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Economic nationalism

News Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Recommended Links Tucker Carlson rejection  of neoliberalism Non-Interventionism Anti-globalization movement US anti war movement Bannonnism -- the US flavor of economic nationalism
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American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Merchants of Debt Greece debt enslavement Ukraine debt enslavement The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism Neoliberalism and Christianity IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Wolfowitz Doctrine
Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism National Security State Anatol Leiven on American Messianism The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Machiavellism    
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Eroding Western living standards     Philippics  John Kenneth Galbraith Humor Etc
 
The populist ethno-nationalists in the Trump White House do not believe in this order. Their critique — which is simultaneously moral, religious, economic, political and racial — is nicely summarized in the remarks Steve Bannon made to a Vatican conference in 2014.

Once there was a collection of Judeo-Christian nation-states, Bannon argued, that practiced a humane form of biblical capitalism and fostered culturally coherent communities. But in the past few decades, the party of Davos — with its globalism, relativism, pluralism and diversity — has sapped away the moral foundations of this Judeo-Christian way of life.

Humane capitalism has been replaced by the savage capitalism that brought us the financial crisis. National democracy has been replaced by a crony-capitalist network of global elites. Traditional virtue has been replaced by abortion and gay marriage. Sovereign nation-states are being replaced by hapless multilateral organizations like the E.U.

Bannon Versus Trump - The New York Times

“I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Is this what got Donald Trump elected? Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's selection for White House chief strategist, says he's an "economic nationalist". Unlike most nationalists he rejects enthonationalism and rasism. In this sense he is closer to "cultural nationalists". For Bannon Us citizenship is defining feature of "belonging to the club". 

For approximately half a year Bannon was the "Make America Great Again" guy in the White House. Then he was ousted by MIC wing of Trump cabinet. 

Economic nationalism includes some key populist ideas:  Jobs, jobs, jobs,  infrastructure investments, immigration limits, rejection of neoliberal globalization (which paradoxically included taxing transnationals).

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bannon, a former Breitbart News executive, cast himself as an opponent of "globalism" -- including free trade deals. 

"And I have admired nationalist movements throughout the world, have said repeatedly strong nations make great neighbors. I've also said repeatedly that the ethno-nationalist movement, prominent in Europe, will change over time. I've never been a supporter of ethno-nationalism."

Bannon has been a target of Democratic criticism since his selection by Trump. Many liberals have pointed to incendiary Breitbart headlines -- items that mock "trannies," labeled Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol a "renegade Jew" and more -- in urging Trump to cut ties with Bannon.  He  ismissed that criticism, casting it as disappointment from Democrats who expected Trump to lose. "They were ready to coronate Hillary Clinton. That didn't happen, and I'm one of the reasons why. So, by the way, I wear these attacks as an emblem of pride," he said.

He also cast Breitbart as "edgy" but "vibrant," and said, "Our definition of the alt-right is younger people who are anti-globalists, very nationalist, terribly anti-establishment."

From Wikipedia

Economic nationalism refers to an ideology favoring policies that emphasize domestic control of the economy, labor, and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labor, goods and capital. In many cases, economic nationalists oppose globalization or at least question the benefits of unrestricted free trade. Economic nationalism may include such doctrines as protectionism, mercantilism, or import substitution.

U.S. Trade Balance (1895–2015)

Governments have traditionally had a strong interest in preserving their economic, and therefore political, strength, and have therefore sought to use the tools at their disposal, particularly tax structure and discretionary spending, to stimulate economic growth. This was especially true when warfare was endemic in the early-modern period: a strong economy often meant the difference between political independence, and conquest by a foreign power. This resulted in the economic system generally known as mercantilism.
The Italian City State of Venice designed its whole economy around expanding its national power. For example, Venice mandated that all trade carried on Venetian ships must stop in Venice, regardless of its origin and destination. This guaranteed Venice a bigger share of any profits made in the spice trade. Although this was less economically efficient, the cost was passed onto consumers, while Venice benefited from its position as middleman. Venice also only imported raw materials, leaving the refining and processing to be done by Venetian craftsmen. The success of this strategy was noted by a prominent Venetian businessman:


Nothing is better to increase and enrich the condition of our city than to give all liberty and occasion that commodities of our city be brought here and procured here rather than elsewhere, because this results in advantage both to the state and to private persons.[1]
Great Britain pursued economically nationalistic policies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The two pillars of its economic strategy were: (1) high tariff rates and (2) acquiring new markets for its products. In the mid-1700s, the average tariff rate in Britain was 30%, by the 1820s it had grown to 57%.[2] This shut out foreign manufactured goods from British markets, and was one of the primary conditions enabling the Industrial Revolution.
Canada also practiced economic nationalism known as the National Policy Conservative governments in Canada, such as those of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Robert Borden, R. B. Bennett, and John Diefenbaker, were known for supporting an active role for government in the economy of the creation of government-operated businesses (early Crown Corporations such as the Canadian National Railway) to develop and protect Canadian industries, protectionist programs such as the National Policy. It lasted from 1879 until sometime in early 1950s.

Modern examples

Examples of this include Henry Clay's American System, French Dirigisme, Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

As a policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes, the following list of would be examples of an economic nationalistic policy, were there a consistent and rational doctrine associated with each individual protectionist measure:

The reason for a policy of economic protectionism in the cases above varied from bid to bid, In the case of Mittal's bid for Arcelor, the primary concerns involved job security for the Arcelor employees based in France and Luxembourg. The cases of French Suez and Spanish Endesa involved the desire for respective European governments to create a 'national champion' capable of competing at both a European and global level. Both the French and US government used national security as the reason for opposing takeovers of Danone, Unocal, and the bid by DP World for 6 US ports. In none of the examples given above was the original bid deemed to be against the interests of competition. In many cases the shareholders supported the foreign bid. For instance in France after the bid for Suez by Enel was counteracted by the French public energy and gas company Gaz De France the shareholders of Suez complained and the unions of Gaz De France were in an uproar because of the privatization of their jobs.

Trumponomics

More recently, the emergence of Trumponomics in the United States in the wake of the United States presidential election, 2016 was considered by some as a (partial) return to the economic nationalism of the Theodore Roosevelt Era.[14]

Economic patriotism

Economic patriotism is the coordinated and promoted behaviour of consumers or companies (both private and public) that consists of favoring the goods or services produced in their country or in their group of countries. Economic patriotism can be practiced either through demand stimulation (encouraging consumers to purchase the goods and services of their own country) or through supply protection, the shielding of the domestic market from foreign competition through tariffs or quotas (protectionism). A recently emerging form of economic patriotism is financial protectionism, the hostility against acquisitions by foreign groups of companies considered of "strategic value"[15] for the economy of the country.

Objectives

The objective is to support economic activity and promote social cohesion. The supporters of economic patriotism describe it as a kind of self-defence of local economic interests (national or supranational in case of the countries of the European Union). Some manifestations of economic patriotism are attempts to block foreign competition or acquisitions of domestic companies. An often cited example is France, where economic patriotism was the main rationale used in the Pepsico-Danone, Mittal-Arcelor, and GDF-Suez affairs.

In the United States, an example of economic patriotism would be the numerous bumper stickers: "Be American, Buy American".

Criticism

Consumer preference for local goods gives local producers more market power, affording them the ability to lift prices to extract greater profits. Firms that produce locally produced goods can charge a premium for that good. Consumers who favor products by local producers may end up being exploited by profit-maximizing local producers.[16] For example; a protectionist policy in America placed tariffs on foreign cars, giving local producers (Ford and GM market) market power that allowed them to raise the price of cars, which negatively affected American consumers who faced fewer choices and higher prices.[17]

Locally produced goods can attract a premium if consumers show a preference towards it, so firms have an incentive to pass foreign goods off as local goods if foreign goods have cheaper costs of production than local goods.[16] This is a viable strategy because the line between foreign-made and locally-made is blurry. However, as supply chains expand globally, the definition of local goods becomes hazy. For example, while a particular car may be assembled in America, its engine may be made in another country such as China. Furthermore, while the engine may be made in China, the engine's components may be imported from several other countries: the pistons may come from Germany and the spark plugs may come from Mexico. The components that make up the spark plugs and pistons may come from different countries and so on.

Bannon Versus Trump - The New York Times

The populist ethno-nationalists in the Trump White House do not believe in this order. Their critique — which is simultaneously moral, religious, economic, political and racial — is nicely summarized in the remarks Steve Bannon made to a Vatican conference in 2014.

Once there was a collection of Judeo-Christian nation-states, Bannon argued, that practiced a humane form of biblical capitalism and fostered culturally coherent communities. But in the past few decades, the party of Davos — with its globalism, relativism, pluralism and diversity — has sapped away the moral foundations of this Judeo-Christian way of life.

Humane capitalism has been replaced by the savage capitalism that brought us the financial crisis. National democracy has been replaced by a crony-capitalist network of global elites. Traditional virtue has been replaced by abortion and gay marriage. Sovereign nation-states are being replaced by hapless multilateral organizations like the E.U.

Decadent and enervated, the West lies vulnerable in the face of a confident and convicted Islamofascism, which is the cosmic threat of our time.

In this view, Putin is a valuable ally precisely because he also seeks to replace the multiracial, multilingual global order with strong nation-states. Putin ardently defends traditional values. He knows how to take the fight to radical Islam.

It’s actually interesting to read Donald Trump’s ideologist, Bannon, next to Putin’s ideologist Alexander Dugin. It’s like going back to the 20th century and reading two versions of Marxism.

One is American Christian and the other orthodox Russian, but both have grandiose, sweeping theories of world history, both believe we’re in an apocalyptic clash of civilizations, both seamlessly combine economic, moral and political analysis. Both self-consciously see themselves as part of a loosely affiliated international populist movement, including the National Front in France, Nigel Farage in Britain and many others. Dugin wrote positively about Trump last winter, and Bannon referred to Dugin in his Vatican remarks.

“We must create strategic alliances to overthrow the present order of things,” Dugin has written, “of which the core could be described as human rights, anti-hierarchy and political correctness — everything that is the face of the Beast, the Antichrist.”

“We, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what [Putin] is talking about as far as traditionalism goes,” Bannon said, “particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”

Last week’s intelligence report on Russian hacking brought the Republican regulars, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, into direct conflict with the ethno-nationalist populists. Trump planted himself firmly in the latter camp, and dragged Fox News and a surprising number of congressional Republicans with him.

If Trump were as effective as Putin, we’d probably see a radical shift in American grand strategy, a shift away from the postwar global consensus and toward an alliance with various right-wing populist movements simmering around the globe.

But Trump is no Putin. Putin is theological and cynical, disciplined and calculating, experienced and knowledgeable. When Bannon, Michael Flynn and others try to make Trump into a revolutionary foreign policy president, they will be taking on the entire foreign policy establishment under a leader who may sympathize with them, but is inattentive, unpredictable and basically uninterested in anything but his own status at the moment.

I’m personally betting the foreign policy apparatus, including the secretaries of state and defense, will grind down the populists around Trump. Frictions will explode within the insanely confusing lines of authority in the White House. Trump will find he likes hanging around the global establishment the way he liked having the Clintons at his wedding. In office he won’t be able to fixate on ISIS but will face a blizzard of problems, and thus be dependent on the established institutions.


Garrett Lin, Florida January 10, 2017

Taking Bannon at his word in interviews, his goal for the GOP is not to build a party of 'ethno-nationalism,' but one of 'economic nationalism,' (read: globally competitive nationalism) rooted in robust economic growth for all Americans--a true populism inclusive of Americans of all 'identities,' all of whom, in fact, have a vested interest that the US maintain geopolitical strength enough to match the manufacturing base of China.

Bannon's "Judeo-Christian West," can be read separately from his 'American Nationalism,' but they are not entirely exclusive. Bannon knows the US Constitution was a development of Enlightenment-era ideals of Protestant Western nations, and thus, all Americans who live under this document do, indeed, share in the heritage of the US as a nation of Western society. That is the connection. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

If Bannon intended to build some sort of (implicitly white) 'ethno-nationalism,' would his campaign have scheduled the 'Hindu-Americans for Trump' event, which took place last October, as an example? I think not.

Bannon knows who his audience is. He knows how that provocative headlines raise the hair of moralist puritans. Of course he knows to emphasize the 'Judeo-Christian' West when addressing the Vatican. And indeed he also knows that running the United States of America is different than delivering a keynote to a few priests.

Nothing at all to do with petty value judgments, the relative morality of capitalism, etc.


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[May 07, 2019] Bannon We're In An Economic War With China. It's Futile To Compromise by Stephen K. Bannon

Bannon is really weak. this is the logic of neoliberal that raised China: cheap labor attracts multinationals like honey attracts flies.
May 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Written by Stephen K. Bannon via the Washington Post

Stephen K. Bannon served as chief strategist for President Trump from January 2017 to August 2017.

Getting tough with China to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States was the linchpin of President Trump's electoral march through the Rust Belt during his 2016 victory. Today, the goal of the radical cadre running China -- the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) -- is to be the global hegemonic power. The president's threatened tariffs on Sunday demonstrate the severity of this threat. But as Washington and Beijing wrap up months of negotiations on a trade deal this month, whatever emerges won't be a trade deal. It will be a temporary truce in a years-long economic and strategic war with China.

These are six "understandings" that highlight why it is futile to compromise with this regime.

The first understanding : The CCP has been waging economic war against industrial democracies ever since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and now China has emerged as the greatest economic and national security threat the United States has ever faced.

As a framework for the current trade talks, China must agree to end forced technology transfers; intellectual property theft; cyberintrusions into business networks; currency manipulation; high tariff and nontariff barriers; and unfair subsidies to state-owned enterprises. However, if the CCP agrees to the United States' demands in an enforceable manner, it would amount to a legal and regulatory dismantling of Chinese state capitalism.

The second understanding : The trade deal under negotiation this month is not a deal between two similar systems seeking closer ties, as its cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the media and academia argue. Rather, this is a fundamental clash between two radically different economic models.

The best U.S. result is a detailed document in which China renounces its predatory, confiscatory and mercantilist practices while providing ample means to monitor and promptly enforce the agreement.

The best CCP result is to get the tariffs lifted by filing reams of paper with false, unenforceable promises that will allow it to run out the clock on the Trump administration and hope for a less antagonistic Democratic alternative.

The third understanding : Chinese state capitalism is highly profitable for its owners -- the members of the CCP. Stagnant state-owned enterprises gain a competitive edge through massive government subsidies and the cost savings won by stealing the intellectual property, technology and innovations of foreigners.

If China halted such grand theft, its enterprises would be rapidly outcompeted by the Germans, South Koreans, Japanese and especially the United States.

This fact explains much about internal Chinese politics today. President Xi Jinping faces a palace sharply divided between reformers led by chief trade negotiator Liu He and a swarm of hawks who have profited and gained power from the status quo. Within China itself, it is both gallows humor and even money as to whether Liu He will be celebrated as the next Deng Xiaoping or end up in a Chinese gulag.

The fourth understanding : Trump advisers inside and outside the White House are playing on the president's well-earned pride in a rising stock market and a fear he might lose the Farm Belt to try to box him into a weak deal. But it is a decidedly false narrative that any failure to reach a deal will lead to a market meltdown and economic implosion.

In fact, there is no better argument for Trump keeping his bold tariffs on China than the latest report that the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter .

Anything less than a great deal will subject the president to relentless criticism from the Charles E. Schumer and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party. In addition, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) might use it to get to the right of Trump on China -- potentially setting up a later primary challenge. For these reasons, the president's best political option is not to surrender, but rather, to double down on the tariffs -- they have been highly effective in pressuring the Chinese without harming the U.S. economy.

The fifth understanding : Even the toughest agreement needs effective monitoring, which is difficult even with accommodating partners and perhaps impossible with China. The danger is for the president to sign what appears to be a reasonable deal and find out several years later that the United States was hoodwinked.

The United States failed to adequately monitor China's entry into the WTO in 2001. Instead of access to a billion Chinese consumers, the United States lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

The sixth understanding : The world now bears witness to a rapidly militarizing totalitarian state imprisoning millions in work camps; persecuting Uighurs, Christians and Buddhists; and spying on, and enslaving, its own population.

This is history in real time; and the world is a house divided -- half slave, half free. Trump and Xi are facing off to tip the scales in one direction or the other. One way leads to the benefits of freedom, democracy and free-market capitalism. The other leads to a totalitarian and mercantilist power run on state capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

The United States' fight is not with the Chinese people but with the CCP. The Chinese people are the first and continuous victims of this barbarous regime.

The central issues that must be faced are China's intentions on the world stage and what those ambitions mean for U.S. prosperity. With our country at a crossroads, it is more important than ever that Trump follow his instincts and not soften his stance against the greatest existential threat ever faced by the United States.


TheRapture , 7 minutes ago link

I expected better from Bannon . . .

1. China must agree to end forced technology transfers; intellectual property theft; cyberintrusions into business networks; currency manipulation; high tariff and nontariff barriers; and unfair subsidies to state-owned enterprises.

In the good 'ol USA, we refer to this as "corporate welfare", direct federal subsidies (eg farm subsidies), MIC and government 'no-bid defense' contract, oil depletion allowance, tax credits and other tax incentives such as accelerated depreciation, dividend tax, Advanced Technology Program, federal land giveways, local & state land & tax "incentive" giveways, carried interest, welfare and food stamp costs paid to employees of companies like Walmart and McDonalds (because employee wages for full time employment fall below poverty level), the clunker auto subsidy program to bail out US auto companies, the mortgage interest deduction, and more. The cherry on top is, of course, the trillions of dollars in TARP and QE given to giant banks to bail out Wall Street.

For all the hot air, it appears that reciprocity is not really what Steve has in mind.

2. The best U.S. result is a detailed document in which China renounces its predatory, confiscatory and mercantilist practices while providing ample means to monitor and promptly enforce the agreement.

Steve? Steve?? Are you aware that the U.S. is currently trying to economically strangle countries all over the world with economic sanctions? Venezuela. Cuba. Syria. Iran. Russia.North Korea. Lebanon. Yemen. And if economic sanctions don't work, we bomb them. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. Syria.

3. by stealing the intellectual property, technology and innovations of foreigners.

Libya's gold "disappeared". As did much of Iraq's gold. And the Bank of England, citing U.S. sanctions as its legal fig leaf, confiscated $1.2 billion of Venezuelan gold. As to stealing technology, no one does it better than Uncle Same: Vault 7 and Stuxnet are prime examples of US spying on foreign technology companies.

4. But it is a decidedly false narrative that any failure to reach a deal will lead to a market meltdown and economic implosion.

I dunno. I'm hearing a lot of very unhappy muttering in the rural Midwest, where I live. I think we're facing the very real possibility of a large-scale Trumpian economic disaster, due to his trade war, negative trending macoeconomic indicators, the unbelievable Trumpian debt (the biggest debt in the history of the galaxy, putting Obama and Bush Jr., and even WWII debt to shame), and the looming loss of the dollar's world reserve currency status. Toss in a global recession, to boot. This feels like "implosion" to me.

5. Instead of access to a billion Chinese consumers, the United States lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

Typical capitalist hypocrisy. We demand free markets for other people. Never for ourselves. Many American companies have been doing fine selling to "a billion Chinese consumers". The problem is, Americans participating in the free market often choose Chinese goods.

Not only are you full of hot air, Steve-- you and Bolton and the rest of Trump's Israel-first neocon apologists are effectively destroying our economy and our country. When the very likely "implosion" does occur, watch the rats (hate to use that metaphor, since the lowest mangy flea-bitten rat is better than any neocon) scurry for the exits, blaming everyone but themselves.

Who is Steve Bannon going to blame? Ocasio-Cortez, who else?

Let it Go , 7 minutes ago link

Understanding the core nature of China is important to comprehend the lack of flexibility ingrained in their system. This comes in the ideology that directs its actions. China is still very much a communist country, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls everything. While it may appear both State-owned and private firms operate within China's economic system. This is mostly an illusion following economic reforms in the 1980s.

In reality, the communist system does not allow for true private ownership and views all "tech innovation" as essential to its national interests. Thus, private and state-owned Chinese firms act in the interest of the Chinese regime when it comes to foreign investments in the high-tech sectors. Below is the second part of a part-two series which explores why China is on a one-track path and blind to other options going forward. This is a recipe for conflict.

http://China's Unflexible Path Forward.html

flashmansbroker , 24 minutes ago link

What pisses me off is the fact that pretty much every western company has decided to manufacture in China.

My Mrs bought me a coat today. A nice snazzy Italian brand. Then looking at the label it says made in China. So it's not an Italian coat at all. It's a Chinese coat with Italian branding.

Burberry do the same thing. They can basically charge whatever they want for coats, and as a consumer you buy into that British heritage . Low and behold their stuff is made in China.

Perhaps we should slap the tariffs (I'm not a fan of tariffs BTW,) on the western companies that continue to outsource to China .

Really ***** me off.

Giant Meteor , 4 minutes ago link

The ceding of national interests, without the wilful, knowing consent of both political parties, and citizens believing they could simply vote their way out of this or that brand of swamp, could never have been accomplished ..

The story of the scorpion, and the frog, crossing the river ..

After much pleading by the scorpion, the frog did give the scorpion a lift to safely cross the river, and after being bitten during the crossing, frog crys out "but you promised you would not bite me!!"

Scorpion replys, " you knew what i was when you picked me up .. "

The story of the American body politic, on steroids the last 40 -50 years ..

Justin Case , 2 minutes ago link

That is exactly what happened. The murican and other corporations moved to the larger consumer markets for their products, Asia. China has moar than 3 times the population of murica. Labour is plenty, wages are low, no benefits or overtime. 12 hour days or moar is the norm there. It's not China that people should be blaming for the transition to manufacture there. The corporations are all about profits. They care less about you and yoar family or jobs for you. The corporations are making money like never before. GM sells 3 times as many cars in China than in murica. It costs money to ship over seas, cheaper to move manufacturing to where the demand is.

China also has a growing middle class that will be big consumers of goods, whereas murica has a decling middle class and retiring baby boomers. Murica is in decay. Neglected infrastructure, dying cities, NY, Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, SanFran, farms are over producing and need social welfare from tax payers, high consumer debts, low consumption of goods. Car manufacturers will be back at the Fed window for free tax payers money to avert total bankruptcy. We've seen this play before and here we are again.

Murica is bankrupt. This is why the banks around the world are buying gold reserves. All currencies eventually become worthless paper for fire starting or heating in winter. There is no currency that ever exceeded 100 yrs. as money. Gold has been money for thousands of years.

Economies work best when currencies are stable in value. Once we know what the goal is, we then look for a way to achieve it and the best way has always been to base a currency on gold. Nobody has found a better way, even in the form of a proposal and nobody has ever needed to find a better way, because gold has always worked very well.

Herdee , 43 minutes ago link

The fight is actually with America's own politicians and corporations. They sold out America long ago. The Chinese trade differently. They don't have to bomb. It's really too bad what American democracy stands for today around the world. Nobody wants anything to do with it and gradually they're dumping it.

Justin Case , 24 minutes ago link

British and Roman empires were not much different towards the end of their rein. They become complacent and arrogant towards other countries. Eventually they run out of friends, then start woars to rape and pillage gold, silver and resources. An attempt to sustain the costs of maintaining their exuberant life style and military around the globe. Rome at first started debasing their gold and silver money. Once trading partners realized their coins were not pure, they called the empire a fraud and didn't want to trade with the crooks. Woar ensued.

besnook , 53 minutes ago link

what a dumbass. bannon represents the wacko christian wing of the zionazi party.

usa oligarchy greed did this to the american people. the chinese happily cooperated likely wondering how they were being screwed because the usa policy was so stupid. the usa made the mistake of thinking the chinese would roll over like the japanese and koreans did, once the spice started flowing.

the chinese don't have to give anything because the usa screwed itself so badly they need china to keep producing crap for the usa because there is no competitive alternative either by other countries to fill the gap and certainly not with a built from scratch usa manufacturing sector. the usa is so stupid it has foreign countries make critical military tech parts to maximize profit for mic.

does bannon really think the chinese people won't riot if they are unhappy with .gov? does he remember tianemen square? it's american people who won't do anything about .gov and the oligarchs screwing them.

according to bannon it is okay for the usa to kill millions of muslims and christians in the mid east for jewland and the zionazis but wrong for china to control their influence in china?

bannon's calling is a homeless alchy. he fits the part with lunatic rants and his appearance.

dcmbuffy , 52 minutes ago link

"a corporation masuerading as a country."

Baron von Bud , 1 hour ago link

The problem here isn't the WTO, it's the WTC. Bannon says China entered the WTO in 2001 and have been criminals ever since. Also in 2001 the Neocons started their insane wars after blowing up the WTC and have been criminals ever since. Eighteen years of pissing away cash and not minding the store - and these lunatics are back in the White House. Anybody hoping for a happy ending with China is just as nuts.

jutah , 1 hour ago link

You fat ******* zio-slob/slut troll. It may have been a good idea if it were just about trade and you are willing to actually seek a mutually beneficial compromise, but when you are also poking them militarily it changes the dynamics of the successful negotiations and cooperation. Who wants to do a deal with someone who continually sends warships up and down your coastline in engaging in provactive actions

52821740 , 1 hour ago link

Its not their coastline. It's the Phillipines and International waters. Don't believe the Chinese lies. Btw I'm no fan of Bannon.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 1 hour ago link

Bannon has got some screws loose in the head. Getting tough with China isn't going to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States for ten reasons:

1. Those jobs have nowhere in the U.S. to come home to. Most of the factories have been shut down and demolished years ago.

2. American workers have been out of the loop for so long, that they are basically unskilled and untrained at this point...... all 95.5 million of them!

3. The fight isn't against China, as it is against corporate America. Corporate America doesn't want to pay the higher wages or benefits here. That is why they went hunting for the cheap labor in China in the first place. It's not China's fault!

4. America's entire tax system stinks and its predatory. There is nothing that is going to make those businesses in China go to America , particularly when China is offering those same companies tax incentives to stay.

5. China's transportation infrastructure is far better than America's. America's road system is now a full 40 years behind China's, and America's rail system is 75 years behind China's. Air transportation is about the same as the U.S., but China has the better airports for handling large number of passengers and freight. Maritime shipping is first rate all the way, the U.S. can't hardly touch them in moving freight overseas.

6. The United States routinely blocks the World Trade Organization's appointments of judges who could rule on tariffs, because the U.S. wants to load the dice in their favor at the WTO. Companies are often used as captive hostages by the U.S.,. Not the case with China.

7. The U.S. has a notoriety for not honoring any treaty it signs. The WTO has cited the U.S. as undisciplined, and the decision of whether to comply with international legal obligations varies depending on which domestic political actors are engaged in the policy process. Some American institutions are more likely to supply compliance than others. Why would any company want to come to America without any assurances in governing trade rules or a hostile political environment that turns on a dime?

8. China is the ideal place for emerging markets. It has access to lots of different manufacturing for emerging businesses, something the U.S. lacks these days.

9. China has economic free zones, like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, etc.,. The U.S. has nothing to compare.

10. China's main priority has been shifted from expansion to stability. By stability, what is implied is demand that is internal, rather than external, and that requires a focus on the consumer. This could represent an opportunity for businesses that invest in the opportunity to sell goods in the country. As it stands now, there is really no reason for a company in China to come to the U.S., because every American is maxed out on credit and doesn't have the money to buy anything. Why set up a business in the U.S. when the U.S. economy is in imminent danger of collapsing over night, and becoming a casualty???

B-Bond , 1 hour ago link

All Things Being Equal Come Friday? 🤔

Tariff rate, applied, weighted mean, all products (%)

China 3.8 MCGA🧢 🖕 😜 🖕

United States 1.7 MA-- 😲

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TM.TAX.MRCH.WM.AR.ZS?locations=US

-- ALIEN -- , 1 hour ago link

"...two radically different economic models..."

Untrue.

China and the USA both are Command Economies being controlled by a group of Oligarchs.

TotalMachineFail , 1 hour ago link

This is another false (fraudulent non-existent choice) being presented by the global so called but no longer existent elite. U.S. vs China. It doesn't make any difference whether it is the corporations presenting the false choice or the so called deep state. Either way it has no truth and therefore no value.

As I've provided extensive facts and evidence as details on both sides all governments are full of traitors. Traitors both foreign, domestic and international. Any future global attempt at government will never consist of any of these two places or any other since all others continue to fail in their own right to take the appropriate actions in their own governments or against those that are attempting to implement wholly criminal operations internationally.

not dead yet , 1 hour ago link

Very little of the Chinese technology was stolen by them. It was freely given by US universities getting big bucks to fill seats and US corporations looking to boost executives pay and perks, plus offloading the headaches they were getting paid big bucks to solve, by offshoring to China. As evidenced by the recent tax cut for corporations and the funds they brought back from overseas bringing back or creating jobs in the US is a pipe dream. Your CEO's thought it was more important to feather their nests, and in many cases putting their company into hock, to buy back their stock. Raises or funds for R&D? Fuggeddaboutit. With China in the cross hairs the captains of industry are sailing to other shitholes for their stuff rather than the US. Don't blame the Chinese for the "best and brightest" selling the US down the drain to enrich themselves. One of the many reasons the US is circling drain due to self inflicted hurt is the whole country from top to bottom wants **** and they want it now no matter what it takes whether it be power, riches, or both.

JBL , 1 hour ago link

"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

-Thomas Jefferson

B-Bond , 1 hour ago link

MD Anderson ousts 3 scientists over concerns about Chinese conflicts of interest😲

MD Anderson Cancer Center is ousting three scientists in connection with concerns China is trying to steal U.S. scientific research

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/MD-Anderson-fires-3-scientists-over-concerns-13780570.php#photo-17253782

[May 06, 2019] Stephen Miller and the White Nationalist Takeover of the White House

Being against emigration in not necessary white nationalism. It is also economic nationalism.
May 06, 2019 | www.truthdig.com
What follows is a conversation between journalist Lacqueline Luqman, Truthdig contributor Jeff Cohen and Marc Stiner of the Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us. This is the third part of our conversation today about what's happening in this week's news. We are going to look at Stephen Miller in the Trump administration and the power of the white nationalist Right in that administration. What's happening is emblematic of what's happening inside the Department of Homeland Security. We are joined here once again by Jeff Cohen, who is founder of RootsAction.org and the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in the Corporate Media, and Jacqueline Luqman, who is Editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation and a regular contributor here at The Real News. So let's jump right into this.

This is pretty stunning that Stephen Miller has got all this power in the White House, one of Steve Bannon's proteges and Jeff Session's righthand for a long time, and he's a survivor. Bannon was thrown out . Maybe he didn't know how to dress right. I'm not sure, but he was thrown out and switched to Stephen Miller. He's there but he's changing the dynamic of this administration. He seems to be moving them further to the right, pushing for these changes first in the D.H.S., Homeland Security. So tell me what this portends for the two of you. Jeff, let me start with you again.

JEFF COHEN: Well for saying the obvious truth, Miller is a white nationalist. He's an immigrant basher. One of the weirdest schemes exposed by The Washington Post with really good sourcing, is that they had a scheme. They were going to take detainees at the Mexico border and transport them to places like San Francisco and put them in sanctuary cities. They take people they've got under arrest in custody and bus them to these cities that are sanctuary cities. It's utterly outrageous.

If the Democrats weren't so obsessed with Russiagate, they might talk about this kind of craziness is impeachable. To me, the most interesting thing about Stephen Miller is his wonderful uncle, Dr. David Glosser. I've read his columns. I've seen him on Democracy Now! He points out that if it wasn't for restrictive immigration, dozens of Stephen Miller's ancestors would not have been killed by the Holocaust that in 1924, was this restrictive immigration law and then there were a bunch of anti-Semites in the State Department. Even with the rise of fascism and the rise of Hitler, they wouldn't let these people in, and they died. So there's a lot of sympathy for refugees in the Jewish community. Stephen Miller is an exception.

... ... ...

[Feb 09, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends. ..."
"... Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams. ..."
"... And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. " ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Government shutdown, Venezuela: Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm February 07, 2019 by system failure

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Trump sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Dec 24, 2018] How to fix America's dysfunctional trade system by Ryan Cooper

Dec 20, 2018 | theweek.com
America's trade policy is in incoherent shambles. Decades of neoliberal "free trade" pacts -- which as often as not simply gave corporations an end run around the state, or their very own rigged, pseudo-legal system -- have created terrible social carnage around the world and a furious political backlash. And President Trump's incoherent, haphazard response has done little to change the system, let alone reform it in a sensible fashion.

Overhauling such a gargantuan, world-spanning system is a dizzying task. But Timothy Meyer and Ganesh Sitaraman at the Great Democracy Initiative have a new paper that presents a solid starting point for developing a fundamental reform of American trade structure.

Meyer and Sitaraman identify three large problems with the status quo, and propose policy solutions for each:

Let's take these in turn.

The extant trade bureaucracy -- as usual for the American state -- is highly fragmented and bizarrely structured. There is the Department of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, plus the International Development Finance Corporation coming soon. Then there are a slew of other agencies that have some bearing on trade-related security or economic development.

Meyer and Sitaraman logically suggest combining most of these functions into a single Department of Economic Growth and Security. The point is not just to streamline the trade oversight structure, but also to make it consider a broader range of objectives. Neoliberals insist that trade is simply about making the self-regulating market more "efficient," but trade very obviously bears on employment, domestic industry, and especially security.

For instance, for all its other disastrous side effects, Trump's haphazard tax on aluminum has dramatically revived the American aluminum industry . Ensuring a reasonable domestic supply of key metals like that is so obviously a security concern -- for military and consumer uses alike -- that it wouldn't have even occurred to New Deal policymakers to think otherwise. It takes a lot of ideological indoctrination to think there's no problem when a small price disadvantage causes a country to lose its entire supply chain of key industrial commodities.

Then there is the problem of pro-rich bias. Put simply, the last few decades of trade deals have been outrageously biased towards corporations and the rich. They have powerfully enabled the growth of parasitic tax havens , which allow companies to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, starving countries of rightful revenue (and often leading to companies piling up gargantuan dragon hoards of cash they don't know what to do with).

Corporations, meanwhile, have gotten their own fake legal system in the form of Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deal stipulations. As I have written before , the point of these arbitration systems is to create a legal system ludicrously slanted in favor of the corporation -- allowing them not just to win almost every time, but to sue over nonsensical harms like "taking away imaginary future profits."

Meyer and Sitaraman suggest renegotiating the tax portions of trade deals to enforce a "formulary" tax system -- in which profits are taxed where they are made, not where they are booked. This would go a considerable distance towards cracking down on tax havens -- who knows, perhaps Luxembourg might even develop some productive business.

Finally, there is the problem of distributive justice. Again contrary to neoliberal dogma, trade very often creates winners and losers -- witness the wreckage of Detroit and the fat salaries of the U.S. executive class. Meyer and Sitaraman suggest new mechanisms to consider the side effects of trade deals (and ways to compensate the losers), to take action against abusive foreign nations (for example, by dumping their products below cost, or violating environmental or labor standards), and finally directly taxing the beneficiaries.

Something the authors don't discuss is the problem of trade imbalances . When one country develops a surplus (that is, it exports more than it imports), another country must of necessity be in a deficit. The deficit country in turn must finance its imports, usually by borrowing. That can easily create a severe economic crisis if the deficit country suddenly loses access to loans -- which then harms the exporting country, though not as much. This has been a disastrous problem in the eurozone.

The U.S. does have extremely wide latitude to run a trade deficit, because it controls the global reserve currency, meaning a strong demand for dollar-denominated assets so other countries can settle their international accounts. But this creates its own problems, as discussed above.

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To be fair, this is not exactly an omission for a paper focused on domestic policy. Creating a specifically international trade architecture would require an entire paper of its own, if not a book or three. But it would be something future trade policymakers will have to consider.

At any rate, it's quite likely that trade policy will be a major topic of discussion in 2020 -- if for no reason other than Trump's ridiculous shenanigans in the area. However, even that demonstrates an important fact: The U.S. president has a great deal of unilateral authority over trade. Democrats should be thinking hard about how they would change things. This paper is a great place to start.

[Dec 23, 2018] Trump proposes cutting food stamps for over 700,000 people just before Christmas by Matthew Rozsa

Dec 20, 2018 | www.salon.com

President Donald Trump is planning on using his executive powers to cut food stamps for more than 700,000 Americans.

The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing that states should only be allowed to waive a current food stamps requirement -- namely, that adults without dependents must work or participate in a job-training program for at least 20 hours each week if they wish to collect food stamps for more than three months in a three-year period -- on the condition that those adults live in areas where unemployment is above 7 percent, according to The Washington Post . Currently the USDA regulations permit states to waive that requirement if an adult lives in an area where the unemployment rate is at least 20 percent greater than the national rate. In effect, this means that roughly 755,000 Americans would potentially lose their waivers that permit them to receive food stamps.

The current unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.

The Trump administration's decision to impose the stricter food stamp requirements through executive action constitutes an end-run around the legislative process. Although Trump is expected to sign an $870 billion farm bill later this week -- and because food stamps goes through the Agriculture Department, it contains food stamp provisions -- the measure does not include House stipulations restricting the waiver program and imposing new requirements on parents with children between the ages of six and 12. The Senate version ultimately removed those provisions, meaning that the version being signed into law does not impose a conservative policy on food stamps, which right-wing members of Congress were hoping for.

"Congress writes laws, and the administration is required to write rules based on the law," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told The New York Times (Stabenow is the top Democrat on the Senate's agriculture committee). "Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families."

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

[Nov 07, 2018] We are being played by an establishment that wants to move the country to the right. MAGA! is a bi-partisan effort fueled by the challenge from China and Russia

When people who voted for Obama realized the Obama is a fraud with strong CIA connections it was too late...
When people who voted for Trump realized that Trump was a fraud with strong Israeli connections it was too late.
Notable quotes:
"... Nor does the caravan 'fix' or even illuminate decades of US abuses in Central and South America. It simply gives Trump an opportunity to grandstand and urge his voters to go to the polls. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 11:56:59 PM | link

...And it seems likely, if not certain, that the caravan is a political stunt that will end in disappointment for the caravan migrants. So I fail to see why you are so angry Debs. Our discussion doesn't ignore the realities. Nor does the caravan 'fix' or even illuminate decades of US abuses in Central and South America. It simply gives Trump an opportunity to grandstand and urge his voters to go to the polls.

We are being played by an establishment that wants to move the country to the right. MAGA! is a bi-partisan effort fueled by the challenge from China and Russia. This is clear from Democratic Party priorities and actions as well as what they don't say or do.

[Nov 03, 2018] Trump is that quintessential Amerikkkan salesman: the grifter.

Notable quotes:
"... Trump has succeeded in implementing some of his campaign ideas and not all of them are 100% evil or wrongheaded. He has shaken the long term calcification of the US foreign and trade policy, has introduced tariffs especially to combat clearly unfair Chinese trade practices while demanding European and Asian allies pay more for their defense of empire. ..."
"... As b stated recently, Trump is an astute salesman (unfortunately, that is all he is) but what is left unmentioned is that he is of the sales school that is totally unmoored for any sense of ethical, moral or legal responsibility. ..."
"... The US political system was invested with an ability to self-correct, or self-police through separation of powers within the tripartite political system. It is hardly news this system is about dead, starting not with Trump of course, but now reaching its absolute low point under his rule and the acquiescence of the spineless GOP. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Nov 3, 2018 1:48:14 PM | 13 ">link

Trump's has been the "goofy foot" presidency.

That is, he started off on the wrong foot. Campaigning as a populist who eschewed accepted mainstream "progressive" and "conservative" political positions, he completely cratered the unpopular Republican orthodoxy during the 2016 primaries by promising such heretical ideas as a non-interventionist foreign policy, protection for Medicare/Medicaid and social security, improvement on Obamacare, higher taxes on the wealthiest and a massive infrastructure program to rebuild the decaying facilities of this so-called once grate nation.

These are all ideas that gained the support of enough Obama voters and independents in just the right flyover states to lead Trump to an improbable victory while being soundly thrashed in the popular voting nationwide. A stunning, historical accomplishment as much as and as much in reaction too, the 2008 Obama victory.

Of course, to those of us who understand the modern GOP and the history of the lying-ass self promotion of the Trump entertainment spectacle its own self, we were neither duped nor surprised when the initial 2017 legislative agenda items proferred were none of the populist agenda but instead were the repeal of Obamacare, massive tax cuts for the wealthy and the reversal of all Obama executive orders, most notably in the areas of refugee resettlement and immigration.

Trump, the so-called change agent who in fact was and still is clueless regarding how to function as President simply let the craven Obama opposition leaders of the prior 8 years, McConnell and Ryan set out the typical GOP legislative agenda, which is opposed by a majority, in some cases overwhelming majority, of Amerikkkans.

Obamacare repeal failed memorably based on but one late night thumb's down taken more out of personal revenge than the ideology of a very soon to be dead Senator.

Trump's ruling style in large part has substituted for any sense of a coherent agenda in that he obviously cares only about his base (an obdurate block of 36% of the electorate consisting almost entirely of white, entitled, racist baby boomers who have devolved into anti-democratic fascists now that they no longer represent a majority of the US population and believe (falsely) they have something to protect).

Trump has succeeded in implementing some of his campaign ideas and not all of them are 100% evil or wrongheaded. He has shaken the long term calcification of the US foreign and trade policy, has introduced tariffs especially to combat clearly unfair Chinese trade practices while demanding European and Asian allies pay more for their defense of empire.

While I have my own view of whether any of Trump's policies contain great value from a long term historical perspective, I do recognize Trump's appeal to certain sectors of the internet, including most obviously certain useful idiots of the ultra left.

I do not believe his victory to be a fluke of nature but rather in keeping with the current worldwide trend borne of aging whitebread fear, cyncism and disenchantment with elitist political/economic establishments and which has been amped to a viral degree by a staggering wealth disparity, but only as it impacts the formerly entitled feeling, aging white people situated in western countries.

The natural response to any socially or cultural threat is to band together tribally and fight back. And the main threat, when it is boiled down, is the fear of overpopulation (and its accompnaying unstoppable environmental degradation) driven by what is viewed through the Trump voter political lens as non-white, primitive, illsuited people from shithole countries who are and will continue to ruin Amerikkka and Western Europe.

As perfectly illustrated by the migrant caravan heading to Tijuana.

Unfortunately, Trump through disinterest or incompetence or both hasn't followed through either with enough of the promises he made that are actually meaningful to most people, whether GOP or Democratic. He has been able to bind his tribe to him and conquer the GOP political apparatus simply because the Party platform was already so badly decayed (overcooked Reagan leftovers) and out of touch with reality pre-Trump that the Donald could bend delusional conservative tropes in any way he saw fit to his electoral advantage. As long as he infotained well, and he has indeed, he would dominate.

As b stated recently, Trump is an astute salesman (unfortunately, that is all he is) but what is left unmentioned is that he is of the sales school that is totally unmoored for any sense of ethical, moral or legal responsibility.

In other words, Trump is that quintessential Amerikkkan salesman: the grifter. This particular breed of business person is not an exception in the US but rather the rule. In fact, the US system has devolved to the point where laws and regulations now enfranchise what previously had been considered illegal activity. Amerikkkans are heavily incentivised these days by the call to a form of monopolistic, crony capitalism and institulionised rigged gambling ("Wall Street"), which in more quaint times was considered mobsterism.

