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Constantin von Hoffmeister sheds light on the hypocrisy of Western leaders while questioning the narrative that portrays autocracy as inherently malevolent.

In what could only be described as a political play ripped straight from the theater of the absurd, President Joe Biden, with a level of audacity that could shock even the most cynical observers, has taken it upon himself to brand China’s President Xi Jinping as a “dictator.” For those keeping a keen eye on the shenanigans in the White House over the past few years, it would be understandable if they wondered whether this was Biden’s bizarre way of expressing self-irony.

At a fundraiser in California, Biden said, “The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment in it was he didn’t know it was there. That’s a great embarrassment for dictators. When they didn’t know what happened. That wasn’t supposed to be going where it was. It was blown off course.”

In recent times, Joe Biden, the Democratic leader, has exhibited qualities that bear a striking resemblance to those of a despotic ruler, rather than embodying the ideals of a leader in the “free world” as he and his liberal supporters proclaim. In a dogged pursuit reminiscent of witch hunts from darker times, Biden has locked his sights on former President Trump. The charges? Allegedly “mishandling classified documents” – a claim that, if true, could spell severe consequences for Trump. The irony is as thick as pea soup; these are the same charges that have been leveled against Biden himself.

In a shocking political move that can only be compared to a sinister plot from some dystopian narrative, Biden is audaciously exploiting the very pillars of American justice as weaponry for his vendettas. It is a blatant misuse of the gears of justice, which are now being cranked and manipulated to bulldoze his political opponents. The noise of autocracy is deafening in this startling performance. This is not a scene playing out in some remote dictatorship but a spectacle unfolding on American soil. It is as though Biden has thrown open his wardrobe, revealing a black pot, only to point an accusing finger at a similar kettle halfway across the world. A nauseating display of hypocrisy, indeed.

In essence, Aurelius’ reign challenges the modern narrative of autocracy and serves as a compelling example of how absolute power, infused with wisdom and benevolence, can engineer eras of unparalleled progress.

Yet, what adds an extra layer of perplexity to this already convoluted situation is Biden’s open contempt for dictatorships. Does the Democratic leader conveniently overlook the lessons of history, where autocratic rule often had a different complexion? Throughout much of Europe’s rich history, the sway of monarchs and emperors was the norm, many of whom wielded absolute power. However, contrary to prevailing narratives, these historical figures were not the despots that contemporary accounts might paint them to be. Instead, they were often enlightened rulers who steered their realms towards prosperity, fostering cultural growth and maintaining societal stability. To dismiss their achievements in light of modern biases is to disregard the complex layers of history and overlook the potential merits that certain forms of autocratic rule have brought to nations.

Embarking on a historical voyage, we encounter the illustrious figure of Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor of the mighty Roman Empire. A far cry from the brutal stereotype we often associate with dictators, Aurelius etched his legacy in the sands of time as a beacon of enlightened leadership. A devoted practitioner of Stoicism, his reign was an embodiment of mindfulness, resilience, and virtue, ushering in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity in the empire. His thoughts, captured in his magnum opus Meditations, continue to inspire and influence thinkers and leaders even today, making him as much a sage as a sovereign. Aurelius was not merely a philosophical king, though. His social policies, including support for orphans and underprivileged children, and efforts to secure Rome’s food and water supply, showcased his compassionate governance. His reign also saw the rise of impressive architectural feats and the bolstering of military defenses along the Danube River, reflective of a strategic ruler who prioritized internal consolidation over-aggressive expansion. In essence, Aurelius’ reign challenges the modern narrative of autocracy and serves as a compelling example of how absolute power, infused with wisdom and benevolence, can engineer eras of unparalleled progress. It is a history lesson our leaders today, quick to decry autocracy, ought to take to heart.

Flashing forward in history, we cross paths with Frederick the Great of Prussia, a beacon of enlightenment whose reign blasted through the typical oppressive mold of a dictator. Under Frederick’s unchallenged authority, Prussia saw a cultural renaissance, his own passions as a flutist and art patron inspiring a flourishing of the arts. He masterfully redesigned the political landscape, ushering in a modernized bureaucracy and civil service, transforming Prussia into a formidable European power. His judicial overhauls, including the groundbreaking abolition of torture and the radical concept that even the “king is subject to the law,” metamorphosed the legal machinery into a truly people-centric system. This ruler, affectionately dubbed “der alte Fritz” (Old Fritz) by his people, was not a distant figure on a lofty throne but a hands-on leader who won his subjects’ hearts even as he held absolute power. In today’s world, where political rhetoric often eclipses action, our leaders would do well to study figures like Frederick. Instead of persisting in a dance of democratic theatrics, they should strive to mirror Frederick’s tangible progress over political playacting.

