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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Lesser evil  trick of legitimizing disastrous,
corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Donald Trump Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Bernie Sanders
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Predator state Media-Military-Industrial Complex Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Neocons
Neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  American Exceptionalism Myth about intelligent voter Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Most people are not getting that they are duped.  "Lesser evil" is a story told to herd the masses. If there are two neoliberal politicians, both are corrupt. Neither intends to deliver anything to you on net; they are competing to deliver you on the plate to their corporate masters. You can chose only the sauce under which you will delivered.  

I am not enthusiastic about this proposed distinction between "hard" and "soft" neoliberalism. Ideologically, conservative libertarians have been locked in a dialectic with the Clintonite / Blairite neoliberals - that's an old story, maybe an obsolete story, but apparently not one those insist on seeing neoliberalism as a monolithic lump fixed in time can quite grasp, but never mind.

Good cop, bad cop. Only, the electorate is carefully divided so that one side's good cop is the other side's bad cop, and vice versa.

bruce wilder 09.01.16 at 7:09 pm
Hillary Clinton is engaging in politics and she's teh most librul librul evah! Why isn't that enough? It is not her fault, surely, that the devil makes her do unlibrul things - you have to be practical and practically, there is no alternative. We have to clap louder. That's the ticket!

 

Superdelegate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In American politics, a "superdelegate" is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.

This contrasts with convention "pledged" delegates that are selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate that did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

At least in name, superdelegates are not involved in the Republican Party nomination process. There are delegates to the Republican National Convention that are seated automatically, but they are limited to three per state, consisting of the state chairsperson and two district-level committee members. Republican Party superdelegates are obliged to vote for their state's popular vote winner under the rules of the party branch to which they belong.[1]

Although the term superdelegate was originally coined and created to describe a type of Democratic delegate, the term has become widely used to describe these delegates in both parties,[2] even though it is not an official term used by either party.

... ... ...

For Democrats, superdelegates fall into two categories:

For Republicans, there are delegates in each state, consisting of the state chairman and two RNC committee members. However, according to the RNC communications director Sean Spicer, convention rules obligate those RNC members to vote according to the result of primary elections held in their states.

... ... ...

Democratic Party rules distinguish pledged and unpledged delegates. Pledged delegates are selected based on their announced preferences in the contest for the presidential nomination. In the party primary elections and caucuses in each U.S. state, voters express their preference among the contenders for the party's nomination for President of the United States. Pledged delegates supporting each candidate are chosen in approximate ratio to their candidate’s share of the vote. They fall into three categories: district-level pledged delegates (usually by congressional districts);[4] at-large pledged delegates; and pledged PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) delegates.

In a minority of the states, delegates are legally required to support the candidate to whom they are pledged.[5] In addition to the states' requirements, the party rules state (Rule 12.J): "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them."[3]

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates (Rule 9.A) are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, solely by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way. They may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race.[6] The other superdelegates, the unpledged add-on delegates (Rule 9.B), who need not be PLEOs, are selected by the state parties after some of the pledged delegates are chosen,[3] but they resemble the unpledged PLEO delegates in being free to vote as they wish.

... ... ...

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, superdelegates cast approximately 823.5 votes, with fractions arising because superdelegates from Michigan, Florida, and Democrats Abroad are entitled to half a vote each. Of the superdelegates' votes, 745 are from unpledged PLEO delegates and 78.5 are from unpledged add-on delegates, although the exact number in each category is subject to events.


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 30, 2017] Democrats Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them

Notable quotes:
"... The Republican Party is home to many a vile reactionary, but its principal function is, and long has been, to serve the most odious wing of the American ruling class. ..."
"... Being unfit and unprepared for the office he suddenly found himself holding, Trump had no choice but to call on seasoned Republican apparatchiks for help. Thus he ended up empowering the very people he had beaten into submission months before. ..."
"... Thus the Republican Party and the Donald became locked together in a bizarre marriage of convenience. Their unholy aliance has by now become a nightmare for all concerned. ..."
"... Moreover, with each passing day, the situation becomes more fraught – to the point that even Republican Senators, three of them so far, have already said "enough." ..."
"... Vice President Mike Pence, his constitutionally prescribed successor, is an opportunist too, but he is also a dedicated theocrat and a thoroughgoing reactionary. A skilled casting director could not have come up with a more suitable vector for spreading the plagues that Republican donors like the Koch brothers seek to let loose upon the world. ..."
"... With Pence in the Oval Office, the chances of nuclear annihilation would diminish, but everything else would be worse. Trump is temperamentally unable to play well with the denizens of the "adult daycare center" that official Washington has become. On the other hand, because his effect on people is more soporific than terrifying, and because he is, by nature, a "pragmatic" conservative -- a mirror image of what Clinton purported to be -- Pence could end up doing more to undermine progress than Trump could ever imagine. ..."
"... Therefore, Trump's demise, though necessary, would be a mixed blessing, at best. ..."
"... After all, Democrats are part of the problem too -- arguably, the major part – and they can hardly remain entirely indifferent to the concerns of voters who lean left. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

The Republican Party is home to many a vile reactionary, but its principal function is, and long has been, to serve the most odious wing of the American ruling class.

Before Hillary Clinton threw away a sure victory last November, Donald Trump was well on the way to blowing that dreadful party apart.

No credit is due him, however. The harm he was on track for causing was unintended. Trump was not trying to do the GOP in; he was only promoting his brand and himself.

However, by stirring up longstanding rifts between the party's various factions, he effectively put himself on the side of the angels. Without intending anything of the sort, and without even trying, Trump turned himself into a scourge upon America's debilitating duopoly party system.

As Election Day approached, it was unclear whether the GOP's Old Guard would ever be able to put their genteel thing -- their WASPish Cosa Nostra -- back together again.

With Hillary Clinton in the White House, their odds were maybe fifty-fifty. Had the Democrats nominated a less inept Clintonite like Joe Biden or an old school liberal like Bernie Sanders, their odds would have been worse.

But then, to nearly everyone's surprise, including his own, Trump won -- or, rather, Clinton lost, taking many a Democrat down with her. The debacle wasn't entirely her fault. For years, the Democratic National Committee had been squandering its resources on getting Democratic presidents elected, leaving down ticket Democrats wallowing in malign neglect.

And so, for a while, it looked like the GOP would not only survive Trump, but would thrive because of him.

Even so, Republicans were not exactly riding on Trump's coattails. The party's grandees had problems with the Donald, as did comparatively sane Republican office holders and office seekers; so did Republican-leaning voters in the broader electorate. But with Clinton flubbing so badly, none of this mattered.

Being unfit and unprepared for the office he suddenly found himself holding, Trump had no choice but to call on seasoned Republican apparatchiks for help. Thus he ended up empowering the very people he had beaten into submission months before.

Thus the Republican Party and the Donald became locked together in a bizarre marriage of convenience. Their unholy aliance has by now become a nightmare for all concerned.

Moreover, with each passing day, the situation becomes more fraught – to the point that even Republican Senators, three of them so far, have already said "enough."

Republicans continue to run the House and the Senate, and they occupy hosts of other top government offices, but the Republican Party has gone into damage control mode. It had little choice, inasmuch as its Trump induced, pre-election trajectory is back on track.

After only a brief hiatus, the chances are therefore good once again that if the country and the world survive Trump, he will be remembered mainly for destroying the party that Abraham Lincoln led a century and a half ago.

This is therefore a good time to give Republicans space to destroy themselves and each other, cheering them on from the sidelines – especially as they turn on Trump and he turns on them.

Saving the world from that menace is plainly of paramount importance, but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the alternative is arguably even more unpalatable. Trump is an accidental malefactor; he goes where self-interest leads him. Vice President Mike Pence, his constitutionally prescribed successor, is an opportunist too, but he is also a dedicated theocrat and a thoroughgoing reactionary. A skilled casting director could not have come up with a more suitable vector for spreading the plagues that Republican donors like the Koch brothers seek to let loose upon the world.

With Pence in the Oval Office, the chances of nuclear annihilation would diminish, but everything else would be worse. Trump is temperamentally unable to play well with the denizens of the "adult daycare center" that official Washington has become. On the other hand, because his effect on people is more soporific than terrifying, and because he is, by nature, a "pragmatic" conservative -- a mirror image of what Clinton purported to be -- Pence could end up doing more to undermine progress than Trump could ever imagine.

Therefore, Trump's demise, though necessary, would be a mixed blessing, at best.

Trump is not likely to "self-impeach" any time soon; and. at this point, only persons who have the ear of Republican bigwigs can do much of anything to hasten his departure from the scene. But there are other ways to "deconstruct" the duopoly party system -- as Trump's fascisant, pseudo-intellectual (formerly official, now unofficial) advisor, Steve Bannon might infelicitously put it.

After all, Democrats are part of the problem too -- arguably, the major part – and they can hardly remain entirely indifferent to the concerns of voters who lean left. ... ... ... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press

[Oct 12, 2017] Are those my words coming out of Steve Bannons mouth? by Thomas Frank

Like Obama before him Trump proved to be a very talented "bat and switcher".
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements. ..."
"... Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors. ..."
"... When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour. ..."
"... Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". ..."
"... People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them. ..."
"... If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency. ..."
"... Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big? ..."
"... So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome. ..."
"... I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much. ..."
"... There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism ..."
"... Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. ..."
"... Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government. ..."
"... There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet. ..."
"... Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers. ..."
"... Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets. ..."
"... I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day. ..."
"... The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers. ..."
"... I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Oct 6, 2017

here's was a moment in Steve Bannon's recent 60 Minutes inter view when the former presidential advisor was asked what he's done to drain "the swamp," the Trumpists' favorite metaphor for everything they hate about Washington DC. Here was Bannon's reply: "The swamp is 50 years in the making. Let's talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It's a successful business model. It's a donor, consultant, K Street lobbyist, politician ... 7 of the 9 wealthiest counties in America ring Washington, DC."

With a shock of recognition I knew immediately what Bannon meant, because what he was talking about was the subject matter of my 2008 book, The Wrecking Crew – the interconnected eco-system of corruption that makes Washington, DC so rich.

The first chapter of my book had been a description of those wealthy counties that ring Washington, DC: the fine cars, the billowing homes, the expense-account restaurants. The rest of the book was my attempt to explain the system that made possible the earthly paradise of Washington and – just like Steve Bannon – I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety.

My critique of Washington was distinctly from the left, and it astonished me to hear something very close to my argument coming from the mouth of one of the nation's most prominent conservatives. But in fact, Bannon has a long history of reaching out to the left – you might say, of swiping its populist language and hijacking its causes.

In this space back in February, for example, I described Bannon's bizarre 2010 pseudo-documentary about the financial crisis, which superficially resembles actual documentaries, but which swerves to blame this failure of the deregulated financial system on the counterculture of the 1960s.

Bannon's once-famous denunciation of Wall Street banks for their role in the financial crisis is another example. His fondness for the author Christopher Lasch is also revealing. As was his admiring phone call with Robert Kuttner, a well-known liberal editor, which happened just before Bannon left his high-ranking White House job in August.

Mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right

Dig a little deeper, and it sometimes seems like the history of the populist right – with its calls to "organize discontent" and its endless war against "the establishment" and the "elites" – is nothing but a history of reformatting left-wing ideas to fit the needs of the billionaire class. Think of Ronald Reagan's (and Mike Pence's) deliberate reprise of Franklin Roosevelt. Or the constant echoes of Depression-era themes and imagery that one heard from the Tea Party movement.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements.

Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors.

So many fine, militant words. So many clarion calls rousing the people against corrupt elites. And now comes Steve Bannon, the terror of the Republican establishment, hectoring us about "the swamp" with ideas so strikingly similar to my own.

Look at deeds rather than words, however, and it seems as though Trump and his gang have been using The Wrecking Crew more as a how-to guide than anything else. In that book, for example, I pointed out that one of the hallmarks of modern conservative governance is the placement of people who are hostile to the mission of federal agencies in positions of authority in those very agencies.

This is an essential component of the Washington corruption Bannon loves to deplore – and yet this is precisely what Bannon's man Trump has done. Betsy DeVos, a foe of public schools, is running the Department of Education. Scott Pruitt, a veteran antagonist of the EPA, has been put in charge of the EPA. Rick Perry now runs the Department of Energy, an agency he once proposed to abolish.

Another characteristic of the DC wrecking crew is a war on competence within the Federal bureaucracy – and that, too, is back on, courtesy of the folks who rallied you against corruption so movingly last year.

Lobbying ? The industry appears to be gearing up for a return of its Reagan-era golden age. In the early days of the administration, lobbyists were appointed en masse to team Trump and a brigade of brash new K Street personalities is rising up to replace the old guard.

Privatization? The people in DC are trying it again, and this time on a gigantic scale. Trump's ultra-populist infrastructure promise now seems to be little more than a vast scheme for encouraging investment firms to take over the country's highways and bridges. Even the dreams of privatized war are back, brought to you courtesy of the enterprising Erik Prince, a familiar face from the worst days of the Iraq war.

Above it all towers the traditional Republican ideal of business-in-government. "The government should be run like a great American company," is how Jared Kushner puts it this time around; and with his private-jet-set cabinet Donald Trump is going to show the nation exactly what that philosophy looks like.

All the elements are here. The conclusion is unquestionable. The wrecking crew is back.

And why is it back? Because, among other things, Republicans are better at fulminating against the wrecking crew than are Democrats. Maybe that's because Democratic leaders feel it's inappropriate to use such blunt and crude language.

Maybe that's because, for 40 years or so, the leadership faction of the Democratic Party has been at war with its own left wing, defining us out of the conversation, turning a deaf ear to our demands, denouncing populism even as the right grabbed for it with both hands. Either way, the Democrats seem to have no intention of changing their approach now.

Maybe we on the left should take consolation in the things Steve Bannon says. Our own team may not listen to us, but at least there's someone out there in a position of power who apparently does. And mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right?

No. All this is happening for one reason only: to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us. That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus.

Thomas Frank is a Guardian columnist

Thirdparty -> bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 04:04

Right. The traditional base of the Democratic Party stopped supporting it when it was taken over by right-wingers like the Clintons.
Thirdparty , 9 Oct 2017 04:01
On running the government like a business: That is exactly what the Trump regime is doing. Their business model is the mob. And to be fair, the idea of running government like a business makes precisely as much sense as running a business like a government.
Aligarter , 9 Oct 2017 03:15
Steve Bannon is part of the plan to de-democratize the USA and Republicans can only do that by lying on an industrial scale, which they do very efficiently and effectively. Why the need? Because although they are good at destruction, they are no good at all at building the nation or government.

The First Rule of Marketing says that if you give people what they want, they will give you dollars. The billionaires who fund the Republicans again and again do so not because they believe in good government, or have the slightest concern for the wealth, health and defense of the nation, but because they get what they want. It's a purchasing contract.

bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 01:27
"....to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us"

They aren't your servants to do your bidding and wait your table. Nor your political property. There is no more similarity of average working blokes to self-infatuated intellectuals of "the left" than a potato to a hubcap.

Working people left the party because they plainly are no longer welcome except during the brief hours when the polls are open.

curiouswes -> HauptmannGurski , 9 Oct 2017 01:22

What are we at?

I haven't the vaguest idea. When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour.

MD1212a , 8 Oct 2017 21:32
Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". The only answer it presented to all problems was more government control over the economy and over all aspects of people's life. People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them.
DocDiv -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 20:16
TPP was a secret deal, which had written into it, its own right to trump the legal systems of signatory countries with TPP-sponsored arbitration and even mediation judgments. Trump saw that off on his first day.
Lyndon Watson , 8 Oct 2017 20:02
If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency.

It was later given away when we didn't accomplish much when we had the majorities in the House, Senate and Presidency back in 2008. If Trump picked up our message it was because he took it, it was because it was just sitting there waiting to be picked up.

Cas Ann -> J.K. Stevens , 8 Oct 2017 19:20
Nonsense. Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big?
JohnCan45 , 8 Oct 2017 17:11
So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome.
curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 16:51

Conservatives argue against identity politics.

That is a good message. I'll be more supportive of the conservatives when they actually practice what they preach. But please don't get me wrong. Not all conservatives are into white supremacy. The problem I see is that if one is a white supremacist, the conservatives don't publicly denounce that position. It makes many people of color feel alienated by conservatism. At least the left openly denounces white supremacy. The right praises MLK but doesn't condemn those in Charlotteville. They had a right to protest and the left shouldn't have tried to silence them. However it was identity politics. They wouldn't be protecting the open display of the confederacy if they weren't into identity politics. That message seems to get lost as conservatism frowns on identity politics.

I don't know what that refers to.

NAFTA passed under Clinton , but more importantly, so did the Uruguay Round of GATT. When the Senate passed that (the House passed it to but technically the House doesn't ratify treaties), it severely curtailed the USA's ability to negotiate our own trade deals. All members of the WTO are vulnerable to financial penalties if any member nation tries to override the rulings set by the WTO. Not only did Ralph Nader recognize this as a problem and try to run for president because of it, so did Pat Buchanan. Buchanan saw this as lost sovereignty (in his words). Both Nader and Buchanan were of course unsuccessful because we vote in an FPTP voting system which tends to eliminate third parties form being successful.

The point is that Clinton forced Congress to pass the legislation just like Paulson forced Congress to approve a bailout of the banks during the financial crisis. It wasn't really all the republicans fault, but the oligarchy would have taken down the global economy if it didn't get bailed out. Anyway the WTO has a policy on dumping:

If a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market, it is said to be "dumping" the product. The WTO Agreement does not regulate the actions of companies engaged in "dumping". Its focus is on how governments can or cannot react to dumping -- it disciplines anti-dumping actions, and it is often called the "Anti-dumping Agreement".

both dems and reps rant and rave about China dumping steel but nothing ever gets done to stop it because the WTO is there protecting China (or american companies making steel in China). Either way the american steel worker gets screwed in the process and that is why populists hate globalism. The American worker knows he's getting screwed but he may not be aware of the mechanism by which he is getting screwed. The media rarely talks about the WTO because if the American worker knew how he was getting screwed, he'd be screaming to get out of the WTO. Typically he only knows his jobs are gone and where they are. However it was Clinton who did this and the idea that anybody would even think of putting HRC back in the white house while she is still married to that dude is due to utter ignorance of the fact of what he did when he was there the first time.

I think both Clinton and W should be in jail, but this isn't about W.

budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 16:39
I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much.
ID6995146 , 8 Oct 2017 16:15
There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism. Capitalism will fail as predicted by Marx and those who really know about it. It is our children who will pick up the tab if they can survive.
stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:19
> Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us.

Conservatives argue against identity politics. I don't know what the oligarchy is supposed to be, in the context of the US. People in power often came from varied backgrounds, not usually all that rich backgrounds.

> upward mobility is being taken from us

Upward from what? If you are poor, there's a lot of upward that might be possible, but if you are middle class, whatever that means, you can't have everyone moving up or the definition of middle class would change to them.

> The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton

I don't know what that refers to. Welfare reform? Various changes to banking regulations? Allowing bin Laden to hit us again and again but instead of doing what needed to be done, frolicking with a young frisky intern in the Oval Office? I doubt Bush Sr would've done that.

stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:12
> However if you stand up for the rights of one group and ignore the rights of another today some people still don't "get it".

They don't get what? When someone protests in the street, whether they are sweetness and light or racist or whatever, they have the right to protest. Plenty of people would argue that "hate speech" should be banned, them defining what "hate speech" means, of course. These people are arguing against settled constitutional law.

> I tend to think the US citizen should be protected by the bill of rights and not necessarily those here illegally.

Yet not protecting everyone with due process, for example, is a violation of constitutional law.

curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 14:49
I consider myself a populist. Not exactly from the left but certainly more left that right. Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton, but rest assured; HW Bush would have done it had he won the election in 92.
budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 13:10
My point was that calling the Democratic Party a leftist party requires a notion of that term drained of real meaning. The Democratic Party has always upheld the supremacy of capital and the necessity of forestalling a revolution. I realize that in the United States plenty of people regard President Obama and Hillary Clinton as communists, but that's simply a measure of how far to the right political discourse stands there. The American left was eliminated from public life in the 1940s and 1950s with the suppression of the Communist Party, the purging of the unions and professions, and strict mass indoctrination of the citizenry. And whenever new manifestations of leftist energy have appeared, they have been met with unremitting hostility from liberal and conservative centers of power.

Finally, the Democratic Party is a party not just of capital, but of empire. This was never more true than in last year's election, in which Donald Trump was able to appeal to marginal voters on the ambiguous claim that he was less warlike than Secretary Clinton. No, there's nothing in the two party set-up which expresses the basic demands of the modern left- an end to imperialism, nationalization of key industries, and so on. And when people restrict their political thinking to the narrow range offered by a business oligopoly, they're going to be misreading their own reality.

lsjogren -> dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 10:27
The Republican Party has a big problem in that its agenda has at best a small grassroots following of perhaps 10% of the populace.

Meantime, populist-nationalism is in sync with the views of I would estimate at least 50% of the US citizenry and perhaps as much as 60%. (the other 30% of the public are "progressives")

The establishment has maintained power by default. When our political system offers only a choice between a "progressive" Democrat and an establishment Repubilcan, many voters choose the latter as the lesser evil.

If and when voters actually are offered a genuine choice at the ballot box, watch out. I think you will start seeing this played out on a grand scale in the 2018 and 2020 Republican primaries.

lsjogren , 8 Oct 2017 10:22
Fighting the corporate establishment has never been the exclusive province of the left.

Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government.

This movement is one of the grassroots pillars fueling Bannonism.

dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 09:03
There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet.

Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers.

budhudnut , 8 Oct 2017 06:26
Thomas Frank's interesting and thoughtful pieces on the failure- or refusal- of the Democratic Party to come to terms with the depths of voter disaffection form an interesting contrast with the Guardian's DNC-supplied outlook. I suppose that's why he's been hired, to take up all that slack as the paper trudges ever rightward. Here's a link to an extended recent interview he gave with Paul Jay at The Real News.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1649

Christopher Oxley , 7 Oct 2017 16:53
Populist movements typically tend to involve more focus on complaining and raging about problems than coming up with any real solutions for them, so it doesn't really matter whether members self-identify as coming from the left or right. Given the Trump campaign was all about manipulation anyway, with Trump just a puppet to distract the public from seeing the corprate take-over of the state, it's not surprising they used a populist rhetoric, as seen in shock doctrine, that inherent rage blinds them from seeing they are being manipulated.
Ben Groetsch -> sludgeco , 7 Oct 2017 15:48
The last time the Democrats actually offered something to the American people was the War on Poverty and Civil Rights legislation by President Johnson in the 1960s. Other than the Democrats have been acting like an extended PR arm of corporate America by performing sideshows on social issues while failing to address the needs of working families. I clearly don't buy into the notion that the Democrats are a tad better than the Republicans. No, the Democrats need to be radically to the left like Bernie Sanders, not moderate Republican lite such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. This country simply cannot continue electing conservative governments all the time in Washington DC.
sparkylab -> JoeintheMidwest , 7 Oct 2017 12:50
Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets.
JoeintheMidwest -> PennyCarter , 7 Oct 2017 12:25
A broken clock is right twice a day. Yes, Republican isolationists are the only ones in their primarily interventionist party to ever make a principled critique of endless U.S. wars abroad. Sadly, the Democrats are, with some honorable exceptions like Dennis Kucinich, as committed to these endless wars as their partners across the aisle. This is one of the many reasons why Hillary Clinton lost. However, Buchanan's xenophobia makes his brand of anti-imperialism shallow--he still thinks "Western civilization" is superior to other cultures, and has denied the genocide against Native Americans. His views about Jews are also rather creepy. That said, I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day.
money777 , 7 Oct 2017 07:21
There is divisive manipulation on the left and the right, the pundits blame each other to keep America divided. The right stereotypes the left while the left stereotypes the right . The working class crazy white guy is oppressing the hispanic and blacks while the blacks and hispanic oppress the working class white. The left pundits make fun of the working class while the right pundits make fun of the left pundits. Both sides are entralled by business interests aka socoio-political interests. Afterall, this is a business world where ppl have to put food on the table.America is on the verge of becoming as divided as america was prior to the civil war. What am i supposed to do? Join the resistence of division taking place on the left and the right? Protest against another american at a divided left vs. right rally? Resistence is futile because resistence leads to more division.

Excuse my unedites grammar semtence structure lack of sense and not serious online comment

Ponderbelle -> America_Loves_Trump , 7 Oct 2017 05:16
Trump can't stop calling others names - with the absurd stance that he must bully people to create a sense of self respect.

Those who support Trump or Bannon generally have in common a refusal to see any viewpoint other than their own. They'll find a way to make most any belief, policy or decision which T&B uphold, look justified or non-offensive in motives.

Trump runs every which way, so, there are bound to be a few things one finds agreeable (even from the left). Bannon thinks democracy does not work. He'd like to see the federal government crash.

In fact, The USA has no true democracy. Like many developed nations we are under the total rule of organized business. Profit is superior and normalized whereas basic human needs are for the highest bid competition. Greed older than Methuselah's first breakfast. Bannon doesn't have a vision for the betterment and uplift of society any more than anyone else. Who cannot can see corporate greed has its tentacles around us? The common person on the street knows the scheme. What to do about it finds us in the land of inertia. Next crash (it is coming) the panicked cry for bailouts will be near impossible to put-up with. With billions on the planet we are in new territory, as to resources and competition. A system which cannot survive with its hand in our pocket while claiming free market enterprise will even out the system on balance - meaning for investors, and head in sand more of the same.

ID6823856 , 7 Oct 2017 04:10
The "base" of the Democratic party is now the same get rich ideologues of Clinton-ism who are happy to lobby and privatise with as much enthusiasm as any right wing Republican/Conservative/Tea Party ideologue. Every administration, Republican or Democratic, from Clinton, to Bush, to Obama, has held to the same policies of the Reagan administration. The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers.
rogerscorpion , 7 Oct 2017 04:06
Mr. Frank, I found it surprising that you mentioned both Betsy de Vos and Erik Prince -- but didn't mention the fact that they are siblings.
PeterOrmonde , 7 Oct 2017 03:45
Yep - the big mistake with critters like Bannon is to ignore or dismiss everything they say and fail to detect what resonance they are striking with what audience.

But it's awkward when you just read them and recognise grains of truthiness - they see the same problems it's just their solutions are all wrong. But they are actually cutting the left's grass - pinching the alienation and discontent that rightly belongs to progress, no? Now the NRA have got 'em - not even the GOP.

Be yer unfinished civil war this... grinding away slowly ... so now the whole place is riven by fear and suspicion - of race, wealth, cities, the guvvermint, of anything and everything really. A deeply traumatised culture you've got sitting down there - victims real and imagined wandering about and none of it getting fixed at all..

Not everyone or everywhere - but the most fearful and angry cluster are centred on the underlying issues of the era of Lincoln. Trump is speaking for and to them. There can be no more nonsense about lone gunmen - this is now part of US culture - systemic and systematic.

Yer 500 kiddies are just the price of open-carry freedoms according to the Vegas mayor. All the same old folk-wisdoms: can't have laws that stop bad people being bad?... why should the 1% of evildoers dictate our liberties?

But of course they do. That is how all laws work, whether murder or shoplifting - everyone shows their bags. In fact they are arguing for lawlessness - vigilantism and John Wayne cowboy myths. That's the Trump/Bannon audience ... National Enquirer readers packing heat .

Gonna get ugly before it's fixed.

Maury A. Bousson , 7 Oct 2017 02:42
#TheHouseAlwaysWins The author gets so close to putting his finger on the problem and then at the last moment swerves off into partisan rhetoric. Wake up dude! Both of the things you think are opposite sides are out to get us.
eastbayradical -> newyorkred , 7 Oct 2017 02:24
The list below delineates the policies and initiatives that Hillary Clinton supported over course of her political career (including as a loyal First Lady to Bill Clinton). They help explain the depressed voter enthusiasm and turnout for the Dems among many of the groups to whom you say Frank, as a "well-to-do white man" pining for "white working class revolution," owes an apology:

--Deregulation of the investment banks (and against reinstatement of Glass--Steagall)
--Deregulation of the telecommunications industry
--Deregulation of derivatives
--The destruction of welfare (which has caused the numbers living in extreme poverty to double since its passage)
--The Omnibus Crime Bill (increased the prison population massively)
--NAFTA
--The sanctions regime against Iraq of the 1990s that killed 500,000 Iraqi children ("it was worth it," said her friend Madeline Albright)
--The Defense of Marriage Act
--CAFTA (granted stealthy support)
--TPP
--Fracking
--The objectively-racist death penalty
--The private prison industry
--The Patriot Act
--The Iraq War
--The bombing of Libya
--Military intervention in Syria
--Israel's starvation blockade and blitzkrieg against Gaza
--The right-wing coup in Honduras
--Investor-friendly repression and cronyism in Haiti
--A 31 cents/hour minimum wage in Haiti (and against attempts to raise it)
--The recently announced 20 year, $1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) upgrade of the US's nuclear arsenal
--Historically-high numbers of deportations under the Obama Adm.
--Oil drilling in the Arctic
--The fight against free public university tuition
--The fight against single-payer health care
--Acceptance of tens of millions of dollars of corporate money
--Credit-card industry favored bankruptcy laws
--The bail-out of Wall Street

suddenoakdeath -> James F. , 7 Oct 2017 01:24
....and America was convinced Trump cared about them, so says Thomas Frank.
Alex W -> Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 21:21
If you think America is bad, then try living in the UK. The UK is a hotbed of religious nutters. Just look at Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron, and Theresa May.

The UK still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England). The UK's national anthem ' God Save the Queen ' mentions 'God' over 30 different times. And most British schools are still faith-based and funded by the church. Also, abortion and gay marriage are still banned in some parts of the UK, such as Northern Ireland.

Forget Donald Trump.... the UK is far more religious & dangerous.

askzippy , 6 Oct 2017 21:09
Lol, yeah it's only the Rs that do bad stuff in DC. HRC was the Queen of the system described above. An article designed to confuse those without eyes to see.

The interesting thing for me is the hate levels on the left which appear to be almost off the scale at the moment. Identity politics seems to have a deep hold on your hearts.

sejong , 6 Oct 2017 20:55
The national of USA should be changed from bald eagle to lone wolf. Forget e pluribis unum. War of all against all.
Alex W -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 20:04
The U.S. is more liberal & secular than ever. The election of Trump doesn't change that. According to a 2011 Pew Report , the U.S. now has the 3rd largest atheist population in the world -- after China & Japan. On top of that, a 2015 Gallup Poll found that 60% of Americans would vote for an atheist President -- a record number that continues to grow every year.

Additionally, gay marriage is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Marijuana is legal & taxed in 8 U.S. states. Euthanasia (assisted suicide) is legal in 6 U.S states -- including California (the largest state in America with over 40 million people). Even prostitution is legal & regulated in some U.S. states, such as Nevada!

*Sign into Youtube to watch this video about legal American brothels.

The U.S. constitution guarantees separation of Church & State -- unlike the UK, which still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England).

kmacafee -> Attu de Bubbalot , 6 Oct 2017 19:53
Not really. They will be defeated in the next election and they are already facing charges and prison time. This will not end with a bang, but with a whimper and whining like you've never heard. There are many more in the one percent and the top 10% who are already disgusted with Mercer, Koch, Trump and the whole Putin cabal. Evil is evil and splashing some fake christianity on their hitler speeches is not fooling anyone but the already fooled; and they are a small lot getting smaller every single day.
Zepp -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 18:21
Most of Bannon's story about dear old dad is pure crap. He was already a right wing film-maker before the 2008 meltdown, and dear old dad would still have his money if he had listened to his two financier sons instead of the cable TV idiot Cramer. AT&T, in case you haven't heard, came through the crash intact.
colacj , 6 Oct 2017 18:16
15 billion dollars worth of missiles being sold to Saudi Arabia ........ while a few days ago Saudi Arabia goes to Moscow and talks to putin which is the first tie ever.......... so we sold them weapons to what , aim at us........
Ben Groetsch -> MTavernier , 6 Oct 2017 18:15
So, do you preferred two thirds of the American population to live on welfare aid like Medicaid which doesn't even covered dental and eye exams? As much you don't like the GOP approach to healthcare reform, the Democrats would rather bailed out the insurance industry by making consumers to buy unaffordable coverage and public assistance programs and refused to embraced Bernie Sanders approach to universal healthcare. The Democratic Party simply has no ideas, just empty tough talk against the President.
Ben Groetsch -> Social36 , 6 Oct 2017 18:10
I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy.

[Oct 12, 2017] The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha!

Oct 12, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ben Groetsch -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 18:02

So, you're suggesting that Frank's political instincts are all wrong when he first wrote his book thesis on "What's the matter with Kansas," which lays out the scanting indictment of the pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party and their wealthy supporters. Here's the reality that you Clinton bots don't understand: the rest of the country is like Kansas, not glamour LA or Wall Street NYC. People work in blue collar and grey collar professions, have modest wealth, and some are involved in trade unions. Many don't have a college degree; many also have no desires to go to a liberal arts school or state public university. Nearly eighty percent of middle America have a high school diploma. Only thirty percent have a college BA degree, and less than five percent have a advanced degree in Law or PH'D. Those numbers haven't changed since the 1960s. And yet, the corporate ruling class which showers money to both political parties have been selling the public a bill of false promises and lies about the necessary of getting a college degree in order to find gainful employment with living wages. Sorry, there isn't no living wage jobs. Our industrialized state has been devalued by NAFTA, a pro-corporate trade deal signed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s, had destroyed the fabric of mostly blue collar communities in middle America. Both Democrats and Republicans all conspired to gut the entire working classes out of the middle class status and into the underclass welfare state as a whole---first with welfare reform in the 1990s, followed by Bush era tax cuts, getting rid of Glass-Stegeall, awarding companies with job outsourcing, failure to provide affordable housing to the needy while selling risky sub-prime mortgages, making our higher educational system as a luxury commodity, destroying our pension system and replacing it with an inadequate 401K retirement package, allowing the one percent to hide their money overseas in tax haven accounts, subsidizing the rich, and control the media through corporate consolidation. We no longer have the ability to innovate, produce, or create a thriving working class middle. Instead, corporate dominance in our politics and our legal system makes it almost impossible to generate a fair, diverse, and expanding opportunities economy on the basis of progressive regulations that is desperately needed.

What Frank had in mind is what the donor class within the Democratic Party is scared about. That is, working people are being shoved aside due to the power of money in government, and yet the Democratic Party has to changed its tune in order to regain the working class voters in middle America.

Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 17:39
Well, Bannon is partly right given the fact that our government has been at the wheel of powerful lobbyists and wealthy donors for so long. However, given the dysfunctional and unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Trump Administration in DC, the Democrats seem to appear as aloof and tone deaf with the American people----a state of utter denial regarding a major political party that just lost the Presidential election to a dingbat D list reality tv star and real estate tycoon who has the mindset of a spoiled child.

The true reason behind Bannon's conquest for political votes is that the working class here in the US have been totally neglected and left behind by eight years of Obama and the last two terms of Bush Jr from the previous decade. Working people want actual middle class jobs and a shot of a decent life in retirement, not welfare checks from the government.

fabfreddy -> CivilDiscussion , 6 Oct 2017 17:05
Is that just about everybody? Or do you think there are people that wouldn't want to be billionaires?
Rollmeover , 6 Oct 2017 16:56
Democrats are so disorganized that to elect them is folly. We already have disorganization. Trump will win a second term.
chunki , 6 Oct 2017 16:55
The Left in English-speaking countries has been overtaken by upper-middle class people who are obsessed with sexual identity and race. They are snobby towards working class people and will abuse them as racist when they talk about problems with immigration or other social groups with different coloured skin. I moved from the first group into the second, and I know working class people are no more prejudiced than upper-middle class, but they don't have the vocabulary to express it in a way that "educated" people will recognise.
This snobbery towards possible complexities in the life of working class people is damning leftwing parties to continual oblivion.
(Working class people use blunt language, but they apply it to themselves equally. Those higher up the social ladder are not used to hearing that type of language.)
jackrousseau -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 14:14
Did anything I say indicate I support Trump? I described his administration as an economically centrist "kleptocracy". Trump Jr. taking thinly veiled payoffs on the speaking/grift circuit is par for the course.

Though, I imagine Trump Jr. commands significantly less than Chelsea Clinton ($65,000 as of 2015). http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/chelsea-clinton-speaking-fee-university-missouri-119580

And I imagine it's only a matter of time before we also see Obama's children "speaking" for thinly veiled payoffs. One already scored an prestigious internship with the socially progressive Weinstein Company. And Michelle's currently getting in excess of $200,000 for 1hr speeches. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/02/michelle-obama-s-speaker-fee-is-as-much-as-some-former-president/22065295 /

...All enough to make someone a little cynical about American politics.

America_Loves_Trump -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 11:44
More misinformed nonsense.

In fact, Breitbart gets criticism on the right for being too gung ho in embracing Israel. Steve Bannon quotes that give some of his supporters pause are things like "no media outlet is more pro-Israel than Breitbart". I guess politics is a factor but most of us don't like all the money we give them and how a major reason that the Muslim world is so angry at the Western one is it's unflinching backing of Israel, no matter how much of the West Bank they encroach upon, among other things.

The idea that Breitbart is anti-Semitic is an absurd Media Matters talking point going back to an article calling Bill Kristol a "Renegade Jew". The article was, obviously, written by a Jew. And the thrust of the article was that Bill Kristol (and others) making attempts to steal the Republican nomination from Trump (as the Dems had from Bernie Sanders) would ultimately harm Israel. So it was a Jew calling a Jew a Renegade Jew for making a decision he believed was bad for the Jewish homeland.

I know it's all very confusing but hopefully that's cleared up now.

TheRexican , 6 Oct 2017 11:31
"I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety."

There are almost no members of Congress who are of any other sort than the "Tom Delay" variety you refer to. Very nearly every single member is corrupt. The game is ruined. Perhaps an end to gerrymandering (if we shoudl be so fortunate) will allow some mechanism for changing the guard in Congress. We need to remove them all. They sold us out and we need to exile them for life.

Don't think your rep is any better. This keeps us stuck.

America_Loves_Trump -> charlieblue , 6 Oct 2017 11:10
I don't JUST yell Hillary. I also mentioned Obama and the rest of the criminals who make up the Democratic Party. Whose list of proven criminality is simply staggering enough before you get in to the mountains of very damning circumstantial stuff that begs investigation.

And when I mention the Democrats, you act as if it's some irrelevent non sequitur. IT IS NOT. Please remember that the choice was Trump OR Hillary. So whenever people lament how apparently terrible the President who has brought us 3.1% GDP growth for the first time in years and well over a million new jobs along with finally insisting that the law needs to be enforced for the first time in 8 years, the issue of the alternative to this IS of course relevant.

As I said: Clinton is a part of the establishment. A real swamp monster. One of the really big stinking ones, with huge wads of cash stuck to her blood soaked claws. Trump is not. And by the very low bar set by the past few Presidents, just not being more of the same is an improvement.

And by the way, Hillary Clinton did commit multiple felonies. The private server = felony (whether "intent" was there or not, that was an irrelevant muddying of the waters). The storing and forwarding of classified info on this server = felony (whether or not she, after decades in government understood that (C) meant classified as it always had all along).

You've got your head in the sand, pal

Whiplashed -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:53
You seem to be taking Clinton Cash as evidence of something, but that is just a piece of propaganda meant to sway the election. Where are your reputable sources?
boilingriver -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:51
There are some great videos on Youtube where he talks about economics.
HAHA yes where he deliberately lies about the cause of 2008.

Where he is now silent on cohn who is now in charge of economic policy.

So, while Cohn was overseeing one team inside Goldman Sachs preoccupied with implementing the big short, he was in regular contact with others scrambling to offload its subprime inventory. One Goldman trader described the mortgage-backed securities they were selling as "shitty." Another complained in an email that they were being asked to "distribute junk that nobody was dumb enough to take first time around." A December 28 email from Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre, a Goldman vice president later convicted of fraud, instructed traders to focus on less astute, "buy and hold" investors rather than "sophisticated hedge funds" that "will be on the same side of the trade as we will."
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/17/goldman-sachs-gary-cohn-donald-trump-administration /

Then there is Mnuchin( Treasury secretary) the foreclosure king, who made a fortune on taking peoples home, some for $1 mistake.

Why did republicans mot make up some laws to put them into prison. Why are they silent now when trump is deregulating by executive order.

Talk about fake outrage putting in the people who caused the problems as the solutions.

America_Loves_Trump -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 10:12
Spoken from someone who has obviously never listened to what Steve Bannon said or his message.

You obviously don't know, for example, that his Dad - a union guy - lost half of his life savings in the crash of 2008.

And you do not have a single quote where you can attribute "master race" stuff to Bannon. That's literally a smear based on nothing, created by the Clinton people as revenge for his role in the absolutely devastating expose Clinton Cash.

Those of us paying attention understand what he is: an unbelievably bright guy who was the first man who successfully harnessed the informed outrage of the alternative media to have an impact in national politics. He and Trump beat the rigging and achieved for the socially conservative anti-deepstate people what Bernie Sanders was unable to achieve on the Left... if he ever really had the stomach for the fight in the first place.

LittleTomcat , 6 Oct 2017 09:28
"That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus." Mmmm, maybe not a bonus so much as the objective, perhaps? As an aside, the method of installing nomenclature to control agencies, such as the agency responsible for granting broadcast licences, was described, if I recall correctly, in Josef Korbel's 1959 "The Communist Subversion of Czechoslovakia, 1938-1948". For a funny take on the privatisation of perpetual military conflict, Christopher Buckley's "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?" might provide a laugh, if you don't think about how closely it matches reality.
oiler , 6 Oct 2017 07:03
The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha! But look! They are no different from other vulnerables after all, and they will be and are, being screwed over accordingly. Turkeys and Christmas, Foxes and henhouses, its all been said and now its being done: educate yourselves, folks.. before its too late.
HilltopRide , 6 Oct 2017 06:30
Yep, judge em solely on their actions. Trump is about entrenching the corporate coup d'etat. Expanding the swamp, not draining it. The question is now, after Citizens United and with a conservative SCOTUS in perpetuity, whether it's too wide and deep ever to be drained.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jul 02, 2017] Beyond Inauthentic Opposition by Paul Street

Notable quotes:
"... Des Moines Register's ..."
"... only a small part of politics ..."
"... not just once every four years ..."
"... secondary to serious political action ..."
"... two minutes once every two or four years. ..."
"... before and after those two minutes ..."
"... whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice ..."
"... people would blame the war on McCain and the Republicans and continue with the delusion that elections can be our salvation ..."
"... "whoever is in the White House, in Congress" to "chang[e] national policy on matters of war and social justice." ..."
"... cerdo por excelencia ..."
"... less than half that level ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

The More Effective Evil

I've cast presidential ballots for the Green Party from the at least technically contested state of Iowa in the last three elections. I've long and consistently used a metaphor from the original version of Upton Sinclair's famous Socialist novel The Jungle, describing the Democrats as one of "two wings of the same [capitalist and imperialist] bird of prey."

I've distanced myself from Lesser-Evilism and written and spoken about some of the ways in which the dismal, dollar-drenched Dems (the DDDs) are the greater and (in Glen Ford's words) "more effective evil." The domestically (but not anti-imperially) leftish Bernie F-35 Sanders candidacy (which seduced even the officially Trotskyist group Socialist Alternative during last year's presidential primaries) could not entice me back into my parents' and grandparents' party. (Any slight chance Sanders had of getting me on board was lost by his refusal to meaningfully confront the Pentagon system, which undermines the nation's potential for social-democratic policy by sucking up more than half the nation's federal discretionary spending in the process of murdering and maiming millions around the world to maintain a global Empire that accounts for nearly half the planet's military spending and bears the planet's single largest institutional carbon footprint.)

In a forthcoming print essay on "The State of the Left," I approvingly quote James Kavanagh on the perfidy of the DDDs in California, where they hold the governor's office and both legislative houses and where top Dems recently shot down a single-payer health insurance care measure supported by 65% of that giant state's population, including 75% of its Democrats :

"This is the Democratic Party. Lying losers who will do anything to avoid taking an effective stance for a healthcare policy that would immediately solve one of the worst horrors American families face Passing single-payer in California and fighting for it everywhere else would guarantee the Democrats electoral victories. But they will not do it because they are fervent supporters of the capitalist market system in healthcare (and everything else), and they are corrupt agents of the health insurance and pharma industries Because it captures and cages the energies of so many well-meaning progressives, the Democratic Party is the most effective obstacle to, and enemy of, single-payer, and it has to be fought. This is not a Trump problem, and not a Republican problem, it's a bipartisan capitalist elite problem."

My sentiments, exactly. (What would the older Upton Sinclair, leader of the Depression-era End Poverty in California movement, say?)

Beyond Two Minutes Once Every Four Years: Voting v. Serious Political Action

So why did I check the Des Moines Register's final state poll to make sure that there was no real contest between the major party candidates in Iowa before making my third-party vote? Why would I have considered making myself vote "for" Democratic candidates I loathed (Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016) if I thought it would have made any difference in which of the two major party candidates were going to prevail?

Part of the answer is that for me electoral politics is distantly secondary to long-haul social movement-building. I see voting (or not) as little more than a tactical adjunct to the primary task. It's not some terrible sin to not "vote your conscience," as if U.S. electoral politics had anything to do with morality and conscience. I agree wholeheartedly with something Noam Chomsky wrote on the eve of the 2004 presidential election:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgent task for those who want to shift policy in progressive direction – often in close conformity to majority opinion – is to grow and become strong enough so that that they can't be ignored by centers of power. Forces for change that have come up from the grassroots and shaken the society to its foundations include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years election choices are secondary to serious political action . The main task is to create a genuinely responsive democratic culture, and that effort goes on before and after electoral extravaganzas, whatever their outcome" (emphasis added)

"Take the Bernie Sanders campaign," Chomsky told Abby Martin eleven years later. It "ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement that will use the election as a kind of an incentive and then go on, and unfortunately it's not. When the election's over," Chomsky said, the movement is going to die a serious error. The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle."

"The really critical thing," the great American radical historian Howard Zinn once sagely wrote, "isn't who's sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in-in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating-those are the things that determine what happens."

However you vote (and I honestly don't know that my head could ever make my right hand mark a ballot for a Democrat again), the act takes two minutes once every two or four years. What do you do with the rest of your political life? As Zinn argued in a reflection on "the election madness" he saw "engulfing the entire society including the left" in the Obama-mad spring of 2008:

" before and after those two minutes [in a voting booth], our time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war." (H. Zinn, "Election Madness," The Progressive , April 8, 2008)

Since I agree with Chomsky and Zinn, I do not morally fetishize the American ballot fox, which the Marxist historian Alan Dawley once aptly described as a "coffin of class consciousness."

To See That Things Still Suck with the Democrats in Office

Another part of the answer to the question of why I might try to make myself vote for a Democratic presidential candidate in a contested state also has nothing to do with what W.E.B. DuBois called "the game of lesser evils." There's a different, rarely noted strategic and radical case for wanting the Democratic wing of the capitalist-imperialist duopoly in office. It's about exposing the corporate and imperial Democrats for what they really are. Call it a vote for the hope of more radical and bipartisan disillusionment.

How are the Democrats best revealed and exposed as agents of the unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire? Which is better for the development of "serious political action" (grassroots, and non-co-opt-able citizen and workers' activism and organization) beyond the masters' quadrennial electoral extravaganzas, radically regressive Republicans holding nominal power or dismal dollar Democrats sitting atop the symbolic ship of state?