Institutions have been purposefully compromised so they no longer support whatever criminal laws still exist. It is not by accident that the IRS is now chronically understaffed and has no effective way to stop income tax cheating or collection of the minimal taxes now due.

It is not by accident that Trump's main role as President is to weaken institutions such as the media, to further debase language and kill whatever generally accepted objective truth remain extant in the land. He is recognisable to all Amerikkkans as a CEO in support of this ongoing wave of legal criminality through which the 1% and their lackeys section have prospered at the expense of the 99%.

The US political system was invested with an ability to self-correct, or self-police through separation of powers within the tripartite political system. It is hardly news this system is about dead, starting not with Trump of course, but now reaching its absolute low point under his rule and the acquiescence of the spineless GOP.

And no, I don't believe the Demotardic Party to be absolved of blame in any way. Rather, the Demotards have entirely gone along to get along with this same trend because of course the Party leaders have been able to criminally enrich themselves and their cronies along the way too.

However, let's be real for minute and drop all pretense of holier than thou keyboard revolutionism. The ultimate solution of the world's disease is not going to be resolved in 2018 through a political revolution, especially one inspired by the disharmony and fraud of internet based social media and its acolytes. D'uh.

Look around. Since we have been blogging our lives away the world has only grown further away from leftism. We live in a fascist police state owned and operated by teh ultra wealthy who have dropped pretense of any humanitarian or religious concern for those less firtunated than themselves.

Donald Trump has one more chance to make himself truly into the transformational leader he believes himself to be in his degraded soul.

The first bill on the 2019 legislative needs to be a bipartisan infrastructure bill of such scope and magnitude that it will serve not only a political change of direction but also redirect the economy in such way that wealth is re-directed from the wealthy to the rest of us, particularly those able bodied non-college educated people who have suffered through the last several decades without hope or gain.

Trump must dictate to his party that Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security will not only be maintained but strengthened through improved benefits.

Am I dreaming? Yes, I admit that I am. But I'm also calling out to the criminal conman in chief: it's not too late to reclaim your own legacy.

Wake the fock up, dude...

[Nov 02, 2018] They say they're gonna give you better health insurance

Nov 02, 2018 | twitter.com

[Oct 27, 2018] A Class War the Right Can Win The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... , F.H. Buckley, Encounter Books, 200 pages ..."
Oct 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Republican Workers Party: How the Trump Victory Drove Everyone Crazy, and Why It Was Just What We Needed , F.H. Buckley, Encounter Books, 200 pages

Among the many untruths told about Donald Trump is the claim that his is not a movement of ideas. As a candidate in 2016, Trump may not have spoken the language of the policy wonks. But unlike those Republicans who did, his view of the world was not a stale ideological cliche. It was instead refreshingly frank: about a foreign policy that couldn't win the wars it waged, an economy that imperiled middle- and working-class America, and an immigration regime only the employers of illegal nannies could love. Trump recognized reality, and that drew to his cause independent-minded intellectuals who had also done so. The Trump movement suffers not from a dearth of ideas or thinkers, but a dearth of institutions. It has thinkers but no think tank.

F.H. Buckley, Foundation Professor at George Mason University's Scalia School of Law, is one of its thinkers. His new book, The Republican Workers Party , comes from a publisher -- Encounter -- led by another, Roger Kimball. Buckley is no relation to William F., who as writer, editor, and Firing Line host did more than anyone to make conservatism a byword for eloquence in the latter half of the 20th century. But much as the other Buckley remade the Right by founding National Review in 1955, this one aims to bring about a profound change of heart and mind among conservatives. He wants to make good on the promise of the GOP as a party for American workers.

It was a promise made right from the beginning, when in the mid-19th century the Republicans were the party of free labor against the slavocracy. But the GOP and the country lost their way. Today, in Buckley's telling, a self-perpetuating "New Class" of administrators and mandarins runs the country from perches of privilege in the academy and nonprofit sector, as well as the media, government, and much of the business world. Republicans of the Never Trump variety are as much a part of this ruling caste as Clinton-Schumer-Pelosi Democrats are. And if you might wonder whether someone in Buckley's position isn't part of the same professional stratum, his answer is that he very much aspires to be a traitor to his class, just as Donald Trump is.

Trump, writes Buckley, is "unlike anything we've seen before, for the simple reason that he's up against something that we've never seen before: a liberalism that has given up on the American Dream of a mobile and classless society." Those who today style themselves as progressives are nothing of the sort -- they are not revolutionaries but the new aristocrats: "They are Bourbons who seek to pass themselves off as Jacobins. They have bought into a radical leftism, while resisting the call to unseat a patrician class that leftists in the past would have opposed."

This is an eloquent explanation for an inversion that has puzzled many observers. Today's Left, at least the mainstream Left represented by the Democratic Party, is now establishmentarian. The Republican Right is now populist, if not downright revolutionary. "When the upper class is composed of liberals who support socialist measures to keep us immobile and preserve their privileged position," Buckley argues, "class warfare to free up our economy by tearing down an aristocracy is conservative and just, as well as popular."

Buckley came to these conclusions before the rise of Donald Trump. They are at the heart of his last two books, The Way Back and The Republic of Virtue . He recognized in Trump a force for salutary change. So in early 2016, he signed up as a speechwriter for the candidate and his family. At one point, this attracted unwanted attention: a speech delivered by Donald Trump Jr. was found to have plagiarized an article in . Except it wasn't plagiarism: Buckley was the author of both. I was editor of the magazine at the time, and Buckley is correct when he says in The Republican Workers Party that I enjoyed the non-scandal -- because it brought attention to an essay I thought deserved a brighter spotlight than it had initially received.

Trump's Working Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment How the GOP Can Hang on to the Working Class

A further disclosure or two is in order: I also published some of the material that appears in The Republican Workers Party in the journal I now edit, Modern Age , and I'm thanked in the book's acknowledgments. My warm words for Buckley's last volume are quoted on the dust jacket of this one. The review you're reading now is honest, but subjective -- I'm a part of the story. Only a small one, however: Buckley reveals many details of the Trump campaign and post-election transition that I had never heard before, including how Michael Anton came to be hired and fired.

The campaign memoir is intriguing in its own right, but it's in the service of the book's larger purpose. I've known Buckley to refer to himself as an economic determinist, and he's also said that the future will be decided by a fight between the right-wing Marxists and the left-wing Marxists. But those are exaggerations, and The Republican Workers Party isn't primarily about economics: quite the contrary, it's about solidarity, humanity, and the Christian spirit of brotherhood. The book is informed by a religious sensibility as much as it is by policy acumen. But it's a religious sensibility that addresses the soul through material conditions. Buckley is critical of attempts at a "moral rearmament crusade" that amounts to shaming the poor and blaming them for their own condition.

On this, Buckley is at odds with what movement conservatism has promoted over the last 30-odd years, which is a pure moralism alongside a theoretically pure free-market economism, each restricted to its own categorical silo. An economic conservative or libertarian might thus approach Buckley's book with the trepeditation of a holy Inquisitor fearful that a friend will be found committing heresy. But there is little in these pages that a free-market conservative can quibble with at the policy level: rather it is the spirit in which economic conservatives conduct politics that Buckley criticizes. He is even on the side of conservative orthodoxy, more or less, when it comes to tariffs. He's a free trader at heart, though not a dogmatic one.

On immigration, he favors a more Canadian-like, points-based system that would prioritize skills, with a view toward providing maximum benefit for our current citizens, especially the least well off among them. The present system "admits people who underbid native-born Americans for low-skill jobs, while refusing entry to people with greater skills who would make life better for all Americans." Canada lets in many more immigrants in proportion to its population than the United States does, but "Canadians see an immigration policy designed to benefit the native-born, so they don't think their government wants to stick it to them," even when it comes to generous admission of refugees.

Buckley speaks from experience about immigration and Canada -- he was born, brought up, and lived most of his life there before becoming a U.S. citizen in 2014. Like Alexander Hamilton, whose Caribbean origins gave him a view of America's national economy unprejudiced by sectional interests, Buckley's Canadian background gives him an independent vantage from which to consider our characteristic shibboleths unsparingly. The separation of powers, for one, is a dismal failure that "has given us two or more different Republican parties: a presidential party, which today is the Republican Workers Party, but also congressional Republican parties rooted in the issues and preference of local members. There's the Freedom Caucus composed of Tea Party members, the more moderate Main Street Partnership and whatever maverick senators were thinking this morning." Federalism too is a mixed bag. These are themes touched lightly upon here but worked out in detail in such earlier Buckley books as The Once and Future King .

That's not to say there's something alien about Buckley's ideas. He's an heir to Viscount Bolingbroke, as were many of the Founding Fathers. (He contrasts Bolingbroke's disinterested ideal of a patriot king, for example, with the identity-driven politics of the Democratic Party.) But Buckley is also an heir to George Grant and the Anglo-Canadian tradition of Red Toryism, a form of conservatism that does not bother itself with anti-government formulas that never seem to reduce the size of government one iota anyway. Buckley's heroes are "leaders such as Disraeli, Lord Randolph Churchill (Winston's father) and even Winston Churchill himself." "They were conservative" but "they supported generous social welfare policies."

The policies that Buckley is most concerned about, however, are those that generate social mobility. Education is thus high on his agenda. He is a strong supporter of vouchers and school choice and points again to Canada as a success story for private schools receiving public funds. But America is a rather different country, and as popular as vouchers are on the Right, some of us can't help but wonder whether they would lead to the same outcome in primary and secondary education that federal financial aid has produced in higher education. With the money comes regulation, and usually soaring prices, too.

But Buckley is right that the defects of our present education system go a long way toward explaining the rise of the new status class, and other countries have found answers to the questions that perplex American politics -- or some of them at least. More adventurous thinking is required if anything is to be saved of the American dream of mobility, in place of the nightmare of division into static castes of winners and losers.

Libertarian economists and blame-the-poor moralizers are not the only figures on the Right Buckley criticizes. He has no patience for the barely disguised Nietzscheanism of certain "East Coast" Straussians, who imagine themselves to be philosopher-princes, educating a class of obedient gentlemen who will in turn dominate a mass of purely appetitive worker bees and cannon fodder.

Buckley's book is an argument against right-wing heartlessness. Its title may conjure in some minds phantoms of the National Socialist German Workers Party or America's own penny-ante white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party, on which the media has lavished a certain amount of attention in recent years. But fascists are not traditionalists, workers, or even, properly speaking, socialists -- they simply steal whatever terms happen to be popular. Buckley refuses to concede their claims and appease them.

He is eloquent in his American -- not white -- nationalism. "There isn't much room for white nationalism in American culture," he writes, "For alongside baseball and apple pie, it includes Langston Hughes and Amy Tan, Tex-Mex food and Norah Jones. You can be an American if you don't enjoy them, but you might be a wee bit more American if you do." It's populism, not nationalism, that he considers a toxic term, its genealogy tracing to figures like "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman, a Jim Crow proponent and defender of lynch mobs.

He is right to defend the honor of nationalism, but Buckley may be mistaken in his animus toward "populism," a word that for most people is more likely to bring to mind William Jennings Bryan than the Ku Klux Klan.

Buckley's project in The Republican Workers Party parallels on the Right the task taken up by Mark Lilla on the Left in last year's The Once and Future Liberal . Like Lilla, Buckley wants to see a revival of mid-20th-century liberalism. For both, politics is ultimately class-based, not identity-based. Lilla trains his fire on the identity-parsing Left, while Buckley rebukes the Right for failing to fight the class war -- or rather, for fighting on the wrong side, that of the self-serving New Class, the aristocracy of education, connections, and right-thinking opinion.

This may seem nostalgic, but it's not: Buckley does not expect a return to JFK or Camelot, even if, like Lilla, he once borrowed a title from T.H. White. The 21st century can only give us a new and very different Kennedy or Disraeli -- an insurgent from the Right to retake the center. In Donald Trump, F.H. Buckley found such a figure, but a movement needs a program as well as a leader, and the program has to be grounded in an idea of humanity and the limits of politics. The nation defines those limits, and while not every Trump supporter will agree with Buckley's policy thought in all its specifics, the spirit of Buckley's endeavor represents what is finest in the Trump moment, and what is best in conservatism, too.

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review.

[Oct 27, 2018] Calling Brazil's Presidential Frontrunner 'Neofascist' is Accurate

Notable quotes:
"... As to your question about who votes for Bolsonaro, I think we can break this down into three or four categories. His hard core is the sort of middle class of small business owners, plus members of the police and the armed forces. This would be, I guess, your classic fascist constituency, if you want to call it that. But you know, that's a very small proportion. ..."
"... Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who is a former academic sociologist who was exiled during the military dictatorship and was president of Brazil in the late '90s. He has yet to endorse Haddad, despite the fact that Bolsonaro previously said something about 10 years ago that Fernando Henrique Cardoso should have been killed by the military dictatorship. This is a real, in my opinion, a real failure of character, a real cowardice from the Brazilian supposedly-centrist elite to defend democracy against the very obvious threat that Bolsonaro poses. ..."
Oct 27, 2018 | therealnews.com

As to your question about who votes for Bolsonaro, I think we can break this down into three or four categories. His hard core is the sort of middle class of small business owners, plus members of the police and the armed forces. This would be, I guess, your classic fascist constituency, if you want to call it that. But you know, that's a very small proportion. And certainly in terms of his voters, in terms of his voter base, that's a small proportion. What you have, then, is the rich, amongst whom he has a very significant lead. He polls 60-65 percent amongst the rich. And these people are motivated by what is called [inaudible]machismo, which is anti-Worker's Party sentiment, which is really a sort form of barely-disguised class loathing which targets the Worker's Party, rails against corruption, but of course turns a blind eye to corruption amongst more traditional right-wing politicians.

These are the people who, at the end of the day, are quite influential, and have probably proved decisive for Bolsonaro. But that isn't to say that he doesn't have support amongst the poor, and this is the real issue. Bolsonaro would not win an election with just the support of the reactionary middle class and the rich. He needs the support amongst the broad masses, and he does have that to a significant degree, unfortunately.

What are they motivated by? They're motivated by a sense that politics has failed them, that their situation is pretty hopeless. The security situation is very grave. And Bolsonaro seems to be someone who might do something different, might change things. It's a bit of a rolling of the dice kind of situation. And you know, here the Worker's Party does bear some blame. They've lost a large section of the working class. A large section of the poor feel like they were betrayed by the Worker's Party, who didn't stay true to its promises. The Worker's Party implemented the austerity in its last government under Dilma, which led to a ballooning of unemployment. And you know, there's a sense that- well, what have you done for us? A lot of people don't want to return to the path. They want something better, and kind of roll the dice hoping that maybe Bolsonaro does something, even though all evidence points to the fact that he'll be a government for the rich, and the very rich, and for the forces of repression.

GREG WILPERT: So finally, in the little time that we have remaining, what is happening to Brazil's left? Is it supporting the Haddad campaign wholeheartedly?

ALEX HOCHULI: Yes, absolutely. It's pretty much uniform amongst the left. Certainly in terms of, you know, in terms of individuals, in terms of groups, in terms of movements. Everyone, from even the kind of far-left Trotskyist Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party who hate PT have told its members that they should vote for Fernando Haddad who, it should be noted, is a figure to the right of that of PT, I guess, within the party. He's a much more centrist figure. So that's kind of notable.

What hasn't happened is a broad front against fascism. That hasn't really materialized, because the Brazilian center has failed to defend its democratic institutions against the very obvious threat that Bolsonaro represents. You know, just to highlight one thing, Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is Jair Bolsonar's son and a congressman, has threatened the Supreme Court, saying that you could close down the Supreme Court. All you have to do is send one soldier and one corporal, and they'll shut down the Supreme Court. I mean, this is a pretty brave threat against Brazilian institutions. And a lot of the center has failed to really manifest itself, really failed to take a stand. Marina Silva, who was at one point polling quite high about six months ago, who is a kind of an environmentalist and an evangelical and a centrist, and who is known for always in her speeches talking about doing things democratically, even she- it took her until this week to finally endorse Haddad, lending Haddad critical support.

The center right, which should be the, you know, the Brazilian establishment, the ones upholding the institutions, have broadly failed to endorse Haddad as the democratic candidate. Which is really, really striking. I mean, just to give you one example, probably the best known figure for your viewers outside of Brazil who might not know the ins and outs and all the players involved, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who is a former academic sociologist who was exiled during the military dictatorship and was president of Brazil in the late '90s. He has yet to endorse Haddad, despite the fact that Bolsonaro previously said something about 10 years ago that Fernando Henrique Cardoso should have been killed by the military dictatorship. This is a real, in my opinion, a real failure of character, a real cowardice from the Brazilian supposedly-centrist elite to defend democracy against the very obvious threat that Bolsonaro poses.

GREG WILPERT: Wow. Amazing. We'll definitely keep our eyes peeled for what happens on Sunday. We'll probably have you back soon. I'm speaking to Alex Hochuli, researcher and communication consultant based in Sao Paulo. Thanks again, Alex, for having joined us today.

[Oct 16, 2018] How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley

From the book How Fascism Works The Politics of Us and Them Jason Stanley Amazon.com Hardcover: 240 pages Publisher: Random House (September 4, 2018)
Fascism is always eclectic and its doctrine is composed of several sometimes contradicting each other ideas. "Ideologically speaking, [the program] was a wooly, eclectic mixture of political, social, racist, national-imperialist wishful thinking..." (Ideologically speaking, [the program] was a wooly, eclectic mixture of political, social, racist, national-imperialist wishful thinking..." )
Some ideas are "sound bite only" and never are implemented and are present only to attract sheeple (looks National Socialist Program ). he program championed the right to employment , and called for the institution of profit sharing , confiscation of war profits , prosecution of usurers and profiteers, nationalization of trusts , communalization of department stores, extension of the old-age pension system, creation of a national education program of all classes, prohibition of child labor , and an end to the dominance of investment capital "
There is also "bait and switch" element in any fascism movement. Original fascism was strongly anti-capitalist, militaristic and "national greatness and purity" movement ("Make Germany great again"). It was directed against financial oligarchy and anti-semantic element in it was strong partially because it associated Jews with bankers and financial industry in general. In a way "Jews" were codeword for investment bankers.
For example " Arbeit Macht Frei " can be viewed as a neoliberal slogan. Then does not mean that neoliberalism. with its cult of productivity, is equal to fascism, but that neoliberal doctrine does encompass elements of the fascist doctrine including strong state, "law and order" mentality and relentless propaganda.
The word "fascist" is hurled at political / ideological opponents so often that it lost its meaning. The Nazi Party (NSDAP) originated as a working-class political party . This is not true about Trump whom many assume of having fascist leanings. His pro white working class rhetoric was a fig leaf used for duration or elections. After that he rules as a typical Republican president favoring big business. And as a typical neocon in foreign policy.
From this point of view Trump can't be viewed even as pro-fascist leader because first of all he does not have his own political movement, ideology and political program. And the second he does not strive for implementing uniparty state and abolishing the elections which is essential for fascism political platform, as fascist despise corrupt democracy and have a cult of strong leader.
All he can be called is neo-fascist s his some of his views do encompass ideas taken from fascist ideology (including "law and order"; which also is a cornerstone element of Republican ideology) as well as idealization and mystification of the US past. But with Bannon gone he also can't even pretend that he represents some coherent political movement like "economic nationalism" -- kind of enhanced mercantilism.
Of course, that does not mean that previous fascist leaders were bound by the fascism political program, but at least they had one. Historian Karl Dietrich Bracher writes that, "To [Hitler, the program] was little more than an effective, persuasive propaganda weapon for mobilizing and manipulating the masses. Once it had brought him to power, it became pure decoration: 'unalterable', yet unrealized in its demands for nationalization and expropriation, for land reform and 'breaking the shackles of finance capital'. Yet it nonetheless fulfilled its role as backdrop and pseudo-theory, against which the future dictator could unfold his rhetorical and dramatic talents."
Notable quotes:
"... Fascist politics invokes a pure mythic past tragically destroyed. Depending on how the nation is defined, the mythic past may be religiously pure, racially pure, culturally pure, or all of the above. But there is a common structure to all fascist mythologizing. In all fascist mythic pasts, an extreme version of the patriarchal family reigns supreme, even just a few generations ago. ..."
"... Further back in time, the mythic past was a time of glory of the nation, with wars of conquest led by patriotic generals, its armies filled with its countrymen, able-bodied, loyal warriors whose wives were at home raising the next generation. In the present, these myths become the basis of the nation's identity under fascist politics. ..."
"... In the rhetoric of extreme nationalists, such a glorious past has been lost by the humiliation brought on by globalism, liberal cosmopolitanism, and respect for "universal values" such as equality. These values are supposed to have made the nation weak in the face of real and threatening challenges to the nation's existence. ..."
"... fascist myths distinguish themselves with the creation of a glorious national history in which the members of the chosen nation ruled over others, the result of conquests and civilization-building achievements. ..."
"... The function of the mythic past, in fascist politics, is to harness the emotion of ­nostalgia to the central tenets of fascist ideology -- authoritarianism, hierarchy, purity, and struggle. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Chapter 1: The Mythic Past

It's in the name of tradition that the anti-Semites base their "point of view." It's in the name of tradition, the long, historical past and the blood ties with Pascal and Descartes, that the Jews are told, you will never belong here.

-- Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)

It is only natural to begin this book where fascist politics invariably claims to discover its genesis: in the past. Fascist politics invokes a pure mythic past tragically destroyed. Depending on how the nation is defined, the mythic past may be religiously pure, racially pure, culturally pure, or all of the above. But there is a common structure to all fascist mythologizing. In all fascist mythic pasts, an extreme version of the patriarchal family reigns supreme, even just a few generations ago.

Further back in time, the mythic past was a time of glory of the nation, with wars of conquest led by patriotic generals, its armies filled with its countrymen, able-bodied, loyal warriors whose wives were at home raising the next generation. In the present, these myths become the basis of the nation's identity under fascist politics.

In the rhetoric of extreme nationalists, such a glorious past has been lost by the humiliation brought on by globalism, liberal cosmopolitanism, and respect for "universal values" such as equality. These values are supposed to have made the nation weak in the face of real and threatening challenges to the nation's existence.

These myths are generally based on fantasies of a nonexistent past uniformity, which survives in the traditions of the small towns and countrysides that remain relatively unpolluted by the liberal decadence of the cities. This uniformity -- linguistic, religious, geographical, or ­ethnic -- ​can be perfectly ordinary in some nationalist movements, but fascist myths distinguish themselves with the creation of a glorious national history in which the members of the chosen nation ruled over others, the result of conquests and civilization-building achievements. For example, in the fascist imagination, the past invariably involves traditional, patriarchal gender roles. The fascist mythic past has a particular structure, which supports its authoritarian, hierarchical ideology. That past societies were rarely as patriarchal -- or indeed as glorious -- as fascist ideology represents them as being is beside the point. This imagined history provides proof to support the imposition of hierarchy in the present, and it dictates how contemporary society should look and behave.

In a 1922 speech at the Fascist Congress in Naples, Benito Mussolini declared:

We have created our myth. The myth is a faith, a passion. It is not necessary for it to be a reality. . . . Our myth is the nation, our myth is the greatness of the nation! And to this myth, this greatness, which we want to translate into a total reality, we subordinate everything.

The patriarchal family is one ideal that fascist politicians intend to create in society -- or return to, as they claim. The patriarchal family is always represented as a central part of the nation's traditions, diminished, even recently, by the advent of liberalism and cosmopolitanism. But why is patriarchy so strategically central to fascist politics?

In a fascist society, the leader of the nation is analogous to the father in the traditional patriarchal family. The leader is the father of his nation, and his strength and power are the source of his legal authority, just as the strength and power of the father of the family in patri­archy are supposed to be the source of his ultimate moral authority over his children and wife. The leader provides for his nation, just as in the traditional family the father is the provider. The patriarchal father's authority derives from his strength, and strength is the chief authoritarian value. By representing the nation's past as one with a patriarchal family structure, fascist politics connects nostalgia to a central organizing hierarchal authoritarian structure, one that finds its purest representation in these norms.

Gregor Strasser was the National Socialist -- Nazi -- Reich propaganda chief in the 1920s, before the post was taken over by Joseph Goebbels. According to Strasser, "for a man, military service is the most profound and valuable form of participation -- for the woman it is motherhood!" Paula Siber, the acting head of the Association of German Women, in a 1933 document meant to reflect official National Socialist state policy on women, declares that "to be a woman means to be a mother, means affirming with the whole conscious force of one's soul the value of being a mother and making it a law of life . . . ​the highest calling of the National Socialist woman is not just to bear children, but consciously and out of total devotion to her role and duty as mother to raise children for her people." Richard Grunberger, a British historian of National Socialism, sums up "the kernel of Nazi thinking on the women's question" as "a dogma of inequality between the sexes as immutable as that between the races." The historian Charu Gupta, in her 1991 article "Politics of Gender: Women in Nazi Germany," goes as far as to argue that "oppression of women in Nazi Germany in fact furnishes the most extreme case of anti-feminism in the 20th century."

Here, Mussolini makes clear that the fascist mythic past is intentionally mythical. The function of the mythic past, in fascist politics, is to harness the emotion of ­nostalgia to the central tenets of fascist ideology -- authoritarianism, hierarchy, purity, and struggle.

With the creation of a mythic past, fascist politics creates a link between nostalgia and the realization of fascist ideals. German fascists also clearly and explicitly appreciated this point about the strategic use of a mythological past. The leading Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, editor of the prominent Nazi newspaper the Völkischer Beobachter, writes in 1924, "the understanding of and the respect for our own mythological past and our own history will form the first condition for more firmly anchoring the coming generation in the soil of Europe's original homeland." The fascist mythic past exists to aid in changing the present.

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Stanley is the author of Know How; Languages in Context; More about Jason Stanley

5.0 out of 5 stars

July 17, 2018 Format: Hardcover Vine

Highly readable

w.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R36R5FWIWTP6F0/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0525511830">

By Joel E. Mitchell on September 13, 2018
Massive Partisan Bias

This could have been such a helpful, insightful book. The word "fascist" is hurled at political / ideological opponents so often that it has started to lose its meaning. I hoped that this book would provide a historical perspective on fascism by examining actual fascist governments and drawing some parallels to the more egregious / worrisome trends in US & European politics. The chapter titles in the table of contents were promising:

- The Mythic Past
- Propaganda
- Anti-Intellectual
- Unreality
- Hierarchy
- Victimhood
- Law & Order
- Sexual Anxiety
- Sodom & Gomorrah
- Arbeit Macht Frei

Ironically (given the book's subtitle) the author used his book divisively: to laud his left-wing political views and demonize virtually all distinctively right-wing views. He uses the term "liberal democracy" inconsistently throughout, disengenuously equivocating between the meaning of "representative democracy as opposed to autocratic or oligarchic government" (which most readers would agree is a good thing) and "American left-wing political views" (which he treats as equally self-evidently superior if you are a right-thinking person). Virtually all American right-wing political views are presented in straw-man form, defined in such a way that they fit his definition of fascist politics.

I was expecting there to be a pretty heavy smear-job on President Trump and his cronies (much of it richly deserved...the man's demagoguery and autocratic tendencies are frightening), but for this to turn into "let's find a way to define virtually everything the Republicans are and do as fascist politics" was massively disappointing. The absurdly biased portrayal of all things conservative and constant hymns of praise to all things and all people left-wing buried some good historical research and valid parallels under an avalanche of partisanism.

If you want a more historical, less partisan view of the rise of fascist politics, I would highly recommend Darkness Over Germany by E. Amy Buller (Review Here). It was written during World War II (based on interviews with Germans before WWII), so you will have to draw your own contemporary parallels...but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

[Oct 09, 2018] Alt-right platform

Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

War for Blair Mountain says: October 1, 2018 at 12:13 pm GMT 100 Words The ALT RIGHT point of view:

1)Bring the Troops back home .

2)massive defunding of the Pentagon .

3)Friendship with Christian Russia

4)0 economic and military aid to our friend Israel!!!

5)0 nonwhite LEGAL IMMIGRANTS FOREVER!!! .

6)mass deportation of the various Nonwhite Fifth Columns in America .

7)restoration of THE HISTORIC NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICAN MAJORITY to a 90 percent racial majority within the borders of America .

8)make homo legal marriage illegal again ..

9)strip away the right of Corprati0ns to have the legal standing of a person in a Court of Law .

Allan , says: October 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Why

strip away the right of Corprati0ns to have the legal standing of a person in a Court of Law .

when we could just abolish the institution of incorporation without remorse? This would like treating a cause of widespread disease with an ounce of inexpensive prevention.

Buh-bye limited liability parasitism. Buh-bye rootless, world-wandering capital with scant interest in the hosts' long-term wellbeing.

I suppose that there would be a shrill outcry of protest from the many little fire teams, squads, and platoons of mind rapists (e.g. A. Cockburn) who have a career interest in complaining for a living. But so what? It would be fun to watch "social justice" factions twist and squirm as a chorus of abolitionists asks why the "Resistance" never resisted "corporatocracy" with abolitionism. The rapists will "spew" much sanctimonious b.s. defensively between artful meals in nice restaurants, but the chorus will know a real reason. Lefty humanist finds incorporation very useful for cultivating the intense concentration of wealth and power which he pretends to oppose.

Eventually the chorus will get around to asking lefty internationalist about his contemporary plans to merge every firm with government without looking like an old fashioned commie expropriationist. The chorus might ask the mind rapists still more embarassing questions:

Righteous Lefty, why would you establish incorporation now if it wasn't a feature of commerce already? Because you would not then have a little handful of company shares to trade in a stock exchange? Nor be planning to exploit a stock tip from an ally who is married to a corporate go-getter with C-level knowledge of plans?

Traditional labor unions, TOO, have been involved with the racketeering of incorporation. Take the UMWA, for example. Where in the eleven points of its constitution is there any hint that labor organizers and their Blair Mountain warriors were thinking about abolishing a pernicious institution which had done so much to slant market power in favor of neverlaboring mine operators?

It's been obvious for some time that the allegedly right wing "ALT RIGHT" is another faction with little interest in getting rid of the corporation. It is sympathetic, however, to old fashioned communist schemes like "Social Security" and communist health care finance. So what, um, pecuniary interest does its leading lights have in maintaining the incorporated status quo? Explain, please.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 10, 2018] Trump was able to harness and give voice to some very important forces working against classic neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Serious border enforcement, demanding our wealthy allies do more for their own security, infrastructure investment, the (campaign's) refutation of Reaganomics, acknowledging the costs of globalism, calling BS on all of the dominant left PC pieties and lies, were themes of Trump's campaign that were of value. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

EarlyBird September 7, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Serious border enforcement, demanding our wealthy allies do more for their own security, infrastructure investment, the (campaign's) refutation of Reaganomics, acknowledging the costs of globalism, calling BS on all of the dominant left PC pieties and lies, were themes of Trump's campaign that were of value.

Trump was able to harness and give voice to some very important energies. But being Trump, he's poisoned these issues for a couple of generations. No serious leader will be able to touch these things.

Add this to all the institutional and political ruin he has created.

[Sep 08, 2018] Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies

Notable quotes:
"... he has brought North Korea away from the edge of nuclear war and established at least tentative diplomatic relations with that nation, something no president has done before him. Against frenzied opposition from the American Establishment, he has somewhat softened U.S. relations with Russia. ..."
"... On domestic and environmental matters, Trump is pro-plutocrat, a climate change denier, and the installer of arch-reactionary Supreme Court justices. But this is more a function of the current national Republican party than of Trump himself. Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Caleb Melamed says: September 8, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Trump is not crazy at all. He is the proponent of a particular philosophy, Trumpism, which he follows very clearly and consistently.

As president, he has had significant successes. Notably, he has brought North Korea away from the edge of nuclear war and established at least tentative diplomatic relations with that nation, something no president has done before him. Against frenzied opposition from the American Establishment, he has somewhat softened U.S. relations with Russia.

On domestic and environmental matters, Trump is pro-plutocrat, a climate change denier, and the installer of arch-reactionary Supreme Court justices. But this is more a function of the current national Republican party than of Trump himself. Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies.

Trumpism is undeniably a form of near-fascism. Trump has followed viciously anti-immigrant tendencies, and this, along with his ties to out-and-out racists, is the worst part of his presidency. But these horrible aspects do not at all show that he is crazy. He has used them coldly and calculatedly to gain power.

And while his schtick and bluster are indeed bizarre, he has used them very consistently to keep a 40%-plus approval rating in the face of an Establishment opposition the like of which has used against a president at least in our lifetimes.

As I have commented here before, except for Trump's disgusting anti-immigration policies, George W. Bush was on balance a far worse president.

[Aug 22, 2018] Beijing s Bid for Global Power in the Age of Trump by Alfred McCoy

This is partially incorrect view on Trump foreign policy. At the center of which is careful retreat for enormous expenses of keeping the global neoliberal empire, plus military Keyseanism to revive the us economy. Which means tremendous pressure of arm sales as the only way to improve trade balance.
NATO was always an instrument of the USA hegemony, so Trump behavior is perfectly compatible with this view -- he just downgraded vassals refusing usual formal respect for them, as they do no represent independent nations. That's why he addressed them with the contempt. He aptly remarked that German stance of relying on Russia hydrocarbons and still claiming the it needs the USA defense is pure hypocrisy. On the other side china, Russia and North Korea can't be considered the USA vassals.
China is completely dependent on the USA for advanced technologies so their dreams of becoming the world hegemon is such exist are premature.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington's dominance over the world economy had begun to wither and its once-superior work force to lose its competitive edge. ..."
"... By 2016, in fact, the dislocations brought on by the economic globalization that had gone with American dominion sparked a revolt of the dispossessed in democracies worldwide and in the American heartland, bringing the self-proclaimed "populist" Donald Trump to power. ..."
"... Determined to check his country's decline, he has adopted an aggressive and divisive foreign policy that has roiled long-established alliances in both Asia and Europe and is undoubtedly giving that decline new impetus. ..."
"... On the realpolitik side of that duality, Washington constructed a four-tier apparatus -- military, diplomatic, economic, and clandestine -- to advance a global dominion of unprecedented wealth and power. This apparatus rested on hundreds of military bases in Europe and Asia that made the U.S. the first power in history to dominate (if not control) the Eurasian continent. ..."
"... Instead of reigning confidently over international organizations, multilateral alliances, and a globalized economy, Trump evidently sees America standing alone and beleaguered in an increasingly troubled world -- exploited by self-aggrandizing allies, battered by unequal trade terms, threatened by tides of undocumented immigrants, and betrayed by self-serving elites too timid or compromised to defend the nation's interests. ..."
"... Instead of multilateral trade pacts like NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or even the WTO, Trump favors bilateral deals rewritten to the (supposed) advantage of the United States. ..."
"... As he took office, the nation, it claimed, faced "an extraordinarily dangerous world, filled with a wide range of threats." ..."
"... Despite such grandiose claims, each of President Trump's overseas trips has been a mission of destruction in terms of American global power. Each, seemingly by design, disrupted and possibly damaged alliances that have been the foundation for Washington's global power since the 1950s ..."
"... Donald Trump acted more like Argentina's former presidente Juan Perón, minus the medals. ..."
"... Beijing's low-cost infrastructure loans for 70 countries from the Baltic to the Pacific are already funding construction of the Mediterranean's busiest port at Piraeus, Greece, a major nuclear power plant in England, a $6 billion railroad through rugged Laos, and a $46 billion transport corridor across Pakistan. If successful, such infrastructure investments could help knit two dynamic continents, Europe and Asia -- home to a full 70% percent of the world's population and its resources -- into a unified market without peer on the planet. ..."
"... In January, to take advantage of Arctic waters opened by global warming, Beijing began planning for a "Polar Silk Road," a scheme that fits well with ambitious Russian and Scandinavian projects to establish a shorter shipping route around the continent's northern coast to Europe. ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Yet neither China nor any other state seems to have the full imperial complement of attributes to replace the United States as the dominant world leader. ..."
"... In addition to the fundamentals of military and economic power, "every successful empire," observes Cambridge University historian Joya Chatterji, "had to elaborate a universalist and inclusive discourse" to win support from the world's subordinate states and their leaders. ..."
"... China has nothing comparable. Its writing system has some 7,000 characters, not 26 letters. ..."
"... During Japan's occupation of Southeast Asia in World War II, its troops went from being hailed as liberators to facing open revolt across the region after they failed to propagate their similarly particularistic culture. ..."
"... A test of its attitude toward this system of global governance came in 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled unanimously that China's claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea "are contrary to the Convention [on the Law of the Sea] and without lawful effect." ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

...Although they started this century on generally amicable terms, China and the U.S. have, in recent years, moved toward military competition and open economic conflict. When China was admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, Washington was confident that Beijing would play by the established rules and become a compliant member of an American-led international community. There was almost no awareness of what might happen when a fifth of humanity joined the world system as an economic equal for the first time in five centuries.

By the time Xi Jinping became China's seventh president, a decade of rapid economic growth averaging 11% annually and currency reserves surging toward an unprecedented $4 trillion had created the economic potential for a rapid, radical shift in the global balance of power. After just a few months in office, Xi began tapping those vast reserves to launch a bold geopolitical gambit, a genuine challenge to U.S. dominion over Eurasia and the world beyond. Aglow in its status as the world's sole superpower after "winning" the Cold War, Washington had difficulty at first even grasping such newly developing global realities and was slow to react.

China's bid couldn't have been more fortuitous in its timing. After nearly 70 years as the globe's hegemon, Washington's dominance over the world economy had begun to wither and its once-superior work force to lose its competitive edge.

By 2016, in fact, the dislocations brought on by the economic globalization that had gone with American dominion sparked a revolt of the dispossessed in democracies worldwide and in the American heartland, bringing the self-proclaimed "populist" Donald Trump to power.

Determined to check his country's decline, he has adopted an aggressive and divisive foreign policy that has roiled long-established alliances in both Asia and Europe and is undoubtedly giving that decline new impetus.

Within months of Trump's entry into the Oval Office, the world was already witnessing a sharp rivalry between Xi's advocacy of a new form of global collaboration and Trump's version of economic nationalism. In the process, humanity seems to be entering a rare historical moment when national leadership and global circumstances have coincided to create an opening for a major shift in the nature of the world order.

Trump's Disruptive Foreign Policy

Despite their constant criticism of Donald Trump's leadership, few among Washington's corps of foreign policy experts have grasped his full impact on the historic foundations of American global power. The world order that Washington built after World War II rested upon what I've called a "delicate duality": an American imperium of raw military and economic power married to a community of sovereign nations, equal under the rule of law and governed through international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

On the realpolitik side of that duality, Washington constructed a four-tier apparatus -- military, diplomatic, economic, and clandestine -- to advance a global dominion of unprecedented wealth and power. This apparatus rested on hundreds of military bases in Europe and Asia that made the U.S. the first power in history to dominate (if not control) the Eurasian continent.

Even after the Cold War ended, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned that Washington would remain the world's preeminent power only as long as it maintained its geopolitical dominion over Eurasia. In the decade before Trump's election, there were, however, already signs that America's hegemony was on a downward trajectory as its share of global economic power fell from 50% in 1950 to just 15% in 2017. Many financial forecasts now project that China will surpass the U.S. as the world's number one economy by 2030, if not before.

In this era of decline, there has emerged from President Trump's torrent of tweets and off-the-cuff remarks a surprisingly coherent and grim vision of America's place in the present world order. Instead of reigning confidently over international organizations, multilateral alliances, and a globalized economy, Trump evidently sees America standing alone and beleaguered in an increasingly troubled world -- exploited by self-aggrandizing allies, battered by unequal trade terms, threatened by tides of undocumented immigrants, and betrayed by self-serving elites too timid or compromised to defend the nation's interests.

Instead of multilateral trade pacts like NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or even the WTO, Trump favors bilateral deals rewritten to the (supposed) advantage of the United States. In place of the usual democratic allies like Canada and Germany, he is trying to weave a web of personal ties to avowedly nationalist and autocratic leaders of a sort he clearly admires: Vladimir Putin in Russia, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Narendra Modi in India, Adel Fatah el-Sisi in Egypt, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Instead of old alliances like NATO, Trump favors loose coalitions of like-minded countries. As he sees it, a resurgent America will carry the world along, while crushing terrorists and dealing in uniquely personal ways with rogue states like Iran and North Korea.

His version of a foreign policy has found its fullest statement in his administration's December 2017 National Security Strategy. As he took office, the nation, it claimed, faced "an extraordinarily dangerous world, filled with a wide range of threats." But in less than a year of his leadership, it insisted, "We have renewed our friendships in the Middle East to help drive out terrorists and extremists America's allies are now contributing more to our common defense, strengthening even our strongest alliances." Humankind will benefit from the president's "beautiful vision" that "puts America First" and promotes "a balance of power that favors the United States." The whole world will, in short, be "lifted by America's renewal."

Despite such grandiose claims, each of President Trump's overseas trips has been a mission of destruction in terms of American global power. Each, seemingly by design, disrupted and possibly damaged alliances that have been the foundation for Washington's global power since the 1950s. During the president's first foreign trip in May 2017, he promptly voiced withering complaints about the supposed refusal of Washington's European allies to pay their "fair share" of NATO's military costs, leaving the U.S. stuck with the bill and, in a fashion unknown to American presidents, refused even to endorse the alliance's core principle of collective defense. It was a position so extreme in terms of the global politics of the previous half-century that he was later forced to formally back down . (By then, however, he had registered his contempt for those allies in an unforgettable fashion.)

During a second, no-less-divisive NATO visit in July, he charged that Germany was "a captive of Russia" and pressed the allies to immediately double their share of defense spending to a staggering 4% of gross domestic product (a level even Washington, with its monumental Pentagon budget, hasn't reached) -- a demand they all ignored. Just days later, he again questioned the very idea of a common defense, remarking that if "tiny" NATO ally Montenegro decided to "get aggressive," then "congratulations, you're in World War III."

Moving on to England, he promptly kneecapped close ally Theresa May, telling a British tabloid that the prime minister had bungled her country's Brexit withdrawal from the European Union and "killed off any chance of a vital U.S. trade deal." He then went on to Helsinki for a summit with Vladimir Putin, where he visibly abased himself before NATO's nominal nemesis, completely enough that there were even brief, angry protests from leaders of his own party.

During Trump's major Asia tour in November 2017, he addressed the Asian-Pacific Economic Council (APEC) in Vietnam, offering an extended "tirade" against multilateral trade agreements, particularly the WTO. To counter intolerable "trade abuses," such as "product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation, and predatory industrial policies," he swore that he would always "put America first" and not let it "be taken advantage of anymore." Having denounced a litany of trade violations that he termed nothing less than "economic aggression" against America, he invited everyone there to share his "Indo-Pacific dream" of the world as a "beautiful constellation" of "strong, sovereign, and independent nations," each working like the United States to build "wealth and freedom."

