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Two Party System as Polyarchy with Inner Party (intelligence agencies) playing the role of kingmaker

Version 2.5 (Apr 25, 2019)

The USA is a single party state -- it is governed by the Neoliberal party with two factions "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals" (Republican Party). Existence of  "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" parties is enforced by "First after the post rule"   and is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. Intelligence agencies play important  role in selection of two candidate for Presidential elections, representing a third, "Inner Party" 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Anti Trump Hysteria Steele dossier
US Presidential Elections of 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Rigging the elections and money in US politics Brennan elections machinations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Bait and Switch
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Populism The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Strzok-gate Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing neoliberal politicians in US elections Myth about intelligent voter November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization1 American Polyarchy is not Democracy   Blowback against neoliberal globalization      
Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking US anti war movement Libertarian Philosophy Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash"  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
  Electoral College US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2012 Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”

Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens  

 

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

Polyarchy is distinct from oligarchy in sense that while few men (the elite) still selects candidates for the office there is national election which serve the purpose of  "confirming" one of the preselected by the elite candidates (aka lesser evilism) providing a patina of legitimacy to the elite rule. According to Wikipedia:

According to William I. Robinson, it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.[7]

... ... ...

In a discussion of contemporary British foreign policy, Mark Curtisstated that "Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad. This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites."[11]

Also, it is being promoted by the transnational elites in the South as a different form from the authoritarianism and dictatorship to the North as a part of Democracy Promotion.[12] Robinson argues that this is to cultivate transnational elites who will open up their countries following transnational agenda of neoliberalism where transnational capital mobility and globalized circuits of production and distribution is established. For example, it was promoted to Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, the Philippines, South Africa and the former Soviet Bloc countries.[13]

The reason that  the financial oligarchy don’t want free elections is they know that if they had free election, the people would vote for candidates pledging to confiscate their property.

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  No. Or  in election of state leaders? No way.

But this is what direct democracy means and as such it is limited to small groups. As group became bigger intermediary arise in a form of political parties and this is when direct democracy ends and polyarchy begins. Because mass parties are natural breeding ground for the political elite which usurps political  power on behalf of financial oligarchy.  This is what the iron law of oligarchy is about.  

In modern societies the situation is even more complex. The key question here is: "Is the democracy possible if powerful and out of control three letter agencies like CIA exist?"  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule.  In a way they are the "Inner Party" about which Orwell have written its famous dystopia 1984. This phenomenon is reflected in the term the Deep State.

President Truman probably did not fully understood what he is doing when he sighed  the National Security Act of 1947:  he signed a death sentence to the form of democracy that the USA was having up to 1950th.

As part of the U.S. Cold War strategy, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and reorganized military forces by merging the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) and creating the U.S. Air Force. The act also created the CIA and the National Security Council.[135] In 1952, Truman secretly consolidated and empowered the cryptologic elements of the United States by creating the National Security Agency (NSA).

Since JFK assassination we can talk about the rule of the Deep State which is called "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form of government which  become entrenched on federal level (the related term if the "deep state"), while remnants of democracy are delegated to state and local levels. 

Growth of power of intelligence agencies inevitably makes them powerful political players. Huver at FBI and Allen Dulles at CIA were just the beginning. Nowhere the power of three letter agencies  was more clear then in 2016 Presidential elections, when by derailing Sanders FBI essentially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other agencies (and first of all CIA led by Brennan) launched a color revolution against Trump trying to depose him via Special Prosecutor mechanism.  That latter was don is cooperation with Vichy left -- Clinton wing of the Democratic party and controlled by neoliberals MSM, who correctly viewed Trump as a threat to the classic form of the neoliberal globalization.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?

Another important question is "Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?"

If yes does it explain a modified form of the Soviet one party state that exists in the USA in a form of two "Pepsi" vs. "Coca Cola"  parties which serve as a spoilers for those to the left or the right of the center, subverting and emasculating new social movements into their (currently neoliberal) stagnant and elite oriented framework. The effect is so profound that it created the impression that "first after the post" can't be used in any country pretending to be a democracy. 

There are also additional questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned "inverted totalitarism" covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their Wall Street and MIC sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative force? Is role of money in elections forces senators to serve effectively as representatives of corporations which reside in the states, not the states themselves  ? 
  3. Is official lobbing including lobbying by organization which are clearly supported by a foreign  state such as AIPAC ? What is the actual level of influence of Israel on the US elected representatives?  Trump transformation from MAGA politician to MIGA politician represents here an interesting case lesson.
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime in which only the financial oligarchy dominates ordinary people and enforces political decisions that serves its interests.  Obama betrayal is a good case study here.

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washington put it:

 "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796

Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level in the USA neither republic, not democracy exists. We have highly militarized neoliberal empirical state with tiny remnants of participatory democracy (unless voting for the lesser evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  But lesser evilism which is the essence of polyarchy is parody on democracy, not the  actual democracy. In this  case elections serve just for the legimization of the preselected  by the elite candidate. 

The role of intelligence agencies (including their control of MSM) deserve more close scrutiny after  2016 Presidential election (see Strzok-gate). They launched a "color revolution" against Trump after election. Before election, they derailed Sanders by exonerating Hillary thus enabling Trump's victory. So remnants of democracy probably still exists on local level, but not of the federal level, were the "Inner  Party" (aka the Deep State) completely dominates. Although even n local level financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level bankers who provide municipal loans usually fully control the politics.  That's why we have so many wasteful, hugely overprices and/or outright harmful for the people municipal projects.

In other word "democratic" elements in the neoliberal political system are just a facade for the dictatorship of financial oligarchy, and serve just for the  legitimization of its rule. Which is a pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):

But first, full disclosure: I don’t have much faith in the so-called “democratic process”. Just look at the EU and tell me: do you really believe that the people in power represent the will and interests of the people who, supposedly, elected them? There are exceptions, of course, Switzerland is probably one of the comparatively most democratic countries out there, but mostly what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent. As for the US, for decades now every time the people voted for “A” they always got “non-A” as a result. It is almost comical.

So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power. Putting it differently, the “democratic process” is the device by which the real and hidden rulers of the world (or “worldwide behind the scenes powers“, to use the expression of Ivan Il’in), legitimize their power and prevent their overthrow. This is the same technique followed by used car dealerships when they place tens, sometimes, hundreds of US flags on their lots before a car sale: it’s just a basic trick to induce the ‘correct’, patriotic, state of mind.

This is also the reason why there are elections every 4 years in the US: the more illegitimate and despotic any putatively “democratic” regime is, the more often it will organize elections to, so to speak, “increase the dose” of patriotically-induced stupor in its people and give them the illusion that the regime is legitimate, their opinion matters and all is well.

Finally, when needed, slogans such as “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” are used to put to sleep those who might have doubts. In terms of real people power “democracies” are probably the least truly democratic regimes imaginable simply because they are by far the most capable of hiding who really runs the country and where their real centers of power are. Do I really need to add that the worst kind of “democracy” is the capitalist one? You disagree? Then why do you think that Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly declared “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!“? Nowhere is the concentration of capital easier to achieve than in a society which makes it possible for the real ruling class to hide its power behind a screen of electoral farces.

As Sheldon  Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance  instead of participative democracy.  Some elements  of participative democracy still remain (and Trump victory over Hillary had shown that  the control of financial oligarchy and intelligence agencies is not complete; unless we view Trump as Trojan force for financial oligarchy, a  fake opposition to establishment selected by dissident part of the elite,  like Obama was.)  After all it is undeniable that Trump executed similar to Obama "bait and switch" maneuver betraying his voters.  His tax cut, the level of jingoism, and the number of neocons in his administration (Haley, Bolton. Pompeo, Abrams) makes him undistinguishable from Bush II

The neoliberal elite firmly guards the levers of power and  try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor  threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what  happened to Trump after election. A classic color  revolution to depose him was unleashed by intelligence agencies, first of all by  CIA (see Brennan elections machinations ) and FBI (see Andrew McCabe and his FIFA scandal proofed close circle of politicized "fighters with organized crime"  and Strzok-gate.)  There was quick coup to install the Special Prosecutor and after that Trump was essentially finished. Tax  cut for the rich and appointments of Bolton and Pompeo (and later Elliott Abrams, the key architect of the Iraq War, to manage Venezuela regime change) were clear signs of a  complete betrayal of his voters.  Truth be told Trump folded even before that in April 2017 (Parteigenosse Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein in May), if we assume that his election promises were sincere (big if) and were not a blatant attempt to con the voters (see Bait and Switch).  

Democracy for whom?

  Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

Another important question is "democracy for whom?". There is always a large part of society (say bottom 80% or even 90%)  living under the dictatorship (for lower 50% this is even worse -- neo-slavery as  "debt slaves" or "wage slaves"), struggling to meet ends and thus excluded from the democratic process. Moreover,  most of the US population spend their life under authoritarian rule: those who are parts of the military, who work in large corporation, or government. How they can behave in a democratic way if they are conditioned and adapted to the strict authoritarian rule at work ?  

Another large question: can  a typical American understand whom he/she is voting for in the environment of pretty sophisticated propaganda and systematic betrayal of election promises (in this respect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Yet another one: can the country with powerful and almost uncontrolled intelligence agencies be a democracy?  And what about running a neoliberal empire? Is this compatible with the democracy?

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

Add to this such an important factor as brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example,  despicable warmonger, war criminal (with destruction of Libya and  Syria under  the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton got almost half of the US voted in 2016 elections.  Is not this quite sinister development ? Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans who trust Congress)  all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.

Also there is no rules that the candidate can not betray all his election time promises. Any level of betrayal is OK, as parties in reality do not control the  behaviour of their leaders as long as they remain on neoliberal platform. Recent example of Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump are clear demonstration of the gap between election platform and actual governance. 

In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is a Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience  who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician similar to Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- the betrayer of his class -- while he clearly is not. He proved to be yet another marionette of MIC and Israel lobby. Much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations  between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against  Trump

What is the level of interest  of average middle class American in real information about Washington  political machinery and neoliberal social system

Poor people are automatically excluded from politics. most of their energy needs to be  spend on task related to mere survival and desperate attempt to spread their meager paycheck to the next without falling into the laps of loan sharks.

Middle class can afford attempts to analyze the political situation and personal efforts to understand the political system in which they live. And because of that can  have informed political opinion. Theoretically. In reality there also many obstacles here.  And neoliberal state put huge efforts into destructing people from analyzing the political situation in the country by bread and circuses shows.

Another  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  Yet another, equally powerful, is the existence of the deep state.

First of all let me ask a simple question: What is the level of interest  in governance of an average middle class American (lower class with McJobs most of the time is too preoccupied with survival to be able to particulate in political activity), if they are brainwashed 24 x 7 by neoliberal propaganda  which tries to distract them from discussing and understanding any serious issue facing the USA. 

Also  the middle class in not uniform. There is substantial caste of Americans deeply connected with the imperial state (servants of the empire so to speak) and they also represent  a political force with interests different form the average middle class American. There are roughly three contractors (28,626) for every U.S. army member (9,800) in Afghanistan. On April 5, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, declared during a Senate hearing that contractors made up 25 percent of his workforce (Foreign Policy). They have their own opinion and interest in such issues as permanent war for permanent peace.  And without draft this issue does not touch too deeply ordinary middle class American, who do not need to fight and die for the empire.

The second  factor is constant brainwashing be neoliberal MSM. Unless a person make a conscious effort to exclude them and rely of alternative media he/she can't form any informed political opinion.  You will almost never even her the  term "neoliberalism" in neoliberal MSM like NYT or WaPo or CNN or MSNBC. This is a taboo.  But you will hear a lot about "evil Russians" or "evil Chinese" which is a perfect distraction, a smoke screen, designed to hide the real problems facing the US society after 40 years of dominance of neoliberalism as a social system.

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system :-). In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR even more efficiently that so called "one party" system. Which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population.  

