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Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Neoliberalism war on labor

“Robots are coming for your job” may be more scare talk than reality,
but instilling that belief helps weaken labor bargaining power.

Outsourcing is the way to decimate union power

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links The neoliberal myth of human capital Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust Neoliberal rationality Atomization and oppression of workforce
Scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed Destruction of the New Deal Glass-Steagall repeal Think Tanks as Enabler of Neoliberal Coup d'état  Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Identity politics as divide and conquer  Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Attack of Think Tanks Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Predator state Lewis Powell Memo The Essential Rules for Dominating Population
New American Militarism Neoconservatism Neo-fashism National Security State Propaganda  Inverted Totalitarism  Totalitarian Decisionism
Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The Iron Law of Oligarchy Anglican Church on danger of neoliberalism Animal Farm Quite coup Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism
  Crowd manipulation Agenda-setting theory Manufacturing Consent Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Media-Military-Industrial Complex War is Racket
Small government smoke screen "Starving the beast" bait and switcht Bill Clinton, the man who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street and helped FIRE sector to convert the country into casino Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Two Party System American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism The Grand Chessboard
Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Machiavellism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Neoliberalism is based on unconditional domination of labor by capital ("socialism for rich, feudalism for labor"). American scholar and cultural critic Henry Giroux alleges neoliberalism holds that market forces should organize every facet of society, including economic and social life, and promotes a social darwinist ethic which elevates self-interest over social needs. A new class of workers, facing acute socio-economic insecurity, emerged under neoliberalism. It is called  'precariat'. 

The imposition of neoliberalism in the United States arose from a the political counterrevolution led by financial oligarchy in the 1970s. It was their reaction of two the falling rate of profitability in manufacturing industry and emergence of strong competitors both in Europe and Asia, competitors which no longer were hampered by WWII decimation of industrial potential and in some way even manage to benefit from reconstruction getting newer better factories then in the USA.

Neoliberalism doesn't shrink government but instead convert it into a national security state, which provides little governmental oversight over large business and multinationals, but toughly control the lower classes, the smacks -- including mass incarceration those at the bottom. With the inmates along with illegal immigrants slowly becoming an important  source of low-wage labor for some US corporations.

Neoliberal policies led to the situation in the US economy in which 30% of workers earn low wages (less than two-thirds the median wage for full-time workers), and 35% of the labor force is underemployed; only 40% of the working-age population in the U.S. is adequately employed. The Center for Economic Policy Research's (CEPR) Dean Baker (2006) argued that the driving force behind rising inequality in the U.S. has been a series of deliberate, neoliberal policy choices including anti-inflationary bias, anti-unionism, and profiteering in the health industry

It can not be hidden. Redistribution of wealth up is all the neoliberalism is about. Simplifying, neoliberalism can be defined as socialism for rich and feudalism for poor.

So forms of brutal exploitation when people work 12 hours a day (as contractors now, for whom  labor laws do not apply) or when even bathroom breaks are regulated now are more common.

Amazon, Uber and several other companies have shown that neoliberal model can be as brutal as plantation slavery.

In a way, we returned to the brutality of the beginning of XX century on a new level characterized by much higher level of instability of employment. This is not disputed  even for neoliberal stooges in economic departments of major universities ;-)

As interesting question arise: "What form the backlash might take, if any ?"

I think it is an observable fact that the US neoliberal elite is now is discredited: defeat of Hillary Clinton and ability to Trump to win nomination from Republican Party and then national elections signify the level of discreditation of the neoliberal elite. Success of Sunders in Democratic Party primaries and the fact that DNC needed to resort to dirty tricks to derail his candidacy signifies the same (even taking into account his betrayal of his voters).

If this does not suggest the crisis of neoliberal governance, I do not know what is. The crisis created conditions for increased social protest which at this stage used voters booth to say "f*ck you" to neoliberal elite.  In 2016 that led to election of Trump, but it was Sanders who captures social protest voters only to be derailed by machinations of DNC and Clinton clan.  At the same time, the efficiency with which Occupy Wall Street movement was neutered means that the national security state is still pretty effective in suppressing of dissent, so open violence probably will be suppressed brutally and efficiently.  "Color revolution" methods of social protest are not effective in  the USA sitution, as the key factor that allow "color revolutionaries" to challenge existing government. It is easy and not so risky to do when you understand that  the USA and its three letter agencies, embassies and NGOs stand behind and might allow you to emigrate, if you cause fail.  No so other significant power such as China or Russia can stand behind the protesters against neoliberalism in the USA. Neoliberals controls all braches of power. And internationally they are way too strong to allow Russia or China to interfere in the US election the way the USA interfered into Russian presidential election.   

Atomization of workforce and establishment of national security state after 9/11 so far prevented large organized collective actions (recent riots were not organized, and with the current technical capabilities of the three letter agencies any organization is difficult or impossible). I think that conversion of the state into national security state was the key factor that saved a couple of the most notorious neoliberals from being hanged on the electrical posts in 2008 although I remember slogan "Jump suckers" on the corner of Wall Street.

But neoliberal attacks on organized labor started much earlier with Ronald Reagan and then continued under all subsequent presidents with bill Clinton doing the bulk of this dirty job. his calculation in creating "New labor" (read neoliberal stooges of Wall Street masked as Democratic Party) was right and for a couple of elections voters allow Democrats to betray them after the elections. But eventually that changes. Vichy left, represented by "Clintonized" Democratic Party got a crushing defeat in 2016 Presidential elections. Does not mean that Trump is better or less neoliberal, but it does suggest that working class does not trust Democratic Party any longer. 

2008 was the time of the crush of neoliberal ideology, much like Prague string signified the crush of Communist ideology. but while there was some level of harassment, individual beatings of banksters in 2008 were non-existent. And in zombie stage (with discredited ideology) neoliberal managed to continue and even counterattack in some countries. Brazil and Argentina fall into neoliberal hands just recently.   Neoliberal actually managed to learn Trotskyites methods of subversion of government and playing on population disconnect in case of economic difficulties as well if not better as Trotskyites themselves.


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 16, 2018] Social Justice Warriors Aren't Funny

Notable quotes:
"... The Green Room with Paul Provenza ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There's an older episode of The Green Room with Paul Provenza when the late Patrice O'Neal, arguably one of the best stand-up comics in recent history, gets serious for a moment, saying: "I love being able to say anything I want. I had to learn how to stop caring about people not laughing. Because the idea of comedy, really, is not everybody should be laughing. It should be about 50 people laughing and 50 people horrified. There should be people who get it and people who don't get it."

O'Neal gets right to the chaotic, trickster heart of comedy with that statement. Comedy at its best balances humor against shock–not necessarily vulgarity, mind you, but a sort of unsettling surprise. It's a topsy-turvy glimpse at an uncanny, upside-down world, which, if the joke lands, provides a bulwark against torpor and complacency. Great comedy inhabits the absurdity of the world. It makes itself into a vantage point from which everything seems delightfully ridiculous, including (often especially) the comedians themselves. We wouldn't need comedy in a world that wasn't absurd. Perhaps that's why Dante only included humor in his Inferno . There is no absurdity in paradise.

Unfortunately, Hannah Gadsby's Nanette , a comedy special recently released on Netflix, only embraces the non-laughter half of O'Neal's dictum. It's the very epitome of self-serious, brittle, didactic, SJW "comedy." It's not funny. And worse, it's not meant to be.

Gadsby, a queer Australian comedian, uses her "stand-up special" as a way to destroy the very medium she pretends to be professionally engaged in. Her basic argument is that, since comedy is by its very nature self-deprecating (true), people who define themselves as members of an oppressed minority shouldn't engage in comedy because they're only participating in the violence already being done to them by society at large.


Arthur Sido October 16, 2018 at 8:21 am

We have allowed "social justice" types, a tiny fringe minority of unhappy and often unstable people, rewrite the rules of our entire civilization and culture.
David J. White , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:19 am
All the way back to Aristophanes comedy has often included a political component or an effort to "educate" audiences or at least make them think about things. But the actual comedy part is essential. Otherwise it's just a lecture.
JimDandy , says: October 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm
We might just be witnessing the death of Art. As the SJW furies brutally and effectively enforce The Narrative in literary fiction, film, TV, comedy, etc. they destroy the potential for creative genius in these mediums and kill off most of the audience. It was already hard enough for those arts to compete with new media forms. The SJW's hostile takeover of Art just makes the triumph of Real Life As Entertainment all the more complete.

Whereas twenty years ago I might be spending my free time reading a novel and attempting to write a short story, today I'm reading articles on The American Conservative and posting this comment.

[Oct 16, 2018] The "Grievance Studies" hoax exposes postmodernist charlatans by Eric London

Notable quotes:
"... Gender, Place and Culture ..."
"... the implications of the study are deadly serious. Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian have confirmed the right-wing political essence of identity politics and postmodernist thought, based on anti-Marxism, irrationalism and the rejection of the Enlightenment and objective truth. ..."
"... 'It's a very scary time for young men,' Trump told reporters on the very day that Pluckrose, Lindsay, and Boghossian went public with their hoax. Both express a fear of false attacks on men, whether levied by regretful sluts, lefty liberals, radical academics, or whoever else." ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 13, 2018 | www.wsws.org

On October 2, Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian published an article titled "Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship," incorporating the results of a year-long effort to publish hoax articles, deliberately comprised of bunk facts and irrational and reactionary conclusions, in academic journals associated with gender, racial and identity studies.

The results expose the intellectual bankruptcy of identity politics and postmodernist philosophy. Their proponents, who dominate university humanities departments worldwide, are charlatans who have published or given favorable "revise and resubmit" comments to the most absurd and vulgar pseudo-scientific arguments.

These include: a purported 1,000-hour study of dog "humping" patterns at dog parks that concludes by calling for human males to be "trained" like dogs to prevent rape culture; a long-form poem produced through a teenage angst poetry generator about women holding spiritual-sexual "moon meetings" in a secret "womb room" and praying to a "vulva shrine;" a proposal to develop feminist robots, trained to think irrationally, to control humanity and subjugate white men; and additional articles relating to male masturbation. Another proposal, which was praised by reviewers in a paper that was ultimately rejected, encouraged teachers to place white students in chains to be shamed for their "white privilege."

There is an element of humor in the fact that such drivel could win accolades from academics and journals. The "dog park" article was even selected as one of the most influential contributions in the history of the Gender, Place and Culture journal!

But the implications of the study are deadly serious. Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian have confirmed the right-wing political essence of identity politics and postmodernist thought, based on anti-Marxism, irrationalism and the rejection of the Enlightenment and objective truth.

Most chillingly, the authors also submitted a re-write of a chapter from Hitler's Mein Kampf , with language altered to reference female identity and feminism. The paper, titled "Our struggle is my struggle: solidarity feminism as an intersectional reply to neoliberal and choice feminism," was accepted for publication and greeted with favorable reviews.

"I am extremely sympathetic to this article's argument and its political positioning," one academic wrote. Another said, "I am very sympathetic to the core arguments of the paper."

In the wake of their public disclosure, Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian have come under attack by the proponents of postmodernism and identity politics, who claim the hoax is a right-wing attack on "social justice" disciplines.

Typical is the argument of Daniel Engber, who wrote in Slate : "How timely, too, that this secret project should be published in the midst of the Kavanaugh imbroglio -- a time when the anger and the horror of male anxiety is so resplendent in the news. 'It's a very scary time for young men,' Trump told reporters on the very day that Pluckrose, Lindsay, and Boghossian went public with their hoax. Both express a fear of false attacks on men, whether levied by regretful sluts, lefty liberals, radical academics, or whoever else."

In reality, the hoax has exposed the fact that it is the proponents of identity politics who are advancing views parallel to the far right. While they are enraged with those who voice concern about the elimination of due process and the presumption of innocence for the targets of the #MeToo campaign, they are unbothered by the fact that the writings of Adolf Hitler are published and praised in feminist academic circles.

Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian are self-described liberals who are concerned that the present identity hysteria is "pushing the culture war to ever more toxic and existential polarization," by fanning the flames of the far right. As a result, identitarians are "affecting activism on behalf of women and racial and sexual minorities in a way which is counterproductive to equality aims by feeding into right-wing reactionary opposition to those equality objectives."

In contrast, the authors' aim is to "give people -- especially those who believe in liberalism, progress, modernity, open inquiry, and social justice -- a clear reason to look at the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left and say, 'No, I will not go along with that. You do not speak for me.'"

The hoax's authors are correct to link the identity politics proponents' hostility to equality with their opposition to rationalism, scientific analysis and the progressive gains of the Enlightenment. But the roots of this right-wing, irrationalist, anti-egalitarian degeneration are to be found in the economic structure of capitalist society.

The academic architects of postmodernism and identity politics occupy well-paid positions in academia, often with salaries upwards of $100,000–$300,000 or more. As a social layer, the theoreticians of what the World Socialist Web Site refers to as the "pseudo-left" are in the wealthiest 10 percent of American society. Their political and philosophical views express their social interests.

The obsession with "privilege," sex, and racial and gender identity is a mechanism by which members and groups within this layer fight among themselves for income, social status and positions of privilege, using degrees of "oppression" to one up each other in the fight for tenure track jobs, positions on corporate or non-profit boards, or election to public office. A chief purpose of the #MeToo campaign, for example, is to replace male executives and male politicians with women, while ignoring the social needs of the vast majority of working class women.

The weaponization of identity politics is directed down the social ladder as well. By advancing the lie that white workers benefit from "white privilege," for example, the proponents of identity politics argue: the spoils of Wall Street should not go to meeting the social needs of the working class, including white workers, who face record rates of alcoholism, poverty, opioid addiction, police violence and other indices of social misery. Instead, the world's resources should go to me . It is this visceral class hatred that serves as the basis for absurd and reactionary arguments like those advanced in the hoax papers.

Nor have the politics of racial identity improved the material conditions for the vast majority of minority workers. Inequality within racial minorities has increased alongside the introduction of affirmative action programs and the increasing dominance of identity politics in academia and bourgeois politics. In 2016, the top 1 percent of Latinos owned 45 percent of all Latino wealth, while the top 1 percent of African-Americans owned 40.5 percent and the richest whites owned 36.5 percent of white wealth.

The influence of postmodernism in academia exploded in the aftermath of the mass protests of the 1960s and early 1970s. Based explicitly on a rejection of the revolutionary role of the working class and opposition to the "meta narrative" of socialist revolution, it is not accidental that identity politics and postmodernism have now been adopted as official ideological mechanisms of bourgeois rule.

In recent decades, a massive identity politics industry has been erected, with billions of dollars available from corporate funds and trusts for journals, non-profits, publications, fellowships and political groups advancing racial or gender politics. Identity politics has come to form a central component of the Democratic Party's electoral strategy. Imperialist wars are justified on the grounds that the US is intervening to protect women, LGBT people and other minorities.

The growing movement of the working class, broadening strikes across industries and widespread interest in socialism on college campuses pose an existential threat to the domination of postmodernism. Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian have struck a well-timed blow against this reactionary obstacle to the development of scientific socialist consciousness.

Eric London

[Oct 15, 2018] Identity Politics and the Ruling Class

Notable quotes:
"... Fairness Doctrine. ..."
"... Telecommunications Act ..."
"... Crazy Rich Asians ..."
"... sufficiently-attractive collective program for the future' ..."
"... identity politics ..."
"... It comes as no shock that the powerful hate identity politics ..."
"... Invertebrate Spain ..."
Oct 15, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

October 12, 2018 Identity Politics and the Ruling Class by James Munson Reagan ditched the Fairness Doctrine. Now his youth complain they're shunned by the politically-correct media. Clinton's Telecommunications Act let mergers trample the free press. Now it pains his wing that we read rants and conspiracy, instead of news.

So much that Hillary employed teams of fact-checkers in 2016, figuring we couldn't trust our own minds to parse reality from clown-babble. Then–contrarily–she blamed her loss on hopeless cases. If one or the other were true, democracy would be a lost cause, and perhaps that's crossed her mind since losing, despite a majority of votes. But it can't explain why close to half of us had the common sense to not vote for either hopeless party.

Yet, to hear either speak, tribal privileges are fracturing America. Not the top .001%'s privilege to half the wealth, nor the military's to the bulk of our taxes. Rather, half of the poor's designation, versus the other half's. Somehow, minorities -the lowest rung in terms of media ownership- bully the mainstream press, and rednecks -the next-lowest- bully the rest. (Hourly-waged Russians command any overlap.) And since, according to the Right (and much of the Left), 'political-correctness' stifles all other manner of free speech, elites are powerless to restore order to their own, private empires, or prevent the hordes tearing us up over what bathroom to use.

Really? Have we lost our pussy-grabbing Executive and Judiciary branches to the wanton touch of #MeToo? Can our founding, 'self-evident truths' not outwit pc's chauvinism? On the other hand, how is it 'deplorables' are blind to exploding class inequality, yet so attuned to the nuances of race, gender, and their nomenclature?

'Identity-politics' explain everything recently, from Trump and Kavanaugh, to Crazy Rich Asians . Francis Fukuyama has a new book out (I've read only part), regarding its tension with liberalism–group versus individual rights, etc., tepidly joining him to more-hawkish mouth-pieces like Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro (and some Left doom-sayers) who warn its steam-rolling our democracy. Their over-arching fear is that identity politics suppress rational–though not always politically-correct–thought, giving extremists on both sides the floor, who don't mind confronting 'identity' on racist (and sexist, etc) terms. Ergo, more than an analytical device or a school of (not always congruent) ideas, a movement. A juggernaut, if you read and believe the hype.

But if so, whose? Saying 'first respect my uniqueness, then treat me as equal' provides snares that 'first treat me as equal, then respect my uniqueness' does not. The Left has a long history with -and can tie most of its successes- to the latter. The labor movement, for instance, united presumed-cultural rivals and coordinated dozens of languages. Ergo, the Left , by definition -the many against the privileged few- would have to be amnesiac, or -more likely- not the Left, to think a plan that tries to establish the differences first would better serve their goals.

Perhaps the cultural wins (like marriage equality) and sizable, politico-economic losses (demise of Unions, etc.) of the past few decades have inspired reorientation. There's evidence, so long as we define the 'Left' as ruling, Neoliberal Democrats. Certainly their Wall Street financiers can accept women CEOs and gay marriage more-readily than Union wages and universal healthcare. (After all, the point of capitalism is to pocket the most one can without sparking an insurrection.) BUT an elite-run party -paid for by Wall Street–doesn't constitute a Left. Nor is it able to absorb popular will. Proven, since they lose most of their elections.

Also, that leftists would demand censorship when most everyone of them believe the Right is in control, and when they're silenced within their own party, seems farce. Again there's evidence, college students sometimes dis-invite conservative speakers, and we figure, as Reagan did, they're taught to (so he hiked tuition). But I doubt censorship exists as agenda, nor even as sentiment on any grand scale. Think, whenever something explodes multiple parties besides the bomber take credit. Where are the professors claiming this attack? If 18% are communists (as the American Enterprise Institute warns), what sort of communist links class to 'identity', not labor?

The other 'fear' is that over-zealous freshman are taking control, like in the Princeton and Evergreen incidents. Perhaps but it contradicts the wisdom of Occupy!, which refused the collaborative financial, political, educative, and other aligned powers from pigeon-holling their complaints. -Wisdom that we credit to the young of the movement.

There's also a notion that dis-investment has engendered a new 'tribalism'. But even though 'color-blindness', for example, has excused softening equal-opportunity legislation (welfare reform, voting law, etc.), which baits 'identity', as minorities are often dis-empowered under the ruse of equality, color-blindness came out of the neoliberal play-book and expanded Leftward from think-tanks on the Right. In other words, while it's hard to gauge its impact, it marks a very separate program from the Left-academia or 'bottom-up' narratives.

Furthermore, most every poll finds 'economic inequality', not racial, gender, or other inequalities to be the #1 problem with America. So, while it's not unreasonable that our decline in wealth and status might see us retreat toward other than liberal identities (Fukuyama's point), unless someone's peddling those narratives, one plainly sees more leverage in class-solidarity.

As for the Right, what should be 'self-evident' is that complaining minority recognition is unfair to the majority rests on the same argument it decries; that your privilege impedes my privilege (instead of the reverse). Evident, at least to a Harvard-educated lawyer like Ben Shapiro. Yet you find all that fallacious, 'populist' reaction in his books. Do they speak to him or he to them? Does he speak for them?

Of course, identity politics aren't new. The Spanish liberal-philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset wrestled with it a century ago, when his homeland's empire was crumbling, and came up with a lot better answers (though it didn't save Spain from its fascist clown). Spain even had, in his words, 'a common past, language, and race, yet had split into mainly-regional factions because it had failed to invent a sufficiently-attractive collective program for the future' . [i]

Isn't he right? Rather than hell-bent on forcing this or that culture on the rest of us, aren't the 'extreme' Left, Right, and clusters of us in between are just figuring out that, increasingly, being 'American' means losing ground to the .001% and their top brass? The opening passage to the Combahee River Collective's manifesto says as much: ' focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics . We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else's oppression.'

Last week Gary Younge revived that notion in a piece titled ' It comes as no shock that the powerful hate identity politics ' [ii] , reminding that without 'women', 'blacks', and other self-referential vanguards we wouldn't have democracy, anyway. It's an important point, and I agree, but is his over-arching theme–that the powerful hate it–also true?

Whether 'identity-politics' raise tensions or awareness among the crowd might be a secondary matter. First is whom they neglect. For all the media's naval-gazing, the system, itself gets rare attention. Mind, all political strategies shoulder contradictions. But it's odd that cultural issues (not to say there's no overlap) would hold the foreground right when fraudulent wars, torture, bank crime, rigged elections, police violence, tax-breaks for the rich, willful habitat destruction, and a widely-evident and growing gap between rich and poor and state and population have laid the political, economic, and judicial systems bare. Matters such as environmental or foreign policy are largely out of public reach, except with massive, boots on the ground confrontation. In which case, atomizing class politics seems counter-intuitive to the extreme.

Unless it's not us preaching it. It bears saying, in an oligarchy, oligarchs speak in order to make their actions less–not more–clear. That's what a shill like Ben Shapiro (Hillary does the work herself on the Left) laments when his talks get ignored (or Ocasio-Cortes ignores him). Shapiro's a cause-celeb for saying identity politics threatens our democracy, because it censors Right voices. Yet it appears complaining gets him more, not less, airtime. In fact, I've heard too little substance in his' speeches (or Hillary's of late) to warrant an interview, otherwise. Thus I suspect its the opposite of censorship; hyping the market, that threatens our democracy. Threatens for real, like the Telecom Act, not just prescriptively, like 'Russo-bots' and 'terrorism'.

Notes.

[i] Invertebrate Spain , 1921, p.37

[ii] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/05/no-shock-powerful-hate-identity-politics Join the debate on Facebook

[Oct 11, 2018] The Woke Elite Have No Clothes by Rod Dreher

Notable quotes:
"... The way you have to term everything just right. And if you don't term it right you discriminate them. It's like everybody is going to be in the know of what people call themselves now and some of us just don't know. But if you don't know then there is something seriously wrong with you. ..."
"... in their own lives ..."
Oct 11, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Another dissatisfied Social Justice Warrior, at Trump's inauguration ( ODN screengrab ) Here's a genuinely fascinating essay in The Atlantic , by Yascha Mounk, who writes about research showing that overwhelming majorities of Americans hate political correctness.

It starts like this:

On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned -- pun very much intended -- by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white "allies" do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness.

Reality is nothing like this. As scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon argue in a report published Wednesday, " Hidden Tribes: A Study of America's Polarized Landscape ," most Americans don't fit into either of these camps. They also share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest -- including a general aversion to PC culture.

You don't say. More:

If you look at what Americans have to say on issues such as immigration, the extent of white privilege, and the prevalence of sexual harassment, the authors argue, seven distinct clusters emerge: progressive activists, traditional liberals, passive liberals, the politically disengaged, moderates, traditional conservatives, and devoted conservatives.

According to the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are far outside the American mainstream. Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don't belong to either extreme constitute an "exhausted majority." Their members "share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation."

Hmm. If one out of four people believe something, are they really "far" out of the American mainstream? In the report, "Traditional Liberals" and "Passive Liberals" make up 26 percent of the population. Aren't they part of the mainstream too? Or am I reading this wrong? Here's a graphic from the "Hidden Tribes" report that shows how they sort us:

How do the authors define these groups? Here:

Anyway, the story goes on to say that r ace and youth are not indicators of openness to PC. Black Americans are the minority group most accepting of PC, but even then, 75 percent of them think it's a problem. More:

If age and race do not predict support for political correctness, what does? Income and education.

While 83 percent of respondents who make less than $50,000 dislike political correctness, just 70 percent of those who make more than $100,000 are skeptical about it. And while 87 percent who have never attended college think that political correctness has grown to be a problem, only 66 percent of those with a postgraduate degree share that sentiment.

Political tribe -- as defined by the authors -- is an even better predictor of views on political correctness. Among devoted conservatives, 97 percent believe that political correctness is a problem. Among traditional liberals, 61 percent do. Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem.

Here's the heart of it:

So what does this group look like? Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated -- and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.

This, a thousand times:

As one 57- year-old woman in Mississippi fretted:

The way you have to term everything just right. And if you don't term it right you discriminate them. It's like everybody is going to be in the know of what people call themselves now and some of us just don't know. But if you don't know then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Seriously, read the whole thing. It's encouraging news.

So, guess who runs most of the institutions in this country: academia, media, entertainment, corporations? Educated, rich white liberals (and minorities who come out of those institutions, and who agree with their PC ideology). They have created a social space in which they lord their ideology over everybody else, and have intimidated everyone into going along with it, out of fear of harsh consequences, and stigma, for dissenters.

Mounk points out that it's not that majorities believe racism and bigotry aren't things to be concerned about. They do! It's that they believe that PC is the wrong way to address those problems.

If you have the time, read the whole "Hidden Tribes" report on which Mounk bases his essay. They reveal something that has actually been brought out by Pew Research studies in the past: that US political conversation is entirely driven by the extremes, while most people in the middle are more open to compromise. It's not that most of these people are moderates, are centrists. It's that they aren't driven by a strong sense of tribalism.

The authors call these "hidden tribes" because they are defined not by race, sex, and the usual tribal markers, but rather by a shared agreement on how the world works, whether they're aware of it or not. Where individuals come down on these points generally determines where they'll come down on hot button political and cultural issues (e.g., immigration, feminism):

You shouldn't assume that most Americans share the same basic values. As the report indicates, there are substantive differences among us. It's simply not accurate to blame tension over these divisions on extremists of the right or the left who exaggerate them. Though the differences are real, what seems to set the majority-middle apart is their general unwillingness to push those differences to the breaking point.

I want to point out one aspect of the analysis that means a lot to me, as a religious conservative. It's on page 81 of the report. Here's a graph recording answers to the question, "How important is religious faith to you?"

Religion is important to almost two-thirds of Americans. The only tribe in which a majority finds it unimportant are Progressive Activists. According to the study:

Strong identification with religious belief appears to be a strong tribal marker for the Devoted and Traditional Conservatives, and an absence of religious belief appears to be a marker for Progressive Activists.

Guess which tribe runs the culture-making institutions in our society (e.g., major media, universities, entertainment)?

I am reminded of something one of you readers, a conservative academic, wrote to me once: that you feel safe because your department is run by traditional liberals, who don't agree with you, but who value free and open exchange of ideas. You are very worried about what happens when those people -- who are Baby Boomers -- retire, because the generational cohort behind them are hardcore left-wing ideologues who do not share the traditional liberal view.

This just in from Reuters:

Hollywood has been at the forefront of the political resistance to President Donald Trump, using awards shows, social media and donations to promote progressive positions on issues from immigration to gun control.

Now, the entertainment industry is using its star power and creativity to support down-ballot candidates in the Nov. 6 elections. Down-ballot races are typically state and local positions that are listed on voting ballots below national posts.

This approach is part of the way Hollywood is rewriting its script for political action following Trump's shock election in 2016.

I can't blame anyone for advocating for their political beliefs in the public square. But these are among the most privileged people on the planet. They are Progressive Activists -- and they are massively out of touch with the rest of the country, though they have massively more cultural power to define the narrative than their adversaries.

Here's another interesting factoid from the report:

Progressive Activists are unique in seeing the world as a much less dangerous place than other Americans. For other tribes, the differences are much smaller. On average, 14 percent of Americans view the world as generally safe and nonthreatening, while among Progressive Activists almost three times as many people hold this view (40 percent). This figure is especially striking in light of Progressive Activists' deep pessimism about the direction of the country (98 percent say it is going in the wrong direction) and their emotions toward the country (45 percent say they currently feel "very" scared about the country's direction).

Think of the psychology of this! How can they feel that the world is "generally safe and nonthreatening" while at the same time be "very" scared about the direction of the US? The answer, I think, is that in their own lives , they feel secure. And why not? Remember this from Yascha Mounk's essay on this study:

So what does this group look like? Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated -- and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree.

Economically, educationally, and racially, Progressive Activists are the most elite group in the country.

Look at this amazing factoid:

First, notice that one out of three African Americans think that people are too sensitive about race, the same percentage of Traditional Liberals who do. A solid majority of Hispanic Americans believe that, and nearly three out of four Asian Americans believe that. Sixty percent of Americans overall agree with this viewpoint. Who rejects it overwhelmingly? Progressive Activists -- the rich, educated white people who control academia and media.

Note well that majorities are not saying that racism isn't a problem (81 percent agree that we have serious problems with racism), only that there is too much emphasis on it. Do you get that? They're saying that racism is a serious issue, but it has been disproportionately emphasized relative to other serious issues. On bread-and-butter issues like college admissions, Progressive Activists are far, far removed from everybody else, even Traditional Liberals:

The numbers are similar on gender issues. Progressive Activists are radically far apart from the views of most Americans. No wonder the media can't understand why everybody doesn't agree with them that Brett Kavanaugh is a sexist monster.

Finally, the last chapter of the study focuses on what its authors call the "Exhausted Majority" -- Traditional Liberals, Passive Liberals, Politically Disengaged and Moderates:

The four segments in the Exhausted Majority have many differences, but they share four main attributes:

– They are more ideologically flexible

– They support finding political compromise

– They are fatigued by US politics today

– They feel forgotten in political debate

Importantly, the Traditional Conservatives do not belong to the Exhausted Majority, while the Traditional Liberals do. The key difference lies in their mood towards the country's politics. While the Exhausted Majority express disillusionment, frustration, and anger at the current state of US politics, Traditional Conservatives are far more likely to express confidence, excitement and optimism. As such, the Traditional Conservatives hold a meaningfully different emotional disposition towards the country that aligns them more with the Devoted Conservatives.

That's really interesting. Having read the detailed descriptions of the various tribes, I fall more into the Traditional Conservative camp, but I am much more pessimistic about the country's politics than TCs in this study. What accounts for that? Is it:

a) I spend a lot of time looking at the cultural fundamentals and trends, especially regarding religion, and believe that the optimism of Traditional Conservatives is irrational; or

b) I spend a lot of time reading and analyzing the mainstream media, including social media, and therefore overestimate the power and influence of Progressive Activists

I'd say the answer is probably 80 percent a) and 20 percent b). I believe my fellow Traditional Conservatives (like the Devoted Conservatives to our right) believe that things are more stable than they actually are.

Anyway, if you have the time, I encourage you to read the entire report. It's basic point is that neither extreme of left and right speak for the majority of Americans, though their stridency, and the nature of media to emphasize conflict, conditions most of us to think that things are far more polarized than they actually are.

For me, the best news in the entire report is learning how sick and tired most Americans are of political correctness. It's not that most people believe there aren't serious problems in the country having to do with race, sex, immigration, and so forth. It's that people are tired of the Progressive Speech Police stalking around like Saudi imams with sticks in hand, whacking anyone who fails to observe strict pieties. As Yascha Mounk says in his piece about the report:

The gap between the progressive perception and the reality of public views on this issue could do damage to the institutions that the woke elite collectively run. A publication whose editors think they represent the views of a majority of Americans when they actually speak to a small minority of the country may eventually see its influence wane and its readership decline. And a political candidate who believes she is speaking for half of the population when she is actually voicing the opinions of one-fifth is likely to lose the next election.

Yes. And -- drums please -- that has a lot to do with how we got Trump.

[Oct 09, 2018] Who Doesn't Love Identity Politics by C.J. Hopkins

Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

If there is one thing that still unites Americans across the ever more intellectually suffocating and bitterly polarized political spectrum our imaginations have been crammed into like rush hour commuters on the Tokyo Metro, it's our undying love of identity politics.

Who doesn't love identity politics? Liberals love identity politics. Conservatives love identity politics. Political parties love identity politics. Corporations love identity politics. Advertisers, anarchists, white supremacists, Wall Street bankers, Hollywood producers, Twitter celebrities, the media, academia everybody loves identity politics.

Why do we love identity politics? We love them for many different reasons.

The ruling classes love identity politics because they keep the working classes focused on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on, and not on the fact that they (i.e., the working classes) are, essentially, glorified indentured servants, who will spend the majority of their sentient existences laboring to benefit a ruling elite that would gladly butcher their entire families and sell their livers to hepatitic Saudi princes if they could get away with it. Dividing the working classes up into sub-groups according to race, ethnicity, and so on, and then pitting these sub-groups against each other, is extremely important to the ruling classes, who are, let's remember, a tiny minority of intelligent but physically vulnerable parasites controlling the lives of the vast majority of human beings on the planet Earth, primarily by keeping them ignorant and confused.

The political parties love identity politics because they allow them to conceal the fact that they are bought and paid for by these ruling classes, which, in our day and age, means corporations and a handful of obscenely wealthy oligarchs who would gut you and your kids like trout and sell your organs to the highest bidder if they thought they could possibly get away with it. The political parties employ identity politics to maintain the simulation of democracy that prevents Americans (many of whom are armed) from coming together, forming a mob, dismantling this simulation of democracy, and then attempting to establish an actual democracy, of, by, and for the people, which is, basically, the ruling classes' worst nightmare. The best way to avoid this scenario is to keep the working classes ignorant and confused, and at each other's throats over things like pronouns, white privilege, gender appropriate bathrooms, and the complexion and genitalia of the virtually interchangeable puppets the ruling classes allow them to vote for.

The corporate media, academia, Hollywood, and the other components of the culture industry are similarly invested in keeping the vast majority of people ignorant and confused. The folks who populate this culture industry, in addition to predicating their sense of self-worth on their superiority to the unwashed masses, enjoy spending time with the ruling classes, and reaping the many benefits of serving them and, while most of them wouldn't personally disembowel your kids and sell their organs to some dope-addled Saudi trillionaire scion, they would look the other way while the ruling classes did, and then invent some sort of convoluted rationalization of why it was necessary, in order to preserve democracy and freedom (or was some sort of innocent but unfortunate "blunder," which will never, ever, happen again).

The fake Left loves identity politics because they allow them to pretend to be "revolutionary" and spout all manner of "militant" gibberish while posing absolutely zero threat to the ruling classes they claim to be fighting. Publishing fake Left "samizdats" (your donations to which are tax-deductible), sanctimoniously denouncing racism on Twitter, milking whatever identity politics scandal is making headlines that day, and otherwise sounding like a slightly edgier version of National Public Radio, are all popular elements of the fake Left repertoire.

Marching along permitted parade routes, assembling in designated "free speech areas," and listening to speeches by fake Left celebrities and assorted Democratic Party luminaries, are also well-loved fake Left activities. For those who feel the need to be even more militant, pressuring universities to cancel events where potentially "violent" and "oppressive" speech acts (or physical gestures) might occur, toppling offensive historical monuments, ratting out people to social media censors, or masking up and beating the crap out of "street Nazis" are among the available options. All of these activities, by herding potential troublemakers into fake Left ghettos and wasting their time, both on- and off-line, help to ensure that the ruling classes, their political puppets, the corporate media, Hollywood, and the rest of the culture industry can keep most people ignorant and confused.

Oh, and racists, hardcore white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other far-Right wing nuts my God, do they love identity politics! Identity politics are their entire worldview (or Weltanschauung, for you Nazi fetishists). Virtually every social, political, economic, and ontological phenomenon can be explained by reducing it to race, ethnicity, religion, or some other simplistic criterion, according to these "alt-Right" geniuses. And to render everything even more simplistic, each and every one of their simplistic theories can be subsumed into a meta-simplistic theory, which amounts to (did you guess it?) a conspiracy of Jews.

According to this meta-theory, this conspiracy of Jews (which is headquartered in Israel, but maintains offices in Los Angeles and New York, from which it controls the corporate media, Hollywood, and the entire financial sector) is responsible for well, anything they can think of. September 11 attacks? Conspiracy of Jews. Financial crisis? Jews, naturally. Black on Black crime? Jews again! Immigration? Globalization? Gun control laws? Abortion? Drugs? Media bias? Who else could be behind it all but Jews?!

See, the thing is, there is no essential difference between your identity politics-brainwashed liberal and your Swastika-tattooed white supremacist. Both are looking at the world through the lens of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or some other type of "identity." They are looking through this "identity" lens (whichever one it happens to be) because either they have been conditioned to do so (most likely from the time they were children) or they have made a conscious choice to do so (after recognizing, and affirming or rejecting, whatever conditioning they received as children).

Quantum physicists, Sufi fakirs, and certain other esoterics understand what most of us don't, namely, that there is no such thing as "the Truth," or "Reality," apart from our perception of it. The world, or "reality," or whatever you want to call it, is more than happy to transform itself into any imaginable shape and form, based on the lens you are looking at it through. It's like a trickster in that regard. Look at "reality" through a racist lens, and everything will make sense according to that logic. Look at it through a social justice lens, or a Judeo-Christian lens, or a Muslim lens, or a scientific or a Scientologist lens, or a historical materialist or capitalist lens (it really makes no difference at all) and abracadabra! A new world is born!

Sadly, most of us never reach the stage in our personal (spiritual?) development where we are able to make a conscious choice about which lens we want to view the world through. Mostly, we stick with the lens we were originally issued by our families and societies. Then we spend the rest of our fleeting lives desperately insisting that our perspective is "the Truth," and that other perspectives are either "lies" or "errors." The fact that we do this is unsurprising, as the ruling classes (of whatever society we happened to be born and socialized into) are intensely invested in issuing everyone a "Weltanschauung lens" that corresponds to whatever narrative they are telling themselves about why they deserve to be the ruling classes and we deserve to exist to serve them, fight their wars, pay interest on their loans, not to mention rent to live on the Earth, which they have claimed as their own and divided up amongst themselves to exploit and ruin, which they justify with "laws" they invented, which they enforce with armies, police, and prisons, which they teach us as children to believe is "just the way life is" but I digress.

So, who doesn't love identity politics? Well, I don't love identity politics. But then I tend to view political events in the context of enormous, complex systems operating beyond the level of the individuals and other entities such systems comprise. Thus I've kind of been keeping an eye on the restructuring of the planet by global capitalism that started in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R., when global capitalism (not the U.S.A.) became the first globally hegemonic system in the history of aspiring hegemonic systems.

Now, this system (i.e., capitalism, not the U.S.A), being globally hegemonic, has no external enemies, so what it's been doing since it became hegemonic is aggressively destabilizing and restructuring the planet according to its systemic needs (most notably in the Middle East, but also throughout the rest of the world), both militarily and ideologically. Along the way, it has encountered some internal resistance, first, from the Islamic "terrorists," more recently, from the so-called "nationalists" and "populists," none of whom seem terribly thrilled about being destabilized, restructured, privatized, and debt-enslaved by global capitalism, not to mention relinquishing what remains of their national sovereignty, and their cultures, and so on.

I've been writing about this for over two years , so I am not going to rehash it all in detail here (this essay is already rather long). The short version is, what we are currently experiencing (i.e., Brexit, Trump, Italy, Hungary, et cetera, the whole "populist" or "nationalist" phenomenon) is resistance (an insurgency, if you will) to hegemonic global capitalism, which is, essentially, a values-decoding machine, which eliminates "traditional" (i.e., despotic) values (e.g., religious, cultural, familial, societal, aesthetic, and other such non-market values) and replaces them with a single value, exchange value, rendering everything a commodity.

The fact that I happen to be opposed to some of those "traditional" values (i.e., racism, anti-Semitism, oppression of women, homosexuals, and so on) does not change my perception of the historical moment, or the sociopolitical, sociocultural, and economic forces shaping that moment. God help me, I believe it might be more useful to attempt to understand those forces than to go around pointing and shrieking at anyone who doesn't conform to my personal views like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers .

But that's the lens I choose to look through. Maybe I've got it all assbackwards. Maybe what is really going on is that Russia "influenced" everyone into voting for Brexit and Donald Trump, and hypnotized them all with those Facebook ads into hating women, people of color, transsexuals, and the Jews, of course, and all that other "populist" stuff, because the Russians hate us for our freedom, and are hell-bent on destroying democracy and establishing some kind of neo-fascist, misogynist, pseudo-Atwoodian dystopia. Or, I don't know, maybe the other side is right, and it really is all a conspiracy of Jews transsexual, immigrant Jews of color, who want to force us all to have late-term abortions and circumcise our kids, or something.

I wish I could help you sort all that out, but I'm just a lowly political satirist, and not an expert on identity politics or anything. I'm afraid you'll have to pick a lens through which to interpret "reality" yourself. But then, you already have, haven't you or are you still looking through the one that was issued to you?

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Oct 08, 2018] The Left-Wing Rage Machine by Rod Dreher

Oct 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Along those lines, a female reader of this blog left this comment on a thread about Alexis Grenell's shocking New York Times op-ed denouncing "white women" for worrying that their sons, brothers, and fathers might be falsely accused of rape. Grenell, who is a white woman, lambasted them over what she calls a "blood pact between white men and white women." My reader commented

Many white women have, in fact, made a kind of "blood pact" with white men: we call it "family" in saner times. The expectation that abstract loyalty to any random person who shares one's gender should override one's loyalty to their actual fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons (as well as their actual mothers, sisters, and daughters) is profoundly sad.

With more and more fatherless homes and very small families, I wonder how many women go through life with no tight, enduring, loving, secure bonds with a father, husband, brother, or son. Family is where these bonds that transcend individual identity can form. But if your marriage can be dissolved for no reason, even the most primary bonds are insecure. Without that, it's just tribe vs. tribe.

It is worth considering that many of these hysterical activists really do despise the family, and are eager to see families turn on each other over politics. Consider this tweet, from the senior art critic at New York magazine:

me frameborder=

Come gather round people wherever you roam & shun any republican family member you have. Until this president is gone. You don't need to tell that family member that you are shunning them. Just stand up for your country very close to home. Make it hurt for both of you. Rise. Rise

-- Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) October 7, 2018

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Anyone -- left-wing or right-wing -- who would turn their back on a family member over the family member's politics is a disgrace. I have family members and good friends with whom I disagree strongly on politics. Anybody who tries to come between us can go to hell.


Pete from Baltimore October 8, 2018 at 1:57 pm

This may seem trivial to some. But I canthelp but notice that whenever there is a photo of one of these kind of protests,at least 1/4 to a third of the protesters are taking "Selfies" of themselves

Maybe its because im 50 years old. .Maybe im an old fogie . But it really strikes me how immature and narcissistic most of these protesters seem .

Its like the NYT op/ed that Mr Dreher linked to yesterday. I may disagree with much of what Paul Krugman writes.But at least he writes like an adult . The NYT op/ed that Mr Dreher linked to reads like it was written by a 16 year old high school student

Pete from Baltimore , says: October 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Ive long thought that those surrounded by those that they agree with , tend to not be good at debating. For instance, a liberal that lives in a conservative part of Mississippi, is probably good at debating.Whereas a liberal tht lives in Berkley CA probably has never had to learn how to acutaly debate someone

The same goes for conservatives. Mostof the conservatives that I have met in Baltimore tend to be good at debating.Because they need to be.They cant simply state a conservative position and just sit back while everyone around them agrees with them

I think that the problem with liberalism nowdays is that a liberal is far more likely to be surrounded by liberal media and liberal pop culture. To be in a "bubble" a conservative has to restrict themselves to only watching FoxNews and reading the WSJ.And they pretty much have to tune out almost all modern American pop culture.And if they go to college, they have to go to Liberty University

All a liberal has to do in order to be in a bubble is to watch mainstream media and read mainstream newspapers[like the NYT] and they just have to go to their local college and watch and listen to mainstream pop culture

It didn't used to be this way.When I was growing up in the 1970s and 80s, igrew up in extremely liberal areas. And the liberals that I knew were very good at discussing politics. Nowdays the liberals that I know[and there are many in Baltimore] just repeat and giggle about, some joke that Samantha Bee told about Republicans. The older liberals that I know are able to discuss politics.But the younger liberals really cant seem to discuss things in any kind of adult manner. Since they really seem to have never heard any disagreeing viewpoints

Stephen J. , says: October 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm
An example perhaps at link below.
-- -- -- -- --
The Party of Screaming Women
Robert Stacy McCain
October 8, 2018, 12:39 am
https://spectator.org/the-party-of-screaming-women/

[Oct 08, 2018] What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia

Notable quotes:
"... Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. ..."
"... This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem." ..."
"... We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as "cultural studies" or "identity studies" (for example, gender studies) or "critical theory" because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of "theory" which arose in the late sixties. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dr. Buddy Tubside , Oct 8, 2018 3:41:22 AM | link

What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia

Three scholars wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions.

Harvard University's Yascha Mounk writing for The Atlantic:

"Over the past 12 months, three scholars -- James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian -- wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions, and tried to get them placed in high-profile journals in fields including gender studies, queer studies, and fat studies. Their success rate was remarkable


Sokal Squared doesn't just expose the low standards of the journals that publish this kind of dreck, though. It also demonstrates the extent to which many of them are willing to license discrimination if it serves ostensibly progressive goals.

This tendency becomes most evident in an article that advocates extreme measures to redress the "privilege" of white students.

Exhorting college professors to enact forms of "experiential reparations," the paper suggests telling privileged students to stay silent, or even BINDING THEM TO THE FLOOR IN CHAINS

If students protest, educators are told to "take considerable care not to validate privilege, sympathize with, or reinforce it and in so doing, recenter the needs of privileged groups at the expense of marginalized ones. The reactionary verbal protestations of those who oppose the progressive stack are verbal behaviors and defensive mechanisms that mask the fragility inherent to those inculcated in privilege."

In an article for Areo magazine, the authors of the hoax explain their motivation: "Something has gone wrong in the university -- especially in certain fields within the humanities.

Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview.

This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem."

We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as "cultural studies" or "identity studies" (for example, gender studies) or "critical theory" because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of "theory" which arose in the late sixties.

As a result of this work, we have come to call these fields "grievance studies" in shorthand because of their common goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.

We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research.

Because open, good-faith conversation around topics of identity such as gender, race, and sexuality (and the scholarship that works with them) is nearly impossible, our aim has been to reboot these conversations.''

To read more, see Areo magazine + "academic grievance studies and the corruption of scholarship"

[Oct 08, 2018] The common folk never had control of the Federal Government.

