Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

News Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Who Rules America Recommended Links Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism American biblical nationalism and religious far right Economic nationalism
American Exceptionalism Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization TTP, NAFTA and other supranational trade treaties Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism  Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  
Debt slavery The Grand Chessboard American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Merchants of Debt Greece debt enslavement Eroding Western living standards Ukraine debt enslavement Russian nationalists
New American Militarism Predator state Neoconservatism Madeleine Albright as a precursor of Hillary Clinton Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia Robert Kagan Wolfowitz Doctrine Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism
National Security State Neo-fascism Elite Theory New American Militarism Christian Theocratic Movements Financial Humor Quotes Humor Etc
And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

-- Howard Zinn

Neoliberalism creates powerful nationalistic impulses die to its failure of fulfill its promises. Disappointed, impoverished, and, especially, unemployed people are easy recruits for far right movements.  In this sense the situation is similar to Bolshevism, which after being discredited as ideology (which was based on the promise of rising standard of living and eventual overtaking the capitalist West in prosperity) failed to keep the country together because of  growing (and lavishly supported both in propaganda and financially by the West) wave of nationalism which swept the USSR into oblivion. Disintegration of the USSR was based on two major factors -- betrayal of the "nomenklatura" which switched to neoliberalism, and abandoning Comminist ideology (in which actually nobody believed after 1970th)  and the tide of nationalistic sentiments.

Now nationalism is on the rise in all major Western countries. Such events as Brexit and election of Trump are links of the same chain of events.

Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an neoliberal economic order and ideology. Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich is generally hostile to nationalism. It often purposely destabilize  the nation-states to open them to transnational corporations ("creative destruction" of sort), the dominant political players under neoliberalism. For example, when the federal government of Canada adopted neoliberal policies one immediate consequence was the termination of the funding programs  for the francophone community cultural programs (along with the termination of the welfare programs). Indeed, the Official Languages Act itself was overhauled.

The United States' pursuit of global primacy is based upon a complex melding of neoliberal economics and hegemonic politics which produce strong anti-American sentiments in various part of the globe, fueling nationalism.  US imperialism is inherently predatory  and profoundly different from the productive capitalism that had been the basis of American economic success. It is essentially a War and color revolutions based racket. It has important difference with classic colonialism: what traditional colonialism tried to achieve with standing armies now is achieved using financial instruments and tiny strata of  "comprador elite" within the given country.  Putting the nation into debt-bondage proved to be even more effective in extracting resources from the countries then the old colonial rule. 

Ethno-nationalism is not the only form of nationalism in existence. Moreover, Ethno-nationalism is in decline, as it is now discomforting intellectually and morally for many people. But two other, more modern and no less powerful forms of nationalism emerged: "cultural nationalism" and "economic nationalism".

As social scientists demonstrated nationalistic sentiments are often a product of culture, often deliberately constructed by the local elite to achieve pretty nefarious and selfish goals.  Still the culture can as solid core of nationalism as ethnicity. this new form of nationalism became an important player on the world scene.

Ukrainian color revolution of February 2014 (EuroMaydan), despite surface slogans about Eurointergation, was fought and won by Western Ukrainian nationalists, which later tried to impose their will on the rest of the country provoking the civil war in Donbass (with substantial help from Russia, which decided to support Russian speaking population against Ukrainian nationalists cultural assault).  While they were ethnic nationalists in the past, now they by-and-large converted in cultural nationalists, which oppose not Russians as a national by Russian culture and language and try to instill Ukrainian culture and language in the country were the majority of population speaks Russian.

So far the net result was a destruction of the Ukrainian economy due to break-up of Soviet era ties with Russian industries and abandonment of Russian market (while Ukrainian goods are no values as much in Western markets and face various often artificial barriers in EU). In 216 the impoverishment of the population reached the Central African states level (less then $2 dollar a day for the majority of population).

Americans generally are strongly negative to the idea of ethnic nationalism and that's is one of the best features of Americans as a nation. After all, in the United States people of varying ethnic origins live in peace. For example within two or three generations of immigration,  ethnic identities of Western and Eastern European immigrants are attenuated by cultural assimilation and intermarriage. In general, immigrants to the United States usually arrive with a willingness to fit into their new country and reshape their identities accordingly. But for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities still sometimes take more ancient ethnic or religious form, producing powerful claims to political power. In the past, the creation of nation-states in Europe has often the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. 

While the apogee of ethno-nationalism was probably in 1930th and during post war decolonization,  ethno-nationalism while in decline still remain a powerful social force in some countries. In many way ethno-nationalism is still linked with national socialism.  But traditional national socialism version of ethno-nationalism  was slowly but surely replaced by what the form that is based on colon culture and language --  "cultural nationalism". I think that  American Exceptionalism is one of the most interesting examples of this type of nationalism. And the fact that US flags in the USA are everywhere definitely signify its strength in mind of the people. Unlike many European state were driving a car with the national flag would be considered bad manners, in the USA it is OK behaviour.

The US elite as the leading imperial elite that overtook British elite on the world stage achieved great mastery in using divide and conquer strategy by inciting nationalistic feelings all over the world. This mastery (despite Bush "Chicken Kiev" speech)  was especially demonstrated in facilitation the break-up of the USSR. It was nationalism that had blown up the USSR when it started experiencing economic difficulties and crisis of the political doctrine under which it was created as well as suffering from the losing Afghan war.

It is interesting to note that the crisis in the USSR was amplified due to supply of modern technology. Personal computers inside the country which broke traditional hold on distribution of literature by Communist Party (which rules the country as a religious sect, crushing even minor deviations form holy doctrine), were very similar to Stringers hand held missiles in Afghan war, which deteriorated Russian air superiority, and limited the use of helicopters (with a pretty nasty effect 30 years later).  This along the  money with which the USA and Saudi financed radical Islamic fundamentalism  converted Islamist revels it into a powerful political force. Political Islam was if nor born then strengthens in Afghan war.  Which paradoxically is another example of "cultural nationalism", were the religion serves as the cementing force and identification of us vs. them. .

People often forget that Osama bin Laden was essentially a recruiting agent on Saudi Intelligence payroll during the USSR Afghan war.  In this sense tragedy of 9/11 was simply a blowback of previous efforts to defeat the USSR in Afghan war by whatever means possible. And one of those means was spreading of Wahhabism and what can be called "Islamic cultural nationalism". 

As author of the note Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11? observed:

I would indeed go further and say that Islamic schools infuse a dangerous and un-Islamic Islam-supremacist, and indeed now sectarian Wahhabi-supremacist view vis-à-vis all other religions and cultures and this is at least partly responsible for many of the problems Muslims face around the world today.

In other words with  the ascendance of neoliberalism nationalism re-emerged as a powerful countervailing force.  Brexit was just the first powerful manifestation of this effect.

likbez : , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 02:47 PM
Neoliberalism creates an impulse for nationalism in several ways:

1. It destroys human solidarity. And resorting to nationalism in a compensational mechanism to restore it in human societies. that's why the elite often resorts to foreign wars if it feels that it losing the control over peons.

2. Neoliberalism impoverishes the majority of population enriching top 1% and provokes the search for scapegoats. Which in the past traditionally were Jews. Now look like MSM are trying to substitute them for Russians

3. Usually the rise of nationalism is correlated with the crisis in the society. There is a crisis of neoliberalism that we experience in the USA now: after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, when the ideology is discredited, but forces behind it are way too strong for any social change to be implemented. Much like was the case during "Brezhnev socialism" in the USSR.

So those who claim that we are experiencing replay of late 1920th on a new level might be partially right. With the important difference that it does not make sense to establish fascist dictatorship in the USA. Combination of "Inverted totalitarism" and "national security state" already achieved the same major objectives with much less blood and violence.

Secessionist movements

In the post-Second World War period until 1989, superpowers were committed to upholding existing state boundaries. While decolonization was permitted, the borders of states were treated, in international law and practice, as permanent—non-negotiable—features of the international state system.

Secessionist movements are based on groups that have a strong national identification, and are fuelled by nationalism. Minority nations, in multination states, often criticize state policies on the grounds that they implicitly privilege the majority national group on the territory. They have resisted majority control over certain aspects of state policy, and have made claims for state protection of their culture or for recognition of their distinct identity. This usually means that they want their language to be used in official capacities and their children to be educated in their language and about their culture. They typically demand their own political institutions, to enable them to control their own affairs.

As a political principle nationalism postulates that the political and national unit should be congruent. That naturally leads to secessionist movements. It has many variations and in weaker form presuppose  the moral significance of the national community, its existence in the past and into the future, and typically seeks some form of political protection to safeguard its future existence.

One advantage of viewing nationalism as a normative theory about the value of national membership and national communities is that it can account for the key policies or demands of nationalists. On this conception, the demand for national self-determination is an important plank in many nationalist movements although not, contra Gellner, a fundamental principle of nationalism. Nationalists may, and often do, seek complete independence or state sovereignty. However, in some cases, where the costs of independence are too high, or the benefits of independence too precarious, nationalists may seek other forms of institutional recognition.

,,, ,,, ,,,

the category 'nation', like 'friends' and 'lovers', falls into the second group. It is contingent on its members' sustaining a certain image of it based on their perceptions and feelings—although of course there are a number of conditions which lead to the construction of an image of a nation, such as shared religion, language, law, geographical isolation, colonial policies, bureaucratic decisions, and the like.

... ... ...

David Miller lists five elements that together constitute a nation: it is, he writes 'a community (1) constituted by shared beliefs and mutual commitments, (2) extended in history, (3) active in character, (4) connected to a particular territory, and (5) marked off from other communities by its distinct public culture'. 12 This definition also suggests that the subjective identification is crucial.

... ... ...

One common line of argument, associated with the work of Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, and others, is that national identity is linked with broad historical forces. National forms of identity become prominent in the modern period as a result of industrialization, and the social and bureaucratic changes that accompany industrialization—or precede it, in the case of states aspiring to be industrialized. In Gellner's formulation of the argument, the modern economy is crucially dependent on standardized modes of communication and cultural practices, and people's life chances are shaped by the language in which they communicate, as well as other cultural forms of interaction. This is in contrast to the premodern period when cultural or linguistic differences were politically irrelevant.

That means that the language and culture  became the most important components which defines the boundaries of national identity, while all other characteristics that define nationality, such as specific for given ethnos DNA, receded. That consideration gave rise of élite-manipulation models of nationalism. They view national identity as the product of actions by political or economic élites, who foster national identities for their own (self-interested) ends. More sophisticated élite-manipulation theories describe élites as encoding violence or antagonism as ethnic or national which could be described in other ways—as criminal or class violence, say—for their own ends. Nationalism  is merely a means for élites to preserve or enhance their own power and status in the society. This is a variation of the old Plato's argument that the masses are easily duped and so cannot steer the ship of state. The fact that nations are socially constructed does not suggest that they are less real or are to be regarded with suspicion. Some people focus on the fact that they are 'imagined' communities to suggest that they may have no basis in 'reality'.

The social image is important because it is impossible for all its members to engage in face-to-face contact with each other at all times. Therefore members must refer to their perception of the image of the nation. Of course, on this definition, many, if not most, communities, except the very smallest, are imagined in the same way. Religious communities are imagined; my university is imagined; even my extended family is imagined. 26 But they may all be important, and legitimate, bases of identification.

That means that it is more accurate to describe national identities as existing along a continuum, with the language, the habits or customs or character of the group on one end and the institutional structure of state on the another. For example, in immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, where groups of people left their various 'homelands' to become part of a different political project, immigrant groups do not have the "national territory" as a basis to reproduce their own culture en masse and the political identities in question—the Canadian, Australian, and American identities — are genuinely available to them, in the sense that the host society did not exclude them from the political project and the political project propose to then a new, "born again"  cultural and political identity. In case the have like, for example in Quebec -- their nationalism assumes the forms that are typical for Old World.

Similarly in the case of France, ethnic groups were incorporated or integrated into France prior to the Age of Nationalism, and assimilation was largely effective. There has been some attempt to revive these minority nationalisms, but minority nations typically lack much shared (institutionally separate) history—since Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Languedoc and Burgundy were all incorporated into France prior to 1500.  They lack an institutional basis, as well as social differentiation. The nationalisms are accordingly very weak. The French formula cannot be applied to other areas, where separate institutional or bureaucratic structures were in place by the time of mass democratic participation and the politicization of national and cultural differences by the bureaucratic modern state.  But the reaction against immigrant communities, especially Muslim community was very strong.

At the same time, as little as forty years ago, Britain was thought to be a homogeneous society, with strong class politics, but little in the way of national politics. Now, however, the conglomerate 'British' national identity seems to be eroding and is challenged by Scottish, Welsh, and to a lesser extent—and mainly in reaction to the other two nationalisms—English national identities.

The issue of rights to territory is also important because one basis of the distinction between immigrant groups and national groups is that the latter have territory and the former do not. Whether a group has territory is therefore crucially important, not only to this conceptual distinction, but it also affects, on at least one influential argument, the kind of rights and entitlements that attach to the groups.

Given the chronic availability of nationalist and ethnic idioms in modern polities, one might expect economic crises to foster heightened nation-statist or ethnic exclusion.  Intensified efforts to blame national and ethnic outsiders for economic distress, to protect domestic producers and workers against foreign (or ethnically “alien”) competition, or to treat politically vulnerable minorities as scapegoats. And earlier crises furnish ample precedent for such efforts. This review has suggested, however, that economic crises do not automatically or uniformly generate such responses and that nationalist and ethno-political responses to the present crisis have so far been relatively muted.

The credit crisis on 2008 was mainly interpreted in nation-statist terms and was blamed (outside the United States) on the American profligacy, American-style casino capitalism, the global financial system, or an externally imposed neoliberalism.

Until Brexit nationalist reaction of the crisis of neoliberalism  — or reactions with a more or less pronounced nationalist components were not successful outside a few countries such as Hungary and Russia. Legal and institutional constraints, complex forms of economic interdependence, and prevailing cultural idioms have all worked to inhibit radical measures designed to protect domestic producers or labor markets (although more limited forms of protection were widely implemented).  Even in the USA, the citadel of neoliberalism, the disenchantment with neoliberalism led to the rise of such politicians as Sanders and Trump.

It is   too soon to assess consequences of Brexit on neoliberal globalization, but it is clear that the growing wave of nationalism is able at least to slow if not revert that recent neoliberal "advances" in this direction. If you add coming oil crisis the future of neoliberal globalization now looks more and more uncertain.

As Indonesian Chinese massacre of 1998 proves modern societies are sill not above finding ethnic scapegoats in case of severe economic crisis:


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Aug 03, 2020] American exceptionalism fans imperial designs. We must reject it. by CLAES G. RYN

Notable quotes:
"... A striking example of philosophical messiness and confusion is that the conservative movement even incorporated clearly anti-conservative ideas, specifically, the anti-historicism advanced by Leo Strauss and his followers. Strauss championed what he called "natural right," which he saw as sharply opposed to tradition. He called the latter "the ancestral" or "convention." To look to them for guidance was to be guilty of the great offense of "historicism," by which he meant moral relativism or nihilism. History, Strauss insisted, is irrelevant to understanding what is right. Only ahistorical, purely abstract reason is normative. ..."
"... The Jaffaite notion that America rejected the past and was founded on revolutionary, abstract, universal ideas contributed to what this writer has termed "the new Jacobinism." According to this ideology, America is "exceptional" by virtue of its founding principles. Since these principles belong to all humanity, America must help remake societies around the world. "Moral clarity" demands uncompromising adherence to the principles. The forces of good must defeat the forces of evil. Inherently monopolistic and imperial, American principles justify foreign policy hawkishness and interventionism. ..."
"... These contrasting views of America entail wholly different nationalisms. The moralistic universalism of American exceptionalism, with its demand that all respect its dictates runs counter to the American constitutional spirit of compromise, deliberation, and respect for minorities. Exceptionalism does not defuse or restrain the will to power, but feeds it, justifying arrogance, assertiveness, and even belligerence. ..."
"... In a speech in the spring of 2019, Pompeo declared that America is "exceptional." America is, he said, "a place and history apart from normal human experience." It has a mission to oppose evil in the world. America is entitled to "respect." It should dictate terms to "rogue" powers like Iran and confront countries like China and Russia that are "intent on eroding American power." This speech was given and loudly cheered at the 40th anniversary gala of the Claremont Institute in California, whose intellectual founder was -- Harry Jaffa. ..."
"... American exceptionalism is in important ways the opposite of a conservatism or a nationalism that defends the moral and cultural heritage that generated American constitutionalism. Exceptionalism fans imperial designs. ..."
"... the phony opposition between nationalism and American exceptionalism on the one hand, and globalism. Any nationalism is only one step removed from globalism, but the nationalism of small countries is usually fairly harmless because the countries themselves are weak. But American nationalism and exceptionalism is in practice indistinguishable from globalism. It simply makes explicit from which location the globe will be ruled. ..."
"... The original idea behind American Exceptionalism is that we are the "Shining City on the Hill". In other words, we were a good example to others. There was nothing in there about the residents of that Shining City going out and invading its neighbors to force them to follow its good example. ..."
"... Sociopaths respect no limits on their power. ..."
"... Actually, according to Kurt Vonnegut, it was neither nationalism nor liberty - but piracy! One group of pirates trying to break away from another. Then again, perhaps that is what you mean by the heralded "liberty"? ..."
Jul 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
A child waves the United States flag from the crown of Liberty Enlightening the World, less formally known as The Statue of Liberty, on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. | Detail of: 'Statue of Liberty' by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

Reactions to globalization, the Trump presidency, and the coronavirus pandemic have turned discussions of American conservatism increasingly into discussions of "nationalism." Regrettably, terminological confusion is rampant. Both "conservatism" and "nationalism" are words of many and even contradictory meanings.

The strengths of post-World War II American intellectual conservatism have been widely heralded. As for its weaknesses, one trait stands out that has greatly impeded intellectual stringency: a deep-seated impatience with the supposedly "finer points" of philosophy. Making do with loosely defined terms has made conservatism susceptible to intellectual flabbiness, contradiction, and manipulation.

This deficiency is connected to a virtual obsession with electoral politics. William F. Buckley's path-breaking National Review was an intellectual magazine, but its primary purpose was to prepare the ground for political victories, most of all for capturing the presidency. The desire to forge a political alliance among diverse groups pushed deep intellectual fissures into the background. Having a rather narrowly political understanding of what shapes the future, most conservatives thought that the election and presidency of Ronald Reagan signified the "triumph" of conservatism; but the triumph was hollow. The reason is that in the long run politicians have less power than those who shape our view of reality, our innermost hopes and fears, and our deeper sensibilities. A crucial role is here played by "the culture" -- universities, schools, churches, the arts, media, book publishing, advertising, Hollywood, and the rest of the entertainment industry -- which is why America kept moving leftward.

For post-war so-called "movement" conservatives, conservatism meant chiefly limited government, a free market, anti-communism, and a strong defense. These tenets were all focused on politics, and vastly different motives hid behind each of them. Why were these tenets called "conservatism"? Rather than point to a few policy preferences, should that term not refer to a general attitude to life, a wish to conserve something, the best of a heritage? One thinks of the moral and cultural sources of American liberty and constitutionalism. But, outside of ceremonial occasions, most movement conservatives placed their emphasis elsewhere.

A striking example of philosophical messiness and confusion is that the conservative movement even incorporated clearly anti-conservative ideas, specifically, the anti-historicism advanced by Leo Strauss and his followers. Strauss championed what he called "natural right," which he saw as sharply opposed to tradition. He called the latter "the ancestral" or "convention." To look to them for guidance was to be guilty of the great offense of "historicism," by which he meant moral relativism or nihilism. History, Strauss insisted, is irrelevant to understanding what is right. Only ahistorical, purely abstract reason is normative.

Hampered by a lack of philosophical education, many Straussians have been oblivious to the far-reaching and harmful ramifications of this anti-historicism. By blithely combining it with ideas of very different origin, they have concealed, even from themselves, its animosity to tradition.

One of Strauss's most influential disciples, Harry Jaffa, made the radical implications of Straussian anti-historicism explicit. In his view, America's Founders did not build on a heritage. They deliberately turned their backs on the past. Jaffa wrote: "To celebrate the American Founding is to celebrate revolution." America's revolution belonged among the other modern revolutions. It is mild "as compared with subsequent revolutions in France, Russia, China, Cuba, or elsewhere," he wrote, but "it nonetheless embodied the greatest attempt at innovation that human history had recorded." The U.S. Constitution did not grow out of the achievements of ancestors. On the contrary, radical innovators gave America a fresh start. What is distinctive and noble about America is that, in the name of ahistorical, abstract, universal principles, it broke with the past.

This view flies in the face of overwhelming historical evidence. The reason the Founders were upset with the British government is that it was acting in a radical, arbitrary manner that violated the old British constitution. John Adams spoke of "grievous innovation." John Dickinson protested "dreadful novelty." What the colonists wanted, Adams wrote, was "nothing new," but respect for traditional rights and the common law. The Constitution of the Framers reaffirmed and creatively developed an ancient heritage.

The Jaffaite notion that America rejected the past and was founded on revolutionary, abstract, universal ideas contributed to what this writer has termed "the new Jacobinism." According to this ideology, America is "exceptional" by virtue of its founding principles. Since these principles belong to all humanity, America must help remake societies around the world. "Moral clarity" demands uncompromising adherence to the principles. The forces of good must defeat the forces of evil. Inherently monopolistic and imperial, American principles justify foreign policy hawkishness and interventionism.

Compare this notion of America to what is implied in Benjamin Franklin's famous phrase about what the Constitutional Convention had produced -- "a republic, if you can keep it." To sustain the Constitution, Americans would have to cultivate the moral and cultural traits that had given rise to it in the first place. To be an American is to defend an historically evolved inheritance, to live up to what may be called the "constitutional personality." Only such people are capable of the kind of conduct that the Constitution values and requires. Americans must, first of all, be able to control the will to power, beginning with self. They must respect the law, rise above the passions of the moment, take the long view, deliberate, compromise, and respect minorities. Whether applied to domestic or foreign affairs, the temperament of American constitutionalism is modesty and restraint. There is no place for unilateral dictates.

These contrasting views of America entail wholly different nationalisms. The moralistic universalism of American exceptionalism, with its demand that all respect its dictates runs counter to the American constitutional spirit of compromise, deliberation, and respect for minorities. Exceptionalism does not defuse or restrain the will to power, but feeds it, justifying arrogance, assertiveness, and even belligerence.

During the presidency of Donald Trump many proponents of American exceptionalism who want preferment have recast their anti-historical universalism as "nationalism," showing that the term can mean almost anything. It is now "nationalist" to demand that American principles be everywhere respected. For example, Mike Pompeo, a person of strong appetites and great ambition, has put this belief behind his campaign of assertiveness and "maximum pressure."

In a speech in the spring of 2019, Pompeo declared that America is "exceptional." America is, he said, "a place and history apart from normal human experience." It has a mission to oppose evil in the world. America is entitled to "respect." It should dictate terms to "rogue" powers like Iran and confront countries like China and Russia that are "intent on eroding American power." This speech was given and loudly cheered at the 40th anniversary gala of the Claremont Institute in California, whose intellectual founder was -- Harry Jaffa.

What may seem to political practitioners and political intellectuals to be hair-splitting philosophical distinctions can, on the contrary, have enormous practical significance. American exceptionalism is in important ways the opposite of a conservatism or a nationalism that defends the moral and cultural heritage that generated American constitutionalism. Exceptionalism fans imperial designs. The culture of constitutionalism opposes them.

Claes G. Ryn is professor of politics and founding director of the new Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His many books include America the Virtuous and A Common Human Ground , now in a new paperback edition.

Related: Introducing the TAC Symposium: What Is American Conservatism?

See all the articles published in the symposium, here.

FND10 days ago

Leo Strauss is the father of neoconservatism.

bumbershoot10 days ago
Americans must, first of all, be able to control the will to power, beginning with self. They must respect the law, rise above the passions of the moment, take the long view, deliberate, compromise, and respect minorities.

All lovely ideas. Too bad our "conservative" president is capable of none of these.

kirthigdon10 days ago

Great essay by Professor Ryn in exposing again, as he has done so often before, the phony opposition between nationalism and American exceptionalism on the one hand, and globalism. Any nationalism is only one step removed from globalism, but the nationalism of small countries is usually fairly harmless because the countries themselves are weak. But American nationalism and exceptionalism is in practice indistinguishable from globalism. It simply makes explicit from which location the globe will be ruled.

Feral Finster9 days ago

All true, every word, but the problem with American exceptionalism isn't a matter of semantics or clever arguments but a matter of power.

This is why the definition of exceptionalism keeps shifting, because as a practical matter it means "whatever is in the interests of empire" at this particular moment in this particular case.

TheSnark9 days ago • edited

The original idea behind American Exceptionalism is that we are the "Shining City on the Hill". In other words, we were a good example to others. There was nothing in there about the residents of that Shining City going out and invading its neighbors to force them to follow its good example.

These days we are trying to force others to follow good ideals and high standards that we are ourselves following less and less.

Gaius Gracchus TheSnark9 days ago

Exactly. The author twists words and creates strawmen and red herrings and argues with dead men.

Washington and Hamilton set forth an idea of country separate from all others and different. Yes, America is and was exceptional. Friend to all, ally to none, an example to all the world, based in English heritage and culture. It was founded by conservative revolutionaries, who attempted to claw back freedoms taken away by those in London, who were becoming overlords of an empire. There was "year zero", and early America could draw on all of English history, plus the Enlightenment, the Renaissance, ancient Greece and Rome, as well as religious traditions going back to antiquity.

It was always the Jeffersonian impulse towards revolution that was different. Jefferson loved the Year Zero France. But Jefferson at his core was an idealist.

The problem was that idealists like Jefferson gradually gained power a little over a hundred years ago. Their idealism was used by those who wanted to exploit America's power to further their own goals contrary to the ideals of American exceptionalism and American tradition. Greed and idealism went together and America used the cover of American exceptionalism to create an empire.

As to Buckley, his goal seems more like controlled opposition than anything else. He was a gatekeeper for the powerful, defining acceptable conservatism, keeping conservatism on the plantation. Conservativism Inc continues to try to do so.

Trump is a return to classic American traditionalism and exceptionalism. He is attempting to reshape the world along nationalistic lines, which is why AMLO in Mexico praised him so much. Globalists don't want to lose their power. Oligarchs don't want to give up their exploitation and extraction systems. Pundits don't want to give up their money train and status. Bureaucrats don't want actual democracy.

We will see how it shakes out.

Andrew Gaius Gracchus8 days ago

Not so sure about the traditionalism part, but he at least represents the first real rejection of Wilsonianism in decades.

Disqus10021 L RNY9 days ago

On Wikipedia's list of the 50 cities with the world's highest homicide rates (per 100,000 population), the US has 4, South Africa has 4 and the rest are in Latin America. It hardly makes us the shining city on a hill or exceptional, unless you think a high crime rate is good.

Daniel Baker9 days ago

Mark Twain said, "The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." Today I would modify Twain a bit; when conservatives adopt some radical idea, the radicals respond by declaring that idea worn out. Exhibit A would be the idea of "American exceptionalism."

The historical fact is that American exceptionalism is a Communist concept, devised by Stalin in 1929 to describe -- and to dismiss -- what his American agents told him about the huge differences between American society and European societies, both of which Soviet-sponsored parties were trying to control. These differences included far lesser class distinctions, greater racial animosities, a labor movement much more concerned with economic bargaining than fielding political candidates, vastly weaker political parties, much more ethnic and religious diversity, and more hostility to centralized government. Today, we would have to add far more imprisonment of criminals, more approval of the death penalty, and a jealous passion for the right to have guns, although those differences weren't nearly as wide in 1929 as now. American exceptionalism exists. You can argue about whether it is good or bad, and certainly some of the differences between America and Europe are better or worse than others, but it's pure pretense to claim that America is an ordinary, unexceptional Western country. And no one on the left made any such pretense, until people on the right started talking about and glorifying (or at least not denigrating) "American exceptionalism," which had previously been solely a term of contempt. The radicals invented the views, then declared them worn out when the conservatives adopted them.

The truth that America is an exceptional country does not, of course, mean that its foreign policy has always been wise, and certainly it does not mean that America's catastrophic blundering in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq were either morally right or good for Americans. It merely means that we can't correct those mistakes by pretending that the country we're trying to rescue is unexceptional, that it is no different from other societies, and thus that foreign policies accepted by European or Asian voters will necessarily be winners here too.

Daniel Baker Guest8 days ago

I don't know why you think any of this is even relevant to my point: that American exceptionalism is real, and that desperately needed foreign policy reforms won't work if we ignore that fact. Worse, the points you raise all distort the real nature of America's differences from other Western countries.

American and European laws on abortion are very little different; in most of Europe, as in America, abortion is legal and accepted, Poland being one of the very few exceptions. We're probably closest to Ireland, where abortion has been recently legalized but remains socially frowned on. Again, whether you or I think that's a good thing or a bad thing doesn't matter; it's simply not one of the major points of difference between America and Europe.

Explaining the difference in imprisonment between Europe and America solely by America's greater black and Hispanic population is wrong in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. First, the difference in imprisonment is very recent, starting in the early 1990s and largely devised by a centrist Democratic US president; America's black and Hispanic population has always been much larger than Europe's, so it can't explain the difference in imprisonment. Second, America imprisons whites as well as blacks much more than Europe does. Third, poor blacks and Hispanics commit crimes at the same rate as poor whites of the same economic status; poor people of whatever race or color choose to commit crimes more often, because they have more incentive to make that choice. The higher black and Hispanic crime rate simply reflects the fact that far more of them are poor. As long ago as the 19th century, the British poor were called by the upper class "the criminal classes," and that reflected the undeniable truth that the British poor, like poor people everywhere, committed more crime than anyone else.

I thank you for the BBC link; I had long suspected that Europe's ban on the death penalty often didn't reflect popular opinion at first, but I didn't have the data proving it. But that doesn't in any way change the fact that considerably more Americans than Europeans support the death penalty, and long have, which is why European elites were able to get away with banning it without losing elections, and American elites have not.

Again, I'm not saying anything about whether any of these differences between America and the rest of the West are good or bad.. My point is that they exist, and it's no good pretending that they don't merely because America's foreign policy isn't working very well.

Scott McLoughlin9 days ago

I'll say it over and over, but GOP is Right Wing Lockean (Maritime Imperialist) "Anything Goes" Liberalism. DNC is Left Wing Lockean (Maritime Imperialist) "Anything Goes" Liberalism. We use these words wrong in our USA. Traditionalist Conservatives have NEVER enjoyed political party representation here. We are to-date completely a-historical and delusionally racist "Novum Organum" conquistadors with English accents. Good News? Better futures lie ahead of us. Start with agrarianism, potable water, and arable land. North America is underpopulated. I worked for State Dept. I witnessed the World Bank's destruction of Ukraine. Ask me a real question. I'll answer honestly. We suffer post-WW2 legacy Daddy and Mommy Warbucks here, writing checks to their own kids. We can, must and will do better. Those without pasts are without futures. To Survive is to Sur Vivre, Live Above. Hold tight. Have faith.

Ray Woodcock9 days ago

There is the wish for what definitions should do in political and religious discussion, and then there is the reality of what they actually do. The wish is that, by using the word "definition," I am referring to something like the definition of a mathematical concept. We can define precisely what addition means. The problem is, we cannot do that with terms like conservatism. Ryn's argument illustrates the failure of that attempt: we have "wholly different nationalisms"; we have something that calls itself conservatism but it's wrong, because Ryn says so.

Definitionism leads to abstruse dispute, as scholars tussle over what is really nationalistic or conservative. The rest of us look on askance. Most people are not interested in a discussion filled with labels, like, "I'm a cisgender vegetarian transsexual white socialistic vegetarian Capricorn with subclinical mental disabilities." For most people, that sort of definition-oriented declaration comes across as hostile to discussion. Like, "I'm here in my castle. I dare you to try to penetrate it." The intrepid soul who attempts to start an actual friendly conversation, in response to that sort of statement, is likely to move away from definitionism. Not "You cannot be white: your skin is brown," but rather, "Really! My sister is a Capricorn!"

Definitionism (in some ways a/k/a labeling) is more likely to destroy dialogue than to create it. "Oh, you're a [fill in the blank]: you can't be good." It is possible to be a Nazi, a Bolshevik, or anything in between -- and still, in various regards, to be smart, friendly, successful, etc. Political dialogue is like dipping a ladle into a soup kettle: you may pull out some beans, some meat, some corn -- but possibly no one knows what else lurks in there. The attempt to define is is not merely a lost cause -- it basically misses the point.

dbriz8 days ago • edited

Ah but the revolution was not based at all on nationalism. It was for liberty. The Articles, as the war, were not based on ideas of nationalism but more libertarian than not. Lest we forget, the convention was called to improve the Articles. That the federalists (nationalists) hijacked the convention required quashing liberty in favor of a cleverly designed campaign masking the future.

Patrick Henry was on to it early:

"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object .But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire .Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government..."

In the end the anti federalists have been proven right.

Feral Finster dbriz8 days ago

Sociopaths respect no limits on their power.

Peekachu dbriz3 days ago

Actually, according to Kurt Vonnegut, it was neither nationalism nor liberty - but piracy! One group of pirates trying to break away from another. Then again, perhaps that is what you mean by the heralded "liberty"?

David Naas4 days ago
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

(John Adams, October 11, 1798.).

Are we still "a moral and religious people"? Well, are we?

Mayhap we are in deep trouble? Well, are we?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be"

(Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816.)

No comment.

"I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, that I ought to do. And what I ought to do, By the grace of God, I shall do."

(Edward Everett Hale)

[Aug 02, 2020] Being black as the key qualification: Reverse racism is one hell of a drug

Notable quotes:
"... PBS News Hour ..."
Aug 02, 2020 | www.msn.com

Democratic Congressman Believes a Black Woman on the Supreme Court Is a Priority Over VP

A top Democratic lawmaker said Friday that it was more important to have a Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court than as a running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

"The V.P. is good on style, but, on substance, give me an African American woman on the Supreme Court," House Majority Whip James Clyburn said during a segment on PBS News Hour . "That's where we determine how our democracy will be preserved."

... "I long for an African American woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court," he said. "It's a shame that we have had three women to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and no one has ever given the kind of consideration that is due to an African American woman."

[Jul 24, 2020] The UPA was, without any shadow of a doubt, responsible for the slaughter of at least 200,000 Polish civilians

Jul 24, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 26, Number 206 – Friday, July 24, 2020

The Guardian's headquarters in London. (Bryantbob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Craig Murray
CraigMurray.org.uk

The Guardian a few days ago carried a very strange piece [which has since been removed] under the heading "Stamps celebrating Ukrainian resistance in pictures." The first image displayed a stamp bearing the name of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

The UPA was, without any shadow of a doubt, responsible for the slaughter of at least 200,000 Polish civilians; they liquidated whole Polish communities in Volhynia and Galicia, including the women and children. The current Polish government, which is as anti-Russian and pro-NATO as they come, nevertheless has declared this a genocide.

It certainly was an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing. There is no doubt either that at times between 1942 and 1944 the UPA collaborated with the Nazis and collaborated in the destruction of Jews and Gypsies. It is simplistic to describe the UPA as fascist or an extension of the Nazi regime; at times they fought the Nazis, though they collaborated more often.

There is a real sense in which they operated at the level of medieval peasants, simply seizing local opportunities to exterminate rural populations and seize their land and assets, be they Polish, Jew or Gypsy. But on balance any reasonable person would have to conclude that the UPA was an utterly deplorable phenomenon. To publish a celebration of it, disguised as a graphic art piece, without any of this context, is no more defensible than a display of Nazi art with no context.

In fact, The Guardian's very brief text was still worse than no context.

"Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Kosmach collects 20th-century stamps issued by Ukrainian groups in exile during the Soviet era.

Artists and exiles around the world would use stamps to communicate the horrors of Soviet oppression. "These stamps show us the ideas and values of these people, who they really were and what they were fighting for," Kosmach says."