On domestic political matters, at least (maters are least clear on foreign policy, I readily admit), the answer is the latter. I wanted Obama back in 2013 and Hillary back in 2017 (and might have tried to vote for them if I thought it would have made any difference) because of my sense that the presence of another white male Republican in the White House would just encourage liberals and progressives and others to blame everything wrong in America on "those insane evil Republicans." Bringing back a Republican to the White House, I reflected, would just reinforce the longstanding liberal claim that installing Democrats in power is the cure to the national malaise.

I want Americans (young ones above all) to come into regular visible contact with the bipartisan nature of the U.S. ruling class. I wanted them subjected to the reality that, to quote the Marxist commentator Doug Henwood in early 2008, "everything still pretty much sucks" when Democrats hold the top political offices – that the basic underlying institutional realities of capitalist and imperial rule stay the same. As the antiwar activist, author, and essayist Stan Goff wrote seven years ago, "I'm glad Obama was elected. Otherwise, people would blame the war on McCain and the Republicans and continue with the delusion that elections can be our salvation ."

My dark dialectical hope for Obama was born out to some extent by the remarkable rise and spread of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which fed off youthful disillusionment with Obama and the Democrats-a bursting of political "hope" bubbles that followed two years after the bursting of the real estate and financial bubble to fuel disenchantment with the underlying profits system. We don't know how far Occupy would have gone had it not been crushed by the state, including Obama's Department of Homeland Security in collaboration with Democratic-run city governments across the country.

But Obama was at least for a time a great object lesson on how "everything still pretty much sucks" when Democrats hold down the White House. Eschewing the left-leaning progressive potential he was handed (Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and an angry, "pitchfork"-wielding populace at the gates), the nation's first half-white president and his neoliberal, Robert Rubin-appointed team followed George W. Bush in continuing to give the corporate-managed citizenry qua electorate what William Greider called "a blunt lesson about power, who has it and who doesn't. In a March 2009 Washington Post editorial titled "Obama Asked Us to Speak, Is He

Listening?" Greider wrote about how "Americans watched Washington rush to rescue the very financial interests that caused the catastrophe. They learned that government has plenty of money to spend when the right people want it. 'Where's my bailout,' became the rueful punch line at lunch counters and construction sites nationwide. Then to deepen the insult, people watched as establishment forces re-launched their campaign for 'entitlement reform' – a euphemism for whacking Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid."

Americans also watched as Obama moved on to pass a health insurance reform, the so-called Affordable Care Act, that only the big insurance and drug companies could love, kicking the popular alternative (single payer "Medicare for All") to the curb while rushing to pass a program drafted by the Republican Heritage Foundation and first carried out in Massachusetts by the arch 1 percenter Mitt Romney. As Kavanagh points out, citing the work of Marcy Wheeler, Hillary Clinton "fatal slide in the [2016 presidential election] polls began before [James] Comey's notorious letter of October 28th, and coincided with the announcement, four days before, of steep Obamacare premium increases."

Californication: Can't Blame Republicans

With their killing of single-payer in California, that state's top Democrats distilled down their dismal, dollar-drenched dastardliness for millions to bitterly digest. So what if two-thirds of that giant jurisdiction's residents and three-fourths of its Democrats want a state version of Medicare for All? Who cares? Not California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Renden or his Governor Jerry Brown. "The dissembling Democrats," James Kavanagh observes, "are throwing away just about the most popular policy anyone could imagine something people are literally dying for" – this because of their transparent captivity to the big insurance and drug companies and their financial backers.

But here's the thing. The "Lying Losers" can't hide their cringing servility to their corporate masters quite so easily when they hold nominal power. They can try to blame the Republicans for their abject refusal to defy corporate donors and enact a critical policy backed by the popular majority, but that looks ridiculous when they hold the big legislative cards on "the Left Coast." They are exposed as servants of capital in sharper and bolder relief than if they were minority party.

I am reminded of a passage in Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. Under the rule of "the bourgeoisie" (capitalism), Marx wrote, "all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind." The profaning of the Democratic Party by "the bourgeoisie" – the drowning of all its heavenly progressive pretense in the "city waters of egotistical [capitalist] calculation" – is made most clear when the DDDs hold the reins of nominal power.

Left radicals like me want workers and citizens to grasp that the real taproot problem is not which of the two major party wings holds majority political office but the rule of capital and Empire behind the plutocratic charade that passes for "our great democracy." Having Democrats in office can assist because it helps bring that lesson home.

The Fake Resistance

The Inauthentic Opposition Party – as the late Sheldon Wolin rightly described the Democrats – is more adept at deadly and co-optive leftish-progressive affectation it is out of power and its leaders feel the need to deceptively pose as a party and movement of the people against the establishment. That's when the Democrats' populist and progressive masquerade is most dangerous and crippling. It's much easier to pose as an Opposition Party when you are out majority power in government.

Look at the current political situation in the U.S. The Twitter-addicted malignant narcissist and quasi-fascistic Donald Trump (talk about insane and evil) and the ever more radically right-wing Republican Party are straight out of central casting when it comes to making the neoliberal and imperial Democrats look decent, democratic, and progressive. It helps the leftish pose that the Republicans and their vast right-wing noise machine love to absurdly call the Democrats and just about everything else to the portside of Charles Grassley (e.g. the New York Times and the Washington Post) "The Left."

The Democrats have been seizing the moment to close off the potential for serious, actually Left opposition. With MSNBC's arch-Russophobe Rachel Madoff in the propaganda vanguard, Democratic elites have responded to the Trump ascendancy by concocting a fake "Resistance" movement. It's a curious formation, devoid of any real progressive meaning beyond "bipartisan" opposition to Donald Trump. "The Resistance" grants loyalty to Hillary Clinton, a One Percent champion and a leader in the War Party's calls for deadly confrontation with Russia and for regime change around the world. By Danny Haiphong's incisive account on Black Agenda Report:

"'the resistance' is entangled in the non-profit industrial complex and its attending Democratic Party paymasters. 'The Resistance' has significant support from the non-profit industrial complex and the Wall Street-stuffed coffers of the Democratic Party. Such support is evident in the organizations MoveOn.org, the Town Hall Project, and Indivisible. The Democratic think-tank Center for American Progress (CAP) assists each of these so-called anti-Trump focused organizations. On CAP's Board of Directors sits Democratic Party elites Madeline Albright and John Podesta Podesta was Hillary Clinton's campaign chair during her losing Presidential campaign in 2016. Leaked Podesta emails revealed that the Clinton campaign rigged the Democratic primaries against Bernie Sanders. They also outlined how Clinton used her extensive connections with Wall Street firms to expand the influence of the Clinton Foundation "

Indivisible: "A Devastating Impact"

With more than 6000 chapters by early February, the classic Astroturf organization "Indivisible," set up by two Democratic Congressional staffers, has worked to channel popular anger into manageable mainstream channels that offer no challenge to the nation's unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, class, empire, race, gender, and ecocide. Indivisible talks about the need to get past "ideology" and unite Americans across partisan lines to "get big things done" through government – standard "pragmatic" neoliberal language. An activist and attorney from California's Monterey County recently wrote me on how Indivisible is a "mechanism for co-opting the anti-Trump resistance and channeling opposition to Trump into support for the Democratic Party." By the activist's account, Indivisible "has had a devastating impact on local organizing. A broad-based and diverse coalition was developing here in the first few months after the election; it collapsed as soon as Indivisible appeared." Further:

"Here in Monterey County, we were on our way to building a broad-based, inclusive and diverse progressive coalition. Then Indivisible came along and killed it. By the end of January, there were over a dozen Indivisible groups operating in this congressional district The largest one has a Facebook page with over 1000 members (huge by local standards). I was a member for a while, but I just couldn't stand it. [Democratic Congressman Jimmy] Panetta's very first vote as our new congressman was to condemn the UN for its stand against Israel's illegal settlements. This put Panetta in opposition to the state policy of the Obama administration and in support of Trump's position. When I asked on the Indivisible Facebook page if we intended to hold him accountable for this vote, several people tore me a new one. Indivisible is now promoting a June March for Truth,' calling for an independent commission to investigate Russiagate .the Indivisibles have pretty much acted like they are the only game in town and have managed to suck most of the oxygen out of the room. One of their big activities seems to be writing postcards to Panetta, Harris and Feinstein telling them what a great job they're doing.,"

"I had been involved in the local March for Science. A couple of weeks before the March, the planning committee was taken over by the Indivisibles. By this point, I'd had enough. I decided I just couldn't work with them and I dropped out. They ended up attracting about 1000 people (at least 900 of whom were white). An activist from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom wanted to give a short speech about the link between militarism and environmental destruction, but the organizers wouldn't let her It looks to me like Indivisible is a well-funded AstroTurf group. It walks and talks exactly like it would if it had been deliberately designed by some joint DNC-COINTELPRO committee to channel popular outrage into support for the Democratic Party and for a war with Russia. Locally, no other group has the resources to compete with them. I've learned a valuable lesson, but a bit too late, I fear. I naively thought that leftists could work in a united front with Democrats. I thought that Democrats could be part of a broader coalition. But, I underestimated the Democrats ability to co-opt the movement."

I've received similar reports from other correspondents. One of my favorite ones comes from South Florida, where an Indivisible chapter invited as a speaker its notorious right-wing corporate-Democratic Congressperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz – an arch-neoliberal Democrat who led the rigging of the primaries against Sanders as Democratic National Committee chair and who has openly pledged allegiance to big money campaign donors over single-payer health insurance. As Florida progressive Taylor Raines reported last May 2nd, "not only did this group invite one of the most divisive women in liberal politics to speak at their meeting, but they openly prepared to silence dissent by banning signs, and promptly removed protestors who spoke up against her." Any angry Floridian who had the accurate audacity to note that Wasserman-Schultz wing of the Democratic Party essentially elected Trump (Sanders would likely have defeated the orange-tinted beast) was evicted from the gathering – in the name of "one nation, under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Such testimony jibes with my experience in and around the bright-blue campus town of Iowa City, where an initial upsurge of popular protest at Trump's election and inauguration collapsed in the spring as Russiagate took hold on CNN and MSNBC and in the New York Times and Washington Post. The local academic-professional class headed off on to their annual summer European vacations secure in the belief that those great progressive heroes the FBI and CIA and their corporate media allies would join with such left people's champions as Charles Schumer and Nancy ("we're capitalist and that's just the way it is") Pelosi would soon remove the Trump regime.

That's the Inauthentic Opposition Party (IOP) doing its job, a central part of which is functioning as a the "graveyard of social movements" – a role it plays even better when it is out of office than when it's in.

"You're Toast in 2020"

One thing that is particularly jarring about "Indivisible" is its claim to be non-partisan and beyond electoral politics when it clearly represents the reigning right and neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party and is gearing "progressive" energies for the Congressional and presidential election cycles.

I would not be surprised to learn that Indivisible or some other one of the Astroturf Democratic Party entities posting as grassroots movement recently put an angry citizen in a Town Hall meeting to finish his denunciation of Republicans' attempt to repeal Obamacare with the following threat to a GOP Senator: "pack your bags, you're toast in 2020" – when voters, the outraged citizen hopes, will put in a dismal dollar Democrat. In 2020? God how the election cycle rules consciousness – with its absurdly holy elevation of two minutes spent marking ballots for a narrowly pre-selected group of ruling class candidates. People need to connect with Chomsky and Zinn's call for movements that "shake the society to its foundations" (Chomsky) and compel "whoever is in the White House, in Congress" to "chang[e] national policy on matters of war and social justice."

At least that bitter armed lunatic James T. Hodgkinson – an epitome of the feckless and self-destructive rebellion that often occurs without attachment to a real popular movement – tried to make some vicious right-wing Congressmen (and one Tyson Foods lobbyist) into toast in the present moment, not three years from now. He had the wrong method but at least he fell off the election cycle trap.

Tres Cerdos Grandes

The major party confusion and related electoral obsession carries across national boundaries. Nobody made bigger fools out of themselves over the fake-progressive and fake-peacemaker promise of Barack Obama in 2008 than the Western Europeans. It was awesome to see Roger Waters brilliantly and epically skewer the nativist piggy-nesh of Trump before no less than 300,000 people in Mexico City's Zocalo Square last October , one month before the 2016 elections. The masses roared their approval as a giant Trump pig-blimp floated above the crowd and a colossal video-screen flashed images of Trump in drag and put up Spanish translations of some of the "Charade's" more absurd statements. But we might recall that it was the Democratic presidency of the neoliberal globalist uber- cerdo por excelencia Bill Clinton who mercilessly assaulted Mexican campesinos with the North American so called Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Bill Clinton then joined with the Republicans to begin construction of a great Wall on the southern U.S. border to stem the flow north of desperate economic refugees. And it was "free trade" Hillary Clinton who as Secretary of State sponsored the right-wing business coup that overthrew a democratically elected populist government in Honduras, which deepened misery in that nation to the point where tens of thousands of "unaccompanied minors" piled up on Mexico's southern border three summers ago – a crisis that continues to his day.

"We're Dying Out Here Enough with Russia!"

Even with Trump in the White House, the IOP's fake-progressive charade is now facing popular push-back. The Democrats and their many corporate media allies and faux peoples' "movement" (led by Indivisible) have advanced an all-too easy and convenient explanation for their epic electoral decline: it isn't about the dismal, dollar-drenched neoliberal inauthenticity of their purported progressivism, it's because of Russia and its dastardly chief Putin. The bear ate their homework. So what if there's been no real evidence of relevant Russian interference in "our" purported "great democracy"? It was just too irresistible to the DDDs: Russiagate was designed by Democratic Party elites (including John Podesta) from the night of Hillary Clinton's epic electoral fail to take the heat off the IOP's corporate and professional class nothingness and place all the blame for their outward "failure" (the "lying losers" continue to be very well paid for their sell-out – ask Obama) on a demonized foreign Other. It was crafted, among other things, to shut-down the progressive challenge within their own party

But now they've gone too far in playing the Russia card, perhaps.

The mad neo-McCarthyite Moscow obsession has moved them too far off issues that any self-respecting Left or even self-respecting liberal Opposition would be fighting on: racism, racist voter suppression (which may have elected Trump, by the way), the police and prison state. immigrant rights, economic exploitation and inequality, sexism, environmental ruination – stuff like that. According to the Washington political journal The Hill, "Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia, rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare." Imagine that. As the left writer Craig Gordon notes, the Democrats ae pissing in the wind of Russiagate while millions of ordinary working- and middle-class Americans are screaming like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon "Hey, I'm Dying Over Here enough with Putin and Russia, we can't afford health care our jobs are in the tank."

Russiagate, it appears, may have been something of a xenophobic conspiracy trap for the Democrats themselves. Not that they care. The money keeps rolling in. Ask Obama, who is regularly rubbing progressives' face in the dirt and giving FOX News and Brietbart new talking points with his relentless big cash-in, telling us all that "nothing says Show Me the Money like POTUS on your resume."

"Ordinary Citizens Have No Influence"

Just what "great American democracy" was it that the IOP's bet noire Vladimir Putin supposedly intervened against, anyway? This is an ever more openly oligarchic nation where: the top tenth of the upper 1 Percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent; 15 million children – 21% of all U.S. children – live at less than the federal government's notoriously inadequate poverty level (more than 1 in 10 U.S. children ages 0-9 is living at less than half that level ); half the population is poor or near-poor and without assets; millions drink from poisoned water systems; an imperial military devours more than half of all discretionary federal spending and accounts for nearly half the world's military spending; more people are incarcerated (in extremely racially disproportionate ways) than in any nation in history (a curious achievement for the self-described homeland and headquarters of "liberty"); a deeply entrenched corporate and financial sector is leading the world over the environmental cliff through the championing of endless growth and attendant "anthropogenic" (really capitalogenic) climate destruction. A recent Harvard University survey finds that 51 percent than half of U.S. Millennials (18-to-29-year-olds) "do not support capitalism," intimately related to Harvard's finding that half of the cohort thinks "the American Dream is dead" for them.

You don't have to be a Leftist radical like the present writer to know that the United States' political order is a corporate and financial plutocracy. Just ask the establishment liberal political scientists Martin Gilens (Princeton) and Benjamin Page (Northwestern). Over the past three plus decades, these leading academic researchers determined three years ago, U.S. political system has functioned as "an oligarchy," where wealthy elites and their corporations "rule." Examining data from more than 1,800 different policy initiatives in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Gilens and Page found that wealthy and well-connected elites consistently steer the direction of the country, regardless of and against the will of the U.S. majority and irrespective of which major party holds the White House and/or Congress. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," Gilens and Page wrote , "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." As Gilens explained to the liberal online journal Talking Points Memo three years ago , "ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States."
The Kremlin didn't do that. U.S. capitalism did that.

The Main Left Deficit

Am I recommending that people vote for the IOP, he DDDs, in 2018 and 2020? No, not really. I can't tell people to do something I've never been able to do (well, except once, 2004, the first time I ever voted in a contested state). And I realize that my clever and dialectical if somewhat half-hearted argument for Dems in office doesn't really apply to foreign policy, intimately related to domestic oppression here in the "homeland" (a lovely imperial term). Let's get down to the "serious political action" Chomsky referred to 13 years ago – to movement-building beneath and beyond the quadrennial electoral spectacles. It's all rather moot in the absence of a real and serious grassroots Left in this country. The building of such a Left, it seems to me, is a project and task far closer to our real "sphere of influence" than the alternating problem of which of the two major-party wings hold most of the nation's elected offices.

In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it is worth remembering that Lenin's famous 1902 pamphlet What is to be Done? said nothing either on reforms under capitalism (or under Russian Tsarist rule) or on what an alternative, post-capitalist society might look like. It was focused entirely on the question of revolutionary organization: how to build such institutions and what they should look like.

The top thing missing in "The [U.S.] Left" (where is it, really?) isn't a positive policy agenda or a vision of an alternative society. The main deficit is institutional and organizational.

This gap must be addressed in what is still the world's most powerful and destructive capitalist state, in a time when five absurdly rich people now possess as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity and the U.S.-headquartered global profits system is speeding humanity to a lethal, Antarctic-dissolving 500 carbon parts per million by 2050 if not sooner. It's "socialism or barbarism if we're lucky" at this stage of capitalist ecocide. "The uncomfortable truth," Istvan Meszaros rightly argued 15 years ago, "is that if there is no future for a radical mass movement in our time, there can be no future for humanity itself." Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Paul Street

[Jun 21, 2017] If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003

Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

lavoisier June 21, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

@Pissedoffalese

Disgusted "liberal". Am I even a "liberal" anymore? I loathe the I-word and the J-word now with a purple passion. If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003. What the hell AM I? I despise Republicans, but the Dems didn't oppose their wars. Now I despise the Dems, and the right-wingnuts are starting to make sense. Is this cognitive dissonance? Bizzaro-world? I am one CONFUSED puppy.

Thank you PG Thoughtful comment.

The Democrats are every bit as much on board with the wars and the destruction of the working class as are the Republicans.

Where are the respectable liberals in this country?

I despise Democrats as you despise Republicans.

Now I despise them both. I have little loyalty for my government and do not trust anything that they do.

Our Republic is on life support.

[Jun 19, 2017] Sam Adonis, El Santo and Donald Trump by Linh Dinh

Notable quotes:
"... So there you have it. Trump has a professional wrestling mindset. ..."
"... 's Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog . ..."
Jun 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Like millions of other Americans, Sam believed Trump to be genuine and uncompromising. To the San Jose Mercury News, however, Sam hinted at a deeper insight, "He's kind of embraced his position, as you like me or you don't, but I'm not changing. It is almost a professional wrestling mentality and I have a sympathy for that." So there you have it. Trump has a professional wrestling mindset.

... ... ...

Jesse Ventura, a wrestler turned politician, has repeatedly pointed out the similarity between American politics and professional wrestling. In 2010, Ventura said, "Politics today is pro wrestling. It is pro wrestling, and you know what I mean by that? I mean by that that the Dems and Repubs in front of you [reporters] and in front of the public is going to tell you how they hate each other, and how they're different, but as soon as the camera is off, in the backroom, they're all going out together, and they're all buddies cutting deals. It's just like pro wrestling. In front of the public, we hate each other, we're going to rip our heads off, but in the locker room, we're all friends. I'm suggesting politics is fake."

In 2016, Ventura told The Atlantic, "Many of these elected officials are just like wrestlers in the public and then they're the opposite in private. Case in point, do you remember a few years ago who was some congressman from Florida who voted against every gay bill and it turned out he was gay, do you remember that? Yeah, so there's a classic example of it. This guy who was gay hid the fact that he was gay, voted like he hated gays, and so he created a personality that was completely averse to what he really was. And wrestling's the same way."

Though American politicians are phonies, and American elections are farcically rigged, Americans continue to rabidly support their favorite political puppet, whether Obama, Hillary, Sanders, Trump or whoever. Going berserk over each cartoon savior or villain, most Americans don't even know they're being force-fed lucha libre.

Linh Dinh 's Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog .

[Jun 17, 2017] Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to Medicate U.S. Crisis of Governance Black Agenda Report

Jun 17, 2017 | blackagendareport.com
Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to "Medicate" U.S. "Crisis of Governance"

Submitted by Nellie Bailey a... on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 00:10

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The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR.

Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left."

[Jun 17, 2017] The Collapsing Social Contract by Gaius Publius

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it. ..."
"... Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur. ..."
"... But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.) ..."
"... American Psycho ..."
"... The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America. ..."
"... unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do. ..."
"... our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture. ..."
"... That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us. ..."
"... Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal. ..."
"... "Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability. ..."
"... Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? ..."
"... JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed. ..."
"... Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets. ..."
"... Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away. ..."
"... My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. ..."
"... The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. ..."
"... There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation. ..."
"... The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. ..."
"... "Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." ..."
"... "Four Futures" ..."
"... Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good". ..."
"... Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I have been saying for some years that I did not think we would see a revolution, but more and more individuals acting out violently. That's partly the result of how community and social bonds have weakened as a result of neoliberalism but also because the officialdom has effective ways of blocking protests. With the overwhelming majority of people using smartphones, they are constantly surveilled. And the coordinated 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy Wall Street shows how the officialdom moved against non-violent protests. Police have gotten only more military surplus toys since then, and crowd-dispersion technology like sound cannons only continues to advance. The only way a rebellion could succeed would be for it to be truly mass scale (as in over a million people in a single city) or by targeting crucial infrastructure.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

"[T]he super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017 , the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people."
-Paul Buchheit, Alternet

"Congressman Steve Scalise, Three Others Shot at Alexandria, Virginia, Baseball Field"
-NBC News, June 14, 2017

"4 killed, including gunman, in shooting at UPS facility in San Francisco"
-ABC7News, June 14, 2017

"Seriously? Another multiple shooting? So many guns. So many nut-bars. So many angry nut-bars with guns."
-MarianneW via Twitter

"We live in a world where "multiple dead" in San Francisco shooting can't cut through the news of another shooting in the same day."
-SamT via Twitter

"If the rich are determined to extract the last drop of blood, expect the victims to put up a fuss. And don't expect that fuss to be pretty. I'm not arguing for social war; I'm arguing for justice and peace."
- Yours truly

When the social contract breaks from above, it breaks from below as well.

Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it.

As with the climate, I'm concerned about the short term for sure - the storm that kills this year, the hurricane that kills the next - but I'm also concerned about the longer term as well. If the beatings from "our betters" won't stop until our acceptance of their "serve the rich" policies improves, the beatings will never stop, and both sides will take up the cudgel.

Then where will we be?

America's Most Abundant Manufactured Product May Be Pain

I look out the window and see more and more homeless people, noticeably more than last year and the year before. And they're noticeably scruffier, less "kemp,"​ if that makes sense to you (it does if you live, as I do, in a community that includes a number of them as neighbors).

The squeeze hasn't let up, and those getting squeezed out of society have nowhere to drain to but down - physically, economically, emotionally. The Case-Deaton study speaks volumes to this point. The less fortunate economically are already dying of drugs and despair. If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?

The pot isn't boiling yet - these shootings are random, individualized - but they seem to be piling on top of each other. A hard-boiling, over-flowing pot may not be far behind. That's concerning as well, much moreso than even the random horrid events we recoil at today.

Many More Ways Than One to Be a Denier

My comparison above to the climate problem was deliberate. It's not just the occasional storms we see that matter. It's also that, seen over time, those storms are increasing, marking a trend that matters even more. As with climate, the whole can indeed be greater than its parts. There's more than one way in which to be a denier of change.

These are not just metaphors. The country is already in a pre-revolutionary state ; that's one huge reason people chose Trump over Clinton, and would have chosen Sanders over Trump. The Big Squeeze has to stop, or this will be just the beginning of a long and painful path. We're on a track that nations we have watched - tightly "ordered" states, highly chaotic ones - have trod already. While we look at them in pity, their example stares back at us.

Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur.

elstprof , June 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.)

"If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?"

Not necessarily. What Lacan called the "Big Other" is quite powerful. We internalize a lot of socio-economic junk from our cultural inheritance, especially as it's been configured over the last 40 years - our values, our body images, our criteria for judgment, our sense of what material well-being consists, etc. Ellis's American Psycho is the great satire of our time, and this time is not quite over yet. Dismemberment reigns.

The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America.

The idea that agency could be a collective action of a union for a strike isn't even on the horizon. And at the same time, these same students don't bat an eye at socialism. They're willing to listen.

But unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Most of the elite do not understand the money system. They do not understand how different sectors have benefitted from policies and/or subsidies that increased the money flows into these. So they think they deserve their money more than those who toiled in sectors with less support.

Furthermore, our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture.

jefemt , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

BAU, TINA, BAU!! BOHICA!!!

Dead Dog , June 16, 2017 at 3:09 am

Thank you Gaius, a thoughtful post. That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us.

Of tangential interest, Turnbull has just announced another gun amnesty targeting guns that people no longer need and a tightening of some of the ownership laws.

RWood , June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

So this inheritance matures: http://www.nature.com/news/fight-the-silencing-of-gun-research-1.22139

willem , June 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

One problem is the use of the term "social contract", implying that there is some kind of agreement ( = consensus) on what that is. I don't remember signing any "contract".

Fiery Hunt , June 16, 2017 at 3:17 am

I fear for my friends, I fear for my family. They do not know how ravenous the hounds behind nor ahead are. For myself? I imagine myself the same in a Mad Max world. It will be more clear, and perception shattering, to most whose lives allow the ignoring of gradual chokeholds, be them political or economic, but those of us who struggle daily, yearly, decadely with both, will only say Welcome to the party, pals.

Disturbed Voter , June 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal.

Each person does what is right in their own eyes, but the net effect is impoverishment and destruction. Life is unfair, indeed. A social contract is a mutual suicide pact, whether you renegotiate it or not. This is Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club, is we don't speak of Fight Club. Go to the gym, toughen up, while you still can.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

"Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability.

Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? Recalling that as my Contracts professor in law school emphasized over and over, in "contracts" there are no rights in the absence of effective remedies. It being a Boston law school, the notion was echoed in Torts, and in Commercial Paper and Sales and, tellingly, in Constitutional Law and Federal Jurisdiction, and even in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. No remedy, no right. What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?

When honest "remedies under law" become nugatory, there's always the recourse to direct action of course with zero guarantee of redress

sierra7 , June 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

"What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?" Ah yes the ultimate remedy is outright rebellion against the highest authorities .with as you say, " zero guarantee of redress."

But, history teaches us that that path will be taken ..the streets. It doesn't (didn't) take a genius to see what was coming back in the late 1960's on .regarding the beginnings of the revolt(s) by big money against organized labor. Having been very involved in observing, studying and actually active in certain groups back then, the US was acting out in other countries particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, against any social progression, repressing, arresting (thru its surrogates) torturing, killing any individuals or groups that opposed that infamous theory of "free market capitalism". It had a very definite "creep" effect, northwards to the mainstream US because so many of our major corporations were deeply involved with our covert intelligence operatives and objectives (along with USAID and NED). I used to tell my friends about what was happening and they would look at me as if I was a lunatic. The agency for change would be "organized labor", but now, today that agency has been trashed enough where so many of the young have no clue as to what it all means. The ultimate agenda along with "globalization" is the complete repression of any opposition to the " spread of money markets" around the world". The US intends to lead; whether the US citizenry does is another matter. Hence the streets.

Kuhio Kane , June 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed.

bdy , June 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

The Social Contract, ephemeral, reflects perfectly what contracts have become. Older rulings frequently labeled clauses unconscionable - a tacit recognition that so few of the darn things are actually agreed upon. Rather, a party with resources, options and security imposes the agreement on a party in some form of crisis (nowadays the ever present crisis of paycheck to paycheck living – or worse). Never mind informational asymmetries, necessity drives us into crappy rental agreements and debt promises with eyes wide open. And suddenly we're all agents of the state.

Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets.

Solidarity, of course. Hard when Identity politics lubricate a labor market that insists on specialization, and talented children of privilege somehow manage to navigate the new entrepreneurism while talented others look on in frustration. The resistance insists on being leaderless (fueled in part IMHO by the uncomfortable fact that effective leaders are regularly killed or co-opted). And the overriding message of resistance is negative: "Stop it!"

But that's where we are. Again, just my opinion: but the pivotal step away from the jackpot is to convince or coerce our wealthiest not to cash in. Stop making and saving so much stinking money, y'all.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

The pension system is based on profits. Nothing will change until the profits disappear and the top quintile starts falling off the treadmill.

Susan the other , June 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

and there's the Karma bec. even now we see a private banking system synthesizing an economy to maintain asset values and profits and they have the nerve to blame it on social spending. I think Giaus's term 'Denier' is perfect for all those vested practitioners of profit-capitalism at any cost. They've already failed miserably. For the most part they're just too proud to admit it and, naturally, they wanna hang on to "their" money. I don't think it will take a revolution – in fact it would be better if no chaos ensued – just let these arrogant goofballs stew in their own juice a while longer. They are killing themselves.

roadrider , June 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

There's a social contract? Who knew?

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

When I hear so much impatient and irritable complaint, so much readiness to replace what we have by guardians for us all, those supermen, evoked somewhere from the clouds, whom none have seen and none are ready to name, I lapse into a dream, as it were. I see children playing on the grass; their voices are shrill and discordant as children's are; they are restive and quarrelsome; they cannot agree to any common plan; their play annoys them; it goes poorly. And one says, let us make Jack the master; Jack knows all about it; Jack will tell us what each is to do and we shall all agree. But Jack is like all the rest; Helen is discontented with her part and Henry with his, and soon they fall again into their old state. No, the children must learn to play by themselves; there is no Jack the master. And in the end slowly and with infinite disappointment they do learn a little; they learn to forbear, to reckon with another, accept a little where they wanted much, to live and let live, to yield when they must yield; perhaps, we may hope, not to take all they can. But the condition is that they shall be willing at least to listen to one another, to get the habit of pooling their wishes. Somehow or other they must do this, if the play is to go on; maybe it will not, but there is no Jack, in or out of the box, who can come to straighten the game. -Learned Hand

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away.

My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Meanwhile, I just got a message from my car-share service: They are cutting back on the number of cars on offer. Too much vandalism.

Are these things caused by pressure from above? Yes, in part: The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

JEHR , June 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

DJG: My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Yes, the trash bit is hard to understand. What does it stand for? Does it mean, We can infinitely disregard our surroundings by throwing away plastic, cardboard, metal and paper and nothing will happen? Does it mean, There is more where that came from! Does it mean, I don't care a fig for the earth? Does it mean, Human beings are stupid and, unlike pigs, mess up their immediate environment and move on? Does it mean, Nothing–that we are just nihilists waiting to die? I am so fed up with the garbage strewn on the roads and in the woods where I live; I used to pick it up and could collect as much as 9 garbage bags of junk in 9 days during a 4 kilometer walk. I don't pick up any more because I am 77 and cannot keep doing it.

However, I am certain that strewn garbage will surely be the last national flag waving in the breeze as the anthem plays junk music and we all succumb to our terrible future.

jrs , June 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Related to this, I thought one day of who probably NEVER gets any appreciation but strives to make things nicer, anyone planning or planting the highway strips (government workers maybe although it could be convicts also unfortunately, I'm not sure). Yes highways are ugly, yes they will destroy the world, but some of the planting strips are sometimes genuinely nice. So they add some niceness to the ugly and people still litter of course.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean.

Basically, the world people care about stops outside their dwellings, because they do not feel it is "theirs" or that they participate in its possession in a genuine way. It belongs to the "town administration", or to a "private corporation", or to the "government" - and if they feel they have no say in the ownership, management, regulation and benefits thereof, why should they care? Let the town administration/government/corporation do the clean-up - we already pay enough taxes/fees/tolls, and "they" are always putting up more restrictions on how to use everything, so

In conclusion: the phenomenon of litter/trash is another manifestation of a fraying social contract.

Big River Bandido , June 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good.

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

I live in NYC, and just yesterday as I attempted to refill my MetroCard, the machine told me it was expired and I had to replace it. The replacement card doesn't look at all like a MetroCard with the familiar yellow and black graphic saying "MetroCard". Instead? It's an ad. For a fucking insurance company. And so now, every single time that I go somewhere on the subway, I have to see an ad from Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

And as a result, people no longer care about it - they do not feel it is their commonwealth any longer.

Did you notice whether the NYC subway got increasingly dirty/littered as the tentacles of privatization reached everywhere? Just curious.

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. From Yves's posting of Yanis Varoufakis's analysis of the newest terms of the continuing destruction of Greece:

With regard to labour market reforms, the Eurogroup welcomes the adopted legislation safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining and bringing collective dismissals in line with best EU practices.

I see! "Safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining" refers, of course, to the 2012 removal of the right to collective bargaining and the end to trades union representation for each and every Greek worker. Our government was elected in January 2015 with an express mandate to restore these workers' and trades unions' rights. Prime Minister Tsipras has repeatedly pledged to do so, even after our falling out and my resignation in July 2015. Now, yesterday, his government consented to this piece of Eurogroup triumphalism that celebrates the 'safeguarding' of the 2012 'reforms'. In short, the SYRIZA government has capitulated on this issue too: Workers' and trades' unions' rights will not be restored. And, as if that were not bad enough, "collective dismissals" will be brought "in line with best EU practices". What this means is that the last remaining constraints on corporations, i.e. a restriction on what percentage of workers can be fired each month, is relaxed. Make no mistake: The Eurogroup is telling us that, now that employers are guaranteed the absence of trades unions, and the right to fire more workers, growth enhancement will follow suit! Let's not hold our breath!

Daniel F. , June 16, 2017 at 10:44 am

The so-called "Elites"? Stand down? Right. Every year I look up the cardinal topics discussed at the larger economic forums and conferences (mainly Davos and G8), and some variation of "The consequences of rising inequality" is a recurring one. Despite this, nothing ever comes out if them. I imagine they go something like this:

A wet dream come true, both for an AnCap and a communist conspiracy theorist. I'm by no means either. However, I think capitalism has already failed and can't go on for much longer. Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief.

I'd very much like to be proven wrong.

Bobby Gladd , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

"Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." Frase's Quadrant Four. Hierarchy + Scarcity = Exterminism (From "Four Futures" )

Archangel , June 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good".

oh , June 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Our country is rife with rent seeking pigs who will stoop lower and lower to feed their greed.

Vatch , June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

In today's Links section there's this: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-super-rich-are-even-richer-than-we-thought which has relevance for the discussion of the collapsing social contract.

Chauncey Gardiner , June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster.

Here in the US the New Deal and other legislation helped preserve social order in the 1930s. Yves also raises an important point in her preface that can provide support for the center by those who are able to do so under the current economic framework. That glue is to participate in one's community; whether it is volunteering at a school, the local food bank, community-oriented social clubs, or in a multitude of other ways; regardless of whether your community is a small town or a large city.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

" Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks."

None of which applies to the Imperium, of course. There's glue, all right, but it's the kind that is used for flooring in Roach Motels (TM), and those horrific rat and mouse traps that stick the rodent to a large rectangle of plastic, where they die eventually of exhaustion and dehydration and starvation The rat can gnaw off a leg that's glued down, but then it tips over and gets glued down by the chest or face or butt

I have to note that several people I know are fastidious about picking up trash other people "throw away." I do it, when I'm up to bending over. I used to be rude about it - one young attractive woman dumped a McDonald's bag and her ashtray out the window of her car at one of our very long Florida traffic lights. I got out of my car, used the mouth of the McDonald's bag to scoop up most of the lipsticked butts, and threw them back into her car. Speaking of mouths, that woman with the artfully painted lips sure had one on her

[Jun 16, 2017] Political Disorder Syndrome - Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal

Notable quotes:
"... It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. With Trump's greatest accomplishment being the rolling-back of the Obama agenda the article below argues this may be as good as it gets. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Endgame Napoleon - Stuck on Zero , Jun 15, 2017 10:10 PM

A lot of the debate by the MSM focuses on the careerist power struggle of elites at the top. That is not what brought Trump to power, nor is ideological purity of any kind the reason, although college students at elite universities may be motivated by ideology.

Many people who voted for Trump said they had not bothered to vote since Perot. That was the last time serious economic issues were addressed head-on. There were many cross-over voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere, voting for Trump because their party, when not focused on one more layer of welfare/taxfare for single moms, focuses on racism, sexism and xenophobia.....

....in a "racist" era with a twice-elected Black president, where many government agencies have 80% Black staff and managers

.....in a "sexist"' era where more than half of the MDs are women, as are half of the managers, in general, when wealth has never been more concentrated due to assortative mating

....in a "xenophobic" era, where even illegal immigrants are treated much better than millions of citizens, leading to $113 billion per year in welfare/taxfare expenditures for the illegal immigrants alone, not counting all of the freebies for 1 million legal immigrants admitted per year, particularly for those who reproduce

CRM114 - Killtruck , Jun 15, 2017 9:08 PM

When do you think it was crossed?

End of the Cold War, I reckon. That's the last point when politicians being vaguely competent mattered.

VWAndy - nmewn , Jun 15, 2017 8:56 PM

Its a big club. An you and me aint in it. The left vs right thing is just a trick.

Kyddyl , Jun 15, 2017 8:44 PM

As I said in response to another article I've been off on a kick of reading about the American unCivil War. The heated rhetoric led up to violence far before either "side" was ready. It proved to be a messy disaster. Very few thought ahead far enough to even have their own families survive it. Be very careful of what you wish for. John Michael Greer's "Twilight's Last Gleaming" and "Retrotopia" should give us serious pause for thought. Our just in time grocery supply system would fail, fuel delivery from the few states with refineries would crawl and with all those nuclear power plants needing constant baby sitting everybody needs to settle down and really think this mess out. Inter US civil divisions would need careful and peaceful negotiations.

Forbes , Jun 15, 2017 8:53 PM

The messaging Henninger identifies was rampant for eight years of Obama ("Get in their faces!" and the Chicago Way--"They bring a knife, you bring a gun.") Social media is/was no different. Remember the Rodeo Clown wearing an Obama mask who was summarily fired. Any critique of Obama was automatically racist. I could go on and on with examples. The Left never policed its own, was constantly on-guard against the Right, with enforcement of political correctness job #1.

The ankle-biting mainstream media is part and parcel the opposition and the resistence--and the Establishment Republicans at the WSJ are just now noticing?? Someone alert Captain Renault...

Let it Go , Jun 15, 2017 9:00 PM

In reality no intelligent plans have been written or are moving through the halls of Congress. It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. With Trump's greatest accomplishment being the rolling-back of the Obama agenda the article below argues this may be as good as it gets.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2017/06/polarized-america-taking-course-of.html

TeethVillage88s , Jun 15, 2017 9:05 PM

But, But, ... that sounds like RINOs, DINOs, NeoCons, Neoliberals, those that think Economics is a Hard Science... Sounds like Propaganda by the Most Powerful Corporations and Family Dynasties...

"Political Disorder Syndrome - "Refusal To Reason Is The New Normal"

PDS - won't get traction since TPTB have to approve of this kind of thing!

http://www.lyricsdepot.com/jimmy-buffett/banana-republics.html

- Borders Are Destroyed to Attack the US Labor Rate (Deserved or Undeserved) - Globalism, CAFTA, NAFTA, Fast-Track by Bill Clinton, deployed to destroy US Labor Rate & US Jobs & US Middle Class = PROOF that Democrats are Treasonous, are working against the Worker (Either Communist Worker or Other worker) - US National Security is destroyed by the cost of MIC, $1 Trillion Annually - US Constitutional Republic is Destroyed, replaced by Globalism Ideology & Propaganda Deep Program to hide this Fact from Middle Class, from Workers, from Job Losers, from Voters, from Students, from Youth who will not see the entry level jobs...

IT IS A REAL MESS, Propaganda is the name of the Problem! We all know the history of Propaganda. We know that Hillary Clinton engaged in an INFO-War long, long ago. 1971 William Renquist Memo pointed out to Republicans that they must gear up for Foundations to fight Democrats who were much stronger in Political Organizations at this time.

Makes you think.

ElTerco , Jun 15, 2017 10:26 PM

I think main street has been extremely patient. I think after three decades of being slowly and consistently shit on though, enough is enough, and they are starting to lose it.

[Jun 13, 2017] Bait and switch artist as Barack Obama authentic self

Notable quotes:
"... I feel utterly betrayed and conned by Barack Obama. He looked, talked and exuded kind, "humanness". But he was a fraud that STILL evades the grok of huge parts of the World population. People generally find it difficult to accept that this beautiful man (Obama) with the beautiful family, is a tyrannical bastard.(Remember NYT's, Uncle Joe Stalin?). ..."
"... Hillary Clinton, refreshingly (IMO), and bravely, is obviously a crazed maniac. Many noticed her authentic self during the campaign. Now that she is increasingly free to express her inner life, I expect people on both sides of the political divide (The Ups, AND the Downs) to wake up and smell the coffee. We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
clarky90 , , , June 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I believe that Hillary Clinton IS being, and broadcasting her authentic self. I support her 100% in this . I am not being snide. The curtains are being pulled aside on The Incompetent, Wizards of Oz (The Corrupt Over-class). Hillary C will be remembered as the Foolish Wizard who could not keep her curtain drawn! We got a glimpse into the innards of the Heath Robinson, Control Booth, Political Contraption. (George Soros playing with himself!)

I feel utterly betrayed and conned by Barack Obama. He looked, talked and exuded kind, "humanness". But he was a fraud that STILL evades the grok of huge parts of the World population. People generally find it difficult to accept that this beautiful man (Obama) with the beautiful family, is a tyrannical bastard.(Remember NYT's, Uncle Joe Stalin?).

Hillary Clinton, refreshingly (IMO), and bravely, is obviously a crazed maniac. Many noticed her authentic self during the campaign. Now that she is increasingly free to express her inner life, I expect people on both sides of the political divide (The Ups, AND the Downs) to wake up and smell the coffee. We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent.

References

(1) "One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way"
?????????????????? ..
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/global-obesity-study/index.html

Tvc15 , , June 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Clarky90 said, " We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent." Exactly!

And the only solace I have from the Trump show is that the curtains will be pulled back completely to expose the puppeteers of this charade they call a democracy.

OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL , , June 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Which should make it much easier to generate authentic opposition, doncha think? Trump was The Great Reveal, next up is The Great Reveal for Dems: that they too love War and Billionaire Corporo-Fascism

roxy , June 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

"Everybody Needs to Stop Telling Hillary Clinton to Shut Up"

Throughout the campaign, culminating in the mindbogglingly stupid "deplorables" remark, Clinton's contempt for anyone who questioned her was clear. Her post election tour brings more of the same. So yeah, people are sick of hearing it, and have every right to say so.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

She should be grateful that there are still people who bother to tell her to be quiet.

Me? I have ears but do not hear when it comes to her. Her spells can never penetrate my thick skull.

[Jun 11, 2017] A new factor in US politics: the downward spiral of distrust between citizens and elites, in which citizens treat "corrupt" and "establishment" as interchangeable terms.

Jun 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. June 09, 2017 at 02:01 PM

No, this isn't the Onion.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/9/15768314/public-participation-cant-save-american-democracy

What if "more public participation" can't save American democracy?

It's time to make peace with reality and develop a new plan.

Updated by Lee Drutman Jun 9, 2017, 12:00pm EDT

American democracy is in a downward spiral. Well, really two downward spirals.

The first is the downward spiral of bipolar partisanship, in which both sides increasingly demonize each other as the enemy, and refuse to compromise and cooperate - an escalating arms race that is now going beyond mere gridlock and threatening basic democratic norms.

The second is the downward spiral of distrust between citizens and elites, in which citizens treat "corrupt" and "establishment" as interchangeable terms. The public consensus is that politicians are self-serving, not to be trusted. In this logic, only more public participation can make politicians serve the people.

...
Gibbon1 - , June 09, 2017 at 07:06 PM

> in which both sides increasingly demonize each other as the enemy

Yes but the fascist right is the enemy and the centrist right openly supports. And centrist left engages in nothing but appeasement.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron - , June 10, 2017 at 05:23 AM
The public consensus seems fairly accurate, but then so does Gibbon1.

[Jun 11, 2017] Failure as a Way of Life by William S. Lind

Notable quotes:
"... Sadly the Cheneyite rot is so deep at this point that we'll simply have to ride it out . . . Svechin wrote about the corrupting influence of a political elite overwhelmed by its own decadence and delusions that it confuses its own interests with those of the country that it rules ..."
Jun 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

February 15, 2016

The fault line in American politics is no longer Republican vs. Democrat nor conservative vs. liberal but establishment vs. anti-establishment. This is an inevitable result of serial failure in establishment policies. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the establishment's repeated military interventions abroad in wars against non-state opponents. When such interventions fail in one place-first Somalia, then Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya, now Syria-it does the same thing again somewhere else, with the same result.

Why has the establishment allowed itself to be trapped in serial failure? Once we understand how it works, the answer is plain: it cannot do otherwise. On Capitol Hill, the legalization of bribery-"campaign contributions"-means money rules. That puts business as usual in the driver's seat because that is where the money is. If a member of Congress backs, say, the F-35 fighter/bomber, he can count on campaign contributions from its manufacturers and jobs for his state or district. (The Pentagon calls that "strategic contracting.") If instead he calls for reforming our military so it can perform better in Fourth Generation wars, where fighter/bombers are useless, there's no money.

My long-time colleague Paul Weyrich and I both began our Washington careers as Senate staff, Paul in the late 1960s and me in 1973. Shortly before his death in 2008, I said to him, "When we arrived on the Hill, at least half the members of the Senate thought their job had something to do with governing the country. Now that figure is at most 10 percent. All the rest think about is having a successful career as a professional politician and retiring very, very rich." Paul agreed.

Just as money locks in current policy, so does ideology. To be a member of the establishment you must spout the ideology of "democratic capitalism," the notion that America can and should remake the rest of the world in its own image. Other peoples see this, rightly, as an attempt to ram the Brave New World down their throats. Many are willing to fight to prevent it. But if a member of the Washington establishment dares question the ideology and suggests a policy based on realism, he immediately loses his establishment membership.

Over breakfast in Denver several years ago I said to my old boss, Sen. Gary Hart, "If you are a member of the establishment and you suggest more than five degrees rudder change in anything, you cease to be a member of the establishment." He replied, "I'm exhibit A."

Below these factors lies the establishment's bedrock. It is composed overwhelmingly of people who want to be something, not people who want to do something. They have devoted their lives to becoming members of the establishment and enjoying the many privileges thereof. They are not likely to endanger club membership by breaking its rules. Beyond following money and adhering to its ideology, the rules are three.

The first is, don't worry about serial failure. Within the Beltway, the failure of national policies is not important. Career success depends on serving interests and pleasing courtiers above you, not making things work in flyover land. As in 17th-century Spain, the court is dominated by interests that prosper by feeding off the country's decay.

