cancel culture has meant an ever-tightening grip over the Internet. … In the US, it is now routine for the regime and its media adjuncts to target unwanted media outlets, no matter how marginal.
In January, DirecTV cut off OAN, a longtime objective of activists who despised the network for supporting President Trump’s claims of 2020 election fraud. Alex Jones’s InfoWars is perpetually trying to rebuild from its latest ban. When Ukraine itself banned several Russian-language TV networks last year, it was apparently done as a “gift” to the United States, which would be pleased at the initiative.
So it’s no surprise that when America’s wrath finally turned directly on Russia, one of its first thoughts was to obliterate Russian television. Sputnik and RT are already banned throughout the EU, and the National Association of Broadcasters has called for a total shutdown of Russian-origin TV broadcasts in the US. …
In America, athletes who become the target of ire, from Hulk Hogan to Curt Schilling, have been smeared and crushed. Now, the principle extends to anybody from the wrong country. …
Why this new type of diplomacy?
This massive hysterical (dare we say, feminine?) reaction to Russia is very similar to domestic cancel culture and George Floydism, and different from other recent international crises, in several key facets.
First, this explosion is operating like a frenzied moral panic, a purity spiral, a virtue signal, or whatever you want to call it, and not clearly following any kind of rational plan.
Prior to Russia’s actual invasion, when such threats may have had a deterrent effect, America instead signaled that it would not retaliate with the most aggressive possible sanctions. In his February 24 speech on the first day of Russia’s invasion, President Biden explicitly said that Russian oil and gas would not be sanctioned, and Russia would not be kicked off SWIFT. Within three days, though, he reversed course on SWIFT, and on March 8, he announced a ban on Russian energy imports.
There is no strategic vision and no off-ramp for these sanctions, no specific objectives to be achieved, only constant escalation in order to show the West’s amorphous rage. No one is in charge, save perhaps the hivemind of blue checkmarks on Twitter.
Second, much as the George Floyd moment quickly shifted from anger at Derek Chauvin or violent cops to a generalized attack on police, American history, and white people generally, the backlash against Russia has quickly turned from an attack on Putin and his inner circle to a mob retribution against Russians worldwide … [a] desire to viscerally hurt the Russian people, independent of any real diplomatic goals.
Supposedly, sanctions are supposed to inspire ordinary Russians to “rise up” against Putin (that won’t happen, but that’s the theory). Yet much of the backlash clearly has no relation to inspiring resistance to Putin at all, and only a general attack on Russianness as a concept. …
Traditional diplomatic or strategic thinking has been overtaken by the logic of “cancel culture.” Cancellation routinely relies on over-the-top, collective punishments whose intent isn’t to punish a malefactor, but to terrorize onlookers.
In 2020, an MLS soccer club cut a player because of his wife’s social media posts. When a Georgetown professor’s comments lamenting the poor performance of black students in her classes leaked, not only was she fired, but the professor she was speaking to lost his job as well.
Anyone and anything of Russian origin anywhere in the world is subject to retaliation. Film festivals around the world are barring the screening of Russian films, even those produced by Putin critics. …
Important, longstanding norms and institutions are being torn down suddenly and all at once in the service of a short-term panic, just as they were domestically in America over the past several years. Now, this same destructive focus on emotional short-term goals has decisively triumphed in diplomacy.
For decades, America has benefited from the dollar’s status as global reserve currency. But now, by booting Russia off SWIFT and freezing its foreign reserves, America has pushed a button that can only be pushed once. China, Russia, and any nation that desires independence from US control now have a massive incentive to develop alternative systems that will preserve their economic and strategic autonomy. In a fit of pique, America has destroyed one of its key economic advantages forever.
SWIFT is not the only tool of economic advantage that the West has just casually tossed in the trash. America’s dominance in credit cards and tech is similarly imperiled. Why would any country let Visa and ApplePay dominate domestically if the US might turn it off at any time? Why would a country let Google and Facebook hold its Internet hostage? Besides China, right now only Russia is scrambling to create alternatives. But every other country, even those currently aligned with the US, is surely taking notes.
Can the woke cancel a country? We’re going to find out.
So, Russia is getting canceled just like “racists” and “insurrectionists” in the US have been canceled for the past five years. What does that indicate? For one, it reveals that the ideologically blinkered American regime megalomaniacally equates both foreign and domestic opposition as the same moral “evil.” All obstacles, be they a rival military power or simply an online political dissident, are within the same class, “the enemy,” and the harshest tools of ostracism or outright violence may justifiably be used against them.
Right now, Russia is being treated exactly like it is a wayward US political dissident. In the future, expect all domestic opposition to the Globalist American Empire to be equated with treason on behalf of a foreign power, and any general sympathy for Russia to be treated as a criminal act. …
Already, there is not even a pretense that what is called “Russian disinformation” need come from Russia. Simply being useful to Russia is enough to earn the label “disinformation” and, by extension, invite censorship. A 2020 State Department report on the “pillars” of the Russian “disinformation ecosystem” includes anyone, anywhere in the world, who wittingly or unwittingly proliferates “Russian narratives.” …
Short term gain, long term failure. Woke just killed globalization, and balkanized the world.
There is good news, though: As it tries to widen the scope of cancellation machinery, the Globalist American Empire may have overreached, and dug its own grave. In America, censorship and deplatforming has led to efforts by dissidents to create their own social media sites, payment processors, web hosts, and more. But this is naturally limited. We wish luck to anybody trying to create parallel institutions within the GAE regime, but the ultimate bottleneck is not MasterCard or PayPal or Facebook. Gab is making a heck of a go at it. But the ultimate bottleneck is the regime itself.
If the Globalist American Empire decides a parallel institution is too powerful or too subversive, the regime is ultimately equipped to crush any threat within its jurisdiction. Once the threat is labelled a national security issue, all bets are off. Parler learned that after January 6, and there are already signs a similar fate is planned for YouTube rival Rumble …
But this power to crush parallel structures is importantly not guaranteed on a geopolitical scale. For dissidents in the US, “just build your own Internet” is a meme rooted in despair. But China, Russia, and others really can build their own Internet, their own banking systems, their own credit cards, and more. And from now on, having seen what the US is capable of when whipped into a panic, every nation aspiring to even a smidgen of autonomy will ensure that these same tactics can never be used against them.
This growth of real alternative institutions independent of the West, as well as the profound collapse of the West’s moral authority, will be dominant trends in the years and decades to come.
The good news for victims of woke in the West:
And once other nations have created parallel institutions to rival those of the Globalist American Empire, then dissidents within the GAE will also have alternatives they can look towards themselves.
America has shown it is willing to cancel an entire country. In applying the ruthless machinery of cancellation to the geopolitical arena, however, the Globalist American Empire might just find out that the country it ends up cancelling is its own.
Woke cancel culture and the feminization of politics continues apace. Like on the school playground, the woke girls won’t have any “friends” soon. Boys generally don’t do this because it is so counter-productive in the long run.
Girls compete viciously for individual resources in the short term. But boys know that, in the long term, teams are required, and so will cooperate with today’s “enemies” knowing they may be on the same team later. Maybe that stems from our distant past, when women were gatherers and mothers, while men hunted and fought in packs.
Diplomacy is an art that evolved out of millennia of experience. The woke just tore it up, like they tear everything up — because they ignorantly assume they know better than anyone else.