That is so misleadingly partial as a description of the art glorifying the UPA movement as to be deeply reprehensible. It does however fit with the anything -- goes stoking of Russophobia, which is the mainstay of government and media discourse at the moment.

[Jun 16, 2020] When a guy from Slovakia enters the USA, the moment his airplane lands, he is automatically classified as "evil white your ancestors enslaved blacks".

Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

Rahan , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT

When a guy from Slovakia enters the USA, the moment his airplane lands, he is automatically classified as "evil white your ancestors enslaved blacks".

Although his "ancestors" not only never enslaved any blacks, but actually helped aggressively the blacks to achieve independence all across Africa, back when his country was part of the communist half of the world.

So this is pure racism bullshit. You see a guy and you literally assign him guilt and sin due to the color of his skin.

Next, say you import some chaps from the Congo into the USA. The USA never had any slaves from the Congo. The Belgians oppressed the Congo. However, the moment these Congo negroes arrive to the USA, they automatically inherit the "my ancestors were slaves here" points.

Thus, on one hand, a Slovak who has literally zero connection to the slave trade in any shape of form (and instead has connection to helping fight colonialism), is automatically classified as "hereditary oppressor" when he enters the US, and then a negro, who has also literally zero connection to the slavery in the US, is automatically awarded "oppression points".

Thus we see, that even if we were to accept the left's fascist ideas about inherited racial guilt, or inherited systemic guilt, it all falls apart when you zoom in. It's made up mumbo jumbo which throws around privileges and sins literally based solely on the color of someone's skin.

So let's put this "muh slavery" and "muh ancestors" crap to rest. There are no "ancestors" let. Probably 4% of the population have slaver ancestors, of whom 2% are Jews, same with the blacks.
Everything else is simply a huge cloud of bullshit perpetuated by the scum who feed off it and use it as leverage to infiltrate and dismantle civilization, and many other people have their noble humanist instincts hijacked by this.

Yes, gollywogs is fine. Feel sad? Don't buy them. Still feel sad? Get therapy. Still feel sad? Go live elsewhere. Especially in Britain and Europe, nobody forced you to come. Can't adapt and want instead force society to adapt to you?

Hop on a flight and buzz off.

No, taking down statues is not OK. It's a tragedy every time. At the most, if there's too many of them, they should be moved to special city parks dedicated to a specific historical period. But tearing them down is Taliban and Bolshevik behavior, and even with a double dose of Jewish rhetoric, Bolshevik and Taliban behavior is not "democratic".

With blacks, with Jews, with everyone else, humanity needs to agree to a cutoff point. Say 30 years. After whatever evils have befallen you, you get gibs and an easy ride for 30 years. After this, you compete within society on the exact same conditions as everyone else. Can't handle it? Want to be a privileged group forever and ever?

Madagascar.

Blaming your parents for everything is OK until 3 years after you're a legal adult. Then it's on you. Blaming historical trauma for everything is OK for 30 years. After that it's on you.

Can't handle free will and individual responsibility?

Your place is not here.

Cowtown Rebel , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Rahan I agree with almost everything you said. I had an ancestor, Scotch-Irish, whose father fought in the American Revolution and who owned three slaves. A founder of The Republic of Texas, his name, that of his first son, and the names of the slaves are contained in a painted (not stained) glass window in a Church. The Church was built in the 1920's, but the windows were contained in an earlier edifice that the congregation used before. They were made in Germany, transported up the Red River and carted by wagon to North Texas in the 1880's.

The Slave's names were included because they had been founding members of the Church.

[Jun 16, 2020] Mobs are being allowed by the evil ruling class to run amok. Contrast with anti-lockdown protesters who were arrested in Hyde Park, London last month

Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

Amerimutt Golems , says: Show Comment June 12, 2020 at 9:42 pm GMT

Frothing over a harmless doll when Sub-Saharan Africans are busy murdering real pale-skinned people, be it Afrikaner farmers in South Africa or albinos.

As for 'noble' Hindus, didn't the Brits put an end to some of their savage norms like suttee or sati (widow-burning)? I don't even have time to talk about their caste system AKA social predestination plus female infanticide (aborting baby girls).

P/S: feral imported brown and black mobs are being allowed by the evil ruling class to run amok. Contrast with anti-lockdown protesters who were arrested in Hyde Park, London last month.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CvFMS6ffXs4?feature=oembed

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment June 12, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT
"Frothing over a harmless doll when Sub-Saharan Africans are busy murdering real pale-skinned people, be it Afrikaner farmers in South Africa or albinos."

I think that manner of vengeance is tragic. Just because whites engage in far worse in South Africa is not a cause for a small number of blacks to reek vengeance on albino children . . . or farmers and the open and seizures and swindles, murders, disappearances, poisonings, rapes and terror campaigns they engaged in and/or supported.

Chris Mallory , says: Show Comment June 12, 2020 at 11:11 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc.

Just because whites engage in far worse in South Africa

Dang those White people. How dare they bring civilization to a howling wilderness. Food to the starving, medicine to the sick.
How dare those Dutch allow the Bantu blacks into their nation when on their own the Bantu would have taken another 200 years to reach the site of Cape Town on the Atlantic. Of course if the Bantu had not had white men in their way, they would have completely exterminated the San and Khoikhoi.

brabantian , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 12:11 am GMT
Maybe it would be fairer if equal prominence were given to:

The massive enslavement of millons of Europeans and others by Muslims

The massive enslavement of millions of African blacks by other blacks

The massive role in enslavement of millions played by profit-seeking Jewish slave traders

Slavery practiced by non-white slave-owners, being quite a bit larger in terms of tens of millions over history, than that by white slave-owners

[Jun 14, 2020] Black Bolsheviks in full glory: BLM Releases List of Demands to White People

Jun 14, 2020 | thinkamericana.com

Once again, it's very difficult to tell what is parody and what is serious from the left. Now BLM releases a super racist list of white people demands. By all accounts, this is a serious list. So get your popcorn ready and enjoy.

Though BLM is known as an anti-racist group, (they're not) they are allowed to make a list of demands based entirely on race. These demands were created by the Black Lives Matter Louisville group. Take a look and let us know which of these demands you can't wait to fulfill.

Per Leo Weekly :

1. White people, if you don't have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.

2. White people, if you're inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You're bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.

3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.

4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.

7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty -- Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.

8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi's and Other lil' dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.

9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work -- Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.

10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn't mean taking up knitting, unless you're making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.

[Jun 14, 2020] Anonymous Berkeley Professor Shreds BLM Injustice Narrative With Damning Facts And Logic

Highly recommended!
A strange mixture of Black nationalism with Black Bolshevism is a very interesting and pretty alarming phenomenon. It proved to be a pretty toxic mix. But it is far from being new. We saw how the Eugène Pottier famous song International lines "We have been naught we shall be all." and "Servile masses arise, arise." unfolded before under Stalinism in Soviet Russia.
We also saw Lysenkoism in Academia before, and it was not a pretty picture. Some Russian/Soviet scientists such as Academician Vavilov paid with their life for the sin of not being politically correct. From this letter it is clear that the some departments already reached the stage tragically close to that situation.
Lysenkoism was "politically correct" (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with the broader Marxist doctrine. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man
"Lysenko was consequently embraced and lionized by the Soviet media propaganda machine. Scientists who promoted Lysenkoism with faked data and destroyed counterevidence were favored with government funding and official recognition and award. Lysenko and his followers and media acolytes responded to critics by impugning their motives, and denouncing them as bourgeois fascists resisting the advance of the new modern Marxism." The Disgraceful Episode Of Lysenkoism Brings Us Global Warming Theory
Notable quotes:
"... In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. ..."
"... any cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or 'Uncle Toms'. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders . Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques. ..."
"... The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians ..."
"... Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict . This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. ..."
"... If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? ..."
"... Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM's problematic view of history , and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position , which is no small number. ..."
"... The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people . There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is. ..."
"... The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn't led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. ..."
"... Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices - as do Nigerian Americans , who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department . The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession. ..."
"... Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades ; the 'systemic racism' there was built by successive Democrat administrations. ..."
"... The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes , carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed. ..."
"... MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today . We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing? ..."
Jun 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or 'Uncle Toms'. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders . Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians . Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates' undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black .

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict . This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.

And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department's apparent desire to shoulder the 'white man's burden' and to promote a narrative of white guilt .

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it's fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. "Those are racist dogwhistles". "The model minority myth is white supremacist". "Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime", ad nauseam.

These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse . Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are , common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM's problematic view of history , and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position , which is no small number.

I personally don't dare speak out against the BLM narrative , and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people . There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders . Home invaders like George Floyd . For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald's and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn't led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively.

Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices - as do Nigerian Americans , who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department . The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities , an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades ; the 'systemic racism' there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence . This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles . I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.

The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes , carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called 'race hustlers': hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.

Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth , we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.

MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today . We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children , playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors .

And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood . A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise . Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist . A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species.

I'm ashamed of my department. I would say that I'm ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It's hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

It shouldn't affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color . My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM , that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating . No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.

No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.

I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party's uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd's death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end .

I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free. play_arrow

LEEPERMAX , 12 seconds ago

Donations to Black Lives Matter are funneled through a Democratic fundraising group ...

seryanhoj , 36 seconds ago

This guy is not playing by the rules of US political discourse. His sins are:

1). Using real facts

2). Making logical deductions from the facts

3) Making assertions not in line with the script from his party, social group or race.

There is no future for such a man. We are in a time which prefers hysteria , lies and epic partisanship

simpson seers , 36 minutes ago

white muricans aren't racist, they kill equally....

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/02/former-american-drone-operator-us-military-worse-than-nazis/

Aubiekong , 36 minutes ago

Blacks will always be poor and fucked in life when 75% of black infants are born to single most likely welfare dependent mothers... And the more amount of welfare monies spent to combat poverty the worse this problem will grow...

taketheredpill , 37 minutes ago

Anonymous....

1) Is he really a Professor at Berkeley?

2) Is he really a Professor anywhere?

3) Is he really Black?

4) Is he really a He?

LEEPERMAX , 44 minutes ago

BLM is an international organization. They solicit tax free charitable donations via ActBlue. ActBlue then funnels billions of dollars to DNC campaigns. This is a violation of campaign finance law and allows foreign influence in American elections.

CRM114 , 44 minutes ago

I've pointed this out before:

In 2015, after the Freddie Gray death Officers were hung out to dry by the Mayor of Baltimore (yes, her, the Chair of the DNC in 2016), active policing in Baltimore basically stopped. They just count the bodies now. The clearance rate for homicides has dropped to, well, we don't know because the Police refuse to say, but it appears to be under 15%. The homicide rate jumped 50% almost immediately and has stayed there. 95% of homicides are black on black.

The Baltimore Sun keeps excellent records, so you can check this all for yourself.

Looking at killings by cops; if we take the worst case and exclude all the ones where the victim was armed and independent witnesses state fired first, and assume all the others were cop murders, then there's about 1 cop murder every 3 years, which means that since has now stopped and the homicide rate's gone up...

For every black man now not murdered by a cop, 400 more black men are murdered by other black men.

taketheredpill , 46 minutes ago

"As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black ."

It is the RATIO of UNARMED BLACK MALES KILLED to UNARMED WHITE MALES KILLED in RELATION TO % OF POPULATION. RATIO.

RATIO. UNARMED.

BLACK % POPULATION 13% BLACK % UNARMED MEN KILLED 37%

WHITE % POPULATION 74% BLACK % UNARMED MEN KILLED 45%

Is there a trend of MORE Black people being killed by police?

No. But there is an underlying difference in the numbers that is bad.

>>>>> As of 2018, Unarmed Blacks made up 36% of all people UNARMED killed by police. But black people make up 13% of the (unarmed) population.

UNARMED KILLINGS BY POLICE

UNARMED KILLINGS BY POLICE

YEAR Black Hispanic White

2015 36 19 31

2016 18 9 20

2017 19 12 24

2018(Apr) 7 1 10

2019 15 11 25

YEAR Black Hispanic White

2015 42% 22% 36%

2016 38% 19% 43%

2017 35% 22% 44%

2018(Apr) 39% 6% 56%

2019 29% 22% 49%

AVG 37% 18% 45%

% POPN 13% 16% 72%

ARMED > 18 YRS OLD TOY WEAPON

Black Hispanic White

2019 5 3 11

26% 16% 58%

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/fatal-police-shootings-of-unarmed-people-have-significantly-declined-experts-say/2018/05/03/d5eab374-4349-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

radical-extremist , 47 minutes ago

There's a massive Silent Majority of Americans , including black Americans, that are fed up with this absurd nonsense.

While there's a Vocal Minority of Americans : including Democrats, the media, corporations and race hustlers, that wish to continue to promulgate a FALSE NARRATIVE into perpetuity...because it's a lucrative industry.

Gaius Konstantine , 57 minutes ago

A short while ago I had an ex friend get into it with me about how Europeans (whites), were the most destructive race on the planet, responsible for all the world's evil. I pointed out to him that Genghis Khan, an Asian, slaughtered millions at a time when technology made this a remarkable feat. I reminded him the Japanese gleefully killed millions in China and that the American Indian Empires ran 24/7 human sacrifices with some also practicing cannibalism. His poor libtard brain couldn't handle the fact that evil is a human trait, not restricted to a particular race and we parted (good riddance)

But along with evil, there is accomplishment. Europeans created Empires and pursued science, The Asians also participated in these pursuits and even the Aztec and Inca built marvelous cities and massive states spanning vast stretches of territory. The only race that accomplished little save entering the stone age is the Africans. Are we supposed to give them a participation trophy to make them feel better? Is this feeling of inferiority what is truly behind their constant rage?

Police in the US have been militarized for a long time now and kill many more unarmed whites than they do blacks, where is the outrage? I'm getting the feeling that this isn't really about George, just an excuse to do what savages do.

lwilland1012 , 1 hour ago

"Truth is treason in an empire of lies."

George Orwell

You know that the reason he is anonymous is that Berkley would strip him of his teaching credentials and there would be multiple attempts on his life...

Ignatius , 1 hour ago

" The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people . There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is."

PhD thesis, right there. ..

Templar X , 1 hour ago

Ex-fed who trained Buffalo cops says shoved activist 'got away lightly'

By Craig McCarthy

June 12, 2020 | 12:31pm

A former fed who trained the police in Buffalo believes the elderly protester who was hospitalized after a cop pushed him to the ground "got away lightly" and "took a dive," according to a report.

The retired FBI agent, Gary DiLaura, told The Sun he thinks there's no chance Buffalo officers will be convicted of assault over the now-viral video showing the longtime peace activist Martin Gugino fall and left bleeding on the ground.

" I can't believe that they didn't deck him. If that would have been a 40-year-old guy going up there, I guarantee you they'd have been all over him, " DiLaura said.

" He absolutely got away lightly. He got a light push and in my humble opinion, he took a dive and the dive backfired because he hit his head. Maybe it'll knock a little bit of sense into him, " added the former fed, who trained Buffalo police on firearms and defensive tactics, according to the report...

https://nypost.com/2020/06/12/ex-fed-who-trained-buffalo-cops-elderly-activist-got-away-lightly/

NanoRap , 17 minutes ago

It's a great brainwashing process, which goes very slow[ly] and is divided [into] four basic stages. The first one [is] demoralization ; it takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which [is required] to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy, exposed to the ideology of the enemy. In other words, Marxist-Leninist ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged, or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism (American patriotism).

The result? The result you can see. Most of the people who graduated in the sixties (drop-outs or half-baked intellectuals) are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, [and the] educational system. You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. T hey are contaminated; they are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind[s], even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and the logic of behavior. In other words, these people... the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To [rid] society of these people, you need another twenty or fifteen years to educate a new generation of patriotically-minded and common sense people, who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.

Yuri Bezmenov

American Psycho , 16 minutes ago

This article was one of the most articulate and succinct rebuttals to the BLM political power grab. I too have been calling these "allies" useful idiots and I am happy to hear this professor doing the same. Bravo professor!

[Jun 13, 2020] Chicago Fed Economist Fired For Criticizing Defund The Police

Jun 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Chicago Fed Economist Fired For Criticizing "Defund The Police" by Tyler Durden Sat, 06/13/2020 - 17:40 Submitted by Mark Glennon of Wirepoints

If you are among the two-thirds of Americans opposing calls by Black Lives Matter to defund the police, think twice about saying so in public.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is the latest example of what you might face. On Friday it cut ties with a prominent University of Chicago economics professor, Harald Uhlig, who was a scholar at the bank, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The Chicago Fed said it terminated Mr. Uhlig's contract effective that day.

What was Uhlig's sin?

A series of tweets criticizing Black Lives Matter's call to defund police departments.

BLM had "just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice," Uhlig tweeted.

"Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better," he wrote.

The full text of the tweets is linked here .

If you think those comments seem harmless, you are not alone. Beyond the two-thirds of Americans who tell pollsters they oppose calls for defunding, you have to wonder how many more are afraid to answer polls honestly.

Uhlig also knocked those who tried to redefine what defunding means by claiming "it just means funding schools (who isn't in favor of that?!?)." He was absolutely right to do that. We wrote just this week why calls to defund mean just that, which was affirmed by a New York Times column Friday headlined, "Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police."

The Chicago Fed wasn't the first to go after Uhlig for his tweets. Earlier reactions were covered by both the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider , reactions the National Review described as a mob attack on academic freedom.

Over the past few years we learned to expect, even to shrug off, charges of racism or insensitivity over even the most sensible or innocuous comments.

What's new just in the past month, however, is far more frightening.

It's the surrender by so many companies and institutions to intimidation by the most radical voices, such as those who would defund the police. Contributions to Black Lives Matter are pouring in from corporate America and dissenting voices are being muzzled and punished. The Federal Reserve Bank properly guards its independence, and its local banks pride themselves on independence even from one another. But for the Chicago Fed, that independence apparently ends when the mob shows up.

These are terrifying times for reasons far beyond law and order. This is about freedom of expression and America itself.

[Jun 13, 2020] Are Trump's economic policies helping African Americans

African Americans wages increased under Trump; absolute number of people with jobs not so much.
Jun 13, 2020 | www.youtube.com
' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ Joel Ishman 1 day ago 1 thing that makes no sense...how are there statistics on how anti-Black or anti-Hispanic this country is??? The problem with statistics is that numbers never give the full story of a situation & statistics can always be easily manipulated by who is taking them. Whether positive or negative. Read more Show less 1 day ago 24 24 Dislike Reply View 2 replies Hide 2 replies Show more replies traczebabe 3 days ago We are living in communist China. The propaganda machine is all we are allowed to hear. When truth is put into the mix those who believe the propaganda can't handle it. It shows they have zero critical thinking. Maddening! ' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ Islam Muhammad 2 days ago Trump is not a racist; he just a politician and a billionaire, a Billionaire is going to say what they want to, because they are free people! ' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ Old romrider 5 days ago Professor, have you ever heard the phrase "actions speak louder than words?" Referring to 2:30 in this debate ' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ Queen Sapphire 1 day ago (edited) "Republicans ties to corporate power and Wall Street" are you kidding me ? Every billionaire hedge fund manager I have come across are die hard democrats, and I have talked and been exposed to 100s of them, all DEMOCRATS that live in exclusive, multimillion dollar homes with no people of color in sight. They are firm believers of income segregation. ' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ Queen Sapphire 1 day ago (edited) "Republicans ties to corporate power and Wall Street" are you kidding me ? Every billionaire hedge fund manager I have come across are die hard democrats, and I have talked and been exposed to 100s of them, all DEMOCRATS that live in exclusive, multimillion dollar homes with no people of color in sight. They are firm believers of income segregation. ' . /* Most common used flex styles*/ /* Basic flexbox reverse styles */ /* Flexbox alignment */ /* Non-flexbox positioning helper styles */ IQTriggerfishy 2 days ago xen·o·pho·bi·a noun "dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries."

[Jun 13, 2020] Cornell Law Prof Says There's A Coordinated Effort To Have Him Fired After He Criticized Black Lives Matter

Jun 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Recall, it was just days ago that we pointed out Cornell professor and friend of Zero Hedge Dave Collum was publicly shamed by Cornell for daring to express the "wrong" opinion about current events on social media. Now, there's a second Cornell professor coming under fire for his critique of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson has challenged any student or faculty member to a public debate about the Black Lives Matter movement after he says liberals on campus have launched a "coordinated effort" to have him fired from his job. At least 15 emails from alumni have been sent to the dean, demanding that action be taken, according to Fox News .

"There is an effort underway to get me fired at Cornell Law School, where I've worked since November 2007, or if not fired, at least denounced publicly by the school," Jacobson wrote on Thursday . "I condemn in the strongest terms any insinuation that I am racist."

Jacobson founded the website Legal Insurrection and says he's had an "awkward relationship" with the university for years as a result. The recent outrage comes as a result of two posts he recently made on his site:

"Those posts accurately detail the history of how the Black Lives Matters Movement started, and the agenda of the founders which is playing out in the cultural purge and rioting taking place now," Jacobson said.

Jacobson (Source: Jacobson's Blog, Legal Insurrection )

He recently wrote on his blog: "Living as a conservative on a liberal campus is like being the mouse waiting for the cat to pounce. For over 12 years, the Cornell cat did not pounce. Though there were frequent and aggressive attempts by outsiders to get me fired, including threats and harassment, it always came from off campus."

"Not until now, to the best of my knowledge, has there been an effort from inside the Cornell community to get me fired," he says.

"The effort appears coordinated, as some of the emails were in a template form. All of the emails as of Monday were from graduates within the past 10 years," he continued. Jacobson's "clinical faculty colleagues, apparently in consultation with the Black Law Students Association" drafted and published a letter denouncing 'commentators, some of them attached to Ivy League Institutions, who are leading a smear campaign against Black Lives Matter.'"

Cornell responded , backhandedly defending the Professor's right to his own opinion:

"...the Law School's commitment to academic freedom does not constitute endorsement or approval of individual faculty speech. But to take disciplinary action against him for the views he has expressed would fatally pit our values against one another in ways that would corrode our ability to operate as an academic institution."

"This is not just about me. It's about the intellectual freedom and vibrancy of Cornell and other higher education institutions, and the society at large. Open inquiry and debate are core features of a vibrant intellectual community," he stated.

"I challenge a representative of those student groups and a faculty member of their choosing to a public debate at the law school regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement, so that I can present my argument and confront the false allegations in real-time rather than having to respond to baseless community email blasts."

"I condemn in the strongest terms any insinuation that I am racist, and I greatly resent any attempt to leverage meritless accusations in hopes of causing me reputational harm. While such efforts might succeed in scaring others in a similar position, I will not be intimidated," Jacobson concluded.

[Jun 13, 2020] Former Navy officer rails against Black Lives Matter

Jun 13, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Philip Michaud 1 year ago

Is it just me, or is it black folks who actually did something with their lives that realize the hypocrisy of the black lives matter movement?

Last First 2 days ago (edited)

This woman should be "the mother of the year" for an entire generation!

Texas Papa 11 months ago

Honesty goes across all racial lines. I respect Peggy. She is standing up for the truth.

paul mcgee 1 day ago

Things have changed, they will call this black woman a racist too.

SG R 11 months ago (edited)

She was on point 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 It takes a special type of bravery to speak out

Lidya Lu 2 years ago (edited)

Finally a smart black woman that speaks truths I bet left is dying

R 6 days ago (edited)

BLM is CBLM (CERTAIN Black Lives Matter, this phrase is not mine, it is from another black commentator) Only thing talked about is ones that fit a political agenda. R.I.P. David Dorn.

[Jun 10, 2020] The nationalist right should embrace police defunding. Let communities police themselves.

Jun 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Old Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment June 10, 2020 at 11:35 am GMT

The nationalist right should embrace police defunding. Let communities police themselves.
Peter Turchin's studies show that our polarization has reached catastrophic levels. The immiseration of the working and middle classes is 5 decades old and shows no sign of abating.
Plus we hate each other. De-platforming and firing for tiny, frivolous reasons will continue. The (second) American experiment is crashing, and the decline looks irremediable. Look at the streets.
The Great Society experiment is a failure. 80% of black Americans believe that race relations are worse today than in 1960.
If self-policing doesn't work (it probably won't), at least it will pave the way for peaceful separations based on "irreconcilable differences." Communities will develop a sense of sovereignty. A key aspect of state power is the exercise of legitimate coercion.
In any event, we do not have to kneel. "Is life so sweet and peace so dear "

[Jun 10, 2020] Justice vs revenge.

Jun 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , says: Show Comment June 10, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT

That's what people really want, justice. They want to see Floyd's killer prosecuted, convicted and put behind bars.

That's not justice, that is revenge. Justice would be a thorough examination of the facts of the matter and any mitigating factors that would lead a jury of the accused cops' peers to an appropriate verdict, which might also be acquittal.

As for the economy, the current fantasy-land painted by our leaders reminds me of the StayCations and FunEmployment of 2009-2010, including madam Pelosi's quip that we should all be free to be artists on someone else's dime. Instead, over time, we got more barristas and wait-staff jobs, more despair, and more opioid deaths.

C'est la vie.

[Jun 10, 2020] It's the globalist war of control to defeat the nationalists

Jun 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

jsinton , says: Show Comment June 10, 2020 at 10:38 am GMT

Russiagate. Impeachment scam. Planned demic. Obamagate. And now white lives don't matter. All these things are really the same thing.

It's the globalist war of control to defeat the nationalists.

In America, it means war on God, family, and love of America. We've been bombarded with this war for decades, but now Trump has brought the war out into the open. The good news is that the left is now at peak irrationality, and the tide is turning. They've used up all the kitchen sinks to throw at Trump, and now he's stronger than ever. No love lost for Trump on my part, but who in their right minds can vote for Biden now? It's Nixon '68 all over again.

[Jun 09, 2020] Mefobills

Jun 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

says: June 8, 2020 at 6:49 pm GMT 100 Words

Below is link of BLM's specific demands. Negrolatry is not only insane from the white perspective, but also insane BLM demands.

http://dissident-mag.com/2020/06/06/what-are-blms-specific-demands-and-why-you-have-to-go-looking-for-them/

Clown world has to be funded into existence, hence my focus on the monetative. Thanks Jews.

[May 23, 2020] With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12: 22 pm GMT

With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

That is correct and that is because it works the majority of Americans are stupid.
Do you see a solution suggested here?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT

It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.

The neocons never went anywhere. Trump is a minion of the Deep State and staffs his administration accordingly.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@BL

My point is simple and ineluctable, whatever our demerits, our great republic is supposed to weed out psychopaths like Brennan long before they get as close as he has to destroying the whole shebang.

Never happens all administrations are full of psychopaths.

Hiram of Tyre , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
Frankly nothing new. Every Empire sought to rule the world and committed a long list of atrocities in the process. "The empire on which the sun never sets", in reference to the British Empire (the one currently still ruling the world), comes from Xerxes' "We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders." as he invaded Greece.

That said, a word on the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski Doctrine and their Pentagon world map would be on point here

[May 03, 2020] Never in my country: COVID-19 and American exceptionalism by Jeanne Morefield

Notable quotes:
"... Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World." ..."
"... In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy. ..."
"... The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization. ..."
"... In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit. ..."
"... Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness. ..."
"... The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace. ..."
"... To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over. ..."
Apr 07, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

This March, as COVID-19's capacity to overwhelm the American healthcare system was becoming obvious, experts marveled at the scenario unfolding before their eyes. "We have Third World countries who are better equipped than we are now in Seattle," noted one healthcare professional, her words echoed just a few days later by a shocked doctor in New York who described "a third-world country type of scenario." Donald Trump could similarly only grasp what was happening through the same comparison. "I have seen things that I've never seen before," he said . "I mean I've seen them, but I've seen them on television and faraway lands, never in my country."

At the same time, regardless of the fact that "Third World" terminology is outdated and confusing, Trump's inept handling of the pandemic has itself elicited more than one "banana republic" analogy, reflecting already well-worn, bipartisan comparisons of Trump to a " third world dictator " (never mind that dictators and authoritarians have never been confined solely to lower income countries).

And yet, while such comparisons provoke predictably nativist outrage from the right, what is absent from any of these responses to the situation is a sense of reflection or humility about the "Third World" comparison itself. The doctor in New York who finds himself caught in a "third world" scenario and the political commentators outraged when Trump behaves "like a third world dictator" uniformly express themselves in terms of incredulous wonderment. One never hears the potential second half of this comparison: "I am now experiencing what it is like to live in a country that resembles the kind of nation upon whom the United States regularly imposes broken economies and corrupt leaders."

Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World."

In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy.

The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization.

Since then, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow the governments of approximately 50 countries, many of which (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and Chile) had elected leaders willing to nationalize their natural resources and industries. Often these interventions took the form of covert operations. Less frequently, the United States went to war to achieve these same ends (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq).

In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit.

Trump's claim that Obama had "hollowed out" defense spending was not only grossly untrue, it masked the consistency of the security budget's metastasizing growth since the Vietnam War, regardless of who sits in the White House. At $738 billion dollars, Trump's security budget was passed in December with the overwhelming support of House Democrats.

And yet, from the perspective of public discourse in this country, our globe-spanning, resource-draining military and security apparatus exists in an entirely parallel universe to the one most Americans experience on a daily level. Occasionally, we wake up to the idea of this parallel universe but only when the United States is involved in visible military actions. The rest of the time, Americans leave thinking about international politics – and the deaths, for instance, of 2.5 million Iraqis since 2003 – to the legions of policy analysts and Pentagon employees who largely accept American military primacy as an "article of faith," as Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham Patrick Porter has said .

Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness.

Why is our avoidance of the U.S.'s weighty impact on the world a problem in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? Most obviously, the fact that our massive security budget has gone so long without being widely questioned means that one of the soundest courses of action for the U.S. during this crisis remains resolutely out of sight.

The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace.

To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over.

On a more existential level, a country that is collectively engaged in unseeing its own global power cannot help but fail to make connections between that power and domestic politics, particularly when a little of the outside world seeps in. For instance, because most Americans are unaware of their government's sponsorship of fundamentalist Islamic groups in the Middle East throughout the Cold War, 9/11 can only ever appear to have come from nowhere, or because Muslims hate our way of life.

This "how did we get here?" attitude replicates itself at every level of political life making it profoundly difficult for Americans to see the impact of their nation on the rest of the world, and the blowback from that impact on the United States itself. Right now, the outsized influence of American foreign policy is already encouraging the spread of coronavirus itself as U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran severely hamper that country's ability to respond to the virus at home and virtually guarantee its spread throughout the region.

Closer to home, our shock at the healthcare system's inept response to the pandemic masks the relationship between the U.S.'s imposition of free-market totalitarianism on countries throughout the Global South and the impact of free-market totalitarianism on our own welfare state .

Likewise, it is more than karmic comeuppance that the President of the United States now resembles the self-serving authoritarians the U.S. forced on so many formerly colonized nations. The modes of militarized policing American security experts exported to those authoritarian regimes also contributed , on a policy level, to both the rise of militarized policing in American cities and the rise of mass incarceration in the 1980s and 90s. Both of these phenomena played a significant role in radicalizing Trump's white nationalist base and decreasing their tolerance for democracy.

Most importantly, because the U.S. is blind to its power abroad, it cannot help but turn that blindness on itself. This means that even during a pandemic when America's exceptionalism – our lack of national healthcare – has profoundly negative consequences on the population, the idea of looking to the rest of the world for solutions remains unthinkable.

Senator Bernie Sanders' reasonable suggestion that the U.S., like Denmark, should nationalize its healthcare system is dismissed as the fanciful pipe dream of an aging socialist rather than an obvious solution to a human problem embraced by nearly every other nation in the world. The Seattle healthcare professional who expressed shock that even "Third World countries" are "better equipped" than we are to confront COVID-19 betrays a stunning ignorance of the diversity of healthcare systems within developing countries. Cuba, for instance, has responded to this crisis with an efficiency and humanity that puts the U.S. to shame.

Indeed, the U.S. is only beginning to feel the full impact of COVID-19's explosive confrontation with our exceptionalism: if the unemployment rate really does reach 32 percent, as has been predicted, millions of people will not only lose their jobs but their health insurance as well. In the middle of a pandemic.

Over 150 years apart, political commentators Edmund Burke and Aimé Césaire referred to this blindness as the byproduct of imperialism. Both used the exact same language to describe it; as a "gangrene" that "poisons" the colonizing body politic. From their different historical perspectives, Burke and Césaire observed how colonization boomerangs back on colonial society itself, causing irreversible damage to nations that consider themselves humane and enlightened, drawing them deeper into denial and self-delusion.

Perhaps right now there is a chance that COVID-19 – an actual, not metaphorical contagion – can have the opposite effect on the U.S. by opening our eyes to the things that go unseen. Perhaps the shock of recognizing the U.S. itself is less developed than our imagined "Third World" might prompt Americans to tear our eyes away from ourselves and look toward the actual world outside our borders for examples of the kinds of political, economic, and social solidarity necessary to fight the spread of Coronavirus. And perhaps moving beyond shock and incredulity to genuine recognition and empathy with people whose economies and democracies have been decimated by American hegemony might begin the process of reckoning with the costs of that hegemony, not just in "faraway lands" but at home. In our country.

[May 02, 2020] Exceptionalism is not a mandate for the reckless pursuit of peripheral objectives at the expense of real global priorities, nor for championing short-term gains over America's long-term interest without anticipating predictable consequences

May 02, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

America was and remains an exceptional nation in terms of the spirit of its people, creativity of its economic system, and ability to adapt to new circumstances. But exceptionalism is not a mandate for the reckless pursuit of peripheral objectives at the expense of real global priorities, nor for championing short-term gains over America's long-term interest without anticipating predictable consequences. The Chinese character for "crisis" famously carries a second meaning: "opportunity." Although the world currently finds itself in the center of an existential crisis, a promising opportunity may well rest just over the horizon.

[May 01, 2020] American exceptionalism marriage to "Full spectrum Dominance" doctrine proved to be especially toxic: neocons were so preoccupied with remaking the world they failed to see that our country was falling apart

May 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The heart of the American exceptionalism in question is American hubris. It is based on the assumption that we are better than the rest of the world, and that this superiority both entitles and obligates us to take on an outsized role in the world.

In our current foreign policy debates, the phrase "American exceptionalism" has served as a shorthand for justifying and celebrating U.S. dominance, and when necessary it has served as a blanket excuse for U.S. wrongdoing. Seongjong Song defined it in an 2015 article for The Korean Journal of International Studies this way: "American exceptionalism is the belief that the US is "qualitatively different" from all other nations." In practice, that has meant that the U.S. does not consider itself to be bound by the same rules that apply to other states, and it reserves the right to interfere whenever and wherever it wishes.

American exceptionalism has been used in our political debates as an ideological purity test to determine whether certain political leaders are sufficiently supportive of an activist and interventionist foreign policy. The main purpose of invoking American exceptionalism in foreign policy debate has been to denigrate less hawkish policy views as unpatriotic and beyond the pale. The phrase was often used as a partisan cudgel in the previous decade as the Obama administration's critics tried to cast doubt on the former president's acceptance of this idea, but in the years since then it has become a rallying point for devotees of U.S. primacy regardless of party. There was an explosion in the use of the phrase in just the first few years of the 2010s compared with the previous decades. Song cited a study that showed this massive increase:

Exceptionalist discourse is on the rise in American politics. Terrence McCoy (2012) found that the term "American exceptionalism" appeared in US publications 457 times between 1980 and 2000, climbing to 2,558 times in the 2000s and 4,172 times in 2010-12.

The more that U.S. policies have proved "American exceptionalism" to be a pernicious myth at odds with reality, the more we have heard the phrase used to defend those policies. Republican hawks began the decade by accusing Obama of not believing in this "exceptionalism," and some Democratic hawks closed it out by "reclaiming" the idea on behalf of their own discredited foreign policy vision. There may be differences in emphasis between the two camps, but there is a consensus that the U.S. has special rights and privileges that other nations cannot have. That has translated into waging unnecessary wars, assuming excessive overseas burdens, and trampling on the rights of other states, and all the while congratulating ourselves on how virtuous we are for doing all of it.