Responding to such a display of narrow economic nationalism from the globe's leading power, Xi Jinping had a perfect opportunity to play the world statesman and he took it, calling upon APEC to support an economic order that is "more open, inclusive, and balanced." He spoke of China's future economic plans as an historic bid for "interconnected development to achieve common prosperity on the Asian, European, and African continents."

As China has lifted 60 million of its own people out of poverty in just a few years and was committed to its complete eradication by 2020, so he urged a more equitable world order "to bring the benefits of development to countries across the globe." For its part, China, he assured his listeners, was ready to make "$2 trillion of outbound investment" -- much of it for the development of Eurasia and Africa (in ways, of course, that would link that vast region more closely to China). In other words, he sounded like a twenty-first century Chinese version of a twentieth-century American president, while Donald Trump acted more like Argentina's former presidente Juan Perón, minus the medals. As if to put another nail in the coffin of American global dominion, the remaining 11 Trans-Pacific trade pact partners, led by Japan and Canada, announced major progress in finalizing that agreement -- without the United States.

In addition to undermining NATO, America's Pacific alliances, long its historic fulcrum for the defense of North America and the dominance of Asia, are eroding, too. Even after 10 personal meetings and frequent phone calls between Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump during his first 18 months in office, the president's America First trade policy has placed a "major strain" on Washington's most crucial alliance in the region. First, he ignored Abe's pleas and cancelled the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and then, as if his message hadn't been strong enough, he promptly imposed heavy tariffs on Japanese steel imports. Similarly, he's denounced the Canadian prime minister as "dishonest" and mimicked Indian Prime Minister Modi's accent, even as he made chummy with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and then claimed , inaccurately , that his country was "no longer a nuclear threat."

It all adds up to a formula for further decline at a faster pace.

Beijing's Grand Strategy

While Washington's influence in Asia recedes, Beijing's grows ever stronger. As China's currency reserves climbed rapidly from $200 billion in 2001 to a peak of $4 trillion in 2014, President Xi launched a new initiative of historic import. In September 2013, speaking in Kazakhstan, the heart of Asia's ancient Silk Road caravan route, he proclaimed a "one belt, one road initiative" aimed at economically integrating the enormous Eurasian land mass around Beijing's leadership. Through "unimpeded trade" and infrastructure investment, he suggested, it would be possible to connect "the Pacific and the Baltic Sea" in a proposed "economic belt along the Silk Road," a region "inhabited by close to 3 billion people." It could become, he predicted, "the biggest market in the world with unparalleled potential."

Within a year, Beijing had established a Chinese-dominated Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank with 56 member nations and an impressive $100 billion in capital, while launching its own $40 billion Silk Road Fund for private equity projects. When China convened what it called a "belt and road summit" of 28 world leaders in Beijing in May 2017, Xi could, with good reason, hail his initiative as the "project of the century."

Although the U.S. media has often described the individual projects involved in his "one belt, one road" project as wasteful , sybaritic , exploitative , or even neo-colonial , its sheer scale and scope merits closer consideration. Beijing is expected to put a mind-boggling $1.3 trillion into the initiative by 2027, the largest investment in human history, more than 10 times the famed American Marshall Plan, the only comparable program, which spent a more modest $110 billion (when adjusted for inflation) to rebuild a ravaged Europe after World War II.

Beijing's low-cost infrastructure loans for 70 countries from the Baltic to the Pacific are already funding construction of the Mediterranean's busiest port at Piraeus, Greece, a major nuclear power plant in England, a $6 billion railroad through rugged Laos, and a $46 billion transport corridor across Pakistan. If successful, such infrastructure investments could help knit two dynamic continents, Europe and Asia -- home to a full 70% percent of the world's population and its resources -- into a unified market without peer on the planet.

Underlying this flurry of flying dirt and flowing concrete, the Chinese leadership seems to have a design for transcending the vast distances that have historically separated Asia from Europe. As a start, Beijing is building a comprehensive network of trans-continental gas and oil pipelines to import fuels from Siberia and Central Asia for its own population centers. When the system is complete, there will be an integrated inland energy grid (including Russia's extensive network of pipelines) that will extend 6,000 miles across Eurasia, from the North Atlantic to the South China Sea. Next, Beijing is working to link Europe's extensive rail network with its own expanded high-speed rail system via transcontinental lines through Central Asia, supplemented by spur lines running due south to Singapore and southwest through Pakistan.

Finally, to facilitate sea transport around the sprawling continent's southern rim, China has already bought into or is in the process of building more than 30 major port facilities, stretching from the Straits of Malacca across the Indian Ocean, around Africa, and along Europe's extended coastline. In January, to take advantage of Arctic waters opened by global warming, Beijing began planning for a "Polar Silk Road," a scheme that fits well with ambitious Russian and Scandinavian projects to establish a shorter shipping route around the continent's northern coast to Europe.

Though Eurasia is its prime focus, China is also pursuing economic expansion in Africa and Latin America to create what might be dubbed the strategy of the four continents. To tie Africa into its projected Eurasian network, Beijing already had doubled its annual trade there by 2015 to $222 billion, three times that of the United States, thanks to a massive infusion of capital expected to reach a trillion dollars by 2025. Much of it is financing the sort of commodities extraction that has already made the continent China's second largest source of crude oil. Similarly, Beijing has invested heavily in Latin America, acquiring, for instance, control over 90% of Ecuador's oil reserves. As a result, its commerce with that continent doubled in a decade, reaching $244 billion in 2017, topping U.S. trade with what once was known as its own "backyard."

A Conflict with Consequences

This contest between Xi's globalism and Trump's nationalism has not been safely confined to an innocuous marketplace of ideas. Over the past four years, the two powers have engaged in an escalating military rivalry and a cutthroat commercial competition. Apart from a shadowy struggle for dominance in space and cyberspace, there has also been a visible, potentially volatile naval arms race to control the sea lanes surrounding Asia, specifically in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. In a 2015 white paper, Beijing stated that "it is necessary for China to develop a modern maritime military force structure commensurate with its national security." Backed by lethal land-based missiles, jet fighters, and a global satellite system, China has built just such a modernized fleet of 320 ships, including nuclear submarines and its first aircraft carriers.

Within two years, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson reported that China's "growing and modernized fleet" was "shrinking" the traditional American advantage in the Pacific, and warned that "we must shake off any vestiges of comfort or complacency." Under Trump's latest $700-billion-plus defense budget, Washington has responded to this challenge with a crash program to build 46 new ships, which will raise its total to 326 by 2023. As China builds new naval bases bristling with armaments in the Arabian and South China seas, the U.S. Navy has begun conducting assertive "freedom-of-navigation" patrols near many of those same installations, heightening the potential for conflict.

It is in the commercial realm of trade and tariffs, however, where competition has segued into overt conflict. Acting on his belief that "trade wars are good and easy to win," President Trump slapped heavy tariffs, targeted above all at China, on steel imports in March and, just a few weeks later, punished that country's intellectual property theft by promising tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports. When those tariffs finally hit in July, China immediately retaliated against what it called "typical trade bullying" with similar tariffs on U.S. goods. The Financial Times warned that this "tit-for-tat" can escalate into a "full bore trade war that will be very bad for the global economy." As Trump threatened to tax $500 billion more in Chinese imports and issued confusing, even contradictory demands that made it unlikely Beijing could ever comply, observers became concerned that a long-lasting trade war could destabilize what the New York Times called the "mountain of debt" that sustains much of China's economy. In Washington, the usually taciturn Federal Reserve chairman issued an uncommon warning that "trade tensions could pose serious risks to the U.S. and global economy."

China as Global Hegemon?

Although a withering of Washington's global reach, abetted and possibly accelerated by the Trump presidency, is already underway, the shape of any future world order is still anything but clear. At present, China is the sole state with the obvious requisites for becoming the planet's new hegemon. Its phenomenal economic rise, coupled with its expanding military and growing technological prowess, provide that country with the obvious fundamentals for superpower status.

Yet neither China nor any other state seems to have the full imperial complement of attributes to replace the United States as the dominant world leader. Apart from its rising economic and military clout, China, like its sometime ally Russia, has a self-referential culture, non-democratic political structures, and a developing legal system that could deny it some of the key instruments for global leadership.

In addition to the fundamentals of military and economic power, "every successful empire," observes Cambridge University historian Joya Chatterji, "had to elaborate a universalist and inclusive discourse" to win support from the world's subordinate states and their leaders. Successful imperial transitions driven by the hard power of guns and money also require the soft-power salve of cultural suasion for sustained and successful global dominion. Spain espoused Catholicism and Hispanism, the Ottomans Islam, the Soviets communism, France a cultural francophonie , and Britain an Anglophone culture.

Indeed, during its century of global dominion from 1850 to 1940, Britain was the exemplar par excellence of such soft power, evincing an enticing cultural ethos of fair play and free markets that it propagated through the Anglican church, the English language and its literature, and the virtual invention of modern athletics (cricket, soccer, tennis, rugby, and rowing). Similarly, at the dawn of its global dominion, the United States courted allies worldwide through soft-power programs promoting democracy and development. These were made all the more palatable by the appeal of such things as Hollywood films, civic organizations like Rotary International , and popular sports like basketball and baseball.

China has nothing comparable. Its writing system has some 7,000 characters, not 26 letters. Its communist ideology and popular culture are remarkably, even avowedly, particularistic. And you don't have to look far for another Asian power that attempted Pacific dominion without the salve of soft power. During Japan's occupation of Southeast Asia in World War II, its troops went from being hailed as liberators to facing open revolt across the region after they failed to propagate their similarly particularistic culture.

As command-economy states for much of the past century, neither China nor Russia developed an independent judiciary or the autonomous rules-based order that undergirds the modern international system. From the foundation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 1899 through the formation of the International Court of Justice under the U.N.'s 1945 charter, the world's nations have aspired to the resolution of conflicts via arbitration or litigation rather than armed conflict. More broadly, the modern globalized economy is held together by a web of conventions, treaties, patents, and contracts grounded in law.

From its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China gave primacy to the party and state, slowing the growth of an autonomous legal system and the rule of law. A test of its attitude toward this system of global governance came in 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled unanimously that China's claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea "are contrary to the Convention [on the Law of the Sea] and without lawful effect." Beijing's Foreign Ministry simply dismissed the adverse decision as "invalid" and without "binding force." President Xi insisted China's "territorial sovereignty and maritime rights" were unchanged, while the state Xinhua news agency called the ruling "naturally null and void."

If Donald Trump's vision of world disorder is a sign of the American future and if Beijing's projected $2 trillion in infrastructure investments, history's largest by far, succeed in unifying the commerce and transport of Asia, Africa, and Europe, then perhaps the currents of financial power and global leadership will indeed transcend all barriers and flow inexorably toward Beijing, as if by natural law. But if that bold initiative ultimately fails, then for the first time in five centuries the world may face an imperial transition without a clear successor as global hegemon. Moreover, it will do so on a planet where the " new normal " of climate change -- the heating of the atmosphere and the oceans , the intensification of flood, drought, and fire , the rising seas that will devastate coastal cities, and the cascading damage to a densely populated world -- could mean that the very idea of a global hegemon is fast becoming a thing of the past.

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade , the now-classic book which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the recently published In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (Dispatch Books).

[Aug 18, 2018] https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/3/15914750/steve-bannon-trump-tax-rich

Aug 18, 2018 | www.vox.com

That might have been true .then. However, Bannon was never the puppet master (Trump is a capitalist who has never listened to anyone else apart from his own messy ego in his life: the idea that he would be a puppet for anyone, Bannon, Putin or whatever, is risible). Without wanting to raise from the dead the 'Trump is teh Hitler' meme: there is a very very tiny grain of truth in it, just as there is a very very tiny grain of truth in the right wing idea that Hitler was a socialist because his party had the word 'socialist' in it. Hitler's initial programme really did have a tiny element of 'socialism' in it, and some elements of the working class (shamefully) swallowed the lies and gained him votes.

But it was never real and Hitler was never going to deliver. He dealt with the Brownshirts (the most authentically 'working class' and 'socialist' part of the Nazi movement) in the Night of the Long Knives, and from that point on, the 'socialist' parts of the Nazi programme were steadily ditched, as the regime became more and more strongly right wing throughout the '30s.

Same with Trump (in this respect only). It's true that in the run up to the election he threw some scraps to the working class, and some of his protectionist rhetoric swung him some states in the Rust Belt. Some union supporters, to their shame, trooped along to the White House soon after.

But Trump, a right wing Republican who is, as I've said, far more orthodox a Republican than the media would have you believe, was never going to deliver. Bannon was the most 'left wing' of Trump's circle (and as his admiration for Thatcher makes clear, he was never very left wing) and he was quickly cast out. Trump did not, in fact, 'drain the swamp' and nor did he try. His major economic policy has turned out to be .tax cuts for the rich. And he has totally failed to follow through on the (interesting) isolationist rhetoric he used in his election campaign (despite the fact that some of us hoped otherwise). He has turned out to be as much of a warmonger as Obama or even Bush jr (even towards Russia, again despite what the media would have you believe).

And we haven't heard too much about that 'trillion dollar' investment in infrastructure recently have we?

The problem is that the Democrats have concentrated on the (mainly trivial and uninteresting) ways in which Trump differs from previous Republican Presidents (the lies, the silly tweets, the dubious rhetoric) and have therefore persuaded themselves that this 'unorthodox' President will have to be removed by 'unorthodox means'. 'Tain't so. Trump will be removed the only way any President (except Nixon) has ever been removed since the dawn of the Republic: by the opposing party organising, developing a strong program that people can believe in, and getting out the core vote. No election has ever been won any other way. In the case of the Democrats this means using the might and money of organised labour and activists to get candidates who can inspire and who have a genuinely progressive message that resonates with people.

Democrats, #Russiagate will not save you. Getting your core vote out to vote for a genuinely progressive candidate, will.

Likbez

@Hidari 08.18.18 at 6:41 pm

Powerful post and a veryclear thinking. Thank you !

Also an interesting analogy with NSDAP the 25-point Plan of 1928

Hitler's initial programme really did have a tiny element of 'socialism' in it, and some elements of the working class (shamefully) swallowed the lies and gained him votes.

But it was never real, and Hitler was never going to deliver. He dealt with the Brownshirts (the most authentically 'working class' and 'socialist' part of the Nazi movement) in the Night of the Long Knives, and from that point on, the 'socialist' parts of the Nazi programme were steadily ditched, as the regime became more and more strongly right wing throughout the '30s.

Same with Trump (in this respect only). It's true that in the run-up to the election he threw some scraps to the working class, and some of his protectionist rhetoric swung him some states in the Rust Belt. Some union supporters, to their shame, trooped along to the White House soon after.

Actually NSAP program of 1928 has some political demands which are to the left of Sanders such as "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes", ".We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts)." and "We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries."

7.We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens... ... ...

... ... ...

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

... ... ...

21.The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22.We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23.We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press...

.... ... ...

24.We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race...

But I think Trump was de-facto impeached with the appointment of Mueller. And that was the plan ( "insurance" as Strzok called it). Mueller task is just to formalize impeachment.

Pence already is calling the shots in foreign policy via members of his close circle (which includes Pompeo). The recent "unilateral" actions of State Department are a slap in the face and, simultaneously, a nasty trap for Trump (he can cancel those sanctions only at a huge political cost to himself) and are a clear sign that Trump does not control even his administration. Here is how <a href="http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/august/17/america-the-punitive/">Philip Giraldi</a> described this obvious slap in the face:

The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th. The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia, leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner. Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.

From the very beginning, any anti-globalization initiative of Trump was sabotaged and often reversed. Haley is one example here. She does not coordinate some of her actions with Trump or the Secretary of State unliterary defining the US foreign policy.

Her ambitions worry Trump, but he can so very little: she is supported by Pence and Pence faction in the administration. Rumors "Haley/Pence 2020" surfaced and probably somewhat poison atmosphere in the WH.

Add to this that Trump has hostile to him Justice Department, CIA, and FBI. He also does not control some critical appointments such as the recent appointment of CIA director (who in no way can be called Trump loyalist).

Which means that in some ways Trump already is a hostage and more ceremonial President than a real.

[Aug 12, 2018] What is Trumpism by Sanjay Reddy

Notable quotes:
"... By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
Aug 12, 2018 | www.ineteconomics.org

... ... ...

Grappling with the shock of Donald Trump's election victory, most analysts focus on his appeal to those in the United States who feel left behind, wish to retrieve a lost social order, and sought to rebuke establishment politicians who do not serve their interests. In this respect, the recent American revolt echoes the shock of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but it is of far greater significance because it promises to reshape the entire global order, and the complaisant forms of thought that accompanied it.

Ideas played an important role in creating the conditions that produced Brexit and Trump. The 'social sciences' -- especially economics -- legitimated a set of ideas about the economy that were aggressively peddled and became the conventional wisdom in the policies of mainstream political parties, to the extent that the central theme of the age came to be that there was no alternative. The victory of these ideas in politics in turn strengthened the iron-handed enforcers of the same ideas in academic orthodoxy.

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements. Economics made the case for such agreements, generally rejecting concerns over labor and environmental standards and giving short shrift to the effects of globalization in weakening the bargaining power of workers or altogether displacing them; to the need for compensatory measures to aid those displaced; and more generally to measures to ensure that the benefits of growth were shared. For the most part, economists casually waved aside such concerns, both in their theories and in their policy recommendations, treating these matters as either insignificant or as being in the jurisdiction of politicians. Still less attention was paid to crafting an alternate form of globalization, or to identifying bases for national economic policies taking a less passive view of comparative advantage and instead aiming to create it.

Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.

Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

[Aug 11, 2018] Economics, Trumpism and Migration

Aug 11, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Still, to the extent that Trumpism has any economic policy content it's the idea that a package of immigration restrictions and corporate tax cuts[1] will make workers better off by reducing competition from migrants and increasing labor demand from corporations. The second part of this claim has been pretty thoroughly demolished, so I want to look mainly at the first. However, as we will see, the corporate tax cuts remain central to the argument.

likbez>, 08.11.18 at 7:52 pm 11

Still, to the extent that Trumpism has any economic policy content it's the idea that a package of immigration restrictions and corporate tax cuts[1] will make workers better off by reducing competition from migrants and increasing labor demand from corporations.

The emergence of Trumpism signifies deepening of the ideological crisis for the neoliberalism. Neoclassical economics fell like a house of cards. IMHO Trumpism can be viewed as a kind of "national neoliberalism" which presuppose rejection of three dogmas of "classic neoliberalism":

1. Rejection of neoliberal globalization including, but not limited to, free movement of labor. Attempt to protect domestic industries via tariff barriers.

2. Rejection of excessive financialization and primacy of financial oligarchy. Restoration of the status of manufacturing, and "traditional capitalists" status in comparison with financial oligarchy.

3. Rejection of austerity. An attempt to fight "secular stagnation" via Military Keysianism.

Trumpism sent "Chicago school" line of thinking to the dustbin of history. It exposed neoliberal economists as agents of financial oligarchy and "Enemy of the American People" (famous Trump phase about neoliberal MSM).

See, for example, a good summary by Sanjay Reddy ( Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research) at https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/trumpism-has-dealt-a-mortal-blow-to-orthodox-economics-and-social-science.html

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements. ...

Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proletarianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.

Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.

Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.

[Aug 08, 2018] The Empire-Lovers Strike Back Trump, Putin and the Post-Helsinki Uproar by Richard Rubenstein

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Resolving Structural Conflicts ..."
"... How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Why, then, would a coalition of leftish and right-wing patriots not join in denouncing a leader who seemed to put Russia's interests ahead of those of his own country? Sorry to say, things are not so simple. Look a bit more closely at what holds the anti-Trump foreign policy coalition together, and you will discover a missing reality that virtually no one will acknowledge directly: the existence of a beleaguered but still potent American Empire whose junior partner is Europe. What motivates a broad range of the President's opponents, then, is not so much the fear that he is anti-American as the suspicion that he is anti-Empire.

Of course, neither liberals nor conservatives dare to utter the "E-word." Rather, they argue in virtually identical terms that Trump's foreign and trade policies are threatening the pillars of world order: NATO, the Group of Seven, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the OSCE, and so forth. These institutions, they claim, along with American military power and a willingness to use it when necessary, are primarily responsible for the peaceful, prosperous, free, and democratic world that we have all been privileged to inhabit since the Axis powers surrendered to the victorious Allies in 1945.

The fear expressed plainly by The New York Times 's David Leonhardt, a self-described "left-liberal," is that "Trump wants to destroy the Atlantic Alliance." Seven months earlier, this same fear motivated the arch-conservative National Review to editorialize that, "Under Trump, America has retreated from its global and moral leadership roles, alienated its democratic allies, and abandoned the bipartisan defense of liberal ideals that led to more than 70 years of security and prosperity." All the critics would agree with Wolfgang Ischinger, chair of the Munich Security Conference, who recently stated, "Let's face it. Mr. Trump's core beliefs conflict with the foundations of Western grand strategy since the mid-1940's."

"Western grand strategy," of course, is a euphemism for U.S. global hegemony – world domination, to put it plainly. In addition to peace and prosperity (mainly for privileged groups in privileged nations), this is the same strategy which since 1945 has given the world the Cold War, the specter of a nuclear holocaust, and proxy wars consuming between 10 and 20 million lives in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Its direct effects include the overthrow of elected governments in Guatemala, Iran, Lebanon, Congo, Nigeria, Indonesia, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Granada, Ukraine, et al.; the bribery of public officials and impoverishment and injury of workers and farmers world-wide as a result of exploitation and predatory "development" by Western governments and mega-corporations; the destruction of natural environments and exacerbation of global climate change by these same governments and corporations; and the increasing likelihood of new imperialist wars caused by the determination of elites to maintain America's global supremacy at all costs.

It is interesting that most defenders of the Western Alliance (and its Pacific equivalent: the more loosely organized anti-Chinese alliance of Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea) virtually never talk about American hegemony or the gigantic military apparatus (with more than 800 U.S. bases in 60 or so nations and a military-industrial complex worth trillions) that supports it. Nor is the subject of empire high on Mr. Trump's list of approved twitter topics, even when he desecrates NATO and other sacred cows of the Alliance. There are several reasons for this silence, but the most important, perhaps, is the need to maintain the pretense of American moral superiority: the so-called "exceptionalist" position that inspires McCain to attack Trump for "false equivalency" (the President's statement in Helsinki that both Russia and the U.S. have made mistakes), and that leads pundits left and right to argue that America is not an old-style empire seeking to dominate, but a new-style democracy seeking to liberate.

The narrative you will hear repeated ad nauseum at both ends of the liberal/conservative spectrum tells how the Yanks, who won WW II with a little help from the Russians and other allies, and who then thoroughly dominated the world both economically and militarily, could have behaved like vengeful conquerors, but instead devoted their resources and energies to spreading democracy, freedom, and the blessings of capitalism around the world. Gag me with a Tomahawk cruise missile! What is weird about this narrative is that it "disappears" not only the millions of victims of America's wars but the very military forces that nationalists like Trump claim deserve to be worshipfully honored. Eight hundred bases? A million and a half troops on active duty? Total air and sea domination? I'm shocked . . . shocked!

In fact, there are two sorts of blindness operative in the current U.S. political environment. The Democratic Party Establishment, now swollen to include a wide variety of Russia-haters, globalizing capitalists, and militarists, is blind (or pretends to be) to the connection between the "Western Alliance" and the American Empire. The Trump Party (which I expect, one of these days, to shed the outworn Republican label in favor of something more Berlusconi-like, say, the American Greatness Party) is blind – or pretends to be – to the contradiction between its professed
"Fortress America" nationalism and the reality of a global U.S. imperium.

This last point is worth emphasizing. In a recent article in The Nation , Michael Klare, a writer I generally admire, claims to have discovered that there is really a method to Trump's foreign policy madness, i.e., the President favors the sort of "multi-polar" world, with Russia and China occupying the two other poles, that Putin and Xi Jinping have long advocated. Two factors make this article odd as well as interesting. First, the author argues that multi-polarity is a bad idea, because "smaller, weaker states, and minority peoples everywhere will be given even shorter shrift than at present when caught in any competitive jousting for influence among the three main competitors (and their proxies)." Wha? Even shorter shrift than under unipolarity? I think not, especially considering that adding new poles (why just three, BTW? What about India and Brazil?) gives smaller states and minority peoples many more bargaining options in the power game.

More important, however, Trump's multi-polar/nationalist ideals are clearly contradicted by his determination to make American world domination even more overwhelming by vastly increasing the size of the U.S. military establishment. Klare notes, correctly, that the President has denounced the Iraq War, criticized American "overextension" abroad, talked about ending the Afghan War, and declared that the U.S. should not be "the world's policeman." But if he wants America to become a mere Great Power in a world of Great Powers, Trump will clearly have to do more than talk about it. He will have to cut the military budget, abandon military bases, negotiate arms control agreements, convert military-industrial spending to peaceful uses, and do all sorts of other things he clearly has no intention of doing. Ever.

No – if the Western Alliance, democratic values, and WTO trade rules provide ideological cover and junior partners for American global hegemony, "go-it-alone" nationalism, multi-polarity, and Nobel Peace Prize diplomatic efforts provide ideological cover for . . . American global hegemony! This can be seen most clearly in the case of Iran, against whom Trump has virtually declared war. He would like to avoid direct military involvement there, of course, but he is banking on threats of irresistible "fire and fury" to bring the Iranians to heel. And if these threats are unavailing? Then – count on it! – the Empire will act like an empire, and we will have open war.

In fact, Trump and his most vociferous critics and supporters are unknowingly playing the same game. John Brennan, meet Steve Bannon! You preach very different sermons, but you're working for the same god. That deity's name changes over the centuries, but we worship him every time we venerate symbols of military might at sports events, pay taxes to support U.S. military supremacy, or pledge allegiance to a flag. The name unutterable by both Trump and his enemies is Empire.

What do we do with the knowledge that both the Tweeter King and the treason-baiting coalition opposing him are imperialists under the skin? Two positions, I think, have to be rejected. One is the Lyndon Johnson rationale: since Johnson was progressive on domestic issues, including civil rights and poverty, that made him preferable to the Republicans, even though he gave us the quasi-genocidal war in Indochina. The other position is the diametric opposite: since Trump is less blatantly imperialistic than most Democratic Party leaders, we ought to favor him, despite his billionaire-loving, immigrant-hating, racist and misogynist domestic policies. Merely to say this is to refute it.

My own view is that anti-imperialists ought to decline to choose between these alternatives. We ought to name the imperial god that both Trump and his critics worship and demand that the party that we work and vote for renounce the pursuit of U.S. global hegemony. Immediately, this means letting self-proclaimed progressives or libertarians in both major parties know that avoiding new hot and cold wars, eliminating nuclear weapons and other WMD, slashing military spending, and converting war production to peaceful uses are top priorities that must be honored if they are to get our support. No political party can deliver peace and social justice and maintain the Empire at the same time. If neither Republicans nor Democrats are capable of facing this reality, we will have to create a new party that can.

Notes.

[1] The author is University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George Mason University. His most recent book is Resolving Structural Conflicts : How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed (2017).

[Aug 05, 2018] The Empire-Lovers Strike Back Trump, Putin and the Post-Helsinki Uproar

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Resolving Structural Conflicts ..."
"... How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Why, then, would a coalition of leftish and right-wing patriots not join in denouncing a leader who seemed to put Russia's interests ahead of those of his own country? Sorry to say, things are not so simple. Look a bit more closely at what holds the anti-Trump foreign policy coalition together, and you will discover a missing reality that virtually no one will acknowledge directly: the existence of a beleaguered but still potent American Empire whose junior partner is Europe. What motivates a broad range of the President's opponents, then, is not so much the fear that he is anti-American as the suspicion that he is anti-Empire.

Of course, neither liberals nor conservatives dare to utter the "E-word." Rather, they argue in virtually identical terms that Trump's foreign and trade policies are threatening the pillars of world order: NATO, the Group of Seven, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the OSCE, and so forth. These institutions, they claim, along with American military power and a willingness to use it when necessary, are primarily responsible for the peaceful, prosperous, free, and democratic world that we have all been privileged to inhabit since the Axis powers surrendered to the victorious Allies in 1945.

The fear expressed plainly by The New York Times 's David Leonhardt, a self-described "left-liberal," is that "Trump wants to destroy the Atlantic Alliance." Seven months earlier, this same fear motivated the arch-conservative National Review to editorialize that, "Under Trump, America has retreated from its global and moral leadership roles, alienated its democratic allies, and abandoned the bipartisan defense of liberal ideals that led to more than 70 years of security and prosperity." All the critics would agree with Wolfgang Ischinger, chair of the Munich Security Conference, who recently stated, "Let's face it. Mr. Trump's core beliefs conflict with the foundations of Western grand strategy since the mid-1940's."

"Western grand strategy," of course, is a euphemism for U.S. global hegemony – world domination, to put it plainly. In addition to peace and prosperity (mainly for privileged groups in privileged nations), this is the same strategy which since 1945 has given the world the Cold War, the specter of a nuclear holocaust, and proxy wars consuming between 10 and 20 million lives in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Its direct effects include the overthrow of elected governments in Guatemala, Iran, Lebanon, Congo, Nigeria, Indonesia, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Granada, Ukraine, et al.; the bribery of public officials and impoverishment and injury of workers and farmers world-wide as a result of exploitation and predatory "development" by Western governments and mega-corporations; the destruction of natural environments and exacerbation of global climate change by these same governments and corporations; and the increasing likelihood of new imperialist wars caused by the determination of elites to maintain America's global supremacy at all costs.

It is interesting that most defenders of the Western Alliance (and its Pacific equivalent: the more loosely organized anti-Chinese alliance of Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea) virtually never talk about American hegemony or the gigantic military apparatus (with more than 800 U.S. bases in 60 or so nations and a military-industrial complex worth trillions) that supports it. Nor is the subject of empire high on Mr. Trump's list of approved twitter topics, even when he desecrates NATO and other sacred cows of the Alliance. There are several reasons for this silence, but the most important, perhaps, is the need to maintain the pretense of American moral superiority: the so-called "exceptionalist" position that inspires McCain to attack Trump for "false equivalency" (the President's statement in Helsinki that both Russia and the U.S. have made mistakes), and that leads pundits left and right to argue that America is not an old-style empire seeking to dominate, but a new-style democracy seeking to liberate.

The narrative you will hear repeated ad nauseum at both ends of the liberal/conservative spectrum tells how the Yanks, who won WW II with a little help from the Russians and other allies, and who then thoroughly dominated the world both economically and militarily, could have behaved like vengeful conquerors, but instead devoted their resources and energies to spreading democracy, freedom, and the blessings of capitalism around the world. Gag me with a Tomahawk cruise missile! What is weird about this narrative is that it "disappears" not only the millions of victims of America's wars but the very military forces that nationalists like Trump claim deserve to be worshipfully honored. Eight hundred bases? A million and a half troops on active duty? Total air and sea domination? I'm shocked . . . shocked!

In fact, there are two sorts of blindness operative in the current U.S. political environment. The Democratic Party Establishment, now swollen to include a wide variety of Russia-haters, globalizing capitalists, and militarists, is blind (or pretends to be) to the connection between the "Western Alliance" and the American Empire. The Trump Party (which I expect, one of these days, to shed the outworn Republican label in favor of something more Berlusconi-like, say, the American Greatness Party) is blind – or pretends to be – to the contradiction between its professed
"Fortress America" nationalism and the reality of a global U.S. imperium.

This last point is worth emphasizing. In a recent article in The Nation , Michael Klare, a writer I generally admire, claims to have discovered that there is really a method to Trump's foreign policy madness, i.e., the President favors the sort of "multi-polar" world, with Russia and China occupying the two other poles, that Putin and Xi Jinping have long advocated. Two factors make this article odd as well as interesting. First, the author argues that multi-polarity is a bad idea, because "smaller, weaker states, and minority peoples everywhere will be given even shorter shrift than at present when caught in any competitive jousting for influence among the three main competitors (and their proxies)." Wha? Even shorter shrift than under unipolarity? I think not, especially considering that adding new poles (why just three, BTW? What about India and Brazil?) gives smaller states and minority peoples many more bargaining options in the power game.

More important, however, Trump's multi-polar/nationalist ideals are clearly contradicted by his determination to make American world domination even more overwhelming by vastly increasing the size of the U.S. military establishment. Klare notes, correctly, that the President has denounced the Iraq War, criticized American "overextension" abroad, talked about ending the Afghan War, and declared that the U.S. should not be "the world's policeman." But if he wants America to become a mere Great Power in a world of Great Powers, Trump will clearly have to do more than talk about it. He will have to cut the military budget, abandon military bases, negotiate arms control agreements, convert military-industrial spending to peaceful uses, and do all sorts of other things he clearly has no intention of doing. Ever.

No – if the Western Alliance, democratic values, and WTO trade rules provide ideological cover and junior partners for American global hegemony, "go-it-alone" nationalism, multi-polarity, and Nobel Peace Prize diplomatic efforts provide ideological cover for . . . American global hegemony! This can be seen most clearly in the case of Iran, against whom Trump has virtually declared war. He would like to avoid direct military involvement there, of course, but he is banking on threats of irresistible "fire and fury" to bring the Iranians to heel. And if these threats are unavailing? Then – count on it! – the Empire will act like an empire, and we will have open war.

In fact, Trump and his most vociferous critics and supporters are unknowingly playing the same game. John Brennan, meet Steve Bannon! You preach very different sermons, but you're working for the same god. That deity's name changes over the centuries, but we worship him every time we venerate symbols of military might at sports events, pay taxes to support U.S. military supremacy, or pledge allegiance to a flag. The name unutterable by both Trump and his enemies is Empire.

What do we do with the knowledge that both the Tweeter King and the treason-baiting coalition opposing him are imperialists under the skin? Two positions, I think, have to be rejected. One is the Lyndon Johnson rationale: since Johnson was progressive on domestic issues, including civil rights and poverty, that made him preferable to the Republicans, even though he gave us the quasi-genocidal war in Indochina. The other position is the diametric opposite: since Trump is less blatantly imperialistic than most Democratic Party leaders, we ought to favor him, despite his billionaire-loving, immigrant-hating, racist and misogynist domestic policies. Merely to say this is to refute it.

My own view is that anti-imperialists ought to decline to choose between these alternatives. We ought to name the imperial god that both Trump and his critics worship and demand that the party that we work and vote for renounce the pursuit of U.S. global hegemony. Immediately, this means letting self-proclaimed progressives or libertarians in both major parties know that avoiding new hot and cold wars, eliminating nuclear weapons and other WMD, slashing military spending, and converting war production to peaceful uses are top priorities that must be honored if they are to get our support. No political party can deliver peace and social justice and maintain the Empire at the same time. If neither Republicans nor Democrats are capable of facing this reality, we will have to create a new party that can.

Notes.

[1] The author is University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George Mason University. His most recent book is Resolving Structural Conflicts : How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed (2017).

[Aug 05, 2018] Donald Trump and the American Left by Rob Urie

With some editing for clarity.
Notable quotes:
"... As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.' ..."
"... What preceded Donald Trump was the Great Recession, the most severe capitalist crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Recession followed approximately three decades of neoliberal de-industrialization, of policies intended to reduce the power of organized labor, reduce working class wages and raise economic insecurity under the antique capitalist theory that destitution motivates workers to produce more for less in return. ..."
"... The illusion / delusion that these problems -- lost livelihoods, homes, social roles, relationships, sense of purpose and basic human dignity -- were solved, or even addressed, by national Democrats, illustrates the class divide at work. The economy that was revived made the rich fabulously rich, the professional / managerial class comfortable and left the other 90% in various stages of economic decline. ..."
"... Asserting this isn't to embrace economic nationalism, support policies until they are clearly stated or trust Mr. Trump's motives. But the move ties analytically to his critique of neoliberal economic policies. As such, it is a potential monkey wrench thrown into the neoliberal world order. ..."
"... Democrats could have confronted the failures of neoliberalism without resorting to economic nationalism (as Mr. Trump did). And they could have confronted unhinged militarism without Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism. But this would have meant confronting their own history. And it would have meant publicly declaring themselves against the interests of their donor base. ..."
"... Mr. Trump's use of racialized nationalism is the primary basis of analyses arguing that he is fascist. Left unaddressed is the fact the the corporate-state form that is the basis of neoliberalism was also the basis of European fascism. Recent Left analysis proceeds from the premise that Trump control of the corporate-state form is fascism, while capitalist class control -- neoliberalism, is something else. ..."
"... Lest this not have occurred, FDR's New Deal was state capitalism approach within the framework of the corporatism (merge of corporations and a state) social formation. The only widely known effort to stage a fascist coup in the U.S. was carried out by Wall Street titans in the 1930s to wrest control from FDR before the New Deal was fully implemented. Put differently, the people who caused the Great Depression wanted to control its aftermath. And they were fascists. ..."
"... As political scientist Thomas Ferguson has been arguing for decades and Gilens and Page have recently chimed in, neither elections nor the public interest hold sway in the corridors of American power. The levers of control are structural -- congressional committee appointments go to the people with lots of money. Capitalist distribution controls the politics. ..."
"... The best-case scenario looking forward is that Donald Trump is successful with rapprochement toward North Korea and Russia and that he throws a monkey wrench into the architecture of neoliberalism so that a new path forward can be built when he's gone. If he pulls it off, this isn't reactionary nationalism and it isn't nothing. ..."
"... Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book ..."
"... is published by CounterPunch Books. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The election of Donald Trump fractured the American Left. The abandonment of class analysis in response to Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism left identity politics to fill the void. This has facilitated the rise of neoliberal nationalism, an embrace of the national security state combined with neoliberal economic analysis put forward as a liberal / Left response to Mr. Trump's program. The result has been profoundly reactionary.

What had been unfocused consensus around issues of economic justice and ending militarism has been sharpened into a political program. A nascent, self-styled socialist movement is pushing domestic issues like single payer health care, strengthening the social safety net and reversing wildly unbalanced income and wealth distribution, forward. Left unaddressed is how this program will move forward without a revolutionary movement to act against countervailing forces.

As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.'

This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump's racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning.

By way of the reform Democrat's analysis , it was the shift of working class voters from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 that swung the election in Mr. Trump's favor. To the extent that race was a factor, the finger points up the class structure, not down. This difference is crucial when it comes to the much-abused 'white working-class' explanation of Mr. Trump's victory.

What preceded Donald Trump was the Great Recession, the most severe capitalist crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Recession followed approximately three decades of neoliberal de-industrialization, of policies intended to reduce the power of organized labor, reduce working class wages and raise economic insecurity under the antique capitalist theory that destitution motivates workers to produce more for less in return.

The illusion / delusion that these problems -- lost livelihoods, homes, social roles, relationships, sense of purpose and basic human dignity -- were solved, or even addressed, by national Democrats, illustrates the class divide at work. The economy that was revived made the rich fabulously rich, the professional / managerial class comfortable and left the other 90% in various stages of economic decline.

Left apparently unrecognized in bourgeois attacks on working class voters is that the analytical frames at work -- classist identity politics and liberal economics, are ruling class ideology in the crudest Marxian / Gramscian senses. The illusion / delusion that they are factually descriptive is a function of ideology, not lived outcomes.

Here's the rub: Mr. Trump's critique of neoliberalism can ] accommodate class analysis whereas the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism explicitly excludes any notion of economic power, and with it the possibility of class analysis. To date, Mr. Trump hasn't left this critique behind -- neoliberal trade agreements are currently being renegotiated.

Asserting this isn't to embrace economic nationalism, support policies until they are clearly stated or trust Mr. Trump's motives. But the move ties analytically to his critique of neoliberal economic policies. As such, it is a potential monkey wrench thrown into the neoliberal world order. Watching the bourgeois Left put forward neoliberal trade theory to counter it would seem inexplicable without the benefit of class analysis.

Within the frame of identity politics rich and bourgeois blacks, women and immigrants have the same travails as their poor and working-class compatriots. Ben Carson (black), Melania Trump (female) and Melania Trump (immigrant) fit this taxonomy. For them racism, misogyny and xenophobia are forms of social violence. But they aren't fundamental determinants of how they live. The same can't be said for those brutalized by four decades of neoliberalism

The common bond here is a class war launched from above that has uprooted, displaced and immiserated a large and growing proportion of the peoples of the West. This experience cuts across race, gender and nationality making them a subset of class. If these problems are rectified at the level of class, they will be rectified within the categories of race, gender and nationality. Otherwise, they won't be rectified.

Democrats could have confronted the failures of neoliberalism without resorting to economic nationalism (as Mr. Trump did). And they could have confronted unhinged militarism without Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism. But this would have meant confronting their own history. And it would have meant publicly declaring themselves against the interests of their donor base.

Mr. Trump's use of racialized nationalism is the primary basis of analyses arguing that he is fascist. Left unaddressed is the fact the the corporate-state form that is the basis of neoliberalism was also the basis of European fascism. Recent Left analysis proceeds from the premise that Trump control of the corporate-state form is fascism, while capitalist class control -- neoliberalism, is something else.

Lest this not have occurred, FDR's New Deal was state capitalism approach within the framework of the corporatism (merge of corporations and a state) social formation. The only widely known effort to stage a fascist coup in the U.S. was carried out by Wall Street titans in the 1930s to wrest control from FDR before the New Deal was fully implemented. Put differently, the people who caused the Great Depression wanted to control its aftermath. And they were fascists.

More recently, the effort to secure capitalist control has been led by [neo]liberal Democrats using Investor-State Dispute Resolution (ISDS) clauses in trade agreements. So that identity warriors might understand the implications, this control limits the ability of governments to rectify race and gender bias because supranational adjudication can overrule them.

So, is race and / or gender repression any less repressive because capitalists control the levers? Colonial slave-masters certainly thought so. The people who own sweatshops probably think so. Most slumlords probably think so. Employers who steal wages probably think so. The people who own for-profit prisons probably think so. But these aren't 'real' repression, are they? Where's the animosity?

As political scientist Thomas Ferguson has been arguing for decades and Gilens and Page have recently chimed in, neither elections nor the public interest hold sway in the corridors of American power. The levers of control are structural -- congressional committee appointments go to the people with lots of money. Capitalist distribution controls the politics.

The liberal explanation for this is 'political culture.' The liberal solution is to change the political culture without changing the economic relations that drive the culture. This is also the frame of identity politics. The presence of a desperate and destitute underclass lowers working class wages (raising profits), but ending racism is a matter of changing minds?

This history holds an important lesson for today's nascent socialists. The domestic programs recently put forward, as reasonable and potentially useful as they are, resemble FDR's effort to save capitalism, not end it. The time to implement these programs was when Wall Street was flat on its back, when it could have been more. This is the tragedy of betrayal by Barack Obama his voters.

Despite the capitalist rhetoric at the time, the New Deal wasn't 'socialism' because it never changed control over the means of production, over American political economy. Internal class differences were reduced through redistribution, but brutal and ruthless imperialism proceeded apace overseas.

The best-case scenario looking forward is that Donald Trump is successful with rapprochement toward North Korea and Russia and that he throws a monkey wrench into the architecture of neoliberalism so that a new path forward can be built when he's gone. If he pulls it off, this isn't reactionary nationalism and it isn't nothing.

