by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
Starting in 1917 the same reactionary European nations which attacked in the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution now transferred this same refusal to make peace with the Soviet Union. The problem has always been an idea - anti-autocracy, the idea from which Socialist Democracy flows (and the Yellow Vests) - not a particular nation.
(This is the seventh chapter in a new book, France's Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West's Best Values. Please click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)
There is a clear moment when France definitively handed over its longtime leadership of European progressive politics. It is not 1914, when, unlike the Soviet Bolsheviks, French socialists went along with World War I: it is the creation of the Popular Front (Front Populaire) following the death of 15 people in a right-wing riot in 1934. The idea that committed socialists must be united with everyone from fake-leftists to right-wingers in order to fight fascism proved to be a total catastrophe.
Yet this idea remains the policy of Western leftism today, and it is still producing catastrophes.
The European lesson of the 1930s is that the working and middle class handed power to the socialists and communists - who immediately gave power back to the bourgeois!
Ever since the Brexit vote against the neoliberal and neo-imperial European Union Western democracies are perpetually stuck in 1936: constantly warning of "fascism" and constantly producing failures as bad as the original Popular Front in France.
However, because there is a total misunderstanding of what "fascism" is it is critical for us to end the Western propaganda on the rise of Germanic National Socialism in order to properly understand European history then and now. It is "Germanic" and not just "German" because their adherents were from Austria, Hungary, Prussia and other longtime German language/culture areas.
Germanic National Socialism had something vital in common with socialism: a clear rejection of Western Liberal Democracy, which was first installed in France's 2nd Republic of 1848. Without elucidating the common thread of post 1789 political history - that Western Liberal Democracy is an oligarchy which has been barely modified from autocracy - European history makes no sense in 1936 or after. We may as well say Napoleon Bonaparte wasn't a leftist revolutionary!
We move from the Paris Commune to 1936 because what occurred in 1936 was extremely similar: In February 1936 the electoral victory of a Popular Front coalition in Spain led to a legal take-over by socialists and anti-monarchists, only to see an international coalition of reactionaries arise to prop up the dictator General Francisco Franco and to foment civil and international war.
The Popular Front in France actually created the disastrous policy of "nonintervention" - the French left created it order to not intervene in the neighbouring Spanish Civil War. Nearly all of Europe signed up to diplomatically isolate and economically blockade the Spanish Republic. Indeed, Western Liberal Democracy wants to talk honestly about the Spanish Civil War as much as they want to they want to talk honestly the Paris Commune, 1848 or the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution.
In May 1936 what would become the final elections of the French 3rd Republic were held. Amid the Great Depression the centre-left and left finally won control of the government, with 60% of the vote, and via campaigns expressly against the unprecedented power of the historically-new banking oligarchy. In July the Spanish Civil War began, and despite massive French support for the Republican leftists France's allegedly left-wing government colluded with the British on the policy of non-intervention. Viewed from the new center of progressive politics - Moscow - the Popular Front's non-intervention confirmed to the USSR that Western Europe was never going to have a socialist revolution; that such an idea had been a fool's errand for over three decades; that Western Europe was going to side with fascism and go over to it, as Vichy France soon would. The USSR and Mexico would be the only nations to provide armed support to the Spanish Republic.
The Popular Front and Leon Blum, the first Socialist to be Prime Minister in France, would do a U-turn on the promised domestic reforms he was elected to implement. This is exactly what the Socialists François Mitterrand and François Hollande would do in 1983 and 2012, respectively. 1936 marks the point when Western leftists indisputably proved that they have abandoned Socialist Democracy in favor of Western Liberal Democracy - a fundamentally right-wing ideology rooted in monarchism, autocracy and oligarchy - and are thus right-wingers on the global political spectrum.
In April 1938 France's Popular Front collapsed after failure in almost every sense. Its colossal disappointment after such huge progressive excitement caused massive disillusionment and directly led to the establishment of fascism in France two years later. The Popular Front provided the death knell for Western Liberal Democracy. Rather it should have, but by 1946 fascists, royalists and Western Liberal Democrats would - to steal a phrase from Marx regarding a similar melding for all classes of wealth in the 19th century - "become bourgeois", i.e. all meld into one in order to stop Socialist Democracy.