The contemporary version of American exceptionalism is tied up inextricably with the belief that the U.S. is the "indispensable nation." According to this view, without U.S. "leadership" other countries will be unable or unwilling to respond to major international problems and threats. We have seen just how divorced from reality that belief is in just the last few months. There has been no meaningful U.S. leadership in response to the pandemic, but for the most part our allies have managed on their own fairly well. In the absence of U.S. "leadership," many other countries have demonstrated that they haven't really needed the U.S. Our "indispensability" is a story that we like to tell ourselves, but it isn't true. Not only are we no longer indispensable, but as Micah Zenko pointed out many years ago, we never were.


Vhailor 2 days ago

We would do well if we put away this boastful fantasy and learned how to live like a normal nation.

You won't. It always takes a humiliating military defeat or a societal collapse to reevalute such myths.

Megan S Vhailor a day ago
What has been the history of this country since the end of the cold war aside from humiliating military defeats and societal collapse?
Vhailor Megan S a day ago
The numerous foreign misadventures of the US military since 1989 are far from a humiliating military defeat, they are more of an embarassment for the ruling elites. Take for example Afganistan - how many soldiers did the US army lose there in 18 years? 2500? That's nothing compared to the strength and resources available to the Pentagon.

Societal collapse? I admit the living standards of the average working class Joe fell dramatically compared to the 90's, but you are far from a societal collapse. It won't happen as long as the US Dollar is the world currency. Believe me :)

Gary Sellars Vhailor a day ago • edited
The dollars days are numbered. You can't degrade a fiat currency by endless printing with reckless abandon and expect that the other nations of the planet will retain any trust that the scrip will remain a reliable store of value.

BTW Afghanistan is an unmitigated DISASTER. The "hyperpower" cannot impose its will on one of the most backward and impoverised nations on the planet. Heck the Soviets did better in their day, and they had to face a billion-dollar-a-year foreign-backed insurgency funded by US & Saudi, and backed to the hilt by Pakistan. By comparison, the Taliban have NO allies and no foreign funding, yet try as they might, neither the US nor its feckless puppet regime in Kabul can succeed in grinding them down.

Feral Finster Gary Sellars a day ago
Were to God that you are correct.
Inn caritas Vhailor a day ago
If I were a statistical man, I'd wager that civil war within the decade is highly unlikely if the current trajectory of US society continues
Inn caritas Inn caritas a day ago
Highly likely*
Vhailor Inn caritas a day ago
Hmmm... I wouldn't. Who would fight whom? Or would it be a free for all Mad Max style?

You Americans have this weird fascination with the apocalyptic. Seriously, just look at your movies - each year Hollywood dishes out at least half a dozen blockbusters dealing with societal collapse - be it due to an alien invasion, zombie plague, impact event or something else...

I admit, you have problems. The middle class is getting poorer each year, mass imigration from the southern side of your continent is tearing apart the social fabric and your elite got richer and more arrogant sice they embraced globalisation in the 90's. But this doesn't mean that the country is heading towards a civil war.

Inn caritas Vhailor a day ago
Well .... I'm not even American so I feel I can look at this somewhat More objectively than a hardcore blue or red stater. Still hard to tell whether covid will put a wrench in the trajectory or accelerate it. And if you want apocalypticism, go see Rod.
Gio Con Vhailor a day ago
Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan -- how many more humiliating military defeats will it take for Americans to realize that they are anything but exceptional?
ZizaNiam Gio Con a day ago • edited
Americans view killing foreign men, women, and children as a successful endeavor of their efforts to fight for freedom. American also are not bothered if their soldiers torture and rape foreign men, women and children. So these wars are not seen as failures but successes, even if actual geopolitical goals are not realized.
Gutbomb Vhailor a day ago
"You won't. It always takes a humiliating military defeat or a societal collapse to reevalute such myths."

I would go a bit further and say that Americans won't reevaluate those myths until they personally feel the pain from those things and they blame their pain on the government that caused them. So much of our current policies are guided by the principal of making sure that Americans do not feel the pain of their government's actions. We eliminated the draft so most Americans have no skin in the game regarding military conflicts (not to mention no war taxes, no goods rationing, etc.). We have come to expect bottomless economic "stimulus," borrowed from our children's future labor, so we feel minimal pain from the poor preparation for the pandemic. Bread and circuses have proven to be powerful manipulation tools indeed.

Fazal Majid 2 days ago • edited
The US is remarkably insular, in large part because it is a mostly self-sufficient (or used to be) nation-continent, but the hubristic idea of exceptionalism also makes us resistant to good ideas invented elsewhere.

As concerns COVID-19, I have a number of physicians in my family, and it's only on March 16th that they awakened to the crisis, a week after France officially announced it was going into lockdown or after London basically became a ghost town. One of them even took her kids to Disneyland around that time, something that seemed the height of irresponsibility to us at the time. Thus obliviousness is not just a feature of the Trump administration. The lone exception is tech companies, perhaps because they are more globalized than most, but the Washington policy navel-gazing circle-jerk is mostly oblivious to the West Coast.

Now the idea that some crises can only be solved with US leadership is not without merit. Just because we cannot solve all doesn't mean there aren't some important categories where our military might and logistic prowess carry the day. That COVID-19 would prove to be an especially tough challenge for the US was entirely predictable. From our fractured decision-making due to federalism, our abysmally inefficient health-care system with its huge swathes of uninsured, our ideology of free market solutions to everything, and our polarized and ineffectual legislature, made this crisis almost tailor-made to expose the fault-lines in our brittle society in the worst possible light.

I don't think we need to ape the Chinese, but certainly we need to look outward for a change, shed our not-invented-here mentality and look at how South Korea or New Zealand succeeded where we failed, despite having a fraction of our resources.

Augustine Fazal Majid 9 hours ago • edited
What military might which has not been able to win any war that it started ever? What logistic prowess that cannot make PPEs for at least the healthcare workers, not to mention toilet paper for the people?
t44s 2 days ago
excellent article Daniel! My thoughts exactly!
Jeffrey Groom 2 days ago
Great article Daniel.
Wally 2 days ago
I would love to see all our political leaders (and their media friends) respond to the observations by Mr. Bacevich and Mr. Larison. Of course, I agree with both of them. Perhaps this economic crisis combined with the pandemic will finally break america. It's a shame it has come to this. Must we endure economic collapse, starvation, and the corruption / looting by the wealthy in order to finally stop caring about imaginary threats half way around the world? I suspect the answer is yes. Americans will never abandon their arrogance until they are laid low by something.
Feral Finster Wally a day ago
"A wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me."

"Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born."

Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture."

"No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass."

Again said the Wolf, "You drink of my well."

"No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me."
Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations."

Moral: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny."

**************************

For a few more years, the US will have absolute power over other people and we will use that power in an absolutely corrupt way at the behest of our overlords in Riyadh and Jerusalem. When retribution finally comes our way, no one will shed a tear for us.

Nor should they, for we do evil.

Sidney Caesar Wally a day ago
I'd endorse restoring civics classes in American schools, with a reading list comprised of Daniel Larison, Andrew Bacevich, and Noam Chomsky.
JoeBu 2 days ago • edited
How long will it take and how bad will it get?

The Qianlong Emperor dismissed Lord Macartney's trade mission in 1792 because the celestial kingdom had no need for the manufacturers of barbarians.

China then got whooped in the first Opium War in 1841. It continued to rot for +100 years.

China had a major exceptionalism problem which hamstrung reform efforts for a century. Some of it is still ongoing (another topic).

I'm trying to figure out what psychological decompensation will look like and how long it will last.

Kent JoeBu 2 days ago
The US has long been a myth-making factory for the population. The average American has a pretty rough life. Generally strapped with debt (mortgage, cars), working a dead-end job with little protection should you lose it. But people are tribal and can get their sense of self-worth from the tribe. So to be constantly told you are "exceptional" and part of the "greatest nation the world has ever known" can cover up a lot of pain in real life. See New England Patriots fans or LSU Tigers fans.

So while being so exceptional, you get to spend hours trying to figure out which Obamacare policy won't cost so much that it takes up all of your extra monthly cash while simultaneously leaving you thousands in debt if you actually needed to use it.

JoeBu Kent 2 days ago • edited
Agree. So decompensation. Is it an opportunity to right the ship or does it get real ugly?
Kent JoeBu a day ago • edited
I tend to think the psychological decomposition is on-going. Americans know that something is terribly wrong, but they can't seem to put their collective finger on it. The Trump vote was a big signal that folks know something is wrong. The hope was that Trump could fix it, but he just knew something was wrong too. He didn't know how to fix it, but at least he is willing to talk about it.

But I don't see how you right the ship. What's wrong is that what got us to be a wealthy powerful country today isn't what is going to keep us that way going forward. That's very hard for people at all levels of society to understand and accept.

So I expect a continued devolution. Where it gets increasingly "real ugly" for a lot of people, while a lot of us continue to do fairly well. You have to have a lot of hope your kids can make it too.

Feral Finster Kent a day ago
Americans know that something is terribly wrong and getting worse by the day and by the crisis, but they seems to think that tribal solutions are the answer.
JoeBu Feral Finster a day ago
Agree.

America, as a society, has high functioning autism.

Something is wrong but in good times, it can really outperform and faults can be overlooked.

But when its routine is disrupted, it will have meltdowns and tantrums.

Feral Finster JoeBu 9 hours ago
Empires tend to do that, especially as they find that they are no longer as omnipotent as they think they are, or as they once were.
JoeBu Kent a day ago
Decompensation cratered China for over a century.

Modernity should speed up this cycle, no?

Russia cratered for a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has moderately recovered. Not so great but not 100 years.

kouroi Kent a day ago
So true. An eye opening set of essays goes to the hart of this: Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Paperback by Joe Bageant.

However, that book hasn't received the same fame and traction as this other one (and I am looking at you TAC and Rod Dreher as well): Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance and this is because in the first the author focuses on the system as the one that produces certain results while on the other the author puts more weight on individual choices, the darling idea of conservatives, the lifting oneself by bootstraps, the American success story of rags to riches...

Feral Finster JoeBu a day ago
Opium is not native to China. The reason that the British pushed opium on China, in spite of the strenuous objections of the Chinese governments and officials of the time, is because before the Opium Wars, trade with China was causing a worldwide shortage of silver. Silver was about the only thing that non-Chinese had that Chinese wanted. Until opium.

In fact, at least one Chinse official wrote Queen Victoria a letter to the effect that opium is forbidden in Great Britain, so why are you trying to push it on us here?

EliteCommInc. 2 days ago
"The coronavirus pandemic is a curse. It should also serve as an opportunity, Americans at long last realizing that they are not God's agents. Out of suffering and loss, humility and self-awareness might emerge. We can only hope."

Laugh. ohhh you guys need to stop. The virus is not an indication that God is denying an exceptional role for the US. A star athlete is exceptional and may even be fascinating. However,

the reality remains that in order to stay exceptional, fascinating and "indispensable" ---- there are things that athelete must do and and there are things that athelete must avoid doing.

We have engaged in a lot of things we should avoid and neglected some matters that would be helpful in maintaining our own health and care --- damaging our exceptional performance.

Jesse Owens and the Bolt, Usain bolt don't participate in every event and they don't run in every race all the time . . .

It simply is unsustainable.

I of course reject all the whining bout how we, the US, are not exceptional --- and while dispensable, or value on the planet remains vital.

kouroi EliteCommInc. a day ago
"value"? more like "impact"... and "vital"? For about 100 years China was an object of history rather than subject, no biggie. The World would need a breather with a bit of hiatus concerning the US.
Wally EliteCommInc. a day ago
If the virus is not gods curse then the equally foolish notion that Americans are gods agents ought to be rejected as well. I think you have misunderstood the context of the reference to gods.
=marco01= EliteCommInc. a day ago
The virus is not an indication that God is denying an exceptional role for the US.

But a natural disaster striking a blue state, that totally is an indication God is punishing them for their degeneracy.

EmpireLoyalist 2 days ago
Two constitutional amendment movements must come out of this crisis:
1) Large metropolitan areas must be detached from the states in which they reside. It is beyond tragic to see civilised people, with deep roots and traditional values, come under the tyranny of brutal marxist regimes - as we see in so many places from Virginia to NY to Pennsylvania to Illinois. We have giant colonies of government dependents and cube-dwellers, which are being used by the Left as vote plantations. The governments they produce are then inflicted on normal decent innocent people who just happen to live within the same state lines. This can't be allowed to continue.
2) Anybody (like Bill Gates) who engages in planning or promoting policies that would treat humans as livestock (e.g., by tracking them with implanted micro-chips) should be charged with crimes against humanity.
It would be an uphill battle to achieve these goals, but if we do not start right away, the next crisis could be used by the Left to impose their sick vicious perverted social engineering programme - which would mean the end of human civilisation and of the human race as we know it.
Doug Fister EmpireLoyalist a day ago
wow, what a deranged, reality-free comment.
Freespeak EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Whoa amazing, this is like unreasoning.
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Who would want to implant chips in people who willingly pay hundreds of dollars for a portable device that facilitates tracking the owner?

As far as separating metropolitan areas from surrounding rural areas, it would exacerbate a problem that is already developing. The structure of Congress is already weighted toward rural states. Anything that increases that advantage will mean that more people are governed by fewer people. That's not going to make the US a more stable country.

Awake and Uttering a Song EmpireLoyalist a day ago
View Hide
EmpireLoyalist EmpireLoyalist a day ago • edited
The readership of TAC are predominantly committed Leftists.
This comment appears to have touched a nerve.
These measures would impede implementation of The Agenda.
Excellent.
Sidney Caesar EmpireLoyalist a day ago
While there are certainly leftists (like myself) among TAC readership, the thing that distinguishes most TAC readers from folks like yourself is that we reside on the left side of the sanity/insanity divide.
EmpireLoyalist Sidney Caesar a day ago
The commenters here seem to feel these two ideas are crazy:
1) Civilised people should not be placed under the power of people they view as primitive bloodthirsty degenerates.
2) Human beings should not be treated as livestock - tracked and managed by a post-human ruling class.
If The Left believes these ideas are insane, we have a big problem.
That is confirmation that the chasm between Western Civilisation and the marxist ideology is absolutely unbridgeable. There is zero overlap - zero common ground. [In fact, the two are so far apart that one can't see the other with a telescope on a clear day.]
We need to be moving toward some form of separation - whether that means a peaceful partition like the Soviet Union in the early nineties, a loose confederation like the British Commonwealth, or maybe a defence/foreign policy alliance based on the NATO model.
Sidney Caesar EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Ideas are just ideas.
It's the people with those ideas who are crazy.
EmpireLoyalist Sidney Caesar a day ago
"Sane people have crazy ideas. Crazy people have sane ideas."
It's gonna be tough to sell that one.
Are you really just saying that we should submit to an insane ideology because the people promoting it are just the coolest, most fabulous people ever?
The normal humans are not buying that garbage.
That's why marxism always turns to extreme violence.
Socialism cannot compete, so it must conquer. It cannot persuade, so it must coerce and terrorise.
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Have you not noticed that we seem to be doing our fair share of conquering, coercing and terrorizing in the last 40 years?
Ruth Harris EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Probably the difference is in who either side defines as "primitive bloodthirsty degenerates" and "a post-human ruling class."
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Every time I see the "the Left" used as the subject of a sentence, it always seems to follow that the writer does not know what he's talking about, and probably does not know any actual leftists who think or do what the writer is claiming they think or do. When you build straw men from information you get on Fox News, you're not likely to get much more than ill-founded generalizations.
Gutbomb gnt a day ago
Any time you see a comment that repeats "the Left/Liberals/Democrats believe X" and "the Right/Conservatives/Republicans believe Y" you can bet that it will not be insightful.

[May 01, 2020] It Took COVID To Expose the Fraud of 'American Exceptionalism' by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Apr 30, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
|

12:01 am

Our leaders were so preoccupied with remaking the world they failed to see that our country was falling apart around them. Has the time come to bury the conceit of American exceptionalism? In an article for the American edition of The Spectator , Quincy Institute President Andrew Bacevich concludes just that:

The coronavirus pandemic is a curse. It should also serve as an opportunity, Americans at long last realizing that they are not God's agents. Out of suffering and loss, humility and self-awareness might emerge. We can only hope.

The heart of the American exceptionalism in question is American hubris. It is based on the assumption that we are better than the rest of the world, and that this superiority both entitles and obligates us to take on an outsized role in the world.

In our current foreign policy debates, the phrase "American exceptionalism" has served as a shorthand for justifying and celebrating U.S. dominance, and when necessary it has served as a blanket excuse for U.S. wrongdoing. Seongjong Song defined it in an 2015 article for The Korean Journal of International Studies this way: "American exceptionalism is the belief that the US is "qualitatively different" from all other nations." In practice, that has meant that the U.S. does not consider itself to be bound by the same rules that apply to other states, and it reserves the right to interfere whenever and wherever it wishes.

American exceptionalism has been used in our political debates as an ideological purity test to determine whether certain political leaders are sufficiently supportive of an activist and interventionist foreign policy. The main purpose of invoking American exceptionalism in foreign policy debate has been to denigrate less hawkish policy views as unpatriotic and beyond the pale. The phrase was often used as a partisan cudgel in the previous decade as the Obama administration's critics tried to cast doubt on the former president's acceptance of this idea, but in the years since then it has become a rallying point for devotees of U.S. primacy regardless of party. There was an explosion in the use of the phrase in just the first few years of the 2010s compared with the previous decades. Song cited a study that showed this massive increase:

Exceptionalist discourse is on the rise in American politics. Terrence McCoy (2012) found that the term "American exceptionalism" appeared in US publications 457 times between 1980 and 2000, climbing to 2,558 times in the 2000s and 4,172 times in 2010-12.

The more that U.S. policies have proved "American exceptionalism" to be a pernicious myth at odds with reality, the more we have heard the phrase used to defend those policies. Republican hawks began the decade by accusing Obama of not believing in this "exceptionalism," and some Democratic hawks closed it out by "reclaiming" the idea on behalf of their own discredited foreign policy vision. There may be differences in emphasis between the two camps, but there is a consensus that the U.S. has special rights and privileges that other nations cannot have. That has translated into waging unnecessary wars, assuming excessive overseas burdens, and trampling on the rights of other states, and all the while congratulating ourselves on how virtuous we are for doing all of it.

The contemporary version of American exceptionalism is tied up inextricably with the belief that the U.S. is the "indispensable nation." According to this view, without U.S. "leadership" other countries will be unable or unwilling to respond to major international problems and threats. We have seen just how divorced from reality that belief is in just the last few months. There has been no meaningful U.S. leadership in response to the pandemic, but for the most part our allies have managed on their own fairly well. In the absence of U.S. "leadership," many other countries have demonstrated that they haven't really needed the U.S. Our "indispensability" is a story that we like to tell ourselves, but it isn't true. Not only are we no longer indispensable, but as Micah Zenko pointed out many years ago, we never were.

It was 22 years ago when then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright publicly declared the United States to be the "indispensable nation": "If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us."

In a recent interview with The New York T imes, Albright sounded much less sure of her old position: "There's nothing in the definition of indispensable that says "alone." It means that the United States needs to be engaged with its partners. And people's backgrounds make a difference." Albright's original statement was an aggressive assertion that America was both extraordinarily powerful and unusually farsighted, and that legitimized the frequent U.S. recourse to using force.

After two decades of calamitous failures that have highlighted our weaknesses and foolishness, even she can't muster up the old enthusiasm that she once had. No one could look back at the last 20 years of U.S. foreign policy and still honestly say that "we see further" into the future than others. Not only are we no better than other countries at anticipating and preparing for future dangers, but judging from the country's lack of preparedness for a pandemic we are actually far behind many of the countries that we have presumed to "lead." It is impossible to square our official self-congratulatory rhetoric with the reality of a government that is incapable of protecting its citizens from disaster.

The poor U.S. response to the pandemic has not only exposed many of the country's serious faults, but it has also caused a crisis of faith in the prevailing mythology that American political leaders and pundits have been promoting for decades. This found expression most recently in a rather odd article in The New York Times last week. The framing of the story makes it into a lament for a collapsing ideology:

The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism -- the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.

The curious thing about this description is that it takes for granted that "fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism" haven't been thoroughly shaken long before now. The "special role" mentioned here was never going to last forever, and in some respects it was more imaginary than real. It was a period in our history that we should seek to understand and learn from, but we also need to recognize that it was transitory and already ended some time ago.

If American exceptionalism is now "on trial," as another recent article put it , it is because it offered up a pleasing but false picture of how we relate to the rest of the world. Over the last two decades, we have seen that picture diverge more and more from real life. The false picture gives political leaders an excuse to take reckless and disastrous actions as long as they can spin them as being expressions of "who we are" as a country. At the same time, they remain blind to the country's real vulnerabilities. It is a measure of how powerful the illusion of American exceptionalism is that it still has such a hold on so many people's minds even now, but it has not been a harmless illusion.

While our leaders have been patting themselves on the back for the enlightened "leadership" that they imagine they are providing to the world, they have neglected the country's urgent needs and allowed many parts of our system to fall into disrepair and ruin. They have also visited enormous destruction on many other countries in the name of "helping" them. The same hubris that has warped foreign policy decisions over the decades has encouraged a dangerous complacency about the problems in our own country. We can't let that continue. Our leaders were so preoccupied with trying to remake other parts of the world that they failed to see that our country was falling apart all around them.

American exceptionalism has been the story that our leaders told us to excuse their neglect of America. It is a flattering story, but ultimately it is a vain one that distracts us from protecting our own country and people. We would do well if we put away this boastful fantasy and learned how to live like a normal nation.

[Apr 29, 2020] Ethno Nationalism for all peoples of the world, protected by all peoples of the world, is the most sensible solution. Or does it ?

Was not German ethno-nationalism the main reason of the WWII?
Apr 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

Michael McCarthy , says: Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 9:30 pm GMT

Excellent, Mr. Unz. British, American and Jewish elites need to be isolated, they are obviously an enemy of the whole human race. Ethno Nationalism for all peoples of the world, protected by all peoples of the world, is the most sensible solution. Isolate the warmongers, secret societies and criminal's. No more war's and heal the earth. It's up to us.

[Apr 24, 2020] Please Tell the Establishment That U.S. Hegemony is Over by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that decline was never a choice, but the U.S. can decide how it can respond to it. We can continue chasing after the vanished, empty glory of the "unipolar moment" with bromides of American exceptionalism. We can continue to delude ourselves into thinking that military might can make up for all our other weaknesses. Or we can choose to adapt to a changed world by prudently husbanding our resources and putting them to uses more productive than policing the world. ..."
"... Exit From Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order ..."
Apr 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
|

More than 10 years ago, the columnist Charles Krauthammer asserted that American "decline is a choice," and argued tendentiously that Barack Obama had chosen it. Yet looking back over the last decade, it has become increasingly obvious that this decline has occurred irrespective of what political leaders in Washington want.

The truth is that decline was never a choice, but the U.S. can decide how it can respond to it. We can continue chasing after the vanished, empty glory of the "unipolar moment" with bromides of American exceptionalism. We can continue to delude ourselves into thinking that military might can make up for all our other weaknesses. Or we can choose to adapt to a changed world by prudently husbanding our resources and putting them to uses more productive than policing the world.

There was a brief period during the 1990s and early 2000s when the U.S. could claim to be the world's hegemonic power. America had no near-peer rivals; it was at the height of its influence across most of the globe. That status, however, was always a transitory one, and was lost quickly thanks to self-inflicted wounds in Iraq and the natural growth of other powers that began to compete for influence. While America remains the most powerful state in the world, it no longer dominates as it did 20 years ago. And there can be no recapturing what was lost.

Alexander Cooley and Dan Nexon explore these matters in their new book, Exit From Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order . They make a strong case for distinguishing between the old hegemonic order and the larger international order of which it is a part. As they put it, "global international order is not synonymous with American hegemony." They also make careful distinctions between the different components of what is often simply called the "liberal international order": political liberalism, economic liberalism, and liberal intergovernmentalism. The first involves the protection of rights, the second open economic exchange, and the third the form of international order that recognizes legally equal sovereign states. Cooley and Nexon note that both critics and defenders of the "liberal international order" tend to assume that all three come as a "package deal," but point out that these parts do not necessarily reinforce each other and do not have to coexist.

While the authors are quite critical of Trump's foreign policy, they don't pin the decline of the old order solely on him. They argue that hegemonic unraveling takes place when the hegemon loses its monopoly over patronage and "more states can compete when it comes to providing economic, security, diplomatic, and other goods." The U.S. has been losing ground for the better part of the last 20 years, much of it unavoidable as other states grew wealthier and sought to wield greater influence. The authors make a persuasive case that the "exit" from hegemony is already taking place and has been for some time.

Many defenders of U.S. hegemony insist that the "liberal international order" depends on it. That has never made much sense. For one, the continued maintenance of American hegemony frequently conflicts with the rules of international order. The hegemon reserves the right to interfere anywhere it wants, and tramples on the sovereignty and legal rights of other states as it sees fit. In practice, the U.S. has frequently acted as more of a rogue in its efforts to "enforce" order than many of the states it likes to condemn. The most vocal defenders of U.S. hegemony are unsurprisingly some of the biggest opponents of international law -- at least when it gets in their way. Cooley and Nexon make a very important observation related to this in their discussion of the role of revisionist powers in the world today:

But the key point is that we need to be extremely careful that we don't conflate "revisionism" with opposition to the United States. The desire to undermine hegemony and replace it with a multipolar system entails revisionism with respect to the distribution of power, but it may or may not be revisionist with respect to various elements of international architecture or infrastructure.

The core of the book is a survey of three different sources for the unraveling of U.S. hegemony: major powers, weaker states, and transnational "counter-order" movements. Cooley and Nexon trace how Russia and China have become increasingly effective at wielding influence over many smaller states through patronage and the creation of parallel institutions and projects such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). They discuss a number of weaker states that have begun hedging their bets by seeking patronage from these major powers as well as the U.S. Where once America had a "near monopoly" on such patronage, this has ceased to be the case. They also track the role of "counter-order" movements, especially nationalist and populist groups, in bringing pressure to bear on their national governments and cooperating across borders to challenge international institutions. Finally, they spell out how the U.S. itself has contributed to the erosion of its own position through reckless policies dating back at least to the invasion of Iraq.

The conventional response to the unraveling of America's hegemony here at home has been either a retreat into nostalgia with simplistic paeans to the wonders of the "liberal international order" that ignore the failures of that earlier era or an intensified commitment to hard-power dominance in the form of ever-increasing military budgets (or some combination of the two). Cooley and Nexon contend that the Trump administration has opted for the second of these responses. Citing the president's emphasis on maintaining military dominance and his support for exorbitant military spending, they say "it suggests an approach to hegemony more dependent upon military instruments, and thus on the ability (and willingness) of the United States to continue extremely high defense spending. It depends on the wager that the United States both can and should substitute raw military power for its hegemonic infrastructure." That not only points to what Barry Posen has called "illiberal hegemony," but also leads to a foreign policy that is even more militarized and unchecked by international law.

Cooley and Nexon make a compelling observation about how Trump's demand for more allied military spending differs from normal calls for burden-sharing. Normally, burden-sharing advocates call on allies to spend more so the U.S. can spend less. But that isn't Trump's position at all. His administration pressures allied governments to increase their spending, while showing no desire to curtail the Pentagon budget:

Retrenchment entails some combination of shedding international security commitments and shifting defense burdens onto allies and partners. This allows the retrenching power, in principle, to redirect military spending toward domestic priorities, particularly those critical to long-term productivity and economic growth. In the current American context, this means making long-overdue investments in transportation infrastructure, increasing educational spending to develop human capital, and ramping up support for research and development. This rationale makes substantially less sense if retrenchment policies do not produce reductions in defense spending–which is why Trump's aggressive, public, and coercive push for burden sharing seems odd. Recall that Trump and his supporters want, and have already implemented, increases in the military budget. There is no indication that the Trump administration would change defense spending if, for example, Germany or South Korea increased their own military spending or more heavily subsidized American bases.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed how misguided our priorities as a nation have been. There is now a chance to change course, but that will require our leaders to shift their thinking. U.S. hegemony is already on its way out; now Americans need to decide what our role in the world will look like afterwards. Warmed-over platitudes about "leadership" won't suffice and throwing more money at the Pentagon is a dead end. The way forward is a strategy of retrenchment, restraint, and renewal.


Tradcon 2 days ago

They can't possibly grapple with the fact that they were wrong and that their policies were catastrophic failures in almost every regard.
Kessler Tradcon 2 days ago
Yeah. US just happened to decline, a completely natural process, some universal constant, like gravity of which we have no control.

No. A decadent US population, informed by clueless media, put in charge incompetent and self-serving leaders, who made a series of very poor choices for the nation, but financially beneficial for themselves.

HenionJD Kessler a day ago • edited
And thus our betrayed America's version of the White Man's Burden. It's sad to think our children having to endure living in a world where they aren't called to die in God-forsaken hellholes for reasons that have nothing to do with this nation's core principles. Sad!
AlexanderHistory X Kessler a day ago
Lol. Sort of. Except the very oligarchs you speak of, on both sides, set the stage for all of it.
This is the inevitable result of voting as a right, ans they knew it. Universal suffrage is a tool of control, not liberty.
MPC AlexanderHistory X a day ago
The oligarchs are really just like other Americans, who got their hands on a whole lot of money. I have no doubt the rest of the population would behave like oligarchs if given the same resources.
JonF311 AlexanderHistory X a day ago
We don't have universal suffrage and voting is no where named as a right in the Constitution. The most it has to say is that voting can not be denied to people based on their membership in certain classes, nor limited based on the payment of a tax.
Meddersville 2 days ago
"it has become increasingly obvious that this decline has occurred irrespective of what political leaders in Washington want."

It isn't "irrespective of". It is because of what they wanted. They wanted and aggressively pushed for US foreign policy to serve the narrow regional interests of client states like Israel and Saudi Arabia. They got what they wanted, in spades, and now America's geopolitical and economic fortunes are in a tail-spin.

If America had ignored these people, with their stupid interventionism, their almost blatant service of foreign interests by demanding "no daylight" with "allies" who did nothing but suck our blood, we would have been far better off. We would have been far better able to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic. It's impossible not to think ruefully of the trillions we wasted on Middle East wars and other interventions, money now so badly needed here at home.

Jason Kennedy 2 days ago
The US will pursue a similar path to Israel. Advantage is relative. Rather than repair the US economy it is simpler to destroy those of one's rivals. I see war as the only attractive option for the US elite as that is the only area where they still enjoy clear superiority (or believe they do, same thing policy-wise.)
Kathleen King a day ago
Cooley and Nevon's book appears to be a good read - I will put it on my 'to read so buy' book list. China is the next hegemon - this is inevitable due to design. As time goes by during this 'coronavirus pandemic' I have been waiting to hear a politician, any politician, assert that they will support legislation to require 'essential supply lines' to be returned to the U.S. Aside from 'murmurs', not a 'lucid' peep. Just 'sue china' legislation, or smoke and mirrors blame on those within the U.S. via the media or politicians. This is just embarrassing and surreal.

The priority should be to bring these supply lines back to the U.S. [i.e., medical]. Too hell if I am going to be forced to pay for 'Obamacare' or 'Medicare For All' like a Russian Serf, to the Corporations [vassals] of China [Tatars] - enforced by their 'Eunuchs', greedy politicians in Washington. {Eunuchs were castrated lackies of Emperors]. Yet Chinese slave labour on these medical products, including pharmaceutical ingredients, and precious metals for parts for the Department of Defense, keep profit margins very high.

Because of their cowardice one must ask: Why increase defense spending on any project - or be concerned with Iran or Venezuela or Russia or keeping NATO afloat? Allowing China to continue to be the 'sole source' provider of essential goods is just asking for another scenario like the one before us. If so, I am convinced that my country is nothing more than a 'dead carcass' being ripped apart by 'Corporate Vassals of China'. This, of course, includes the Tech Companies as well.

Bankotsu Kathleen King a day ago • edited
China won't be next hegemon. It has no ambition to be one.
joeo Bankotsu a day ago
Are Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Australia and India aware of this?
Bankotsu joeo a day ago
Time will tell.
Feral Finster joeo a day ago • edited
China does not have ideal geography to be world hegemon.

For one thing, it is too easy to prevent any ships from leaving the South China Sea.

The fact that China has not gone to war with anyone since 1953, except for two sharp but short border conflicts in 1962 and 1979, should tell you something. Contrast with the peace-loving liberal democracy of the United States.

J Villain joeo a day ago
You mean the counties that have signed numerous trade and defence agreements with China?
Comicus Bankotsu 20 hours ago
China has seen the cost we've paid. I don't think they see the value.
dstraws Kathleen King a day ago
The answer of course is a functional international system--environmental protection, world health, a transparent financial system, world court, and policing. All agreed on by at least the major players which makes it costly for others not to participate.
Kathleen King dstraws a day ago
With good reason many 'mistrust' this int'l system given the threat to sovereignty of a country, most importantly the freedom of its citizens. An int'l system is asymmetrical, a radical 're-distribution' program that preys on citizens of the 'pseudo-wealthy' west. The United States will be, post-Corona Virus, potentially $30T in debt. Yet they contribute the most to the WHO. The largest contribution to the UN comes from the United States. This fact seems to rebut your 'costly for others not to participate'.

The Paris Agreement, like the UN and WHO, will rely on most of the funds coming from the U.S. and redistributed to other countries. And this will further destroy the standard of living in this country to the degree of crashing the economy. The expected Utopian Outcome for this so-called 'One-World' order will be a great disappointment to those that advocate for it. Because, after all, it is nothing more than a Utopian dream gambling on the cohesive nature of different demographic groups combined with significant reduction in freedoms for all - based on flawed models, including so-called 'man made global warming' models. To define the Demographic is use in the context of my response: does not = race; it equals culture. Right now this is being demonstrated in the super state of the EU. There can be no harmony in a world like this. It is like forcing a 'square peg' into a 'round hole'.

And who are these major players? The Eunuch Politicians in Washington and Western Europe? What are their priorities? Their wallets or their constituents? And I do not mean in a parental way. That is not the role of government.

Jim Chilton a day ago
Viewed from a global perspective at this time, there is a decline in American power and influence, but the vanity of politicians prevents them from seeing it and they don't want to let go.

The British government makes the same mistakes as it clings to an imaginary "prestige" as a world power - a power that vanished in 1914.

Lars a day ago
We don't have to collapse like the Western Roman Empire; we can adjust like the Byzantine Empire and stay around a thousand years longer.
Lee a day ago
After Eden was removed as PM post-Suez the new PM Harold McMillan came in and was honest with the British ppl in explaining their new role in the world, just 10-15 years after the triumph of WW2 a UK Prime Minister had the courage to tell the British people that they were no longer at the top table, that the age of Empire was over and to put in place the policies required to remove the burden of empire from Britain and adjust to its new role in the world. Do you see an American politician with the capability to tell some uncomfortable home truths to the American people and still win an election?
joeo Lee a day ago
i think that is why voters elected Trump. The citizens of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin have lived the decline of the United States. At least under trump there have been no new wars but the withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan NATO, Japan, Korea needs to occur with the Military-Industrial-Media Complex kicking and screaming.with each step. Also ending sanctions on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
WolfNippleChips joeo a day ago
We are in Japan because it allows us to patrol the sea lanes which is vital for our economy and it gives us a large force ready to respond in case of Chinese or North Korean aggression. The Status of Forces Agreement and other treaties with Japan stipulate what percentage of costs are born by Japan.
joeo WolfNippleChips a day ago
Allowing Japan to destroy consumer electronics, damage steel and automotive is vital to our economy? Could we not patrol the sea lanes if we wanted to from Guam? Is not freedom of the sea just as vital to Japan, Europe and India? How is China or North Korea the aggressor when Japan, Korea and Taiwan have been client states of China with the US thousands of miles away?
Imperialism has bankrupt the United States just as it did Europe. The time has come to end these treaties.
MPC joeo a day ago
Ultra protectionism, retreat to our island and no one can find us, 'make America great again' I dare say, thinking is naive and unrealistic.