Otherwise, the rich have assigned the opining classes the task of defending their realm. Step 1: divide the bourgeois into competing factions. Step 2: posit great differences between them that are tightly circumscribed to prevent history from inconveniently intruding. Step 3: turn these great differences into moral absolutes so that they can't be reconciled within the terms given. Step 4: pose a rigged electoral process as the only pathway to political resolution. Step 5: collect profits and repeat. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Rob Urie

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Aug 03, 2018] Donald Trump might be a symptom that neoliberal system is about to collapse

Amazing interview.
We are in the point when capitalist system (which presented itself as asocial system that created a large middle class) converted into it opposite: it is social system that could not deliver that it promised and now want to distract people from this sad fact.
The Trump adopted tax code is a huge excess: we have 40 year when corporation paid less taxes. This is last moment when they need another gift. To give them tax is crazy excess that reminding Louis XV of France. Those gains are going in buying of socks. And real growth is happening elsewhere in the world.
After WW2 there were a couple of decades of "golden age" of US capitalism when in the USA middle class increased considerably. That was result of pressure of working class devastated by Great Depression. Roosevelt decided that risk is too great and he introduced social security net. But capitalist class was so enraged that they started fighting it almost immediately after the New Deal was introduced. Business class was enrages with the level of taxes and counterattacked. Tarp act and McCarthyism were two successful counterattacks. McCarthyism converting communists and socialists into agents of foreign power.
The quality of jobs are going down. That's why Trump was elected... Which is sad. Giving your finger to the neoliberal elite does not solve their problem
Notable quotes:
"... Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction. ..."
"... When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. ..."
"... Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade. ..."
"... The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:

Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.

So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.

When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.

Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.

The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.

In France, it was said 'Après moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/60FrsWm9OAc

[Jul 22, 2018] Trump and the crisis of the neoliberal world order by Ashley Smith

A very interesting analysis from 2017
Notable quotes:
"... Financial Times ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order ..."
"... The American ruling class turned to neoliberalism after the failure of Keynesianism -- with its emphasis on state intervention and state-led development -- to overcome the economic crisis of the 1970s and restore profitability and growth in the system. Neoliberalism was not a conspiracy hatched by the Chicago School of Economics, but a strategy that developed in response to globalization and the end of the long postwar boom. ..."
"... For a period, the United States did indeed superintend a new global structure of world imperialism. It integrated most of the world's states into the neoliberal order it dubbed the Washington Consensus, using its international financial and trade institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization to compel all nations to adopt neoliberal policies that benefited a handful of powerful players. It used international loans and debt restructuring not only to remove trade and investment restrictions, but also to impose privatization and cuts in health, education, and other vital social services in states all over the world. The Pentagon deployed its military might to police and crush any so-called rogue states like Iraq. ..."
"... The Making of Global Capitalism ..."
"... Washington's attempt to lock in its dominance through its 2003 war and occupation of Iraq backfired. Even before launching the invasion, Bush recognized that the United States needed to do something to contain China and other rising rivals. In a sign of this growing awareness, he and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, rebranded China, which Clinton had called a strategic partner, as a strategic competitor. ..."
"... Bush used 9/11 as an opportunity to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, as part of a plan for serial "regime change" in the region. If it succeeded, the United States hoped it would be able to control rivals, particularly China, which is dependent on the region's strategic energy reserves. Instead, Washington suffered, in the words of General William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency, its "greatest strategic disaster in American history." ..."
"... Iran, one of the projected targets for regime change in Bush's so-called "Axis of Evil," emerged as a beneficiary of the war. It secured a new ally in the form of the sectarian Shia fundamentalist regime in Iraq. And while the United States was bogged down in Iraq, China became increasingly assertive throughout the world, establishing new political and economic pacts throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and a number of African countries. ..."
"... Finally, the Great Recession of 2008 hammered the United States and its allies in the EU particularly hard. By contrast, Beijing's massive state intervention in the economy sustained its long boom and lifted the growth rates of countries in Latin America, Australia, Asia, and sections of Africa that exported raw materials to China. ..."
"... Trump's strategy to restore American dominance in the world is economic nationalism. This is the rational kernel within his erratic shell of bizarre tweets and rants. He wants to combine neoliberalism at home with protectionism against foreign competition. It is a position that breaks with the American establishment's grand strategy of superintending free-trade globalization. ..."
"... Demagogic appeals to labor aside, Trump is doing none of this for the benefit of American workers. His program is intended to restore the competitive position of American capital, particularly manufacturing, against its rivals, especially in China but also in Germany. ..."
"... This economic nationalism is paired with a promise to rearm the American military, which he views as having been weakened by Obama. Thus, Trump has announced plans to increase military spending by $54 billion. He wants to use this 9 percent increase in the military budget to build up the Navy and to modernize and expand the nuclear arsenal, even if that provokes other powers to do the same. As he quipped in December, "Let it be an arms race." 21 Trump's fire-breathing chief strategist, former Brietbart editor Steve Bannon, went so far as to promise, "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to ten years. There's no doubt about that." 22 ..."
"... Trump threatens a significant break with some previously hallowed institutions of US foreign policy. He has called NATO outdated. This declaration is really just a bargaining position to get the alliance's other members to increase their military spending. Thus, both his secretary of state and defense secretary have repeatedly reassured European states that the United States remains committed to NATO. More seriously, he denounced the EU as merely a vehicle for German capital. Thus, he supports various right-wing populist parties in Europe running on a promise to imitate Britain and leave the EU. ..."
"... Trump's "transactional" approach comes out most clearly in his stated approach to international alliances and blocs. He promises to evaluate all multilateral alliances and trade blocs from the standpoint of American interests against rivals. He will scrap some, replacing them with bilateral arrangements, and renegotiate others. Much of the establishment has reacted in horror to these threats, denouncing them as a retreat from Washington's responsibilities to its allies. ..."
"... Hoping that he can split Russia away from China and neutralize it as a lesser power, Trump then wants to confront China with tariffs and military challenges to its assertion of control of the South China Sea. Incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has already threatened to deny China access to its newly-built island bases in the South China Sea. ..."
"... On top of all this, multinational capital opposes his protectionism. Of course almost all capital is more overjoyed at his domestic neoliberalism, a fact demonstrated in the enormous stock market expansion, but they see his proposals of tariffs, renegotiation of NAFTA, and scrapping of the TPP and the TTIP as threats to their global production, service, and investment strategies. They consider his house economist, Peter Navarro, to be a crackpot. ..."
"... Beneath the governmental shell, whole sections of the unelected state bureaucracy -- what has been ominously described as the "deep state" -- also oppose Trump as a threat to their interests. He has openly attacked the CIA and FBI and threatens enormous cuts to the State Department as well as other key bureaucracies responsible for managing state policy at home and abroad. Many of these bureaucrats have engaged in a campaign of leaks, especially of Trump's connections with the Russian state. ..."
"... One of Trump's key allies, Newt Gingrich, gives a sense of how Trump's backers are framing the dispute with these institutions. "We're up against a permanent bureaucratic structure defending itself and quite willing to break the law to do so," he told the New York Times ..."
"... The Democratic Party selectively opposes some of Trump's program. But, instead of attacking him on his manifold reactionary policies, they have portrayed him as Putin's "Manchurian Candidate," posturing as the defenders of US power willing to stand up to Russia. ..."
"... Even if Trump weathers the storm of this resistance from above and below, his foreign policy could flounder on its own internal conflicts and inconsistencies. To take one example: his policy of collaboration with Russia in Syria could flounder on his simultaneous commitment to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran. Why? Because Iran is a Russian ally in the region. Most disturbingly, if the Trump administration goes into a deeper crisis, it will double down on its bigoted scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims to deflect attention from its failures. ..."
"... China is accelerating the transformation of its economy. It seeks to push out multinationals that have used it as an export-processing platform and replace them with its own state-owned and private corporations, which, like Germany, will export its surplus manufactured goods to the rest of the world market. 31 No wonder, then, that a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce found that 80 percent of American multinationals consider China inhospitable for business. ..."
"... China is also aggressively trying to supplant the United States as the economic hegemon in Asia. Immediately after Trump nixed the TPP, China appealed to states in the Asia Pacific region to sign on to its alternative trade treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China is determined to challenge American imperial rule of the Asia Pacific. Though its navy is far smaller than Washington's, it plans to accelerate efforts to build up its regional naval power against Trump's threats to block Chinese access to the strategic islands in the South China Sea. ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
"... Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy ..."
"... Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order ..."
"... International Socialism Journal ..."
"... Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance ..."
"... International Socialist Review ..."
"... Imperialism and World Economy, ..."
"... International Socialist Review ..."
"... A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and the State in a Transitional World ..."
"... International Socialist Review ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... International Socialist Review ..."
"... USA Today ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... The Progressive ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Socialist Worker ..."
"... Socialist Worker ..."
Jul 22, 2018 | isreview.org

The neoliberal world order of free-trade globalization that the United States has pioneered since the end of the Cold War is in crisis. The global slump, triggered by the 2007 Great Recession, has intensified competition not only between corporations, but also between the states that represent them and whose disagreements over the terms of trade have paralyzed the World Trade Organization. Similar conflicts between states have disrupted regional free-trade deals and regional blocs. Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement failed to come to a vote in Congress, and now Trump has scrapped it. The vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom is a precedent that could lead other states to bolt from the European Union. Rising international tensions, especially between the United States, China, and Russia, fill the daily headlines.

Indeed, the world has entered a new period of imperialism. As discussed in previous articles in this journal, the unipolar world order based on the dominance of the United States, which has been eroding for some time, has been replaced by an asymmetric multipolar

world order. The United States remains the only superpower, and possesses by far the largest military reach, but it faces a global rival in China and a host of lesser rivals like Russia. And the competition between nation-states over the balance of geopolitical and economic power is intensifying.

The multiple crises and conflicts have also confronted all the world's states with the largest migration crisis in history. Over fifty million migrants and refugees are fleeing economies devastated by neoliberalism, the economic crisis, political instability, and in the case of the Middle East -- especially Syria -- counterrevolution against the Arab Spring uprisings. The bourgeois establishment and their right-wing challengers have scapegoated these migrants in country after country.

All of this has destabilized bourgeois politics throughout the world, opening the door to both the Left and the Right posing as alternatives to the establishment. In the United States, Donald Trump won the presidency with the promise to "Make America Great Again" by putting "America First." He threatens to retreat from the post-Cold War grand strategy of the United States overseeing the international free-trade regime, in favor of economic nationalism and what has been described as a "transactional" approach to international politics.

While Trump aims to continue certain neoliberal policies at home (such as deregulation, privatization, and tax cuts for the wealthy), his international policies represent a significant shift away from global "free trade." He has promised to rip up or renegotiate free-trade deals and impose protectionist tariffs on economic competitors. To enforce this, he wants to rearm the American military to push back against all rivals -- China in particular -- and conduct what he depicts in racist fashion a civilizational war against Islam in the Middle East. He marries this militaristic nationalism to a bigoted campaign of scapegoating against immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, women, and all other oppressed groups.

Panic in the imperial brain trust

The architects and ideologues of American imperialism recognize that their grand strategy is in crisis, and worry that Trump's new stand will only magnify it. The Financial Times ' Martin Wolf declares,

We are, in short, at the end of both an economic period -- that of western-led globalization -- and a geopolitical one -- the post-cold war "unipolar moment" of a US-led global order. The question is whether what follows will be an unraveling of the post-second world war era into de-globalization and conflict, as happened in the first half of the 20th century, or a new period in which non-western powers, especially China and India, play a bigger role in sustaining a co-operative global order. 1

Obama's favorite neocon Robert Kagan warns that Washington's retreat from managing the world system risks "backing into World War III," the title of the piece in which he writes:

Think of two significant trend lines in the world today. One is the increasing ambition and activism of the two great revisionist powers, Russia and China. The other is the declining confidence, capacity, and will of the democratic world, and especially of the United States, to maintain the dominant position it has held in the international system since 1945. As those two lines move closer, as the declining will and capacity of the United States and its allies to maintain the present world order meet the increasing desire and capacity of the revisionist powers to change it, we will reach the moment at which the existing order collapses and the world descends into a phase of brutal anarchy, as it has three times in the past two centuries. The cost of that descent, in lives and treasure, in lost freedoms and lost hope, will be staggering. 2

In somewhat more measured tones, the imperial brain trust of American imperialism, the Council on Foreign Relations, is using their journal, Foreign Affairs , to oppose Trump and defend the existing neoliberal order with minor modifications. 3 Stewart Patrick, for example, worries that Trump has laid-out

no broader vision of the Unites States' traditional role as defender of the free world, much less outline how the country play that part. In foreign policy and economics, he has made clear that the pursuit of narrow national advantage will guide his policies -- apparently regardless of the impact on the liberal world order that the United States has championed since 1945. That order was fraying well before November 8. It had been battered from without by challenges from China and Russia and weakened from within by economic malaise in Japan and crises in Europe, including the epochal Brexit vote last year. No one knows what Trump will do as president. But as a candidate, he vowed to shake up world politics by reassessing long-standing U.S. alliances, ripping up existing U.S. trade deals, raising trade barriers against China, disavowing the Paris climate agreement, and repudiating the nuclear accord with Iran. Should he follow through on these provocative plans, Trump will unleash forces beyond his control, sharpening the crisis of the Western-centered order.

The Council's Gideon Rose fears that Trump is introducing "damaging uncertainty into everything from international commerce to nuclear deterrence. At worst, it could cause other countries to lose faith in the order's persistence and start to hedge their bets, distancing themselves from the Unites States, making side deals with China and Russia, and adopting beggar-thy-neighbor programs." 4

But the Council and the rest of the foreign policy establishment have little to offer as a solution to the crisis they describe. For example, the Council on Foreign Relations' president, Richard Haass's, new book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order , produces little more than tactical maneuvers designed to incorporate America's rivals into the existing neoliberal order. 5 But it is within that very order that the United States has undergone relative decline against its increasingly assertive rivals, especially China.

Neoliberalism's solution to the crisis last time

The American ruling class turned to neoliberalism after the failure of Keynesianism -- with its emphasis on state intervention and state-led development -- to overcome the economic crisis of the 1970s and restore profitability and growth in the system. Neoliberalism was not a conspiracy hatched by the Chicago School of Economics, but a strategy that developed in response to globalization and the end of the long postwar boom.

The US ruling class adopted what later came to be known as neoliberalism in coherent form under the regimes of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in Britain. 6 Neoliberalism had domestic and international dimensions. At home, the mantra was privatization and deregulation. The ruling class got rid of regulations on capital and launched a war against workers. They privatized state-run businesses as well as traditionally state-run institutions like prisons and schools. They busted unions, drove down wages, and cut the welfare state to ribbons.

Abroad, the United States expanded the program of "free trade" they had pursued since the end of World War II. Seeking cheap labor, resources, and markets, Washington used its dominance of international institutions to pry open national economies throughout the world. It aimed first to incorporate its allies, then its antagonists in this neoliberal world order, with the promise that it would work in the interests of "the capitalist class" around the world. As Henry Kissinger once remarked, "What is called globalization is really another name for the dominant role of the United States." 7 These domestic and international policies overcame the crises of the 1970s and ushered in a period of economic expansion (interrupted by a few recessions) that lasted from the early 1980s through to the early 2000s. 8

The brief unipolar moment

Unable to keep pace with the West's economic expansion and the Reagan administration's massive rearmament program, and beset by its own internal contradictions, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the Cold War's bipolar geopolitical order came to an end. The United States hoped to establish a new unipolar world order in which it would solidify its position as the world's sole remaining, and unassailable, superpower.

For a period, the United States did indeed superintend a new global structure of world imperialism. It integrated most of the world's states into the neoliberal order it dubbed the Washington Consensus, using its international financial and trade institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization to compel all nations to adopt neoliberal policies that benefited a handful of powerful players. It used international loans and debt restructuring not only to remove trade and investment restrictions, but also to impose privatization and cuts in health, education, and other vital social services in states all over the world. The Pentagon deployed its military might to police and crush any so-called rogue states like Iraq.

Amidst the heady days of this unipolar moment, much of the left abandoned the classical Marxist theory of imperialism developed chiefly by the early twentieth century Russian revolutionaries Vladimir Lenin and Nikolai Bukharin. In brief, Lenin and Bukharin argued that capitalist development transformed economic competition into interstate rivalry and war for the political and economic division and redivision of the world system between the dominant capitalist powers vying for hegemony. 9

"The development of world capitalism leads," wrote Bukharin, "on the one hand, to an internationalization of the economic life and, on the other, to the leveling of economic differences, and to an infinitely greater degree, the same process of economic development intensifies the tendency to 'nationalize' capitalist interests, to form narrow 'national' groups armed to the teeth and ready to hurl themselves at one another at any moment." 10

Imperialism was a product of the interplay between the creation of a world market and the division of the world between national states, and as such was a product of the system rather than simply a policy of a particular state or party. This was in contrast to the German socialist Karl Kautsky, who argued that imperialism was a policy favored by some sections of the capitalists but which ran against the interests of ruling classes as a whole, which, as a result of the economic integration of the world market, had a greater interest in peaceful competition.

The new period of globalized capitalism produced new theories that rejected Lenin and Bukharin's approach. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argued in their 2000 book that globalization had replaced imperialism with a new structure of domination they termed empire. Nonstate networks of power, like international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, were now, in an era where states were increasingly powerless, the dominant world players. 11 "The United States does not, and indeed no nation-state can today, form the center of an imperialist project," they famously wrote in the preface. 12 Others took the argument further, maintaining that a system of globalized transnational production and trade was fast displacing states, including Washington, as influential centers of power. 13

On the other extreme, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin argue in their 2012 book The Making of Global Capitalism that the American state organized globalization and integrated all the world's states as vassals of its informal empire. 14 Though diametrically opposed at the start, these arguments ended with the same conclusion -- inter-imperial rivalries between the world's leading states, including the potential for them to spill over into military conflict -- are not a necessary outcome of capitalism; and today those rivalries are a thing of the past.

The return of rivalry in an asymmetric world order

Developments in the real world -- such as the Bush administration's 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and two years later of Iraq -- viscerally disproved these arguments. Indeed, changes in the real world were already undermining the foundations of the postwar world order that Kagan and others are frantically holding up against Trump's "America First" nationalism.

Washington's drive to cement its hegemony in a unipolar world order was undermined in several ways. The neoliberal boom from the early 1980s to the 2000s produced new centers of capital accumulation. China is the paradigmatic example. After it abandoned autarkic state capitalism in favor of state-managed production for the world market, it transformed itself from a backwater producer to the new workshop of the world. It vaulted from producing about 1.9 percent 15 of global GDP in 1979 to about 15 percent in 2016. 16 It is now the second-largest economy in the world and predicted to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the coming years.

But China was not the sole beneficiary of the neoliberal expansion. Brazil and other regional economies also developed. And Russia, after suffering an enormous collapse of its empire and its economic power in the 1990s, managed to rebuild itself as a petro-power with disproportionate geopolitical influence because of its nuclear arsenal. Of course, whole sections of the world system did not develop at all, but instead suffered dispossession and economic catastrophe.

Washington's attempt to lock in its dominance through its 2003 war and occupation of Iraq backfired. Even before launching the invasion, Bush recognized that the United States needed to do something to contain China and other rising rivals. In a sign of this growing awareness, he and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, rebranded China, which Clinton had called a strategic partner, as a strategic competitor. 17

Bush used 9/11 as an opportunity to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, as part of a plan for serial "regime change" in the region. If it succeeded, the United States hoped it would be able to control rivals, particularly China, which is dependent on the region's strategic energy reserves. Instead, Washington suffered, in the words of General William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency, its "greatest strategic disaster in American history." 18

Iran, one of the projected targets for regime change in Bush's so-called "Axis of Evil," emerged as a beneficiary of the war. It secured a new ally in the form of the sectarian Shia fundamentalist regime in Iraq. And while the United States was bogged down in Iraq, China became increasingly assertive throughout the world, establishing new political and economic pacts throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and a number of African countries.

Russia also took advantage of American setbacks to reassert its power against EU and NATO expansionism in Eastern Europe. It went to war against US ally Georgia in 2008. In Central Asia, China and Russia came together to form a new alliance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They postured against American imperialism in their own imperial interests.

Finally, the Great Recession of 2008 hammered the United States and its allies in the EU particularly hard. By contrast, Beijing's massive state intervention in the economy sustained its long boom and lifted the growth rates of countries in Latin America, Australia, Asia, and sections of Africa that exported raw materials to China.

This was the high-water mark of the so-called BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The lesser powers in this bloc hitched their star to Chinese imperialism, exporting their commodities to fuel China's industrial expansion. Together they launched the BRICS bank, officially known as the New Development Bank, and China added another, the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, as alternatives to the IMF and World Bank. The recent Chinese slowdown and the consequent drop in commodity prices have, however, hammered the economies of many of the BRICS.

These developments cracked the unipolar moment and replaced it with today's asymmetric world order. The United States remains the world's sole superpower; but it now faces an international rival in China and in lesser powers like Russia. It must also wrestle with regional powers that pursue their own interests, sometimes in sync with Washington and other times at odds with it.

Obama's failure to restore dominance

The Obama administration came to power with the hopes of restoring the credibility and standing of American power in the wake of Bush's disasters in the Middle East. It implemented a combined program of stimulus and austerity to restore growth and profitability. By imposing a two-tier wage structure on the auto industry, it set a precedent for competitive reindustrialization in the United States, and launched the massive fracking expansion to provide cheap domestic energy to US corporations.

Intending to extract the United States from its costly and inconclusive ground wars in the Middle East, Obama turned to air power, shifting the focus of the so-called War on Terror to drone strikes, Special Force operations, and air support for US proxy forces in different countries.

Once disentangled from Bush's occupations, Obama planned to conduct the ballyhooed "pivot to Asia" to contain China's ongoing rise, bolster Washington's political and military alliance with Japan and South Korea, and prevent their economic incorporation into China's growing sphere of influence. The now dead Trans-Pacific Partnership was meant to ensure American economic hegemony in the region, which would then be backed up militarily with the deployment of 60 percent of the US Navy to the Asia Pacific region. 19 Obama also began to push back against Russian opposition to the EU and NATO expansion into Eastern Europe -- hence the standoff over Ukraine.

But Obama was unable to fully implement any of this because US forces remained bogged down in the spiraling crisis in the Middle East. Retreating from the Bush administration's policy of regime change to balancing between the existing states, Obama, while continuing to support historic US allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, at the same time struck a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. But this strategy was undermined by the Arab Spring, the regimes' counterrevolutions, attempts by regional powers to manipulate the rebellion for their own ends, and the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The United States has been unable to resolve many of these developing crises on its own terms.

Now Russia, after having suffered a long-term decline of its power in the region, has managed to reassert itself through its intervention in Syria in support of Assad's counterrevolution. It is now a broker in the Syrian "peace process" and a new player in the broader Middle East.

While the United States continued to suffer relative decline, China and Russia became even more assertive. Russia took Crimea, which provoked the United States and Germany to impose sanctions on the Kremlin. China intensified its economic deal making throughout the world, increasing its foreign direct investment from a paltry $17.2 billion in 2005 to $187 billion in 2015. 20 At the same time, it engaged in a massive buildup of its navy and air force (though its military is still dwarfed by the US) and constructed new military bases on various islands to control the shipping lanes, fisheries, and potential oil fields in the South China Sea.

Obama did manage to oversee the recovery of the US economy, and China has suffered an economic slowdown. That has dramatically reversed the economic fortunes of the BRICS, in particular Brazil, which has experienced economic collapse and a right-wing governmental coup. The drop in oil prices that accompanied the Chinese slowdown also hammered the OPEC states as well as Russia.

But China's slowdown has not reversed Beijing's economic and geopolitical ascension. In fact, China is in the process of rebalancing its economy to replace multinational investment, expand its domestic market, and increase production for export to the rest of the world. The aim is to increase its ability to compete with the United States and the EU at all levels.

Thus, well before Trump's election, the United States had been mired in foreign policy problems that it seemed incapable of resolving.

Trump's break with neoliberalism

Trump's strategy to restore American dominance in the world is economic nationalism. This is the rational kernel within his erratic shell of bizarre tweets and rants. He wants to combine neoliberalism at home with protectionism against foreign competition. It is a position that breaks with the American establishment's grand strategy of superintending free-trade globalization.

Inside the United States, Trump aims to double down on some aspects of neoliberalism. He plans to cut taxes on the rich, rip up government regulations that "hamper" business interests, expand Obama's fracking program to provide corporations cheaper energy, and to go after public sector unions. He also wants to invest $1 trillion to modernize the country's decrepit infrastructure. While his Gestapo assault on immigrants is less popular among the business class, they are salivating over the tax and regulatory cuts. Trump hopes with these economic carrots to lure American manufacturing companies back to the United States.

At the same time, however, Trump wants to upend the neoliberal Washington Consensus. He is threatening to impose tariffs on American corporations that move their production to other countries. He has already nixed the TPP and intends to do the same to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe. He promises to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada to secure better terms, and, in response to Chinese and EU protectionism, he threatens to impose a border tax of 45 percent on Chinese and others countries' exports to the United States. These measures could trigger a trade war.

Demagogic appeals to labor aside, Trump is doing none of this for the benefit of American workers. His program is intended to restore the competitive position of American capital, particularly manufacturing, against its rivals, especially in China but also in Germany.

This economic nationalism is paired with a promise to rearm the American military, which he views as having been weakened by Obama. Thus, Trump has announced plans to increase military spending by $54 billion. He wants to use this 9 percent increase in the military budget to build up the Navy and to modernize and expand the nuclear arsenal, even if that provokes other powers to do the same. As he quipped in December, "Let it be an arms race." 21 Trump's fire-breathing chief strategist, former Brietbart editor Steve Bannon, went so far as to promise, "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to ten years. There's no doubt about that." 22

Trump also plans to intensify what he sees as a civilizational war with Islam. This will likely involve ripping up the nuclear deal with Iran, intensifying the war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and conducting further actions against al Qaeda internationally. It will also likely involve doubling down on Washington's alliance with Israel. Trump's appointment as ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is actually to the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 23 Trump has already begun escalating the ongoing war on Muslims conducted by the last two administrations, with his executive orders that are in effect an anti-Muslim ban and have increased the profiling, surveillance, and harassment of Muslims throughout the country.

To pay for this military expansion, the Trump administration, in Bannon's phrase, plans to carry out the "deconstruction of the administrative state." Thus, the administration has appointed heads of departments, like Ed Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, whose main purpose is to gut them. 24 No doubt this will entail massive cuts to social programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Trump threatens a significant break with some previously hallowed institutions of US foreign policy. He has called NATO outdated. This declaration is really just a bargaining position to get the alliance's other members to increase their military spending. Thus, both his secretary of state and defense secretary have repeatedly reassured European states that the United States remains committed to NATO. More seriously, he denounced the EU as merely a vehicle for German capital. Thus, he supports various right-wing populist parties in Europe running on a promise to imitate Britain and leave the EU.

Trump's "transactional" approach comes out most clearly in his stated approach to international alliances and blocs. He promises to evaluate all multilateral alliances and trade blocs from the standpoint of American interests against rivals. He will scrap some, replacing them with bilateral arrangements, and renegotiate others. Much of the establishment has reacted in horror to these threats, denouncing them as a retreat from Washington's responsibilities to its allies.

In a departure from Obama's policy toward Russia, Trump intends to create a more transactional relationship with the Kremlin. He does not view Russia as the main threat; he believes that is China. In addition to considering cutting a deal with Russia to drop sanctions over its seizure of Crimea, he wants to collaborate with Putin in a joint war against ISIS in Syria.

Hoping that he can split Russia away from China and neutralize it as a lesser power, Trump then wants to confront China with tariffs and military challenges to its assertion of control of the South China Sea. Incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has already threatened to deny China access to its newly-built island bases in the South China Sea.

Trump's economic nationalism leads directly to his "fortress America" policies. These policies chiefly target Muslims and immigrants, but they should not be seen in isolation from other domestic policies. With the wave of protests against his attacks that emerged from the moment he stepped into office, Trump and his allies in state governments have introduced bills that impose increasing restrictions on the right to protest and give the police a license for repression with impunity. Thus the corollary of his "America First" imperialism abroad is authoritarianism at home.

Can Trump succeed?

Trump faces a vast array of obstacles that could stop him from implementing his new strategy. To begin with, he is an unpopular president with an approval rating hovering below 40 percent in his first months in office. He and his crony capitalist cabinet will no doubt face many scandals, compromising their ability to push through their agenda.

He may be his own biggest obstacle. His 6 A.M. tweets are signs of someone more concerned with his celebrity status than imperial statecraft. He has already lost his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, due to Flynn's failure to disclose his communication with Russian diplomats during the campaign, and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions took heat on similar charges, forcing him to recuse himself from any investigations of the Trump campaign with the Kremlin.

There are also real economic challenges to his ability to follow through on his economic program. He simultaneously promises to cut taxes for the wealthy, spend hundreds of millions on domestic infrastructure (not to mention the billions it would cost to build a wall along the US–Mexico border), and cut the deficit. This does not square with economic reality.

On top of all this, multinational capital opposes his protectionism. Of course almost all capital is more overjoyed at his domestic neoliberalism, a fact demonstrated in the enormous stock market expansion, but they see his proposals of tariffs, renegotiation of NAFTA, and scrapping of the TPP and the TTIP as threats to their global production, service, and investment strategies. They consider his house economist, Peter Navarro, to be a crackpot. 25

Even his cabinet opposes much of his program. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified that he supports the TTP and American obligations to its NATO allies in Europe, including recent deployments of American troops to Poland. And Trump's Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis disagrees with Trump's proposal to rip up the nuclear treaty with Iran.

Beneath the governmental shell, whole sections of the unelected state bureaucracy -- what has been ominously described as the "deep state" -- also oppose Trump as a threat to their interests. He has openly attacked the CIA and FBI and threatens enormous cuts to the State Department as well as other key bureaucracies responsible for managing state policy at home and abroad. Many of these bureaucrats have engaged in a campaign of leaks, especially of Trump's connections with the Russian state.

One of Trump's key allies, Newt Gingrich, gives a sense of how Trump's backers are framing the dispute with these institutions. "We're up against a permanent bureaucratic structure defending itself and quite willing to break the law to do so," he told the New York Times . 26 Thus, the core of the capitalist state is at least attempting to constrain Trump, bring down some of his appointees and may, if they see it as necessary, do the same to Trump himself. At the very least, these extraordinary divisions at the top create a sense of insecurity, and open up space for questioning and struggle from below.

The Democratic Party selectively opposes some of Trump's program. But, instead of attacking him on his manifold reactionary policies, they have portrayed him as Putin's "Manchurian Candidate," posturing as the defenders of US power willing to stand up to Russia. As Glenn Greenwald writes, the Democrats are

not "resisting" Trump from the left or with populist appeals -- by, for instance, devoting themselves toprotection ofWall Street and environmental regulations under attack , or supporting the revocation of jobs-killing free trade agreements, or demanding that Yemini civilians not be massacred. Instead, they're attacking him on the grounds of insufficient nationalism, militarism, and aggression: equating a desire to avoid confrontation with Moscow as a form of treason (just like they did when they were the leading Cold Warriors).

This is why they're finding such common cause with the nation's most bloodthirsty militarists -- not because it's an alliance of convenience but rather one of shared convictions (indeed, long before Trump, neocons were planning a re-alignment with Democrats under a Clinton presidency). 27

Republicans also object to many of Trump's initiatives. For example, John McCain has attacked his cozy relationship with the Kremlin. And neoliberals in the Republican Party support the TPP and free trade globalization in general. The neocon Max Boot has gone so far as to support the Democrat's call for a special counsel to investigate Trump's collusion with Putin. He explains,

There is a good reason why Trump and his partisans are so apoplectic about the prospect of a special counsel, and it is precisely why it is imperative to appoint one: because otherwise we will never know the full story of the Kremlin's tampering with our elections and of the Kremlin's connections with the president of the United States. As evidenced by his desperate attempts to change the subject, Trump appears petrified of what such a probe would reveal. 28

Even if Trump weathers the storm of this resistance from above and below, his foreign policy could flounder on its own internal conflicts and inconsistencies. To take one example: his policy of collaboration with Russia in Syria could flounder on his simultaneous commitment to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran. Why? Because Iran is a Russian ally in the region. Most disturbingly, if the Trump administration goes into a deeper crisis, it will double down on its bigoted scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims to deflect attention from its failures.

Economic nationalism beyond Trump?

While Trump's contradictions could stymie his ability to impose his economic nationalist program, that program is not going to disappear any more than the problems it is intended to address. The reality is that the United States faces continued decline in the neoliberal world order. China, even taking into account the many contradictions it faces, continues to benefit from the current setup.

That's why, in an ironic twist of historic proportions, Chinese premier Xi Jing Ping defended the Washington Consensus in his country's first address at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. He even went so far as to promise to come to the rescue of free-trade globalization if the Trump administration abandoned it. "No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war ," he declared. "Pursuing protectionism is just like locking one's self in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so are light and air." 29

One of his underlings, Zhang Jun, remarked, "If anyone were to say China is playing a leadership role in the world I would say it's not China rushing to the front but rather the front runners have stepped back leaving the place to China. If China is required to play that leadership role then China will assume its responsibilities." 30

China is accelerating the transformation of its economy. It seeks to push out multinationals that have used it as an export-processing platform and replace them with its own state-owned and private corporations, which, like Germany, will export its surplus manufactured goods to the rest of the world market. 31 No wonder, then, that a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce found that 80 percent of American multinationals consider China inhospitable for business. 32

China is also aggressively trying to supplant the United States as the economic hegemon in Asia. Immediately after Trump nixed the TPP, China appealed to states in the Asia Pacific region to sign on to its alternative trade treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China is determined to challenge American imperial rule of the Asia Pacific. Though its navy is far smaller than Washington's, it plans to accelerate efforts to build up its regional naval power against Trump's threats to block Chinese access to the strategic islands in the South China Sea.

All of this was underway before Trump. That's why Obama was already inching toward some of Trump's policies. He initiated the pivot to Asia, deployed the US Navy to the region, and imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and tires. He also complained about NATO countries and others freeloading on American military largesse. He thus encouraged Japan's rearmament and deployments of its forces abroad. He also began the move to on-shoring manufacturing based on a low-wage America with cheap energy and revitalized infrastructure.

So it's imaginable that another figure could take up and repackage Trump's economic nationalism. Regardless of whether this happens or not, it is clear that there is a trajectory deep in the dynamics of the world system toward interimperial rivalry between the United States and its main imperialist challenger, China. Obviously there are countervailing forces that mitigate the tendency toward military conflict between them. The high degree of economic integration makes the ruling classes hesitant to risk war. And, because all the major states are nuclear powers, each is reluctant to risk armed conflicts turning into mutual annihilation.

... ... ...


  1. Martin Wolf, "The Long and Painful Journey to World Disorder," Financial Times , January 5, 2017, www.ft.com/content/ef13e61a-ccec-11e6-b8... .
  2. Robert Kagan, "Backing Into World War III," Foreign Policy , February 6, 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/06/back... .
  3. For background on this key institution of American imperialism see Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Authors Choice Press, 2004), and Laurence H. Shoup, Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2015).
  4. Gideon Rose, "Out of Order," Foreign Affairs (January–February, 2017).
  5. Richard Haass, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order (New York: Penguin Press, 2017).
  6. For one of the best accounts of neoliberalism as a response to globalization and a strategy to overcome the crisis of the 1970s, see Neil Davidson, "The Neoliberal Era in Britain: Historical Developments and Current Perspectives," International Socialism Journal , no. 139 (2013), http://isj.org.uk/the-neoliberal-era-in-... .
  7. Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, Oct. 12, 1999, cited by Sam Gindin in "Social Justice and Globalization: Are They Compatible?" Monthly Review , June 2002, 11.
  8. For an account of the neoliberal boom and consequent crisis and slump, see David McNally, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010).
  9. For a summary of the classical theory of imperialism, see Phil Gasper, "Lenin and Bukharin on Imperialism," International Socialist Review , no. 100 (May 2009), http://isreview.org/issue/100/lenin-and-... .
  10. Nikolai Bukharin, Imperialism and World Economy, chapter 8, "World Economy and the Nation State," at www.marxists.org/archive/bukharin/works/... .
  11. For a summary and critique of Hardt and Negri's ideas see Tom Lewis, "Empire strikes out," International Socialist Review , no. 24 (July–August 2002), www.isreview.org/issues/24/empire_strike... .
  12. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2000), xiii–xiv.
  13. See, for example, William Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and the State in a Transitional World (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins, 2004).
  14. See Ashley Smith, "Global empire or imperialism?" International Socialist Review , no 92 (Spring 2014), http://isreview.org/issue/92 .
  15. Justin Yifu Lin, "China and the Global Economy," Remarks at the Conference "Asia's Role in the Post-Crisis Global Economy," November 29, 2011, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEC/s... .
  16. Tim Worstall, "China's Only 15% of the Global Economy But Contributes 25-30% of Global Growth," Forbes , October 30, 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/10... .
  17. Susan Rice, "Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest," Foreign Affairs , January/February 2000, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2000-01-... .
  18. Cited in Patrick Cockburn, The Occupation (London: Verso, 2006), 4.
  19. Ashley Smith, "US Imperialism's Pivot to Asia," International Socialist Review , no. 88, January 2009, http://isreview.org/issue/88/us-imperial... .
  20. Roger Yu, "China Eyes Global Economic Leadership as U.S. Turns Inwards," USA Today , March 1, 2017, www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/0... .
  21. Ed Pilkington and Martin Pengelly, "'Let it Be an Arms Race': Donald Trump Appears to Double Down on Nuclear Expansion," The Guardian , December 24, 2016, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/23/... .
  22. Max Fisher, "Trump's Military Ambition: Raw Power as a Means and an End," New York Times , March 3, 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/world/america... .
  23. Stephen Zunes, "Trump's Frightening Picks for U.S. Policy in the Middle East," The Progressive , December 22, 2016, http://progressive.org/dispatches/trump-... .
  24. Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa, "Bannon Vows Daily Fight for the "Deconstruction of the Administrative State," Washington Post , February 23, 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/top-wh-s... .
  25. John Tammy, "Peter Navarro is Providing Donald Trump with Very Dangerous Economic Advice," Forbes , September 18, 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2016/09/1... .
  26. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "Rumblings of a 'Deep State' Undermining Trump? It Was Once a Foreign Concept," New York Times , March 6, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/po... .
  27. Glenn Greenwald, "Democrats Now Demonize the Same Russia Policies that Obama Long Championed," The Intercept , March 6, 2017, https://theintercept.com/2017/03/06/demo... .
  28. Max Boot, "Trump Knows the Feds Are Closing In on Him," Foreign Policy , March 6, 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/06/trum... .
  29. Stephen Fidler, Te-Ping Chen, and Lingling Wei, "China's Xi Jingping Seizes Role as Leader of Globalization," Wall Street Journal , January 17, 2017, www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-xi-jinping-d... .
  30. Reuters , "Diplomat Says China Would Assume World Leadership if Needed," January 23, 2017, www.reuters.com/article/us-china-usa-pol... .
  31. For China's shifting economic strategy see Fareed Zakaria, "Trump Could Be the Best Things That's Happened to China in a Long Time," Washington Post , January 12, 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-could-be-the-best-thing-thats-happened-to-china-in-a-long-time/2017/01/12/f4d71a3a-d913-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.26b51e4d5547 and Andrew Browne, "As China Pivots, Donald Trump Risks Fighting an Old War," Wall Street Journal , December 27, 2016, www.wsj.com/articles/as-china-pivots-tru... .
  32. Huiling Tan, "Businesses Move China Down Priority List: AmCham Survey," CNBC, January 17, 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/01/17/businesses-move-... .
  33. For further discussion of this point, see Ashley Smith, "Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution," Socialist Worker , August 25, 2016, https://socialistworker.org/2016/08/25/a... .
  34. For more on this, see Brian Bean and Todd Chretien, "Socialists and 'the Bern,'" Socialist Worker , February 29, 2016, https://socialistworker.org/2016/02/29/s... .

[Jul 22, 2018] Trump's New Neoliberalism s by Marco Rosaire Rossi

Notable quotes:
"... Through neoliberal rationales, they are able to reach many of their social objectives even if they fall short of their policy goals ..."
"... The belief that Trump would alter American conservativism away from neoliberal economics is not without its basis. ..."
"... The marriage between neoliberalism and Christian nationalism that neo-conservatives pursued during the George W. Bush era was going to experience a soft separation under Trump. The pursuit of neoliberalism policies would be relegated in importance, if not abandoned completely, and there would be doubling down on Christian nationalism, with a tripling down on the nationalist element. Unsurprisingly, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reveals that Trump is ready to renege on his end of this bargain with the hope that poor whites will still be willing to keep up their end. ..."
"... The argument that Trump would somehow overturn America's neoliberal economic order myopically focused on Trump's trade policy. In doing so, it both misunderstood what Trump represented and the ideological framework of neoliberalism. Trump's fever pitch agonizing over the United States' trade deficit with China and Mexico are both the wallowing of an economic idiot and the maneuvering of a political savant. ..."
"... The insinuation was for average Americans to take back what was rightfully theirs by engaging in a new round of economic bargaining with these two nations, if not an open trade war. ..."
"... As the latest tax bill has shown, Trump is dedicated to weakening the ability of the government to extract wealth from the rich. This supreme goal takes priority over the Republican gospel of balance budgets. ..."
"... The Right Nation: Conservative Power in ..."
"... The United States now has an Americanized version of European style far Right politics, and its xenophobic ambitious has come about through a constant assertion of neoliberal values. ..."
"... Understood in proper terms, "economic nationalism" is best described as "market statism" -- where, in Milton Friedman's words, the purpose of the state should be "to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets" but nothing else. ..."
"... Capitalism and Freedom ..."
Jan 07, 2018 | new-compass.net
The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has refuted any notion that Trump's ascension to the White House would mark an end to neoliberalism. Poor whites who supported Trump expected him to offer America a new version of conservativism that would break with neoliberalism. Instead, furthering neoliberal policies has become a critical objective that works in tandem with Trump's xenophobic rhetoric

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, President Trump secured his first major policy victory. Despite their federal dominance, the Republican Party has proven to be legislatively constipated. Below the surface of party unity, sectarian differences between the competing strains of American conservatism have hindered it from taking advantage of its historical positioning. Nevertheless, tax cuts proved to be a workable common ground that Trump was able to take advantage of. While commentary of the passage has tended to focus on this Republican unity, the most significant aspect of the Act's passage is the refutation that Donald Trump's ascension to the White House would somehow mark an end to the era of neoliberal economics. Furthering neoliberal policies has not only been an aspect of Trump's agenda but a critical goal that works in tandem with his xenophobic rhetoric. Far from being opposed by the Bannon faction of Trump's coalition, neoliberalism has provided a comforting aerie for their fascist inclinations to develop. Through neoliberal rationales, they are able to reach many of their social objectives even if they fall short of their policy goals .