This is where the West remains today.
They are totally against Socialist Democracy at home and abroad, and claiming Popular Fronts are needed to elect fake-leftist candidates who inevitably prove to be tools of long-running oligarchies.
In September 1938, now led by the Reformists (this is the most accurate term for the very misleadingly named "Radical Party" of France), the Munich Pact saw France stab the USSR in the back on the Franco-USSR pact of 1935, which stipulated joint military action against German belligerence. The Munich Betrayal, as it's also known, saw France and the United Kingdom collude with fascist Germany and Italy to hand a huge chunk of Czechoslovakia to Hitler. Instead of combatting Germany's war on Czechoslovakia the Popular Front preferred "appeasement" with fascism.
The collusion would continue: France and the UK recognised Franco in February 1939, even though he held just two-thirds of the country and not Madrid. (The army Franco originally led to start the war was the Spanish Army of Africa, based in Morocco. Much like France with Algeria in 1848, we see the pernicious domestic political effects of Europe's Old World imperialism once again.)
Because we have located the start of neoliberalism and European neo-imperialism with the Paris Commune we see how these collusions make sense: these are Western Liberal Democratic countries, thus run by an oligarchical elite, thus opposed to any socialist-inspired country. They will always wage war against socialistic ideas which oppose oligarchical Western liberalism which, thanks to the domination of the banker class by the start of the 20th century, is more "globalist" than inter-marrying monarchs ever were. Popular Fronts are inevitably proven to be useless - they are mere safety valves for genuine leftism.
By June 1939 national polls showed that 84% of Britain favored an Anglo-French-Soviet military alliance - Britain's Western Liberal Democratic politicians had no choice but to give the appearance of an effort. After six weeks of negotiations it became clear to Moscow that Britain's appallingly minor representations were not interested in any sort of alliance with Socialist Democracy.
Only two days after they left a German delegation arrived in Moscow and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (a non-aggression pact and not any sort of alliance) was concluded precisely because the USSR saw that Western Liberal Democracies would never allow peaceful relations with socialist-inspired systems. Just as the revolutionary Napoleon Bonaparte wasted time in a burnt-down Moscow trying to make peace with an autocrat who never wanted it, so the USSR wasted time trying to make peace with autocrats and oligarchs.
Yellow Vest: "What I want for Christmas is for the Yellow Vests to join France's social movements to stop Macron's neoliberalism. But it would be even better if the whole world would become Yellow Vests to stop the ravages of high finance and globalisation."
(Note: this book intersperses over 100 quotations taken from actual, marching Yellow Vests which were originally published in news reports on PressTV.)
Western leftists (mostly Trotskyists) howled that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a betrayal of leftist ideals. That's a stunningly opportunistic and hollow claim, considering just how much France's Popular Front and Western Liberal Democracies failed to defend Spain, and also how Western nations refused make peace with Moscow. Moscow had waited for 19 years for any other European country to turn socialist, but European progressive political thought was spent in Western Europe after 150 years.
Thus the USSR had given up, as it was clearly the eve of war. The Stalinists would certainly be proven right that fascism would sweep Germany, Austria, Spain and France - history clearly exonerates them, and indicts Western Liberal Democracy.
The USSR made a non-aggression pact with Germanic socialism because at the time so many assumed that fascism was going to fully replace totally discredited Western Liberal Democracies. That may seem hard to believe today, but the idea that Western Liberal Democracy was totally dead was a fundamental assumption of leftists, such as Trotsky.
It's vital to understand this proper timeline of European history leading up to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact because it is entirely in keeping with the overarching theme of European history since 1789: collusion by oligarchical elites to rule in autocratic fashion, and in order to suppress Socialist Democratic ideas.
Of course Western Liberal Democracy has always tried to obscure this history, and they still do: a resolution adopted by the European Union in 2019 stated that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact "paved the way for the outbreak of World War II", in a shameful rewriting of history. I don't expect the EU to pass resolutions for the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution, the failed Revolutions of 1848 or the Paris Commune anytime soon....