America wil be poorer, weaker, and more vulnerable if it tried to only make its own goods and had to rely on only its own labor. Trade is profit and profit is the ability to develop, build, and defend what we have. Where do the profits go is the question. Who loses in the trade is another question. Does the benefit from the former outweigh the latter?

I don't see Japanese trade as making much of a dent in employment rates. The profits go to the Japanese state and industry, who are important counterweights to Chinese ambitions in Asia, a mutual interest. So, the costs are few, and the profits are used in significant measure to mutual benefit.

The liberal hegemon is dead, yes our imperialism is dead even if it doesn't know it, but it is essential to remain strategically involved in the world around us. Even if we stop playing the game, the world around us does not. Did Russia have the luxury of turning into a turtle after the Cold War? No. Nations, which are all wolves, smell weakness. Yet the Trumpian right wants to hide, put its finger in its ear, and pretend that everything will be fine it seems.

Lee joeo 16 hours ago
What are these withdrawals from Iraq & Afghanistan you speak of? They just have not happened, like not even a little bit, so tired of people pushing this completely false narrative as if it is true, just maddening. A democracy cannot function if people exist in their own worlds with their own facts that are just not true
David Naas a day ago
The Brits after WW2 offer a lesson here. Hurt badly by WW1, their whole system began teetering as that illusion of the "natural superiority" of the British took massive hits in the various colonies of the Empire. By exposing the ordinariness of the administrators and soldiers, it encouraged revolt (see Gandhi in India). But WW2 arguably devastated the UK. It's "win" over Germany was Pyrrhic, as it needed both the USSR and the USA , and each took a chunk of prestige and of the "hegemon". George VI recognized this, and British politicians encouraged the shift from Empire to Commonwealth. (Which, if they had never involved themselves in the EU beyond trade and had kept up the Commonwealth as it was intended, would have been a better path than what they did, IMHO.) Nevertheless, they handled it better than I think we will.

As Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

But to get there, we have a lot of nonsense -- damned nonsense - - to overcome.

John Achterhof a day ago
Excellent review and outlook on an encouraging transition from the compulsion of hegemony within a generally agreeable paradigm of economic liberalism (rules-based international markets).
john a day ago
Well this present regime is actively smashing "international organizations" constructed largely by the Americans after WW2. This makes it even easier for the Chinese to fill the vacuum we have created. It would be better to hold them in a Western biased "international organization"
engineerscotty a day ago
Would be nice if there were no global hegemon, actually.
NoNonsensingPlease engineerscotty a day ago
All indications are that ship has sailed. Will there be hegemons? Yes, but more than one. The US will not be the only hegemon and the COVID-19 helped the world see the emperor has no clothes.
MPC engineerscotty a day ago
I think that's the likely course, unless the US remains especially incompetent in ensuring that China isn't the one cleaning up at all the empire liquidation sales.

No nation should be entrusted with anything like the power the US has had.

WolfNippleChips a day ago
Until they start shooting down our airliners, sinking our cruise ships, attacking our Naval Bases, and invading their neighbors and committing genocide against people of other races and religions.

Then, the doves will wake up and realize that the Big Stick is what kept us safe afterall.

MPC WolfNippleChips a day ago
Yes, we need the Big Stick.

We just need a rethinking of strategy, since we're just hitting ourselves with it right now.

Some people feel inclined to toss away the stick to prevent the foolish use of it.

chris chuba WolfNippleChips a day ago
You mean fight people who actually threaten us rather than attack people because we dream up scenarios where it's possible or we just don't like them? I'll take that over preemptive genocide.

If we focused on actual defense 9/11 would not have happened. We ignored Al Qaeda despite the fact the bombed us multiple times because we were too busy bombing Serbia, blowing up their TV stations and expanding NATO to gobble up former Russian Republics.

Feral Finster a day ago
"Liberal international order" my royal Irish @ss.

The United States routinely ignores any international laws, whenever it sees fit. Anyway, the idea that United States hegemony is obligatory because muh international order is an argument from consequences.

AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Lol, America Is what's in the rear view, not just our status as the sole superpower.
People better get ready, this empire is getting ready to collapse.
NoNonsensingPlease AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Surely the shortest live empire in history.
JonF311 NoNonsensingPlease a day ago
Alexander's barely outlived his brief life.
M Orban AlexanderHistory X a day ago
You wouldn't be the first one to say that...
MPC AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Meh, people better get ready, we're getting ready to muddle along for the next several decades.

The American state is way too tasty a prize. No one is going to dismantle it, and people will unite against any threat that has the potential to. Eventually someone will figure out a Bernie/Trump fusion and that person will be our Peron or Putin. Radical leftists will be crushed by the police if they try anything, and the white nationalists will all be in prison.

We're somewhere between Argentina and Russia heading forward.

MPC a day ago
Sell the empire. Ignore the Middle East outside of the oil trade lanes. Reorient our trade networks on SE Asia, India, and Latin America - no more feeding China. End of hostile moves towards Russia - let Europe reconcile with Russia. Fully support multipolar world order.

Militarily we don't need the plodding battleship of a force we have now. No need to occupy whole countries with 'boots on the ground'. Maintain top notch special forces, advisor and coordination programs with allies, and anything useful for blowing up Chinese force projection especially the PLA navy. Subs and missiles.

Platonist_82 MPC 21 hours ago • edited
Lots of good ideas here. Would trading with India involve a "reorient[ation]?" (I don't know.) That is to say, would still trading with India mean that we have to maintain our current naval position, or would that still be consistent with some sort of drawdown? Or are you saying that since India is not a hostile force, we would not have to worry about it? Or does is that problem met with the "anything useful for blowing up Chinese force projection especially the PLA navy. Subs and missiles." Conceivably, China could increase its presence in the Indian Ocean to create problems, no? Overall, agree with a lot of it--I'm just curious about the logistics.
MPC Platonist_82 15 hours ago
India in the longer term could ostensibly do much of what China does for us now trade wise. Needs to finish developing its infrastructure and its manufacturing tech. SE Asia and Mexico are closer short term.

I think due to the commercial value of the seas our navy is our most cost effective means of force projection. Patrolling the Persian Gulf means we have our thumb on the number one petroleum artery. I would focus more on cost effective means to deny China (and Chinese trade) access to the seas in the event of tension. Carriers are expensive targets when subs and strategic missile emplacements can inspire even more fear due to unpredictability. But yes we still need bases and partnerships throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. China can roam around in peacetime as it wishes, what matters is that it stays totally bottled up in port, along with its maritime trade, in a conflict.

Allow these places to run up trade surpluses with us rather than China.

Platonist_82 a day ago • edited
I think Mr. Larison is on the right track. However, even if the logic of abandoning the Liberal International Order (LIO) is accepted--and the LIO most certainly should be abandoned--the entire story or narrative of post-World War II America narrative must be either abandoned or refashioned. It seems that the LIO functions as some sort of purpose for American citizens, and a higher-level theology for those who work in the United States Government, especially those who are involved in foreign policy making. Countering or reshaping the narrative of United States foreign policy and its link with domestic policy will be a challenge, but one that needs to be taken up, and taken up successfully. In personal conversations with those who support the LIO, they seem to take [my] criticisms of the LIO as some sort of ad hominem attack. This reaction is obviously illogical, but it is one that those who see the wisdom of abandoning the LIO must tactically and tactfully counter. Regrettably, supporting the LIO is conflated with being an American, or conflated with the raison d'etre of the existence of the United States. Many think the abandonment of the LIO cannot rationally be replaced and will necessarily be replaced with some sort of nihilism or the most cynical form of "realism," of which they mistakenly believe they possess understanding. For a start, reforming the educational system, insofar as it not already dominated by incorrect-but-fashionable far-leftist ideas that advocate a narrative of American history and purpose as false as it is pernicious, would seem to necessary. Many children grow into adulthood falsely thinking maintaining the LIO is their responsibility. It is, at root, a theological sickness.
MidnightDancer 9 hours ago
It is very difficult for me to see the U.S. changing course anytime soon. Neoliberal globalists, political, and financial, are in control.
Tony 7 hours ago
I hope it is over. To hell with the Europeans who have made a national sport of mocking Americans and all things America, while we risk nuclear war on their behalf. Let them face Putin and the Islamic invasion on their own - those problems are Europe's, not ours.
Frank Blangeard 7 hours ago
The United States is ramping up for the "Great Final War' with both Russia and China. Throw in Iran, Syria, North Korea etc. as an afterthought. The U.S. will bring the temple down on itself rather than give up the goal of 'Full Spectrum Dominance'.that it has been pursuing since the end of WWII.
Anti_Govt_Rebel 5 hours ago
Alexander Cooley and Dan Nexon may think the glory days are coming to an end, but I don't think Trump and the neocons got the memo yet. I see no evidence of any intent to change.
Matthew W. Hall 13 minutes ago
There is no "international order." That's just rhetoric that is useful for certain economic interests. A world without american hegemony will be divided and filled with conflict. Globalization can't work politically.

[Apr 19, 2020] Many Americans cannot accept as a nation that they could ever be wrong on anything.

Apr 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dick , Apr 18 2020 22:47 utc | 84

America is the exceptional indispensable nation. Home of super heros in the movies and their military. Their TV is full of cop dramas with tough macho cops who always get their man. Many Americans cannot accept as a nation that they could ever be wrong on anything. After all, they saved Europe from the Nazis and then the evil ruskies. They see themselves as the greatest nation to ever exist upon the Earth that seeks only to do good for other countries (sigh).

Sadly, none of the above is true. The US needs to step down from their pedestal and rejoin the human race as equals. Belief in your own exceptionalism leads to hubris which leads to arrogance, leading to an overestimation of your own capabilities and a fatal underestimation of the capabilities of your adversary. Americans and especially their government are living in a fantasy with crumbling foundations.

[Apr 18, 2020] 'Never in my country': COVID-19 and American exceptionalism by Jeanne Morefield

Apr 07, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org
This March, as COVID-19's capacity to overwhelm the American healthcare system was becoming obvious, experts marveled at the scenario unfolding before their eyes. "We have Third World countries who are better equipped than we are now in Seattle," noted one healthcare professional, her words echoed just a few days later by a shocked doctor in New York who described "a third-world country type of scenario." Donald Trump could similarly only grasp what was happening through the same comparison. "I have seen things that I've never seen before," he said . "I mean I've seen them, but I've seen them on television and faraway lands, never in my country."

At the same time, regardless of the fact that "Third World" terminology is outdated and confusing, Trump's inept handling of the pandemic has itself elicited more than one "banana republic" analogy, reflecting already well-worn, bipartisan comparisons of Trump to a " third world dictator " (never mind that dictators and authoritarians have never been confined solely to lower income countries).

And yet, while such comparisons provoke predictably nativist outrage from the right, what is absent from any of these responses to the situation is a sense of reflection or humility about the "Third World" comparison itself. The doctor in New York who finds himself caught in a "third world" scenario and the political commentators outraged when Trump behaves "like a third world dictator" uniformly express themselves in terms of incredulous wonderment. One never hears the potential second half of this comparison: "I am now experiencing what it is like to live in a country that resembles the kind of nation upon whom the United States regularly imposes broken economies and corrupt leaders."

Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World."

In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy.

The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization.

Since then, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow the governments of approximately 50 countries, many of which (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and Chile) had elected leaders willing to nationalize their natural resources and industries. Often these interventions took the form of covert operations. Less frequently, the United States went to war to achieve these same ends (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq).

In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit.

Trump's claim that Obama had "hollowed out" defense spending was not only grossly untrue, it masked the consistency of the security budget's metastasizing growth since the Vietnam War, regardless of who sits in the White House. At $738 billion dollars, Trump's security budget was passed in December with the overwhelming support of House Democrats.

And yet, from the perspective of public discourse in this country, our globe-spanning, resource-draining military and security apparatus exists in an entirely parallel universe to the one most Americans experience on a daily level. Occasionally, we wake up to the idea of this parallel universe but only when the United States is involved in visible military actions. The rest of the time, Americans leave thinking about international politics – and the deaths, for instance, of 2.5 million Iraqis since 2003 – to the legions of policy analysts and Pentagon employees who largely accept American military primacy as an "article of faith," as Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham Patrick Porter has said .

Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness.

Why is our avoidance of the U.S.'s weighty impact on the world a problem in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? Most obviously, the fact that our massive security budget has gone so long without being widely questioned means that one of the soundest courses of action for the U.S. during this crisis remains resolutely out of sight.

The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace.

To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over.

On a more existential level, a country that is collectively engaged in unseeing its own global power cannot help but fail to make connections between that power and domestic politics, particularly when a little of the outside world seeps in. For instance, because most Americans are unaware of their government's sponsorship of fundamentalist Islamic groups in the Middle East throughout the Cold War, 9/11 can only ever appear to have come from nowhere, or because Muslims hate our way of life.

This "how did we get here?" attitude replicates itself at every level of political life making it profoundly difficult for Americans to see the impact of their nation on the rest of the world, and the blowback from that impact on the United States itself. Right now, the outsized influence of American foreign policy is already encouraging the spread of coronavirus itself as U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran severely hamper that country's ability to respond to the virus at home and virtually guarantee its spread throughout the region.

Closer to home, our shock at the healthcare system's inept response to the pandemic masks the relationship between the U.S.'s imposition of free-market totalitarianism on countries throughout the Global South and the impact of free-market totalitarianism on our own welfare state .

Likewise, it is more than karmic comeuppance that the President of the United States now resembles the self-serving authoritarians the U.S. forced on so many formerly colonized nations. The modes of militarized policing American security experts exported to those authoritarian regimes also contributed , on a policy level, to both the rise of militarized policing in American cities and the rise of mass incarceration in the 1980s and 90s. Both of these phenomena played a significant role in radicalizing Trump's white nationalist base and decreasing their tolerance for democracy.

Most importantly, because the U.S. is blind to its power abroad, it cannot help but turn that blindness on itself. This means that even during a pandemic when America's exceptionalism – our lack of national healthcare – has profoundly negative consequences on the population, the idea of looking to the rest of the world for solutions remains unthinkable.

Senator Bernie Sanders' reasonable suggestion that the U.S., like Denmark, should nationalize its healthcare system is dismissed as the fanciful pipe dream of an aging socialist rather than an obvious solution to a human problem embraced by nearly every other nation in the world. The Seattle healthcare professional who expressed shock that even "Third World countries" are "better equipped" than we are to confront COVID-19 betrays a stunning ignorance of the diversity of healthcare systems within developing countries. Cuba, for instance, has responded to this crisis with an efficiency and humanity that puts the U.S. to shame.

Indeed, the U.S. is only beginning to feel the full impact of COVID-19's explosive confrontation with our exceptionalism: if the unemployment rate really does reach 32 percent, as has been predicted, millions of people will not only lose their jobs but their health insurance as well. In the middle of a pandemic.

Over 150 years apart, political commentators Edmund Burke and Aimé Césaire referred to this blindness as the byproduct of imperialism. Both used the exact same language to describe it; as a "gangrene" that "poisons" the colonizing body politic. From their different historical perspectives, Burke and Césaire observed how colonization boomerangs back on colonial society itself, causing irreversible damage to nations that consider themselves humane and enlightened, drawing them deeper into denial and self-delusion.

Perhaps right now there is a chance that COVID-19 – an actual, not metaphorical contagion – can have the opposite effect on the U.S. by opening our eyes to the things that go unseen. Perhaps the shock of recognizing the U.S. itself is less developed than our imagined "Third World" might prompt Americans to tear our eyes away from ourselves and look toward the actual world outside our borders for examples of the kinds of political, economic, and social solidarity necessary to fight the spread of Coronavirus. And perhaps moving beyond shock and incredulity to genuine recognition and empathy with people whose economies and democracies have been decimated by American hegemony might begin the process of reckoning with the costs of that hegemony, not just in "faraway lands" but at home. In our country.

[Mar 01, 2020] Countering Nationalist Oligarchy by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
The article is mostly junk. But it contains some important insights into the rise of Trympism (aka "national neoliberalism") -- nationalist oligarchy. Including the following " the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist."
The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change. The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change.
Notable quotes:
"... Fascism: A Warning ..."
"... Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America ..."
"... the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist. ..."
"... The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy ..."
"... Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them. ..."
"... Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. ..."
"... Classical Greek Oligarchy ..."
"... Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." ..."
"... We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. ..."
"... The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship. ..."
"... The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars ..."
"... The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.org
from Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ

Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy

Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.

Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.

... ... ..

Authoritarianism or What?

Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .

The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.

To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.

The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.

Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.

The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.

The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.

Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.

It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.

Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.

Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.

The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy

Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.

... ... ...

... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."

The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."

Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.

... ... ...

Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .

[Feb 29, 2020] Boris Johnson s Incredible Landslide by Catte Black

Notable quotes:
"... Corbyn's weakness was always the elephant in the room but was fully revealed when he had to step up to plate and fight. No leader can survive without being able to fight his enemies and no country should be led by such a person. Saddly he squandered the enormous opportunity handed to him in the last election: in hindsight, that opportunity was handed to him by an electorate steeped in wishful thinking ..."
"... Of course it's criticism of the state of Israel. And of course that's not anti-Semitism. But the label "anti-Semitism" is the kiss of death to the executive class i.e. that middle layer who "inform" the masses. If you are one of them and you get called "anti-Semitic", it's the equivalent of your boss saying, "I want a word – and bring your coat!" ..."
"... Corbyn seems like a nice enough guy, an honest, yet unremarkable footsoldier MP, but the idea he was suited to leading the Labour Party into an epic struggle with a revitalised Tory Party under a strong leader like Boris Johnson, is a fantastic notion. Johnson had to be cut down to size, before the election. ..."
"... And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required. That strategy is the one Donald Trump employed, taking on the media and identifying them as the enemy and explaining why they publish lies. Corbyn should have publically taken on both the Guardian and the BBC, rather than appeasing them, unsuccessfully, because appeasing them isn't possible. ..."
"... Why didn't Corbyn express anger and shock when he was accused of being a paedophile, sorry, an anti-Semite? Those MPs who went along with that sordid narrative, should have been kicked out of Labour immediately by Corbyn himself. ..."
"... "A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people. Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them. ..."
"... The point about the EU not being directly responsible for Tory austerity is technically true but it is nonetheless a neo liberal monster crushing the shit out of the most vulnerable ..."
"... Especially when it comes to countries like Greece. I don't understand the constant veneration of the EU. By design, our membership did nothing to protect us from the carnage of this Tory crime wave. The EUs constitutional arrangements contains baked in obligations to maintain permanent austerity in the service of ever greater corporate profit. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

No one feels like recalling, for example, that more people voted against the Tories than for them (13.9mn for and 16.2mn against).

Or that 10.3 million people still voted Labour despite the entirety of the unprecedentedly vicious and Stalinist hate campaign conducted against them – and Corbyn in particular – since the latter became leader in 2015.

Which fact, along with Labour's near-win in 2017 and the surprise Brexit victory in 2016, implies the mainstream media's ability to direct and manipulate public opinion is a lot less wholesale and guaranteed than we oftentimes assume, and that this is unlikely to be a single explanation for yesterday's result.

More importantly, no one – even those who are boggling at the implausibility – is questioning the validity of the result.

No one.

It's as if even suggesting election fraud can happen in a nice majority-white western country like the UK is improper and disrespectful. Election fraud is – as every good racist knows – done by brown people or Orientals, or 'corrupt' eastern European nations, not by fine upstanding empire builders like the British.

This seems to be so much of a given that the results of any vote are simply accepted as 100% valid – no matter how improbable they may seem.

And apparently even in the face of clear evidence for at least some level of shady activity.

Remember this? It only happened on Wednesday but it's already some way down the Memory Hole.

Laura Kuenssberg, being the true idiot she really is, blabbing off on prime time telly about apparently institutional election malpractice – and not even having the basic brains to see the import of what she's letting slip.

There's been a lot of effort expended in minimising the significance of this in social media and in the mainstream press – and indeed by resident trolls on OffG. There have been claims it's 'routine' – as if that somehow makes it ok. Or that Kuenssberg was misinformed, or 'tired'.

.... ... ...

Consider the facts

Labour's socialist policies are known to be popular . Poverty has increased so much under the Tories that 22% of the country now lives below the poverty line , including 4 million children. 200,000 people have died as a result of austerity-driven cuts, foodbank use is increasing by tens of thousands year on year . The mortality rate is going up and up . And Boris Johnson was caught in a direct, proven lie about "protecting" the NHS.

And after all this, Labour heartlands – red since World War 2, through Thatcher and Foot and every anti-Labour hate campaign the media could muster – all voted Conservative?

Does that seem likely?

I don't know, all I do know is I think that discussion needs to start. I think it's time to think the unthinkable, and at least open the prospect of electoral fraud up for real discussion.

How secure is our electoral process? Can results be stage-managed, massaged or even rigged? What guarantees do we have that this can't happen here? In an age of growing corruption and decay at the very top, do the checks and balances placed to safeguard our democracy sill work well, or even at all?

This Friday the Thirteenth, with BoJo the Evil Clown back in Downing Street, looks like a good moment to get it going.


aspnaz ,

Corbyn's weakness was always the elephant in the room but was fully revealed when he had to step up to plate and fight. No leader can survive without being able to fight his enemies and no country should be led by such a person. Saddly he squandered the enormous opportunity handed to him in the last election: in hindsight, that opportunity was handed to him by an electorate steeped in wishful thinking. Should he apologise to his supporters, probably not, they backed the wrong horse but the limp was visible from day one.

Bootlyboob ,

NHS in for a rough ride. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JpseLa9_txw

Gezzah Potts ,

How do you mean 'weird'?

That inequality and poverty will continue increasing under neoliberal economic policies, and the majority of us will continue being ground into the dirt, or that Julian Assange will end up in the U.S for certain to face a Stalinesque show trial, or the observation about George Galloway.

George Mc ,

I know it's bad for my health but oh I just can't stop myself. Had another Groan trip. Here's one from that good time gal Jess Phillips:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/14/working-class-voters-didnt-trust-labour-jess-phillips

I only supply the link to see if anyone can see any actual content in this. I suppose it must be a real cushy number to get paid for pitching in a lot of foaming waffle that feels purposeful but remains totally non-commital. That and those nice cheques rolling in from that Hyslop and Merton quiz fluff.

George Mc ,

You have to understand that it's all showbiz. Why did the Tories prefer Boris to Jeremy Hunt? Because Hunt looked and sounded like the oily little tyke everyone wanted to kick. Whereas Boris was the cutesie country womble from a Two Ronnies sketch. When Boris appeared on his test outing as host for Hignfy, all he had to do was to be incompetent i.e. all he had to do was turn up. Oh how we all laughed.

As for Jess – well, she's the ballsy fake prole tomboy – like a WOKE verson of Thatcha. I doubt anyone is "buying this" (to use one of the Americanisms we'll all be spouting as we become the 51st state) but it's all part of "the movie".

ricked by its sharp thorn anywhere near the heart. Don't know what the street name will be for it but it has two current codewords i heard 'stellar' & 'jessa'.

George Mc ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=When+I+said+%26%238220%3Bcome+clean%26%238221%3B+I+meant+as+...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F13%2Fboris-johnsons-incredible-landslide%2F%23comment-106199">

When I said "come clean" I meant as in "reveal yourself". I really think you should calm down. Take some deep breaths. Have a nice cup of tea.

Chris Rogers ,

Alan,

By all means comment, but when you slander those who actually felt it important that their vote counted, that their opinion mattered and then were told to fuck off by the very people asking them for their opinion, its expected you get blow back, which is what has happened.

Now, may i enquire, do you have a belief in democracy and upholding democratic outcomes, do you believe that Russian interference actually resulted in the Brexit vote itself, and do you believe that the working class is so fucking pig ignorant that it should never be allowed to vote.

In summation, are you a Blairite by any chance as they way you communicate shows an utter contempt for those poor sods slagged off by Remainiacs for so long to just fuck off.

As for economic decline, strange, but the UK is one of the top 10 wealthy nations globally, much of said wealth now from the FIRE Economy, which means its extractive and put to no real purpose, whilst the break-up of the Union is up to the constituent parts itself – as i support Irish reunification, i don't weep for Northern Ireland, whilst the Scots have every right o be free of Westminster, its not as if they held an actual Referedum on it prior to the signing of the Act of Union is it.

And as for wales, well, here's a small country who's political establishment are incapable of recognising it elected to Leave the EU, which sometimes has aspirations itself to Independence, an Independence it will never gain due to the fact nearly 800K English live within our lands, but the fantasists persist none the less.

Now, as the EU, via the Treaty named after Lisbon is very much a neoliberal organisation, one that puts monetary union above the welfare of its own citizens, please explain why I must support such an Institution that does not benefit the average Joe in most member States?

Alan Tench ,

What you must remember is that a democratic decision isn't always a good one. In my view, the current one concerning Brexit, is a bad one. The fact that a majority support it doesn't make it good or right. We just have to live with it. Consider the death penalty. I'm sure the vast majority of voters in this country would vote in favour of it. Would that might it right?

Ruth ,

Don't blame them. In all likelihood they had their votes hijacked by MI5

Alan Tench ,

All this anti-Semitism stuff – anyone know what it's about? I assume it had zero influence on the electorate. Just how does it manifest itself? Is most of it – maybe nearly all of it – concerned with criticism of the state of Israel? If so, it's not anti-Semitism .

George Mc ,

Of course it's criticism of the state of Israel. And of course that's not anti-Semitism. But the label "anti-Semitism" is the kiss of death to the executive class i.e. that middle layer who "inform" the masses. If you are one of them and you get called "anti-Semitic", it's the equivalent of your boss saying, "I want a word – and bring your coat!"

MichaelK ,

I think the Labour Party's election strategy, and long before, was fatally flawed. I'm shocked by it. How bad it was. First they should never have agreed to an election at this time. Wait, at least until Spring. The idea, surely, was to keep weakening Johnson's brand and splitting the Tories apart. Johnson wanted an election for obvious reasons, that alone should have meant that one did everything in one's power not to give him what he wanted. Labour did the exact opposite of what they should have done, march onto a battleground chose by Johnson.

Of course one can argue that the liberals and the SNP had already hinted that they would support Johnson's demand, but Labour could have 'bought them off' with a little effort. Give the SNP a pledge on a second referendum and give the Liberals a guarantee of electoral reform, whatever.

The Liberals actually had an even more stupid and incompetent leadership than Labour and suffered a terrible defeat too. Why is it that it's only the Tories who know how to play the election game, usually?

Corbyn seems like a nice enough guy, an honest, yet unremarkable footsoldier MP, but the idea he was suited to leading the Labour Party into an epic struggle with a revitalised Tory Party under a strong leader like Boris Johnson, is a fantastic notion. Johnson had to be cut down to size, before the election.

Allowing the Tories to become the People's Party, the Brexit Party in all but name; was a catastrohic mistake by Labour; unforegivabel really.

And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required. That strategy is the one Donald Trump employed, taking on the media and identifying them as the enemy and explaining why they publish lies. Corbyn should have publically taken on both the Guardian and the BBC, rather than appeasing them, unsuccessfully, because appeasing them isn't possible.

Why didn't Corbyn express anger and shock when he was accused of being a paedophile, sorry, an anti-Semite? Those MPs who went along with that sordid narrative, should have been kicked out of Labour immediately by Corbyn himself. He needed to be far more aggressive and proactive, taking the fight to his enemies and using his position to crush them at once. Call me a kiddy fiddler and I'll rip your fucking throat out! Only Corbyn was passive, defencesive, apathetic and totally hopeless when smeared so terribly. People don't respect a coward, they do respect someone who fights back and sounds righteously angry at being smeared so falsely. Corbyn looked and sounded like someone who had something to hide and appologise about, which only encouraged the Israeli lobby to attack him even more! Un-fuckin' believable.

What's tragic is that the right understood Corbyn's weaknesses and character far better than his supporters, and how to destroy him.

Ruth ,

I agree with you about the election timing

Derek ,

And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required.

Yes you are absolutely right, he should have stolen a journalists phone or hid in a fridge, maybe stare at the ground when shown a picture of a child sleeping on a hospital floor. Now that's turning turning events to your advantage right?

He made many mistakes and you are right, but caving into "remain" the perceived overturning of the referendum by the Labour party is what dunnit, the final nail in his coffin. I am sorry to see him go.

tonyopmoc ,

Judging by the spelling of "Labour", I guess an American wrote this on The Moon of Alabama's blog. It is however very accurate and I know that MOA is a German man, running his blog from Germany. His analyses, are some of the best in the world.

Tony

"A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people. Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33″

MichaelK ,

I thought the left were supposed to be internationalists too? I dunno. I think they should never have supported the referendum scam in the first place. If the Tories wanted it, that alone should have made them oppose it. Look at what's happened, the referendum and Brexit have massively benefitted the Tories and crushed everyone else. Isn't that an objective fact, or am I missing something; seriously?

What does 'anti-globalist' really mean? The tragedy was allowing the Tories to blame Europe for the devastating consequences of their own 'austerity' policies which hit the North so hard. These policies originated in London, not Bruxelles!

The truth is harsh. Corbyn was a terrible leader with awfully confused policies that he couldn't articulate properly and a team around him that were just as bad.

Pam Ryan ,

The point about the EU not being directly responsible for Tory austerity is technically true but it is nonetheless a neo liberal monster crushing the shit out of the most vulnerable.

Especially when it comes to countries like Greece. I don't understand the constant veneration of the EU. By design, our membership did nothing to protect us from the carnage of this Tory crime wave. The EUs constitutional arrangements contains baked in obligations to maintain permanent austerity in the service of ever greater corporate profit.

Thom ,

'Incredible' is the word. We're expected to believe that for all his personal and intellectual flaws, Johnson achieved a landslide on the scale of Blair and Thatcher; that he drew in Leave supporters from traditional Labour voters while holding on to Remain Tories; that all three major UK opposition parties flopped, including the one party pushing for outright Remain; and that turnout fell even though millions registered just before the election. Sorry, but it doesn't add up.

nottheonly1 ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=What+just+happened+was+an+inverted+U.S.+selectio...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F13%2Fboris-johnsons-incredible-landslide%2F%23comment-106262">

What just happened was an inverted U.S. selection. In the U.S., a confused rich man got elected, because the alternative was a psychopathic war criminal. In the U.K. a confused upper class twat got elected, because the alternative was too good to be true.

Something like that?

tonyopmoc ,

Something strange going on in Sedgefield. What the hell is Boris Johnson doing there today? Tony Blair Labour, Boris Johnson Tory. What's the difference? Same neocons. Same sh1t?

tonyopmoc ,

Dungroanin, Jeremy Corbyn is 70 now. He's done his bit. Now its time for him to take it easy.

Incidentally "Viscount Palmerston was over 70 when he finally became Prime Minister: the most advanced age at which anyone has ever become Prime Minister for the first time."

George Mc ,

The Groan is keen to highlight the sheer thanklessness of the BBC's undying fight to objectively bring The Truth to the masses:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/14/bbc-staff-express-fear-of-public-distrust-after-election-coverage

And for all the tireless work they do, they are open to accusations of "conspiracy theory" and worse:

"The conspiracy theories that abound are frustrating. And let's be clear – some of the abuse which is directed at our journalists who are doing their best for audiences day in, day out is sickening. It shouldn't happen. And I think it's something social media platforms really need to do more about."

Sickening social media abuse? Echoes of all those frightfully uncivil – and never verified – messages that wrecked poor little Ruth Smeeth's delicate health.

Thom ,

The only way the BBC and Guardian will understand if people don't pay the licence fee and don't click on their articles (and obviously don't contribute!). Hit them in the pockets.

George Mc ,

It didn't take long for the Groaniad to "dissect" the Labour defeat. Here we get THE FIVE REASONS Labour lost the election:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/13/five-reasons-why-labour-lost-the-election

Interesting. Note the space given to Blairite toadies Ruth Smeeth and Caroline Flint. Note the disingenuousness of this:

"In London, antisemitism and what people perceived as the absence of an apology appeared to be a key issue."

It's always suspicious when we get that expression "what people perceived". What "people"? And note that the dubiousness relates to the absence of an apology for anti-Semitism – not the anti-Semitism itself which is, of course, taken for granted.

Also note the conclusion:

"With a new Conservative government led by Boris Johnson poised for office, the Guardian's independent, measured, authoritative reporting has never been so vital."

Yes – The Groaniad is yer man, yer champion, yer hero!

[Feb 23, 2020] Previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism

Highly recommended!
Dec 29, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.28.19 at 9:17 am

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am @38

I'm finding it hard to think of examples where the formerly norm-giving group becomes derided or humiliated.

You can probably try to look at the situation in (now independent) republics of the former USSR. Simplifying previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism.

And not only it (look at Mutual Help and The State in Shantytowns.) In them ethnic comminutes often own protection markets, offer services that hire people and replace the state, pay off gang leaders. they also provide some community support for particular ethnic group, enforce the rules of trade within themselves, etc. In GB the abuse of children by ethnic gangs was sickening ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/sep/30/abuse-children-asian-communities )

In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Or you can look at the language policy in the USA and the actual situation in some areas/institutions of Florida and California and how English speakers feel in those areas/institutions. Or in some areas of Quebec in Canada.

That actually suggests another meaning of famous Randolph Bourne quote " War is the health of the state " (said in the midst of the First World War.) It bring the unity unachievable in peace time or by any other methods, albeit temporarily (from Ch 14. Howard Zinn book A People's History of the United States ):

the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.

In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that "these people of ours shall be divided into classes." Rather: "We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country."

The supreme fulfillment of that responsibility was taking place in Europe. Ten million were to die on the battlefield; 20 million were to die of hunger and disease related to the war. And no one since that day has been able to show that the war brought any gain for humanity that would be worth one human life. The rhetoric of the socialists, that it was an "imperialist war," now seems moderate and hardly arguable. The advanced capitalist countries of Europe were fighting over boundaries, colonies, spheres of influence; they were competing for Alsace-Lorraine, the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East.

Neo-McCarthyism now serves a somewhat similar purpose in the USA. Among other thing (like absolving Hillary from her fiasco to "deux ex machine" trick instead of real reason -- the crisis and rejection of neoliberalism by the sizable strata of the USA population) it is an attempt to unify the nation after 2016.

[Feb 23, 2020] Sick trash by PaulR

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.' ..."
"... And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. ..."
Feb 18, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

I'd never heard of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) until today, even though it turns out that one of its members has the office next door to mine. Its website says that it seeks to respond to the challenge of East-West tensions by convening 'former and current officials and experts from a group of Euro-Atlantic states and the European union to test ideas and develop proposals for improving security in areas of existential common interest'. It hopes thereby to 'generate trust through dialogue.'

It's hard to object to any of this, but its latest statement , entitled 'Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region', doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. The 'twelve steps' the EASLG proposes to improve security in Eastern Ukraine are generally pretty uninspiring, being largely of the 'set up a working group to explore' variety, or of such a vaguely aspirational nature as to be almost worthless (e.g. 'Advance reconstruction of Donbas An essential first step is to conduct a credible needs assessment for the Donbas region to inform a strategy for its social-economic recovery.' Sounds nice, but in reality doesn't amount to a hill of beans).

For the most part, these proposals attempt to treat the symptoms of the war in Ukraine without addressing the root causes. In a sense, that's fine, as symptoms need treating, but it's sticking plaster when the patient needs some invasive surgery. At the end of its statement, though, the EASLG does go one step further with 'Step 12: Launch a new national dialogue about identity', saying:

A new, inclusive national dialogue across Ukraine is desirable and could be launched as soon as possible. Efforts should be made to engage with perspectives from Ukraine's neighbors, especially Poland, Hungary, and Russia. This dialogue should address themes of history and national memory, language, identity, and minority experience. It should include tolerance and respect for ethnic and religious minorities in order to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and social cohesion.

