How Capitalists Overthrow Governments

hammer and dollarGrowing up in the fifties and sixties we generally heard the phrase “overthrow the government” linked with communists.  That’s so ancient history!  In more recent times we’ve seen a white guy be the best rapper and a black guy the best golfer, and now the capitalists are the best at overthrowing governments.  The capitalists overthrew the governments of the Soviet Union and of China, and they’ve done it in any number of Third World countries, from Chile and Honduras to Yugoslavia and Libya, among others.  The communists are like not even in the game any more.

A current case study is the Ukraine.  The Yanukovich government there won the 2012 elections fair and square.  True, it was a rotten crew of thieves, but it was the crew of thieves the people of the Ukraine elected in preference to the rotten crew of thieves who formed the opposition.  My fellow Americans, let’s not get on too a high a horse about that.  The guy who is now in power, Yatsenyuk (“Yats”), came in a distant third in a poll early in February and could never win an election.  Nevertheless, today he’s the head of the Kiev government.

How did that happen?  The full story will take years to unravel, but journalist Steve Weissman has dug up a lot of gory detail in an article at  Titled “Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev,” this extensive piece of investigative journalism names names and follows the money.  The State Department and the CIA through their many front groups (NGOs) and fellow travelers, along with rich American individuals, subsidized the key players of the Ukrainian opposition, called most of the shots, and, above all, engineered the installation of their guy Yats.

A key point is that under the banner of “freedom of the press,” the Ukrainian opposition promoted a political program that was literally paid for by foreign interests.  As Weissman points out, US money bought the TV equipment and other technology, and helped support the key players.

There’s been a lot of this kind of work — capitalists engineering the overthrow of elected governments — and we really ought to have a field manual of how they do it.  A “What Is To Be Done” of capitalist Leninism.  (Maybe there is one already but I’m not aware of it.)  It seems to me that if communism is ever going to get back in the game and reclaim some street cred when it comes to overthrowing governments, this playbook has got to be studied and absorbed.

Kudos to journalist Steve Weissman for this initial article.  There’s more Ukraine dirt yet to be dug up and he’s working on it.  I’m particularly glad to see it because, if it’s the same Steve Weissman, we were briefly roommates in San Francisco many years ago and worked together on power structure research as part of a student project near the Stanford campus.  He’s working on a book about big money and the corporate state.

P.S.  I can’t help calling it “the Ukraine.”  Old habits die hard.  When did the “the” drop out?  And why is it “the Bronx” but not “the Brooklyn”?  I’m an English learner so linguistic puzzles like that catch my eye.

Leave a Reply