Notable quotes:
"... At the time the eligible voters were males of European descent (MOED), and while not highly educated they were relatively free of propaganda and IQ's were higher than today. After giving women the right to vote and with other minorities voting the MOED became a minority voter. ..."
"... So today with propaganda and education being what it is, not to mention campaign financing laws especially post Citizen United, and MSM under control of 6 companies, the entire voting class is miseducated and easily influenced to vote for candidates chosen by the elites ..."
"... The founders who incited the revolution against British rule were the American Elites (also British citizens) who wanted more. The elites today got everything they want. They have no need for revolution. The common folk are divided, misinformed, unorganized, leaderless and males are emasculated. Incapable of taking control peacefully or otherwise. ..."
"... This was the high-tariff-era and the budget surplus was an issue all through the balance of the 19th Century. So what were the politics about? 1. Stirring stump (Trump) speeches were all about "waving the bloody shirt" ..."
"... In my view of the fundamental dynamic - namely that of history being one unbroken story of the rich exploiting the poor - representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 8, 2018 12:11:11 AM | 43 k

The constitution was a creation of the elite at the time, the property class. Its mission was to prevent the common folk from having control. Democracy=mob rule= Bad.

The common folk only had the ability to elect representatives in the house, who in turn would elect Senators. Electors voted for President and they were appointed by a means chosen by the state legislature , which only in modern times has come to mean by the popular vote of the common folk. Starting from 1913 it was decided to let the common folk vote for Senator and give the commonfolk the illusion of Democracy confident they could be controlled with propaganda and taxes (also adopted in 1913 with the Fed)

At the time the eligible voters were males of European descent (MOED), and while not highly educated they were relatively free of propaganda and IQ's were higher than today. After giving women the right to vote and with other minorities voting the MOED became a minority voter.

Bernays science of propaganda took off during WWI, Since MOED's made up the most educated class (relative to minorities and women) up to the 70's this was a big deal for almost 60 years , although not today when miseducation is equal among the different races, sexes and ethnicities.

So today with propaganda and education being what it is, not to mention campaign financing laws especially post Citizen United, and MSM under control of 6 companies, the entire voting class is miseducated and easily influenced to vote for candidates chosen by the elites

So how do the common folk get control over the federal government? That is a pipe dream and will never happen. The founders who incited the revolution against British rule were the American Elites (also British citizens) who wanted more. The elites today got everything they want. They have no need for revolution. The common folk are divided, misinformed, unorganized, leaderless and males are emasculated. Incapable of taking control peacefully or otherwise.

Thats just my opinion

Guerrero , Oct 8, 2018 1:03:57 AM | link

Pft has a point. If there was ever a time for the people to take the republic into its hands, it may have been just after the Civil War when the Dems were discredited and the Repubs had a total control of Congress.

This was the high-tariff-era and the budget surplus was an issue all through the balance of the 19th Century. So what were the politics about? 1. Stirring stump (Trump) speeches were all about "waving the bloody shirt"

All manner of political office-seekers devoted themselves to getting on the government gravy train, somehow. The selling of political offices was notorious and the newspaper editors of the time were ashamed of this.

Then there was the Whiskey Ring. The New York Customs House was a major source of corruption lucre. Then there was vote selling in blocks of as many as 10,000 and the cost of paying those who could do this. Then there were the kickbacks from the awards of railroad concessions which included large parcels of land. If there ever was a Golden Age of the United States it must have been when Franklin Roosevelt was President.

ben , Oct 8, 2018 1:13:04 AM | link

karlof1 @ 34 asked:"My question for several years now: What are us Commonfolk going to do to regain control of the federal government?"

The only thing us "common folk" can do is work within our personal sphere of influence, and engage who you can, when you can, and support with any $ you can spare, to support the sites and any local radio stations that broadcast independent thought. ( if you can find any). Pacifica radio, KPFK in LA is a good example. KPFA in the bay area.

Other than another economic crash, I don't believe anything can rouse the pathetic bovine public. Bread and circuses work...

Grieved , Oct 8, 2018 1:13:32 AM | link
@38 Pft

The division of representative power and stake in the political process back at the birth of the US Constitution was as you say it was. But this wasn't because any existing power had been taken away from anyone. It was simply the state of play back then.

Since that time, we common people have developed a more egalitarian sense of how the representation should be apportioned. We include former slaves, all ethnic groups and both genders. We exclude animals thus far, although we do have some - very modest - protections in place.

I think it has been the rise of the socialist impulse among workers that has expanded this egalitarian view, with trade unions and anti-imperialist revolutions and national struggles. But I'm not a scholar or a historian so I can't add details to my impression.

My point is that since the Framers met, there has been a progressive elevation of our requirements of representative government. I think some of this also came from the Constitution itself, with its embedded Bill of Rights.

I can't say if this expansion has continued to this day or not. History may show there was a pinnacle that we have now passed, and entered a decline. I don't know - it's hard to say how we score the Internet in this balance. It's always hard to score the present age along its timeline. And the future is never here yet, in the present, and can only ever be guessed.

In my view, the dream of popular control of representative government remains entirely possible. I call it an aspiration rather than a pipe dream, and one worth taking up and handing on through the generations. Current global society may survive in relatively unbroken line for millennia to come. There's simply no percentage in calling failure at this time.

It may be that better government comes to the United States from the example of the world nations, over the decades and centuries to come. Maybe the demonstration effect will work on us even when we cannot work on ourselves. We are not the only society of poor people who want a fair life.

In my view of the fundamental dynamic - namely that of history being one unbroken story of the rich exploiting the poor - representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness.

In my opinion.

dh-mtl , Oct 8, 2018 2:34:39 AM | link
Grieved @42 said:

"representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness."

Here, here! I fully agree with you.

In my opinion, representative government was stronger in the U.S. from the 1930's to the 1970's and Europe after WW2. And as a result the western world achieved unprecedented prosperity. Since 1980, the U.S. government has been captured by trans-national elites, who, since the 1990's have also captured much of the political power in the EU.

Both Europe and the U.S. are now effectively dictatorships, run by a trans-national elite. The crumbling of both is the result of this dictatorship.

Prosperity, and peace, will only return when the dictators are removed and representative government is returned.

Krollchem , Oct 8, 2018 2:42:16 AM | link
dh-mtl@44

"Both Europe and the U.S. are now effectively dictatorships, run by a trans-national elite. The crumbling of both is the result of this dictatorship."

Exactly!! I feel like the Swedish knight Antonius Block in the movie the 7th Seal. There does not seem any way out of this evil game by the death dealing rulers.

Anton Worter , Oct 8, 2018 3:06:04 AM | link
@24

Love it. But you fad3d at the end. It was Gingrich, not Rodham, who was behind Contract on America, and GHWBush's Fed Bank group wrote the legislation that would have been Bush's second term 'kinder, gentler' Gramm-Leach-Bliley bayonet up the azs of the American Dream, as passed by a majority of Congress, and by that point Tripp and Lewinski had already pull-dated Wild Bill. God, can you imagine being married to that hag Rodham? The purple people-eating lizards of Georgetown and Alexandria. Uurk.

Anton Worter , Oct 8, 2018 3:34:05 AM | link
40

¿Que tal?

I'm reading a great FDR book, 'Roosevelt and Hopkins', a signed 1st Ed copy by Robert Sherwood, and the only book extant from my late father's excellent political and war library, after his trophy wife dumped the rest of his library off at Goodwill, lol. They could have paid for her next booblift, ha, ha, ha.

Anyway, FDR, in my mind, only passed the populist laws that he did because he needed cannon fodder in good fighting shape for Rothschild's Wars ("3/4ths of WW2 conscripts were medically unfit for duty," the book reports), and because Rothschild's and Queens Bank of London needed the whole sh*taco bailed out afterward, by creating SS wage-withholding 'Trust Fund' (sic) the Fed then tapped into, and creating Lend-Lease which let Rothschilds float credit-debt to even a higher level and across the globe. Has it all been paid off by Germany and Japan yet?

Even Lincoln, jeez, Civil War was never about slavery, it was about finance and taxation and the illegitimate Federal supremacy over the Republic of States, not unlike the EU today. Lincoln only freed the slaves to use them as cannon fodder and as a fifth column.

All of these politicians were purple people-eating lizards, except maybe the Kennedy's, and they got ground and pounded like Conor McGregor, meh?

Guerrero | Oct 8, 2018 10:22:34 AM | 61

@BM | Oct 8, 2018 10:03:12 AM | 60

"representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness."

Compare to: Sentiments of the Nation:

12º That as the good Law is superior to every man, those dictated by our Congress must be such, that they force constancy and patriotism, moderate opulence and indigence; and in such a way increase the wages of the poor, improve their habits, moving away from ignorance, rapine and theft.

13º That the general laws include everyone, without exception of privileged bodies; and that these are only in the use of the ministry..

14º That in order to dictate a Law, the Meeting of Sages is made, in the possible number, so that it may proceed with more success and exonerate of some charges that may result.

15. That slavery be banished forever, and the distinction of castes, leaving all the same, and only distinguish one American from another by vice and virtue.

16º That our Ports be open to friendly foreign nations, but that they do not enter the nation, no matter how friendly they may be, and there will only be Ports designated for that purpose, prohibiting disembarkation in all others, indicating ten percent.

17º That each one be kept his property, and respect in his House as in a sacred asylum, pointing out penalties to the offenders.

18º That the new legislation does not admit torture.

19º That the Constitutional Law establishes the celebration of December 12th in all Peoples, dedicated to the Patroness of our Liberty, Most Holy Mary of Guadalupe, entrusting to all Peoples the monthly devotion.

20º That the foreign troops, or of another Kingdom, do not step on our soil, and if it were in aid, they will not without the Supreme Junta approval.

21º That expeditions are not made outside the limits of the Kingdom, especially overseas, that they are not of this kind yet rather to spread the faith to our brothers and sisters of the land inside.

22º That the infinity of tributes, breasts and impositions that overwhelm us be removed, and each individual be pointed out a five percent of seeds and other effects or other equally light weight, that does not oppress so much, as the alcabala, the Tobacconist, the Tribute and others; because with this slight contribution, and the good administration of the confiscated goods of the enemy, will be able to take the weight of the War, and pay the fees of employees.

Temple of the Virgen of the Ascencion
Chilpancingo, September 14, 1813.
José Mª Morelos.

23º That also be solemnized on September 16, every year, as the Anniversary day on which the Voice of Independence was raised, and our Holy Freedom began, because on that day it was in which the lips of the Nation were deployed to claim their rights with Sword in hand to be heard: always remembering the merit of the great Hero Mr. Don Miguel Hidalgo and his companion Don Ignacio Allende.

Answers on November 21, 1813. And therefore, these are abolished, always being subject to the opinion of S. [u] A. [alteza] S. [very eminent]

[Oct 08, 2018] I have been meeting more and more Americans abroad who permanently left the US and told me it was the best thing they did, or that they never want to go back. Why is that so? Is it due to POTUS?

Oct 08, 2018 | www.quora.com

Jason Perno , Cyber Security Specialist and Forensic Analyst at NNIT A/S (2017-present)

Answered 17h ago

I left the United States because I married a Danish woman. We tried living in New York, but we struggled a lot. She was not used to being without the normal help she gets from the Danish system. We... (more) Loading

I left the United States because I married a Danish woman. We tried living in New York, but we struggled a lot. She was not used to being without the normal help she gets from the Danish system. We made the move a few years ago, and right away our lives started to improve dramatically.

Now I am working in IT, making a great money, with private health insurance. Yes I pay high taxes, but the benefits outweigh the costs. The other things is that the Danish people trust in the government and trust in each other. There is no need for #metoo or blacklivesmatter, because the people already treat each other with respect.

While I now enjoy an easier life in Denmark, I sit back and watch the country I fiercely love continue to fall to pieces because of divisive rhetoric and the corporate greed buying out our government.

Trump is just a symptom of the problem. If people could live in the US as they did 50 years ago, when a single person could take care of their entire family, and an education didn't cost so much, there would be no need for this revolution. But wages have been stagnant since the 70's and the wealth has shifted upwards from the middle class to the top .001 percent. This has been decades in the making. You can't blame Obama or Trump for this.

Meanwhile, I sit in Denmark watching conservatives blame liberalism, immigrants, poor people, and socialism, while Democrats blame rednecks, crony capitalism, and republican greed. Everything is now "fake news". Whether it be CNN or FOX, no one knows who to trust anymore. Everything has become a conspiracy. Our own president doesn't even trust his own FBI or CIA. And he pushes conspiracy theories to mobilize his base. I am glad to be away from all that, and living in a much healthier environment, where people aren't constantly attacking one another.

Maybe if the US can get it's healthcare and education systems together, I would consider moving back one day. But it would also be nice if people learned to trust one another, and trust in the system again. Until then, I prefer to be around emotionally intelligent people, who are objective, and don't fall for every piece of propaganda. Not much of that happening in America these days. The left has gone off the deep end playing identity politics and focusing way too much on implementing government mandated Social Justice. Meanwhile the conservatives are using any propaganda and lying necessary to push their corporate backed agenda. This is all at the cost of our environment, our free trade agreements, peace treaties, and our European allies. Despite how much I love my country, I breaks my heart to say, I don't see myself returning any time soon I'm afraid.

[Oct 02, 2018] Sysadmins_about thier jobs

Oct 02, 2018 | www.reddit.com

[–]


therankin 5 months ago (0 children)

You really stuck it out.

Sometimes things where I work feel like that. I'm the only admin at a school with 120 employees and 450 students. It's both challenging, fun, and can be frustrating. The team I work with is very nice and supportive and on those rare occasions I need help we have resources to get it (Juniper contract, a consulting firm helped me build out a redundant cluster and a SAN, etc).

I can see that if the environment wasn't so great I could feel similar to the way you did.

I'm glad you got out, and I'm glad you've been able to tell us that it can get better.

The truth is I actually like going to work; I think if you're in a position where you dread work you should probably work on getting out of there. Good for you though sticking it out so long. You learned a lot and learned how to juggle things under pressure and now you have a better gig partially because of it (I'm guessing).

baphometsayshi 6 months ago (0 children)

-the problem is you. Your expectations are too high -no job is perfect. Be happy you have one and can support your family.

fuck those people with a motorized rake. if they were in your position they would have been screaming for relief.

Dontinquire 6 months ago (0 children)
If I may be so bold... Fuck them, good for you. Get what you're worth, not what you're paid.
jedikaiti 6 months ago (0 children)
Your friends are nuts, they should have been helping you jump ship ASAP.
headsupvoip 6 months ago (1 child)
WoW, just WOW. Glad you got out. Sounds like this ISP does not understand that the entire revenue stream is based on aging hardware. If they are not willing to keep it updated, which means keeping the staff at full strength and old equipment replaced it will all come to a halt. Your old boss sounds like she is a prime example of the Peter principle.

We do VoIP and I researched the Calix product line for ISP's after reading your post. Always wondered how they still supported legacy TDM. Like the old Hank Williams song with a twist, "Us geeks will Survive". Cheers

djgizmo 6 months ago (0 children)
TDM is still a big thing since the old switches used to cost 400k plus. Now that metaswitch is less than 200k, it's less of a thing, but tdm for transport is rock solid and you can buy a ds3 from one co or headend to another for very cheap to transport lines compared to the equivalent in data.
AJGrayTay 6 months ago (0 children)

I talk to friends. Smart people I look up to and trust. The answer?

-the problem is you. Your expectations are too high

-no job is perfect. Be happy you have one and can support your family.

Oh man, this... I feel your pain. Only you know your situation, man (or woman). Trust your judgement, isolate emotional responses and appraise objectively. Rarely, if ever, does anyone know better than you do.

DAVPX 6 months ago (0 children)
Well done. I went through something like this recently and am also feeling much better working remotely.
renegadecanuck 6 months ago (0 children)
It's true that no job is perfect, but there's a difference between "this one person in the office is kind of grumpy and annoys me", "I have one coworker that's lazy and management doesn't see it", or "we have to support this really old computer, because replacing the equipment that uses it is way too expensive" and "I get treated like shit every day, my working hours are too long, and they won't get anyone to help me".
ralph8877 6 months ago * (0 children)

He puts that responsibility on me. Says if I can get someone hired I'd get a $500 bonus.

but my boss didn't bite.

Seems like your boss lied to you to keep you from quitting.

fricfree 6 months ago (1 child)
I'm curious. How many hours were you working in this role?
chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
First I'd like to say. I have 4 kids and a wife. It was discussed during the interview that I work to live. And expect to work 40 hours unless it's an emergency.

For the first 6 months or so I'd work on weekdays after hours on simple improvements. This then stopped and shifted to working on larger projects (via home labs) on the weekends (entire weekends lost) just to feel prepared to administer Linux kvm, or our mpls Network (that I had zero prior experience on)

This started effecting my home life. I stopped working at home and discussed with my wife. Together we decided if the company was willing to pay significantly more ($20k a year) I would invest the needed time after hours into the company.

I brought this to my boss and nothing happened. I got a 4% raise. This is when I capped the time I spent at home on NEEDED things and only focused on what I wanted out of IT (network engineering) and started digging into GNS3 a bit more

-RYknow 6 months ago (1 child)
Disappointed there was no mention of thenfirend who supported your decision, and kept telling you to get out!! Haha! Just playing buddy! Glad you got out...and that place can fuck themselves!!

Really happy for you man! You deserve to be treated better!

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
Lol! Looking back I actually feel bad that you had to listen to my problems! Definitely appreciated - you probably prevented a few explosions lol
mailboy79 6 months ago (1 child)
OP, thank you for your post.

I'm unemployed right now and the interviews have temporarily slowed down, but I'm determined not to take "just anything" to get by, as doing so can adversely affect my future prospects.

thinkyrsoillustrious 6 months ago (0 children)

MSP

I've been reading this whole thread and can relate, as I'm in a similar position. But wanted to comment, based on experience, that you are correct about taking 'just anything' will adversely affect your future prospects. After moving to Central NY I was unemployed for a while and took a helpdesk position (I was a Senior Systems Analyst/Microsoft Systems Administrator making good money 18 years ago!) That stuck with me as they see it on my resume...and have only been offered entry level salaries every since. That, and current management in a horrible company, ruined my career!! So be careful...

illkrumpwithyou 6 months ago (0 children)
A job is a means to an end, my friend. If it was making you miserable then you absolutely did the right thing in leaving.
1nfestissumam 6 months ago (0 children)
Congrats, but a 5 month gap on the resume won't fly for 99.9% of our perspective employers. There better be a damn good reason other than complaining about burnout on the lined up interview. I resigned without another opportunity lined up and learned a 9 month lesson the hard way. Never jump ship without anything lined up. If not for you, then for your family.
mistralol 6 months ago (0 children)
It works like this. Get paid as much a possible for as little effort as possible.

And companies want as much as possible for as little money as possible.

Sinister29389 6 months ago (0 children)
SA's typically wear many hats at small or large organizations. Shoot, we even got a call from an employee asking IT if they can jump start their car 😫.

It's a thankless job and resources are always lacking. The typical thinking is, IT does not make money for the company, they spend it. This always put the dept. on the back burner until something breaks of course.

qsub 6 months ago (0 children)
I've bee through 7 jobs in the last 12 years, I'm surprised people still hire me lol. I'm pretty comfortable where I am now though, I also have a family.
Sinsilenc 6 months ago (0 children)
These companies that think managed printer contracts are expensive are nuts. They are about even with toner replacement costs. We buy our own xerox machines and have our local xerox rep manage them for us. Whoever had that hair brained idea needs slapped.
OFDarkness 6 months ago (0 children)
I had 12 years of what you had, OP. Same job, same shit you described on a daily basis... I can tell you right now it's not you or your expectations too high... some companies are just sick from the top to the bottom and ISP's... well they are magnets both for ppl who work too hard and for ppl who love to exploit the ones who work too hard in order to get their bonuses... After realising that no matter how hard I worked, the ppl in charge would never change anything to make work better both for workers, company and Customers... I quit my job, spent a year living off my savings... then started my own business and never looked back. You truly deserve better!
Grimzkunk 6 months ago (4 children)
Just for me curiosity, do you have family? Young kids?
chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (3 children)
4 kids. 11 and under
Grimzkunk 6 months ago (2 children)
Wow! Congrats man, 4 kids is a lot of energy. How many hours are you working each weeks?

I only have one little dude for the moment and having to drive him to and from the daycare each day prevent me from doing anymore than 40hr/week.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (1 child)
Very much tiring! Lol. I'm at 40 hours a week unless we have an outage, or compromised server(or want to learn something on my own time). I'm up front at my interviews that "i work to live" and family is the most important thing to me.

I do spend quite a bit of personal time playing. With Linux KVM, (Linux in general since I'm a windows guy) difference between LVM block storage with different file systems, no lvm with image files. Backups (lvm snapshots) - front end management - which ultimately evolved to using proxmox. Since I manage iptv I read books about the mpeg stream to understand the pieces of it better.

I was actually hired as a "network engineer" (even though I'm more of a systems guy) so I actually WANT more network experience. Bgp, ospf, mpls, qos in mpls, multicast, pim sparse mode.

So I've made a GNS3 lab with our ALU hardware in attempts to build our network to get some hands on experience.

One day while trying to enable router guard (multicast related) - I broke the hell out of multicast by enabling it on the incoming vlan for our largest service area. Felt like an idiot so I stopped touching production until I could learn it (and still not there!)

Grimzkunk 6 months ago (0 children)
Good to hear the "I work to live". I'm also applying the same, family first, but it can sadly be hard for some to understand :-(

I feel like employers should have different expectations with employee that have family VS those that that don't. And even then, I would completely understand a single person without family that enjoy life the more he can and doesn't want to work more than what is on its contract since.

I really don't know how it works in employers mind.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
The work load is high, but I've learned to deal with it. I ordered 7 servers about 9 months ago and they were just deployed last month. Prioritizing is life!

What pushed me over the ledge was. Me spending my time trying to improve solutions to save time, and being told not gonna happen. The light in the tunnel gets further and further away.

_ChangeOfPace 5 months ago (1 child)
Were you working for an ISP in the SC/GA area? This sounds exactly like our primary ISP.
chrisanzalone007 5 months ago (0 children)
That's crazy! But no

[Oct 02, 2018] GOP Betrayal The Cross Examination That Never Was by Ilana Mercer

Lindsey Graham erupts during Kavanaugh hearing
Why come forward with this after 35 years ?
Notable quotes:
"... I think you've really nailed it, Anastasia. Watching this farce on TV, a few things were quite obvious to me: Christine Ford is a very disturbed and unhappy woman. The Republicans were afraid to question her. So, they brought on this attorney from Phoenix, who was a total flop. Senator Graham finally rode in to save the day. (I am not accustomed to praising Graham. But he was effective yesterday.) The lead democrats, Feinstein, Leahy, and Durbin, were actually ashamed when senior Republicans publicly called them out for the sham they were perpetrating on the American people. The silly Senator from Hawaii and Dick Blumenthal demonstrated that they had no shame. All in all, it was a low point for the Senate. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

anastasia says: September 28, 2018 at 4:47 am GMT 300 Words They were too afraid of the women's movement, and therefore could not bring themselves to challenge her in any way. Interspersed between the prosecutors questions which did not have the time to develop, was the awards ceremony given by the democrats to the honoree.

But we , the people, all saw that she was mentally disturbed. Her appearance (post clean up); her testimony, her beat up looks, drinking coke in the morning, the scrawl of her handwriting in a statement to be seen by others, the foggy lens, the flat affect, the little girl's voice and the incredible testimony (saying "hi" to her rapist only a few weeks later and expecting everyone to believe that is normal, remembering that she had one beer but not remembering who took her home; not knowing that the offer was made to go to California as if she were living on another planet, her fear of flying, her duper's delight curled up lips – all the tell tale signs were there for all the world, except the Senate the media, to see.

She went to a shrink with her husband in 2012, and it was her conduct that apparently needed explaining, so she confabulated a story about 4 boys raping her when she was 15 to explain her inexplicable conduct to her husband, and maybe even to her friends. She later politicized the confabulation, and she is clearly going to make a few sheckels with her several go fund me sites that will inexplicably show $10.00 donations every 15 seconds.

She was the leaker. She went to the press almost immediately in July. They were too afraid to point that out to everyone because the phoniest thing about her was that she wished to remain anonymous.

Ludwig Watzal says: Website September 28, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT 400 Words As a foreign observer, I watched the whole hearing farce on CNN till midnight in Germany. For me, from the beginning, it seemed a set up by the Democratic Party that has not emancipated itself from the Clinton filth and poison. As their stalwart, Chuck Schumer said after the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh that the Dems will do everything to prevent his confirmation. They found, of course, a naive patsy in Dr. Ford, not to speak of the other two disgraceful women that prostituted themselves for base motives. Right from the beginning, Dr. Ford played to me the role of an innocent valley girl, which seemed to make a great impression on the CCN tribunal that commented biasedly during the breaks of the hearing committee. It was a great TV-propaganda frame.

Don't forget; the so-called sexual harassment occurred 36 years (!) ago. Dr. Ford was 15, and Judge Kavanaugh was 17 years old. But Dr. Ford discovered her "suffering" after she heart from the nomination of Kavanaugh in July 2018. Why didn't she complain to the police after the "incident" happened in 1982 or at least after the "me to movement" popped up? May it as it is. Everybody who knows the high school or prep-school-life and behavior of American youths should not be surprised that such incidents can happen. When I studied at the U of Penn for my M.A. degree, I got to know American student campus life. For me, it was a great experience. Every weekend, wild parties were going on where students were boozed and screwed around like hell. Nobody made a big fuss out of it.

On both sides, the whole hearing was very emotional. But get one argument straight: In a state of the law the accuser has to come up with hard evidence and not only with suspicions and accusations; in a state of the law, the accused has not to prove his innocence, which only happens in totalitärian states.

Why did the majority of the Judiciary Committee agree on a person like the down-to-earth and humdrum person such as Mitchell to ask questions? It seems as if they were convinced in advance of Kavanaugh's guilt. The only real defender of Kavanaugh was Senator Lindsey Graham with his outburst of anger. If the Reps don't get this staid Judge Kavanagh confirmed they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

This hearing was not a lesson in a democratic process but in the perversion of it.


animalogic , says: September 28, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT

@WorkingClass Really – everyone should know by now that in any sex related offence, men are guilty until proven innocent .& even then "not guilty" really means the defendant was "too cunning to be found guilty by a patriarchal court, interpreting patriarchal Law."
streamfortyseven , says: September 28, 2018 at 10:24 am GMT
My comment on those proceedings today was this: "This is awful, I've never seen a more tawdry, sleazy performance in my life – and I've seen a few. No Democrat will ever get my vote again. They can find some other party to run with. Those people are despicable. Details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKSRUK-l7dM&#8221 ;

Later on, I noted: "None of this has anything to do with his record as a judge – and that's not such a good record: https://www.lawfareblog.com/judge-brett-kavanaugh-national-security-readers-guide at least if you're concerned with the Constitutional issues SCOTUS will actually decide. None of it, not one word. It's irrelevant. It's partisan harassment, it's defamation, it's character assassination, and all of it is *irrelevant* , it's useless – and in the end it will be both futile, because there will be a party line vote, and counterproductive, because a lot of people will be totally repelled by the actions of the Clintonistas – because that's what those people are."

and that's my opinion of this charade.

Jake , says: September 28, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT
The Neocons are evil. They despise Middle America almost as much as do the wild-eyed Leftists, just in a different way for slightly different specific reasons.

... .. ...

mike k , says: September 28, 2018 at 12:11 pm GMT
Well it looks like the repubs will get what they want – a woman abusing (like their President) alcoholic defender of the rich and powerful. Fits right into their "elite" club.
QuasiQuasimodo , says: September 28, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
After watching the Big Circus yesterday, I rate Ford's performance a 6 (sympathetic person, but weak memory and zero corroboration). Cavanaugh gets an 8 (great opening statement, wishy-washy and a dearth of straight answers during questioning). Had it been a tie, the fact that the putative event occurred when he was 17 would break it.
QuasiQuasimodo , says: September 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@anastasia Good points, but yesterday's inference is that she became permanently disturbed by the incident 36 years ago . In my experience, most psychologists are attracted to that field to work out personal issues -- and aren't always successful. Ms. Ford fits that mold, IMHO.

One thing I haven't heard is a challenge to Ford's belief that her attackers intended rape. That may or may not be true. Ford testified about "uproarious laughter." That sounds to me more like a couple of muddled, drunken male teens having their idea of "fun" -- i.e., molestation and dominance (which is certainly unacceptable, nonetheless).

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 28, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
Much ado about nothing. Attempted political assassination at it's best. American's have once more been disgusted to a level they previously thought impossible. Who among us here does not remember those glorious teenage years complete with raging hormones? What man does not remember playing offense while the girl's played defense? It was as natural as nature itself. No harm, no foul, that's just how we rolled back in the late 70′s and early 80′s.
Swan , says: September 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT
@anastasia I think you've really nailed it, Anastasia. Watching this farce on TV, a few things were quite obvious to me: Christine Ford is a very disturbed and unhappy woman. The Republicans were afraid to question her. So, they brought on this attorney from Phoenix, who was a total flop. Senator Graham finally rode in to save the day. (I am not accustomed to praising Graham. But he was effective yesterday.) The lead democrats, Feinstein, Leahy, and Durbin, were actually ashamed when senior Republicans publicly called them out for the sham they were perpetrating on the American people. The silly Senator from Hawaii and Dick Blumenthal demonstrated that they had no shame. All in all, it was a low point for the Senate.
jleiland , says: September 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
For his part, Kavanaugh is oddly obtuse for one who is said to be such a great jurist. Meek, mild and emotional, he does not seem up to the task of defending himself.

It appears that Ms. Mercer wrote this before the second half when things were looking bleak.

Reminded me of Super Bowl 51 at halftime. I even tuned out just like I did that game until I checked in later to see that the Patriot comeback was under way.

bj , says: September 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@mike k You are a useful idiot for the destruction of western civilization. Men are not abusers of women, excepting a few criminals. Men protect families from criminals.
APilgrim , says: September 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm GMT
Christine Ford is a PROVEN delusional, psychopathic liar.

Senate Democrats are OUTED, for the Machiavellian SHl1ts they are.

Trump WINS AGAIN!

pyrrhus , says: September 28, 2018 at 3:07 pm GMT
@Haxo Angmark Yes, Ms Mitchell did a very incompetent job, but it won't matter. Kavanaugh will be confirmed Saturday, due to his own counterattack and refusal to be a victim.
nickels , says: September 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
Little miss pouty head cute face was a huge liar, obvious from the second I heard her. The kind of chick who can go from a little sad voice to screaming and throwing dishes and brandishing a knife in a heartbeat.

https://youtu.be/uGxr1VQ2dPI

[Sep 30, 2018] The political issues in the Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Eric London

Notable quotes:
"... There are some who, though uncomfortable with the abrogation of the presumption of innocence that is characteristic of the Democrats' treatment of the sexual assault allegations, are eager to seize on any opportunity to keep Kavanaugh off the court. ..."
"... A central aim of the Democrats' strategy in the Kavanaugh hearings has been to obscure the most important class issues. They adopt the tone of phony moral outrage over the three-decade-old allegation while expressing no similar anger or even concern over the crimes committed by the American ruling class throughout the world. ..."
"... Not a day goes by where the US military is not dropping bombs or launching drone strikes, with the death toll from the "war on terror" well over one million. Thirteen thousand immigrant children are currently locked up in internment camps. Thousands of workers in the US die each year from industrial accidents and work-related illnesses. When Democratic Senator Cory Booker complains about the "patriarchy," he looks past the fact that the fall in life expectancy in the working class is largely driven by alcoholism, drug abuse and depression among men. ..."
"... Kavanaugh is himself complicit in these crimes, from which the relentless focus on allegations of sexual misconduct is intended as a diversion. There is documentary evidence Kavanaugh helped author Alberto Gonzales' "torture memos" during the Bush administration. He is on the record praising the constitutionality of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. Email exchanges prove he advocates repealing the right to abortion for millions of women across the country. ..."
"... The Democratic Party's refusal to address such issues is a deliberate decision. They are themselves guilty of involvement in these crimes -- and intend for them to continue, whether Kavanaugh or some other reactionary is on the court. ..."
"... twenty years ago Kavanaugh was a central player in the Republicans' anti-democratic use of sex scandals to attempt to bring down the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton ..."
Sep 29, 2018 | www.wsws.org

After nearly nine hours of Senate testimony by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, the public is no closer to knowing what did or did not happen over thirty years ago, when Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Kavanaugh's future as the nominee now depends on the outcome of an FBI investigation to which Senate Republicans agreed on Friday.

The allegations of sexual assault have become the sole issue in Kavanaugh's confirmation, and the Democratic Party and the media have presented Kavanaugh's guilt on this matter as a foregone conclusion. The focus of the proceedings reflects the political priorities of the Democratic Party and the interests of the affluent social layers to which it is appealing.

There are some who, though uncomfortable with the abrogation of the presumption of innocence that is characteristic of the Democrats' treatment of the sexual assault allegations, are eager to seize on any opportunity to keep Kavanaugh off the court. The ends, as the saying goes, supposedly justify the means. They should be warned: This is bad politics, bad strategy and even worse tactics. There are political consequences to such efforts to confuse and cover up the real issues confronting the working class.

A central aim of the Democrats' strategy in the Kavanaugh hearings has been to obscure the most important class issues. They adopt the tone of phony moral outrage over the three-decade-old allegation while expressing no similar anger or even concern over the crimes committed by the American ruling class throughout the world.

Not a day goes by where the US military is not dropping bombs or launching drone strikes, with the death toll from the "war on terror" well over one million. Thirteen thousand immigrant children are currently locked up in internment camps. Thousands of workers in the US die each year from industrial accidents and work-related illnesses. When Democratic Senator Cory Booker complains about the "patriarchy," he looks past the fact that the fall in life expectancy in the working class is largely driven by alcoholism, drug abuse and depression among men.

Kavanaugh is himself complicit in these crimes, from which the relentless focus on allegations of sexual misconduct is intended as a diversion. There is documentary evidence Kavanaugh helped author Alberto Gonzales' "torture memos" during the Bush administration. He is on the record praising the constitutionality of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. Email exchanges prove he advocates repealing the right to abortion for millions of women across the country.

The Democratic Party's refusal to address such issues is a deliberate decision. They are themselves guilty of involvement in these crimes -- and intend for them to continue, whether Kavanaugh or some other reactionary is on the court.

The Democrats are not even capable of addressing the fact that twenty years ago Kavanaugh was a central player in the Republicans' anti-democratic use of sex scandals to attempt to bring down the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton . To raise this issue would expose the fact that the Democrats are engaged in the same methods today.

As part of their effort to center opposition to Kavanaugh on allegations of sexual misconduct, the Democrats are utilizing the methods of #MeToo, which have consisted of treating allegations as fact and the presumption of innocence as an unnecessary burden that must be dispensed with.

The WSWS takes no position on whether or not Kavanaugh is guilty of the allegations against him. However, as a legal matter, all that has been presented are the uncorroborated assertions of one individual. At Thursday's hearing, Democratic senators carried out a degrading spectacle, poring over Kavanaugh's high school yearbook and his puerile, 16-year-old references to drinking, flatulence and vomiting as though they prove he is guilty of sexual assault.

The media has followed suit. In an editorial board statement published Thursday night, the New York Times presented Kavanaugh's testimony as "volatile and belligerent." The statement makes no reference to Kavanaugh's political views, but concludes that he was "hard to believe," "condescending," "clumsy," "coy," "misleading" and likely a "heavy drinker." The reader is led to conclude that he must be guilty of the alleged crime.

Speaking on CNN last week, Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono said the presumption of innocence "is what makes it really difficult for victims and survivors of these traumatic events to come forward." New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer told reporters that there is "no presumption of innocence" in Kavanaugh's case because "it's not a legal proceeding, it's a fact-finding proceeding."

The character of the Democrats' operation in relation to the Kavanaugh hearing allowed this arch-reactionary to present himself as the victim of what he referred to in his opening statement as a "left-wing" conspiracy. The Democrats are, in fact, engaged in a highly staged political operation. However, there is nothing left-wing about it. On the contrary, the Democrats have adopted the political methods of the far-right.

The presumption of innocence is no small matter and dispensing with it has the most far-reaching consequences. Socialists have always stood against efforts by representatives of the bourgeoisie to obscure the class issues and undercut democratic consciousness. The causes with which the left has been historically associated involve a defense of the democratic and egalitarian principles established by the bourgeois revolutions of the late 18th century, including the presumption of innocence and due process.

The use of emotion and prejudice to weaken popular support for these rights, divide the working class, and facilitate state repression, militarism and corporate exploitation is the historical tradition of right-wing politics. Basic democratic principles are always most vulnerable when the ruling class is able to play on moods of mass retribution against alleged perpetrators of crimes, particularly sexual violence, due to its inherent emotional appeal.

The Democrats' strategy in the Kavanaugh hearings has much in common with these traditions. Appeals to moods of vengeance and encouragement of visceral hatred of the accused are the methods of medieval justice. They are being employed to advance the Democratic Party's efforts to consolidate a political constituency among the affluent upper-middle class.

Socialists hold no brief for Brett Kavanaugh. But the tactics used against him will be employed with a thousand times more force and power against the oppressed and those opposed to the policies of the ruling elite. The case of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, persecuted for years on the basis of trumped-up sexual allegations, is one such example.

The operation of the Democrats in the Kavanaugh hearing cannot be separated from the character of its entire opposition to the Trump administration. It has sought to suppress and divert popular opposition to Trump behind the reactionary militarist and anti-democratic agenda of dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. In this conflict within the ruling class, there is no progressive or democratic faction.

Kavanaugh is a political reactionary and an enemy of the working class. However, in waging its opposition to this right-wing Republican and the Trump administration, the working class must not allow itself to be subordinated to the agenda of the Democrats. To do so would only disarm the working class, undermine democratic rights and facilitate the ever more right-wing trajectory of American politics.

Eric London

[Sep 29, 2018] True, this "living wage" issue has become now America's chronic illness.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT

@iffen

Employment at less than a living wage is not "employment."

True, this "living wage" issue has become now America's chronic illness. Once one begins to look at the real estate dynamics, even for a good earners living in such places as Seattle, Portland (not to speak of L.A. or SF) becomes simply not affordable, forget buying anything decent. Hell, many rents are higher than actual mortgages, however insane they already are.

[Sep 27, 2018] Why Not a Merit-Based Immigration System by Scott McConnell

Notable quotes:
"... Salam's case is that America's legal immigration system needs be reformed on lines roughly similar to what the Trump administration now and others before it have long advocated: changing the rules to place a greater emphasis on the economic skills of immigrants while deemphasizing the role played by family "reunification" would ensure both that new immigrants are an economic plus to the economy and, more importantly, that they are more likely to integrate into the American cultural mainstream. ..."
"... First of all, Salam reminds us, an alarming number of recent immigrants and their families are poor. This does not mean that almost all of them have not improved their economic status by migration: they have. ..."
"... Salam explains that under the current system, most visas are doled out according to family ties -- not skills or education. And the larger the number of immigrants is from a given country, the lower their average earnings and educational outcomes will be in the U.S. Conversely, the harder it is for a given group to enter the United States, the more likely it is that immigrants will be drawn from the top of their country's pecking order. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Why Not a Merit-Based Immigration System? Reihan Salam's latest book makes the case for an overhaul along Trumpian lines.

It's hard to imagine a more needed contribution to America's immigration debate than Reihan Salam's civil, sober, and penetrating Melting Pot or Civil War? At a moment when the major dueling discourses revolve around lurid depictions of immigrant crime by one side, and appeals to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and accusations of racism by the other, Salam's data-driven argument about the future consequences of today's immigration choices could not be more timely.

While Salam is the child of middle-class professionals from Bangladesh who settled in New York at a time when there were virtually no Bengali speakers in the city (there are now tens of thousands), apart from a few personal anecdotes, his book could have been written by an author of any ethnicity. Yet in our increasingly racialized debate, an argument made by a "son of immigrants" (as the book's subtitle announces) may be less likely to face summary dismissal from the centrist liberals and moderates who are its most important audience.

Salam's case is that America's legal immigration system needs be reformed on lines roughly similar to what the Trump administration now and others before it have long advocated: changing the rules to place a greater emphasis on the economic skills of immigrants while deemphasizing the role played by family "reunification" would ensure both that new immigrants are an economic plus to the economy and, more importantly, that they are more likely to integrate into the American cultural mainstream. This would put the U.S. more in line with the generally politically popular systems in place in Canada and Australia. The proposal is tempered, or balanced, by measures to shore up the condition of the American working poor and an amnesty giving long-term resident illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, as well as ambitious measures to enhance economic development in the Third World.

But the meat of Melting Pot or Civil War? is not in the proposal but in the getting to it -- a route which passes through numerous nuggets gleaned from contemporary research and a depressing if persuasive analysis of the consequences if America stays on its present course.

First of all, Salam reminds us, an alarming number of recent immigrants and their families are poor. This does not mean that almost all of them have not improved their economic status by migration: they have. A low-skilled job in the United States pays several times better than such work in many countries, so low-skilled migration is, without a doubt, a benefit to low-skilled migrants. Recent immigrants grateful for the opportunity to live in America may accept living in poverty, though Salam is right to remind us of the miserable conditions, redolent of the teeming tenements of the early 20th century, in which their lives often unfold. He makes the subtle point that part of the current appeal of America's major cities to upper middle-class professionals is the presence of a politically docile service class of low-skilled immigrants, many of them undocumented.

But the families such immigrants form tend to be poor as well: today's immigrants face headwinds to upward mobility that the storied Ellis Island generations did not. There was much more need in 1900 for unskilled labor than there is now, and no substantive gap then existed in education level between the immigrants and the general American population. The data Salam deploys is not overly dramatic but decisive nonetheless: children of immigrants now make up 30 percent of all low-income children (where they are 24 percent of the whole); roughly half of immigrant families have incomes within 200 percent of the poverty line; nearly a third of immigrant children grow up in families headed by someone without a high school diploma; the average Mexican immigrant has 9.4 years of schooling, rising to 12 in the second generation but flatlining after that.

As the gap between the earnings of American college graduates and others has grown in the past two generations, this means that the social problem of the intergenerational transmission of poverty is being intensified by the ever continuing flow of poor, unskilled immigrants, both legal and illegal. And while such immigrants may well be politically quiescent, their children are unlikely to be.

Why We Want Immigrants Who Add Value How to Resolve the Conservative Split Over Immigration

These somber facts are balanced, and in many ways veiled, by the immigrant success stories which Americans rightly celebrate. But while it may be unkind to say so, immigrants don't arrive as blank slates, mysteriously sorted out upon reaching these shores so that some become doctors and software entrepreneurs.

As Salam makes clear, successful immigrants tend to come from relatively rich and urbanized societies. The parents of Google founder Sergey Brin were accomplished scholars. An astounding 45 percent of immigrants from India -- who make up the latest version of a high-achieving "model minority" -- are Brahmins, members of the tiny Indian hereditary upper caste. Indians who come here tend to be "triple selected": most enter the country by way of high-skilled worker visas, which means they are products of India's highly competitive education system, which serves only a fraction of India's population. Similarly, Chinese immigrants tend to come from that country's college-educated elite.

Salam explains that under the current system, most visas are doled out according to family ties -- not skills or education. And the larger the number of immigrants is from a given country, the lower their average earnings and educational outcomes will be in the U.S. Conversely, the harder it is for a given group to enter the United States, the more likely it is that immigrants will be drawn from the top of their country's pecking order.

One might conceive of this as a stable system -- after all, there are many jobs for low-skilled immigrants. But of course immigrants have children, at rates far higher than the native born, and the children of lower-skilled immigrants make up a continually growing share of Americans at or near the poverty level. "The children of elite immigrants make their way into America's elite, where they add a much needed dash of superficial diversity, enough to make us forget their inconvenient working class counterparts." The result, of which there is already ample evidence among the Millennial cohort of immigrant children, is a growing population which has grown up in poverty, isn't doing especially well in income or education, and perceives the American dream cynically, as a kind of whites-only sham. This divide will influence our politics for the foreseeable future. The question is how much.

♦♦♦

While much of Salam's analysis is a deep dive into statistics of intergenerational poverty, educational outcomes, and the growing achievement gap, he doesn't shy from the ominous implications of the racialization of the immigration debate. There is ample evidence that college-educated Americans of all ethnicities marry one another at reasonable and growing rates, producing a fair number of mixed-race people who feel themselves part of the cultural mainstream. As scholars have long reminded us, "white" is a broad and fungible category in American history, and there is a fair prospect that the college-educated and middle classes will intermarry enough to produce a 21st-century version of the storied melting pot.

But that isn't the case with poorer immigrants, even as their children learn English. Current family unification statutes encourage poor, non-white immigrant communities to continually replenish their new arrivals. Thus there are two competing processes going on -- amalgamation, in which more educated immigrant families are joining the middle-class mainstream, intermarrying with whites and with one another, and racialization, in which a new immigrant group finds itself ghettoized and cut out of the mainstream. This latter phenomenon is most pronounced in some Mexican-American communities, which are demographically the largest immigrant groups, but exists in many immigrant communities.

It is in this subset, for example, where ISIS has found recruits, and where -- on a less dramatic level -- the Marxist Left is able to make inroads. As America's demography grows less white, the political salience of radical immigrants of color is likely to grow. While Salam exercises great restraint describing the phenomenon, his foreboding is unmistakable: "The danger, as I see it, is that as the logic of the melting pot fails to take hold, and as more newcomers are incorporated into disadvantaged groups, the level of interethnic tension will skyrocket, and we'll look back wistfully on the halcyon politics of the Trump years." Or again, "Imagine an America in which wealthy whites and Asians wall themselves off from the rest of society and low wage immigrants and their offspring constitute a new underclass."

Of course it is not merely racial minority immigrants who are tempted by political radicalism. The current extremist white backlash is widely noted by scholars and journalists. But among the liberal establishment it is viewed not as problem to be alleviated but a social development to be crushed. Salam observes immigration scholars who are scrupulous about reporting the ways immigration is making America less united, threatening social cohesion, "leading to greater divisions and tensions," while never considering reducing or reforming immigration (with greater emphasis on skills) as a possible answer to the problems. They hope -- against considerable social science evidence that political instability is endemic to multicultural societies -- that greater diversity will somehow bury ethnic conflict. This Salam calls the Backlash Paradox: while mass immigration contributes to bigotry and polarization, the only acceptable option among elites is to double down and hope the storm passes, as slowing the pace of immigration is considered a "callow surrender to bigotry."

I have focused on the social and political elements, but Salam's argument also relies a great deal on economics, much of it focused on economic choices molded by a relatively high-skilled or low-skilled labor force. His major point is that labor shortages spur technological innovation, while loose labor markets discourage it. Labor scarcity, Salam observes, has been the historical secret to American prosperity, spurring one labor-saving innovation after another. A high-immigration economy, with a completely elastic number of workers willing to work for a minimum wage or less, is an economy under a completely different calculus. There is no question we should prefer the first.