This is admirably trendy and woke, but in the Ukrainian context somewhat explosive, as it implicitly challenges the identity politics of the post-Maidan regime. Unsurprisingly, it's gone down like a lead balloon in Kiev. The notorious website Mirotvorets even went so far as to add former German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger to its blacklist of enemies of Ukraine for having had the temerity to sign the EASLG statement and thus 'taking part in Russia's propaganda events aimed against Ukraine.' Katherine Quinn-Judge of the International Crisis Group commented on Twitter, 'As the idea of dialogue becomes more mainstream, backlash to the concept grows fiercer.' 'In Ukraine, prominent pro-Western politicians, civic activists, and media, have called Step 12 "a provocation" and "dangerous",' she added

Quinn-Judge comes across as generally sympathetic to the Ukrainian narrative about the war in Donbass, endorsing the idea that it's largely a product of 'Russian aggression'. But she also recognizes that the war has an internal, social dimension which the Ukrainian government and its elite-level supporters refuse to acknowledge. Consequently, they also reject any sort of dialogue, either with Russia or with the rebels in Donbass. As Quinn-Judge notes in another Tweet:

An advisor to one of Ukraine's most powerful pol[itician]s told us recently of his concern about talk of dialogue in international and domestic circles. 'We have all long ago agreed among ourselves. We need to return our territory, and then work with that sick – sick – population.'

This isn't an isolated example. Quinn-Judge follows up with a couple more similar statements:

Social resentments underpin some opposition to disengagement, for example. An activist in [government-controlled] Shchastye told me recently that she feared disengagement and the reopening of the bridge linking the isolated town to [rebel-held] Luhansk: 'I don't want all that trash coming over here.'

In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.'

And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. You can fiddle with treating Donbass' symptoms as much as you like, à la EASLG, but unless you tackle this fundamental problem, the disease will keep on ravaging the subject for a long time to come. In due course, I suggest, the only realistic cure will be to remove the patient entirely from the cause of infection.

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm Yeah, but that's just their standard narrative.

See here, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uNupUPjLdUI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

And it's been there, either officially or beneath the surface, since forever. Since the Habsburgs, probably, when it was first introduced in Ruthenia.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:27 am

This person speaks so casually of genocide!!!

It's disgusting that such people have been empowered and such ideas are mainstream.
Calling people sick trash is the start on the road to genocide

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm

He's still there, working. Popular journalist and blogger.

dewittbourchier says: February 18, 2020 at 6:01 pm
All that you have described above is very sad, but not very surprising – which is itself very sad. I think Patrick Armstrong is right that a lot of the reason Ukraine is not and has never been a functional polity is because much if not most of the population cannot accept that the right side won WWII.
Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Hypocritically denounces the USSR, while seeking that entity's Communist created/inherited boundaries

akarlin says: February 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Contempt and loathing towards the Donbass is a pretty popular feeling amongst Ukrainian svidomy. E.g., one of the two regular pro-Ukrainian commenters on my blog.

To his credit, he supports severing the Donbass from Ukraine (as one would a gangrenous limb – his metaphor) as opposed to trying to claw it back. Which is an internally consistent position.

Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Same guy who doesn't consider Yanukovych as having been overthrown under coup like circumstances, while downplaying Poland's past subjugation of Rus territory.

Lyttenburgh says: February 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

In Part I and II we saw how much truth is there in Herr Karlin's claim of being a model of the rrrracially purrrre Rrrrrrrussian plus some personal views.

Part III (this one) gives a peek into his cultural and upbringing limits, which "qualify" him as an expert of all things Russian, who speaks on behalf of the People and the Country.

Exhibit "A"

" I left when I was six, in 1994 , so I'm not really the best person to ask this question of – it should probably be directed to my parents, or even better, the Russian government at the time which had for all intents and purposes ceased paying academics their salaries.

I went to California for higher education and because its beaches and mountains made for a nice change from the bleakness of Lancashire.

I returned to Russia because if I like Putler so much, why don't I go back there? Okay, less flippancy. I am Russian, I do not feel like a foreigner here, I like living in Moscow, added bonus is that I get much higher quality of life for the buck than in California ."

Exhibit "B"

"I never went to school, don't have any experience with writing in Russian, and have been overexposed to Anglo culture , so yes, it's no surprise that my texts will sound strange."

Vladimir says: February 20, 2020 at 8:46 am

The Russian branch of Carnegie Endowment did a piece on this issue. It mostly fits your ideas, but the author suggests it was a compromise, short-term solution – what steps can be taken right now, without crossing red lines of either side – but compromise is unwelcome among both parties. The official Russian reaction was quite cold too.

"Удаленные 12 шагов. Почему в Мюнхене испугались собственных предложений по Донбассу"
https://carnegie.ru/commentary/81093

Mikhail says: February 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Upon a quick perusal of the website of the org at issue, Alexey Arbatov and Susan Eisenhower have some kind of affiliation with it, thus maybe explaining the compromise approach you mention.

This matter brings to mind Trump saying one thing during his presidential bid – only to then bring in people in key positions who don't agree with what he campaigned on.

In terms of credentials and name status, the likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Stephen Cohen and Jim Jatras, are needed in Trump's admin for the purpose of having a more balanced foreign policy approach that conforms with US interests (not to be necessarily confused with what neocons and neolibs favor).

Instead, Trump has been top heavy with geopolitical thinking opposites. He possibly thought that having them in would take some of the criticism away from him.

The arguably ideal admin has both sides of an issue well represented, with the president intelligently deciding what's best.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:23 am

On the BBC and on other media there are films of Ukrainians attacking a bus with people evacuated from China. These people even wanted to burn down the hospital where the peoplew were taken (along with other unrelated patients)

This is a sign of a degraded society – attacking people who may or may not be ill!!!

Ukraine will eventually break up
The nationalist agenda is just degrading the society.

-The economy is failing
-People who can, are leaving
-The elected government has no control over the violent people who take to the streets

It's clear Zelensky is a puppet no different to Poroshenko – this destroys the idea that democracy is a good thing.

It's very sad that the EU and the Americans under Obama – empowered these decisive elements and then blame Russia.

Crimea did the right thing leaving Ukraine – Donbass hopefully will follow.

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

"And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass"

[ ]

Only them?

[ ]

Yesterday marks yet another milestone on the Ukrainian glorious шлях перемог and long and arduous return to the Family of the European Nations. The Civil Society ™ of the Ukraine rose as one in the mighty CoronavirusMaidan, against the jackbooted goons of the crypto-Napoleon (and agent of Putin) Zelensky. Best people from Poltava oblast' (whose ancestors without doubt, welcomed Swedish Euro-integrators in 1709) and, most important of all, from the Best (Western) Ukrajina, who 6 years ago made the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev the reality and whom pan Poroshenko called the best part of the Nation, said their firm "Геть вiд Москви!"

to their fellow Ukrainian citizens, evacuated from Wuhan province in China

The Net is choke full of vivid, memorable videos, showing that 6 years after Maidan, the Ukraine now constitute a unified, эдiна та соборна country. You all, no doubt, already watched these clips, where a brave middle-aged gentleman from the Western Ukraine, racially pure Ukr, proves his mental acuity by deducing, that crypto-tyrant (and "не лох") Zelensky wants to settle evacuees in his pristine oblast out of vengeance, because the Best Ukrajina didn't vote for him during the election. Or a clip about a brave woman from Poltava oblast, suggesting to relocate the Trojan-horse "fellow countrymen" to Chernobol's Zone. Or even the witty comments and suggestions by the paragons of the Ukrainian Civil Society, " волонтэры ":


Shy and conscientious members of the Ukrainian (national!) intelligentsia had their instincts aligned rrrrrright. When they learned about that their hospital will be the one receiving the evacuees from Wuhan, the entire medical personell of that Poltava oblast medical facility rose to their feet and sang "Shenya vmerla". Democracy and localism proved once again the strongest suit of the pro-European Ukraine, with Ternopol's oblast regional council voting to accept the official statement to the crypto-tyrant Zelensky, which calls attempts to place evacuees on their Holy land "an act of Genocide of the Ukrainian People" (c)

Just the headlines .

[ ]

That's absolutely "normal", predictable reaction of the "racially pure Ukrainians" to their own fellow citizens. Now, Professor, are you insisting on seeking or even expecting "compromise" with them ? What to do, if after all these years, there is no such thing as the united Ukrainian political nation?

Like Like Reply

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

"Ukraine's democracy is flourishing like never before due to the tireless efforts of grassroots, pro-democracy, civil-society groups. Many Ukrainians say their country is now firmly set on an irreversible, pro-Western trajectory. Moreover, the country has also undertaken a top-to-bottom cultural, economic, and political divorce from its former Soviet overlord.

Today, Ukraine is a democratic success story in the making, despite Russia's best efforts to the contrary."
– Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal's foreign correspondent based in Ukraine

International recognition of the fact:

[Feb 16, 2020] On American exceptionalism : America IS exceptional in many ways -- but exceptional does NOT always mean better

Feb 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jackiebass , February 11, 2020 at 7:40 am

This isn't something new. The American people have been fed propaganda for decades to make them believe America was exceptional. It was the bed rock of our Imperialism. If you lookout at measures of well being, America was always down on the list in every category. About the only thing we led in was military spending. American exceptionalism was used as a tool to justify our bad behavior all over the planet. Our government is the biggest terror organization on the planet. We have killed or injured millions of people. All in the name of spreading democracy, something we actually don't have.

eg , February 11, 2020 at 1:21 pm

America IS exceptional in many ways -- but exceptional does NOT always mean better

[Feb 14, 2020] Fascism in Ukraine the conspiracy of silence – OffGuardian

Feb 14, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Search Feb 15, 2020 3 Fascism in Ukraine: the conspiracy of silence Kit Knightly Joseph Altham The rise of the far right in Ukraine is one of the most disturbing trends in 21st century Europe. But it's a story you rarely get to read about in the British press.

These days, the mainstream media does not have much to say about Ukraine. And when Ukraine is mentioned, the main focus tends to be on Ukraine as it relates to the latest American political scandal, rather than on Ukraine itself. Six years ago, the revolt in Kyiv put Ukraine at the top of the news agenda, but now the papers have gone quiet.

This lack of interest in Ukraine is surprising, because Ukraine has some big stories that you would expert journalists to be reporting. The country has been going through a violent upheaval, and the fighting in Ukraine's eastern region still continues.

Supposedly, the reason for all the bloodshed was to secure Ukraine's European future? So how's that project going today? Not well. Ukraine is still a long way from full membership of the European Union, and remains one of Europe's poorest countries.

The ruins of Donetsk airport, December 2014 (Photo: Wikipedia)

Clearly, Ukraine is not working out. Of course, the nationalist uprising in Kyiv did achieve one of its core objectives: the termination of the old partnership with Moscow. But the uprising also aimed to end corruption in Ukraine and curb the power of the oligarchs. On both counts, Ukraine's political elite has performed badly. Ukraine's corruption rating is still poor, while Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's current president, was helped into power by the influential billionaire, Ihor Kolomoisky.

All in all, Ukraine's "bright future" seems further away than ever, and the biggest losers from Ukraine's pro-Western course have been the Ukrainian people. But the Western press long ago settled on the story that Vladimir Putin is the big bully, and Ukraine has been cast in the role of his victim.

Because Vladimir Putin is labelled as the bad guy, and criticism of the Ukrainian government is thought to serve his agenda, Ukraine has become a no-go area. The powers that be don't want to admit how bad things are inside Ukraine, so The Guardian's "fearless investigative journalists" don't get to write about it.


Mikhail Bulgakov. During his lifetime, his work was censored by the Soviets. In 2014, the new Ukrainian government banned a TV dramatization of his novel, The White Guard. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Instead, the truth is being swept under the carpet. And the truth is that the nationalist forces that took control of Ukraine are bringing shame on their country. Ukraine has given way to crude nationalistic resentment, to the extent of vandalizing Soviet war memorials and banning books, TV dramas and films. And in its search for new national heroes to replace the Soviet heroes it is rejecting, Ukraine is glorifying the most despicable characters from its fascist past.

The Lviv pogrom, 1941 (Photo: Wikipedia)

The historical background is complicated. In the 1930s, Ukraine was oppressed by the Bolsheviks and millions died of famine. Then, during World War II, the German invasion of the USSR gave Ukrainian nationalists the opportunity to push for independence, in an uneasy alliance with Nazi Germany. By collaborating with Nazi Germany, the Ukrainian nationalists hoped that they would be rewarded with their own Ukrainian state.

As Ukraine fashions a new identity for itself, Ukrainians have been seeking inspiration from Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and the other Nazi collaborators who piggy-backed on German military victories to advance the Ukrainian nationalist cause.

Torchlit procession of Ukrainian nationalists (Photo: Wikipedia)

The trouble is that these Ukrainian nationalists, who proclaimed statehood in Lviv in 1941, were committed to more than just a tactical alliance with Nazi Germany. Their organization sympathized with Nazi ideas, too.

The Nazis regarded Jews, Poles and Russians as subhuman, and so did Stepan Bandera. The Ukrainian nationalists massacred Poles, perpetrated pogroms and were willing participants in the Holocaust. They even had their own division in the SS, the SS Galicia.

A photo of Stepan Bandera displayed during the Maidan uprising, January 2014 (Photo: Wikipedia)

The dark side of Ukraine's wartime history has become a point of reference for the new, post-Maidan regime. As monuments to Soviet commanders are demolished, new monuments to Ukrainian fascists are going up.

The Ukrainian government has designated 1st January, Stepan Bandera's birthday, as a national holiday. Statues of Bandera and Shukhevych have appeared in many cities, and streets are being named after war criminals. Ultranationalist organizations are invited to schools to give children a "patriotic" education. Nazi symbols are openly displayed at concerts and football matches, and antisemitic literature is sold on market stalls.

Meanwhile, monuments commemorating the Holocaust have been desecrated, and synagogues have been attacked.

"Death to the Yids": graffiti beside a synagogue in Odessa. The sign is a Wolfsangel, a common Nazi symbol. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Old poisons are rising to the surface. The figures openly praised by Ukrainian leaders are the scoundrels and fanatics who threw in their lot with Hitler. The new Ukraine is obsessed with its own national grievances, but it shows little respect for any of the non-Ukrainian victims of history. With its sickly blend of romanticism and self-pity, Ukraine is now a breeding ground for racism and extremism. But this is something the Western press is not yet ready to admit.

Instead, the press has been colluding in a conspiracy of silence and shutting its eyes to the danger. By putting up statues of fascists from the past, Ukraine is giving a green light to fascism today.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest WhatsApp vKontakte Email Filed under: latest , Russia , Ukraine Tagged with: fascism , holocaust , russia , Stepan Bandera , Svoboda , ukraine , Ukraine coup , Vladimir Putin , WWII can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

OffGuardian does not accept advertising or sponsored content. We have no large financial backers. We are not funded by any government or NGO. Donations from our readers is our only means of income. Even the smallest amount of support is hugely appreciated.

Connect with Connect with Subscribe newest oldest most voted Notify of


Gall ,

Hey according to two faced Shifty Schiff Ukraine is "fighting the Russians so we don't have to". I mean another "great ally" like Israel who has been selling them arms hand over first despite the fact that the Ukrainians are truly "antisemitic" who unlike American "antisemites" that are always bellyaching about Israel's genocidal policies Ukrainians excel in their antisemitism by burning down synagogs and threatening the Jewish population er I mean offer them a one way train excursion all expenses paid.

I mean what greater "ally" does Israel need to convince more Jews to come the "promised land"and kill a few Palestinians and steal their land. I mean things haven't been as good since ol' Uncle 'Dolph signed the Transfer Agreement.

Aside from a some occasional burbling about antisemitism by NuttenYahoo like the Americans they continue to sell them arms so they can launch genocidal campaigns against Dombass and other ethnic Russian areas that aren't as Ukofriendly as Washington and Tel Aviv using their reconstituted Bandera Brigade AKA SS Galicia of inveterate Iron Guard. I mean these guys aren't just a bunch Neo-nazis skin heads but qualify as the real animal.

Thanks to Obama, Nuland and Clinton with the help of Soros deep pockets to fund color revolutions whom if you remember according to 60 Minute interview a ways back reveled in turning over Jewish property and Jews to the tender mercies of the 3rd Reich. I mean what a guy.

Well the reason you probably haven't heard anything is because the American government is just too modest about show casing yet another example of bringing "freedom and democracy" to the benighted who haven't experienced the joys of austerity, privatization and giving all their money to help those poor needy kleptocrats who are just millionaires and are striving to be another Jeff Bezos.

Loverat ,

Ukraine is almost identical to the rise of fascism in 1990s Croatia. I wonder when the Pope will visit and grant saint hood to these appalling monsters.

Jen ,

It must be said that the western parts of Ukraine, where the Ukrainian ultranationalist movement arose under people like Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and Yuri Stetsko, were actually under Polish rule and were subjected to forced Polonisation under an increasingly nationalist and fascist Polish government during the 1920s and 1930s. This explains why ethnic Polish people were fair game for torture and lynching by Ukrainian followers of Bandera & Co during Nazi rule in the 1940s. Western Ukraine mostly escaped the famines that affected Soviet Ukraine and other parts of the USSR in the 1930s.

[Feb 03, 2020] Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period by Yves Smith

Notable quotes:
"... If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States . ..."
"... The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no." ..."
"... Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow. ..."
"... For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course. ..."
"... Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes. ..."
"... Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports. ..."
"... The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

On the one hand, we Americans are hardly ones to talk about empty posturing, usually accompanied with moral indignation and finger-wagging. On the other hand, it isn't just that the Government's approach to Brexit has been heavy on theatrics and thin on substance. It's also that the UK is in Groundhog Day mode, subjecting the rest of us to tired tropes yet another time.

The latest iteration of this far-too-familiar play is Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period. Specifically, Johnson has made a big show of poking the EU in the eye by setting forth his tough guy negotiating demands over this past weekend. Admittedly, the Prime Minister isn't setting out his position formally until Monday, but there's no mystery as to what it will be: a rejection of accepting EU rules yet saying it wants a Canada-style free trade agreement.

... ... ...

The BBC said Johnson also intends to threaten the EU with customs checks at UK point of entry. As Richard North pointed out, the EU is not impressed :

If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States .

Needless to say, a "senior EU source" has rejected the idea of reacting to Johnson's plan to impose import controls. "We saw similar threats from Theresa May" he says, "but frankly we never believed them. And if the UK is actually ready for border checks – which are indeed coming – then so much the better for both sides".

Even the normally sober Economist concludes that Johnson is aiming for " the hardest possible Brexit ." He does have a fallback:

"A government source said last night: "There are only two likely outcomes in negotiation, a free trade deal like Canada or a looser arrangement like Australia – and we are happy to pursue both." Australia is the new euphemism for No Deal or WTO ! https://t.co/BDpwb4Z3qP

-- S & W Yorkshire for Europe (@SWYforEurope) February 3, 2020

Some dry humor from the Financial Times:

This new stance has prompted bafflement in Brussels, given that Canberra is still in the process of negotiating a wide-ranging trade deal with the EU.

... ... ...

Needless to say, this does not look pretty. As I said to our Brexit mavens by e-mail yesterday:

Johnson is playing a game of chicken. He's already lashed himself to the mast of 11 months.

Sir Ivan Rogers basically warned that the early months would amount to shape of the table talks and he thought negotiations could break down then. I would not see that as lasting but with time so tight any delay increases the risk of bad outcomes. And Sir Ivan warned that there had never been a trade deal between countries trying to get further apart. He's stressed that point so often that I think he is saying at least that the human dynamics of that make getting to a deal more difficult.

Again, if the time weren't so rigid, the odds would look completely different.

And the EU would almost certainly give an extension if the UK asked .but at a price .and would Johnson ever ask? The most I can see him being able to finesse might be say a 2 -3 month "technical" extension, which won't buy meaningful negotiating runway given the complexity of deals like this.

Now we've seen these games of chicken resolve without a crash before, but Johnson is making it difficult as hell, and the UK is further hampered by a Foreign Office which is short staffed and has effectively no experience negotiating trade deals.

David's response:

The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no."

Not only do I not think Johnson has no real negotiating objectives, I also believe that he's uninterested in even fairly high-level detail, and sees the negotiations as one more jolly game that he wants to win. My fear is that he's out to deliberately sabotage progress in order to create drama and tension, only to fly to the rescue at the very last minute. This is more than dangerous. "Insane" is perhaps the word for it.

Some other takes. Will Hutton in the Guardian contends that Johnson has become a prisoner of the allegiances he made to become Prime Minister (and Hutton is very complimentary of the moves Johnson has made so far ex Brexit). I'm not sure I agree, since before his ascent, Johnson was famed for shamelessly reversing himself and getting away with it. But Johnson sure looks like someone who is choosing to throw away the steering wheel. From the Guardian:

However, Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow.

Johnson and his Brexit cabinet, backed by our Europhobic rightwing press, will blame dastardly Europeans for the crisis – and the anti-foreigner mood will grow ugly. But even if the worst is avoided, Britain is plainly not going to grow at "new dawn" rates of up to 2.8%, as our curiously naive chancellor wants. Rather, the years ahead are going to be a drip of disappointments, as the reality of a hard Brexit bites. And on this Johnson cannot be breezily opportunistic and convert to a soft Brexit, tempted though he may be. He will be imprisoned by his know-nothing right – the European Research Group in full battle cry.

Richard North argues , "What this looks like, therefore, is Johnson setting up his alibi for the failure of the talks, getting his blame game cranked into gear before the EU can react." And Richard Murphy contends Johnson knows what he is doing, which it to put in place Singapore on the Thames :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gn2W4JtYpjE?feature=oembed

Nothing I have yet seen so starkly states what Brexit is all about.

For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course.

And his second objective is to create freeports. He will claim that these are all about creating regulation free hubs for enterprise. This is completely untrue. There is no evidence that regulation free ports have ever generated work, wealth, much employment, or free market enterprise, come to that. This is unsurprising. That is not what freeports are about, at all. Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes.

Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports.

To understand how freeports really work I suggest watching this video. I know it's not in English, but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold, armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CwuMY-_V4dc?feature=oembed

The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity. They permit wealth to be accumulated in secret. That wealth is beyond the reach of tax. Research suggests that much of that wealth is also shielded by anonymous offshore shell companies that disguise the ownership of an asset even if it can be located. The object is to ensure wealth can accumulate without constraint.

This is the paradox that Johnson revealed in his video. He wants to control and constrain people. He will use that power to oppress, not just those who want to come to the UK but also, of course, those who wish to leave the UK as well. The market in labour will be constrained. People will suffer as a result.

At the same time the market in illicit wealth will be liberated to traffic at will. The cost will be to us all, in lost tax revenue, increased inequality and the undermining of the rule of law. Additional jobs will be few and far between.

And let's not for a moment pretend that any freeport activity supports markets: creating ring fences always creates unlevel playing fields that will always, by definition and in practice, undermine effective markets. So there is nothing in this policy that is about wealth creation: it is all about wealth expropriation and extraction.

This is what Brexit was for. And Johnson admitted it last night. One day people will realise.

If Murphy is correct, that would explain Johnson's recent conversion to fixity of purpose, at least with Brexit. We'll have more clues in due course whether the hard core Brexit faction is mad like a fox or simply a different variant of the madness we've seen all along.


notabanktoadie , February 3, 2020 at 5:57 am

but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold , armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax: [bold added]

Gold obviously has value in industry but its use as or to back fiat is inherently corrupt* and obsolete** too.

So let's please quit idolizing a corrupt and obsolete money form, i.e. Central Banks, along with other reforms, should be required, in a manner to promote the general welfare, to sell all private asset forms, including precious metals such as gold.

*Fiat is backed by the authority and power of the State to tax and needs no other backing; hence to "back" fiat with gold is to do no such thing but is to back gold with the authority and power of the State to tax, a violation of equal protection under the law.

**Historically, precious metals had some use as an anti-counterfeiting measure but modern payment systems have no need for such.

PlutoniumKun , February 3, 2020 at 6:10 am

Yup, the Freeports thing is clearly the Big Idea that lots of Brexit backers are hoping to cash in on. Of course, what will happen is that lots of manufacturers will simply move into the Freeports to save on taxes and regulations and close down their existing premises.

The UK has been there before – Thatcher was a huge fan of Development Corporations which were low tax low regulation zones in crumbling industrial areas of the North and Midlands. They became a byword for outright corruption. And of course huge areas which were supposed to be redeveloped for industry became distribution hubs or frequently just massive shopping malls (such as Merry Hill in the West Midlands, owned by two major Tory financial contributors). Various studies after the event intended to demonstrate their success were quietly buried when the results were not as expected. In reality, they were a costly failure.

vlade , February 3, 2020 at 6:19 am

"costly failure". I believe the words you were looking for were "corporate welfare".

[Feb 01, 2020] Britain now could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P , Feb 1 2020 15:35 utc | 102

To Nemesiscalling 98:

The way most Canadians define themselves and our country is in NOT being like the US in the most important ways. The decline into US-vassalage has been incrementally implemented since WW2, but there is still hope. Scheer and Ignatief found out exactly what Canadians thought about having a dual Cdn/US citizen PM... NOT HAPPENING. Harper found out trying to US-ify Canada was a bad idea.

The Cdn-US cultural border has been basically open for decades, the effectiveness of CRTC Cdn-content rules have been diluted to the point of irrelevance. But still we Canucks prefer little things like our free medical and minimal military bloat to the US shit-show.

But highly unlikely Canada will return to the "preferred trading status" the Commonwealth enforced. NAFTA Part Deux pretty much blocks that.

So Britain could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada, but what will Britain bring to the table the US military/corporatocracy would want? No natural resources to speak of, so what is on offer? A handy military lily-pad perhaps, but the US already has that, and can't see Britain booting the US military off the island.

Britain is in a VERY weak bargaining position with the US, if anything weaker as it closes one avenue of access/influence the US has within the EU.


Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 15:55 utc | 103

@102 a user

Britain has already been a de facto vassal state when it comes to aligning itself with every empire FP misadventure abroad for 30 years.

I do not think the U.S. will give the U.K. a bad deal. I think this is the hope of many here who foolishly advocate for the EU, which is really a byproduct of their unconscious from their academia templates they wish to lay down over the world a la a good technocrat.

They will get along swimmingly. The U.S. is looking for better deals as opposed to getting raped by China under the globalist paradigm.

[Feb 01, 2020] The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the neoliberal fabric

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 1 2020 3:13 utc | 71

The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the fabric which unites the Masters Of The Universe/ the 1%.
With China's Belt & Road Initiative gaining momentum, the weaponisation of the USD, and many countries looking East, it won't be difficult to cook up wedge issues to further erode the "unity" of the EU.
When the recession starts biting and politicians begin prattling about "Austerity" (for the 99%) it'll be time to instigate a thorough investigation into the Tax Haven Network, and a vigorous debate about how and why they should be closed down, the assets therein redistributed in a Fair & Balanced way, and the perps imprisoned or executed for Tax Evasion, Greed and Perjury.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit and GB financial industry

Brexit is a clear hit for the GB financial industry.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Feb 1 2020 0:00 utc | 58
The englanders refused to accept that the primary issue was never about brexit stay or go, but what philosophy would underpin england for the next decades.
The picked the mean, racist, classist & regionalist (only the south east matters) Tory Party so it won't be pretty. Yep the tories won seats in the working class areas of the midlands & further north in addition to the seats in the bourgeois areas up there they already held and yep Johnson did make noises about spending up large up there. However since the remainers in the south east didn't desert the tories, I doubt much will be diverted outside the south east, represented by long-standing MP's who don't 'talk funny' ie have a regional accent unlike the new largely inexperienced northern representatives.
It was M Thatcher who introduced the heroin addict traineeships for miners & factory workers in place of their jobs and I do not see the lobbyists who have worked so hard to ensure that the financialisation of everything industry grew to be the major component of the englander economy, countenancing anything more than token funds being diverted from them, not least because that industry is going to take a major hit.
There is no way the EU is going to agree to england's banks & finance corps getting anything like the same deal england had in the EU which means that the tax avoidance rorts are going to be harder to implement whilst being more transparent to regulators.

Already stockbrokers, accountancy firms and a couple of the bigger banks are checking out the weather in frankfurt now.
If the EU's shift to 137 governments international tax rules for tech giants idea remains as minimal & toothless as it appears to be, most corporate CFO's are going to see the notion of doing business in another jurisdiction & another currency expensive & pointless, when the job can be done easier within the EU.

I'm sure that those banksters who cannot or will not shift their operations outta London have some big strategy for persuading the EU to give way and treat the City as if it is still in the EU, but that price will be high for all other englander industries, leaving Jo/Joe Blow and the rest of the 99% in worse crap than they were before.

Sasha , Feb 1 2020 16:25 utc | 105

In case it gets hard for the UK economically after Brexit, the City of London will ask for Johnson´s head, who will not hesitate, as Eton privileged class, selling what of welfare still remains there, especially what Trump will for sure demand, the NHS, to try to save face...

They will not low Johnson or his successor´s wage, nor will renounce to their billionaire earnings, it will be he working class who will lose, as always happens. Then, probably a new labor movement will arise...but after having payed such a price....

The best and most realistic analysis, from satire group ICYMI member (v this time notice his graveness...)

Gloating Brexiteers happier about beating smug Remoaners than leaving EU

Much more realistic than the delusional vision by Galloway, since to reach his dreamt utopic state of affairs through this way, working people in the UK will first have to suffer a lot, even a confrontation amongst ecah other, which is the "ultra-right" agenda, chaos from which they reap...

[Feb 01, 2020] UK Came Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Barovsky , Jan 31 2020 20:57 utc | 40

I think Diane Johnstone's piece sums it up the best:


UK Came & Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

30 January 2020 -- Consortium News
As Great Britain returns to the uncertainties of the open sea, it leaves behind a European Union that is bureaucratically governed to serve the interests of financial capital, writes Diana Johnstone

/../

From the start, the question of British membership appeared as a thorn in the side of European unity. Initially, London was opposed to the Common Market. In 1958, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan assailed it as "the Continental Blockade" (alluding to Napoleon's 1806 European policy) and said England would not stand for it. But as the project seemed to take shape, London sought accommodation.

De Gaulle warned from the start that Great Britain didn't belong in a unified Europe, geographically, economically or above all psychologically.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/30/uk-came-went-leaving-europe-in-a-mess/

[Feb 01, 2020] Pluses and minuses of Brexit are not clar, but it might be that Brexit does not amount to very much for GB

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

cdvision , Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

A few countervailing points:

1. 50% of UK exports do not go to the EU. The "Rotterdam Effect" - whereby UK goods transported to the rest of the world go via Europe's largest container port and are counted in Eurostat land as exports to the EU.

2. The net balances of trade is massively in favour of the EU - ie the EU exports much more to the UK than vice versa. Thus its the EU which desperately needs a trade deal. With Germany a blink away from recession the last thing they need is tariffs on Mercedes, Audi, VW etc..

3. Don't underestimate the value of old Commonwealth (Australia, NZ etc) ties

4. The sole ECB guarantor, in reality, is now Germany. When the Euro banks go tits up it will be devastating for Germany.

5. The UK is a major financial hub, and will not be replaced by Frankfurt or Paris.

6. The UK could very easily do a Singapore by slashing business taxes and becoming the gateway to Europe.

7. The world does not end when the transition period ends with no deal. See 1 & 2 above. WTO trade terms then apply. Its how the rest of the world trades with the EU, and I don't see the likes of China or the US complaining.

I could go on. But the over-riding factor is that the UK gets back its sovereignty, and at last a democratic vote has been respected, albeit belatedly. This will have many positive effects for the UK. Oh, and the UK won't be the last to leave the EU.


lebretteurfredonnant , Jan 31 2020 23:11 utc | 51

Hello Everyone, Hello b

I think b that you got it all wrong. The European Union has no advantage whatsoever since it's institution are flawed. Just like Occupation put it "The structure of its financial system and capital flows is not equitable, sustainable or resilient". We saw that very fact unfold with the Greek crisis where the European union institutions and member states and countries refused to support Greece in any way whatsoever (Germany, mainly.). Greece is almost a third world country now to where the government has shortage of drugs and is selling some of his major islands to billionaire like Warren Buffet.Add to that the rise of anti European, German and globalist sentiments coupled with like minded terrorist groups such as the Popular fighter Group and the revolutionary Struggle since the 2008 crisis and we have pretty much a country in decay , very unstable and about to implode. I could go on and on adding the so call PIGS country economic and social state therein it wouldn't make a difference.

There is unity in European union but in name only.

Furthermore the European Union while not being democratic (since its parliament has not the power and freedom to introduce bills of law and the European commissioners can put any law they deem so necessary into effect without parliament consent ) has however a tremendous amount of legal power, when it comes to societal changes and free trade, that can overrule any member states and countries judicial systems (Let's Think of the introduction of GMO products and destructive and unhealthy agriculture in spite of states and people opposing them).

This may very well be one of the reasons why England and part of its ruling elite are keen to get out of the European Union.

Lets be in honesty and speak truth here, countries and member states of the European Union are ancient countries b, some having more than a thousand year history. Even if they truly wanted to make an efficient European union, their differences, different interests and mostly languages, cultural, practical and natural organizations of society inherited from years past make the European union way too hard to achieve . Such a dream will take at least a couple of centuries to happen if it ever does and will require unprecedented sacrifices and a denying of people long established habits, behaviors, and so on only history can overcome.You, b, better than anyone knows how politic even with great vision must be based on practical means and understanding of realities or else its result can be catastrophic. That isn't the path undertook by the European union.

Talking of economy, I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement on England weaknesses after the Brexit.

First, it will be easier for great Britain to protect its main industries and tax big corporations such as the GAFAM and the FANG.

Second, Britain is a very well educated and able country and there is nothing she cannot mostly (or at least partially) do and achieve on her own in the possibility that she lacks significant imports from other European countries. If anything,the refusal from other European countries of importing some products via trade deals will boost inner production and force Britain to re-industrialize segments of its economy which is very good for employment and salaries. Britain may take a few years to recover but in the end she will come out of the European union stronger and richer than she was in it.

Finally lets not fool ourselves England will certainly increased ties with the commonwealth, the united states and china without major issues. Africa as a whole is not far behind and I doubt France will ever stop selling cheese and wine to England and Germany stop selling Cars and machine tools to it.

vk , Jan 31 2020 23:19 utc | 52
@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

No. Nation-States are not born from cultural isolation: economic development develops culture, not the inverse. The problem with the "cultural genesis" hypothesis is that it is completely arbitrary: you could come up with an infinite combination of nation-States at every time, at any stage. It is a hypothesis that explains everything without explaining anything. It is, therefore, a scientifically useless hypothesis at best; a logical fallacy at worst.

My observation about the development of the productive forces come from the objective reality. It is the most scientifically precise description of human societal development in a historical frame. This is not an opinion of mine: it's a fact. So, let's not waste time with this anymore, as it would only bother the people who visit this blog.

--//--

@ Posted by: cdvision | Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

1. Maybe. But, as you state at #5, the UK is basically a rentier economy, so the battle won't be won by the UK in the exports front.

2. This could be because the UK's productive sector is weak, not that the EU's productive sector is strong. Besides, we live in a capitalist world, where there are not one, but two balances: trade and capitals. The UK has a massive surplus in the capitals balance - massive enough to cut by 7% its entire deficit per year.

3. Well then...

4. True.

5. True. But it will lose its Euro swap services monopoly - not enough to break the bank, but a minus nevertheless.

6. You know you're desperate when you begin to resort to fucking Singapore to try to search from some light at the end of the tunnel. First of all: Singapore is tiny. Very tiny. Actually, it is a city.

Second, the UK's tax rates are already very low, and it already controls the main tax havens, so there isn't much to lower anymore.

Third: as mentioned here in my first comment, the UK already had more than 750 bilateral free trade agreements with the rest of the world; the UK was already "free" while it was in the EU.