Second, rely on the establishment's wealth and power to insulate its members from the consequences of policy failure. The public schools are wretched, but the establishment's children go to private schools. We lose wars, but the generals who lose them get promoted. The F-35 is a horrible fighter, but no member of the establishment will have to fly it. So long as the money keeps flowing, all is well.

Third and most important, the only thing that really matters is remaining a member of the establishment. This completes the loop in what is a classic closed system, where the outside world does not matter and is not allowed to intrude. Col. John Boyd, America's greatest military theorist, said that all closed systems collapse. The Washington establishment cannot adjust, it cannot adapt, it cannot learn. It cannot escape serial failure.

The public is catching on to all this and, on both sides of the political spectrum, turning to anti-establishment candidates. If we are fortunate, some will win. If the establishment manipulates the rules to hold on to power indefinitely, when it collapses it may take the state with it.

William S. Lind is the author, as "Thomas Hobbes," of Victoria: a Novel of Fourth Generation War .

  • Christopher Manion , says: February 15, 2016 at 8:02 am
    Paul Weyrich is still an inspiration, as Bill recounts here. He tried to make that ninety percent do the right thing, appealing to their better natures but threatening their heart's desires. It was, and is, a constant battle.

    As for the closed system – the only way to drain DC's Bipartisan Hot Tub is from the outside. That's where the plug is – no one on the inside can reach it, and none there really wants to.

    That's our job.

    Colorado Jack , says: February 15, 2016 at 8:11 am
    "To be a member of the establishment you must spout the ideology of "democratic capitalism," the notion that America can and should remake the rest of the world in its own image."

    They may spout it, but they don't believe it and they don't act on it. They have learned the lesson of Iraq. Here's Donald Rumsfeld in 2015, with the advantage of hindsight: "I'm not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories. The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic."

    The establishment cheerfully tolerates and supports Saudi Arabia's regime. No one in the establishment thinks it wise to press for democracy in any serious way. Ditto for Egypt, where our aid violates US law under any fair reading.

    Lind has a point but way overstates it.

    TB , says: February 15, 2016 at 9:35 am
    "If the establishment manipulates the rules to hold on to power indefinitely, when it collapses it may take the state with it."
    ___________________________

    I agree but, as Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet says, "I spy a kind of hope". I believe a tipping point in our political culture was reached in 2008 when the electorate chose a young and inexperienced black man with a VERY scary name over a mainstream war hero and did so by a wide margin. I expect Bernie to be nominated and then win by margins that make BHO's victory look close.

    ged2phd , says: February 15, 2016 at 10:45 am
    Great article. It's long been apparent that the "establishment" seems oblivious to the consequences of their wasteful and foolish policies, but when you point out the foolishness has no (immediate) consequences for them, and even a positive impact on their careers, it all makes sense. Long term, though, it's a sure descent into the abyss for all of us. Of course, the "little people" are falling first and faster, so the elites no doubt are calculating they'll land on top of us so we'll cushion their landing.
    Richard L Harrell , says: February 15, 2016 at 10:57 am
    The real definition of the Establishment is clear and simple. They are the scum of the Earth.
    JohnG , says: February 15, 2016 at 11:26 am
    As depressing the picture painted here may be, I actually think it's optimistic.

    To be a member of the establishment you must spout the ideology of "democratic capitalism," the notion that America can and should remake the rest of the world in its own image.

    Now, could someone explain to me how Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo, or Iraq are now more conformant to some American ideal? I believe the truth is much worse than giant corporations having interest in perpetual wars: The establishment has become a vast network of private rackets that uses the American military & economic might as the ultimate extortion tool. Just ask the two worst secretaries of state in history posing (and seeking cover) as ultra-feminists.

    It was under Mad Albright's tenure that the US started to support (and bomb on behalf of) the shadiest of the terrorist figures in Kosovo, accused by several UN personnel of butchering Serbian and (traitor) Albanian prisoners to harvest organs for trade. You can't make this stuff up, it's beyond horrific. And, surprise, madam secretary leaves her post to turn into a hedge fund manager with investments and interests in the region. Payback for help, anyone? Who wouldn't want to harness the US Air force for its private goals? And would anybody be surprised if HRC took this model one step beyond to make payments to the Clinton Foundation pretty concurrent with the "services" provided by the State Department? And how is this different (other than organ trafficking) from our senators and congressmen retiring vastly richer than when they went into politics? Just where did that money come from?

    In summary, it's NOT just evil corporations, it's the vastly concentrated power of an out of control and overreaching government. Once you have that, you are bound to have individuals and networks trying to harness that power for their private purposes. So yes, let's clean up political financing, but let's also go back to the idea of limited government. And stay vigilant to keep it limited, because, you always end up in trouble otherwise.

    Fran Macadam , says: February 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm
    It couldn't have been said better or more succinctly – or more truthfully.
    seydlitz89 , says: February 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm
    Lame article, sorry. Bill Lind seems unable to understand what strategic theory is. Still attempting to make his reified 4GW notions into reality. John Boyd "America's greatest military theorist"? Ok, E-M theory of aerial combat is significant, but that is mathematics-based and has to do with aircraft design (quite limited really) which is not strategic theory at all, is it? But confusion among US (a)strategic thinkers is the norm and has been for some time . . . interests cloud their little heads . . . But then Dick Cheney is Boyd's greatest follower . . . so . . . follow the leader . . .

    After reading Jeffrey Sach's blog post . . . I asked myself "why did I waste my time on this" . . .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/hillary-clinton-and-the-s_b_9231190.html

    Rossbach , says: February 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm
    Given the realities of the 2-party system, with the neocons dominating GOP foreign policy and liberal interventionists controlling the Democratic side, it's not hard to see how this total lack of accountability has persisted for so long. Hopefully, the pushback that the establishment candidates of both parties are experiencing from the voters will have its effect on national policy – if not in this election cycle, perhaps in the next one.
    connecticut farmer , says: February 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm
    Well put, JohnG. The system is thoroughly corrupt and given the divisions within American society may well be beyond repair. If so, we are doomed. Maybe the HRC email controversy will expose not only her personal corruption but that of the whole system, though I wouldn't bet on it. She may only be the tip of the iceberg and as such only the worst of a bad lot whose numbers are legion.
    Fred Bowman , says: February 15, 2016 at 11:43 pm
    The LAST thing the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex want is for ANY War to end, as it cut off their justication for a bloated military budget that continues to enriched them and their cronies for God know how long.
    Kurt Gayle , says: February 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm
    @ seydlitz89, who wrote:

    "Lame article, sorry. Bill Lind seems unable to understand what strategic theory is. Still attempting to make his reified 4GW notions into reality."

    From my perspective Bill Lind's 4th Generation War explanation for the long string of US defeats by non-state opponents matches up well with the facts.

    To be sure, our taking seriously Lind's "4GW notions" would necessarily lead to (1) a different US foreign policy and (2) a radically scaled-back flow of money to the shadow military-industrial state and their hired politicians.

    So might it be, seydlitz89, that your discomfort is less with Lind's "4GW notions" than it is with (1) or (2), or both?

    Frand Liebkind , says: February 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm
    Ironic, isn't it, that many of the late Col Boyd's air combat theories have become establishment doctrine, almost half a century later. I can only assume that Boyd was sharp enough to realize that they have little application to today's fourth generation warfare. But I may be wrong.
    cdugga , says: February 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm
    Democratic government is supposed to be answerable to the people. But there are 2 big problems with that. One, the people have to stay informed and know what the issues are as well as what potential representatives believe. Is there any reason to move on to the second big problem? Okay, just for discussion, the second problem is that the first problem allows for all the following problems forever after amen. Holding our representatives accountable requires that we hold ourselves accountable for electing the correct representative. Ain't gonna happen, simply because the correct representative, the one telling us that we are the ones responsible, is never going to be elected. The one that will get elected is the one that says others, like immigrants, blacks, elites and those who are not true christians, true patriots, or core americans, are the cause of all our policy and economic problems. That's the guy we want to lead us. We may get him. And he might do what we want, but it is unlikely he will do anything we need to have done to bring back america. Bringing back america is our job after all, and who wants that responsibility. The supposed anti-establishment candidates are simply the ones that say they will take care of the problems we allowed to happen. And we already know they won't or can't because we would never demand so much from ourselves.
    Iowa Scribe , says: February 16, 2016 at 4:56 pm
    We are nearning the end of "the rule of political spoilsmen," but are we also nearing the end of the American experiment or, perhaps, even the catastrophic interruption of the progress of human civilization?

    71:3.10 The ideals of statehood must be attained by evolution, by the slow growth of civic consciousness, the recognition of the obligation and privilege of social service. At first men assume the burdens of government as a duty, following the end of the administration of political spoilsmen, but later on they seek such ministry as a privilege, as the greatest honor. The status of any level of civilization is faithfully portrayed by the caliber of its citizens who volunteer to accept the responsibilities of statehood.

    stephen laudig , says: February 18, 2016 at 1:52 am
    for the US political and military establishments . "there's no success like failure failure's no success at all". There are many, many causes, the one highlighted this year is an electoral law system that only allows for "coke and pepsi" and holds up, in effect bails out or life-supports, the two moribund parties [one may actually die this year, and the other will follow shortly thereafter, extinction of the dinosaurs] by not allowing replacements to grow. cheers.
    seydlitz89 , says: February 18, 2016 at 8:30 am
    @ Kurt Gayle

    Regarding 4GW I think you putting the wheelless cart before the dead horse. 4GW started as a list of speculations published in an article in the Marine Corps Gazette in 1989, that is there wasn't originally any "theory" at all. In 1991, Martin van Creveld published the "The Transformation of War" (TTW) since he needed to divorce war from politics for political/propaganda reasons (Israel's occupation of Palestinian land). Formerly MvC had promoted Clausewitzian strategic theory, had in fact presented a paper in 1986 entitled "The Eternal Clausewitz". TTW provided 4GW with some actual "theory", although Lind claims that 4GW actually exists (reification) and is not theory at all.
    Lind also talks about the "moral being the highest level of war" and claims that's Boyd's view, but according to Chet Richards Boyd never said anything of the kind. We had a long discussion on this back on the sonshi forum about a decade ago.

    Clausewitz became a problem for Dick Cheney and the Neocons since strategic theory links political purpose (not limited to those of "the state") with military aims achieved through military means. Too often states or other political entities wish to hide their actual involvement (not to mention their goals) in wars and thus 4GW comes in handy as a cover for that, but useless in understanding strategy . . . read the Sachs article . . .

    I would also add that 4GW became a useful excuse for US military incompetence since the generals could claim, "How could we have won, it was 4GW!".

    As to Boyd, OODA loops don't really provide anything other than a model for friction above the tactical . . .

    The Russians don't fall for any of this, following instead Svechin, the great Russian Clausewitzian strategic theorist and understanding the uses and limits of organised violence. They understand the nature of the conflict they are involved in in Syria and are acting strategically, something the US hasn't been able to achieve since the end of the Cold War/First Gulf War . . . that is since the rise of 4GW confusion . . .

    Kurt Gayle , says: February 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm
    Thank you, seydlitz89, for taking the time to give so much background history regarding this discussion of Fourth Generation War, etc.
    For those of us who find William Lind's 4GW arguments convincing, it's very useful to read counter-positions presented so well by someone as well-versed in the subject as you obviously are. Sincerely. Thank you.
    peter connor , says: February 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm
    "Lame article, sorry. Bill Lind seems unable to understand what strategic theory is. Still attempting to make his reified 4GW notions into reality."
    The reality has been hitting us in the face for more than 60 years but as Lind points out, reality means nothing to Washington insiders, or other devotees of country wrecking military-industrial profiteering.
    I will make this very simple for you, seydlitz89. If the people of a country you are trying to occupy or control don't want you there, it will be ruinously expensive for you to stay there, and eventually you will leave. Got it?
    seydlitz89 , says: February 19, 2016 at 6:44 pm
    @ Kurt Gayle

    Thank you for the kind words. Sadly the Cheneyite rot is so deep at this point that we'll simply have to ride it out . . . Svechin wrote about the corrupting influence of a political elite overwhelmed by its own decadence and delusions that it confuses its own interests with those of the country that it rules . . . 4GW is part of/has become a pawn of that larger phenomenon . . . the greater confusion . . .

    ObiJohn , says: February 21, 2016 at 3:05 am
    The problem here is that our political leaders, by and large, do not understand grand strategy or military strategy, and do not wish to do so and risk opprobrium from other elites. Elite culture insists acceptance to the belief that violence solves nothing, and never can. Unfortunately, our foes disagree, with the backing of history. We lost in Iraq because Obama ceded victory by abandoning the battlefield, as if saying a war was over could possibly end it on favorable terms the same mistake we made in Vietnam. Rather, the problem in the Middle East is that we haven't killed enough extremists the mistake we didn't make in WWII and so the battle-hardened jihadis that remain believe they can win if they only endure. So far, they seem to be right. The real problem here is the creation of an elite that is isolated from ordinary Americans, from the realities of the global economy, from their own failure as leaders due to their dysfunctional worldview based on a life of privilege, freedom from want, and a belief that all of that is deserved istead of the result of winning the birth lottery. Their unconscious embrace of socialist policies is more about their unease of their fortunate privilege, and it stops when the pain starts they call for the elimination of private property but insist their iPads are exempt as 'personal' property rather than private property. They call for equality of opportunity but aren't willing to give up their spot at an Ivy League university. They call for more taxes but incorporate in Ireland, or dock their yacht in Rhode Island to avoid Massachusetts taxes. They no longer support enlightened self-interest but instead push for restrictions on freedom of speech, call for more gun control, and seek to restrict political opposition all in the name of peace and freedom and happiness. They are the modern Marie Antoinettes, and the mob is sharpening the pitchforks.
    Eric , says: February 24, 2016 at 8:15 am
    seydlitz89 "The Russians don't fall for any of this, following instead Svechin, the great Russian Clausewitzian strategic theorist and understanding the uses and limits of organised violence"

    Svechin? Really? Most of his work was borrowed from the pre 1914 Nikolai General Staff Academy. The bigger Soviet thinker at the time was Verhovsky. Someone got very excited about Svechin at Fort Leavenworth in the late 1970s/early 1980s (probably because someone decided to translate him) but in the Russian context he's a relative minor figure – no one follows him.

  • [May 25, 2017] Justin Murphys The psychology of prohibiting outside thinkers

    Notable quotes:
    "... cordon sanitaire ..."
    "... cordon sanitaire ..."
    "... Human Ethology Bulletin ..."
    "... Culture of Critique ..."
    "... The Bell Curve." ..."
    "... The Culture of Critique ..."
    "... The Occidental Quarterly ..."
    May 21, 2017 | www.unz.com
    117 Comments

    Here is Justin Murphy describing his background, research, and activism:

    Why is there not more rebellion against status quo institutions? How have economic and political processes pacified our capacity for radical collective action? As a political scientist, I am interested in the roles played by information, communication, and ideology in the pacification of political resistance and conflict. Before joining the faculty of Politics and IR at the University of Southampton in the UK, I did my PhD at Temple University in the US. There I was active in Occupy Wall Street , some civil disobedience and shutting down of things , some longer-term campaigns against the big U.S. banks , and sundry other works and deeds , including a radical warehouse project where I lived for nearly three years.

    So Murphy is an academic on the left. He is therefore part of the establishment, a card-carrying member of the institutional structure that dominates intellectual discourse in the West. But, unlike the vast majority of his academic brethren, he is quite aware that the left is now the status quo and that it is doing everything it can to preserve its elite status - and that its self-preserving tactics are at base nothing more than irrational assertions of power and privilege. Murphy makes these claims in a blogpost: " The psychology of prohibiting outside thinkers . " Part of the subtitle says it all: " The real motivation of respectable progressivism is managing guilty conscience and conserving bourgeois privileges ."

    What's so refreshing about this is that instead of "exclud[ing] independent right-wing intellectual work on moral grounds," he would actually "enjoy thinking" with intellectuals on the right. Indeed, moral indictments have become the stock in trade of establishment intellectuals - as noted in my three-part " Moralism and Moral Arguments in the War for Western Survival ." Moral condemnations are easy. No intellectual heavy lifting required. All one need do is appeal to conventional moral intuitions as shaped by the the same institutions that are now the status quo - the media and academic culture.

    As I note, those who dissent from the status quo are "not only misguided, [they are] malevolent consumed by hatred, anger and fear towards non-Whites, gays, women and the entire victim class pantheon, or so goes the stereotype And that's the problem. Being cast as evil means you are outside the moral community. There's no need to talk with you, no need to be fair, or even worry about your safety. You are like an outlaw in Old Norse society - 'a person [who] lost all of his or her civil rights and could be killed on sight without any legal repercussions.'"

    Back to Murphy:

    Very simply, ["institutional intellectuals"] are imposing a cordon sanitaire that is instrumentally necessary to the continuation of their unjustified intellectual privileges in the institutional order. I am increasingly convinced there is simply no other public function to this political repetition compulsion. The reason this is important, from the left, is that this cordon sanitaire is straightforwardly a mechanism to conserve the status quo, everything progressives pretend to be interested in overthrowing. This is why neo-reactionary intellectuals speak of the status quo political order as dominated by a left-progressive "Cathedral."

    The religious analogy is quite apt. Like moral pronouncements, religious dogmas are not refutable and need not be justified empirically. They are nothing more than intellectually shoddy ex Cathedra pronouncements that take advantage of a pre-existing intellectual consensus.

    First, it seems to be a fact that the genuinely intellectual wings of the alt-right or neo-reaction (NRx) or whatever you want to call it, are probably too intelligent and sophisticated for bourgeois intellectual workers to engage with, let alone compete with. So if those essays are actually pretty smart and a legitimate challenge to your institutional authority as a credentialed intellectual-you are functionally required to close ranks, if only with a silent agreement to not engage.

    Now, as soon as anyone from this non-institutional world produces effects within the institutional orbit, it is actually a really serious survival reflex for all institutionally privileged intellectuals to play the morality card ("no platform!"). If all these strange, outside autodidacts are actually smart and independently producing high-level intellectual content you don't have the time to even understand, let alone defeat or otherwise control, this is an existential threat to your entire livelihood. Because all of your personal identity, your status, and your salary, is based directly on your credentialed, legitimated membership card giving your writings and pontifications an officially sanctioned power and authority. If that door is opened even a crack by non-credentialed outsiders, the whole jig is up for the respectable bourgeois monopoly on the official intellectual organs of society.

    This comment really strikes home with me. I wrote three books on Judaism from an evolutionary perspective, the first of which was reviewed positively in academic journals; the second was less widely reviewed , and the third was basically ignored apart from a favorable review by Frank Salter in the Human Ethology Bulletin . Instead I was subjected to a vicious witch hunt spearheaded by the SPLC, joined by a great many of the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts, especially the Jewish faculty. In all of the exchanges on faculty email lists there was never any attempt to deal with the academic soundness of these books. Labels like "anti-Semitic" sufficed. So now, nearly 20 years after publication, Culture of Critique remains ignored by the academic establishment even as it gains traction on the Alt Right.

    The same can be said about Murray's The Bell Curve . It is referenced at times but almost always with the adjective 'discredited' even though the data are rock solid. I know a liberal academic who commented, "I don't have to read Mein Kampf to know it is evil. Same with The Bell Curve."

    Murphy:

    An interesting question is, because respectable intellectuals are often pretty smart and capable, why are they so fearful of outside intellectual projects, even if they are as evil as some fear? They are smart and capable intellectuals, so you'd think they would embrace some interesting challenge as an opportunity for productive contestation. Why don't they? Well, here's where the reality gets ugly. The reason respectable intellectuals so instinctively close ranks around the moral exclusion of NRx intellectuals is that currently working, respectable intellectuals privately know that the intellectual compromises they have made to secure their respectability and careers has rendered most of their life's work sadly and vulnerably low-quality.

    I suspect this is quite true. There is a replication crisis centering on psychology and particularly in social psychology , the most blatantly politicized field within psychology. This is my summary of Prof. Jonathan Haidt's comments on the topic:

    when scholarly articles that contravene the sacred values of the tribe are submitted to academic journals, reviewers and editors suddenly become super rigorous. More controls are needed, and more subjects. It's not a representative sample, and the statistical techniques are inadequate. This use of scientific rigor against theories that are disliked for deeper reasons is a theme of Chapter 2 of The Culture of Critique where it was also noted that standards were quite lax when it came to data that fit the leftist zeitgeist.

    Whole areas of education and sociology doubtless have similar problems. For example, in education, there have been decades of studies "discovering" panaceas for the Black-White academic achievement gap - without any success. But, as Prof. Ray Wolters notes ("Why Education Reform Failed," The Occidental Quarterly [Spring, 2016]) , hope springs eternal because there are always new wrinkles to try. Fundamentally the field fails to deal with IQ or with genetic influences on IQ and academic performance.

    The same is likely true of huge swaths of the humanities where verbal brilliance, post-modern lack of logic and rigor, and leftist politics have created wonderlands of inanity. All this would be swept away if the outsiders triumphed. I strongly suggest following @RealPeerReview on Twitter to get a feeling for what is now going on in academia. Remember, these people are getting jobs and students are paying exorbitant tuition to hear them lecture.

    Murphy:

    To convince status-quo cultural money dispensers to give you a grant, fourr instance, any currently "successful" academic or artist has to so extensively pepper their proposal with patently stupid words and notions that knowingly make the final result a sad, contorted piece of work 80% of which is bent to the flattery of our overlords. But we falsely rationalize this contortion as "mature discipline" which we then rationalize to be the warrant for our privileged status as legitimate intellectuals.

    And then, twisting the knife:

    Because we know deep down inside that our life's work is only half of what it could have been had we the courage to not ask for permission, if there ever arise people who are doing high-level intellectual work on the outside, exactly as they wish to without anyone's permission or money, then not only are we naturally resentful, but we secretly know that at least some of these outsiders are likely doing more interesting, more valuable, more radically incisive work than we are, because we secretly know that we earn our salary by agreeing to only say half of what we could.

    Can't think of a better way to end it. What its really incredibly pathetic is that really challenging this regime from within the academic world is vanishingly rare. Or perhaps it's not so surprising given the above. But what happened to all that idealism that young scholars have when they really get interested in a field? Why don't professors in evolutionary science, who know well how natural selection works when there is an invasive species or sub-species - why don't these White people become vocal opponents of the current multicultural zeitgeist that is actively selecting against European genes? How can they just watch or even applaud the demise of their own people?

    This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests.

    (Reprinted from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT

    "This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests."

    Both are selfish materialistic interests. You will never be able to understand why Whites are committing suicide if this is all you can see. You are doomed to eternal puzzlement and perplexity, like Derbyshire, like Sailer. Eternally scratching your heads, yet unwilling to question your premises, trapped in the sterile circle of materialism.

    You yourself admit you cannot understand it – i.e it cannot be explained in terms of your premises. One would think when one has reached the limits of one's premises explanatory power, its time to think beyond them.

    Yet how seldom that happens. People just circle endlessly their central premise, unable to break free.

    Yet to anyone who isn't a materialist, how obvious it is why Whites are committing suicide.

    joe webb , May 24, 2017 at 4:50 am GMT

    The left used to call the intellectual enablers of capitalism "bourgeois intellectuals." This included various professions like economics, political science, etc.

    Since Sociology was the Revolution Party led by Jews, it got a pass.

    Today, with commies like the handsome negro Van Jones, at one of the major networks, and these networks nothing more than Pravda Dem Party hackworks, we need a new term for the media-Left-Revolutionary minority-racist-jewish-liberal-anti-fa, academic , etc. cultural revolution.

    The fact that , per this article, it has become so trendy as to attract opportunists of many colors, it arguably is in danger of strident internal divisions, like the LGBTxyz, loonies that have self-destructed. Something that denotes the internal instability of the Dem coalition would be useful.

    The bizarre connection with international capital as a theoretical vehicle for inauguration of the great Age of Globalism and One World of racial group-groping should be captured in any such term of the cultural revolution II that we are experiencing.

    Dunno, but the Brave New World needs a catchy term. Liberal Opportunism also must be compassed in the term. Liberal World Equality Trashniks, etc.
    Joe Webb

    ThereisaGod , May 24, 2017 at 8:35 am GMT

    Yup. careerism is spiritual whoredom. As somebody once said, "I was only following orders".

    Randal , May 24, 2017 at 9:04 am GMT

    Excellent stuff. The hard truths that our society refuses to listen to and tries its best to suppress.

    This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests.

    Not hard to understand – genetic interests are not individual interests unless the individual chooses to make them so. Many of these people are childless, as a result of lifestyle choices – choosing to engage in homosexual or recreational activity instead of reproductive for hedonist reasons, postponing childbirth until too late for career materialist reasons. Such people have turned away from the instinctive objective of reproduction in the most fundamental way, and have no direct interest in the future beyond their own brief lives. No wonder they are free to engage in the profound selfishness of destructive altruism.

    Others think their children will be sheltered from the consequences by their own establishment status, or genuinely believe the dogmas they have repeated for so long.

    Robert Magill , May 24, 2017 at 9:26 am GMT

    Being cast as evil means you are outside the moral community. There's no need to talk with you, no need to be fair, or even worry about your safety. You are like an outlaw in Old Norse society - 'a person [who] lost all of his or her civil rights and could be killed on sight without any legal repercussions.'"

    Projection of such an incredible amount of animus directed at one individual must be an indicator of a huge lacking in our culture. Common decency aside, the simple repetition of such hostility must be masking other ills. S.H.I.T. Happens! Self. Haters. Impugning. Trump. Happens! Examined here:

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/s-h-i-t-examined/

    Anonymous , May 24, 2017 at 9:39 am GMT

    I actually bought three books by Prof. Macdonald via Amazon about 7 years ago. I read the books. IMHO, they are quite informative.
    1) https://www.amazon.com/Culture-Critique-Evolutionary-Twentieth-Century-Intellectual/dp/0759672229/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
    2) https://www.amazon.com/Separation-Its-Discontents-Evolutionary-Anti-Semitism/dp/1410792617/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
    3) https://www.amazon.com/People-That-Shall-Dwell-Alone/dp/0595228380/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    jilles dykstra , May 24, 2017 at 10:15 am GMT

    One wonders if psychologists are ignorant of history.

    So there is nothing special in the christian culture about no independent thought. On top of that, as Chomsky states: in any culture there is a standard truth, if this truth is not considered, no debate is possible, but between those who know better.

    We see this right now, much wailing about the indeed horrible carnage in Manchester, that the USA, Predators with Hellfire, causes such carnage every week three or fout times, it cannot be said. Terrorism is caused by the Islam, not by the west.

    anonHUN , May 24, 2017 at 11:55 am GMT

    @AaronB "This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests."

    Both are selfish materialistic interests. You will never be able to understand why Whites are committing suicide if this is all you can see.
    You are doomed to eternal puzzlement and perplexity, like Derbyshire, like Sailer. Eternally scratching your heads, yet unwilling to question your premises, trapped in the sterile circle of materialism.

    You yourself admit you cannot understand it - i.e it cannot be explained in terms of your premises. One would think when one has reached the limits of one's premises explanatory power, its time to think beyond them.

    Yet how seldom that happens. People just circle endlessly their central premise, unable to break free.

    Yet to anyone who isn't a materialist, how obvious it is why Whites are committing suicide.

    Anon , May 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm GMT

    @jilles dykstra Even more important to me seems the question 'who wanted WWII ?'.

    Charles A. Beard, 'American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932 – 1940, A study in responsibilities', New Haven, 1946

    A J P Taylor, 'The Origins of the Second World War', 1961, 1967, Londen

    Mark Green , May 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

    This is a fascinating take on the true Establishment, if not the 'counter-culture'; both of which are politically correct and engineered to be self-perpetuating.

    The progressive Trojan Horse has penetrated the kingdom's walls. Tolerance! (Do not resist.)

    These progressive movements are also censorious, authoritarian and highly exclusive.

    'We are all One'. Bigotry will not be tolerated!

    At their core, these liberal movements and their rainbow collection of accompanying values represent the subversive interests of an invasive species.

    benjaminl , May 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm GMT

    Like moral pronouncements, religious dogmas are not refutable and need not be justified empirically. They are nothing more than intellectually shoddy ex Cathedra pronouncements that take advantage of a pre-existing intellectual consensus.

    This is a bit unfair to religious dogma. From Justin Martyr and Irenaeus to Augustine and Aquinas, many theologians did their most notable work, precisely in arguing against people who did not share their views.

    Tulip , May 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm GMT

    I hope Murphy already has tenure. . .

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

    @anonHUN Can you elaborate? You mean they aspire to be saints, and sacrifice themselves or to repent for the sins of their fathers? (by going extinct?) Well true, Christianity introduced this kind of nutjobs to the world who aimed to die without resisting "evil" and expecting to win that way on the metaphysical plane. Progressives don't believe in such things though.

    Ace , May 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm GMT

    @Anon Nothing like recent, cutting-edge research to support your viewpoint.

    Agent76 , May 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

    Dec 7, 2011 Council on Foreign Relations – The Power Behind Big News

    One version says that the CFR is an organization sister to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Britain), both founded in 1921 right after World War I when the League of Nations idea failed. The sole purpose of such organizations is to condition the public to accept a Global Governance which today is the United Nations.

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT

    @Santoculto I agree absolutely, no doubt it's more and more ''spiritual'' than just ''evolutionary''. Yes, existentialism is one of the ''plague'' that is destroying west BUT existentialism should be a good thing, a emancipation from childish belief systems, less for people who hasn't been selected to be mature, so instead a clear evolution of ''spirit'' be beneficial, it's become maladaptative. '''They''' create a moral game that is impossible for those who can't think in ''multiple' perspectives to win.

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT

    @utu I would never put Kevin MacDonald in the same bag with Derbyshire and Sailer. Unlike them MacDonald had courage to tackle the ultimate subject of the Jews. And he did it very thoroughly w/o holding any punches. He did it the way his training as a evolutionary sociologist permitted him which was by putting more emphasis on genes then cultural memes. This is unfortunate because cultural memes dominate. But writing about genes is a bit safer than about memes because one can fall on and hide behind presumably objective scientific narrative. That's why also Derbyshire and Sailer rather yap about genes than cultural memes.

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

    @Randal


    There is no instinct for reproduction.
    Seems pretty unlikely to me, based upon simple observation. The evidence for an instinct to reproduce seems to be obvious in the widespread desire for children/grandchildren of one's own. Any reason to deny the obvious presumption?
    Though of course it's not really relevant to the point I was making, since "instinct for reproduction" could as easily have been written "genetic imperative for reproduction" without affecting the point.
    MBlanc46 , May 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

    So academic Leftists are now what pass for professional revolutionaries. V.I. Ulyanov would be appalled.

    Wizard of Oz , May 24, 2017 at 5:17 pm GMT

    @utu I would never put Kevin MacDonald in the same bag with Derbyshire and Sailer. Unlike them MacDonald had courage to tackle the ultimate subject of the Jews. And he did it very thoroughly w/o holding any punches. He did it the way his training as a evolutionary sociologist permitted him which was by putting more emphasis on genes then cultural memes. This is unfortunate because cultural memes dominate. But writing about genes is a bit safer than about memes because one can fall on and hide behind presumably objective scientific narrative. That's why also Derbyshire and Sailer rather yap about genes than cultural memes.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm GMT

    What its really incredibly pathetic is that really challenging this regime from within the academic world is vanishingly rare.

    It's not incredibly pathetic, it's just disgustingly pathetic. As you've said, they're all intellectual whores. That's what the public sector has always been comprised of. I know. I worked for three governments (briefly) and I devoted an even shorter part of my one and only life to appointments at three universities, including two of the World's top 30 (according to the Times Higher Ed) research schools.

    But what happened to all that idealism that young scholars have when they really get interested in a field?

    The idealism remains, but those young idealistic scholars, realizing what a degraded, sordid, bureaucratic world the university has become, went out into the real world, whether to drop out, make money, or pursue the intellectual life with real, personally paid for, freedom.

    Why don't professors in evolutionary science, who know well how natural selection works when there is an invasive species or sub-species - why don't these White people become vocal opponents of the current multicultural zeitgeist that is actively selecting against European genes?

    They are far from the brightest of the bunch and they are, as we already said, intellectual whores.

    How can they just watch or even applaud the demise of their own people?

    How many kids does Frau Merkel have? How many kids does Frau Theresa May have? Why would they care about the future of their own people. Same problem with a lot of female quota academics.

    There's no solution other than to tie the feminists in bags and dump them in the Bosphorus, and the same with the academic eunochs, the scoundrel academic deans, and the slimebag university presidents and vice presidents. Screw the whole dirty lot of them.

    Trump could make a start by ending all Federal support for universities.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

    @AaronB As you probably realize, the West isn't engaged in altruistic self-sacrifice, but in suicide. There is a big difference. One is good, the other bad.

    One is based on love and compassion, the other on self-disgust. If we were capable of love we would defend our way of life, not destroy it - if we could love, our life would have some meaning, and some happiness. Love is a transcendent, non-materialist, value.

    What the West is doing is motivated by hate, not compassion.

    This isn't Christian, either. Suicide is forbidden in Christianity, nor can one force others to sacrifice themselves, as in forcing entire unwilling nations to self-destruct.

    Also, our policies are obviously increasing misery, hatred, and bloodshed, in the long run, and the short run. If we were motivated by compassion, we could send money, aid, entire teams, to other countries. But that would not serve our true purpose.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm GMT

    Meantime, if you want to take a kick at the crooks in academic administration, go over to the blog of Professor John McAdams - booted from the Marquette U, supposedly a Christian institution, for the terrible crime of standing up for a student who wished to make a case against gay marriage in a philosophy class - and give him your encouragement and support.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy Meantime, if you want to take a kick at the crooks in academic administration, go over to the blog of Professor John McAdams - booted from the Marquette U, supposedly a Christian institution, for the terrible crime of standing up for a student who wished to make a case against gay marriage in a philosophy class - and give him your encouragement and support.

    Tulip , May 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

    There is an interesting point in the life of any maturing intellect when one discovers the gap between how the Academy insists on "explaining" how the world works and how the world really works. It is very hard to resist the urge to talk about it. [Even harder to look at the raw scientific data "no platformed" out of the dialogue.]

    Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy's new enemies already know how the world works, and will only double down on their "explanation" because it serves their group interests. Further, Murphy will likely face professional backlash for discussing the Emperor's attire. This will be exciting for a young scholar, but likely will sour with time. Cordelia was the youngest of Lear's daughters, and Socrates probably got the fate he deserved.

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy

    What the West is doing is motivated by hate, not compassion.
    Yeah, hate by the globalist elite for the mass of mankind (aka what Bill Clinton's history mentor, Carroll Quigley called the Money Power), which is rather different from self-hatred, although self-hatred or at least the lust for what is self-destructive is what a mass-hating elite seeks to instill in the masses.

    Societies don't live or die according to the minds of the mass, but according to the wisdom and ambitions of the leadership. So let's forget the BS about a lack of spirituality, let's recognize who are the bastards driving the West to destruction and how they and their agents are to be exposed and destroyed.

    Sean , May 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT

    I think liberals would disagree with a lot of this post. They see themselves as protecting the individual to live as they choose within a principle of no harm, whereby a problem of groups in competition does not arise, which is fair enough within a state, but falls apart if applied across borders and separate polities.

    The intellectual consensus against heterodox thinkers, especially those of Prof. MacDonald's ilk, is due to the principle of no harm, taken as mandating an open society and global utility. But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.

    What its really incredibly pathetic is that really challenging this regime from within the academic world is vanishingly rare. Or perhaps it's not so surprising given the above. But what happened to all that idealism that young scholars have when they really get interested in a field? Why don't professors in evolutionary science, who know well how natural selection works when there is an invasive species or sub-species - why don't these White people become vocal opponents of the current multicultural zeitgeist that is actively selecting against European genes? How can they just watch or even applaud the demise of their own people?

    This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests.

    Be that as it may, I think phrasing opposition in terms of anything pertaining to genes is disastrous . And the proof of that is the virtually open borders advocates constantly try to bring up genetic and related arguments as what lies behind all calls for immigration restriction. They want us to make the hereditary/ genetic/white/ nordic argument. All these terms denote supremacy and are identified with a philosophical error ( essentialism).

    Border security is self-defence for the national state communities that aspire to protect their polity (sovereign country), but liberals are assuming a global delimited polity (one world ) with a principle of no harm; they have to save the immigrants. The case for immigration restriction should be put as relating to a democratically ratified state's borders. A citizen's right to cross the border has a corollary in relation to foreigners having no such right.

    "I don't have to read Mein Kampf to know it is evil. Same with The Bell Curve."

    Kampf has a bit where Hitler talks of the conquest and colonisation of space, but predicts the globe will spin through space devoid of life if Jews are allowed to direct its development. I wonder, liberalism and nation speaking peace toward nation is going to make the open and technologically innovative Western counties a mulch cow for the world, one can imagine a much more internationally cooperative spirit becoming de rigueur , and progress harnessed to the hypercapitalism as foreseen by Nick Land. At which time pursuit of a technological singularity will be brought well within striking distance for that generation.

    The great silence from the Universe (we're all alone) and it seeming that, contrary to what evolutionist say, evolution does seem to have an upward direction to it (nervous systems having evolved twice ) plus we now we know that bacteria can survive meteorite crash landings all points toward life forms being self exterminiting by getting a little too advanced.

    Perhaps his expectation of the aforementioned advances in globalism and invention (or rationalist morality and inteligence) is why Professor Stephen Hawking thinks life on Earth will be extinguished within a century . As Yoda, or was it Revilo Oliver, said "night must fall".

    reiner Tor , Website May 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT

    @AaronB You are right - Sailer in particular seems to admire Jewish "success" - which shows he does not understand what it is based on.

    Kevin deserves admiration, but his analysis is vitiated by his materialism. He does not understand White vulnerability - because as a materialist, he cannot.

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

    Genetic determinism has severe limits in explaining history - the idea that Whites are uniquely altruistic is historically ignorant, for instance. Also, it is a serious misunderstanding to describe current White behavior as altruistic.

    Further, there can be no evolutionary logic for a group to preserve itself under pressure - survival on the genetic level would seem most assured by assimilating - a fact, by the way, which seems easily grasped by our current-day White materialists.

    Group-survival can only be a non-materialist transcendental value. But then, the identity of the group - not its genetic material, which will survive anyhow - must bee felt as worth preserving.

    These, and other defects, must be swept under the rug if one is to be an extreme materialist.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm GMT

    @AaronB You are right - Sailer in particular seems to admire Jewish "success" - which shows he does not understand what it is based on.

    Kevin deserves admiration, but his analysis is vitiated by his materialism. He does not understand White vulnerability - because as a materialist, he cannot.

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

    Genetic determinism has severe limits in explaining history - the idea that Whites are uniquely altruistic is historically ignorant, for instance. Also, it is a serious misunderstanding to describe current White behavior as altruistic.

    Further, there can be no evolutionary logic for a group to preserve itself under pressure - survival on the genetic level would seem most assured by assimilating - a fact, by the way, which seems easily grasped by our current-day White materialists.

    Group-survival can only be a non-materialist transcendental value. But then, the identity of the group - not its genetic material, which will survive anyhow - must bee felt as worth preserving.

    These, and other defects, must be swept under the rug if one is to be an extreme materialist.

    reiner Tor , Website May 24, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT

    @iffen There is no genetic imperative for reproduction.

    There is a genetic imperative to have sex.

    FKA Max , May 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

    @AaronB You are right - Sailer in particular seems to admire Jewish "success" - which shows he does not understand what it is based on.

    Kevin deserves admiration, but his analysis is vitiated by his materialism. He does not understand White vulnerability - because as a materialist, he cannot.

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

    Genetic determinism has severe limits in explaining history - the idea that Whites are uniquely altruistic is historically ignorant, for instance. Also, it is a serious misunderstanding to describe current White behavior as altruistic.

    Further, there can be no evolutionary logic for a group to preserve itself under pressure - survival on the genetic level would seem most assured by assimilating - a fact, by the way, which seems easily grasped by our current-day White materialists.

    Group-survival can only be a non-materialist transcendental value. But then, the identity of the group - not its genetic material, which will survive anyhow - must bee felt as worth preserving.

    These, and other defects, must be swept under the rug if one is to be an extreme materialist.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm GMT

    @annamaria What the West is doing is motivated by greed (and the superiority complex).
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com

    "... Muslim fundamentalism is such a strong growth that it needed no Western provocation to set it in motion. We have not only removed or weakened the regimes that inhibited, more or less, that growth. What we have done is to encourage Jihad to flourish on an immensely greater scale. That increased scale increases its glamour and its pull for our English Muslims many times over.

    ... Western countries have been arming and training Muslim fighters knowing full well that those fighters were Jihadis, and were more than likely to join even more extreme Jihadi units. Knowing full well also that some of those Jihadis, but now trained in killing and invigorated by contact with other true believers, would return to their countries of origin and do what harm they could.

    ... We see ragged groups of thugs using, often inexpertly, the deadly equipment we give them or the supply of which we facilitate. ... For there is now no doubt that the flood of foreign Jihadis that have wreaked such havoc in Syria and neighbouring countries was released by us or with our active complicity. It could not have happened but for Western assistance. We do not acknowledge it."

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 7:52 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    survival on the genetic level would seem most assured by assimilating – a fact ...
    Oh sure!

    Just what a globalist shill for European genocide would say.

    The truth, however, is quite the opposite.

    Thus, if in a territory of fixed carrying capacity, indigenous females are impregnated by alien settlers, then in the next generation, the proportion of indigenous genes in the gene pool will be diminished.

    Some survival strategy!

    That that is a strategy for self-genocide is why Jews won't "marry out" and insist on having a Jewish state.

    And the genocidal effect is the same if you merely have mass immigration, especially when combined with below replacement birth rates as have been engineered throughout the West by government policy on abortion, divorce, toleration of immigrant polygamy, and the promotion of sexual perversion under the guise of sex "education." Under those circumstances, it doesn't matter who the indigenous people mate with, their genes in the gene pool will be diluted, eventually to extinction.

    Even if the indigenous mate only with one another, the frequency of their genes in the gene pool will be diminished both proportionally and in total, unless the population grows without limit.

    Then there is the cultural genocide, better known as multi-culturalism. First you invite in the adherents of the religion of love, next thing you know is the bastards are yelling Europe is the Cancer, Islam is the Answer , and terror bombing indigenous kids .

    annamaria , May 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm GMT

    @Sean I think liberals would disagree with a lot of this post. They see themselves as protecting the individual to live as they choose within a principle of no harm, whereby a problem of groups in competition does not arise, which is fair enough within a state, but falls apart if applied across borders and separate polities.

    The intellectual consensus against heterodox thinkers, especially those of Prof. MacDonald's ilk, is due to the principle of no harm, taken as mandating an open society and global utility. But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.


    What its really incredibly pathetic is that really challenging this regime from within the academic world is vanishingly rare. Or perhaps it's not so surprising given the above. But what happened to all that idealism that young scholars have when they really get interested in a field? Why don't professors in evolutionary science, who know well how natural selection works when there is an invasive species or sub-species - why don't these White people become vocal opponents of the current multicultural zeitgeist that is actively selecting against European genes? How can they just watch or even applaud the demise of their own people?

    This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests.

    . And the proof of that is the virtually open borders advocates constantly try to bring up genetic and related arguments as what lies behind all calls for immigration restriction. They want us to make the hereditary/ genetic/white/ nordic argument. All these terms denote supremacy and are identified with a philosophical error ( essentialism).

    Border security is self-defence for the national state communities that aspire to protect their polity (sovereign country), but liberals are assuming a global delimited polity (one world ) with a principle of no harm; they have to save the immigrants. The case for immigration restriction should be put as relating to a democratically ratified state's borders. A citizen's right to cross the border has a corollary in relation to foreigners having no such right.

    "I don't have to read Mein Kampf to know it is evil. Same with The Bell Curve."

    Kampf has a bit where Hitler talks of the conquest and colonisation of space, but predicts the globe will spin through space devoid of life if Jews are allowed to direct its development. I wonder, liberalism and nation speaking peace toward nation is going to make the open and technologically innovative Western counties a mulch cow for the world, one can imagine a much more internationally cooperative spirit becoming de rigueur , and progress harnessed to the hypercapitalism as foreseen by Nick Land. At which time pursuit of a technological singularity will be brought well within striking distance for that generation.

    The great silence from the Universe (we're all alone) and it seeming that, contrary to what evolutionist say, evolution does seem to have an upward direction to it (nervous systems having evolved twice ) plus we now we know that bacteria can survive meteorite crash landings all points toward life forms being self exterminiting by getting a little too advanced.

    Perhaps his expectation of the aforementioned advances in globalism and invention (or rationalist morality and inteligence) is why Professor Stephen Hawking thinks life on Earth will be extinguished within a century . As Yoda, or was it Revilo Oliver, said "night must fall".

    nickels , May 24, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

    @AaronB You are right, and it is the Western intellectual elite that had turned against itself by the time of the late 19th century. Precisely the ones who engage most deeply with Western ideas, and are most affected by them.

    In the 19th century, a Baudelaire and a Rimbaud may have been horrified at the banality and dreariness of life in a mechanized society, but the masses, though obscurely suffering, were not so deeply affected.

    But today, the masses have caught up - obesity, the opioid epidemic, etc.

    The "bastards" who are responsible - unfortunately, you can't hunt down materialism.

    If you don't see the significance of our lack of spirituality, you will never be able to break free.

    Santoculto - but you see, "beauty" is a metaphysical concept - it transcends mere matter. Materialism has no use for beauty. We see this today - with the loss of metaphysics, our architecture, our art, has become ugly. Beauty is "useless".

    We have some "thing" driving us forward - selfish materialism. If you don't like it, and wish to escape it, then what drives you forward cannot be a "thing".

    Santoculto , May 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm GMT

    @AaronB You are right, and it is the Western intellectual elite that had turned against itself by the time of the late 19th century. Precisely the ones who engage most deeply with Western ideas, and are most affected by them.

    In the 19th century, a Baudelaire and a Rimbaud may have been horrified at the banality and dreariness of life in a mechanized society, but the masses, though obscurely suffering, were not so deeply affected.

    But today, the masses have caught up - obesity, the opioid epidemic, etc.

    The "bastards" who are responsible - unfortunately, you can't hunt down materialism.

    If you don't see the significance of our lack of spirituality, you will never be able to break free.

    Santoculto - but you see, "beauty" is a metaphysical concept - it transcends mere matter. Materialism has no use for beauty. We see this today - with the loss of metaphysics, our architecture, our art, has become ugly. Beauty is "useless".

    We have some "thing" driving us forward - selfish materialism. If you don't like it, and wish to escape it, then what drives you forward cannot be a "thing".

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm GMT

    @reiner Tor People love having grandkids, even feminist Hillary Clinton (who otherwise didn't care much for reproduction) begged her only daughter to produce grandkids for her. Childless spinsters are often quite bitter, and most folk psychologists give at least two reasons why, with one of them being bitter about not having children. What makes you think it's not hardwired?

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 8:56 pm GMT

    @ FKA Max – thanks, that sounds interesting. I don't know if Europeans are less altruistic than others, but I do know that the Muslims whom the Crusaders came into contact with considered Europeans to be especially ethnocentric.

    In my view, genetic determinism is simply a limited view – nations change their character, often dramatically, over time. Examples are numerous – dishonest Germans, lazy Chinese, etc, etc.

    To ignore this, truly one must do violence to one's mind.