The West's elite is fighting for Western Liberal Democracy, and thus they do not permit honest discussion and honest critiques of Western Liberal Democracy. This explains why there is no admission regarding the historical reality that Nazism and 1930s European fascism won power precisely because so many people grasped that Western Liberal Democracy was nothing but awful oligarchy.
Denying this historical reality is why Western politics has stopped making sense to the average Westerner: They simply cannot understand what fascism was, what it is, or how it arose - it arose via fascism's successful, popular condemnation of Western Liberal Democracy.
The problem is that socialists don't stress this point enough, in their nonsensical fear of being seen as colluding with fascism.
Knowing what 'fascism' truly is, and why socialists shouldn't disavow it completely
Just as monarchy and feudalism was totally discredited to the average European by 1848, so Western Liberal Democracy and "debt feudalism/Bankocracy" was totally discredited by 1939.
This successful condemnation is why it's simply inaccurate and absurd to say things like the "Nazis had no socialism". To do so is tremendously counterproductive and simply false. Mussolini was the editor of Avanti!, the official voice of the Italian Socialist Party, and was once a leading Italian socialist. Socialists do not want to admit these things, but the failure caused by not explaining fascism's relationship with socialism is that we cannot understand Western political history if we relinquish the incredibly necessary democratic criticism of Western Liberal Democracy and "Capitalism With Western Characteristics" as evidenced by fascism's rise.
Hitler, reader of Marx, summed it up the initial similarities himself in 1922: Without his alleged "essential principle" - race - Nazism "would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground".
However, instead of dispossessing a noble class via class politics he dispossessed races to creat a new noble class... and that is not really socialism, nor anything advocated in Marxism.
Why should socialists fear admitting the Marxism in Germanic socialism? If they do it's probably because they seek the approval of Western Liberal Democrats. It's clear that by including race - this is... not truly Marxism or socialism, but something different.
Or when Hitler rejected the class struggle, vital to socialism, by saying: "There are no such things as classes: They cannot be. Class means caste and caste means race." Well, Nazism may include some Marxist analyses of political and economic historical development but this is... not really socialism, but something different.
Making an alliance with corporate powers, instead of appropriating from the greedy expropriators... this is not really socialism, either.
Choosing central guidance instead of central majority ownership... this is not really socialism.
Hitler was also the least internationalist politician you can think of - he totally rejected the internationalism of the class struggle and replaced it with a "community of the volk". He only wanted to protect Teutonic citizens in his all-Germanic nation.
We can go on and on pointing out these differences.
But the rejection of Western Liberal Democracy - due to its decades of failures by an oligarchical, corrupt, plutocratic leadership barely different from 18th century monarchy - that actually is the same as socialism. The rejection of Western Liberal Democratic economics - due to the decades of failures by free market capitalism (i.e. the economic component of liberalism) - that is the same as socialism.
The Western Liberal Democrats of today simply do not want to talk about their often democratic rejection by people who feel its failures intimately.
Yellow Vest: "Our media have lost all credibility. Everything that you see on the mainstream media, and all of their reporters are under the boot of the government. For them the Yellow Vests don't even exist anymore, on both the private and public stations.
So what was German National Socialism and Italian Fascism? It is socialism minus the hopeful egalitarianism and the internationalism, and replaced with pessimistic Darwinian elitism and racism. It's a right-wing socialism whose only virtue is that it openly opposes the rich-are-smarter-and-should-rule ideology of Western Liberal Democracy, which opposed most of the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte, won the counter-revolutions of 1848, laid the foundations of the neo-imperial European Union in 1871, colluded to create World War I in order to forestall socialist revolution and which was ruining society in the 1930s just as it does today.
But proponents of elites who rule through a Bankocracy don't want people to understand that fascism and Germanic National Socialism came to power by opposing the domination of international high finance and liberalism (whether "neo-", "ultra-" or sans-préfixe it's all the same: free markets, unregulated capitalism, rights only for those who can afford it), which forever is ultimately cover for an autocratic oligarchy.
So it can't be stressed enough: Socialism has nothing to fear from free, honest, patient examination of the Nazis' relationship with socialism. What needs to be rectified is the total disavowal of fascism which excludes its criticisms of Western Liberal Democracy.