The "first after the post" system "by design" provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force.  Emerging parties are cooped either under Democratic or Republic umbrella and then emasculated.  This mechanism is no less effective the Soviet one party rule, but more subtle, requires less violence and suppression of dissidents, and more acceptable to the population. Which is all what is needed to continuation of the rule of the oligarchy.  The same is true for the parties themselves. Iron law of oligarchy was actually discovered by observing the evolution of the political party leadership.

Revolutionary situation in the USA after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term financial oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation". 

In 2008 the protest was squashed by electing "Trojan horse" Obama, who proved to be the king of "bait and switch" maneuver. Some signs of the return of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what  a person who like Obama pretended  essentially to be an independent candidate slightly (at least formally) opposing the most negative effects of neoliberalism on population (anti-globalization stance, accent of creation jobs within the USA, etc) -- Donald Trump. 

Who later proved to be Republican version of Obama. Not without help of "deep state" which launched unprotected and well coordinated company of leaks and 24 x 7 negative news to discredit his personality and administration. Going as far as in a very elegant really Machiavellian way  using fake accusations ("Russiagate) appointing a special prosecutor using Obama/Hillary supporters in the Judicial department (effectively coup d'état as special procedure is big burden which effectively paralyses any administration and Clinton presidency had shown). And when it did not work, they tried to accuse him of being racist (using  1 Charlottesville events) or even insane person. Looks like for Trump, even if he has some intention to implement anti-neoliberal measures -- the resistance proved to be way too strong and such intension did not last even half a year.  Bombing Syria army air field with Tomahawks was an early signal of surrender.  Removing Bannon, and adding troops to Afghan war make this turn around and betrayal of Trump voters in best Obama style virtual certainty.

It was clear that there is a widespread feeling among the majority of the US population now that the current neoliberal system of governance, installed by victorious neoliberals after 1980, is wrong and unjust. And when the people do not wouldn't like to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda does not work anymore " a revolutionary situation, a rare moment when "the change we can believe in" becomes possible arise. Not the con that the king of "bait and switch" maneuver Obama sold to the US lemmings in 2008 and then in 2012, but the "real" change; which can be for the good or bad. Stability of the society also has its great value. As Chinese curse state it succinctly "May you live in interesting times".

In such cases, the ruling elite typically decides to unleash a foreign war and use "rally around the flag" effect  to suppress dissent and to restore the control (that's the real meaning of Samuel Johnson quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"). But in this particular case the USA already is in engaged in several wars (or occupations), so the nostalgia for good time what the USSR existed proved to be irresistible. And the pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016-2017 in neoliberal MSM (the return of McCarthyism of neo-McCarthyism )  suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually it was Hillary who made Russophobia a part of her election campaign, effectively unleashing a new neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA).  As John Kenneth Galbraith noted “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” --  John Kenneth Galbraith

In 2016 we saw an attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Throwing  Sanders under the bus represented exactly this maneuver.  The were not stopped even by the fact that they are promoting a deeply criminal and candidate with serious health problems ("We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality") The level of propaganda displayed in 2015-2016 election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the levels achieved by communist propagandists in during best days of the USSR.  And that happened because this time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. (at least partially) "paleoconservative" (or "bustard neoliberal" ;-) who during election campaign rejects the idea of neoliberal globalization and by extension the necessity of fighting constant wars for the expansion of the US led global neoliberal empire.   But later quickly recognized that this heresy is not acceptable in the corridors of Washington deep state and can be harmful for his health ;-). The hissy fit in neoliberal media and the emergence of certain figures from the intelligence agencies on an "avanscena" as the leaders of "color revolution" against Trump (so called "Purple revolution") were to be expected but  caught Trump absolutely unprepared.

There is also an interesting question what kind of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demonstrates. And not only "democracy for whom" -- it is clear that this is the democracy for the top 1% or, at best, top 20% of population. a more interesting observation is that  as Trump election has shown, neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past are ready to go to extreme methods including coup d'état to preserve their power, the democracy be damned.  

Also interesting were the methods of indoctrination of population which were borrowed by the USA neoliberals from the Soviet experience, which  were practiced from 1980th.  They use university course in economics in the same (or more correctly slightly more subtle; using mathematics as smoke screen for indoctrination into neoliberal ideology)  way Soviet universities use the course of philosophy. In the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy were obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin; but there were problem with indoctrination as Soviet society did not correspond to Marx expectations  -- as Marx famously said he was not a Marxist.  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentially a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.  This problem was solved by carefully pre-selecting "classics" works to only a small "legitimate" emasculated subset that was in like with Bolshevism.  Neoclassical economy in the USA plays exactly the same role and is even worse. At least with some effort Soviet  student can get all the  works of Marx and Lenin. Here, in the USA, chances to read Keynes and other "deviant" economists for university students are virtually zero. They are completely distracted from fundamental issues by high doze of mathematics (misused and abused -- called mathiness). Which  is used as smoke  screen which hide the poverty of ideas of neo-classical economy.

But deteriorating economy and stagnation does make neoliberal propaganda less effective.  Like people of the USSR were listening to BBC and Voice of America at night, despite jamming, thinking people in the  USA are resort of alternative sources of news or even, God forbid, visit "naked capitalism", RT, or other "disapproved" by  neoliberal propagandists sites. Even thoroughly brainwashed the USA population, who like member of high demand cult now internalized postulates of neoliberalism like dogmas of some civil religion (displacing Christianity, so much about fake myth the USA is Christian nation; it is not) , started to have doubts.  Alternative sources of information in 2016-2017 started to play such and outside role that the company about "fake news" was launched to suppress them. They did not stop people from reading, say, Guardian, RT, unz.com, American conservative, Asia Times, to name a few.

But still the general level  political education of US votes leave much to be desired and is probably as low if not lower that it was in the USSR (due to obsessive emphasis on the works of Marx and Lenin soviet voters with university education usually have strong doubt about soviet system ). Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs. neoliberal platform. Or define what the term "neoliberal" means. It is difficult also because the terms "neoliberalism" and "Paleoconservatism" are expunged from MSM. Like Trotsky writings were in the USSR. Assuming that this might well be the key difference between two frontrunner in the last Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

The myth about intelligent voters

That means the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (see Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful in the USA, despite being a primitive variation of classic "divide and conquer" strategy. In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoned Democratic neoliberals and flocked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries, and then engaged in anti-Russian hysteria to hide this criminal fact).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen.

The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their imperial ambitions. As in the efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieved by nomenklatura in Soviet Union outside of "Stalinism" period.  Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation with the Communist Party and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful "presstitutes" instead of political analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%.

Neoliberalism divides the society in two classes like in old, good Marxism

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

Corporation as the role model for government under neoliberalism excludes the possibility of democracy

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance is "wealth maximization". Which proved to be very seductive for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.”

As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarianism of two factions of the same "Grand neoliberal Party of the USA"

Both Democratic Party and Republican arty in the USA are neoliberal parties. So effectively we have one-party system skillfully masked as duopoly ;-). Communists could use the same trick, by having the part Socialist internationalists worker-peasants party of the USSR and Democratic internationalists peasant-worker party of the USSR, with leaders wet kissing each other behind the curtain as is the case in the USA. In the USA we have Cola/Pepsi duopoly that is sold as the shining example of democracy, although just the rule "the first after the post" prevents democracy from functioning as it eliminates minorities from governance. 

Political atmosphere at the USA since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street really reminds me the USSR.  But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians.

If we assume that this is true, the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and using which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, such as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics.

Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective : a large part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarianism and corresponding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part,  voting behavior of the USA "white block" electorate.

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

Mu impression is that it too late to worry about the survival of the republic under Trump. Republic was lost long ago. According to Sheldon Wolin we live in a neoliberal empire at least since Bush II administration and even since  Reagan.  Essentially the collapse of the USSR was the death  sentence to the republic and at this point transformation of it into empire was quick and irreversible as there were no longer countervailing forces to slow down  this process.  Which is not a completely bad thing for citizens in the USA, unless it collapses like all empires. Which might happen when gas reaches $11 per gallon (in way this is petro-empire) or some other calamity. Sheldon Wolin (which book I strongly recommend to re-read) called this imperial social system that  emerged "inverted totalitarism". So Trump was elected way too late to participate in the destruction of the American republic. At best Trump put the final nail in the coffin of the American republic. Kind of parody on Julius Caesar:
During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich...
But the deep state was in ascendance since Truman (who can be viewed as the father of national security state). So dismounting of the republic was a long continues process with temporary reversal after Church commission, when the power of intelligence agencies were temporary curtailed and they were put under more close control of Senate and House. But later a new "neoliberal" deep state  emerged under Reagan and those gains were reversed.  I personally view Trump as a Bush III.  But resilience of US political system might prevent  the worst outcome -- a war with Russia or China. 

I would prefer if Sanders were elected. But FBI pushed him under the bus by exonerating Hillary. I think the USA now badly need a "New New Deal", not some crazy "Christian capitalism" that Bannon professed under the flag of "economic nationalism" (see Bannonism).  But the question is: "What social forces will support it ?" I see no strong social forces able to take on entrenched "corporatism" -- a merger of  Wall Street and MIC interests and corresponding economic power.  Add to this Silicon valley and unprecedented capability of surveillance.  In the absence of alternatives, the crisis of neoliberalism became  a chronic one.

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

In this sense the "Russiagate" campaign might be interpreted as an attempt of the neoliberal elite to rally people around the flag and hide Hillary political fiasco due to the crisis of neoliberalism. The later led to the surprise victory of Trump, because the voters rejected establishment candidate.  Also as for the level of warmongering Hillary probably is close or surpass Trump.   So in a way  the US voters were put by FBI between Scylla and Charybdis.   Of course,  Russians are not saints and they are an obstacle on the path to global US led neoliberal empire, but still I think that the whole thing is overdone.

A  good (IMHO) overview of our current political can be found in London review of books. See What We Don t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[Aug 22, 2019] The Two-Faced Elizabeth Warren by Matt Purple

Yes, is way Warren is a connuation of "Trump tradition" in the USA politics: reling of hate toward the neoliberalism establishment to get the most votes.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...in a piece Warren wrote for Medium in which she (rightly) warned of "a precarious economy that is built on debt -- both household debt and corporate debt." Notably missing was the national debt, which amounts to around $182,900 per taxpayer and which Warren's policies would only steepen. How exactly is a government flailing in red ink supposed to make the country solvent? And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal interventions?

Those objections aside, it would be wrong to dismiss Warren as just another statist liberal. She's deeper than that, first of all, having written extensively about economics, including her book The Two-Income Trap . But more importantly, she's put her finger on something very important in the American electorate. It's the same force that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016: a seething anger against goliath institutions that seem to prize profit and power over the greater welfare. This is firmly in the tradition of most American populisms, which have worried less about the size of government and more about gilded influence rendering it inert.

Warren thus has a real claim to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which is deeply skeptical of corporate power. She could even try to out-populist Donald Trump. She's already released more detailed policy proposals than any of her Democratic rivals, everything from sledgehammering the rich with new taxes to canceling student debt to wielding antitrust against big tech companies to subsidizing childcare. All this is chum to at least some of the Democratic base (old-school sorts rather than the SJWs obsessed with race and gender), and as a result, she's surged to either second or third place in the primary, depending on what poll you check. She's even elicited praise from some conservative intellectuals, who view her as an economic nationalist friendly to the family against the blackhearted forces of big.

America has been in a populist mood since the crash of 2008, yet in every presidential election since then, there's been at least one distinctly plutocratic candidate in the race. In 2008, it was perennial Washingtonian John McCain. In 2012, it was former Bain Capital magnate Mitt Romney. (The stupidest explanation for why Romney lost was always that tea party activists dragged him down. Romney lost because he sounded like an imposter and looked like the guy who fired your brother from that firm back in 1982.) And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine.

If Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination next year, it will be the first time since Bear Stearns exploded that both parties' candidates seem to reflect back the national temperament. It will also pose a test for Warren herself. On one hand, her economic policies, bad though they might be, stand a real chance of attracting voters, given their digestibility and focus on relieving high costs of living. On the other hand -- this is where Fauxcahontas comes back in -- a white woman claiming Indian status in order to teach at Harvard Law is pretty much everything Americans hate about politically correct identity politics.

The question, then, is which image of Warren will stick: one is a balm to the country's economic anxiety; the other is unacceptable to its cultural grievances. Right now we can only speculate, though it seems certain that Trump will try to define her as the latter while much of the media will intervene in the other direction.


john a day ago

Her entire political theory seems to have been that giant corporations should not be allowed to utterly screw the common man. That is about it, and for this she is called a commie radical. I like her, little afraid of foreign policy
=marco01= 18 hours ago • edited
Warren was born into a middle class family, Trump wasn't. Trump is playing the populist, he has no idea what average Americans deal with.

Warren was raised on the family lore of having native ancestry and she does. Not much but she does and that's all it takes to start family lore. Her Native American ancestor was from around the time of the American Revolution and it's easy to see how that legend could be passed down. There is no proof she ever benefited from this, she was just proud to have Native American ancestry.

Funny how the RW is so outraged by this one thing. Maybe it would be better for her to con people, lie and make stuff up nonstop like Trump. It seems a never ending blizzard of lies and falsehoods renders one immune.

polistra24 18 hours ago
Let's remember that our only effective populist, in fact our only effective president, was a rich patrician. FDR's roots went back to the Mayflower, yet he was able to break the influence of the banks and give us 50 years of bubble-free prosperity. The only thing that counts is GETTING THE WORK DONE.
Nelson 12 hours ago
Her economics aren't bad. She herself claims to be a capitalist, she just wants our massive economy to also benefit regular folks instead of just the elites. And whatever economic program she proposes is most likely further left than she thinks necessary because that's a better negotiating position to start from. Remember every proposal has to go through both branches of Congress to become law, and they will absolutely try to make everything more pro-corporate because that is their donor base.
cka2nd 11 hours ago
"And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal
interventions?"

Mr. Purple might want to remind himself that 75% of federal student financial aid in the 1970's was in the form of grants, not loans, and that it was only after the intervention of conservative Republican congressman Gerald "Jerry" Solomon and the Reagan Administration that the mix of federal student financial aid was changed to be 75% loans and only 25% grants. I believe the Congressman used to rail against free riding college students, which is all well and good until one finds that the "free hand of the market" becomes warped by so many people being in so much debt, and all of them being too small to save.

Democrats might want to ask Joe Biden about this, considering his support for legislation that made it harder to discharge student debt in bankruptcy proceedings. They might also ask Senator Warren about this subject.

Absolute Fictions 11 hours ago
Warren believed her family story. Trump, on the other hand, knew that his family was not Swedish, but knowingly continued the lie for decades, including in "The Art of Deal " - claimin his grandfather came "from Sweden as a child" (rather than dodging the draft in Bavaria who made his fortune in red light districts of the Yukon territory before trying to return to the Reich).

Warren made no money from her heritage claims, but the $413 million (in today's dollars) given to Trump by his daddy was made by lying to Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn and Queens who, understandably, did not want to rent property from a German.

Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. "Actually, it was very difficult," Donald replied. "My father was not German; my father's parents were German Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?"

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
This column was pretty much as I expected. It started out by rehashing all of the Fox News talking points about Warren, without debunking those that were without merit.

After that it touched on Morning Joe's take on her, just to make it 'fair and balanced'.

Then it acknowledged, briefly, that she has been correct in many areas. No comment on how the CFPB recovered hundreds of millions of $$ from corporations that abused their power or broke the law.

Then it mis-characterized the impact of her policies "sledgehammering the rich", "economic policies, bad though they might be".

Dismiss Warren all you want. She could very well be the nominee, or the VP. She would eviscerate Trump in a debate. Her knowledge of issues, facts and policies would show Trump to be what he is. A narcissistic, idiotic, in-over-his-head clueless and dangerous buffoon. I anticipate Trump would fall back on his favorite tropes. Pocahontas, socialist, communist, and MAGA.

My opinion is that the average American is getting really tired of Trump's shtick. The country is looking for somebody with real solutions to real problems. This reality tv star act is getting pretty old....

Kent 10 hours ago
Good article. Especially enjoyed this turn of phrase:

"And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine."

Really enjoyable.

I don't think anyone is going to care about the pocahontas thing. This election will be squarely about Trump. I think Warren is by far the best candidate the dems can bring out if they want to beat him. A Warren/Buttigieg or a Warren/Tulsi ticket would likely be a winner.

Bernie's a little too far to the left for Joe Lunchbucket, Joe Biden is a crooked Hillary wannabe, Kamala Harris is unlikeable, and the rest won't rise out of the dust.

Heaventree 9 hours ago • edited
The whole business about her supposed Native American ancestry and whatever claims she made will make no difference to anybody other than folks like Matt Purple who wouldn't support her under any circumstances anyway.
Consider that the best-known advocate of the "Pocahontas" epithet is of course Donald Trump, whose entire reputation is built on a foundation of bulls--t and flim-flam.
Lynnwig 9 hours ago
"Thus in retrospect was it the "Obama" in "Obamacare" that was the primary driver of opposition from conservatives, only for their concerns over federal intrusion to mostly disappear once Trump was at the controls."

No. What disappeared was the Individual Mandate. THAT was what rankled me...the government can do whatever stupid thing they want as long as they don't try to force me into it.

[Aug 22, 2019] Hitler and-or Chomsky on Capitalist Democracy by Guillaume Durocher

Backlash to neoliberalism fuels interest in national socialism ideology... and netional socialist critique of financial oligarchy controlled "democratic states" was often poignant and up to a point. Which doesn't means that the ideology itself was right.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

However, as the people cannot spontaneously make and express their opinion on a mass scale, the media comes to play a critical role in shaping public opinion: "The decisive question is: Who enlightens the people? Who educates the people?" The answer is, of course, the media. In this, Hitler's assessment is an exaggerated version of what Alexis de Tocqueville had observed a century earlier in his classic work, Democracy in America :

When a large number of press organs manage to march along the same path, their influence in the long run becomes almost irresistible, and public opinion, always struck upon the same side, ends up giving way under their blows.

In the United States, each newspaper has little power individually; but the periodical press is still, after the people, the first of powers. [1] Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique (Paris: Gallimard, 1986), volume 1, p. 283-84. Hitler and Tocqueville shared a surprising number of views concerning mordern democracy, see: https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/08/tocqueville...itler/

In Western democracies, Hitler claims: "Capital actually rules in these countries, that is, nothing more than a clique of a few hundred men who possess untold wealth." Furthermore "freedom" refers primarily to "economic freedom," which means the oligarchs' "freedom from national control." In a classic self-reinforcing cycle, the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful through influence over the political process. Today, this has culminated in the existence of the notorious "1%" so demonized by Occupy Wall Street.

The oligarchs, according to Hitler, establish and control the media:

These capitalists create their own press and then speak of "freedom of the press." In reality, every newspaper has a master and in every case this master is the capitalist, the owner. This master, not the editor, is the one who directs the policy of the paper. If the editor tries to write something other than what suits the master, he is outed the next day. This press, which is the absolutely submissive and character slave of its owners, molds public opinions.

Hitler also emphasizes the incestuous relations and purely cosmetic differences between mainstream democratic political parties:

The difference between these parties is small, as it formerly was in Germany. You know them of course, the old parties. They were always one and the same. In Britain matters are usually so arranged so that families are divided up, one member being conservative, another liberal, and a third belonging to the Labour Party. Actually all three sit together as members of the family and decide upon their common attitude.

This cliquishness means that "on all essential matters . . . the parties are always in agreement" and the difference between "Government" and "Opposition" is largely election-time theatrics. This critique will resonate with those who fault the "Republicrats," the "Westminster village," or indeed the various pro-EU parties for being largely indistinguishable. This is often especially the case on foreign policy, Chomsky's area of predilection.

Hitler goes on, with brutally effective sarcasm, to describe how it was in these democracies where the people supposedly rule that there was the most inequality: "You might think that in these countries of freedom and wealth, the people must have an unlimited degree of prosperity. But no!" Britain not only controlled "one-sixth of the world" and the impoverished millions of India, but itself had notoriously deep class divisions and suffering working classes. There was a similar situation in France and the United States: "There is poverty – incredible poverty – on one side and equally incredible wealth on the other." These democracies had furthermore been unable to combat unemployment during the Great Depression, in contrast to Germany's innovative economic policies.

Hitler then goes on to mock the Labour Party, which was participating in the government for the duration of the war, for promising social welfare and holidays for the poor after the war: "It is is remarkable that they should at last hit upon the idea that traveling should not be something for millionaires alone, but for the people too." Hitlerite Germany, along with Fascist Italy, had long pioneered the organization of mass tourism to the benefit of working people. (Something which traditionalists like the Italian aristocrat Julius Evola bitterly criticized them for.)

Ultimately, in the Western democracies "as is shown by their whole economic structure, the selfishness of a relatively small stratum rules under the mask of democracy; the egoism of a very small social class." Hitler concludes: "It is self-evident that where this democracy rules, the people as such are not taken into consideration at all. The only thing that matters is the existence a few hundred gigantic capitalists who own all the factories and their stock and, through them, control the people."

... ... ...

In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite)

... ... ...

In fact, all regimes have different elite factions and bureaucracies competing for power. All regimes have a limited ideological spectrum of authorized opinion, a limited spectrum of what can and cannot be discussed, criticized, or politically represented. This isn't to say that liberal-democratic and openly authoritarian regimes are identical, but the distinction has been exaggerated. I have known plenty of Westerners who, frothing at the mouth at any mention of the "authoritarian" Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen, were quite happy to visit, do business, or work in China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, or Israel (the latter being a perfect Jewish democracy but highly authoritarian towards the Palestinians). Westerners really are sick in the head.

The liberals' claim to uphold freedom of thought and democracy will ring hollow to many: to the Trump supporters and academics (such as Charles Murray) who were physically assaulted for attending public events and to those fired or punished for their scientific beliefs (James Watson, James Damore, Noah Carl).

What the ideal regime is surely depends on time and place. Jean-Baptiste Duchasseint, a politician of the French Third Republic, had a point when he said: "I prefer a parliamentary chamber than the antechamber of a dictator." Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens. But it would be equally dishonest to deny liberal-democracy's leveling tendency, its unconscious (and thereby, dangerous) elitism and authoritarianism (dangerous because unconscious), its difficulty in enforcing values, its promotion of division among the citizenry, or, frequently, its failure to act in times of emergency. The democrats claim they are entitled to undermine and destroy, whether by peaceful or violent methods, every government on this Earth which they consider "undemocratic." This strikes me as, at best, unwise and dangerous.

The question is not whether a society "really has" free speech or democracy. In the absolute, these are impossible. The question is whether the particular spectrum of free discussion and the particular values promoted by the society are, in fact, salutary for that society. In China, unlike the West, you are not allowed to attack the government. Yet, I understand that in China one is freer to discuss issues concerning Jews, race, and eugenics than in the West. These issues, in fact, may be far more important to promoting a healthy future for the human race than the superficial and divisive mudslinging of the West's reality-TV democracies.W


Durruti , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:09 am GMT

Nice well written & researched thought provoking article by Guillaume Durocher.

Hitler most likely served the Zionist Bankers, as his "Night of the Longknives" – 1934, rid the Nazi movement of its anti-capitalist element.

Hitler did not effectively criticize Zionism or the ruinous financial system. He blamed the Versailles Treaty for most of Germany's ills.

Noam Chomsky has had more serious political and economic analysis to offer over the decades, than most any other American. He has authored more than 100 books.

