August 17, 2006

Blatant Double Standards.

The mainstream discourse on the world affairs is all too obviously polluted by blatant double standards.

(May be I should, in fact, use the term "single standard", following Chomsky (who quotes Adam Smith): "vile maxim of the masters of mankind:...All for ourselves, and nothing for other people.")

The ruthless and primitive logic behind this is easy to grasp. That does not, however, help escape a deep sense of indignation every time one is faced with an egregious exercise of this "vile maxim".

Such is the case with the recent elections and the subsequent protests in Mexico.

Millions of people are protesting on the streets of Mexico City. Obviously, a major event is in progress. And what do we see in the Western capitals and media? Nothing really. No political leader is saying as much as a word acknowledging the protests, let alone supporting it. And there is at best a lukewarm coverage in the top news papers.

Contrast that with the euphoria over "revolutions" of last few years in Georgia, Ukraine and Lebanon, avowedly asserting the supremacy of power of ordinary people to enforce their will. During those rose, orange and cedar revolutions, there was almost nothing else in the media and political leaders could not have seemed more anxious to jump on the bandwagon of people-powered movements.

I am not saying that the mass movements in Georgia, Ukraine and Lebanon are not worthy of world's attention or that their causes are not just. Neither am I saying that there was really some fraud in Mexican elections and the supporters of the leftist candidate López Obrador have legitimate concerns. May be they don't.

But that is totally beside the point.

My point is that support and praise for mass movements come about only when those movements are seen to further one's interests. And when that is not the case, equally popular mass movements are shunned in the most cynical manner.

As I wrote above, all this is really a no-brainer.

For the vile maxim of masters of mankind is all for ourselves, and nothing for other people.


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