The belief that Trump would alter American conservativism away from neoliberal economics is not without its basis. In a bizarre case of enveloping ironies, Trump's presidential campaign was successful in portraying him as both a billionaire business wizard and as an example of an American everyman. He advocated for "draining the swamp" of corrupt Wall Street executives, while at the same time paraded his practice of tax evasion has an example of his shrewd financial acumen. The incompatibility of these two personas is obvious, but it has a certain appeal within the context of America's poor whites. Poor white Americans are both spiteful toward and enamored by capitalism. They are spiteful because it retards their own social mobility, but enamored with it because it provides a basis for their own privilege over racial minorities. Unlike their counterparts among racial minorities, poor whites do not consider themselves poor by class, but poor by temporary misfortune. They are not poor per se, but rather down-on-their-luck millionaires whose are unjustly treated by liberal elites and coddled minorities. For these people, Trump represented an enchanting example of uncouth success. The fact that he was crass and despised only reinforced the notion that it is not connections and education that made a person wealthy, but hard work and an intuition for affluence. Culturally speaking, these are traits are considered innate to white Americans. Of course, to believe this mythology, many of Trump's low-class acolytes were only willing to support his campaign under the pretext of an unspoken bargain: they would ignore the reality that his wealth was inherited and not earned, and he would refrain from the usual Republican claptrap about the virtues of privatizing Social Security and Medicare. That way both partners could remain comfortable in their delusions that all their current and potential future wealth was a product of their own doing. The result of this unspoken bargain was that Trump was supposed to offer America a new version of conservativism. The marriage between neoliberalism and Christian nationalism that neo-conservatives pursued during the George W. Bush era was going to experience a soft separation under Trump. The pursuit of neoliberalism policies would be relegated in importance, if not abandoned completely, and there would be doubling down on Christian nationalism, with a tripling down on the nationalist element. Unsurprisingly, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reveals that Trump is ready to renege on his end of this bargain with the hope that poor whites will still be willing to keep up their end.

Astute observers saw this betrayal coming. The argument that Trump would somehow overturn America's neoliberal economic order myopically focused on Trump's trade policy. In doing so, it both misunderstood what Trump represented and the ideological framework of neoliberalism. Trump's fever pitch agonizing over the United States' trade deficit with China and Mexico are both the wallowing of an economic idiot and the maneuvering of a political savant. The issue was always economically inane. A trade deficit in-and-of-itself reveals very little about the overall health of an economy. Whether a nation should strive for or against a trade deficit is more dependent on that nation's strategic position within the global economy, and not necessarily an indicator of the health of domestic markets. But, trade proved to be a salient issue for symbolic purposes. Stagnation and automation have compelled American middle and lower classes to accept an economic torpor. Making trade deficits a central campaign tenant provided these people with an outlet for their class anxieties without having to question the nature of class itself. Lethargic economic growth was blamed on Mexicans and the Chinese. The insinuation was for average Americans to take back what was rightfully theirs by engaging in a new round of economic bargaining with these two nations, if not an open trade war.

While Trump's criticism of Mexico and China seemed to imply an undoing of international market liberalization and a return to an age of greater protectionism, in reality, Trump very rarely recommended such policies. Instead, he made vague references to "good people" who will make "good deals" for American workers and openly preferred lowering America's corporate tax rate in order to encourage businesses to reinvest in the United States. The first proposal was always understood as meaningless. Its value was in showmanship. A person can hoodwink the world into thinking that they are a genius just by referring to everyone around them as a moron. However, the second proposal not only does not overturn the reigning neoliberal order, it strengthens it. As the latest tax bill has shown, Trump is dedicated to weakening the ability of the government to extract wealth from the rich. This supreme goal takes priority over the Republican gospel of balance budgets. The deficit be damned if preventing it smacks of any hint of expropriation of the wealthy. But, the deficit is not entirely damned. It is an open secret that Republicans are salivating for a fiscal crisis that will provide them with a pretext for cutting Social Security and Medicare. It was only a matter of time before Trump's administration wholeheartedly joins them.

The fact that the real potential for cutting favored government programs has not resulted in the same outcry among Trump's supporters, even among low-class demographics, as his suggestion that he might soften his position on immigration is a grave concern. Social Security and Medicare are extremely popular in the United States among poor and working people regardless of ethnicity and political ideology. Nevertheless, tolerance for their obliteration has become palatable to the majority of white Americans. In 2004, journalists John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge published their exhaustive history of the American Right, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America . At the time, Michlethwait and Wooldridge could accurately claim that "in no other country is the Right defined so much by values rather than class Yet despite the importance of values, America has failed to produce a xenophobic 'far Right' on anything like the same scale as Europe has." A little over a decade later, Michlethwait's and Wooldridge's observation has become obsolete. Trump is inept at policy and governance, but he is a skilled mobilizer and has managed to shift the American Right into a new direction. The United States now has an Americanized version of European style far Right politics, and its xenophobic ambitious has come about through a constant assertion of neoliberal values.

Trump has not only furthered the neoliberal doctrine of privatization, but also that of the economization of everyday life, and specifically, the economization of American racism. While fear of cultural differences between "the west" and "the rest" has always been front and center for the Bannon wing of Trump's coalition, more tactical voices find economic justifications for their xenophobia: immigrants steal jobs, freeride on welfare benefits, and don't pay taxes. The image that emerges when these talking points converge is a political system enamored with quantifying and dispensing material goods between those who deserve and those who do not. For most modern conservatives, opposition to immigration is not based on an open fear of differences; rather, it is a feeling that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are unwilling to accept a free market economic system that treats all Americans on fair and equal terms. Unlike average Americans, who work hard and thus deserve their market remunerations, immigrants -- and by implication other minorities -- rely on a mixture of government handouts and liberal acquiescence to the rules. Immigrants cash their welfare checks because liberal elites look the other way on law enforcement. This worldview suggests that the government should not only be redirected to strenuous law enforcement but also that it should not be in the business of providing society with social welfare in the first place. Doing so only creates an impetus for illegal immigration and lazy minorities. In this manner, Bannon's cheerleading of "economic nationalism" was always a rhetorical mirage. Understood in proper terms, "economic nationalism" is best described as "market statism" -- where, in Milton Friedman's words, the purpose of the state should be "to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets" but nothing else.

There is no fundamental difference in the terms of the realpolitik outcomes between Friedman's neoliberalism and Bannon's economic nationalism, even if they begin from separate economic philosophies. The only difference is in what should be considered preferable within market configurations. In Capitalism and Freedom , Friedman emphasizes his personal objections to racist ideologies but sees no need for a government to ensure racial equality. According to Friedman, racism is to be overcome through individual argumentation, not political struggle; it is the changing of tastes within the marketplace that will provide the liberation of ethnic minorities, not the paternal hand of the government preventing discrimination. Friedman's de-politicizing of racial anxieties to mere matters of "taste," provides an opening for those -- like Bannon -- who are eager to engage in a culture war, but are well aware of the potentially alienating effects of actually taking up arms. If racial discrimination is only a matter of "taste," similar to other desires within the marketplace, then the maintenance of white supremacy is predicated on its profitability. As long as whiteness can maintain its social hegemony, then Friedman's governmental obligations "to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets," will serve to reinforce it. The neoliberal economizing of American racism allows for many of the effects of white supremacy without necessarily the adoption of any of its core premises. Trump's coalition of white nationalists and free-market ideologues thus become comfortable bedfellows, even while maintaining a rhetorical mistrust of each other.

The question is can Trump maintain his coalition of realigned conservatives in time for the next election cycle? While his low polling numbers and recent Democratic Party successes are encouraging, they are not foolproof. The destabilizing of the narrative on American racism can only occur through a refusal to accept the economization of the debate. The exclusion of racial minorities from social welfare and the utter bureaucratic madness of the United States' immigration policies have a moral dimension that has to take precedence over concerns regarding job stealing and tax burdens, no matter how fallacious such arguments are to begin with. Expecting the Democratic Party's leadership to play a leading role in this de-economization of the debate is not impossible, but unlikely. Along with Republicans, Democrats have been complicit in the framing social issues in relations to the economy, and the economy as merely working in the service of private interests. Only recently has the leftwing of the Democratic Party been organized and energized enough to counter this influence and return the party to its New Deal orientation. Whatever its limitations, Roosevelt's "freedom from want" provides a moral framework for economic policy. It is a reasonable and familiar starting point to break with a neoliberal credo that economizes all morality within a capitalist framework.

While the left-wing of the Democratic Party has seen tremendous progress, it is still far from overturning the organization's centrist leadership. In many ways, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a painful reminder of how weak the American Left is once Republicans are able to stay united. Like with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is extremely unpopular. The trickledown theory of economics that the act is based on is rightly seen a convenient canard for the rich. So much so, that it has been reduced to a cliché joke among late night talk show hosts. With the exception of Fox News, the mainstream press has frequently commented on the nearly universal consensus among economists that the Act will result in a massive transfer of wealth to the upper class. Intellectually, there is no place for defenders of the Act to hide. However, unlike opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act, opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been somewhat muted. While Americans still are seething from the injustices of the 2007-2008 economic collapse, ten years on, they still have not found a tangible political venue to express their frustrations. This means that regardless of the outcome of the next election cycle the American Left is going to have to play a persistent role creating a meaningful outlet for people's dismay, and fostering a political discourse that recognizes that the Trump phenomenon is rooted in the neoliberal age that preceded it. The dangerous tantrum-prone child of Trumpism will only be forced off the playground when its neoliberal parents no longer own the park.

[Jul 21, 2018] Don t let his trade policy fool you Trump is a neoliberal by Daniel Bessner and Matthew Sparke

Yes he is a libral domestcally and nationalsit in forign policy -- that's why the term "national neoliberalism" looks appropriate for definition of his policies
Notable quotes:
"... When one compares these 10 neoliberal commandments with Trump's policy agenda, it is clear that the president is far more neoliberal than his populist rhetoric would suggest. ..."
"... Trump is clearly and consistently positioning himself to cut taxes on the wealthy, deregulate big business and the financial industry, and pursue a wide range of privatization plans and public-private partnerships that will further weaken American unions. In short, he will govern like the neoliberals who came before him and against whom he campaigned so ardently. ..."
"... In fact, Trump's agenda aims to realize the foremost goals of neoliberalism: privatization, deregulation, tax-cutting, anti-unionism, and the strict enforcement of property rights. For example, in his address to Congress , Trump promised "a big, big cut" for American companies and boasted about his administration's "historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations." Ironically, Trump then asserted that he will reduce regulations by "creating a deregulation task force inside of every government agency," itself a contradictory expansion of the administrative state he had just sworn to shrink. ..."
"... Like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump was correct to criticize the Obama administration, whose economic team was for a time staffed by neoliberal Democrats like Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, for saving Wall Street after the financial collapse of 2008 while allowing Main Street to go under. Trump's victory is the direct result of the fact that American workers have not been well served by the country's policymaking elites. ..."
"... Yet the resistance that Trump's presidency has inspired across the country must also learn from the contradictions between his economic nationalism and neoliberalism. Those who reject his phony populism must be careful not to dismiss the concerns of Trump's voters, which has unfortunately been the response of too many who console themselves by deriding Trump's supporters as ignorant "deplorables" who deserve what they will get. ..."
"... The problem with the last paragraph is that it tries once again to put the election in purely economic terms. It wasn't. It was largely white cultural backlash. Much of his vote was driven by bans on immigration and a promise to maintain a white rural/suburban culture by bringing jobs back like coal mining or manufacturing jobs to Northwood Michigan. ..."
Mar 22, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised to deliver on his populist campaign pledges to protect Americans from globalization. "For too long," he bemoaned, "we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries." But now, he asserted, the time has come to "restart the engine of the American economy" and "bring back millions of jobs." To achieve his goals, Trump proposed mixing massive tax-cuts and sweeping regulatory rollbacks with increased spending on the military, infrastructure and border control.

This same messy mix of free market fundamentalism and hyper-nationalistic populism is presently taking shape in Trump's proposed budget. But the apparent contradiction there isn't likely to slow down Trump's pro-market, pro-Wall Street, pro-wealth agenda. His supporters may soon discover that his professions of care for those left behind by globalization are -- aside from some mostly symbolic moves on trade -- empty.

Just look at what has already happened with the GOP's proposed replacement for Obamacare , which if enacted would bring increased pain and suffering to the anxious voters who put their trust in Trump's populism in the first place. While these Americans might have thought their votes would win them protection from the instabilities and austerities of market-led globalization, what they are getting is a neoliberal president in populist clothing.

Neoliberalism is a term most often used to critique market-fundamentalism rather than to define a particular policy agenda. Nonetheless, it is most useful to understand neoliberalism's policy implications in terms of 10 norms that have defined its historical practice. These norms begin with

  1. trade liberalization and extend to
  2. the encouragement of exports;
  3. enticement of foreign investment;
  4. reduction of inflation;
  5. reduction of public spending;
  6. privatization of public services;
  7. deregulation of industry and finance;
  8. reduction and flattening of taxes;
  9. restriction of union organization;
  10. and, finally, enforcement of property and land ownership.

Politicians don't necessarily have to profess faith in all of these norms to be considered neoliberal. Rather, they have to buy into neoliberalism's general market-based logic and its attendant promise of opportunity.

When one compares these 10 neoliberal commandments with Trump's policy agenda, it is clear that the president is far more neoliberal than his populist rhetoric would suggest. This conclusion will likely surprise his supporters, especially in light of Trump's assaults on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Despite these attacks, however, Trump is clearly and consistently positioning himself to cut taxes on the wealthy, deregulate big business and the financial industry, and pursue a wide range of privatization plans and public-private partnerships that will further weaken American unions. In short, he will govern like the neoliberals who came before him and against whom he campaigned so ardently.

In fact, Trump's agenda aims to realize the foremost goals of neoliberalism: privatization, deregulation, tax-cutting, anti-unionism, and the strict enforcement of property rights. For example, in his address to Congress , Trump promised "a big, big cut" for American companies and boasted about his administration's "historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations." Ironically, Trump then asserted that he will reduce regulations by "creating a deregulation task force inside of every government agency," itself a contradictory expansion of the administrative state he had just sworn to shrink.

Since so much of Trump's agenda aligns with the long-standing ambitions of the Republican Party, it is likely that Trump will be able to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to pass strictly neoliberal legislation. Unlike his approach to trade, which congressional Republicans will probably scuttle, there is little reason to doubt that we will see new legislation that privatizes public lands, overturns Dodd-Frank and other Wall Street regulations, cuts taxes on business, makes organizing unions difficult, and allows big landowners to develop, mine, log, and shoot without restraint. For all the animosity that may exist between the Trump administration and Republican congressmen, the two groups share a neoliberal vision of the world.

From his new budget proposal we also know that Trump plans to continue the neoliberal assault on social service provisions -- such as the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act -- as well as public broadcasting, arts funding, scientific research and foreign aid. As Trump vowed to Congress, he intends to implement a plan in which "Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts." Moreover, the money he does want to spend will be expended on military and infrastructure projects that will almost certainly be organized around public-private partnerships that will fill the coffers of Trump's business cronies.

What does Trump's neoliberal agenda mean for those whose discontent with globalization gave him the presidency? Nothing good. The irony here is that the same neoliberalism that Trump plans to strengthen created the conditions that allowed him to enter the White House. Like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump was correct to criticize the Obama administration, whose economic team was for a time staffed by neoliberal Democrats like Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, for saving Wall Street after the financial collapse of 2008 while allowing Main Street to go under. Trump's victory is the direct result of the fact that American workers have not been well served by the country's policymaking elites.

Yet the resistance that Trump's presidency has inspired across the country must also learn from the contradictions between his economic nationalism and neoliberalism. Those who reject his phony populism must be careful not to dismiss the concerns of Trump's voters, which has unfortunately been the response of too many who console themselves by deriding Trump's supporters as ignorant "deplorables" who deserve what they will get. Going forward, all of those who want to resist the President's agenda must engage those left behind by neoliberalism and provide them with an economic vision that addresses their very real concerns. After all, Trump's administration will probably strengthen the forces that have hurt these citizens, and they will need representatives who are genuinely concerned with their well-being if our political turmoil is to be put to rest.

Don't let his trade policy fool you: Trump is a neoliberal


Notjames 3/22/2017 1:37 PM EDT [Edited]

(2/2) I think the truth is that many of these people are too far gone mentally and emotionally to ever come around to the "correct" way of thinking (which is to say, they have been so brainwashed by reacting to facile nonsense like "liberty" and "freedom" that they will believe anything as long as the argument is couched in those terms, despite the fact that when they vote they are indeed consigning themselves and the rest of the country to a world without those very freedoms for anybody who's not supposedly "one of them").

A great man once famously said "Conscience do cost." And boy, does it. Liberals need to get over their conscience once and for all, and push back against conservatives the way conservatives have been for decades, but that can only happen if we are honest about who we are arguing with, and call them out, boldly and proudly, on their intellectual failings.

Notjames 3/22/2017 1:37 PM EDT
(1/2) It's clear the authors don't expose themselves to right-wing news outlets. Far too much is made in liberal media about the "deplorables" and how they feel suffocated by the economy (or more realistically, by the natural ebb and flow of capitalism), but they belie the fact that so much of modern conservatism is more about being anti-liberal than it is about any sort of pro-conservative ideology. The "deplorable" moniker has been adapted and co-opted by conservatives and is now worn proudly as a badge of honor (in the same way "fake news" began as a liberal criticism of specific, deliberately-misleading media targeted towards the right, but is now a term used almost exclusively by the right to blanket-describe literally any media that they disagree with). Any criticisms of Trump are immediately met with criticisms of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Democrats in general. Bring up the KKK's support of Trump 3 months ago? They'll bring up how the KKK was invented by Democrats 150 years ago.

The authors are too nice/professional to say it, but liberals need to stop handling conservatives with kid gloves and start calling them what they are: rubes. Because it's not enough that they vote against their own self-interest and the interests of the country, they take it one further and are actively gleeful in depriving liberals of anything liberals might value. Conversely, most liberals I know and read online don't have an active hatred of conservatives, instead they have compassion and want to educate them, and I suppose the thought is that if only enough of these articles get written, they'll eventually come around.

They won't.

I-Myslef 3/22/2017 1:36 PM EDT
Like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump was correct to criticize the Obama administration, whose economic team was for a time staffed by neoliberal Democrats like Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, for saving Wall Street after the financial collapse of 2008 while allowing Main Street to go under.

And here you have it. This is how Trump got elected. The Bernibots are the unwitting agent that gave us Trump. And they are planing on doubling down

Diane_ 3/22/2017 12:30 PM EDT
You have to care about people other than yourself in order to be called a liberal.
elkiii_2008 3/22/2017 10:28 AM EDT
The problem with the last paragraph is that it tries once again to put the election in purely economic terms. It wasn't. It was largely white cultural backlash. Much of his vote was driven by bans on immigration and a promise to maintain a white rural/suburban culture by bringing jobs back like coal mining or manufacturing jobs to Northwood Michigan.

It is quite possible that Trump can win again in these areas despite implementing neoliberal policies. And it isn't that Democrats don't have an economic message, they do. But it is one that includes and supports a much wider cultural base and one that many of that WWC that voted for Trump don't want to hear.

I-Myslef 3/22/2017 1:37 PM EDT
NO. The Rust Belt was handed over to him by Bernie and non stop assault on Clinton and trade ...
the T for 2 3/22/2017 8:55 AM EDT
If 73% of Americans Owe Money when they die ? The PURPOSE OF THE STOCK MARKET IS WHAT ? Weed out The Rich at the PEARLY GATES? ... more See More

[Jul 18, 2018] Fascism A Warning by Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright is a well known neocon who was instrumental in organizing the invasion of Yugoslavia
Notable quotes:
"... Every reader will conclude that his or her political enemies fit the bill. ..."
"... And, unfortunately, I fear, she, in one fell swoop of prose, both fuels the fires of division while exiling the book to practical irrelevance. In the end, she will likely only energize both political extremes, and, I suspect, the reader ratings of this book will ultimately reflect that. ..."
"... She notes, for starters, that the Fascist epithet may be appropriate for the US today for reasons having more to do with economics than populism. The Fascist Party of Italy, which gave rise to general use of the term, was the ultimate merger of the corporate and political states. And that is, in fact, what has happened here in the US. ..."
"... The incorporation accelerated greatly during the dot-com 90s when young entrepreneurs were preaching disruption and libertarianism. It is ironic, indeed, that tech's "democratic" perspective has now produced among the biggest and most powerful corporations the world has ever known. And they pulled it off, actually, while the anti-trust regulators in both Republican and Democratic administrations stood by and watched. ..."
"... To me what we have today is not so much analogous to the Fascist or Nazi parties of the mid-20th Century as it is the power of the church in Medieval Europe. The kings and queens of Washington may wear the crowns, but it is the corporate "popes" of Wall Street and Silicon Valley that are really calling the shots. ..."
"... Neither party has defined an agenda that addresses the issues that originally brought Trump to power. And until that happens I believe Albright's Fascist warning will remain valid. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Gary Moreau, Author TOP 500 REVIEWER 4.0 out of 5 stars | Verified Purchase
Oh how I wanted to rate this book a 6

This is a timely book by a brilliant person who had a front row seat to the tragedy that was Europe in the Mid-20th Century. There is little doubt that the world is starting to look fearfully like it did at the beginning of those dark hours, starting with the tyranny of Hitler and Mussolini and culminating in the Cold War and the gulags of the Soviet Union.

Figuratively speaking, this is really three books. The first will be the most divisive and may, in fact, quite unfortunately, relegate the book to practical irrelevance. The second book is extremely insightful and informative. And the third book, honestly, is pure gold and vintage Madeline Albright.

The first book begins with a contradiction. Albright openly acknowledges that Fascism has become a meaningless epithet, hurled, as it is, by opposing politicians of every stripe and at parents merely attempting to limit the cell phone usage of their children. She goes on to defend the titular use of the term, however, by clarifying her use of the term: "To my mind, a Fascist is someone who identifies strongly with and claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use whatever means are necessary -- including violence -- to achieve his or her goals."

At that point, however, she hasn't really narrowed the list of politicians who qualify for the pejorative label at all. Every reader will conclude that his or her political enemies fit the bill. She seals the fate of this portion of the book, however, when she asks, on page 4 of the book, " why, this far into the twenty-first century, are we once again talking about Fascism?" And answers, "One reason, frankly, is Donald Trump. If we think of Fascism as a wound from the past that had almost healed, putting Trump in the White House was like ripping off the bandage and picking at the scab." And she goes on to make thinly veiled comparisons between Trump, Mussolini, and Joseph McCarthy.

And, unfortunately, I fear, she, in one fell swoop of prose, both fuels the fires of division while exiling the book to practical irrelevance. In the end, she will likely only energize both political extremes, and, I suspect, the reader ratings of this book will ultimately reflect that.

That is most unfortunate because without those opening pages this would be a truly terrific book. It chronicles both relevant history and the recent past to a degree that few other people on the planet could.

The second part of the book is devoted to an analysis of recent political events in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Venezuela, the Philippines, Russia, North Korea, and, of course, the United States. All, to varying degrees, she maintains, are showing signs of a slide toward Fascism and the decline of post-war liberal democracy. It is an informative analysis and unless you are a political junkie, you will learn a lot.

In the third part of the book she truly hits her stride. She notes, for starters, that the Fascist epithet may be appropriate for the US today for reasons having more to do with economics than populism. The Fascist Party of Italy, which gave rise to general use of the term, was the ultimate merger of the corporate and political states. And that is, in fact, what has happened here in the US.

The incorporation of America has been going on since the conservative movement of the 1980s, however, and while Trump is carrying the corporate water at the moment, he can hardly be blamed for allowing Wall Street and Silicon Valley to take control of Washington.

The incorporation accelerated greatly during the dot-com 90s when young entrepreneurs were preaching disruption and libertarianism. It is ironic, indeed, that tech's "democratic" perspective has now produced among the biggest and most powerful corporations the world has ever known. And they pulled it off, actually, while the anti-trust regulators in both Republican and Democratic administrations stood by and watched.

To me what we have today is not so much analogous to the Fascist or Nazi parties of the mid-20th Century as it is the power of the church in Medieval Europe. The kings and queens of Washington may wear the crowns, but it is the corporate "popes" of Wall Street and Silicon Valley that are really calling the shots.

Which is why both parties, I think, should be fearful of whatever happens in the mid-term elections. Be careful what you wish for. Neither party has defined an agenda that addresses the issues that originally brought Trump to power. And until that happens I believe Albright's Fascist warning will remain valid.

In the final chapters of the book Albright notes that putting American interests first invites Russia, China, and others to do the same. And it is here that she lowers her partisan guard (we all have one) and calls for unity through the recognition of our common humanity and the rejection of extremism that favors one group over another.

It is here that she also seems to soften her position on ideals of post-war democratic liberalism and focuses more on compassion, integrity, and fairness. I think of it as defining a new standard of shared obligation and responsibility that includes those countries and those people that aren't rushing to implement an Electoral College and to copy our form of bare-knuckle individualism, but those are my words, not hers.

In the end she notes that spend her time on issues like: "purging excess money from politics, improving civic education, defending journalistic independence, adjusting to the changing nature of the workplace, enhancing inter-religious dialogue, and putting a saddle on the bucking bronco we call the Internet." It's a perfect ending to what is a very good book by an inspiring individual.

I do recommend reading it.

[Jun 25, 2018] Comment on "Trump and "National Neoliberalism""

Jun 25, 2018 | triplecrisis.com
  1. Thomas Williams says: November 30, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Sasha:

    Got my Economics Degree in 1971 – when they still taught the stuff. Maybe I shouldn't, but I still go nuts when educated writers like yourself distort the origins of Fascism. It was a three legged stool consisting of government, industry and labor. Taking care of the working class was a key element. Also, being socialist, it was not market oriented. Neoliberalism is exactly the opposite with it's 'lump of labor' and unregulated markets. It arose in defense of the crushing fist of western capitalism and, had it not been taken over by dictators, might have done the world a lot of good. Other than that you wrote a nice piece. Keep it up

[Jun 19, 2018] Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats. ..."
"... Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior. ..."
"... Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. ..."
"... And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left." ..."
"... There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists. ..."
"... In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work. ..."
"... The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. ..."
"... And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't. ..."
"... Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty. ..."
"... Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that will succeed the institutionally exhausted post-World War 2 financial and political arrangements that more-or-less established U.S. hegemony over the "free world." The Bretton Woods agreement and the founding of the United Nations institutionalized the spread of liberal democracy and free trade, creating a new, post war international order under the firm control of the United States with the American dollar as the benchmark currency. Trump is now rejecting what has become an increasingly dominant global world order in favor of returning to a nineteenth century style nationalism that has become popular as countries struggle to retain their cultural and political identifies. Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats.

Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior.

Inevitably, I have other friends who follow foreign policy closely that have various interpretations of the Trump phenomenon. One sees the respectful meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea as a bit of brilliant statesmanship, potentially breaking a sixty-five year logjam and possibly opening the door to further discussions that might well avert a nuclear war. And the week also brought a Trump welcome suggestion that Russia should be asked to rejoin the G-7 group of major industrialized democracies, which also has to be seen as a positive step. There has also been talk of a Russia-U.S. summit similar to that with North Korea to iron out differences, an initiative that was first suggested by Trump and then agreed to by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There will inevitably be powerful resistance to such an arrangement coming primarily from the U.S. media and from Congress, but Donald Trump seems to fancy the prospect and it just might take place.

One good friend even puts a positive spin on Trump's insulting behavior towards America's traditional allies at the recent G-7 meeting in Canada. She observes that Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. And the military costs exacerbate some genuine serious trade imbalances that damage the U.S. economy. If Trumpism prevails, G-7 will become a forum for discussions of trade and economic relations and will become less a club of nations aligned military against Russia and, eventually, China. As she put it, changing its constituency would be a triumph of "mercantilism" over "imperialism." The now pointless NATO alliance might well find itself without much support if the members actually have to fully fund it proportionate to their GDPs and could easily fade away, which would be a blessing for everyone.

My objection to nearly all the arguments being made in favor or opposed to what occurred in Singapore last week is that the summit is being seen out of context, as is the outreach to Russia at G-7. Those who are in some cases violently opposed to the outcome of the talks with North Korea are, to be sure, sufferers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, where they hate anything he does and spin their responses to cast him in the most negative terms possible. Some others who choose to see daylight in spite of the essential emptiness of the "agreement" are perhaps being overly optimistic while likewise ignoring what else is going on.

And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left."

There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists.

And then there is also Donald Trump's recent renunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), eliminating a successful program that was preventing nuclear proliferation on the part of Iran and replacing it with nothing whatsoever apart from war as a possible way of dealing with the potential problem. Indeed, Trump has been prepared to use military force on impulse, even when there is no clear casus belli. In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work.

The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. In Latin America, Washington has backed off from détente with Cuba and has been periodically threatening some kind of intervention in Venezuela. In Europe, it is engaged in aggressive war games on the Russian borders, most recently in Norway and Poland. The Administration has ordered increased involvement in Somalia and has special ops units operating – and dying – worldwide. Overall, it is hardly a return to the Garden of Eden.

And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't.

Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty.


Mishra , June 19, 2018 at 4:11 am GMT

The Establishment (which includes both major political parties) is furious that Trump may be defusing the (very real) nuclear threat from Kim for the price of a few plane tickets and dinners, while the Establishment was gung-ho for throwing away a few trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, and our nation's once-good reputation in the process of neutralizing Saddam Hussein, who didn't even have any nukes to begin with. Yep, they're sore all right.
Kirt , June 19, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities.

[Jun 11, 2018] I think it wise to examine what Trump's outbursts at and beyond the G6+1 are based upon--his understanding of Economic Nationalism

Jun 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Jun 11, 2018 12:06:47 PM | 111

As we await info on Kim-Trump, I think it wise to examine what Trump's outbursts at and beyond the G6+1 are based upon--his understanding of Economic Nationalism. Fortunately, we have an excellent, recent, Valdai Club paper addressing the topic that's not too technical or lengthy. The author references two important papers by Lavrov and Putin that ought to be read afterwards. Lavrov's is the elder and ought to be first. Putin's Belt & Road International Forum Address, 2017 provides an excellent example of the methods outlined in the first paper.

I could certainly add more, but IMO these provide an excellent basis for comprehending Trump's motivations as he's clearly reacting to the Russian and Chinese initiatives. Furthermore, one can discover why Russia now holds the EU at arms length while Putin's "I told you so" reminder had to sting just a bit.

Then to recap it all, I highly suggest reading Pepe Escobar's excellent article I linked to yesterday higher up in the thread.

[May 16, 2018] Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea by James Petras

Questionable but interesting. "Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again." Trump really believe like a typical bully. In case of tough resistance he folds and appologize. Otherwise he tries to press opooneent into complete submission.
Notable quotes:
"... The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. ..."
"... Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy. ..."
"... Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah. ..."
"... Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch. ..."
"... Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. ..."
"... Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program. ..."
"... Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so. ..."
"... China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security. ..."
"... "Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof. ..."
May 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Introduction

For some time, critics of President Trump's policies have attributed them to a mental disorder; uncontrolled manic-depression, narcissus bullying and other pathologies. The question of Trump's mental health raises a deeper question: why do his pathologies take a specific political direction? Moreover, Trump's decisions have a political history and background, and follow from a logic and belief in the reason and logic of imperial power.

We will examine the reason why Trump has embraced three strategic decisions which have world-historic consequences, namely: Trump's reneging the nuclear accord with Iran ;Trump's declaration of a trade war with China; and Trump's meeting with North Korea.

In brief we will explore the political reasons for his decisions; what he expects to gain; and what is his game plan if he fails to secure his expected outcome and his adversaries take reprisals.

Trump's Strategic Framework

The underlying assumption of Trump's strategic thinking is that 'power works': the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is 'weak' and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. In other words, Trump's politics of force only recognizes counter-force: limitations in Trump's policies will only result when tangible economic and military losses and costs in US lives would undermine US imperial rule.

Reasons Why Trump Broke the Peace Accord with Iran

Trump broke the accord with Iran because the original agreement was based on retaining US sanctions against Iran; the total dismantling of its nuclear program and calling into question Iran's limited role on behalf of possible allies in the Middle East.

Iran's one-sided concessions; trading military defense for market opportunities encouraged Trump to believe that he could intimidate Iran militarily by closing all its markets.

Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy.

Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah.

The second reason for Trump's policy is to strengthen Israel's military power in the Middle East. The Trump regime is deeply influenced by the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US, dubbed 'the Lobby'.

Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC's power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch.

Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. Trump's submission to Zionist power reinforces and even dictates his decision to break the peace accord with Iran and his willingness to pressure. France, Germany, the UK and Russia to sacrifice billion-dollar trade agreements with Iran and to pursue a policy of pressuring Teheran to accept part of Trump's agenda of unilateral disarmament and isolation. Trump believes he can force the EU multi-nationals to disobey their governments and abide by sanctions.

Reasons for Trump's Trade War with China

Prior to Trump's presidency, especially under President Obama, the US launched a trade war and 'military pivot' to China. Obama proposed the Trans-Pacific Pact to exclude China and directed an air and naval armada to the South China Sea. Obama established a high-powered surveillance system in South Korea and supported war exercises on North Korea's border. Trump's policy deepened and radicalized Obama's policies.

Trump extended Obama's bellicose policy toward North Korea, demanding the de-nuclearization of its defense program. President Kim of North Korea and President Moon of South Korea reached an agreement to open negotiations toward a peace accord ending nearly 60 years of hostility.

However, President Trump joined the conversation on the presumption that North Korea's peace overtures were due to his threats of war and intimidation. He insisted that any peace settlement and end of economic sanctions would only be achieved by unilateral nuclear disarmament, the maintenance of US forces on the peninsula and supervision by US approved inspectors.

Trump's unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea's "capitulation" – its promise to end its nuclear program.

Trump slapped a trade tariff on over $100 billion dollars of Chinese exports in order to reduce its trade imbalance by $200 billion over two years. He demanded China unilaterally end industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations) and China's compliance monitored quarterly by the US. Trump demanded that China not retaliate with tariffs or restrictions or face bigger sanctions. Trump threatened to respond to any reciprocal tariff by Beijing, with greater tariffs, and restrictions on Chinese goods and services.

Trump's goals seek to convert North Korea into a military satellite encroaching on China's northern border; and a trade war that drives China into an economic crisis. Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

Trump believes a successful trade war will lead to a successful military war. Trump believes that a submissive China, based on its isolation from the 'dynamic' US market, will enhance Washington's quest for uncontested world domination.

Trump's Ten Erroneous Thesis

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed! Breaking the nuclear agreement and imposing harsh sanctions has isolated Trump from his European and Asian allies. His military intervention will inflame a regional war that would destroy the Saudi oil fields. He will force Iran to pursue a nuclear shield against US-Israeli aggression and lead to a prolonged, costly and ultimately losing war.

Trump's policies will unify all Iranians, liberals and nationalist, and undermine US collaborators. The entire Muslim world will unify forces and carry the conflict throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Tel Aviv's bombing [of Iran] will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

Oil prices will skyrocket, financial markets will collapse, industries will go bankrupt.

Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction.

Trump's trade war with China will lead to the disruption of the supply chain which sustains the US economy and especially the 500 US multi-nationals who depend on the Chinese economy for exports to the US. China will increase domestic consumption, diversify its markets and trading partners and reinforce its military alliance with Russia. China has greater resilience and capacity to overcome short-term disruption and regain its dominant role as a global economic power house.

Wall Street will suffer a catastrophic financial collapse and send the US into a world depression.

Trump's negotiations with North Korea will go nowhere as long as he demands unilateral nuclear disarmament, US military control over the peninsula and political isolation from China.

Kim will insist on the end of sanctions, and a mutual defense treaty with China. Kim will offer to end nuclear testing but not nuclear weapons. After Trump's reneged on the Iran deal, Kim will recognize that agreements with the US are not trustworthy.

Conclusion

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice. But his assumptions about the consequences of his policy are deeply flawed. There is no basis to think his sanctions will topple the Iranian regime; that Israel will survive unscathed from a war with Iran: that an oil war will not undermine the US economy; that Europe will allow its companies to be frozen out of the Iran market.

Trump's trade war with China is dead in the water. He cannot find alternative production sites for US multi-nationals. He cannot freeze China out of the world market, since they have links with five continents. Trump cannot dominate North Korea and force it to sacrifice its sovereignty on the basis of empty economic promises to lift sanctions. Trump is heading for defeats on all counts. But he may take the American people into the nuclear abyss in the process.

Epilogue

Are Trump's threats of war part of a strategy of bluff and bombast designed to intimidate, in order to secure political advantages? Is Trump playing the Nixon-Kissinger 'madman' tactic, in which the Secretary of State tells adversaries to accept his 'reasonable' demands or face the worst from the President? I don't think so.

Nixon unlike Trump was not led by the nose by Israel. Nixon unlike Trump was not led by pro-nuclear war advisers. Nixon in contrast to Trump opened the US to trade with China and signed nuclear reduction agreements with Russia. Nixon successfully promoted peaceful co-existence.

Trump is a master of defeats.


Realist , May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am GMT

Reasons Trump Breaks Nuclear-Sanction Agreement with Iran, Declares Trade War with China, and Meets with North Korea

The Deep State told him to.

Gordo , May 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT

industrial 'espionage', technological 'theft' (all phony accusations)

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

Realist , May 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT

Trump's political agenda is deeply flawed!

Trump has no agenda of his own.

Per/Norway , May 15, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
"Trump's sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction."

indeed they will, and sadly it well deserved after the last 20yrs off US terrorism.
the US hubris will soon meet karma, and we all know karma is a bitch..

Biff , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT

Tel Aviv's bombing will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

?Who is going to do this bombing, and counter attacking?

Mark James , May 16, 2018 at 5:58 am GMT

Trump cannot dominate North Korea

You didn't have to be genius to see this coming. In fact, NK played Trump as expected. Anything else would have been gross negligence by their diplomatic negotiators. Getting Trump to speculate about a prospective Nobel (for himself) for bringing nuclear peace to the Pacific was baiting the hook nicely.

The US is now dealing from a position of weakness. Let's see what NK can extract in terms of keeping their weapons and gaining economic assistance in return for getting the meetings back on track.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT
This theory is the opposite of what I suppose is the right explanation, the explanation also given by prof Laslo Maracs, UVA Amsterdam, that Trump and his rich friends understand that the USA can to longer control the world, conquering the rest of the world totally out of the question.

The end of the British empire began before 1914, when the twe fleet standard had to lowered to one fleet.

Obama had to do something similar, the USA capability of fighting two wars at the time was lowered to one and half. What half a war accomplishes we see in Syria.

In the thirties the British, some of them, knew quite well they could no longer defend their empire, at the time this meant controlling the Meditarranean and the Far East. Lawrence R. Pratt, 'East of Malta, West of Suez', London, 1975

The British guarantees to Poland and countries bordering on the Med lighted the fuse to the powder keg that had been standing for a long time. Churchill won, the British thought, and some of them think it still, WWII. But shortly after WWII some British understood 'we won the war, but lost the peace'.

I still have the idea that Trump has no intention of losing the peace, but time will tell.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
@Per/Norway

I suppose Trump just is buying time against Deep State and Netanyahu. The fool Netanyahu is happy with having got Jerusalem, he does not see the cost in increased hatred among Muslims, and Israel having won the Eurovision Song Festival.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT

Trump's loud, threatening gestures are a real danger to world peace and justice.

Just as Wilson and FDR's, and their successor's regime change efforts were. At least they're consistent! Damn them all.

Franklin Ryckaert , May 16, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
Trump's "policy" is simply a reflection of his character as a narcissistic, arrogant bully. To "make America great again" means for him "make America the Global Bully" again. However, behind the facade of all his bravado hides a puppet of the Jewish Power Structure, which is even more dangerous than Trump himself. "Make Zion Great Again" would be a more apposite slogan.
The Alarmist , May 16, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
Wall Street collapsing will not cause a world depression, but will reflect the very real depression that will arise from huge disruptions to the US supply chain and energy costs and the knock-on effect that will have on the global economy.

A strike on Iran won't by itself be enough to cripple the US economy, but the loss of a single aircraft carrier might be enough of a pull on a thread that unravels the magical mantle of military force that currently holds the empire together and keeps the vassal-states in line to cause things to go pear-shaped quickly.

Proud_Srbin , May 16, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
Nobody can accuse Donald of not being obedient executioner of tasks given by his Masters.
You don't have to be dark skinned to reside in Masters quarters, orange haired and white is ok too..
Kirt , May 16, 2018 at 10:59 am GMT
Overall a good analysis, but as far as his support of Israel is concerned, his family connections with the most ultra-Zionist factions should not be overlooked.
Escher , May 16, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT

Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

On what basis does the author say that? Trump is smart enough to know that China is growing as an economic and military power, not declining. A fairly poorly (and likely hastily) written article.

Mike P , May 16, 2018 at 11:53 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Buying time to do what? How do you think that time will work in his favour?

DESERT FOX , May 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT
Trump is under the control of Zionists just as is the U.S. gov with Zionist dual citizens in control of every facet and has been since 1913 when the Zionists created the FED and the IRS.

Trump is like the Roman emperor Caligula and is a Trojan Horse for the Zionist agenda of a NWO and is continuing the tradition of the U.S. gov breaking its word about everything, just ask the native American Indians.

JoaoAlfaiate , May 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
You haven't convinced me he isn't a psychopath.
Quartermaster , May 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing. The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified. Our "allies" in Europe and Asia knew that and their reaction has not been nearly as negative as the author of this column has claimed.
Joe Hide , May 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm GMT
I continue to admire President Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi of China. WHY? .because RESULTS matter more than opinions on internet websites, T.V., or in printed publications.

N. Korea has stopped performing ICBM or nuke tests, a less extremist regime change "coup" took place in Saudi Arabia, financing/ weapons flows / intelligence to Syrian terrorists has dried up with resulting collapse of ISIS, Iran is threatening to release the names of European & American politicians who previously made millions / billions off the Iran nuke deal if it is dropped, Harvey Weinstein, Allison Mack, and "Weiner" were untouchable before Trump, the list just goes on and continues to get bigger.

A major reason for admiration of Putin is that the Mainstream Media (MSM) can't stop demonizing him. So of course I'm logically led to believe that he is mostly a good guy since the MSM has proven itself repeatedly to distort the Truth. Putin also largely ended the oligarchs power, doubled Russian citizens income, used an tiny Russian military in Syria to gradually reverse ISIS expansion there, improved Russia's internal manufacturing, agricultural, mining, and technological research/ development, intellectually crushed international debate opponents repeated using only logic and facts (You should watch the videos!), built / rebuilt over 10 thousand churches, has patriotic Muslims (Crimea) fighting for Russia in Syria, etc. etc.

Xi of China has pretty impressive creditials but this post is overly long anyway. RESULTS COUNT MORE THAN WORDS!

TT , May 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Gordo

Of course they do this, they would be stupid if they didn't.

• Agree: CalDre

I like your frankness. Every countries is into this at different degree, with ZUS the apex. But been leading in most tech area currently & lazy to produce any useful things, ZUS is very unhappy that their esponage net result is negative, hence the continuous whining.

When tide reverse with China leading in most tech, ZUS will complaint about complex patent system as been flawed in exploitating & suppressing of weaker country innovation, juz as it did for WTO & Globalization now.