True, it won't be the total collapse the Remainers have been touting - but it won't be that boom the Brexiter are preaching too. Basically nothing will change in the UK in terms of trade agreements. Fourth: did I mention you're literally comparing a nation-State of 70 million people to a city-state?

7. True. Europe simply isn't that relevant anymore.

But the most funny thing I find about this Brexit debate is how amplified it is: Remainers think the world will end; Brexiters think the Empire will come back. People, Brexit only makes things go as they were before . Did the world end when the WTO ruled trade? No. Did the UK become a superpower again when Thatcher rose to power? No. Was the UK a superpower before the EEC and after WWI? No.

So, in other words, almost nothing will change. UK will strike some Norway-type deal with the rest of the EU (is Norway collapsed? No.), it will probably renegotiate its already existing trade deal with the USA - under unfavorable terms, for sure, since the USA is infinitely richer and stronger than the UK - and the other one gazillion bilateral deals it already had before will continue to exist.

The only notable thing I find about Brexit is its symbolism: it represents the inexorable fall of Europe as a significant world player. In its history, Europe only became a world player on two short lived occasions: when the Roman Empire was at its apex (the "High Empire", from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius) and when the British Empire led a coalition of second-rate empires essentially at the 19th Century (i.e. when capitalism became global). That's only 350 years in more than 12,000 of human civilization history. During the rest of it, Europe not only wasn't a world player, but it was probably one of the most peripheral and poor regions of the planet.

It should bo back to its place.

Sveno , Jan 31 2020 23:21 utc | 53
I think MA outlook for Britan is too shadowed in sorrow. Britain strength in fishing waters and import of germany cars are too underestimated. Britain with there connection to former colonial countries make them sustainable. In the end germany will bend down to any toll on cars. Britain has the upper card. Meanwhile the whole french spanish portuguise fishing industry can wish they where british.

Still you wounder, the Illuminati outpost recommended brexit, what are they planning? Hope it's a struggle between Illuminati and not a plan to extinguish common people. Eu will fall like Rom, but the timeline is quit quick. Farage the city of london citizen talking to the people convinced to leave eu what can be wrong? The world is no democracy and you can just observe Illuminati decisions.

Ash Naz , Jan 31 2020 23:51 utc | 56
We should not underestimate the importance of today from the viewpoint of sovereignty and democracy.

The principal of sovereignty must apply both to the countries we here defend as the targets of the Empire, and even to the Chief Poodle of the US Empire itself, the UK. It is of course unlikely, but if Britain is to be free of Brussels it should be free of Washington too. Hard to imagine when the CIA and MI6 seem to be the same thing.

One of the reasons I voted Leave was to remove the toxic Chief Poodle influence of Britain from Europe. If the EU becomes less Russophobic with MI6 removed, then this is a win for Brexit.

The democracy thing is huge though. Here we have had for three and a half years almost the whole coalition of forces who constitute the ruling-class narrative control (minus a few Tories) demonise Brexit and portray Leavers as knuckle-dragging racist xenophobe chauvinist nazi fascist bigoted hateful morons who were duped by a gross rather than net figure on the side of a bus.

Despite this Leavers have quietly, peacefully and patiently voted in three elections since the referendum with outcomes favouring Leave. In the 2017 GE both Tory and Labour promised to respect the referendum and Labour did well. The Lib Dems ran on reversing Brexit and got nothing. In the EU Parliament elections (there are no elections for the EU commission - now there's a thing) the Brexit Party basically smashed it and won most of the seats. Then in the 2019 GE Labour was forced by the Blairites (and probably not opposed by the Corbynistas who are also pro-Eu, contrary to their guru's long-held Tony Bennite Left Euro Scepticism) to campaign on a rejection of the referendum, and the so-called Red Wall of sold, traditional Labour working-class constituencies voted Tory because Labour had betrayed them.

And so, after FOUR polls, and the majority of the elites trying to crush the popular will, finally The Thing is done - at least symbolically - there is more to come.

The future is uncertain, but tonight this is a victory for democracy, and a blow for the elites who instructed the proles to Remain. The proles refused.

SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 0:20 utc | 62
Martin Jay disagrees with the conclusions of this article and believes GB has the advantage.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/25/eu-is-showing-its-cracks-already-as-boris-now-shows-it-the-whip-on-trade-deal/

[Feb 01, 2020] The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 31 2020 19:09 utc | 11

Britain has until the end of this year to make a new trade deal with Europe, with the U.S., and with other countries.

The UK already had more than 750 bilateral deals around the world. The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Nothing significant will change in this front after Brexit.

But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything. If it continues on its path other countries may want to follow the British example despite the damage it will cause to them.

The issue is not between "centralization vs decentralization", but the historical process of the development of the productive forces.

Before the creation of the Euro, it was economically advantageous for the little poor countries from the European Peninsula to seek EU membership. After its creation, the economies begun to diverge: Germany begun to siphon the wealth from its poorer members.

Add to that the worldwide capitalist meltdown from 2008 and you have the toxic mixture for what is essentially a neoliberal union in the EU.

Centralization and decentralization, in abstract, mean nothing. It's always the historical context that counts. It's not the quest for centralization that menaces the dissolution of the EU, but the fact that the EU was already economically declining for two decades that resulted in its smaller members to complain about its perceived quest for centralization. This vicious cycle generated a dialetical contradiction which impelled the EU to actually try to seek more centralization in response - in a classic "self-realizing prophecy" case.

This must be the case, since it explains why Brexit happened in 2016 and not in 2000; why the Scotish referendum happened in 2015 and not in 1708; and why similar movements are happening more or less at the same time in Italy and Greece. It also explains why there is not "exit" movements in Poland and Hungary, even though there are anti-EU movements there.


ben , Jan 31 2020 19:11 utc | 12

IMO, this leaves GB more susceptible to the influences of the empire. I fully expect the U$A to attack the British National Health Service with pressure to privatize.
ErGmb , Jan 31 2020 19:20 utc | 13
Spot on vk! Your analysis of EU dynamics is a pretty succint summary.

Those who think that Brexit will reduce immigration to the UK are fantasists (as well as racists - at this point UKIP and Farage have an undeniable track record one could plausibly claim not to know about in 2014). The current UK economic model relies on a large inflow of immigrant labour to underpin fanciful "growth" statistics, depress wages, and keep up pressure on the housing market, among other "schemes" in the worst sense of the word, and the government has already said that it will seek to increase non-European immigration to make up for decreases in EU immigration. Bye bye Polish plumber, hello ???...

NemesisCalling , Jan 31 2020 19:21 utc | 15
Bilateral, un-hypercentralized all the way.

Victoria Nuland said it best, "Fuck the EU."

When will European people come to their senses and trust the ability of their own local leaders? B isn't quite there yet.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit in name only (BRINO)

Feb 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Tallis Marsh ,

Exactly! It was always going to be Brexit in name only (BRINO) with Theresa May and Boris at the helm (due to their establishment masters including the civil service). If the 2019 election hadn't been transparently & despicably corrupt (with its uber smears of Jeremy Corbyn and the outright rigging with postal ballots) we would not be in this position. The truth must be that the estab had too much to lose to not rig it.

Will we be leaving all the EU institutions including the ECJ?

Why did Theresa May (and Boris) insidiously sign us up to the Global Compact for Migration? Why did Theresa May (and Boris) also insidiously sign us up to the EU/European Defence Union? Do some people not know what I am talking about? Well, there is a Media 'D Notice' on these subjects. if you need to find out about these things you will have to look to the alternative media like UK column and social media (like Twitter e.g Veterans for Britian) to find these things out.

Did you know Lord James of Blackheath was threatened for speaking about the EU Defence Union last year – that may tell you how important it is that the estab need keep most of the public unaware of the subject.

[Jan 30, 2020] Zionist are simply using the illegitimate authority process as overwhelmingly demonstrated by Milgram and Zimbardo, using Bernay's sociopathic propaganda recipes.

It's actually not only Zionism, but any far right nationalism...
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Walter , Jan 30 2020 14:06 utc | 15
@Florin (3) (semantics, rhetoric, naming)

...In point of fact, of course, the zionist program to get lebensraum by liquidation or enslaving the Semitic native populations is telling, definitive.

... ... ...

(The Quakers say "tell the truth and shame the devil"... With the idea implied that truth saying is a duty under god, whatever it costs. The Quakers used to be significant in US history, but like CPUSA, are under reliable and useful control as agents of X. (ask Ruth Paine, of the curator group for Oswald operation))

[Jan 26, 2020] Asking the Right Question About Nationalism Democracy Journal

Jan 26, 2020 | democracyjournal.org

Where Judis is on more solid ground, it seems to me, is in his reminder that liberals should not be too dismissive of nationalism, since nationalism, "by itself, is neither good nor evil, liberal nor conservative."

You wouldn't know it from the way the term is tossed about in popular discourse, but as a historical matter this is more or less incontestable: The nationalism of Donald Trump is only one of many varieties.

It's not the nationalism that emerged amidst the French Revolution, as part of an attempt to make sense of the revolutionary doctrine of popular sovereignty. Neither is it the anti-colonial nationalism marshaled to support a range of twentieth-century independence movements. Nor is it rooted in philosophical ruminations on the identity-shaping role played by language, or culture, or history -- any one of which could be associated with a range of thinkers who would be appalled by the MAGA-hat crowd.

Recognizing nationalism's protean nature is, in fact, a first step toward what might be a productive exercise for anybody hoping to revitalize the left at this moment in history. Assume that, at least over the short and medium term, the current global system of bordered nation-states is not going to disappear (even if it is undergoing transformation). And assume that, for many people, everyday thought and behavior will adhere to (largely unconscious) scripts that serve to locate them in particular settings, communities, associations, and so on.

Given these realities, what kind of collective self-understandings would it be useful to promote? American history doesn't lack for precedents; there are left-nationalist themes in texts like the Gettysburg Address, in FDR's 1936 nomination speech (the one featuring his denunciation of "economic royalists"), and in Martin Luther King Jr.'s metaphor of a promissory note .

Samuel H. Beer, one of the twentieth century's leading scholars of American politics, once described the great moments of American reform as responses to crises of nationhood : "[T]he crisis of sectionalism, culminating in the Civil War; the crisis of industrialism, culminating in the Great Depression and the New Deal; and the crisis of racism, which continues to rack our country."

In Beer's view, these moments of active reform counteracted destructive centrifugal forces; they made the nation " more of a nation ." This emphasis on "making" a nation through politics is a good reminder that nations were not found, but invented; they are not immune to political refashioning. And if they're unlikely to disappear anytime soon, it might be a good idea to start thinking about which kinds we can live with.

[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 21, 2020] Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

@anonymous

The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation and I don't believe this is why Russia survives as a nation today. Russia itself is a country with a great many nationalities, and there are almost as many Asian as European faces in the country. Furthermore, the Ukraine was part of the USSR, has what you term a core ethnicity, and yet has descended into chaos without end since the collapse of the USSR. Clearly, a nation consists of something other than ethnic identity, language or even religion.

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life .

"Man is a slave neither of his race nor his language, nor of his religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains. A large aggregate of men, healthy in mind and warm of heart, creates the kind of moral conscience which we call a nation."

A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography. Whether or not a nation or nations survive the collapse of the American Empire will depend on the willingness of the people to live together with a shared collective memory of the past. Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs. The chaos that will surely follow the Empire's collapse will become part of the shared trauma, out of which a new nation or nations will arise, if the people so will.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110827065548/http://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
"I see you have successfully internalized The Cuck's Credo."

I won;t speak to the explication of what nationhood is as described. But clearly skin color is not a cohesive enough glue. The white colonists comprised of varying ethnic cultures went to war against whites in great britain. And by all indications of history the whites in Europe spent more than 1800 years killing each other in country and out --

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Weston Waroda

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle

Why was the lecture famous? Was it because Renan decided to redefine nation?
https://www.etymonline.com/word/nation

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 12:32 am GMT
@Daniel.I Oh, are you ever missing the point. What Renan wrote elsewhere, "that which makes a nation is the willingness of its members to live together," (ce qui fait une nation c'est la volunté de ses membres de vivre ensemble) cuts both ways. It not only expains why Russia successfully transitioned the fall of the USSR, while the Ukraine has not yet: the Russians chose to live together. It also explains why nationalists like you continue to choose by your own volition to identify as American despite your pissing and moaning. You and the Russians and the Ukrainians are making your own volitional choices about the nation you choose to be a member of. Those choices multiplied by the millions of inhabitants demonstrate how this is an organic process. Furthermore, Renan wrote well before the current idea of globalism had developed any traction, and he is writing from observation of history as a historian. He had no globalist agenda to promote. I have read quite a lot of what the hard right nationalists have had to say in their comments on the Unz Review, and frankly, the arguments are unconvincing. I would suggest reading the Renan lecture I posted the link to, it clears up the mess and shows a third way between you and the globalists, the way of how things really come down. It shows reality.
Oscar Peterson , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 1:55 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

No matter what the core identity of a society, there will be at least episodic internal violence. But that doesn't mean that people don't need identity.

What identity, in your view, should the people focusing on whiteness as symbolic of their sense of belonging, be adopting?

It's obvious that being "an American" is becoming less and less psychologically satisfying. So what is the answer?

Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 9:56 am GMT
@Weston Waroda I am Eastern European living in my homeland.
So I can see right through your ZOG-manufactured bullshit.
Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT
@EliteCommInc. You have no idea how satisfying it is to watch the Anglo – after having forced liberalism down the throat of everyone else – finding himself on the receiving end of it.

Keep celebrating your own dissolution, cuck.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
@Polemos The nation in Renan's thinking transcends consideration of the one and the many through a kind of political metaphysic: the nation is spiritual, the nation is a mystery. The national myth of shared trauma creates a past while organic human volition results in a spiritual recognition of both the individual and others as participants in this mystery, this nation, this Gestalt . Charles de Gaulle touched this in his benediction "vive la France eternelle," as did Ronald Reagan with the metaphor from the Gospels, "a city on a hill."
Wizard of Oz , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Daniel.I I get the general use by Americans to use "liberal" for what the rest of the Anglophone countries would probably call "left wing" (although I think Americans also say "neo liberalism" mraning something quite different). But I struggle to understand what you mean by "liberalism". Derived from which lot of Anglos? Thrust down throats by which lot of Anglos? I would like to learn more from you about the ideology or philosophy or political movement you are referring to.

As a prompt to leap out of a narrowly based view I note that the main conservative right of centre party which often forms Australian governments is the Liberal Party.

Vojkan , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
@Weston Waroda "A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography."

Is it to say that the German, the English, the Swede, the Polish, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Czech, the Slovak, the Italian, the Greek, the Hungarian, the Romanian, the Bulgarian, the Portuguese, the Irish, the various nations that emerged from the former Yugoslavia or the USSR are not organic entities but only the Belgian are? Is it to say that African states with borders drawn across ethnicities by colonial powers are nations? Today's France is proof of the contrary to your statement and Renan's theory. You are the one disconnected from reality as your idea of what constitutes a nation is a pure abstract disproven by empirical evidence.

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 9:02 am GMT
@Weston Waroda

Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs.

It's interesting that the places that the Empire has been unable to control are often ex-Communist (Russia, China, Eastern Europe) which experienced national trauma, but were also outside of the Zio-Glob Empire in its critical post 1945 growth period (the map of US overseas bases).

Also, Imperial institutions like NATO are looking irrelevant. European leaders may well wonder why they're necessary. In 1945, the US was the world's leading industrial economy/ international creditor with a legitimate reserve currency – now not so much – with the US clinging onto power using violence, threats and sanctions and generally alienating everyone.

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 2:14 pm GMT
Israel is a very successful example of a strongly ethnocentric state that has its endless internal squabbles between the various groups within that identity, but yet remain fairly united against potential threats from outsiders (i.e., the"others"). This most definitely applies to the critical matter of immigration.

Wisely, they do not easily accept immigrants, except those who are proven to be of their own ilk, and they are currently exploring, via internal public dialog, whether their already relatively stringent standards are not restrictive enough. (See here: https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/6-out-of-7-immigrants-to-Israel-not-Jewish-611842 )

They know they will be internally weakened, displaced, and ultimately, replaced if they do otherwise. They 'see the writing on the wall'.

Jews are not stupid people. It would seem equally wise for the US, Canada, and the European states to emulate their example, preserving their shared heritages and commonalities, which provide strength and unity in the face of adversities and against foreign enemies, both abroad and domestically.

What is sauce for the (jewish) goose is sauce for the (goyim) ganders .

[Jan 19, 2020] The once oppressed have become oppressors.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 19 2020 3:31 utc | 72

@71 said in part; "The once oppressed have become oppressors."

A succinct description of the Israelis..

[Jan 12, 2020] Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Canada Chrystia Freeland Print this article Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 | History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. © 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Also by this author Michael Jabara Carley Professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He has published widely on Soviet relations with the West What Poland Has to Hide About the Origins of World War II The Canadian Prime Minister Needs a History Lesson The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West) The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far? Lament for Canada Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


To the top
© 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Jan 01, 2020] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger The

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Jan 01, 2020] Will 2020 See the Emergence of a Nationalist Left? by Andrew Joyce

Notable quotes:
"... On the Suffering of the World ..."
"... Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? ..."
"... Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.unz.com

"The life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely a metaphorical one, against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand."
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

Although Nietzsche seems to be the philosopher of choice for many on the Dissident Right, I've always had a soft spot for Arthur Schopenhauer. His cantankerous philosophical pessimism has always struck a chord with my own temperament, and for many years I've found his quasi-Buddhist and highly compassionate conceptualisation of suffering to be strangely comforting. That life is a struggle involving endless adversaries and competitors also forms an aspect of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and this continues to be significant in shaping my political and philosophical outlook. Certainly, it goes without saying that adversaries have never been in short supply for members of the Dissident Right. They are arrayed before us now, emerging from all points of the political spectrum, and often even from within our own ranks. Dissident right political philosophies, more than any other, appear destined to be mired in continual conflict, and I often find it difficult to shake the dark impression that one day I will die, metaphorical sword in hand, with every battle raging but far from won. For this reason, I sometimes permit myself the relief of optimism (a form of cowardice to both Schopenhauer and Spengler), and part of this is the attempt to find allies where formerly one may have seen only foes. This brings me to the subject matter of this essay -- recent developments on the Left which appear to suggest the emergence of an anti-globalist, anti-immigration, and anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic politics.

Swedish Communists Wake Up

Just days ago, Sputnik reported on the fact that almost half of the members of the Communist Party in Malmö, Sweden, are resigning. They plan to establish a new workers' party that no longer features multiculturalism, LGBT interests, and climate change as key policy goals. Nils Littorin, one of the defectors, told a local newspaper that today's Left has become part of the elite and has come to "dismiss the views of the working class as alien and problematic." Littorin suggested that the Left "is going through a prolonged identity crisis" and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class politics. Littorin adds "[The Left] don't understand why so many workers don't think that multiculturalism, the LGBT movement and Greta Thunberg are something fantastic, but instead believe we are in the 1930s' Germany and that workers who vote [right-wing] Sweden Democrats have been infected by some Nazi sickness." In a piece of simple insight previously rare on the Left, he argues that the rise in right-wing votes for people like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are in fact due to "widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to low-wage competition and the ghettoisation of communities, a development that only benefits major companies." Rather than being beneficial to working class Whites, Littorin condemns a "chaotic" immigration policy that has led to "cultural clashes, segregation and exclusion due to an uncontrolled influx from parts of the world characterised by honour culture and clan mentalities."

Littorin continues to talk sense when it comes to the LGBT agenda. He explains that LGBT issues and the climate movement are merely "state ideologies" that are "rammed down people's throats". Littorin adds that phenomena like these happen at the expense of real issues, such as poverty, homelessness, and income equality: "Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old."

As well as prioritising jobs and pensions over the flamboyant celebration of buggery, Littorin and his colleagues have pledged to abandon the name and ethos of Communism, describing it as a

word drawn to the dirt, a nasty word today, and not entirely undeservedly. In communist parties, there is this risk of elitism, self-indulgence, and a belief that a certain avant-garde should lead a working class that does not know its own best interests, instead of asking people what they want. 20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century but has been stuck in 100-year-old books.

Curiously, events in Malmö have been mirrored somewhat in broader Swedish Left politics, with Markus Allard, the leader of the left-wing Örebro Party, expressing similar thoughts in an op-ed titled "Socialists don't belong to the left," accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class."

British Socialists Reinvent Themselves

Almost simultaneously, an identical process is occurring in Britain with George Galloway 's announcement of a new Workers Party of Britain . At the time of its launch Galloway described the party as "hard Brexit and hard labour," and added: "If you're a liberal who thinks it's Left if you're still pining for the EU, if you think shouting "racist," "homophobic," "transphobic" at everybody who doesn't agree with you is the way forward, we're probably not for you." Galloway's pro-Brexit stance is rooted in his belief that the modern British Left "have no vision for an alternative to rampant neoliberalism and a deindustrialised, finance-led, low wage economy, they calculate the best way to make this work is within the EU." He argues that the cosmopolitan leadership of the Labour Party in particular "think we are some kind of uncivilised tribe, painting our faces blue, and only able to vote in a right-wing government," a view he finds "not only deeply insulting, but also self-defeating and overly optimistic about the EU." On immigration, Galloway argues that there is "nothing left-wing about unlimited mass immigration. It decapitates the countries from which the immigrants leave, and drives down wages in those where they arrive. The wealthy benefit from it, as they can afford cheap labor for their companies, or cheap au-pairs, cheap baristas, cheap plumbers. But the working class suffers."

Galloway has also stressed that his new party will strongly pursue anti-Israel politics, and is fully committed to opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Galloway and the Workers Party of Britain have also taken a stand against the more extreme forms of LGBT indoctrination, particularly the mass promotion of transgenderism. Galloway, who has previously been attacked by a self-styled "trans anarchist" while giving a speech, is here following the lead of the pro-Brexit Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which recently published Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? In this text, and other articles on the party's website, including this very interesting speech denouncing transgender ideology as anti-materialist and anti-scientific, the argument is made that

Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing . It doesn't just exist in humanity, it exists in many species throughout the natural world. Sexual reproduction is a natural biological process that has persisted in nature due to the diversity it engenders; it is a phenomenon encountered in the natural world. And let's not forget how this debate impinged upon us. We've been following this ideological trend, and encountering identity politics (idpol) among supporters and candidates for membership of our party, and amongst people we've been working with for at least four or five years. Because idpol has become a fashion in that period. And it is a fashion; it is a trend. And it suddenly -- from being very marginal to certain academic institutions in the 1970s -- became mainstream globally worldwide; it was actively promoted. Not promoted by communists, not by socialists, but picked up on and accepted by many of them, because they are led by, and they blindly followed, bourgeoise society down this dead-end. There is a group of self-proclaimed 'socialists' who are not actually any longer fighting against our oppression, they're fighting against reality!

The Left in Crisis?

None of these developments are entirely surprising and, in fact, the argument could be made that they are the inevitable side effect of what Nils Littorin termed the Left's prolonged "identity crisis." The endorsement and promotion of multiculturalism and its sex-politics corollaries never did make much sense within the framework of rational critiques of capitalism, and the tension between the nominal desire for working class solidarity and divisive pseudo-Marxian doctrines (e.g. Whiteness Studies) designed to mobilise imported ethnic factions against the largest section of the working class (blue-collar Whites) was always destined to bring about significant stress fractures when Leftist fortunes began to decline.

And decline they have. Of course, we have to set aside rampant ideological and cultural success. Figures and cliques operating under the banner of social equality and eternal progress continue to hold the reins of power in government, academia, and the mass media. But the Left is without question currently subject to a period of political decline. It's losing votes, and more important, it's fast losing hearts and minds. I should also add that they aren't losing them to right-wing ideas, but to the hollow shells of right-wing ideas (Free Enterprise! Build the Wall!) and to the charismatic globalist play-actors who promote-these ideas like salesmen selling used cars or aftershave. White working-class people are voting for free enterprise without hesitation while Jewish vulture capitalism operates with impunity under that very banner, destroying their towns, exporting their jobs, and repossessing their homes. The same people vote for a wall they'll never get -- and would never really solve the problems resulting from capitalism or ensure a majority White future. And they do it not because of concern about identity or racial destiny, but in the same way one might decide to install CCTV in a grocery store -- the ever-elusive Wall will never be built so long as it represents nothing more than the aspiration to protect mere inventory. The hollow men of the pseudo-Right-wing offer flimsy placebos, and yet the political Left, supposedly the historical repository of hard materialism, can't seem to compete.

There's been a scramble to blame the situation on a lack of charismatic leaders , disunity, a lack of attractive policies, and even the idea that the European Left made the fatal mistake of trying to meet the Right on its own turf by "flirting with closed-border nationalism or neoliberalism." But the real reason is surely the fact the Left has consistently alienated and browbeat working class Whites, while slowly revealing itself to be an elite-run clique of cosmopolitans, who are living the high life while waxing lyrical about oppressions that are rarely real and often imaginary, and in any case never affect them personally. Added to this is the fact Leftist ideology has become so convoluted and contorted, with the square-peg doctrine of Marx endlessly forced into new and increasingly abstract circular and triangular holes, resulting in Marxist interpretations of such ephemera as graffiti, pop music, and drag queens, all of which strike the average blue-collar worker as a steaming pile of effeminate middle-class navel-gazing. All this plays out as young yet dithering social justice warriors, jobless and senseless, search for oppression like an old lady with dementia searches for a purse she hasn't owned in 20 years. As the pundits split hairs, I look on, and it occurs to me rather simply that right now the pseudo-Left-wing liars aren't quite as good as the pseudo-Right-wing liars.

Are These Rebels Potential Allies?

When I was around 11 years old, my mother made a new friend, a Scottish woman in her 30s, who always struck me as very strange. It was her eyes. I didn't know at first what schizophrenia was, though I would soon find out. One day she arrived at our house and, recognising her, I opened the door and welcomed her in. I called to my mother, who was upstairs, and made small talk with the Scottish woman, who, standing still and staring right at me, seemed perfectly cheerful and articulate. She asked about how I was doing at school, and we talked a little bit about science, which she seemed to know a lot about. It was only after a few minutes that I noticed the smell and deduced that the woman had fouled herself. By the time my mother arrived, the Scottish woman had descended into a stream-of-consciousness gibberish that culminated in her attempting unsuccessfully to retrieve a knife from the kitchen before running from the property. She'd simply stopped taking her medication. We later discovered she was found by police that night, dancing and weeping with bare, bloody feet in a nearby graveyard, wearing nothing but a nightgown and proclaiming to the dead that she was God, distraught at the death of the crucified son.

The episode has remained with me now for over two decades, shaping my perceptions of reality, relationships, and trust. Here it suffices only to remark that the insane talk sense at times, even as their psyche shatters. And if we dig deeply enough into the statements of these moderately "awakened" Leftists, do we yet see signs of madness? A look again at the statement from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), along with some reading between the lines, suggests something decidedly off . Yes, "biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing." Of course it is. But so is biological differentiation between races, and yet here our erstwhile British hardcore materialists, currently led by a full-blooded ethnic Indian named Harpal Brar , decide to fight against reality. On that note, we should add that Brar's daughter, Joti Brar, has been announced as George Galloway's deputy leader at the "hard Brexit and hard labour" Worker's Party of Britain. Galloway, it's worth adding, has been married four times, with three marriages to non-Whites (Palestinian Amineh Abu-Zayyad in 1994, Lebanese Rima Husseini in 2007, and ethnic Indonesian Putri Gayatri Pertiwi in 2012). So for all his protestations of being against mass migration, one gets the distinct impression that Galloway is a committed multiculturalist and that his party will be internationalist in every meaningful sense of the term.

If there is any hope for some sanity in this camp of frustrated Leftists it is for the simple reason that these small new pockets of reason are for the most part free of Jewish influence and all the intellectual distortions such influence entails. In a 2018 essay titled " On "Leftist Anti-Semitism": Past and Present ," I considered the gradual shift of Jews away from the hard Left due to growing anti-Zionism, and their growing confinement in centrist neoliberalism:

Jewish blindness to their privileges, genuine or feigned, is of course one major cause for the undeniable friction between Jews and the modern Left. It was perhaps inevitable that foolish but earnest egalitarians on the Left would come to the slow realization that their 'comrades of the Jewish faith' were in fact not only elitists, but an elite of a very special sort. The simultaneous preaching of open borders/common property and 'the land of the Jewish people' was always going to strike a discordant note among the wearers of sweaty Che Guevara t-shirts, especially when accompanied so very often by the cacophony of Israeli gunfire and the screams of bloodied Palestinian children. Mass migration, that well-crafted toxin coursing through the highways and rail lines of Europe, has proven just as difficult to manage. Great waves of human detritus wash upon Western shores, bringing raw and passionate grievances even from the frontiers of Israel. These are people whose eyes have seen behind the veil, and who sit only with great discomfort alongside the kin of the IDF in league with the Western political Left -- the only common ground being a shared desire to dispossess the hated White man. For these reasons, the Left could well become a cold house for Jews without becoming authentically, systematically, or traditionally anti-Semitic. One might therefore expect Jews to regroup away from the radical left, occupying a political space best described as staunchly centrist -- a centrism that leans left only to pursue multiculturalism and other destructive 'egalitarian' social policies, and leans right only in order to obtain elite protections and privileges [domestically for the Jewish community, internationally for Israel]. A centrism based, in that old familiar formula, on 'what is best for Jews.'

As seen in the recent clash between Jews and the UK's Labour Party, the political relocation of Jews to a kind of amorphous and opportunistic centrism will bring them into direct conflict with those on the hard Left who not only pursue anti-Zionist politics but also object to manifestations of raw Jewish power like the mass adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and the economic abuses of politically ambiguous (neither Left nor Right, but Jewish) oligarchs like Paul Singer. As such, and together with their natural aversion to being part of the Right, Jews will increasingly find it difficult to define themselves politically as anything other than Jews, leading to the increased visibility of their activities and interests -- something witnessed in the unprecedented step of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis openly calling for British Jews to move against Jeremy Corbyn. This increased visibility can only be a good thing for those concerned with Jewish influence, and who have been frustrated in previous periods by Jewish influence masquerading in various political guises.

A potential opportunity, imperfect but perhaps feasible, may therefore be arising whereby White interests could be subliminally or even publicly defended through savvy, nominally hard-Left activism against mass migration (on economic rather than racial grounds), against Israel and international Zionist influence, against some aspects of PC culture, and against the capitalist excesses of the Jewish vulture funds. It goes without saying that Leftist activists don't receive anywhere near the same level of social, professional, or legal punishment for their activism as those on the Right, especially the dissident Right. I don't think I'm too wide of the mark in suggesting that an anti-immigration agitator with "Workers Party of Britain" plastered over his social media is less likely to lose his job than someone with public National Front affiliations. It may therefore be worth serious consideration by young activists as to whether they might want to cultivate a kind of "Leftist" mask to defend White interests in much the same way as Jews in the past have adopted various convenient political masks while concealing deeper ethnic interests. I am suggesting a combination of infiltration and masquerade. What matters most is the private motivation and the potential benefits of the ultimate goal -- White interests and objectives serving them.

There are, of course, also dangers in supporting such movements. I am not suggesting the investment of serious time and money in these groups, since the risk is great that the majority of their members are committed to a politics that is ultimately antagonistic and destructive to our own ultimate goals. There is also huge potential for betrayal on many of the issues where we might have common ground -- immigration, LGBT madness, PC culture -- and I find it difficult to shake off the impression that these developments bear the mark of a temporary despair and are designed to dupe blue-collar Whites into voting Left once more.

Still, 2020 may open up a new front in the war, and as the New Year approaches, I'll silence my inner Schopenhauer and toast to that.


G. Poulin , says: Show Comment December 29, 2019 at 9:57 pm GMT

Gee, they're starting to sound like Mussolini.
Anonymous [341] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
Boris Johnson seems to be a step in this direction, many of the policies he has openly stated would have been almost unthinkable for a Conservative PM previously, things like amnesty for illegal immigrants, vast amounts of public spending, he has even stated an intention to nationalise things like train operators.

Boris is seen as very much right wing by most people in the UK, but if you look at his policies he could easily be described as a sort of left wing nationalist, especially in terms of his social policies. In terms of actual policy there is increasingly little difference between the Conservatives and Labour, the differentiation has become about abstract things like self-proclaimed patriotism and the level of pandering to Zionism.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
WN-types such as the author of this article tend to focus so heavily on immigration as an issue. So here's a link to a long piece I published a couple of years ago proposing a solution to the American version of the problem, though I'm not sure how applicable it would be to Britain:

https://www.unz.com/runz/a-grand-bargain-on-immigration-reform-2/

Bolteric , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:29 am GMT
@Ron Unz I think, Mr. Unz, you highlight peaceful coexistence, at the same time many still pine for a separate nation of exclusively white Christians. While it's a lost cause at this point, it doesn't stop the WN types – a set that is difficult to exclude myself from – from imagining a different reality and the National policies that would accompany that. Is a grand bargain possible? It gives me pause.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:42 am GMT
We need the Left-Right, which is fascism.
Frankie P , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:45 am GMT
It's extremely surprising to me that Andrew Joyce, in his analysis of left/right potential cooperation for the benefit of the nation and its legacy population, would fail to mention or bring up the French Equality and Reconciliation movement of Alain Soral. Here is a movement with meaty ideas, and more importantly, results. For what ideas drive the Yellow Vest protests if not the very concepts that Joyce points out in this article, expressed so well by Soral and so many of the white French protesters? Soral, originally a Marxist who subsequently joined the National Front (now the National Rally), has a number of useful and accurate slogans. He is a brilliant analyst and an articulate commentator; unfortunately, his videos and activism is limited to the French language. "The Left for the worker, The Right for morality." Isn't this similar to Joyce's argument that the Left is losing members who are rejecting the identity politics, gender bender, climate change distraction issue driven narrative that is driving the Left today? Of course in France Soral is labeled a Rightist Antisemite, as he is not shy about calling out the stranglehold that CRIF holds over French politics and how this has warped foreign policy in the interests of apartheid Israel. When I watch some of his videos and commentary, I wonder why we don't have a similar figure and movement in the US.

[Jan 01, 2020] After Exceptionalism by Lawrence, Patrick

Jan 01, 2020 | raritanquarterly.rutgers.edu

At four-thirty in the afternoon of Saturday, 4 April 2009, Barack Obama stood before a throng of correspondents in the Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, a high-Modernist convention center on the place de Bordeaux in Strasbourg. It was his seventy-fourth day as president. He had earlier attended his first Group of 20 meeting, in London, and had just emerged from his first NATO summit, a two-day affair that featured sessions on both sides of the Franco–German border. The world was still intently curious as to who America's first black president was and what, exactly, he stood for.

Confident, easeful, entirely in command, Obama spoke extemporaneously for several minutes. He spoke of "careful cooperation and collective action" within the Atlantic alliance. He noted "a sense of common purpose" among its leaders. He was there "to listen, to learn, and to lead," Obama said, "because all of us have a responsibility to do our parts."

Then came the questions.

There was one about the global financial crisis Obama had walked into as soon as he walked into the White House. ("All of us have to take important steps to deal with economic growth.") There was one about NATO troops in Afghanistan, and another about whether any would be deployed in Pakistan. There was an awkward question about a new law passed in Kabul that restricted women's rights in public places and effectively condoned child marriages. "What, about the character of this law," an American television correspondent wanted to know, "ought to motivate US forces to fight and possibly die in Afghanistan?" Obama parried the question with impressively presidential aplomb: the law is abhorrent, he said, but American troops are highly motivated to protect the United States.

Another question came from the Washington correspondent of the Financial Times. It was a little long-winded and is reproduced in the transcript thus: "In the context of all the multilateral activity this week -- the G-20, here at NATO -- and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?"