Hitler and his movement led the German people into the trap (perhaps a Zionist trap), of ruinous (to Europe), Imperialist Conflict, and in that, and in his racialist approach, resembles Churchill, and the British Royal Family more than he could ever admit.

German_reader , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT

Strikingly, Hitler does not mention Jewish media ownership or influence at all,

At 3:21 in the archive.org video he refers to "das auserwählte Volk" (the chosen people) which supposedly controls and directs all parties for its own interests.
Anyway, do you really think it's a good idea for modern nationalists to link themselves to Hitler and the 3rd Reich (because many of your articles could be interpreted that way, as if Hitler was some profound thinker who has to be read by every nationalist today)?

Yes, the man wasn't as stupid as is often claimed today, and some elements of Nazism are certainly attractive if seen in isolation but the fact remains that Hitler, without any really compelling necessity, initiated one of the most destructive wars in history and then had his followers commit some of the worst mass murders ever.

The "revisionists" posting on UR may be able to ignore that, but most people won't.

Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:57 am GMT

In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).

That's it? "Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated"?

There are differences in _every_ society between different groups, which include different income levels. In the Western liberal regimes of the 1950s and 1960s, daily life was more or less left alone, and it was quite possible to over-rule the rich. There was a 90% tax on income over a fairly modest amount of income! As for the "American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority" it wasn't the rich who do that back then, nor is it the rich who do it now. It's the Left, acquiesced to by the rich. The difference is that the rich now rich with political sufferance, or perhaps because of politics, which was much less the case back then.

In other words, the article as a deception from start to end. Minerva's owl flies at dusk (you understand things when they're ending), and the deception becomes more obvious as our current system fails.

Counterinsurgency

Parfois1 , says: August 20, 2019 at 8:27 am GMT
Another one whitewashing Fascism to make it an acceptable ideology to save the white race. The first edition killed 12 million Germans, twice as many Russians and many more millions of other Europeans. What for? To make America great, perhaps

The author is unfurling his full colours; maybe grateful for Hitler's mercy on France?

Hans Vogel , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Agree that the article is a very good one. Clever idea to compare Hitler with Chomsky, "bien étonnés de se trouver ensemble." However, Hitler was certainly not alone in his lucid criticism of "western democracy," nor is Chomsky the only lucid post-Hitlerian critic of what is called democracy. Who does not recall Michael Parenti's wonderful Democracy for the Few, from 1974?

As for Hitler being genuine, or intellectually honest in his criticism, better not even ask. Like all major politicians, including FDR, the repulsive Churchill, Stalin e tutti quanti, Hitler was a psychopath and a murderer. Anyone still nurturing romantic thoughts on Hitler better read Guido Giacomo Preparata, Conjuring Hitler. How Britain and America Made the Third Reich (2005). Best proof that Preparata was absolutely right with his richly documented book is the fact that his academic career was abruptly ended: no tenure for dissidents, especially when they write books containing uncomfortable truths.

The only people allowed to tell "uncomfortable truths" are used-car salesmen and swindlers such as Al Gore.

Saggy , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
From an even more pointed speech,

Adolf Hitler Speech: Löwenbräukeller Munich November 8 1940

When I came to power, I took over from a nation that was a democracy. Indeed, it is now sometimes shown to the world as if one would be automatically ready to give everything to the German nation if it were only a democracy. Yes, the German people was at that time a democracy before us, and it has been plundered and squeezed dry. No. what does democracy or authoritarian state mean for these international hyenas! That they are not at all interested in. They are only interested in one thing: Is anyone willing to let themselves be plundered? Yes or no? Is anyone stupid enough to keep quiet in the process? Yes or no? And when a democracy is stupid enough to keep quiet, then it is good. And when an authoritarian government declares: "You do not plunder our people any longer, neither from inside nor from outside," then that is bad. If we, as a so-called authoritarian state, which differs from the democracies by having the masses of the people behind it; if we as an authoritarian state had also complied with all the sacrifices that the international plutocrats encumbered us with; if I had said in 1933, "Esteemed Sirs in Geneva" or "Esteemed Sirs," as far as I am concerned, somewhere else, "what would you have do? Aha, we will immediately write it on the slate: 6 billion for 1933, 1934, 1935, all right we will deliver. Is there anything else you would like? Yes, Sir we will also deliver that" Then they would have said: "At last a sensible regime in Germany."

Arnieus , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm GMT
Western media is not "cooperative", they are owned.
JP Morgan famously bought up controlling interest in major newspapers in 1917 to prevent significant media opposition to the US entering WWI. The Counsel on Foreign Relations was created in the early 1920s to maintain control over the national dialog and they have ever since. The CIA Project Mockingbird tightened control. Every presidential cabinet since is saturated with CFR members. As a result most Americans are disastrously misinformed about just about everything. 1984 happened decades before 1984.
Sollipsist , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Hans Vogel Parenti's book is one of the few assigned college textbooks I still have on my shelf. A classic that I rarely hear spoken of; I guess my liberal arts education wasn't entirely wasted.
Irish Savant , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
Extolling Hitler and/or the Nazis is, apart from anything else, totally counter-productive. We can argue about the rewriting of history but the simple fact is that any association with him/them is poisonous to the public mind.
BCB232 , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMT
What I took from the piece was that Hitler, despite being an evil bastard, was right about some things. This shouldn't be surprising and isn't a defense of Nazism (which as a Christian I have to regard as evil.) The fact that Hitler and Chomsky agree shows this isn't a defense of Nazism.
Bardon Kaldian , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
@German_reader So called revisionists are bunch of morons. Hitler was, without lapsing into moralizing, a very specific product of a very specific time, a charismatic leader of a great humiliated nation during a deep crisis in all Western civilization (this includes Russia, too).

Now, Europe & Europe-derived peoples face a completely different crisis (or various crises), so that what Hitler was or wasn't is utterly irrelevant to our contemporary condition & its challenges.

Emslander , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm GMT
It does no good to try to defend Hitler, regardless of the many correct observations he made over the years of his public life. He was as important a commentator as, say, Paul Krugman, but his opinions will never overcome his actions. Comparing him to Krugman or Chomsky makes an interesting debating point, but ultimately fails for lack of context.

If you are trying to argue that capitalist democracy, Anglo-American style, has grievous flaws, you're going to have to show what they are and why they will lead to calamity. I'd say we need a real discussion on federal budgeting insanity, for one, which threatens the economic downfall of the West and, probably, of the universe, except maybe for Russia, which has already suffered through its great downfall. How that connects to Anglo-American democracy is simple: the British borrowed and made war around the world to its virtual collapse and then had the great insight to be able, via FDR, to tie the prosperity of the United States to its failures, until the great engine of prosperity that we once were comes clanking to pieces.

The fascists weren't wrong on policy during peacetime, but were too optimistic about being able to take over the world by war.

annamaria , says: August 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
@Biff https://thesaker.is/the-russiagate-hoax-is-now-fully-exposed/
Eric Zuesse:

Both the liberal (Democratic) and conservative (Republican) wings of the U.S. aristocracy hate and want to conquer Russia's Government. The real question now is whether that fact will cause the book on this matter to be closed as being unprofitable for both sides of the U.S. aristocracy; or, alternatively, which of those two sides will succeed in skewering the other over this matter.

At the present stage, the Republican billionaires seem likelier to win if this internal battle between the two teams of billionaires' political agents continues on. If they do, and Trump wins re-election by having exposed the scandal of the Obama Administration's having manufactured the fake Russiagate-Trump scandal, then Obama himself could end up being convicted. However, if Trump loses -- as is widely expected -- then Obama is safe, and Trump will likely be prosecuted on unassociated criminal charges.

To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy. At this stage of American 'democracy', the public are irrelevant. But the political battle might be even hotter than ever, without the gloves, than when the public were the gloves.

Republic , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm GMT

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

Yes that quotation by Chomsky is exactly correct, and Chomsky is an expert in that area.
He is a loyal servant of the oligarchs, the MIT intellectual who has devoted his life
to keeping the lid on acceptable debate but is silent on the most important event of the 21st Century in order to serve his Zionist masters.

Any person who goes beyond that accepted level of debate is either ostracized, imprisoned or assassinated.

G , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT

Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens.

Except that is not true at all. All major Western countries today, UK, France, USA and Germany, are ruled by an effective one-party state, stabilized and its agenda multiplied by its media companies, often state owned, the agenda enforced by apparatschiks, secured by the police force and internationalized physically with the military and with great propaganda by the media-entertainment complex – today even effectively monopolized by US companies like Google/YouTube and Facebook.

Whether you look at BREXIT, votes on an EU constitution, or the Donald Trump presidency: what the majority of the people want is not important to the permanent ruling and owning class.

The politicians and sanctioned talking-heads are there to deceive us. Obama und Trump are two sides of the same coin: carefully crafted advertisement campaigns to secure the interests and goals of the elite in the long run.

Progressiv interests first with Obama and now reactionary interests have been encorporated as messages and propaganda to neuter both. Now the left talks about gender neutral toilets, trans kids and pronouns, instead of stagnant wages for decades and a predatory elite. Just like the right talks about Trump's tweets, Q and is lost in the media skinner-box and his personality cult, while Trump himself broke every single point he campaigned on (Except those that serve the 1% and Israel.) and is owned by the same lobby which produces the artificial reality Trump cultists bought into.

Political-media theater was and is orchestrated, so the true core of power stays untouched and stable: the very small capitalist class who owns 90% of the net wealth in the USA (it's getting increasingly similar in Europe as it is being Americanized in the process of globalization); the superordinate megacompanies; the military-industrial complex; Wall Street and (Central) Banking; special interests and lobbies of which the Israeli-Jewish Lobby is the strongest.

And the cultural totalitarianism of today and its artifical reality is superior to that of the old physical dictatorships, because in mass-media democracy not only does the subject believe himself to be free, because the tools of his own enslavement are not visible; only in it the subject gives his own concession to his own subjugation by his vote. While all paths to real change, revolution or revolt are as cut off from him as under Stalin or Mao.

niceland , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
Well, if the idea is to spread the message, any mention or reference to Hitler will be totally devastating in the public arena. It's like participating in a marathon run and start off by cutting off your legs.

Just recently I saw some posts on facebook from someone local to me preaching about Nordic brotherhood. He posted few pictures and all of them had Hitlers face somewhere in the background. FB shut it down within hours

What's interesting is the same message could have been presented differently without much effort. Sliding past FB filters for days or even weeks and possibly influenced some people in the meantime. So I wonder who was actually behind it – my guess is either a complete idiot or someone eager to vilify nationalism and people concerned with racial issues.

The Nine Tailed Fox , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@G As always, the best slaves are those who don't know they're wearing chains.
JackOH , says: August 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
@Exile " . . . [I]f sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms . . .".

Exile, that's exactly how I read it.

Our political problems aren't that difficult to understand:

Democrats – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers an Identity Politics Plantation for rent-seekers and legitimacy-seekers as political camouflage.

Republicans – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers a Freedom and Opportunity Plantation as political camouflage.

As far as I can tell, we really don't have an American or Americanist politics that tells me I ought to give a meaninful damn about my fellow citizens in the 'hood, the gated 'burbs, and everywhere else because, fuckin' 'ey, they're my fellow Americans.

Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:18 pm GMT
@Exile

Durocher's not romanticizing or white-washing here, he's making a serious point: if sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms and makes it harder to refute them by ad hominem or accusations of bias on the part of the critics.

Lordy. _That_ is your argument? The big loser in WW II and an academic agree that US society should be reorganized? Add in Pol Pot, Stalin, Marx, Trotsky, Putin, Mussolini, and BLM, not to mention the Wobblies, if you like. The argument remains unconvincing. Peterson's "first, demonstrate your competence by cleaning and organizing your room and then your home and your affairs, _then_ try to re-make the world. None of the above, except perhaps Putin, could have passed that test.
Q: Is Marxism a science or a philosophy?
A: Philosophy. If it were a science they'd have tried it out on dogs first.