    @Nickels – yes, but that is the materialist trap. One cannot simply choose not to be a materialist for prudential reasons – as prudence itself is a materialist value. Materialism certainly undermines itself in many ways, though. It is, even, self-contradictory (if our minds are evolutionary, we can't assume it produces truth – but then our minds produced the theory of evolution, which we then have no basis to believe in, and so on. It's circular, and self-undermining.)

    – but beauty is not a physical thing – it is a relation between things, a certain proportion, an arrangement of things. Therefore, it is metaphysical – i.e above physics.

    Agree with you about the Vatican – though beautiful, it represent power and wealth, values utterly foreign to Christianity.

    utu , May 24, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT

    @AaronB You're not thinking it through.

    First, you have misunderstood me badly if you think I support European genocide. I am offering my analysis out of a desire to avoid just that. I just think your analysis is badly superficial.

    You are badly conflating "group identity" with "genetic group" - if the indigenous group agrees to assimilate to the invaders identity - religion, etc - then the indigenous group need not suffer any loss of genetic frequency.

    Even today, if you convert to Islam - assimilate - you will be provided a wife in many places. Your genes will most certainly not perish. Rather the opposite, for many young Western males.

    There can be no genetic, materialist reason to resist Islam - many low-status Western males will have improved chances of reproduction, and elite Western males will compose a valued intellectual and technocratic class, as happened historically. Genetically, females will be in no way worse off.

    To retain our distinct group identity we need a metaphysical reason - our distinct identity must be felt as worth preserving. This fact is implicitly admitted by our materialist Western elites, by their behavior.

    Historically, if you merged with your neighbor tribe, you became larger and stronger - the optimum strategy was for tribes to merge into "hordes", which happened in many cases. A tribe that wanted to retain its distinct identity had to have a reason - it did not make genetic sense.

    Consider, also, that females of conquered tribes frequently despise the conquerors and refuse to mate with them, which makes no genetic sense. Take Israel - attractive Palestinian women should be rushing into the arms of Israeli men in droves. They are a conquered nation. Israeli men of Arab descent would love to pair with them. There is an interesting film on youtube called "checkpoint", where you see Israeli soldiers of Arab descent hitting on (boderline sexually harrassing), young Palestinian women crossing their military checkpoint, and talking about how attractive they find them. Yet the women scorn them.

    European colonialists in Asia also did not typically have to fend off high-quality local women - both groups felt their own identity was worth preserving, for the most part.

    Yes - Jews retain a distinct identity, but it is highly obvious that the genetic survival of individual Jews is not served by this. This is why "assimilation" is so deplored by the Rabbis, who strive to provide a metaphysical reason for avoiding it - they know no materialist explanation can suffice. It is also why the Torah makes such strict and severe rules against Jews associating with gentiles - it understands well that every genetic imperative promotes assimilation, and only metaphysical considerations have a chance of providing a countervailing tendency. And the 50% intermarriage rate of secular Jews strongly illustrates this point.

    In Europe for most of history, Jewish genes would obviously have done far better by converting to Christianity and assimilating.

    And so on and so forth.

    Once you liberate yourself from the straitjacket of materialism, it is amazing the vistas that open up before you. So much that is puzzling to people like Kevin Mcdonald slip nicely into place.

    reiner Tor , Website May 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm GMT

    @iffen What makes you think it's not hardwired?

    No scientific evidence.

    I think it would have turned up by now.

    In 2-3 generations, people go from having 10-12 kids to having 0,1,2.

    How would that work genetically?

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 9:24 pm GMT

    @AaronB You're not thinking it through.

    First, you have misunderstood me badly if you think I support European genocide. I am offering my analysis out of a desire to avoid just that. I just think your analysis is badly superficial.

    You are badly conflating "group identity" with "genetic group" - if the indigenous group agrees to assimilate to the invaders identity - religion, etc - then the indigenous group need not suffer any loss of genetic frequency.

    Even today, if you convert to Islam - assimilate - you will be provided a wife in many places. Your genes will most certainly not perish. Rather the opposite, for many young Western males.

    There can be no genetic, materialist reason to resist Islam - many low-status Western males will have improved chances of reproduction, and elite Western males will compose a valued intellectual and technocratic class, as happened historically. Genetically, females will be in no way worse off.

    To retain our distinct group identity we need a metaphysical reason - our distinct identity must be felt as worth preserving. This fact is implicitly admitted by our materialist Western elites, by their behavior.

    Historically, if you merged with your neighbor tribe, you became larger and stronger - the optimum strategy was for tribes to merge into "hordes", which happened in many cases. A tribe that wanted to retain its distinct identity had to have a reason - it did not make genetic sense.

    Consider, also, that females of conquered tribes frequently despise the conquerors and refuse to mate with them, which makes no genetic sense. Take Israel - attractive Palestinian women should be rushing into the arms of Israeli men in droves. They are a conquered nation. Israeli men of Arab descent would love to pair with them. There is an interesting film on youtube called "checkpoint", where you see Israeli soldiers of Arab descent hitting on (boderline sexually harrassing), young Palestinian women crossing their military checkpoint, and talking about how attractive they find them. Yet the women scorn them.

    European colonialists in Asia also did not typically have to fend off high-quality local women - both groups felt their own identity was worth preserving, for the most part.

    Yes - Jews retain a distinct identity, but it is highly obvious that the genetic survival of individual Jews is not served by this. This is why "assimilation" is so deplored by the Rabbis, who strive to provide a metaphysical reason for avoiding it - they know no materialist explanation can suffice. It is also why the Torah makes such strict and severe rules against Jews associating with gentiles - it understands well that every genetic imperative promotes assimilation, and only metaphysical considerations have a chance of providing a countervailing tendency. And the 50% intermarriage rate of secular Jews strongly illustrates this point.

    In Europe for most of history, Jewish genes would obviously have done far better by converting to Christianity and assimilating.

    And so on and so forth.

    Once you liberate yourself from the straitjacket of materialism, it is amazing the vistas that open up before you. So much that is puzzling to people like Kevin Mcdonald slip nicely into place.

    Jason Liu , May 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT

    This is exactly why "neoreaction" should have been the face and force behind the Alt-Right, not the Stormfront types. You can tell by just how afraid the academic left is when equality is questioned on an ideological level - the immediate reaction to accuse their opponents of moral sin indicates an insecurity in their ideas.

    Barring all-out, society-wide nationalism, it's the Dark Enlightenment nerds who will produce the cultural change necessary to bring down the left. Pepe and beating up Antifa will only get you so far.

    Anon , May 24, 2017 at 9:55 pm GMT

    @utu And who are these Jews who... Got a source for that?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFE0qAiofMQ


    I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It's a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive .
    Santoculto , May 24, 2017 at 10:04 pm GMT

    @AaronB @ FKA Max - thanks, that sounds interesting. I don't know if Europeans are less altruistic than others, but I do know that the Muslims whom the Crusaders came into contact with considered Europeans to be especially ethnocentric.

    In my view, genetic determinism is simply a limited view - nations change their character, often dramatically, over time. Examples are numerous - dishonest Germans, lazy Chinese, etc, etc.

    To ignore this, truly one must do violence to one's mind.

    @Nickels - yes, but that is the materialist trap. One cannot simply choose not to be a materialist for prudential reasons - as prudence itself is a materialist value. Materialism certainly undermines itself in many ways, though. It is, even, self-contradictory (if our minds are evolutionary, we can't assume it produces truth - but then our minds produced the theory of evolution, which we then have no basis to believe in, and so on. It's circular, and self-undermining.)

    @Santoculto - but beauty is not a physical thing - it is a relation between things, a certain proportion, an arrangement of things. Therefore, it is metaphysical - i.e above physics.

    Agree with you about the Vatican - though beautiful, it represent power and wealth, values utterly foreign to Christianity.

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm GMT

    @utu Your genes will most certainly not perish.

    I do not like the BS about gene survival. But if you have 1 child only only 50% of your genes survive if you mate with dog. But if you mate with random person from Africa more than 50% of your genes will survive because probably you share some genes with Africans. But even more of your genes will survive if you mate with somebody from your ethnic/racial group. But if you want to really maximize your gene survival try incest.

    AaronB , May 24, 2017 at 10:29 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    First, you have misunderstood me badly if you think I support European genocide.
    I didn't say what I thought you support. I said that what you were saying was consistent with the objective of those who do seek European genocide.

    if the indigenous group agrees to assimilate to the invaders identity – religion, etc – then the indigenous group need not suffer any loss of genetic frequency.
    That's a clever piece of bullshit. What your saying is, as long as the indigenous Europeans agree to become part of some other group then the loss of their genes does not matter because, hey, they agreed in advance to merge and be submerged and ultimately eliminated.

    As for


    You are badly conflating "group identity" with "genetic group"

    More clever bullshit, since it is you who are doing the conflating.

    Even today, if you convert to Islam – assimilate – you will be provided a wife in many places. Your genes will most certainly not perish. Rather the opposite, for many young Western males.
    So you are crassly advocating conversion of Europe to Islam on the preposterous falsehood that it will increase European genes in the European gene pool, which is mathematical nonsense. If a European turns Muslim in Europe, it's most likely that he will marry a European or several, and if it is several, so much the worst for the genes of those European males who might otherwise have married but who will have to make do without a wife at all.

    Consider, also, that females of conquered tribes frequently despise the conquerors and refuse to mate with them
    Bollocks. Tell that to the 40 million living descendants of Ghengis Kahn.

    Take Israel
    Please do.

    There can be no genetic, materialist reason to resist Islam – many low-status Western males will have improved chances of reproduction, and elite Western males will compose a valued intellectual and technocratic class, as happened historically.
    I've already exploded that idiotic fallacy in an earlier comment (see #52, above). I'm not engaging in a 'tis 'tisn't dispute.

    To retain our distinct group identity we need a metaphysical reason
    Any group thinking the way you want the Europeans to think will be wiped from the page of history in very short order.

    attractive Palestinian women should be rushing into the arms of Israeli men in droves. They are a conquered nation. Israeli men of Arab descent would love to pair with them.
    The Palis haven't surrendered yet. They want to kill everyone of you Jews or at least drive you back wherever the Hell you came from.

    Historically, if you merged with your neighbor tribe, you became larger and stronger
    You certainly pack a lot of BS into one comment. The optimum strategy depends greatly on circumstances. Genocide, as practiced by the Jews of old against the original inhabitants of Israel, involving slaughter of the males and post menopausal females, and impregnation of the females is often the optimum strategy, but circumstances alter cases in a vast number of different ways, so your comment is, frankly, fatuous.

    European colonialists in Asia also did not typically have to fend off high-quality local women
    There was no European colonization of Asia, so what are you talking about?

    Yes – Jews retain a distinct identity, but it is highly obvious that the genetic survival of individual Jews is not served by this.
    There is no such thing as the genetic survival of individual Jews or anyone else. All that counts, in the evolutionary sense, are genes, and the share of your gene in the gene pool, and what is apparently "highly obvious" to you is not the case.

    In Europe for most of history, Jewish genes would obviously have done far better by converting to Christianity and assimilating.
    "Obviously"? Usually a sign of bunk to be asserted. You have no arguments at all. Mere ridiculous and uninformed comment that happens to conform exactly with the globalist project for the destruction of the independent, sovereign, democratic, and by tradition Christian, European states.

    And so on and so forth.
    Yes, very good. That typifies the deficiency in fact and logic of your entire spiel.

    Once you liberate yourself from the straitjacket of materialism, it is amazing the vistas that open up before you.
    And once you open yourself up to unadulterated bullshit, it's amazing how quickly you can inadvertently destroy your own people and posterity.
    Agent76 , May 24, 2017 at 10:30 pm GMT

    May 22, 2017 The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

    Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S. history? Watch as Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, shares the inconvenient history of the Democratic Party.

    Kevin O'Keeffe , May 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm GMT

    @AaronB "This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests."

    Both are selfish materialistic interests.

    You will never be able to understand why Whites are committing suicide if this is all you can see.

    You are doomed to eternal puzzlement and perplexity, like Derbyshire, like Sailer. Eternally scratching your heads, yet unwilling to question your premises, trapped in the sterile circle of materialism.

    You yourself admit you cannot understand it - i.e it cannot be explained in terms of your premises. One would think when one has reached the limits of one's premises explanatory power, its time to think beyond them.

    Yet how seldom that happens. People just circle endlessly their central premise, unable to break free.

    Yet to anyone who isn't a materialist, how obvious it is why Whites are committing suicide.

    SFG , May 24, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT

    @Jason Liu This is exactly why "neoreaction" should have been the face and force behind the Alt-Right, not the Stormfront types. You can tell by just how afraid the academic left is when equality is questioned on an ideological level -- the immediate reaction to accuse their opponents of moral sin indicates an insecurity in their ideas.

    Barring all-out, society-wide nationalism, it's the Dark Enlightenment nerds who will produce the cultural change necessary to bring down the left. Pepe and beating up Antifa will only get you so far.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT

    @Anon So one Jew speaks for the whole group? Does Ted Bundy speak for you?

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:15 pm GMT

    @utu Your genes will most certainly not perish.

    I do not like the BS about gene survival. But if you have 1 child only only 50% of your genes survive if you mate with dog. But if you mate with random person from Africa more than 50% of your genes will survive because probably you share some genes with Africans. But even more of your genes will survive if you mate with somebody from your ethnic/racial group. But if you want to really maximize your gene survival try incest.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT

    @Sean I think liberals would disagree with a lot of this post. They see themselves as protecting the individual to live as they choose within a principle of no harm, whereby a problem of groups in competition does not arise, which is fair enough within a state, but falls apart if applied across borders and separate polities.

    The intellectual consensus against heterodox thinkers, especially those of Prof. MacDonald's ilk, is due to the principle of no harm, taken as mandating an open society and global utility. But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.


    What its really incredibly pathetic is that really challenging this regime from within the academic world is vanishingly rare. Or perhaps it's not so surprising given the above. But what happened to all that idealism that young scholars have when they really get interested in a field? Why don't professors in evolutionary science, who know well how natural selection works when there is an invasive species or sub-species - why don't these White people become vocal opponents of the current multicultural zeitgeist that is actively selecting against European genes? How can they just watch or even applaud the demise of their own people?

    This for me is the hardest to understand. Careerism over their obvious genetic/evolutionary interests.

    Be that as it may, I think phrasing opposition in terms of anything pertaining to genes is disastrous . And the proof of that is the virtually open borders advocates constantly try to bring up genetic and related arguments as what lies behind all calls for immigration restriction. They want us to make the hereditary/ genetic/white/ nordic argument. All these terms denote supremacy and are identified with a philosophical error ( essentialism).

    Border security is self-defence for the national state communities that aspire to protect their polity (sovereign country), but liberals are assuming a global delimited polity (one world ) with a principle of no harm; they have to save the immigrants. The case for immigration restriction should be put as relating to a democratically ratified state's borders. A citizen's right to cross the border has a corollary in relation to foreigners having no such right.

    "I don't have to read Mein Kampf to know it is evil. Same with The Bell Curve."

    Kampf has a bit where Hitler talks of the conquest and colonisation of space, but predicts the globe will spin through space devoid of life if Jews are allowed to direct its development. I wonder, liberalism and nation speaking peace toward nation is going to make the open and technologically innovative Western counties a mulch cow for the world, one can imagine a much more internationally cooperative spirit becoming de rigueur , and progress harnessed to the hypercapitalism as foreseen by Nick Land. At which time pursuit of a technological singularity will be brought well within striking distance for that generation.

    The great silence from the Universe (we're all alone) and it seeming that, contrary to what evolutionist say, evolution does seem to have an upward direction to it (nervous systems having evolved twice ) plus we now we know that bacteria can survive meteorite crash landings all points toward life forms being self exterminiting by getting a little too advanced.

    Perhaps his expectation of the aforementioned advances in globalism and invention (or rationalist morality and inteligence) is why Professor Stephen Hawking thinks life on Earth will be extinguished within a century . As Yoda, or was it Revilo Oliver, said "night must fall".

    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT

    @jilles dykstra One wonders if psychologists are ignorant of history.
    Some 300 years BCE a Greek calculated the circumference of the earth at 39.000 km, the right figure is 40.000.
    Yet Columbus' sailors were afraid to fall of the earth.
    For some 1600 years the christian church prevented all independent thought, in 1600 the pope had Giordano Bruno burned alive, for heretic thoughts, about the universe, about the holy trinity.
    At about the same time Calvin burned Servetius, the man who discovered blood circulation, alive to death, also about the trinity.
    So Servetius was unable to tell the world about the blood circulation.
    Galileo got away with house arrest.
    Even around 1860 the pope declared that philosophical thinking not controlled by the church was illegal.
    So there is nothing special in the christian culture about no independent thought.
    On top of that, as Chomsky states: in any culture there is a standard truth, if this truth is not considered, no debate is possible, but between those who know better.
    We see this right now, much wailing about the indeed horrible carnage in Manchester, that the USA, Predators with Hellfire, causes such carnage every week three or fout times, it cannot be said.
    Terrorism is caused by the Islam, not by the west.

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 11:41 pm GMT

    @reiner Tor


    In 2-3 generations, people go from having 10-12 kids to having 0,1,2.

    How would that work genetically?

    If I paid you $10,000 and gave you a day, could you come up with a rough back-of-the-envelope model where people would have a hardwired genetic predisposition to wanting to have many kids yet end up having a different number of kids under different circumstances?

    Actually, I could come up with such models for free.

    Santoculto , May 24, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.
    Except, as you forgot to mention, the survival of the European people. But liberals, of course, are always ready to sacrifice European people for whatever depraved cause they may have in mind.
    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm GMT

    @iffen What makes you think it's not hardwired?

    No scientific evidence.

    I think it would have turned up by now.

    In 2-3 generations, people go from having 10-12 kids to having 0,1,2.

    How would that work genetically?

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm GMT

    @Kevin O'Keeffe


    Yet to anyone who isn't a materialist, how obvious it is why Whites are committing suicide.
    Seeing as how the future of Western civilization is at stake, now may not be the best time to be keeping us in suspense.
    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:58 pm GMT

    @annamaria A case in point - Libya: http://theduran.com/hillary-clinton-bears-responsibility-for-the-manchester-atrocity/
    "The illegal NATO war against Libya was Hillary Clinton's war above all others. It was her who took a stable, prosperous, secular socialist country and turned it into a failed state and a terrorist playground. Gaddafi warned that he was the rampart holding back al-Qaeda from Europe, but Hillary Clinton did not care. She even laughed about Gaddafi's inhumane, barbaric execution at the hands of terrorists.
    Had Hillary Clinton not been able to convince Barack Obama and his useful war propagandists David Cameron in Britain and Nicholas Sarkozy, the dead children in Manchester might be with us today.
    Hillary Clinton famously said of Gaddafi's illegal execution, "We came, we saw, he died". Indeed, she came, she saw, he died and now thousands of more have died in Libya, many others have died in Europe because of this, including those who recently perished in Manchester."

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 12:10 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.
    Except, as you forgot to mention, the survival of the European people. But liberals, of course, are always ready to sacrifice European people for whatever depraved cause they may have in mind.
    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 12:13 am GMT

    So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged .

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    iffen , May 25, 2017 at 12:22 am GMT

    @Alden Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

    Classic case of how PC can make white psychology stupid and gullible.

    https://altright.com/2017/05/24/blacks-mastermind-criminal-uses-white-guilt-to-steal-iphones-from-unsuspecting-liberals/

    Fact is blacks are more likely to lie, cheat, steal, and rob.

    They have less conscience and inhibition.

    Evolution made them that way. They had to survive in a world of competition with hyenas, leopards, crocodiles, and hippos.

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

    @Alden You're too intelligent to keep repeating Calvinist and enlightenment propaganda. Columbus and his sailors knew that the earth was round and if they just keep sailing west they would eventually run into Asia about 5,000 miles from The coast of Spain.

    What Columbus didn't know was that the Americas are between Europe and Asia.

    Why is the calendar used today called the Georgian calendar? Because the calendar needs to be adjusted every 1, 500 years. It was adjusted around 40 BC when Juluus Cesear was Emperor. By 1500AD it needed further adjustment. That adjustment was done in the best observatory in the world at the time by the beat astronomers and mathmeticians in the world. The work was done in the Vatican observatory. The astronomers and mathematicians were Vatican priests.

    I very heard of the scientific method? It was created around 1100 AD by priests and monks at the Roman Catholic University of Paris Sorbonne.

    Your own country the Netherlands was under the North Sea in 500 AD. It was Roman Catholic monks who settled on the beaches and began a thousand year process of land reclamation that literally built the land now called the Netherlands.

    Every university established in Europe before 1800 was established by the church. During those 1600 years you cite the only libraries in Europe belonged to the church

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

    @iffen instinctive objective of reproduction

    There is no instinct for reproduction.

    There is an instinct to have sex.

    iffen , May 25, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT

    @AaronB So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged....

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 12:50 am GMT

    @AaronB You know, if we adopt the genetic perspective, then none of this matters at all.

    Behaviors get selected for in a vast impersonal process that doesn't care about the outcome.

    I do not see why the conscious *I* should give one whit about my genes.

    If someone has inherited a concern with his genetic transmission, or if someone has not, is a neutral fact with no significance from this point of view. If that person's genes don't make it to the next generation, that is a fact - it is without value. We have banished value, and created a world of impersonal facts.

    There can be no discussion, because there are no values, there are no reference points - it is all a vast impersonal process that is utterly blind.

    You cannot derive value from fact - and your attempt to do so is merely the metaphysical instinct hard at work, trying to derive meaning from the concepts available to you, even if those concepts cannot yield meaning.

    Such is the strength of man's metaphysical instinct (the search for value and meaning) - finally, after much toil and effort, we arrive at a world view which banishes all metaphysics, yet we try immediately to sneak it in through the back door.

    Tell me, why *should* I care about my genes? Ah, but with that word "should", we are back into metaphysics, and out of the genetic world-view.

    These double-binds and knots that Western thinking has finally tied itself into - if we cannot untie these knots, we are doomed to death.

    Because this talk of genetic transmission will not give us the motivation to save ourselves.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT

    @AaronB So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged....

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 12:57 am GMT

    @Alden There is a theory that Hildabeast attacked Libya on orders from the bankers because Ghaddafi took Libya out of the international monetary system.

    America needs a leader like Ghaddafi, a leader who cares about his own people and nation.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:02 am GMT

    @Jason Liu This is exactly why "neoreaction" should have been the face and force behind the Alt-Right, not the Stormfront types. You can tell by just how afraid the academic left is when equality is questioned on an ideological level -- the immediate reaction to accuse their opponents of moral sin indicates an insecurity in their ideas.

    Barring all-out, society-wide nationalism, it's the Dark Enlightenment nerds who will produce the cultural change necessary to bring down the left. Pepe and beating up Antifa will only get you so far.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:04 am GMT

    @utu The anti Catholic propaganda was particularly strong in The Netherlands: "Liever Turks dan Paaps"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liever_Turks_dan_Paaps

    dcite , May 25, 2017 at 1:04 am GMT

    "Childless spinsters are often quite bitter, and most folk psychologists give at least two reasons why, with one of them being bitter about not having children. "

    You sure understand more about the person using certain vocabulary, than the subject they are opining about. Chuckling at the images he's conjuring up. To judge from what I've seen, those "spinsters" probably got more action than most properly married and childed women.
    There are lots of other reasons to be bitter than not having kids. Like having kids you wish you'd never had. Some of the bitterest people I've ever met have been parents. Both kinds.
    It is common to overestimate the desire of women to reproduce. I was flabbergasted at the young women I met years ago who declared with absoluteness, they wanted no children. That seemed so final and I couldn't get why they didn't see the potential in raising super-kids. They said it with absolute conviction and awareness that they would probably not die young and would be old without kids. Today, most are just fine. Most do not seem bitter. Maybe they should for the good of society you want high quality people to reproduce. But these are the very types least concerned, and by and large they are just fine with the situation. What is convenient for the individual is not always good for society; but it does make for a happy individual.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:09 am GMT

    @iffen Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Why would you use birth control if you have an 'instinct" to reproduce?

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:15 am GMT

    @iffen Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Why would you use birth control if you have an 'instinct" to reproduce?

    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 1:16 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    I do not see why the conscious *I* should give one whit about my genes.
    Doesn't matter whether you see why or not. The genes of those who do care are more likely to be represented in succeeding generations than the genes of those who do not. Caring about such things is largely a cultural matter. Hence, as
    Raphael Lemkin who coined the term genocide explained, genocide can be achieved by:

    a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort.
    That is exactly what the European peoples are exposed to now. In arguing for the Islamification of Europe, through mass immigration you are promoting genocide of the Europeans, for whatever reasons, maybe hatred of Europeans, or maybe it pays - for you to raise a family and thus increase the representation of your genes in the gene pool.
    utu , May 25, 2017 at 1:18 am GMT

    @Alden Better Turks than Papists? That must be why the Netherlands revolt against the Spanish Empire occurred just in time to distract the Spanish from the very important naval war against the Turks which culminated in the Catholic victory of Lepanto which made the Mediterranean and Atlantic safer for Europeans.

    I don't know why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes against the Catholic Church. None of his allegations are true, just 400 yr old enlightenment propaganda. Columbus consulted the priests at the university of Salmonacca. The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right. That's quite an achievement for an anti science religion.

    Once Columbus realized that he could sail that distance he was able to raise funds from the Spanish crown. Of course Dysktra will heap scorn on the scientists of Salmonacca for not realizing the Americas were between Spain and Asia.

    Even American fundamentalists and Jews have ratcheted down the anti Catholic Calvinist rhetoric in the last 80 years.

    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 1:20 am GMT

    @iffen I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged .

    I love a challenge, more than most.

    Faith failed.

    Case closed.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT

    @MarkinLA I just think Hillary was looking to her Presidential run in 2016 and saw an opportunity to burnish her "foreign policy" bonafides. She thought it would be a cake walk and successful and could then brag in 2016 how she was head and shoulders above everybody else in foreign policy. Benghazi happened and everything was supposed to go down the memory hole.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT

    @Alden Better Turks than Papists? That must be why the Netherlands revolt against the Spanish Empire occurred just in time to distract the Spanish from the very important naval war against the Turks which culminated in the Catholic victory of Lepanto which made the Mediterranean and Atlantic safer for Europeans.

    I don't know why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes against the Catholic Church. None of his allegations are true, just 400 yr old enlightenment propaganda. Columbus consulted the priests at the university of Salmonacca. The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right. That's quite an achievement for an anti science religion.

    Once Columbus realized that he could sail that distance he was able to raise funds from the Spanish crown. Of course Dysktra will heap scorn on the scientists of Salmonacca for not realizing the Americas were between Spain and Asia.

    Even American fundamentalists and Jews have ratcheted down the anti Catholic Calvinist rhetoric in the last 80 years.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:35 am GMT

    @utu why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes

    I think he genuinely believes it. Several centuries of incessant propaganda and brain washing. In England it was not much better.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:52 am GMT

    @Anon So one Jew speaks for the whole group? Does Ted Bundy speak for you?

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 1:54 am GMT

    Hilarious.

    What Progs SAY is a means to cover up what they DO.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/black-farmer-calls-liberal-racism-191552524.html

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 2:02 am GMT

    @Alden I know but the English stopped the anti Catholic nonsense when they stopped attending their Protestant churches. But Dykstra just keeps posting the same old same old.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 2:11 am GMT

    @utu


    restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates
    I think it would be useful to go through all possible arguments in favor of controlling immigration. Why does it seem so that so many arguments are stigmatized and have negative connotations? Different argument will work with different people. Some arguments will fall on deaf ears in the US but might be persuasive in some European countries.

    Cultural arguments (destruction of cultures of both of the host and that of the immigrant, irreconcilable religious and cultural differences)

    Economic arguments (group and individual impact of immigration, who benefits and who does not)

    Legal arguments (sovereignty, ownership of land and country, national home, who can live in it and who can decide if every citizen is a part owner of the country, rule of reciprocity and 1st categorical imperative: what if everybody did this)

    Biological arguments (irreversibility of miscegenation, loss of natural biological diversity)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfxL_wuYtSg

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 2:15 am GMT

    @MarkinLA The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right.

    Uh, no. The Atlantic is about 3000 miles, the Continental US is about 3000 miles and the Pacific is about 5000 miles.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 2:29 am GMT

    @AaronB I am not at all arguing for the Islamization of Europe - quite the opposite!

    I was merely pointing out that if we remain self-interested materialists, we will have no really compelling reason to make the necessary self-sacrifice to resist.

    "The genes of those who do care are more likely to be represented in succeeding generations than the genes of those who do not. Caring about such things is largely a cultural matter. "

    So is it genetically determined, or a cultural attitude, subject to change? Since you distinguish between the two, I assume you do not think culture is genetically determined - otherwise the two sentences are identical.

    If it is genetically determined, then the European population is clearly composed of people who do not possess the gene that makes one care about the survival of one's group - and then, what are you hoping for?

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT

    ROTFL.

    The nuttery just gets better and better.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447906/christine-fair-accosts-richard-spencer-gym

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 2:53 am GMT

    @Wizard of Oz You unfairly snipe at SS and JD for some reason. My tecollection is that Steve was brought up Catholic but his genetic father is Jewish. But i can't see in any case why he should be expected to write to your prescription.
    Also you seem to have missed the Derbyshire piece about the Jews in America who still mrntally live in 1880 Russia hiding from the Cossacks.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:13 am GMT

    @utu Various prejudices and misconceptions function in popular culture. Nobody really question them. You can find them in Monty Python.

    Arriving in England, I went from a country where religion was everywhere, but of little interest to me, to a country that had little interest in religion, but still defined me by my purported beliefs. Modern Britain is a country founded in large part on anti-Catholicism.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/aug/22/pope-visit-catholic-prejudice

    And then you have this:

    Although there is a popular perception in Scotland that Anti-Catholicism is football related (specifically directed against fans of Celtic F.C.), statistics released in 2004 by the Scottish Executive showed that 85% of sectarian attacks were not football related. Sixty-three percent of the victims of sectarian attacks are Catholics, but when adjusted for population size this makes Catholics between five and eight times more likely to be a victim of a sectarian attack than a Protestant. (wiki)

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:21 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    I am not at all arguing for the Islamization of Europe – quite the opposite!

    I was merely pointing out that if we remain self-interested materialists, we will have no really compelling reason to make the necessary self-sacrifice to resist.

    What is this self-sacrifice?

    What sacrifice is there in closing the door to rape-culture refugees?

    What sacrifice is there in closing the door to H1b visa entrants to the US who take decent jobs from Americans?

    What sacrifice is there to closing the door to people from Asia, Africa and the Middle-East - perfectly fine people for the most part, I am sure - who will take any job that a European has and do the work for a lower wage?

    The only sacrifice you are saying "we" have to make is actually the sacrifice that the greedy globalist shysters such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and all the other billionaire globalist bastards have to make. No more off-shoring of jobs to maximize profits, no more trade deals that override national law, and no more mass immigration either as a source of cheap labor or as a genocidal instrument of national destruction to make way for an undemocratic global governance regime.

    It is the greed and unconstrained ambition of the plutocracy and their paid agents, the Clintons, the Blairs, and all the other bought "representatives of the people," not the materialism of the people themselves that is driving mass immigration and the destruction of the European peoples both racially and culturally. Indeed, it is only through the exploitation of the generosity of a gullible population that the crime of national genocide by mass immigration has been taken to the point of no return in many parts of the formerly European world.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:39 am GMT

    @MarkinLA The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right.

    Uh, no. The Atlantic is about 3000 miles, the Continental US is about 3000 miles and the Pacific is about 5000 miles.

    Wizard of Oz , May 25, 2017 at 4:04 am GMT

    @Alden Here is the real reason the Jews fled Russia in the 1880s. It was draft evasion. I forget the exact date, but around 1880 Jews got their full civil rights. Unfortunately that included civil obligations such as conscription. That's why the Jews left, not programs, not affirmative action for the goyim, not crackdowns on usury.

    In the foreign affairs/ state department archives of every country in Europe and the Americas are reports from diplomats stationed in Russia that there was no persecution and that the stories about programs were just stories intended to get sympathy so as to facilitate immigration to other countries. That's why the Russian Jews swarmed England, the USA and Latin American countries that did not have the draft. They didn't go to Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Spain because all those countries had conscription.

    Russia's draft was for 25 years which is horrible to contemplate unless one is down and out and desperate for 3 hots and a cot. But the other European countries had just a few years draftee enlistment and the Jews didn't go to those countries, they went to draft free England and America.

    That's why they left.

    [May 19, 2017] Centrist Macron Yes, a dead-center insider for global capitalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy ..."
    "... Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. ..."
    "... Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. ..."
    "... Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for." ..."
    "... Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. ..."
    May 10, 2017 | www.eutimes.net

    Everything about France's new president Emmanuel Macron suggests a theatrical production of hype and illusion. He is being "sold" to the masses as an "outsider" and "centrist", a benign liberal.

    In reality, enter the economic hitman who will blow French society apart in the service of the oligarchy.

    At age 39, Macron has been described as a "political wonderboy" and France's "youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte." The former Rothschild banker who reportedly once had the nickname "the Mozart of Finance" is now promising to renew France and bring the nation together, where people will no longer "vote for extremes."

    Fittingly for the Mozart of Finance, the new president used the "grandest of backdrops for entrance on the world stage," when he made his victory speech on Sunday night in the courtyard of the Louvre, noted the Financial Times. His dramatic walk to the stage through the world-famous museum courtyard took a full four minutes. The night lights and shadows played with Macron's unsmiling, stoney face as he strode purposely forward amid the strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy. The choice of the European Union's national anthem, rather than France's, is a harbinger of Macron's political project and the globalist interests he serves.

    The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy

    Geographically, the Louvre is situated midway between the traditional political venues of the Place de la Concorde for the right, and La Bastille for the left. Here was Macron intimating once again, as he did during his campaign, that he represents neither right or left. He has vowed to overturn the bipartisan structure of French politics, creating a new "centrist" movement. Just like his other moniker of being an "outsider," however, this image of Macron is a deftly manicured illusion.

    Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. Now he is to become the eighth president of the French Fifth Republic.

    Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. With his elite education at the Ecole National Academie (ENA) where future French political leaders are groomed, to his precocious elevation in investment banking, followed by his seamless entrance into top-flight government politics, Macron is evidently a person with powerful guiding forces behind him.

    Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for."

    As the Financial Times noted: "At the bank, Mr Macron navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances - an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA."

    After quitting private finance, Macron joined the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande, where he at first served as a "special advisor." In 2014, Hollande appointed him as economy minister where he drew up a draconian program to undermine French employment rights in favor of corporate profits. Macron resigned from his ministerial post only last year when he set up his own political party in anticipation of contesting the presidential election.

    Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. What little is known about Macron's policies is his stated commitment to more stringent economic austerity, promises to slash €60 billion in public spending over the next five years and axe up to 120,000 state sector jobs. He is also setting to drive through more "business friendly" changes in labor laws that will allow bosses to more easily hire and fire employees. He is giving companies license to negotiate increased working hours and lower salaries outside of statutory law. So, the notion that Macron is some kind of benign "centrist" is an insult to common intelligence. He is a "centrist" only in the sense of illusory corporate media branding; in objective terms, Macron is a dedicated economic hitman for global capitalism.

    Whatever one might think of his defeated rival Marine Le Pen of the Front National, she certainly had Macron accurately summed up when she referred to him as the "candidate of finance." Independent Socialist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was narrowly knocked out in the first round of the election on April 23, predicts that Macron will be a "disaster" for French society, blowing apart economic inequality and social contracts to turn the country into the kind of poverty-wage slavery seen in the US and Britain.

    There is sound reason why the French and European political establishment exulted in Macron's victory. He is no outsider, overturning the status quo for a more democratic outcome. He is in fact a consummate insider who will pursue policies pandering to elite interests, at the expense of the great majority.

    Macron's "centrist [sic] victory brought joy to Europe's political establishment," reported the New York Times, while the BBC informed of "palpable relief among European leaders." Outgoing President Francois Hollande – the most unpopular French leader ever – warmly congratulated Macron, as did incumbent prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve and other senior government figures. Macron had been endorsed by Hollande's so-called Socialist Party and the center-right Republicans. So much for his vaunted "outsider" image. Macron was also endorsed prior to the weekend vote by former US President Barack Obama and European leaders, including Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    The irony of such brazen "electoral interference" is of course that this was what such Western leaders have accused Russia of. Again, it also shows that Macron will be a "centrist" in more ways than is meant. He will serve as a "dead-center" advocate of the transatlantic politics of Washington-led neoliberal capitalism and NATO militarism. The French President-elect published a political autobiography earlier this year entitled 'Revolution'. The only thing "revolutionary" about Macron's victory is that the political establishment has invented an image for itself that upturns reality.

    The intense media marketing of Macron as a "centrist outsider" is a coup against the meaning of words and plain language. It is also worth noting that over 16 million French voters abstained or spoiled their votes against the 20 million who opted for Macron. French society, as for other Western nations, is riven by the ravages of global capitalism. And now here comes the "Mozart of Finance" to allegedly bring harmony from the appalling discord he and others like him have sown.

    Source

    [May 03, 2017] The first after the post system guarantee that no national third party can take power by Marina Bart

    Notable quotes:
    "... I like Marina's argument and mostly agree but it's important to remember that there is no incentive for the DP to reform as long as they have have political influence to sell. ..."
    "... I believe my criticism of both Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren as being too accepting of the U.S. Empire and ignoring how the drain of finances to fund the Empire's wars and global expansion would prevent their commendable domestic social/economic policies from being funded precipitated Marina Bart's original essay and its comments, so I appreciate this follow-up by Marina, as well as the comments to it. ..."
    "... animal spirits. ..."
    "... " .So, is there any way to get from here to a country with broadly shared prosperity, a healthy and happy citizenry, and a more peaceful mode of governmental operation both at home and abroad? One that does not require increased bloodshed or waiting until the entire system collapses (which would involve tremendous suffering, particularly for the billions already being exploited by the global ruling elite)? ." ..."
    "... We are heading into a situation where there is very likely no way out other than collapse and rebuilding and we have made no meaningful progress on any other possible outcome in the last 30 years. ..."
    May 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    The essential problem remains unsolved. The majority of United States citizens would benefit from a government focused on citizen needs over elite desires. They neither want nor benefit from our military adventurism. Neither do the people everywhere else on Earth. There is already a electoral majority for a number of important policies and legislative initiatives that would move the country's governance in that direction. Those policies and initiatives remain unimplemented not because people don't want them, but because the United States is not functionally a democracy. The economic elite controls all the levers of government, as well as all the pathways into government. We have a deeply corrupted electoral system, which the ruling elite uses to engage in empty democracy theater as a means of social control.

    So, is there any way to get from here to a country with broadly shared prosperity, a healthy and happy citizenry, and a more peaceful mode of governmental operation both at home and abroad? One that does not require increased bloodshed or waiting until the entire system collapses (which would involve tremendous suffering, particularly for the billions already being exploited by the global ruling elite)?

    I think there is. Yves and Lambert agree with me. We're not the only ones. The idea is to build such a massive, energized coalition, organized around a nurturing, peaceful vision of what American government and community can and should be, that we can overwhelm the electoral, media and other entrenched obstacles that stand in the way of real change.

    Yves and I were both arguing that there's an opening now to do this. There are challenges. Nothing is guaranteed. But the times they are a-changing, and this offers the left a real opportunity it hasn't had in decades. A key goal would be a significantly reduced military. We are not advocating assisting current Democratic Party leadership in any way. In fact, the objective is to remove them from power, inside the party as well as in government. All we are saying is give universal direct material benefits a chance to build the coalition and teach Americans what a government that serves them can and should do. There's more to the strategy. Coming up next will be a post laying out the whole plan – there's more to it than "vote" + "magic" = Utopia! But first, since this is a grassroots strategy aimed at creating a more egalitarian society, I thought it might be useful to hear from other members of the commentariat. As some old dude once said, "It's not me. It's us."

    ... ... ...

    While the full game plan does not require every member of the coalition to ever cast a vote for a Democrat or even vote at all, it does hinge on purging corporatist Democrats from the party. Not just as elected officials, but within the party machinery at the state and local level. Among other advantages, that means we won't get McGoverned this time. We're not asking any leftist to help any corporatist ever, just as we are not asking anyone to support any warmongering candidate ever. As per Sluggeaux ,

    Federal, State, and Local campaign laws favor the so-called "two-party system" and it is quite impossible for a third-party solution at the ballot box. At this moment the Democrat party is completely out of power in any branch of government and in most states, so there is indeed no reason for the Military-Industrial Complex to direct graft the way of the Democrat establishment. This creates an opportunity to push the agents of the Washington-Wall Street axis out of the party.

    The two major parties have been working for over a century to guarantee that no national third party can take power. This is intended to trap the left, stranding it in the wilderness with no path to power. Even if your preferred outcome is a new party, weakening the corporate hold over the Democratic Party is a necessary condition for success. It's their job to stop us. We have a unique opportunity to instead oust them. Universal material benefits are the key that unlocks the door of our cell.

    As a precursor to the next post explaining the overall strategy, here's Kurt Sperry :

    I like Marina's argument and mostly agree but it's important to remember that there is no incentive for the DP to reform as long as they have have political influence to sell. They must first be weakened and starved of resources–and political power–before reform efforts will find any traction. I think that means in the near term that we cannot give any aid to the party where that aid is administered by the party, and that we should vote Republican (or at the least withhold our votes) when there are no reformist Dems on the ballot to vote for. To reform the DP, it must mostly be torn down first, and that in practice necessarily means allowing Republicans to win any contests where there are no reformers to vote for.

    I have a daughter. When she was about the same age I was when my mother pushed me in that stroller, I pushed her in a stroller through the Los Angeles Zoo on September 11 th , 2001. A friend had called and suggested we get the kids out of the house so they wouldn't be around much television, to give us time to figure out what to tell them. I don't want her to also have to push her daughter in a stroller over another American war or blowback from the last one. I want to be a citizen of a peaceful nation. Doing the same thing again and again yet expecting a different result is famously considered to be unuseful. Perhaps a paradigm shift can get us where so many of us have been trying to go for so very, very long.

    Tim , May 3, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Agreed. And I'd add one more thing. You want to invigorate the anti-militarist movement? Instate a draft. No exceptions. Everyone owes a commitment to do 1.5 years, at any time up to age 40.

    shinola , May 3, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Tim,

    I posted a similar suggestion in the comments section of the April 27th article. NC reader "Waking Up" posted a reply that is worth quoting:

    "shinola: I agree that reinstating the draft (including women) would jolt people out of their apathy. However, it won't happen. A major lesson learned from the Vietnam War was to avoid a draft at almost any cost (far more difficult to promote war when people aren't willing to die for imperialism). It is "easier" for those with money and power to keep the majority of people compromised economically. That way they get "troops" who lack other options AND they can profit handsomely from military arms and weapons sales. A win-win for imperialists, neo-cons, and neo-liberals."

    Unfortunately, I am inclined to agree. All these years I thought the PTB had learned nothing from the Vietnam debacle.

    I was wrong.

    Huey Long , May 3, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    +1

    They definitely learned plenty from Vietnam!

    1. Immiserate the proles so that soldiering becomes an attractive, well paid, career.

    2. Drones and bombs are cheaper than hueys and F-105's. The US lost a staggering amount of expensive brand new aircraft over Vietnam.

    3. Censor the press's war coverage via embedded reporters and press pools. Any reporters not toeing the DoD line get their access revoked.

    4. Deploy the NG and reserve components to bolster active duty recruiting, and to discourage those on active duty from transferring to the reserves en masse.

    Eureka Springs , May 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Great, just great thinking. At minimum in our even more crowded world you are saying throw at least these many people into a meat grinder to relearn/ get back to where we are now, with no draft?
    Arguably the only victory the anti-war movement of that time gained.

    Total number of U.S. soldiers / personnel deployed to South Vietnam 2,594,000
    Total number of U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War 58,220
    Total number of U.S. soldiers wounded in the Vietnam War 303,644

    I cannot begin to imagine the horrors had the U.S. maintained a draft these past 40 years.. under any of our presidents and congress.

    Anon , May 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    The estimates (vary widely) of the number of real live people (of any kind) who died from the Vietnam War is ~ 4 million.

    Darius , May 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Historically, the way to get power in America's two party system is for the other side to preside over a stagnating economy. The way to keep it is to preside over broad-based prosperity. Basically, almost everyone has a job and feels economically secure. If your party has that, they have a lot of leeway on foreign and military policy, as well as social and environmental policy.

    This is what the Clintonites don't want to get. Focusing on identity politics instead of economics just perpetuates identity grievances and stymies everything else. I suppose that's the whole idea.

    An anti war agenda will have to come from a position of strength. Broad-based prosperity is the only way to get there. A full-employment agenda is vital for achieving prosperity. Only the left can do it because the neoliberal way won't ever improve on current conditions.

    If everyone is working, the left can do all the other anti war and justice stuff. Under current conditions, there's no traction for any of it.

    Code Name D , May 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    FAIL!!! Reformer's Paradox.
    The Reformer's Paradox is the expectation that a corrupt system will seek to its own reform, or enable its reform to take place. Thus any "solution" that uses this paradox is bound to fail.

    Instituting the draft as an anti-war strategy is nothing new. Hell, this was proposed to stop, or at least slow down Bush I Iraq War. But there are two major problem with this strategy.

    One, the establishment is already aware of this approach. Thus they will never institute the draft for the specific reason that it could harden public discontent. (Keep in mind, as the article already noted, the endless wars are already unpopular.) Besides, they don't need the draft with poverty and social mobility such as it is.

    Two: Voters are not stupid. When the anti-war movement is the one PROMOTING the draft, then its the anti-war movement that rightful gets the BLAME for trying to institute the draft. There is a contradiction at work here in that the anti-war faction is promoting the mandatory recruiting of soldiers to fight a war, When you mess around with contradictions, unintended consequences tend to be the result. Some results I can foresee is generous enlistment bonuses (which help to lift minorities out of poverty) get gutted. Poor people now have to server for the equivalent of a minimum wage and few benefits, And as we also saw from the Vietnam War, the draft becomes its own form of discrimination as the wealthy kids get to pay for draft deferments or can pick their post, while the poor have few options and get sent to the front lines.

    Byron the Light Bulb , May 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

    The Nation-State emerged for the purpose of fielding large armies by filling the ranks with soldiers across multiple ethnic identities, as opposed to tribal clan warfare. Colonial arrangements are made to support massive troop concentrations. I don't believe American Imperialists or Lockheed invented bloodshed. But without the need for the means to cave-in the skull of the other poor bastard tasked with doing the same for his leaders, people would prefer small localized government. I'm sure nobody would choose of their own free will to be ruled by the Dems or Repubs unless under threat of incineration.

    Peacenik movements are ineffectual counter-forces at best, and co-opted belligerent parties at worst. Historically bands of humans have avoided bloodshed by ritualizing [most of] the warfare and sublimating the death drive. Pantomime the battles across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

    grizziz , May 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I support what you are doing and would like to make a few observations. Contra Lambert, I don't think material benefits alone will provide the motivation to overtake the Democrat Party despite the amassed corpus of Marxist literature. I would point you to work done by Scott Atran showing the need to fuse a sacred value with an identity to motivate a group. (I am not linking to Atran to avoid Skynet.)
    Referring to yesterday's inclusion in the Water Cooler was a tweet from Ms Magazine's editor wanting to bury Bernie.
    This may be metaphorical, but literally a potent remark This and a few other signals points to my conclusion that the Feminist and likely the LQBTQ movements are in competition with the Left/Labor to control the Democrat Party. Of course, alliances should be pursued, but the iron law of oligarchy will cement the eventual leaders and their particular interests.
    All in all, I wish you good fortune.