However, Western Liberal Democracy has much to fear regarding true discussions of their relationship with the Nazis. They, over and over, allied with fascism against socialism in the 1930s; they colluded with the surviving Nazis and fascists after 1945; they encouraged 3rd-generation Nazis in places like Ukraine in the 21st century. Thus since the 1930s fascism and Western Liberal Democracy has been cooperating for more often than they have been fighting.
Where does fascism fit in the course of European economic development since 1492?
The fascists ultimately came to power by claiming they were different in their economic aims than Western Liberal Democrats.
By the turn of the 20th century industrialisation was no longer a novelty but the defining economic force. Landed wealth, Old World colonisation wealth, sea-trading wealth and mid-late 19th century industrial-financial wealth had been melded together into a banker-dominated financial system in which - of course - old money was predominant. The new banking system they created controlled the means of production and usuriously owned the land on which serfs recently lived. This is a clear timeline of economic history - it is not hard to understand, nor is it eternal.
Fascists promised to expropriate the wealth now held in the stewardship of banks and to do it via a new class - that of the magistrate; of individualist political power.
The word "fascism" stems from "fasces", which is a bundle of sticks wrapped together topped by an ax. It's originally an Etruscan symbol which symbolised the power of - not the people wrapped together - the magistrate. What was the magistrate in Rome? He was a high-ranking officer with both executive and judicial powers. Whatever the wealth or justice which Roman magistrates allowed to "trickle-down" was entirely up to them. It was an elitist, 1%-centered system and fascism's advance was (allegedly) making the 1% class open to competition (which they said begins in one's DNA) and cutting out the longtime aristocracy and new bankers. We see this is exactly like in Western Liberal Democracy today, and we now see why these two forces have allied together. The seal of the United States Senate, an aristocratic house of lords, features two crossed fasces.
Beyond autocratic powers for a non-monarchical elite, Western Liberal Democracy also mostly agreed with the key plank of the fascist's economic program. "Central planning" does exist in modern Western countries - it is based around the military. For example, in the United States their economy is guided by the Pentagon, the world's largest employer. The Pentagon hands out the fruits of their taxpayer-funded research to private companies; enriches their native bourgeoisie with hugely corrupt contracts; provides jobs for the masses terribly ineffectively; but it very effectively enriches their 1%.
Fascism was never for the people but dedicated to the power of those in power; for the status quo; for submission to essentially autocratic magistrates and politicians; against the redistribution of wealth and political power. It is only socialism which reduces the power of the magistrate, who makes him accountable and who improves the person of the magistrate by making sure he is not solely drawn from the elite, grasping class.
Fascism is different from the globalist class of Western Liberal Democracy by insisting on nationalist competition and national sovereignty. The arrival of the European Union, the euro and the Eurogroup, which will supersede national laws without any concern for ideals of democracy, will render these desires essentially irrelevant. The main sin of Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, or of Marine Le Pen, is that these two fascist politicians both seek to restore some aspects of national sovereignty.
Trotsky wrote: "Fascism, as we know, is born between the union of the despair of the middle-classes and the terrorist policy of big capital." Yet the West never takes a class view and elevates big capital to the status of demigods - this is why to them fascism must always be solely race-related and never economic-related. It's simply a half-truth, and not understanding and combating this dooms Western politics - and their own history - to total misunderstanding.
The 1% and their lackeys immediately called the Yellow Vests fascists because it was a union of the lower and middle classes - like in the Paris Commune it also included a union of the lower class and the proletariat with the petty bourgeois small shopkeeper.
Yellow Vest: "For 10 years we have only created instability. 75% of France has serious economic difficulties. We have closed hospitals, nurseries, schools - everything is being closed, and this can't go on!"
Due to there insistence on elitism, fascism could have only ever allied with Liberal Democracy - the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact is as far as it ever could have gone. However, if they had somehow allied with the USSR against Liberal Democracy what would they have permanently smashed? Answer: the Bankocracy which rules today.
It's vital to recognise that, because the current usage of "fascist" completely lacks this historical-economic component.
The fascism of the 2020s is even more right-wing than the fascism of the 1930s
Due to the refusal to honestly talk about fascism - on both the Western left and the Western right - Western politics today are simply a catastrophe of nonsense and misinformation.