Counterinsurgency

Miggle , says: August 21, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT
@Miggle And how can there be "checks" when everything is "classified", and when Julian Assange has to be murdered in a US prison but it will be made to look like suicide?
Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 2:52 am GMT

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. – Noam Chomsky"

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/516842-the-smart-way-to-keep-people-passive-and-obedient-is

COMMENT: Chomsky is talking about the Overton window: the range of ideas that "The Powers That Be" (TPTB) will allow in public discussion.

EXAMPLES:
(1) Tucker Carson recently went outside the Overton window, when he said "white supremacy is a hoax", then TPTB immediately "vacationed" him for political reeducation, and now he is safely back within the window, rattling his cage on issues harmless to TPTB.

(2) The Controlled Protest Press (CPP) will often blame economic problems on the Federal-Reserve making wrong moves, and suggest the right moves the Fed should make instead, as the correct solution. But the CPP will never suggest that the correct solution is to end the Fed and the private currency they issue, and to return the currency-issuing power to the government, as required by the constitution (Article I Section 8). Because that's outside the Overton window.

(3) The CPP will often complain about the government ignoring warning signs before the 9/11 attack, and botching their response after it happened. But the CPP will never suggest the whole thing was an inside job to garner public support for bankers oil wars in the middle east. Because that's outside the Overton window.

Buzz Mohawk , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:34 am GMT

when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).

True. True. True.

Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:40 am GMT
@Professional Stranger CHOMSKY himself always stays within the Overton window, and makes a show of it:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZrEDo9ChSdQ?feature=oembed
Chomsky goes beyond maintaining a strategic silence on 9/11, to inciting smear-campaigns against skeptics of the official narrative of 9/11. He demeans "truthers": "Their lives are no good Their lives are collapsing They are people at a loss Nothing makes any sense They don't understand what an explanation is They think they are experts in physics and civil engineering on the basis of one hour on the Internet."

Pater , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:46 am GMT
I think you should ask the Slavic untermenschen; Poles, Czechs, Serbs, Byelorussians & Ukranians what their experience of occupation by the Wehrmacht was like. Poland alone lost 5 million civilians with Ukraine losing a similar number.
Biff , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
@annamaria

To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy.

Interesting concept. When the elites go after each other; that is when you know empire is in rapid decline.
Other powers may just simply wait it out.

Parfois1 , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
@JackOH You summed up very well the nature of the duopoly ruling the US for donkey's years. Representative democracy is a licence for political power by a small clique over the people. Obviously, both Fascism (Hitler) and Socialism (Marx) agree on that, but for different reasons. And so does anyone with some basic understanding of how the political process works.

But the article goes further than stating the obvious: the intention – in my mind – is to show that, because Hitler and Chomsky are in agreement about the deception of "democracy", then Fascism is a reputable ideology, so much so that Chomsky, by association, gives his imprimatur to that perception. Durocher (a self-declared racist) is just another purveyor of the Nazis' lies attempting to dress that ideology with respectable robes.

Nothing new there. Afterall Hitler also called his political party "Socialism", the term stolen from the party he infiltrated for its popular appeal. As soon as he grabbed dictatorial power he imprisoned the socialists.

lysias , says: August 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Biff Roman elites started to attack each other in 133 B.C., and the civil wars lasted a century. The Roman Empire survived several centuries after that.
Skeptikal , says: August 21, 2019 at 6:25 pm GMT
@Mikemikev Why not stick to discussing the ideas in the essay?
It is pathetic to fall back on the ad hominem "Hitler!" excuse for not engaging with the ideas.
Perhaps Durocher is wrong in the ideas he attributes to Hitler.
For myself I have always found it interesting that the basic concept of "national" "socialism" (let's just look at those words separately) seems to bear thinking over: A socialism that is not a international system but is based on a nation. Obviously how you define a nation is pretty important.

Interestingly, now the Jews/Zionists have defined themselves as a nation (whether or not the citizens of this nation actually live in Israel). And the point of this nation certainly appears to be to confer all of the benefits of citizenship in the nation only on that nation's citizens and on no others. Many of the benefits of citizenship seem to be of a socialist nature: quite a few freebies such as education, health care, vacations at the seashore in special hotels, free housing (on land stolen from the natives), etc. etc. So, this Jewish nation certainly seems to espouse a version of socialism that is nation-based. I.e., national socialism.

BCB232 , says: August 21, 2019 at 7:58 pm GMT
@The_seventh_shape We'll see. Stalin asked "how many divisions does the Pope have?" The Chair is still there, the Soviet Union is gone – God works in mysterious ways.
Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT

TURTLE in COMMENT 169: There is. or at least was, a professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT, where Chomsky is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, who spoke out publicly regarding certain anomalies found in the debris of the twin towers (not Building 7). Prof. Chomsky could have simply walked across campus and, no doubt, gotten an audience with his fellow faculty member, had he chosen to do so.

Ridiculing the public statements of someone with actual expertise in a relevant field by implying that none who have spoken out are qualified to do so is intellectually dishonest in the extreme.

Chomsky is a fraud.

STRANGER: Agreed! There are also the 1500 architects and engineers at "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" https://www.ae911truth.org/ who have spoken out, and who are well qualified to do so. Same goes for Pilots for 9/11 Truth http://pilotsfor911truth.org/ .

Molly , says: August 22, 2019 at 1:58 am GMT
Fascinating! I'm reminded of Noam Chomsky's Manufactured Consent quite a bit lately due to the reckless deplatforming. As a "recovering anarchist," I sometimes wonder have I moved right? Or has the left moved left? Thank you for writing!
Lancelot Link , says: August 22, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
Chomsky has valid critiques of US power and its use. He points out the evil done in the name of the people re: capitalism (which benefits those who live off their capital. These people travel the world in search of people to screw over and drop like bad habits. See – wood and coal industries in West Virginia, USA.

That Israel is a ethno state is no coincidence, it is exactly the belonging to the group which makes for a strong nation. All of "us" against all of "them". That Israel doesn't have the mass influx of aliens as white European nations must suffer should be instructive. They learned this from the NDSP as evidenced by the tactics of ghettoization on the Palestinians. They even have the strange belief that walls work.

Civic nationalism makes a lotta sense, but one must feel connection to the land, the people and the overarching nation of which they are a part. What multicultural gubbamint has lasted without friction between its peoples and for how long? Most western nations are the only ones with the multiculti death wish. Why do people migrate to hideous racist white nations? Do they can gripe about whatever they want while living high on the hog, of course!

Why don't people migrate to Israel, Japan, Cape Verde or Burundi? Because they either don't let many "others" in by defacto law or nobody wants to go because of dejure common sense.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump Promised Massive Infrastructure Projects -- Instead We ve Gotten Nothing>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure. ..."
"... Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me." ..."
"... Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration. ..."
"... He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that." ..."
"... In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation." ..."
"... That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money. ..."
"... This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money. ..."
"... Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend. ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases. ..."
"... I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat. ..."
"... Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him. ..."
"... Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.

No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!

So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.

The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."

The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."

Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.

He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."

In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.

That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.

That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.

Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.

It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.

That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.

Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.

Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.

Promise not kept again.

Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.

In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.

He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am

Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.

I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.

Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am

One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.

It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.

$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.

Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?

cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am

Tom, grow up.

Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.

Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.

Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.

WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?

Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?

Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.

The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."

It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.

With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.

The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.

[Aug 20, 2019] Tulsi A Living Reminder of Iraq s Liars and Apologists by David Masciotra

Notable quotes:
"... Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them. ..."
"... The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history. ..."
"... As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion. ..."
"... Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before." ..."
"... The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans. ..."
"... As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq. ..."
"... Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question. ..."
"... The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes? ..."
"... Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them.

Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.

As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.

Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before."

The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans.

As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq.

Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question.

Far worse than the worship of Mueller is the refusal to scrutinize the abysmal foreign policy record of Joe Biden, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the Democrats in the Senate at that time, Biden was the most enthusiastic of the cheerleaders for war, waving his pompoms and cartwheeling in rhythm to Dick Cheney's music. Biden said repeatedly that America had "no choice but to eliminate the threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his blustering was uniquely influential.

The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes?

Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Polling well below Biden in the race is the congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. She alone on the Democratic stage has made criticism of American militarism central to her candidacy. A veteran of the Iraq war and a highly decorated major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, Gabbard offers an intelligent and humane perspective on foreign affairs. She's called the regime change philosophy "disastrous," advocated for negotiation with hostile foreign powers, and backed a reduction in drone strikes. She pledges if she becomes president to end American involvement in Afghanistan.

When Chris Matthews asked Gabbard about Biden's support for the Iraq war, she said, "It was the wrong vote. People like myself, who enlisted after 9/11 because of the terrorist attacks, were lied to. We were betrayed."

Her moral clarity is rare in the political fog of the presidential circus. She cautions against accepting the "guise of humanitarian justification for war," and notes that rarely does the American government bomb and invade a country to actually advance freedom or protect human rights.

Gabbard's positions are vastly superior to that of the other young veteran in the race, Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend recently told New York that one of his favorite novels is The Quiet American , saying that its author, Graham Greene, "points out the dangers of well-intentioned interventions."

Buttigieg's chances of winning the nomination seem low, and his prospects of becoming a literary critic appear even lower. The Quiet American does much more than raise questions about interventions: it is a merciless condemnation of American exceptionalism and its attendant indifference to Vietnamese suffering.

Americans hoping for peace won't find much comfort in the current White House either. President Trump has made the world more dangerous by trashing the Iran nuclear deal, and his appointment of John Bolton, a man who makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Mahatma Gandhi, as national security advisor is certainly alarming.

America's willful ignorance when it comes to the use of its own military exposes the moral bankruptcy at the heart of its political culture. Even worse, it makes future wars all but inevitable.

If no one can remember a war that ended merely nine years ago, and there's little room for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary, how will the country react the next time a president, and the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declare that they have no choice but to remove a threat?

Norman Solomon, journalist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, knows the answer to that question. He provides it in the title of his book on how the media treats American foreign policy decisions: War Made Easy .

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

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Walter a day ago

Where ae the people who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Should they be tried for lying to the American public? 4500 troops killed and over $1.1 TRILLION wasted with no good results .With hundreds of thousands of Iraq's killed. .
Clyde Schechter Walter a day ago
Where are they, indeed? They are still running US foreign policy; that's where they are. They are pundits in all the major media; that's where they are.

I cannot even imagine what historians will say about the uncanny persistence of these charlatans' influence in this era after a consistent record of disastrous, abysmal misadventures.

JeffK from PA Walter 17 hours ago
You don't have to look too hard to find them. Bolton, Pompeo, and other neocons are hiding in plain sight. The Military Industrial Complex is embedded in our foreign policy like a tick on a dog.
Sid Finster JeffK from PA 13 hours ago
Why not start with Bush and Blair?
IanDakar Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Because you'd be knocking out a storm trooper instead of the emperor, at least as far as Bush goes. Same for why the focus is on Bolton rather than simply Trump.

I CAN see an argument that Trump/Bush knew what they were doing when they brought those people in though. f you feel that way and see it more of an owner of a hostile attack dog then yeah, you'd want to include those two too.