Of course any moronic comments about only China is espionaging US IPR & rise purely due to US FDI & Tech transfer will resonate CalDre into high chime.

padre , May 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm GMT
Well, he is not meeting with North Korea either, since Kim didn't chicken out, and is not that stupid as to offer his head on the plate! Bolton made sure of that.
TT , May 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT
Hastily written article cobbled by bits of public info here & there without deep analysis.

1. Today NK declared they have indefinitely terminate all high level exchange with SK. If Trumps insisted on another Libya & Iraq defank & ending model advocate by Bolton, meeting with Trumps will be cancelled. Trumps needs the Korea peace credit to get his Nobel Prize, so as to booster his coming Nov election win. Kim has baited Trumps to put him in tight corner now, hence WH still insisting to go ahead prepare for the meeting.

If venue does changed to Beijing from Trumps' choice of Spore (Kim's cargo plane can't fly his limousine so far, also a risk of him as Spore is US vassal), we will see Kim has K.O. Trumps in another round. Kim will get to keep its nuke weapon until USM remove its Korea present, clear all sanctions, with UNSC guaranteed its safety. If Trumps has the meeting cancelled, then China can roll out its own play book as unchallenged leader in solving Korea crisis. Either way, Trumps will lost influence to China.

2. Trade war with China has exposed ZUS deep weakness in its brinkmanship when china retaliated with no compromise. Four most senior trade & treasury secs scrambled 10,000 miles to Beijing to seek detente, but return empty handed in 2 days with their ridiculous demands in hubris. Still China got Trumps to waiver ZTE ruling, with Huawei declared no longer a threat to US security.

Btw, this author has wrongly written about the $100B trade tariff, its only $50B so far. Another additional $100B is only a empty threat ZUS dare not release to avoid China retaliation.

3. JCPOA cancelling is godsend move. First, EU with Germany & France having huge investments in Iran is crying loud that they have to be free from been ZUS vassal. If they caved in to ZUS sanction threat, then EU bosses – Macron & Merkel will face revolt from Europe business sector. China & Russia will be happy to pick up whatever investments in fire sales.

If EU decided to rebel & chart its own destiny with a little spine, then ZUS has lost its tight clutch over EU. EU has juz announced to trade Iran oil in Euro, hasten de-dollarization. The geopolitical game is changing tide. In either way of EU decision, China & Russia win.

Now Iran will continue to enjoy free trades with everyone except ZUS that it dislike most, & win moral high ground in international standing by keeping to JCPOA.

ZUS has juz ordered Trumps to shoot its own foot. It pay the high price of losing every credibility in international agreement, forced EU into seeking independency, have EU trade in Euro, with Iran, China & Russia all smiling.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Yes, but there is much more to your observation..

Of course, but I just wanted to make a point not write a book or even a PhD thesis. thanks for the supplementary material though. Your comments about oil are spot on as you know. The wars were about smashing some real competition.

Herald , May 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Please try and be serious, that sort of nonsense just won't do.

Vidi , May 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Somebody has to shovel the BS occasionally, to keep the smell down here. I guess it's my turn today, sigh.

The nuke agreement with Iran was a sham. Iran lied about what they were doing.

Then the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many of the major European countries must also be lying when they say that Iran is fully complying with the JCPOA.

The agreement had never been submitted to the Senate and so was never ratified.

The United Nations Security Council endorsed the JCPOA; see UNSC resolution 2231. According to the UN treaty, UNSC resolutions are automatically the law of the land, even in the USA -- no Senate ratification needed.

jacques sheete , May 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Iran lied about what they were doing.

Citation, please.

Have you ever made a comment that was other than your mere and clearly biased opinion? Try it sometime; it would be interesting to see what evidence you provide to support such transparently erroneous ideas.

dkshaw , May 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Anyone who destroys a carrier is sure to face a nuclear attack, and nuclear war will ensue.

niteranger , May 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm GMT
Trump's only strategy is to do what Israel orders him to do. The Neocon Jews and their friends including the Jew In Chief of the White House Jared Kushner are running the show. You can easily see this in ... Niki Haley's presentation before the UN including walking out before the Palestinian Rep had a chance to speak.

Trump is up to his arms in shady deals with Jewish financiers of his properties and they will get what they want from him politically. It's Israel against the world and the US is nothing more than their war whore. More people will die for this strategy that comes from formerly Tel Aviv and now from the Magic Jewish Capital called Jerusalem.

renfro , May 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
Stars -- They're Just Like Us: Celebs outraged over Gaza are speaking out
US Politics Mondoweiss Editors on May 16, 2018

http://mondoweiss.net/

Some other examples:

New York City's Hip Hop station Hot 97's morning show, "Ebro in the Morning," dedicated an entire segment to yesterday's demonstration in Gaza where the two blasted Israel and President Donald Trump http://pic.twitter.com/43XIqhKFWZ

-- Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 15, 2018
Hadid posted screen shots of Al Jazeera's coverage alongside an image of the Nakba with text written by a relative, "Almost One Million Palestinians were violently forced out of their country and never allowed back to Palestine. The Hadid family was amongst them and they fled in fear to Syria where they became refugees."

Why are these important? Because they have millions of followers on social media .because their audience and followers are the coming voter and leadership force .for better or worse ..and for Israel its the 'worse'. Gigi Hadid for instance has 9 million followers on twitter.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:52 am GMT

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

This true. BUT ..'if' any criminal wrong doing by Trump before he was president is revealed in the course of the Russia investigation he can be indicted for that after he is out of office. IN ADDITION ..'if' any criminal wrong doing is revealed in Trump's businesses then any persons involved in it within his businesses including his sons or daughter can be indicted. And now, as they have no presidential protection.

imo .this is what Trump is most afraid of ..some criminal business like money laundering being exposed. not that Mueller will find Russian election collusion.

renfro , May 17, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
Rex Tillerson just majorly trolled Donald Trump

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/tillerson-trump-truth/

"Speaking to soon-to-be graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson dropped this truth bomb: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." Woof.
..

Why is this important? Because the graduating class of VMI selects its speakers so that tells you where the minds of the elite military schools are on Trumpism.

[Mar 02, 2018] The main reason much of the highest echelons of American power are united against Trump might be that they're terrified that -- unlike Obama -- he's a really bad salesman for the US led neoliberal empire. This threatens the continuance of their well oiled and exceedingly corrupt gravy train

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... he Dems disgust me with their neo-McCarthyism and the Repubs disgust me because of the way they are playing out their hand right now as well. Games within corrupt games, and yet normal behavior especially in waning empires (or other types of polities, including powerful int'l corporations). ..."
"... Chapter 14 of Guns, Germs and Steel is titled "From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy" and it used to be available online but my old link is dead and I couldn't find a new one. But a basic definition should suffice: "Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service." I have no idea how one turns this around and I doubt it's even possible. ..."
"... The Real Reason Establishment Frauds Hate Trump and Obsess About Russia https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/02/20/the-real-reason-establishment-frauds-hate-trump-and-obsess-about-russia/ ..."
"... Blaming Russia for all the nation's problems serves several key purposes for various defenders of the status quo. For discredited neocons and neoliberals who never met a failed war based on lies they didn't support, it provides an opportunity to rehabilitate their torched reputations by masquerading as fierce patriots against the latest existential enemy. Similarly, for those who lived in denial about who Obama really was for eight years, latching on to the Russia narrative allows them to reassure themselves that everything really was fine before Trump and Russia came along and ruined the party. ..."
"... he doesn't provide the same feel good quality to empire that Obama did. He's simply not the warm and fuzzy salesman for oligarchy and empire Obama was, thus his inability to sugarcoat state-sanctioned murder forces a lot of people to confront the uncomfortable hypocrisies in our society that many would prefer not to admit. ..."
"... I can't stand Kushner's smirky face and got a good chuckle from this prince's fall as I am not a fan of his passion for Israel. But I don't think he's a stupid idiot either. He's probably very smart in business, but he seems to have no feel for politics. Trump is much better at it than Kushner. Of course they are going after Kushner as a way to attack and disadvantage Trump. Politics is a form of warfare after all. ..."
"... My take is that Trump survives but mostly contained by the Borg ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Originally from discussion at Sic Semper Tyrannis Another SIGINT compromise ...

Valissa -> jsn... 01 March 2018 at 07:44 PM

jsn @16 & 40, in complete agreement with you. Great comments! T he Dems disgust me with their neo-McCarthyism and the Repubs disgust me because of the way they are playing out their hand right now as well. Games within corrupt games, and yet normal behavior especially in waning empires (or other types of polities, including powerful int'l corporations).

Chapter 14 of Guns, Germs and Steel is titled "From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy" and it used to be available online but my old link is dead and I couldn't find a new one. But a basic definition should suffice: "Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service." I have no idea how one turns this around and I doubt it's even possible.

Back when I used to subscribe to STRATFOR, founder George Friedman always made a point of evaluating the elites of whatever country he was analyzing and how they operated amongst themselves and relative to the people and how effective they were or were not in governing a country. But he never did that for the US. I would have paid extra for that report! But of course he could not stay in business if he did such a thing as those people are his clients.

I think Mike Krieger over at Liberty Blitzkrieg nails it from another perspective with this post:

The Real Reason Establishment Frauds Hate Trump and Obsess About Russia https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/02/20/the-real-reason-establishment-frauds-hate-trump-and-obsess-about-russia/

Blaming Russia for all the nation's problems serves several key purposes for various defenders of the status quo. For discredited neocons and neoliberals who never met a failed war based on lies they didn't support, it provides an opportunity to rehabilitate their torched reputations by masquerading as fierce patriots against the latest existential enemy. Similarly, for those who lived in denial about who Obama really was for eight years, latching on to the Russia narrative allows them to reassure themselves that everything really was fine before Trump and Russia came along and ruined the party.

By throwing every problem in Putin's lap, the entrenched bipartisan status quo can tell themselves (and everybody else) that it wasn't really them and their policies that voters rejected in 2016, rather, the American public was tricked by cunning, nefarious Russians. Ridiculous for sure, but never underestimate the instinctive human desire to deny accountability for one's own failures. It's always easier to blame than to accept responsibility.

That said, there's a much bigger game afoot beyond the motivations of individuals looking to save face. The main reason much of the highest echelons of American power are united against Trump has nothing to do with his actual policies. Instead, they're terrified that -- unlike Obama -- he's a really bad salesman for empire. This sort of Presidential instability threatens the continuance of their well oiled and exceedingly corrupt gravy train. Hillary Clinton was a sure thing, Donald Trump remains an unpredictable wildcard.

... Obama said all the right things while methodically doing the bidding of oligarchy. He captured the imagination of millions, if not billions, around the world with his soaring rhetoric, yet rarely skipped a beat when it came to the advancement of imperial policies. He made bailing out Wall Street, droning civilians and cracking down on journalists seem progressive. He said one thing, did another, and people ate it up. This is an extraordinarily valuable quality when it comes to a vicious and unelected deep state that wants to keep a corrupt empire together.

Trump has the exact opposite effect. Sure, he also frequently says one thing and then does another, but he doesn't provide the same feel good quality to empire that Obama did. He's simply not the warm and fuzzy salesman for oligarchy and empire Obama was, thus his inability to sugarcoat state-sanctioned murder forces a lot of people to confront the uncomfortable hypocrisies in our society that many would prefer not to admit.
------------

I can't stand Kushner's smirky face and got a good chuckle from this prince's fall as I am not a fan of his passion for Israel. But I don't think he's a stupid idiot either. He's probably very smart in business, but he seems to have no feel for politics. Trump is much better at it than Kushner. Of course they are going after Kushner as a way to attack and disadvantage Trump. Politics is a form of warfare after all.

My take is that Trump survives but mostly contained by the Borg

[Mar 02, 2018] Trump betrayal of Trumpism

But Trump himself was quickly neutered (in just three month) and now does not represents "Trumpism" (rejection of neoliberal globalization, unrestricted immigration for suppression of wages, rejection of elimination of jobs via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing, rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in Middle east, detente with Russia etc) in any meaningful way. He is just an aging Narcissist in power.
Looks like Trump became a variant of Hillary minus sex change operation.
Notable quotes:
"... He supports same sex relations and marriage of the same. ..."
"... He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership ..."
"... . He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement. ..."
"... He seems too weak to stand his ground on key issues. Syria, (missile attack) ..."
"... His willingness to ignore -- Israel-US problematic relationship. ..."
"... I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

EliteCommInc. , March 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

it's easy to come away from CPAC energy and enthusiasm thinking your headline is an accurate description of what is happening in the GOP. I am more conservative thankfully in my views than most members at CPAC. And while I may not be the typical voter. I can say categorically, that :trumoing" is not in my blood. Let's look what a consevative had to consider when evaluating Pres Trump:

3. He supports same sex relations and marriage of the same.

... ... ...

5. He is by nature a situational leader -- not typically a conservatives methodology of leadership

... ... ...

8 . He mistakes support and loyalty for agreement.

9. He seems too weak to stand his ground on key issues. Syria, (missile attack)

10. His willingness to ignore -- Israel-US problematic relationship.

11. He thinks that Keynesian policy is a substitute for economic growth. monetary policy.

12. I am leary of anyone who says tough things about immigration, but quietly backpedals or openly does the same -- DACA.

[Mar 02, 2018] The deplorables, having found one another, need to hang together until we find real leadership. Trump, whatever he is, is not a leader.

"Note about Miss Mona Charin: the two agree on so many points on foreign policy, especially Israel, it's hard to see her disdain. I think she rejects his troublesome demeanor and attitude. Presidential decorum is a big deal to many."
Notable quotes:
"... The sixty plus millions of people who voted Trump are politically diverse. They have one thing in common. They were not persuaded by the loud, continuous and shameless lying of the corporate media. Rather they were motivated by it. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , March 2, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT

@EliteCommInc.

Now his other supporters might say, considered against all the other candidates -- he's better. Hmmmm, well, that's why I voted for him.

Thank you. My bullet points would differ from yours but in the end I also voted for Trump. The sixty plus millions of people who voted Trump are politically diverse. They have one thing in common. They were not persuaded by the loud, continuous and shameless lying of the corporate media. Rather they were motivated by it.

The deplorables, having found one another, need to hang together until we find real leadership. Trump, whatever he is, is not a leader.

[Mar 02, 2018] Si>nce 1980th, very little has been done by US Federal Government for the benefit of the common citizen. A great deal has been done to facilitate the degradation of the standard of living of common citizen by the global one percent and by the costs of maintaining global neoliberal empire

Notable quotes:
"... Based on historical evidence, to believe that Trump (with his party - Republican control of House and Senate) will change our course is naive. By contrast, Obama D had both houses also - we got WAR, cash for clunkers, foreclosures, bank bailouts and health care by AHIP with runaway costs. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy | Aug 20, 2017 3:12:28 PM | 133

In fifty years, very little has been done by US Federal Government which benefits the common citizen. A great deal has been done to facilitate the degradation of the common citizen by the global one percent. We have a new world order as called for by GHW Bush.

Based on historical evidence, to believe that Trump (with his party - Republican control of House and Senate) will change our course is naive. By contrast, Obama D had both houses also - we got WAR, cash for clunkers, foreclosures, bank bailouts and health care by AHIP with runaway costs.

Rodger | Aug 20, 2017 3:37:22 PM | 137
ANON

Trump is and has been carrying out his own policies to enrich those that already have everything and to repeal any regulations that were put into place to protect the people. Have you not noticed that he lined his cabinet with Goldman Sachs (which he blasted HRC for associating her self with.

Like I said he and his gang are doing what they want to help enrich themselves on the backs of the rest of us. Wake up and quit upholding these lying pieces of excrement they are no different than the ones before them.

Trump is a dirty businessman the things that he is doing are to benefit him and his family and to screw the rest of us and tell us how great it is for us. You my man have drank from the Trump cup and think that anything that speaks against him is "fake news" when in reality Trump and the likes of Breitbart are the "fake news" a little truth but a bunch of spin

[Mar 02, 2018] Fatal Delusions of Western Man by Pat Buchanan

Highly recommended!
At the core of Trumpism is the rejection of neoliberalism
Pat Buchanan does not understand neoliberalism well and mixes apples with oranges, but the key idea expressed here stands: " Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history."
Notable quotes:
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

At Yalta, Churchill rose to toast the butcher:

"I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world. We regard Marshal Stalin's life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us."

Returning home, Churchill assured a skeptical Parliament, "I know of no Government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government."

George W. Bush, with the U.S. establishment united behind him, invaded Iraq with the goal of creating a Vermont in the Middle East that would be a beacon of democracy to the Arab and Islamic world.

Ex-Director of the NSA Gen. William Odom correctly called the U.S. invasion the greatest strategic blunder in American history. But Bush, un-chastened, went on to preach a crusade for democracy with the goal of "ending tyranny in our world."

... ... ...

After our victory in the Cold War, we not only plunged into the Middle East to remake it in our image, we issued war guarantees to every ex-member state of the Warsaw Pact, and threatened Russia with war if she ever intervened again in the Baltic Republics.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of issuing such an in-your-face challenge to a great nuclear power like Russia. If Putin's Russia does not become the pacifist nation it has never been, these guarantees will one day be called. And America will either back down -- or face a nuclear confrontation. Why would we risk something like this?

Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history.

But the greatest risk we are taking, based on utopianism, is the annual importation of well over a million legal and illegal immigrants, many from the failed states of the Third World, in the belief we can create a united, peaceful and harmonious land of 400 million, composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, tribe, creed, culture and language on earth.

Where is the historic evidence for the success of this experiment, the failure of which could mean the end of America as one nation and one people?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

likbez , March 2, 2018 at 6:47 am GMT

Pat Buchanan does not understand neoliberalism well and mixes apples with oranges, but the key idea expressed here stands:

" Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history."

The truth is that now Trump does not represent "Trumpism" -- the movement that he created which includes the following:

– rejection of neoliberal globalization;
– rejection of unrestricted immigration;
– fight against suppression of wages by multinationals via cheap imported labor;
– fight against the elimination of meaningful, well-paying jobs via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing;
– rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in the Middle East;
– détente with Russia;
– more pragmatic relations with Israel and suppression of Israeli agents of influence;
– revision of relations with China and addressing the problem of trade deficit.
– rejection of total surveillance on all citizens;
– the cut of military expenses to one third or less of the current level and concentrating on revival on national infrastructure, education, and science.
– abandonment of maintenance of the "sole superpower" status and global neoliberal empire for more practical and less costly "semi-isolationist" foreign policy; closing of unnecessary foreign military bases and cutting aid to the current clients.

Of course, the notion of "Trumpism" is fuzzy and different people might include some additional issues and disagree with some listed here, but the core probably remains.

Of course, Trump is under relentless attack (coup d'état or, more precisely, a color revolution) of neoliberal fifth column, which includes Clinton gang, fifth column elements within his administration (Rosenstein, etc) as well from remnants of Obama administration (Brennan, Comey, Clapper) and associated elements within corresponding intelligence agencies. He probably was forced into some compromises just to survive. He also has members of the neoliberal fifth column within his family (Ivanka and Kushner).

So the movement now is in deep need of a new leader.

Miro23, March 3, 2018 at 7:55 am GMT
@likbez

That's a good summary of what the public voted for and didn't get.

And whether Trump has sold out, or was blackmailed or was a cynical manipulative liar for the beginning is really irrelevant. The fact is that he is not doing it – so he is just blocking the way.

At some point the US public are going to have to forget about their "representatives" (Trump and Congress and the rest of them) and get out onto the street to make themselves heard. The population of the US is 323 million people and if just 1/2 of 1% (1,6 million) of them decided to visit Congress directly the US administration might get the message.

pyrrhus, March 3, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT

@anon

Finally, Pat understands that the American [Neoliberal] Empire and habit of intervention all over the world is a disaster.

[Mar 02, 2018] Trump_vs_deep_state as bastard neoliberalism vs classic neoliberalism

In this state the current war between factions of the US elite reminds Stalin fight against "globalists" like Trotsky, who were hell-bent of the idea of world revolution.
Notable quotes:
"... I would define Trump_vs_deep_state as "bastard neoliberalism" which tries to combine domestic "100% pure" neoliberalism with the rejection of neoliberal globalization as well as partial rejection of expensive effort for expansion of US led neoliberal empire via color revolutions and military invasions, especially in the Middle East. ..."
"... That makes screams of "soft neoliberals" from Democratic Party at "hard neoliberals" at Republican Party really funny indeed. Both are essentially "latter-day Trotskyites", yet they scream at each other, especially Obama/Clinton supporters ;-) ..."
"... But in reality Democratic sheeple are just a different type of wolfs -- wolfs in sheep clothing. And Hillary was an old, worn "classic neoliberal" shoe, which nobody really wants to wear. ..."
"... Trump does not intend to change the neoliberal consensus of what government should do domestically, and what should be the relationship between US government and business community. ..."
Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> likbez... December 26, 2016 at 08:08 PM

I would define Trump_vs_deep_state as "bastard neoliberalism" which tries to combine domestic "100% pure" neoliberalism with the rejection of neoliberal globalization as well as partial rejection of expensive effort for expansion of US led neoliberal empire via color revolutions and military invasions, especially in the Middle East.

That's what seems to be the key difference of Trump_vs_deep_state from "classic neoliberalism" or as Sklar called it "corporate liberalism".

From Reagan to Obama all US governments pray to the altar of classic neoliberalism. Now we have a slight deviation.

That makes screams of "soft neoliberals" from Democratic Party at "hard neoliberals" at Republican Party really funny indeed. Both are essentially "latter-day Trotskyites", yet they scream at each other, especially Obama/Clinton supporters ;-)

In this sense Krugman recent writings are really pathetic and signify his complete detachment from reality, or more correctly attempt to create an "artificial reality" in which bad wolf Trump is going to eat Democratic sheeple. And in which media, FBI, and Putin are responsible entirely for Hillary's loss.

But in reality Democratic sheeple are just a different type of wolfs -- wolfs in sheep clothing. And Hillary was an old, worn "classic neoliberal" shoe, which nobody really wants to wear.

Trump does not intend to change the neoliberal consensus of what government should do domestically, and what should be the relationship between US government and business community.

But the far right movement that he created and led has different ideas.

So it might be an interesting period to watch.

[Jan 22, 2018] Ivanka Trump Told by Steve Bannon: 'You're Just Another Staffer Who Doesn't Know What You're Doing,' New Book Claims by Melina Delkic

Jan 22, 2018 | www.yahoo.com

January 22, 2018

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon once told Ivanka Trump: "You're just another staffer who doesn't know what you're doing," according to a new book.

Related: Ivanka Trump's "special place in hell" for child predators comment trolls Roy Moore rally

Bannon, who has long critiqued and clashed with Ivanka's and her husband Jared Kushner's roles in the White House, tried to put the president's daughter in her place in one instance detailed in the book.

"My daughter loves me as a dad...You love your dad. I get that. But you're just another staffer who doesn't know what you're doing," Bannon said, The Washington Post reported when it published excerpts on Monday.


The revelation is part of the latest book about life inside the White House. Howard Kurtz, host of the Fox News show Media Buzz, wrote the book Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth, set to be released on January 29.

The new book, though perhaps not as sensational as the explosive tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, contains several new alleged revelations about the administration. Along with reports of the turbulent relationship between Ivanka Trump and Bannon, are claims that the president himself leaked information to journalists, that his aides referred to his behavior as "defiance disorder" and that his staff was "blindsided" when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones.

[Jan 20, 2018] Will Steve Bannon s Testimony Bring Down Jared by Abigail Tracy

A more interesting question is how those testimonies might affect Bannon -- he is in a very hot water now. If he thought that the meeting was so incriminating why he did not contact FBI and just decided to feed juicy gossip to Wolff?
Also he was not present at the meeting and was not a member of Trump team until two months later. From who he got all this information ? Was is just a slander by disgruntled employee?
Notable quotes:
"... To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr. ..."
"... Bannon has denied that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the election ..."
"... Wolff also quotes the former White House strategist as saying, "This is all about money laundering. [Robert] Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner . . . It's as plain as a hair on your face." ..."
"... Bannon then zeroed in on Kushner specifically, adding that "[i]t goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They're going to go right through that. They're going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me." ..."
Jan 16, 2018 | www.vanityfair.com

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor -- with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers," Bannon is quoted as saying in Fire and Fury. "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the F.B.I. immediately." Bannon reportedly speculated that the chance the eldest Trump son did not involve his father in the meeting "is zero."

When Bannon's comments became public, Trump excoriated his former strategist, whom he accused of having "lost his mind." But while Bannon has since apologized for the remarks and sought to walk back a number of the quotes, he's stopped short of denying that he viewed the Trump Tower meeting as treasonous. Instead, he's merely shifted the blame away from Trump Jr. and onto Manafort. "My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning, and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr. ," Bannon said in a statement to Axios. ( Bannon has denied that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the election .)

... ... ...

Though the Trump Tower meeting took place before Bannon joined the Trump campaign, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House panel, told CNN last week that he plans to question Bannon about "why this meeting at Trump Tower represented his treason and certainly unpatriotic at a minimum."

Jared Kushner's "greasy shit"

Wolff also quotes the former White House strategist as saying, "This is all about money laundering. [Robert] Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner . . . It's as plain as a hair on your face." (Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort have all denied wrongdoing.) Bannon then zeroed in on Kushner specifically, adding that "[i]t goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They're going to go right through that. They're going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me."

He and Trump's son-in-law have never seen eye to eye; their White House feuds were a poorly kept secret, and following his ouster, Bannon has given numerous interviews knocking Kushner, including one to my colleague Gabriel Sherman in which he questioned Kushner's maturity level. If Bannon has dirt on Kushner, he will likely get his chance to reveal it; Schiff also declared his intent to question Bannon on "the basis of his concern over money laundering."

[Jan 14, 2018] Trump Stumped As Bannon-Backed Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Primary By Landslide

Bannon backed candidate later lost. So much for this Bannon "success".
This idea of Trump playing 6 dimensional chess is a joke. It's the same explanation that was pushed for Obama disastrous neocon foreign policy. Here is one very apt quote: "What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan..." What 6-dimetional chess?
According to Occam razor principle the simplest explanation of Trump behaviour is probably the most correct. He does not control foright policy, outsourcing it to "generals" and be does not pursue domestic policy of creating jobs as he promised his electorate. In other words, both in foreign policy and domestic policy, he became a turncoat, betraying his electorate, much like Obama. kind of Republican Obama.
And as time goes by, Trump looks more and more like Hillary II or Republican Obama. So he might have problems with the candidates he supports in midterm elections. His isolationism, if it ever existed, is gone. Promise of jobs is gone. Detente with Russia is gone. What's left?
Note the level disappointment of what used to be Trump base in this site comment section...
Notable quotes:
"... In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide ..."
"... The Steve Bannon-backed candidate, who defied court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and refused to recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, is leading by 9.6 points with 92% of the votes counted... ..."
"... These attacks on Bannon were one of the most prominent news stories in the first week following Trump's election victory. It didn't take long, however, for a counter-attack to emerge - from the right-wing elements of the Jewish community. ..."
"... Bannon is a true fucking patriot trying to pull this once great country from the sinkhole. ..."
"... I think the reality is that this was a message to McConnell much more than Trump. That message is simple: I'm coming to kill your career. Bannon went out of his way to say he fully supports Trump (despite backing the opposite candidate). And, let's face it, if Bannon buries McConnell, he's doing everyone a service, Trump included. ..."
"... The echo chamber media "is so surprised" that in Germany and the US we are seeing a rising tide of pissed off people, well imagine fucking that? Leaving the echo chamber and not intellectually trying to understand the anger, but living the anger. ..."
"... Well, we can only hope that Trump gets the message. He was elected to be President of the USA, not Emperor of the World. Quote from that Monty Python film: "He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty boy!" ..."
"... A cursory background reading on Roy Moore tells me that he is one of the worst types for public office. And he might just turn out to be like Trump -- act like an anti-swarm cowboy and promise a path to heaven, then show his real colors as an Establishment puppet once the braindead voters put him in office. ..."
"... When Trump won the Republican nomination, and then the Presidency it was because people were rebelling against the establishment rulers. There is considerable disgust with these big government rulers that are working for themselves and their corporate cronies, but not for the US population. ..."
"... Trump seems to have been compromised at this point, and his support of the establishment favourite, Luther Strange is evidence that he isn't really the outsider he claimed to be. Moore's victory in Alabama says the rebellion still has wheels, so there is some hope. ..."
"... In Missouri where I live, the anti-establishment Republican contender for the upcoming US Senatorial 2018 race is Austin Peterson. It will be interesting to see how he, and his counterparts in other states do in the primaries. Both of the current Missouri Senators are worthless. ..."
"... I remember well the last "3-Dimensional Chess master" Obama while he too was always out maneuvering his apponents, per the media reports... ..."
"... Every now and then Trump tends to make huge blunders, and sometimes betrayals without knowing what he is doing. "Champions"- (great leaders) do not do that. ..."
"... What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan... ..."
"... It is epitome of self-delusion to see people twisting themselves into pretzels, trying to justify/rationalize Trump's continuing display of disloyalty to America ..."
"... YOU CAN'T BE A ZIONIST AND AN AMERICAN FIRSTER, IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER. ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!

In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide

The Steve Bannon-backed candidate, who defied court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and refused to recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, is leading by 9.6 points with 92% of the votes counted...

... ... ...

However, as Politco reported this evening, President Donald Trump began distancing himself from a Luther Strange loss before ballots were even cast, telling conservative activists Monday night the candidate he's backing in Alabama's GOP Senate primary was likely to lose ! and suggesting he'd done everything he could do given the circumstances.

Trump told conservative activists who visited the White House for dinner on Monday night that he'd underestimated the political power of Roy Moore, the firebrand populist and former judge who's supported by Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to three people who were there.

And Trump gave a less-than full-throated endorsement during Friday's rally.

While he called Strange "a real fighter and a real good guy," he also mused on stage about whether he made a "mistake" by backing Strange and committed to campaign "like hell" for Moore if he won.

Trump was encouraged to pick Strange before the August primary by son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner as well as other aides, White House officials said. He was never going to endorse Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, who has at times opposed Trump's agenda, and knew little about Moore, officials said.

... ... ...

Déjà view -> Sanity Bear •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

AIPAC HAS ALL BASES COVERED...MIGA !

On Sept. 11, the Alabama Daughters for Zion organization circulated a statement on Israel by Moore, which started by saying the U.S. and Israel "share not only a common Biblical heritage but also institutions of representative government and respect for religious freedom." He traced Israel's origin to God's promise to Abram and the 1948 creation of modern Israel as "a fulfillment of the Scriptures that foretold the regathering of the Jewish people to Israel."

Moore's statement includes five policy positions, including support for U.S. military assistance to Israel, protecting Israel from "Iranian aggression," opposing boycotts of Israel, supporting Israel at the United Nations, and supporting direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without outside pressure. He added, "as long as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority wrongly refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, such negotiations have scant chance of success."

While those views would give Moore common ground with much of the Jewish community regarding Israel, most of the state's Jewish community has been at odds with Moore over church-state issues, such as his displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses, and his outspoken stance against homosexuality, both of which led to him being ousted as chief justice.

http://www.sjlmag.com/2017/09/alabama-senate-candidates-express.html?m=1

justa minute -> Déjà view •Sep 27, 2017 2:53 AM

moore misreads the Bible as most socalled christians do. they have been deceived, they have confused the Israel of God( those who have been given belief in Christ) with israel of the flesh. They cant hear Christs own words, woe is unto them. they are living in their own selfrighteousness, not good. they are going to have a big surprise for not following the Word of God instead following the tradition of men.

They were warned over and over in the Bible but they cant hear.

I Claudius -> VinceFostersGhost •Sep 27, 2017 6:27 AM

Forgive? Maybe. Forget? NEVER!! He tried to sell "US" out on this one. We now need to focus on bringing "Moore" candidates to the podium to run against the RINO's and take out McConnell and Ryan. It's time for Jared and Ivanka to go back to NYC so Jared can shore up his family's failing empire. However, if his business acumen is as accurate as his political then it's no wonder the family needed taxpayer funded visas to sell the property. Then on to ridding the White House of Gen Kelly and McMaster - two holdover generals from the Obama administration - after Obama forced out the real ones.

Clashfan -> Mycroft Holmes IV •Sep 26, 2017 11:33 PM

Rump has hoodwinked his supoprt base and turned on them almost immediately. Some refuse to acknowledge this.

"Ha! Your vote went to the Israel first swamp!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gdw_MVY1Vo

Déjà view -> Clashfan •Sep 27, 2017 1:00 AM

MIGA !

These attacks on Bannon were one of the most prominent news stories in the first week following Trump's election victory. It didn't take long, however, for a counter-attack to emerge - from the right-wing elements of the Jewish community. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) came to Bannon's defense and accused the ADL of a "character assassination" against Bannon.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.807776

The Wizard -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:12 PM

Trump should figure out the Deep State elites he has surrounded himself with, don't have control of the states Trump won. Trump thought he had to negotiate with these guys and his ego got the best of him. Bannon was trying to convince him he should have stayed the course and not give in.


Theosebes Goodfellow -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:35 PM

~"American politics gets moore strange by the day..."~

Technically speaking OhRI, with Moore's win politics became less Strange, or "Strange less", or "Sans Luther", depending on how one chose to phrase it [SMIRK]

Adullam -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar •Sep 26, 2017 11:05 PM

Trump needs to fire Jared! Some news outlets are saying that it was his son in law who advised him to back Strange. He has to quit listening to those who want to destroy him or ... they will.

overbet -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:41 PM

Bannon is a true fucking patriot trying to pull this once great country from the sinkhole.

Juggernaut x2 -> overbet •Sep 26, 2017 10:07 PM

Trump better pull his head out of his ass and quit being a wishy-washy populist on BS like Iran- the farther right he goes the greater his odds of reelection because he has pissed off a lot of the far-righters that put him in- getting rid of Kushner, Cohn and his daughter and negotiating w/Assad and distancing us from Israhell would be a huge help.

opport.knocks -> Juggernaut x2 •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

Distancing us from Israel... LOLOLOLOL

https://youtu.be/tm5Je73bYOY

The whole Russiagate ploy was a diversion from (((them)))

NoDebt -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:42 PM

I think the reality is that this was a message to McConnell much more than Trump. That message is simple: I'm coming to kill your career. Bannon went out of his way to say he fully supports Trump (despite backing the opposite candidate). And, let's face it, if Bannon buries McConnell, he's doing everyone a service, Trump included.

Oldwood -> NoDebt •Sep 26, 2017 10:08 PM

I think it was a setup.

Bannon would not oppose Trump that directly unless there was a wink and a nod involved.

Trump is still walking a tightrope, trying to appease his base AND keep as many establishment republicans at his side (even for only optics). By Trump supporting Strange while knowing he was an underdog AND completely apposed by Bannon/his base he was able to LOOK like he was supporting the establishment, while NOT really. Trump seldom backs losers which makes me think it was deliberate. Strange never made sense anyway.

But what do I know?

Urahara -> NoDebt •Sep 27, 2017 12:20 AM

Bannon is hardcore Isreal first. Why are you supporting the zionist? It's an obvious play.

general ambivalent -> Urahara •Sep 27, 2017 2:23 AM

People are desperate to rationalise their failure into a victory. They cannot give up on Hope so they have to use hyperbole in everything and pretend this is all leading to something great in 2020 or 2024.

None of these fools learned a damn thing and they are desperate to make the same mistake again. The swamp is full, so full that it has breached the banks and taken over all of society. Trump is a swamp monster, and you simply cannot reform the swamp when both sides are monsters. In other words, the inside is not an option, so it has to be done the hard way. But people would prefer to keep voting in the swamp.

Al Gophilia -> NoDebt •Sep 27, 2017 3:58 AM

Bannon as president would really have those swamp creatures squirming. There wouldn't be this Trump crap about surrounding himself with likeminded friends, such as Goldman Sachs turnstile workers and his good pals in the MIC.

Don't tell me he didn't choose them because if he didn't, then they were placed. That means he doesn't have the clout he pretends to have or control of the agenda that the people asked him to deliver. His backing of Stange is telling.

Lanka -> LindseyNarratesWordress •Sep 26, 2017 11:07 PM

McMaster and Kelly have Trump under house arrest.

Bobbyrib -> LindseyNarratesWordress •Sep 27, 2017 5:38 AM

He will not fire Kushner or Ivanka who have become part of the swamp. I'm so sick of these 'Trump is a genius and planned this all along.'

To me Trump is a Mr. Bean type character that has been very fortunate and just goes with the flow. He has nearly no diplomacy, or strategic skills.

NoWayJose •Sep 26, 2017 10:35 PM

Dear President Trump - if you like your job, listen to these voters. Borders, Walls, limited immigrants (including all those that Ryan and McConnell are sneaking through under your very nose), trade agreements to keep American jobs, and respect for our flag, our country, and the unborn!

nevertheless -> loveyajimbo •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

I had hope for Trump, but as someone who reads ZH often, and does not suffer from amnesia (like much of America), I knew he was way too good to be true.

We all know his back tracking, his flip flops...and while the media and many paid bloggers like to spin it as "not his fault", it actually is.

His sending DACA to Congress was the last straw. Obama enacted DACA with a stroke of his pen, but Trump "needed to send it to Congress so they could "get it right". The only thing Congress does with immigration is try and get amnesty passed.

Of course while Trump sends DACA to Congress, he does not mind using the military without Congress, which he actually should do.

Why is it when it's something American's want, it has to go through the "correct channels", but when its something the Zionists want, he does it with the wave of his pen? We saw the same bull shit games with Obama...

Dilluminati •Sep 26, 2017 11:02 PM

Anybody surprised by this is pretending the civility at the workplace isn't masking anger at corporate America and Government. I'll go in and put in the 8 hours, I'm an adult that is part of the job. However I'm actually fed up with allot of the stupid shit and want the establishment to work, problem is that we are witnessing failed nations, failed schools, failed healthcare, even failed employment contracts, conditions, and wages.

The echo chamber media "is so surprised" that in Germany and the US we are seeing a rising tide of pissed off people, well imagine fucking that? Leaving the echo chamber and not intellectually trying to understand the anger, but living the anger.

You haven't seen anything yet in Catalonia/Spain etc, Brexit, or so..

This is what failure looks like: That moment the Romanovs and Louis XVI looked around the room seeking an understanding eye, there was none.

Pascal1967 •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

Dear Trump:

Quit listening to your moron son-in-law, swamp creature, Goldman Sachs douchebag son-in-law Kushner. HE SUCKS!! If you truly had BALLS, you would FIRE his fucking ass. HE is The Swamp, He Is Nepotism! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HATE HIM.

MAGA! LISTEN TO BANNON, DONALD.

DO NOT FUCK THIS UP!

ROY MOORE, 100%!!!!

You lost, Trump ... get your shit together before it is too late!

ElTerco •Sep 26, 2017 11:28 PM

Bannon was always the smarts behind the whole operation. Now we are just left with a complete idiot in office.

Also, unlike Trump, Bannon actually gives a shit about what happens to the American people rather than the American tax system. At the end of the day, all Trump really cares about is himself.

samsara •Sep 26, 2017 11:25 PM
I think most people get it backwards about Trump and the Deplorables.

I believed in pulling troops a from all the war zones and Trump said he felt the same

I believed in Legal immigration, sending people back if here illegal especially if involved in crime, Trump said he felt the same.

I believed in America first in negotiating treaties, Trump said he felt the same.

I didn't 'vote' for Trump per se, he was the proxy.

We didn't leave Him, He left us.

BarnacleBill •Sep 26, 2017 11:31 PM

Well, we can only hope that Trump gets the message. He was elected to be President of the USA, not Emperor of the World. Quote from that Monty Python film: "He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty boy!" It's high time he turned back to the job he promised to do, and drain that swamp.

napper •Sep 26, 2017 11:47 PM

A cursory background reading on Roy Moore tells me that he is one of the worst types for public office. And he might just turn out to be like Trump -- act like an anti-swarm cowboy and promise a path to heaven, then show his real colors as an Establishment puppet once the braindead voters put him in office.

America is doomed from top (the swarm) to bottom (the brainless voters).

Sid Davis •Sep 27, 2017 1:40 AM

When Trump won the Republican nomination, and then the Presidency it was because people were rebelling against the establishment rulers. There is considerable disgust with these big government rulers that are working for themselves and their corporate cronies, but not for the US population.

Trump seems to have been compromised at this point, and his support of the establishment favourite, Luther Strange is evidence that he isn't really the outsider he claimed to be. Moore's victory in Alabama says the rebellion still has wheels, so there is some hope.

In Missouri where I live, the anti-establishment Republican contender for the upcoming US Senatorial 2018 race is Austin Peterson. It will be interesting to see how he, and his counterparts in other states do in the primaries. Both of the current Missouri Senators are worthless.

nevertheless -> pfwed •Sep 27, 2017 7:33 AM

I remember well the last "3-Dimensional Chess master" Obama while he too was always out maneuvering his apponents, per the media reports...

LoveTruth •Sep 27, 2017 2:56 AM

Every now and then Trump tends to make huge blunders, and sometimes betrayals without knowing what he is doing. "Champions"- (great leaders) do not do that.

nevertheless -> LoveTruth •Sep 27, 2017 7:16 AM

What Trump has done are disasters, and equates to treason. Selling billions of dollars of weapons the our enemies the terrorists/Saudis, killing innocent people in Syria, and Yemen, sending more troops to Afghanistan...

But most treasonous of all was his sending DACA to "get it right", really? Congress has only one goal with immigration, amnesty, and Chump knows dam well they will send him legislation that will clearly or covertly grant amnesty for millions and millions of illegals, dressed up as "security".

Obama enacted DACA with the stroke of a pen, and while TRUMP promised to end it, he did NOT. Why is it when it's something Americans want, it has to be "Constitutional", but when it comes form his banker pals, like starting a war, he can do that unilaterally.

archie bird -> nevertheless •Sep 27, 2017 7:45 AM

Bernie wants to cut aid to Israel https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/09/25/bernie-sanders-yeah-i...

nevertheless •Sep 27, 2017 8:04 AM

It is epitome of self-delusion to see people twisting themselves into pretzels, trying to justify/rationalize Trump's continuing display of disloyalty to America, and loyalty to Zionism.

Trump should always have been seen as a likely Zionist shill. He comes form Jew York City, owes everything he is to Zionist Jewish bankers, is a self proclaimed Zionist...

YOU CAN'T BE A ZIONIST AND AN AMERICAN FIRSTER, IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER.

Either Zero Hedge is over run with Zionist hasbara, giving cover to their boy Chump, or Americans on the "right" have become as gullible as those who supported Obama on the "left".