♦♦♦

I have only minor caveats with this outstanding book. It might be a necessary concession to the immigrationist lobby to maintain the raw number of immigrants as high as it is at present, but it seems likely that lowering it to, say, half a million a year, roughly the number urged by the Clinton administration's task force on immigration, would break the fever more quickly and lead to far more rapid assimilation of recent immigrants.

I find Salam's earnest plea for the United States to dramatically raise its spending to accelerate economic development in the Third World well intended, but likely futile. An answer which comes to mind is one that diplomat George F. Kennan suggested a quarter of a century ago, that the single greatest benefit the United States can deliver to the world's poor is to maintain itself as a relatively high civilization able to inspire by example, and provide help and insight to others seeking answers to their problems.

And though it is a subject in itself, I wish Salam had directly addressed the new leftist ideology built around the fighting of "white privilege" -- which now includes under its rubric everything from getting rid of standardized tests to delegitimizing police departments, railing against the First Amendment to ripping down statues of long-admired white Americans. This largely white-led phenomenon does far more to intensify nativist dread about being reduced to minority status than any racist agitation leveled against immigrants of color, however lamentable the latter might be.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Sep 24, 2018] Emacipation cuts both ways, but only for women

Sep 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Barbara Ann -> Pat Lang , 4 hours ago

... it appears that 21st century sexual politics now affords women the best of all worlds. She may now participate as an equal in dorm party drinking games with men.

And yet she remains so vulnerable that 35 years later an alleged incident involving the exposure of a (presumably flaccid) male member - as a result of such activities - seemingly merits serious investigation as an 'assault'...

[Sep 23, 2018] A New Martin Luther by Anatoly Karlin

Aug 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Prosvirnin is the most talented writer. Limonov has by far the most colorful personality. Dugin has been the most effective at promoting himself in the West. Prokhanov probably has the most name recognition in Russia. Galkovsky created the most powerful memes. Krylov provided the esoteric flavoring.

And yet out of all of Russia's right-wing intellectuals , there is perhaps none so unique as Egor Kholmogorov.

This is ironic, because out of all of the above, he is the closest to the "golden mean" of the Russian nationalist memeplex.

He is a realist on Soviet achievements, crimes, and lost opportunities, foregoing both the Soviet nostalgia of Prokhanov, the kneejerk Sovietophobia of Prosvirnin, and the unhinged conspiracy theories of Galkovsky. He is a normal, traditional Orthodox Christian, in contrast to the "atheism plus" of Prosvirnin, the mystical obscurantism of Duginism, and the esoteric experiments of Krylov. He has time neither for the college libertarianism of Sputnik i Pogrom hipster nationalism, nor the angry "confiscate and divide" rhetoric of the National Bolsheviks.

Instead of wasting his time on ideological rhetoric, he reads Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century and writes reviews about it on his website. And about 224 other books .

And this brings us to what makes Kholmogorov so unique: He is an extremely well-read autodidact.

This allows him to write informed and engaging articles on a very wide variety of different topics and breaking news.

In my opinion, Kholmogorov is simply the best modern Russian right-wing intellectual , period.

Unfortunately, he is almost entirely unknown in the English-speaking world; he does not angle for interviews with Western media outlets like Prosvirnin, nor does he energetically pursue foreign contacts like Dugin. Over the years I have done my very small part to remedy this situation, translating two of Kholmogorov's articles ( Europe's Week of Human Sacrifice ; A Cruel French Lesson ). Still, there's only so much one blogger with many other things to write about can do.

Happily, a multilingual Russian fan of Kholmogorov has stepped up to the plate: Fluctuarius Argenteus. Incidentally, he is a fascinating fellow in his own right – he is a well recognized expert in Spanish history and culture – though his insistence on anonymity constrains what I can reveal, at least beyond his wish to be the "Silver Surfer" to Kholmogorov's Galactus.

We hope to make translations of Kholmogorov's output consistently available on The Unz Review in the months to come.

In the meantime, I am privileged to present the first Fluctuarius-translated Kholmogorov article for your delectation.

***

A New Martin Luther?: James Damore's Case from a Russian Conservative Perspective

Original: https://tsargrad.tv/articles/triumf-gendernyh-sharikovyh_79187

Translated by Fluctuarius Argenteus :

Google fires employee James Damore for "perpetuating gender stereotypes.

– You persecute your employees for having opinions and violate the rights of White men, Centrists, and Conservatives.

– No, we don't. You're fired.

A conversation just like or similar to this one recently took place in the office of one of modern information market monsters, the Google Corporation.

Illustration to the Google scandal. James Damore fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes". Source: Screenshot of Instragram user bluehelix.

Google knows almost everything about us, including the contents of our emails, our addresses, our voice samples ( OK Google ), our favorite stuff, and, sometimes, our sexual preferences. Google used to be on the verge of literally looking at the world with our own eyes through Google Glass, but this prospect appears to have been postponed, probably temporarily. However, the threat of manipulating public opinion through search engine algorithms has been discussed in the West for a long while, even to the point of becoming a central House of Cards plotline.

Conversely, we know next to nothing about Google. Now, thanks to an ideological scandal that shook the company, we suddenly got a glimpse of corporate values and convictions that the company uses a roadmap to influencing us in a major way, and American worldview even more so. Suddenly, Google was revealed to be a system permeated by ideology, suffused with Leftist and aggressively feminist values.

The story goes this way. In early August, an anonymous manifesto titled Google's Ideological Echo Chamber was circulated through the local network of Google. The author lambasted the company's ideological climate, especially its policy of so-called diversity. This policy has been adopted by almost all of US companies, and Google has gone as far as to appoint a "chief diversity officer". The goal of the polity is to reduce the number of white cisgendered male employees, to employ as many minorities and women as possible and to give them fast-track promotions – which, in reality, gives them an unfair, non-market based advantage.

The author argues that Leftism and "diversity" policies lead to creating an "echo chamber" within the company, where a person only talks to those who share their opinions, and, through this conversation, is reinforced in the opinion that their beliefs are the only ones that matter. This "echo chamber" narrows one's intellectual horizon and undermines work efficiency, with following "the party line" taking precedence over real productivity.

In contrast to Google's buzzwords of "vision" and "innovation", the author claims that the company has lost its sight behind its self-imposed ideological blindfold and is stuck in a morass.

As Google employs intellectuals, argues the critic, and most modern Western intellectuals are from the Left, this leads to creating a closed Leftist clique within the company. If the Right rejects everything contrary to the God>human>nature hierarchy, the Left declares all natural differences between humans to be nonexistent or created by social constructs.

The central Leftist idea is the class struggle, and, given that the proletariat vs. bourgeoisie struggle is now irrelevant, the atmosphere of struggle has been transposed onto gender and race relations. Oppressed Blacks are fighting against White oppressors, oppressed women challenge oppressive males. And the corporate management (and, until recently, the US presidency) is charged with bringing the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to life by imposing the "diversity" policy.

The critic argues that the witch-hunt of Centrists and Conservatives, who are forced to conceal their political alignment or resign from the job, is not the only effect of this Leftist tyranny. Leftism also leads to inefficiency, as the coveted job goes not to the best there is but to the "best woman of color". There are multiple educational or motivation programs open only to women or minorities. This leads to plummeting efficiencies, disincentivizes White men from putting effort into work, and creates a climate of nervousness, if not sabotage. Instead of churning out new ground-breaking products, opines the critic, Google wastes too much effort on fanning the flames of class struggle.

What is the proposed solution?

Stop diving people into "oppressors" and "the oppressed" and forcefully oppressing the alleged oppressors. Stop branding every dissident as an immoral scoundrel, a racist, etc.

The diversity of opinion must apply to everyone. The company must stop alienating Conservatives, who are, to call a spade a spade, a minority that needs their rights to be protected. In addition, conservatively-inclined people have their own advantages, such as a focused and methodical approach to work.

Fight all kinds of prejudice, not only those deemed worthy by the politically correct America.

End diversity programs discriminatory towards White men and replace them with non-discriminatory ones.

Have an unbiased assessment of the costs and efficiency of diversity programs, which are not only expensive but also pit one part of the company's employees against the other.

Instead of gender and race differences, focus on psychological safety within the company. Instead of calling to "feel the others' pain", discuss facts. Instead of cultivating sensitivity and soft skins, analyze real issues.

Admit that not all racial or gender differences are social constructs or products of oppression. Be open towards the study of human nature.

The last point proved to be the most vulnerable, as the author of the manifesto went on to formulate his ideas on male vs. female differences that should be accepted as fact if Google is to improve its performance.

The differences argued by the author are as follows:

Women are more interested in people, men are more interested in objects.

Women are prone to cooperation, men to competition. All too often, women can't take the methods of competition considered natural among men.

Women are looking for a balance between work and private life, men are obsessed with status and

Feminism played a major part in emancipating women from their gender roles, but men are still strongly tied to theirs. If the society seeks to "feminize" men, this will only lead to them leaving STEM for "girly" occupations (which will weaken society in the long run).

It was the think piece on the natural differences of men and women that provoked the greatest ire. The author was immediately charged with propagating outdated sexist stereotypes, and the Google management commenced a search for the dissent, with a clear purpose of giving him the sack. On 8th August, the heretic was revealed to be James Damore, a programmer. He was fired with immediate effect because, as claimed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, "portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". Damore announced that he was considering a lawsuit.

We live in a post-Trump day and age, that is why the Western press is far from having a unanimous verdict on the Damore affair. Some call him "a typical sexist", for others he is a "free speech martyr". By dismissing Damore from his job, Google implicitly confirmed that all claims of an "echo chamber" and aggressive Leftist intolerance were precisely on point. Julian Assange has already tweeted: "Censorship is for losers, WikiLeaks is offering a job to fired Google engineer James Damore".

It is highly plausible that the Damore Memo may play the same breakthrough part in discussing the politically correct insanity as WikiLeaks and Snowden files did in discussing the dirty laundry of governments and secret services. If it comes to pass, Damore will make history as a new Martin Luther challenging the Liberal "Popery".

However, his intellectual audacity notwithstanding, it should be noted that Damore's own views are vulnerable to Conservative criticism. Unfortunately, like the bulk of Western thought, they fall into the trap of Leftist "cultural constructivism" and Conservative naturalism.

Allegedly, there are only two possible viewpoints. Either gender and race differences are biologically preordained and therefore unremovable and therefore should always be taken into account, or those differences are no more than social constructs and should be destroyed for being arbitrary and unfair.

The ideological groundwork of the opposing viewpoints is immediately apparent. Both equate "biological" with "natural" and therefore "true", and "social" with "artificial" and therefore "arbitrary" and "false". Both sides reject "prejudice" in favor of "vision", but politically correct Leftists reject only a fraction of prejudices while the critic calls for throwing all of them away indiscriminately.

As a response, Damore gets slapped with an accusation of drawing upon misogynist prejudice for his own ideas. Likewise, his view of Conservatives is quite superficial. The main Conservative trait is not putting effort into routine work but drawing upon tradition for creative inspiration. The Conservative principle is "innovation through tradition".

The key common mistake of both Google Leftists and their critic is their vision of stereotypes as a negative distortion of some natural truth. If both sides went for an in-depth reading of Edmund Burke, the "father of Conservatism", they would learn that the prejudice is a colossal historical experience pressurized into a pre-logical form, a collective consciousness that acts when individual reason fails or a scrupulous analysis is impossible. In such circumstances, following the prejudice is a more sound strategy than contradicting it. Prejudice is shorthand for common sense. Sometimes it oversimplifies things, but still works most of the time. And, most importantly, all attempts to act "in spite of the prejudice" almost invariably end in disaster.

Illustration to the Google scandal. A fox sits gazing at the Google's Ideological Echo Chamber exposing the ideas of the fired engineer James Damore. Source: Screenshot of Instragram user bluehelix.

However, the modern era allows us to diagnose our own prejudice and rationalize them so we could control them better, as opposed to blind obedience or rejection. Moreover, if the issue of "psychological training" ever becomes relevant in a country as conservative as Russia is, that is the problem we should concentrate on: analyzing the roots of our prejudices and their efficient use.

The same could be argued for gender relations. Damore opposes the Leftist "class struggle of the genders" with a technocratic model of maximizing the profit from each gender's pros and cons. This functionalism appears to be logical in its own way, but is indeed based on too broad assumptions, claiming that all women are unfit for competition, that all of them like relationships and housekeeping while all men are driven by objects and career. And, as Damore claims biological grounds for his assumptions, all our options boil down to mostly agreeing with him or branding him as a horrible sexist and male chauvinist.

However, the fact that gender roles historically developed based on biology but are, as a whole, a construct of society and culture does not give an excuse to changing or tearing them down, as clamored by Leftists. Quite the contrary: the social, cultural, and historical determinism of these roles gives us a reason to keep them in generally the same form without any coups or revolutions.

First, that tradition is an ever-growing accumulation of experience. Rejecting tradition is tantamount to social default and requires very good reasons to justify. Second, no change of tradition occurs as a result of a "gender revolution", only its parodic inversion. Putting men into high heels, miniskirts, and bras, fighting against urinals in public WCs only reverses the polarity without creating true equality. The public consciousness still sees the "male" as "superior", and demoting "masculinity" to "femininity" as a deliberate degradation of the "superior". No good can come of it, just as no good came out of humiliating wealth and nobility during the Communist revolution in Russia. What's happening now is not equal rights for women but the triumph of gender Bolshevism.

Damore's error, therefore, consists in abandoning the domain of the social and the historical to the enemy while limiting the Conservative sphere of influence to the natural, biological domain. However, the single most valuable trait in conservative worldview is defending the achievements of history and not just biological determinism.

The final goal of a Conservative solution to the gender problem should not be limited to a rationalist functionalization of society. It should lead to discovering a social cohesion where adhering to traditional male and female ways and stereotypes (let's not call them roles – the world is not a stage, and men and women not merely players) would not keep males and females from expressing themselves in other domains, provided they have a genuine calling and talent.

The art of war is not typical of a woman; however, women warriors such as Joan of Arc leave a much greater impact in historical memory. The art of government is seen as mostly male, yet it makes great female rulers, marked not by functional usefulness but true charisma, all the more memorable. The family is the stereotypical domain of the woman, which leads to greater reverence towards fathers that put their heart and soul into their families.

Social cohesion, an integral part of it being the harmony of men and women in the temple of the family, is the ideal to be pursued by our Russian, Orthodox, Conservative society. It is the collapse of the family that made gender relations into such an enormous issue in the West: men and women are no longer joined in a nucleus of solidarity but pitted against one another as members of antagonistic classes. And this struggle, as the Damore Memo has demonstrated, is already stymieing the business of Western corporations. Well, given our current hostile relations, it's probably for the better.

[Sep 22, 2018] Saturday Satire Down With The Working Classes! by CJ Hopkins

Sep 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by CJ Hopkins via Unz.com,

... ... ...

The international working classes are racists. They are misogynists. Xenophobic transphobes. They do not think the way we want them to. Some of them actually still believe in God. And they are white supremacists. Anti-Semites. Gun-toting, Confederate-flag-flying rednecks. Most of them have never even heard of terms like "intersectionality," "TERF," and so on.

They do not respect the corporate media. They think that news sources like the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and so on, are basically propaganda outlets for the global corporations and oligarchs who own them, and thus are essentially no different from FOX, whose pundits they believe every word of.

Their minds are so twisted by racism and xenophobia that they can't understand how global capitalism, the graduated phase-out of national sovereignty, the privatization of virtually everything, the debt-enslavement of nearly everyone, and the replacement of their so-called "cultures" with an ubiquitous, smiley-faced, gender-neutral, non-oppressive, corporate-friendly, Disney simulation of culture are actually wonderfully progressive steps forward on the road to a more peaceful, less offensive world.

Now this has been proved in numerous studies with all kinds of charts and graphs and so on. And not only by the corporate statisticians, and the corporate media, and liberal think tanks. Why, just this week, Mehdi Hasan, in an exasperated jeremiad in the pages of The Intercept , that bastion of fearless, adversarial journalism owned by billionaire Pierre Omidyar, proved, once again, that Donald Trump was elected because PEOPLE ARE GODDAMN RACISTS!

[Sep 21, 2018] Michael Hart's THE RISE AND FALL OF THE UNITED STATES by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... The Rise And Fall Of The United States ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ..

Dr. Hart's book is invaluable because it highlights some of the basic truths about America that modern-day histories simply conceal. For example, he writes: "America is much younger than most European nations . It did not exist at all prior to 1600 AD but was created in the ' colonial era .'"

This alone is a shot across the bow of Politically Correct histories that regard "America" simply as a geographic location. As Dr. Hart knows, "America" did not exist in any meaningful sense before the English settlement that created it -- our eponymous Virginia Dare's Roanoke Colony being the prototype. English settlers didn't "invade" a country that belonged to " Native Americans ," English settlers created one where none existed.

Dr. Hart provides a basic history of America's development, including highlighting specific incidents that ultimately proved critical to the future of the polity. One of the more interesting was the Zenger trial, a colonial case in which a journalist criticized the local governor and was charged with libel. A grand jury refused to indict Zenger, accepting his defense that the things he printed were true. Thanks to this case, Americans can claim truth as an absolute defense in libel cases, something our British cousins lack .

A highlight of Dr. Hart's history is his careful attention to demographic issues. For example, he scoffs at the claim sometimes heard within the dimmer quarters of the American Conservative Movement that the Constitution was a "miracle." Instead, Dr. Hart shows that the authors of America's governing document shared linguistic, cultural, racial, and experiential factors that allowed them to work together. (Contemporary American statesmen possess no such unanimity.) Dr. Hart is also not blind to the Constitution's faults, especially its failure to designate how and who has the power to interpret it -- specifically, not necessarily the Kritarchs on the Supreme Court.

Dr. Hart is also clearsighted regarding immigration. He does not accept the now de rigueur analysis that immigration from widely disparate regions was always a feature of American life. "Before 1849, immigrants to the Untied States came mostly from the Protestant regions of northwest Europe, including Holland , Sweden, Norway , Germany and Great Britain," he observes. He also provides an honest assessment of the difficulties Irish immigration presented for 19 th century America and argues that despite speaking English, "they assimilated very slowly."

Dr. Hart argues the "Golden Age" of the United States extended from 1865 to 1991. "During that interval the United States stood out for its wealth, for its military might, and for its unprecedented set of practical inventions and scientific discoveries," he argues. Indeed, one of the best parts of the book is when Dr. Hart recounts the numerous inventions and scientific advances America has given to the world.

However, Dr. Hart's most invaluable contribution is in detailing what he sees as the symptoms of America's decline after the Cold War. America's indebtedness, relatively poor military performance , loss of Constitutional liberties, and collapse of artistic standards are all covered. Two other issues highly relevant to immigration patriots are what Dr. Hart calls "political problems" and "loss of confidence and national pride."

Dr. Hart details how Democratic politicians have diligently opposed any efforts to implement common-sense voter ID laws to prevent election fraud. Media bias is another major political problem, one an increasing number of Americans are awakening to. Finally, Dr. Hart identifies the "increase in racial hostilities" as both a symptom and a cause of America's increasing political problems. "Black hostility towards whites is constantly being stirred up by 'race hustlers' such as Al Sharpton , who deny any good faith on the part of whites," he writes. "Many people deny that any progress has been made in the status and treatment of black Americans -- a blatant untruth which increases black suspicions and hostilities."

Similarly, the decline in national pride is partially a product of how the charge of "racism" has delegitimized our entire national history. "According to many of these critics, our Constitution was produced by a group of 'Dead White European Males' (DWEMs, for short) who do not deserve any respect," he writes. As a result of internalizing this poisonous attack on America's heritage, some advocate Open Borders as a kind of historical reparations of punishment for a "racist" country.

Dr. Hart writes:

One result of these attitudes is that many Americans find it unreasonable for the United States to defend its borders. (After all, since we stole the country from the Indians, we have no real claim on our land.) Sometimes these views lead to people suggesting that non-citizens should be permitted to vote in American elections. In any disagreement or conflict between the United States and a foreign group, many of these critics tend to blame America first. Many of these critics do not even pretend to be patriotic.

Dr. Hart identifies a host of causes to explain the emergence of these symptoms. Though they are too many to cover here, two very much worth mentioning are

Dr. Hart points out that for all the talk about white racism, the vast majority of interracial crime is committed by blacks against whites. Hatred of whites is not only mainstream but cultivated by the Main Stream Media, the education system, and even some Democratic politicians -- a coalition that Dr. Hart judges is too powerful to break.

Similarly, Dr. Hart details the disastrous consequences of the 1965 Immigration Act and explicitly calls for its repeal, but he is pessimistic about the prospects for doing so.

The most explosive part of the book is its concluding chapter, in which Dr. Hart discusses the various scenarios by which the United States could "fall," either by breaking up, being extinguished, or losing its political independence and being subsumed into a larger polity. All of these terrible scenarios have vastly increased in likelihood because of the destabilizing and destructive effects of mass immigration.

The "fall" of the United States may even occur without most people even noticing it at the time. "Without any foreign conquest, and without any sharp break, the USA might be transformed into a multinational state without any loyalty to our English origin," he writes. "In fact, such a process may already be in process."

During his discussion of causes for American decline, Dr. Hart identifies the most important "by far" as the "loss of pride and confidence." He blames this on the relentless hate campaign waged against "our ancestors" by educators and the Main Stream Media, leading to a situation in which Americans feel "ashamed of their country." In other words, Dr. Hart is really talking about a loss of identity.

With his history of the United States, and his frank discussion of the issues endangering its existence, Dr. Hart has performed a valuable service for Americans seeking to reclaim their national identity. For anyone curious about their country's past and concerned about its future, The Rise And Fall Of The United States (full disclosure: A VDARE book -- who else would publish it?) is well worth purchasing.

anonymous , [469] Disclaimer says: September 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT

No mention of white slavery in Plantation America?
mark green , says: September 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm GMT
If/when America does break apart, it will not be a result of conventional war. The attack/upheaval will come from within.

Ironically, the trillions spent by Washington on our global MIC will not, in the end, protect the American people from what is now our greatest threat: internal treason against Historic America and its core people.

Ironically, instead of returning home to protect US borders when the cold war ended, American troops were dispersed around the world to fight phantom threats and protect non-essential foreign entities and extra-national interests.

This ongoing waste of US resources abroad continues to serve the interests of globalists, militarists, and Zionists. Meanwhile, our domestic security, our Main Street economy, and the continuity of white, European-derived culture and people inside America gets short shrift. This glaring disconnect may be our nation's undoing.

The 'proposition nation' concept was a fraud from the start since it ignores the vital significance of race, culture, language, and IQ.

The engine for America's coming implosion is demographic: uninterrupted, illegal, non-white immigration by Third World refugees. Hostile elites who now dominate America are also key. They refuse to acknowledge the perils of 'diversity'. Many want America changed, irreversibly so.

Meanwhile, white identity and white cohesion have been demonized in our schools as well as by our dominant mass media. This campaign has undermined white identity, white cohesion and white interests in general.

Numerous, politically-correct expressions of anti-white hatred are now in wide circulation. These hate-terms are, ironically, protected from criticism even though they are applied selectively to target whites. Those few who contest these double-standards (including Pres. Trump) are routinely defamed by comparisons to 'Hitler' or references to the KKK. The basic translation comes down to this: Shut up.

This unhealthy and insidious paradigm is here by design. It is used to not only justify anti-white animus, but to legitimize anti-white violence whenever and wherever whites try to assemble and express their grievances and/or aspirations. This very sinister double-standard has taken deep root. It is nurtured by biased reporting and coverage. It has spawned 'antifa'.

Modern speech rules and penalties favor privileged 'minorities' just as they cleary disfavor and penalize white advocacy.

Among the popular terms that lend support to anti-white bigotry are: 'racist', 'nativist', 'white supremacy', 'Islamophobia', and 'anti-Semitism'.

These shame-inducing memes have 1) contaminated the American mind and 2) empowered our race-conscious adversaries. They must be deconstructed and deligimized if we are to protect our interests and preserve America's demographic core.

Resistance, cohesion and self-defense are not fascistic sentiments. They are legitimate expressions of democratic self-determination.

[Sep 18, 2018] The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules

Sep 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Sep 17, 2018 8:33:14 AM | link

A quick observation and a fascinating parallele. Serena Williams and the US global hyperpower.

Serena at 36 got bitten fair and square at US open by a girl of 20, almost half her age. So she throws up a nuclear tantrum, publicly calling the referee a thief, threatening that he will never referee again, obviously thanks to her money, power and gender.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty the referee Ramos awarded her]."

The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules. The irony of killing the Yemenis en mass whilst "fighting" for the human rights of terrorists in Syria is just like Serena fighting for women's rights against another younger and more capable woman.

donkeytale , Sep 17, 2018 9:21:31 AM | link

Kiza - interesting point. Yes clearly Serena retrofitted the women's movement to justify what was an old-fashioned Connors/McEnroe male tennis tantrum, although extremely mild comapred to some of the crap those two pulled back in the day.

What goes without saying is the behaviour is as repulsive when Serena does it as when McEnroe/Connors did.

Serena at 36 is no longer the dominant force just as America is no longer. However, it is fair to say the winner is where she is because she trained extensively and I believe lives in America so really she is an example of globalism and racial diversity, if not American exeptionalism.

Women's tennis post Serena will not be dominated by Americans, but by American training of the best players regardless of their origination

[Sep 18, 2018] Liberals love to lampoon the Prophet Muhammad, but hands off Serena Williams by Robert Bridge

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty Ramos awarded her] ..."
"... "I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too,' ..."
"... "Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?" ..."
"... "we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court." ..."
"... "visual imperialism," ..."
"... "a black grotesque seeming natural." ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.rt.com

After being penalized for calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief," Williams summoned up the evil spirits of political correctness to plead her case. She was heard telling officials that many male tennis players have done "much worse" without any sort of retribution. In other words, Ramos was a cave-dwelling "sexist" put on earth to thwart the progress of womanhood.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty Ramos awarded her] .

There were faint echoes of Oprah Winfrey's famous speech at the Golden Globes in that it was the right message delivered at exactly the wrong time and place.

Read more Steph Curry says Serena Williams showed 'grace & class' in US Open final, internet raises eyebrows

So now, America's dethroned tennis queen, playing the gender card game instead of tennis, is acting spokesperson for downtrodden women everywhere. Yet certainly Williams has heard of John McEnroe, the former American tennis star whose on-court temper tantrums are now legendary. In 1990, for example, this loudmouthed male was tossed out of the Australian Open – not just penalized – for verbally abusing the chair umpire, much like Williams did.

Since it may come off as chauvinistic for me – a burly male – to criticize Serena, perhaps it would be more appropriate to quote Martina Navratilova, 61, one of the greatest female tennis players of all time.

"I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too,' Navratilova wrote in a New York Times op-ed regarding Williams' epic meltdown. "Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?"

The Czech-born American went on to comment that "we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court."

Eureka! Navratilova – who hails from a bygone era when the vision of political correctness, 'virtue signaling' and 'social justice warriors' was just a flash in the pan – nailed it. Instead of looking to some external other to explain our life circumstances – like losing a tennis match, for example, or a presidential election (wink, wink) – people should look to themselves as the agents for proactive and positive change. Such a message, however, would quickly sink the Liberal ship, which is predicated upon the idea that the world is forever divided between oppressor and oppressed. What the Liberals fail to appreciate, however, is that they are becoming the real oppressors as they continue to sideline anybody who does not think and act exactly as they do.

Following Serena's epic meltdown, the Melbourne-based Herald Sun published a cartoon by Mark Knight that shows the American tennis star as she proceeds to stomp on her racket, mouth open and hair going straight up. It was not a flattering or subtle drawing, but given the circumstances, that should probably come as no surprise.

2015: 12 Charlie Hebdo illustrators shot dead for depiction of prophet Muhammad - thousands line streets demonstrating for freedom of sattire & humour

2018: Mark Knight draws caricature of Serena Williams - thousands shout racist & demand his removal from Twiter and the media pic.twitter.com/NDpFrbigca

-- Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) September 12, 2018

The Liberal outrage came fast and heavy as critics slammed the caricature as racist and offensive. It would take hundreds of pages to recite them all, but as one example, CNN columnist Rebecca Wanzo labeled the cartoon as an example of – wait for it – "visual imperialism," which is manifest by "a black grotesque seeming natural."

Never mind that the behavior of Serena Williams was "grotesque," which is what inspired Knight's unflattering drawing of her in the first place. That is what is meant by a 'caricature', where the artist attempts to convey the essence of an event through imagery. Yes, sometimes brutal imagery.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News, he is author of the book, 'Midnight in the American Empire,' released in 2013.

[Sep 17, 2018] The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules

Sep 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Sep 17, 2018 8:33:14 AM | link

A quick observation and a fascinating parallele. Serena Williams and the US global hyperpower.

Serena at 36 got bitten fair and square at US open by a girl of 20, almost half her age. So she throws up a nuclear tantrum, publicly calling the referee a thief, threatening that he will never referee again, obviously thanks to her money, power and gender.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty the referee Ramos awarded her]."

The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules. The irony of killing the Yemenis en mass whilst "fighting" for the human rights of terrorists in Syria is just like Serena fighting for women's rights against another younger and more capable woman.

donkeytale , Sep 17, 2018 9:21:31 AM | link

Kiza - interesting point. Yes clearly Serena retrofitted the women's movement to justify what was an old-fashioned Connors/McEnroe male tennis tantrum, although extremely mild comapred to some of the crap those two pulled back in the day.

What goes without saying is the behaviour is as repulsive when Serena does it as when McEnroe/Connors did.

Serena at 36 is no longer the dominant force just as America is no longer. However, it is fair to say the winner is where she is because she trained extensively and I believe lives in Amerikkka so really she is an example of globalism and racial diversity, if not Amerikkkan exeptionalism.

Women's tennis post Serena will not be dominated by Amerikkkans but by Amerikkkan training of the best players regardless of their origination

[Sep 15, 2018] Another issue is that Williams deliberately puts on a tantrum and then claims the tantrum is normal emotional behaviour. On top of that, she tries to pass off this spoilt-brat outburst as characteristic of how strong, feminist women behave

Female sociopaths are very skillful in playing identity politics.
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake September 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm

I agree with Martina Navratilova on Serena Williams conduct

" Navratilova went so far as to write an editorial for the New York Times in which she claimed that, in complaining post-match that Ramos would not have reacted the same way to an argumentative male player, Williams was "missing the point" and would have been better served conducting herself with "respect for the sport we love so dearly."

"I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too,' " Navratilova said of Williams in her editorial. "Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?"

Serena Williams behaviour ruined the experience of victory for Naomi Osaka, if you get a chance to see film of the whole debacle with the booing crowd! She looked like the most miserable winner in ever.

Jen September 11, 2018 at 3:58 am
Another issue is that Williams deliberately puts on a tantrum and then claims the tantrum is normal emotional behaviour. On top of that, she tries to pass off this spoilt-brat outburst as characteristic of how strong, feminist women behave. All done as much to deny Osaka the joy of winning her first major championship as to attack the umpire.

And people who should know better swallow Williams' idiocy hook, line and sinker.

[Sep 15, 2018] Serena Williams Serves Tantrum, Scores for Identity Politics by David Masciotra

Very apt: "So we excuse the rules and condemn their application---but only for certain people"
I suspect nationalism or ethnocentrism were also factors, not only identity politics. Selena has ungly history of tantrum thouth and that might point to poriblems with performance enhancing drags (she did have a unexplained meltdown in Wimbledon 2014)
Notable quotes:
"... Drama and literature at their best offer illustrative anecdotes -- small stories that represents larger truths. The absurdist theater of the women's U.S. Open tennis final, along with the mania it provoked, has become just such an anecdote. It illustrates the bleak assessment Edward Ward, my former philosophy professor and friend, once uttered over cheese sandwiches in the campus cafeteria: "We live in a society where we excuse the rules, and condemn their application." ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Serena Williams Serves Tantrum, Scores for Identity Politics So we excuse the rules and condemn their application---but only for certain people

Drama and literature at their best offer illustrative anecdotes -- small stories that represents larger truths. The absurdist theater of the women's U.S. Open tennis final, along with the mania it provoked, has become just such an anecdote. It illustrates the bleak assessment Edward Ward, my former philosophy professor and friend, once uttered over cheese sandwiches in the campus cafeteria: "We live in a society where we excuse the rules, and condemn their application."

Indifference to behavioral regulations and standards of practice had become common to the point of banality, Ward argued, subjecting anyone who attempted to enforce the rules to vilification.

For those who do not closely follow professional tennis, here's a review of the controversy. Serena Williams, undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the history of the game, was facing a rising superstar from Japan, Naomi Osaka. Williams is only one grand slam championship away from tying the all-time record, but has recently struggled to triumph over her younger opponents (most tennis players retire in their early to mid-thirties; Williams is 37). Osaka had already defeated Williams with ease at the Miami Open in March.

It appeared that the U.S. Open was headed for a repeat early in the match, with Osaka asserting swift dominance. Early in the first set, however, the linesman, Carlos Ramos, called a court violation on Williams' coach because he was signaling her -- an illegal activity in the sport of tennis. Rather than accept the warning, Williams unleashed a reality TV-style tirade on Ramos, excoriating him for "misreading" her coach's hand gestures and making bizarre reference to her daughter: "I never cheat I have a daughter, and I stand for what is right for her."

(Immediately following the match, in a rare and refreshing moment of honesty, Williams' coach admitted that he was signaling her the entire time, making Williams look both deceitful and foolish. Most post-match commentary has conveniently omitted the coach's confession from the record.)

After Williams lost the opening set's fifth game, she slammed her racket into the ground, causing its frame to bend. Intentional damage to a racquet is a code violation, and Ramos penalized her a point, the standard punishment for a second offense. Osaka quickly won the next game, making her the winner of the first set with a lopsided score of 6-2.

Williams then began screaming at Ramos, telling him that he was wrong to penalize her and protesting that the warning she received should not count as a violation because she was not cheating. Ramos sat silently as Williams ridiculed his performance as linesman and demanded that he apologize.

The second set advanced quickly with Osaka continuing to make fast work of Williams. During every break in play, Williams continued to badger Ramos, indicating that she would not stop until he announced over his microphone that he was sorry for what he did to her. He ignored her expressions of anger.

What Ever Happened to the Rule of Law? The Darker Implications of Trump's Vulgarity

After Osaka pulled ahead 4-3, Williams again berated Ramos for his monstrous failures as a human being. Bringing her rant to a climax, she called him a "liar" and a "thief."

To impugn the character of a linesman violates the code of conduct governing play in professional tennis. Ramos flagged her for the third time, issuing the penalty of a forfeited game, making the set score 5-3. Williams pleaded with supervising officials of the tournament -- one man, one woman -- to overturn Ramos' calls, and they refused. She then made the contemptible claim that excited countless social media users and political commentators around the country: "I've seen men get away with his all the time. Just because I'm a woman, you are going to take this away from me."

Osaka won the second set, 6-4, and in doing so, became the first Japanese champion of the U.S. Open. The audience loudly booed and jeered throughout the awards ceremony, and the commissioner of the U.S. Open disgraced herself by saying, on air and in front of the rightful champion, "This isn't the end we were looking for." Williams made an attempt to recover some dignity by instructing her vulgar fans to stop heckling, but the entire event had already transformed into an ugly American extravaganza. Most infuriating was that Osaka looked dejected, unable to enjoy her first grand slam victory.

The next day, USA Today ran an opinion piece with the headline "Sexism Cost Serena Williams Tennis Title." Many other writers and TV analysts, none of whom seemed to know anything about tennis rules or history, began reciting from the same fatuous and phony script. A few have even tried to racialize the story, though given that Osaka's father is Haitian, that narrative has failed to gain traction.

Acting as though Ramos were self-evidently a misogynist, most media mouthpieces ignored that throughout the U.S. Open, male players have been called for 86 violations and women only 22. Nine of the 10 largest fines in tennis history for on-court violations have gone to men. Ramos himself has earned the wrath of men's champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer for making calls they felt were too rigid and punitive.

The mob has also compared Williams' tantrum with the boorish imbecility of 1980s tennis stars John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. While it's true that both players often acted with disrespect more reminiscent of barroom drunks than professional athletes, they also benefitted from terribly lenient regulations of professional tennis. The ATP did not standardize the rules or crack down on outlandish player conduct until the late 1980s. Not coincidentally, McEnroe was ejected from the 1990 Australian Open after his fourth violation in a single match.

And yet arguing about the rules and pointing to the score of the match -- it is almost certain that Osaka would have won regardless -- feels oddly archaic. Many of Williams' desperate defenders are acting in emotional accordance with some strange, eschatological commitment to identity politics, and no amount of factual information will dissuade them. Another term my friend was fond of using was "biased apperception." The critics who call Ramos sexist without giving him the opportunity to defend himself have adopted a position and are working backwards to validate it. To pull this off, they have no choice but to excuse the rules and condemn their application. There is no debate that Williams broke three different rules, yet the lineman is sexist because he chose to apply them.

Rebecca Traister, a leading feminist writer for New York , begins her boring and predictable interpretation of the events with the following admission (which negates all the subsequent sentences in her essay):

I don't care much about the rules of tennis that Serena Williams was accused of violating at Saturday night's U.S. Open final. Those rules were written for a game and for players who were not supposed to look or express themselves or play the game as beautifully and passionately as either Serena Williams or the young woman who eventually beat her, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, do.

Overlooking Traister's weird disparagement of every women's champion who proceeded Williams and Osaka as ugly and impassive, and her incoherent grammar (how is a game supposed to "express themselves"?), it is revealing that she prefaces her entire argument by saying that rules do not matter if the right people did not author them. The crime is not the transgression, but the enforcement.

The "excuse the rules, condemn the application" mentality is a societal sickness responsible for much that troubles our body politic.

To begin with an example that will interest those who practice identity politics, President Donald Trump has thrived on condemning those who enforce the rules. Though he regularly demonstrates a daunting pattern of dishonesty, is an unnamed co-conspirator in a criminal indictment, has seen several of his associates indicted or convicted of crimes, and continually makes a mockery of decorum and etiquette, whenever he is caught in an act of wrongdoing, his immediate response is to spit a venomous stream of clichés: "fake news," "deep state," "witch hunt."

Another example is the bailout of the big banks that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Few disagreed that the world's major financial institutions violated the rules, but the idea of accountability was suddenly radical and unthinkable.

If a connection between corporate malfeasance, presidential malpractice, and a tennis champion's childish outburst seems tenuous, consider that in all three cases the get-out-of-jail-free card is an appeal to ideology. Rules, we are asked to believe, are irrelevant, and even themselves infringements on belief systems like populism and feminism that are regarded as more important.

The self-involvement and extreme subjectivity necessary for such a destructive belief permeates into non-ideological aspects of culture. Grade inflation in higher education, as any instructor can attest, exists largely because students cannot fathom suffering consequences for lazy or mediocre work. The issuance of assignments and exams is fine, but to actually grade them according to an objective standard is evil.

America needs a serious dose of Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative. One should act only in such a way that one would approve of everyone else acting in a given situation.

Writing for The New York Times , retired tennis champion Martina Navratilova wisely states, "We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with. In fact, this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court. There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket."

Obvious to anyone but the willfully ignorant, this is a far better formula for a healthy society than "I don't care about the rules."

David Masciotra is the author of four books, including Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky) and Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing).

Kurt Gayle September 13, 2018 at 11:26 pm

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) released the following statement relating to umpiring decisions during the 2018 US Open Women's final:

"Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis. Mr. Ramos' decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were re-affirmed by the US Open's decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offences. It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate. At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr. Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity."

"The Grand Slam Rule Book can be found here. Player on site offences including the point penalty schedule used in this instance can be found in Article III."

ARTICLE III: PLAYER ON-SITE OFFENCES -- pages 36-48

https://www.itftennis.com/media/277968/277968.pdf

Martin Gomez, September 14, 2018 at 10:22 pm

I follow tennis and am not a feminist. There were two things the ump should have done. First, everyone knows that all players in tennis are getting coached. If ump was going to call it, he should have warned both players and coaches before the match.

Second, when Serena was mouthing off during the changeover, he should have told her: "you've made your point, one more insult and you're going to get a penalty" and then, just ignore her. If she keeps it up then you dick her.

As for Serena, she is a brand. Which is why she blew up for being caught cheating. It was more important for her to defend her image than to win the match

Kalmia, September 15, 2018 at 9:17 am

Serena Williams is not unusual in being a world-class athlete/competitor who is also a very very bad loser. Her behavior wasn't that unusual and the punishment in the game was appropriate, it should have ended with that. In my view, it's the crowd and her supporters who are the real villains here for letting their bias towards her (and identity politics) warp their sense of justice and fairness. Poor Osaka deserved much better than the booing and rash of hot takes.

Jeeves, September 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Rat: Williams was livid because she was getting her tutu kicked all over the court. Desperate and depraved gamesmanship was all it was.

Although you'd never know it from the terrible reporting in this article, following the game-penalty imposed by Ramos, Osaka intentionally gave Serena the next game by missing returns of Serena's serve -- I suppose hoping to calm down the woman who was her tennis idol growing up. It didn't work, though, because Serena was unappeased–and outplayed. (To top it off, the stupid TV commentators wanted to give Serena kudos for her quieting of her booing fans at the awards presentation. No-class athlete, no-class fans.)

Sisera, September 15, 2018 at 10:16 pm

@WorkingClass

Agreed & isn't it funny how in the world of many centrist 'apologist' types, fighting back against identity politics, entitlement of elites, etc. is in and of itself identity politics?

I mean it's like the grade school insult of 'I know you are but what am I'….and many (albeit not this author) say it with all the smugness and gotchaness in the world.

They adhere to identity politics and have no self awareness and hence can't recognize it.

Ivo Olavo Castro da Silva, September 16, 2018 at 12:31 am

The fact that Serena's fans and the media supported her disgusting actions only confirm their total absence of any moral standard.

Tennis Fan, September 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

In response to "Rat says…Why did the judge decide that the final was the time to start applying an otherwise-ignored rule? Sure, it would have been preferable for her to keep her cool, but it's understandable why Williams was livid."

It may be that coaches get away with coaching quite often, however, IMHO the umpire happened to actually catch the coach right in the act of coaching (and if you see the video of the supposed incident, her coach, Patrick, actually gives two head-nods in that very brief moment and to me, the head-nods acknowledge that they made eye contact-my personal opinion only).

The umpire immediately decided to call it out... Who knows, maybe in that very moment, he felt it wasn't fair for her to be getting coaching, he actually caught the coaching, and his gut instinct was to make the call on it. I don't fault the umpire one bit. Had Serena accepted the call and moved on, the entire tide of the match may have taken a different turn.

[Sep 15, 2018] The PC drones are rather mentally deficient. They respond to trigger phrases and not to concepts or principles.

Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

kirill September 10, 2018 at 6:48 pm

As commented elsewhere, all her screeching about double standards for women are utter BS. She broke the rules while playing against another woman and not a man. The men's tennis league is utterly irrelevant since she may as well have compared her league to men's football. She failed by the standards of her league and not those of another. It was clear that she was breaking the rules of her league and she was the one that escalated the conflict. It has nothing to do with women's rights.

The PC drones are rather mentally deficient. They respond to trigger phrases and not to concepts or principles.

Jen September 10, 2018 at 6:49 pm
Australian cartoonist Mark Knight is in trouble with J K Rowling and other self-styled guardians of who may portray Serena Williams in meltdown and who may not. The offending drawing below:

[Sep 12, 2018] The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz by Nelson D. Schwartz

Notable quotes:
"... By cutting interest rates to near zero and pumping trillions -- yes, you read that right -- into the economy, the Federal Reserve essentially put a trampoline under the stock market. ..."
"... Only about half of American households have any exposure to the stock market, including 401(k)'s and retirement plans, and ownership of the shares of individual companies is clustered among upper-income families. ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

A decade ago this week, Wall Street imploded. Read our special coverage .

Once a year or so, the economist Diane Swonk ventures into the basement of her 1891 Victorian house outside Chicago and opens a plastic box containing the items that mean the most to her: awards, wedding pictures, the clothes she was wearing at the World Trade Center on the day it was attacked. But what she seeks out again and again is a bound diary of the events of the financial crisis and their aftermath.

"It's useful to go back and see what a chaotic time it was and how terrifying it was," she said. "That time is seared in my mind. I looked at it again recently, and all the pain came flooding back."

A decade later, things are eerily calm. The economy, by nearly any official measure, is robust . Wall Street is flirting with new highs . And the housing market, the epicenter of the crash, has recovered in many places. But like the diary stored in Ms. Swonk's basement, the scars of the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession are still with us, just below the surface.

The most profound of these is that the uneven nature of the recovery compounded a long-term imbalance in the accumulation of wealth. As a consequence, what it means to be secure has changed. Wealth, real wealth, now comes from investment portfolios, not salaries. Fortunes are made through an initial public offering, a grant of stock options, a buyout or another form of what high-net-worth individuals call a liquidity event.

Data from the Federal Reserve show that over the last decade and a half, the proportion of family income from wages has dropped from nearly 70 percent to just under 61 percent. It's an extraordinary shift, driven largely by the investment profits of the very wealthy. In short, the people who possess tradable assets, especially stocks, have enjoyed a recovery that Americans dependent on savings or income from their weekly paycheck have yet to see. Ten years after the financial crisis, getting ahead by going to work every day seems quaint, akin to using the phone book to find a number or renting a video at Blockbuster.

The financial crisis didn't just kill the dream of getting rich from your day job. It also put an end to a fundamental belief of the middle class: that owning a home was always a good idea because prices moved in only one direction -- up. The bubble, while it lasted, gave millions in the middle class a sense of validation of their financial acumen, and made them feel as if they had done the Right Thing.

In theory, if you lost your job, or suffered some other kind of financial setback, you could always sell into a real estate market that was forever rising. Ever-higher home prices became a steam valve, and the "greater fool" theory substituted for any conventional measure of value.

The kindling for the fire that consumed Wall Street and nearly the entire economy was mortgages that should never have been taken out in the first place. Homeowners figured the more house the better, whether or not their income could support the monthly payment, while greedy banks and middlemen were all too happy to encourage them.

Ten years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed. Everything changed.
Read more in our series "

When the bubble burst, the bedrock investment for many families was wiped out by a combination of falling home values and too much debt. A decade after this debacle, the typical middle-class family's net worth is still more than $40,000 below where it was in 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. The damage done to the middle-class psyche is impossible to price, of course, but no one doubts that it was vast.

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Banks were hurt, too, but aside from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the pain proved transitory. Bankers themselves were never punished for their sins. In one form or another -- the Troubled Asset Relief Program, quantitative easing, the Fed's discount window -- the financial sector was supported in spectacular fashion.

Like the bankers, shareholders and investors were also bailed out. By cutting interest rates to near zero and pumping trillions -- yes, you read that right -- into the economy, the Federal Reserve essentially put a trampoline under the stock market. The subsequent bounce produced a windfall, but only for a limited group of beneficiaries. Only about half of American households have any exposure to the stock market, including 401(k)'s and retirement plans, and ownership of the shares of individual companies is clustered among upper-income families.