JeffK from PA Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Cheney. Pure evil.
Sid Finster Walter 13 hours ago
Nuremberg provides an instructive precedent. Start at the top with Bush and Blair keep going on down.
Disqus10021 Sid Finster 11 hours ago
Recommended viewing: the 1961 movie "Judgment at Nuremberg".
L Walter 12 hours ago
One might wonder where that intelligence was gathered, and then maybe we could find out why these wars have been happening.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) a day ago
Here stands Tulsi. A woman, who, unlike their conventional troupe, can win this election. They reject her because... what? Moar war? She's not the member of the Cult? Or it's simply some sort of collective political death wish?
Anonne Alex (the one that likes Ike) 12 hours ago
They reject her because she had the temerity to speak truth to power and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race. She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders. She has real courage, and earned their wrath. She's not perfect but she's braver and stronger than almost the entire field. Only Bernie is on par.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Anonne 9 hours ago
And Bernie is the one they also hate, maybe a little bit less openly. Thus they reject those who can win the election. It's either a self-destructiveness or they think that it's better to keep on losing than to rebuild the party into what it needs to be.
Nelson Alex (the one that likes Ike) 8 hours ago
What do you mean "they"? Anyone is free to support her campaign.
former-vet a day ago • edited
Democrats and the Republican establishment, both, love war. It wasn't a coincidence that Hillary Clinton chose Madeleine Albright to be a keynote speaker at "her" party convention ("we think the deaths of a half million children are worth it"). Liberals know that there isn't really any "free" free, and that taxing the rich won't match their dreams -- it is the blood and bones of innocent foreigners that must pay for their lust. Establishment Republicans are more straightforward: they simply profit off the death and destruction.

This is why Trump is being destroyed, and why Tulsi is attacked. If only "she" (the one who gloated over Khameni's murder) had been elected, we'd be in a proxy war with Russia now! A real war with Iran! This is what the American people want, and what they'll likely get when they vote another chicken-hawk in come 2020.

Sid Finster former-vet 13 hours ago
Agree, except that Trump is not governing as a non-interventionist.

About the only thing one can say is that his is a slightly less reckless militarist than what the political class in this country wants.

Nelson former-vet 8 hours ago
Khameni is still alive. You're thinking of Gaddafi.
Fayez Abedaziz a day ago
Tulsi, like Sanders is a 'danger' to everything Israel wants.
So, all...all the main 'news' networks and online sites don't like them and give more coverage to the same old Dem bull peddlers like ignorant Booker and the lousy opportunist low IQ Kamala Harris and Gillibrand.
TomG 17 hours ago • edited
Manafort and his ilk can be tried and convicted for their lies. I guess if the lie is big enough we grant a pass on any need for prosecution. Justice for all? I don't think so.

Max Blumenthal posted a powerful piece at Consortium News (7/31/2019) about Biden's central and south American mis-adventures. Biden still extols his own policies however disastrous. The hubris of the man is worse than nauseating.

Great article, Mr. Masciotra.

OrvilleBerry 14 hours ago
Whether one thinks Gabbard has a shot at the nomination or not, it's important to keep her on the stage in the next round of debates. Go to Tulsi2020.com and give her just one dollar (or more if you can)
so she has enough unique contributors to make the next round. And if you get polled,early on give her your vote.
Strawman 12 hours ago
The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Perfectly encapsulates the collective puerility of the American electorate. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Disqus10021 12 hours ago • edited
The total US costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to be considerably larger than $1.1 trillion, according to this study:
https://www.hks.harvard.edu...
Try $4-$6 trillion, according to the author of the study.

Long after I, Andrew Bacevitch and Hillary Clinton have gone to our reward, there will still be thousands of wounded warriors from these US Middle East adventures dependent on VA benefits for their survival and competing with civilian seniors for government handouts. A war with Iran would make the US fiscal situation that much worse.

The religious folks who were so anxious to protect family values only a few years ago seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the financial future of today's young Americans.

A few weeks ago, I made a token contribution to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign to help her qualify for the July Democratic debates. She will need more new contributors to qualify for the next round of debates.

david 12 hours ago
"The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago,..."

Ahh..., really? So why do we still have over 5000 soldiers in Iraq?

christopher kelly police ret. 11 hours ago
Tulsi was marvelous in knocking out Harris.
Zsuzsi Kruska 10 hours ago
Tulsi hasn't a chance of the nomination, but she's exposing things and maybe more people will get a clue about what's really going on with American lives and taxes being squandered for the profit of the few who benefit from these atrocities and wars abroad, done in the name of all Americans.
Eric 10 hours ago
Donated my $3 to Tulsi yesterday. She's the only Democrat I would vote for and she needs to stay in this race as long as possible.
Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
Being a supporter of Tulsi Gabbard for the very reasons that the author writes, has me agreeing with everything he has promoted in his piece.

However, to answer his own question as to why Americans are lured into commenting on such innocuous and foolish things in such an important election such as Biden's touching of women, is answered by the author's own prose.

He states that Americans are only provided such nonsense from the press that is monitoring the election process. What else can people talk about? And even if many Americans are clearheaded enough to understand the charade of the current Democratic debates, what or who will actually provide legitimate coverage with the exception of online sites as the American Conservative, among others?

If most Americans were actually thinking individuals, Tulsi Gabbard would be a shoo-in for the presidency in 2020. However, given the two factors of a highly corrupted mainstream press and too many Americans not studying enough civics to understand what is going on around them, it is highly unlikely that Tulsi Gabbard will even get close to the possibility of being nominated...

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
Cheney, mentioned in the article, was pure evil. I voted for GB2 for two reasons. 1) He was a very good Texas governor. He actually got anti-tax Texas to raise taxes dedicated to support education, in return for stricter standards for teachers. A good trade since Texas public schools were awful. 2) Dick Cheney. I thought he was the adult in the room that would provide steady and reliable guidance for Bush.

Boy was I wrong about Cheney. "Deficits don't matter". Just watch the movie Vice. Christian Bale does an incredible job portraying the pure evil of Cheney and the Military Industrial Complex. The movie is chilling to watch. And it is basically true. Politifact does a good job of scoring the accuracy of Cheney's role in the Bush administration as portrayed in the movie.

https://www.politifact.com/...

Mccormick47 10 hours ago
The trouble is, Conservatives promoting Gabbard and Williamson as their preferred candidates poisons their chances of staying in the race.
Mark Thomason 9 hours ago
I remember a friend of mine, a proud Marine, saying before the Iraq War, "Well, they better find some WMD for all this."

They didn't. That should matter.

[Aug 20, 2019] Propagandists Freak Out Over Gabbard s Destruction of Harris by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
all neocon scum instantly had risen to the surface to defend the neoliberal empire and its wars...
Notable quotes:
"... In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event. ..."
"... That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings. ..."
"... But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way." ..."
"... That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate. ..."
"... "Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey. ..."
"... It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time. ..."
"... The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ." ..."
"... War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects. ..."
"... The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable. ..."
"... Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. ..."
"... Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak. ..."
"... Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that ..."
"... Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself. ..."
"... And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace. ..."
"... She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs. ..."
"... Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016. ..."
"... she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her.. ..."
"... There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs. ..."
"... In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; ..."
"... "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work." ..."
"... I read "narrative control" as brainwashing. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.

That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.

Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.

CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cfp_IIdVnXs?feature=oembed

But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

Harris Folded Under Pressure

Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.

"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."

That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.

As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .

"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.

The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."

... ... ...

War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.

The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."


Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06

I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.

Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."

That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.

Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.

Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05

There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.

O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39

Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that

http://osociety.org/2019/08/02/how-to-hide-an-empire-a-history-of-the-greater-united-states/

ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24

What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.

The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.

Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05

Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58

Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.

And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.

If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.

Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48

And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.

Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55

She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.

Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17

Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/main-street-america-and-another-war-in.html

Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.

Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49

Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53

And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..

Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05

I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.

I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.

I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.

Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57

Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.

P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42

Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.

hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09

Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."

I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.

Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.

Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/empire-coming-tulsi-gabbard

Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25

"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.

[Aug 20, 2019] In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value.

Notable quotes:
"... When Trump was first elected, I tried to calm down friends with advanced TDS, who expected Kristallnacht to be directed at their favorite brunch spots, by saying that "This is what empires in decline look like." ..."
"... In this sordid world, girls/women have absolutely no value ..."
"... Don't forget the young boys who get traded around like fudge recipes. Something quick on the Hollywood angle on bent dicks. It applies almost everywhere in America now: https://news.avclub.com/corey-feldman-made-a-documentary-about-sexual-abuse-he-1834310252 ..."
"... My reinterpretation of your comment would be; In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value. ..."
"... Epstein's World was tied in with Hollywood and Wall Street. Both are homoerotic paedophile havens. The world of the Vatican is tied in to Wall Street; it has it's own bank, the Instituto per le Opere de Religioni. ..."
"... As is true with the continued withholding of key documents in the JFK assassination, I believe that if the lousy reporting and official screwups in the Epstein case persist, it will be perfectly fine for the public to conclude and believe the absolute worst and act accordingly. ..."
"... Given the spotiness and inadequacy of reporting on the Epstein affair I wonder if an avenue for exploration might be that of a more direct involvement of media moguls and highly placed media staff in being serviced by Epstein i.e., the decision-makers regarding what gets covered and published are themselves subject to exposure, embarrassment, and other things that befall men caught in such matters. ..."
Aug 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Michael Fiorillo , , August 14, 2019 at 11:38 am

I can't add much to Yve's excellent post and the follow-up comments, except to say that the events of recent days and weeks have made Pizzagate (as deranged as it was) into some kind of weird Jungian premonition which is to say, the s&#* is out of control.

When Trump was first elected, I tried to calm down friends with advanced TDS, who expected Kristallnacht to be directed at their favorite brunch spots, by saying that "This is what empires in decline look like."

In regard to this sordid tale, I'm reminded of Robert Graves' (and the superb BBC TV version of) "I, Claudius."

"Don't eat the figs."

adrena , , August 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

In this sordid world, girls/women have absolutely no value.

ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Don't forget the young boys who get traded around like fudge recipes. Something quick on the Hollywood angle on bent dicks. It applies almost everywhere in America now: https://news.avclub.com/corey-feldman-made-a-documentary-about-sexual-abuse-he-1834310252

My reinterpretation of your comment would be; In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value. Otherwise, I'm with you all the way. Abuse is abuse. No other definition is logical.

ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Epstein's World was tied in with Hollywood and Wall Street. Both are homoerotic paedophile havens. The world of the Vatican is tied in to Wall Street; it has it's own bank, the Instituto per le Opere de Religioni.

Who knows? Perhaps there will be some Prelates unearthed from the Lolita Express passenger log.

Pelham , , August 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

As is true with the continued withholding of key documents in the JFK assassination, I believe that if the lousy reporting and official screwups in the Epstein case persist, it will be perfectly fine for the public to conclude and believe the absolute worst and act accordingly.

Actually, we SHOULD believe the worst.

Robin Kash , , August 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Given the spotiness and inadequacy of reporting on the Epstein affair I wonder if an avenue for exploration might be that of a more direct involvement of media moguls and highly placed media staff in being serviced by Epstein i.e., the decision-makers regarding what gets covered and published are themselves subject to exposure, embarrassment, and other things that befall men caught in such matters.

Who covers the press and roots out its secret malefactions? Rogue reporters? And who publishes them? Indeed!

[Aug 20, 2019] There is a chance that the recession won t wait until next year to hit

Oversized military expenditures (military Keysianism) might still keep the economy afoot for a while.
Notable quotes:
"... For Morgan Stanley Wealth Management's Shalett, the most recent economic reports show "slowing that is far worse than the 2015-2016 minirecession," she writes -- due in large part to "outright contractionary" PMI (an indicator surveying purchasing managers at businesses) data and global new orders. ..."
"... The Fed is criminally unprepared for a recession, after making the fateful decision to rescue the banks and financial markets at the expense of the working class. Washington is criminally unprepared for a recession, after making the fateful decision to invest everything in pointless wars at the expense of infrastructure and the working class. ..."
"... Guess who else is unprepared for a recession? ..."
"... "Warning lights are flashing. Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high -- and growing," Warren wrote in a post on the blogging platform Medium. ..."
"... Free market, my ass. End days of run amok capitalism? I sure hope so for the sake of the planet and the people who are at the mercy of this nasty 'world we live in'. ..."
"... Moving from taxing the rich to taxing the proletariat (the poor have no money of their own to buy goods and hence pay tariffs). since the rich invest most of their wealth and workers spend most (or more!) the tax burden shifts downward (by design!) ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 5:42pm

There is a chance that the recession won't wait until next year to hit, but there is almost no chance that we won't be in a recession in 2020. A whole list of economic indicators are flashing red, starting with the most accurate recession forecaster of all - the yield curve .