Let us hark back to another towering figure who scoffed at the conventional image of the heartless tyrant, none other than the French colossus himself – Napoleon Bonaparte. Though he held the reins of absolute power, Napoleon was far from the despotic caricature that many would have us believe. Under his strong rule, he rolled out a host of revolutionary legal reforms encapsulated in the Napoleonic Code, dramatically reshaping the legal landscape, not just in France, but influencing laws across continents. But his revolutionary zeal did not stop there. He spearheaded a comprehensive modernization of the banking system, laying the foundations for fiscal stability and growth. Beyond the hard numbers of finance and law, Napoleon also championed the cause of education and the arts, nurturing the flames of French culture. Yes, he ruled with an iron fist, but his reign heralded a wave of progress that catapulted France into the modern era. So, when our own leaders wag their fingers at supposed autocrats abroad, they would do well to remember that the waters of history are far more complex and richly layered than their facile narrative would suggest.

The pages of European history are peppered with such examples. These were rulers who, while technically dictators, used their absolute power to effect positive change for their people. They created societies that flourished under their rule, challenging the notion that autocracy is, by default, a malevolent form of governance.

So as President Biden stands on his soapbox, condemning perceived autocratic tendencies in distant lands, he may need to take a closer look at his own actions. For it seems that while he preaches democracy, he practices a form of governance that is closer to autocracy and not the good kind.

In the liberal echo chamber, the constant refrain is the condemnation of dynastic rule as seen in dictatorships like that of North Korea’s Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Yet, these same individuals often turn a blind eye to the glaring signs of nepotism flowering in the United States, a supposed bastion of democracy and meritocracy. Consider this: among the wide expanse of 335 million American citizens, we somehow ended up with a scenario where a president is the son of a former president. We are talking about the Bush dynasty: George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush. Liberals, in their crusade against autocracy, conveniently overlook the glaringly autocratic shadow that looms over this presidential lineage. How can it be that in such a diverse, populous nation, the reins of power are handed down like a family heirloom?

It seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree, and accusations of favoritism and entitlement reverberate not only in presidential campaigns but also within the very heart of the Biden dynasty itself.

Additionally, let us not forget the Clinton saga – another glaring display of American nepotism on the grandest stage. Bill Clinton, a former president, and his wife, Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate. One might question the odds that in a country teeming with talented, qualified individuals, the spouse of a former president becomes the chosen candidate for the highest office in the land. The irony of it all is almost laughable. Liberals decry the dynastic succession in dictatorships while seemingly endorsing a similar phenomenon in their own backyard. The sounds of nepotism ring loud and clear in the history of American politics, a troubling contradiction in a nation that prides itself on its “democratic values.” So, the next time liberals lament the supposed hereditary nature of dictatorships, perhaps they should take a hard look at the familial dynasties they have helped cultivate on their own soil.

Amidst the tangled web of political hypocrisy and power dynamics, one cannot overlook the glaring example of nepotism within the Biden family itself.  Take, for instance, Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, whose controversial dealings have raised serious questions about the family’s ethical conduct. From his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, despite having no expertise in the industry, to his questionable financial transactions and potential conflicts of interest, the shadows cast over Hunter’s business ventures have called into question the integrity of the Biden clan. And let us not forget Beau Biden, Joe Biden’s late son, who served as Delaware’s attorney general and raised eyebrows with his cozy relationship with certain political elites. It seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree, and accusations of favoritism and entitlement reverberate not only in presidential campaigns but also within the very heart of the Biden dynasty itself.

You will also often hear the claim that dictatorships offer no possibility of change. The argument goes that democracies, with their routine elections, allow people to vote out ineffective or unpopular leaders. However, peel back the glossy veneer of this argument, and you will discover the harsh truth: elections are often nothing more than an illusion of choice.