For homeowners, there wasn't much of a rescue package from Washington, and eight million succumbed to foreclosure. Sometimes, eviction came in the form of marshals with court orders; in other cases, families quietly handed over the keys to the bank and just walked away. Although home prices in hot markets have fully recovered, many homeowners are still underwater in the worst-hit states like Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Meanwhile, more Americans are renting and have little prospect of ever owning a home.

Worsening the picture, the post-crisis era has been marked by an increased disparity in wealth between white, Hispanic and African-American members of the middle class. That's according to an analysis of Fed data by the Pew Research Center, which found that families in the latter two groups were more dependent on housing as their principal form of investment. Not only were both minority groups harder hit by foreclosures, but Hispanics were also twice as likely as other Americans to be living in Sun Belt states where the housing crash was most severe.

In 2016, net worth among white middle-income families was 19 percent below 2007 levels, adjusted for inflation. But among blacks, it was down 40 percent, and Hispanics saw a drop of 46 percent. For many, old-fashioned hard work has simply not been a viable path out of this hole. After unemployment peaked in the fall of 2009, it took years for joblessness to return to pre-recession levels. Slack in the labor market left the employed and unemployed alike with little leverage to demand raises, even as corporate profits surged.

Maybe it was inevitable that when half the population watches its wages stagnate while the other half gets rich in the market, the result is President Donald Trump and Brexit.

"It peeled away the facade and revealed an anger that had been building for decades," said Ms. Swonk, who is chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago. "The crisis was horrific, but its legacy pushed us over the edge in terms of the discontent."

It also made inequality and the One Percent an urgent topic, and made unlikely celebrities of wonky intellectuals such as the economist Thomas Piketty. His best seller, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," published in 2013, was 816 data-laden pages that laid out a grim diagnosis. Mr. Piketty argued that the decades after World War II, when the divisions between the classes narrowed and opportunities to move up the economic ladder expanded -- that is, when the middle class as we knew it was formed -- may actually have been an aberration. Society, Mr. Piketty wrote, risks a return to the historical norm of a yawning gap between rich and poor.

Whether or not he is right, the concentration of wealth that is a legacy of the financial crisis will make itself felt far into the future. Younger Americans, in particular, will be marked by the experience of 2008 much as the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression haunted the generations who lived through it in the last century. Not only were they unable to accumulate assets in the lean years of the early recovery, but they also missed out on the recent stock market rally that benefited their older and richer peers.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that while all birth cohorts lost wealth during the Great Recession, Americans born in the 1980s were at the "greatest risk for becoming a lost generation for wealth accumulation."

For those fortunate enough to still possess wealth after the crisis, the future looks very different. With the security provided by assets, rather than just income, they and especially their children are on a glide path for a gilded financial future.

"Over and over, you see that family wealth is an important determinant of opportunity for the next generation, over and above income," said Fabian T. Pfeffer, a sociologist at the University of Michigan. "Wealth serves as a private safety net that allows you to behave differently and plan differently."

A wealthy person who loses a job can afford to be more choosy and wait for an opportunity suited to his or her skills and experience. The risk of going to an expensive college and taking on debt is lower when there is parental wealth to fall back on.

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Timothy Smeeding, who teaches public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin, put it more bluntly. "You can see dynasties starting to form," he said.

Ten years have passed since the trauma of 2008, the nerves are still raw, and the pain still has a way of flaring up. Every time she goes down into the basement and peruses her diary, Diane Swonk feels it anew.

"It is the diary of an economist, as well as a mother and a human being," Ms. Swonk said. It includes her published writings for clients, as well as her feelings, thoughts and fears as the crisis unfolded. She also recorded her impression of key figures she met during those fateful months, including Lawrence H. Summers, a top White House economic official at the time, and Ben S. Bernanke, then the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

"The financial crisis became a delineator," she said. "There were those who could recoup their losses and those who could not. Some people have amnesia, but we are still living with the wounds."

Nelson D. Schwartz has covered economics since 2012. Previously, he wrote about Wall Street and banking, and also served as European economic correspondent in Paris. He joined The Times in 2007 as a feature writer for the Sunday Business section.

[Sep 07, 2018] Bernie Sanders Introduces 'Stop BEZOS' Bill To Tax Amazon For Underpaying Workers

Notable quotes:
"... Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org

(theverge.com) Sanders' Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (abbreviated "Stop BEZOS") -- along with Khanna's House of Representatives counterpart, the Corporate Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act -- would institute a 100 percent tax on government benefits that are granted to workers at large companies . The bill's text characterizes this as a "corporate welfare tax," and it would apply to corporations with 500 or more employees. If workers are receiving government aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), national school lunch and breakfast programs, Section 8 housing subsidies, or Medicaid, employers will be taxed for the total cost of those benefits. The bill applies to full-time and part-time employees, as well as independent contractors that are de facto company employees.

[Sep 07, 2018] Silicon Valley Has Been Treating Workers 'Miserably' Since the 1970s, Economic Historian Says

Sep 07, 2018 | news.slashdot.org

"Uber is the waste product of the service economy," Hyman said on the latest episode of Recode Decode , a podcast.

"It relies on a bunch of people who don't have an alternative." Hyman told Recode that the number of people who have to rely on temporary, freelance or other "alternative work arrangements" has been growing since the 1970s , when the era of bloated corporations gave way to businesses that optimized for short-term profits and began treating workers as disposable.

"The alternative to driving for Uber is not a good job in a factory with a union wage or working in a stable office job, it's slinging coffee at a Starbucks where you may or may not get the hours you need," he said. "That is what people are shoring up. They're shoring up getting enough hours, trying to make ends meet. Oftentimes, people talk about the gig economy as 'supplementary income' ...

It's not supplemental if you need it to pay for your kids' braces, or food, or rent."

Hyman argued that this phenomenon could be traced back to the legions of undocumented migrant laborers who built early computers, before those manufacturing jobs moved overseas.

[Sep 03, 2018] How identity politics poison politivcal dioscourse and divide people by Tobias Langdon

Notable quotes:
"... The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society ..."
"... "Liberal democracy is in danger," Sacks said, adding later: "The politics of freedom risks descending into the politics of fear." Sacks said Britain's politics had been poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment. The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been "inexorably divisive." ..."
"... "A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others," he said. In an interview with the Times ..."
"... The Jerusalem Post ..."
Sep 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

The poisoning of Britain's politics

Well, if Rabbi Sacks and other Jews want anti-Semitism, I think they should look much closer to home. This is from the Jerusalem Post in 2007:

Sacks: Multiculturalism threatens democracy

Multiculturalism promotes segregation, stifles free speech and threatens liberal democracy, Britain's top Jewish official warned in extracts from [a recently published] book Jonathan Sacks, Britain's chief rabbi, defined multiculturalism as an attempt to affirm Britain's diverse communities and make ethnic and religious minorities more appreciated and respected. But in his book, The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society , he said the movement had run its course. "Multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation," Sacks wrote in his book, an extract of which was published in the Times of London.

"Liberal democracy is in danger," Sacks said, adding later: "The politics of freedom risks descending into the politics of fear." Sacks said Britain's politics had been poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment. The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been "inexorably divisive."

"A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others," he said. In an interview with the Times , Sacks said he wanted his book to be "politically incorrect in the highest order." ( Sacks: Multiculturalism threatens democracy , The Jerusalem Post , 20th October 2007 ; emphasis added)

So Sacks claimed that "Britain's politics had been poisoned" by a self-serving, self-pitying, self-aggrandizing ideology that "began with Jews" and had been "inexorably divisive." His claim is absolutely classic anti-Semitism, peddling a stereotype of Jews as subversive, manipulative and divisive outsiders whose selfish agitation has done huge harm to a gentile society.

Sacks was right, of course: Jews do demand special treatment and did indeed invent the "identity politics" that has poisoned British politics (and American , Australian , French and Swedish politics too).

By saying all that, Sacks was being far more "anti-Semitic" than Jeremy Corbyn was, even by the harshest interpretation of those comments on Zionists. Furthermore, Sacks has proved that Corbyn was right. Zionists do lack irony. In 2007 Sacks, a staunch Zionist, claimed that the "poisoning" of British politics "began with Jews." In 2018 he's condemning Jeremy Corbyn for saying something much milder about Zionists.

[Sep 03, 2018] Fourth Wave Feminism-Why No One Escapes - The American Conservative

Sep 03, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fourth Wave Feminism:Why No One Escapes Today's outsized Femocracy is more desperate and (self) destructive than it's successful progenitors. By JOANNA WILLIAMSSeptember 4, 2018

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Feminism, in its second wave, women's liberation movement guise, has passed its first half century. And what a success it has been! Betty Friedan's frustrated housewife, bored with plumping pillows and making peanut butter sandwiches, is now a rarity. We might still be waiting for the first female president, but women -- specifically feminists -- are now in positions of power across the whole of society.

Yet feminism shows no sign of taking early retirement and bowing out, job done. Instead, it continues to reinvent itself. #MeToo is the cause du jour of fourth-wave feminism but, disturbingly, it seems to be taking us further from liberation and pushing us towards an increasingly illiberal and authoritarian future. It's time to take stock.

Over the past five decades, women have taken public life by storm. When it comes to education, employment, and pay, women are not just doing better than ever before -- they are often doing better than men too. For over a quarter of a century, girls have outperformed boys at school. Over 60 percent of all bachelor's degrees are awarded to women. More women than men continue to graduate school and more doctorates are awarded to women. And their successes don't stop when they leave education behind. Since the 1970s, there has been a marked increase in the number of women in employment and many are taking managerial and professional positions. Women now comprise just over half of those employed in management, professional, and related occupations.

https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-29/html/container.html

Women aren't just working more, they are being paid more. Women today earn more in total than at any other point in time and they also earn more as a proportion of men's earnings. For younger women in particular, the gender pay gap is narrowing. Between 1980 and 2012, wages for men aged 25 to 34 fell 20 percent while over the same period women's pay rose by 13 percent. Some data sets now suggest that women in their twenties earn more than men the same age. Although high-profile equal pay campaigns appear to suggest otherwise, when we compare the pay of men and women employed in the same jobs and working for the same number of hours each week, the gender pay gap all but disappears. Four out of every 10 women are now either the sole or primary family earner -- a figure which has quadrupled since 1960.

But this is not just about the lives of women: it is feminism as an ideology that has been incredibly successful. For over four decades, feminist theory has shaped people's lives. Making sense of the world through the prism of gender and seeking to root out sexual inequality is now the driving force behind much that goes on in the public sphere.

Back in 1986, in one of the first examples of new legislation explicitly backed by feminists, the Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. This has had a profound impact upon all aspects of employment legislation. As a result, a layer of managers and administrators, sometimes referred to as "femocrats," are employed to oversee sexual equality and manage sexual harassment complaints in workplaces and schools.

Elsewhere, the influence of feminism can be seen in the expansion of existing laws. When Title IX of the Education Amendments was passed in 1972 it was designed to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education programs that received federal funding. It was a significant -- and reasonably straightforward -- piece of legislation introduced at a time when women were underrepresented in higher education. It first began to take on greater significance following a 1977 case led by the feminist lawyer and academic Catharine MacKinnon in which a federal court found that colleges could be liable under Title IX not just for acts of discrimination but also for not responding to allegations of sexual harassment.

Not surprisingly, definitions of sexual harassment began to expand in the late 1970s. In education, the term came to encompass a "hostile environment" in which women felt uncomfortable because of their sex. By this measure, sexual harassment can occur unintentionally and with no specific target. Furthermore, a hostile environment might be created by students themselves irrespective of the actions of an institution's staff. As a result, colleges became responsible for policing the sexual behavior of their students too.

Pressing forward under the Obama administration, sexual misconduct cases on campuses were tried under a preponderance of the evidence standard rather than a higher standard of clear and convincing evidence. Within these extrajudicial tribunals, students -- most often young men -- could be found guilty of sexual assault or rape and expelled following unsubstantiated allegations and with little opportunity to defend themselves. Although current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has revoked the Obama-era guidelines that instituted these kangaroo courts, many institutions under pressure to react have expanded their zero tolerance policies, often at the expense of basic due process and fairness.

In the 1970s, radical feminists opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, arguing that it individualized and deradicalized feminism. "We will not be appeased," they asserted. "Our demands can only be met by a total transformation of society, which you cannot legislate, you cannot co-opt, you cannot control."

Yet today, a feminist outlook now shapes policy, practice, and law at all levels of the government, as feminists seek to transform society through the state rather than by opposing it. Most recently this has taken form in the demand for affirmative consent, or "yes means yes," to be the standard in rape cases. This places the onus on the accused to prove they had sought and obtained consent; in other words they must prove their innocence.

This is a radical shift, yet it is being enshrined in legislation with little discussion. California and New York have passed legislation requiring colleges to adopt an affirmative consent standard in their sexual assault policies. In 2016, the American Law Institute, influential with state legislators, debated introducing an affirmative consent standard into state laws. The proposal was ultimately rejected but the fact that it was even taken seriously shows feminism's growing legal influence.

History tells us that legislation driven by feminism can have unintended consequences. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed in 1994 as part of President Clinton's massive $30 billion crime bill, aimed to put 100,000 police officers on the street and funded $9.7 billion for prisons. VAWA sought more prosecutions and harsher sentences for abuse in relationships. But a more intensive law enforcement focus on minority communities, coupled with mandatory arrests of both partners on the scene of a dispute, resulted in unanticipated blowback. Police were accused of over-criminalizing minority neighborhoods; critics said women were disinclined to call the police for fear of being arrested themselves. A 2007 Harvard study suggests that mandatory arrest laws may have actually increased intimate partner homicides and, separately, women of color have described violence at the hands of the arresting police officers.

Ultimately, the crime bill merely punished; it didn't help prevent domestic abuse against women.

♦♦♦

Although all women have in some way benefited from feminism's decades-long campaign against inequality, it is clear that some -- namely middle- and upper-class college graduates -- have been more advantaged than the rest. Feminists in the 1960s argued that all women had interests in common; they shared an experience of oppression. The same can hardly be said today. An elite group of women with professional careers and high salaries has little in common with women juggling two or more jobs just to make ends meet. Yet the feminist voices that are heard most loudly continue to be those of privileged women.

High-profile feminists like Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, sell books and make headlines for criticizing family-unfriendly employment practices and the gender pay gap. Good for them! But remember that these women have incomes and lifestyles that put them in a different league from the vast majority of women -- and men. They identify more closely with the tiny proportion of male CEOs than they do with women who have jobs rather than careers, who wear uniforms rather than dry-clean-only suits to work, who have no time to hit the gym before heading to the office. Their push for "lean-in" circles appeals more to young college grads than women struggling just to put food on the table. Their vociferous feminist call to arms falls flat in Middle America -- yet we are told they speak for all women.

In 2018, feminists do walk the corridors of power. But in order to maintain their position and moral high ground they must deny the very power they command. For this reason, feminism can never admit its successes -- to do so would require its adherents to ask whether their job is done. For professional feminists, women who have forged their careers in the femocracy, admitting this not only puts their livelihoods at risk, but poses an existential threat to their sense of self. As a result, the better women's lives become, the harder feminists must work to seek out new realms of disadvantage.

The need to sustain a narrative of oppression explains the continued popularity of the #MeToo phenomenon. In October 2017, The New York Times ran a story alleging that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who had the power to make and break careers, had committed a number of serious sexual offenses. (The allegations against Weinstein mounted and he is now being charged with sexual assault and rape.) Over the following weeks and months, accusations of sexual misconduct were leveled against a host of other men in the public eye.

Such serious accusations need to be dealt with in the courts and, if found guilty, the perpetrators punished accordingly. But rather than arrests, trials, and criminal proceedings, #MeToo has gathered pace through social media. Actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on October 18 and asked women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to "write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." Thousands of women came forward to call out their own abusers or simply to add their names to a growing list of victims. #MeToo took on a life of its own; it readily lent itself to an already-established fourth-wave feminist narrative that saw women as victims of male violence and sexual entitlement.

Women in the public eye are now routinely asked about their own experiences of sexual harassment. Some have publicly named and shamed men they accuse of sexual assault or, as with the case of comedian Aziz Ansari, what can perhaps best be described as "ungentlemanly conduct." Others are more vague and suggest they have experienced sexual harassment in more general terms. What no woman can do -- at least not without instigating a barrage of criticism -- is deny that sexual harassment is a major problem today.

The success of #MeToo is less about real justice than the common experience of suffering and validation. It is a perfect social media vehicle to drive the fourth-wave agenda into another generation. Hollywood stars and baristas may have little in common but all women can lay claim to having experienced male violence and sexual harassment -- or, failing that, potentially experiencing abuse at some indeterminate point in the future. Statistics on domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are used to shore up the narrative that women, as a class, suffer at the hands of men.

But scratch the surface and often these statistics are questionable. In recent years, at the hands of femocrats, definitions of violence and sexual harassment have been expanded. On campus, all kinds of behaviors, from touching through clothes to non-consensual sex, are grouped together to prove the existence of a rape culture. When sexual harassment is redefined as unwanted behavior it can encompass anything from winking, to whistling, to staring, to catcalling. There is little objectively wrong with the action -- it is simply the fact that it is unwanted that makes it abusive. Today, we are encouraged to see violence, especially violence against women and girls, everywhere: in words that wound, personified in a boorish president, in our economic and legal systems. This is violence as metaphor rather than violence as a physical blow. Yet it is a metaphor that serves a powerful purpose -- allowing all women to share in a common experience of victimhood, and, as such, justifying the continued need for elite feminism.

Problems with #MeToo are too rarely discussed. Violence and sexual assaults do occur, but these serious crimes are trivialized by being presented as on a continuum with the metaphorical abuse. The constant reiteration that women are victims and men are violent perpetrators does not, in itself, make it true. It pits men and women against each other and, in the process, infantilizes women and makes them fearful of the world. It also masks a far more positive story: rates of domestic violence have been falling. Between 1994 and 2011, the rates of serious intimate partner violence perpetrated against women -- defined as rape, sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault -- fell 72 percent.

The consequences of entrenching in law assumptions that women are destined to become victims of male violence and harassment are dangerously authoritarian. Feminists now look not to their own resources, or to their family and friends, but to the state to protect them. Black men in particular can find themselves disproportionately targeted by feminist-backed drives for legal retribution. A 2017 report from the National Registry of Exonerations suggests that black men serving time for sexual assault are three-and-a-half times more likely to be innocent than white defendants who have been convicted of the same crime.

In the meantime, demands for the punishment of bad behavior are inevitable. Male catcalling in the UK and France could soon be a criminal offense. While similar bans have been unsuccessful in the U.S., there are plenty of street harassment laws at the state level that feminists could co-opt if necessary. Additionally in England, there are proposals to criminalize "upskirting" or taking a photograph up a woman's skirt. Upskirting is a vile invasion of a person's privacy. However, the majority of instances are covered under existing indecency and voyeurism laws. The proposal, as with others, is a feminist signaling device: the message is, yet again, that the world is a hostile place for women and their only course of action is to seek redress from the state.

Meanwhile, working-class women are effectively exploited as a voiceless stage presence, brought on when convenient to shore up the authority of the professional feminist. On occasion this means the livelihoods of regular women are placed in jeopardy for the greater good of the collective. Earlier this year, a group of A-list Hollywood actresses petitioned against tipping waitresses in New York restaurants, arguing it was exploitive and encouraged sexual harassment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, servers shot back that they would like to continue receiving tips, thank you very much.

♦♦♦

Fourth-wave feminism is increasingly authoritarian and illiberal, impacting speech and behavior for men and women. Campaigns around "rape culture" and #MeToo police women just as much as men, telling them how to talk about these issues. When The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood had the effrontery to advocate for due process for men accused of sex crimes, her normally adoring feminist fans turned on her. She referred to it in a Globe and Mail essay in January entitled "Am I a Bad Feminist?"

"In times of extremes, extremists win," she wrote. "Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn't puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated."

The fact is, men are publicly shamed every day, their livelihoods and reputations teetering on destruction, before they even enter a courtroom.

Frankly, it is disastrous for young women to be taught to see themselves as disadvantaged and vulnerable in a way that bears no relationship to reality. Whereas a previous generation of feminists fought against chaperones and curfews, today's #MeToo movement rehabilitates the argument that women need to be better protected from rapacious men, or need "safe spaces." Women come to believe that they will be harassed walking down the street, that they will be paid less than men for the same work, and that the world is set against them. The danger is that, rather than competing with men as equals, women will be so overwhelmed by the apparent size of the struggle that they will abandon all efforts and call upon external helpmates, like the state and ugly identity politics that push good men away. Women's disadvantage thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

All the while, the real problems experienced by many American women -- and men -- such as working long hours for a low wage and struggling to pay for child and healthcare costs, are overlooked.

When second-wave feminism burst onto the scene more than 50 years ago it was known as the women's liberation movement. It celebrated equality and powerfully proclaimed that women were capable of doing everything men did. Today, this spirit of liberation has been exchanged for an increasingly authoritarian and illiberal victim feminism. With every victory, feminism needs to reassert increasingly spurious claims that women are oppressed. For women and men to be free today, we need to bring back the spirit of the women's liberation movement. Only now it's feminism from which women need liberating.

Joanna Williams is the author of Women vs. Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars .

[Aug 08, 2018] "The Utility of White-Bashing"

Aug 08, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

[ The Atlantic ]. More on Sarah Jeong.

"The people I've heard archly denounce whites have for the most part been upwardly-mobile people who've proven pretty adept at navigating elite, predominantly white spaces. A lot of them have been whites who pride themselves on their diverse social circles and their enlightened views, and who indulge in their own half-ironic white-bashing to underscore that it is their achieved identity as intelligent, worldly people that counts most, not their ascribed identity as being of recognizably European descent." • Also "Asian American professional," although when you think about it, "Asia American" is a pretty problematic ascribed identity.

[Aug 07, 2018] The Story of Stagnant Wage Growth by Dean Baker

Images removed...
Notable quotes:
"... This column originally appeared on Dean Baker's blog: Beat the Press. ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

This recovery has not been great for workers. They have seen modest real wage gains over the last five years, but these gains have not come close to making up the ground lost in the recession and the first years of the recovery.

Nonetheless, real wages have been growing for most of the last five years. The last month has been an exception to this pattern, not because nominal wages have grown less, but because we had a large jump in energy prices, which has depressed real wage growth. Here's picture for the last five years.

... ... ...

As can be seen, there is a very modest acceleration in the rate of average hourly wage growth over this period from just over 2.0 percent in the middle of 2013 to 2.7 percent in the most recent data. Real wage growth, which is the difference between the rate of wage growth and the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has mostly been positive, with the exception of a few months at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 and last month.

The explanation for the much larger variation in the real wage than the nominal wage is the variation in the rate of inflation over this period which is in turn overwhelmingly a function of changes in world oil prices. A sharp drop in world oil prices in 2014 translated into much lower energy prices for consumers in the United States. This meant very low, and even negative inflation rates, in 2015. The result was a much more rapid rate of real wage growth.

World oil prices have partially rebounded in the last two years, going from lows near $40 a barrel to current levels that are near $70. This has added to the inflation rate, pushing down real wage growth, and actually leading to short periods of negative growth.

The issue here is not that nominal wages have stopped growing, it is just that changes in world energy prices had led to a temporary drag on real wage growth, just as they provided a temporary boost to real wage growth in 2015.

This story is worth pointing out in the context of recent comments about real wages stagnating. This is true, but the cause is the rise in world oil prices, not something bad that happened to the labor market.

The folks who want to blame Trump for stagnant wages are off the mark, unless they think he is responsible for the rise in world oil prices. If the argument is that the tax cuts have not led to more rapid wage growth, this is true, but we really should not have expected to see much effect just yet. The tax cut story is that it will lead to more investment, which will in turn lead to higher productivity. Higher productivity will in turn lead to higher wages.

The key in this story is investment. And so far, there is nothing to show here , indicating that the tax cuts are only paying off for shareholders, not workers.

Anyhow, the point is that it's a bit silly to blame slower real wage growth on Trump. I'm not about to become a Trumper, but the guy does 1000 things every day for which he should be chased out of office. Let's focus on the real items, we don't have to make stuff up.

This column originally appeared on Dean Baker's blog: Beat the Press.

[Aug 07, 2018] Identity politics is a part of the ruling neoliberal class ideology

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.
Notable quotes:
"... Here's the rub: Mr. Trump's critique of neoliberalism can accommodate class analysis whereas the Democrats' neoliberal globalism 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. ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The rich have use identity wedge as a powerful tool to suppress class straggle:


Carey , August 3, 2018 at 9:58 pm

Donald Trump and the American Left, by Rob Urie:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/03/donald-trump-and-the-american-left/

Some "light bulb" moments in this article, for me anyway

Carey , August 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm

I thought this part of Urie's piece was especially good:

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 globalism 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.

JBird , August 4, 2018 at 12:35 am

Bourgeois left? Would it not be more accurate to say the bourgeois liberals? Although there is a continuum, not sharp lines.

Carey , August 4, 2018 at 12:41 am

Yes, bourgeois liberals would be more accurate, and that conflation really
annoys me. Good catch.

[Aug 05, 2018] How identity politics makes the Left lose its collective identity by Tomasz Pierscionek

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. ..."
"... Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best. ..."
"... Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping ..."
"... It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. ..."
"... There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept. ..."
"... 'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics. ..."
"... The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it. ..."
"... Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
"... Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.rt.com
The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. A core principle of socialism is the idea of an overarching supra-national solidarity that unites the international working class and overrides any factor that might divide it, such as nation, race, or gender. Workers of all nations are partners, having equal worth and responsibility in a struggle against those who profit from their brain and muscle.

Capitalism, especially in its most evolved, exploitative and heartless form - imperialism - has wronged certain groups of people more than others. Colonial empires tended to reserve their greatest brutality for subjugated peoples whilst the working class of these imperialist nations fared better in comparison, being closer to the crumbs that fell from the table of empire. The international class struggle aims to liberate all people everywhere from the drudgery of capitalism regardless of their past or present degree of oppression. The phrase 'an injury to one is an injury to all' encapsulates this mindset and conflicts with the idea of prioritising the interests of one faction of the working class over the entire collective.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, a liberally-inspired tendency has taken root amongst the Left (in the West at least) that encourages departure from a single identity based on class in favour of multiple identities based upon one's gender, sexuality, race or any other dividing factor. Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best.

At the time of writing there are apparently over 70 different gender options in the West, not to mention numerous sexualities - the traditional LGBT acronym has thus far grown to LGBTQQIP2SAA . Adding race to the mix results in an even greater number of possible permutations or identities. Each subgroup has its own ideology. Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping " lesbians'.

The ideology of identity politics asserts that the straight white male is at the apex of the privilege pyramid, responsible for the oppression of all other groups. His original sin condemns him to everlasting shame. While it is true that straight white men (as a group) have faced less obstacles than females, non-straight men or ethnic minorities, the majority of straight white men, past and present, also struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck and are not personally involved in the oppression of any other group. While most of the world's wealthiest individuals are Caucasian males, millions of white men exist who are both poor and powerless. The idea of 'whiteness' is itself an ambiguous concept involving racial profiling. For example, the Irish, Slavs and Ashkenazi Jews may look white yet have suffered more than their fair share of famines, occupations and genocides throughout the centuries. The idea of tying an individual's privilege to their appearance is itself a form of racism dreamed up by woolly minded, liberal (some might say privileged) 'intellectuals' who would be superfluous in any socialist society.

Is the middle-class ethnic minority lesbian living in Western Europe more oppressed than the whitish looking Syrian residing under ISIS occupation? Is the British white working class male really more privileged than a middle class woman from the same society? Stereotyping based on race, gender or any other factor only leads to alienation and animosity. How can there be unity amongst the Left if we are only loyal to ourselves and those most like us? Some 'white' men who feel the Left has nothing to offer them have decided to play the identity politics game in their search of salvation and have drifted towards supporting Trump (a billionaire with whom they have nothing in common) or far-right movements, resulting in further alienation, animosity and powerlessness which in turn only strengthens the position of the top 1%. People around the world are more divided by class than any other factor.

It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. Fighting oppression through identity politics is at best a lazy, perverse and fetishistic form of the class struggle led by mostly liberal, middle class and tertiary-educated activists who understand little of left-wing political theory. At worst it is yet another tool used by the top 1% to divide the other 99% into 99 or 999 different competing groups who are too preoccupied with fighting their own little corner to challenge the status quo. It is ironic that one of the major donors to the faux-left identity politics movement is the privileged white cisgender male billionaire George Soros , whose NGOs helped orchestrate the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine that gave way to the emergence of far right and neo-nazi movements: the kind of people who believe in racial superiority and do not look kindly on diversity.

There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept.

'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics.

The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it.

Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. In the West you are free to choose any gender or sexuality, transition between these at whim, or perhaps create your own, but you are not allowed to question the foundations of capitalism or liberalism. Identity politics is the new opiate of the masses and prevents organised resistance against the system. Segments of the Western Left even believe such aforementioned 'freedoms' are a bellwether of progress and an indicator of its cultural superiority, one that warrants export abroad be it softly via NGOs or more bluntly through colour revolutions and regime change.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. Read more

Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? UK Labour cruising towards split over Israel-Palestine

[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

[Aug 02, 2018] Trump threatens to 'shut down' government if Dems don't support border measures

Notable quotes:
"... "would be willing to 'shut down'" ..."
"... "I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc." ..."
"... "based on MERIT!," ..."
"... "great people." ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.rt.com

The Sunday morning tirade saw the president claim he "would be willing to 'shut down'" the federal government if members of Congress from the opposition party didn't row in behind Republicans in voting for his immigration reform package, which includes releasing funds for the US-Mexico border wall that formed the cornerstone of his election campaign.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc."

I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018

He also called for an immigration system "based on MERIT!," adding that immigrants wanted by the USA needed to be "great people."

[Aug 01, 2018] Trump threatens to 'shut down' government if Dems don't support border measures -- RT US News

Notable quotes:
"... "would be willing to 'shut down'" ..."
"... "I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc." ..."
"... "based on MERIT!," ..."
"... "great people." ..."
Aug 01, 2018 | www.rt.com

The Sunday morning tirade saw the president claim he "would be willing to 'shut down'" the federal government if members of Congress from the opposition party didn't row in behind Republicans in voting for his immigration reform package, which includes releasing funds for the US-Mexico border wall that formed the cornerstone of his election campaign.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc."

I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018

He also called for an immigration system "based on MERIT!," adding that immigrants wanted by the USA needed to be "great people."

[Jul 29, 2018] The Middle Precariat: The Downwardly Mobile Middle Class by Lynn Parramore

Notable quotes:
"... By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America ..."
"... You will not do as well as your parents ..."
"... Life is a struggle to keep up. Even if you achieve something, you will live in fear of losing it. America is not your land: it belongs to the ultra-rich. ..."
"... The Vanishing Middle Class ..."
"... Capital in the Twenty-First Century ..."
"... Global Wealth Report ..."
"... Professed as a right for individual freedom and empowerment, in reality it serves to suppress disobedience with shame. If you earn like shit -- it's gotta be because YOU are shit. Just try harder. Don't you see those OTHER kids that did well! ..."
"... I think one crucial thing that has to change is the culture of extreme individualisation. ..."
"... die Plutonomisten und Bolshewisten! ..."
"... That the article brings "fear of robots" into the discussion is a tell that the writer does not want to mention that it is the competition from others in the world wide labor force that depress USA wages. ..."
"... We have been commodified since before we were even born, to the point where opportunities for what Lave and Wenger would call "legitimate peripheral participation" in the kinds of work that yield real, humane, benefits to our communities are scant to nonexistent for most of us. Something has gone deeply awry in this core social function at the worst possible time in human history. ..."
"... That was a wonderful post, very moving, thank you. These kind of testimonies are very important because they show the real human cost of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is truly a death cult. Please find an alternative to alcohol. Music, art, nature, etc. ..."
"... At least you are self aware. Most people are not. As for the Ship of Status, let it sink. Find a lifeboat where you feel comfortable and batten down for the Roaring (20)40s yet to come. Once you find something to work for, the bad habits will lose much of their hold on you. As long as you don't slide into alcoholism, you have a chance. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, the economic policy that is private sector "free market" driven, giving the owners of capital free, unfettered reign. Created by libertarians like Fredrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, they sold it to the nation but failed to mention that little peccadillo about how privatization of government would usher in economic fascism. ..."
"... "An extreme form of laissez-faire individualism that developed in the writings of Hayek, Friedman and Nozick they are also referred to as libertarians. They draw on the natural rights tradition of John Locke and champion's full autonomy and freedom of the individual." ..."
"... What they meant was ECONOMIC freedom. They despise social freedom (democracy) because civil, labor, health, food safety, etc., rights and environmental protections put limits on their profits. ..."
"... The "maximizing shareholder value" myth turns people into psychopaths . The entire neoliberal economic policy of the past 40 years is based on the false assumption that self-interest is the driving evolution of humanity. We're not all psychopaths, turns out. We're social beings that have mainly used cooperation to get us through these thousands of years of existence. ..."
"... "If the IMF is to shake its image as an inward-looking, out-of-touch boys club, it needs to start taking the issue seriously. The effect of the male dominance in macroeconomics can be seen in the policy direction of the organisation: female economists are more likely to be in favour of Government-backed redistribution measures than their male counterparts. ..."
"... Of course, the parochial way in which economics is perceived by the IMF, as nothing more than the application of mathematical models, is nothing new. In fact, this is how mainstream economics frequently is taught in universities all over the world. Is it any wonder that the IMF has turned out as it is?" ..."
"... "Economics students are forced to spend so much time with this complex calculus so that they can go to work on Wall St. that there's no room in the course curriculum for the history of economic thought. ..."
"... So all they know about Adam Smith is what they hear on CNN news or other mass media that are a travesty of what these people really said and if you don't read the history of economic thought, you'd think there's only one way of looking at the world and that's the way the mass media promote things and it's a propagandistic, Orwellian way. ..."
"... The whole economic vocabulary is to cover up what's really happening and to make people think that the economy is getting richer while the reality is they're getting poorer and only the top is getting richer and they can only get rich as long as the middle class and the working class don't realize the scam that's being pulled off on them." ..."
"... "I often joke with my fellow country neighbors that it costs a hundred bucks to simply leave the house. It's not a joke anymore. At this point those still fighting for a paltry 15.00 should include a hundred dollar per day walk out your front door per diem." ..."
"... This is a stark and startling reality. This reality is outside the framework of understanding of economic struggle in America that is allowed by the corporate neoliberal culture/media. ..."
"... As the Precariat grows, having watched the .1% lie, cheat and steal – from them, they are more likely to also lie, cheat and steal in mortgage, employment and student loan applications and most importantly and sadly, in their dealings with each other. Everybody is turning into a hustler. ..."
"... Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy. ..."
"... "The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers." ..."
"... Capitalism had two sides, the productive side where people earned their income and the parasitic side where the rentiers lived off unearned income. The Classical Economists had shown that most at the top of society were just parasites feeding off the productive activity of everyone else. ..."
"... The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital". They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists to hide the effects of rentier activity in the economy. ..."
"... The landowners, landlords and usurers were now just productive members of society again. It they left banks and debt out of economics no one would know the bankers created the money supply out of nothing. Otherwise, everyone would see how dangerous it was to let bankers do what they wanted if they knew the bankers created the money supply through their loans. ..."
"... The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs ..."
"... An unexpected consequence of globalization is that a lot of people see how thing are done, elsewhere. ..."
"... Part of me doesn't feel sorry at all for the plight of middle-class Americans. When times were good they were happy to throw poor and working-class people under the bus. I remember when the common answer to complaints about factory closings was "you should have gotten an education, dummy." Now that the white-collar middle class can see that they are next on the chopping block they are finding their populist soul. ..."
Jul 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The children of America's white-collar middle class viewed life from their green lawns and tidy urban flats as a field of opportunity. Blessed with quality schools, seaside vacations and sleepover camp, they just knew that the American dream was theirs for the taking if they hit the books, picked a thoughtful and fulfilling career, and just, well, showed up.

Until it wasn't.

While they were playing Twister and imagining a bright future, someone apparently decided that they didn't really matter. Clouds began to gather -- a "dark shimmer of constantly shifting precariousness," as journalist Alissa Quart describes in her timely new book " Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America ."

The things these kids considered their birthright -- reputable colleges, secure careers, and attractive residences -- were no longer waiting for them in adulthood.

Today, with their incomes flat or falling, these Americans scramble to maintain a semblance of what their parents enjoyed. They are moving from being dominant to being dominated. From acting to acted upon. Trained to be educators, lawyers, librarians, and accountants, they do work they can't stand to support families they rarely see. Petrified of being pushed aside by robots, they rankle to see financial titans and tech gurus flaunting their obscene wealth at every turn.

Headlines gush of a humming economy, but it doesn't feel like a party to them -- and they've seen enough to know who will be holding the bag when the next bubble bursts.

The "Middle Precariats," as Quart terms them, are suffering death by a thousand degradations. Their new reality: You will not do as well as your parents . Life is a struggle to keep up. Even if you achieve something, you will live in fear of losing it. America is not your land: it belongs to the ultra-rich.

Much of Quart's book highlights the mirror image of the downwardly mobile middle class Trump voters from economically strained regions like the Midwest who helped throw a monkey wrench into politics-as-usual. In her tour of American frustration, she talks to urbanites who lean liberal and didn't expect to find themselves drowning in debt and disappointment. Like the falling-behind Trump voters, these people sense their status ripped away, their hopes dashed.

If climbing up the ladder of success is the great American story, slipping down it is the quintessential tragedy. It's hard not to take it personally: the ranks of the Middle Precariat are filled with shame.

They are somebodies turning into nobodies.

And there signs that they are starting to revolt. If they do, they could make their own mark on the country's political landscape.

The Broken Bourgeoisie

Quart's book takes a sobering look at the newly unstable bourgeoisie, illustrating what happens when America's off-the-rails inequality blasts over those who always believed they would end up winners.

There's the Virginia accountant who forks over nearly 90% of her take home pay on care for her three kids; the Chicago adjunct professor with the disabled child who makes less than $24,000 a year; and the California business reporter who once focused on the financial hardships of others and now faces unemployment herself.

There are Uber-driving teachers and law school grads reviewing documents for $20 an hour -- or less. Ivy Leaguers who live on food stamps.

Lacking unions, church communities and nearby close relatives to support them, the Middle Precariats are isolated and stranded. Their labor has sputtered into sporadic contingency: they make do with short-term contracts or shift work. (Despite the much-trumpeted low unemployment rate, the New York Times reports that jobs are often subpar, featuring little stability and security). Once upon a time, only the working poor took second jobs to stay afloat. Now the Middle Precariat has joined them.

Quart documents the desperate measures taken by people trying to keep up appearances, relying on 24/7 "extreme day care" to accommodate unpredictable schedules or cobbling together co-living arrangements to cut household costs. They strain to provide things like academic tutors and sports activities for their kids who must compete with the children of the wealthy. Deep down, they know that they probably can't pass down the cultural and social class they once took for granted.

Quart cites a litany of grim statistics that measure the quality of their lives, like the fact that a middle-class existence is now 30% more expensive than it was twenty years ago, a period in which the price of health care and the cost of a four-year degree at a public college nearly doubled.

Squeezed is especially detailed on the plight of the female Middle Precariat, like those who have the effrontery to procreate or grow older. With the extra burdens of care work, pregnancy discrimination, inadequate family leave, and wage disparities, (not to mention sexual harassment, a subject not covered), women get double squeezed. For women of color, often lacking intergenerational wealth to ease the pain, make that a triple squeeze.

The Middle Precariat in middle age is not a pretty sight: without union protection or a reliable safety net they endure lost jobs, dwindled savings, and shattered identities. In one of the saddest chapters, Quart describes how the pluckiest try reinvent themselves in their 40s or 50s, enrolling in professional courses and certification programs that promise another shot at security, only to find that they've been scammed by greedy college marketers and deceptive self-help mavens who leave them more desperate than before.

Quart notes that even those making decent salaries in the United States now see themselves barred from the club of power and wealth. They may have illiquid assets like houses and retirement accounts, but they still see themselves as financially struggling. Earning $100,000 sounds marvelous until you've forked over half to housing and 30% to childcare. Each day is one bit of bad luck away from disaster.

"The spectacular success of the 0.1 percent, a tiny portion of society, shows just how stranded, stagnant, and impotent the current social system has made the middle class -- even the 10 percent who are upper-middle class," Quart writes.

Quart knows that the problems of those who seem relatively privileged compared many may not garner immediate sympathy. But she rightly notes that their stresses are a barometer for the concentration of extreme wealth in some American cities and the widening chasm between the very wealthy and everybody else.

The Dual Economy

The donor-fed establishment of both political parties could or would not see this coming, but some prescient economists have been sounding the alarm.

In his 2016 book The Vanishing Middle Class , MIT economist Peter Temin detailed how the U.S. has been breaking up into a "dual economy" over the last several decades, moving toward a model that is structured economically and politically more like a developing nation -- a far cry from the post-war period when the American middle class thrived.

In dual economies, the rich and the rest part ways as the once-solid middle class begins to disappear. People are divided into separate worlds in the kinds of jobs they hold, the schools their kids attend, their health care, transportation, housing, and social networks -- you name it. The tickets out of the bottom sector, like a diploma from a first-rate university, grow scarce. The people of the two realms become strangers.

French economist Thomas Picketty provided a stark formula for what happens capitalism is left unregulated in his 2015 bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century . It goes like this: when the rate of return on the investments of the wealthy exceeds the rate of growth in the overall economy, the rich get exponentially richer while everyone becomes poorer. In more sensible times, like the decades following WWII, that rule was mitigated by an American government that forced the rich pay their share of taxes, curbed the worst predations of businesses, and saw to it that roads, bridges, public transit, and schools were built and maintained.

But that's all a fading memory. Under the influence of political money, politicians no longer seek a unified economy and society where the middle class can flourish. As Quart observes, the U.S. is the richest and also the most unequal country in the world, featuring the largest wealth inequality gap of the two hundred countries in the Global Wealth Report of 2015.

Who is to Blame?

Over and over, the people Quart interviews tend to blame themselves for their situation -- if only they'd chosen a different career, lived in another city, maybe things wouldn't have turned out this way. Sometimes they point the finger at robots and automation, though they arguably have much more to fear from the wealthy humans who own the robots.

But some are waking up to the fact it is the wealthy and their purchased politicians who have systematically and deliberately stripped them of power. Deprivations like paltry employee rights, inadequate childcare, ridiculously expensive health care, and non-existent retirement security didn't just happen . Abstract words like deregulation and globalization become concrete: somebody actually did this to you by promoting policies that leave you high and dry.

As Quart indicates, understanding this is the first step to a change of consciousness, and her book is part of this shift.

Out of this consciousness, many individuals and organizations are working furiously and sometimes ingeniously to alter the negative trajectory of the Middle Precariat. Quart outlines proposals and developments like small-scale debt consolidation, student debt forgiveness, adequately subsidized day care, and non-traditional unions that could help.

America also has a track record of broad, fundamental solutions that have already proven to work. Universal basic income may sound attractive, but we already have a program that could improve the lot of the middle class if expanded: Social Security.

Right now, a worker stops having to pay Social Security tax on any earnings beyond $128,400 -- a number that is unreasonably low because the rich wish to keep it so. Just by raising that cap, we could the lower the retirement age so that Americans in their 60s would not have greet customers at Walmart. More opportunities would open up to younger workers.

The Middle Precariat could be forgiven for suspecting that the overlords of Silicon Valley may have something other than altruism in mind when they tout universal basic income. Epic tax evaders, they stand to benefit from pushing the responsibility for their low-paid workers and the inadequate safety net and public services that they helped create onto ordinary taxpayers.

Beyond basic income lies a basic fact: the American wealthy do not pay their share in taxes. In fact, American workers pay twice as much in taxes as wealthy investors. That's why infrastructure crumbles, schools deteriorate, and sane health care and childcare are not available.

Most Americans realize that inequality has to be challenged through the tax code: a 2017 Gallup poll shows that the majority think that the wealthy and corporations don't pay enough. Politicians, of course, ignore this to please their donors.

And so the Middle Precariat, like the Trump voters, is getting fed up with them.

From Depressed to Energized

Quart astutely points out that income inequality is being written into the law of the land. Funded the efforts of billionaires like the Koch brothers, politicians have altered laws and constitutions across the country to cement the dual economy through everything from restricting voting rights to defunding public education.

Several Middle Precariats in Squeezed have turned to independent or renegade candidates like Bernie Sanders who offer broad, substantial programs like debt-free college and universal health care that address the fissures in their lives. They are listening to candidates who are not afraid to say that markets should work for human beings, not the other way around.

If Donald Trump's political rise "can be understood as an expression of the gulf between middle-class citizens and America's ruling classes," as Quart observes, then the recent surge of non-establishment Democratic candidates, especially democratic socialists, may be the next phase of a middle class revolt.

Recent surprise victories in Pennsylvania and New York in the Democratic primaries by female candidates openly embracing democratic socialism, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who bested Democratic stalwart Joe Crowley by running for Congress on a platform of free Medicare and public college tuition for all, may not be the blip that establishment Democrats hope. In New York, democratic socialist Julia Salazar is looking to unseat long-time state senator Martin Dilan. Actress Cynthia Nixon , running against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has just proclaimed herself a democratic socialist and promises to raise taxes on the rich and boost funding for public schools. Michelle Goldberg recently announced in the New York Times that " The Millenial Socialists are Coming ," indicating the intense dislike of traditional politics in urban centers. These young people do not think of things like debt-free college or paid family leave as radical: they see it done elsewhere in the world and don't accept that it can't be done in America.

Historically, the more affluent end of the middle class tends to identify with and support the wealthy. After all, they might join their ranks one day. But when this dream dies, the formerly secure may decide to throw their lot in with the rest of the Precariats. That's when you have the chance for a real mass movement for change.

Of course, people have to recognize their common circumstances and fates. The urban denizens of New York and San Francisco have to see what they have in common with middle class Trump voters from the Rust Belt, as well as working class Americans and everybody else who is not ultra-rich.

If the growing ranks of Precariats can work together, maybe it won't take a natural catastrophe or a war or violent social upheaval to change America's unsustainable course of gross inequality. Because eventually, something has to give.


Sergey P , July 26, 2018 at 3:42 am

I think one crucial thing that has to change is the culture of extreme individualization.

Professed as a right for individual freedom and empowerment, in reality it serves to suppress disobedience with shame. If you earn like shit -- it's gotta be because YOU are shit. Just try harder. Don't you see those OTHER kids that did well!

Part of the blame is on New Age with it's quazi-buddhist narrative: basically, everything is perfect, and if you don't feel it that way, it's because you are tainted with envy or weakness.

Thus what is in fact a heavily one-sided battle -- is presented as a natural order of things.