    Michael Fiorillo , May 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Regarding the conflict you posit between Feminist/LBGT and Labor/Left factions in the Democratic Party, I can only imagine that Betty Friedan, who, before writing " The Feminine Mystique" and becoming a founder of Second Wave feminism, was editor-in-chief of the UE News, publication of the most left wing union in the US (the United Electrical Workers Union, or UE) is spinning, or sobbing, in her grave.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , May 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Nothing personal, but it seems to me that Stopping The War gets conflated with everybody's pet issue or pet take on what needs to happen to reform the parties. No. Stop The War should be the only message. It's simple. It's easy for everybody to understand. It's universal. The numbers support it. It cuts across parties and religions and geographies and ethnicities and genders and age groups:

    All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance

    Litmus test every politician from local to national on this (like the anti-abortion people do).

    REDPILLED , May 3, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I believe my criticism of both Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren as being too accepting of the U.S. Empire and ignoring how the drain of finances to fund the Empire's wars and global expansion would prevent their commendable domestic social/economic policies from being funded precipitated Marina Bart's original essay and its comments, so I appreciate this follow-up by Marina, as well as the comments to it.

    As a conscientious objector since 1970, and no longer a registered Democrat, I look forward to Marina's full exposition of her strategy.

    David , May 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    "War is immoral, advocating for and implementing war is immoral, and therefore supporting any politician who advocates for or implements war is immoral. I agree."
    This is the classic pacifist position, the refusal to accept violence as a solution under any circumstances. It is a coherent position, though not, I suspect, one that most of us would actually adopt. (Incidentally, Rosa Luxemburg was imprisoned for opposition to the War, but died during the violent Spartacist uprising in Germany that followed it: she was no pacifist.)
    Seen from across the Atlantic then, and without wishing to pronounce on US politics, the real issue is whether you can have an à la carte approach to war. Luxemburg opposed WW1, as did many on the Left, because she thought it was an internecine capitalist struggle. She supported the Russian Revolution, and the Reds in the Civil War, because she believed in their cause. Effectively the same arguments were used by many on the Left in Europe and the US in the 1930s, that any war with Hitler would be a struggle for supremacy among capitalist nations, and so the Left's duty was to oppose it. More did so at the time than they would later want to remember.
    Being a little older than some readers, I remember the Vietnam War, and I remember the very confused reaction to it among my contemporaries. A few were pacifists, but the majority simply wanted the other side to win: they were "against the war" in the sense that they hoped the side supported by their government would lose, which was a reasonable position with historical analogues (Spain, for example) but it's very different from a blanket opposition to war as such.
    You won't convince people to be "against war" until you sort out in your own minds what you are against. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many who are "against war" in Afghanistan, for example, were fervent interventionists throughout the whole parade of humanitarian causes from the 90s onwards: Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Darfur, Libya, Syria . Indeed, militarism has tended to migrate in a curious fashion from the Right to the Left in the last couple of decades (Albright, Power, Clinton etc. etc.)
    I know what I think: war is never a good solution but sometimes it's the least bad. Sometimes it's necessary, but I hope I have enough moral sense to distinguish good cases from bad ones, and, more importantly, explain my reasoning to others. What about the rest of you?

    Kalen , May 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Luxemburg opposed WW1, as did many on the Left, because she thought it was an internecine capitalist struggle. She supported the Russian Revolution, and the Reds in the Civil War, because she believed in their cause.

    It is true but must be qualified.

    While Luxemburg was no pacifist, she was still vehemently against WWI, not only because it was motivated by colonial interest of ruling European aristocracies, nothing to do with peoples' interest only profit for elites but most of all because she was internationalist believing that working class has no country and that stirring nationalist fervor, that war propaganda did, would lead to divisions in international workers movement as well as mere fact that most of dead and injured would have been working people killing other working people, again war would have weaken workers movement.

    Her anti-war stance was pragmatic not principal in a word she represented working class morality based judgment (to counter ruling class morality judgment) about the war and not pacifism based on general morality judgment.

    As far as Russian Revolution she was for it, but criticized Lenin for how he led it and what actually he was able to accomplished.

    It is an important distinction between what Lenin in the end did (in aftermath of Bolshevik and Menshevik revolution and civil war) and what Luxemburg saw as a way of true revolution of class consciousnesses , as she tried to accomplish during Spartacist revolt, namely to build new parallel structures of power while German Emporium was collapsing instead of taking over existing structures of power as Lenin and later Stalin did from hands of weak few months old, bourgeois government.

    In a sense Luxemburg revolution was by nature of not taking over the government directly, nonviolent except for self-defense, and not unexpectedly it was what exactly happened during Spartacist revolt and similarly in Hungarian revolution 1918 both failed while aggressive and violent Russian revolution in the end "succeeded" ironically by Stalin resurrecting Russian empire under new label of Soviet Union using German bankers money.

    CanCyn , May 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Maybe what we're really against is the profit that comes from making war? In principle there are is probably some violence that I could support In the immortal words of Omar from The Wire, "Some people need to get got". I guess I'm not really a pacifist but I'd still call myself anti-war. I'd aruge that none of our current global strife is really about saving anyone from anything. Further, I'd argue that it is about making rich people even richer at the expense of many millions of peoples' lives and homelands and I'm firmly against that.

    jrs , May 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I don't think war (aggression against another country) is really the same thing as revolution (internal aggression against the existing power structure). Nor do I think defense of one's own country is the same as aggressive war.

    Now do I think revolution against the belly of the beast in the U.S. is possible? Noone wants it anyway, and noone can agree on what a good result would be anyway. But also no, I don't. But in some less colonized countries it might possibly be viable (but there are so many external players with their own agendas, it's hard to say, beware of color revolutions!).

    What the U.S. does the overwhelming majority of the time is aggressive war. It also more covertly supports reactionary elements (even to the point of ISIS). And I know enough to oppose that! And it really does serve larger economic interests, even if occasionally another (usually not virtuous either!) motive gets mixed in, it's about profits and economic dominance. I know to oppose this unequivocally, without reservations, even if I can't single-handedly stop it.

    Marina Bart , May 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I know what I think: war is never a good solution but sometimes it's the least bad. Sometimes it's necessary, but I hope I have enough moral sense to distinguish good cases from bad ones, and, more importantly, explain my reasoning to others.

    I used to hold your position, until, like, ten minutes ago.

    Seriously, I thought about that statement that you referenced for a while before I wrote it. It wasn't in the first draft. Here's my personal current thinking on this: war and violence are not identical acts. War is an act of aggression, and as such, it is always about taking something, some resource by force, is it not? The slippery slope the American century and neoliberalism put us on is to keep redefining what wars are and what defense is until both terms are meaningless. The American military is currently overseeing and protecting poppy production in Afghanistan, while waging a "war on drugs" in other parts of the empire. It's all nonsense. You can't "wage war" on drug use, as the United States has proven every day for over forty years. And the United States isn't even trying to stop drug use and production, in reality, just monetize it in a favorable way for war and havoc-making branches and affiliates of the government.

    I had a teacher who had been a conscious objector in World War II, which was practically designed in a lab to be the ultimate "good war." It's basically the permanent excuse for sending young people outside the country's borders to die in the service of some projected, often fantasized threat. Consider 9/11. That actually WAS an attack on our soil. Did the two wars launched overseas to supposedly protect us here actually do that?

    Meanwhile, Germany is basically waging war on Greece, very successfully, using economic means. The citizens of Greece are starving and dying, as their lands and goods are sold off against their will to private entities. They are now ruled by outside powers, for the benefit of those outside powers. Sounds like they lost a war, to me.

    War is immoral. Perhaps an argument might be made for some situation like World War II in the future, whereby providing an assistance to an allied country overseas makes some sense. But even if that ever occurs again, it would not make war a moral choice ever. Murder is immoral. This is drummed into all our heads. Sometimes, our society deems that killing another person - in self-defense, for example - is morally justified, in which case, it is deemed not to be murder. But we set a societally high bar for determining this. We operate from a position that when one person kills another, it is treated as an immoral murder unless a specific, stringent set of facts is demonstrated to prove otherwise. (What's going on with sanctioned police violence is an erosion of that principle, and a great deal of effort is put forth by the state when these murders are revealed to prove that they are not what they appear. At no point do they ever say, "murder is fine.") I think we have to embrace and accept as a society that war is innately immoral, if we're ever to have any chance to create a system where the need for protective defense can't and won't once again be twisted into immoral empire-building.

    Antifa , May 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Sadly, Marina, no - war is not unjustified aggression while violent self defense is a rational response. There is no escape in semantics from the cold fact that war is an innate, natural part of our primate nature. Humans organize for, and opt for war the same as a band of chimpanzees occasionally will. It's done for territory, plunder, or for the most common impulse - because we can. Behold - we have the strength and power to deal out death. We can be gods for a little while.

    In chimps it's usually the males who go for it, but they have the full approval of the females, who enjoy the booty and expanded territory afterwards. Who doesn't like a little lebensraum?

    Chimpanzee and homo sapiens males find war exhilarating, and the most totally engaging emotional and psychological peak experience they can ever have because war is when it's down to your existential survival, and the only rules are tooth and claw. You are never so alive as when you're struggling against death. There's no guarantee for anyone locked in the melee of group combat that this is not their last, best effort to live on, if only for another minute.

    Humans, with our much bigger intellects, don't talk ourselves out of aggression. Quite the opposite. We celebrate and honor it. What's the Wall Street phrase for a rising market - animal spirits. We do business as war, we do politics as winner take all war, and to hell with any women and children in the way. Collateral damage.

    We play football as war. We play it as war quite religiously.

    So war is loose in the human psyche, and it's not going away while our DNA encodes it. And war will find each of us. It will come right to us.

    When the wolves come for your children and you, the rational choices are to hide, to get gone, or to surrender by paying their price. Some of you might live to fight another day. Slavery is better than death.

    It makes no difference if the wolves are four-legged, or are grown men in crisp business suits, or in military uniforms, or wearing ISIS hoods. They are all creatures come to exercise total power over you. War has come right to your front door.

    It's also a rational choice to engage in violent self-defense. Shoot back, pour boiling oil from the ramparts, load the trebuchets, launch the ICBM's before they can launch theirs. All of which presupposes that you prepared for war, knowing that it will come. Which makes you a war-maker, a warrior when the need arises.

    Wherever human populations exist, it will always be possible for sociopaths to divide the group. Color of eyes, shoe size, choice of music, whether you like or hate broccoli, anything will do. Once tribes divide, identity politics works to deepen and spread the division, like ice splitting granite mountains. This is the seed of war.

    The seed is seeing that the Other is not with us. If it comes down to tooth and nail, we must survive, not the Other. We must exercise power over Them, not Them over us.

    Individual humans can renounce and forswear war. But our species shows no ability to overcome our innate insanity, which is to destroy anyone or anything that thwarts our desire to walk the earth like gods.

    That's our crazy. That's where war lives within us.

    John , May 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Today I pointed my history class toward an article about plastic debris piling up on the beaches in Kau district on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had previously urged them to eliminate or at least reduce their use of plastics. In an ideal world we could banish plastics entirely with a stroke of the pen. That is not happening but if my students and their parents and their friends and their friends parents and so forth stop using plastics and remind its producers and users that they are passing along the externalities of plastics to all of us and if the heat is turned up high enough, then change can and will happen.

    The same thing can be done to slow down and then shut down the war machine.

    UserFriendly , May 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    In an ideal world we could banish plastics entirely with a stroke of the pen

    Really? A ballpark estimate of the ;lives saved by plastic is pushing a billion. Go walk around a hospital and look at all the plastics there and start trying to tell me how you would replace them with alternatives. How much CO2 do you think it takes to make an aluminum can or a glass bottle compared to a plastic one? I could go on.

    There are lots of downsides to the status quo use of plastics but your efforts would be much better directed at pushing to limit the production of non recyclable plastics and to find better ways of mandating that all products get recycled.

    Wyoming , May 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    " .So, is there any way to get from here to a country with broadly shared prosperity, a healthy and happy citizenry, and a more peaceful mode of governmental operation both at home and abroad? One that does not require increased bloodshed or waiting until the entire system collapses (which would involve tremendous suffering, particularly for the billions already being exploited by the global ruling elite)? ."

    This is a strong candidate for an application of Betteridge's Law.

    I personally am a committed Socialist in political terms. But I try really hard to also to take into account the reality of the situation we find ourselves in. I also acknowledge that I have evolved from the young idealist I once was (I participated in the 1st Earth Day demonstrations as well as others against the Vietnam War) into an undeniable cynic.

    To wit: All proposed solutions to governing structures, financial structures and procedures, alternative energy policies, developing the economies of the 3rd world, feeding the starving, etc, etc, and so on have to be evaluated in light of the global situation we find ourselves in.

    The world is swiftly entering into the effects of a rapidly changing climate due to our emissions of greenhouse gases, we are continuing to pollute the world at a rapid pace, the global carrying capacity is rapidly shrinking due to these things as well as due to the worsening impact of having a rapidly growing global population. These are the critical issues we face as a global human population. If we do not take drastic measures to reduce the rate at which this situation is deteriorating the declining carrying capacity curve and the rising consumption curves are going to race past each other very soon. The rational part of me does not see much likelyhood we are capable of making the really hard decisions on a global basis to address these macro problems and the cynic in me thinks that those who really do have the power to address them are far more likely to use the situation to further their personal interests at the expense of everyone else.

    We are heading into a situation where there is very likely no way out other than collapse and rebuilding and we have made no meaningful progress on any other possible outcome in the last 30 years.

    My socialist interests and moral positions are not likely to be addressed in this declining world and they would in fact not have a measurable effect on solving our existential problems I am sad to say.

    We have big problems to deal with but we spend all of our time on political and financial ideology and pretending that green solutions (a marketing tactic mostly) are actually meaningful and will lead us somewhere useful. There is simply no time left for this type of activity unless it is done in concert and as part of a package of dealing with our vast overpopulation and the crushing effects of climate change.

    Left in Wisconsin , May 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    We are heading into a situation where there is very likely no way out other than collapse and rebuilding and we have made no meaningful progress on any other possible outcome in the last 30 years.

    My socialist interests and moral positions are not likely to be addressed in this declining world and they would in fact not have a measurable effect on solving our existential problems I am sad to say.

    I like your comment very much. But I take issue with the notion that "collapse" or any other similar outcome is a singular event we are powerless to affect. There are, and will continue to be, different kinds and degrees of "collapse," and the more unequal our society is at the time of "collapse," the more unequal and ugly that collapse will be.

    For many people, in the U.S. and elsewhere, it is not at all clear that society has not "collapsed" already. That doesn't mean that there is nothing to do or nothing that can be done. Nor does it mean that things have to get worse before they get better, or will get better just because they got worse. I'm not attributing any or all of these sentiments to you. But I do think it is important for all of us not to fall into the trap of saying, "That's it, there is nothing that we can do," or "nothing we can do that makes a difference."

    My socialist interests and moral positions are not likely to be addressed in this declining world and they would in fact not have a measurable effect on solving our existential problems I am sad to say.

    Maybe. Probably. But not necessarily. My thing is, if it's going to be ugly when things collapse, they there is nothing wrong with making things ugly right now for those that are most intent on bringing about the (predicted) collapse. No need to worry about social niceties!

    davidly , May 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    On the other hand, I think you misunderstand some of the objection to your previous entry. I for one do not find you or Yves or Lambert to be insufficiently antiwar. It is the suggested approach which I find ultimately so, and I believe much of the hostility you correctly perceive is because the approach involves what many find to be a myopic interpretation of the implications of "not require[ing] that candidates overtly and aggressively campaign against" America's military machine.

    Foremost, I staunchly believe that allowing representatives to ignore this issue is, even as we speak, to the ongoing detriment of the American psyche, the manifest national illness of which is in my opinion too massive for me to state here and be taken seriously. This fact itself is also part of that problem. The US is so gravely ill that there is no medical coverage that can fix it. And we cannot expect to have some kind of two-pronged approach wherein all the grass roots are out campaigning about something for which the people they're supposed to elect have nothing more than, at best, milquetoast patriotic electoral boilerplate if they cannot avoid the topic altogether.

    Now, while it may be true that many Americans on balance do not benefit from the MIC, insofar as that money could be spent much on what your approach advocates several times over, there is a very tangible benefit to the American economy that serves the interests of not just the upper 10 percent. I don't want to put too fine a point on this, but it's a big reason there isn't the anti-war coalition that can break thru the mainstream press or politics. The war economy is huge. If Americans were to win universal healthcare tomorrow or next year or four to eight years from now, that would not change the national mindset in this regard, and most certainly not the politicians known as "viable" who we allow to skirt the issue. In short: you cannot just chalk the pushback to your previous entry down to misreading. We disagree and it has nothing to do with you not being purely anti-war. However: I do find the "let's get material benefits for us first" to be a little bit troubling.

    So you say you thought Obama would be a lesser war-wager and, bravo, admit that he wasn't. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that those of us who knew better and didn't lend him any support could smell this tidbit between the lines of the previous entry. How? The argument you're making is the same one his more sober supporters were making eight years ago. The only difference I read is that your suggesting we shift the purity line on some things and ignore, at least on some level, one other critical issue - so that we can get people elected .

    You cannot tell me that you were around to work for McCarthy yet have not heard your argument before. I do wonder myself who all the non-corporate Dems are and how they'd fare, assuming they really aren't corporate Dems at heart. America needs a complete conversation change. The Warrens and Sanders of the world are the gatekeepers before the gatekeepers named Schumer, Pelosi, and Feinstein, whose default function is to stop this conversation change. There's an Ellison before every Perez. A Booker before every you get the point I hope. So how are we gonna oust these people while our list of enemies grows to numbers unspoken?

    Marina Bart , May 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    This is not the same as the Obama phenomenon. For one thing, our strategy focuses on specific policies, not vague nostrums like "Hope and Change." That anchors the discussion in ways that are difficult to evade and elide, which is why the Democrats are working so diligently to shut this kind of thing down.

    I don't want to take over the discussion here, because this is not about me. But under this strategy, I would never have voted for Obama. I wouldn't have had to be savvy enough to know to read Glen Ford. I would have be able to reason, "He was given a speaking slot by the Democrats at the convention, so he's a favored insider. That means he has already been corrupted." Or I might have thought, "Hope and Change is fine, but he's not promoting universal direct material benefits, so he's not worth backing." Obama got in because he exploited signifiers he in no way deserved and people like me had not yet accepted that the Democratic Party (and the rest of the ruling elite, like the corporate media) had been corrupted root and branch.

    If you take the focus off personality and "values," it's easier to cut through the piles of ripe manure the Democrats offer up. Shifting the purity line away from personal identity (both citizen and politician) to policy that can be enacted is a bigger change, with a series of multiplier effects, than you seem to realize. For example, right now, the most extreme "position" corporate Democrats take is being "pro-choice." But what do they mean by that? What policy do they advocate to achieve this goal? They never say. It's just expressed as a value. Whereas "I'm in favor of universal health care via expanded and improved Medicare for All, and opposed to the president applying the Hyde Amendment to it affirmatively via executive order. Since abortion is a legal medical procedure, done and done." Obviously, there would still be a vociferous pushback. But notice how significantly this shifts the playing field. The best possible way to get past abortion as a wedge issue is to embed it in some universal program that benefits EVERYBODY. And it pins politicians down. They can't slither around as much as they like. It's easier to hold them accountable.

    Corruption will always be with us. Whatever politicians the left might install would be liable to the same phenomenon over time. But focusing on concrete policies with concrete benefits is different that what's been going on. This approach doesn't rely on Bernie or any other politician being noble and pure. That's part of the point.

    It may or may not work, and you may or may not ever agree with me. But it is NOT the same.

    davidly , May 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    But it is the same. It's been the same for a century. If we were to begin with Eugene McCarthy as a measuring stick: In retrospect, would you say the strategy then should have been the same, say, move Viet Nam to the back burner (oh the unfortunate irony)? If not, why not? "Our boys"?

    No, I'm sorry, you're right. It's actually worse. The expansion of war and the profiteering that goes along with it, that serves congressional districts from sea to shining sea, is not the same, but growing so broadly that most people you say don't want it, don't even know how many countries and with which dictators we're allied. No one who does not put those most egregious human rights violations in the name of what they admit is a nation governed by an intrinsically corrupted body politic deserves the material benefits you propose to make central focus. The whole world is watching.

    jrs , May 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    don't deserve is too extreme, because it's not necessarily the people you think it is, people without decent healthcare in the U.S. is very broad and includes people whose ancestors were brought over here as slaves, who were red-lined, Jim Crowed, new Jim Crowed, generation after generation. Of course they have a harder time being American $uce$$ $tories. Your beef is probably more with a particular form of privileged American blindness that will never see the U.S. as anything but basically good and the questions only whether or not we can "save the whole world" (though bombing them) or not.

    Darius , May 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    You're really trying hard not to get this. Material benefits providers that also are anti war become the people who ensured I have a job, healthcare and old-age security, and my kids aren't dying in some Middle East quagmire. Anti war without material benefits is just a bunch of annoying longhairs, if not traitors. My life sucks but at least I can hate on those people.

    davidly , May 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    But it is the same. It's been the same for a century, with the caveat that the sixties brought about both civil rights and the anti-war movement. If we were to begin with your bona fides, with Eugene McCarthy as a measuring stick: In retrospect, would you say the strategy then should have been the same, say, move Viet Nam to the back burner (oh the unfortunate irony)? If not, why not? Not enough of "our boys" coming home in bags with heroin in 'em?

    No, I'm sorry, you're right. It's actually worse. The expansion of war and the profiteering that goes along with it, that serves congressional districts from sea to shining sea, is not the same, but growing so broadly that most people you say don't want it, don't even know how many countries and with which dictators we're allied. No one who does not put those most egregious human rights violations in the name of what they admit is a nation governed by an intrinsically corrupted body politic deserves the material benefits you propose to make central focus. The whole world is watching.

    Marco , May 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    This from Cat Burgler deserves repeating again and again!

    " universal benefits is a way to allow people the free space in their lives to overcome the military-industrial-congressional complex"

    Not to be too harsh but the twin purity tests of Identity Politics and Anti-War-ism would logically appeal to those higher up the Maslow Hierarchy no? Widespread civic engagement starts when basic needs are met. Otherwise there is no solidarity but just a low trust society where everyone is screwing over everybody else.

    Thanks Marina for spelling out the obvious!!

    Disturbed Voter , May 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Is the Left of use to anyone besides the anti-status-quo and as captured opposition to serve the status quo?

    What is the purpose of humanity? I don't see any good secular answers to that. And spiritually I am thinking o of "There is a time for war and a time for peace".

    John , May 3, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Morals with an economic system withOUT morals?

    But, how can an economic system have morals if it can create money from nothing without consequences? Even the Magic Money Tree can create money from nothing.

    Looks like some "economists" will have to create a "Morals Variable" in their economic models.

    (Good luck with that one )

    Susan the other , May 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I think we should all incorporate. Maybe create the first diffuse political corporation via the internet. We all buy shares, for some cheap price so that we can get tens of millions of shareholders. We write up a corporate constitution for our goals. One of them, the first one, could be universal health care, funded of course by our share purchases into a pool of money – a war chest – that can serve among other things to be a mutual insurance organization. Recruit those medical professionals who would like to participate, indeed take their experience into consideration. Buy into medical facilities, hospitals, drug companies. A takeover of the medical industry. Because politics doesn't work anymore.

    CanCyn , May 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    +1000 Love this idea!

    HopeLB , May 3, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I second that from CanCyn, great idea!!And then, if that secret TPP meeting in Canada leads to its enactment, we sue using ISDS claiming low wages and war spending are depriving us of investors.

    James Griffin , May 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Your words – "Believe me. I have directly and personally confronted Democratic trust fund scions on this and faced immediate, life-threatening blowback. "
    Both the public awareness and appreciation of the consequences of real corruption remain low. In fact, I find few in my own circle of contacts who even care, at best dismissing it as normal or inevitable. There is a reason for this apathy. There is a reason we, as a nation, fought corrupt practices and it is well presented in Zephyr Teachout's book on the topic. There is also a reason that ways of catching and punishing criminals operating at the highest levels of business and government have diminished over the last several decades. Not only has the threat of punishment diminished, the possibility of even discovering the facts has shrunk concomitantly. I suggest that there is a direct relation between the ability to effect change and the efficacy of punishments for the powerful.
    It is clear the elites don't want effective heath care for the underlings and until the methods and reasons are clearly exposed it will not happen. Alternative sources of information exist and still confusion can be maintained by mainstream, corporate owned, media propaganda. But what if we can push through this first barrier? Will the leaders of any such movement be able to stand firm in the face of the next?
    I started this post with your own words. I don't know the method you used to confront these people but I would suggest that the response you got is even less dangerous than that you might have experienced had you represented a real and functional threat to the status quo.

    jrs , May 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I think some of the pushback was just how people prioritize issues. If one was both anti-war and for expanding benefits but prioritized benefits (NOT for a pragmatic reason of them being perceived as more politically feasible but just as a priority for rational, emotional, value, or even personal reasons) then of course they might be in total agreement. If for some reason they were both entirely equal in one's eyes then one might agree. But if one actually deeply cares about opposing the wars, if anti-war is a primary (if far from the only) issue, it's hard not to prioritize, and to agree to let it take a backburner until "after the revolution". Especially if one is not sure it will even happen even "after the revolution". It might actually be a values disagreement at some level among people who might nominally seem to agree and yet prioritize things differently.

    My reaction to Trump bombing Syria was absolute horror (whether Trump intends to escalate that war I honestly don't know at this point, I think Trump is a disaster, but I don't know the end game there), but it sure seemed so at the time, that he wanted to overthrow Assad period. It's a visceral reaction, but it's not irrational, not wanting the horror of another regime change and all the death, the endless death it entails is not irrational, even if rationally one ought to care just as much about some other issue they don't quite care as much about.

    jrs , May 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    As for what issues will draw the masses into action, nationally that might be economics. But around here it seems racial issues get FAR more traction than economic issues EVER do. More protests, etc. And it's not because there isn't economic desperation, because there is!

    I just think people are USED TO things sucking economically and don't even see the possibility of change there but only of adaptation, whereas they do see the possibility of resisting I.C.E., of protesting police brutality, etc.. Of course environmental and peace movements get even less traction.

    jrs , May 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    So maybe what I'm saying is what moves the masses is not always what they see as most urgent, but what they see as changeable. Politics is the art of what is perceived as possible. And the CA Dem party has probably conditioned many a Californian into real economic change not being one of those things (I can't even get my state reps to respond to me when I email them demanding state single payer. This does not really say anything particularly good about it's possible passage, although I can hope).

    Now there are real objective reasons why ending the empire and the war machine are nearly impossible, the forces against it just being too strong, but to do something it not ONLY has to be possible, but also it has to be seen as possible. Otherwise people just adapt to whatever the situation is ("accept the things they cannot change" etc.), even when things are pretty bad.

    Alex Morfesis , May 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Solomon Stanwood Menken about 100 years ago today, he went from being the executive director of to president of some little organization he founded called the national security league menken was one of jp (the jp) morgans lawyers to study him and the national security league is to understand the genesis of the oft bantered and whispered meme when one gets too close to the burning coals

    and if one wants to understand how from then we get to today study mary bancroft our own little mata hari yes the wsj bancrofts she was good friends with one ruth forbes paine young whose son

    As to the notion of stepping into the democratic party there certainly is an opening since the party depends on surfz and other unpaid or underpaid volunteers the reality is the system might sniff out so many volunteers and will cleave off any moves to consolidate unapproved or inappropriate power grabs from the uninvited verily it will certainly be a challenge could be done but many lives will be crushed in the making tis why the notion those over 65 need to be volunteered for the front lines currently tis a bit difficult to remove those monthly checks from arriving, however small they might appear to be everyone else can have their lives disrupted .

    Judith , May 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Except:

    "The prominent anti-war activist Ann Wright says that, after being arrested for protesting at a U.S. drone base, she stopped receiving her monthly social security checks, in what she believes was a deliberate attempt "to curtail dissent of seniors."

    From: http://www.alternet.org/activism/retired-army-colonel-says-her-social-security-checks-were-garnished-curtail-dissent

    alex morfesis , May 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    that did not seem to last too long she has not mentioned it since and in her mentioning she had explained she had already begun the process of "correcting" the record although the rule is not arbitrary in and of itself but that if you are in jail for more than 30 days your social security check can be voided for the time in jail

    wright wrote a piece on her ordeal at drudgeleft but have seen nothing more on her issue guessing she goterfyxd

    https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/Article/3844/Can-prisoners-get-Social-Security-or-Supplemental-Security-Income-SSI-payments

    and yes, I am fully aware of how easy it is to have some guvdrone type in the wrong info in a database

    "by accidented"

    been there, done that, bought the teeshirt and mug teeshirt fell apart, mug broke got me another

    freedom vs freedumb

    you pay a price, one way or another

    CanCyn , May 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    In Canada, Naomi Klein and some others are championing the LEAP Manifesto as a way forward: https://leapmanifesto.org/en/the-leap-manifesto/#manifesto-content
    I've signed on but it has never really felt like exactly the right thing. I could never quite put my finger on what it is missing having read this post, I know what it is. Just like championing anti-war above all other things (in spite of the rightness of the idea of no war and all of the good consequences that would follow) won't work as a first step, championing the environment and indigenous rights and perspective (in spite of it being right and the many good things would follow) is just not the way to get a majority of people on board and to lead change. People want healthcare, decent jobs, and decent lives – let's get together on that. Then talk about how to stop the corporatization & privatization of EVERYTHING. Clean out the swamp for real. I believe that, at its heart, that's what Occupy wanted.
    I would love to hope and I do see the glimmer of opportunity – people are talking and asking questions. But, like Diptherio, the pessimist in me is strong. Where is Occupy now? Was is simply the right movement at the wrong time? Or is there just too little support? Are people just too defeated?

    marym , May 3, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    People want healthcare, decent jobs, and decent lives – let's get together on that. Then talk about how to stop the corporatization & privatization of EVERYTHING.

    Corporatization and privatization should be part of the discussion, whatever the prioritization of specific demands, to contrast with demands for systems, services, and institutions that serve the common good.

    Eureka Springs , May 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Is it not true the last president we had who seriously considered universal health care also faced the greatest anti-war movement?

    marym , May 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Not being killed, incarcerated, deported, banned, tortured by the armed power of the state is a material benefit. As an observer, it seems to me that people organizing around these issues domestically often do make connections to the international aspects (war, blowback, US alliances with despotic regimes).

    Gregory Hill , May 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    How Can Our Fall Be Stopped?

    I also believe the Single Payer movement may be the best first step and most efficient approach to promoting the true progressive message, which could effectively
    marginalize and defeat, as I refer to them, the heartless "Condescenders." I will use an example of a glaring problem within our current heartless and progressively demoralizing Healthcare System. The example below came as a result of my own developed understanding of the serious socio-economic issues currently faced by many struggling people, including those driven to bankruptcy, poverty and a myriad of other problems (e.g. substance abuse). As we know, poverty and falling incomes undeniably beget increasing problematic health issues for those affected by their struggles, whatever the cause. I should briefly mention here that I believe a Single Payer System should include the option for citizens to pursue certified naturopathic modalities (proper nutrition and other proven strategies that offer freedom from horrible pharmaceutical drugs hawked by Big Pharma and For Profit Medicine).

    How many people with life-long undiagnosed neurological/physiological disorders, have perpetually exacerbated physiological symptoms associated with their disorder, many times caused by triggers unknown to them, which becomes a negative feedback loop propelled by environmental, dietary and socio-economic factors, ad infinitum, as well as a lack of receiving proper care, let alone a proper diagnosis? They stumble though life, mis-labeled and misunderstood. Their lives are many times a life of varying economic or social poverty (and most likely both in some degree or another) caused by gross underachievement based on fleeting societal standards driven by the elites who control the narrative. They are stuck in the mire of life's undesirable swamps where the Condescenders all-knowingly think they belong, because, well, "it is the 'Losers' fault for the messes they are in; therefore, why should we help them?" Is this not the prevalent attitude of the Ayn Rand's, ahem, Paul Ryan's and the filthy rich cohort Koch Brothers and other filthy rich bastards of the world, grubbing for more money and power over the majority of citizens they oppress (lower taxes via less government support for the middle and lower classes)?

    As former Reagan Republican, right-wing, and so-called Christian, I can effectively see right through their "mercy" horse hockey. My own move away from the Repugnants started in 2002-2003), so I also easily see the glaring problems with the elite establishment Democrats and their enablers. Yet, my faith has still grown, because I have now long seen the light. I cannot ignore the undeniable call to social democracy, justice and mercy found, for example, in the Book of James or the teachings of Jesus (you know, the guy who drove the money-changers out of the Temple). It just took a long process of reasoning and critical thinking over the years for me to be liberated. As an Independent, Green Party-type and part of the "Christian Left," I am happy to be a part of the clarion cry for a paradigm shift on many social democratic fronts, starting with the Single Payer and then Anti-War movements, as well as other great causes. I have no interest in being associated with warmongering right wing or libertarian "Christians" who "hand their brother a stone" when they are in need a "loaf of bread," who also have apparently forgotten that their God "is no respecter of persons." I am truly ashamed to say, there is no "right" in the "Christian Right" supporting any of their arguments for their ungracious attitudes and merciless political positions on these issues.

    The first proper act toward even attempting to address this ungodly attitude toward our fellow citizens (and if they are not considered "fellow citizens," then who are they?), would be to remove a large majority the Condescenders, who are unwilling to consider and change their heartless mindsets, marginalizing them in the national discussion of how we can keep this sinking ship afloat and get her to shore. I believe the first step would be the unmitigated nationalization of the healthcare system, you know, like Universal Health Care found in other CIVILIZED developed countries throughout the world.

    Sign me up!

    Bradley , May 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Gregory,

    I understand that you are frustrated with the right, but Libertarians do share your anti-war and anti-interventionist positions. As one myself, I am concerned that Marina's focus on universal benefits will splinter existing anti-war support, including the somewhat sizable portion of libertarian-minded voters (4.5 million in 2016).

    jfleni , May 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    The solution is to FIGHT, and FIGHT again against the jumped up generalsimos and their enablers in the five-sided bughouse. The country really has no enemies except those we make for ourselves.

    These very same morons are extremely sensitive to the gross weakness of their position, and implacable oposition will only emphasize it; RESIST them always! Don't let them catch their breath!

    The benefits are obvious to eveybody; when they paint gory pictures of millions of chinamen or russians against us, just give them your best belly-laugh!

    Greg Taylor , May 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I would have agreed that a universal material benefits (UMB) coalition-building strategy was better than an anti-war strategy until I campaigned for Bernie in the south. Too many potential coalition members buy into "meritocracy" and often find UMB threaten their identities by putting them at the bottom of the totem pole – a place they've fought hard to inch away from.

    While campaigning, I walked up to two guys on an electric cart working outdoor maintenance for the city – at the time I thought they would be making far less than the $15/hr UMB that Bernie supports. Figured we could find some common ground on a minimum wage. The older, 40ish, more experienced of the two, informed me that if Bernie got his way on the minimum wage, he'd be making $15, no better than someone just starting out. Turned out that one guy made $12/hr and the other $10. Wouldn't the older guy be $3/hr better off? That just didn't matter to him. What mattered was making 50% or so more than people at the bottom.

    I suspect that objections to some other UMBs will face similar identity-threatening objections from the masses who've bought into meritocracy. It will be difficult to "flip" the working class on meritocracy and I believe that is essential for a UMB-based strategy to succeed. Perhaps even more difficult than convincing the military and veterans to support an anti-war coalition.

    UserFriendly , May 3, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    The problem ultimately comes down to where are you willing to draw the line and vote for the lesser evil. This will always be a problem with our shitty first past the post election method. Of course there is little chance of fixing the problem because it suffers the same problem a JG does. It has an UBI, a proposal that is not threatening to the current power structure so all the reform energy that should be behind a JG gets syphoned off into something pointless. For voting reform all the energy is behind ranked choice because it won't threaten the current power structure at all. 3-2-1 Voting or Score voting would be much better and actually change things. Here is a good discussion on voter satisfaction efficiency that explains what the different methods involve.
    http://electology.github.io/vse-sim/VSE/
    Or a shorter summary that explains the results a bit better.
    http://electology.github.io/vse-sim/VSEbasic/
    Because if we had a better voting method than ..
    https://electology.org/blog/honest-voters-had-preference-2016

    Of course I don't see any hope for change in the future, at least not in the time scale we need to save the planet. Even if there was universal consensus to do everything possible to avoid climate change I don't see us avoiding 2C. Short of people pouring a ton of money into safe nuclear I doubt this planet will be habitable in 150 years.

    Kenneth Heathly Simpson , May 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Greetings All, Thank you for this discussion. Back in the dark ages of the 1960's and early 70's, we were confronted with the same discussion. What I think I learned was that single issue based coalitions were very good organizing tools. Each had its own rallying cry: For example, "Bring the boys home now. Stop the War. Down with Imperialism", organized and rallied the anti-war movement. A coalition around "Single payer Medicare for all" would act in the same way. However, meetings, demonstrations and organizations around single issues provided arena's for discussing and organizing around other issues. Back in the day, it was impossible not to have Women's Liberation people, for example, handing out women's literature that was pro-abortion at the door of anti-war meetings and at anti-war rallies. It was often normal operating procedure to invite people into single issue coalition meetings to announce their separate issue meetings and demonstration as the last agenda point of the evening. They were invited in to the big "tent" and allowed to speak at the end as long as they were against the war. Demonstrations brought people into the movement and educated them. Meetings organized people for action. The Democratic Party's elections took the air out of organizing the movements. The big anti-war demonstrations, every last one of them, were in non-election years: 1965, 1967, 1969 and 1971. We learned to hate the pro-capitalist Democratic Party and its Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), including its leading members like Ted Kennedy and Bernie Sanders. They were after all pro-capitalist and committed to rigged pro-capitalist elections. Capitalism is war: Class war and imperialist war. They travel hand and glove. Capitalism will not end war or liberate people. It is an exploitive system. It does give concessions, when threatened. Concession and reform are here today and out the other. Look what happened to the New Deal and the UN etc. etc.
    Build single issue coalitions, for a starters, but educate people to unified struggle against all exploitation and oppression. There is no other way that I can see to win and secure the victory. As to war, I believe there is only one war that is supportable, class war. This is what Rosa Luxemborg and the Third Socialist International gave their lives to during World War One and the 1920's.
    Please keep on discussing and organizing. Study and fight back. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
    Peace and love,
    k

    VietnamVet , May 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    This is an excellent start. It is not enough to be anti-war. The Reagan-Thatcher counter-coup and globalization have been extremely efficient at atomizing 80% of the population who've been marginalized and forgotten. War today is simply a mechanism to extract wealth from the western middle class who still have jobs and pay taxes. If human beings are to survive, a new form of government must arise that puts people and the earth first; controls man's mortal sin of hording power and puts rich criminals in jail.

    [Apr 03, 2017] Is the USA entered a revolutionary situation which usually is referred as crisis of legitimacy in English-language literature.

    Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova , April 02, 2017 at 09:22 AM
    Is the USA entered a "revolutionary situation" which usually is referred as "crisis of legitimacy" in English-language literature.

    Looks like it did judging from what MSM write about Trump and his entourage. And anti-Russian hysteria is a reaction of this crisis of legitimacy, attempt to suppress it at least temporary by uniting the nation against the external threat ( and this efforts fall into fertile ground of dreams about Trump impeachment in democratic circles; Russians of Chinese, does not matter -- but the orange menace should be eliminated):

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/fake_news_covers_crisis

    The key question is: Who has the stronger claim to speak on behalf of the people: the president or the majority that opposes his policies?" No automatic mechanism exists within the system to resolve this, and so each side has an incentive to escalate its claim and attempt to seize more power.

    It actually started around 2000:

    Questions of legitimacy certainly do arise if voters would rather not have outsourcing and offshoring, cuts in public spending including healthcare, and cuts in taxes for rich -- but are getting those policies anyway. Global financial oligarchy still pressure for privatization of utilities, healthcare, education, you name it, despite crisis of 2008. In other words, neoliberalism in zombie stage is probably more dangerous that pre-2008 neoliberalism.

    The regulatory race to the bottom (aka deregulation) did not stopped. Several types of regulation-for example, of health and safety in the workplace, terms of employment, product and environmental standards -- have both ideological and political content.

    If voters say: this is not the agenda we elected Trump to implement, democratic dreams about Trump impeachment might become more realistic then inflating anti-Russian hysteria path, the path that the corrupt Democratic Party leadership selected and finance.

    But at the same time Democrats does not really represent the opposition. They are also corrupt to the core (Schumer, Raid, Pelosi are nice examples here) and adopted neoliberalism in essentially the same form as Republicans. They fully adopted such policies as "moderation" in taxes (cutting taxes for the rich and making tax scheme more flat)) and "moderation" of public spending, "fiscal responsibility" and the rest of neoliberal "pro financial oligarchy" program.

    People feel disempowered by global neoliberalism. And that might start to affect the stability of the society soon. In 2015 New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow made this point recently in a commentary on the relations between minority communities and our system of justice. He said that we need a "restoration - or a formation - of faith for all of America's citizens in the American justice system itself."

    http://capcr-stl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Crisis-of-Legitimacy-2.pdf

    See also

    https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/211/44824.html

    [Mar 26, 2017] The operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored identity groups quickly sucked all oxigen from the protest movement they represented

    Notable quotes:
    "... As Mr. Hudson explained in the piece, the operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored "identity groups" quickly sucked all originality out of the various specious "identities" so represented. On the war front, the Pentagon imposed "embedment" upon journalists. In each case, the viewpoints of the "average" person so involved were restricted to vistas guaranteed to promote the "sponsored" agenda. Thus, the present assault upon "alternative" media makes sense from a status quo perspective. It is all about control of the dialogue. ..."
    "... Perez only got 235 votes; Sanders' candidate Ellison got 200. The Democratic Party establishment did not "ignore" Sanders by running Perez. They were semi-desperately trying to block him (and his cohort) from advancing on a low rung on the ladder to power. ..."
    "... Wikileaks made it plain what the Democrats do to mavericks who win races without a party bit in their mouths. The corruption is institutional, it is their operatives' identity. ..."
    "... The "masses of people who have dropped out of the workforce" are old, overweight, have multiple physical deficits and are hooked on at least 2 types of prescription dope. They will not be manning your nostalgia-draped barricades. Not ever. ..."
    "... I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym. ..."
    "... "Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues," ..."
    "... " it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics." ..."
    "... "We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed." ..."
    "... I also agree that there is no solution, certainly not an evolutionary solution via EITHER of the two parties. ..."
    "... The big changes in the USA occurred during the Great Depression as financial reform was introduced, the idea of government infrastructure could provide employment and what I believe is little mentioned, an increased awareness on the part of many that their success was not achieved solely by their own efforts. ..."
    "... Many of the USA's post war corporate executives should have remembered that their families struggled during the thirties, and this may have made them more connected with their employees and communities. ..."
    "... People are not sheep. We've been psyop'd senseless. "Public relations" began around the turn of the 20th century. It was ramped up by orders of magnitude after WWII. ..."
    "... Gore Vidal quotes JFK as saying to him, we've entered an era in which "it is the *appearance of things that matters" ..."
    "... Psychology and other social sciences have been weaponized and turned against us. With a facile understanding of the human mind (as if it were nothing but a mere mechanism), immense effort has gone into controlling the inputs in order to control the outputs (behavior). ..."
    "... Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home. ..."
    "... Today, "public opinion" is a Frankenstein's monster. Most of my fellow Americans believe in a world that never existed and doesn't exist right now. We can't even agree on what happened to JFK, or MLK, or what happened on 9/11/01. ..."
    "... Contra UF, it's not that people are incapable of rational thought; rather, the information we have is hopelessly corrupted. People are acting rationally, but the numerators and denominators have been faked. On purpose. Or did the Russians really do it? ..."
    "... It's far more simpler. Charter schools are about following the money. Public schools have seemingly huge revenue streams. Why can't GE get a cut is the thought process? For profit Healthcare was forbidden until 1973 (thanks to Teddy), why not public schools? ..."
    "... The HMO Act of 1973 (thanks Teddy and Tricky Dick; bipartisanship at its finest) made it easier to start and run HMOs which faced regulatory hurdles mostly due to financing. Non profits had an easier time of it hence Hospitals named "St X" or "X General." Since the hospital were non profits and employers made deals with the hospitals, health insurance was effectively non-profit. There were gaps, mostly in rural areas. Other changes from the HMO Act of 1973 encouraged profit seeking from denial of coverage to pushing unnecessary procedures or prescriptions. ..."
    "... The US Left has been controlled opposition since 1950. There was never a chance it could provide a reasonable and effective alternative. FBI/CIA moles make sure they never will. The Democrats have never been true Left FDR didn't really betray his class, he saved them from their own stupidity. ..."
    "... "As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'." ..."
    "... The identity politics of today lack in solidarity, too. What with Hillary Clinton running the most ageist campaign in memory, Obama breaking the record on deportations, Bill Clinton blowing racist dogwhistles as hard he can and also helping to shepherd a police state that puts Thailand to shame, and the whole of the Democratic Party stoking Russophobia and neoconservative. ..."
    "... The diagnosis is mostly correct. But omits the role class bigotry and affluenza with attendant celebrity culture and pursuit of prestige plays. Thus the prognosis and protocol go astray. ..."
    "... The wealthy and the politicians don't care about you/us. They care about maintaining any fiction that allows them to keep acquiring. Trump is not the problem; Mercer"s values are The Problem. Trump is the PERFECT reality TV/celebrity fantasy creature to keep the twisted Mercer chariot's wheels turning. ..."
    "... Bernie was NOT The Answer. Putting on a mask of concern does not take away the sorrows of empire. As long as the blatant US militarism and imperialism continues we cannot unite the working class. Everything it needs to flourish continues - mass incarceration, join the military or stay in the ghetto, graft and corruption of military/industrial/media complex, no respect for other cultures being swarmed, consumerism. ..."
    "... The jobs plan: more prison guards, border agents, munitions makers, soldiers, cops, various bodyguards for the rich and the other useful mandarins to the affluenza-stricken is set in stone. ..."
    "... Michael Hudson makes great points but I am still wrestling with his (and others) push back against so-called identity politics as it pertains to this perception of it splintering or at least limiting the Democratic party. The Dems are most certainly a party committed to the ideals of neoliberalism and corporatism. They did not lose this election based on "Russian hacking/emails" and other trite nonsense. ..."
    "... The Obama part of maintaining the looting of society status quo. ..."
    "... The point about Trump being the US Yeltsin is one very much worth considering, if only because Russia, after much degradation and also suffering, has managed to begin to overcome those shameful and depressing times. May we do so also. ..."
    "... Excellent piece. Americans have forgotten that the things they took for granted (40 hour week, humane working conditions, employer provided benefits etc.) were gained by the blood, sweat and tears of their forebears. ..."
    "... The Clintons, the Obamas, the Blairs, possibly the Macrons, the Ruttes, even the Merkels of this world are wolves in sheep's clothing. They have come to represent, for increasing numbers, little better than managed decline in apparently safe hands, conducted in plain sight, in the ever narrower interests of the few. ..."
    "... Regarding the subject line of the article. I'd say that the Democratic Party has been the "paid loyal opposition" for quite a while. . . meaning they are paid to loose. Given the party's ties to Wall Street and Big Pharma it's pretty clear they mostly work for the same folks that own "mainstream" Republicans so their apparent fecklessness and inability to mount ANY sort of effective opposition, even when they are in the majority, shouldn't be any surprise. ..."
    Mar 26, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    ambrit, March 26, 2017 at 5:29 am

    As long as the people of America had a reasonable expectation of gaining a better life, or, the next best thing, that their children would gain that better life, the Social Contract remained strong. Aspiration was both a spur to striving within the existing system, and a palliative for most discontents encountered. Where the status quo did not offer any real hope, the Civil Rights for minorities being an example, more "robust" methods were necessary, and were employed. What else is civil disobedience but counter violence against the State? Naturally, the State ramps up it's 'violence' in an attempt to quash the disaffected masses.