The latest eruption in the U.S.-China trade dispute pushed a widely watched Treasury-market recession indicator to the highest alert since 2007.

Morgan Stanley says Trump's trade war could cause a recession in 9 month's time, but there is a lot else going on than just a trade war.
The yield curve is just one of four major recession indicators that are flashing red .

Since the 1960s, one indicator of a looming recession has been the New York Fed's recession probability index breaking 30%.

The probability of a U.S. recession predicted by the treasury spread hit 32.9% in July -- the highest since 2009, according to the New York Fed.

... ... ...

Although consumer confidence is still historically high, the most recent June consumer confidence index (released by The Conference Board every month) dropped to two-year lows, to 121.5.

... ... ...

For Morgan Stanley Wealth Management's Shalett, the most recent economic reports show "slowing that is far worse than the 2015-2016 minirecession," she writes -- due in large part to "outright contractionary" PMI (an indicator surveying purchasing managers at businesses) data and global new orders.
...
According to a Reuters report in May, factory activity dropped to near 10-year lows, sparking fresh concern.

The U.S. has seen its longest economic expansion in the nation's history - 120 months. The Fed had to know that it would eventually end. Yet the Fed never came even close to normalizing interest rates and that leaves them with few options .

The Fed's main recession-fighting tool has long been lowering the benchmark federal funds rate, which governs short-term rates for things ranging from auto loans to credit card charges. In the past, the average reduction needed to fight a recession was a whopping 5.5 percentage points. Such a bold step is mathematically impossible now.

The Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, its policymaking arm, just decreased the rate a quarter-point to a 2.0% to 2.25% band, thus not a lot of room exists to cut much more. And if the Fed ends up decreasing the rate another half-point, as many suspect it will, then the central bank has even less to work with.

"They're out of ammo," said economist Gary Shilling, who owns his own eponymous firm. "Going from 2.25% to zero is not an awful lot."

... ... ...

What happens if the Fed reverses course and starts purchasing bonds once more? There's a school of thought that this too will be less effective than in the past. Reason: Banks have so much extra funding these days that they don't know what to do with all the money. The previous rounds of QE, which finally ended in 2014, stuffed banks with trillions of new dollars, which they hold in reserve to buffer themselves against economic bad spells and also to make loans. Plus, loan demand is low, even now in an expansion. Demand will be a lot less in a recession.

The Fed is criminally unprepared for a recession, after making the fateful decision to rescue the banks and financial markets at the expense of the working class. Washington is criminally unprepared for a recession, after making the fateful decision to invest everything in pointless wars at the expense of infrastructure and the working class.

Guess who else is unprepared for a recession?

The brutal reality is that most Americans are not prepared for the next economic downturn or recession.
gjohnsit on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 6:09pm
Warren has noticed give the lady some credit
Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned on Monday that the next financial crisis is on its way.

"Warning lights are flashing. Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high -- and growing," Warren wrote in a post on the blogging platform Medium.

The Massachusetts Democrat said that increasing household and corporate debt has left the economy on precarious footing. Citing a top economist, Warren wrote that a failure to raise the debt ceiling in September could be "more catastrophic" than the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

She also noted weakness in the manufacturing sector, putting the blame for its recent slowdown on President Donald Trump, who has tangled with China over trade. Despite Trump's pledge to bring back manufacturing jobs, the sector is now in recession, she wrote, and wages for the industry lag the national average

A 2020 recession, if it starts no later than summer, would doom Trump's reelection. It would also boost progressives like Bernie and Liz because people would be less willing to accept incrementalism.

ggersh on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 6:29pm
It's coming before the primaries start

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit in tit for tat action the moron in chief needs
to win....the currency war ameriKa can't win is upon
us.

Slight summary, tRumpolini put tariffs on China of 10% on what was left to tariff, this happened yesterday. Today China reciprocated by weakening it's currency causing the stock markit to swan to the tune of 900 points. So thinking me(tRumpolini) lost, he doubles down by doing this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/

For The First Time In 25 Years, US Treasury Just Designated China A Currency Manipulator

"This pattern of actions is also a violation of China's G20 commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation."

416

Grab your guns and Bibles money and buy some goods to keep you comfy cuz inflation is coming bigtime, IMHO.

His ego is bigger than his hands and I wouldn't bet on him beating China in this game even though he's gonna keep on trying

shaharazade on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 8:59pm
Elisabeth Warren is progressive?

@gjohnsit

I somehow don't buy this. Dodd-Frank? What a joke. Both me and Eric never bought her political shtick. Man she's another ex-Republican. I just can't believe that this insane global economy will be reformed or resolved by our current, corrupt, fucked up political electoral system.

There is no way for ordinary people who are not 'invested' to stop this insanity. What are our options when the Demorat's refuse to clean house or even regulate the disaster global cappies who own and run 'the place'?

Free market, my ass. End days of run amok capitalism? I sure hope so for the sake of the planet and the people who are at the mercy of this nasty 'world we live in'.

doh1304 on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 8:12pm
People have been forecasting recession since 2009

(when we refused to admit that we were actually in a depression) and so far it hasn't happened - officially. Maybe the only reason capitalism hasn't collapsed is that the rich and powerful refuse to admit that it has and we are all afraid to admit that they're liars.

gjohnsit on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 9:33pm
I did predict a double-dip recession in 2010

@doh1304
but that was nine years ago. Don't you think that after 10 years of record low interest rates things have changed?

Either way, the leading economic indicators are measurable facts.

(when we refused to admit that we were actually in a depression) and so far it hasn't happened - officially. Maybe the only reason capitalism hasn't collapsed is that the rich and powerful refuse to admit that it has and we are all afraid to admit that they're liars.

The Voice In th... on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 9:26pm
Tariffs replace the graduated income tax.

@snoopydawg

Moving from taxing the rich to taxing the proletariat (the poor have no money of their own to buy goods and hence pay tariffs). since the rich invest most of their wealth and workers spend most (or more!) the tax burden shifts downward (by design!)

shaharazade on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 9:28pm
Trumps tiffs

@snoopydawg are so fake. A deliberate distraction which enables the neoliberal/pigs from both parties to continue with their raping and pillaging the earth and the humans who live here. For what? Somebody tell me why a fascistic insane demagogue is still in office? Because he serves their agenda, all of them R's and D's.

Yes they could stop Trump but why would they? He's getting it done and the Dems. can put the blame on Trump and Co. The Demorat's can then focus on fake social issues and rile up the populace with mayhem and social unrest.

If this is not the case why have they once again taken off the table the legal remedy for lunatics, unfit for office demagogues of the worst order. What can ordinary people do to prepare for their crashes? Nothing. We're all dependent on this fucked up economy one way or another.

travelerxxx on Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:56am
Just theater

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Yes, a tool all right. Remember when the House Democrats were considering who would be the Speaker of the House, Trump actually supported her. Some were perplexed by this. I commented at the time that this didn't surprise me in the least, as if Trump didn't have someone like Pelosi as Speaker, they would have to invent someone identical. They would have, too.

Trump needs a foil in the House, and Pelosi is perfect for the role. It's part of what allows Mega-party team A and Mega-party team B to achieve the goals their owners have tasked them with.

Our MSM screams and raises hell over it all, but that's part of the act, too. Meanwhile We the People continue to get the shaft.

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 08/06/2019 - 3:01am
I find it difficult to believe

....that Trump would try to throw the economy into a recession at this time. In fact, he has been dogging the Fed Reserve for that interest cut just to push the possibility of a recession back and further boost the stock market.

I believe it is common knowledge that the incumbent party almost always wins a second term if the economy does not fail catastrophically. And Trump is poised to win according to historian Allan Lichtman, whose system has never failed to accurately predict the outcome of the past nine Presidential elections. Lichtman tracks the 13 variables that determine the outcomes of Presidential elections going back to the Civil war -- the health of the short-term and long-term economy being two of them.

Lichtman, a Democrat himself, says there is only one way to trick the situation at this point. Can you guess what it is?

[Aug 18, 2019] IV- MICHELS: THE IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY by Dr. Mustafa Delican

Highly recommended!
Aug 18, 2019 | dergipark.org.tr

To Michels organizations are the only means for the creation of a collective will and they work under the Iron Law of Oligarchy. He explicitly points out the indispensability of oligarchy from the organizations by saying that "It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over electors, of the mandatanes over the mandators, of the delegates over delegators, who says organization, says oligarchy" (Michels 1966, p.365).

Oligarchical tendencies in organizations is not related to ideology or ends of the organizations. Of course, it is evident that any organization which is set up for autocratic aims , it is oligarchic by nature. To Michels, regardless of any ideological concerns, all types of organizations have oligarchic tendencies. It was his major question in political parties that "how can oligarchic tendencies be explained in socialist and democratic parties, which they declared war against it?"( Michels 1966, pp. 50-51).

When he examines this question throughout in his book: Political Parties, he sees organization itself particularly bureaucracy, nature of human being and the phenomenon of leadership as major factors for oligarchical tendencies in organizations. According to Michels' assessments, the crowd is always subject to suggestion and the masses have an apathy for guidance of their need. In contrast the leaders have a natural greed of power ( Michels 1966, pp. 64, 205). To Michels, leadership itself is not compatible with the most essential postulates of democracy, but leadership is a necessary phenomenon in every form of society. He says "At the outset, leaders arise spontaneously, their functions are ACCESSORY and GRATUITOUS. Soon however, they become professional leaders, and in this second stage of development they are stable and irremovable"(

Michels 1966, p. 364).

Leaders also have personal qualities that make them successful as a ruling class. These qualities are , the force of will, knowledge, strength of conviction, self sufficiency, goodness of heart and disinterestedness ( Michels 1966, p. 100 ). Furthermore there is a reciprocal relationship between leadership functions and the organizational structure. Majority of leaders abuse organizational opportunities for their personal aims by using their personal qualities and by creating means, organizational process or principles like party discipline.

As for as organization itself is considered as a source of oligarchy, Michels says that it is generally because of "PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZATION ITSELF, that is to say, upon the tactical and technical necessities which result from the consolidation of every disciplined political aggregate."( Michels 1966, p. 365). Further as a particular type of organization bureaucracy and its features require an oligarchic structure.

At the societal level, although development in the democracy, oligarchy still exists. First of all he says by looking at the state as an organization, which needs a bureaucracy that is the source of enemy of individual freedom, the state represents a single gigantic oligarchy. An attempt to destroy this gigantic* oligarchy in fact brings a number of smaller oligarchies in society but does not eliminate it ( Michels 1966, p. 188,191,202). Secondly he agrees with Jean Jack Rousseau on the idea that "it is always against the natural order of things that the majority rule and the minority ruled." (Michels 1965, p. 106). Along with this idea professional leadership is seen by Michels as an incompatible phenomenon with

democracy, because , although the leaders at once are not more than executive agents off collective will, as soon as they gain the technical specialization, they emancipate themselves form the masses and start to use their power against the majority. ( Michels 1966, p.70). In addition to this, representative political system is not compatible with the ideal democracy, because to Michels, "a mass which delegates its sovereignty, that is to say transfer its sovereignty to the hands of the few individuals, abdicates its sovereign function ( Michels 1966, p. 73).

The third factor is related to level of socio-economic development of societies and experience of democracy in history. To him in this time ideal democracy is impossible due to socio-economic conditions, that further more he says that," The democracy has an inherent preference for the authoritarian solution of the important questions" (Michels 1966, p. 51, 342).

As a logical result of his iron law of oligarchy, he admits there are elites in society but not elite circulation in terms of replacing one another. He does not redefine the concept of elite, he took Pareto's theory of circulation of elites and modified it. To Michels, there is a battle between the old and new elites, leaders.