I believe we need a new framework. A sort of mix of Marx and Freud: study of the subconscious of the social economy. The rich not just HAPPEN to be rich. They WANT to be rich. Which means that in some way they NEED others to be poor.

Of course, I'm generalizing. And some rich are just really good at what they do. These rich will indeed trickle down, they will increase the well-being of people. But there are others. People working in insurance and finance. And as their role in the economy grows -- as does their role in politics, their power. They want to have more, while others would have less.

But behind it all are not rational thoughts, not efficiency, but psychological trauma, pain of the soul. Without addressing these matters, we will not be able to change the world.

I'm sorry if my thoughts are somewhat fragmented. It's just something I've been thinking of a lot since I started reading NC, discovering MMT and heterodox approaches in general.

athena , July 26, 2018 at 6:06 am

I enjoyed reading your thoughts, and completely agree with them all. :)

NotTimothyGeithner , July 26, 2018 at 7:53 am

The problem is the perception the Democratic Party is reliable as a partner. The culture wasn't a problem in 2008 when the Democratic candidate was perceived as wanting to raise taxes, pass universal health care, and end the wars.

Louis Fyne , July 26, 2018 at 8:53 am

====Part of the blame is on New Age with it's quazi-buddhist narrative: basically, everything is perfect, and if you don't feel it that way, it's because you are tainted with envy or weakness.

Adam Curtis touched about this (and the 50's/60's "self-actualization movement) in his TV documentary "Century of Self." if i recall correctly. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=century+of+self

That's where I first heard of this theoretical link. I think that it's flat out right and post-WWII psycho-babble has seeped into society in pernicious ways (along with everything else, breakdown of nuclear family, etc). Unfortunately, can't prove it like Euclid.

Urizenik , July 26, 2018 at 9:00 am

"A sort of mix of Marx and Freud"– the " Frankfurt School " is a start, with the realization of "the culture industry" as force majeure in the "heavily one-sided battle." And ditto recommendation of "The Century of the Self."

MC , July 26, 2018 at 10:16 am

There's also Zizek.

Left in Wisconsin , July 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Both good suggestions.

Responding to Sergey P:
I think one crucial thing that has to change is the culture of extreme individualisation.

There are really only two alternatives to individualism. There is Durkheim-ian "society," in which we are all in this together – interdependent. I think this is still an appropriate lens for a lot of smaller cities and communities where people really do still know each other and everyone wants the community to thrive. And, of course, it is the only way to think about human society nested inside a finite Earth. But it can only work on a larger scale through mediating "institutions" or "associations." All the evidence shows, consistent with the piece, that precariousness by itself weakens social institutions – people have less time and money to contribute to making them work well.

And then there is Marx-ian "class." Which is to say, we are not all individuals but we are not all of one group. There are different groups with different interests and, not infrequently, the interests of different groups are opposed – what is good for one is bad for another – and if power is unequal between groups (either because some groups as groups have more power than others or because individuals with more power all have the same group affinity), then powerful groups will use that power to oppress others. In that case, the only remedy is to try to systematically empower the weak and/or disempower the strong. This also requires collective action – institutions, associations, government – and it is again noted that our collective institutions, most notably unions, have been seriously weakened in the last 40-60 years.

The real world doesn't always fit into neat categories. Trump's America First is an appeal to the "society" of USAmerica. Maybe there will be some improvements for working people. But the argument in the piece, perhaps not as clearly stated as I would like, is that the interests of the (former) middle class – as a class – have diverged from the interests of the upper class. Changing that equation requires collective action.

DolleyMadison , July 26, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Well said

Redlife2017 , July 26, 2018 at 5:08 am

Naturally one must quote the great Frank Herbert from his novel Dune:

"Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them."

Or shorter: Follow the money.

Jim Haygood , July 26, 2018 at 5:49 am

'We already have a program that could improve the lot of the middle class if expanded: Social Security.'

Never mind expanding it -- even the existing Social Security program is less than 20% funded, headed for zero in 2034 according to its trustees. Scandalously, these trustees owe no fiduciary duty to beneficiaries. Old Frank wanted pensioners to be forever dependent on his D party. How did that work out for us?

Take a look at the transmittal letter for the 2018 trustees report, released last month. Two public trustee positions are "VACANT," just as they were in last year's transmittal letter:

https://ibb.co/mwsxuT

Just above these blank spaces is the signature of one Nancy Berryhill, "Acting Commissioner of Social Security." But wait --

On March 6, 2018, the Government Accountability Office stated that as of November 17, 2017, Berryhill's status violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which limits the time a position can be filled by an acting official; "[t]herefore Ms. Berryhill was not authorized to continue serving using the title of Acting Commissioner after November 16." Berryhill declared, "Moving forward, I will continue to lead the agency from my position of record, Deputy Commissioner of Operations."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Berryhill

By June 5th, Berryhill was still impersonating the Acting Commissioner, legally or not.

Summing up, even the trustees' one-page transmittal letter shows that Social Security is treated as a total and complete Third World joke by the US federal government.

YankeeFrank , July 26, 2018 at 8:34 am

Yeah, yeah. Gubmint can't do nuthin' rite. How about we take our government back from the plutocrats and set SS on solid footing again. There are no impediments other than the will of the people to use our power. Now that the Boomers are moving off all sorts of things, like 'thinking', and 'logic', will become prevalent again.

Kurtismayfield , July 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

Never mind expanding it -- even the existing Social Security program is less than 20% funded, headed for zero in 2034 according to its trustees. Scandalously, these trustees owe no fiduciary duty to beneficiaries. Old Frank wanted pensioners to be forever dependent on his D party. How did that work out for us?

Correct, then the system will eventually be totally reliant on taxes coming in. According to 2011 OASDI Trustees Report

Beginning in 2023, trust fund assets will diminish until they become exhausted in 2036. Non-interest income is projected to be sufficient to support expenditures at a level of 77 percent of scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion in 2036, and then to decline to 74 percent of scheduled benefits in 2085

The benefits are never going to go completely away, the benefits will decrease if nothing is done. Things can be done to change this, such as an increasing the the cap on earnings, raising new revenues, etc. This is not exactly an "end of the world" scenario for SSI.

Also, no one complained when the excess SSI tax collected "Social security trust fund" was used to keep interest rates down by purchasing Government bonds.

Jamie , July 26, 2018 at 11:03 am

The whole tax angle is a complete red herring. Raising the cap is not the answer. FICA is "the most regressive tax" the country imposes. Eliminating FICA altogether, doing away with the "trust fund" and the pretense that SS is not the government taking care of it's elderly citizens but is workers taking care of themselves, is the answer. If the emphasis in Quart's book on the rise of a new democratic socialism means anything, it means reconciling with the notion that it is OK for the government to take measures to ensure the welfare of the people. Pay-as-you-go SS can become simply the re-assumption of our collective responsibility to take care of our own, as a society, not as individuals.

Kurtismayfield , July 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

I would be fine with that if I could trust the Federal government to do the right thing. The problem is that we have too many people invested in the system, and I don't trust the Federal government to not screw people over in a new system. You know what will happen, they will set up a two tiered system where people over a certain age will keep their benefits, and the new people will get a system that is completely crapified or means tested.

kgw , July 26, 2018 at 11:39 am

Well-put The only way to eliminate the constant refrain of "but SS is (insert blithering comment on entitlement spending), is to shift resources to people rather than armies for the SuperRich.

Anon , July 26, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Yeah, more Butter–Less Guns!

(Now how do we stop the media hysteria about those big,bad Enemies -- Russia?!)

JCC , July 26, 2018 at 9:52 am

So we should just ignore the fact that our own Govt has "borrowed" $2.8 Trillion, at least, from the SS Trust Fund so far and can't (won't) pay it back?

This "borrowing" should be illegal and I believe that "Old Frank" would be rolling in his grave if he knew that would happen.

And I sincerely doubt his intentions were to get SS on the books in order to keep us beholden to the Dem Party. And if that were true it is obvious that his party doesn't agree. If they did they wouldn't be assisting in gutting the program.

Grumpy Engineer , July 26, 2018 at 11:00 am

The whole concept of creating and maintaining a multi-trillion dollar "trust fund" was irrevocably flawed. When the surplus payroll taxes were "invested" in government bonds, they entered the government's general fund and were promptly spent. The money is gone. That's why it's on the books as a debt owed to the Social Security administration. There are no actual assets behind the fund. It's just one part of the government owing money to another part of the government.

However, what would the alternative have been? Investing in the crap shoot known as the US stock market? No thanks. Or setting the funds aside in a bank account, where they would cease circulating through the economy? That wouldn't have worked either, as all dollars in circulation would have eventually ended up there, causing massive deflation.

None of these are workable. We should have gone on a strictly pay-as-you-go basis. If payroll taxes generated more revenue than was necessary, we should have cut payroll taxes and/or raised benefits. And if they fall short, we should raise payroll taxes and/or cut benefits.

Today, we cover about 95% of benefits with payroll taxes. The remainder comes from "trust fund redemptions", where general fund monies are given to the SSA to cover the shortfall. Given that our government is already running a deficit, this means more borrowing (or money-printing, depending on how you look at things).

When the "trust fund" is depleted, but SSA will lack the legal authority to claim any more general fund monies, but it would be quite easy for Congress to change the rules to simply state that "any SSA shortfall will be covered by the general fund". And I predict they will do so in 2034, as it would take less than a month of constituents complaining about reduced benefits to force even the strictest of deficit hawks to cave.

Or maybe they'll get creative and instead raise rates on the interest that the trust fund earns. Right now it's a 3% rate, but if Congress were to double or triple it, the trust fund would last much longer. [As would the debt owed to the SSA.] Heck, if they multiplied the interest rate by a factor of 11, then they could theoretically dispense with payroll taxes entirely. Right?

Spring Texan , July 26, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Yes, SS has contributed NOT ONE PENNY to the deficit and the reason it accumulated a surplus was so people could collect later. Now, they want to say that old surplus shouldn't count. That's thievery.

Milton , July 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm

tired old tripe and how much is the US military funded? I can answer that for you. It's ZERO. 0% funded! Take your heterodox BS to a bunch of freshman impressionables – it is only tolerated here because you are a fine writer and interesting as hell and know almost all there is about economic liberalism.

ObjectiveFunction , July 26, 2018 at 6:44 am

Wow. So let's go full SSCodex for a bit and push this trend out to the limit.

While the unwashed masses remain a market for big Ag, big Pharma, big Auto, big (online) Retail, and a few others, it seems like the predatory 'fund' segment of the FIRE elite has moved on to devouring larger prey (capitalist autophagy?). The unbankable precariat are beneath their notice now, like pennies on the sidewalk.

So in that case, the 1% of the 0.1% has evolved beyond 'exploitation' in any Marxist sense. It is now indifferent to the very life or death of the precariat, at home or abroad, still less their security or advancement. It needs them neither for consuming nor producing, nor for building ziggurats.

(Just so long as the pitchforks aren't out – but that's what the credentialed minion 20% is for. And drones).

Here Disposables, have some more plastic and painkillers. Be assured the Alphas will be live tweeting the Pandemic, or Chicxulub 2.0, from Elon's luxury robot-serviced survival capsules (oh, you thought those were for use on Mars? Silly rabble!)

It's like that DKs mosh pit classic: "Uncounted millions whisked away / the rich will have more room to play"

[I exaggerate, of course, for illustration. Slightly.]

Musicismath , July 26, 2018 at 7:29 am

I think you can extend this analysis to the current U.K. Conservative Party. Commentators have started to notice that the Brexiteer wing of the party seems completely impervious to claims Brexit will harm the economy. Are the Tories no longer the natural party of British business, they ask?

Using your logic, we can say that a fund-interest-dominated Tory party simply has no interest in or need for the "ordinary" bits of the British business community anymore. What it wants are shorting and raiding opportunities, and from that vantage point a catastrophic Brexit is very attractive. Put these interests in coalition with a voter base largely living on guaranteed incomes and retirement funds of one sort or another and you have the surreal spectacle of an entire governing party and its supporters who are no longer anchored to the "real" economy at all. Yes, it's an exaggeration but it's an exaggeration that explains a few things, I think.

athena , July 26, 2018 at 7:47 am

You both need to read the 2005 leaked Citigroup "plutonomy memo", if you haven't yet. Very bright minds called it a decade ago, that the global economy isn't even an economy any longer in any traditional sense. This is part one: https://delong.typepad.com/plutonomy-1.pdf

ObjectiveFunction , July 26, 2018 at 8:47 am

"Plutonomy" sounds like some nasal epithet out of a Goebbels speech: " die Plutonomisten und Bolshewisten! "

sharonsj , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Great link. From page one, Citigroup thinks the global imbalance is a great opportunity. Nothing new here. For years I've been reading about stock and futures manipulations–and vulture capitalists–that cause people to die or kill themselves. The rich don't care; they see it as a way to make more money. And then you wonder why I've been talking revolution for years as well?

Louis Fyne , July 26, 2018 at 8:09 am

"Who is to Blame?"

Answer: Add the US wasting its blood and cash meddling in other countries' affairs. "honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none." bueller ?

Ironic as multilateralist/globalist/fan of US interventions George Soros supposedly provided some of the seed money for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

athena , July 26, 2018 at 8:17 am

I don't think Soros is diabolical or sadistic. He's just, let's say, "neurologically eccentric" and unimaginably wealthy.

chris , July 26, 2018 at 8:40 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iipn6yM43sM

athena , July 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

I just want to not die earlier than necessary because I can't afford health care. I'd also like to stop worrying that I'll spend my golden years homeless and starving because of some disaster headed my way. I gave up on status a long time ago, and am one of those mentioned who has little pity for the top 10%.

ChiGal in Carolina , July 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

Ditto

John B , July 26, 2018 at 8:50 am

Sounds like a good book. I shall have to pick it up from my library, since buying new books is a stretch.

Nearly all income growth in the United States since the 1970s has gone into income obtained by the rich other than wages and salaries, like capital gains, stock options, dividends, partnership distributions, etc. To capture overall economic growth to which the entire society has contributed, Social Security benefits should be tied to economic growth, smoothed for the business cycle. If people believe benefit increases require tax increases, the tax should be applied to all earnings, not just salary/wages. Raising the $128,400 cap on income subject to SS taxes would thus increase taxes on the lower rungs of the upper middle class but not really address the problem.

Daniel F. , July 26, 2018 at 9:32 am

I apologise in advance for being blunt and oversimplifying the matter, but at the end of the day, (in my very humble and possibly uninformed opinion) nothing short of a mass beheading would work. The 0.1% doesn't really seem, uh, willing to let go of their often ill-gotten billions, and when they do (i.e. charities and such), they often end up being some kind of scam. I refuse to believe that the Zuckerberg-types operate their foundations out of genuine philanthropy. Acquisitions and mergers like Disney buying Fox or Bayer gobbling up Monsanto don't contribute anything to the well-being of the 99% either, and I think that's and understatement.

If there's going to be some kind of revolution, it needs to happen before the logical conclusion of rampaging capitalism. the OCP-type megacorp with its own private army. And, if there indeed is a revolution, what's next?

nycTerrierist , July 26, 2018 at 9:47 am

nice gesture:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/25/betsy-devos-yacht-untied-causing-10000-damages/

Michael Fiorillo , July 26, 2018 at 10:14 am

Case in point: as a public school teacher who has been opposing so-called education reform for two decades, I can assure you that the "venture/vulture philanthropy" model that infests the education world has absolutely nothing to do with improving education, and everything to do with busting the teachers unions, privatizing the schools and turning them into drilling grounds for training young people to accept the subordination, surveillance, tedium and absurdity that awaits them in the workplace. For those lucky enough to have jobs.

As a result of this phenomena, I periodically suggest a new term on the education blogs I post on: "Malanthropy:" the process of of using tax exempt, publicly subsidized entities to directly and indirectly support your financial and political interests, but which are harmful to the public good"

Newton Finn , July 26, 2018 at 9:36 am

Clear and compelling analysis, although still a little MMT challenged. About to turn 70, I vividly remember living through a sudden sea change in American capitalism. In the late 1970s/early 80s, whatever undercurrents of patriotism and humanitarianism that remained within the postwar economy (and had opened the space for the middle class) evaporated, and almost overnight we were living in a culture without any sense of balance or proportion, a virulent and violent mindset that maxed out everything and knew not the meaning of enough. Not only the business world but also the personal world was infected by this virus, as ordinary people no longer dreamed of achieving a healthy and stable family life but rather became hellbent to "succeed" and get rich. Empathy, compassion, and commitment to social justice was no longer cool, giving way to self-interest and self-promotion as the new "virtues." Men, of course, led the way in this devolution, but there was a time in the 90s when almost every other woman I knew was a real estate agent. I touched upon a small male-oriented piece of this social devolution in an essay I wrote several years ago: Would Paladin Have Shot Bin Laden? For those who might be intrigued, here's the link:

https://newtonfinn.com/2011/12/15/would-paladin-have-shot-bin-laden/

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2018 at 10:06 am

What was needed was a Wyatt Earp, not a Paladin ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgvxu8QY01s ). His standard procedure in the old West was to use his Colt revolver to pistol-whip an offender. Short, sharp and effective.
But then again there was no way that Bin Laden was ever going to be taken prisoner. That bit on his resume as being a contractor for the CIA was a bit embarrassing after all.

Brooklin Bridge , July 26, 2018 at 10:49 am

I remember the 50's and even under the hue of bright eyes saw that people were just as hell bent to 'get ahead' in their careers as now and that competing with 'the Joneses' in every crude way imaginable was the rage.

Perhaps more precise to say that in the early '80s, Capitalism reached a tipping point where gravity overcame thrust and virtues with latent vice became vices with the optics of virtue. That and the fact that the right actors always seem available -as if out of thin air, but in reality very much part of cause and effect – for a given state of entropy.

Newton Finn , July 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

No doubt what was somewhat latent in postwar American capitalism became obscenely blatant in or around the Reagan era. It was all there before, of course, in former times like the Gilded Age. But in the midsize, now rustbelt city I grew up in and continue to live in, the upper middle class of my childhood and youth–the doctors, lawyers, corporate exec's, etc.–lived a few blocks away from my working class neighborhood, had nicer homes, drove caddys instead of chevys, and so forth, but their kids went to school with us working class kids, went to the same movies and dances, hung out in the same places, and all of us, generally, young and old, lived in essentially the same world. For example, my uncle, a lawyer, made maybe 3 times what my dad, a factory clerk, made. THAT was the split between the middle and upper middle class back then, at least in a fairly typical Midwestern city. THAT was what drastically and suddenly changed in the late 70s/early 80s and has only intensified thereafter.

BrianStegner , July 26, 2018 at 10:05 am

Terrific article, but with so many "missing" words (words left out)–too many to list, gratis–you make it a serious challenge to consider sharing with literate friends on social media. Seriously, doesn't anyone re-read their work before "posting?"

Expat2uruguay , July 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

Well, at least the missing words in this piece don't make sentences unintelligible. I've seen that happen before.

It's such a shame for authors to put so much work time and effort into their articles, but then allow the lack of an editor or final read-through to tarnish the entire work.

ChiGal in Carolina , July 26, 2018 at 11:40 am

If they're so literate, they can fill in the missing words as the NC commentariat has apparently done with no difficulty.

The substance is well worth sharing, and widely.

David Miller , July 26, 2018 at 10:11 am

One thing that strikes me – a generation ago the talking-point robots of the right could decry "socialized medicine" and all those people supposedly dying while waiting for an operation in foreign, "socialized medicine" places. And they could largely get away with it because relatively few people had personal acquaintances outside their own area.

But now, anyone active in social media probably can interact freely with people all over the world and appreciate how pathetic things really are in the US.

I read on a sports-related forum where an English guy had been watching Breaking Bad and commented offhand that he was amazed at the cost of medical treatment for Mr. White. This turned into a discussion between Brits and Yanks about the NHS. And person after person chimed in "yeah, NHS is not perfect but this kind of thing could never happen here." And you saw the Americans – "yeah, our health care system really is a disgrace."

I'm not a big fan of the social media Borg in general, but here at least seems to be a good effect. It might over time enable more people to wake up as to how jacked up certain things are here.

Eureka Springs , July 26, 2018 at 10:16 am

I'd like to declare us a completely divided, conquered people.

In the last few weeks I've visited with many old friends all of them suffering in silence. Each and every one falling further behind, on the brink of disaster, if not already there. No matter their credentials, many highly credentialed with multiple degrees and or highly experienced in several fields. All with ridiculously high work ethics. All feel maintaining personal integrity is costing them an ability to 'get ahead'.

Many of these friends have multiple jobs, no debt, no car payment, some have insurance which is killing them, medical bills which bury them if they ever have so much as basic health issues, and they are thrifty, from the clothes they wear to the amount of rent they commit themselves. And yet 'staying afloat', is but a dream trumped by guilt and isolationism.

I often joke with my fellow country neighbors that it costs a hundred bucks to simply leave the house. It's not a joke anymore. At this point those still fighting for a paltry 15.00 should include a hundred dollar per day walk out your front door per diem.

A couple months back I gave my camper to an old acquaintance who had no record, found himself homeless after being falsely accused of a crime and locked up for two months. And another friend with full time management position, just gave up her apartment to move into a tent in another friends back yard. Both of these people are bright, hard working, mid forties, white, family peeps with great children. The very kind this article addresses.

The noose tightens and people are committing desperate acts. There is no solidarity. No vision of a way out of this.

Watch a ten dollar parking ticket bring a grown man to terror in their eyes. And he brought in a thousand bucks last week, but has been texting his landlord about past due rent all afternoon.

I feel like I'm on the brink of a million episodes of " Falling Down ".

ChiGal in Carolina , July 26, 2018 at 11:50 am

Indeed. But as consciousness is raised as to the real causes (not personal failure, not robots taking over), hopefully solidarity will grow.

Wonderful article, definitely want to read the book.

John , July 26, 2018 at 11:56 am

I don't think the 0.1% wanted to build a society like this, it is just the way the math works. Somewhere around 1980 the integrity of the US was lost and it became possible for the owning class to divorce themselves from their neighbors and arbitrage labor around the world. Computers and telecommunications made it possible to manage a global supply chain and Republicans changed the tax rules to make it easier to shut down businesses and move them overseas.

A different way to view this: as the wealthy earn profits they can use some of their cash to modify the rules to their benefit. Then they gain more cash which allows them to influence voters and politicians to modify the rules even more in their favor.

If people organized they could change the rules in their favor, but that rarely happens. We used to have unions (imperfect though they were) which lobbied for the working class.

sharonsj , July 26, 2018 at 5:09 pm

I think the 1980s was when I found out my wealthy cousins, who owned a clothing factory in Georgia, had moved it to–get ready for this–Borneo! And of course they are Republicans.

Louis , July 26, 2018 at 10:17 am

The collective decisions to pull up the drawbridge, and a lot middle-class people have supported these decisions are the major reason why there is a housing crisis and higher-education is so expensive.

A lot of people, especially middle-class people, come out with pitchforks every time a new housing development is proposed, screaming about how they don't want "those people" living near them and will vehemently oppose anything that isn't single-family homes which has resulted in the housing supply lagging behind demand, thus affordability issues.

These same people over the years have decided that tax-cuts are more important than adequately funding higher education, so higher education has become a lot more expensive as state support has dwindled.

As the saying goes you made you bed, now you get to sleep in it. Unfortunately so does the younger generation who may not have anything to do with the horrible decision making of the past.

John Wright , July 26, 2018 at 10:33 am

The article stated Americans are "Petrified of being pushed aside by robots".

Maybe I associate with the wrong people, but I don't know any who fear being pushed aside by robots.

But I do know of someone who was being laid off from a tech firm and was finding his job moved overseas.

The deal management presented was, "you can leave now, with your severance package, or get two more weeks pay by training your replacement who will be visiting from overseas."

He trained the new worker for the two weeks.

The American worker is being hit, not by robots, but by outsourcing to other countries and by in-sourcing of labor from other countries.

Robots are expensive and will be avoided if a human can do the job cheaply enough.

That the article brings "fear of robots" into the discussion is a tell that the writer does not want to mention that it is the competition from others in the world wide labor force that depress USA wages.

In the USA, we are witnessing labor arbitrage encouraged by both parties and much of the media as they push USA wages toward world wide levels.

But not for the elite wage earners who gain from this system.

FluffytheObeseCat , July 26, 2018 at 10:58 am

Agreed. The kind of pink collar and barely white collar employees this piece was focused on are not presently threatened by "robots". They are threatened by outsourcing and wage arbitrage.

Brooklin Bridge , July 26, 2018 at 11:11 am

That the article brings "fear of robots" into the discussion is a tell that the writer does not want to mention that it is the competition from others in the world wide labor force that depress USA wages.

You may have a point there, and you are spot on that the vast bulk of job-loss is due to job migration and import of cheaper labor. But regardless of the writer's intent or simple laziness, don't be too fast to poo-poo the effect of Robots.

One problem is that we tend to measure job loss and gain without reference to the actual job loosers and the fact that re-training for them may well be impossible or completely ineffective or, at the very minimum, often extremely painful. So while automation may provide as many new jobs as it takes away old ones, that is cold comfort indeed to the worker who gets left behind.

Another, is that the fear of massive job loss to Robots is almost certainly warranted even if not yet fully materialized.

ambrit , July 26, 2018 at 12:24 pm

When the "Steel Wave" of robot workers comes ashore, I'll be near the head of the queue to join the "Robo Luddites." If the owners of the robot hordes won't pay a fair share of the costs of their mechanominions worker displacement activities, then they should be made to pay an equivalent share in heightened "Production Facility Security Costs." Ford Motors and the River Rouge plant strike comes to mind.
See: http://98937119.weebly.com/strike-at-the-river-rouge-plant-1941.html

Todde , July 26, 2018 at 1:01 pm

The robots are going to be shooting back

Brooklin Bridge , July 26, 2018 at 1:35 pm

It'd be great to be right there with you on that fateful day, Ambrit :-) (And I've even got my gun with the little white flag that pops out and has "Bang!" written on it, all oiled up and ready to go). I suspect however that it will be a silent D Day that probably took place some time ago.

Hard Briexit looks to be baked in the cake
Global Warming disaster looks to be baked in the cake
Water wars look to be baked in the cake.
Massive impoverishment in developed and so called third world nations alike and insane 'last gasp' looting looks to be baked in the cake
[ ]
Why would all manner of robots, the ones too tiny to see along with human looking ones and giant factories that are in reality themselves robots be the exception?

ambrit , July 26, 2018 at 9:45 pm

We'd be facing robots, so that flag would have to go "Bang" in binary code. (Might even work. While they are trying to decipher the flag, we can switch their tubes of graphite lubricant with tubes of carborundum.)
When the technologically capable humans have all died off, will the robots perish likewise for lack of programmers?

G Roller , July 26, 2018 at 4:30 pm

"Robots" are software programs, do-it-yourself online appointments, voice recognition, "press 1 now." What's the point of retraining? All you're good for is to make sure the plug is in the wall.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2018 at 12:02 pm

The act of training the overseas replacement could become an act of sabotage. Think of the ways that one could train the replacement to do the job incorrectly, more slowly than necessary, or not at all.

Brooklin Bridge , July 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Sabotage by miss-training.

In a lot of cases that doesn't require much 'intentional' effort. But the lure of cheap labor seems to conquer all. I've seen software companies take loss after loss on off-shore development team screw ups until they finally get it right. I even saw one such company go out of business trying rather than just calling it quits and going back to what was left of their core developers.

funemployed , July 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm

As I approach 40, having only realized in recent years that the constant soul-ache I've lived with my whole life is not some inherent flaw in my being, but a symptom of a deeply ill society, I desperately wish I could share in the glimmer of hope at the end of this post.

But I cannot. What drives me to despair is not the fragile, corrupt, and unsustainable social/political/economic system we're inheriting; nor is it the poisoned and increasingly harsh planet, nor the often silent epidemic of mental and emotional anguish that prevents so many of us from becoming our best selves. I retain great faith in the resilience and potential of the human spirit. And contrary to the stereotypes, I think my generation and those who have come after are often more intellectually and emotionally mature than our parents and grandparents. At the very least, we have a powerful sense of irony and highly tuned BS detectors.

What drives me to despair is so pathetically prosaic that I want to laugh and cry all at once as I type this. To put it as simply as I know how, a core function of all functional human societies is apprenticeship, by which I mean the basic process whereby deep knowledge and skills are transferred from the old to the young, where tensions between tradition and change are contested and resolved, and where the fundamental human need to develop a sense of oneself as a unique and valuable part of a community can flourish.

We have been commodified since before we were even born, to the point where opportunities for what Lave and Wenger would call "legitimate peripheral participation" in the kinds of work that yield real, humane, benefits to our communities are scant to nonexistent for most of us. Something has gone deeply awry in this core social function at the worst possible time in human history.

... ,,, ,,,

ChristopherJ , July 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

thank you funemployed, perceptive

lyman alpha blob , July 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Sympathies from a fellow traveler – your experience sounds similar to mine. I'm a little older and in my 20s I avoided getting a 'real' job for all the reasons you describe. When I hit my 30s and saw what some of the guys who had been hanging out in the bar too long looked like, and decided I ought to at least try it and see how it would go.

Turns out my 20 year old self had been right.

Gayle , July 26, 2018 at 5:11 pm

"Some quirk of my psychology means doing those things creates an irresistible urge in me to slowly poison myself with alcohol and tobacco."

I think those things and drugs are conscience oblivators. Try gardening. Touch the earth. Grow actual food. Not hemp. Back away from the education racket. Good luck. Quit the poison.

David May , July 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm

That was a wonderful post, very moving, thank you. These kind of testimonies are very important because they show the real human cost of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is truly a death cult. Please find an alternative to alcohol. Music, art, nature, etc.

ChiGal in Carolina , July 26, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Thank you for sharing your compelling story. As someone who could be your mother, it is painful to me not only that this is your experience, but that you are so acutely aware of it. No blinders. Hence, I guess, the need for alcohol.

You write beautifully. Hope is hard to come by sometimes.

ambrit , July 26, 2018 at 9:58 pm

At least you are self aware. Most people are not. As for the Ship of Status, let it sink. Find a lifeboat where you feel comfortable and batten down for the Roaring (20)40s yet to come. Once you find something to work for, the bad habits will lose much of their hold on you. As long as you don't slide into alcoholism, you have a chance.

Unfettered Fire , July 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Life was kinder just 40 years ago, not perfect but way more mellow than it is today. Kids were listening to Peter Frampton and Stevie Wonder, not punk, grunge, rap and industrial music. What changed? Neoliberalism, the economic policy that is private sector "free market" driven, giving the owners of capital free, unfettered reign. Created by libertarians like Fredrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, they sold it to the nation but failed to mention that little peccadillo about how privatization of government would usher in economic fascism.

"An extreme form of laissez-faire individualism that developed in the writings of Hayek, Friedman and Nozick they are also referred to as libertarians. They draw on the natural rights tradition of John Locke and champion's full autonomy and freedom of the individual."

What they meant was ECONOMIC freedom. They despise social freedom (democracy) because civil, labor, health, food safety, etc., rights and environmental protections put limits on their profits.

The "maximizing shareholder value" myth turns people into psychopaths . The entire neoliberal economic policy of the past 40 years is based on the false assumption that self-interest is the driving evolution of humanity. We're not all psychopaths, turns out. We're social beings that have mainly used cooperation to get us through these thousands of years of existence.

There's nothing wrong with wanting government to protect the public sector from predatory capitalists. Otherwise, society's value system turns upside down sick people are more valued than healthy violent are more valued to fill up the prison factories war becomes a permanent business a filthy, toxic planet is good for the oil industry a corporate governance with no respect for rights or environmental protections is the best capitalism can offer?

Thanks, but no thanks.

The easily manipulated right are getting the full assault. "Run for your lives! The democratic socialists want to use the government bank for everyone, not just the 1%!! They understand how the economy really works and see through our lies!! Before you know it, everyone will be enjoying a better quality of life! AAAAGHHH!!"

Even the IMF is getting a scolding for being so out-of-touch with reality. Isn't economics supposed to factor in conscience?

"If the IMF is to shake its image as an inward-looking, out-of-touch boys club, it needs to start taking the issue seriously. The effect of the male dominance in macroeconomics can be seen in the policy direction of the organisation: female economists are more likely to be in favour of Government-backed redistribution measures than their male counterparts.

Of course, the parochial way in which economics is perceived by the IMF, as nothing more than the application of mathematical models, is nothing new. In fact, this is how mainstream economics frequently is taught in universities all over the world. Is it any wonder that the IMF has turned out as it is?"

Michael Hudson, as usual, was right:

"Economics students are forced to spend so much time with this complex calculus so that they can go to work on Wall St. that there's no room in the course curriculum for the history of economic thought.

So all they know about Adam Smith is what they hear on CNN news or other mass media that are a travesty of what these people really said and if you don't read the history of economic thought, you'd think there's only one way of looking at the world and that's the way the mass media promote things and it's a propagandistic, Orwellian way.

The whole economic vocabulary is to cover up what's really happening and to make people think that the economy is getting richer while the reality is they're getting poorer and only the top is getting richer and they can only get rich as long as the middle class and the working class don't realize the scam that's being pulled off on them."

Newton Finn , July 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Unfettered Fire and funemployed: deeply appreciate your lengthy and heartfelt posts. It's a terribly small thing, but I have a suggestion to make that always helps me to feel a bit better about things or should I say to feel a bit better about the possibility of things. If you're game, and haven't already done so, search for the following free online book: "Equality" by Edward Bellamy. Then do no more than read the introduction and first chapter (and slightly into the second) to absorb by far the finest Socratic dialogue ever written about capitalism, socialism, and the only nonviolent way to move from the former to the latter–a way wide open to us, theoretically, right now. I know that's a hell of a qualifier.

Andrew Watts , July 26, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Why do modern intellectuals insist on inventing euphemisms for already known definitions? The middle precariat is merely another term for the petty bourgeoisie. While they may have possessed economic benefits like pensions and owned minuscule amounts of financial assets they were never the dominant ruling class. Their socioeconomic status was always closer in their livelihoods to the working class. After the working class was effectively being dismantled starting in the 1970s, it has become the petty bourgeoisie's turn to be systematically impoverished.

This is the primary economic development of our era of late capitalism. The question is, what does it mean to be American if this country is no longer a land of opportunity?

precariat , July 26, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Because the 'known definitions' do not apply anymore.

The middle has more in common with those below than those above. And here is the scary reason: everyone is to be preyed upon by the wealth extractors who dominate our politics/economy -- everyone. There is no social or educational allegieance, there is only a resource to be ruthlessly plundered, people and their ability to earn and secure.

Mel , July 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Right. It's hardly a euphemism. The Middle Precariat are the people in the 9.9% who will not be part of the 8.9%.

Andrew Watts , July 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm

The so-called precariat lacks any sense of class consciousness and as a consequence are incapable of any kind of solidarity. Nor do they perceive any predatory behavior in the economic system. If the article is to be believed they blame themselves for their plight. These traits which include the admiration and imitation of the rich are the hallmarks of the petty bourgeoisie.

This disagreement over semantics is an example of the shallowness and superficiality of new ideas. Marx already predicted that they'd be unceremoniously thrown into the underclass in later stages of economic development at any rate.

ProNewerDeal , July 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm

thanks for this article.

The BigMedia & BigPols ignore the Type 1 Overqualified Underemployed cohort. Perhaps hopefully someone like the new Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will discuss it, her recently being of this cohort as an economist by degree working as a bartender. Instead we have examples of BigMedia/BigPol crying about "STEM worker shortage" where there already are countless underemployed STEM workers working Uber-ish type McJobs.

Afaict the only occupations (mostly) immune to Type 1 Overqualified Underemployment risk here in Murica are medical pros: physicians/dentists/pharmacists & possibly nurses. Otherwise there are stories of PhD Uber drivers, MBA strippers, & lawyers working Apple store retail, especially in the first few years post 2008-GFC but still present now. In other words, the US labor market "new economy" is resembling "old economy" of Latin America or Russia (proverbial physicist selling trinkets on the Trans-Siberia railway).

precariat , July 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

From Eureka Springs, this:

"I often joke with my fellow country neighbors that it costs a hundred bucks to simply leave the house. It's not a joke anymore. At this point those still fighting for a paltry 15.00 should include a hundred dollar per day walk out your front door per diem."

This is a stark and startling reality. This reality is outside the framework of understanding of economic struggle in America that is allowed by the corporate neoliberal culture/media.

Jean , July 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm

As the Precariat grows, having watched the .1% lie, cheat and steal – from them, they are more likely to also lie, cheat and steal in mortgage, employment and student loan applications and most importantly and sadly, in their dealings with each other. Everybody is turning into a hustler.

As to dealings with institutions, this comment is apt. I think this came from NC comments a couple of weeks ago. Apologies for not being able to attribute it to its author:

"Why should the worker be subservient to the employer? Citizens owe NO LOYALTY, moral or legal, to a someone else's money making enterprise. And that enterprise is strictly a product of signed commercial legal documents. Commercial enterprise has no natural existence. It is a man-made creation, and is a "privilege", not a "right"; just as a drivers license is a privilege and not an absolute right."

Sound of the Suburbs , July 26, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy. The Classical economist, Adam Smith, observed the world of small state, unregulated capitalism around him.

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."

How does this tie in with the trickledown view we have today? Somehow everything has been turned upside down.

The workers that did the work to produce the surplus lived a bare subsistence existence. Those with land and money used it to live a life of luxury and leisure.

The bankers (usurers) created money out of nothing and charged interest on it. The bankers got rich, and everyone else got into debt and over time lost what they had through defaults on loans, and repossession of assets.

Capitalism had two sides, the productive side where people earned their income and the parasitic side where the rentiers lived off unearned income. The Classical Economists had shown that most at the top of society were just parasites feeding off the productive activity of everyone else.

Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.

How can we protect those powerful vested interests at the top of society?

The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital". They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists to hide the effects of rentier activity in the economy.

The landowners, landlords and usurers were now just productive members of society again. It they left banks and debt out of economics no one would know the bankers created the money supply out of nothing. Otherwise, everyone would see how dangerous it was to let bankers do what they wanted if they knew the bankers created the money supply through their loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The powerful vested interests held sway and economics was corrupted. Now we know what's wrong with neoclassical economics we can put the cost of living back in.

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

Employees want more disposable income (discretionary spending). Employers want to pay lower wages for higher profits

The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living

The neoliberals obsessed about reducing taxes, but let the cost of living soar. The economists also ignore the debt that is papering over the cracks and maintaining demand in the economy. This can never work in the longer term as you max. out on debt.

Lambert Strether , July 26, 2018 at 3:35 pm

> These young people do not think of things like debt-free college or paid family leave as radical: they see it done elsewhere in the world and don't accept that it can't be done in America.

An unexpected consequence of globalization is that a lot of people see how thing are done, elsewhere.

Livius Drusus , July 26, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Part of me doesn't feel sorry at all for the plight of middle-class Americans. When times were good they were happy to throw poor and working-class people under the bus. I remember when the common answer to complaints about factory closings was "you should have gotten an education, dummy." Now that the white-collar middle class can see that they are next on the chopping block they are finding their populist soul.

At the end of the day we need to have solidarity between workers but this is a good example of why you should never think that you are untouchable and why punching down is never a good political strategy. There will always be somebody more powerful than you and after they are done destroying the people at the bottom you will probably be next.

[Jul 24, 2018] Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email." ..."
"... In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line. ..."
"... The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party. ..."
"... There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the CBS interview program "Face the Nation" Sunday and fully embraced the anti-Russia campaign of the US military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and much of the media.

In response to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, Sanders unleashed a torrent of denunciations of Trump's meeting and press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A preliminary transcript reads:

SANDERS: "I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but through cyber attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn't understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him.

"Or perhaps also you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies. And maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives."

These comments, which echo remarks he gave at a rally in Kansas late last week, signal Sanders' full embrace of the right-wing campaign launched by the Democrats and backed by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Their opposition to Trump is centered on issues of foreign policy, based on the concern that Trump, due to his own "America First" brand of imperialist strategy, has run afoul of geostrategic imperatives that are considered inviolable -- in particular, the conflict with Russia.

Sanders did not use his time on a national television program to condemn Trump's persecution of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents, or to denounce his naming of ultra-right jurist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or to attack the White House declaration last week that the "war on poverty" had ended victoriously -- in order to justify the destruction of social programs for impoverished working people. Nor did he seek to advance his supposedly left-wing program on domestic issues like health care, jobs and education.

Sanders' embrace of the anti-Russia campaign is not surprising, but it is instructive. This is, after all, an individual who presented himself as "left-wing," even a "socialist." During the 2016 election campaign, he won the support of millions of people attracted to his call for a "political revolution" against the "billionaire class." For Sanders, who has a long history of opportunist and pro-imperialist politics in the orbit of the Democratic Party, the aim of the campaign was always to direct social discontent into establishment channels, culminating in his endorsement of the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email."

In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line.

The experience is instructive not only in relation to Sanders, but to an entire social milieu and the political perspective with which it is associated. This is what it means to work within the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party.

New political figures, many associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being brought in for the same purpose. As Sanders gave his anti-Russia rant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat next to him nodding her agreement. The 28-year-old member of the DSA last month won the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th Congressional District, unseating the Democratic incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez has been given massive and largely uncritical publicity by the corporate media, summed up in an editorial puff piece by the New York Times that described her as "a bright light in the Democratic Party who has brought desperately needed energy back to New York politics "

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders were jointly interviewed from Kansas, where the two appeared Friday at a campaign rally for James Thompson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives from the Fourth Congressional District, based in Wichita, in an August 7 primary election.

Thompson might appear to be an unusual ally for the "socialist" Sanders and the DSA member Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign celebrates his role as an Army veteran, and his website opens under the slogan "Join the Thompson Army," followed by pledges that the candidate will "Fight for America." In an interview with the Associated Press, Thompson indicated that despite his support for Sanders' call for "Medicare for all," and his own endorsement by the DSA, he was wary of any association with socialism. "I don't like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history," he said.

Such anticommunism fits right in with the anti-Russian campaign, which is the principal theme of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections. As the World Socialist Web Site has pointed out for many months, the real thrust of the Democratic Party campaign is demonstrated by its recruitment as congressional candidates of dozens of former CIA and military intelligence agents, combat commanders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and war planners from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict.

[Jul 21, 2018] Migrants, Pro-Globalization Leftists, and the Suffocating Middle Class by Outis Philalithopoulos

Notable quotes:
"... By Enrico Verga, a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur based in Milan. As a consultant, he concentrates on firms interested in opportunities in international and digital markets. His articles have appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore, Capo Horn, Longitude, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and many other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @enricoverga . ..."
"... Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports . ..."
"... The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower ( by 60-70% on average ) than in Western European countries. ..."
"... The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians," explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues: ..."
"... I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants. ..."
"... In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus. ..."
"... If for the last twenty years, with only occasional oscillation, the pro-globalization side has been dominant in the West, elections are starting to swing the balance in a new direction. ..."
"... "Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force." ..."
"... never export their way out of poverty and misery ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Enrico Verga, a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur based in Milan. As a consultant, he concentrates on firms interested in opportunities in international and digital markets. His articles have appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore, Capo Horn, Longitude, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and many other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @enricoverga .

International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit.

In recent times, the Western middle class (by which I mean in particular industrial workers and office employees) has lost a large number of jobs and has seen its buying power fall. It isn't true that migrants are the source of all evil in the world. However, under current conditions, they become a locus for the exasperation of the population at twenty years of pro-globalization politics. They are tragically placed in the role of the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Western businesses have slipped jobs overseas to countries with low labor costs, while the middle class has been pushed into debt in order to try to keep up. The Glass-Steagall law and other brakes on American banks were abolished by a cheerleader for globalization, Bill Clinton, and these banks subsequently lost all restraints in their enthusiasm to lend. The cherry on top of the sundae was the real estate bubble and ensuing crash of 2008.

A damning picture of the results of 20 years of globalization is provided by Forbes , capitalism's magazine par excellence. Already in 2016, the surprise victory of Trump led to questions about whether the blond candidate's win was due in part to the straits of the American middle class, impoverished as a result of the pro-globalization politics of figures like Clinton and Obama.

Further support for this thesis is furnished by the New York Times , describing the collapse of the stars-and-stripes middle class. Its analysis is buttressed by lengthy research from the very mainstream Pew Center , which agrees that the American middle class is vanishing.

And Europe? Although the European middle class has been squeezed less than its American counterpart, for us as well the picture doesn't look good. See for example the analysis of the Brookings Institute , which discusses not only the flagging economic fortunes of the European middle class, but also the fear of prosperity collapsing that currently grips Europe.

Migrants and the Shock Doctrine

What do economic migrants have to do with any of this?

Far be it from me to criticize large corporations, but clearly they – and their managers and stockholders – benefit from higher margins. Profits (revenue minus costs and expenses) can be maximized by reducing expenses. To this end, the costs of acquiring goods (metals, agricultural products, energy, etc.) and services (labor) need to fall steadily.

In the quest to lower the cost of labor, the most desirable scenario is a sort of blank slate: to erase ongoing arrangements with workers and start over from zero, building a new "happy and productive" economy. This operation can be understood as a sort of "shock doctrine."

The term "economic shock therapy" is based on an analogy with electroshock therapy for mental patients. One important analysis of it comes from Naomi Klein , who became famous explaining in 2000 the system of fashion production through subsidiaries that don't adhere to the safety rules taken so seriously in Western countries (some of you may recall the scandal of Benetton and Rana Plaza , where more than a thousand workers at a Bangladesh factory producing Benetton (and other) clothes were crushed under a collapsing building).

Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force. Sometimes relocating from one nation to another is not possible, but if you can bring the job market of other countries here in the form of a low-cost mass of people competing for employment, then why bother?

The Doctrine in Practice

Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports .

The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower ( by 60-70% on average ) than in Western European countries.

We see further evidence of damage to the European middle class daily, from France where the (at least verbally) pro-globalization Macron is cutting social welfare to attract foreign investment , to Germany where many ordinary workers are seriously exploited . And so on through the UK and Italy.

Political Reactions

The migrant phenomenon is a perfect counterpoint to a threadbare middle class, given its role as a success story within the narrative of globalization.

Economic migrants are eager to obtain wealth on the level of the Western middle class – and this is of course a legitimate desire. However, to climb the social ladder, they are willing to do anything: from accepting low albeit legal salaries to picking tomatoes illegally ( as Alessandro Gassman, son of the famous actor, reminded us ).

The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians," explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues:

This mirage has fallen under the blows it has received from the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War. Foreign trade, easy credit (with the American real estate bubble of 2008 as a direct consequence), peace missions in Libya (carried out by pro-globalization French and English actors, with one motive being in my opinion the diversion of energy resources away from [the Italian] ENI) were supposed to have created a miracle; they have in reality created a climate of global instability.

Italy is of course not untouched by this phenomenon. It's easy enough to give an explanation for the Five Stars getting votes from part of the southern electorate that is financially in trouble and might hope for some sort of subsidy, but the North? The choice of voting center right (with a majority leaning toward Lega) can be explained in only one way – the herd (the middle class) has tried to rise up.