Their lack of knowledge allows them to obscure the fact that modern Western "fascists" are even more right-wing than Hitler, who was quite reliant on the Marxist explanation of 19th century history and economics. However, the modern right wing has expunged Marxism, and thus they cannot be actual fascists. Racism and fascism cannot be mere synonyms for each other - unless the goal is to neuter them of all meaning.
Being more right-wing than Hitler... that seems like something which should be understood, no? However, Western Liberal Democracy doesn't want anything but propaganda regarding other systems and regarding its own failures and treasons.
The best term for today's alleged "fascists" would be "Nalis" - Nationalist Liberalists: they have all the jingoism, militarism, authoritarianism and imperialism of 1930s fascists but combine it with right-wing Liberalist political structures, economic inequality and historical analyses.
It's a simple and accurate political description, but only socialist-inspired countries which have fully rejected Western Liberal Democracy would ever apply the term "Nali": Just as uninformed socialists don't want to admit any ideological similarities with Nazism, so uninformed Western Liberal Democrats don't want to admit that they are actually fighting internecine wars with their "National Liberalist" brethren. The use of "Nazi" or "fascist" is a way to distance themselves from each other despite the obvious similarities between each other.
And what do Western Liberal Democrats care if calling far-right Ukrainians "Nazis" in 2022 unfairly tarnishes socialism and spreads misinformation - both wings of Liberalists (one nationalist, the other globalist) are united in their anti-socialism.
Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen are two example of open Nalis, but so are two enemies - Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky. The Russian military operation in Ukraine has been a catastrophe of misinformation on both sides regarding who is a "fascist" and who is a "liberal", and precisely because neither can admit that fascism and liberalism coincide and almost always ally, historically. Thus this battle between two Nali states is either a historical anomaly or, as I predict, Russia's invasion will mark a step away from their Nalism since 1991 and back towards Socialist Democracy. If Russia continues to insist that "Russophobia" totally equates with "Nazism", then this will herald their failure to return the fold of progressive politics.
In France, by 2017 the Great Financial Crisis - just the latest periodic failure of liberalism - had inflamed the masses too much for every single politician to ignore: Marine Le Pen thus dropped the Reaganism of her father and made it to the second round of the presidential election. She defended economic ideas which were both similar to the French left and to the Germanic National Socialists of the 1930s. In the 2022 campaign Le Pen reverted back to far-right economics, dropping all her promises for things like a "Frexit" vote within six months of election and for repudiating banker debt, yet the mainstream media called her "fascist" throughout the entire time.
The modern French and Western model was essentially created from 1928-1945, and what it took from fascism and Germanic National Socialism is that economic planning must be limited to the military, and that xenophobia, identity politics and security are spectacles just big enough to dominate the headlines, and thus to ignore liberalism's failures. To put it in 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour's terms: France's economic problem is Muslim welfare, not banker welfare. It's a pathetic intellectual analysis. When the unrest in Ukraine began France immediately realised that and Zemmour's popularity quickly halved.
Yellow Vest: "If you look around here you see people of all colours and religions. For me it goes beyond questions of origin - it's really a question of social justice, regardless of someone's ethnicity or religion."
During the 2022 campaign the convicted racist Zemmour said he was, "here to save the French people and France...not here to save the world." It's a telling, semi-messianic remark because it is truly straight out of Adolf Hitler's platform in the 1930s.
But such a comparison was never made by the mainstream media, and it could never be made. Many have heard of Godwin's Law, or the rule of Nazi analogies: an Internet adage asserting that as an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches. However, an important corollary is that whenever someone compares someone or something to Nazism - that person has lost the argument and/or the argument is summarily over.
Essentially, the world is to accept that all discussions of Western politics cannot discuss the anti-Western Liberalism ideology which was Germanic Nazism.
Thus it was impossible for them to accurately describe a 2022 French election where the four top candidates were all on the far-right - either economically, politically, culturally or all three. In the two-week interim between their two rounds of voting any criticism of Emmanuel Macron's record was immediately shouted down in the mainstream media as "support for fascism" - voters wondered which candidate they were referring to. The failure to delineate fascism from Western Liberal Democracy means that we also cannot understand where they have reconciled a century later, just as how liberalism and monarchy eventually reconciled.