    In this struggle, optics and expectations are crucial. As Gil Scott-Heron famously invoked; "The revolution will not be televised." Paradoxically, by ensuring the wide dissemination of images of the nascent "Revolution," activists ensured that whatever came out of the Days of Rage would not be a true revolution. The newsreels of colored people bravely enduring police oppression in the American South guaranteed that that particular issue would not be dumped down Orwell's "Memory Hole." Television footage of young American men fighting and dying in Vietnam spurred the families of those who could even potentially be drafted to go overseas to die for their country to take to the streets and vote against the war and the warmongers. Gay rights is generally considered to have begun to take form and substance after the "Stonewall Riots" in New York in 1969. See: https://www.socialistalternative.org/stonewall-riots-1969/ By "going postal," the New York gays declared loud and proud that the old way of doing business was no longer acceptable to them.

    As Mr. Hudson explained in the piece, the operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored "identity groups" quickly sucked all originality out of the various specious "identities" so represented. On the war front, the Pentagon imposed "embedment" upon journalists. In each case, the viewpoints of the "average" person so involved were restricted to vistas guaranteed to promote the "sponsored" agenda. Thus, the present assault upon "alternative" media makes sense from a status quo perspective. It is all about control of the dialogue.

    The main strength of the old style identity politics is it's ability to focus the energies of participants toward a particular goal. To that end, the concept of the "United Front" is useful. You watch my back, I'll show up at your demonstration is the operative concept. Thus, the development and widespread dissemination of images of a uniting "struggle" are needed. All of this is actually self evident. What is needed are "leaders" ready to stand up and shout it out over the rooftops.

    When Paul Revere made his famous ride, he was actually stopped by British troops before he could reach either Concord or Lexington, Massachusetts. A companion, a Dr. Prescott made the actual warnings to the American rebels. Revere and Prescott were members of an extensive Patriot organization. A Doctor and an Artisan, two usually distinct social classes at the time were collaborating towards a common goal. A "United Front" made the American Revolution. See: http://www.biography.com/news/paul-reveres-ride-facts Today's struggle can proceed no differently.

    Jagger , March 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

    A Doctor and an Artisan, two usually distinct social classes at the time were collaborating towards a common goal

    "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." A bit of wisdom from the mind of Ben Franklin in the early days of the revolution.

    ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Wonderful! Dr. Franklin would be considered a "radical" even by today's standards. "The more things change .."

    steelhead23 , March 26, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Let us remember, when a college student asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi whether the party might move toward a more socialistic economic system, she answered, " We're capitalists. That's just the way it is. ", and went on to support a return to noblesse oblige, completely failing to grasp the contradiction between modern neoliberal theology (maximizing shareholder return/profits) and such niceties as paying a living wage. We the left have a problem we need to attack head-on – our semantics have been demonized. Socialism is widely disparaged as subordinating individual will to the state – as tyranny – and the MSM often portrays economic downturns in social democracies (Venezuela, Argentina) as caused by foolish socialist policies, not broadscale economic issues (oil glut), or financial stupidity of prior governments (Argentina). I applaud Senator Sanders for continuing to use the moniker "social democrat" as he has done much to legitimize the word. We need more. Ich bin ein social democrat.

    ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Oh yes, and I remember wondering when I first read about that "interaction," just what did Pelosi really mean by Capitalist? As someone else here remarked, she might have been confusing capitalist with corporatist in her mind.

    polecat , March 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    'Crony' capitalists is what she really meant ..

    Ah the Crony California Quotient Always looking out for them and theirs' --

    Gman , March 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Doctrinaire [adj]

    seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations:

    1. 'Nancy Pelosi asked whether the party might move toward a more socialistic economic system, she answered, "We're capitalists. That's just the way it is."

    pissed younger baby boomer , March 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    That's why I am changing my party status to one of the socialist parties in Oregon .

    DJG , March 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    ambrit: Excellent comment. What I would add, though, is that all three of the movements that you cite had equality as a main goal: Black people wanted equality in civil rights and civil liberties. The antiwar movement drew strength from the draft, which affected people of all classes (men most directly) and led to various unequal uses of deferments that are causes of political problems to this very day. Gay folk also wanted civil rights and civil liberties (although marriage equality may not be the proper culmination–identity politics gone divergent).

    A while back, I read Norberto Bobbio's influential little book, Right and Left. He states that the main motivators of leftist politics are liberty, equality, and fraternité (let's call it solidarity). And he points out that leftists usually place equality first. So to animate a new movement, we have to get back to issues of political and economic equality. The metaphor of The One Percent is a hint. That hint has to be expanded.

    ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Good point. The American Revolt had it's "Committees of Correspondence." They operated outside of the MSM of the day. The Civil Rights movement early on had the black churches as sanctuaries and disseminators of the message. The anti-war movement had both the Underground press and, unwittingly, later, the MSM of the day proclaiming the problem. In general, each information spreading system used was not a part of the "Official Version" apparatus.

    The point about equality is important. The unmentioned basis of Capitalism is competition. Competition implies inequality as the outcome. This is not true aspiration, but aspiration's evil twin, ambition. So, the Left's real uphill slog is going to be to frame the debate about social policy in an anti-competitive form.

    Bashing the .01% is always good fun, but, as many have remarked, and the recent failed Democrat Party campaigns have demonstrated, a positive goal is needed to really motivate and engage those of us "on the ground." As earlier remarked, a "Single Payer" healthcare campaign, framed as an "equality" measure would do the trick. There are doubtless many other issues that would lend themselves to a similar treatment. Meld these issues into a "Progressive United Front" campaign and we will begin to see some movement.

    In essence, as the earlier socialist and communist thinkers proclaimed, the ownership of the means of production are a good place to start. Given the unequal distribution of such ownership however, the next best thing would be the control of the distribution of the fruits of production; especially germaine with the rise of automation.

    It's time to make "We the People" great.

    DJG , March 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    ambrit: Agreed, again. And time for some poetry, too:

    Langston Hughes

    https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

    Note "equality" front and center in his prophetic vision.

    ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I also see the dream ahead of him, beckoning, beguiling, beatifying despite the false realities around him.
    Something to believe in will generally trump something to be fearful of, in the hearts of men.

    marym , March 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Great comment and resulting discussion.

    IMO there's not a practical electoral solution, in the sense of electing a bunch of candidates at multiple levels of government to unwind or replace all the laws, regulations/lack of regulations, court decisions, and algorithms that misgovern our lives and misappropriate our wealth.

    Building on your comment ambrit@5:29 and Ulysses@8:38:

    A – No more than 3 universal issues (Medicare for All; publicly funded tuition for post-secondary education, training, and apprenticeships; end the wars, for example). Medicare for All is part of the discussion now and should have a prominent place.

    B – Activism continues, as it must and will, in other areas: issues of survival (police violence, incarceration, homelessness and hunger; minimum wage ); support for activism across issues (Food not Bombs, ACLU and NLG, Light Brigades, local jail and bail support ); and forward-looking activism (local sustainable food and energy solutions, workplace and community coops ).

    C – Electoral politics that functions as the political arm of the movement for "A" and locally appropriate subsets of "B" issues. In practical term, this may need to be an insurgency in the Dem ranks, or more organized Greens, plus coordination with other "third" parties that have a presence and ballot access in some places.

    Then we work on ambrit's:

    "You watch my back, I'll show up at your demonstration"

    Adding: "We recruit candidates who understand your issues and have policy proposals to address them, you show up to vote".

    DJG , March 26, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    marym: Excellent comment.

    I can't find much on the Light Brigades. Who are they?

    And my issues at the universal level would be health care for all (with minimal fees and premiums), free education for all, an end to the endless wars, and, if I may have a fourth, expansion of Social Security with some big raises to recipients to give people a base income that they can retire on (or safely go into disability retirement). The money is there for all of these, but the political will consists of the likes of Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi.

    Yes: You watch my back, and I'll watch your back. But "back" is defined broadly–we are all in this together.

    Ancient 1 , March 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Good Comment. What bothers me is there is a lot of conversation about all our issues and proposed solutions, but I see no actions taking place. There are no leaders on the national level, other than Senator Sanders. We need a Socialist Huey Long with a big horn and perhaps a little action like, Act Up" to get things moving. There is going to be a revolt sooner or later. It will get to a point where ordinary people, especially our young, who will not take it anymore.

    PH , March 26, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Love Hudson, but no one is right about everything.

    He accepts as an article of faith that it would be easier to start a new party than win primaries in Dem party. Not clear at all.

    Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues, it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics.

    I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym. And what exactly is the Hudson platform to address debt or FIRE now? I understand the argument (as I understand it) that 2009 was an opportunity to use bankruptcy of Wall Street to break up economic olarchy and write down debt for homeowners. I agree. I am angry and frustrated by the lost opportunity. I also understand the sly reference to having to wait for the next crisis to get another chance. Why do we have to wait? This is Hudson's concession that there is no general understanding of the debt problem or support for Willy-Nilly support for dismantling Wall Street or existing debt relationships.

    I am convinced by Hudson that rising housing prices are a scam for loading debt on people and raising the burden of a rentier class. But most people who own houses are excited when you tell them housing prices are going up. What exactly should be our political message.

    Some districts have strong evangelical communities and find abortion to be the top issue year in andvyear out. Some evangelicals stuck with Trump in the hope of a Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion. How to Dems or a new Hudson party win in those districts?

    Politics is a fluid business. Forget coalition building (extremely tough), even finding a message for one voter (who may be of 2 or 3. Or 4 minds about the world, and change views daily, is tough.

    In my view, a Progressive majority must be put together piece by piece, place by place, from the ground up. Bernie articulated a place to start. The Schumer crowd own the Dems now, but it is a fragile hold. We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed.

    Carolinian , March 26, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Why do we have to wait?

    Because we have a political system–from the Fed to the Congress to the media–that is designed to keep current arrangements in place. Public complacency has allowed this to happen and now only another systemic breakdown is likely to force change on an entrenched elite and confused electorate. One might hope that the Democratic party would be the necessary force for reform but it's surely clear by now that its leadership intends to go down with the ship. Time for the rest of us to pile into the lifeboats (a third party). And even if one believes there is hope for the Dems, it's unlikely they will change without some serious threat to their power and that would be a viable third party. For much of the country's history there were lots of third parties and splinter movements which is what one would expect from such a diverse population. The duopoly is a very artificial arrangement.

    Sanders should never have taken this third party threat off the table and it is why the Dem leadership doesn't take him seriously. It's also a reason for some of the rest of us to question his seriousness. "Don't want to be the Nader" isn't the sort of call to arms that has one putting up the Che posters.

    Carolinian , March 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Did Bernie have a big impact? The mainstream media mostly ignore him and the Dems go out of their way to ignore him by running Perez. And didn't the Bernie endorsed primary challengers in the last cycle do poorly?

    You will only get the elites' attention by threatening their power, not their message. Obviously establishing a viable third party is extremely difficult which is why I agree with Hudson that it will take the next crisis to change things. Incrementalism has been shown not to work.

    FluffytheObeseCat , March 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Perez only got 235 votes; Sanders' candidate Ellison got 200. The Democratic Party establishment did not "ignore" Sanders by running Perez. They were semi-desperately trying to block him (and his cohort) from advancing on a low rung on the ladder to power.

    Primary challenges across the nation, in every city council and state assembly race. Again and again. Then on to the governorships and federal offices. This is the swiftest, least expensive and least damaging way to power for Sanders partisan. We could take over the party in under ten years if this tactic were widely deployed.

    barefoot charley , March 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Wikileaks made it plain what the Democrats do to mavericks who win races without a party bit in their mouths. The corruption is institutional, it is their operatives' identity. A successful third party will be very difficult to achieve, but is perhaps possible. A useful Democratic party is not possible until every careerist is unemployed–ie until their employers run out of money. That can't come about, as long as there are empowered Democrats and Republicans.

    Jeff W , March 26, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    FluffytheObeseCat

    Primary challenges across the nation, in every city council and state assembly race. Again and again. Then on to the governorships and federal offices. This is the swiftest, least expensive and least damaging way to power for Sanders partisan. We could take over the party in under ten years if this tactic were widely deployed.

    I agree with this statement.

    And it's happening: various groups (Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, and probably others) are planning primary challengers in just that way. And it's already happened at the local and district level in California. It's a different political environment than even just a few years ago and it will be even still more different when some (or, let's hope, many) of these candidates start winning.

    Norb , March 26, 2017 at 9:48 am

    The real problem is corporatism. The power to make decisions on public policy has been transferred from democratic government to corporations, run by oligarchs. Both political parties in the US are committed to this political arrangement. The thin veneer of democracy is used to check public dissatisfaction. In short order, even this facade will be deemed unnecessary and discarded. This consolidation of power was enabled by masking class consciousness. Worker aspirations mirror their corporate masters. Life consists of maximizing personal wealth in the form of money and possessions. Mass media provides the conduit to achieve this conditioning.

    Trying to rebuild the Democratic party form within is a waste of energy and time that most citizens don't have. If anything, the existing political establishment has perfected the techniques and tools needed to make dissent impotent. This is largely accomplished by perpetuating the myth that change can occur by working within the existing system, and then undermining effective policy that would focus on worker interests. The chumps get scraps.

    In the end, oligarchy is the cost that must be paid for our modern life of convenience and endless entertainment. Moving forward must be about rejection. Rejection of the current social and cultural order. A new party, a true workers party, is needed to restore equilibrium to the existing power imbalance. The mass of people who have dropped out of the workforce and electoral system are waiting for leadership to offer a better vision for the future. This vision is not forthcoming because the human imagination must turn outside the existing failed norms and seek new horizons removed from capitalist ideology. Political power follows or grows naturally from a social order, not the other way around. Imposed social orders are always unstable and need violence to maintain. A way of life determines the political possibilities. This is why those wanting change must always work outside the existing system, both mentally and physically.

    Just as crony capitalist ideology turned the notion of individual freedom on its head to justify the greatest inequality known to human societies, the remedy centers on the rejection of exploitive violence. It is based on preservation, regeneration, and a spiritual awareness that one must give back to the world and not only take from it. To my mind, coalitions built on these principles stretch across all social groups. Spending time, money, and energy building these networks and infrastructure will be productive and longer lasting. Strikes, boycotts, and dropping out of the existing system sends a much more powerful message to the oligarchs. They will respond with violence, but then their true nature is open for all to see, making it easier for others to reject their ideology.

    Capitalism was born of Feudalism. Individual rights superseding the rights of Kings. Nothing lasts forever. A post- capitalist world must be first envisioned and then articulated. Capitalism maintained the inequality and hierarchical use of violence of the previous system. This relationship forms most of the underlying root causes of intractable problems faced today. Egalitarianism provides a way and an alternative. Socialist ideas can be suppressed but never eradicated. Human social evolution points in this direction. Slavery will never return. The human spirt will not allow it.

    two beers , March 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Your note has a 1930s sound to me. Spain, maybe.

    What a cavalier and condescending dismissal. With an arrogant wave of the hand, history goes *poof*. And though you "agree" (how generous of you!) )with some of the symptoms Hudson identifies, you categorically deny what he identifies as the root systemic cause of those ills. Instead, a little modest, cautious, sensible, "piece by piece", "place by place" reform around the edges, and everything will work out just fine in its own time, because abortion.

    You are an exemplary and model Democrat, and Exhibit A why left politics will never emerge from within the Democrat Party.

    jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    although it may be an uphill climb now, striking and unionizing still sounds infinitely less pie in the sky and far more brass tacks and addressing some of the actual problems, than creating a 3rd party in the U.S.. If that is one's solution they have no right to criticize anyone on their proposals not being practical. At least striking has some history of actually working.

    Norb , March 26, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    It is the participation in our own destruction that I am trying to express and get my head around. Engagement by all means, but somehow the rules need to be changed.

    The amount of time, energy, and resources needed to engage in effective politics today is prohibitive to most citizens. What Hudson is saying is that the two party system in America is broken and the only way forward is to start anew. I would tend to agree. In my lifetime, the Democratic party has been reforming for close to 40 years now. That is a long time to be ineffectual concerning worker's interests. The long dissent of the American workforce is reaching critical mass and some radical thinking and action is needed.

    The left needs to develop some productive alternatives, which again Hudson points out. An egalitarian alternative needs to be articulated. Candidates running for office as socialists, espousing actual socialist ideals. Win or loose, speaking in public about socialist ideals can only help. Government sponsorship of small business and cooperatives over monopolistic corporations. Actually running and building sustainable communities. As was stated in comments, Sanders raised upwards of 240 million dollars during the last campaign. What is there to show for all that effort and resource depletion?

    An actual show of distain for the elite ruling class for their crass barbarism and masked cruelty is a start. Followed by actually building something of lasting value.

    FluffytheObeseCat , March 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    The "masses of people who have dropped out of the workforce" are old, overweight, have multiple physical deficits and are hooked on at least 2 types of prescription dope. They will not be manning your nostalgia-draped barricades. Not ever.

    jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    alrighty, everyone who can't get a job is overweight and a drug addict and unhealthy etc.. Get real. Old sometimes has something to do with it, just because companies do age discriminate in hiring.

    tegnost , March 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym.

    People are not a miniscule fraction as stupid as you think they are, and I will posit that this is one of, if not the main problem with democrat loyalists such as yourself.

    first you say this

    "Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues,"

    shorter, I realize democrats don't represent you, and that's too bad but you have no other option and PH doesn't want you to have another option.
    followed by

    " it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics."

    Is this unmoored jab at rural identity not a double negative that can be rephrased "it logically follows that voters think of themselves in terms of racism or religion or guns"? and isn't that just another way of saying people are stupid and you are not because you can hide your class and race bias behind a double negative, and people being stupider than you will never know it because clever, but clever ain't working anymore, and isn't likely to start working any time soon.

    You close with a call for incrementalism yeah that's worked really great for all of us in the hoi polloi, and you don't fail to mention abortion, the only democrat platform, and schumer et al's "fragile grip" is in reality an "iron law of institutions" grip and they and you are not going to let go.

    "We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed."

    so who is this "we" kemo sabe? I am in the veal pen. Come into the veal pen with me. We will be in the veal pen thanks but no thanks. I've had plenty of common sense discussions with my neighbors, and it's depressing as we all know none of those sensible policies will be enacted by the useless to the common citizen and enabler to the criminals on wall street democrat party, rotten to it's core.

    Paul Greenwood , March 26, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Федеральное агентство по управлению государственным имуществом (Росимущество) was what created Oligarchs under Yeltsin. It was headed by Chubais who helped make Khordorovsky and the rest of the Oligarchs incredibly rich. He then headed the 1996 Re-Election Campaign for Unpopular Yeltsin and bought victory and sold off State assets for nugatory worth.

    Khordorovsky was to deliver Yukos to Exxon and let US interests control Russia's natural resources. Berezhovsky needed a "roof" – he had Chechens protecting his outside interests but once Yeltsin's liver gave out the KGB Siloviki would put The Family on trial so he found Putin as a Lieut-Col. with a background in St Petersburg where Chubais had been active for Sobchak also. Putin was the "roof" to keep the KGB from executing the looters for treason.

    Like a new Tsar with Boyars, Putin had to find which were his "Oligarchs" and Berezhovsky turned his assets over to Abramovich who is Putin's man. Chubais now sits on CFR and JP Morgan Board for his good works.

    jackiebass , March 26, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Trump won on the slogan Make America Great. I live in upstate NY which is strong republican. These people thought the slogan meant great for them. That coupled with a bitter hate of Clinton made it easy for Trump to get their vote. A sad thing is that these voters are very uninformed and depend on what they know from corporate media especially FOX news. None of them know what Neoliberal means and that the root of their problems lie with neoliberal policies.

    When I tell them that Obama and Cuomo aren't really democrats but moderate republicans they think I'm out of my mind. I tend to look at thing objectively based on verifiable facts.Most of these voters look at issues in an emotional way. They will say Obamacare is bad and need to be repealed. When you ask them how it's bad the best they can come up with is it forces you to buy insurance and you can't keep your own doctor. I guess what I'm saying is that the average voter is too lazy to get informed and relies on the political propaganda fed to them.

    At 75 years old I don't see that the immediate future will change much. The only hope I see is in the young of our country. Unless someone or a movement can educate them about the evils that are destroying their future, democracy is dead. Because of how the economy is structured the economic future for most of the population is grim. They will not be able to afford to retire and will live in poverty. Perhaps this will wake them up. Unfortunately it will be too late for them.

    UserFriendly , March 26, 2017 at 8:03 am

    People are all sheep. No one thinks, they just vote based on emotions. I have never seen that more blatantly laid bare then in this one article.

    HOW HIGH-END STUDENT COMPLEXES CREATED THE MOST GOP PRECINCT IN LEON COUNTY

    Which ties in nicely with the slate star codex piece from yesterday.
    GUIDED BY THE BEAUTY OF OUR WEAPONS

    At best we can work at the margin on the handful of people that are capable of rational thought. Which is why nothing ever changes, appeals to emotion are always more potent than appeals to reason. There is no solution.

    John Wright , March 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I also agree that there is no solution, certainly not an evolutionary solution via EITHER of the two parties.

    The big changes in the USA occurred during the Great Depression as financial reform was introduced, the idea of government infrastructure could provide employment and what I believe is little mentioned, an increased awareness on the part of many that their success was not achieved solely by their own efforts.

    Many of the USA's post war corporate executives should have remembered that their families struggled during the thirties, and this may have made them more connected with their employees and communities.

    Now we have a government of the internally connected top 10%, with the bottom 90% detached and watching from outside.

    And CEO's and the executive class have loyalty only to their company's stock price.

    The recent rehabilitation of serial screw-up George W. Bush and attempted elevation of serial screw-up Hillary Clinton is direct evidence that the political class does not care how much harm they do to the "deplorable" voters they appeal to every 2/4/6 years.

    With the money sloshing around DC and the media control of content, how does one replace the leadership of both parties with more progressive people in any reasonable time frame?

    Per Mark Blyth, Global Trumpism is the current response, but what will this morph into after Global Trumpism hangover manifests?.

    sundayafternoon , March 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I think although it may seem that only a small percent of the population is capable of rational thought I think this is actually not the case and its more productive (and optomistic) to think of this issue in terms of a behaviour rather than a fixed capability, like how some ancient Greek philosophers thought about moral behaviour or how some modern phychologists think about psychopathy. Almost everyone is capable of rational thought (or moral or psychopathitic behaviour) but its how often or more precisly in what situations an individual decides to engage in or deploy rational thought.

    jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Capable of rational thought really doesn't do much good for all the things one has no exposure to. Ok in this case they may have little real understanding of say leftists ideas. And I really think they don't. That may not be the case for the political junkies here for political ideas, but we all have our areas of things (not politics) we may have a similar stupidity about.

    Katharine , March 26, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Sorry, but I think that's way too disrespectful of other people and not realistic. All, save those with extreme mental disabilities, are capable of some degree of rational thought. That doesn't mean they can be quickly or easily convinced, but they will be more amenable to persuasion if you approach them as equals and open your mind to their reality in order to find the right terms with which to present your ideas. Bernie has shown himself to be very good at that, as are all good teachers. Those who insist on framing everything in their own terms without adapting their communication to another's experience will always get blank stares.

    knowbuddhau , March 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Well said, Katharine.

    Dehumanizing ("people are sheep") and dismissing our neighbors as incapable of rational (good?) thinking will get us nowhere. Like I've said, the propaganda is working when we're dividing and conquering ourselves. That horrid little word often seen in this context, "sheeple," is just another word for "deplorables."

    People are not sheep. We've been psyop'd senseless. "Public relations" began around the turn of the 20th century. It was ramped up by orders of magnitude after WWII.

    Gore Vidal quotes JFK as saying to him, we've entered an era in which "it is the *appearance of things that matters" (emphasis original in the TRNN video, The National Security State with Gore Vidal ). Psychology and other social sciences have been weaponized and turned against us. With a facile understanding of the human mind (as if it were nothing but a mere mechanism), immense effort has gone into controlling the inputs in order to control the outputs (behavior).

    From How US Flooded the World with Psyops

    Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.

    Today, "public opinion" is a Frankenstein's monster. Most of my fellow Americans believe in a world that never existed and doesn't exist right now. We can't even agree on what happened to JFK, or MLK, or what happened on 9/11/01.

    Contra UF, it's not that people are incapable of rational thought; rather, the information we have is hopelessly corrupted. People are acting rationally, but the numerators and denominators have been faked. On purpose. Or did the Russians really do it?

    Once again, TPTB thought they had found a magic method of machining people into permanent compliance. But they neglected the fact that relying on psyops drives people crazy. You just can't keep rejecting real reality and substituting a manufactured Narrative (looking at you, NYT) forever.

    ISTM we're acting without sufficient contact with reality. The effort to control the population, the better to exploit us, has driven many of us mad. Neglecting the century or so of effort that's gone into manufacturing consent leads to blaming the victims.

    Propagandists and PSYOPeratives have put out the people's eyes, and you berate them for their blindness?

    sundayafternoon , March 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    While I would absolutely agree with everything you've just said and believe the facts you've cited are the main reason for the bleak outlook for our species, how the myriad of lies fed to the population is received is a more complex process than just plain deception. People are incredibly complex and operate on a number of levels simultaneously. For instance the notion that universal health care or a strong union would be personally beneficial, or that the banking system is corrupt and that all the wars since 1945 have been unnecessary must be known to anyone with functioning eyes and ears on a relatively conscious level, but the majority have chosen to effectively overlook this reality I believe for reasons that ultimately feed in to human predispositions for conformity. It's ironic that our evolutionary highly successful nature of collectivism is now working against us as a species and leading to a destructive subservience that is almost sadomasochistic. If the population were to be unequivocally presented with reality I doubt many would tolerate the state we have now but conversely this would mean that the elite in our society had sanctioned truthfulness, so we would not really be going against the wishes of the powerful. Basically the fact that the powerful in our society have presented us with lies means lies are what they want us to believe, so dutifully most will oblige, however obviously at odds with reality those lies are.

    Why such an overwhelming percent of the population do not vote in their own economic interest is because political affiliations seem to be a complex expression of self-identity, something which includes attitudes, social prejudices and 'beliefs' that are dependent on complex emotional interactions between internal and external events, and can include for instance a desire for status within your tribe, family loyalty, even sadistic impulses. I;m probably wrong about most of this but part of me cant help feeling some of the victims share a little of the blame

    knowbuddhau , March 26, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    >> For instance the notion that universal health care or a strong union would be personally beneficial, or that the banking system is corrupt and that all the wars since 1945 have been unnecessary must be known to anyone with functioning eyes and ears on a relatively conscious level, but the majority have chosen to effectively overlook this reality I believe for reasons that ultimately feed in to human predispositions for conformity.

    You're projecting your knowledge and views, and then blaming people who don't see things your way. A majority supports single payer, yes, but the rest is wishful thinking.

    If you read Zinn's A People's History of the US, you'll see that even WWII was a manufactured war. I'm willing to bet a majority still thinks we were attacked out of the blue on Pearl Harbor Day, despite FDR's plan to provoke Japan. Or that incinerating Nagasaki and Hiroshima ended the war and saved tens of thousands of US lives. There was an almost perfectly complete news blackout on the aftermath specifically so that opposition to the bombings couldn't form. There are endless examples like this.

    We're not told what we need to know to govern ourselves. What we are told amounts to propaganda, sometimes explicitly so.

    Yes, a lot of people have drunk the koolaid, some with gusto. Who's pouring it? You can blame the victims all you like. I blame the people who've deliberately set out to deceive us.

    What our deluded brothers and sisters need is our compassion. It's hard to have compassion for someone trying to run you over for exercising your rights (been there, done that), but no one ever said it would be easy.

    Kokuanani , March 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

    The only hope I see is in the young of our country.

    I think Trump, the Repubs and most of the Dems see that too. That's why they've promoted DeVos, Arnie Duncan, and all the other advocates of "charter schools," strangled public education, and attacked teachers.

    UserFriendly , March 26, 2017 at 8:05 am

    and decided college was a great opportunity to make debt slaves ...

    Deadl E Cheese , March 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The problem with this approach is that all this does is kill off liberal cosmopolitanism, not Marxism. Marxism doesn't need a widespread secondarily-educated population to spread. And it definitely does not need liberal cosmopolitanism as a stepping stone; quite the opposite, really. Just in the US, when the wobblies and Black Panthers started turning red, how many of their rank and file went to college or even finished high school?

    Considering that the elites are using liberal cosmopolitanism to strangle Marxism (class-only Marxists want to throw women and nonwhites under the bus to get their single-payer and you, the woke liberal identitarian, must support capitalism to protect the marginalized), this strategy is not only pointless but it's also self-defeating.

    NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 9:35 am

    It's far more simpler. Charter schools are about following the money. Public schools have seemingly huge revenue streams. Why can't GE get a cut is the thought process? For profit Healthcare was forbidden until 1973 (thanks to Teddy), why not public schools?

    NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 11:45 am

    The HMO Act of 1973 (thanks Teddy and Tricky Dick; bipartisanship at its finest) made it easier to start and run HMOs which faced regulatory hurdles mostly due to financing. Non profits had an easier time of it hence Hospitals named "St X" or "X General." Since the hospital were non profits and employers made deals with the hospitals, health insurance was effectively non-profit. There were gaps, mostly in rural areas. Other changes from the HMO Act of 1973 encouraged profit seeking from denial of coverage to pushing unnecessary procedures or prescriptions.

    There is a noticeable correlation between this act and the explosion of Healthcare costs. The Miller Center had a series on Nixon expressing doubts to the Kaiser about HMOs. The arguments played out just like charter schools today.

    philnc , March 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I recall hearing the tape of a conversation among Nixon and his aides regarding HMOs. The audio, like most of the Johnson & Nixon tapes, was poor, but what did come through was Nixon's support for Kaiser's business model, summed up by Erlichman as, "the less care they give them, the more money they make."

    https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/educational-resources/all-the-incentives-are-toward-less-medical-care

    Huey Long , March 26, 2017 at 11:49 am

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Maintenance_Organization_Act_of_1973

    Disturbed Voter , March 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

    The US Left has been controlled opposition since 1950. There was never a chance it could provide a reasonable and effective alternative. FBI/CIA moles make sure they never will. The Democrats have never been true Left FDR didn't really betray his class, he saved them from their own stupidity.

    Randall Stephens , March 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

    "As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'."

    OK, that made me laugh out loud.

    Arizona Slim , March 26, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I seem to recall that the identity politics of yore were lacking in solidarity. The antiwar protestors, some of whom were hippies, were beaten up by working class union members. Remember the hard hat riots? And the African American leadership of the Civil Rights era? Well, they were from the black churches​, and they thought that the hippies were uncouth.

    Deadl E Cheese , March 26, 2017 at 10:13 am

    The identity politics of today lack in solidarity, too. What with Hillary Clinton running the most ageist campaign in memory, Obama breaking the record on deportations, Bill Clinton blowing racist dogwhistles as hard he can and also helping to shepherd a police state that puts Thailand to shame, and the whole of the Democratic Party stoking Russophobia and neoconservative.

    A cynic might say that liberal identity politics (as opposed to post-Frankfurt/Focault Marxist identity politics) was intentionally designed to do these things both in the 60-70s and now.

    And I am that cynic.

    Kukulkan , March 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I don't see how antiwar protestors qualify as identity politics, since the group is defined by a policy concern, not by some quasi-biological tag. Same with working class union members; policy and economic interests, not tags.

    I'd say the same about the African American leadership of the Civil Rights era, even though they did generally share the tag of being "black". They focused on a policy goal and welcomed those who didn't share the tag to participate in the struggle.

    Identity politics are not the same thing as left-wing or progressive or liberal (or whatever you want to call it) politics. In very real sense, Identity politics are a form of anti-politics since they don't address interests, policy or allow any form of accommodation or reconciliation of different points of view.

    Identity politics is about tags. Non-identity politics is about interests and policies.

    Kukulkan , March 26, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    But the focus is on the policy issues. The campaign for gay marriage was about getting gay marriage, not about being gay. And anyone who supported gay marriage was a part of that campaign - gay, straight, black, white, male, female; all the tags. It may have started with those who were gay, but it wasn't exclusive to the tag.

    By contrast, Hillary's campaign was just about the tags. Not doing anything for those with the tags, or changing any policies, no matter how they affected various tags, or even addressing any issues that are important to one or more of the tags, just acknowledging the tags and verbally supporting pride in them. That's why even a bunch of people possessing the tags didn't support her: there was nothing there for them, or, indeed, anyone else outside the financial and imperial elite.

    NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Abernathy and King were from black churches. The rest of the leadership came from the street or universities. King's lament about the "white moderate" was code for the "black church." Ministers were glorified house slaves and liked the big houses. Jim Crow worked for black ministers. If better of blacks moved to white neighborhoods and more importantly white churches, who would put money in the collection plate?

    With the exception of Jackson when he showed up (he was young), those young black men who were always around King were Communists and atheists. They didn't broadcast it for obvious reasons, but a guy like Malcolm X was skeptical of King for real reasons.

    Jackson was important because he forced the black churches to get with the program. If there was a minister successor to King, the congregants might ask questions about their own ministers.

    The black church hated hippies, but the real civil rights leadership didn't.

    SumiDreamer , March 26, 2017 at 10:10 am

    The diagnosis is mostly correct. But omits the role class bigotry and affluenza with attendant celebrity culture and pursuit of prestige plays. Thus the prognosis and protocol go astray.

    The wealthy and the politicians don't care about you/us. They care about maintaining any fiction that allows them to keep acquiring. Trump is not the problem; Mercer"s values are The Problem. Trump is the PERFECT reality TV/celebrity fantasy creature to keep the twisted Mercer chariot's wheels turning.

    Bernie was NOT The Answer. Putting on a mask of concern does not take away the sorrows of empire. As long as the blatant US militarism and imperialism continues we cannot unite the working class. Everything it needs to flourish continues - mass incarceration, join the military or stay in the ghetto, graft and corruption of military/industrial/media complex, no respect for other cultures being swarmed, consumerism.

    Bernie picked up Occupy"s talking points (good plagarist!) but left the hurdle of recognizing plutocracy the same as Occupy did. Plutocracy is democratic as well it just usnt!

    What is there to show for 200 million in donations to overcome the Third Way? A new minuet with the crushing DemocRATic "party".

    The war has come home. First step is to admit it. Consistency in VALUES is the left"s primary directive. There needs to be funerals for both parties not more illusion.

    The tax break "fight" will be hilarious. Another example of how our rulers cannot solve a single problem .

    The jobs plan: more prison guards, border agents, munitions makers, soldiers, cops, various bodyguards for the rich and the other useful mandarins to the affluenza-stricken is set in stone.

    You cannot heal a chronic disease without seeing the entirety of its degenerative properties. We're fighting a nasty virus.

    Mac na Michomhairle , March 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Bernie did not plagiarize Occupy. He had been saying the same things in Vermont for 25 years, but saying them in ways that lots of very various people connected with.

    20 years ago, Bernie lawn signs used to be run over by irate people who knew he was a no-good dirty Socialist. But because he has consistently framed issues in terms of ordinary people's lives and because he has always been absolutely honest and forthright, most of those people who flattened the signs now like and respect him and vote for him. They also pay attention to issues that only no-good dirty Socialists do in most other states.

    Denis Drew , March 26, 2017 at 10:20 am

    "a revived protection of labor's right to unionize"

    Do this and everything else will follow - don't do this and nothing will ever follow.

    "It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims."

    Don't depend on right or left parties. Depend on yourselves: rebuild American union density (6% unions in private economy analogous to 20/10 BP - starves every other healthy process). Both parties will come begging to your door.

    Here's how to "do this":

    [snip]
    80 years ago Congress forgot to put criminal enforcement in the NLRA(a). Had union busting been a felony all along we would be like Germany today. Maybe at some point our progressives might note that collective bargaining is the T-Rex in the room - or the missing T-Rex .

    The money is there for $20 jobs. 49 years - and half the per capita income ago - the fed min wage was $11. Since then the bottom 45% went from 20% overall income share to 10% - while the top 1% went from 10% to 20%.

    How to get it - how to get collective bargaining set up? States can make union busting a felony without worrying about so-called federal preemption:

    + a state law sanctioning wholesalers, for instance, using market power to block small retail establishments from combining their bargaining power could be the same one that makes union busting a felony - overlap like min wage laws - especially since on crim penalties the fed has left nothing to overlap since 1935;

    + First Amendment right to collectively bargain cannot be forced by the fed down (the current) impassable road. Double ditto for FedEx employees who have to hurdle the whole-nation-at-once certification election barrier;

    + for contrast, examples of state infringement on federal preemption might be a state finding of union busting leading to a mandate for an election under the fed setup - or any state certification setup for labor already covered by NLRA(a) or RLA(a). (Okay for excluded farm workers.)
    [snip]

    PhilipL , March 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Michael Hudson makes great points but I am still wrestling with his (and others) push back against so-called identity politics as it pertains to this perception of it splintering or at least limiting the Democratic party. The Dems are most certainly a party committed to the ideals of neoliberalism and corporatism. They did not lose this election based on "Russian hacking/emails" and other trite nonsense.

    Nor did they lose it by appealing to so-called identity politics or tribalism. If the Left is going to move forward effectively it can't pretend we are merely having class and by extension economic arguments. Race is the thru line and has consistently been since the countries inception. Many things cited i.e. the New Deal, pro-Union policy, etc are standard bearers on the Left but have also been rife with racist treatment of potential Black and Latino allies. Why would that be ignored if we are only having conversations of class? Class does not explain redlining which has economic and social implications.

    Access to universal healthcare is great and should be a goal but what does one do when the practice of medicine is still effected by race based/racial administration –> https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/10/black-patients-bias-prescriptions-pain-management-medicine-opioids

    Acces to higher education and supposedly higher paying job with more opportunities is also great but that access is still shielded by exclusion that again is race based –> https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/african-americans-with-college-degrees-are-twice-as-likely-to-be-unemployed-as-other-graduates/430971/

    These are complex issues, but they are not as class focused (solely) as many on the Left would like to believe. Our failure to speak honestly and openly about it and critique capitalism and its most malevolent (and seductive form neoliberalism) as being tied to the practice and idea of white supremacy is why we ultimately will find it more and more challenging to wage a successful countermovement against it.

    Scylla , March 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Wow. Ok, so since racial bias was written into past economic policy that was intended to address class issues, addressing class based inequality should just be abandoned?

    How about just demanding policy that addresses class based inequality simply be written without the racial bias? Why is this so difficult to get into the minds of liberals? This is not that hard.

    Jason Boxman , March 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

    The refusal to recognize is a nice idea. I've often thought of late that Democrats, or at least the Left, should refuse to recognize Trump's horrible cabinet appointments, even if the delegitimizing effect is minimal. Just referring to these people at citizen or whatever rather than secretary would be some small repudiation, at least.

    Mel , March 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    There's a very long and comprehensive musing on politics and public dialog at slatestarcodex. My takeaway: if your dialog is weaponized, if you consider your mission to be "How do I force these people to admit that I'm right?" then you'll keep seeing the same results we see now.

    Tim , March 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Been saying #TrumpIsObamaLegacy since early morning in November. Yves was WAAAAY ahead of the curve back in late 08 calling that out. The Obama part of maintaining the looting of society status quo.

    juliania , March 26, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    The point about Trump being the US Yeltsin is one very much worth considering, if only because Russia, after much degradation and also suffering, has managed to begin to overcome those shameful and depressing times. May we do so also.

    Blue Pilgrim , March 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Actually, his latest book is J is For Junk Economics
    http://michael-hudson.com/2017/02/j-is-for-junk-economics-a-guide-to-reality-in-an-age-of-deception/

    John k , March 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Great summary, forwarding to friends.
    As commented above, progressive candidates that Bernie backed did not do well. Neolib always willing to boost funding for any candidate of any party if primary challenged by a progressive. Takeover of state party machinery e.g. Ca did have some success, but pretty slow.

    Third party seems both the only way and imo more doable than many think unlike in the past, electorate is now desperate for real change. Third party impossible until probable. IMO we are now at just such a point.

    But neolib will fight tooth and nail to keep a progressive party off the ballot....

    Vatch , March 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    progressive candidates that Bernie backed did not do well.

    I'm not so sure about that. Here's the list of candidates backed by Our Revolution (not precisely the same as Sanders, but close). I didn't bother to do an exact count, but it appears that the winners exceed the losers by about 6 to 5.

    https://ourrevolution.com/election-2016/

    The Republicans control a majority of the state legislatures, governorships, and both houses of Congress. Compared to the establishment Democratic Party as a whole, the Sanders people in Our Revolution are doing pretty well. A new party isn't required; we just need some new people in charge of the Democratic Party. Heck, a lot of the same people could remain in charge, so long as they change their attitudes and stop obeying Wall Street and the billionaires.

    Temporarily Sane , March 26, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Excellent piece. Americans have forgotten that the things they took for granted (40 hour week, humane working conditions, employer provided benefits etc.) were gained by the blood, sweat and tears of their forebears.

    Today, as the attack on what's left of employee protections and benefits is ramped up, people are alienated from one another and encouraged to channel their despair and anger into blaming scapegoats or invest their energy stoking paranoid delusions about the illuminati and Russian agents. If that gets boring there's always alcohol and heroin to take the edge off.

    The left has a momentous job – it has to convince people to give a shit and think of their fate as intertwined with others in a similar position. After decades of neoliberal economics empathy and giving a shit are associated with weakness and losers in many people's minds. Nobody wants to give a shit about anyone outside their preferred identity group or groups but everyone wants, demands , others give a shit about them.

    It's almost comical how self-defeating and illogical people can be.

    Gman , March 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Almost.

    My belief is that Trump (and his kin) is likely the 'apotheosis' of neoliberalism or, as is far less likely, he (or they) might pleasantly surprise us.

    Like Brexit in the UK, I for one, hopefully not mistakenly, mark this anti establishment ascendency as the beginning of the end of neoliberal economics rather than a further ringing endorsement ie I fully accept things may have to get worse before they get better.

    People mostly vote to maintain a status quo they believe serves or may serve their interests in the future or, increasingly in the case of ever plausible (to the trusting and naïve) neoliberalism, out of misplaced hope, desperation, exasperation or understandable fear of the unknown.

    The Clintons, the Obamas, the Blairs, possibly the Macrons, the Ruttes, even the Merkels of this world are wolves in sheep's clothing. They have come to represent, for increasing numbers, little better than managed decline in apparently safe hands, conducted in plain sight, in the ever narrower interests of the few.

    Unfortunately events are conspiring to demand the once virtuous, now vicious, circle be broken by fair means or foul.

    habenicht , March 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.

    I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Its encouraging to know that minds like Hudson's are thinking in these terms.

    Kirk , March 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Regarding the subject line of the article. I'd say that the Democratic Party has been the "paid loyal opposition" for quite a while. . . meaning they are paid to loose. Given the party's ties to Wall Street and Big Pharma it's pretty clear they mostly work for the same folks that own "mainstream" Republicans so their apparent fecklessness and inability to mount ANY sort of effective opposition, even when they are in the majority, shouldn't be any surprise.

    The question might more appropriately be can EITHER party survive Trump? Frankly, one can only HOPE that the current version of the Democratic Party DOES go the way of the Whig Party. I can only hope that the Republicans stay as gridlocked as they currently are by the stupid faction of their party.

    [Mar 26, 2017] They are an American Taliban: I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

    Notable quotes:
    "... The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple. ..."
    "... They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way. ..."
    "... Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects. ..."
    "... US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending. ..."
    "... The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights. ..."
    "... The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media... ..."
    Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    reason , March 25, 2017 at 03:01 PM
    I just read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/25/why-republicans-were-in-such-a-hurry-on-health-care/?utm_term=.590e103e2761

    I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

    reason -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 03:03 PM
    By mad - I mean angry. And at the Republican party more than Trump.
    libezkova -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 05:10 PM
    I like the following comment:

    Farang Chiang Mai, 7:39 PM EDT

    The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple.

    I would love to see this lying, cheating, selfish, crazy devil (yeah, I know I sound a bit OTT but the description is fact based) of a president and his enablers challenged on their Christian values.

    They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way.

    libezkova -> libezkova... , March 25, 2017 at 05:31 PM
    An interesting question arise:

    Are the people who consider our current rulers to be "American Taliban" inclined to become "leakers" of government activities against the citizens, because they definitely stop to consider the country as their own and view it as occupied by dangerous and violent religious cult?

    Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects.

    ilsm -> libezkova... March 26, 2017 at 05:42 AM

    I see the angst over Sessions talking to a Russia diplomat twice as a red herring.

    US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending.

    The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights.

    The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media.....

    [Mar 26, 2017] The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their way of life and standards of living is not new

    Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova , March 26, 2017 at 04:03 PM
    Trump victory was almost 30 years in the making, and I think all presidents starting from Carter contributed to it.

    Even if Hillary became president this time, that would be just one term postponement on the inevitable outcome of neoliberal domination for the last 30 years.

    I think anybody with dictatorial inclinations and promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC now has serious changes on victory in the US Presidential elections. So after Trump I, we might see Trump II.

    So it people find that Trump betrays his election promised they will turn to democratic Party. They will turn father right, to some Trump II.

    Due to economic instability and loss of jobs, people are ready to trade (fake) two party "democracy" (which ensures the rule of financial oligarchy by forcing to select between two equally unpalatable candidates) that we have for economic security, even if the latter means the slide to the dictatorship.

    That's very sad, but I think this is a valid observation. What we experience is a new variation of the theme first played in 1930th, after the crash of 1928.

    The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their "way of life" and standards of living is not new. In 1930th the US ruling class proved to be ready to accept the New Deal as the alternative. In Germany it was not.

    Please read

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

    to understand that.

    Now the neoliberal oligarchy wants to go off the cliff with all of us, as long as they can cling to their power.

    [Mar 26, 2017] Our constitutional dollar democracy with its gerrymandering, limitless congressional revolving doors, SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate, and first past the post voting provides loads of punch lines, not the least of which is the de facto two party system itself. Two competitors is merely duopoly

    Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 07:09 AM
    There is more than one joke. Our constitutional dollar democracy with its gerrymandering, limitless congressional revolving doors, SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate, and first past the post voting provides loads of punch lines, not the least of which is the de facto two party system itself. Two competitors is merely duopoly. It takes a minimum of three viable choices to have any returns from competition that are significant to the consumers' preferences. Two competitors merely play off each other in predictable and increasingly ossified patterns.
    New Deal democrat -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:17 AM
    One very big quibble: >>SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate<<

    As bad as the SCOTUS can be, it would be unimaginably worse if it were subject to elections.

    The big problem is that the Founders did not imagine life expectancies into the 80s. Throughout the 19th Century, the median time on the bench was about 14 years, and about 1/3 of all Justices served less than 10 years -- they got sick or died. Now the median time on the bench is 25 years, which is totally unacceptable.

    If SCOTUS terms were set at 18 years, with a new Justice appointed every 2 years, independence would be preserved without the imposition of the "dead hands." Emeritus Justices could continue to serve on the appellate courts, and provisions would have to be made for deaths or retirements during the 18 year terms, but you get the idea.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 07:36 AM
    I did not mean elections. One of my favorite planks of the 1912 Bull Moose Party was the right for popular petition and referendum to overturn an unpopular SCOTUS decision. Roe V. Wade could not be overturned by referendum (which some fear but votes are measured by heat count rather than audible volume). Citizen United would be overturned by referendum. I trust democracy more than most, but still I don't get silly about it.

    OTOH, SCOTUS term limits are also a good idea.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:38 AM
    "...heat count..."

    [No, HEAD count. If votes were measured by heat count then Bernie Sanders would be POTUS now.]

    [Mar 25, 2017] Our constitutional dollar democracy with its gerrymandering, limitless congressional revolving doors, SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate, and first past the post voting provides loads of punch lines, not the least of which is the de facto two party system itself. Two competitors is merely duopoly

    Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 07:09 AM
    There is more than one joke. Our constitutional dollar democracy with its gerrymandering, limitless congressional revolving doors, SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate, and first past the post voting provides loads of punch lines, not the least of which is the de facto two party system itself. Two competitors is merely duopoly. It takes a minimum of three viable choices to have any returns from competition that are significant to the consumers' preferences. Two competitors merely play off each other in predictable and increasingly ossified patterns.
    New Deal democrat -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:17 AM
    One very big quibble: >>SCOTUS unanswerable to the electorate<<

    As bad as the SCOTUS can be, it would be unimaginably worse if it were subject to elections.

    The big problem is that the Founders did not imagine life expectancies into the 80s. Throughout the 19th Century, the median time on the bench was about 14 years, and about 1/3 of all Justices served less than 10 years -- they got sick or died. Now the median time on the bench is 25 years, which is totally unacceptable.

    If SCOTUS terms were set at 18 years, with a new Justice appointed every 2 years, independence would be preserved without the imposition of the "dead hands." Emeritus Justices could continue to serve on the appellate courts, and provisions would have to be made for deaths or retirements during the 18 year terms, but you get the idea.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 07:36 AM
    I did not mean elections. One of my favorite planks of the 1912 Bull Moose Party was the right for popular petition and referendum to overturn an unpopular SCOTUS decision. Roe V. Wade could not be overturned by referendum (which some fear but votes are measured by heat count rather than audible volume). Citizen United would be overturned by referendum. I trust democracy more than most, but still I don't get silly about it.

    OTOH, SCOTUS term limits are also a good idea.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:38 AM
    "...heat count..."

    [No, HEAD count. If votes were measured by heat count then Bernie Sanders would be POTUS now.]

    Paine -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 07:58 AM
    New deal (D)emocrat

    Is not a democrat

    Or at least it would seem
    NdD is no small d democrat

    The court system we inherited is like many institutions
    Ormed in our ante bellum era
    an artifact of slave power

    Paine -> Paine... , March 25, 2017 at 08:01 AM
    Post bellum
    The emerging big corporate power
    found this arrangement congenial to its interests

    The one challenge time ?


    The new deal


    The very era our sincere progressive liberal
    NdD likes to impersonate at lawn parties

    Paine -> Paine... , March 25, 2017 at 08:02 AM
    The FED as drafted and redrafted
    Is the supreme wanna be
    mulp -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 08:18 AM
    Yeah, Republicans should have appointed more of the judges.
    New Deal democrat -> mulp... , March 25, 2017 at 09:56 AM
    Democrats have held power for 10 of the last 18 years which would mean 5 of the current Justices would have been appointed by DSL.

    [Insert snide remark about math abilities here.]

    New Deal democrat -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 09:59 AM
    Further, since 1968 (that's almost a half century ago, Dems have appointed exactly 5 Justices in total.

    Under my system they would have appointed 10.

    ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:06 AM
    cnn resembles deep red tea party fox news.....

    and the run of the mill dems should fit their tri-corn hats

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 09:37 AM
    I will take your word for it. We don't watch either CNN nor Fox News at my house. Mostly we watch local (same news and weather crew here appears on each the WWBT/WRLH local NBC/Fox affiliates) news with some sampling of MSNBC and Sunday morning ABC and CBS shows along with the daily half hour of NBC network following the evening local. Cable news is sort of an oxymoron given the prevailing editorial slants. The now retired local TV news anchor Gene Cox laid the groundwork for the best news team in central VA by setting a high bar at his station. Gene laid it all out southern fried with satirical humor and honesty unusual in TV news.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:38 AM
    Maybe more sarcasm than satire, but the point is the same - wit and honesty.
    JohnH -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:52 AM
    Apparently we have two jokes alternating to lead America: the Republican jokes vs. the Democratic jokes.

    Democrats are a joke for rallying their elite around a candidate who had huge negatives and for trying to block more popular candidates from running.

    Democrats are a joke for having to rig the primaries in favor of a candidate who had already lost in 2008.

    Democrats are a joke for refusing to sack a sclerotic, corrupt, and inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections.

    Democrats are a joke for refusing to seize the issue that had propelled two Democrats into office--it's the economy, stupid!

    Democrats are a joke for pigheadedly refusing to do a post mortem of their failure and insisting on blaming Putin instead!

    But Democrats are right to expect that, when two jokes vie for power, their turn as joke in power will eventually come.

    mulp -> JohnH... , March 25, 2017 at 08:29 AM
    Ok, so, who do you want a post mortum to produce as the Democratic Trump?

    Who would be the Democratic Freedom caucus obstructing all change unless all private property is confiscated?

    You are merely saying Democrats must be more like Republicans. More extreme.

    Democrats are centrists and moderates and thus unable to promise silver bullet solutions, free lunches, ...

    Democrats just can't lie like Republicans have increasingly done since Reagan promised free lunches and failed to deliver, causing increasing anger among those Reagan betrayed.

    JohnH -> mulp... , March 25, 2017 at 09:01 AM
    Maybe a post mortem would simply reveal that Democrats should have had a coherent economic message and pursued a strategy of standing up for working America for the past 8 years. For example, having Pelosi demand votes on increasing the minimum wage as often as Ryan demanded votes on killing Obamacare...

    Any honest post mortem would have revealed that standing with billionaires and the Wall Street banking cartel--and not prosecuting a single Wall Street banker--is not a winning strategy...

    jonny bakho -> JohnH... , March 25, 2017 at 10:53 AM
    Do you understand how Congress Works?
    Pelosi has not had power to demand any votes since 2010.
    As soon as the Dems came to power in 2007, they raised the MinWage and Bush signed.
    There were several yearly increases.
    You are repeating GOP nonsense
    JohnH -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
    Do you understand how Congress works? Pelosi could have proposed legislation in 2009-2010 to increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation. With a filibuster proof majority in the Senate it could have passed.

    The Senate could have repeatedly proposed increasing the minimum wage any time until 2015...and Democrats could have attempted to attach minimum wage legislation as a budget rider any time they wanted. They didn't.

    Chris G -> JohnH... , March 25, 2017 at 12:33 PM
    That Pelosi did not resign immediately following the 2016 election or, not having offered her resignation, that Congressional Democrats did not demand it is an indication that the party still has deep-rooted problems. (Pelosi may not be the cause of those problems but given how badly they've fared since 2010 she's clearly not the solution. She has no business remaining as minority leader.) I'm fine with Perez as DNC chair but Ellison should be minority leader.

    Lee A. Arnold : , March 25, 2017 at 04:48 AM
    "Medicare for all" may be the best battle cry. 65-70% of the U.S. people want a single-payer. Bernie Sanders has effectively destroyed the old Democratic Party and sits in a commanding position as spokesman, he gets 6 TV cameras with an hour's notice and he is probably the most popular politician in the U.S. The Democrats don't have to push it for now, they can wait for news to develop. This is all on the Republicans. Let the managerial disaster of Trump and the utter immorality of the "Freedom Caucus" sink in a little more, this story has "legs" as they say in show biz.
    jonny bakho -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:04 AM
    David Frum, the excommunicated conservative wrote in 2010:
    ""The real leaders are on TV and radio"

    Bernie Sanders is the Dems TV leader.
    Simple ideas repeated endlessly, easy to memorize slogans
    Knows how to manipulate emotions
    In the Twitter Age, this is how all successful politicians must message

    Chris G -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 06:29 AM
    It doesn't hurt that his ideas are good ones;-)

    Simple slogans repeated often isn't a new approach to politics. It goes back well over a century. "Keep it simple and take credit." Liberals haven't been very good at that in recent decades. (In contrast, FDR was.) Most people aren't wonks nor do they desire to become one. Messaging which presumes that they are or do is not a recipe for success.

    Chris G -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 06:31 AM
    Jack Meserve, Keep It Simple and Take Credit - http://democracyjournal.org/arguments/keep-it-simple-and-take-credit/
    jonny bakho -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:09 AM
    Sanders has not "destroyed" the old Democratic Party.
    He is a better TV messenger and ambassador to the public
    He plays the Paternalistic Grandfather who does not trigger culture shock among white voters on TV
    Lee A. Arnold -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 05:59 AM
    More like the cranky uncle, whom you had better listen to. Bernie Sanders is currently the most popular politician in the United States, by a long shot:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/325647-stunning-polls-show-sanders-soaring-while-trumpcare

    Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 08:24 AM
    you minimize how well he did in the primary as do all of you dishonest center-left types
    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , March 25, 2017 at 08:31 AM
    Sanders won New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Rhode Island, Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota.

    *and he was close in many states like losing Massachusetts 606k to 589k. And the entire second half of the primary the DNC was repeating how Hillary had won mathematically over and over even though people hadn't voted.

    DeDude -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 08:38 AM
    "Sanders has not "destroyed" the old Democratic Party"

    No he is not stupid. What he has done is moving the Overton window - something that was long overdue. There is definitely an opening to make ObamaCare the first step towards MediCare for all (as it always was intended by by all but the bluedogs). But as good as Sanders is at message and getting the crowds going, he is going to need help with the politicking to actually get it done.

    ilsm -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:35 AM
    too hard....

    two party system

    both obey FIRE

    why no indeps

    go for 'serious'

    dems

    Russians

    cannot mess

    this up

    New Deal democrat -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:35 AM
    One issue going forward is whether the Dems should offer their own plan. I think they should.

    As a few others have pointed out, Trump is not wedded to the GOP establishment. If he thinks he can "WIN bigly!" by allying with Dems, he will do so. I happen to think that he is mainly against "Obamacare" because Obama humiliated him at the White House Correspondents' Dinner once upon a time, and he is nothing if not vengeful. He wants to obliterate Obama's legacy.

    So Dems need to make a big stink any time Trump administrativley undercuts Obamacare provisions to try to make it fail. But also they should give him the chance to do something he can call Trumpcare that actually works.

    Obamacare does have some major problems (the individual mandate is hated, and the penalty isn't big enough. More young people need to buy in. Some of the Exchanges and health care provider networks are too narrow.

    In addition to the "public option" and age 55+ Medicare buy-in, one thing that might work is abollishing the mandate and penalty and replaciing them with automatic enrollment. Call it "You're employed, you're covered!"

    Just like SS, Medicare, unemployment and disability deductions to paychecks, establish a Health Care automatic deductible. If your employer offers healthcare, the deductible is reduced by the amount of the premium, all the way to zero if applicable.
    If your employer doesn't offer healthcare, if you are under age 40, you are automatically enrolled in the least expensive Bronze plan in your state. If you are 40 or older, you are automatically enrolled in the least expensive Silver plan in your state.

    The deductible would also include a small contribution towards Medicaid. Then, if you are unemployed, you are automatically enrolled in Medicaid, but can continue with the silver or bronze plan as above if you choose.

    Dems could turmpet such a plan to "Reform and Improve" Obamacare, and campaign on pushing for it if they get a Congressional majority. Call it Trumpcare and President Caligula might sign on.

    Peter K. -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 08:22 AM
    Yes, good succinct comment by Arnold.
    DeDude -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 08:52 AM
    I agree that there might be an opening for that after the midterms. If Trump pushes on the weak spots of ObamaCare rather than fixing them, he will have backed himself into a corner that only the democrats can help him get out of. Right now democrats just need to do a lot of nice talk about being willing to sit down with the President and negotiate a common sense bipartisan solution.
    mulp -> DeDude... , March 25, 2017 at 09:46 AM
    No. Republicans must be driven by fear to sit down with Democrats to get their help. Republicans must own whatever they get Democrats to support so Republicans can't turn around and attack the result like they attacked the Republican defined Obamacare.

    Medicaid is Republican defined - Medicare for the poor gave too much to the inferior poor and disabled. The old were superior because they are the fit who survived, thus they are rewarded with Medicare.

    The Obamacare public option is Medicaid. Government health care for losers. Anyone can qualify by choosing to be losers. Obamacare does have the public option progressives demanded, but it's not the public option for winners.

    Paine -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:04 AM
    Excellent commentary Lee A A
    Peter K. -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:22 AM
    Yes, good succinct comment by Arnold.
    mulp -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 09:37 AM
    Name the Senators, representatives, and governors Bernie Bros have delivered?

    Where are the Bernie Bros Newts, Cruz, Marcos, ...?

    I'm in my 70th year. Conservatives attacked liberals in the 60s, my youth, as promising free lunches to gain power. But what they really hated was liberals convinced voters to tax all voters to pay for the things most voters wanted everyone to have, BASED ON SOUND ECONOMICS TO MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY AND WELFARE.

    Friedman led the effort to distort theory to eliminate the broad meaning of general welfare in economics. He did it by eliminating the hard connection between labor cost and gdp. He argued that labor costs and consumption can be cut to increase profits, and that contrary to theory, higher profits is more efficient.

    Laffer applied operations theory to taxes, as if government was taxing to maximize profits.

    Thus supply side theory of profit maximization.

    The result delivered was the imperative to cut taxes. To cut labor costs.

    Thus they argued that every economic measure improves if taxes and wages are cut.

    Reaganomics would deliver more stuff at lower cost, higher profut, and that makes everyone better off, especially those in poverty.

    Friedman saw consumption as a bad thing. He wanted higher gdp, less consumption.

    In other words, he rewrote Adam Smith attack on mercantile economics into a justification of returning to mercantile economic policy.

    So, who do Bernie Bros offer as the Milton Friedman and Laffer to create an intellectual foundation to refute Adam Smith, FDR, Keynes, Galbraith, are return to hunter gatherer economics? Who is the economist who can convince us that Marxist economic theory will work, as long as it's not captured by right wing capitalists like Fidel Castro, Chavez, Stalin, Lenin, the founders of Israel, ....

    Bernie certainly must be influenced by the same economic theory that created Israel. It grew from the same Marxist roots in Germany that powered Stalin and Lenin. Bernie is a pre-WWII Zionist as best I can tell.

    Why wouldn't Bernie deliver Israel governance to the US? How would he prevent the greedy from joining the Movement?

    And Israel has the social welfare state system Bernie wants. Hundreds of thousands of men do not work so they can study supported by welfare. Universal health care. Women are very equal in status.

    I grew up heating the Zionist Dream, theory, much like Bernie did, but from conservative Indiana. Seemed very idealist virtue becoming reality in the 50s and 60s.

    I have often used Israel as the example of a good universal health care system, of education, of welfare.

    Never heard Bernie say, "I want the US to be like Israel." Why not? Why Sweden?

    jonny bakho : , March 25, 2017 at 04:54 AM
    Frank is wrong. What the GOP establishment dislikes most about Obamacare is the taxes on the wealthy. Medicare for all would have to be paid for by taxes on the wealthy or substantial payroll tax increases on the working class.
    This does not meet GOP or Trump objectives for tax cuts on the wealthy.
    The TV and radio talk uses Obamacare bashing to sell ads. They can easily change the subject to some other click bait.
    Medicare for all? NaGonnaHappN
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 05:14 AM
    Frank was not suggesting that the GOP establishment would support Medicare for all. Frank was suggesting that Trump would essentially change parties to become a Democrat. As dubious as that notion is, more importantly it is premature. If Democrats win back both chambers of Congress, then it would at least be mechanically possible if still extraordinarily dubious. Mostly though Frank was just reaching for something worth saying. Now is a tuff time for commentary on the political economy.
    jonny bakho -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 05:47 AM
    Trump is not going to raise the taxes required to fund Medicare For All.
    Frank is delusional
    Lee A. Arnold -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 06:10 AM
    Jonny Bakho: "Medicare for all would have to be paid for by taxes"

    Theoretically you don't have to raises taxes if you get private insurers out of the game. They are a big expense, and give no value-added.

    Doesn't mean that is politically possible, with Trump and a GOP Congress. But Trump and a Democratic Congress? I couldn't predict. Keep in mind that this man is almost an ideological vacuum, no managerial skills, has no constant concerns for anything except keeping himself in the spotlights, to be loved. And he just learned that the Freedom Caucus is implacably nuts.

    New Deal democrat -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:21 AM
    "the Freedom Caucus is impacably nuts."

    Thank the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster for that!!!!

    Everytime the centrist dems - or mainly GOPers - try to sell out social insurance programs, the Freedom Caucus stands in their way. As a progressive, I am deeply and profoundly grateful!

    / snark

    New Deal democrat -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 07:22 AM
    "every time" and "main line"

    G*d I hate autocorrect.

    ilsm -> New Deal democrat... , March 25, 2017 at 09:10 AM
    socialists should all be glad

    trump is running the wreckage

    more 'social progress' for big FIRE

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:30 AM
    "They are a big expense, and give no value-added."

    [Someone has to do claims processing. The resistance against growing the federal payroll is an unnecessary hurdle for Medicare for all (MFA) to jump. Better administer it more like Medicaid. Let insurance companies handle the operations for a fee. Federal claim payments are handled on a pass thru. Then let the operational administration default to the MFA supplemental plan carrier if the insured has one, else the lowest cost carrier in the insured's state. For MFA clients then there could be a single claims process for providers even for patients with both MFA and MFA supplemental policies. That lowers the hurdle for MFA to leap over the insurance company lobby as well.]

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:31 AM
    Hell, that would even lower the provider and patient hurdles.
    Lee A. Arnold -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 10:08 AM
    Claims processing by humans is going to become a thing of the past.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 11:29 AM
    Most of health insurance claims processing has been automated for a long time. Still it takes a lot of worker-hours to reconcile the errors.

    Imagine how many worker hours it will take to reconcile liabilities for the first multi-car multi-fatality pile up of robot cars on the LA freeway. It will not matter that in total there have been less collisions and less fatalities when the big one hits. Computers are incapable of intuitive judgement which leads to blunders of potentially a colossal scale occurring that could have easily been foreseen by a human. To err is human but it takes a computer to really screw things up beyond all recognition. It is just a matter of time and time is always on Murphy's (that which can go wrong will go wrong) side. I know that myths about computers that never make mistakes and never need to be programmed again abound and I am sure that they will still be with us 20,000 years from now, when we are not even in any memory banks. I spent my entire career about to be replaced by software, but I was finally laid off because of administrative concerns with regards to legacy managed employees in context of the re-compete of the NG/VITA outsourcing contract (which is far less catchy). Computers have the potential to speed transit and reduce fatalities, but that potential will not be permanently realized as long as people are intent upon removing all human control and intervention. Computers can be capable copilots under almost all circumstances, but their owners cannot weather the fallout from their inability to conceive a response on their own when confronted with conditions that they were not programmed for. Such dramatic consequences will eventually raise a great furor, horror, deep sorrow, and extensive liability concerns. Even if you could sue a computer it is unlikely that they could demonstrate the means to pay. Incarceration of a computer for criminal negligence seems a bit ludicrous as well. The owner of the offending property better have their insurance premiums all paid up, but what then? Who will insure the next owner? Advocates of computer driven cars are planning on no fault insurance being mandated in each and every state. Good luck with that.

    My wife works for Anthem although not in claims processing. She used to work in membership which is also automated. Software developers for health insurance mostly use Agile methods. One facet of that is that they only expect automation to handle roughly 90% (ideally more) of the workload because they have learned that there will never be a no defects computer system and they are saving expensive labor time in development by allowing lower paid workers to pick up a lot of the more complicated cases manually. That reduces time spent in the iterative process of testing and correcting defects. I am sure that you remember the problems with the ACA's automated insurance membership market. Stuff happens all the time in IT.

    It is not that I had to work in IT for 47 years to understand the limitations. Merely my childhood education on the mathematical system of logic that underlies their circuitry and programming would have been sufficient, but a bit of empirical confirmation never hurts. Understanding reality is unfortunately a pre-requisite, but once that is accomplished then there are great opportunities to achieve improved results. Computers are not the problem, but can often be an essential part of the solution rather than a faceless soulless panacea. Does not compute can happen anywhere, but worse though when it happens at 75 MPH.

    mulp -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 09:57 AM
    So, your answer is higher unemployment?

    "They are a big expense, and give no value-added."

    You clearly buy in too free lunch economics!

    Cut costs (of paying workers) to give everyone more stuff and create more higher paying jobs!!!

    By the way, Medicare employs as many people as insurers to administer the benefits and provider payments. After all, it's all outsourced to insurers who already do that work for employers.

    Do not assume that the 10% of insured individuals and small groups with high sales and marketing cost represent the costs of the 80% with very low sales and marketing costs, handled by insurer backroom operations.

    Your argument is like saying that nationalizing Apple would cut food costs by 50% because Apple sales, marketing, profits are 50% of Apple revenue and thus 50% of everything is sales, marketing, profit.

    Lee A. Arnold -> mulp... , March 25, 2017 at 11:27 AM
    Every serious study that looks at current costs in the multipayer healthcare insurance concludes that moving to single-payer will save 15-20% of total spending. Here is yet another one:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4283267/
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 11:40 AM
    There is nothing about that paper that would not hold true or even truer of a two tiered system of Medicare for all with administrative processing collocated with the supplemental insurer whenever there is one. Just do a work flow model and note how many steps are cut out at each the provider and insurer if primary and secondary coverage administrative processing for membership, claims, and policy holder services are collocated.
    Chris G -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 06:46 AM
    Ah, but Trump is both delusional and vengeful. He might wake up one morning and decide that Republicans are enemies to be destroyed. He has no interest in let alone understanding of policy. He could take a position just out of spite. And if he thought it would make people who weren't his enemies love him then who knows. (Odds of him being struck by lightning are probably comparable - low but not zero.)
    RGC -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 06:50 AM
    Government Funds 60% of U.S. Healthcare Costs - Far Higher than Previously Believed

    "We Pay for National Health Insurance but Don't Get It"

    "Universal coverage is affordable - without a big tax increase," continued Dr. Himmelstein. "Because taxes already fund 60% of health care costs, a shift about the size of the recent tax cut ($130 billion a year) from private funding to public funding would allow us to cover all the uninsured and improve benefits for everyone else. Insurers/HMOs and drug companies buy-off our politicians with huge campaign contributions and hordes of lobbyists."


    http://www.pnhp.org/news/2002/july/government_funds_60.php

    Chris G -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 07:20 AM
    Reference is from 2002. Current numbers?
    RGC -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:04 AM
    Beyond the Affordable Care Act: A Physicians' Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform

    During a transition period, all public funds currently spent on health care – including Medicare, Medicaid, and state and local health care programs – would be redirected to the unified NHP budget. Such public spending – together with tax subsidies for employer-paid insurance and government expenditures for public workers' health benefits – already accounts for 60% of total U.S. health expenditures.28 Additional funds would be raised through taxes, though importantly these would be fully offset by a decrease in out-of-pocket spending and premiums.

    http://www.pnhp.org/nhi

    RGC -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 07:36 AM
    Many employers now pay for employees' health insurance and that employee compensation is tax-exempt.

    If employers health insurance comp were replaced by medicare for all, employers could replace it with wages.

    Employees could get health insurance from medicare instead of from private plans. Thus instead of private health insurance paid by employers (and partially by the government via tax exemptions), medicare could pay it from the taxes the government didn't use to collect.

    RGC -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 10:13 AM
    Which would you rather do - pay taxes for Medicare or pay a larger amount than the taxes to private insurers?
    ilsm -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 09:12 AM
    when a "kid" of 50 needs

    quad bi-pass they must

    thank medicare those

    cardio ICU's would be

    gone without the

    75 years olds' "demand"

    as if FIRE would finance

    $2M units

    that don't

    have positive ROI

    RGC -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:08 AM
    Is Donald Trump still 'for single-payer' health care?


    "Perry said Trump is "for single-payer health care."


    Fifteen years ago, Trump was decidedly for a universal healthcare system that resembled Canada's system, in which the government pays for care for all citizens.

    Recently, he's said he admires Scotland's single-payer system and disses the Affordable Care Act as incompetently implemented.

    However, a Trump spokesman denied that the candidate supported "socialized medicine" and suggested Trump prefers a "free-market" solution. Other than that, though, the Trump campaign has been silent about what his specific health care policies are; perhaps Trump will be pressed on this point during the Aug. 6 debate.

    Given the current evidence, Perry's attack is partially accurate, but leaves out details. We rate the statement Half True.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/aug/02/rick-perry/donald-trump-still-single-payer-health-care/

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 07:40 AM
    Trump will need to leave the Republican Party to get that done and first he will need the Republican Party majority to leave Congress.
    RGC -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 07:51 AM
    You mean like in 2018?
    ilsm -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 09:15 AM
    Trump single payer

    need the dems off

    wall st as well

    what Trump said

    US not ready

    bi partisan thugs

    must plunder more

    to make US

    ready

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RGC... , March 25, 2017 at 09:40 AM
    Well, 2018 would be about time for it, but the Democratic Party has proven an unreliable source before.
    DeDude -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:05 AM
    Trump is actually apolitical - the only reason he right now is Trumpeting hard right wing and neocon ideas is that he is being feed them, and he got snookered into thinking they would work for him. When he realize that crap is pulling his reputation and popularity down the drain, he will be ready for someone to offer him a lifeline.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> DeDude... , March 25, 2017 at 09:42 AM
    Well, that would certainly be my hope. There is evidence that he has been all over the map politically which confirms what you say.
    ilsm -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 05:36 AM
    gop and dem

    establish

    the same

    Peter K. -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 08:20 AM
    New Deal democrat -> Lee A. Arnold...

    "the Freedom Caucus is impacably nuts."

    Thank the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster for that!!!!

    Everytime the centrist dems - or mainly GOPers - try to sell out social insurance programs, the Freedom Caucus stands in their way. As a progressive, I am deeply and profoundly grateful!

    / snark

    Reply Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 07:21 AM

    My thoughts exactly. EMichael and PGL said it was the Wall Street Democrats we had to worry about? What?

    Tax reform will also crash and burn now. PGL has been all worried whining for months without telling his readers that there is a large business and conservative opposition to Paul Ryan's reform.

    ilsm -> Peter K.... , March 25, 2017 at 09:17 AM
    the DLC/Clinton cabal

    implacably corrupt!

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 09:45 AM
    The nature of dollar duopoly is implacably corrupt. Until we change that system then we will have to make do with what we got. It has largely been that way since the ink dried on the US Constitution.
    Gerald : , March 25, 2017 at 05:30 AM
    "The president...may consider changing course and working across party lines to develop support for universal access to Medicare." Would that this were possible; Trump doesn't care nearly enough about the millions who would benefit to make the slightest move in this direction.
    ilsm -> Gerald ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:38 AM
    aside from

    early tax returns

    trump has

    early view

    of EU style

    health system

    look it up

    Fred C. Dobbs -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 07:26 AM
    So, most here will agree,
    let it be Bernie, going forward?

    I could accept & work with that.

    ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 09:18 AM
    yup!
    DeDude -> Gerald ... , March 25, 2017 at 09:10 AM
    The thing he cares about is his approval ratings and popularity. He will soon enough recognize that supporting issues that has support from 2/3 or more of the population is the way to improve his popularity. If the democrats play it right they can get a lot of their own priorities through with his help. Remember how Bush II got a $ trillion MediCare prescription drug benefit through a conservative congress (and it is funded through the regular progressive tax system). That was a democratic policy that could not have been passed by a democratic President.
    marcus nunes : , March 25, 2017 at 06:09 AM
    "The EU will celebrate on March 25th the 60th anniversary of its founding (Treaty of Rome, 1957), while its future is in doubt. What went wrong?"
    https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/meade-swann-and-how-two-simple-lines-perfectly-illustrate-the-eurozone-conundrum/
    point : , March 25, 2017 at 06:43 AM
    https://growthecon.com/blog/Profit-Accounting/

    "If your house is worth 500,000, a 3% return would mean charging 15,000 in rent per year, or 1,250 per month. Now, if you look out at the market and find out that you could actually rent your house out for 2,000 per month, you are making 750 in economic profit. The price you can charge for your house, 2,000, is higher than the marginal cost to you, 1,250. Profits!"

    The idea that the difference in market value and PV rents represents economic profits does not sit well with me, but I can't exactly explain why. It seems more like speculative profit. And the idea that the difference should systematically persist, as seems to be the case in the discussion, also does not sit well. The discussion implies, after all, that rents, representing non-production, are becoming increasingly large in aggregate. I know that we subsidize the pyramid accumulation of rent streams, for no good reason in my opinion, but if this is true it seems to say there is another kind of hollowing out underway where rents displace real return on investment. All this in the context where renters, in general, cannot fund the sum of housing, education, medical care and retirement

    DeDude -> point... , March 25, 2017 at 09:18 AM
    That calculation doesn't take into account the depreciation of the property or the taxes and maintenance. A lot of people who buy houses to rent them out use the rule of 100. If you want to make good money on a rental property you have to be able to get a rent of no less than 1% of your purchase price. So a $100K property should rent out for $1000 per month.
    point -> DeDude... , March 25, 2017 at 10:30 AM
    So the guy's 3% may be in error.
    DeDude -> point... , March 25, 2017 at 11:07 AM
    Yes big time. He is considering the house an investment asset with no cost (like a bond or stock). However, houses have all kinds of cost and they also lose value for every year they get older. An investment return of 3% is only "reasonable" for basically risk free investments (government or government guaranteed bonds) that have absolutely no cost associated with owning them.
    Fred C. Dobbs : , March 25, 2017 at 07:35 AM
    In a Call to The Times, Trump Blames Democrats for the
    Failure of the Health Bill https://nyti.ms/2nNPHD9
    NYT - MAGGIE HABERMAN - MARCH 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON - Just moments after the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was declared dead, President Trump sought to paint the defeat of his first legislative effort as an early-term blip.

    The House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, was preparing to tell the public that the health care bill was being withdrawn - a byproduct, Mr. Trump said, of Democratic partisanship. The president predicted that Democrats would return to him to make a deal in roughly a year.

    "Look, we got no Democratic votes. We got none, zero," Mr. Trump said in a telephone interview he initiated with The New York Times.

    "The good news is they now own health care. They now own Obamacare."

    Mr. Trump insisted that the Affordable Care Act would collapse in the next year, which would then force Democrats to come to the bargaining table for a new bill.

    "The best thing that can happen is that we let the Democrats, that we let Obamacare continue, they'll have increases from 50 to 100 percent," he said. "And when it explodes, they'll come to me to make a deal. And I'm open to that."

    Although enrollment in the Affordable Care Act declined slightly in the past year, there is no sign that it is collapsing. Its expansion of Medicaid continues to grow.

    In a later phone interview with The Times, the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, ridiculed Mr. Trump's remarks about Democrats being at fault.

    "Whenever the president gets in trouble, he points fingers of blame," Mr. Schumer said. "It's about time he stopped doing that and started to lead. The Republicans were totally committed to repeal from the get-go, never talked to us once. But now that they realize that repeal can't work, if they back off repeal, of course we'll work with them to make it even better."

    Mr. Trump said that "when they come to make a deal," he would be open and receptive. He singled out the Tuesday Group moderates for praise, calling them "terrific," an implicit jab at the House Freedom Caucus, which his aides had expressed frustration with during negotiations. ...

    Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 07:41 AM
    Failure of health care bill is a huge setback for Trump
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/03/24/trump-massive-loss-endangers-his-young-presidency/Czat7MDmwHa7us43qJeEbM/story.html?event=event25
    via @BostonGlobe - Annie Linskey - March 25, 2017

    WASHINGTON - Donald Trump famously said that if he became president he would win so much, Americans would get tired of winning. But so far he's mostly losing, bigly.

    Even with a wide Republican majority in the House, the president failed to deliver on the centerpiece of his legislative agenda - repealing the Affordable Care Act - raising loud questions about the effectiveness of his young presidency and whether Republicans are capable of making the transition from an opposition party to one that governs.

    "It's a catastrophic legislative failure," said Rick Tyler, a Republican strategist who didn't support Trump during the election. "It's the equivalent of having a cardiac arrest. You can recover from it, but it will take a lot of rehab."

    He added: "Political experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and learn the lesson next."

    Even former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a close Trump ally, delivered a harsh verdict Friday. "Why would you schedule a vote on a bill that is at 17 percent approval?" he asked on his Twitter feed, referring to a Quinnipiac University poll.

    The tweet went viral, and in an interview Gingrich added: "When I saw the numbers - that is everything I have opposed in my entire career. That's how the Republicans lost the majority."

    Still, the defeat of Trump's first request of Congress represents a further deterioration of his already shaky credibility in Washington and among the American people.

    He has cast himself as a master salesman and the "closer" who can win over allies in the most difficult of circumstances through some combination of his winning personality and take-no-prisoners approach to negotiations.

    But that picture of Trump is becoming about as questionable as his unsubstantiated claims that he had huge crowd sizes at his inauguration, his unproven accusations that bus loads of Massachusetts voters cast illegal ballots in New Hampshire, and his much rejected insistence that then-President Obama put a wiretap on his phone.

    The pattern, in the eyes of his harshest critics, is that there's little evidence to back up his boasts.

    He could not close this deal. Republican members of the House of Representatives, who have voted to repeal the Obama health law more than 50 times in the past seven years, refused Trump's entreaties to support the Republican replacement for the law.

    The setback comes as other storm clouds are gathering over the Trump presidency. There's the FBI investigation into whether his campaign staff coordinated e-mail leaks designed to influence the election, along with the Russians.

    FBI director James Comey was spotted going in and out of the West Wing on Friday, which was a reminder of the investigation, even if the White House claimed Comey was there for a routine meeting. ...

    Tom aka Rusty -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 07:47 AM
    This was bound to happen.
    Fred C. Dobbs -> Tom aka Rusty ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:08 AM
    Hillary Clinton ✔ ‎@HillaryClinton

    Today was a victory for all Americans.

    5:21 PM - 24 Mar 2017

    (statement at https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/845385004389666816 )

    Fred C. Dobbs -> Tom aka Rusty ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:19 AM
    Elizabeth Warren ✔ ‎@SenWarren

    But I'm not doing a touchdown dance today. Not
    when the GOP is still hell-bent on rigging the
    system for the rich & powerful.

    5:56 PM - 24 Mar 2017

    https://twitter.com/SenWarren/status/845393852219478022

    ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 09:24 AM
    Comey going in

    to talk jail

    not gop targets

    story is not only

    uncovering DLC corruption

    it is leaking

    surveillance of Russian

    diplomats' conversation with

    US citizens that have no

    intelligence to leak

    'colluding' to put the truth

    out is only crime

    to DLC Leninists

    Obama Leninism

    crushing the

    Bill of Rights

    is the story

    Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 08:02 AM
    On health-care, as on so much else,
    President Trump passes the buck, reports
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-buck-doesnt-stop-here-anymore/520839/
    The Atlantic - David A. Graham - March 24, 2017

    Speaking in the Oval Office Friday afternoon, President Trump surveyed the wreckage of the Obamacare repeal effort and issued a crisp, definitive verdict: I didn't do it.

    The president said he didn't blame Speaker Paul Ryan, though he had plenty of implied criticism for the speaker. "I like Speaker Ryan. He worked very hard," Trump said, but he added: "I'm not going to speak badly about anybody within the Republican Party. Certainly there's a big history. I really think Paul worked hard." He added ruefully that the GOP could have taken up tax-reform first, instead of Obamacare-the reverse of Ryan's desired sequence. "Now we're going to go for tax reform, which I've always liked," he said.

    As for the House Freedom Caucus, the bloc of conservatives from which many of the apparent "no" votes on the Republican plan were to come, Trump said, "I'm not betrayed. They're friends of mine. I'm disappointed because we could've had it. So I'm disappointed. I'm a little surprised, I could tell you."

    The greatest blame for the bill's failure fell on Democrats, Trump said.

    "This really would've worked out better if we could've had Democrat support. Remember we had no Democrat support," Trump said. Later, he added, "But when you get no votes from the other side, meaning the Democrats, it's really a difficult situation."

    He said Democrats should come up with their own bill. "I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because they own Obamacare," he said, referring to the House and Senate Democratic leaders. "They 100 percent own it."

    Trump was very clear about who was not to blame: himself. "I worked as a team player," the president of the United States said, demoting himself to bit-player status. He wanted to do tax reform first, after all, and it was still early. "I've been in office, what, 64 days? I've never said repeal and replace Obamacare within 64 days. I have a long time. I want to have a great health-care bill and plan and we will."

    Strictly speaking, it is true that Trump didn't promise to repeal Obamacare on day 64 of his administration. What he told voters, over and over during the campaign, was that he'd do it immediately. On some occasions he or top allies even promised to do it on day 1. Now he and his allies are planning to drop the bill for the foreseeable future.

    It is surely not wrong that there is lots of blame to go around. Congressional Republicans had years to devise a plan, and couldn't come up with one that would win a majority in the House, despite a 44-seat advantage. The House bill was an unpopular one, disliked by conservatives and moderates in that chamber; almost certainly dead on arrival in the Senate; and deeply unpopular with voters. Even before the vote was canceled, unnamed White House officials were telling reporters that the plan was to pin the blame on Ryan. ...

    The Republicans fold and
    withdraw their health-care bill https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/trump-republicans-failure-obamacare/520788/
    The Atlantic - Russell Berman - March 24, 2017

    ... Defeat on the floor dealt Trump a major blow early in his presidency, but its implications were far more serious for the Republican Party as a whole. Handed unified control of the federal government for only the third time since World War II, the modern GOP was unable to overcome its internecine fights to enact a key part of its policy agenda. The president now wants to move on to a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code, but insiders on Capitol Hill have long believed that project will be an even heavier lift than health care.

    As the prospect of a loss became more real on Friday, the frustrations of GOP lawmakers loyal to the leadership began to boil over. "I've been in this job eight years, and I'm wracking my brain to think of one thing our party has done that's been something positive, that's been something other than stopping something else from happening," Representative Tom Rooney of Florida said in an interview. "We need to start having victories as a party. And if we can't, then it's hard to justify why we should be back here."

    Nothing has exemplified the party's governing challenge quite like health care. For years, Republican leaders resisted pressure from Democrats and rank-and-file lawmakers to coalesce around a detailed legislative alternative to Obamacare. That failure didn't prevent them from attaining power, but it forced them to start nearly from scratch after Trump's surprising victory in November. At Ryan's urging, the party had compiled a plan as part of the speaker's "A Better Way" campaign agenda. Translating that into legislation, however, proved a much stiffer challenge; committee leaders needed to navigate a razor's edge to satisfy conservatives demanding a full repeal of Obamacare and satisfy moderates who preferred to keep in place its more popular consumer protections and Medicaid expansion. They were further limited by the procedural rules of the Senate, which circumscribed how far Republicans could go while still avoiding a Democratic filibuster. ...

    Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 08:27 AM
    It would appear that the 'Freedom Caucus', of
    about 30 GOPsters in the House, was barely
    enough to stop the AHCA because it 'wasn't
    conservative enough', but the moderate
    Tuesday Group of about 50 surely was,
    because it was too 'conservative'.
    ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 25, 2017 at 09:28 AM
    even with super majority

    Obama got a severely flawed

    pro FIRE ACA

    not Affordable

    only replace is

    medicare for all

    mulp -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 10:16 AM
    But you need better free lunch economics to beat the free lunch economics of conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party, Freedom caucus, and Trump.

    You need free lunch economics that work and deliver something for nothing. The failure Friday was free lunch economics hitting reality. Getting government and insurance companies out of the lives of Trump and Republican voters did not make these voters richer, healthier, and freer.

    Bernie has his own free lunch economics which will likewise turn out to be ashes in the mouths of voters who might get him into the White House, he wants to cut spending based on "not paying workers will not make those workers worse off". Exactly the same theory Reagan to Trump use. Gutting costly regulations that require paying workers to comply will not result in workers being worse off. Or property owners.

    Bernie campaigned on eliminating fossil fuels in a way that his voters will be able to keep burning fossil fuels to drive to his rallies and to heat their homes.

    anne : , March 25, 2017 at 07:54 AM
    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/new-health-care-plan-open-source-drugs-immigrant-doctors-and-a-public-option

    March 25, 2017

    New Health Care Plan: Open Source Drugs, Immigrant Doctors, and a Public Option

    Now that the Republican health care plan has been sent to the dust bin of history, it's worth thinking about how Obamacare can be improved. While the Affordable Care Act was a huge step forward in extending insurance coverage, many of the complaints against the program are justified. The co-pays and deductibles can mean the plans are of little use to middle income people with relatively low bills.

    This is a great time to put forward ideas for reducing these costs and making other changes in the health care system. Obviously this congress and president are not interested in reforms that help low and middle income families, but the rest of us can start pushing these ideas now, with the expectation that the politicians will eventually come around.

    There are two obvious directions to go to get costs down for low and middle income families. One is to increase taxes on the wealthy. The other is to reduce the cost of health care. The latter is likely the more promising option, especially since we have such a vast amount of waste in our system. The three obvious routes are lower prices for prescription drugs and medical equipment, reducing the pay of doctors, and savings on administrative costs from having Medicare offer an insurance plan in the exchanges.

    Taking these in turn, the largest single source of savings would be reducing what we pay for prescription drugs. We will spend over $440 billion this year for drugs that would likely sell for less than $80 billion in a free market without patent monopolies and other forms of protection. If we paid as much as people in other wealthy countries for our drugs, we would save close to $200 billion a year. We spend another $50 billion a year on medical equipment which would likely cost around $15 billion in a free market.

    If the government negotiated prices for drugs and medical equipment its savings could easily exceed $100 billion a year (see "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer" * ). It could use some of these savings to finance open-source research for new drugs and medical equipment.

    We already fund a huge amount of research, so this is not some radical departure from current practice. The government spends more than $32 billion on research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. It also picks up 50 percent of the industry's research costs on orphan drugs through the Orphan Drug Tax Credit. Orphan drugs are a rapidly growing share of all drug approvals, as the industry increasingly takes advantage of this tax credit.

    The big change would not be that the government was funding research, but rather the research results and patents would be in the public domain, rather than be used by Pfizer and other drug companies to get patent monopolies. As a result, the next great breakthrough drug will sell as a generic for a few hundred dollars rather than hundreds of thousands of dollars. And MRI scans would cost little more than X-rays.

    The second big potential source of savings would come from reducing the protectionist barriers which largely exclude foreign-trained physicians. Under current law, a foreign doctor is prohibited from practicing in the United States unless they complete a U.S. residency program. This keeps hundreds of thousands of well-qualified from physicians from practicing in the United States. As a result, our doctors earn on average more than $250,000 a year, roughly twice the average pay in other wealthy countries. (There are similar protectionist restrictions which inflate the pay of dentists.)

    If we removed this barrier and allowed qualified foreign doctors to practice in the United States, we would likely get their pay down to levels comparable to that of doctors in countries like Canada and Germany. This could save us close to $100 billion a year on our health care bill, at least half of which would be savings to the government.

    There is a concern that we would attract more doctors from developing countries. We could easily offset this brain drain by paying these countries enough so that they can train two or three doctors for every one that comes to the United States, thereby ensuring they gain from this arrangement as well. It is worth noting that these countries receive zero compensation now for the doctors they pay to train, but who then practice in the United States.

    The third big source of saving would be having Medicare offer an insurance plan in the exchanges. This would ensure both that everyone had at least one good option regardless of where they lived and also that the private insurers in the system would face real competition. In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office projected that a public option would save the government $23 billion a year by 2020 and $29 billion by 2023.

    The total savings to the government from these three changes easily exceed $150 billion a year, in addition to large savings that individuals outside the exchanges would see in their health care expenses. This is far more than enough to make the deductibles zero for each of the roughly 10 million people now in the exchanges. That would make Obamacare considerably more attractive.

    Of course if the plans in the exchanges became more generous more people would opt to take advantage of them and we would see people leaving employer-provided plans. That is a problem that we can deal with at the time it happens. (We would need to have a portion of workers' current payments for employer provided plans go to the government to cover the cost of additional enrollees in the exchanges.) But the way forward in improving Obamacare is to use the market to make our health care system more efficient and reduce the ridiculous rents that now go to the wealthy as a result of waste in the system.

    * http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

    -- Dean Baker

    anne -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 07:56 AM
    http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

    October, 2016

    Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer
    By Dean Baker

    The Old Technology and Inequality Scam: The Story of Patents and Copyrights

    One of the amazing lines often repeated by people in policy debates is that, as a result of technology, we are seeing income redistributed from people who work for a living to the people who own the technology. While the redistribution part of the story may be mostly true, the problem is that the technology does not determine who "owns" the technology. The people who write the laws determine who owns the technology.

    Specifically, patents and copyrights give their holders monopolies on technology or creative work for their duration. If we are concerned that money is going from ordinary workers to people who hold patents and copyrights, then one policy we may want to consider is shortening and weakening these monopolies. But policy has gone sharply in the opposite direction over the last four decades, as a wide variety of measures have been put into law that make these protections longer and stronger. Thus, the redistribution from people who work to people who own the technology should not be surprising - that was the purpose of the policy.

    If stronger rules on patents and copyrights produced economic dividends in the form of more innovation and more creative output, then this upward redistribution might be justified. But the evidence doesn't indicate there has been any noticeable growth dividend associated with this upward redistribution. In fact, stronger patent protection seems to be associated with slower growth.

    Before directly considering the case, it is worth thinking for a minute about what the world might look like if we had alternative mechanisms to patents and copyrights, so that the items now subject to these monopolies could be sold in a free market just like paper cups and shovels.

    The biggest impact would be in prescription drugs. The breakthrough drugs for cancer, hepatitis C, and other diseases, which now sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, would instead sell for a few hundred dollars. No one would have to struggle to get their insurer to pay for drugs or scrape together the money from friends and family. Almost every drug would be well within an affordable price range for a middle-class family, and covering the cost for poorer families could be easily managed by governments and aid agencies.

    The same would be the case with various medical tests and treatments. Doctors would not have to struggle with a decision about whether to prescribe an expensive scan, which might be the best way to detect a cancerous growth or other health issue, or to rely on cheaper but less reliable technology. In the absence of patent protection even the most cutting edge scans would be reasonably priced.

    Health care is not the only area that would be transformed by a free market in technology and creative work. Imagine that all the textbooks needed by college students could be downloaded at no cost over the web and printed out for the price of the paper. Suppose that a vast amount of new books, recorded music, and movies was freely available on the web.

    People or companies who create and innovate deserve to be compensated, but there is little reason to believe that the current system of patent and copyright monopolies is the best way to support their work. It's not surprising that the people who benefit from the current system are reluctant to have the efficiency of patents and copyrights become a topic for public debate, but those who are serious about inequality have no choice. These forms of property claims have been important drivers of inequality in the last four decades.