Here is the reality: you vote out one system-backed party, only for another to take its place. The players might change, but the game stays the same. The policies, the backroom dealings, the silent acquiescence to the status quo – it all continues under a different banner. Is this the “choice” that liberals celebrate?

Take Germany, for example. Genuine opposition, like the patriotic party Alternative for Germany (AfD), faces an uphill battle. It is not just fighting other political parties; it is up against a concerted media campaign designed to tarnish its image and undermine its credibility. Call it what it is: propaganda and brainwashing on a grand scale, designed to suppress any threat to the status quo.

The hypocrisy of the West’s complaints about the so-called lack of freedom of speech in dictatorships is nothing short of astounding. While they accuse others, Western Europe is suffocating under the weight of stifling political correctness, where individuals are persecuted and imprisoned for merely expressing their opinions, deemed as “hate speech” or other ludicrous allegations. In America, one might argue that free expression is legally protected, but the reality is a far cry from that ideal. Social media platforms have become the new gatekeepers of public discourse, wielding their power to deplatform individuals who dare to voice dissenting opinions, effectively silencing them. And let us not forget the stranglehold of Amazon, a monopolistic behemoth, which unabashedly bans books left and right, censoring ideas that challenge the prevailing narrative. The so-called champions of free speech in the West have become nothing more than hypocritical censors, stifling the very values they claim to uphold.

So, the next time liberals wax eloquent about the opportunities for change in a democracy, ask them about the illusion of choice, the suppression of real opposition, and the jailing of dissidents. There is more to democracy than meets the eye, and it is high time we all recognized that.

From pushing for more military aid to Israel to driving a hardline stance against Iran, AIPAC’s fingerprints are all over US foreign policy in the Middle East.

In the land of the free, where democracy is touted as the golden standard, the power of lobby groups lurks like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Under the guise of representing interests, these groups wield an uncanny amount of influence over American politics. They grease the wheels with extravagant campaign donations, all the while dictating the political agenda with their campaign donations. What is this if not legalized corruption? So much for the liberal notion of “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Instead, it is a “government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists.” With every campaign dollar, they buy influence, shape policies, and, quite frankly, make a mockery of the democratic process. Amidst all their self-righteous rhetoric, liberals conveniently overlook this glaring blot on the democratic landscape. It is time to pull back the curtain on this shadow play and expose the charade for what it is.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is a case in point. This seemingly invincible group, with its deep pockets and sprawling network, has been successfully dictating the course of American-Israeli relations for decades. From pushing for more military aid to Israel to driving a hardline stance against Iran, AIPAC’s fingerprints are all over US foreign policy in the Middle East. Critics argue that this stranglehold undermines the democratic principle of representing the diverse interests of the American people, instead promoting a skewed policy that does not align with America’s best interests. The question that remains, then, is why should a single lobbying group have such an unbalanced influence over America’s foreign policy, and when will Americans start prioritizing the national interest over special interests?

In the final analysis, it is clear that democracy, for all its superficial charm, is far from the utopia it is often made out to be. Beneath the surface of choice and freedom, we find a register of nepotism, manipulation, and legalized corruption, where real power resides not with the people but with the political elite and their wealthy puppeteers. The illusion of choice is perpetuated by a system designed to keep the status quo intact, suppressing any attempt at genuine opposition. Critics of dictatorships should perhaps turn a more discerning eye toward their own democracies. The message is clear: do not be quick to condemn a system you do not fully understand, especially when your own house is far from being in order. As we navigate the murky waters of modern politics, let us strive for a balanced perspective, recognizing that every form of governance has its strengths and flaws. Ultimately, the test of a leader’s worth is not in the title he holds, but in the progress he ensures and the prosperity he brings to his people. Be it democracy or dictatorship, let us demand nothing less than that.

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Constantin von Hoffmeister

Constantin von Hoffmeister studied English Literature and Political Science in New Orleans. He has worked as an author, journalist, translator, editor and business trainer in India, Uzbekistan and Russia. You can subscribe to his newsletter here: https://eurosiberia.substack.com

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Atlantean
Member
8 months ago

The America which had some positive contributions to the world: rugged individualism, free speech, and the defense of the right for normal citizens to have arms, is now basically a thing of the past. Very sad, but without these factors adding to its human potential, it seems the American experience is in a freefall. The Empire is dying. Biden calling Xi what we himself aspires to be is just the latest example of its hypocrisy on full display.

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