This is known in the trade as a softball, the kind of gently lobbed query that sets up a public figure to dilate safely and at length on a favored theme. And so did Obama field it. From the transcript, one half wonders whether the president and the correspondent had rehearsed the moment beforehand -- as if Obama were keen to take on the matter in a cosmopolitan setting.

"I believe in American exceptionalism," the new president said spryly, "just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Obama waxed on in this vein for a moment or two before praising, yet again, alliances and many-sided modes of cooperation. "We create partnerships," he concluded, "because we can't solve these problems alone."

Like an incoming tide flowing over rocks, the questions from the press returned to troop counts, NATO contributions, and Albania's accession as the alliance's newest member. No one seemed to take much note of either the FT man's inquiry or Obama's reply to it. And no one, not even America's new president, seemed to grasp what had just happened to exceptionalism, that peculiarly awkward term with its peculiarly ideological load. Something broke at that moment. It was as if Obama had dropped a precious relic, some centuries-old crystal chalice, and no one present heard the noise when it shattered.

The noise came soon enough and echoed for the remainder of Obama's eight years in office. The stars of right-wing media were among the first to start in. Sean Hannity pounced within a couple of days of the Strasbourg remark. Obama, the Fox News presenter declared, "marginalized his own country by saying our sense of exceptionalism is no different than that of the British and the Greeks." An upstart assistant editor at the New Republic took a swing a few days later. "If all countries are 'exceptional,' then none are," James Kirchick wrote, "and to claim otherwise robs the word, and the idea of American exceptionalism, of any meaning."

It went on from there, an ever-available suggestion that Obama's patriotism must be held in doubt, that he was not truly "one of us." It was not difficult to hear the worst of these recurring remarks as racism at a single remove.

"Our president," Mitt Romney asserted as he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, "doesn't have the same feeling about American exceptionalism that we do." Three years later, another conservative presidential aspirant, the mercifully forgettable Bobby Jindal, swung his mallet to make the bell ring: "This is a president who won't proudly proclaim American exceptionalism," the Louisiana governor charged, "maybe the first president ever who truly doesn't believe in that."

Obama seemed haunted after that afternoon in Strasbourg. It was as if he had strayed beyond the fence posts defining what an American leader can and cannot say -- and then hastened to return to the fold. Thenceforth, he missed few chances to counter his critics. "My entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism," he said in direct reply to Romney. On another occasion: "I'm a firm believer in American exceptionalism." And another -- this time in a commencement address at West Point: "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being." He pursued the theme until the very end of his presidency, a point to which I will return.

None of this -- the president's critics, the president's ripostes -- did much good, if any, for the abiding notion of American exceptionalism, whichever of its numerous meanings one may subscribe to. These past years have been peculiar in this way. Others may read the matter differently, but to me that afternoon in Strasbourg was a point of departure long in coming. Since then it has made no difference, none at all, whether one faults Obama or anyone else for failing to believe in our exceptional standing or whether one professes belief to the bottom of one's soul.

All that is said now comes to the same thing, making for a devastating dialectic. However the question is addressed, it reiterates the same lapse, the same telling self-consciousness, the same self-doubt, the same collective anxiety long evident to anyone able to discern with detachment the sentiments common to many Americans. Obama had it right, of course, that day in Strasbourg. Having lived among the Chinese, the Japanese, and others given to pronounced variants of chosen-people consciousness, I conclude he had settled on the only logical way at the matter. All nations are exceptional, but none, not even America, is exceptionally exceptional. The irate young editor at the New Republic had it right, too, though he seemed not to have known it: whatever Obama's intent (a question I will also take up later), he had indeed stripped bare America's customary claim to exceptionalist standing, exposing it at last as empty of all but the most mythical meanings.

This was an immensely constructive thing to do. Is it too much to suggest that shattering the glass chalice might in the long run rank among our forty-fourth president's most consequential accomplishments? I do not think so. History, the kind Obama made in Strasbourg, sometimes resembles what Auden wrote of suffering in "Musée des Beaux Arts": it occurs in the most ordinary circumstances such that very few of us even take note.

To risk a generality, Americans had been an uncertain people -- nervous, defensive, given to overcompensation for never-to-bementioned failures and weaknesses -- for a long time before Obama spoke in Alsace in the spring of 2009. I trace this shared-by-many attribute to another April, this one thirty-four years earlier, that wrenchingly poignant season when Americans sat in frozen silence as news footage showed them helicopters hovering above the embassy in Saigon -- the frenzy of a final retreat. For now, it is enough to note that Obama's observation -- a touch offhand and as simple as it was obvious -- marked the moment Americans would have to begin rotating their gaze, in a gesture not short of historic for its import, if they were to do at all well in the new century. They would have to turn from a past decorated with many enchanting ornaments toward a future that has no ribbons or laurels for those who claim them by virtue of some providentially conferred right.

Obama left Americans with questions on the day I describe. They require us -- and I think by design -- to begin talking of what I will call postexceptionalism. A set of questions we must pose to ourselves for the first time: this was Obama's true legacy, in my view. In the best of outcomes, we will learn to answer them in a new language, as the best answers will require. What will be the nature of a postexceptionalist America? Who will these postexceptionalist Americans be? How will they understand themselves and themselves among others? It may be that the questions Obama so fleetingly raised will turn out to run deeper still. What will remain of Americans once the belief that they are chosen is subtracted -- as inevitably it will be. What will be left with which they can describe themselves to themselves? Can a postexceptionalist America come to be? Given the chasm in their consciousness that must be crossed, is such a thing even conceivable? Will Americans accept another idea of themselves and of others? Or will they continue to pretend against all evidence that the chalice remains intact, unshattered, still to be held high above the heads of others atop our city on a hill, even as the rest of the world has somewhere to get to and proceeds on, calmly or otherwise, as best it can?

It is common enough to locate the origins of America's self-image in the thoughts of the earliest settlers coming across the Atlantic from England. It was John Winthrop, in his famous 1630 sermon, who gave us our hilltop city, he who proclaimed "the eies of all people are uppon us." Even in this seminal occasion we detect a claim -- maybe the earliest -- to exceptional status. But it is to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as America made itself a nation, that we have to look for the grist of the exceptionalist notion. And instantly we find a confusion of meanings. To some it referred to the new nation's revolutionary history, its institutions, and its democratic ideals: it had ideational connotations.

This line of thinking has since been stenciled onto history such that other readings can be somewhat obscured. In his Letters from an American Farmer, Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur cast the American as a "new man," exceptional for his stoic self-reliance and autonomy. In its early years, the nation was also counted exceptional for its abundant land and resources. And we should not forget the influence on the founding generation of the French physiocrats, who considered farming the fundament of all wealth, as we consider the case for this interpretation. New and evolving meanings attaching to the term have tumbled down the decades and centuries ever since, often with claims to providential dispensation, often (as the FT correspondent suggested) asserting a divinely assigned mission to lead all others.

Alexis de Tocqueville is commonly credited as the first to describe Americans as exceptional. This is fine, but let us not miss what he meant:

The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes. . .have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the Americans upon purely practical objects.

It is a rather less elevated description of our exceptionalism than is customarily assumed. Long has been the journey, then, from Tocqueville's time to ours, exceptionalism having gone from observation to thought to article of faith, ideological imperative, a presumption of eternal success, and a claim to stand above the law that governs all other nations. Historians note the odd irony that it was Stalin who brought the term "American exceptionalism" into common use. This was in the late 1920s, when a faction of American Communists advised Moscow that the nation's abundance and the absence of clearly drawn class distinctions rendered it immune to the contradictions Marx saw in capitalism.

Stalin was incensed: how dare those Americans stray from orthodoxy by declaring their nation an exception to it? While the Soviet leader flung the term back indignantly, many American intellectuals considered it "an inspired encapsulation of 160 years of impeccable national history." This phrase belongs to David Levering Lewis, the biographer of W. E. B. Du Bois, who was among the first prominent critics of the notion that America and its people were in any way singular or in any way not subject to the turning of history's wheel. Du Bois found the source of our modern idea of exceptionalism in the postbellum decades leading up to the Spanish-American War.

Two visions of the American future emerged after the Civil War, he observed in Black Reconstruction in America: 1860–1880, his 1935 history of African American contributions to the postwar period -- and a purposeful challenge to white-supremacist orthodoxies. In one of these renderings, America would at last achieve the democracy expressed in its founding ideals. The other pictured an advanced industrial nation whose distinctions were its wealth and potency. Democracy at home, empire abroad: when combined, these two versions of America's destiny were to be something new under the sun, and this amalgam would make America history's truly great exception.

This was never more than an impossible dream. Du Bois considered it "the cant of exceptionalism," in his biographer's phrase, intended primarily to deflect the realities of the Great Depression.

It was a mere six years after Du Bois brought out his book when Henry Luce declared the twentieth "the American century" in a noted Life magazine editorial. America was "the most powerful and vital nation in the world," the celebrated publisher announced. It is "our duty and our opportunity to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Maybe only the offspring of missionaries could write with such righteous confidence of dominance and purity of intent in combination. But Luce, without using the phrase, had neatly defined American exceptionalism in its twentieth-century rendering. And from his day to ours, that aspect of it we can consider religious has grown only more evident among its apostles.

Jimmy Carter caught the post-Vietnam mood perfectly (perfectly to a fault, as it turned out) when he delivered his noted "malaise" speech in mid-July 1979. Carter never used the wounding word. His actual title was "A Crisis of Confidence," and he made his point in vivid terms. "It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will," Carter explained on America's television screens. He spoke of "the growing doubt about the meaning of our lives." He spoke of "years filled with shock and tragedy," and of "paralysis, stagnation, and drift."

This was a presentation of remarkable candor by any measure. Carter told Americans, in so many words, that they could not count on any preordained destiny or that they were always assured of success simply because of who they were. "First of all, we must face the truth," Carter said, "and then we can change our course." To change our course: this phrase alone warrants considerable thought. Among the fundamental conceits of the exceptionalist creed is that America has always had it right and has no need to change anything. The national task is simply to carry on as it has from its beginning. Carter's challenge to such assumptions could hardly have been bolder, although he seems to have been careful to avoid explicit reference to exceptionalism. This would have to wait for Obama.

If the courage of Carter's honesty lies beyond question, so does the mistake he made when we judge the malaise speech in purely political terms. The public initially received it positively. But four years after America's humiliating defeat in Vietnam, Americans could not but suspect that there was nothing exceptional about them or their nation. It was as if the floorboards were trembling beneath their feet. And as it turned out, Americans did not much want to hear their president confirm these suspicions and sensations so plainly.

Ronald Reagan understood this. If the project was the rehabilitation of America's exceptionalist status, his first task after taking office in 1981 was to transform the Vietnam War into "an American tragedy." So did Reagan proceed. In a matter of a few years, he recast Americans as Vietnam's victims, its aggressors no longer. His "Vietnam," quotation marks required, was a place where valorous Americans fought and sacrificed on freedom's front lines. This inversion must be counted an extraordinary feat, one requiring a manipulation of past events not short of astonishing for its wholesale distortions. Christian Appy, the historian of Vietnam as it evolved in the American consciousness, put it this way in a note sent some years ago: "Reagan gave Americans psychological permission to forget or mangle history to feel better about the country."

If American exceptionalism had not previously been a faith, Reagan set about making it one. As president he breathed extraordinary new life into the old credenda -- notably in his famous references to Winthrop's "city on a hill," each one a misuse of the phrase. He quoted it coming and going -- on the eve of his 1980 victory over Carter, in his farewell address nine years later, and on near-countless occasions in between.

I recall those years vividly, oddly enough because I was abroad during almost all of them. On each visit back there seemed to be more American flags in evidence -- above front doors, on people's lapels, in the rear windows of cars, in television advertisements. By the mid- 1980s the nation seemed enraptured in a spell of hyperpatriotism Reagan had conjured with the skill of the performer he never ceased to be. The stunningly rude conduct of American spectators at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles made plain to me that Reagan had set the nation on a path that was bound to deliver it into isolation and decline. "Patriotism" has ever since been a polite synonym for nationalism of a pernicious kind.

To me this turn in national sentiment reiterated precisely what it was intended to refute: America was still the nervous nation Carter had described. It is difficult nonetheless to overstate the import of what Reagan did by way of all his images and poses. He did not restore America's confidence in itself after Vietnam; in my estimation no American leader from Reagan's day to ours has accomplished this. Reagan's feat was to persuade an entire nation, or at least most of the electorate, that it was all right to pretend: all was affect and imagery.

As if to counter Carter's very words, he licensed Americans to avoid facing the truth of defeat and failure and professed principle betrayed. He demonstrated in his words and demeanor that greatness could be acted out even after it was lost as spectacularly as it had been in Indochina. Beyond his face-off with "the evil empire," "Star Wars," "the magic of the marketplace," and so on, Reagan's importance as our fortieth president lay in his intuitive grasp of social psychology. He understood: many Americans, enough to elect a president, prefer to feel and believe more than they like to think. It was "morning in America," and all one had to do was have faith in the man who said so. "One of the most important casualties of the Vietnam tragedy," Henry Kissinger reflected on the twenty-fifth anniversary of our defeat, "was the tradition of American exceptionalism." Kissinger erred in his estimation: the tradition had many years of life left after 1975, as should now be plain. He did not understand either what exceptionalism is or its purpose. Du Bois did, by contrast: he saw in the 1930s that American exceptionalism was sheer artifice, invoked most vigorously when contradicting realities threatened to intrude upon the national mythology. Reagan made use of it in precisely this fashion.

We still live, roughly speaking, with the version of exceptionalism Reagan crafted to evade the verities of our Vietnam debacle. This is an immense pity, the consequences of which are hardly calculable. Defeat is the mulch of renewal -- provided one has the strength of character to acknowledge it. Was this not Carter's implicit point? Defeat gives the vanquished an occasion to reflect, to draw lessons, to reimagine themselves, to pursue a new way forward. There are numerous examples of this in history. The twentieth-century fates of Germany and Japan are of an order all their own, but they serve well enough to illustrate the point: after downfall comes regeneration. Fail to "face the truth" -- Carter's well-chosen phrase -- and one must count defeat evaded a lost opportunity of fateful magnitude.

In the American case one must look backward and forward from the defeat in Vietnam to grasp the full measure of Reagan's destructive happy talk. April 1975 was a moment Americans could have begun to look squarely at their many betrayals in history -- of others and of themselves -- in the name of exceptionalism. Illusions nursed for three centuries could have been abandoned in favor of a new past more fully and honestly understood. Looking forward, there would have been no more coups and interventions -- no Angola, no Nicaragua, no Iraq, no Libya, no Syria, no Ukraine, no Venezuela -- the list is as long as it is shameful. Americans could have "changed course." The defeat in Vietnam, to make this point another way, could have launched us into our postexceptionalist era -- which, I am convinced, was Carter's intent in 1979 as much as it was Obama's thirty years later.

Jimmy Carter, fair to say, was voted out of office in part for his never-quite-stated suggestion that Americans reconsider their claim to exceptional status among nations. He left the White House with a reputation as a muddle-headed weakling (and now awaits his revisionist historian, in my view). Obama had better luck managing his predicament after his remark in Strasbourg. He simply retreated into incessant professions of belief. This, too, marks an opportunity foregone. When he endorsed Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention in 2016, Obama went straight back to Reagan, believe it or not, invoking Winthrop by way of the Great Communicator's "shining city on a hill."

Plus ça change, one might conclude. But this would not be quite right. If Carter and Obama discovered the hard way that exceptionalism remains a precious relic in American politics, they also left a mark on it. We can now speak of hard exceptionalism and a soft alternative. Carter did the spadework, but prior to Obama's presidency, any such distinction was incipient at best. After Strasbourg, Obama proceeded as if Humpty Dumpty could be put back together again. We all know how the old nursery rhyme turns out.

The hard variety derives from Reagan, who drew on Henry Luce's do-what-we-want, where-we-want, how-we-want notion of American preeminence and power. It is subject neither to international law nor, when all the varnish is scraped away, ordinary standards of morality. This is the version of the creed advanced in Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, the 2015 book by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, the former vice-president's daughter. The historical record is unblemished, in their telling. Vietnam was wise, Iraq in 2003 was wise, the use of torture after 2001 was just.

Against this we find counterposed the more humane (if finally more cynical) version of exceptionalism put forward by Obama and many others on what passes, remarkably enough, for "the Left" in American politics. Gone is the Reaganesque jingoism and the whiff of Old Testament righteousness characteristic of conservative renderings. In their place we find "plain and humble people. . .coming together to shape their country's course," as Obama put it at the Philadelphia convention. On the foreign policy side, this is a nation that admits its mistakes while leading the world in pursuit of "shared interests and values" -- a key phrase in the lexicon -- by way of those partnerships Obama mentioned in Strasbourg. America's conduct abroad must be rooted in the same humility characteristic of its people -- the people ever busy shaping the nation's course.

Taken together, these two versions of America as it looks in the mirror are nothing if not reiterations of the post–Civil War binary Du Bois astutely identified -- empire and democracy. In the middle of them sits Donald Trump. Having no use at all for exceptionalism, he is the first president in our modern history simply to shrug it off and survive the judgment. "I don't like the term," Trump said at a fundraising event in 2015. "I don't think it's a very nice term. 'We're exceptional, you're not.'" Whatever else one may think of him, Trump is to be credited on this point. Implicit in his position is the reality that Americans are as subject to history as any other people.

Jake Sullivan, a prominent adviser in the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff at State, voiced a view on the soft side in the January 2019 edition of the Atlantic. "This calls for rescuing the idea of American exceptionalism," Sullivan wrote two years into the Trump presidency, "from both its chest-thumping proponents and its cynical critics, and renewing it for the present time." He then unfurled "a case for a new American exceptionalism as the answer to Donald Trump's 'America First' -- and as the basis for American leadership in the twenty-first century."

Like Kissinger, Sullivan does not seem to understand. Exceptionalism as it has evolved is no longer an idea: it is a belief, and as such it cannot be resuscitated by way of rational thought, no matter how deep its roots in history and how acute the rational thinking. I question, indeed, the efficacy of any foundational creed in need of a salvage job of the sort Sullivan proposes. This is not how religions -- civil, in this case -- work. Nonetheless, soft exceptionalism is now the frontline defense of the notion among Washington's thinking elites. And we can count Sullivan's carefully reasoned essay its most thorough treatise to date.

Sullivan's case is multiply flawed. Soft exceptionalism is finally little different from the hard kind, given the two meet at the horizon. They both rest on the old belief that, uniquely in human history, America manages to combine virtue and power without the former's corruption by the latter. Hegemon or "benevolent hegemon" -- a phrase from the triumphalist 1990s I have always found risibly preposterous -- both versions place America at the pinnacle of the global order, sequestered from others by dint of its "goodness" and "greatness." (Even the Cheneys, père et fille, had the nerve to use these terms.) Hard or soft, they both treat scores of coups, interventions, subterfuge operations, and countless other breaches of international law as deviations from the golden mean, the norm -- even as more than a century's evidence indicates these supposed irregularities have been the norm.

There is a point to be made here that I count more significant than any just listed. Whatever variety of exceptionalism someone may endorse, it will not open us to the rich benefits to be derived from defeat or retreat; as we all know, exceptional America never lost anything and never will. This is one of the creed's two essential purposes. On one hand it is a declaration of permanent victory. On the other it is an amulet marshaled to ward away the doubt and uncertainty that lie at the core of the American character. The contradiction one might find here is merely apparent. Exceptionalism in any form, then, comes to a confinement. It encloses those who profess it within the fantasy of eternal triumph, the hubris attaching to the presumption of never-ending invincibility.

Most of all, exceptionalism traps us in the logic of victors: it renders us certain that we need only to continue as we have, altering nothing. It thus prevents the emancipation of our minds such that we know at last our past as it truly was and can think altogether anew of another kind of future.

In The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery, Wolfgang Schivelbusch is eloquent in describing the fertility of loss against the barrenness of victory. It is an exceptional (truly so) work. In it he quotes Reinhart Koselleck, the late German historian, to this effect: There is something to the hypothesis that being forced to draw new and difficult lessons from history yields insights of longer validity and thus greater explanatory power. History may in the short term be written by the victors, but historical wisdom is in the long run enriched more by the vanquished.

America's leaders are rarely long on historical wisdom. Among Dick Cheney and Barack Obama and Jake Sullivan and many other noted names, at issue today is one or another form of restoration, nothing more. This arises from the doctrine of exceptionalism itself. It amounts to a cage within which we choose to confine ourselves and wherein we learn nothing -- the conceit being we have nothing to learn. We are the jailer and the jailed, then. And if the twenty-first century has one thing to tell us above any other, it is that we must turn the key, escape our narrow cell, and begin to think and live in ways our claim to exceptionalism has too long rendered inaccessible to us.

In the spring of 1932, Henri Bergson published his final book. He called it The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, "morality" to be taken here to mean (approximately) a society's ethos, how it lives. A quarter century had passed since the French thinker brought out his celebrated Creative Evolution. This last work amounts to an elaboration on the earlier volume's themes.

Once again, Bergson takes up the binaries running through much of his work: "repose" and movement, the closed society and the open, the stable and the dynamic -- the latter in each case driven by his famous élan vital, the natural impulse within us to create and evolve. As in the earlier work, Bergson posits the what could or will be against the what-is.

The distinguishing mark of The Two Sources is its exploration of the "how" of change -- how a society advances from an established state to one newly realized. His answer is surprising, at least to me. Progress is achieved not systematically but creatively. It does not occur as a result of careful bureaucratic planning, one measured step succeeding another. It entails, rather, "a forward thrust, a demand for movement." This requires "at a certain epoch a sudden leap," and there is nothing gingerly about it. Bergson calls this a saltus, an abrupt breach resulting in transformation.

Here is an essential passage in the argument Bergson constructs in The Two Sources:

It is a leap forward, which can take place only if a society has decided to try the experiment; and the experiment will not be tried unless a society has allowed itself to be won over, or at least stirred. . . .It is no use maintaining that this leap forward does not imply a creative effort behind it, and that we do not have to do here with an invention comparable with that of the artist. That would be to forget that most great reforms appeared at first sight impracticable, as in fact they were.

There are a couple of things to note in these lines as we consider the prospect of a postexceptionalist America. One, ordinary Americans -- a critical mass, let us say -- must be open to making the required leap and to the measure of flux -- an interim of instability, even -- this implies. So must our political thinkers, scholars, and policy planners -- altogether our intellectual class. Two, creative advances require creative individuals -- in a phrase, imaginative leaders who can see beyond the closed circle of assumptions that any given society forms. So it is with dynamic leadership. What at first throws us because it appears to be wholly impractical is later on accepted as a new norm. The Declaration's drafters in the summer of 1776 -- Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and others -- serve perfectly well as a case in point. American history gives us numerous other examples. Bergson's thinking is of great use, it seems to me, in any effort to change course -- to redirect American power, in simple terms. But he immediately faces us with questions, two more atop those posed at the start of this essay.

How given are Americans to the "forward movement" Bergson writes of? A good many appear eager, if not desperate, for holistic change, a saltus of our own. For these many, it is a question not of repudiating national aspirations but of abandoning the mistaken course poor interpretations have set us upon. To return to Du Bois's thesis, this constituency now comes to understand that the exceptionalist notion of a virtuous empire and a thriving polity has proven disastrous. Dominance abroad, in other words, must give way to democracy at home (and all the work this implies, some of it restorative, some taken up for the first time). Such a transformation would constitute a truly forward movement.

But America is now a house divided, to note the self-evident. Many of us appear to have lost touch with all that might pass for creative drives. There is much to suggest that seven decades of preeminence have left too many of our leaders incapable of cultivating a reconstituted vision of the nation's future. They persist, instead, in the long-bankrupted pursuit of democracy and empire -- the old, impossible dream. They tend to cling to illusions of moral clarity consolidated during the Reagan years and now proffered by such figures as Dick Cheney and, closer to our moment, John Bolton, until mid-September Trump's astonishingly dangerous national security adviser. Their prominence is not to be overlooked. Their influence continues to keep us from changing anything about our ways of seeing and thinking -- our "morality," the ethos by which we live. Ours seems a closed society, in Bergson's terminology. It is costly indeed to stray beyond the fence posts.

Whether America is any longer capable of authentic change depends in large measure on how we answer the other question a reading of Bergson imposes upon us. Do we Americans have the leaders to inspire us forward, to cut our moorings, to "win us over" to the condition of postexceptionalism? Bergson's thought as to the necessity of gifted leadership (a term he does not actually use) is especially pertinent in the American case, it seems to me. It is perfectly sensible to suggest, as many do, that a fundamental transformation in Americans' understanding of themselves is beyond reach, or that a tremendous shock -- a catastrophic defeat, a deep and sustained depression -- will be required to bring it about. But these are the replies one will always hear within the confines of a static political culture. They admit of no prospect of transcending the what-is. They leave no ground for imagining what a committed leader might accomplish by way of showing America new paths forward. Anyone who doubts this potential should consider the tragic turn the nation took after the three assassinations of the 1960s -- the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were leaders of the kind Bergson compares with artists. It would be difficult to overstate the impact their deaths have had on the nation's direction.

For the moment we do not seem to have such leaders. But it is worthwhile considering figures such as Obama (or Carter, for that matter) with this question at one's elbow. I do not wish to overfreight Obama's appearance in Strasbourg very early in his first term, but in that fateful sentence concerning Americans, "Brits," and Greeks lies a hint, surely, of a leader's alternative vision of America's way into the twenty-first century. An attempt was made, suggesting imminence. We are now face-to-face with the pity of Obama's retreat. With it he deprived himself of all chance of greatness -- and Americans of a chance to move beyond their state of "repose." But we also find among us an incipient generation of leaders who stand squarely against our condition of inertia. Tulsi Gabbard, the vigorously anti-imperialist congresswoman from Hawaii, is but one example of this emergent cohort.

The common theme is plain: to remake American democracy and to abandon imperial aspirations are two halves of the same project. This is where we are now with regard to our exceptionalism, in my reading of our time. We arrive at a crucial moment, and there is no place in it for pieties as to the "can do" of the American character. It is difficult to argue that we as a society are prepared for this. But it is nonetheless time -- if, indeed, we are not already late -- to make our leap into a postexceptionalist awareness of ourselves and ourselves among others. It is time to leave something large and defining behind, to put the point another way. We can think of this as shattering the crystal chalice or as simply finding a place for it in museums and in our history texts. It does not matter so long as we determine, by way of a leadership class awakened from its slumber, to live without it. The only plausible alternative is failure -- once again, among ourselves as well as among others.

There are sound reasons to assign our time this magnitude of importance. Abroad, the world tells us nearly in unison that the place the old American faith found in the twentieth century is not open to it in the twenty-first. The near chaos we are responsible for since the events of 11 September 2001 -- notably, but not only, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria -- is of an order the community of nations has come to find unacceptable. While this is increasingly evident -- as is a rising contempt for our gaudy displays of righteousness -- let us avoid a certain mistake here: the message is not "Go home," but its opposite, "Join us -- be among us truly, authentically, entirely." In my experience abroad, most others still detect the good that resides in Americans despite all that is at this point plainly otherwise when judged by the nation's conduct toward others.

At home the intellectual confinements exceptionalist beliefs impose have debilitated us for decades. We are now greatly in need of genuinely new thinking in any number of political and social spheres, even as we deny ourselves permission to do any. Clever restorations, as already noted, will not do. To honor tradition one must add to it. This is done by breaking with it, just as Bergson implied with his artist. Merely to carry tradition forward in imitation is to entomb it, while trivializing ourselves and our agency.

What does "postexceptionalism" mean? How would it manifest? Who would postexceptionalist Americans be? How would Americans understand themselves and account for themselves among others? Would anything be left of us were the mythologies to be scraped away? I began with these questions. They are no simpler than the two just considered. If one has breathed fetid air the whole of one's life, it is not so easy to describe a spring breeze. But there is a long tradition of dissent and dissenters in America -- "exceptionalism's exceptions," as Levering Lewis once termed them. Much of what is pushed to the margins in American history is by no means marginal -- a point our best historians have made many times. In the supposedly far corners of our past we find paths to a future beyond exceptionalism. The lively anti-imperialist movement that arose in the nineteenth century's last years is a relevant case in point. There is also the experience of other nations that have passed through that cycle of trauma and recovery Wolfgang Schivelbusch explored so insightfully. These things are available to us. Fresh air is not so inaccessible as we may be inclined to assume. One draws encouragement, indeed, from the discourses of the Cheneys and, on the other side of the ledger, the Obamas and Sullivans: any question so self-consciously considered is by definition in play.

Among my starting points when considering the idea of postexceptionalism is an imperative that came to me after living and working many years abroad, primarily in Asia. It is simply stated: parity between the West and non-West will be an inevitable feature of our new century. This is already evident providing one knows where to look. To take but one example, one reads little in the American press about the network of alliances now forming among non-Western nations in the middle-income category: between Russia and China, Russia and Iran, China and Iran, India and all of these. Beijing's audaciously ambitious Belt and Road Initiative will multiply such relations many times; they are already a considerable source of influence. American exceptionalism, let us not forget, was born and raised during half a millennium of Western preeminence (taking my date from da Gama's arrival at Calicut in 1498). This era now draws to a close before our eyes. No one's antiquated claim to exceptionalism can survive its passing.

As a corollary, the same point holds within the Atlantic world itself. Europe now struggles for a healthy distance from America after the suffocating embrace of the Cold War decades. If success has so far proven limited, the direction is clear. One of the truths I learned when reporting in Indonesia during the first post-Suharto years, a time when various provinces were demanding autonomy, was that to stay together the Indonesian republic would have to come partially apart. The same will prove so of the West and all who identify as belonging to it. As in Indonesia, there is difference amid similarity, and both must be served.

It will be a postexceptionalist American leadership that accepts these immense dramas with the thought and imagination needed to find opportunities -- as against an almost fantastic variety of "threats" -- in the soil of new landscapes. In the best of outcomes, nostalgia for lost preeminence, our postwar pursuit of totalized security -- these will no longer interest postexceptionalist American leaders. Theirs will be a nation braced to advance into a new time because it is confident of its competence to do so. It will be cognizant of the perspectives of others, a capacity Americans have heretofore found of little use. It will be game, in a word -- aware of its past but never its prisoner. The language of dominance will give way to the necessary language of parity. International law will be our law as it is everyone else's.

And here we come to the essential motivation for us to make our leap -- the sine qua non of it: it must first dawn on us that it is greatly, immeasurably to our advantage to attempt it. This truth has not yet come to us; no leader has led us to it. How little do most of us understand, in consequence, that to abandon our claims to exceptional status will first of all come as an immense unburdening and a relief from our long aloneness in the world?

"The American of the future will bear but little resemblance to the American of the past." I have long admired this observation, even as I wonder whether it is anything more than a wishful thought. It dates to 1902 and belongs to Edwin Seligman, a prominent Progressive Era thinker. Seligman's time was very different from ours, of course, but we can draw connections. He wrote at the first flowering of America's imperial ambition; today we watch as the sun sets. His concern was an evolution in consciousness among Americans. So should we concern ourselves as the future rushes toward us. This is where the path to postexceptionalism must begin -- in our minds.

All of what I have just noted in pencil sketch lies within our reach. None of it is a matter of law or mere policy. It comes to a question of will and of vision, of who we wish to be, of our capacity to reimagine ourselves. But let us not make one of the very errors we would do best to leave behind: what Americans can do and what they will do are two different things. There is no certainty Americans will reach for any of what is available to them. To abandon our claims to exceptionalism is to give up our customary assumption of assured American success. It requires us to accept the difference between destiny and possibility. One does not find abundant signs Americans are yet ready to do this -- not among our leaders, in any case. There seems to be little awareness that the only alternative to the change of course Jimmy Carter favored forty years ago this past summer is decline -- decline not as a fate but as a choice, one made even as we do not know we are making it. "Can America save itself?" Bernd Ulrich, a noted German commentator, wondered in Die Zeit not long ago. It is precisely our question as we look toward a postexceptionalist idea of ourselves. This idea, indeed, was Ulrich's unstated topic. "In principal, absolutely," he replied to his own question. "But certainly not with gradual changes. In terms of global politics and history, it must get off the high horse it has so long ridden. It needs a moderate self-esteem, beyond superlatives and supremacy."

[Dec 30, 2019] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Dec 29, 2019] And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

Dec 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 28 2019 18:51 utc | 18

One more to the "First World problems" topic:

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

Japan's December manufacturing sector PMI, as it is called, fell to 48.8 from 48.9 in November. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction. The services sector, however, picked up slightly to 50.6 from 50.3. So the overall 'composite' PMI was unchanged at 49.8. That means Japan is in recession (just).

The Eurozone manufacturing PMI slipped to 45.9, the lowest since October 2012 and employment also fell at the fastest pace for more than seven years. New orders declined for a fifteenth successive month, while input prices continued to fall sharply. The sector was driven down mainly by Germany, where the manufacturing PMI hit 43.4, falling for the 12th straight month.

However, as in Japan, there was a slight pick-up in the services sector, where Eurozone PMI reached 52.4 from 51.9 in November. So the overall 'composite' PMI stood unchanged at 50.6. In effect, the Eurozone economy is standing still.

In the UK, the manufacturing sector took another dive to 47.4 (a sharp contraction). Output fell the most since July 2012. The services sector was also down to 49.0, making the overall composite PMI in negative territory at 48.5 - the deepest contraction since July 2016. The UK is in recession - but maybe the Conservative government election victory and the ending of uncertainty over Brexit (the UK will now definitely leave the EU in 2020) may encourage a recovery.

In sum, as we end 2019, Japan, the Eurozone and the UK are in recession or stagnation.

Long story short: the EU is only not in outright recession because the "services sector" (gig economy) is compensating for the collapse of its manufacturing sector - for now.

And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

[Dec 24, 2019] It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems aka our Blairites

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , December 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

Re Bill Mitchell–his theme is that the Labour disaster is all due to the failure of the party to follow their working class base–if that is their base–and support Brexit. I believe that was Clive's theme as well. This is definitely not my topic but any Remainers care to rebut?

It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems–aka our Blairites. People like Hillary denounce the deplorables and Obama calls them bitter clingers but these verbal targets were once the backbone of a party that stood in opposition to the party of the bankers and finance.

The problen for the DemoRats is that their new, hoped for diversity base isn't large enough to replace the former great unwashed base. Perhaps that's Labour's problem too. We have a party of the people whose leaders are (in secret when not in public) batting for the other team.

PlutoniumKun , December 23, 2019 at 10:41 am

All polls indicated that around 40% of Labour supporters were Brexiters, 60% Remainers (of course the intensity of support might be different). Those were mostly the older working class 'old Labour' types along with some ideological left wingers. Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

In the months after the referndum, people like Owen Jones tried to convince the Remainer Labourites that they had to accept the result of the referendum and fight for the "softest" Brexit possible (I remember because he was bringing that up in his post-mortems after the election). And of course, most Remainers were having none of it. They came up with "The People's Vote" and eventually Jones and the rest of the Labour bigwigs got on board.

But objectively, Brexit will be, and can only be, a disaster for Britain and most pro-Brexit voters are badly misinformed, so what were Labour leaders supposed to do? It looks undemocratic to stop people from shooting themselves (and you too!) in the foot, but are you supposed to just let them pull the trigger?

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 11:11 am

The constituency where I canvassed, the divide was very clearly generational – the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark. I have not seen any national data on this – has anyone else?

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm

>>I canvassed

Thank you for your service.

>>the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark.

That would seem to match up with survey data.

>>I have not seen any national data on this

Here you go .

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Thank you. A very interesting read.

Foy , December 23, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Yep, chechout the 3rd chart on this post. Very generational split moving from Labour to Tories with age. 18-24 yos voted 19% Tory, 67% Labour, and it virtually reversed when looking at 65yo+ which voted 62% Tory, 18% Labour, with an almost linear movement inbetween. I think someone linked to this a few days ago

https://www.ianwelsh.net/why-labour-lost-in-britain/

Lambert Strether Post author , December 23, 2019 at 1:36 pm

> Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

I would say that what Labour ended up doing was suicidal, quite evidently. Labour (and Corybn's) problem was existential, the fractured base (not merely by age, but geographically and by class) bequeathed to them by Blair. I would say that Mitchell's proposal is not like suicide, but like an animal caught in a trap chewing off a leg to escape -- the leg, in this case, being PLP. Of course, if Labour wants to be the party of London professionals, that's fine, but rebranding from "Labour" might be in order.