    The explicit assumption behind the steps over the last four decades to increase the strength and duration of patent and copyright protection is that the higher prices resulting from increased protection will be more than offset by an increased incentive for innovation and creative work. Patent and copyright protection should be understood as being like very large tariffs. These protections can often the raise the price of protected items by several multiples of the free market price, making them comparable to tariffs of several hundred or even several thousand percent. The resulting economic distortions are comparable to what they would be if we imposed tariffs of this magnitude.

    The justification for granting these monopoly protections is that the increased innovation and creative work that is produced as a result of these incentives exceeds the economic costs from patent and copyright monopolies. However, there is remarkably little evidence to support this assumption. While the cost of patent and copyright protection in higher prices is apparent, even if not well-measured, there is little evidence of a substantial payoff in the form of a more rapid pace of innovation or more and better creative work....

    geoff -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 08:43 AM
    Medicare for all is a great idea but still well out of political reach for a while. On the other hand, cheaper drugs is a goal even trumpers could support with the right sales pitch.

    the pushers are unusually profitable:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/272720/top-global-biotech-and-pharmaceutical-companies-based-on-net-income/

    and they make for a pretty scummy pond in the swamp:

    https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?id=h04

    hey, it could happen here:

    https://www.law360.com/articles/903111/canada-prevails-in-383m-eli-lilly-case

    Peter K. -> geoff ... , March 25, 2017 at 08:59 AM
    Trump met with the heads of the drug companies and decided the solutions was more deregulation.
    ilsm -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 09:29 AM
    the operating side is more

    needy than the whittling

    the finance side

    DeDude -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 10:23 AM
    I generally love most of what Dean Baker does. But his weaknesses are on display in this piece. Just enough insights to sound convincing, but not enough to be the real McCoy. Yes we pay our medical doctors a lot more than France. However, ours first come out of undergraduate training having paid over $200K for that, then add another $300K for medical school. So that is a cool $500K in debt that their French counterparts don't have to deal with. Next (and before they can se any patients are internships (3 years) where they are not paid enough to begin paying down the student debt, followed by another 2-5 years of specialty training again with a compensation that cover living but not paying down the debt. Finally after becoming specialists (and those who don't are not paid $250K per year), they can begin paying down that student debt which in the meantime has grown substantially (with its private market interest rates).

    If you were to put all those foreigners with their free education in direct competition with the domestic crop there would be no US born doctors. But that would be the least of the problems. American medical schools are for the most part outstanding and even the least of those graduating are quite good. That cannot be said for many of the other places in the world where we get most of our foreign trained doctors. There is a very good reason we demand that foreigners go through a US residency program before they can practice medicine. Regardless of what their (real or fake) papers say about their education, they have to perform up to US standards to pass the US residency programs and be licensed – and that is a good thing.

    anne : , March 25, 2017 at 08:10 AM
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/upshot/health-insurance-medicare-obamacare-american-health-care-act.html?ref=business

    March 24, 2017

    What Comes Next for Obamacare? The Case for Medicare for All
    By ROBERT H. FRANK

    Republicans are in a bind. They've been promising to repeal Obamacare for seven years, and having won control of the White House and Congress, they had to try to deliver. But while their bitter denunciations of the Affordable Care Act may have depressed its approval numbers, they didn't make replacing it any easier.

    On the contrary, the repeal-and-replace bill designed by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan drew withering criticism from the left and the right. Liberals condemned its use of reductions in health coverage for the poor to pay for large tax cuts for the wealthy, while conservatives bemoaned its retention of many subsidies adopted under Obamacare.

    In the end, the repeal effort's biggest hurdle may have been loss aversion, one of the most robust findings in behavioral science. As numerous studies have shown, the pain of losing something you already have is much greater than the pleasure of having gained it in the first place. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Mr. Ryan's American Health Care Act (A.H.C.A.) would have caused more than 14 million people to lose coverage in the first year alone, with total losses rising to 24 million over the next decade. Many Republicans in Congress were nervous about the political firestorm already provoked by the mere prospect of such losses.

    Loss aversion actually threatened the repeal effort on two fronts: voters' fear of losing their coverage, and lawmakers' fear of losing their seats. Like the first fear, the second appeared well grounded. Republican voters wouldn't have been the only ones losing coverage, of course, but early studies suggested that losses would have been concentrated among people who voted for President Trump. The Congressional Budget Office estimated, for example, that the A.H.C.A. would have caused premiums to rise more than sevenfold in 2026 for 64-year-olds making $26,500.

    Now that Republicans have withdrawn Mr. Ryan's bill from consideration, attention shifts to what comes next. In an earlier column, I suggested that Mr. Trump has the political leverage, which President Obama did not, to jettison the traditional Republican approach in favor of a form of the single-payer health care that most other countries use. According to Physicians for a National Health Program, an advocacy group, "Single-payer national health insurance, also known as 'Medicare for all,' is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands." Christopher Ruddy, a friend and adviser of the president, recently urged him to consider this option.

    Many Republicans who want to diminish government's role in health care view the single-payer approach with disdain. But Mr. Trump often seems to take pleasure in being unpredictable, and since he will offend people no matter which way he turns, he may want to consider why liberals and conservatives in many other countries have embraced the single-payer approach.

    Part of the appeal of Medicare for all is that single-payer systems reduce financial incentives that generate waste and abuse. Mr. Ryan insisted that by relegating health care to private insurers, competition would lead to lower prices and higher quality. Economic theory tells us that this is a reasonable expectation when certain conditions are met. A crucial one is that buyers must be able to compare the quality of offerings of different sellers. In practice, however, people have little knowledge of the treatment options for the various maladies they might suffer, and policy language describing insurance coverage is notoriously complex and technical. Consumers simply cannot make informed quality comparisons in this industry.

    In contrast, they can easily compare the prices charged by competing insurance companies. This asymmetry induces companies to compete by highlighting the lower prices they're able to offer if they cut costs by degrading the quality of their offerings. For example, it's common for insurance companies to deny payment for procedures that their policies seem to cover. If policy holders complain loudly enough, they may eventually get reimbursed, but the money companies save by not paying others confers a decisive competitive advantage over rivals that don't employ this tactic. Such haggling is uncommon under single-payer systems like Medicare (though it is sometimes employed by private insurers that supplement Medicare).

    Consider, too, the mutually offsetting expenditures on competitive advertising and other promotional efforts of private insurers, which can exceed 15 percent of total revenue. Single-payer plans like Medicare spend nothing on competitive advertising (although here, also, we see such expenditures by supplemental insurers).

    According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, administrative costs in Medicare are only about 2 percent of total operating expenditures, less than one-sixth of the rate estimated for the private insurance industry. This difference does not mean that private insurers are evil. It's a simple consequence of a difference in the relevant economic incentives.

    American health care outlays per capita in 2015 were more than twice the average of those in the 35 advanced countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Yet despite that spending difference, the system in the United States delivers significantly less favorable outcomes on measures like longevity and the incidence of chronic illness....

    anne -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 08:15 AM
    http://www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/oecd-health-statistics-2014-frequently-requested-data.htm

    November, 2016

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Health Data

    Total health care spending per person, 2015 *

    United States ( 9451)
    OCED average ( 3814)

    France ( 4407)

    Total health care spending as a share of GDP, 2015

    United States ( 16.9)
    OCED average ( 9.0)

    France ( 11.0)

    Pharmaceutical expenditure per person, 2014 *

    United States ( 1112)
    OECD average ( 538)

    France ( 656)

    Practising physicians per 1,000 population, 2014

    United States ( 2.6)
    OECD average ( 3.3)

    France ( 3.3)

    Practising nurses per 1,000 population, 2014

    United States ( 11.2)
    OECD average ( 8.9)

    France ( 9.6)

    Physician consultations per person, 2014

    United States ( 4.0)
    OECD average ( 6.8)

    France ( 6.3)

    Medical graduates per 100,000 population, 2014

    United States ( 7.3)
    OECD average ( 11.4)

    France ( 10.0)

    * Data are expressed in US dollars adjusted for purchasing power parities (PPPs), which provide a means of comparing spending between countries on a common base. PPPs are the rates of currency conversion that equalise the cost of a given "basket" of goods and services in different countries.

    Peter K. -> anne... , -1
    As Bernie Sanders says play offense, not just defense. Then the voters will respect you.

    It would be funny if Trump goes for round two health care reform and wins bigly with Democrats' help.

    Partisans like PGL and Krugman would be in shock.

    [Feb 27, 2017] For all practical purposes two party system behaves as an improved version of one party system. Iron law of oligarchy essentially guarantees the upper hand for the leadership within the interparty struggle for power.

    Feb 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    nobody , February 26, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I was just looking for stuff that explains how the institutional architecture has been designed so as to preclude any meaningful third party challenges, and I happened upon a document by Bill Domhoff (the "Who Rules America?" guy) where he explains: " Third Parties Don't Work: Why and How Egalitarians Should Transform the Democratic Party ." What he says:

    So what should egalitarian activists do in terms of future elections if and when the issues, circumstances, and candidates seem right? First, they should form Egalitarian Democratic Clubs. That gives them an organizational base as well as a distinctive new social identity within the structural pathway to government that is labeled "the Democratic Party." Forming such clubs makes it possible for activists to maintain their sense of separatism and purity while at the same time allowing them to compete within the Democratic Party. There are numerous precedents for such clubs within the party, including liberal and reform clubs in the past, and the conservative Democratic Leadership Council at the present time.

    This strategy of forging a separate social identity is also followed by members of the right wing within the Republican Party. By joining organizations like the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, they can define themselves as Christians who have to work out of necessity within the debased confines of the Republican Party. That is, they think of themselves as Christians first and Republicans second, and that is what egalitarians should do: identify themselves primarily as egalitarians and only secondarily as Democrats.

    After forming Egalitarian Democrat Clubs, egalitarian activists should find people to run in selected Democratic primaries from precinct to president. They should not simply support eager candidates who come to them with the hope of turning them into campaign workers. They have to create candidates of their own who already are committed to the egalitarian movement and to its alternative economic vision of planning through the market. The candidates have to be responsible to the clubs, or else the candidates naturally will look out for their own self interest and careers.

    PH , February 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    This is wise.

    Steve H. , February 26, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Yes it is. Your excerpt zeroes in on the mechanism of How.

    "clubs within the party" : Turchin writing on the Price Equation makes something clear. If the within-group co-operators can be successful and reproduce, and then sequester non-co-operators into a separate group, the chances of co-operator success increase. Put 'em on a committee.

    That mechanism is what makes Zuck's presidential bid dangerous. As groups use Fcbk to organize, a malevolent administrator can introduce FBU 's that disrupt social cohesion within the group. An advanced form of voter suppression.

    Steve H. , February 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Sorry, PH, by 'Your' I meant nobody.

    likbez , February 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm
    Clubs within the Party was how the Communist Party of the USSR operated. They were called factions. They were unable to challenge the ruling elite and if they became too strong they were simply purged from the Party.

    Nothing new here. Cooptation of those who deviate left or right from the party platform and party oligarchy can be effectively used within "game of clubs" framework due to the iron law of oligarchy. Those who can't be coopted can be purged or excommunicated.

    For all practical purposes two party system behaves as an improved version of one party system. Iron law of oligarchy essentially guarantees the upper hand for the leadership within the interparty struggle for power. And provides for the leadership the opportunity to pursue their own agenda, different from the wishes of rank and file members. Like was the case with Bill Clinton selling Democratic Party to Wall Street and turning it into yet another neoliberal party - soft neoliberals, like sometime Clinton's "third way" neoliberalism is called.

    Only parliamentary system when parties are allocated seats due to votes they got with some "passing" threshold can provide the opportunity of the third party to emerge as the major political force outside a single election cycle or two.

    It is important to understand that the "first after the post" system virtually guarantees the elimination of any contenders to both major parties. Unless there is a revolutionary situation when the ruling elite is so discredited that can't rule "as usual". Then winners are usually incorporated into the party framework and partially emasculated somewhat later, when they face the challenges of governing the system which is totally against them. Like now the situation developed in case of Trump.

    You can say anything about British elite but this was pretty ingenious political invention.

    In other words, the main task to two party system in to prevent any possibility for the challengers of status quo to obtain political power via elections. Reforms should be approved by party oligarchy to be viable. And there are powerful internal mechanisms like DNC which help to block advances of anybody who want to challenge the status quo.

    Also the emerging leaders can be simply bought. This is another way how the iron law of oligarchy operates.

    likbez , February 26, 2017 at 5:09 pm
    Forgot to mention.

    Lesse evilism is the mechanism by which voters are coopted to vote for one of two dismal choices in two party system.

    See http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/27/the-logic-of-lesser-evilism/

    == quote ==

    From a rhetorical point of view, however, lesser evilism involves more than just the logical principle behind it. The reason is plain: except in a trivial sense, better choices are less bad only when the alternatives are bad or, more precisely, regarded as bad. Less bad choices are less evil only when the alternatives are or are thought to be bad indeed.

    This is all that the "evil" in "lesser evilism" implies. Strictly speaking, evil is a religious, not a political, notion. But lesser evilism in politics is a secular phenomenon, and the force of the word is rhetorical only. Its religious origins and connotations are useful for giving the word a resonance that "bad" and even "very bad" lack; not for making any theological or otherwise portentous point.

    Although the logic behind lesser evilism is impeccable, the principle seldom applies directly in real world circumstances. In political contexts especially, there are too many complicating factors, and there is too much indeterminacy.

    This is why lesser evilism in politics – especially, electoral politics - can be, and often is, a bad idea.

    Myopia is a chronic problem in electoral contests because voters tend to focus on candidates' personalities or on what they believe they are likely to do if elected, neglecting other pertinent considerations.

    Suppose, for instance, that Obama truly was less disposed than McCain in 2008 or Romney in 2012 to expand the wars he inherited from George Bush and Dick Cheney or to extend the range and intensity of the Bush-Cheney "Global War on Terror."

    Of course, war making is not the only thing Presidents do, but even if we focus only on that, we can still wonder whether voters favoring peace who voted for Obama served their cause well.

    Unofficially, but most assuredly, America has a duopoly party system – in consequence of deeply entrenched practices and traditions, and thanks to laws that make ballot access difficult for candidates who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.

    Therefore, in Presidential elections and most others as well, Americans face straightforward X versus Y choices. Independent or third party candidates have no chance of winning. They seldom even have a chance of affecting the outcomes in more than negligible ways.

    Some of the problems this raises have nothing to do with the comparative merits and shortcomings of the candidates themselves; they are problems with lesser evil voting itself.

    This is because elections in the present affect elections in the future; among other things, they can and often do initiate or continue trends.

    As a general rule, but especially when the choices voters face remain above the threshold beneath which talk of lesser evil voting becomes rhetorically appropriate, choosing the better candidate is no guarantee that the choices will be better still the next time around or the time after that.

    But once the lesser evil threshold is crossed, it does seem that the choices keep getting worse. There is no inherent reason why this must be so, but there is ample anecdotal evidence that bears out the suggestion that, in our time and place, lesser evil voting encourages a downward spiral, "a race to the bottom."

    To be sure, America's deteriorating political culture cannot be blamed entirely, or even mainly, on the pervasiveness of this practice. The corruptions of money undoubtedly play a larger role.

    Still, lesser evil voting does seem to feed upon itself – hastening a downward trend.

    The consequences are especially damaging in a duopoly party system like ours, where choosing the lesser evil means choosing a Democrat or (in very rare instances) a Republican, further diminishing the already meager prospects of breaking free from the duopoly's stranglehold.

    [Feb 27, 2017] The Logic of Lesser Evilism

    Notable quotes:
    "... der Hass sieht scharf ..."
    "... demos ..."
    "... ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
    Feb 27, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
    March 27, 2015 The Logic of Lesser Evilism

    by Andrew Levine

    by

    From a logical point of view, the case is unassailable: when, for any reason, choosing between X and Y, anyone who, again for any reason, believes that X is better than Y, ought to choose X.

    The argument is perfectly general: X and Y can stand for anything, and because "better than" means better all things considered, it always applies; contextual and other pertinent considerations are already taken into account. The availability of other alternatives, if any, does not alter the calculation.

    The reasoning that supports lesser evil voting – and lesser evil politics generally – boils down to this argument.

    From a rhetorical point of view, however, lesser evilism involves more than just the logical principle behind it. The reason is plain: except in a trivial sense, better choices are less bad only when the alternatives are bad or, more precisely, regarded as bad. Less bad choices are less evil only when the alternatives are or are thought to be bad indeed.

    This is all that the "evil" in "lesser evilism" implies. Strictly speaking, evil is a religious, not a political, notion. But lesser evilism in politics is a secular phenomenon, and the force of the word is rhetorical only. Its religious origins and connotations are useful for giving the word a resonance that "bad" and even "very bad" lack; not for making any theological or otherwise portentous point.

    Although the logic behind lesser evilism is impeccable, the principle seldom applies directly in real world circumstances. In political contexts especially, there are too many complicating factors, and there is too much indeterminacy.

    This is why lesser evilism in politics – especially, electoral politics - can be, and often is, a bad idea.

    * * *

    An American example, still fresh in the mind, illustrates some of these points:

    It is intuitively obvious to anyone to the left of, say, Rachel Maddow that, on the face of it, Barack Obama was a better choice for President than John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012. Anyone to the left of Cokie Roberts would probably agree as well.

    Maddow, the star of the evening lineup at the cable news channel MSNBC, is a liberal idol and a Democratic Party – or "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" - cheerleader. Roberts is the doyenne of conventional wisdom, representing the dead center on network television and National Public Radio.

    The 2008 and 2012 election results show that quite a few Americans, including some whose views are surely to the right even of Roberts', also thought Obama the better choice. After all, he won handily both times – even in 2012, after a miserable first term.

    In 2008, many of those voters saw candidate Obama as a Rorschach figure upon whom they projected their hopes. To them, he was not a lesser evil; just the better choice.

    This view of Obama is now nearly extinct - except perhaps on weekday evenings at MSNBC.

    By 2012, the blinders had already been off for a while. Hardly anyone still harbored illusions about Obama.

    Therefore the people who voted for him, the vast majority of them, were opting for the lesser of two evils.

    Were they right? Was Obama truly the lesser evil? Perhaps; but the answer is not as obvious as it seemed to Obama voters back then, or as many people still believe.

    For one thing, lesser evil Obama voters may have been looking at their X versus Y choice near-sightedly.

    Myopia is a chronic problem in electoral contests because voters tend to focus on candidates' personalities or on what they believe they are likely to do if elected, neglecting other pertinent considerations.

    Suppose, for instance, that Obama truly was less disposed than McCain in 2008 or Romney in 2012 to expand the wars he inherited from George Bush and Dick Cheney or to extend the range and intensity of the Bush-Cheney "Global War on Terror."

    Of course, war making is not the only thing Presidents do, but even if we focus only on that, we can still wonder whether voters favoring peace who voted for Obama served their cause well.

    With Obama in the White House, Congressional Democrats have felt obliged to back continuations of the Bush-Cheney wars, and the additional under-the-radar wars that America is now waging throughout the Muslim world. Were a President McCain or a President Romney in charge of the empire, they would likely now be more oppositional.

    Democratic acquiescence in the Age of Obama was predictable; Democrats may not be good for much, but when one of their own is in the White House, they, like Hillary Clinton, stand by their man.

    How many lesser evil voters for Obama factored this likely consequence of an Obama victory into their calculations? There is no way to know for sure, but a good bet would be – not many at all.

    By 2012 especially, the evidence was plain: between 2006 and 2008, Congressional Democrats offered at least milquetoast resistance to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; they would have offered yet more had not the Pelosiite leadership of the Party reined them in. When Obama took office, they became meeker than lambs.

    Obama was seemingly the lesser evil in matters of war and peace but, even confining attention only to that, he may not have been the lesser evil all things considered. This, of course, is what matters in the end.

    The kind of problem lesser evil voters in the United States faced in 2008 and 2012 is hardly unique, to the United States. But it is especially salient in American elections where there are effectively only two candidates with any chance of winning.

    Unofficially, but most assuredly, America has a duopoly party system – in consequence of deeply entrenched practices and traditions, and thanks to laws that make ballot access difficult for candidates who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.

    Therefore, in Presidential elections and most others as well, Americans face straightforward X versus Y choices. Independent or third party candidates have no chance of winning. They seldom even have a chance of affecting the outcomes in more than negligible ways.

    However the logic behind lesser evilism applies even in the more democratic (less undemocratic) electoral systems of other so-called democracies, where easy ballot access is assured and where not all electoral contests are decided on a first-past-the post, winner-take-all basis.

    Strategic voting is usually a more front-and-center issue in those circumstances, but the principle – if X is better than Y, choose X – is compelling everywhere.

    * * *

    Even so, its applications are often problematic – thanks to the level of abstraction from real world voting situations at which it is pitched. Voter myopia is not the only complication.

    Myopic voters focus narrowly on personalities and policies, and therefore fail to take all pertinent considerations into account. Another danger is not looking far enough ahead.

    Some of the problems this raises have nothing to do with the comparative merits and shortcomings of the candidates themselves; they are problems with lesser evil voting itself.

    This is because elections in the present affect elections in the future; among other things, they can and often do initiate or continue trends.

    As a general rule, but especially when the choices voters face remain above the threshold beneath which talk of lesser evil voting becomes rhetorically appropriate, choosing the better candidate is no guarantee that the choices will be better still the next time around or the time after that.

    But once the lesser evil threshold is crossed, it does seem that the choices keep getting worse. There is no inherent reason why this must be so, but there is ample anecdotal evidence that bears out the suggestion that, in our time and place, lesser evil voting encourages a downward spiral, "a race to the bottom."

    To be sure, America's deteriorating political culture cannot be blamed entirely, or even mainly, on the pervasiveness of this practice. The corruptions of money undoubtedly play a larger role.

    Still, lesser evil voting does seem to feed upon itself – hastening a downward trend.

    The consequences are especially damaging in a duopoly party system like ours, where choosing the lesser evil means choosing a Democrat or (in very rare instances) a Republican, further diminishing the already meager prospects of breaking free from the duopoly's stranglehold.

    * * *

    Is lesser evil voting itself an evil?

    To say Yes would be to overstate the point – not just because the principle behind the practice is sound but, more importantly, because sometimes worse really is worse.

    The problem, though, is that there is often no way to tell. There is too much indeterminacy.

    Let's concede, for the sake of argument, that, all things considered, there has been less peace under the rule of Nobel laureate Obama than there would have been had the war-mongering McCain or the War Party pandering Romney defeated him in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Lets suppose, in other words, that the increased pusillanimity of Democrats in Congress swamped the advantages of electing a less bellicose leader.

    It might still be the case that Obama's nominations for the Supreme Court and for other seats on the federal judiciary have been better, less retrograde, than McCain's or Romney's would have been. We can never know, of course, but there are no plausible grounds for doubting that this is the case.

    Then how are we to apply the lesser evil principle, taking both considerations into account? How can voters make considered judgments that involve comparing apparently incomparable considerations?

    And if the problem seems disabling with only two factors taken into account, what can we do when all the many respects in which X can be better or worse than Y must also be factored in?

    Yet voters take the lesser evil route apparently without anguish or effort. How is this possible? How can they ignore so many complexities?

    For those who voted for Obama, the answer is plain: it reduces to one word – Republicans.

    As the 2016 election takes shape, it is looking like this will happen again, notwithstanding the effects of the race to the bottom. Once again, Republicans will be the reason why liberals will turn out in droves to vote for – God forbid! – Hillary Clinton.

    However awful Democrats become, however Clinton-like, and however plain it may be that, where Democrats and Republicans are involved, worse can be and often is better, Republicans are there to make voting for the Democrat seem the clear lesser evil choice.

    It is as if the Republican motto were: we will not be out-eviled. Bring on your Clintons and Bidens and, yes, your Obamas – and we will raise the ante a hundred, a thousand, fold.

    This may have more to do with appearance than reality. But where Republicans are concerned, appearances tend to overwhelm. Even voters who expect the worst cannot help but be amazed at how awful Republicans sometimes are.

    In just the past week, for example, there was the unmitigated, oh so Christian, nonsense pouring forth out of the mouth of Texas Senator and declared candidate for the GOP nomination, Ted Cruz.

    His audience of evangelicals at Liberty University reportedly loved it; so, it seems, did a gaggle of viciously Zionist donors in New York. One would think that nothing could make Hillary Clinton look good – but they do.

    And then there is Scott Walker, and others even more risible. As Al Jolson, used to say: "you ain't heard nothin' yet."

    Tea Party Republicans – are there any other kind? – probably think about Democrats in much the way that sane people think about the Tea Party.

    Some of their reasons are even worth listening to because, as the Germans say, der Hass sieht scharf (hatred sees sharply).

    But, in the end, when dealing with whack jobs or worse (like those Zionist donors falling in behind Cruz), the wisest course is to ignore them, as best one can. It is either that or stack up on blood pressure meds.

    Unfortunately, ignoring them isn't always possible – because of the power they wield.

    This is where Democratic Party cheerleaders like Rachel Maddow have a use. They are good for spreading the word when Republicans embarrass themselves – in other words, when they do anything at all.

    What a dreary prospect the impending lesser evil election will be, what, as Chester A. Riley would say, a revolting development!

    But we can always hope for a silver lining: we can hope that, with Hillary Clinton for the lesser evil, the American electorate may finally wake up from its acquiescent slumber.

    The downward spiral is bound to bottom out eventually. If not with Clinton, who? And if not now, when?

    * * *

    Incomparability is not the only source of indeterminacy; sometimes it is hard to get a purchase on just how bad or good an alternative is.

    Obama voters in 2008 and 2012 could be reasonably confident that McCain's or Romney's judicial appointments would be worse than their candidate's, but by how much? Who knows!

    Yet the lesser evil voters who fell in behind Obama must have had some idea. Otherwise, how could they factor this consideration in with all the others?

    Of course, they weren't exactly weighing plusses and minuses; they were making choices based on informed intuitions, as voters characteristically do.

    Therefore, at least to some extent, their vote for Obama reflected a considered judgment. But with all the indeterminacies involved, it was a judgment made in conditions of uncertainty – and it may well have been wrong.

    Indeterminacy is an even more disabling problem the more remote one is from the scene.

    What, for instance, are Americans (or anyone living far away from the quotidian politics of the Promised Land), who care about peace and justice, to make of the recent election in Israel?

    Was it best, all things considered, that Benjamin Netanyahu won? His victory does make the true face of Israeli intransigence harder to deny; and this, in turn, makes it harder for the leaders of the countries that make Israel's colonial project possible – the United States, especially - to justify enabling Israel's continuing predations.

    Many Palestinians and a few Israelis on the scene, along with informed observers from abroad, have argued – seemingly cogently – that, Netanyahu's sheer awfulness notwithstanding, his victory was a good thing.

    Some have even argued that the daily lives of Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories would be no better under Isaac Herzog than under Netanyahu. If they are right about that, then, at least from a Palestinian perspective, there is no doubt that it is better that Netanyahu won.

    Of course, there are also cogent arguments on the other side.

    And if we take other relevant perspectives into account – among others, those of Israeli Arabs and Jews - the situation becomes murkier still.

    What then is the lesser evil conclusion?

    Especially from the outside looking in, it is difficult to say. It is difficult from within as well. There is just too much indeterminacy involved.

    * * *

    One final point: we should be careful not to confuse lesser evil thinking with the kind of strategic maneuvering that is the heart and soul of politics, or with a political line based on what Lenin called "the concrete analysis of concrete situations."

    Greek voters in last January's election, the ones whose highest priority was to end, or at least mitigate, the effects of, the brutal austerity regime that the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund had imposed on Greece, had two choices.

    They could vote, as many did, for Syriza, the party now in power; or they could vote for Antarsya, a party to its left. Both parties seek an end to austerity politics. But Syriza is pledged to try to keep Greece in the Eurozone – at least until it becomes clear that the situation is hopeless. Antarsya favors immediate withdrawal.

    Most anti-austerity voters chose Syriza. For some, this may have been a strategic choice; they may have thought that the more "moderate" of the two anti-austerity parties had a better chance of scoring enough votes to form the next government; or they may have thought that, were it to come to power, Syriza's chances were better than Antarsya's for winning over necessary public support in Greece and throughout Europe.

    Others may have agreed with Syriza's analysis of the situation: that because fascism is a live threat in Greece today, and in other parts of Europe as well, that now is not a good time to risk causing increased financial instability in Greece and throughout Europe or otherwise to put the fragile economies of the continent in jeopardy.

    Some of those Syriza voters might, under different circumstances, have preferred Antarsya's program. But in the circumstances they faced, they opted for Syriza instead.

    These voters were not choosing the lesser evil or even the less good choice among acceptable alternatives. It might look like they were, but the similarities are superficial.

    They were engaging in real politics.

    This is what is supposed to happen in democracies, where, in theory, the demos , the people (in contrast to social and economic elites) rule. Elections are one way democratic politics gets done.

    In actually existing democracies – our own and, until recently, Greece's – the opposite is the case. Social and economic elites do the politics, and then, when election time comes, they sell the voting public on the results they want – calling on the people to legitimize the outcomes with their votes.

    Elites do not always get the candidates or parties they favor – indeed, they disagree among themselves - but they always win.

    This is what our elections are about; and this is not about to change between now and November 2016.

    At this point, it seems clear – let's say 85% likely - that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate. If she is, then it is maybe 90% likely that she will be the lesser evil candidate with the most votes. What is 100% likely is that the demos will lose again.

    If we do indeed have another President Clinton in our future, then it is also extremely likely that, this time, the true lesser evil will be the one who has the honor of doing the demos in.

    In retrospect, Obama may not have been the lesser evil all things considered. But Clinton, if she runs, surely will be - not because voters now are less myopic than they used to be or because she is a better choice than Obama was. In fact, she is a worse choice – by far.

    But she will be the real lesser evil because the Republican candidate, whether Jeb Bush or somebody even more ludicrous, is sure to seem utterly vile – even from the most far-sighted vantage point available.

    And she will win because that Republican will scare even right-wing voters away – either because he will be so retrograde that even voters far to the right of Cokie Roberts' dead center will not be able to abide him, or because, like Mitt Romney in 2012, he will be so phony that Tea Partiers will refuse to jump on board.

    Plutocrats will fuss – and spend – to keep that from happening, but their efforts will be in vain.

    And so, one likely election result will be that there will be less evil than there might otherwise have been. But the downward trend of our politics will not change; quite the contrary, it will continue unabated.

    And, needless to say, the election will have nothing to do with changing the world for the better.

    For that, what is needed is the kind of politics that is now taking shape in the land where the idea of democracy first emerged – and in other countries on Europe's periphery, where finance capitalism's predations have been more than usually intense.

    If it can happen in those places, under those conditions, it can happen anywhere.

    It can certainly happen here. The indignation that gave rise to the Occupy movement cannot remain repressed forever. And it is surely not beyond our capacity to find ways to seize that energy, and use it to transform the economic and political conditions that make it both possible and necessary.

    The Greeks are on to something, the Spaniards too – and the Portuguese, the Irish, the Italians and more. Even in Germany and other redoubts of finance capitalism, the idea is dawning that the same old, same old cannot go on much longer.

    There must be a way for us too to ride the wave– even with a more than usually dreary electoral distraction looming in the months ahead.

    ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

    [Feb 19, 2017] The 2016 election was part Mad Magazine What, me Worry?

    Feb 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 07:41 AM
    'Obama and others have handed him (Trump) a pretty well functioning economy'...not the only way that Obama set the table for Trump. We also have a terrifying NSA to thank Obama for. With SCOTUS in hand, all the pieces are in place for a police state.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> JohnH... , February 18, 2017 at 07:56 AM
    I am not that worried yet. The 2016 election was part Mad Magazine "What, me Worry?" And the other part was "What Hillary? You got to be kidding me!"

    It was also a backlash reaction to globalization and persistently low wages, both accumulating over a long time now. There are a lot of kinds of backlash and we have the potential for all of them in our American diversity. Which one will be next?

    ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM
    I am less worried now we got Trump and not apparatchik (experienced in deep state and catering to Jihadis) Clinton.
    ilsm -> JohnH... , February 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM
    The faux librul side is all Joe McCarthy phony red scaring and surveillance of the opposition activists sort of like what Army Intell did to hippies protesting the liberals' debacle in Southeast Asia.

    Deep state surveillance and trashing the Bill of Rights is a legacy of the past 8 years.

    Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 07:58 AM
    There was also the unprecedented austerity forced on the economy by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    The Obama years were worse for some people than the Bush years even if the numbers look pretty good today. That's partly why Trump won.

    8 years of 1.7 averaged annual growth? I think Rosser is suffering from the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 07:59 AM
    But the stock market is up, so, hey all good!
    Barkley Rosser -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 09:53 AM
    There is no question that at least some policies Trump is proposing will boost corporate profits at least in the short run. Not irrational at all for stock market to be up, especially backed up for now by steadily growing non-inflationary economy that Trump has inherited.

    And you thought you were being ironic, didn't you, Peter K.? :-)

    Peter K. -> Barkley Rosser ... , February 18, 2017 at 10:32 AM
    lol well I agree with Larry Summers that it's mostly a "sugar high."

    :>)

    ilsm -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 12:29 PM
    As a predictor the Dow and S&P are up til they are down.......

    [Feb 18, 2017] what's your solution to the lesser evil dilemma?

    Feb 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Chris Lowery -> Peter K.... , February 16, 2017 at 07:22 AM
    Peter, what's your solution to the "lesser evil" dilemma? I sympathize with your frustration, and I'm on board with your complaint over how Bernie was treated. But when it actually comes time vote in the general election, what's the solution? I keep thinking that if progressive voters had held their noses in 2000 and voted for Gore, we'd almost certainly have never gratuitously invaded Iraq, avoided squandering hundreds of thousands of lives and saved trillions of dollars.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Chris Lowery ... , February 16, 2017 at 08:25 AM
    You pose a very tough question. If we stick with the lesser evil then lacking any competition they will stick it to us. That is what happens when you have no choice. We have seen it already. One can hardly consider the Republican Party a choice if one works for a living and is well informed.

    The only thing that I have ever come up with is an anti-incumbency solidarity movement that holds re-election of all politicians at both the state and Federal level hostage until they deliver on ratified constitutional amendments that provide real campaign finance reform, an absolute end to gerrymandering, a ranked/preferential/instant-runoff style replacement for first past the post voting, legislative term limits of reasonably long but well short of lifetime duration, and popular election petition and referendum power to overturn select SCOTUS decisions (notable citizens unite - but who knows what would be next).

    Peter K. -> Chris Lowery ... , February 16, 2017 at 08:27 AM
    The solution is to have an open and honest debate.

    I agree that we shouldn't hold Democrats to impossible standards but we should hold them accountable.

    There are too many economists who just give Democrats a pass and don't present an unvarnished history of what happened policy-wise. They spin and present alternative facts.

    Look, I voted for Hillary in the general. Sanders campaigned hard for her and he was easy on her during the primary. He didn't go after her e-mails, etc. I think that was the proper approach, even if Hillary supporters treated Bernie unfairly.

    Because of 9/11 I think Bush turned out a lot worse than people expected. Still, now with President Trump people look back fondly on Bush.

    Chris Lowery -> Peter K.... , February 16, 2017 at 09:23 AM

    All good points.

    Chris Lowery

    RGC -> Chris Lowery ... , February 16, 2017 at 09:22 AM
    When the plutocrats found themselves losing the political battle back in the 60s, Lewis Powell suggested a plan of action:

    " Businessmen of the World, Unite!

    The organizational counterattack of business in the 1970s was swift and sweeping - a domestic version of Shock and Awe. The number of corporations with public affairs offices in Washington grew from 100 in 1968 to over 500 in 1978. In 1971, only 175 firms had registered lobbyists in Washington, but by 1982, nearly 2,500 did. The number of corporate PACs increased from under 300 in 1976 to over 1,200 by the middle of 1980.[5] On every dimension of corporate political activity, the numbers reveal a dramatic, rapid mobilization of business resources in the mid-1970s.

    What the numbers alone cannot show is something of potentially even greater significance: Employers learned how to work together to achieve shared political goals. As members of coalitions, firms could mobilize more proactively and on a much broader front. Corporate leaders became advocates not just for the narrow interests of their firms but also for the shared interests of business as a whole.
    .....................
    http://billmoyers.com/content/the-powell-memo-a-call-to-arms-for-corporations/
    .......................................

    Bernie Sanders showed that a populist message could resonate with a yuuuge number of people. And those people would respond via the internet.

    Unfortunately the DNC quashed that movement in the primaries and Sanders has not followed through since.

    I would guess that Bernies's message is still valid but isn't being broadcast effectively. A focusing organization is needed to marshall the anger and upset among the populace. Our Revolution was supposed to do that but hasn't taken off. An effective focusing organization is needed and progressives need to get behind it.

    Chris Lowery -> RGC... , February 16, 2017 at 12:15 PM
    People should absolutely read and understand Powell's memo - it's the clear game plan that the pro-business/anti-government crowd has faithfully followed to reverse the progressive tide of the '60's. Where we are now is no accident, nor the result of unintended consequences of policies.

    What progressives lack is such a clear strategy - and an organizational framework - for taking back the initiative from these reactionary forces. There are multiple polls and studies that document the fact that the majority of Americans back progressive policies, whether they be progressive taxation, preservation and enhancement of entitlement programs, humane immigration policies, and non-discriminatory employment and law enforcement policies, among others. What progressives generally lack is crisp and coherent messaging that shows their commitment to these policies, demonstrates the right's opposition to them, and doesn't get lost in the minutiae of a plethora of policy proposals.

    Sanjait -> Chris Lowery ... , February 16, 2017 at 10:13 AM
    Fight it out in the primaries and then quit your bitching in the general.

    That is how you will get the best policy outcome you can get.

    If Bernie had won the primary and Hillary PUMAs came out in force, they would be as worthy of derision as are the Busters and the cynical More Progressive Than Thous are currently.

    Chris Lowery -> Sanjait... , February 16, 2017 at 11:17 AM
    Hmmm... I get, and agree with, the recommendation embedded in your first two sentences - though I think the force of the language is a bit over the top. It's a bit naive to expect that people who hold strong opinions will simply fall into line with a choice that they're not necessarily enthusiastic about. This is consistent with the solution suggested by Peter K, and largely consistent I suspect with RC AKA Darryl, Ron's views, as well (if I can speak for both of them).

    However, I have no idea what you mean in your last paragraph. If you're suggesting that Bernie backers, as a group, are worthy of derision then I strongly disagree. I was a strong Bernie backer during the primaries, and campaigned and contributed to his effort. Then, when he lost I held my nose and did the same for Hillary. I'm pretty sure a majority of Bernie voters did the same, while acknowledging many did not. However, the evidence supports the view that the DNC skewed the process to favor Hillary - and I think progressives have a legitimate complaint over that. Would Bernie have won in an open, democratically run primary process? We'll never know - and that's the point. What we do know is that a enough otherwise Democratic voters were sufficiently unenthusiastic over the anointed choice to stay home (and enough others voted for the opposition) to allow a disastrously unqualified and deranged individual to win the election. I think those who did will share a major part of the blame for what this will cause; but that certainly doesn't absolve the Democratic leadership for their share of the blame - and since they're supposed to be the "grown ups" in the room, with charged with managing a process to produce a result that best advances the interests and views of Democratic voters, I think they bear the major share of blame...

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Chris Lowery ... , February 16, 2017 at 02:02 PM
    THANKS!

    [Feb 15, 2017] Americans arent as attached to democracy as you might think

    Notable quotes:
    "... Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. ..."
    "... Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess. ..."
    "... Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards. ..."
    "... On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time. ..."
    "... What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other. ..."
    Feb 15, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
    Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. Essentially can be be used as another form of lie and propganada

    Lawrence Douglas

    But, the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

    It is tempting to attribute this difference between Trump supporters and others simply to the fact that the president's supporters prefer a more authoritarian style of government, prioritize social order, like strong rulers, and worry about maintaining control in a world they perceive to be filled with threats and on the verge of chaos.


    As the PPP's survey reveals, Trump is appealing to a remarkably receptive audience in his attempts to rule by decree – and many are no longer attached to the rule of law and/or democracy. Other studies confirm these findings. One such study found a dramatic decline in the percentage of people who say it is "essential" to live in a democracy.

    When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how "essential" it is for them "to live in a democracy," 72% of Americans born before World War II check "10," the highest value. But, the millennial generation (those born since 1980) "has grown much more indifferent." Less than 1 in 3 hold a similar belief about the importance of democracy.

    And, the New York Times reports that while 43% of older Americans thought it would be illegitimate for the military to take power if civilian government was incompetent, only 19% of millennials agreed.

    While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences, they have come of age in a time of political paralysis in democratic institutions, declining civility in democratic dialogue, and dramatically increased anxiety about economic security.

    These findings suggest that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy. That's why, while President Trump's behavior has riveted the media and the public, our eyes should not only be focused on him but on this larger – and troubling - trend.

    If the rule of law and democracy are to survive in America we will need to address the decline in the public's understanding of, and support for both. While we celebrate the Ninth Circuit's decision on Trump's ban, we also must initiate a national conversation about democracy and the rule of law. Civics education, long derided, needs to be revived.

    Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable. Defenders of democracy and the rule of law must take their case to the American people and remind them of the Founders' admonition that: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

    We need to remember that our freedom from an arbitrary or intrusive government depends on the rule of law and a functioning democracy. We need to rehabilitate both – before this crisis of faith worsens.

    Austin Sarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College

    , greatapedescendant , 11 Feb 2017 11:29

    "There is much to celebrate in the court decision against President Trump's immigration ban. It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."

    A stirring victory of the rule of law? Hardly. More like an extraordinary act of politicised justice. And an orchestrated one at that. In my opinion that is, and as I see it at this point in time and from what I am able to discern.

    No. I do not see not see any stirring victories for the rule of law here here. Certainly no courage of truth or justice. Nor, as it happens, do I like this travel ban. Nevertheless, the court's ruling seems to me to be wrong since the constitution gives the president the power to enforce blanket bans against countries believed to pose a threat.

    I cannot see how the ban could justifiably be said to be aimed specifically at Muslims since it does not concern some 90 percent of the world's Muslim population. So it looks very much like a political decision from the 9th Circuit Court – and now San Francisco - in a tug of war between Democrats and Republicans.

    I am somehow reminded of the final "Yes we can" in Obama's farewell speech and of a sore loser – the vindictive Mrs Clinton. Some smooth transfer of power.

    The very fact that expert analysts are already sizing up what will be the Supreme Court's decision in terms of breaking the stalemate between 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats provides a perfect illustration of the politicisation of the judiciary at the highest level. Compatibly with this, Democrats are continuing to block Gorsuch's nomination.

    And compatibly with this the illusion of salutary Rawlsian** apolitical amnesiacs on the part of the judiciary disperses like Scotch mist.

    Somehow I have a clear mental picture of a newspaper editor, no one in particular, sitting back in his chair with a smug smile 'Look how we managed to swing that one', I hear him say. The principal protagonists here, overshadowing the US lawcourts, are the mainstream media. A power never to be underestimated, especially when the choir is singing in full maledictory and mephitic unison.

    **The reference is to A Theory of Justice, the monumental work on philosophy of law by John Rawls. It casts damning light on judicial impartiality by focusing on distorting criteria affecting juries. Worth reading in the context of attacks on the impartiality of the judiciary in US lawcourts taking place right now. And also in the wake of recent attacks on the judiciary in Britain over Brexit.

    , sam0412 imperium3 , 11 Feb 2017 11:53
    This,

    Interesting that Clinton's 52% is regarded as a God-given mandate where as the 52% for Leave is unfair as the voters were "too old/uneducated/outside London"

    In both campaigns if more people my age (26) had actually bothered to vote then the results would probably be very different.

    , Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 11:34

    Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

    But that is an utterly assinine question to ask anyone!

    "Making decisions for the United States" suggests setting policy. The judges Trump is so angry with aren't making policy decisions, they are interpreting the laws that already exist.

    Laws without and independent judiciary are not laws at all, they are just whims of whoever or whatever is in power. Might as well ask people do you prefer to live in a country that follows its laws or do you want to live at the whim of an irrational despot with irresponsible power who can do whatever the hell he pleases.

    This survey is clearly a case of garbage in garbage out. Which is a pity, because the subject is an important one.

    , LithophaneFurcifera Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
    In a common law system, like those of Britain and the US, judges do make law. If there is no relevant legislation and no precedent, the judge is required to make new law in order to rule on the case, which will then be cited as precedent by future courts. In a civil law system, like those of continental Europe, judges merely interpret (and generalise, where necessary) the rules set out in statutes and codes, and have less scope to innovate.

    Of course, the recent case over Trump's immigration plans has been based on interpretations of the constitution though, but even interpretations are political (hence why the balance of power between liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court is considered such a big issue).

    , Veryumble , 11 Feb 2017 11:35
    After nearly 40 years of corporate, lobbyist controlled politics, it's little surprise the younger generation have no faith in democracy. What on earth is the point in voting for two shades of the same shit?
    , YoungMrP , 11 Feb 2017 11:36
    You could argue that the US has never been a democracy. It is a strange democracy that allowed slavery, or the later segregation in the south, or that has systematically overlooked the rust belt taking all the gold for the liberal coasts.

    It seems democracy is simply a way of deciding who the dictator should be. Not unlike the U.K. Either.

    , YoungMrP therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:15
    If you were black in Alabama in the early 60s I don't think you would have enjoyed any more freedom, respect or control than your Russian counterpart at that time
    , jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:38
    democracy is, of course, the best form of governance but in practice we see it benefit the wealthy who unhindered can rob
    the poor, only a socialist government can
    usher in a true government to do so it may
    be needed to have an authoritarian regime
    , Cape7441 jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
    True socialism is a form of government which sounds wonderful in theory. In practice it has never successfully worked anywhere in the world. It does not take account of human nature.
    , Captain_Smartypants jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
    Sorry but in the authoritarian nominatively socialist governments of the past the poor were as robbed off the fruit of their labour and their dignity as they are today.
    , BonzoFerret , 11 Feb 2017 11:39
    It's effectively a FPTP system that means you have a choice from only two parties. Even if someone could challenge they'd need to be a billionaire to do so. America is no democracy.
    , Andy Wong Ming Jun therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:22
    Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe. Neither was Franco's Spain. Looking in other areas of the globe and further away from the West, what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?
    , therebythegrace Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:14

    Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe

    Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, it's in very poor taste.

    My parents grew up in Nazi Germany. Yes, it was a zillion times worse. Political opponents were routinely murdered. There was no rule of law. Minorities, gay people etc were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, expelled.

    WTF are on you on about?

    , Metreemewall Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:50
    Clueless.

    Germany was broke, following their defeat in WWI; people were poor, humiliated,insecure and frightened for the future. In other words, the classic breeding ground for demagogues and extremists.

    After WWII, the Allies had learned their lesson and made sure that Germany should, for everyone's security, be helped to prosper.

    , Wehadonebutitbroke Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 16:05
    what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?

    The Friemanite right adored him and many of his equally repressive and dictatorial successors (just as they did Pinochet, Suharto (deemed by Transparency International to be the most corrupt leader in modern history to boot) and endless South American juntas etc).

    Every one else saw him for what he was - an authoritarian who had political opponents tortured and killed and who banned any form of protest.

    , John Favre praxismakesperfec , 11 Feb 2017 16:11

    And is it particularly surprising that Trump voters tend towards anti democratic authoritarianism?

    My dad and two of my brothers voted for Trump. Like most Americans, they detest authoritarian governments. I sincerely doubt you know any Trump voters - let alone ones who favor authoritarianism.

    , fauteuilpolitique , 11 Feb 2017 11:42
    How to misdirect readers with a BUT :

    In a cross-section of Americans, only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump t