Valle-Sten Maiste: Bernie-paranoias in the windward land
In terms of security policy, Bernie Sanders might just be not only the most ethical and progressive choice but also the best remedy for alleviating security fears in Estonia, Valle-Sten Maiste writes in Sirp magazine.
One does not need a magnifying glass to find fault with Plato, something more recent philosophers, from Nietzsche and Heidegger to Karl Popper, have gone to great lengths to demonstrate. And indeed, the constraints of the time in which he lived means the thoughts of the forefather of ideas include some questionable aspects. And yet, today, we are living a spastic era of neurotic twitching catering to specimens with a degenerated empathic capacity! What else can one say, looking out the window, except repeating the epithets used by Pravda to tar and feather Shostakovich back in the day.
Now, when visible moral decay and progressive trampling of ethical limits has proven the best strategy for countless MPs of the occident and guaranteed benefits for the top of the Anglo-American establishment, we downright need the idealism of Socrates' student and its social-feminist aftertaste. As previously opined by the blessed Marju Lepajõe.
Perhaps the said values manifest today in Bernie Sanders who aims to try for President Donald Trump's job. Bernie is tied to a lot of interesting things in American history and culture: the anti-war sentiment of the 1960s, respect for minorities and left-wing activism, Henry David Thoreau's philosophy of nature and way of life, valuing community instead of nationalism etc. Such a character understandably takes seriously the dangers of the Anthropocene. Politically, Sanders represents egalitarianism, the need to contain income inequality, corruption, questionable financial and tax behavior and hypocrisy that are increasingly dragging the West down.
It is not easy for Sanders as he is portrayed as a person who does not understand the nature of American society and promotes rancid methods. Established class enemies have already released a smorgasbord of slander. Apparently, Bernie not only wants to distribute honest individualist Americans' and pristine corporations' money to bums, his communist pacifism threatens to also destroy all other American values besides wealth, such as democracy, glory and military power. One does not have to be clairvoyant to realize the same fears carry a lot of weight also in this windward land of fumbling Andreses.
Even though those who have benefited from the unethical, illegal and disproportionate domination of business interests have reason to fear Sanders' views, the law-abiding U.S. senator who has served his country for half a century is, of course, no left-wing radical or dictator, nor even a Sunday Maoist. It is to be expected that security-related paranoias will flare up the worst here in connection with the potential ascension of the "pacifist-communist." However, even in terms of security policy, Sanders might just be not only the most ethical and progressive choice, but also the best remedy for alleviating security fears in Estonia.
The reason goes beyond the fact that, unlike Trump, Sanders emphasizes the need for allied relations and their protection and considers Putin not a friend but a kleptocrat cutthroat dictator. As put by David Adler and Ben Judah, a Russian expert also known in Estonia, Sanders perceives USA as the world leader not in the capacity of imperial militarism but progressive energy policy. By containing polluting energy, tax havens that are of crucial important to the Russian regime and the unscrupulous financial system, instead of engaging in a geopolitical arms race, Sanders would squeeze the very sources of Putin's power. And when direct militarism and confrontation take a back seat, perhaps there will also be less fuel for Putin's beloved propaganda fire.*
If there absolutely has to be a fear associated with Sanders, it's that our hypocritical world is not ready for such radical idealism. It is feared that by going up against Sanders, the incumbent liar and brute who engages in assassination machinations could take the greatest victory in the history of U.S. presidential elections, breaking even his colleague Richard Nixon's record from half a century ago. Such are we – as leaders are wont to reflect those they rule over.
* Ben Judah and David Adler. Hawks say Sanders will be weak on Russia. But Putin should fear a President Bernie. – Guardian 20. II 2020.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski