Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries
These days you may get hugs from many common people in the Middle East or Latin America when you say that you are Russian, but such emotional outbursts are mainly intuitive. After being bombarded by extremely effective and negative Western propaganda for years and decades, people of the world still know very little, if anything, about two enormous countries that have been proudly resisting the Western imperialism – Russia and China.
I recently spent five weeks in Latin America, where the West openly supports the entire wide spectrum of counter-revolutionary movements, literally overthrowing one progressive government after another. I worked alongside the left-wing intellectuals there, helping to define the way forward, to rescue the Process.
But I was shocked by how little is known there about both Russia and China – for decades two natural allies of the patriotic Latin American Left.
“Are you for Putin or against?” And: “Is China really as capitalist now as we read?”
These were two most commonly asked questions.
Not in Cuba, of course. Cuba, almost free of most of propaganda media outlets of the Empire is actually one of the best-educated and informed societies on Earth. There, people know all about those long decades and centuries of the epic struggle of the Russian people against Western imperialism.
There, it is very well known that China is essentially and once again increasingly a Communist (and successful) nation with clear central planning, which uses some controlled capitalist practices in order to build a prosperous society for its people.
But even in such educated countries like Argentina and Chile, even in those centers of progress and revolution like Ecuador and Venezuela, the two world giants are often misunderstood. The majority of people in Latin America may feel sympathy for both Russia and China, but there is no deep knowledge of the realities there.
It is truly discouraging, because the Latin American Left is one of the essential components of the front against Western imperialism, standing shoulder to shoulder with Russia and China, but also South Africa, Iran and other proud nations.
It is easy to understand the reasons behind all this. Even in some of the most revolutionary nations of Latin America, the Western mass media outlets have been managing to retain their presence, often through the right-wing big business cable TV and satellite distributors. Most of the biggest newspapers are still in the hands of local business interests.
And so the negative and misleading messages about Russia and China are spread constantly. People are bombarded with them from the television screens, from the pages of mass-circulation newspapers, and from the imported (Western) films.
Many are resisting. They instinctively want to cling to both Russia and China. But they don’t have enough “ammunition”; not enough positive and inspiring information is available to them. In the meantime the critics are armed to the teeth with toxic propaganda that is mass-produced in New York, Los Angeles, London and Madrid.
And the situation is much worse in Asia.
There, the Empire has truly and fully mobilized all available resources, in order to discredit its two main adversaries.
Speaking to my friends and colleagues in such places like Indonesia and Philippines, I was told that most of the people there know little, even close to nothing about Russia. It is still perceived through the Cold War and post-Cold-War stereotypes. The Western propaganda apparatus has been portraying Russians as cold, aggressive, brainwashed and dangerous.
Great Russian culture, Russian arts and the exceptional warmth of the Russian people, are something almost totally unknown in most of the Asian nations.
Great foreign policy successes of Russia, like those in Syria, are twisted and turned into the crimes, even in Muslim countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, where “people should definitely know better”.
In India, which had been for decades very close to the Soviet Union, the situation is somehow brighter, but only among the extremely small and educated group of its citizens. There, like in many other parts of the world, pro-business and pro-Western mass media is skillfully defending the interests of the West, demonizing all that is standing in the way of the Empire.
China is being targeted with an even greater and more malicious force than Russia. Successful and Communist China is the worst nightmare for the West and for the local, Asian ‘elites’.
The entire propaganda apparatus is now in overdrive, spreading ideological attacks and negative messages. The most peaceful major country on Earth is being portrayed as an aggressor and threat to regional and world peace.
In the Philippines and elsewhere, the global Western regime is arousing the cheapest and extremely dangerous bellicose forms of nationalism.
The local Chinese diaspora of Southeast Asia that consists mainly of the anti-Communist elements, descendants of the people who left China after the revolution, are playing an extremely important and destructive role.
Nobody seems to notice that the United States/NATO is encircling both Russia and China with its military bases, while deploying new offensive missile systems. Nobody talks about those tens of millions of people who were massacred during the Western invasions of Asia during the 20th century.
And the situation is not much different in Africa and elsewhere.
True, both Russia and China have invested some substantial resources in order to counter the Western propaganda. The RT, Sputnik and NEO (New Eastern Outlook), have all become extremely effective global information and intellectual detoxification outlets.
But the West is still investing more. The ideological war is even something that is lately being discussed openly in Washington. The more Russia and China resist and the more they defend themselves; the more Western propaganda steps up its indoctrination campaigns.
Clearly, both Russia and China have to do more, not only for their own interests, but also for the good of the world.
The great achievements of China and Russia have to be explained in detail. Such information should be spread to all corners of the planet.
In this field, China should learn from Russia, as the Chinese media outlets now available abroad are still too ‘timid’ and too reconciliatory. It requires real strength and determination to counter the mighty and centuries-old Western propaganda and brainwashing schemes. It also requires large financial budgets.
But the intellectual ‘resistance’ and the ideological wars should not be fought only in the fields of the politics, news and analyses. The tremendous cultural and intellectual achievements of both China and Russia should be made available to the populations on all continents. China has done so already a lot, mainly through its Confucius Institutes. It should be doing more, and so should Russia.
Both countries are in possession of marvelous cultural wealth, overflowing with wisdom and arts. Their humanism is much deeper than that of the West – the West that has been mainly building its wealth, for centuries, by plundering the Planet.
For as long as one can remember, both Europe and North America had been committing genocides, while enslaving entire continents. At the same time, they have been engaging in self-glorification, promoting their political, economic and cultural concepts. They claimed cultural superiority.
And they have been doing it with such force, such ruthlessness and in the end with such success, that they have managed to fully indoctrinate most of the world into accepting that there is really no alternative, no other way (except the Western way) forward.
There are naturally other ways, and needless to say, much better ones!
In fact, before European colonialism began ruining and enslaving the planet, almost all parts of the world were living in much more developed and gentler societies than those of the West.
Now very little is known about this fact. Alternatives are not discussed in the mainstream, anymore. The search for a better world, for more humanistic concepts, is almost totally abandoned; at least in the West and in its colonies and ‘client” states.
It as if this horrid nightmare, into which the world had been forced into by the global Western dictatorship, is the only imaginable future for our human race.
It is not. And there are two great countries on this planet, Russia and China, which can offer many alternatives. They are strong enough to withstand all the pressure from the West. They have hearts, brains; they have the know-how and resources to offer alternatives and to re-start millennia old, essential discussions about the future of our humanity.
But in order for this to happen, the world has to first know about both Russia and China. It has to understand their cultures.
The war against imperialism should be fought not only on the battlefields; it should be fought on the airwaves, at the printing presses, in the concert halls and theatres. Kindness, humanism, internationalism and knowledge can often serve as weapons much more powerful than missiles, strategic bombers and submarines.