[Jan 14, 2018] Bannonism Will Live On by Matt Purple

Notable quotes:
"... The Constitution of Liberty ..."
"... The Camp of the Saints ..."
"... As for Bannon himself, his downfall has been fast and unceremonious: trashed by the president after he gossiped to Michael Wolff, abandoned by his deep-pocketed Mercer family funders, sacked by Breitbart, and then forced to watch as Trump indicated in a meeting earlier this week that he could sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Marat's downfall saw him elevated into a revolutionary martyr; Bannon has been banished into exile. ..."
"... But revolutions don't die with their figureheads. Bannonism won't either because, unlike the ethereal ideas behind liberalism and conservatism, it's found visceral real-world resonance -- among blue collars who see economic nationalism as a glimmer of hope among boarded-up plants, service-members frustrated with fruitless wars, young men flummoxed by modern feminism, right-wing activists frustrated with their political party's perceived impotence. Taunt Bannon all you like, but the imprint he leaves behind will be far larger than one spurious tell-all. ..."
"... The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement. ..."
"... The biggest thing lacking of the Bannon/Trump movement is how push back against the economic elite. Trump is governing exactly like an establishment Republican. Look at Trump/Perry ideas on saving coal which was properly turned down. This plan was unbelievably awful and not the right way for a better electric system and was simply handing Murray and First Energy a bunch money. ..."
"... Conservatism stands for stability and community. The accretions of "limited government" and "lower taxes", charming they may be as mantras, are more libertarian (Classic Liberal) than they are conservative ..."
"... A bomb-throwing Bolshevik like Bannon truly belongs on The Left, but in these days of abysmal ignorance of civics, it doesn't matter. "Bannonism" may live on, but thanks to the crackpot nature of its cobbled-together ideology, will remain a niche religion much like hard-core anarcho-libertarianism. ..."
"... Given the current atmosphere of outrage porn, willful ignorance and gleeful brutality, I do not have much hope for a Burkean conservatism to thrive, at least until after the pending social collapse ..."
"... Bannon will likely fade into oblivion via the Bourbon barrel, and the name Trump may become synonymous with "traitor" (but not like the media elite would hope). These men did not create a movement nor inspire anything. They were both savvy enough to see the political reality in this country and to give it voice. They will go, but the reality will remain. Ironically, but predictably, both men will likely be laid low by their own egos. But, so it goes ..."
"... The reality that supersedes these egotistical, narcissistic men is the fact that the traditional core of the American people have "woke" to the fact of their betrayal by the elite class to whom they have entrusted the leadership of this country for decades. They have awakened to find decay and rot throughout every American institution and to discover that these elites have enriched themselves beyond measure with the wealth of the nation at the cost of the workers and taxpayers who make that wealth possible. They have awakened to their own replacement and now realize the disdain with which they are viewed by those who would be their "masters." ..."
"... These Deplorables, white, working, taxpaying, Bible-believing, gun-owning MEN(!), are not going back into the opioid sleep of blissed out suburbia. They are now aware of the ill-hidden hatred which the elite class has for them and the future of serfdom to which these elites have fated them and their children. Gentlemen, a beast is being born out here in the hinterlands. It will not be put back in the cage ..."
Jan 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bannon is an imperfect ideologue. He has a gargantuan ego that often leads him astray, perhaps lately towards the delusion that he himself would be a better populist messenger than the man he helped elect. But he's also hit on a paradox at the core of today's American conservatism. Conservatives, in theory at least, look with skepticism upon grand projects and giant leaps, which too often end up rupturing with the societal traditions they hold dear. Yet much of what conservatives support today is actually quite radical: banning all or most abortions, rolling back the regulatory state, rejecting decades of orthodoxy on the issue of climate change, a massive downshift of power from the federal government to states and localities, a moral ethic rooted in Christianity rather than identity politics -- and lately questioning the "liberal international order" in favor of something more nationalist and protectionist. The enactment of such an agenda would cause a good deal of upheaval and uncertainty, exactly the sort of void conservatives' forebears feared most.

Some have wrangled with this contradiction by scaling back their proposals, claiming great problems can be addressed with light-touch solutions, like child tax credits to arrest sagging birth rates. Others, much of Conservative Inc. it seems, are fine pretending this tension doesn't exist at all. Bannon's approach has been to gleefully embrace conservatism's radical side. Disagree with him all you like (and I do), but his is a perfectly logical position. His ascent -- some would say his transformation -- is a predictable consequence of conservatives yearning for something increasingly distant from the modern world, just as did young people in the quietly simmering 1950s. Indeed, there are many stylistic similarities between the radicals of today and those half a century ago: the "for the lulz" performance art of a Milo Yiannopoulos contains an echo of the prankster Yippies, for example. Those who lack cultural power can sell out, they can evolve, they can retreat to the catacombs -- or they can take Bannon's approach, they can transgress and pump their fists and try to burn it all down.

Bannon's digestible binaries -- establishment versus the people, globalists versus Americans -- are easily superimposed on an electorate that's itself divided both economically and culturally. Red states and the Rust Belt have for decades been the victims of bad federal policy; Bannonism gives them an abstract enemy to blame, a valve for their fury. The algorithmic and library-voiced Mitt Romney and the earnest Paul Ryan seem woefully inadequate by comparison: have those praying they run for higher office again learned nothing? In The Constitution of Liberty , F.A. Hayek critiques conservatism by defining it as "a brake on the vehicle of progress" and observing that a mere decrease in speed "cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." Likewise, while conventional taxes-and-terrorism Republican rhetoric doesn't feel like much of a heave on the ship's wheel, Bannonism furnishes a clear vision, a real change, swords to wield, dragons to slay. Guess which one has greater appeal right now?

The modern right has always had a whiff of radicalism about it, with origins in pushback against the 60s counterculture, a second wind in Newt Gingrich's legislative reformation, and late-life vitality in the Saul Alinsky-invoking tea party. But it's with Bannon that the odor has become most pungent. He is an unlikely revolutionary. An early profile from Bloomberg Businessweek in 2015 portrays him as more of an operative than anything, determined to professionalize a conservative movement that had made too many unforced errors. Other pre-Trump appearances found Bannon worrying about the national debt and extolling his Catholic faith. It's a windy road from there to storming the barricades under Donald Trump's sigil, but it's one many conservatives have traveled in recent years. The challenge for more traditional Republicans will be fashioning a new politics that quenches voters' burning thirst for change -- a position they've arrived at themselves, not been brainwashed into by Fox News -- while circumventing Bannonism's conflagrations and The Camp of the Saints ugliness.

As for Bannon himself, his downfall has been fast and unceremonious: trashed by the president after he gossiped to Michael Wolff, abandoned by his deep-pocketed Mercer family funders, sacked by Breitbart, and then forced to watch as Trump indicated in a meeting earlier this week that he could sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Marat's downfall saw him elevated into a revolutionary martyr; Bannon has been banished into exile.

But revolutions don't die with their figureheads. Bannonism won't either because, unlike the ethereal ideas behind liberalism and conservatism, it's found visceral real-world resonance -- among blue collars who see economic nationalism as a glimmer of hope among boarded-up plants, service-members frustrated with fruitless wars, young men flummoxed by modern feminism, right-wing activists frustrated with their political party's perceived impotence. Taunt Bannon all you like, but the imprint he leaves behind will be far larger than one spurious tell-all.

Matt Purple is the managing editor of The American Conservative

collin January 11, 2018 at 8:50 am

There is always a level of Bannonism /Paleoconservatism in the US politics but who knows how impactful it will be.
  1. Probably the biggest issue for Bannon was Trump was elected in 2016 and our nation did not want or need a Leninist. (It wasn't 2008 anymore)
    Frankly most conservatives were satisfied that HRC and Obama were not President and did not want massive changes.
  2. The whole the people and globalist division is too simplistic and there are a lot 'People' that support free trade or relatively open borders. (For instance I don't see the economic benefit of steel tariffs at all.)
  3. The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement.
  4. We still don't know how much a pushback on Trump/Bannonism will be. Trump is not popular and the House is endangered.

5) The biggest thing lacking of the Bannon/Trump movement is how push back against the economic elite. Trump is governing exactly like an establishment Republican. Look at Trump/Perry ideas on saving coal which was properly turned down. This plan was unbelievably awful and not the right way for a better electric system and was simply handing Murray and First Energy a bunch money.

David Nash , says: January 11, 2018 at 9:12 am
It is a cardinal error to confuse conservatism with The Right, as much as it is to conflate liberalism with The Left.

Conservatism stands for stability and community. The accretions of "limited government" and "lower taxes", charming they may be as mantras, are more libertarian (Classic Liberal) than they are conservative. (Thanks loads, Frank Meyer.)

A bomb-throwing Bolshevik like Bannon truly belongs on The Left, but in these days of abysmal ignorance of civics, it doesn't matter. "Bannonism" may live on, but thanks to the crackpot nature of its cobbled-together ideology, will remain a niche religion much like hard-core anarcho-libertarianism.

Given the current atmosphere of outrage porn, willful ignorance and gleeful brutality, I do not have much hope for a Burkean conservatism to thrive, at least until after the pending social collapse.

Navy Jack , says: January 11, 2018 at 12:14 pm
Bannon will likely fade into oblivion via the Bourbon barrel, and the name Trump may become synonymous with "traitor" (but not like the media elite would hope). These men did not create a movement nor inspire anything. They were both savvy enough to see the political reality in this country and to give it voice. They will go, but the reality will remain. Ironically, but predictably, both men will likely be laid low by their own egos. But, so it goes.

The reality that supersedes these egotistical, narcissistic men is the fact that the traditional core of the American people have "woke" to the fact of their betrayal by the elite class to whom they have entrusted the leadership of this country for decades. They have awakened to find decay and rot throughout every American institution and to discover that these elites have enriched themselves beyond measure with the wealth of the nation at the cost of the workers and taxpayers who make that wealth possible. They have awakened to their own replacement and now realize the disdain with which they are viewed by those who would be their "masters."

These Deplorables, white, working, taxpaying, Bible-believing, gun-owning MEN(!), are not going back into the opioid sleep of blissed out suburbia. They are now aware of the ill-hidden hatred which the elite class has for them and the future of serfdom to which these elites have fated them and their children. Gentlemen, a beast is being born out here in the hinterlands. It will not be put back in the cage.

The writer's allusion to the French Revolution is somewhat telling. The history of the West is replete with moments of savagery and destruction directed inwardly. It will be so again. When these Deplorables turn on their keepers, it will not be pretty. The Progressive elites who believe that they can control and shape "narratives" to harness that power are fools. The cloistered intellectuals who believe that they can "opt" out of the coming clash are dreaming.

The traditional core of the American people are no different than their ancestors. They just don't live as close to the edge as those folks did. But when they are backed up to that edge, when betrayal has been made clear and the institutions are revealed for the Oz that they have become, they will recall that old hatred that still courses in the Western man's veins and will react in ways that will chill the blood. The imaginary "crimes" with which "privileged whites" are damned by the rioting Cultural Marxists will escape imagination and leap into reality. God help us.

JonF , says: January 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Re: The last blast of paleconservatism was Perot and the strong late 1990s economy halted that movement.

Perot, for whom I voted in 1992 but not 1996, was not a paleoconservative, but rather a pragmatic centrist. Compare his position on social issues with Pat Buchanan's (Buchanan being Mr. Paleoconservative -- and who ran in 1992 too)

[Jan 13, 2018] Remarks of Stephen Bannon at a Conference at the Vatican

Looks like Bannon is really weak in political economy. He does not even use the term neoliberalism. Go here to read the full transcript of his speech.
One very interesting quote is ""I believe we've come partly off-track in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism."
Notable quotes:
"... That war triggered a century of barbaric -- unparalleled in mankind's history -- virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we're children of that: We're children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age. ..."
"... I believe we've come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism. ..."
"... I see that every day. I'm a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it's a very, very tough environment. And you've had a fairly good track record. So I don't want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, "Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' around capitalism." ..."
"... One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that's the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it's what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn't spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century. ..."
"... The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I'm a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that's a very big part of the conservative movement -- whether it's the UKIP movement in England, it's many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States. However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the "enlightened capitalism" of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost -- as many of the precepts of Marx -- and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they're really finding quite attractive. And if they don't see another alternative, it's going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of "personal freedom." ..."
Jan 13, 2018 | the-american-catholic.com

Buzzfeed has the remarks of Stephen Bannon, former CEO of Breitbart News , and currently appointed by President Elect Trump to be his chief advisor, at a conference at the Vatican in the summer of 2014:

Steve Bannon:

Thank you very much Benjamin, and I appreciate you guys including us in this. We're speaking from Los Angeles today, right across the street from our headquarters in Los Angeles. Um. I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian west, is in a crisis. And it's really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the west, but we're expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian west in our beliefs.

It's ironic, I think, that we're talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we're talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind's history. Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians. Seven weeks later, I think there were 5 million men in uniform and within 30 days there were over a million casualties.

That war triggered a century of barbaric -- unparalleled in mankind's history -- virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we're children of that: We're children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people -- whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it's the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it's the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we've come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

And we're at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that's starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we've been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.

Now, what I mean by that specifically: I think that you're seeing three kinds of converging tendencies: One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief.

I see that every day. I'm a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it's a very, very tough environment. And you've had a fairly good track record. So I don't want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, "Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' around capitalism."

But there's a strand of capitalism today -- two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

  1. One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that's the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it's what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn't spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.
  2. The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I'm a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that's a very big part of the conservative movement -- whether it's the UKIP movement in England, it's many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the "enlightened capitalism" of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost -- as many of the precepts of Marx -- and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they're really finding quite attractive. And if they don't see another alternative, it's going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of "personal freedom."

The other tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we've talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

... ... ...

[Jan 13, 2018] Steve Bannon on white nationalism, Donald Trump agenda - CBS News

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f -- ed over." ..."
"... "Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe," Bannon told Mother Jones in August. "Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements." ..."
"... "It's everything related to jobs," Bannon said and seemingly bragged about how he was going to drive conservatives "crazy" with his "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan." ..."
"... "With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up," he proposed. "We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution -- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
"... Bannon, in the Reporter interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) -- and the "darkness" he touts in fighting against them. ..."
Jan 13, 2018 | www.cbsnews.com

Steve Bannon, the chief strategist and right-hand man to President-elect Donald Trump, denied in an interview that he was an advocate of white nationalism -- and gave hints instead about how his brand of "economic" nationalism will shake up Washington.

In The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon, the controversial former head of Breitbart News who went on to chair Mr. Trump's presidential campaign, discussed why he believed his candidate won the election.

"I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f -- ed over."

Bannon's appointment to the White House has drawn criticism from Democrats and several civil liberties groups, in part because of his (and Breitbart's) strong association with the alt-right , a political movement with strains of white supremacy.

In the past, the former Breitbart CEO has admitted the alt-right's connections to racist and anti-Semitic agendas.

"Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe," Bannon told Mother Jones in August. "Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that's just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements."

In the Reporter interview, Bannon challenged the notion that racialized overtones dominated the Trump campaign on the trail. He predicted that if the administration delivered on its election promises, "we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years."

"It's everything related to jobs," Bannon said and seemingly bragged about how he was going to drive conservatives "crazy" with his "trillion-dollar infrastructure plan."

"With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up," he proposed. "We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution -- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

Bannon, in the Reporter interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) -- and the "darkness" he touts in fighting against them.

"Darkness is good," Bannon said. "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. It only helps us when they...get it wrong. When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."

[Jan 09, 2018] Steve Bannon and Trump's Populist Victory by Jeremy Cooper

Notable quotes:
"... When Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Bannon had found what he is quoted describing as a "blunt instrument for us," a man who had "taken this nationalist movement and moved it up twenty years." ..."
"... the rise of Bannon and Trump holds lessons for the Dissident Right. One of them: despite how powerful the Establishment may appear, there are fatal disconnects between it and the people it rules -- for example, on social and identity issues. Thus, many members of this Ruling Class, such as the Republican strategists who predicted a Jeb or Rubio victory, have been more successful in deluding themselves than they have been in building any kind of effective base. Similarly, Clinton campaign operatives believed, without much evidence, that undecided voters would eventually break in their favor. Because the thought of a Trump presidency was too horrifying for them to contemplate, they refused to recognize polls showing a close race, ignored the Midwest and sauntered their candidate off to Arizona in the final days. ..."
"... Of course, currently the ideas that Bannon fought for appear to be on the wane, leading him to declare upon leaving the White House that the "Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." [ Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017] ..."
"... But this is probably somewhat of an exaggeration. I doubt that Bannon laments the fact that the current president is Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio. But it has proved much more difficult to change government policy than to win an election. Unlike GOP strategists, the Deep State appears to know what it is doing. ..."
www.unz.com

Republished from VDare.com

Throughout 2016, I would occasionally turn on the television to see how the punditocracy was responding to the mounting Trump tsunami . If you get most of your news online, watching cable news is frustrating. The commentary is so dumbed down and painfully reflective of speaker's biases, you can always basically guess what's coming next. With a few exceptions -- above all Ann Coulter 's famous June 19, 2015 prediction of a Trump victory on Bill Maher -- these pundits again and again told us that Trump would eventually go away, first after he made this or that gaffe, then after he "failed" in a debate, then after people actually started voting in the primaries.

Finally, after having been wrong at every point during the primaries, they just as confidently predicted that the Republican primary voter had foolishly done nothing more than assure that Hillary Clinton would be the next president.

The most interesting cases to me: the " Republican strategists ," brought on to CNN and MSNBC to give the audience the illusion that they were hearing both sides: Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Ana Navarro, Rick Wilson, Margaret Hoover, Todd Harris. Mike Murphy even convinced donors to hand him over $100 million to make Jeb Bush the next president -- [ Jeb's 2016 departure draws out Mike Murphy critics , By Maeve Reston, February 22, 2016]

With campaigns and donors throwing money at these people, and the Main Stream Media touting them, it was easy to assume they must know what they were talking about. Significantly, each of these pundits was a national security hawk, center-right on economic issues, and just as horrified by " racism " and " sexism " as their Leftist counterparts . By a remarkable coincidence, the " strategic " advice that they gave to Republican candidates lined up perfectly with these positions. Their prominence was a mirage created by the fact that the MSM handed this token opposition the Megaphone because they did not challenge the core prejudices of the bipartisan Ruling Class.

And of course they were all humiliated in a spectacular fashion, November 8 being only the climax. Joshua Green begins his book Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by giving us a view inside the Trump campaign on election night, before tracing Steve Bannon's path up to that point. Reliving the journey is one of the joys of Green's work, which is mostly an intellectual biography of Steve Bannon, with a special focus on his relationship with Trump and the election.

Bannon joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 without any previous experience in electoral politics. But like the candidate himself, the Breitbart editor showed that he understood the nature of American politics and the GOP base better than Establishment Republicans. The "strategists'" supposed "expertise," "strategic advice," and "analysis" was in reality built on a house of cards. (In fact, the Bannon-Trump view of the electorate is closer to the consensus among political scientists that, unlike more nationalist and populist policies, Republican Establishment positions have relatively little popular support. [ Political Divisions in 2016 and Beyon d | Tensions Between and Within the Two Parties, Voter Study Group, June 2017]).

One key example: Green recounts how after Obama's re-election, the GOP Establishment was eager to surrender on immigration, supporting the bipartisan Amnesty/ Immigration Surge Gang of Eight bill . GOP leaders had neutralized Fox News, leaving Breitbart.com, talk radio and guerilla websites like VDARE.com as the only resistance. But the bill died due to a grass-roots revolt, partly inspired by Breitbart's reporting on the flood of Central American "child" refugees t he Obama Regime was allowing across the southern border. GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional seat in a shock upset in the primaries. And little over a year later, Donald Trump became a candidate for president with opposition to illegal immigration as his signature issue.

Bannon at Breitbart.com gave the Republican base what it wanted. Moral: in a democracy, you always have a chance at winning when public opinion (or at least intraparty opinion) is on your side.

Green traces Bannon's journey from his Irish-Catholic working-class roots and traditionalist upbringing, to his time in the Navy, at Harvard Business School and Goldman Sachs, and finally Breitbart.com and the pinnacle of American politics. The picture that emerges is of a man with principles and vigor, refusing to submit to the inertia that is part of the human condition, with enough confidence to realize that life is too short to not make major changes when staying on the current path is not going to allow him to accomplish his goals.

For example, Bannon originally wanted a career in defense policy, and took a job in the Pentagon during the Reagan administration. Yet he was off to Harvard Business School when he realized that the rigid bureaucracy that he was a part of would not let him move up to a high-level position until he was middle-aged. Decades later, after taking over his website upon the unexpected death of Andrew Breitbart in 2012, it would have been easy to go low-risk -- sticking to Establishment scripts, making life comfortable for Republican elites, implicitly submitting to the taboos of the Left. Instead , he helped turn Breitbart News into a major voice of the populist tide that has been remaking center-right politics across the globe.

When Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Bannon had found what he is quoted describing as a "blunt instrument for us," a man who had "taken this nationalist movement and moved it up twenty years."

From Green, we learn much about Bannon's intellectual influences. Surprisingly, although he was raised as a Roman Catholic and maintains that faith today, we find out that Bannon briefly practiced Zen Buddhism while in the Navy. There are other unusual influences that make appearances in the book, including Rightist philosopher Julius Evola and René Guénon, a French occultist who eventually became a Sufi Muslim. Although not exactly my cup of tea, such eccentric intellectual interests reflect a curious mind that refuses to restrict itself to fashionable influences.

It's incorrect to call Devil's Bargain a biography. There is practically no mention of Bannon's personal life -- wives, children. I had to Google to find out that he has three daughters. His childhood is only discussed in the context of how it may have influenced his beliefs and political development.

Rather, we get information on Bannon's intellectual and career pursuits and his relationships with consequential figures such as mega-donor Robert Mercer, Andrew Breitbart and Donald Trump.

As Bannon exits the White House and returns to Breitbart, we must hope that Bannon and the movement he's helped to create accomplish enough in the future to inspire more complete biographies.

But the rise of Bannon and Trump holds lessons for the Dissident Right. One of them: despite how powerful the Establishment may appear, there are fatal disconnects between it and the people it rules -- for example, on social and identity issues. Thus, many members of this Ruling Class, such as the Republican strategists who predicted a Jeb or Rubio victory, have been more successful in deluding themselves than they have been in building any kind of effective base. Similarly, Clinton campaign operatives believed, without much evidence, that undecided voters would eventually break in their favor. Because the thought of a Trump presidency was too horrifying for them to contemplate, they refused to recognize polls showing a close race, ignored the Midwest and sauntered their candidate off to Arizona in the final days.

Of course, currently the ideas that Bannon fought for appear to be on the wane, leading him to declare upon leaving the White House that the "Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." [ Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017]

But this is probably somewhat of an exaggeration. I doubt that Bannon laments the fact that the current president is Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio. But it has proved much more difficult to change government policy than to win an election. Unlike GOP strategists, the Deep State appears to know what it is doing.

In his memoir Nixon's White House Wars , Pat Buchanan writes about how, despite playing a pivotal role in the election of 1968, the conservative movement was mostly shut out of high-level jobs:

Then there was the painful reality with which the right had to come to terms. Though our movement had exhibited real power in capturing the nomination for Barry Goldwater and helping Nixon crush the Rockefeller-Romney wing of the Republican Party, and though we were

playing a pivotal role in the election of 1968, the conservative movement was mostly shut out of high-level jobs:

Then there was the painful reality with which the right had to come to terms. Though our movement had exhibited real power in capturing the nomination for Barry Goldwater and helping Nixon crush the Rockefeller-Romney wing of the Republican Party, and though we were veterans of a victorious presidential campaign, few of us had served in the executive branch. We lacked titles, resumes, credentials Our pool of experienced public servants who could seamlessly move into top positions was miniscule compared to that of the liberal Democrats who had dominated the capital's politics since FDR arrived in 1933.

History repeated itself in 2016, when Donald Trump would win the presidency on a nationalist platform but find few qualified individuals who could reliably implement his agenda.

If nationalists want to ensure that their next generation of leaders is able to effectively implement the policies they run on, they are going to have to engage in the slow and tedious project of working their way up through powerful institutions.

Bannon may have been and remains an "outsider" to the political Establishment. But nonetheless, throughout his life he has leveraged elite institutions such as Harvard, Goldman Sachs, the Republican Party, and even Hollywood in order to become financially independent and free to pursue his political goals.

If enough of those on the Dissident Right forge a similar path, we can be sure that future nationalist political victories will be less hollow. Jeremy Cooper is a specialist in international politics and an observer of global trends. Follow him at @NeoNeoLiberal .

Clyde Wilson > , August 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

Is there any evidence that Trump even tried to find the right people to fill the offices?

Jobless > , August 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT

@Clyde Wilson Is there any evidence that Trump even tried to find the right people to fill the offices? Having dabbled ever so slightly in this process in the spring, my impression is that there is a mechanism run largely by lawyers from the big DC law firms (presumably one for each party) who are the gatekeepers for applicants. The result of this system, which I have little doubt that the "Trump Team" did not try to take on (after all, they had only a couple of months to put together the beginnings of a team, and that left little or no time replacing The Swamp Machine ) is that the key positions throughout the administration are largely filled with lawyers from connected law firms. After all, who better to administer the government than lawyers -- ? -- ?

At any rate, my experience with the process was: on your marks, get set, nothing. 30 years experience in and around federal government, but not a lawyer. Don't call us, we don't want to talk to you. (I also made clear in my cover letter that the key motivator for my application -- and first ever political contributions -- was Trump and his agenda. In retrospect, this "admission" was probably a kiss of death. I was a Trumpite. Eeeewww -- -- -- (I may well not have been qualified for anything, but I'm SURE I was disqualified by my support for Trump )

The triumph of the Swamp.

Clyde Wilson > , August 30, 2017 at 9:08 pm GMT

We have here perhaps the key to Trump's tragic failure. It was our last shot.

Sep 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
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[Jan 08, 2018] Steve Bannon Backpedals On Comments In New Book On Trump by Igor Bobic

Too little, too late. Also Bannon by demonizing Russians has shown that his is a dangerous warmonger. And a weak politician.
Notable quotes:
"... Bannon added that his comments to Wolff were "aimed at Paul Manafort," the former Trump campaign manager who has been charged as part of an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team. Manafort was also at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Manafort, Bannon said, "should have known how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. ..."
"... Bannon released the statement after a three-day barrage of criticism from Trump and his allies. The president dubbed Bannon "Sloppy Steve." Bannon's statement also followed a CNN appearance on Sunday by Stephen Miller, the president's senior policy adviser and former Bannon ally, who eviscerated his comments to Wolff as "grotesque." ..."
Jan 08, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

The former White House aide said Donald Trump Jr. is a "patriot and a good man." Steve Bannon backpedaled on comments to journalist Michael Wolff, whose explosive new book sparked a backlash against the former top Donald Trump aide over his remarks about a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016. According to the book, released a week early due to high demand, the former White House strategist called the infamous meeting in New York between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives at Trump Tower "treasonous."

In a statement to Axios on Sunday, Bannon heaped praise on Trump and his agenda, and called Don Jr. a "patriot and a good man." "My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of 'the evil empire' and to making films about Reagan's war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton's involvement in selling uranium to them, " Bannon said in the statement.

Bannon added that his comments to Wolff were "aimed at Paul Manafort," the former Trump campaign manager who has been charged as part of an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team. Manafort was also at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Manafort, Bannon said, "should have known how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends.

To reiterate, those comments (about the meeting with the Russians) were not aimed at Don Jr." In the statement, Bannon again denied that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. And though he did not deny any of the remarks that were attributed to him in the book, Bannon said he regretted "that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president's historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency."

Bannon released the statement after a three-day barrage of criticism from Trump and his allies. The president dubbed Bannon "Sloppy Steve." Bannon's statement also followed a CNN appearance on Sunday by Stephen Miller, the president's senior policy adviser and former Bannon ally, who eviscerated his comments to Wolff as "grotesque."

Earlier Sunday, Trump railed about what he called Wolff's "Fake Book" on Twitter:

[Jan 06, 2018] Bannon version of history is history written by the victors.

Feb 16, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

John C Massachussets January 10, 2017

"Once there was a collection of Judeo-Christian nation-states, Bannon argued, that practiced a humane form of biblical capitalism and fostered culturally coherent communities."

The history of 18th and 19th century capitalism is rife with open Anti-Semitism. Jews were tolerated (barely) and periodically subjected to everything from mild prejudicial social-shunning to exclusion from certain fields of endeavor to ...progroms.

"Judeo-Christian" is mythological revisionism that is currently advantageous politically to the Right Wing since it features a pro-Israel, anti-Muslim, and radical Christian "End-of-Days" cultism that relies on the "rise of Israel" fulfillment of prophecy.

As for the "humane form of biblical capitalism" that relied on slavery as an economic engine, famine as an expedient solution (India during WW II) and other depredations such as intolerable working conditions and starvation wages--how is that better than Davos-style Globalism?

Bannon is a proto-fascist opportunist -- dangerous, big-league. The day he gets Trump distracted from Meryl Streep and has Trumps attention for that minute will be the first of many disasters. You can pine for the boiler-plate Paul Ryan version of predictable and consistent management of Capitalism.

We must have better.

Paulo Austin January 10, 2017

Judeo-Christian forces vs Islamofascism -- there's a faint whiff of Crusade in that juxtaposition, but don't be naive- the real Crusade has already begun, besieging the fundamental values of honesty, decency, and humanism.

Duane McPherson Groveland, NY January 10, 2017

Dugin's contempt for human rights is consistent with his belief in a social order based on religion (likeiwse Bannon). Trump could hardly care less about that, he's more of a libertine.

What Trump, Bannon, Dugin, and Putin can all agree on is consolidation of national government and corporate interests, a kind of corporatism, similar to Fascism under Mussolini. Which had also a strong element of "Make Italy Great Again", with the Roman Empire as its nostalgic anchor.

The uncertain economic and social times we are in make some people yearn for a strong leader. A large minority of Americans seems to see that in Trump. What I see coming forward is not at all chaos, but rather the systematic and organized looting of our economy under a government that puts corporate interests above all else.

Terence Gaffney Jamaica Plain January 10, 2017

A very perceptive column. This makes the mission of the Christian left very clear. Globalism at its best is the attempt to harness the creative energy of humanity to build a world which is just, in harmony with itself, and advancing its understanding of the natural world and human behavior for the benefit of all. The Christian left must provide the spiritual vision to energize this effort, covering all of our efforts with compassion. Otherwise, Bannon's perception of a vacuum at the heart of what we are doing will be proved true.

J. Raven Michigan January 10, 2017

The suggestion that once in office, Trump and his acolytes will simply abandon their closely held philosophical and actual prejudices and fall lovingly into the arms of more traditional, establishment advisors is ridiculous. There is nothing in the history of either Trump or his fire-breathing true believers to indicate that compromise is a notion that comes easily, if at all, to them. More likely, the gridlock disease that has long plagued Congress may be transmitted to the White House, where we'll then find that an emotional and experientially ill-equipped president reaches into his resentment-filled gut to make a decision that reflects not considered judgment, but his very own biases that can be communicated in a 140 character tweet.

Bruce Abbott Marin County, CA January 10, 2017

Where we agree we can move forward where we disagree is the work we need to do. To move forward with disagreement leads to anger, violence and ultimately war.

Michael McCune Pittsburgh January 10, 2017

What's important to remember about Trump, as Brooks points out here, is that he is "basically uninterested in anything but his own status at the moment." In 10 days, Trump's status at the moment will be subject to the opinions of all Americans. If things turn south--and most times in a presidency things eventually turn south--who will Trump listen to in order to improve his "status at the moment'? Remember, it was Steve Bannon who he turned to when his campaign was on the rocks, not General Mattis.

A problem for Trump the campaigner (though it may in fact have been a strength among his most ardent supporters) was his willingness to say/do seemingly anything in order to get elected, i.e. jail his opponent, extra-constitutional surveillance of Muslims, mock a disabled reporter, retweet white supremacists, etc.

To me, the question is, once in power, will Trump be willing to do anything in order to maintain or improve his "status at the moment." For thin-skinned, needy leaders like Trump, when people at home turn on him, finding enemies abroad is usually the answer. It's troubling to imagine who will have his ear then.

Sabre Melbourne, FL January 10, 2017

Bannon mentioning Christianity makes me wonder what he really thinks about Christ and his teachings. The same goes with his boss, Donald Trump. I fail to see anything at all in their behavior that reflects what Jesus taught. All this makes me question what supposedly Christian conservative Trump supporters think about their faith and how it matches up with the behavior of Bannon and Trump.

LA Reader Los Angeles, CA January 10, 2017

How is globalism de-spiritualized? What about loving your neighbor as yourself? That is a fundamental teaching of Christianity, and it doesn't stop at our borders.

I don't know how Mr. Bannon considers historical capitalism to have been humane. Child labor? Oppression of local workers across the globe? Extreme pollution to the point of rivers burning (Cuyahoga River in Cincinnati) or choking smog (London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Delhi)? His version is history written by the victors.

[Jan 06, 2018] Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: Ethno-nationalism -- it's losers. It's a fringe element.

Notable quotes:
"... Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies. ..."
"... Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production. ..."
"... Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario. ..."
"... Here is Bannon's latest: Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more." "These guys are a collection of clowns," he added. Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists. ..."
"... I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s. ..."
"... Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist. ..."
"... Bannon does not seem himself as an "ethno-nationalist". Yet his slanderous contempt for the liberal ethos/values of many Americans would tend to make one question if he can be called a Nationalist. ..."
"... If Bannon was a Zionist, he would never make the comments he does against the financial sector ..."
"... Isn't exceptionalism the same as narcissism? ..."
"... At least the concern for 10 million in Seoul (mostly missing in the discussion of other leaders) show he is not a psychopath ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4
So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5
I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at. Check this out: Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication
Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8
Here is Bannon's latest: Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more." "These guys are a collection of clowns," he added. Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13

Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.

Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15

I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Progressives and Steve Bannon have something surprising in common: hating Wall Street

Pop quiz! Which major American political figure said the following:

  • "The 2008 crisis is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks."
  • "I think the bailouts in 2008 were wrong."
  • "[N]ot one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis."
  • "The Republican Party "is really a collection of crony capitalists that feel that they have a different set of rules" and are "the reason that the United States' financial situation is so dire."

LINK

and here is BusinessInsider's analysis of Bannon's worldview:

LINK

In the Vatican talk, Bannon described in length and detail how he views the biggest issues of the day:

  • He wants to tear down "crony capitalism": "a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people.[.]
  • He is against Ayn Rand's version of libertarianism: "The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism.[.]
  • He believes the West needs to wage "a global war against Islamic fascism": "They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a "river of blood" if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe.[.]
  • He believes the capitalism of the "Judeo Christian West" is in crisis: "If you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West.[.]
  • He believes the racists that are attracted to Trump will become increasingly irrelevant: [.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

this recent Bannon interview with The American Prospect will now go viral. Drudgereport headlines the WAPO spin.

fastfreddy | Aug 17, 2017 11:05:47 AM | 31

Except for the selective Zion-flavored warmongering, Bannon appears to be an intelligent and thoughtful person. Also crafty. Is he not "Trump's Brain" in the way that Rove was Bush's Brain?

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM | 34

@30 Just Sayin'

Agree. I think Bannon's quite bright and very very clever and crafty.

However, if anyone believes the lies he spewed yesterday about white supremacists, let me enlighten you that that's what's called "good PR" or something. Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

Caveat Emptor.

karlof1 | Aug 17, 2017 12:30:01 PM | 36

The first group to call themselves Progressives were the 19th century Populists. Their mantle was adopted by T. Roosevelt and other like-minded Republicans. Lafollette and Wallace are perhaps the best remembered Progressives--yes, FDR is portrayed as one, but when examined really isn't: Eleanor was far more Progressive and since she was people also thought he was too. Once Wallace was ousted from government, Democrats reverted to their old ways, although Truman did order the military to desegregate--perhaps his only Progressive act. JFK was in the process of becoming a Progressive in the months prior to his murder. LBJ very reluctantly made some Progressive noises in his War on Poverty that he was essentially forced into thanks to massive ethnic strife and related riots during the 60s. But essentially since the beginning of WW2, Progressives and their goals vanished from the political landscape. Nader brought it back to the fringe from the wilderness, but the so-called Progressive Caucus really isn't Progressive thanks to its war promotion.

Admittedly, I don't know much about Steve Bannon; he certainly isn't a Progressive, but he doesn't seem to be a Regressive either. The points he made at the Vatican Talk supplied by likklemore @28 are rather encouraging in an anti-Deep State manner. So, his interaction with The American Prospect I don't see as surprising--he's seeking allies: "'It's a great honor to finally track you [Robert Kuttner] down. I've followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it.'... Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me." I think Kuttner will discover Bannon will "still [be] there" after Labor Day, so he might as well make his travel plans.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 12:45:43 PM | 38
@ Just Sayin' 30

I won't give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.
Read and understand as Bannon is proven right on events.

The $28 - trillion (US dollar) global bailouts in 2008 is proven to have failed. A handful on Wall Street became trillionaires instead of being suited in special stripes.
Negative interest rates steal the retirement savings of seniors. Pensions and Insurance companies cannot meet promised payouts.

And all is fine. Corruption flourishes. Judeo-Christian moral values are not in crisis.

les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.

@ 8 as you say... Bannon does not seem himself as an "ethno-nationalist". Yet his slanderous contempt for the liberal ethos/values of many Americans would tend to make one question if he can be called a Nationalist.

@ 9 If Bannon was a Zionist, he would never make the comments he does against the financial sector (see @28).

@28 Bannon would never call himself a Socialist, but the most logical expression of his individualist views when applied to the business world are expressed by none other than Ayn Rand. The financial world simply got legal cover to act on the views that he rails against. Bannon does not like what he sees when the rules he claims for himself are given to the rest of the world. Which makes him an "Exceptionalist"??

Isn't exceptionalism the same as narcissism?

At least the concern for 10 million in Seoul (mostly missing in the discussion of other leaders) show he is not a psychopath.

[Jan 06, 2018] Looks like Bannon self-immolated himself by his cooperation with Wolff

Notable quotes:
"... Bannon is almost universally loathed by the Washington press corps, and not just for his politics. When he was the CEO of the pro-Trump Breitbart website, he competed with traditional media outlets, and he has often mercilessly attacked and ridiculed them. ..."
"... The animosity towards Bannon reached new heights last month, when he incautiously told the New York Times that "the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." He also said the media was "the opposition party" to the Trump administration. To the Washington media, those are truly fighting words. ..."
"... Bannon's comments were outrageous, but they are hardly new. In 2009, President Obama's White House communications director, Anita Dunn, sought to restrict Fox News' access to the White House. She even said, "We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent." The media's outrage over that remark was restrained, to say the least. ..."
"... Reporters and pundits are also stepping up the effort to portray Bannon as the puppet master in the White House. Last week, MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said, "Legitimate media are getting word that Steve Bannon is the last guy in the room, in the evening especially, and he's pulling the strings." Her co-host, Joe Scarborough, agreed that Bannon's role should be "investigated." ..."
"... I'm all for figuring out who the powers behind the curtain are in the White House, but we saw precious little interest in that during the Obama administration. ..."
"... Liberal writer Steven Brill wrote a 2015 book, America's Bitter Pill , in which he slammed "incompetence in the White House" for the catastrophic launch of Obamacare. "Never [has there] been a group of people who more incompetently launched something," he told NPR's Terry Gross, who interviewed him about the book. He laid much of the blame at Jarrett's doorstep. "The people in the administration who knew it was going wrong went to the president directly with memos, in person, to his chief of staff," he said. "The president was protected, mostly by Valerie Jarrett, from doing anything. . . . He didn't know what was going on in the single most important initiative of his administration." How important was Jarrett inside the Obama White House? Brill interviewed the president about the struggles of Obamacare and reported Obama's conclusion: "At this point, I am not so interested in Monday-morning quarterbacking the past." ..."
"... five of the highest-ranking Obama officials had told him that "as a practical matter . . . Jarrett was the real chief of staff on any issues that she wanted to weigh in on, and she jealously protected that position by making sure the president never gave anyone else too much power." When Brill asked the president about these aides' assessment of Jarrett, Obama "declined comment," Brill wrote in his book. That, in and of itself, was an answer. Would that Jarrett had received as much media scrutiny of her role in eight years under Obama as Bannon has in less than four weeks. ..."
"... I've had my disagreements with Bannon, whose apocalyptic views on some issues I don't share. Ronald Reagan once said that if someone in Washington agrees with you 80 percent of the time, he is an ally, not an enemy. I'd guess Bannon wouldn't agree with that sentiment. ..."
Feb 15, 2017 | www.unz.com
... ... ..

Bannon is almost universally loathed by the Washington press corps, and not just for his politics. When he was the CEO of the pro-Trump Breitbart website, he competed with traditional media outlets, and he has often mercilessly attacked and ridiculed them.

The animosity towards Bannon reached new heights last month, when he incautiously told the New York Times that "the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." He also said the media was "the opposition party" to the Trump administration. To the Washington media, those are truly fighting words.

Joel Simon, of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told CNN that "this kind of speech not [only] undermines the work of the media in this country, it emboldens autocratic leaders around the world." Jacob Weisberg, the head of the Slate Group, tweeted that Bannon's comment was terrifying and "tyrannical."

Bannon's comments were outrageous, but they are hardly new. In 2009, President Obama's White House communications director, Anita Dunn, sought to restrict Fox News' access to the White House. She even said, "We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent." The media's outrage over that remark was restrained, to say the least.

Ever since Bannon's outburst, you can hear the media gears meshing in the effort to undermine him. In TV green rooms and at Washington parties, I've heard journalists say outright that it's time to get him. Time magazine put a sinister-looking Bannon on its cover, describing him as "The Great Manipulator." Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time , boasted to MSNBC that the image was in keeping with a tradition of controversial covers that put leaders in their place. "Likewise, putting [former White House aide] Mike Deaver on the cover, the brains behind Ronald Reagan, that ended up bringing down Reagan," he told the hosts of Morning Joe . "So you've got to have these checks and balances, whether it's the judiciary or the press."

Reporters and pundits are also stepping up the effort to portray Bannon as the puppet master in the White House. Last week, MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said, "Legitimate media are getting word that Steve Bannon is the last guy in the room, in the evening especially, and he's pulling the strings." Her co-host, Joe Scarborough, agreed that Bannon's role should be "investigated."

I'm all for figuring out who the powers behind the curtain are in the White House, but we saw precious little interest in that during the Obama administration.

It wasn't until four years after the passage of Obamacare that a journalist reported on just how powerful White House counselor Valerie Jarrett had been in its flawed implementation. Liberal writer Steven Brill wrote a 2015 book, America's Bitter Pill , in which he slammed "incompetence in the White House" for the catastrophic launch of Obamacare. "Never [has there] been a group of people who more incompetently launched something," he told NPR's Terry Gross, who interviewed him about the book. He laid much of the blame at Jarrett's doorstep. "The people in the administration who knew it was going wrong went to the president directly with memos, in person, to his chief of staff," he said. "The president was protected, mostly by Valerie Jarrett, from doing anything. . . . He didn't know what was going on in the single most important initiative of his administration." How important was Jarrett inside the Obama White House? Brill interviewed the president about the struggles of Obamacare and reported Obama's conclusion: "At this point, I am not so interested in Monday-morning quarterbacking the past."