The end of this war is not an absolute replacement of the old elites by the new elites, but a reunion of elites, a perennial amalgamation. Complete replacement of elites is rare in history. The old elites attract, absorb and assimilate the new ones, and it is a continuous process (Michels 1966, p. 182, 343; Michels 1949, p. 63). Because for Michels, first " old aristocracy does not disappear, does not become proletarian or impoverished ( at least in absolute sense ), does not make way for new group of rulers , but that always remains at the head of nations, which it led over the course of centuries...[and second]...the old aristocracy be it very old rejuvenated, does not exercise the rule alone but is forced to shave it with some kind of new ruler" (Michels 1965, p. 75-76).

Aristocracy for Michels is not homogenous stratum, and consists of nobility and ruling class. Nobility represents a small but strong part of aristocracy. In this sense it seems that nobility represents real oligarchical power in the society. To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy,

To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy, and not constituting more than a part of it, nobility generally takes hold of it and makes itself its master. It pervades, conquers, and molds, the high middle class according to its own moral and social essence" ( Michels 1949,p. 77, 80 ). In contrast to nobility aristocracy is heterogeneous and a place where lower classes' members can easily rise and members of aristocracy can be subject to downward social mobility. For his time, he describes elements of aristocracy (1) aristocrats by birth (2) aristocracy of government clerks, (3) aristocracy of money (4) aristocracy of knowledge . All this groups also represent ruling class (Michels 1965, p. 76 ).

Michels does not get in too much special analysis of the relationships between aristocracy, ruling class and majority. I think he doesn't see that there are much differences in oligarchy in organization and oligarchy in society at large.

To me these two must be separated because (1) for individuals society in a sense an unavoidable place to be in contrast to organizations, particularly voluntary organization , (2) while society represent a more natural entity, organizations are more artificial entities and (3) organizations are set to realize certain targets in a certain period of time, in contrast society's targets are relatively unstable, and subject to reconstruction by people. To think of these questions, does not necessarily reject the existence of oligarchical tendencies in societies. In fact as Michels pointed out democracy has a legacy to solve important questions of society, by using oligarchic methods. Furthermore he also points out that at any social organization there is an intermixture of oligarchic and democratic tendencies. He says that"... In modem party life, aristocracy gladly present itself in democratic guise, while the substance of democracy is permeated with aristocratic elements. On the one side we have aristocracy is a democratic form, and on the other hand democracy with an aristocratic context" (Michels 1966, p.50).

... ... ...

In terms of replacement of old elites by new ones, there is a distinction between Pareto and Michels. Michels does not admit replacement of elites, but admits, amalgamation of new and old elites. In fact historically we can see both of them happened. In short term amalgamation of old and new elites, and in long terms replacement of old elites by new ones. This time period depends on changes in society at large. For example, consider socialist revolutions and aftermath of independent movement in developing countries where these two movements took place, old elites were wiped out. This type of changes are rarely in history. In short term, amalgamation of elites takes place and new elites gradually increases its proportion in the elite strata and ruling class. For example as a result of

industrialization in burope, Hughes observes that at the beginning ...upper class oligarchy shared power with the old aristocracy-but with each year that passed the balance seemed to incline more heavily in favor of the former" (Hughes 1965, pp.149-150). It can be concluded that new elites are bom as a result of socio- economic , political, and historical changes in society, and then these new elites via upward mobility, and that in the end the new elites take place the highest position in the society. In this process the adaptation ability of old elites determine their fates.

On democracy, Pareto always separate ideal democracy and democracy applied, and prefers to talk about the subjects of democracy rather than democracy itself. Michels is clearly in favor of democracy, Mosca was previously against democracy but after the experience of Fascism in Italy, he changed his mind.

How elitist theories affected democracy ? Two answers have given for this question. On the negative side, it has been said that these anti-democratic theories helped European ruling classes by restoring their self confidence and by increasing their consciousness about their privileges; therefore, elite theories become a vehicle for ruling classes (Hughes 1965 (b), p. 149), On the positive side, it has said that elitist theories have helped to enhance democratic theories, Michels himself believed that research on oligarchies necessary for development of democracy by saying that "...a serene and frank examination of oligarchical dangers of democracy will enable us to minimize these dangers,...(Michels 1966, p.370).

It can be said that elitist theories extended and increased awareness of masses and scientist against governments and ruling classes. As a result, many researches have been conducted on application of democracy in organizations.

Researches have shown that oligarchical tendencies are dominant in organizations and can not be eliminated totally. Further more, attempts to reduce oligarchic contrgl in organizations with very few exception have failed. In general, in voluntary organizations, the functional requirements of democracy con not be met most of the time (Lipset, Trow, and Coleman 1956, p.4,6,452).

Is democracy still compatible with elite theories? That has been the question that lead to redefine, reconceptualize the democracy. Here we must pay attention that Pareto, Mosca, and Michels worked J.J. Rousseau's definition of democracy: government by the people, but not government for the people (Burnham 1943, pp.156-7).

New democratic theories like political pluralism, theory of the mass society are compatible with elitist theories. Schumpeter was one of the earliest thinker that he redefined democracy considering elitists 1 arguments. To him democracy defined as "...institutional arrangement for arriving the power to decide by means of competitive struggle for the people's vote" (Bottomore 1964, p.10).

In contrast to compatibility of elitist theories with democracy, it can not be compatible with Marxism. Michels pointed out that M [t]he law of circulation of elites destroy the thesis of the possibility of a society without social levels...[and]... destroy equally the supposition of a ruling class that remains closed and inaccessible" (Michels 1965, p. 106). In terms of preference of political systems he clearly says that "the defects inherent in democracy are obvious. It is none the less true that as a form of social life we must choose democracy as the least of evils" (Michels 1966, p.370).

VI- CONCLUSIONS

Elitist theorists not only introduced elites but also contributed on better understanding of social and political life of societies. The key concept is "power" and who has the power she/he is the leader of society. Heredity, wealth, intellect, organizations are the means to get power.

[Aug 17, 2019] America is the richest country in the world, but it has more than half a million homeless and 28 million people without health insurance out of a population of around 325 million. Is America Crazy? by John Feffer

Decline of neoliberalism in not a pretty picture. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Greek version of this saying which appers in Sophocles’ play Antigone is more precise: "evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction". Oscar Wilde — 'When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.'
Aug 17, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
The United States witnessed three mass shootings in one week recently in California, Texas, and Ohio. There have been more than 250 mass shootings so far in 2019, more than one a day. This year in America, more than 33,000 shooting incidents have killed more than 8,700 people.

America is the richest country in the world, but it has more than half a million homeless and 28 million people without health insurance – out of a population of around 325 million. The U.S. infant mortality rate places it 33rd out of wealthiest 36 nations.

... ... ...

People from other industrialized countries must think that the United States has simply gone insane. It is a nation of terrible extremes: grotesque wealth and horrific poverty, brilliant minds and widespread ignorance, high rates of volunteerism and endemic violence. America seems to be suffering from some kind of bipolar disorder with pockets of manic energy and large areas of deep depression.

It would be tempting to argue that America is only suffering from a bout of temporary insanity. But mass shootings, gross economic inequality, and corruption didn't begin when Donald Trump became president. He has made matters worse, to be sure. But these trends are longstanding.

So, why do Americans put up with such violence, economic inequality, and political nonsense?

... ... ...

Moreover, more than half of Americans have never traveled to another country. One in ten hasn't even gone outside the state in which he or she was born. Since most of the news about other countries is negative, Americans naturally believe that life is more dangerous outside their borders. They haven't actually seen what it's like in other countries, so there's no way for them to compare the craziness of life in America with life anywhere else.

Of course, plenty of countries experience considerable violence, economic inequality, and political corruption. But they are usually not powerful industrialized nations.

In the 2019 Global Peace Index , for instance, the United States ranks 128 th in the world, between South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Kosovo, Haiti, and Bangladesh all rank higher than America. Part of the reason that the United States ranks so poorly is the amount of military violence that the country inflicts around the world – through war, arms sales, and military bases. But the high homicide rate in the United States also dragged its score down.

The GINI index measures a country's economic inequality. The United States, according to OECD figures , is fourth from the bottom of the wealthiest countries in the world. Only Chile, Turkey, and Mexico have greater income inequality after taxes and transfers.

On corruption issues, the United States has generally been in the top twenty in terms of transparency. But in 2018, it dropped six places to number 22 in the Transparency International rankings. Here, the influence of the Trump administration has been significant. The problem is not ordinary corruption like bribery. Rather, Trump is challenging the very foundations of the rule of law. He promised to "drain the swamp" of political influence-peddling in Washington, DC. But he has only made the nation's capital swampier.

Individuals with mental disorders can seek professional help. They can take medications and enter psychotherapy. They can check themselves into a hospital.

But what happens when a country is crazy?

[Aug 17, 2019] Candidates Must Commit to Immediate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan by Marjorie Cohn

Aug 15, 2019 | truthout.org
In July 30, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that the Afghan government and international military forces, primarily the United States , caused most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2019. That's more killings than those perpetrated in the same time period by the Taliban and ISIS combined.

Aerial operations were responsible for 519 civilian casualties (356 deaths and 156 injuries), including 150 children (89 deaths and 61 injuries). That constitutes a 39 percent increase in overall civilian casualties from aerial attacks. Eighty-three percent of civilian casualties from aerial operations were carried out by the international forces.

The targeting of civilians amounts to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

... ... ...

Team Trump's deadly actions are a continuation of the Bush and Obama administrations' commission of the most heinous crimes in Afghanistan. On April 12, the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber found a "reasonable basis" to believe that the parties to the Afghan conflict, including the U.S. military and the CIA, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, most of them occurring between 2005 and 2015. They include "the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence pursuant to a policy approved by the U.S. authorities."

The chamber, however, refused to open a formal investigation into those crimes, as recommended by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. In concluding that "an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice," the chamber questioned the feasibility of such a probe. An investigation would be "very wide in scope and encompasses a high number of alleged incidents having occurred over a long time period," the chamber wrote. It noted the extreme difficulty in gauging "the prospects of securing meaningful cooperation from relevant authorities for the future" and found "the current circumstances of the situation in Afghanistan are such as to make the prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited."

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and a member of the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

[Aug 17, 2019] Debunking the Putin Panic by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.

So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in [20]14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.

Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.


Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .

integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about

Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.

Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.

Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:

Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.

JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!

Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.

Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.

It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.

CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe

Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :

"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.

Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Eh, probably

John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.

Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?

You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?

rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?

" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"

The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.

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

Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.

So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

"While it's true that power corrupts"

I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.

I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.

There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.

Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.

Not every culture and person are the same.

BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.

rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.

But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.

Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.

Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"

Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.

The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.

Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?

"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."

What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?

witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am

Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.

I warn you – it is terrifying!

http://npetro.net/resources/Petro-FF+Spring+2018.pdf

Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.

Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.

Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.

John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site

It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.

When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."

There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.

For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.

It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.

Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.

pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

iirc he didn't say it was true.

Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.

vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am

"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!

Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;

o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;

o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";

o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.

[Aug 17, 2019] Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome (PTDS)

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

[Aug 17, 2019] The more you peel the onion, the more pathetic the Democratic leadership gets

Aug 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , August 06, 2019 at 08:03 PM

Obama didn't lead on race, either. In fact, Obama was largely missing in action: "The Obama administration's civil rights record has been remarkably thin. In the first four years, the administration did not file a single major employment discrimination, housing, or education case, which are three traditional areas of civil rights enforcement. Additionally, in all of these areas, the number of cases filed appears to be either at the same level as the George W. Bush administration

In the other area of traditional civil rights enforcement, namely voting rights, the administration has been active, particularly on the divisive issue of voter identification. However, this activity all arose during the 2012 presidential campaign and seems quite likely to have been related to, or motivated by, that campaign. The Obama administration has, in fact, largely been a