I asked him, "So in your opinion, is globalization in stasis? Or is it radically changing?" He replied:

I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants.

This is an important element in the success of Lega: it is a force that has managed to understand clearly the exhaustion of the impoverished middle class, and that has proposed a way out, or has at least elaborated a vision opposing the rose-colored glasses of globalization.

In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus.

What Conflicts Are Most Relevant Today?

At the same time, if we observe, for example in Italy, the positions taken by the (pro-globalization?) Left, it becomes easier to understand why the middle class and also many blue collar workers are abandoning it. Examples range from the unfortunate declarations of deputy Lia Quartapelle on the need to support the Muslim Brotherhood to the explanations of the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, on how the status of economic migrant should be seen as a model for the lifestyle of all Italians . These remarks were perhaps uttered lightly (Quartapelle subsequently took her post down and explained that she had made a mistake), but they are symptomatic of a certain sort of pro-globalization cultural "Left" that finds talking to potential voters less interesting than other matters.

From Italy to America (where Hillary Clinton was rejected after promoting major international trade arrangements that she claimed would benefit middle-class American workers) to the UK (where Brexit has been taken as a sort of exhaust valve), the middle class no longer seems to be snoring.

We are currently seeing a political conflict between globalist and nationalist forces. Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.

If for the last twenty years, with only occasional oscillation, the pro-globalization side has been dominant in the West, elections are starting to swing the balance in a new direction.

Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization.

If the distinction between globalism and nationalism is in practice trumping other differences, then we should not let ourselves be distracted by bright and shiny objects, and keep our focus on what really matters.


fresno dan , July 20, 2018 at 7:06 am

From the Forbes link:
"The first downside of international trade that even proponents of freer trade must acknowledge is that while the country as a whole gains some people do lose."
More accurate to say a tiny, tiny, TINY percentage gain.

Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP. Yes, GDP goes up – but that word that can never be uttered by American corporate media – DISTRIBUTION – that essentially ALL gains in GDP have gone to the very top. AND THAT THIS IS A POLITICAL DECISION, not like the waves of the ocean or natural selection. There is plenty that could be done about it – BUT it STARTS with WANTING to do something effective about it .

And of course, the bizarre idea that inflation helps. Well, like trade, it helps .the very, very rich
https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/real-hourly-earnings-decline-yoy-for-production-workers-flat-for-all-employees-W4eRI5nksU2lsrOR9Z01WQ/

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:30 am

im used to use reliable link ( on forbes it's not Pew but i quoted also Pew) :)

Off The Street , July 20, 2018 at 9:43 am

Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP.

Fresno Dan,
You have identified one of my pet peeves about economists and their fellow traveler politicians. They hide behind platitudes, and the former are more obnoxious about that. Economists will tell people that they just don't understand all that complexity, and that in the name of efficiency, etc, free trade and the long slide toward neo-liberal hell must continue.

Heraclitus , July 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

I think the assertion that all economic gains have gone to the very top is not accurate. According to 'Unintended Consequences' by Ed Conard, the 'composition of the work force has shifted to demographics with lower incomes' between 1980 and 2005. If you held the workforce of 1980 steady through 2005, wages would be up 30% in real terms, not including benefits.

It's amazing that critics miss this.

Jean , July 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

But you are ignoring immigrant based population increases which dilutes your frozen population number. How convenient for argument's sake.

Not mentioned in the article are rent increases caused by more competition for scarcer housing.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 7:12 am

I think the author has highlighted some home truths in the article. I once remember several years ago just trying to raise the issue of immigration* and its impact on workers on an Irish so-called socialist forum. Either I met silence or received a reply along the lines: 'that when socialists rule the EU we'll establish continental wide standards that will ensure fairness for everyone'. Fairy dust stuff. I'm not anti immigrant in any degree but it seems unwise not to understand and mitigate the negative aspects of policies on all workers. Those chickens are coming home to roost by creating the type of political parties (new or established) that now control the EU and many world economies.

During the same period many younger middle and upper middle class Irish extolled the virtues, quite openly, of immigration as way of lowering the power and wages of existing Irish workers so that the costs of building homes, labour intensive services and the like would be concretely reduced; and that was supposed to be a good thing for the material well being of these middle and upper middle classes. Sod manual labour.

One part of the working class was quite happy to thrown another part of the working class under the bus and the Left**, such as it was and is, was content to let it happen. Then established Leftist parties often facilitated the rightward economic process via a host of policies, often against their own stated policies in election manifestos. The Left appeared deceitful. The Irish Labour party is barely alive and subsisting on die-hard traditionalists for their support by those who can somehow ignore the deceit of their party. Surreaslist stuff from so-called working class parties,

And now the middle-middle classes are ailing and we're supposed to take notice. Hmmm. Yet, as a Leftist, myself, it is incumbent upon us to address the situation and assist all workers, whatever their own perceived status.

*I'm an immigrant in the UK currently, though that is about to change next year.

** Whether the "Left", such as the Irish Labour Party, was just confused or bamboozled matters not a jot. After the financial crises that became an economic crisis, they zealously implemented austerity policies that predominantly cleared the way for a right wing political landscape to dominate throughout Europe. One could be forgiven for thinking that those who called themselves Leftists secretly believed that only right wing, neo-liberal economic policies were correct. And I suppose, being a bit cynical, that a few politicos were paid handsomely for their services.

PlutoniumKun , July 20, 2018 at 8:30 am

I think its easy to see why the more middle class elements of the left wing parties never saw immigration as a problem – but harder to see why the Trade Unions also bought into this. Partly I think it was a laudable and genuine attempt to ensure they didn't buy into racism – when you look at much trade union history, its not always pleasant reading when you see how nakedly racist some early trade union activists were, especially in the US. But I think there was also a process whereby Unions increasingly represented relatively protected trades and professions, while they lost ground in more vulnerable sectors, such as in construction.

I think there was also an underestimation of the 'balancing' effect within Europe. I think a lot of activists understimated the poverty in parts of Europe, and so didn't see the expansion of the EU into eastern Europe as resulting in the same sort of labour arbitrage thats occurred between the west and Asia. I remember the discussions over the enlargement of the EU to cover eastern Europe and I recall that there seemed to be an inbuilt assumption (certainly in the left), that rising general prosperity would ensure there would be no real migration impact on local jobs. This proved to be entirely untrue.

Incidentally, in my constituency (Dublin Central) in past elections the local Labour party was as guilty as any of pandering to the frequent racism encountered on the doorsteps in working class areas. But it didn't do them much good. Interestingly, SF was the only party who would consistently refuse to pander (At least in Dublin), making the distinction between nationalist and internationalist minded left wingers even more confusing.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

Yes, one has to praise the fact that the Unions didn't pander to racism – but that's about all the (insert expletive of choice) did correctly.

Your other points, as ever, are relevant and valid but (and I must but) I tend to think that parties like Labour were too far "breezy" about the repercussions about labour arbitrage. But that's water under the bridge now.

Speaking about SF and the North West in general, they have aggressively canvassed recent immigrants and have not tolerated racism among their ranks. Their simple reasoning was that is unthinkable that SF could tolerate such behaviour amongst themselves when they has waged a campaign against such attitudes and practices in the six counties. (SF are no saints, often fumble the ball badly, and are certainly not the end-all-be-all, but this is something they get right).

Glen , July 20, 2018 at 8:56 am

It has to be understood that much of immigration is occurring because of war, famine, collapsing societies (mostly due to massive wealth inequality and corrupt governments). Immigration is not the cause of the economic issues in the EU, it's a symptom (or a feature if you're on top). If you don't correct the causes – neo-liberalism, kleptocracy, rigged game – what ever you want to call it, then you too will become an immigrant in your own country (and it will be a third world country by the time the crooks on top are done).

Don't get caught up in the blame the other poor people game. It's a means to get the powerless to fight among themselves. They are not in charge, they are victims just like you.

Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:18 am

Having spent a lot of time in the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan and Iraq I have to say that rampant overpopulation plays a big part. Anyone who can get out is getting out. It makes sense. And with modern communications they all know how life is in Europe or the US in contrast to the grinding horror that surrounds them.

Louis Fyne , July 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

But Conan tells me that Haiti is a tropical paradise! (my brother too spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq working with the locals during his deployments)

"Twitter liberalism" is doing itself by not recognizing that much of the developing world IS a corrupt cesspool.

Instead of railing against Trump, the Twitter-sphere needs to rail against the bipartisan policies that drive corruption, and economic dislocations and political dislocations. and rail against religious fundamentalism that hinders family planning.

But that can't fit onto a bumper sticker.

Calling Trump names is easier.

redleg , July 20, 2018 at 7:32 pm

But if you actually do that, rail against bipartisan neoliberal policies on social media and IRL, the conservatives are far less hostile than the die-hard Dems. This is especially true now, with all the frothing at the mouth and bloodlust about Russia. Its raised their "it's ALL *YOUR* FAULT"-ism by at least an order of magnitude.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Actually, that's been true since the 18th C., at least for the US. TV may make it more vivid, and Europe has changed places, but most Americans have immigrant ancestors, most often from Europe.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

Very good points, and I agree with all of them.

However, it does seem that the policy of the EU, especially under the influence of Mutti Merkel, signalled a free-for-all immigration stance over the last several years, completely ignoring the plight of existing workers (many of whom would be recent immigrants themselves and the children of immigrants). That the so-called Left either sat idly by or jumped on Mutti's band wagon didn't do them any favours with working people. Every country or customs union has and needs to regulate its borders. It also makes some sense to monitor labour markets when unfavourable conditions appear.

It appears that only the wealthy are largely reaping the rewards of the globalist direction trade has taken. These issues need to be addressed by the emerging Left political parties in the West. Failure to address these issues must, I would contend, play into the hands of the more right wing parties whose job is to often enrich the local rich.

But, bottom line, your are correct workers do not come out well when blaming other workers for economies that have been intentionally created to produce favourable conditions for the few over the many.

nervos belli , July 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

It's a blade with two sides.
There are push factors like the wars and poor countries. However neither of these causes can be fixed. Not possible. Europe can gnash their teeth all they want, not even when they did the unthinkable and put the US under sanctions for their warcrimes would the US ever stop. First there would be color revolutions in western europe.

As important as the push factors are the pull ones. 90% or so of all refugees 2015 went to Germany. Some were sent to other countries by the EU, these too immediately moved to Germany and didn't stay where they were assigned. So the EU has to clean up their act and would need to put the last 10 or so US presidents and administrations before a judge in Den Haag for continued war crimes and crimes against humanity (please let me my dreams). The EU would also need to clean up their one sided trade treaties with Africa and generally reign in their own corporations. All that is however not enough by far and at most only half the battle. Even when the EU itself all did these things, the poverty would remain and therefore the biggest push factor. Humans always migrate to the place where the economy is better.

The pull factors is however at least as big. The first thing to do is for Germany to fix their laws to be in sync with the other EU countries. At this point, Germany is utterly alone, at most some countries simply don't speak out against german policy since they want concessions in other areas. Main one here is France with their proposed EU and Euro reforms but not alone by far.

Ben Wolf , July 20, 2018 at 7:36 am

Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.

Socialism in one country is a Stalinist theory, and falling back upon it in fear of international capital is not only regressive but (assuming we aren't intentionally ignoring history) relective of a defensive mentality.

In other words, this kind of thinking is the thinking of the whipped dog cringing before the next blow.

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:31 am

Am i a dog? :)

Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:28 am

Or perhaps they want to regulate and control the power of capital in their country. Which is an entirely impossible proposition considering that capital can flee any jurisdiction and cross any border. After all, transnational capital flows which were leveraged to the hilt in speculative assets played an oversized role in generating the financial crisis and subsequent crash.

It wouldn't be the first time I've been called a Stalinist though.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

And why would we care whether it's a "Stalinist" theory? For that matter, although worker ownership would solve some of these problems, we needn't be talking about socialism, but rather about more functional capitalism.

Quite a leap in that last sentence; you haven't actually established anything of the sort.

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

but rather about a more functional capitalism.

Personally, I believe capitalism needs to go away, but for it, or any other economic system, to work, we would need a fair, equal, just, enforced rule of law that everyone would be under, wouldn't we?

Right now the blessed of our various nations do not want this, so they make so that one set is unfair, unequal, unjust, harshly enforced on most of their country's population while they get the gentle rules.

For a society to function long term, it needs to have a fair and just set of rules that everyone understands and follow, although the rules don't have to equal; people will tolerate different levels of punishments and strictness of the rules. The less that is the case the more dysfunctional, and usually the more repressive it is. See the Western Roman Empire, the fall of just about every Chinese dynasty, the Russian Empire, heck even the American War of Independence, and the American Civil War. In example, people either actively worked to destroy the system or did not care to support it.

disc_writes , July 20, 2018 at 8:10 am

Thank you for the article, a pretty lucid analysis of the recent electoral results in Italy and trends elsewhere. Although I would have liked to read something about people voting the way they do because they are xenophobe fascist baby-eating pedophile racist Putin friends. Just for fun.

Funny how the author's company promotes "Daily international job vacancies in UNDP, FAO, UN, UNCTAD, UNIDO and the other Governative Organization, Non Governative Organization, Multinationals Corporations. Public Relations, Marketing, Business Development."

Precisely the sort of jobs that infuriates the impoverishing middle classes.

Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Class traitors are important and to be encouraged (though a phrase with a more positive tone would be helpful).

Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders defended not only border security, but also national sovereignty. Asked about expanded immigration, Sanders flipped the question into a critique of open-borders libertarianism: "That's a Koch brothers proposal which says essentially there is no United States."
Unfortunately the ethnic division of the campaign and Hillary's attack seems to have led him to change his mind.

Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

That's probably due to the fact that just about everybody can't seem to differentiate between immigration and mass migration. The latter issue is a matter of distributing the pain of a collapsing order. state failure, and climate change while the former is simply engaging in the comfortable rhetoric of politics dominated by the American middle class.

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

Ciao .

Oki lemme see.

1 people vote they like. im not updated if the voters eat babies but i'll check and let u know.
2 My company is not dream job. It is a for free ( and not making a penny) daily bulleting that using a fre soft (paper.li) collect international qualified job offers for whoever is willing to work in these sector.
i'm not pro or contro migrants. i actually only reported simple fact collating differents point :)

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 20, 2018 at 9:40 am

Economic migrants seek prosperity and are justified in doing so, yet they can also be seen as pawns in an international strategy that destroys the negotiating leverage of workers. The resulting contradictions potentially render conventional political classifications obsolete.

This appears on the homepage, but not here.

In any case, the 10% also seek prosperity. They are said to be the enablers of the 1%.

Perhaps pawns too.

Are economic migrants both pawns and enablers?

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Yes. The economic migrants are both pawns and enablers as well as victims.

Newton Finn , July 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

Until the left alters its thinking to reflect the crucial information presented in this video, information more clearly and comprehensively spelled out in "Reclaiming the State" by Mitchell and Fazi, resurgent rightwing nationalism will be the only outlet for those who reject global neoliberalism's race to the bottom. It's that simple and sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IynNfA1Ohao

ROB , July 20, 2018 at 10:11 am

To paint this as two pro-globalisation (within which you place the left) and pro-nationalism is simplistic and repositions the false dichotomy of left vs right with something just as useless. We should instead seek to speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum. This is an example of poor journalism and analysis and shouldn't have been posted here, sorry Yves.

John Wright , July 20, 2018 at 11:16 am

By "false dichotomy of left vs right" are you implying there is little difference between left and right?

Is that not one of the themes of the article?

Please speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum and give some examples of better and more useful journalism and analysis.

JTMcPhee , July 20, 2018 at 11:17 am

Thanks for your opinion. Check the format of this place: articles selected for information or provoking thoughts, in support of a general position of driving toward betterment of the general welfare, writ large.

The political economy is at least as complex as the Krebs or citric acid cycle that biology students and scientists try to master. There are so many moving parts and intersecting and competing interests that in the few words that the format can accommodate, regarding each link, it's a little unkind to expect some master work of explication and rhetorical closure every time.

The Krebs cycle is basically driven by the homeostatic thrust, bred of billions of years of refinement, to maintain the healthy functioning and prolong life of the organism. There's a perceivable axis to all the many parts of respiration, digestion, energy flows and such, all inter-related with a clear organizing principle at the level of the organism. On the record, it's hardly clear that at the level of the political economy, and all the many parts that make it up, there is sufficient cohesion around a set of organizing principles that parallel the drive, at the society and species level, to regulate and promote the energy flows and interactions that would keep things healthy and prolong the life of the larger entity. Or that their is not maybe a death wish built into the "cultural DNA" of most of the human population.

Looks a lot to me that we actually have been invested (in both the financial and military senses of the word) by a bunch of different cancer processes, wild and unregulated proliferation of ecnomic and political tumor tissues that have invaded and undermined the healthy organs of the body politic. Not so clear what the treatments might be, or the prognosis. It is a little hopeful, continuing the biological analogy, that the equivalents of inflammation and immune system processes appear to be overcoming the sneaky tricks that cancer genes and cells employ to evade being identified and rendered innocuous.

John , July 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

Yes, "invested in a bunch of cancer processes" is a good description of allowing excessive levels of predatory wealth. Thus you end up with a bunch of Jay Gould hyper capitalists whose guiding principle is: I can always pay one half of the working class to kill the other half. Divide and conquer rules.

jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:40 pm

It's mostly simply wrong. This doesn't describe the political views of almost anyone near power anywhere as far as I can tell:

"Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, "

Most of the nationalist forces are on the right and give @#$# all for workers rights. Really they may be anti-immigrant but they are absolutely anti-worker.

JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm

The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists to distract the workers from their essential unity as fellow wage slaves. Some make more wages, some make less wages but they all have their surplus value, the money left over after they have enough to take care of themselves, taken by the capitalist and used for his ends even though he may not have worked in the value creation process at all.

Economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system. While the article does mention capitalist shock doctrine methods for establishing imperialism and correctly notes that economic migrants are victims, it then goes on to try to lay a weak and insidious argument against them. The author goes on citing multiple different cases of worker wages being driven lower or stagnating, many of these cases have differing and sometimes complex reasons for why this happened. But migrants and globalization are to blame he says and that our struggle is nationalism vs globalism. He refuses to see what is staring him in the face, workers produce surplus value for society, more workers produce more surplus value. If society finds itself wealthier with more workers then why do workers wage fall or stagnate? He does note correctly that this is due to the workers now having a weaker bargaining position with the capitalist, but he seems to conclude from this without stating outrightly that we should then reject the economic migrants because of this.

However, we could instead conclude that if more workers produce more surplus value but yet their wages fall because the capitalist takes a larger share of the overall pot, that the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere. Plus the workers bargaining position only weakens with a greater number of them if they are all just bargaining for themselves, but if they were to bargain togather collectively then there bargaining position has actually only grown even stronger.

Also he falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists, instead of correctly noting that the democratic party represents capitalist interests from a centrist position and not the left. The strength of global capitalism can only be fought by a global coalition of the working class. The struggle of Mexican and American workers are interrelated to each other and the same goes for that of European and Middle Eastern workers. The time has come for the left to raise the rallying cry of its great and glorious past.

That workers of the world must unite!

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 1:02 pm

You claim, as if it were obvious, that "economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system."

Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?

If the borders of the US were abruptly left completely open, a huge number of people would enter the country tomorrow, for economic reasons. Would they all have been "driven" here, or would they have some choice in the matter?

When you say, "he refuses to say what is staring him in the face, that [ ] more workers produce more surplus value," you are not only taking a gratuitously pedantic tone, you are actually not making a coherent critique. If economic migrants move from one country to another, the total pool of workers in the world has not increased; while according to your logic, if all the workers in the world were to move to Rhode Island, Rhode Island would suddenly be swimming in the richness of surplus value.

When you say, "we could instead conclude that [..] the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere," you are straw-manning the author but also making a purely rhetorical argument. If you think the capitalist system can be replaced with a better one within the near future, then you can work toward that; but in the meanwhile, nations, assuming that they will continue to exist, will either have open borders or something short of that, and these decisions do affect the lives of workers.

When you say he "falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists," the false equivalence is coming from you. The article barely touches on the Democratic Party, and instead draws most of its examples from Europe, especially Italy. In Italy, the public figures he mentions call themselves part of the sinistra and are generally referred to that way. You might perhaps feel that they are not entitled to that name (and in fact, the article sometimes places "left" in quotation marks), but you should at least read the article and look them up before discussing the matter.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm

From the article: "Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization."

To Be Fair, Verga clearly is skeptical about those claims to be "on the Left," as he should be. Nonetheless, his initial mention of Democratic exemplars of globalization triggers American reflexes.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Something before this failed to post; was rejected as a double post.

In brief: corporate globalization is a conservative, Republican policy that Bill Clinton imposed on the Dems, where it has since become doctrine, since it pays. It's ultimately the reason I'm a Green, not a Democrat, and in a sense the reason there IS a Green Party in the US.

Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

> The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists

Let's not be simplistic. They have people for that.

Eduardo Pinha , July 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

The author points to stagnant middle class income in USA and Western Europe but fail to look the big picture. Middle class income has increased sharply in the past decades in Asia and Eastern Europe. Overall the gain huge, even though life is tougher in richer countries.

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Overall the gain huge, even thought life is tougher in richer countries.

Please accept my apologies for saying this. I don't mean to offend. I just have to point out something.

Many in the Democratic Party, as well as the left, are pointing to other countries and peoples as well as the American 9.9% and saying things are great, why are you complaining? With the not so hidden implications, sometimes openly stated that those who do are losers and deplorables.

Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth. As an American, I do not really care about the middle classes in Asia and Eastern Europe. Bleep the big picture. The huge gains comes with a commensurate increase in homeless in the United States, and a falling standard of living for most the of the population, especially in the "wealthy" states, like my state of California. Most of us are using fingernails to stay alive and homed. If those gains had not been caused by the losses, I would be very please to see them. As it is, I have to live under President Trump and worry about surviving. Heck, worry about the rest of my family doing so.

jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm

"Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth."

+10,000

I mean I actually do care somewhat about the people of the world, but we here in "rich countries" are being driven to homelessness at this point and told the goddamn lie that we live in a rich country, rather than the truth that we live in a plutocracy with levels of inequality approaching truly 3rd world. We are literally killing ourselves because we have to live in this plutocracy and our one existence itself is not even worth it anymore in this economic system (and we are lacking even a few of the positives of many other 3rd world countries). And those that aren't killing ourselves still can't find work, and even if we do, it doesn't pay enough to meet the most basic necessities.

David in Santa Cruz , July 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Thought-provoking post.

1. It is unfortunate that Verga raises the rising cost of material inputs but fails to meaningfully address the issue. One of the drivers of migration, as mentioned in Comments above, is the population volcano currently erupting. Labor is cheap and globalization possible in large part because the world population has grown from 2 Billion to over 7 Billion in the past 60-odd years. This slow-growing mountain of human beings has created stresses on material inputs which are having a negative impact on the benefits derived from declining labor costs. This becomes a death-spiral as capital seeks to balance the rising cost of raw materials and agricultural products by driving down the cost of labor ever further.

2. Verga touches on the interplay of Nationalism and Racism in the responses of political parties and institutions in Italy and elsewhere. Voters appear to be abandoning Left and left-ish parties because the Left have been unable to come up with a definintion of national sovereignty that protects worker rights largely due to the importance of anti-racism in current Left-wing thought. Working people were briefly bought-off with cheap consumer goods and easy credit, but they now realize that low-wage migrant and off-shore workers mean that even these goodies are now out of reach. The only political alternative currently on offer is a brand of Nationalism defined by Racism -- which becomes acceptable to voters when the alternative is Third-World levels of poverty for those outside the 1% and their 9% enablers.

I don't see any simple solutions. Things may get very ugly.

redleg , July 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

The "left" abandoned the working class. Denied a political champion, the right offered the working class scapegoats.

PKMKII , July 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I certainly see that policies tampering down free trade, both of capital and labor, can benefit workers within a particular country. However, especially in the context of said policies in "Western" countries, this can tend towards a, protect the working class within the borders, leave those outside of it in impoverished squalor. Which doesn't mesh well with the leftist goal of global class consciousness. Much like the racially segregated labor policies of yesteryear, it's playing a zero-sum game with the working class while the ownership class gets the "rising tide lifts all boats" treatment.

So how do we protect workers within the sovereign, while not doing so at the cost of the workers outside of it? Schwieckart has an interesting idea, that tariffs on imports are used to fund non-profits/higher education/cooperatives in the country of export. However, I think we'd need something a bit more fine-tuned than that.

Tomonthebeach , July 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm

It has always baffled me that governments enable this global musical chairs game with the labor market. Nearly all Western governments allow tax dodging by those who benefit the most from their Navies, Armies, Patents, and Customs enforcement systems. However, it is the working class that carries the brunt of that cost while corporations off-shore their profits.

A simple-minded fix might be to start taxing foreign profits commensurate with the cost of enabling those overseas profits.

whine country , July 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Interesting that a corporation is a person just like us mortals when it is to their advantage, but unlike us humans, they can legally escape taxation on much of their income whereas a human being who is a US citizen cannot. A human citizen is generally taxed by the US on all income regardless of its source. OTOH, corporations (among other means) routinely transfer intellectual property to a non tax jurisdiction and then pay artificial payments to that entity for the rights to use such property. It is a scam akin to a human creating a tax deduction by transferring money from one pocket to another. Yes, proper taxation of corporations is a simple-minded fix which is absolutely not simple to legislate. Nice try though. Something else to ponder: Taxation without representation was said to be a major factor in our war of independence from Britain. Today no one seems to be concerned that we have evolved into representation without taxation. Doesn't see right to me.

ChrisAtRU , July 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

"Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force."

Indeed:

Our Industry Follows Poverty

FWIW I don't think it's productive to talk about things like immigration in (or to) the US in terms of just the here – as in what should/could we be doing here to fix the problem. It's just as much if not more about the there . If we view the global economic order as an enriched center feeding off a developing periphery, then fixing the periphery should be first aim. #Wall or #NoBorders are largely incendiary extremes. Ending Original Sin and creating some sort of supranational IOU/credit system (not controlled by World Bank or IMF!) will end the economic imbalance and allow countries who will never export their way out of poverty and misery a way to become equal first world nation states. With this equality, there will be less economic migration, less peripheral poverty and potentially less political unrest. It's a gargantuan task to be sure, but with rising Socialist sentiment here and abroad, I'd like to think we are at least moving in the right direction.

Anonymous2 , July 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm

No mention of tax policy?

If the rich were properly taxed then social tensions would be greatly reduced and if the revenue raised were used to help the poorest in society much distress could be alleviated.

I worry that debate on migration/globalisation is being encouraged to distract attention from this issue.

JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I may indeed have taken a gratuitously pedantic tone and could have chosen a better one, for that i apologise. I do however believe that much of my critique still stands, I will try to go through your points one by one.

"Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?"

Not all but many are, especially the ones that most people are complaining about. Many of them are being driven from their home countries not simply for a better life but so they can have something approaching a life at all. While to fully prove this point would require an analysis of all the different migrants and their home country conditions, I do feel that if we are talking about Syrian refugees, migrants from Africa risking their lives crossing the Mediteranian sea, or CentralAmerican refugees than yes i do think these people to an extent have had their agency taken from them by global events. For Syrians, by being caught in an imperialist power struggle which while the civil war may not have been caused by it, it certainly has been prolonged because of it. Not too mention America played a very significant role in creating the conditions for ISIS, and western European powers don't have completely clean hands either due to their long history of brutal imperialism in the mideast. Africa of course also has an extensive past of colonization and suffers from a present of colonization and exploitation as well. For Central Americans there is of course the voracious american drug market as well as our politicians consistent appetite for its criminalisation to blame. There is also of course global climate change. Many of these contributing conditions are not being dealt with and so i believe that the migrations we have witnessed these last few years are only the first ining of perhaps even greater migrations to come. How we deal with it now, could determine whether our era is defined by mass deaths or something better. So to the extent that i believe many of these migrants have agency is similiar to how a person climbing onto the roof of there house to escape a flood does.

If the borders of the US were left completely open then, yes, there would most likely be a rush of people at first but over time they would migrate back and forth according to their needs, through the opening of the border they would gain agency. People often think that a country not permitting its citizens to leave is wrong and immoral, but if most countries close their borders to the people of a country going through great suffering, then it seems to me that is essentially the same even if the rhetoric may be different. The likeliness of this is high if the rich countries close there borders, since if the rich countries like the US and Italy feel they can not take them in, then its doubtful countries on the way that are much poorer will be able to either.

At the begining of your article you stated that "International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit." This is the capitalist system, which is a system built upon the accumulation of capital, which are profits invested in instruments of labor, aka machines and various labor enhancements. Now Rhode island is quite small so there are geographical limitations of course, but if that was not an issue then yes. Wage workers in the capitalist system produce more value than they consume, if this was not the case they would not be hired or be hired for long. So if Rhode Island did not have the geographical limitations that it does, then with more workers the overall pot of valuable products and services would increase per capita in relation to the population. If the workers are divided and not unified into cohesive and responsive institutions to fight for there right share of the overall pie, which I believe should be all of it, then most of the gain to society will go to the capitalist as increased profits. So it is not the migrant workers who take from the native but instead actually the capitalist who exploits and trys to magnify there difference. So if the capitalist system through imperialism helped to contribute to the underlying conditions driving mass migration, and then it exploits there gratitude and willingness to work for less than native workers, than I believe it follows that they will wish to drive native anger towards the migrants with the ultimate goal of allowing them to exploit the migrant workers at an even more severe level. This could be true within the country, such as the US right now where the overarching result of anti-immigrant policies has been to not get rid of them but to drive there exploitation more into the shadows, or through mass deportations back to their home country followed by investments to exploit their desperation at super low wages that will then compete with the rich country workers, it is also possible they will all just die and everyone will look away. Either way the result will still be lower wages for rich country workers, it seems to me the only way out of the impass is for the native workers to realize their unity with migrant workers as exploited workers and instead of directing that energy of hostility at each other instead focus it upon the real root which is the capitalists themselves. Without the capitalists, more workers, held withing certain geographic limitations of course, would in fact only enrich each other.

So while nations may indeed continue to exist for awhile, the long term benefit of native workers is better served by making common cause with migrants against their mutual oppressors then allowing themselves to be stirred up against them. Making this argument to workers is much harder, but its the most beneficial if it can be made successfully.

This last point i do agree i may have been unfair to you, historically I believe the left generally referred to anarchists, socialists and communists. So I often dislike the way modern commentators use the left to refer to anything from a center right democrat like Hillary Clinton all the way to the most hard core communist, it can make understanding political subtleties difficult since anarchists, socialists and communists have radically different politics than liberals, much more so than can be expressed along a linear line. But as you point out you used quotes which i admit i did not notice, and of course one must generally use the jargon of the times in order to be understood.

Overall i think my main critique was that it seemed that throughout your article you were referencing different negative symptoms of capitalism but was instead taking that evidence for the negatives of globalism. I may come from a more radical tradition than you may be used to, but i would consider globalism to be an inherent aspect of capitalism. Capitalism in its algorithmic quest for ever increasing profits generally will not allow its self to be bound for long by people, nations, or even the physical and environmental limitations of the earth. While one country may be able to restrict it for a time unless it is overcome completely it will eventually reach out globally again. The only way to stop it is a prolonged struggle of the international working class cooperating with each other against capitalism in all its exploitive forms. I would also say that what we are seeing is not so much globalism vs nationalism but instead a rearrangement of the competing imperial powers, Russia, China, US, Germany and perhaps the evolution of multiple competing imperialisms similiar in nature to pre- world war times but that may have to wait for later.

A great deal of your article did indeed deal with Italy which I did not address but I felt that your arguments surrounding migrants was essentially of a subtle right wing nature and it needed to be balanced by a socialist counter narrative. I am very glad that you took the time to respond to my critique I know that putting analysis out there can be very difficult and i am thankful for your response which has allowed me to better express and understand my viewpoint. Once again I apoligise if I used some overly aggressive language and i hope your able to get something out of my response as well.

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

I appreciate the more reflective tone of this reply. I believe there are still some misreadings of the article, which I will try to clarify.

For one thing, I am not the author of the article! Enrico Verga is the author. I merely translated the article. Enrico is Italian, however, and so for time zone reasons will be unable to respond to your comments for a while. I am happy to write a bit on this in the meantime.

You make two arguments.

The first is that many or most migrants are fleeing desperate circumstances. The article speaks however consistently of "economic migrants" – there are some overlapping issues with refugees, but also significant differences. Clearly there are many people who are economically comfortable in their home countries and who would still jump at a chance to get US citizenship if they could (look up EB-5 fraud for one example). Saying this does not imply some sort of subtle critique of such people, but they are not a myth.

I actually found your second argument more thought-provoking. As I understand you, you are suggesting something like the following. You support completely open borders. You acknowledge that this would lead at first to massive shifts in population, but in the long run you say things would stabilize. You acknowledge that this will lead to "lower wages for rich country workers," but say that we should focus on the fact that it is only within the capitalist system that this causality holds. You also suggest that it would probably lead, under current conditions, to workers having their anger misdirected at migrants and therefore supporting more reactionary policies.

Given that the shift to immediate open borders would, by this analysis, be highly detrimental to causes you support, why do you favor it? Your reasons appear to be (1) it's the right thing to do and we should just do it, (2) yes, workers might react in the way described, but they should not feel that way, and maybe we can convince them not to feel that way, (3) things will work themselves out in the long run.

I am a bit surprised at the straightforwardly idealistic tone of (1) and (2). As for (3), as Keynes said, in the long run we are all dead. He meant by this that phenomena that might in theory equilibrate over a very long time can lead to significant chaos in the short run; this chaos can meanwhile disrupt calculations about the "long term" and spawn other significant negative consequences.

Anyone who is open to the idea of radically new economic arrangements faces the question of how best to get there. You are perhaps suggesting that letting global capital reign supreme, unhindered by the rules and restrictions of nation-states, will in the long run allow workers to understand their oppression more clearly and so increase their openness to uniting against it. If so, I am skeptical.

I will finally point out that a part of the tone of your response seems directed at the impression that Enrico dislikes migrants, or wants other people to resent them. I see nothing in the article that would suggest this, and there are on the other hand several passages in which Enrico encourages the reader to empathize with migrants. When you suggest that his arguments are "essentially of a subtle right wing nature," you are maybe reacting to this misreading; in any case, I'm not really sure what you are getting at, since this phrase is so analytically imprecise that it could mean all sorts of things. Please try to engage with the article with arguments, not with vague epithets.

Raulb , July 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

There is a bit of a dissonance here. Human rights has been persistently used by neoliberals to destabilize other regions for their own ends for decades now with little protest. And when the standard playbook of coups and stirring up trouble does not work its war and total destruction as we have seen recently in Iraq, Libya and Syria for completely fabricated reasons.

Since increased migration is the obvious first consequence when entire countries are decimated and in disarray one would expect the countries doing the destruction to accept the consequences of their actions but instead we have the same political forces who advocate intervention on 'human rights grounds' now demonizing migrants and advocating openly racist policies.

One can understand one mistake but 3 mistakes in a row! And apparently we are not capable of learning. The bloodlust continues unabated for Iran. This will destabilize an already destabilized region and cause even more migration to Europe. There seems to be a fundamental contradiction here, that the citizens of countries that execute these actions and who who protest about migrants must confront.

Maybe they should pay trillions of dollars of reparations for these intervention so these countries can be rebuilt and made secure again so migrants can return to their homes. Maybe the UN can introduce a new fund with any country considering destabilizing another country, for instance Iran, to first deposit a trillion dollars upfront to deal with the human fallout. Or maybe casually destabilizing and devastating entire countries, killing millions of people and putting millions more in disarray should be considered crimes against humanity and prosecuted so they are not repeated.

[Jul 18, 2018] Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up - Owning one's work can workers manage themselves caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (2012), ..."
"... Note: If you are more of a visual or audio learner, then please scroll down to see our "Recommended Videos" list. That said, a certain degree of reading will be required for you to achieve a thorough understanding of Socialism as a concept, in addition to the means by which we are to reach a Socialist/Communist society. ..."
"... Socialism and the American Negro ..."
"... Martin Luther King, Jr., as Democratic Socialist ..."
"... Why Socialism? ..."
"... The Principles of Communism ..."
"... Manifesto of the Communist Party ..."
"... Critique of the Gotha Programme ..."
"... The Capitalist System ..."
"... Marx's Concept of Socialism ..."
"... Marx's Concept of Man, ..."
"... The 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' in Marx and Engels ..."
"... State Capitalism and Dictatorship ..."
"... The Black Church and Marxism: What Do They Have to Say to Each Other? ..."
"... The ABC's of Socialism ..."
"... Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State ..."
"... Reform or Revolution? ..."
"... The Mass Strike ..."
"... The Negro as Capitalist ..."
"... Marx's Concept of Man ..."
"... The 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' from Marx to Lenin ..."
"... Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center ..."
"... The Invention of the White Race: ..."
"... Statism and Anarchy ..."
"... Bakunin on Anarchy ..."
"... Black Marxism ..."
"... Black Reconstruction in America ..."
"... Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media ..."
"... participatory economy ..."
"... self-managed economy ..."
"... cooperative economy ..."
"... a mode of production (in German: Produktionsweise, meaning "the way of producing") is a specific combination of the following: ..."
"... Productive forces : these include human labour power and means of production (e.g. tools, productive machinery, commercial and industrial buildings, other infrastructure, technical knowledge, materials, plants, animals and exploitable land). ..."
"... Social and technical relations of production : these include the property, power and control relations governing society's productive assets (often codified in law), cooperative work relations and forms of association, relations between people and the objects of their work and the relations between social classes. ..."
"... By performing social surplus labour in a specific system of property relations, the labouring classes constantly reproduce the foundations of the social order. A mode of production normally shapes the mode of distribution, circulation and consumption and is regulated by the state . ..."
"... New productive forces will cause conflict in the current mode of production. When conflict arises, the modes of production can evolve within the current structure or cause a complete breakdown. ..."
"... www.polecom.org/ The Political Economy of Communication, Vol 1, No 2 (2013) Theorising and analysing digital labour: From global value chains to modes of production Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster ..."
"... @The Aspie Corner ..."
"... @The Aspie Corner ..."
"... @Hawkfish ..."
"... @GreyWolf ..."
"... @Lookout ..."
"... @Hawkfish ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Richard Wolff remains important in the continuing education of the left from the time when (for some of us), it was actually not a big deal to think of entry points and an Ideological State Apparatus.

Labor aristocracy remains the dominant feature of capitalism even as there has been resistance in the form of workers cooperatives. Could there be in the US context, more viable examples of workers' self managing institutions, or Workers Self Directed Enterprises (WSDEs) to minimize the social divisions created by capitalism. This has been covered by others in ACM especially on Mondragon, but it is Summer, and revisiting this is important for renewal as elections are coming, despite the usual villains. There perhaps are those who have not had occasion to cover this material and perhaps there are some who would like to augment their current state of understanding certain materialist philosophies .

As daunting as the terminology might seem it does require us to think about some basic ideas like embodied labor and living labor and the property relationships of that labor. Wolff's video below is one of many resources essential to understand the problems of stratified labor divisions, and the exploitation of value.

Contemporary capitalism no longer "delivers the goods" (which is understood as a rising standard of real wages) to the majority of people. That classic defense of its instability (e.g. recurrent bouts of unemployment), its deepening economic, political, and cultural inequalities, and its attendant injustices is no lon­ger plausible.

At a national scale, this is what Stephen Miller and Donald Trump are doing in Europe, when they promote a coded racism in the discourse of immigration, as a dog whistle for US bigotry and social division across classes, races, genders, and sexualities. This is the actual "culture war" where the social justice warriors against diversity are those "very fine people" wearing implicit and explicit icons for hatred and supremacy.

This is ugly.

Trump says that immigration is not "good for our country" because it is "changing the culture." pic.twitter.com/7zTXE9Miyh

� Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 13, 2018

As a piece in WaPo suggests "Trump's lies are not a defensive response to protect a political legacy. Trump's lies are his legacy."

But the first step should be understanding that there are some specific historical modes of production with the inevitable unevenness of development. " because human beings have a rational interest in developing their capacities to control their interactions with external nature in order to satisfy their wants, the historical tendency is strongly toward further development of these capacities." (Cohen)

Class struggle is made more complicated when false consciousness is enabled by a crony capitalism manipulating a labor aristocracy. Self development gets thwarted and subjugation as wage slavery can be compared in the immigration context to actual slavery as human trafficking occurs.

While living and working conditions for workers in the "global North" have deteriorated sharply since the late 1960s, the result has not been, for the most part, the growth of revolutionary consciousness. Instead we have seen reactionary ideas – racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, militarism – strengthened in a significant sector of workers in the advanced capitalist countries. Since the late 1970s, nearly one-third of U.S. voters in union households have voted for right-wing Republicans. (1)

[...]

"Obviously, out of such enormous super profits (since they are obtained over and above the profits which capitalists squeeze out of the workers of their "own" country) it is possible to bribe their labor leaders and an upper stratum of the labor aristocracy. And the capitalists of the "advanced" countries do bribe them: they bribe them in a thousand different ways, direct and indirect, overt and covert."

solidarity-us.org/...

Workers' self-organization and self-activity in the workplace struggles is the starting point for creating the material and ideological conditions for an effective challenge to working class reformism and conservatism. Clearly, militant workplace struggle is not a sufficient condition for the development of radical and revolutionary consciousness among workers. Struggles in working-class communities around housing, social welfare, transport and other issues; and political struggles against racism and war are crucial elements in the political self-transformation of the working class.

Successful workplace struggles, however, are the necessary condition for the development of class consciousness. Without the experience of such struggles, workers will continue to passively accept reformist politics or, worse, embrace reactionary politics.

solidarity-us.org/...

Understanding the struggle involves a foundational awareness of the mode of production and the productive forces and relations of production.

YouTube Video

In Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (2012), Richard Wolff argues that global capitalism can no longer meet the needs of the world's population. He goes onto note that socialism as it has been practiced during the twentieth century cannot meet these needs either. His work is an attempt to construct a viable alternative to global capitalism, centering on Marx's notion of surplus capital. Marx argued that one of the most salient features of capitalism was that workers produce more than what they are paid for. For instance, a worker may work eight hours a day but his labor in those eight hours may be equivalent to twelve hours labor. It is the owners and managers that appropriate this surplus labor, enrich themselves with it, and exploit the laborers in the process. What Wolff proposes as an alternative are Workers Self Directed Enterprises (WSDEs) . In WSDEs, workers, who produce surplus capital, are in charge of the profit, not owners, managers or executives.

[...]

The last section of Wolff's work is an attempt to rethink the core issue of the present; the massive inequality of wealth generated by global capitalism. Here,Wolff articulates his vision of WSDEs. He claims that only WSDEs can actually be labeled socialist because they represent the only instance in which surplus labor is appropriated by the workers themselves. Wolff does not delve into specifics, such as the amount of property that would need to be nationalized or at least held in collective control, or the degree of planning needed. His major question is the relationship between WSDE's, other capitalist entities, and the government. Wolff gives some insights as to the relationships that may occur between these entities,,but does not speculate about interactions that cannot be known in advance. He argues that just like any social advancement, the transition to WSDEs would not be smooth or easy, and would be dictated in large part by the environment. Wolff does,however, examine the possible social structures of WSDEs and their relation to surrounding communities. WSDEs would be democratically controlled by workers,as well as the residents of the surrounding community (since the decisions made by the workers would directly affect the community). In addition, Wolff draws another distinction between producers and enablers. Producers actually create surplus,while enablers, such as lawyers or janitors, allow producers to. Producers, enablers, and members of the community all have a say in how the WSDE is run and how the surplus is divided.

interstitialjournal.files.wordpress.com/...

YouTube Video

The problem as it always has been is the role of institutions like banks and the dilemma of advanced technology. The interesting question is whether there could be a WSDE in Silicon Valley, or WSDE schools.

The complex network of cycles of digital labour.(Fuchs)

Baltimore Worker co-op Red Emma's proves the power and potential for this model.
"From a founding group of seven, they�re up to 25 worker-owners, all earning a living wage. The new location will allow for 10 more worker-owners � and they�re adding a bar." https://t.co/4GvTuNnVbu

� Democracy At Work (@democracyatwrk) June 21, 2018

this is a tweet thread from the Black Socialists on Modes of Production

We�re going to be honest:

Too many Leftists lack an understanding for what Capitalism is, not as an abstract socioeconomic system, but as a MODE OF PRODUCTION.

Move past LABELS and watch @profwolff break down Capitalism as a MODE OF PRODUCTION using simple arithmetic.

(1/6) pic.twitter.com/jaMz6ujbda

� Black Socialists of America (@BlackSocialists) June 11, 2018

(1/6) "It's really only 'do ya got it?' or 'do ya not have it?'

And if ya have it, you can be the employer.

And if you don't, [then] ya can't [be the employer].

The fact that the employer who has it didn't produce it is a nagging problem we prefer not to ask [about]."

(2/6) "The logic would be, gee, the worker added the value; [they] SHOULD GET IT!

'CAUSE [THEY] GAVE IT!

[THEY] CREATED IT!

...

Do you think that happens in Capitalism?

No, you don't, do you?

We don't give the worker the value added... EVER, in Capitalism."

(3/6) "[The Capitalist] has to rip the workers off...

[The Capitalist] has to STEAL from them part of what their labor added.

...

The condition of your employment is that you produce more by your labor than you get paid.

Welcome to the capitalist system."

(4/6) "The best way to describe your work in a capitalist enterprise is not that the employer gives YOU a job; it's that you give your employer THE SURPLUS!

The 'giver' and the 'getter' are in reversed order from what the language suggests."

(5/6) "What is 'Socialism,' given what I've described here?

...

The workers will still come to work ... but ... the surplus?

They get that.

...

What is the simple American phrase that captures this?

'Worker co-op.'

It's very old...

You don't need a new [theory]..."

(6/6) It is time that Leftists come back to the essence of Scientific Socialism and, using the method of dialectical materialism, truly evaluate the means by which we achieve true "liberation" within the 21st century.

The revolution begins with us, and it begins in the workplace. You can find the full lecture from Professor Wolff ( @profwolff ) through the "Recommended Videos" section of our official resource guide linked below:

Resource Guide | BSA These are the official writings, videos, and more that BSA recommends all Socialists explore, regardless of skin color. https://blacksocialists.us/resource-guide Recommended Readings Part 1: The Introduction

Note: If you are more of a visual or audio learner, then please scroll down to see our "Recommended Videos" list. That said, a certain degree of reading will be required for you to achieve a thorough understanding of Socialism as a concept, in addition to the means by which we are to reach a Socialist/Communist society.

The following list of readings are articles or excerpts from larger works for those of you who may not feel like devoting hours out of each day to diving deep into understanding Socialism. This reading list is for people who may get the basic gist of why Capitalism is bad, but who may not be too familiar with Socialism as a theory. Much of these works deal with secondhand interpretations or explanations, so please make sure to explore more fundamental works further down below.

With these readings, you'll have to think deeply, but maybe not as long or hard as you would have to think when reading an entire book:

Recommended Readings Part 2: The Longer Reads

If you want to call yourself a Socialist, or you already consider yourself one, then this is the list for you:

Recommended Readings Part 3: The Longest Reads

Most of these works are incredibly long and dense, so many of you probably won't take the time to read through them, but Marxists.org has plenty of content that summarizes and provides analyses on much of what is shared here, and it also provides key excerpts.

These are works that are considered essential readings for understanding the foundation upon which we base our socialist theory and/or understanding today, in conjunction with historical records (in other words: this is some OG sh!t ):

Workers' self-management is more significant in other nations of which Spain's Mondragon is a good example.

An economic system consisting of self-managed enterprises is sometimes referred to as a participatory economy , self-managed economy or cooperative economy . This economic model is a major version of market socialism and decentralized planned economy, stemming from the notion that people should be able to participate in making the decisions that affect their well-being. The major proponents of self-managed market socialism in the 20th century include the economists Benjamin Ward , Jaroslav Vanek and Branko Horvat. [5] The Ward-Vanek model of self-management involves the diffusion of entrepreneurial roles amongst all the partners of the enterprise.

Branko Horvat notes that participation is not simply more desirable but also more economically viable than traditional hierarchical and authoritarian management as demonstrated by econometric measurements, which indicate an increase in efficiency with greater participation in decision-making. According to Horvat, these developments are moving the world toward a self-governing socialistic mode of organization. [6]

In the economic theory of self-management, workers are no longer employees but partners in the administration of their enterprise. Management theories in favor of greater self-management and self-directed activity cite the importance of autonomy for productivity in the firm, and economists in favor of self-management argue that cooperatives are more efficient than centrally-managed firms because every worker receives a portion of the profit, thereby directly tying their productivity to their level of compensation.

en.wikipedia.org/...

YouTube Video

Perhaps the best that can occur considering the entrenched hegemony of pre-capitalist organization of universities and its constant attempt to make schools into factories, is an Online Unversity of the Left.

A mode of production combines productive forces and relations of production.

a mode of production (in German: Produktionsweise, meaning "the way of producing") is a specific combination of the following:

By performing social surplus labour in a specific system of property relations, the labouring classes constantly reproduce the foundations of the social order. A mode of production normally shapes the mode of distribution, circulation and consumption and is regulated by the state .

New productive forces will cause conflict in the current mode of production. When conflict arises, the modes of production can evolve within the current structure or cause a complete breakdown.

www.polecom.org/ The Political Economy of Communication, Vol 1, No 2 (2013) Theorising and analysing digital labour: From global value chains to modes of production Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster

Tags: Anti-Capitalist Meetup up 9 users have voted.

Comments

The Aspie Corner on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 5:28pm

I'd love to work at a cooperative business.

Only problem is they don't exist where I live in Flawer'Duh. If I could start one, I would. Sadly I don't have the capital necessary to do so.

dfarrah on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 5:42pm
It is just a matter of

@The Aspie Corner the employees buying the business from the owner(s), whether it is privately or publicly owned.

Workers are apparently not willing or able to pool their funds to buy or create co-ops.

Only problem is they don't exist where I live in Flawer'Duh. If I could start one, I would. Sadly I don't have the capital necessary to do so.

Hawkfish on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 6:02pm
T Corps

@The Aspie Corner

One problem is that state provided corporate structures are not useful (I wonder why...). For example, here in Washington we have the "T-Corp" for worker coops ( as opposed to C- and S-corps and LLCs) that suffer from the founders equity problem. In Mondragon they solved this by taking the accumulated capital of out of the business as pension investments in the coop bank, but in the T- Corp you have to leave the capital in the business. This makes it impossible for the company to grow by attracting new workers after some time has gone by because no one can buy in.

When I set up such a business about 20 years ago, we got around this by making an S-Corp with custom bylaws. It cost about $1k back then, but it may be more now (and I'm sure FL has its own special issues). But that is how to go about it IMHO.

Only problem is they don't exist where I live in Flawer'Duh. If I could start one, I would. Sadly I don't have the capital necessary to do so.

GreyWolf on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 6:46pm
I'd love to hear more ...

@Hawkfish of your first-hand experiences. You said you're in Washington [state?]

I hear there are a few states that are more co-op friendly, like CA or VT ...
Here in SC the S-Corp with custom bylaws would be the route I would select, but I was contemplating using another state ...

#1

One problem is that state provided corporate structures are not useful (I wonder why...). For example, here in Washington we have the "T-Corp" for worker coops ( as opposed to C- and S-corps and LLCs) that suffer from the founders equity problem. In Mondragon they solved this by taking the accumulated capital of out of the business as pension investments in the coop bank, but in the T- Corp you have to leave the capital in the business. This makes it impossible for the company to grow by attracting new workers after some time has gone by because no one can buy in.

When I set up such a business about 20 years ago, we got around this by making an S-Corp with custom bylaws. It cost about $1k back then, but it may be more now (and I'm sure FL has its own special issues). But that is how to go about it IMHO.

Hawkfish on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:07am
It was over 20 years ago

@GreyWolf

So I don't remember much. But we required all workers (we only got up to three) to be equal shareholders and paid out all earnings every year. But unfortunately I don't even have the bylaws any more.

#1.2 of your first-hand experiences. You said you're in Washington [state?]

I hear there are a few states that are more co-op friendly, like CA or VT ...
Here in SC the S-Corp with custom bylaws would be the route I would select, but I was contemplating using another state ...

annieli on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 5:33pm
that is the problem, although

that is the problem, although it does suggest that more effort needs to be put into how under neoliberal capitalism, entrepreneurship can be more inclusive of co-ops

GreyWolf on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 5:57pm
awesome co-op links! :-)

thanks for all this info

Lookout on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 8:12pm
worker coops are a sane approach

and something people with investment money can create. Sadly most folks in the US can't afford a $500 expense. However if people can jump into the gig economy...seems they could jump into a coop economy. I know Dr. Wolff's org helps with grants and legal work. It takes some motivation and a lot of dedication to swim up stream rather than just following the path they create to the part-time wal-mart greeter, stocker, cashier non-career. We live in the new world of slavery tied by the chains of debt and enforced with lives in private prison....breathe the freedom of capitalism.

Hawkfish on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:04am
Coop banks are essential

@Lookout

They provide both capital and (if necessary) business plans. To bootstrap the process you need some of both from the original companies. But as you say most people's can't afford the startup costs.

and something people with investment money can create. Sadly most folks in the US can't afford a $500 expense. However if people can jump into the gig economy...seems they could jump into a coop economy. I know Dr. Wolff's org helps with grants and legal work. It takes some motivation and a lot of dedication to swim up stream rather than just following the path they create to the part-time wal-mart greeter, stocker, cashier non-career. We live in the new world of slavery tied by the chains of debt and enforced with lives in private prison....breathe the freedom of capitalism.

Lookout on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:31am
I wonder if the ND State owned bank helps coops?

@Hawkfish
They weathered the 2008 collapse well.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/03/how-nations-only-state-owne...

I see there is a national coop bank that assists coop start-ups.
https://ncb.coop/ncb

Thanks for the tip!

#4

They provide both capital and (if necessary) business plans. To bootstrap the process you need some of both from the original companies. But as you say most people's can't afford the startup costs.

chuckutzman on Sun, 07/15/2018 - 9:42pm
Something we can all do is to patronize the worker

co-op firms. I now buy my flours from Bobs Red Mill. He was an owner who cared more about his workers than cashing out for big-bucks.

divineorder on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 3:38am
Great essay, thanks. Wonder if Elon the Socialist will step up?

Okay.

If this is true, then restructure all of your current enterprises into WSDE cooperatives (Worker Self-Directed Enterprises).

Let the workers control the means of production in a democratic and environmentally sound fashion. https://t.co/sQwPVAx0GA

-- Black Socialists of America (@BlackSocialists) June 16, 2018

By the way, I am actually a socialist. Just not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm. True socialism seeks greatest good for all.

-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 16, 2018

[Jul 18, 2018] Bernie Town Hall Tonight Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People s Stories A Chance to Be Heard Wher

Notable quotes:
"... living in their cars. ..."
"... not hearing these stories ..."
"... @Mark from Queens ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @Pricknick ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @lizzyh7 ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @karl pearson ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Bernie Town Hall Tonight: Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People's Stories A Chance to Be Heard Where Corporate Media Utterly Fails


Mark from Queens on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:18pm This is gonna be quick. I just remembered that Bernie Sanders is holding another one of his excellent town halls tonight. This one is called "CEO's vs. Workers."

Before the negativity comes in, let me say clearly that this isn't a Bernie is our savior bit or arguing for electoral salvation or whatever. It's simply a recognition of someone with a platform putting in the time to make sure these stories are seen and documented for posterity, despite whatever limitations inherent in the broadcast's reach. I see this as highly commendable - and potent.

The story here that made me turn on the computer and hit "new essay" was from a young woman working for Disneyland in Anaheim, who tells of how brutal it is trying to survive on $12 an hour, having to cram roommates in to barely make the rent.

Then she mentions that some of her co-workers are living in their cars. Many have lost their homes and/or living in motels. There's also a Tent City, which extends to a larger Orange County problem, where more Disney co-workers are living. One of here co-workers was so ashamed of her situation that she told nobody that she was living in her car - and went missing and later found dead in it. She then admits a great fear of losing her home, saying there are no resources to be found if you're in that position. (Her story begins around the 18min mark).

Quite frankly, it's fucking heartbreaking and angering to listen to these people humbly tell their stories to the public without shame.

People in this country are not hearing these stories . And because of it, are easily kept distracted by corporate media manufactured controversy and divide and conquer by partisan ideologues. They're not having their own realities reflected back to them; are instead bred to be in a constant state of fear about things that don't effect their everyday lives and led to believe relatively inconsequential things are more important than fundamental ones that do effect their daily lives.

Every one of these Bernie townhalls (I've seen two others) have been riveting. This guy is single-handedly trying to give a platform to marginalized and dispossessed voices. Nothing like this ever gets on tv. Anytime there's a corporate attempt to do something similar it's a highly controlled, stilted affair. His are the opposite.

To me this is an example of how to change the narrative, which is the linchpin to everything. Why can't we get more people at a quicker pace to align themselves in solidarity to what we think and espouse here? Because there isn't a forum for the downtrodden, the castaways, the ripped off, the overworked and underpaid, the isolated, to tell their stories on a large scale. When people here stories firsthand there is a much better chance of building the kid of empathy and compassion at the heart of forming coalitions and/or support for those outside of one's life's station or class.

Of course it's all relative. And Bernie, despite being the most popular politician by far, doesn't have the reach of CNN. But it is something. And if this could inspire more of these types of panel discussion that dignify the working class it could revolutionize how narratives
get built.

This is the difference between people reading about this stuff and moving on, and having to look into the eyes of the afflicted and being moved to act.

If this can't work on the American public to rile up indignation and compassion we're completely hopeless.

Hey folks. These really are something amazing

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

k9disc on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:55pm
Co-Opt the Narrative.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

@Mark from Queens

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:04pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

Now we all know that a candidate can be funded by smaller donations.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:07pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

Pricknick on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:43pm
I'm done with Russia, Russia, Russia.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

SancheLlewellyn on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:50am
My only quibble with your blockquote

@Pricknick is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:31am
A suggestion

@SancheLlewellyn
And PLEASE don't misunderstand me, I'm NOT dismissing their plight. I'm glad that someone is showing the desperation of people whose problems are NOT from their life choices i.e. prison, drugs, dropping out of High School.

Move to the Midwest. Housing is expensive here too, but $750,000 is a mansion. In my Chicago Suburb there are still houses under $150,000, usually small (1200-1500 sq ft) 1950's tract houses. There are 20 houses right now for sale between $250,000 and $300,000, quite nice houses built in the last thirty years. There are even 14 houses between $400,000 and $500,000 that look so upscale I can only dream about them (and dream of affording them). Illinois minimum wage is only $8.25 but even McDonald's is paying $12.
Taxes are regressive and horrendous. And the Weather sucks big time. But it's better than trying to live on $12 an hour in California.

The coasts are now only for the elite and their servants.

The weather is better in the South, but society and politics are extremely conservative.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

lizzyh7 on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 12:37pm
Russian asset?

@SancheLlewellyn I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:37pm
" Russia is not fighting wars for global domination"

@lizzyh7
That part is disputable but the rest is absolutely correct.

Remember, in politics, whether local or global, there doesn't have to be a good guy and a bad guy. Most often there are two (or more) bad guys.

#2.1 I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:57pm
Kidnapping and

@SancheLlewellyn torturing?

Gestapo?

This comment is just another example of the trump hysteria that has taken over.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

Raggedy Ann on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:59am
Thanks, Mark, for eloquently

expressing what I also believe is Bernie's intent. The deep state might be able to keep him from being president, but they have not yet silenced him. They ensure the msm doesn't cover his town halls, but they are found and spread far and wide anyway.

When I was a manager, I would tell my employees that if I didn't know something was broken, I couldn't fix it. Bernie continues to publicize what is broken.

It is up to we, the people, to fix it through revolution. It's the only way.

karl pearson on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:26am
Working Poor

I'm glad you posted this. Bernie is one of a handful of D.C. politicians that addresses the plight of the working poor. Most Democrats talk about the difficulties of the middle class since that's a "safe" topic.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:43pm
Hi, Karl!

@karl pearson
Most of the working poor think they are lower middle class and not at all like welfare people. Often, they are the most conservative. It's easy to have that outlook when things are always going against you. Most haven't caught on that the Democrats are no longer their friends and haven't been for around half a century. Some realize that the Republicans never have been. Others think if one side (D) has a black hat the other (R) must have a white hat. They actually think that Trump is their friend. "If he's Hillary's enemy, he must be my friend."

[Jul 16, 2018] The Racial Realignment of American Politics by Patrick McDermott

He completely misses the role of nationalism is the opposition to neoliberalism.
Jul 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

The idea that demography is political destiny is not new. Peter Brimelow and Edwin Rubenstein warned of its dangers in the pages of National Review in the 1990s. Steve Sailer later argued that Republicans would fare better by targeting white voters. The problem with these observations was not their accuracy, but their audience. The GOP establishment and donor elites had little interest in such thinking until Donald Trump's breakthrough in 2016. But what happens when Trump leaves office? Will the GOP return to its old ways, as Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus has predicted ? The answer is almost certainly no. The reasons have little to do with the GOP elite, however, whose views have not substantially changed. They instead have everything to do with what is happening in the other party. As Brimelow and Rubenstein recently pointed out in VDARE (and as I did at American Renaissance ), while the nation is not expected to reach majority-minority status until 2045 , the Democratic Party is already approaching that historic milestone. The political consequences of these changes will be profound and irreversible. The developments that are unfolding before our eyes are not a fluke, but the beginning of a new political realignment in the United States that is increasingly focused on race. The Emerging Majority-Minority Party While warnings of brewing demographic trouble were being ignored by the establishment right, they received a better reception on the left. In 2004, Ruy Teixeira and John Judis wrote a book called The Emerging Democratic Majority that triumphantly predicted that demographic change would soon produce a "new progressive era." The theory's predictive powers waxed and waned over the years, but after Trump's 2016 election Teixeira and another coauthor, Peter Leyden, insisted that Democrats would soon sweep away an increasingly irrelevant GOP and forcibly impose their will, much as had already happened in California. These arguments have a glaring weakness, however. They assumed that Democrats would continue to draw the same level of support from white voters. Instead, many have been fleeing to the GOP. Throughout the 20 th Century, Democrats had won the presidency only by winning or keeping it close among these voters. Barack Obama was the first to break this pattern, defeating John McCain in 2008 while losing the white vote by 12 percent . Four years later he beat Mitt Romney while losing it by 20 percent . Hillary Clinton lost the white vote in 2016 by a similar 20-point margin . This loss of white support, coupled with the continued demographic change of the country, has helped push the Democratic Party toward majority-minority status. Since 1992, the white share of the Democratic presidential vote has dropped an average of about one percent per year. At its current rate, it could tip to majority-minority status by 2020. It will occur no later than 2024. The political consequences of this shift are already apparent. In 2008, Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination with the overwhelming backing of black voters. Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in 2016 with similar black and Latino support . This year's state elections have continued the trend, with minority candidates winning Democratic gubernatorial nominations in Georgia , Texas , New Mexico , and Maryland , with another likely win in Arizona later this year. This sudden surge in minority candidates is not an indicator of increased open mindedness, but of demographic change. While the national Democratic Party is only just approaching majority-minority status, in much of the nation it is already there.

Nonwhite Polarization

While the demographic trend of the Democratic Party seems clear enough – as does its leftward drift and increased embrace of minority candidates – it is still possible to argue that the nation's politics will not divide along racial lines. The most obvious alternative is that both parties will compete for minority votes and both will experience demographic change in an increasingly multiracial nation. Could this happen? Black voters seem least likely to change. They already routinely provide Democrats with 90 percent of their votes. They are the backbone of the party, with a former president, nearly 50 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and numerous mayors in major American cities among their ranks. Given the Democratic Party's steadfast commitment to black issues such as affirmative action and Black Lives Matter, few are likely to be won over by the occasional attempts at Republican outreach . Latinos also typically support Democrats in presidential elections by a 2-to-1 margin, but they have been a more serious target for Republicans, including President George W. Bush , his acolyte Karl Rove , authors of the GOP autopsy released after Mitt Romney's 2012 loss, and occasional writers in National Review . Some have observed that many Latinos value whiteness and are more likely to self-identify as white the longer they have been in the country. In fact, some Latinos are white , particularly those from Latin America's leadership class . Others have reported on substantial hostility that exists between Latinos and blacks that may make them more likely to see whites as natural allies. There are several problems with these arguments. The most important are persistent race-based IQ differences that will keep most mestizos (who are the bulk of Latino immigrants) trapped at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum regardless of their racial identification. Arguments that they will assimilate like their European predecessors fail to explain why racial hierarchies have persisted in their home nations for hundreds of years. These inequalities probably explain the high levels of Hispanic support for government programs that are likely to keep most of them tied to the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future. Although Asians also support Democrats by a 2-to-1 margin, they seem potentially more promising . Unlike America's black and Latino populations, East Asians (such as Japanese and Chinese) have IQs that may be slightly higher than that of white Americans on average. Moreover, affirmative action policies backed by Democrats typically work to their detriment . However, most Asian immigrants are not East Asians and their IQs (such as those of Indians or Pakistanis) are much lower . Finally, no matter what their nationality, Asians are generally unsympathetic to whites who want to restrict nonwhite immigration. Unsurprisingly, all of these reasons have contributed to Asians moving away from the Republican Party, not toward it. Some argue that Republicans have no choice but to accept demographic change and move left to gain minority support. The GOP may well move left in ways that are acceptable to its white working class base and help it with white moderates – such as protecting Social Security and Medicare. But it will never win a bidding war with Democrats for their base of minority voters, nor would the GOP base let it try.

White Polarization

White polarization is the mirror image of nonwhite polarization and its causes are similar. Numerous scholars have cited genetics as a basis for reciprocal altruism among closely-related kin and hostility toward outsiders among humans and in the animal kingdom in general. This ethnocentrism is instinctual, present among babies , and whites are not immune from its effects. Most are socialized to suppress their ethnocentric instincts, but they remain only a short distance beneath the surface. Academics sometimes argue that positive direct contact is a promising strategy for overcoming racial differences, but research has shown that the negative effects are more powerful – something a cursory glance at crime statistics would confirm. Rampant white flight and segregation in neighborhoods , schools , and personal relationships provide the most definitive evidence on the negative influence of direct contact. Its impact on voting is also well established, particularly for whites and blacks. The shift of white Southerners away from the Democratic Party after civil rights legislation was enacted in the 1960s was almost immediate and has remained strong ever since. White flight produced similar political advantages for Republicans in suburbs across the country during this period. Their advantage has softened since then, but primarily because the suburbs have become less white , not less segregated . White voting is similarly affected by proximity to Hispanics. White flight and segregation are a constant in heavily Latino areas in both liberal and conservative states. The resulting political backlash in places like California and Arizona has been well-documented and confirmed by academic research . Support for President Trump has also been shown to be highly correlated with white identity and opposition to immigration. These trends are expected to become stronger over time. Experimental research has shown that growing white awareness of demographic change makes them more conservative , less favorably disposed to minorities, and feel greater attachment to other whites. The effects are heightened the more whites think they are threatened . The associated ideological effects are just as important. The influence of ideology is obvious in socially conservative states like North Dakota and Kansas . However, the Democrats' growing leftward tilt has become an issue even in liberal states like those in New England, many of which now regularly elect Republicans as governors . In fact, liberal Massachusetts has had just one Democratic governor in the past quarter century. The power of leftist ideology to drive whites together may reach its zenith if Democrats resume their attack on segregation in neighborhoods and schools. De facto segregation has protected white liberals from the consequences of their voting decisions for years. If Democrats are returned to power, however, they appear ready to touch this electoral third rail .

International Lessons

Further evidence of racial polarization can be found by looking abroad. Ethnic conflict has been a constant in human relations – everywhere and throughout history . More recently, 64 percent of all civil wars since 1946 have divided along ethnic lines . Such conflicts are highly correlated with genetic diversity and ethnic polarization . Some of the worst examples, such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sudan, have included ethnic cleansing and genocide. Race-based identity politics are just a lower form of ethnic conflict. Like ethnic conflict more generally, the strength of such politics depends on the level of ethnic diversity and corresponding racial polarization. In homogenous societies, for example, politics tends to divide along class and cultural lines. As a society becomes more diverse, however, ethnicity begins to play a growing role . Politics and parties that are explicitly ethnically-based usually do not appear until much later, when a nation has become more diverse and has begun to suffer extreme racial polarization. Such politics have been shown to produce substantial ethnic favoritism . Their appearance is often a prelude to civil war or partition . The United States has not reached this stage, but its future can be seen in other nations that are further down the road. One example is Brazil. While the United States will not become majority-minority until 2045, Brazil reached that milestone in 2010 . For much of the 20 th Century, Brazil viewed itself as a harmonious racial democracy and a model for the rest of the world, but this image has been tarnished in recent years. The nation's changing demographics demonstrated their power with the election of Lula da Silva in 2002 and his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010. Support for these two presidents – both members of the leftist Workers Party – was concentrated in the largely black northern half of the country, while opposition was concentrated in the mostly white south . Their victories depended on the nation's changing demographics. Once elected, they rewarded their black supporters with substantial expansions of affirmative action and a new cash transfer system, called Bolsa Família, which disproportionately benefitted Afro-Brazilians. Since then, Brazil's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse . Rousseff was impeached after a massive corruption scandal in 2016. Crime has exploded . Black activists now deride the notion of " racial democracy " and have become more militant on racial issues. An explicitly black political party has also appeared. This has corresponded with a similar backlash in the white population. The leading candidate for the presidential election this year is Jair Bolsonaro, sometimes referred to as the Trump of the Tropics . A white separatist movement called the South is My Country is drawing substantial support. Brazilians are reportedly losing faith in democracy and becoming more receptive to military rule .

Changing Our Destiny

The preponderance of the evidence – domestic, international, historical, and scientific – suggests that American politics will continue to polarize along racial and ethnic lines. At least in the short term, Republicans will benefit as white voters flee from the other party. But will the GOP adequately capitalize on these gains?

Various elements of the GOP establishment , including the business elite and pro-immigration donors like the Koch brothers , continue to hold substantial power within the party. Reince Priebus probably echoed their views when he said , "I think post-Trump, the party basically returns to its traditional role and a traditional platform."

Such status quo thinking ignores too much. There are numerous signs that the party is changing. Trump's popularity within his own party is the second highest among all presidents since World War II, trailing only George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. Congressional Never Trumpers like Bob Corker , Jeff Flake , and Mark Sanford have been defeated or stepped aside. Prominent columnists , analysts , and at least one former GOP leader are now declaring it Trump's party.

These changes are not solely about Trump, however. There were signs of change before his arrival. Eric Cantor's primary defeat in 2014 was widely attributed to softness on immigration, which met furious grassroots opposition . Moreover, if Trump's rise were merely a one-off event, we would not be seeing the simultaneous rise of nationalist movements in Europe, which is facing its own immigration crisis .

The more likely answer is that these changes reflect something more powerful than any individual, even the president of the United States. The same survival instinct that is present in all living creatures still burns brightly within the world's European peoples. Trump was not the cause, but a consequence – and we will not go gently into the night.

Patrick McDermott ( email him ) is a political analyst in Washington, DC.


Dale , June 30, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

If the author was famous, he would be attacked relentlessly.

Cogent analysis of the current GOP.

The centralized state model is falling apart.

Jim Christian , June 30, 2018 at 10:39 am GMT

This ethnocentrism is instinctual, observable even among babies. Whites are not immune from its effects. Most are socialized to suppress their ethnocentric instincts, but they remain only a short distance beneath the surface.

Even the most vile race-virtuosos' ethnocentric instincts boil to the surface in the flight to "good schools" for their children. The "Good schools" rationale works for them. Gets them away from the city, away from those awful Blacks. It was always diversity for thee. The closest most liberals get to diversity is the Hispanic housekeeper. Because the Blacks, you know, they steal the liquor/silver/Waterford". Heard variations of this a million times..

mark green , June 30, 2018 at 11:52 am GMT
Brilliant synthesis. Excellent article. Patrick McDermott hits it out of the ballpark, noting correctly that ethnocentrism is "instinctual". So true. So obvious. And this suppressed truth is just the tip of the iceberg. America lives under 'intellectual occupation'.

But the hardening scientific facts involving race, kinship, and phenotype are testament to the hollowness of 'anti-racist' rhetoric and ideologies that dominate so much of the American landscape.

These liberal creeds pretend to repudiate (all) 'racism' and bigotry, but in political fact, they strategically target only white Americans. This makes these lofty 'values' not only disingenuous but unfair and destructive.

Highfalutin (but bogus) liberalism has come to play a diabolical role. It undermines white cohesion and white solidarity. Meanwhile, from high above, irreversible demographic changes are being orchestrated.

MacDermott correctly observes that the West's unsought ethno-racial transformation is what's behind the reinvigoration of white identity in Europe and America. This at least is good news.

Says MacDermott:

"Ethnic conflict has been a constant in human relations -- everywhere and throughout history. More recently, 64 percent of all civil wars since 1946 have divided along ethnic lines. Such conflicts are highly correlated with genetic diversity and ethnic polarization. Some of the worst examples, such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sudan, have included ethnic cleansing and genocide."

Very true. Very important. And while MacDermott avoids mentioning a more obvious example, the most persistent expression of this phenomena can be seen in Israel/Palestine, where allegedly 'Semitic' Jews are doing whatever it takes to keep their lesser (Semitic) cousins at arms length–in this case, in the caged ghettos of Gaza and the West Bank.

Undue and uncompromising Jewish influence in Zio-America is allowing this race-born outrage to continue. Sadly, Israeli savagery routinely receives Zio-Washington's unconditional blessing, trillion-dollar subsidy, and unflinching diplomatic cover.

But besides the disputed territory and Israel's untouchable political power, what nourishes the endless Israel/Palestine impasse?

Jewish 'exceptionalism' is one key motivator.

The Chosen people are convinced that they are born vastly superior to their Semitic cousins.

Thus, strict segregation is required for the assurance of 'Jewish (genetic) continuity'. This objective however requires steadfast cruelty since the natives are still restless and rebelling.

Supremacism means never having to say you're sorry. This is especially true since, ironically, peace between Jews and Arabs could potentially lead to increased Jewish 'outmarriage' in Israel and consequently, the gradual reduction in Israeli (Jewish) IQ and Jewish 'exceptionalism' (supremacy).

Over time, potential genetic intermingling would very possibly undermine Jewish magnificence and therefore, Jewish cohesion. This could then translate into a loss of Jewish solidarity and 'community'. It's possible.

This downturn could subsequently affect Jewish wealth and power, and that is certainly not an outcome that the Jewish community desires.

Leaders of the global Jewish community are smart enough to envision this scenario and to prevent it from happening. They use The Holocaust (and it's potential re-0currance) as an all-purpose excuse. But it's phony. Self-segregation is a sacred, ancient Jewish value. Thus the glamorization of interracial romance is directed only at the goyim, as is the message of Open Borders. Just turn on your TV. It's there constantly.

These 'liberal, democratic' messages however are never advocated in Israel, nor are they directed at young Jews via Israeli TV, news, entertainment or education.

You will never see glamorous depictions of Jewish/Arab miscegenation on Israeli television, even though black/white 'family formation' on Jewish-owned mass media in America is ubiquitous.

Hostile US elites (Jews) apparently want non-Jewish whites to become mixed, brown. This racial objective however is anathema to Jewish values. It's strictly for the goyim.

Meanwhile, whites in America are not permitted to think or hold values like Israeli Jews, or to even express similar preferences inside the civilization that they and their forefathers created. This speaks volumes about the lack of freedom in America. Yes, we live under intellectual occupation.

For many Israeli Jews (the dominant thinking goes) strict segregation–if not active warfare–is the only sure way to maintain 'hafrada' (separation) for Jews in Israel since they are surrounded by tens of millions of similar-looking but 'unexceptional' Arabs.

Unlike America, walls (and segregation) remain sacred in Israel. But not here.

It's racist!

Iberiano , June 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm GMT
In fact, some Latinos are white, particularly those from Latin America's leadership class

I think the reality is, Latinos/Hispanics simply form lines like any group would do. I am white, all my fellow Hispanic friends are white, and we consider ourselves essentially an ethnicity within Whiteness, just like Italians, or high-caste French Creoles, White Persians, Lebanese or Jordanians.

The easiest way to tell if an "ethnic" is conservative or republican (outside of obvious virtue signalers), is to ask yourself, " Is this person white ?". Other than famous actors and political types that have the luxury being "liberal" (e.g. Salma Hayek) every day Hispanics, Persians and Arabs that are white, act, do and think, like every day White Anglo-Saxons, Germanics and Nordics–for the most part (obviously IQ plays a part). Don't get me wrong, there is a difference in IQ and mindset in the particulars between a Norman and a (white-ish) Sicilian, some IQ, some cultural, but if and when a civil war comes–no one will have ANY problem knowing where they and others stand and belong.

SunBakedSuburb , June 30, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
Reince Priebus: "I think post-Trump, the party basically returns to its traditional role and traditional platform."

And that would be U.S. hegemony and market fundamentalism? Unlikely and unattractive. U.S. military dominance starves our society and enriches the national security state and the rogue regimes in Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Market fundamentalism does not take into account human frailty, and would produce widespread desperation.

What can be gleaned from Mr. McDermott's instructive article is that, like it or not, identity needs to be included in the political lexicon of working class and middle class whites. Elite whites continue to cede power to blacks and browns in politics and business as the slide into Idiocracy accelerates. This is an opportunity for disaffected whites from the Democratic Party and Republican Trump supporters to form a coalition.

densa , June 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT

The political consequences of these changes will be profound and irreversible.

When Ted Kennedy was pushing the 1965 opening of our borders to atone for racism, he made repeated assurances that we would not end up where we ended up. He said the level of immigration would remain the same, the ethnic mix would not inundate America with immigrants from any particular place or nation, that the ethnic pattern of America would not be changed, and that we wouldn't have something crazy like a million immigrants a year, certainly not poor ones who would place a burden on citizens.

When Reagan's amnesty happened, again promises where made that we could and would keep our country. Now, it looks like Brazil is our future.

Elections are already being decided by racial votes of minorities, which aren't considered racist by that half of America that eagerly anticipates our demise. What a rude surprise they are in for when they discover they are still white and will be honorary deplorables once they no longer have political power.

But will the GOP adequately capitalize on these gains?

Ha, Derbyshire doesn't call it the Stupid Party for nothing.

Fidelios Automata , June 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm GMT
Regarding my home state of Arizona, that 66% figure is an interesting anomaly. Except for my fellow writers, most of the white folks I know are pretty conservative. Many secretly supported Trump or voted Libertarian in protest of the lousy mainstream choices. Perhaps this is a reflection of white flight from California.
obwandiyag , June 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
You dense "scientific" racists can't see the forest for the trees, as is always the case. The importance of this election has nothing to do with demographics. But you wouldn't know that because all you want to do is scream raceracerace all de liblong day.

No. The importance of this race is that Ocasio-Cortez is "a strikingly perfect candidate, both in policy positions and refusal to take corporate money. She fits the identity politics profile without once using identity politics virtue-signaling to cover for lousy policies. This is shattering to the Clintonista crowd, who are spinning like tops."

Grow up.

WorkingClass , June 30, 2018 at 10:46 pm GMT
Post Imperial America will balkanize. There is plenty of room for four or more new republics. At least one of them will be white.
Seamus Padraig , June 30, 2018 at 10:59 pm GMT
@Jim Christian

Exactly. Whenever liberals ask 'How are the schools?', what they really mean is, 'How black are the schools?' Their hypocrisy is nauseating.

Seamus Padraig , June 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm GMT

However, most Asian immigrants are not East Asians and their IQs (such as those of Indians or Pakistanis) are much lower.

Really? How come so many are doctors, scientists and computer programmers? Those aren't typically low-IQ professions. Is this just a case of aggressive brain-drain? Do all the stupid ones stay behind in India?

In homogenous societies, for example, politics tends to divide along class and cultural lines. As a society becomes more diverse, however, ethnicity begins to play a growing role.

Yup. That's probably why the Democratic Party traded class war for race war.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 12:44 am GMT

Really? How come so many are doctors, scientists and computer programmers?

The advance guard in the US was the professional elite. Not so in the UK. Subcontinentals are much closer, or even below, average there. Even here, motel owners may outnumber doctors, scientists, and computer programmers combined.

Is this just a case of aggressive brain-drain?

Yes.

And it's worse in Canada.

Do all the stupid ones stay behind in India?

There are a billion more people in India than in the US. Do the arithmetic.

George , July 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
Extremely low turnout led to Ocasio-Cortez Victory.

On Magical Thinking VS Sober Analysis of the Ocasio-Cortez Victory in NY

https://www.blackagendareport.com/magical-thinking-vs-sober-analysis-ocasio-cortez-victory-ny

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
OK. I'll make it simple for you because your understanding doesn't extend beyond simple.

Ocasio-Cortez is a very good candidate, and, unless she is co-opted–which, 99 out of a 100 (notice my use of "statistics," I mean damned lies, you statistics-worshipers) is the chance she will be–she is a hundred times better than Crowley the Clintonite hack. Racists are really stupid. They vote against their own interests, just like all "conservatives."

blank-misgivings , July 1, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT
The author throws around 'left' and 'right' as if they transparently applied in the case of ethnic politics. I would argue that it has been the economic 'right' that has relentlessly pursued diversity of populations – quite arguably for millennia, and certainly in the last 50 years. Some sane economic leftists realize this, although they are an endangered and shrinking group.

However if it is the right that is the main mover in favor of diversity (empire preferred to nation state for the easier control of labor), I'm not sure what solutions there are. Whites voting for the Republican Party is not a long time viable solution since the owners of that party have fundamentally different interests than the white working class (as leftists have correctly pointed out over and over).

Brabantian , Website July 1, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
Quite a superbly-sourced and compellingly-argued article here from Patrick McDermott, extraordinarily well-done even by Unz standards

This article gives a very important snapshot of the USA political scene as a whole, one of the best I've read in some time

Thanks both to Mr McDermott and to Ron Unz for posting this, look forward to more from this author

jeppo , July 1, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
Ocasio's victory is a nightmare for the Democrats. The Leftist media is touting her as the future of the party, but her platform makes Obama look like a rightwing extremist.

- Federal Jobs Guarantee
- Medicare for All
- Tuition-free public college
- Reduce prisons by 50%
- Defund ICE

But the real poison pill is her unwavering support for the Palestinians. I'm not making a value judgment on this or any other of her policies, but if the GOP can tag the next Democratic presidential candidate with Ocasio's worldview, then expect a Trumpslide in 2020.

What do the (((brains))) and (((primary funders))) behind the Democratic party think of this rising star? Here are some choice quotes from NY Jewish Week:

To some, the stunning victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken critic of Israel, over 10-term Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens-Bronx), an Israel supporter, in Tuesday's Democratic primary is seen as another nail in the coffin of Democratic support for the Jewish state.

"If she maintains her anti-Israel stance, she will be a one-term wonder," predicted George Arzt, a New York political operative. "I don't think you can have someone with those views in New York City. If she moderates, she could win again. If she doesn't, there will be massive opposition to her -- maybe even a cross-over candidate from the Latino community with pro-Israel views."

Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democratic strategist, said he sees Ocasio-Cortez's overwhelming victory -- she won with 57.5 percent of the vote -- as "another step in the ongoing divorce proceedings between the pro-Israel community and the Democratic Party."

Jeff Wiesenfeld, a former aide to both Republican and Democratic elected officials, said he read Ocasio-Cortez's Twitter and Facebook postings and said she has voiced opinions that are "downright hostile to Israel."

After 60 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in May while attempting to breach the fence along the Israel-Gaza border, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter: "This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protestors. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can't be silent about this anymore."

"We have never stepped into a situation in New York City in which a member of Congress starts out hostile to us," he added. "This is a new frontier."

"While Jewish Democrats support much of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's domestic policy agenda, we disagree with her past statement regarding Israel, as well as her affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel," it added. "In the coming days and months, we hope to learn more about Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's views, but at the moment, her position on Israel is not in line with our values."

http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/ocasio-cortezs-israel-views-seen-as-troubling/

What will Jewish Democrats do if the Ocasio/DSA platform becomes mainstream in the Democratic party? Join up with the anti-Trump neocons and vote for a third party? While the Republicans can win nationwide elections without Jewish money and votes, there's no evidence that the Democrats can, at least not yet.

Another factor in Ocasio's surprise victory, as so delicately pointed out by the noted political analyst Andrew Anglin, is that:

"Furthermore, people want to f*ck her."

No shit. Her good looks and likeable personality mean that she's likely in the media spotlight to stay, no matter how much the MSM (((gatekeepers))) might want to shield the general public from her, ahem, "problematic" views.

As an aside, I believe her nationwide appeal is enhanced by her complete lack of the godawful, ear-grating Nuyorican accent so commonplace among her co-ethnics. In fact she speaks with a general American accent with barely even a hint of New Yorkese. I don't know if this is part of a generalized homogenization of regional accents throughout the country, or if she affects this dialect for personal and/or political reasons. Either way, it only adds to her appeal.

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, then Donald Trump will start looking more and more like the moderate adult in the room compared to the infantile, gibsmedat, tantrum-throwers on the far left. Which is terrible news for the Clintonite, corporate bloodsucker wing of the Dems, but fantastic news for the rest of us.

Gordo , July 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
@mark green

You are correct.

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm GMT
If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them. You have no understanding whatsoever about the mood of the current polity.
jeppo , July 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
@obwandiyag

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them.

So what you're saying is that if there's one thing Trump supporters secretly want more than anything else, it's to abolish ICE. Yeah, no.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT
@blank-misgivings

Leftism is concerned with power, period.

Economics is just a tool to that end. When identity looked to be more productive, they pivoted quite gracefully.

Welfare bureaucrats derive their power from the poor, not the working, and there are many more poor abroad than at home. Creating a welfare state thus creates a giant constituency for importing more poor, and poorer.

One of the credos of realism has been "There are no angels, so set the devils against one another." As pie-in-the-sky as economists can be, they're closer to the truth on this one than the pro-regulation forces, who assume, by definition, that the regulators will be angels.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@jeppo

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them.

So what you're saying is that if there's one thing Trump supporters secretly want more than anything else, it's to abolish ICE. Yeah, no.

This might be true in the Bronx, but what about the other 3,030 or so counties in the US?

llloyd , Website July 2, 2018 at 3:55 am GMT
Americans, at least Unz reviewers, lump all Hispanic speakers into one category. Does Cortez even speak Spanish, except for her ethnic purposes? More important, a Puerto Rican origin is both Creole and Roman Catholic. That puts them in a category all their own. She has no love for Israel because her background did not come under the influence of the Christian Zionist Churches. Her black origins make her atavistically side with the Palestinians.
obwandiyag , July 2, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
You have no clue about "Trump supporters." For your information, they will vote for anyone who shakes things up. Their second choice after Trump was Sanders. These are facts. Read 'em and weep.
Mishra , July 2, 2018 at 4:48 am GMT
@obwandiyag

The Establishment wants to pretend that these voters don't exist. Even though they tipped the election. Along with most people (even here) they want to keep everything in neat boxes labelled Right vs Left, Rep vs Dem, etc etc. Spares them the 'vexation of thinking'.

Mishra , July 2, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT

The Democratic Party IS Tipping!

Replace "The Democratic Party" with "America" and replace "IS Tipping!" with "HAS TIPPED" and you'll be much nearer the truth.

Ron Unz , July 2, 2018 at 5:19 am GMT
Actually, I have a quite contrary view of the political implications of these shifts in racial demographics. For those interested, here's a link to a long article I published a few years ago on this same exact topic:

http://www.unz.com/runz/immigration-republicans-and-the-end-of-white-america-singlepage/

[Jul 14, 2018] McMaken The Military Is A Jobs Program... For Immigrants Many Others

Jul 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:45 12 SHARES Authored Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

On the matter of immigration, even many commentators who support ease of migration also oppose the extension of government benefits to immigrants.

The idea, of course, is that free movement of labor is fine, but taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize it. As a matter of policy, many also find it prudent that immigrants ought to be economically self sufficient before being offered citizenship. Switzerland, for instance, makes it harder to pursue citizenship while receiving social benefits.

This discussion often centers around officially recognized "welfare" and social-benefits programs such as TANF and Medicaid. But it is also recognized that taxpayer-funded benefits exist in the form of public schooling, free clinics, and other in-kind benefits.

But there is another taxpayer-supporter program that subsidizes immigration as well: the US military.

Government Employment for Immigrants

Last week, the AP began reporting that " the US Army is quietly discharging Immigrant recruits ."

Translation: the US government has begun laying off immigrants from taxpayer-funded government jobs.

It's unclear how many of these jobs have been employed, but according to the Department of Homeland security, "[s]ince Oct. 1, 2002, USCIS has naturalized 102,266 members of the military ."

The Military as a Jobs Program

Immigrants, of course, aren't the only people who benefit from government jobs funded through military programs.

The military has long served as a jobs programs helpful in mopping up excess labor and padding employment numbers. As Robert Reich noted in 2011 , as the US was still coming out of the 2009 recession:

And without our military jobs program personal incomes would be dropping faster. The Commerce Department reported Monday the only major metro areas where both net earnings and personal incomes rose last year were San Antonio, Texas, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. -- because all three have high concentrations of military and federal jobs.

He's right. While the private sector must cut back and re-arrange labor and capital to deal with the new economic realities post-recession, government jobs rarely go away.

Because of this, Reich concludes "America's biggest -- and only major -- jobs program is the U.S. military."

Reich doesn't think this is a bad thing. He only highlights the military's role as a de facto jobs program in order to call for more de jure jobs programs supported by federal funding.

Given the political popularity of the military, however, it's always easy to protect funding for the military jobs programs than for any other potential jobs programs. All the Pentagon has to do is assure Congress that every single military job is absolutely essential, and Congress will force taxpayers to cough up the funding.

Back during the debate over sequestration, for example, the Pentagon routinely warned Congress that any cutbacks in military funding would lead to major jobs losses, bringing devastation to the economy.

In other words, even the Pentagon treats the military like a jobs program when it's politically useful.

Benefits for enlisted people go well beyond what can be seen in the raw numbers of total employed. As Kelley Vlahos points out at The American Conservative , military personnel receive extra hazard pay "even though they are far from any fighting or real danger." And then there is the "Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE) program which exempts enlisted and officers from paying federal taxes in these 45 designated countries. Again, they get the tax break -- which accounted for about $3.6 billion in tax savings for personnel in 2009 (the combat pay cost taxpayers $790 million in 2009)– whether they are really in danger or not."

There's also evidence that military personnel receive higher pay in the military than do their private-sector counterparts with similar levels of education and training.

Nor do the benefits of military spending go only to enlisted people. The Pentagon has long pointed to its spending on civilian jobs in many communities, including manufacturing jobs and white-collar technical jobs.

This, of course, has long been politically useful for the Pentagon as well, since as political scientist Rebecca Thorpe has shown in her book The American Warfare State , communities that rely heavily on Pentagon-funded employment are sure to send Congressmen to Washington who will make sure the taxpayer dollars keep flowing to Pentagon programs.

Whether you're talking to Robert Reich or some Pentagon lobbyist on Capitol Hill, the conclusion is clear: the military is both a jobs program and a stimulus program. Cut military spending at your peril!

Military Spending Destroys Private Sector Jobs

The rub, however, is that military spending doesn't actually improve the economy. And much the money spent on military employment would be best spent on the private, voluntary economy.

This has long been recognized by political scientist Seymour Melman who has discussed the need for "economic conversion," or converting military spending into other forms of spending. Melman observes :

Since we know that matter and energy located in Place A cannot be simultaneously located in Place B, we must understand that the resources used up on military account thereby represent a preemption of resources from civilian needs of every conceivable kind.

Here, Melman is simply describing in his own way what Murray Rothbard explained in Man, Economy, and State . Namely, government spending distorts the economy as badly as taxation -- driving up prices for the private sector, and withdrawing resources from private sector use.

Ellen Brown further explains :

The military actually destroys jobs in the civilian economy. The higher profits from cost-plus military manufacturing cause manufacturers to abandon more competitive civilian endeavors; and the permanent war economy takes engineers, capital and resources away from civilian production.

But, as a classic case of "the seen" vs. "the unseen," it's easy to point to jobs created by military spending. How many jobs were lost as a result of that same spending? That remains unseen, and thus politically irrelevant.

Military fan boys will of course assure us that every single military job and every single dollar spent on the military is absolutely essential. It's all the service of "fighting for freedom." For instance, Mitchell Blatt writes , in the context of immigrant recruits, "I'm not worried about the country or origin of those who are fighting to defend us. What matters is that our military is as strong as it can be." The idea at work here is that the US military is a lean machine, doing only what is necessary to get the job done, and as cost effectively as possible. Thus, hiring the "best" labor, from whatever source is absolutely essential.

This, however, rather strains the bounds of credibility. The US military is more expensive than the next eight largest militaries combined . The US's navy is ten times larger than the next largest navy. The US's air force is the largest in the world, and the second largest air force belongs, not to a foreign country, but to the US Navy.

Yet, we're supposed to believe that any cuts will imperil the "readiness" of the US military.

Cut Spending for Citizens and Non-Citizens Alike

My intent here is not to pick on immigrants specifically. The case of military layoffs for immigrants simply helps to illustrate a couple of important points: government jobs with the military constitute of form of taxpayer-funded subsidy for immigrants. And secondly, the US military acts as a job program, not just for immigrants but for many native-born Americans.

In truth, layoffs in the military sector ought to be far more widespread, and hardly limited to immigrants. The Trump Administration is wrong when it suggests that the positions now held by immigrant recruits ought to be filled by American-born recruits. Those positions should be left unfilled. Permanently.


cougar_w Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

No you retarded fuck, the military is a taxpayer-funed merc army supporting the overseas hegemonic goals of American-style Corporatism . That the military is full of the sons and daughters of poor people is only because rich whites won't send their trustfund babies to kill brown people for oil.

Smedley Butler, 1935: " War is a Racket "

How anyone still gets this wrong is symptomatic of too much inbreeding.

Expendable Container -> cougar_w Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

The military is a taxpayer-funded merc army supporting Isra hell's goals none of which benefit the US.

cougar_w -> Expendable Container Fri, 07/13/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

No, asshole. It's about money. About cash and gold. Profit. Markets. Growth. About cheap or free resources. Access to labor. New customers.

War makes companies rich, it might be the ONLY way they can get rich. War is waged when GM wants to sell trucks to the Pentagon. When Boeing wants to sell jets. When MIT wants money for arms research. When NATO wants a reason to exist. The dogs of war are loosed when oil gets tight. When countries won't "accept our cultural freedoms". When trade agreements aren't enough to open up new markets.

Isreal has fleeting nothing to do with it, except maybe when war aligns with their perceived need for hegemony in their own sphere. But by loading all this on Isreal you encourage others to miss the real fox in the henhouse. You could wipe Isreal off the Earth tomorrow and still have wars for profit for a thousand years to come.

This nation was born in war. It has practiced war since that day and will be at war with the rest of the world until humans are killed to the last and the last ounce of profit from war is had.

TeethVillage88s -> cougar_w Fri, 07/13/2018 - 19:08 Permalink

or from systematic corruption of all US Institutions and the politicization of all US Institutions... you need a job, you want to work here, you say this, and you do this, ... tow the line, no politics, no whistleblowing,... and we won't blackball your ass from the industry... got it... u got debts, keep ur nose clean!

Idiocracy's Not Sure Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:56 Permalink

the US military has slacking pay.

Quantify -> Idiocracy's Not Sure Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

Yes the pay sucks but you get more done before 8am than most people do in a week. But seriously its a pretty good gig in the long run. Medical care a decent retirement system, travel a chance to meet and integrate with different cultures and kill them...its pretty cool.

AudiDoug Fri, 07/13/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

Excluding a small percentage, the military is much like the DMV. We have a cartoon vision of all enlisted being GI Joe, ready to grab a gun and fight evil. This in not the case at all. Most positions are very simple, repetitive bureaucratic positions. Really is a giant Jobs program to keep people busy.

Debt Slave Fri, 07/13/2018 - 19:22 Permalink

"The idea at work here is that the US military is a lean machine, doing only what is necessary to get the job done, and as cost effectively as possible."

Then why are we still in Afghanistan?

No need to answer, the question is rhetorical.

DingleBarryObummer Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:59 Permalink

Support our B̶a̶n̶k̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ Troops!

[Jul 10, 2018] Helping the bosses make the laws and break the laws

Jul 10, 2018 | www.mintpressnews.com

Last month's Supreme Court ruling scrapping the 41-year-old ruling requiring non-union government workers to pay into union tills was also a major blow to workers' collective bargaining rights, and a big victory for the ultra-rich, far-right financiers who also backed Trump. The court's decision came amid an ongoing wave of attacks on workers' rights -- including anti-union propaganda campaigns, litigation, and so-called "right-to-work" laws that undermine workers' rights, grievance procedures, wages and benefits.

"The Janus decision can be understood as a reflection of the prevailing politics of the time," Baraka observed.

"That is reflected in the make-up of the court and the relative weakness of organized labor and the bipartisan understanding that the neoliberal project requires the containment of the working class," he continued.

So the court as an instrument of class rule has been quite consistent."

A glance at the Judicial Branch's record shows the pivotal role it's played disempowering the hard-fought protections won by U.S. workers. In O'Connor v Ortega [1987], the court ruled that employees could be searched at work as if they were suspected criminals. In Wards Cove Packing Co v Atonio [1989] the court decided in favor of preventing discrimination claims from being brought against employers, although this was eventually reversed. And in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc v NLRB [2002], the decision was made to strip undocumented workers of their right to organize a union.

Invariably drawn from the top layers of U.S. society, the justices of the Supreme Court are clearly bound to represent the class interests of the de facto aristocracy and capitalists who hold a monopoly on political and social power in the United States. For critics, this belies any attempt to depict the court as having ever been progressive.

"Line them up; until recently they were all male, WASP All of the judges are from Ivy League universities and aside from Sotomayor, they have never known poor people – the Supreme Court is already racist and fascist," Acuña said.

"Decisions favoring labor have been rare, social issues rarer – the problem is we are delusional," he added.

Lifelong social movement organizer and historian Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People's History of the United States , is likewise skeptical.

"It certainly seems unlikely that social justice movements can make use of the courts," Dunbar-Ortiz told MintPress News.

She continued:

I believe that since the 1950s, we have relied too much on the notion that the liberal "living constitution" theory would prevail, but I always had doubts that it was a good idea, rather than the more difficult route of building a progressive congress, electoral politics, taking the easy way of the courts, giving lawyers central roles rather than politics in command."

[Jul 06, 2018] We enter this century with workers' rights fading, freedom and democracy attacked, and inequality growing

Jul 06, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Mr. Anderson Pennsylvania, July 2

The last century began with few workers' rights and massive inequality. Two World Wars, an economic depression, and the Cold War convinced the money class that their survival required them to share.

We enter this century with workers' rights fading, freedom and democracy attacked, and inequality growing.

They tell us that this time is different and the excesses of the past are not a threat. That globalization, interconnectedness (human and electronic), and electronic commerce eliminate the need for unions, Glass-Steagall, labor laws, limits on campaign finance, and even facts. That concentration of wealth and power are in our collective best interests. That smaller government will free us to realize our true potentials. That corporations know best and will serve us better than governments ever could and do so at lower cost. That we should trust them. That they are wiser. That they know how things truly work. That if we do not allow them to establish a new order, then things will just get much worse.

And they are now dismantling the old order responsible for stable financial markets, livable wages with benefits, upward economic mobility, human dignity, accountability from the power and money classes, and respect for those not like ourselves. And if they are wrong which I believe they are, then we are certain to endure a misery not even seen in the last century.

DCN Illinois July 1

The trumpkins clearly choose not to consider the reality of a global supply chain and the interconnected nature of manufacturing. A report in the auto section of the Chicago tribune pointed out the Honda Odyssey is the second most American made vehicle based on here its parts are sourced. We see tRump and his minions on TV touting all the false claims outlined by Dr. K. The lies are easily fact checked against actual data but tRump and his minions fully understand his base plus many more Republicans who should actually know better will lap up the lies and keep cheering USA until they drive things off a cliff like the last Republican Administration. We can only hope next time will not be worse.

[Jun 27, 2018] jack daniels

Notable quotes:
"... Today we see anti-racism being elevated into a quasi-religion that may be used to justify totalitarian policies. One benefit of this initiative is that it allows the elite to preserve the gap in material wealth between themselves and the victim class. Ending racism is less expensive than ending inequality! ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

says: June 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT 300 Words @John Baker How are they 'checked?'

Numerous sources give very high figures for Jews and these have tended to be memory-holed and maligned as you know what.

Consequently sources which report a low number of jews (do you know of any?) from the period are at least as suspect, and ones from a later period and embraced by Jewish scholars more so.

And one must remember that apart from the many name changes by Jews in the Old Bolshevik era (lots of name changes amongst Israel's 'founders' too) they made substantial effort to hide their jewishness, as have later sources.

One might consider the attempted Bokshevik coup in Germany a year after the Russian one.

Even wikipedia has to report that this 'Spartacus uprising' was led almost wholly by Jews. What would they have done had they won? Might the conflation of anti-nationalist communist violence and Jewish Supremacy have been what led in part to Hitler and his racial nationalists? There was also a coup in Hungary led by Bela Kun. I agree with you that the threat of Communism played a role in the rise of militant nationalism and its anti-Semitic aspect. The role of Jews in the leadership of every Communist uprising is crisply documented by Winston Churchill in his 1920 article http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/WSC/WSCwrote1920.html Paul Johnson in Modern Times claims that Jews did not make up a large percentage of party members but that is less impressive than their domination of the top ranks. Germany in the 20s and 30s had an abundance of motives to support a strong nationalist leader since the terms of the Versailles Treaty were unjust and unendurable, and the solution seemed to involve at least the willingness to use force to remove the burden. The democratic parties were insufficiently decisive and would likely have succumbed to Communist agitation or at best preserved a very unpleasant status quo. The weakness of Communism is that it reduces everything to economics and the material dimension. It demands the right to dictate without addressing the spiritual dimension of life. Hitler, by contrast, appealed to national pride and national unity, in addition to the national need to escape from poverty.

Today we see anti-racism being elevated into a quasi-religion that may be used to justify totalitarian policies. One benefit of this initiative is that it allows the elite to preserve the gap in material wealth between themselves and the victim class. Ending racism is less expensive than ending inequality!

[Jun 27, 2018] The mechanics of identity wedge in politics

Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [317] Disclaimer , June 5, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Rational

responding to PG's comments and the comments of Rational
Zionist, among them, being many NY Intellectuals, invented mugged reality (Neoconism) , but party slithering is a another name for divide and conquer.

Fudmier's example as to how to control the vote:
You present an idea to 6 people (there are seven votes including yours, you are the one); virtually everyone is indifferent or against your idea. Before the vote, how can you make the outcome favorable to your side? Divide the opinions on a related subject so that the people must vote for your idea if they take a side on the related subject. I am always either a Democrat or a Republican, cannot vote for anything the other party presents, no matter how good it is. So make the idea Republican or Democratic.

them me Total vote for against my idea
no division 1 2 3 4 5 6 ME 7 Me 6 I lose
divide by party D R D R D R ME 7 Me+3 3 I win

As the simple analysis suggests: it is easy to win a vote when the idea is Glued to the two AAs (glue, attached, or associated). The unpopular idea Glued and attached or associated with the political party issue splits the vote (such activity divides and weakens the political power inherent in the voting power of the masses). For example, if we make the vote to turn off all of the drinking water. the only vote will be mine, but if we say turn off the drinking water to all but those who are green, we divide the vote. and control the outcome.

This brings us to the democratic dilemma: should the non green people be included in vote on that issue? In fact, it is exactly this problem that those who wrote the constitution intended to establish.

The aggressive foreign policies and national security positions mentioned by PG have been attached to the standard Jewish line; in other words the duty of a Jew to recognize him/herself as a Jew and to vote as a member of the clan has been glued to the AAs. It is nearly impossible to vote for Jewish interest and not vote to demolish Palestinian homes.

I am hoping this list can develop ways to analyse current events into a set of fair play rules, reading, learning and analyzing books, journals and events and writing about them is not enough; some kind of action is needed to bring into reality the findings of these readings, learning and analysis produce. The best way to offset misleading, false or invented propaganda is to force it to into a rule based debunking process. Simple rules that everyone can learn, understand and adopt.

Capitalist Russia and its resources represent a major competitor to the resources and schemes of the capitalist neocon led west. Hating Russia is like being a democrat or a republican,it keeps the pharaoh options open.

[Jun 27, 2018] How Cynical Is the Democratic Party's Support for Identity Politics (Plus a Note on the Ocasio-Crowley Contest)

DemoRats use identity politics to achieve their goals. And if it does not suit their goals it is thrown in the garbage can as used napkin.
Also it is stupid to view candidates from the prism of identity politics: "In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society."
Notable quotes:
"... Albright: "Younger women, Hillary Clinton will always be there for you" plus that other thing she said. ..."
Jun 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QRimyfmz0MA

Albright: "Younger women, Hillary Clinton will always be there for you" plus that other thing she said.

How cynical is the Democratic Party's support for identity politics? To this observer, it seems impossible not to notice that those in control of the Democratic Party care about "identity politics" -- about supporting more women, more people of color, more LGBTQ candidates, etc. -- only when it suits them. Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

As I said, this has been apparent for some time. I've never seen it documented so well in one place, however, until this recent piece by Glenn Greenwald.

For example, Hillary Clinton supporters in 2016 not only encouraged a vote for Clinton because men and women had a duty to support her as a woman, yet they attacked support for Sanders as specifically misogynist:

The 2016 presidential election was the peak, at least thus far, for the tactics of identity politics in U.S. elections. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton's potential status as the first female candidate was frequently used not only to inspire her supporters but also to shame and malign those who supported other candidates, particularly Bernie Sanders.

In February 2016 -- at the height of the Clinton-Sanders battle -- former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright introduced Hillary Clinton at a New Hampshire rally by predicting a grim afterlife for female supporters of Sanders, while Clinton and Cory Booker cheered: "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!" she announced.

Though Albright apologized in the New York Times for her insensitive phrasing after a backlash ensued, she did reaffirm her central point: "When women are empowered to make decisions, society benefits. They will raise issues, pass bills and put money into projects that men might overlook or oppose."

At roughly the same time, Clinton supporter Gloria Steinem said female supporters of Sanders were motivated by a primitive impulse to follow "the boys," who, she claimed, were behind Sanders. Just this week, the Clinton loyalist and Salon writer Amanda Marcotte said Trump won "because some dudes had mommy issues," then clarified that she was referring to left-wing misogynists who did not support Clinton: "I also have those moments where I'm like, 'Maybe we need to run Bland White Guy 2020 to appease the fake socialists and jackass mansplainers.'"

Greenwald notes in passing that no one was making the case for supporting Sanders because he would be the first Jewish president, and he doesn't expect that case to be made in 2020 should Sanders run again.

He concludes from this that "despite the inconsistencies, one of the dominant themes that emerged in Democratic Party discourse from the 2016 election is that it is critically important to support female candidates and candidates of color, and that a failure or refusal to support such candidates when they present a credible campaign is suggestive evidence of underlying bigotry."

The Past as Prologue: Cynthia Nixon

Apparently, however, Democratic Party interest in electing strong progressive women (Hillary Clinton includes herself on that list) has dissipated in the smoke of the last election. As Greenwald notes, "Over and over, establishment Democrats and key party structures have united behind straight, white male candidates (including ones tainted by corruption), working to defeat their credible and progressive Democratic opponents who are women, LGBT people, and/or people of color. Clinton herself has led the way."

The article is replete with examples, from the Brad Ashford–Kara Eastman battle in Nebraska, to the Bob Menendez–Michael Starr Hopkins–Lisa McCormick three-way contest in New Jersey, to the Ben Cardin–Chelsea Manning primary in Maryland. In all cases, the Party backed the white male candidate (or in Menendez's case, the whiter male candidate) against the woman, the person of color, and the LGBTQ candidate. Not even the smoke of 2016's identity fire remains.

Which brings us to the 2018 candidacies of Cynthia Nixon and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

Let's start with Cynthia Nixon, running against corrupt , anti-progressive NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo sides with Republicans to defeat progressive measures, rules with an iron hand, is white and male. Yet he's also supported and endorsed by almost every national Democrat who matters:

In New York state, Cynthia Nixon is attempting to become the first female governor, as well as the first openly LGBT governor, in the state's history. She's running against a dynastic politician-incumbent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom the New York Times denounced this year for being "tainted" by multiple corruption scandals.

But virtually the entire Democratic establishment has united behind the white male dynastic prince, Cuomo, over his female, LGBT challenger. That includes Clinton herself, who enthusiastically endorsed Cuomo last month, as well as Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , who -- despite starting a political action committee with the explicit purpose of supporting women running for office -- also endorsed Cuomo over Nixon in March. [emphasis mine]

To make the main point again: How cynical and insincere is the Democratic Party's support for identity politics? Very.

A Local Race with National Consequences: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs. Joe Crowley

This cynical drama is also playing out in the race between corrupt Joe Crowley , the likely next Democratic leader of the House (if he survives this election) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The same dynamic is now driving the Democratic Party primary campaign in New York's 14th Congressional District, a district that is composed of 70 percent nonwhite voters. The nine-term Democratic incumbent, Joe Crowley, is a classic dynastic machine politician . His challenger, a 28-year-old Latina woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has generated nationwide excitement for her campaign after her inspiring introduction video went viral . At a fundraising event, Crowley accused his opponent of playing identity politics, saying she was trying to make the campaign "about race."

Despite all that, virtually the entire Democratic establishment has united behind the white male incumbent, and virtually none is supporting the woman of color who is challenging him. Yesterday, the very same Gillibrand who has a PAC to support female candidates and who endorsed Cuomo over Nixon announced that she was supporting Crowley over Ocasio-Cortez. [emphasis added]

Note that these are not low-profile, low-consequence races. Both are positions of enormous power -- in Nixon's case, due to the office; in Crowley's case, due to his position as the Dauphin to Nancy Pelosi's soon-to-step-down monarch.

These are races with exponentially greater consequences than usuals. And where is the Democratic Party in this? With the (corrupt) white male and against the woman, as always these days.

"Identity Politics" Is Not a Cookie-Cutter Solution to Electoral Choices

I'd like to make two additional points. First, by any intelligent standard, candidates "identities" should only be one factor only in considering support for them. Only the right wing and 2016 Clinton advocates like Madeleine Albright, quoted above, make the most simplistic argument about "identity" support -- and even then, the simplistic argument seemed to apply only to support for Clinton herself and never to other women.

For example, would even Clinton supporters have supported Carly Fiorina against a male Democrat for president? Obviously not. And Clinton herself, a former New York senator, did not support Zephyr Teachout in 2014 when Teachout ran against Andrew Cuomo for governor . Nor did then-Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton campaign for Zephyr Teachout in her 2016 race for the the NY-19 House seat .

Ideological concerns also drive decisions like these, as in fact they should. Fiorina would likely be too far right for Clinton to support, and Teachout too far left. This is a fair basis on which to decide. It was also a fair basis on which to decide support for Clinton as well.

The Ocasio-Crowley Battle Is a Very High-Leverage Fight

A second point: I recently wrote about the importance of progressive involving themselves heavily in high-leverage races -- like the Bernie Sanders 2016 race, for example -- where the payoff would have been huge relative to the effort. (You can read that piece and its argument here: " Supporting Aggressive Progressives for Very High-Leverage Offices ".)

The Ocasio-Crowley contest is similarly high-leverage -- first, because he's perceived as vulnerable and acting like he agrees , and second because it would, to use a chess metaphor, eliminate one of the most powerful (and corrupt) anti-progressive players from House leadership in a single move.

Again, Crowley is widely seen as the next Democratic Speaker of the House. He would be worse by far than Nancy Pelosi, and he's dangerous. He has blackmailed, as I see it, almost all of his colleagues into supporting him by the implicit threat of, as Speaker, denying them committee assignments and delaying or thwarting their legislation. He also controls funding as Speaker via the leadership PAC and the DCCC. Even Mark Pocan, co-chair of the CPC and normally a reliable progressive voice and vote, is reportedly whipping support for Crowley among his colleagues.

Crowley plays for keeps. Taking him off the board entirely, removing him from the House for the next two years, would produce a benefit to progressives far in excess of the effort involved.

Progressives, were they truly smart, would have nationalize this race from the beginning and worked tirelessly to win it. The payoff from a win like this is huge. Larry Coffield , June 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors.

Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors.

[Jun 10, 2018] Hiding the Real Number of Unemployed by Pete Dolack

Notable quotes:
"... The Globe and Mail ..."
"... The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China ..."
Jun 08, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

Nonetheless, you might have noticed that happy days aren't exactly here again. The real U.S. unemployment figure -- all who are counted as unemployed in the "official" rate, plus discouraged workers, the total of those employed part-time but not able to secure full-time work and all persons marginally attached to the labor force (those who wish to work but have given up) -- is 7.6 percent . (This is the "U-6" rate.) That total, too, is less than half of its 2010 peak and is the lowest in several years. But this still doesn't mean the number of people actually working is increasing.

Fewer people at work and they are making less

A better indication of how many people have found work is the "civilian labor force participation rate." By this measure, which includes all people age 16 or older who are not in prison or a mental institution, only 62.7 percent of the potential U.S. workforce was actually in the workforce in May, and that was slightly lower than the previous month. This is just about equal to the lowest this statistic has been since the breakdown of Keynesianism in the 1970s, and down significantly from the peak of 67.3 percent in May 2000. You have to go back to the mid-1970s to find a time when U.S. labor participation was lower. This number was consistently lower in the 1950s and 1960s, but in those days one income was sufficient to support a family. Now everybody works and still can't make ends meet.

And that brings us to the topic of wages. After reaching a peak of 52 percent in 1969, the percentage of the U.S. gross domestic product going to wages has fallen to 43 percent , according to research by the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve. The amount of GDP going to wages during the past five years has been the lowest it has been since 1929 , according to a New York Times report. And within the inequality of wages that don't keep up with inflation or productivity gains, the worse-off are doing worse.

The Economic Policy Institute noted , "From 2000 to 2017, wage growth was strongest for the highest-wage workers, continuing the trend in rising wage inequality over the last four decades." The strongest wage growth was for those in the top 10 percent of earnings, which skewed the results sufficiently that the median wage increase for 2017 was a paltry 0.2 percent, the EPI reports. Inflation may have been low, but it wasn't as low as that -- the typical U.S. worker thus suffered a de facto wage decrease last year.

What this sobering news tells us is that good-paying jobs are hard to come by. An EPI researcher, Elise Gould, wrote :

"Slow wage growth tells us that employers continue to hold the cards, and don't have to offer higher wages to attract workers. In other words, workers have very little leverage to bid up their wages. Slow wage growth is evidence that employers and workers both know there are still workers waiting in the wings ready to take a job, even if they aren't actively looking for one."

The true unemployment rates in Canada and Europe

We find similar patterns elsewhere. In Canada, the official unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent in April , the lowest it has been since 1976, although there was a slight decrease in the number of people working in March, mainly due to job losses in wholesale and retail trade and construction. What is the actual unemployment rate? According to Statistics Canada's R8 figure , it is 8.6 percent. The R8 counts count people in part-time work, including those wanting full-time work, as "full-time equivalents," thus underestimating the number of under-employed.

At the end of 2012, the R8 figure was 9.4 percent , but an analysis published by The Globe and Mail analyzing unemployment estimated the true unemployment rate for that year to be 14.2 percent. If the current statistical miscalculation is proportionate, then the true Canadian unemployment rate currently must be north of 13 percent. "[T]he narrow scope of the Canadian measure significantly understates labour underutilization," the Globe and Mail analysis conclude.

Similar to its southern neighbor, Canada's labor force participation rate has steadily declined, falling to 65.4 percent in April 2018 from a high of 67.7 percent in 2003.

The most recent official unemployment figure in Britain 4.2 percent. The true figure is rather higher. How much higher is difficult to determine, but a September 2012 report by Sheffield Hallam University found that the total number of unemployed in Britain was more than 3.4 million in April of that year although the Labour Force Survey, from which official unemployment statistics are derived, reported only 2.5 million. So if we assume a similar ratio, then the true rate of unemployment across the United Kingdom is about 5.7 percent.

The European Union reported an official unemployment rate of 7.1 percent (with Greece having the highest total at 20.8 percent). The EU's Eurostat service doesn't provide an equivalent of a U.S. U-6 or a Canadian R8, but does separately provide totals for under-employed part-time workers and "potential additional labour force"; adding these two would effectively double the true EU rate of unemployed and so the actual figure must be about 14 percent.

Australia's official seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.6 percent , according to the country's Bureau of Statistics. The statistic that would provide a more realistic measure, the "extended labour force under-utilisation" figure, seems to be well hidden. The most recent figure that could be found was for February 2017, when the rate was given as 15.4 percent. As the "official" unemployment rate at the time was 5.8 percent, it is reasonable to conclude that the real Australian unemployment rate is currently above 15 percent.

Mirroring the pattern in North America, global employment is on the decline. The International Labour Organization estimated the world labor force participation rate as 61.9 percent for 2017, a steady decline from the 65.7 percent estimated for 1990.

Stagnant wages despite productivity growth around the world

Concomitant with the high numbers of people worldwide who don't have proper employment is the stagnation of wages. Across North America and Europe, productivity is rising much faster than wages. A 2017 study found that across those regions median real wage growth since the mid-1980s has not kept pace with labor productivity growth.

Not surprisingly, the United States had the largest gap between wages and productivity. Germany was second in this category, perhaps not surprising, either, because German workers have suffered a long period of wage cuts (adjusted for inflation) since the Social Democratic Party codified austerity by instituting Gerhard Schröder's "Agenda 2010" legislation. Despite this disparity, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued a report in 2015 declaring the problem of economic weakness is due to wages not falling enough . Yes, the Fed believes your wages are too high.

The lag of wages as compared to rising productivity is an ongoing global phenomenon. A separate statistical analysis from earlier this decade also demonstrated this pattern for working people in Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Workers in both Canada and the United States take home hundreds of dollars less per week than they would if wages had kept up with productivity gains.

In an era of runaway corporate globalization, there is ever more precarity. On a global scale, having regular employment is actually unusual. Using International Labour Organization figures as a starting point, John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney calculate that the "global reserve army of labor" -- workers who are underemployed, unemployed or "vulnerably employed" (including informal workers) -- totals 2.4 billion. In contrast, the world's wage workers total 1.4 billion. Writing in their book The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China , they write:

"It is the existence of a reserve army that in its maximum extent is more than 70 percent larger than the active labor army that serves to restrain wages globally, and particularly in poorer countries. Indeed, most of this reserve army is located in the underdeveloped countries of the world, though its growth can be seen today in the rich countries as well." [page 145]

Having conquered virtually every corner of the globe and with nowhere left to expand into nor new markets to take, capitalists will continue to cut costs -- in the first place, wages and benefits -- in their ceaseless scrambles to sustain their accustomed profits. There is no reform that can permanently alter this relentless internal logic of capitalism. Although she was premature, Rosa Luxemburg's forecast of socialism or barbarism draws nearer.

Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog and has been an activist with several groups. His book, It's Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment , is available from Zero Books.

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends

Highly recommended!
Neoliberals are a flavor of Trotskyites and they will reach any depths to hang on to power.
Notable quotes:
"... Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends. ..."
"... Nothing short of a grass roots campaign (such as that waged by GetUp!) will get rid for us of these modern let-them-eat-cake parasites who consider their divine duty to lord over us. ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
meticulousdoc , 3 Jun 2018 16:16

Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends.

And when the conservative "Christians" form a neoliberal government, the results are toxic for all, except themselves and their coterie.

Nothing short of a grass roots campaign (such as that waged by GetUp!) will get rid for us of these modern let-them-eat-cake parasites who consider their divine duty to lord over us.

An excellent article, we need more of them.

[Jun 05, 2018] The importance of identity wedge in two party voting

Jun 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [317] Disclaimer , June 5, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Rational

responding to PG's comments and the comments of Rational Zionist, among them, being many NY Intellectuals, invented mugged reality (Neoconism), but party slithering is a another name for divide and conquer.

Fudmier's example as to how to control the vote:

You present an idea to 6 people (there are seven votes including yours, you are the one); virtually everyone is indifferent or against your idea. Before the vote, how can you make the outcome favorable to your side? Divide the opinions on a related subject so that the people must vote for your idea if they take a side on the related subject. I am always either a Democrat or a Republican, cannot vote for anything the other party presents, no matter how good it is. So make the idea Republican or Democratic.

Here is a simple example:

no division     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total votes 7. Voted for me 1 (myself only)                   I lose
divide by party D R D R D R R Total votes 7. Voted for me (3 republican votes and myself) 4 I win

As the simple analysis suggests: it is easy to win a vote when the idea is Glued to the two AAs (glue, attached, or associated). The unpopular idea Glued and attached or associated with the political party issue splits the vote (such activity divides and weakens the political power inherent in the voting power of the masses). For example, if we make the vote to turn off all of the drinking water. the only vote will be mine, but if we say turn off the drinking water to all but those who are green, we divide the vote. and control the outcome.

This brings us to the democratic dilemma: should the non green people be included in vote on that issue? In fact, it is exactly this problem that those who wrote the constitution intended to establish.

The aggressive foreign policies and national security positions mentioned by PG have been attached to the standard Jewish line; in other words the duty of a Jew to recognize him/herself as a Jew and to vote as a member of the clan has been glued to the AAs. It is nearly impossible to vote for Jewish interest and not vote to demolish Palestinian homes.

I am hoping this list can develop ways to analyze current events into a set of fair play rules, reading, learning and analyzing books, journals and events and writing about them is not enough; some kind of action is needed to bring into reality the findings of these readings, learning and analysis produce. The best way to offset misleading, false or invented propaganda is to force it to into a rule based debunking process. Simple rules that everyone can learn, understand and adopt.

Capitalist Russia and its resources represent a major competitor to the resources and schemes of the capitalist neocon led West. Hating Russia is like being a democrat or a republican, it keeps the pharaoh options open.

[Apr 29, 2018] Immigration and identity politics

Apr 29, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:41

If you are saying that their expertise lies elsewhere, that is surely self-evident?
Crazymoomin , 24 Apr 2018 05:37

Working-class white people may claim to be against identity politics, but they actually crave identity politics.

I think they probably see it more of a "if you can't beat them, join them" scenario. They see the way the wind is blowing and decide if they want representation, they have to play the game, even if they don't really like the rules.

Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:30
No sloth will make you live in poverty, unless you are actually the animal the sloth.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 05:28
The detail. They don't know the detail. They don't have the expertise. Which is what this article is about.

They don't know what they're talking about, even if they do know what they want.

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:22
.... but see my previous post.

They know enough about the EU to know that it isn't one of their patrons and sponsors. They also know that Westminster have been systematically misrepresenting the EU for their own purposes for decades, and they can use the same approach.

What more is required?

CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:15
are we supposed to be impressed by your middle income? Poverty is not caused by sloth.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:12
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:08
Not a fool and I don't hate anyone at 55 I have 1.2M in investments, I make 165k a year and pay 40k+ a year in taxes. I to come across people who live off of we everyday and expect to free load. I am not a blowhard just an engineer who pays for sloth.
KeyboardChimp , 24 Apr 2018 05:07
Non expert berating non experts. The Michael Massing paradox.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 04:57
I've met many fools like you in my over 50 years on the planet, blowhards parading their ignorance as a badge of pride, thinking that their hatred of anyone not exactly like them is normal, mistaking what some cretin says on the far right radio for fact.

You people would be comical if not for the toxicity that your stupidity engenders.

Monkeybiz -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 04:51
It's a play on the motto "One country under God". Rather clever, I thought.
Monkeybiz -> Andrew Nichols , 24 Apr 2018 04:50
Yes, there is a deep lack of context and hence dilution of meaning as a result
Monkeybiz -> Navarth , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Al Jazeera tries to do a better job, at least providing a spectrum of opinion and a lot of depth in quite a few issues, something most other networks fail to do these days.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Don't think I am confusing anything.

My point was about expertise. Brexiteers have goals about which I agree with you.

My point is that they don't know about the subject, the EU, which they are using to achieve their goals.

Monkeybiz -> breitling1884 , 24 Apr 2018 04:47
Really? Were they repeated?
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:37
Don't fall into the associated trap either, of the false equation between STATED and ACTUAL goals.

Fox and Hunt are fully aware that to actually admit their actual goal, would be (probably) just about the only thing which would provoke an electoral backlash which would sweep the Conservatives from office. The NHS is proverbially "the nearest thing the English have, to a religion" and is a profoundly dangerous subject for debate.

Fox and Hunt may be weaving an incomprehensible web of sophistry and misdirection, but no part of it is accidental.

StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:31
Don't disagree with this. Doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:12
Please, please don't make the unfounded assumption that people like Fox, Johnson, Cameron et al are as stupid as they sometimes appear.

Fox and Hunt, in particular, know exactly what they are engaged in - a hard-right coup designed to destroy government control over the NHS and route its enormous cash flows into the pockets of their private, mostly American sponsors. It isn't necessary to look far, to discover their connections and patronage from this source.

Johnson is consumed by ambition, as was Cameron before him; like Cameron, he makes much of his self-presumed fitness for the role, whilst producing no supporting evidence of any description.

Brexit, as defined by its advocates, CANNOT be discussed precisely because no rational debate exists. It hinges upon the Conservative Party's only fear, that of disunity leading to Opposition. They see that Labour are 50-odd seats short of a majority, and that's ALL they see.

cynical_bystander -> aurelian , 24 Apr 2018 04:06
What in God's green world are you talking about? Did you read that before pressing "Post"? It's obvious that you have no knowledge whatsoever of the subject.

The "race riots" of the 1940s and 1950s were essentially about employment protection (the first, regarding the importation of Yemeni seamen into the North-East of England). The mostly Pakistani influx into the North-West of England was an attempt to cut labour costs and prop up a dying, obsolete industry, mortally wounded by the loss of its business model in the aftermath of Empire; an industry whose very bricks and mortar are long since gone, but the imported labour and their descendants remain... the influx of Caribbean labour into London and the South-East was focussed around the railways and Underground, to bolster the local labour force which had little interest in dead-end shift-work jobs in the last days of steam traction and the increasingly run-down Underground.

Labour, in those days, was strongly anti-immigration precisely because it saw no value in it, to their unionised, heavy-industry voter base.

Regarding the ideological, anti-British, anti-democratic nature of Labour's conversion to mass immigration, you need only read the writings and speeches of prominent figures of the day such as Roy Hattersley and Harriet Harman, who say exactly this, quite clearly and in considerable detail. Their ideological heirs, figures like Diane Abbot (who is stridently anti-white and anti-British), Andrew Neather and Hazel Blears, can speak for themselves.

sgwnmr -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 03:50
I guess you're of the "when I'm doubt talk gibberish" school of argument capitulation.
StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 03:17
I was recently struck by this part of the Guardian obituary of Lady Farrington of Ribbleton:

' she possessed the important defining characteristic that, above others, wins admiration across all the red leather benches in the House of Lords: she knew what she was talking about'

Too often these days we are governed by people who don't know what they are talking about. Never has this been truer than the likes of Fox, Davis, Johnson, and other Brexiteers.

But this doesn't seem to matter much anymore. At times it seems that anyone can make generised assertions about something, without having to back them up with evidence, and then wave away questions about their veracity.

Opinion now trumps evidence regularly, even on the BBC where Brexit ideology is often now given a free pass. The problem for those of us who value expertise is that with the likes of Trump, and some EU Leavers, we are up against a bigotry which is evangelical in nature. A gospel that cannot be questioned, a creed that allows no other thinking.

SteveofCaley -> sgwnmr , 24 Apr 2018 02:37
The best you can do is complain about "this?" This WHAT? Try a noun. You're being an embarrassment to troglodytes everywhere. Don't just point and leap up and down. Your forefathers died in bringing you a language. Be an expressive hominid and name the thing that hurts.
gilstra , 24 Apr 2018 02:29
It seems at the moment the Guardian also suffers from a glut of experts without expertise. Not a day goes by that my jaw doesn't drop at some inane claim made by what seems to be a retinue of contributors who have neither good writing skills nor a particularly wide look on things. An example today: "Unlike Hillary Clinton, I never wanted to be someone's wife". How extraordinary. Who says she ever 'wanted to be someone's wife'? Maybe she fell in love with someone all those years ago and they decided to get married? Who knows. But sweeping statements like that do not endear you to quite a few of your once very loyal readers. It's annoying.
aurelian -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 02:03
I think this posits an overriding explanation for people's actions that doesn't exist. Even the idea that immigration is a new liberal plot. Take the wind rush generation of immigrants while there was a Tory government at the time I think the idea this was an attempt to undermine white working class gains is provably nonsensical
cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 01:21
The problem with this article, and the numerous other similar pieces which appear in the various editions of the Guardian on a "regular-and-often" basis, is that it completely avoids a very basic point, because it has no answer to it.

It is this.

The white British (and by extension, Western) populations never wanted mass immigration because they knew from the outset, that its purpose was to undermine the social and political gains they had wrested from the political and financial elite after 1945. They cared not at all for the fratricidal conflicts between alien religions and cultures, of which they knew little and regarded what they did know as unacceptable.

The US achieved a huge economic boom without it. Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA were popular destinations for the British population whose goal and mantra was "no return to the thirties" and who emigrated in large numbers.

White semi-skilled and unskilled (and increasingly, lower middle class) populations everywhere reject, and have always rejected third world mass immigration (and more recently, in some areas, mass emigration from the former Soviet Union) for the simple, and sufficient reason that they have no possible reason or incentive to support or embrace it. It offers them nothing, and its impact on their lives is wholly negative in practical terms - which is how a social group which lives with limited or no margins between income and outgoings, necessarily
perceives life.

Identity politics has no roots amongst them, because they correctly perceive that whatever answer it might produce, there is no possible outcome in which the preferred answer will be a semi-skilled, white family man. They inevitably pick up a certain level of the constant blare of "racist bigot, homophobe, Islsmophobia" from its sheer inescapability, but they aren't COMPLETELY stupid.

RalphDemming , 24 Apr 2018 01:00
Dumb and dumber writers...

[Apr 24, 2018] Class and how they use words to hide reality

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For example, when a Republican talks about "freedom" they don't mean "freedom from want". They mean "freedom from government oppression", but only government oppression. ..."
"... Democrats act the same way about different things. When a Democrat says "diversity", they only mean diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity of ideas? Diversity of class? Not so much. When a Democrat says "privilege" it refers to "white" and "male". Privilege of wealth? (i.e. like the dictionary definition) That generally gets forgotten. ..."
"... -- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) ..."
"... @thanatokephaloides ..."
"... -- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @Lily O Lady ..."
"... @Lily O Lady ..."
"... @longtalldrink ..."
"... @lizzyh7 ..."
"... @dkmich ..."
Apr 24, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 04/18/2018 - 11:45pm

I've come to realize that there's a lot of confusion out there due to people using words with very specific definitions.

For example, when a Republican talks about "freedom" they don't mean "freedom from want". They mean "freedom from government oppression", but only government oppression.

Private oppression? Republicans will either deny it exists, or justify it. When a Republican is "pro-life" it only refers to birth. Because those very same pro-life people are generally pro-war and pro-death penalty.

Democrats act the same way about different things. When a Democrat says "diversity", they only mean diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity of ideas? Diversity of class? Not so much. When a Democrat says "privilege" it refers to "white" and "male". Privilege of wealth? (i.e. like the dictionary definition) That generally gets forgotten.

And then there is the bipartisan misuse of words, which revolves around war and wealth.
When they say "humanitarian war" they mean, um, some contradictory concepts that are meaningless, but are designed to make you feel a certain way.
When they say "socialism" they really mean "state oppression" regardless of the economic system.
As for the many version of socialism with minimal or non-existent central governments? Or when socialist programs work? No one talks about them.

Let's not forget substituting or mixing up "middle class" for "working class".
"Working class" now equals "poor", which isn't right.
They use "working class" as a smear too.
When you say "working class" some people automatically insert certain words in front of it, as if it's generally understood.

When many hear discussion of outreach to "working class" voters, they silently add the words "white" and "male" and all too often imagine them working on a factory floor or in construction. They shouldn't. According to another analysis by CAP from late last year, just under 6 in 10 members of the working class are white, and the group is almost half female (46 percent).

The topic of the needs and interests of the working class is usually race and gender neutral. Only the dishonest or indoctrinated can't wrap their minds around that fact.This is important because working class values don't require a race or gender lens.

a new report released today by the Center for American Progress makes a convincing argument, using extensive polling data, that this divide does not need to exist. As it turns out, in many cases, voters -- both college educated and working class, and of all races -- are in favor of an economic agenda that would offer them broader protections whether it comes to work, sickness or retirement.
"The polling shows that workers across race support similar views on economic policy issues," said David Madland, the co-author of the report, entitled "The Working-Class Push for Progressive Economic Policies." "They support a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the wealthy, and more spending on healthcare and retirement. There is broad support among workers for progressive economic policy."

This shows that it's possible to make economic issues front and center in a campaign platform in a way that doesn't just talk to working class whites and dismisses the concerns of female and minority voters. It also shows that the oft-discussed dilemma among Democrats -- whether to prioritize college educated voters or working class ones -- may be a false choice.

Propaganda is all about false choices. To accomplish this, the media has created a world in which the working class exist only in the margins .

With the working class largely unrepresented in the media, or represented only in supporting roles, is it any wonder that people begin to identify in ways other than their class? Which is exactly what the ruling class wants .

I can't believe I used to fall for this nonsense! It takes a stupendous level of cognitive dissonance to simultaneously celebrate the fortunes of someone from a specific identity while looking past the vast sea of people from said identity who are stuck in gut-wrenching poverty. We pop champagnes for the neo-gentry while disregarding our own tribulations. It's the most stunning form of logical jujitsu establishment shills have successfully conditioned us to accept; instead of gauging the health of the economy and the vitality of our nation based on the collective whole, we have been hoodwinked to accept the elevation of a few as success for us all.
Diversity has become a scam and nothing more than a corporate bamboozle and a federated scheme that is used to hide the true nature of crony capitalism. We have become a Potemkin society where tokens are put on the stage to represent equality while the vast majority of Americans are enslaved by diminishing wages or kneecapped into dependency. The whole of our politics has been turned into an identity-driven hustle. On both sides of the aisle and at every corner of the social divide are grievance whisperers and demagogues who keep spewing fuel on the fire of tribalism. They use our pains and suffering to make millions only to turn their backs on us the minute they attain riches and status.

It's only when you see an article written by the ruling elite, or one that identifies with the ruling elite, that you realize just how out-of-touch they can be. The rich really are different - they are sociopaths. They've totally and completely bought into their own righteousness, merit and virtue .

Class ascendance led me to become what Susan Jacoby classifies in her recent New York Times Op-Ed "Stop Apologizing for Being Elite" as an "elite": a vague description of a group of people who have received advanced degrees. Jacoby urges elites to reject the shame that they have supposedly recently developed, a shame that somehow stems from failing to stop the working class from embracing Trumpism. Jacoby laments that, following the 2016 election, these elites no longer take pride in their wealth, their education, their social status, and posits that if only elites embraced their upward mobility, the working class would have something to aspire to and thus discard their fondness for Trump and his promises to save them.

That level of condescension just blows my mind. It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than I do with the wealthy elite in my own country. Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

Pricknick on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:03am
Condescension.

That is the only word you need pay attention to.
I am inferior therefore expendable.
How the lofty will fail. They will succumb to those who are lessor in their minds.
Nice post gjohn.

Wink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 4:11pm
And posted as a pod,

sort of, at... Patreon.com/C99
@Pricknick

That is the only word you need pay attention to.
I am inferior therefore expendable.
How the lofty will fail. They will succumb to those who are lessor in their minds.
Nice post gjohn.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:13am
the working class and the employing class have nothing in common

It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than a do with the wealthy elite in my own country.
Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among
millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing
class, have all the good things of life.

-- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW)
source

QMS on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 8:17pm
over generalized

@thanatokephaloides I have been a worker and an employer for most of my career. I associate with many of the same ilk. None of us working / employer types can afford to hire the millions of under employed. Maybe a few here and there. We are not wealthy, nor are we taking advantage of the poor. Try to put this lofty idealism into perspective.

It occurred to me some time ago that I have much more in common with a working class slob in France, or Mexico, or Brazil, or Russia, than a do with the wealthy elite in my own country.
Don't think that the wealthy haven't figured that out too.

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among
millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing
class, have all the good things of life.

-- Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW)
source

earthling1 on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:18am
Their heads will look real fine

on a pike.

Meteor Man on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:30am
The Working-Class Push for Progressive Economic Policies

Somebody at CAP may be out of a job. I tried to find the report and came up empty. Can you provide the link? Thx.

The Aspie Corner on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 7:56am
But 'Murica is a classless society..../s

My ass. Class was a huge factor in 2016 (And still is) and working class issues were utterly ignored.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-jjrSWCgJus?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:25pm
And let us not forget Occupy Wallstreet

was the continuation of the Poor People's Campaign. We are all still in dire straights.

Lily O Lady on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:09am
I up-voted you but

@longtalldrink @longtalldrink
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

was the continuation of the Poor People's Campaign. We are all still in dire straights.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:33pm
dyer

@Lily O Lady

I up-voted you but that's "dire." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

A "dyer" is one who applies dyes.

"Dire" is a synonym for desperate. And it applies to our situation.

#6 #6
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:21pm
Ugh

@Lily O Lady I saw that after I posted it and knew the grammar police would get me...yikes.

#6 #6
that's " dire ." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

lizzyh7 on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 5:40pm
I just assumed it was

@longtalldrink a play on Dyer Straights...!

#6.1 I saw that after I posted it and knew the grammar police would get me...yikes.

longtalldrink on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 8:36pm
Actually

@lizzyh7 they were one of my favorite groups...so maybe subconsciously, this is what I was doing?

#6.1.2 a play on Dyer Straights...!

dkmich on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:37pm
So pay more taxes if you make more than 250K, BUT

pay $125K per kid for college if you earn more than 125K. That makes zero sense. A parent has no legal obligation to a child after age 18, but the 18 year old must include parental income if they apply for PELL. If they are included in their parents family, then the family must be legally obligated to pay for college. 18 can legally die, go to war, be incarcerated, and contractually bound, but they can't have a drink or be legally entitled to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours." It is no wonder there is so much resentment at all levels and an economic coalition can't be formed. Somebody is always measuring who mom loves best. At no time did Bernie say a word about means testing a GD thing. It is why he was able to transcend labels.

thanatokephaloides on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:42pm
paid for

@dkmich

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours."

Especially when one considers the chances of that being true are really quite small.

Contrary to the Randian beLIEf, they didn't build what they have all by themselves. Society carried quite a bit of the freight here.

pay $125K per kid for college if you earn more than 125K. That makes zero sense. A parent has no legal obligation to a child after age 18, but the 18 year old must include parental income if they apply for PELL. If they are included in their parents family, then the family must be legally obligated to pay for college. 18 can legally die, go to war, be incarcerated, and contractually bound, but they can't have a drink or be legally entitled to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Since the college-educated express less support at any price, it reeks of pettiness and tit for tat. "I paid for mine, you pay for yours." It is no wonder there is so much resentment at all levels and an economic coalition can't be formed. Somebody is always measuring who mom loves best. At no time did Bernie say a word about means testing a GD thing. It is why he was able to transcend labels.

Snode on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:01pm
Thomas Edsall has an article

That starts out on disparities in housing, but rounds abouts to the "Elite Class" and the urban gentrification by corporatist democrats. It points out how the democratic party caters to this elite wing, and how the NIMBY-ism of the elites blocks affordable housing laws. It ends up with some observations:

"Taking it a step further, a Democratic Party based on urban cosmopolitan business liberalism runs the risk not only of leading to the continued marginalization of the minority poor, but also -- as the policies of the Trump administration demonstrate -- to the continued neglect of the white working-class electorate that put Trump in the White House."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/opinion/democrats-gentrification-citi...

Lenzabi on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:48pm
We Can't

We really can't afford the wealthy parasite class anymore nor should we suffer their think tanks that make folks worship them and their lifestyles of indulgence and greed!