The Western right is stuck in falsely believing that the right of 2020 is the same as in the 1930s, despite all the anti-racist gains made since then; the Western left is stuck in falsely believing that their "Popular Front" tactic is actual leftism, despite being neutered of Marxism and socialism. This is why Western versions of history and their political discourse today simply make no sense. It only makes sense if we remember that obscuring political truths is a hallmark of Western Liberal Democratic history, and thus their versions are not truthful nor complete at all.
Not wanting to accurately define fascism or liberalism, but certain in their rejection of Socialist Democracy, after the first round vote in 2022 all the losing candidates (except Zemmour) immediately called for a Popular Front against Le Pen, just as they did in 2017. What's vital and new is that the Yellow Vests empathically refused this form of class-collaborationism. The People's Front tactic must be seen for what it is: not an effort to fight fascism but as a way to cement fake-leftism.
Trotsky wrote: "The racists pillage the Marxist program, successfully transforming certain of its sections into an instrument of social demagogy. The 'Communists' (?) as a matter of fact refuse their own program, substituting for it the rotten refuse of reformism. Can one conceive of a more fraudulent bankruptcy?"
Trotsky wrote that in 1935 but anyone can see that this is where the West is stuck, still:
Racists reject certain sections of Western Liberal Democrat economics in order to preserve White citizens from the united Bankocrats, while left-wingers hysterically prop up right-leaning moderates who only seek to refine Liberalism into an ever-more unequal system. Can you conceive of a more fraudulent ideological bankruptcy than modern Western politics?
If "Nali" ever did catch on one thing is certain: it would be a huge improvement.
Upcoming chapter list of the brand-new content in France's Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West's Best Values. The book will also include previous writings from 2018 through the 2022 election in order to provide the most complete historical record of the Yellow Vests anywhere. What value!
Publication date: June 1, 2022.
Pre-orders of the paperback version will be available immediately.
Pre-orders of the Kindle version may be made here.
Pre-orders of the French paperback version will be available immediately.
Pre-orders of the French Kindle version may be made here.
Chapter List of the new content
- New book announcement - 'France's Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West's best values' - March 15, 2022
- Introduction: A Yellow Vests' history must rewrite both recent & past French history - March 20, 2022
- The UK's endless reaction: 1789 & feudalism's end creates modern conservatism - March 25, 2022
- Glorious Revolution of 1688: England declares 'death to all other revolutions' - March 29, 2022
- Modern political history makes no sense if Napoleon is not a leftist revolutionary - April 2, 2022
- The 'Counter-Revolutions of 1848' stillborn child: Western Liberal Democracy - April 7, 2022
- Louis-Napoleon: The revolutionary differences between Bonapartism & Western Liberal Democracy - April 11, 2022
- The Paris Commune: The true birth of neoliberalism and EU neo-imperialism - April 17, 2022
- Where the West is stuck: The fascism of the 1930s and the 'fascism' of the 2020s
- On 'Leon Trotsky on France' in order to reclaim Trotsky from Trotskyists
- The Yellow Vests' childhood: Seeing French elites, only, swayed by neoliberalism
- No one here is actually in charge: How the EU empire forced the Yellow Vests
- The radicalisation by Europe's ongoing Lost Decade: the Great Recession changes France
- To Yellow Vests he's the radical: Macron and 'Neither Right nor Left but the Bourgeois Bloc'
- Yellow Vests: At worst, the most important French movement for a century
- Who are they, really? Ask a reporter whose seen a million Yellow Vest faces
- Yellow Vest Win: Ending the West's slandering of all popular movements as far-right xenophobes
- Yellow Vest Win: The end of Western anarcho-syndicalism & unions as leftism's hereditary kings
- Yellow Vest Win: The end of Western parliamentarianism as the most progressive government
- Yellow Vest Win: Reminding us of the link between fascist violence & Western democracy
- What the Yellow Vests can be: a group which can protect liberalism's rights, at least
- The 2022 vote: The approach needed for 'Before'- what came 'After' polls closed
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ' Socialism's Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism' as well as ' I'll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China', which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.