Brill then bluntly told the president that five of the highest-ranking Obama officials had told him that "as a practical matter . . . Jarrett was the real chief of staff on any issues that she wanted to weigh in on, and she jealously protected that position by making sure the president never gave anyone else too much power." When Brill asked the president about these aides' assessment of Jarrett, Obama "declined comment," Brill wrote in his book. That, in and of itself, was an answer. Would that Jarrett had received as much media scrutiny of her role in eight years under Obama as Bannon has in less than four weeks.

I've had my disagreements with Bannon, whose apocalyptic views on some issues I don't share. Ronald Reagan once said that if someone in Washington agrees with you 80 percent of the time, he is an ally, not an enemy. I'd guess Bannon wouldn't agree with that sentiment.

But the media's effort to turn Bannon into an enemy of the people is veering into hysterical character assassination. The Sunday print edition of the New York Times ran an astonishing 1,500-word story headlined: "Fascists Too Lax for a Philosopher Cited by Bannon." (The online headline now reads, "Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists.") The Times based this headline on what it admits was "a passing reference" in a speech by Bannon at a Vatican conference in 2014 . In that speech, Bannon made a single mention of Julius Evola, an obscure Italian philosopher who opposed modernity and cozied up to Mussolini's Italian Fascists.

- John Fund is NRO's national-affairs correspondent . https://twitter.com/@JohnFund

[Oct 16, 2017] Don't Be Afraid of Steve Bannon by David Atkins

Economic nationalism in key ideas is close to Mussolini version of corporatism. It is about the alliance of state with large corporation but of less favorable to large corporations terms then under neoliberalism, which is a flavor of corporatism as well, but extremely favorable to the interests of transactionals.
So grossly simplifying, this is Mussolini version of corporatism (Make Italy Great Again), minus foreign wars, minus ethnic component (replacing it with more modern "cultural nationalism" agenda).
Bannon is definitely overrated. It is jobs that matter and he has no real plan. Relying on tax cutting and deregulation is not a plan. In this sense, yes, he is a paper tiger. And not a real nationalist, but some kind of castrated variety.
One thing that plays into Bannon hands in the DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats led by Hillary Clinton) were completely discredited during the last elections.
Notable quotes:
"... But his statements show that it's all bluster and no real strategy. Democrats seem poised to take back Congress precisely because of Republican extremism, not because institutional Republicans are inadequately racist and nationalist. ..."
"... Like Karl Rove before him, Steven Bannon is a paper tiger. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | washingtonmonthly.com

There is a tendency on the left to overestimate the abilities of conservative campaign gurus and spinmeisters after a bitter defeat. In the aughts, Karl Rove was seen as the Svengali mastermind of Republican politics, a nefarious force smarter and more cunning than all the left's braintrust put together. It turned out not to be true. Karl Rove didn't have "the math" and never really did: Rove mostly got lucky by a combination of butterfly ballots in Florida, and happening to hold power during a terrorist attack that saw Democrats cowed into submission rather than holding the president and his team accountable for their failure to protect the country.

Steve Bannon is taking on a similar mystique for some. But Bannon is no more special than Rove...

... ... ...

Bannon is going to war " with the GOP establishment, even going so far as to countermand Trump's own endorsement in the Alabama Senate race and force the president to back a loser.

But his statements show that it's all bluster and no real strategy. Democrats seem poised to take back Congress precisely because of Republican extremism, not because institutional Republicans are inadequately racist and nationalist.

And his prediction to the Values Voter Summit that Trump will win 400 electoral votes in 2020 is simply preposterous on its face. It's no better than even odds that Trump will even finish out his term, much less sweep to a Reaganesque landslide in three years. During the same speech, Bannon quipped a line destined to be fodder for the inevitable 2018 campaign commercials accusing Trump of actively blowing up the ACA exchanges and driving up premiums in a bid to kill the program.

Like Karl Rove before him, Steven Bannon is a paper tiger. Democrats need only muster courage, conviction and hard work to teach him the same lesson they taught Rove in 2006.

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.

[Oct 15, 2017] Is Trump the Heir to Reagan? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Bastard neoliberalism by Trump (and Bannon) are inconsistent. You can't be half pregnant -- to be a neoliberal (promote deregulation, regressive taxes) and be anti-immigration and anti-globalist. In this sense words Trump is doomed: neoliberal are determined to get rid of him.
Reagan was a former governor of California before becoming the President. hardly a complete outsider. Trump was an outsider more similar to Barak Obama in a sense that he has no political record and can ride on backlash against neoliberal globalization, especially outsourcing and offshoring and unlimited immigration, as well as ride anti-globalism sentiments and popular protest against foreign wars. Only quickly betraying those promised afterward. Much like king of "bait and switch" Obama .
Notable quotes:
"... Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first. ..."
"... Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot. ..."
"... He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more. ..."
"... Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military. ..."
"... Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security. ..."
"... Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time. ..."
"... As Ingraham writes, Trump_vs_deep_state is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s. ..."
"... Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill. ..."
"... And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics." ..."
"... It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class. ..."
"... Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment. ..."
"... There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive. ..."
"... Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently. ..."
"... As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves. ..."
"... Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup. ..."
"... Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. ..."
"... you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California.

Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican establishment of their day, and humiliated it.

Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first.

Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot.

He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more.

Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military.

Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

And both were regarded in this capital city with a cosmopolitan condescension bordering on contempt. "An amiable dunce" said a Great Society Democrat of Reagan.

The awesome victories Reagan rolled up, a 44-state landslide in 1980 and a 49-state landslide in 1984, induced some second thoughts among Beltway elites about whether they truly spoke for America. Trump's sweep of the primaries and startling triumph in the Electoral College caused the same consternation.

However, as the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II represented a continental divide in history between what came before and what came after, so, too, did the end of the Cold War and the Reagan era.

As Ingraham writes, Trump_vs_deep_state is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s.

Which bring us to the present, with our billionaire president, indeed, at the barricades.

The differences between Trump in his first year and Reagan in 1981 are stark. Reagan had won a landslide. The attempt on his life in April and the grace with which he conducted himself had earned him a place in the hearts of his countrymen. He not only showed spine in giving the air traffic controllers 48 hours to get back to work, and then discharging them when they defied him, he enacted the largest tax cut in U.S. history with the aid of boll weevil Democrats in the House.

Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill.

Greg Bacon , Website October 13, 2017 at 10:24 am GMT

And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics."

It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class.

The only parts of the economy it helps are the builders of luxury mansions, antique and pricey art dealers, and the makers of luxury autos and private jets.

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
@Mark James

when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process

Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment.

Two pieces here at Unz you ought to read, and fully take on board the implications of, if you want to even begin the process of grasping reality, rather than living in the manufactured fantasy you appear to inhabit at the moment:

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive.

Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently.

As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves.

Here's the German government being unusually blunt yesterday about the stupidity of the Trump regime's seeming plans in this regard:

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday said that any move by US President Donald Trump's administration to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal would drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

"It's imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue," Gabriel told Germany's RND newspaper group. "We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA."

http://www.dw.com/en/germany-warns-donald-trump-against-decertifying-iran-deal/a-40933703

It's difficult to know whether the likes of Gabriel actually believe all the boilerplate nonsense they talk about a supposed Iranian nuclear program – the real reason the European nations want the deal to continue is that it stopped them having to pretend to believe all the outright lies the US told about Iran, and having to kowtow t0 costly and counterproductive sanctions against Iran that did immense general harm for the benefit only of Israel and Saudi Arabia and their US stooges.

The US pulling out of the deal would at least bring that issue of US dishonesty on Iran and past European appeasement of it to a head, I suppose.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT
Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup.

Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. Assuming they won't kill Pence with the same bomb.

YetAnotherAnon , October 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Mark James

"As for Trump I think it's crystal clear his campaign involved the Russians in our election. "

It's crystal clear that some people will believe any crap that The Media Formerly Known As Hillary's broadcast.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety.

Often I feel like it'd be better if Hillary did the same insane policies. It's always worse when our guy does something wrong, and better when the hated enemy does it.

Hillary was a danger that she would start WW3 in Syria, but I don't think we can be certain she'd have started it. Given how risk-averse women are in general, I think the only issue was whether the Russians could've made it clear that shooting at Russian soldiers would mean war with Russia. And I think even Hillary's advisers would've blinked.

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran. As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Randal

Unfortunately I can see Orbán and the Poles torpedoing a common EU stance. I'm sure that will be the price for Netanyahu's meeting with the V4 leaders a few months ago.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT
I think one good thing would be if US conservatives stopped their Reagan worship. He was certainly not a bad person, but he allowed the amnesty to happen, couldn't stop the sanctions on Apartheid South Africa, didn't (or couldn't?) do anything against the MLK cult becoming a state religion, and started the free trade and tax cuts cults, he's also responsible for promoting the neocons to positions of power. So overall he was a mixed bag from a nationalist conservative viewpoint.
Chris Mallory , October 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm GMT
@Mark James

Private citizens are forbidden to ask for help from a foreign country, when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process.

You forgot the Clintons, Bush, McCain, Romney, and Obama. China and Israel worked on behalf of all five of them, even though three of them lost

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Yes, that's quite possible, but a common EU stance is not really all that important. What really matters is how far the Germans, and to a lesser extent the less relevant but still big European nations such as France and Italy and the more subservient US tool, the UK, are prepared to continue to kowtow to US and Israeli dishonesty on Iran.

All the signs seem to be that repudiating the deal and trying to return to the days of the aggressive and counter-productive US-imposed sanctions will be a step too far for many of those players.

As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

Actually I suspect that repudiating the JCPOA, whether openly or by de facto breach, will go immensely farther, and much faster, towards destroying practical US influence and therefore power globally than any of those domestic policies, at least in the short run.

You can see that Trump is at least dimly aware of that likelihood from the way he keeps bottling and postponing the decision, despite his clearly evident and desperate desire to please his pro-Israeli and anti-Iranian advisers and instincts.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran.

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

1) There's a chance foreign policy insanity starts a nuclear war, in which case all domestic policy issues will pale before such horror.

2) The US already has de facto open borders. Why does it matter if it becomes majority nonwhite in 30 or just 20 years?

3) For non-American whites, it's better the earlier the US sphere disintegrates. I bet you it's better for American whites as well. As long as this political/cultural center holds, the rot cannot be stopped.

The Alarmist , October 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT
I watched the movie Independence Day last night: Can we have that guy for President after Trump, or do we have to have an obligatory Democrat (Chelsea Clinton?) President for the next 8 years?
German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

That's understandable, but obviously the calculation must be somewhat different from a non-US perspective. Given how strongly many white Americans are in favor of pro-war policies and mindless Israel worship (how many US blacks or Hispanics care about Israel or confronting Iran?), I'm not even sure nationalists in Europe should really lament the Hispanicization of the US. It might at least have a positive effect in restricting US interventionism and eroding US power. The sooner the US is unable to continue with its self-appointed role as a global redeemer nation, the better.

RadicalCenter , October 13, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Mark James

Glad you think it's "crystal clear." How about evidence?

nsa , October 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm GMT
History repeats first as tragedy (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly white air traffic controllers), then as farce (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly afro NFL jocks). Reagan was at least an American Firster. Trumpenstein is an obvious traitorous Izzie Firster, with little concern for the so-called deplorables except to convert them into deployables at the service of his jooie sponsors. Maybe Paddy should have titled his screed "Heir to Begin, not Reagan"?
Aren Haich , October 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Pat Buchanan points out that " it is far more likely that a major war would do for the Trump presidency and his place in history what it did for Presidents Wilson, Truman, LBJ and George W. Bush."

As for President Trump; Let us hope that war DOES NOT BECOME "The Last Refuge Of This Scoundrel"!

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Orban has been critical of regime change wars.

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT
@German_reader

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

If only non-White votes were counted, Hillary Clinton would have been elected unanimously by the electoral college, and Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

The few reliable voices for foreign policy sanity in congress, such as Senator Rand Paul and Congressmen Walter Jones, John Duncan, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash, represent overwhelmingly White, Protestant, old-stock American districts.

German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

Maybe, but is there any data indicating many blacks in Washington DC actually voted in the Republican primaries? Why would they when most of them are a solid Democrat voting block? I'd guess Rubio got his votes from white elites in DC.
As for Puerto Rico, I didn't know they actually have primaries, seems odd given they don't vote in US presidential elections.

Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

Hillary was horrible all around, and I agree she might well have been disastrous as president given her dangerous proposals for no-fly zones in Syria, and the potential of conflict with Russia this entailed. But I'm no longer sure Trump is really better regarding foreign policy. His behaviour on the North Korea issue is irresponsible imo, and his willingness to wreck the nuclear deal with Iran at the behest of neoconservatives and Zionist donors like Sheldon Adelson is a big fat minus in my view. Sorry, but I think you guys who hoped for something different have all been (neo-)conned.

Jonathan Mason , October 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm GMT
Reagan said: My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

Trump said: We will totally destroy North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies.

Reagan was a joker, Trump is a wildcard.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 1:51 am GMT
The only similarities I see between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump is that both live (lived) in a sort of la-la land, totally out of touch with reality. The only difference between them is that Reagan had sensible people around him (like Pat Buchannan) who wrote good speeches and make good decisions which he took full credit for. Trump, on the other hand delivers abbreviated, one-sentence speeches via Twitter while surrounded by mental midgets with military minds.
Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT
@Randal

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:35 am GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

but you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process.

Randal , October 14, 2017 at 7:48 am GMT
@Carroll Price

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Well, yes and no. In both cases. It really is more complicated than that.

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:18 am GMT
Reagan didn't undo Arab Israel Camp David Peace Treaty He didn't keep the Israeli side and undo the Egyptian side of the American obligation . He kept both.

Trump is dangerous malevolent anti-American and anti- anything that hurts his ego or pocket . He has malcontent displaced sycophants as inner circle supporters who want a piece in the pie denied to them by the establishment .

Here is a quote from antiwar -"In other words, it's all about the war that Trump and his still-loyal lieutenant Steve Bannon, assisted by UN ambassador Nikki Haley, have declared on the "deep state."

Also, Trump and Bannon aren't really interested in draining the foreign policy swamp in DC. They simply want to install their own cronies who will ensure that war and globalization benefit them rather than Kissinger and his ilk. It's a shell game designed to fool Trump's base, but the rest of the world has kept its eye on the ball." http://original.antiwar.com/feffer/2017/10/13/trump-signaling-unprecedented-right-turn-foreign-policy/

This war between elites have been predicted by a CT professor in an article in 2016 , to get more serious and dangerous by 2020 . The fights among elites are not new but another pathway an empire takes additionally to the final fate of the destruction from within

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:49 am GMT
@KA

"A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions."

Another visible sign of increasing intra-elite competition and political polarization is the fragmentation of political parties

cliodynamic research on past societies demonstrates that elite overproduction is by far the most important of the three main historical drivers of social instability and political violence (see Secular Cycles for this analysis).

But the other two factors in the model, popular immiseration (the stagnation and decline of living standards) and declining fiscal health of the state (resulting from falling state revenues and rising expenses) are also important contributors.

: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-social-instability-lies.html#jCp

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Ideally Europe would be strong together, without US and more sane policies on morals and immigration.

Yes v4 is connected to CC, Neocon, Zios.

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much, and being stuck between Russia and Germany which would isolate it from Europe in some ways. Obviously Poles are not uniform, views on US, Russia, Germany, Ukraine are all over the place. I wish Poland was just European (in politics) but the US-EU connection is still strong.

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT
Commenting on US presidents. Presidents are puppets. All of them. Modern leaders in Western world are unlikable. Reagan at least had some balance, had some Catholic and Paleocon involvement. It wasnt all Neocons and Zios. Im quite sure Reagan (and his dad), people like Buchanan had connections to groups like Knights Malta or Knights Colombus. Cant prove it though. Kennedy was KC.

Today Neocon/Zionist influence is even stronger. Trump policies on NK and Iran are nuts. At best a war is avoided.

On the other side you have Clintons, Obamas. They would destroy the US, and have similar policies because again they are puppets. Clinton would likely be involved in Syria, just like Obama was.

German_reader , October 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
@polskijoe

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much

Yes, that's a problem, and I think Polish national conservatives are somewhat in denial about what the modern US stands for the "values" pushed by the US establishment today are incompatible with the Polish right's vision for Poland (e.g. conservative values in sexual morality – no homo-lobbyism and transgender nonsense -, strong public role of Catholicism, restrictive and selective immigration policies that keep out Muslims).

I can understand to some degree why the Polish right is so pro-US, given history and apprehensions about Germany and Russia, but they should at least be aware that alliance with the US could have a rather pernicious influence on Poland itself.

[Oct 01, 2017] Republican civil war looms as Steve Bannon takes aim at the establishment

Notable quotes:
"... Bardella said Bannon had helped villainise McConnell, making him a toxic symbol of the Republican establishment and an albatross around the necks of vulnerable Republicans such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. A seat in Tennessee following Senator Bob Corker's announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018 could also be a target. ..."
"... Among the "establishment" donors likely to oppose Bannon in a series of running battles are the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Bannon himself has admitted there is not "a deep bench" of viable candidates to represent his agenda. ..."
"... "The floodgates are open. You'll see a lot of this, one after another, and Steve Bannon's going to be at the centre of it. He's one for one. It'll be a civil war; it has been for quite some time." ..."
"... Andrew Surabian, a political strategist who worked under Bannon at the White House, told USA Today: "Bannon is plotting a strategy to launch an all-out assault on the Republican establishment. I think it's fair to say that if you're tied to Mitch McConnell, any of his henchmen in the consulting class, or were a Never-Trumper during the campaign, you're not safe from a primary challenge." ..."
"... Additional reporting by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Already Bannon is touring the country and meeting with candidates who will carry forward such an agenda. He told the Bloomberg agency: "The populist-nationalist movement proved in Alabama that a candidate with the right ideas and a grassroots organization can win big. Now, our focus is on recruiting candidates to take over the Republican party."

The election eve rally in Alabama was a reunion of sorts of those in Bannon's political orbit. Two potential candidates, Chris McDaniel of Mississippi and Mark Green of Tennessee, attended along with Paul Nehlen, a primary challenger last year to the House speaker, Paul Ryan, whose campaign was heavily promoted by Breitbart.

McDaniel described Moore's win as "incredibly inspiring" for his own challenge to Senator Roger Wicker in 2018. "We know Mitch McConnell was rejected tonight and Roger Wicker is just another part of Mitch McConnell's leadership apparatus," McDaniel told the Associated Press.

"We supported Donald Trump because he was an agent of change, and he's still an agent of change. In this instance, he must have been given bad advice to retain this particular swamp creature."

On Thursday, Bannon spent two hours with Tom Tancredo, who worked on Nehlan's behalf and is considering a run for Colorado governor next year. Tancredo, a former congressman, told the Guardian: "He was encouraged by what happened in Alabama and was certainly hoping he can replicate it.

"He's trying to establish an awareness of the fact the Republican party should be standing for the values he and others have tried to articulate over the years. It's a hugely difficult undertaking when you consider the power of the establishment and the swamp. He just kept reiterating: 'I need to try to save the country.'"

Asked about the prospect of a Republican civil war, Tancredo replied: "A good philosophic blood letting is not necessarily a bad thing."

... ... ...

Bardella said Bannon had helped villainise McConnell, making him a toxic symbol of the Republican establishment and an albatross around the necks of vulnerable Republicans such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. A seat in Tennessee following Senator Bob Corker's announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018 could also be a target.

"Every dollar that is spent on a candidate by Mitch McConnell and the Republican party is a dollar spent against them," Bardella added. "And that's because it plays right into the theme that they're bought and paid for by the establishment."

Among the "establishment" donors likely to oppose Bannon in a series of running battles are the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Bannon himself has admitted there is not "a deep bench" of viable candidates to represent his agenda.

But he can expect at least tacit backing from Trump, who was said to be furious about having backed the wrong horse in Alabama: the president even deleted three tweets that endorsed Strange. Bannon also has powerful benefactors in the shape of the billionaire hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. The New York Times reported that Bannon and Robert Mercer began working out a rough outline for a "shadow party" that would advance Trump's nationalist agenda during a five-hour meeting last month at the family's Long Island estate.

Bannon has also been consulting with Henry Kissinger and other foreign policy veterans, Bloomberg reported, and is preparing make the threat posed by China a central cause. "If we don't get our situation sorted with China, we'll be destroyed economically," he said.

Rick Tyler, a political analyst and former campaign spokesman for the Texas senator Ted Cruz, said: "Roy Moore has demonstrated that the establishment and all its money can be beaten. You can only spend so much money in Alabama before it becomes irritating: you can only stuff so much in people's mailboxes or run so many ads on TV.

"The floodgates are open. You'll see a lot of this, one after another, and Steve Bannon's going to be at the centre of it. He's one for one. It'll be a civil war; it has been for quite some time."

Republican memories are still raw from 2014, when the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, was beaten in a primary contest by Dave Brat, a little-known professor backed by the Tea Party. But Bannon could make the establishment versus Tea Party battle look like a mere skirmish.

Andrew Surabian, a political strategist who worked under Bannon at the White House, told USA Today: "Bannon is plotting a strategy to launch an all-out assault on the Republican establishment. I think it's fair to say that if you're tied to Mitch McConnell, any of his henchmen in the consulting class, or were a Never-Trumper during the campaign, you're not safe from a primary challenge."

Additional reporting by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs

[Oct 01, 2017] Tea Party Patriots against Neoliberalism by Bhaskar Sunkara

Notable quotes:
"... The Tea Party recognizes that "one of the primary sort of marks of the triumph of neoliberalism in the US is a very high tolerance of illegal immigration, and that illegal immigration is the kind of one plus ultra of the labor mobility that neoliberalism requires." The rise of illegal immigration represents a new form of capitalism, as opposed to the old "meritorious" capitalism of the post-war period. When right-wing ideologues attack "communism," the argument goes, they are actually conceptualizing neoliberalism. ..."
"... Michaels concedes that the Tea Party is a disproportionately upper middle class movement, but argues that even segments of the top twenty percentile of Americans by income have been hit hard in recent decades. ..."
"... The top one percent have been the big winners of the neoliberal era, while the other 19 percent in that bracket anxiously see their position falter in comparison. ..."
"... people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than "White male status anxiety," that the economic shifts that are taking place, the more and more extreme inequality, the more and more going to the top, no doubt some people may be unhappy because of loss of status, but many millions more are going to be unhappy because of the loss of actual money. ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | www.jacobinmag.com

Ideas spread in all sorts of directions. I've heard Christian right "intellectuals" haphazardly invoke Gramsci and counter-hegemony and I myself have spent more of my youth than I'm willing to admit reading back issues of National Review . It's probably less of a stretch that some Tea Partiers have favorably nodded toward the ideas on their movement that our friend Walter Benn Michaels expresses in his interview in the inaugural Jacobin .

Here's my summary of Michaels's argument on the Tea Party and immigration, which brings up the question, a question that shouldn't really be a question at all, about the left and open borders. (My thoughts on the over-hyped and over-exposed Tea Party can be found over at New Politics .)

Michaels identifies the Tea Party as a reaction against neoliberalism. He doesn't view the challenge as a serious one, but also stresses that the movement, "is not simply a reaction against neoliberalism from the old racist right." Michaels contests the American left's desire to summarily reduce the Tea Party to racists: "They're thrilled when some Nazis come out and say 'Yeah, we support the Tea Party' or some member of the Tea Party says something racist, which is frequently enough." Michaels finds the subversive content of their political program in an opposition to illegal immigration.

The Tea Party recognizes that "one of the primary sort of marks of the triumph of neoliberalism in the US is a very high tolerance of illegal immigration, and that illegal immigration is the kind of one plus ultra of the labor mobility that neoliberalism requires." The rise of illegal immigration represents a new form of capitalism, as opposed to the old "meritorious" capitalism of the post-war period. When right-wing ideologues attack "communism," the argument goes, they are actually conceptualizing neoliberalism.

Michaels concedes that the Tea Party is a disproportionately upper middle class movement, but argues that even segments of the top twenty percentile of Americans by income have been hit hard in recent decades.

The top one percent have been the big winners of the neoliberal era, while the other 19 percent in that bracket anxiously see their position falter in comparison. Responding to those who place the roots of this angst in the growing diversification of the elite, Michaels says:

. . . people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than "White male status anxiety," that the economic shifts that are taking place, the more and more extreme inequality, the more and more going to the top, no doubt some people may be unhappy because of loss of status, but many millions more are going to be unhappy because of the loss of actual money. So my point isn't really to deny the phenomenon of status anxiety, it's just to point out the extraordinary eagerness of American liberals to identify racism as the problem, so that anti-racism (rather than anti-capitalism) can be the solution.

Michaels's conclusion is, in sum, that students of Friedrich Hayek and exalters of Ayn Rand are the most visible source of resistance to neoliberalism on the American scene. Such a view, I believe, is as contradictory as it appears...

Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin .

[Sep 27, 2017] Moore Victory Shows Populist Movement Bigger Than Trump by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... If Only The God-Emperor Knew: Using Trump_vs_deep_state Against The Trump Administration" ..."
"... Republican Sen. Corker announces he won't seek re-election ..."
"... Associated Press, ..."
"... Corker's departure is widely being interpreted as a sign of the Establishment's inability to control the GOP base, as the election of President Trump, the rise of nationalism and the emergence of alternative media outlets (such as Breitbart and VDARE.com) make it harder for cuckservatives to Republican primary voters in line [ Sen. Bob Corker's retirement is notable for when it's happening ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... And now, we have the ultimate proof in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, one of the most persistent targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is now the Republican nominee for the Senate. And he defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange despite Strange being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump himself. ..."
"... Of course, Strange didn't just have Trump in his corner. He also had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using his PAC to run negative ads against Moore, ads which conservative websites called "defamatory" and which cost many millions of dollars [ McConnell's Super PAC accused of 'defaming ' Roy Moore ..."
"... McConnell's mortal enemy might soon be in his caucus ..."
"... Alabama rally: Trump campaigns in last-ditch effort for Senate candidate Luther Strange ..."
"... President Trump admits he doesn't 'know that much' about Alabama Senate contender Roy Moore, gets his name wrong in interview ..."
"... New York Daily News, ..."
"... During a debate with Strange, Moore suggested President Trump was being "redirected" by Mitch McConnell and others who "will not support his [Trump's] agenda" [ Alabama Senate debate erupts over whether McConnell is manipulating Trump ..."
"... Brexit Hero Farage in Alabama: Judge Roy Moore 'Not Going To Be Sucked Into The Swamp' ..."
"... Sarah Palin endorses Judge Roy Moore for US Senate ..."
"... Western Journalism, ..."
"... Ben Carson Splits With Trump, Basically Endorses Roy Moore in Alabama ..."
"... Talking Points Memo, ..."
"... Gorka: Trump Was Pressured to Endorse 'Swamp Dweller' Strange ..."
"... , Fox News, ..."
"... The Breitbart Universe Unites For Roy Moore ..."
"... The Atlantic, ..."
"... Trump's advisors seem to know this. In the Fox News ..."
"... Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama ..."
"... How Alabama Senate Election Results Could Trigger Trump's Impeachment ..."
"... Trump supports Strange, but says it may be "mistake," ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... Roy Moore: 'I can't wait' for Trump to 'campaign like hell' for me ..."
"... Washington Examiner, ..."
"... Chamber of Commerce: 'Shut Down' Roy Moore & 'Remind Bannon Who's In Charge' ..."
"... Trump should seize on the narrative of his supposed opponents. He is unquestionably being given objectively poor political counsel by his aides!not surprising how utterly incompetent the Republican Establishment is when it comes to political strategy. [ Steve Bannon: We Need A Review After This Alabama Race To See How Trump Came To Endorse Someone Like Luther Strange ..."
"... Trump's N.F.L. Critique a Calculated Attempt to Shore Up His Base ..."
"... New York Times, ..."
"... Today, those who defeated Trump in the Republican army are still proclaiming their loyalty to their Commander-in-Chief. But Donald Trump, memes aside, is not a sovereign or just a symbol. He is a man who created a political movement!and that movement expects results. The movement he created, and which put him in office, is desperate for him to lead on an America First agenda. ..."
"... If Trump does not give it results, the movement will eventually find a new leader. Roy Moore is almost certainly not that leader on a national scale. But in Alabama tonight, Moore proved he is stronger than the president himself. ..."
"... James Kirkpatrick [ Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

[See: If Only The God-Emperor Knew: Using Trump_vs_deep_state Against The Trump Administration" by James Kirkpatrick]

He must have known what was coming. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a pillar of the cowardly GOP Establishment , announced he would not be running for re-election on Tuesday [ Republican Sen. Corker announces he won't seek re-election , by Richard Lardner and Erik Schelzig, Associated Press, September 26, 2017]. Corker's departure is widely being interpreted as a sign of the Establishment's inability to control the GOP base, as the election of President Trump, the rise of nationalism and the emergence of alternative media outlets (such as Breitbart and VDARE.com) make it harder for cuckservatives to Republican primary voters in line [ Sen. Bob Corker's retirement is notable for when it's happening , by Amber Phillips, Washington Post, September 26, 2017]

And now, we have the ultimate proof in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, one of the most persistent targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is now the Republican nominee for the Senate. And he defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange despite Strange being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump himself.

Of course, Strange didn't just have Trump in his corner. He also had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using his PAC to run negative ads against Moore, ads which conservative websites called "defamatory" and which cost many millions of dollars [ McConnell's Super PAC accused of 'defaming ' Roy Moore , by Bob Unruh, WND, August 3, 2017] As a result, Judge Moore openly campaigned against his party's own Senate leader during the primary, claiming a victory for him would mean the end of McConnell's hapless leadership. [ McConnell's mortal enemy might soon be in his caucus , by Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim, Politico, September 18, 2017]

However, and significantly, Moore never campaigned against President Trump himself. Yet Trump certainly gave Moore ample cause. He openly campaigned for Luther Strange, speaking with the incumbent Senator at a major rally, with Strange sporting a red MAGA hat [ Alabama rally: Trump campaigns in last-ditch effort for Senate candidate Luther Strange , by Alex Pappas, Fox News, September 22, 2017]. Trump also said Moore would have a hard time beating the Democrats because they would pour in so much money. He even called Moore by the wrong first name [ President Trump admits he doesn't 'know that much' about Alabama Senate contender Roy Moore, gets his name wrong in interview , by Jason Silverstein, New York Daily News, September 25, 2017]

And yet, revealingly, Moore and his allies framed their insurgency against Trump's wishes as an act of loyalty.

During a debate with Strange, Moore suggested President Trump was being "redirected" by Mitch McConnell and others who "will not support his [Trump's] agenda" [ Alabama Senate debate erupts over whether McConnell is manipulating Trump , by Alex Isenstadt and Daniel Strauss, Politico, September 21, 2017]

UKIP's former leader Nigel Farage said "absolutely" that "the point is to help the president" by electing Roy Moore and suggested The Judge would help deliver on President Trump's agenda [ Brexit Hero Farage in Alabama: Judge Roy Moore 'Not Going To Be Sucked Into The Swamp' by Ian Mason, Breitbart, September 25, 2017]

Sarah Palin channeled Trump's rhetoric by saying Moore would take on "DC's swamp monsters" and "help Make America Great Again" [ Sarah Palin endorses Judge Roy Moore for US Senate , by Randy DeSoto, Western Journalism, August 24, 2017]

Some of President Trump's best-known advisors also backed Moore.

Ben Carson, one of President Trump's own Cabinet secretaries, essentially endorsed Moore, saying he was "delighted" he was running and that he "wished him well" [ Ben Carson Splits With Trump, Basically Endorses Roy Moore in Alabama , by Cameron Joseph, Talking Points Memo, September 22, 2017]. Sebastian Gorka endorsed Moore, hinted the president was pressured into backing Strange, and said it would be a "very great day" for Trump if Strange was defeated [ Gorka: Trump Was Pressured to Endorse 'Swamp Dweller' Strange , Fox News, September 23, 2017]. And of course, Breitbart's Steve Bannon endorsed Moore, but said "we did not come here to defy Donald Trump, we came here to praise and honor him" [ The Breitbart Universe Unites For Roy Moore , by Rosie Gray, The Atlantic, September 26, 2017]

Even before Trump's inauguration, when there were troubling signs the new President was surrounding himself with the Republican Establishment, it was clear that the President's supporters would need to rise against Trump in his own name . The victory of Roy Moore is the best example so far of how this insurgency will play out.

And most importantly, it shows how the populist and nationalist movement is larger than Trump himself.

Trump's advisors seem to know this. In the Fox News interview referenced above, Dr. Gorka claimed "no one voted for Trump, we voted for his agenda." And during his speech in support of Moore, Bannon referenced Jeff Sessions, not Trump, as the "spiritual father of the populist and nationalist movement."

But does Trump himself know this? Already, the Main Stream Media is trying to present this as a devastating defeat for the president personally. The New York Times kvetched about Moore's social views and sneered that his victory "demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump's clout" [ Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama , by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, September 26, 2017]. Jason Le Miere at Newsweek suggested Trump had suffered his first major political defeat at the ballot box and hinted his political weakness could trigger his impeachment. [ How Alabama Senate Election Results Could Trigger Trump's Impeachment , September 26, 2017]

This wildly overstates the case. Trump had hedged his bets, suggesting at one point he made a "mistake" in endorsing Strange [ Trump supports Strange, but says it may be "mistake," Washington Post, September 25, 2017]. He also said he would "campaign like hell" for Moore if Moore won [ Roy Moore: 'I can't wait' for Trump to 'campaign like hell' for me , by Sean Langille, Washington Examiner, September 25, 2017].

It's hardly a devastating defeat for President Trump when his supposed enemies are fanatically loyal to him and his "allies" can't wait to stab him in the back.

But there is still a lesson for Trump. The Chamber of Commerce and Republican Establishment picked this fight to "shut down" Moore and show populists who was in charge. [ Chamber of Commerce: 'Shut Down' Roy Moore & 'Remind Bannon Who's In Charge' by Joel Pollak, Breitbart, September 24, 2017] They just got their answer. It's not them.

Trump should seize on the narrative of his supposed opponents. He is unquestionably being given objectively poor political counsel by his aides!not surprising how utterly incompetent the Republican Establishment is when it comes to political strategy. [ Steve Bannon: We Need A Review After This Alabama Race To See How Trump Came To Endorse Someone Like Luther Strange , by Allahpundit, Hot Air, September 26, 2017]

Tellingly, Trump in his messy intuitive way is already embarking on a movement to shore up his base by taking on the pro-Black Lives Matter and anti-American antics of the National Football League [ Trump's N.F.L. Critique a Calculated Attempt to Shore Up His Base , by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, September 25, 2017]. But such symbolic fights are meaningless unless they are coupled with real action on trade and immigration policy.

Today, those who defeated Trump in the Republican army are still proclaiming their loyalty to their Commander-in-Chief. But Donald Trump, memes aside, is not a sovereign or just a symbol. He is a man who created a political movement!and that movement expects results. The movement he created, and which put him in office, is desperate for him to lead on an America First agenda.

If Trump does not give it results, the movement will eventually find a new leader. Roy Moore is almost certainly not that leader on a national scale. But in Alabama tonight, Moore proved he is stronger than the president himself.

Trump has given the Establishment Republicans their chance and they have failed him. It's time for him to return to the people who have supported him from the very beginning.

James Kirkpatrick [ Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.

Parsifal > , September 27, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

Look people, it's time to grasp some basic politics. The heart might have said Roy Moore but a leader can not think with his heart alone. Whatever happened in the GOP primary, Luther Strange was going to remain in the Senate until January. There are big, important votes coming up in Congress and Trump's margin of error in the Senate is virtually non-existent. What sense does it make to alienate, even slight, a sitting Senator that has always voted your way and has never trashed you in public?

Realist > , September 27, 2017 at 8:13 am GMT

Moore's victory means nothing. If Moore is elected it will change nothing. The Deep State rules .they will eat Moore for lunch.

"Trump has given the Establishment Republicans their chance and they have failed him."

Trump has caved to the Establishment Republicans. He will never return.

Randal > , September 27, 2017 at 9:20 am GMT

All seems pretty much directly on target.

It's hardly a devastating defeat for President Trump when his supposed enemies are fanatically loyal to him and his "allies" can't wait to stab him in the back.

As a man who supposedly highly values personal loyalty, does Trump really not understand that the men who pushed him to support Strange are also the men who will be first in line to vote for impeachment the moment it looks as though the leftist establishment has found a pretext that will succeed?

Greg Bacon > , Website September 27, 2017 at 9:28 am GMT

Like Bannon said, the Trump people voted for is gone. If he was ever around, or just being smart enough to know what to say to get votes.

President Kushner, er Trump will not be draining any Swamp anytime soon, not until he drags himself out of the Swamp and back onto sane, dry land.

WhiteWolf > , September 27, 2017 at 9:41 am GMT

The movement better start paying attention to the thoughtcrime laws being passed right now under the banner of "hatespeech". The first amendment isn't just a nice concept. People in other countries are jailed for speaking their mind in the way Americans take for granted.

[Sep 27, 2017] Bannon Roy Moore Is a Bannonite on Foreign Policy Too by Curt Mills

Notable quotes:
"... We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President, Moore writes on his site. We must treat sovereign nations as we would want to be treated. ..."
"... It's too early to tell whether the nationalist hawks will be more or less interventionist overall than the internationalist, neocon hawks were, Daniel McCarthy, editor-at-large at the American Conservative ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

...Steve Bannon told me Wednesday afternoon that he and Moore, who defeated Sen. Luther Strange (whom President Trump had backed) for the Republican primary nomination in Alabama on Tuesday, see eye to eye on global affairs, as well, and that, yes, he is every bit the Bannonite on foreign policy.

Moore, the twice-ousted Alabama Chief Justice, is likely headed to the United States Senate. Bannon and the Trump movement have often been depicted as essentially non-interventionist. My recent reporting indicates a caveat to that, however. While Bannon and his cohort might differ with the blob on confronting Kim Jong Un in North Korea or Bashar al-Assad in Syria or Vladimir Putin in Russia, they are much more suspicious of the government of Iran. ...

... ... ...

The judges website, Roymoore.org, features such language. We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President, Moore writes on his site. We must treat sovereign nations as we would want to be treated.

But there are notable divergences from the paleocons. Like Bannon, Moore is a hawk for Israel. We should pass the Taylor Force Act and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. His writing that the U.S. should not rely on nuclear reduction treaties which leave us vulnerable to foreign powers and that it should reject agreements or policies that undermine Israel's security clearly alludes to the Iran deal. The pair would part company with Buchanan on that.

And like President Trump, Moore, a graduate of West Point, wants a bigger military. More funding should be available to develop a missile defense system and to provide our Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard with the most modern technology including weapon systems. Respect for our strength is the best defense. Walk softly and carry a big stick is and should be our guide.

... ... ...

It's too early to tell whether the nationalist hawks will be more or less interventionist overall than the internationalist, neocon hawks were, Daniel McCarthy, editor-at-large at the American Conservative , tells me. My guess is that while the nationalists will speak more provocatively, abort diplomatic agreements, and ramp up `political warfare, they'll engage in fewer large-scale, nation-building interventions. McCarthy adds that religion is important here, as well. Moore and Bannon are both on record as deeply religious. Neoconservative foreign policy is sold as a scheme for secular salvation, bringing the blessings of liberalism and democracy and human rights to a world that eagerly awaits them, says McCarthy. Moore's religious convictions might help to immunize him against a belief in worldly salvation through American arms and advisers...

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.

[Sep 03, 2017] Steve Bannon and Trumps Populist Victory

Notable quotes:
"... over $100 million ..."
"... Jeb's 2016 departure draws out Mike Murphy critics , ..."
"... Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency ..."
"... Political Divisions in 2016 and Beyon ..."
"... Tensions Between and Within the Two Parties, ..."
"... When Donald Trump burst onto the scene, Bannon had found what he is quoted describing as a "blunt instrument for us," a man who had "taken this nationalist movement and moved it up twenty years." ..."
"... Devil's Bargain ..."
"... the rise of Bannon and Trump holds lessons for the Dissident Right. One of them: despite how powerful the Establishment may appear, there are fatal disconnects between it and the people it rules!for example, on social and identity issues. Thus, many members of this Ruling Class, such as the Republican strategists who predicted a Jeb or Rubio victory, have been more successful in deluding themselves than they have been in building any kind of effective base. Similarly, Clinton campaign operatives believed, without much evidence, that undecided voters would eventually break in their favor. Because the thought of a Trump presidency was too horrifying for them to contemplate, they refused to recognize polls showing a close race, ignored the Midwest and sauntered their candidate off to Arizona in the final days. ..."
"... Of course, currently the ideas that Bannon fought for appear to be on the wane, leading him to declare upon leaving the White House that the "Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." [ Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017] ..."
"... But this is probably somewhat of an exaggeration. I doubt that Bannon laments the fact that the current president is Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio. But it has proved much more difficult to change government policy than to win an election. Unlike GOP strategists, the Deep State appears to know what it is doing. ..."
"... Nixon's White House Wars ..."
get=

Republished from VDare.com

Throughout 2016, I would occasionally turn on the television to see how the punditocracy was responding to the mounting Trump tsunami . If you get most of your news online, watching cable news is frustrating. The commentary is so dumbed down and painfully reflective of speaker's biases, you can always basically guess what's coming next. With a few exceptions!above all Ann Coulter 's famous June 19, 2015 prediction of a Trump victory on Bill Maher !these pundits again and again told us that Trump would eventually go away, first after he made this or that gaffe, then after he "failed" in a debate, then after people actually started voting in the primaries.

Finally, after having been wrong at every point during the primaries, they just as confidently predicted that the Republican primary voter had foolishly done nothing more than assure that Hillary Clinton would be the next president.

The most interesting cases to me: the " Republican strategists ," brought on to CNN and MSNBC to give the audience the illusion that they were hearing both sides: Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Ana Navarro, Rick Wilson, Margaret Hoover, Todd Harris. Mike Murphy even convinced donors to hand him over $100 million to make Jeb Bush the next president! [ Jeb's 2016 departure draws out Mike Murphy critics , By Maeve Reston, February 22, 2016]

With campaigns and donors throwing money at these people, and the Main Stream Media touting them, it was easy to assume they must know what they were talking about. Significantly, each of these pundits was a national security hawk, center-right on economic issues, and just as horrified by " racism " and " sexism " as their Leftist counterparts . By a remarkable coincidence, the " strategic " advice that they gave to Republican candidates lined up perfectly with these positions. Their prominence was a mirage created by the fact that the MSM handed this token opposition the Megaphone because they did not challenge the core prejudices of the bipartisan Ruling Class.

And of course they were all humiliated in a spectacular fashion, November 8 being only the climax. Joshua Green begins his book Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by giving us a view inside the Trump campaign on election night, before tracing Steve Bannon's path up to that point. Reliving the journey is one of the joys of Green's work, which is mostly an intellectual biography of Steve Bannon, with a special focus on his relationship with Trump and the election.

Bannon joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 without any previous experience in electoral politics. But like the candidate himself, the Breitbart editor showed that he understood the nature of American politics and the GOP base better than Establishment Republicans. The "strategists'" supposed "expertise," "strategic advice," and "analysis" was in reality built on a house of cards. (In fact, the Bannon-Trump view of the electorate is closer to the consensus among political scientists that, unlike more nationalist and populist policies,