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Rebranding from Labour –

Richard North has been running some interesting material recently, including today, raising the question to what extent the traditional working class still exists in England in the sense it was once understood. I have no real insights into what is clearly a very large topic but I found todays piece especially interesting.

I am doubtful Labour wants to be the party only of London professionals – there are far too few of them to win elections. At present it is clearly the party of the young. Any strategy for its future needs to take this into account. Although I am old myself I know a fair number of the young in the UK through my children and their friends. They are having a very hard time of it as their jobs are very insecure and their prospects of owning their own homes/better quality housing are far poorer than those enjoyed by the boomers. They also face a high risk of being made redundant at 40.

Rather than a class-based analysis of UK politics I wonder if a generational analysis – boomers v the rest – would not be more fruitful at present. Though of course you can see this as a rich/old versus young/poor struggle.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 4:32 pm

>>rebranding from "Labour" might be in order

Labour lost biggest among the pensioners, who by definition, are not labouring. The reason they lost all those Northern towns was that they had so many pensioners.

Doing deliveries on a bicycle, teaching children, and keeping the elderly alive, meanwhile, are all labour, even if they don't take place in a factory or a mine. Certainly not "professional" in the traditional sense.

Labour's error was failing to build a legacy media operation (print, TV, radio) to reach the pensioners, and not turning out the younger vote.

[Dec 23, 2019] The Afghanistan Papers - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The President of the USofA has no power to turn this ship around. The seat of power is no longer residing in the hands of civilian/political actors prime ministers or presidents though they may be.

Candidate Trump indicated very early on that he intended to withdraw from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he soon succumbed to his advisors and generals advice of increasing troop strength in 2017 as part of a surge strategy. This makes him no better or worse than his two predecessors who succumbed to the same kind of advice.

However Trump has recently restarted negotiations with the Taliban and has renewed his pledged to remove several thousand troops. "We're going down to 8,600 [from the 12,000 and 13,000 US troops now there] and then we make a determination from there as to what happens," Trump told Fox last August. "We're bringing it down." Of course the drawdown will be seen by the neocons as a unilateral concession to the Taliban. That shouldn't phase Trump. I think he plans to reannounce this withdrawal next month. DoD officials have said that the smaller US military presence will be largely focused on counterterrorism operations against groups like al Qaeda and IS, and that the military's ability to train and advise local Afghan forces will be reduced considerably. Sounds like they're still looking for a reason to stay.

Trump can break the cycle. He holds no ideological conviction for staying in Afghanistan. If he could get over his BDS (Bezos derangement syndrome), he could seize this Washington Post series, or at least the SIGAR lessons learned reports, and trumpet them through his twitter feed and helicopter talks. I believe he alone can generate a public cry for getting the hell out of Afghanistan and carry through with that action no matter how much his generals scream about it. But without a loud public outcry, especially from his base, Trump has no incentive to break the cycle. So all you deplorables better start hootin' and hollerin'. Hopefully enough SJWs will join you to pump up the volume.

TTG

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/


Mathias Alexander , 23 December 2019 at 04:37 AM

If someone wanted to destabilize China,Russia and Central Asia the parts of Afghanistan America controls might be usefull for that.
JMH , 23 December 2019 at 07:11 AM
Excellent, right up to the last sentence. SJWs are mere tools of people like George Soros and have zero anti-war agenda nor do they care about America's manufacturing base ect.. In fact, many are chomping at the bit to join, what was once termed in the SST comments, the LGBTQ-C4ISR sect. I refer you to mayor Pete's exchange with Tulsi on the matter; he even invoked our sacred honor as a reason to stay the course in Afghanistan.
Eric Newhill -> The Twisted Genius ... , 23 December 2019 at 03:38 PM
TTG,
It's a shrinking cohort. For some of these types, their TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is actually causing them to side with the CIA and military. Enemy of my enemy.....and since there's no draft, they have no skin in that game.
Serge , 23 December 2019 at 07:35 AM
For the past 2-3 years many generals and politicians have been using the threat of ISKP as the new bogeyman for staying in Afghanistan. This threat is not wholly unfounded, a disproportionately large number of US airstrikes since 2015-2016 have been against ISKP in Nangarhar(remember the MOAB?) rather than against the Taliban. If my memory serves me correctly ISKP was responsible for every single US casualty in 2016-2017. In the past two months however ISKP has been collapsing in its erstwhile stronghold of Nangarhar, surrendering to the ANA rather than fall into the hands of the Taliba,à la Jowzjan in summer 2018. I was very surprised by the number of foreign fighters and their families to come out of there. We have the Taliban to thank for these two collapses.
turcopolier , 23 December 2019 at 11:59 AM
TTG

IMO American "exceptionalism" doomed our effort in Afghanistan Very few of us are set up mentally to accept the notion that other peoples are legitimately different from us and that they don't want to be like us and do things our way. I attribute this deformation on our part to the puritan heritage that you much admire. In your case your recent immigrant past seems to have immunized you from this deformation. As SF men we rightly fear and dread the attitudes of The Big Army, but, truth be told, it is we who are the outlier freaks in the context of American culture with its steamroller approach to just about everything.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 23 December 2019 at 01:40 PM
Ah yes, all that shining city on the hill stuff biting us in the ass once again. Like the Puritans, we seem to believe we alone are His chosen people and are utterly shocked that all others don't see this. In truth, Jesus probably sees our self righteous selves and our pilgrim forefathers much as he saw the Pharisees... a bunch of douche nozzles.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy.

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Capricornia Man ,

lundiel (and Seamus) have it right.

The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy. The election loss was exactly what they wanted: Corbyn out of the way and Britain 'safe' for neo-liberalism.

BigB ,

31 mn people voted to extend the consensual mandate of the neoliberal capitalist state to globally expand, extract and expropriate planetary wealth for themselves. Unconsciously: without any consideration of the consequences. Now, nearly 11 mn of them want to pretend they were duped into this because two films did not get released? Can there be a more deluded abdication of self-responsibility? Without any inherent maturity at all: it's hard to see where UK politic goes from here? What is the deepest spot a mile below the nadir? The 'People's Government' of Boris Johnson we co-constituted the reality of last week?

The election was for a successor capitalist imperialist state: the capitalist imperialist state was duly elected. No one – no one – can then abdicate responsibility to say it was the "wrong capitalist state". If people do not like this process – and it is the most debilitating, dehumanising, and destructive of all processes – then it is their social responsibility to at least explore the possibility of finding another process. In the co-creation of superior/inferior status and co-determination of the master/slave dialectic – we volunteer to choose position of the inferior and the enslaved. Then spend the consensual contract term complaining about the subordinant class politics we voted for. Projecting blame scattergun everywhere but where the blame is due: with the voters and endorsers of globalised neoliberal capitalism.

Is no one else getting bored of this? Not just the embarassment of excuses we can find for our own self-inferiorisation and voluntary infantalisation: but the fact that no one will make a positive assessment of how to break this vortex cycle of self-defeatism and performative powerlessness so we never have to go through the same charade again? Which, no doubt we will in five years time. Unless we take it on the chin: and fess up to what we have created as a social reality the Trump/Johnson axis of world power.

If this below and beyond the low point cannot act as a bifurcation point – whereby we totally reject the state electoral inferiorisation process – I do not know what can. It is unlikely there will be much left to reclaim in five years: much less so in ten. If we cannot claim humanity and ecology back from neoliberal globalisation in the next few years well, it ain't going to be pretty.

A good starting point would be to admit the corruption of the entire state electoral process of inferiorisation: and take co-responsibility for our part in the election of Johnson. Then the avowal never to do it again and take the legislative and judicial power we abdicated back. Which is the socially responsible alternative to the drawnout emetic debrief that seems to be favoured.

GEOFF ,

Great point BigB I think you're wasting your time they don't care what happens here so long as they're out of the EU that is all that matters to them. I'm so happy I don't have any grandchildren, although I fear for those that have, so sad all done in the name of getting our country back, I wonder how they will feel if farage gets some kind of peerage, you know the one that has been fighting the elites, and celebrating his birthday at the Ritz owned by those two socially aware brothers barclay , ha ha ha ha .

smelly ,

We have the very few, the few, and the serfs. The politics of the world is driven by the Economics of the very few. The very few have created for themselves a feudal system, its informal, its hidden, but its highly functional and it accounts in large measure for the global atrocities.

The chiefs (a very few) distribute to the feudal lords(the few) in a variety of ways.
1. direct government contracts
2. privatize the assets and government services that remain after regime change or infra structure destruction of economic value from regime sex corrupted, blackmailed, regime changed or defeated nation states and or from sweetheart deals in corporate takeovers.
3. appointment to and assignment to intelligence, or high level diplomatic positions in defeated entities.
4. promotion to USA congress or the USA presidency or to a high level corporate job.
5. control of access of the goy to education, entry level jobs leading to the knowledge to be promoted, to bank loans, to houses in neighborhoods, to medical care, and to a massive variety of other things. They are all in on it together.
6. many others

The tools of the trade are coercion by any means available to include sex, blackmail, spy technology, war machinery, military, intelligence, private armies, dark money and money laundering operations to name but a few.

Dependency : it is
This is no longer a problem bounded by one nation, it has become a problem important to the liberties and freedoms and the station of status of person in the society, membership in clubs, obtaining credentials to be eligible for licenses (law, medicine, home building, contracting, service provider, and everything else). License is a huge gate used to keep the Goya

What Bexit has shown is that there is not a bit of difference between those governed by any of the nation governments of any kind(they are controlled by the same few), we are just the Goy or as Hilary Clinton puts it: the deplorables. No longer should we look at ourselves as citizens of Britain, or Citizens of the United States, or citizens of France, or citizens of Saudi Arabia, or citizens of Israel, or citizens of Libya, or whatever, we must recognize that it is the many vs the few . from here on out. We must not identify and expose all of the ways nation state leaders use or allows others to use information to control our behaviors and to dictate our rights.

We must help each other no matter or sex, language, religion or nationality because they have made us all one, but trying to control our lives from birth to death and by trying to use us, at our expense, for their purposes.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Professor Emeritus Vilfredo Pareto outlined the empirical skew of wealth transfer for 'the few' as a function of culture whereby all have the same or similar wealth distribution. Post-Lehman evidenced the wholesale destruction that empirical skew manifested on the Western Banking System & concomitant ruling oiligopoly.

Empirically, the Western Fractional Reserve Banking System has crashed outright to reveal
even greater skew after all the M&A post-Lehman debacle. In terms of wealth distribution we are now in what Professor Emeritus Minsky characterized as Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism. Amazon & Bezos are transnational, leveraged like a Hedge Fund, and a monopoly that was legislated against during the 30s in the USA.

Today, in contemporary totalitarian society we are fed a daily diet of pseudoscience & half-baked so-called 'truths' that serve to mask the lies & falsehood.

What is evidently true today is that the empirical skew of wealth has become a matter of superstructural fault where the tectonic plates of sovereign nations are bound to give us all degrees of continental shift in contradistinction to the empirical skew of wealth transfer which is by no means immoveable.

Like gravity, what goes up must come down. Wealth hoarding sub-groups of elite will have nowhere to hide when the avalanche cascades on top of them without notice before hand.

Six Sigma extinction level events exist for all empirical distributions given the right conditions.

MOU

BigB ,

The other problem with 'the Few' analysis I have been trying to highlight is that we are in it the Few that is. In terms of per capita mass aggregate consumption/pollution rates – 93% of us in the UK are in 'the Few'. Which holds for a rough Pareto Principle (80/20): we are among the top 20% of consumers responsible for 70% of the lifestyle consumption emissions [Anderson; LabourGND; Oxfam]. Which amounts to 28,000 tonnes per capita of aggregate material flows: against a global average of 7,000 tonnes [Hickel]. In global consumption/pollution terms: we are among the "wealth hoarding sub-groups of [the] elite" of the mass material consumption bourgeoisie.

There are unfair distributions: and inequitable distributions between the haute bourgeoisie and we in the bourgeoisie. But the greatest inequitable maldistribution is North to South: where the poorest 50% of the global population are limited – by being resource cursed and having to subsidise us – to 10% of lifestyle consumption emissions. If you can call it a lifestyle; a consumer lifestyle; or a profligate pollution problem which is doubtful? And it current rates of wealth redistribution: it will be 200-900 years before they are out of poverty.

As for 'wealth hoarding sub-groups': we in the UK voted to extend the amount of mass material material aggregate demand. Which is complex: because UK rates have been falling but only because of the service economy. Rates of industrialisation and resource extractivism are effectively exported. Global demand rises: and so must global supply. Our consumption fetishism is driving global capitalism. Not solely: the whole of the developed world is.

It is this material economy that acts as a baseline – of sorts – for the overfinancialised derivative, arbitrage, and highly leveraged stocks, bonds, and equities and any other exotic financial instruments that can be gambled on. A market that is roughly 75 times the size of the material 'real' productive economy. The market that is likely being subsidised by the repo- and other 'not QE' hypertrophic liquidity supplements. The market that is going to collapse when the anabolic steroid effect fails to maintain exponential growth. Professor Minsky will have his moment!

Whereupon the UK will quickly realise that it is a pissling little island in a sea of globalisation. With an 80% tertiarised service economy. Servicing an extinct financial market economy. With failing services and no food coming in from abroad. Or medicines. Or water purification products. And possibly no energy. But we will have 60,000 military and paramilitary police to uphold the private property rights of the haute bourgeoisie.

Maybe then we will see and feel what it is like for the rest of the world? Who we have only ever viewed as subsidisers of our wealth? Just as we subsidise the wealth of those we choose to be subordinate to. It's a shitty, shitty, system which the UK has done not too badly out of. Well, enough for us to never look from the outside in through the eyes of a Frantz Fannon: and try to change the system for a globally more equitable system free from our white privileged ethnosupremacist racism.

We got the government we deserved – and voted for. And we await the fate of collapse we deserve – and voted for. As John Michael Greer said: the UK is rushing to collapse early to avoid the disappointment in the rush. We live in a complete fantasy bubble of a post-Empire state of mind. As if other – dehumanised foreign – people and the holistic integrity of the biosphere did not exist. Well, thanks to our lifestyle choices, they may not for much longer. But the only thing that has perturbed our reserved compassion and indifferent inhumanity is our election of a Johnson government. Well, that is an indignity! But not even a fraction of an indignity that we are quite happy to violently impose on the rest of the world. But let us pretend and console ourselves it would have been a utopia if they had not held back those films.

Dungroanin ,

"We don't have to join too many dots to see why a discussion about Wikileaks, war crimes in Iraq, and OPCW crimes in Syria was something the Tories didn't need,"

They also didn't need the Intelligence report of 'Russian' influence in their party and government; the direct threat made by Pompeo to stop Labour, the deal which they have been negotiating with the US which confirms the NHS is part of it amongst many other things – as was confirmed by their Ambassador Woody (Of Johnson&Johnson fame who stand to benefit hughy) ;the dangerous levels of capacity in the NHS; etc etc etc.

Anyway the Graun is claiming to run a ask us a question about the election now on their blog – I've asked mine but am not holding my breath for an answer.

tonyopmoc ,

David Macilwain usually writes far better than this. In fact 90% of this, is the same sort of nonsense, he has apparently been brainwashed with, by reading the Guardian et al.

He displays his own ignorance and arrogance, by yet again telling over 50% of The British voting public that we didn't know what we were voting for re Brexit.

"not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices."

He analysed Skripal very well. This is total crap.

Tony

JudyJ ,

As soon as UK based Russian oligarchs are mentioned the presumption of many – encouraged by Western media – is that they must be 'friends' of Putin or have 'close connections' to him. In fact, in respect of most of them, it is exactly the opposite. They are based in London precisely because the UK establishment doesn't clamp down on tax dodging and corrupt business dealings as Putin has done since the beginning of his Presidential tenures. Corrupt business owners donations to parties in power? Hmm, I wonder why it is that they are given every encouragement and incentive to settle in London undisturbed?

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/06/understanding-russia-un-demonizing-putin/

Tallis Marsh ,

This article is wrong to imply/assume that Brexiters/Lexiters didn't know what they were voting for. Wrong to suggest/assume we did/do not have a strategy to try to help leave the EU. Wrong to assume we are racist and/or stupid. Of course there are a few exceptions but on the whole people know the score and we love the individual, distinct European countries; we just despise the imperial, uber-technocratic, ultimately anti-democratic superstate that is the EU.

See UK Column & similar websites, and the archive of Tony Benn/Barbara Castle/Peter Shore/Bob Crow (on the reasons for disliking the EEC/EU/Maastrict & Lisbon Treaties etc) for why so many people voted to leave the EU. I reckon when the options on who to vote for were purposely limited by the LP (in the last few months after JC was forced to go along with the PLP) and TBP (after Farage made a deal with Trump/Boris) many Brexiters (and a few Lexiters?) were forced to vote for the Tories to give a message to the establishment? I am guessing they thought the election would result in a hung parliament with the tories having to ally with the DUP again.

Imo – I have a strong suspicion that the real result was a very close result (hung parliament) and that the establishment using the secret services helped in some way to engineer this landslide result (probably through postal ballot rigging). On the day of the election many people observed and commented on the huge queues in the poll stations and seeing so many young people voting like never before (including many photos on social media). The result does not seem plausible and the status quo has/had so much to lose.

Incidentally, and this is obviously anecdotal but in my household (and as far as I know) all my friends voted Labour or stayed at home (we are mostly Lexiters, don't-knows, and a couple Brexiters) and only know quite well of two openlyTory voters (at my partners' workplace). On the other hand, I do know my local area (which has been impoverished since the Thatcher years) is a heavy leave-voting area and I reckon most people here lend their vote to Tories for strategic reasons (I know a neighbour who wants the Tories to 'own' Brexit knowing full well they will renege on all their promises and not just the Brexit promise – they think Boris is a fake and wants to BRINO or, ultimately, even to remain).

I can only state what I observe and hear around me, and what I saw on social media during the election, but I do know people are so much more informed than the establishment/media would like to admit.

Francis Lee ,

I was shocked, yes shocked, to see the type sentiments espoused below.

"No-one could seriously believe that Brexit is something the ruling elite has pursued because it respects the so-called democratic will of the British public – not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices.

That could have come from the mouth Jo Swinson, the Economist, the Guardian or any other ultra-remainer rag.

It gets better, or worse depending on your point of view.

"Had the Government not had an interest in restructuring its relationship with the US and NATO, and seen political and economic gains – well illustrated by the jump in the value of Sterling following the result – then the idea of Brexit would just have quietly died away."

Yep, it's those damn proles who voted for Brexit again and "did so in complete ignorance of what that might mean and because of their own long-standing predudices." But of course! Time to rethink the idea of universal suffrage perhaps. Actually those sort of sentiments (see above) are precisely why Labour lost the election so heavily.

The point seems to be missed that euroland is an occupied zone and has been zone since 1945 – it is a neoliberal juggernaut and junior partner in the geopolitical global order. In addition it is the civilian wing of NATO, another American construction. It is based upon a core-periphery economic structure and upon a currency which locks its members into a neoliberal straight-jacket, and since they cannot devalue the core runs up trade surpluses whilst to periphery runs up permanent trade deficits. The euro currency is designed to do precisely this. Moreover the Stability and growth pact robs states of their ability to have an independent foreign and economic policy. The eastern and southern peripheries are little more than colonies. Printing their own currencies – God forbid – is strictly verboten, so that they cannot and will not recover. Taking Italy 137% of debt-to-gdp ratio and Greece with a staggering 181% of debt-to-gdp you will get a pretty good picture of what is happening in Euroland.

It really don't know why I have to explain all of this, particularly in light of the fact that Corbyn himself has always been a eurosceptic, along with other notables such as Benn (Sr.) Bryan Gould, Peter Shore and Barbara Castle, that was a unlike the present time when Labour was Labour.

I think the Labour party has now gone to far to reverse course; it has become an anachronism, and a neo-Blairite – ultra-remainer – is party now taking shape.

GEOFF ,

I've no idea why you keep going on about the EU , you got your way, we're leaving forget it, lets see how good it's going to be in this shithole without some protection from the EU , why do none of you address that, the slob has already started with his refusal to include workers rights, the fat slob says we can have better employment protection once we leave ha ha ha ha ha ha whats been stopping him from doing it for the last 40 years ? nothing. everyone is entitled to their view obviously and I respect it, but you just shut us out as if your opinion is all that matters, I would suggest 80% of those that voted leave know absolutely nothing about the EU, I arrive at that by talking incessantly to people, who think they're clued up and when you start pointing faults with their argument, you get the usual ' hey mate I've only come in for a pint'

Francis Lee ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=But+we+haven%26%238217%3Bt+left+it.+And+there+is+g...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F20%2Fofficial-secrets-lies-and-the-five-eyes%2F%23comment-107077">

But we haven't left it. And there is good reason to suppose that we never will. A BRINO is being cooked up by a coalition of the usual suspects whose object is to end the existence of the UK as an independent nation state and turn it into a province of a European super-state. We will be voting – if at all – in the equivalent of local government or council elections with decisions, with economic and geopolitical issues being decided by non-elected technicians and bureaucrats.

Democracy is only meaningful at the national level. Democracy and Empire (the EU) or should I say the EUSA, do not mix. Even Thucydides knew this.

GEOFF ,

But that happens here without the EU there are two pricks zac goldsmith and morgan, both been rejected by the electorate , both been given a place in the H.O.L £305 a day , totally unelcted but there to make our laws and you still won't see i twill you

Cassandra2 ,

Very much agree, I don't trust Boris to effect a clean break.

I generally trust my instincts like most normal plebs, but since the Lisbon Treaty Europe has consolidate Federalisation, far removed from the original concept and principles of a Common Market and my instincts prompted a closer look.

Delving deeper, an easy process given internet access, one discovers a cesspit of deception. European Union is in reality the successor to the (totalitarian) Third Reich. Refer to Christopher Story's YouTube 3 part lecture on the subject. EU was planned in 1942 by a German social elite hierarchy in the likely event of Hitlers defeat. Key members of this hierarchy were transferred (operation paperclip) to USA at the end of the war and were integrated into a form of 5th column governing elite (power behind Deep State) who have since 1946 systematically hollowed the out the USA by undermining it's production base (excluding military hardware production) and displacing economic investment through reckless speculation/manipulation and perpetual global warfare.

Other than filling the Elites multi-trillion banking chest USA's resources and manpower (Military & Intelligence) have been utilised to construct a global platform for imposing a 'New World Order'. Europe's homogenization simply forms an essential part of this ambition.

Given a cursory (pleb) assessment of Europe's widespread corruption, undemocratic structure and it's true strategic purpose I cannot help but feel that those who voted 'remain' have had their critical faculties effectively lobotomized by Elite owned State MASS INDOCTRINATION i.e. BBC et al.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Goldman Sachs engineered the entire EU finance by first fudging the books on Greece. The whole edifice was built upon a shifting substrate of sand.

Castles made of sand float into the sea, eventually. Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold as Love

MOU

Francis Lee ,

"NOBODY voted for a HARD brexit onto WTO rules and the country should have been asked very specifically if that is what the mythical 17 Million wanted."

'Nobody voted for a hard -Brexit.' Really!

How come you are privy to this "information?" It would be amusing to see you trying to substantiate this statement.

And as for the 'mythical 17 million' (17.2 million actually) 'well, yes that must have been a mirage; it didn't happen.

Strange times in which we live when conjecture is treated as if it were fact. Yep, that is one of the hallmarks of the totalitarian mindset. In his marvellous essay, 'Notes on Nationalism' Orwell captures this frame of mind perfectly. He writes:

"By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people' (Leave voters by any chance?) "can be labelled 'good' or 'bad' But secondly (and this is much more important) I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a particular nation, political party, religious group or even football team, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests" (Remainers perhaps?)

Moreover, "although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat or revenge, the nationalist is somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether or not they support his views Arguments with his adversaries are always inconclusive since each of the contestants believe themselves always right and always winning the victory (in the sight of God anyway).

Some of the true believers are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world."

Sadly true.

Dungroanin ,

WE will NOT let YOU forget the VoteLEAVE bs. Paul & co.
Here is Vote Leave NOT saying we are going onto WTO rules:

'The day after nothing changes legally. There is no legal obligation on the British Government to take Britain out of the EU immediately. There will be three stages of creating a new UK-EU deal – informal negotiations, formal negotiations, and implementation including both a new Treaty and domestic legal changes. There is no need to rush. We must take our time and get it right.

WHAT'S THE OVERALL FRAMEWORK WE NEED?

Overall, the negotiations will create a new European institutional architecture that enables all countries, whether in or out of the EU or euro, to trade freely and cooperate in a friendly way. In particular, we will negotiate a UK-EU Treaty that enables us 1) to continue cooperating in many areas just as now (e.g. maritime surveillance), 2) to deepen cooperation in some areas (e.g. scientific collaborations and counter-terrorism), and 3) to continue free trade with minimal bureaucracy. The details will have to await a serious negotiation but there are many agreements between the EU and other countries that already solve these problems so we will be able to take a lot 'off the shelf'.'
Etc.
http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/briefing_newdeal.html

AND HERE IS FACT CHECK

'As far as we've seen, Leave campaigners hardly mentioned the customs union in explicit terms at all, so there was generally little clarity about what leaving might mean in that regard.'

&
'There are also examples of leave campaigners claiming the UK could adopt a position similar to Norway -- which is still part of the single market while not being an EU member.

Arron Banks, a founder of the Leave.EU campaign tweeted in November 2015 "Increasingly the Norway option looks the best for the UK".'

And so on – NO FULL HARD BREXIT
https://fullfact.org/europe/what-was-promised-about-customs-union-referendum/

Now Paul& co show us where the HARD brexit was part of the Leave campaign.

austrian peter ,

Well observed David, thank you. I have already lobbied my new Tory MP with relevant articles and have a meeting scheduled with him early in the New Year to push for Julian's release and freedom. I am appalled at how our supposed freedom-loving society has been corrupted beyond measure by manipulative 'deep state' actors. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/december/12/edward-snowden-speaks-out-for-julian-assange-and-chelsea-manning/

Furthermore, I remain confused about what the globalists actually want apart from their final goal of New World Order global government, global currency (probably now being crypto) and removing the use of cash entirely.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/who-are-globalists-and-what-do-they-want

This article has clarified the main targets for the globalists but where do you think Brexit stands in their agenda, do they want out of the EU or not? I am confused which side is in favour of freedom and liberty and which one wants global centralised command and control.

Long ago John Perkins exposed the elites' nefarious agendas with 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman': https://johnperkins.org/ and the book is well worth reading:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1785033859/ref=sr_1_1?adgrpid=57307986950&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI34Dt8tzD5gIVC7DtCh3pXgnREAAYASAAEgJ7cvD_BwE&hvadid=259102724630&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007152&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=9838918690422858993&hvtargid=kwd-295426377502&hydadcr=24461_1816157&keywords=confessions+of+an+economic+hitman&qid=1576827695&sr=8-1

And my own book: 'The Financial Jigsaw' (due to publish in Q1 2020) exposes the globalists' financial agenda extant today.

A free PDF of my manuscript is available on request to: peter@underco.co.uk

[Dec 21, 2019] What holds a multiethnic country together?

Dec 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Really?? , Dec 20 2019 13:45 utc | 88

vk #80

Your basic question seems to be: What holds a country together? Especially, a large country--- such as France/Germany/the UK/the USA/the USSR/China---that comprises many disparate regions and ethnicities? What differentiates such a country from an empire?

So in the USSR seems like a case can be or is being made that the Party is what held the union together, as an overarching organization that incorporated leaders into its structure. Perhaps I am wrong in that inference as to what you or someone else is saying.

Seems like the queen's speech shows her effort to point out why it might be better for the UK to stick together: ability to deliver better outcomes to all members of the country/society.

The queen does seem to draw a certain line in her speech as to newcomers to the society who wish to become part of it. Only those with specific skills to contribute to those already here will be welcome. She doesn't specify that others are not welcome, but she certainly seems to imply it. And, quite rightly, IMO.

[Dec 15, 2019] The regulated EU economy has treated Britons and Europeans even worse. The EU regulations, treaties and policies are overall highly destructive to workers, massive welfare for the rich.

Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com
Calgacus hk90911 hours ago

They will gingerly exchange the regulated EU economy for the freewheeling American economy - and hasn't that economy worked so well for American workers.

If so, that's a good thing, for the regulated EU economy has treated Britons and Europeans even worse. The EU regulations, treaties and policies are overall highly destructive to workers, massive welfare for the rich. What remains of European Social Democracy and welfare states obscure the fact that US workers are actually treated better by their nation's fundamental economic policies and structures. Europe as a whole is MORE unequal, more of a class society than the USA, not less.

Brexit is a good thing, a leftist, progressive policy. It's jumping completely off the hot stove, not into the fire. The British, who preferred Labour's other policies, felt that the merits of Brexit outweighed all the other negatives of the Tories. They might be right.

[Dec 15, 2019] Boris Johnson's Trumpism without Trump is about moving the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. Boris Johnson outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy

Money quote: "Johnson will have to work superhard on this if he is to re-create not the Thatcher coalition but the Disraeli nation. That's what he means when he talks about "One Nation Conservatism." That was Disraeli's reformist conservatism of the 19th century, a somewhat protectionist, supremely patriotic alliance between the conservative elites and the ordinary man and woman. It will take a huge amount of charm and policy persistence to cement that coalition if it is to last more than one election. But if Boris pulls that off, he will have found a new formula designed to kill off far-right populism, while forcing the left to regroup."
Notable quotes:
"... But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.15.19 at 1:33 am 9

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Brexit is an eruption of English nationalism, and the Tories are now, under that shambling parody of a drunk racist English aristo, Johnson, an English nationalist party.

IMHO this is highly questionable statement. Brexit is a form of protest against neoliberal globalization. The fact that is colored with nationalism is the secondary effect/factor: rejection of neoliberalism is almost always colored in either nationalist rhetoric, or Marxist rhetoric.

Here are some quotes from paleoconservative analysis of the elections taken from two recent articles:

While I do not share their enthusiasm about "Red Tories" rule in the UK, and the bright future for "Trumpism without Trump" movement in the USA, they IMHO provide some interesting insights into paleoconservatives view on the British elections results and elements of social protest that led to them:

[AS] It is clearer and clearer to me that the wholesale adoption of critical race, gender, and queer theory on the left makes normal people wonder what on earth they're talking about and which dictionary they are using. The white working classes are privileged? A woman can have a penis? In the end, the dogma is so crazy, and the language so bizarre, these natural left voters decided to listen to someone who does actually speak their language , even if in an absurdly plummy accent.

[AS] But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy . ... This is Trumpism without Trump. A conservative future without an ineffective and polarizing nutjob at the heart of it. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. It's very much the same movement of left-behind people expressing their views on the same issues, who, tragically, put their trust in Trump. What we've seen is how tenacious a voting bloc that now is, which is why Trumpism is here to stay. If we could only get rid of the human cancer at the heart of it.

[AS] Trump has bollixed it up, of course. He ran on Johnson's platform but gave almost all his tax cuts to the extremely wealthy, while Johnson will cut taxes on the poor. Trump talks a big game on immigration but has been unable to get any real change in the system out of Congress. Johnson now has a big majority to pass a new immigration bill, with Parliament in his control, which makes the task much easier. Trump is flamingly incompetent and unable to understand his constitutional role. Boris will assemble a competent team, with Michael Gove as his CEO, and Dom Cummings as strategist.

[AS] If Johnson succeeds, he'll have unveiled a new formula for the Western right: Make no apologies for your own country and culture; toughen immigration laws; increase public spending on the poor and on those who are "just about managing"; increase taxes on the very rich and redistribute to the poor; focus on manufacturing and new housing; ignore the woke; and fight climate change as the Tories are (or risk losing a generation of support).

[RD] I have no idea why the Republicans are so damned silent on wokeness, including the transgender madness. No doubt about it, the American people have accepted gay marriage and gay rights, broadly. But the Left will not accept this victory in the culture war. They cannot help bouncing the rubble, and driving people farther than they are willing to go, or that they should have to go. It's the elites -- and not just academic elites. Every week I get at least two e-mails from readers sending me examples of transgender wokeness taking over their professions -- especially big business. People hate this pronoun crap, but nobody dares to speak out against it, because they are afraid of being doxxed, cancelled, or at least marginalized in the workplace.

[RD] My friend said (I paraphrase):

"Can you blame people for not answering pollsters' questions? Everybody is told all the time that the things they believe, and the things they worry about, are backwards and bigoted. They have learned to keep it to themselves. It's the same thing here. I hate Donald Trump, but I'm probably going to end up voting for him, because at least he doesn't hate my sons. I want a good future for every child -- black, Latino, white, all of them -- but the Left thinks my sons are what's wrong with the world

[RD] Boris (and Sully) style Toryism is better than nothing, isn't it? As a general rule, in this emerging post-Christian social and political order, we conservative Christians had better not let the unachievable perfect be the enemy of the common-sense good enough.

[Dec 14, 2019] The Full Spectrum Dominance inevitably lead to threat inflation it is logically drives the USA into the major war

Notable quotes:
"... I think the current period can be called the “collapse of neoliberalism” period. In any case the neoliberal elite who was in power (Blairists, Clintonists) lost the trust of people. This is true both for the US and labour in the UK. In this sense the anti-Semitic smear against Corbin is equivalent to neo-McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. Both reflect the same level of desperation and clinging to power of “soft neoliberals.” ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

James R McKinney 12.13.19 at 6:54 pm ( 1 )

Well, so much for all that. It's time to stop pretending we're still in the postwar period (the question is, are we in a pre-war one).

From now on, only the rich will have the luxury of any sense of historical continuity.

likbez 12.14.19 at 1:13 am 2

It’s time to stop pretending we’re still in the postwar period (the question is, are we in a pre-war one).

True. As “Full Spectrum Dominance” inevitably lead to “threat inflation” it is logically drives the USA into the major war.

I think the current period can be called the “collapse of neoliberalism” period. In any case the neoliberal elite who was in power (Blairists, Clintonists) lost the trust of people. This is true both for the US and labour in the UK. In this sense the anti-Semitic smear against Corbin is equivalent to neo-McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. Both reflect the same level of desperation and clinging to power of “soft neoliberals.”

Unfortunately Corbin proved to be too weak to withstand the pressure and suppress Blairists. But Blairists in labour might still be up to a great disappointment. The history train left the station and they are still standing on the neoliberal platform, so to speak.

That’s why Brexit, as a form of protest against neoliberal globalization, has legs. It is a misguided, but still a protest movement.

From now on, only the rich will have the luxury of any sense of historical continuity.

The rich are not uniform. Financial oligarchy wants to stay, while manufacturers probably would prefer Brexit.

At the same time the grip on neocons in both countries are such that there is no hope that they will be deposed in foreseeable future. See comments to The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake. It’s a travesty

yemrajesh 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it’s easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away.

This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

and

manoftheworld -> Redswordfish 10 Dec 2019 15:47

Perhaps the only thing Trump has got right .. and ever will get right.. is his dislike for war. He is right about Afghanistan. The terrible US press and political reaction to his peace talks with the Taliban showed that the deep state still doesn’t get it…

Mattis, Graham et al are insane liars… and so is Hilary Clinton and Petraeus… none of them has ever had the guts to tell the truth…

the average American is way more indoctrinated than the average pupil at a madrasa. …we should boot these lying American generals out of NATO.. they’re a threat to world peace…

In any case Brexit is a litmus test of what is the next stage for neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization.

[Dec 14, 2019] Labor Lost for Good Reason

When Liberal governments fail to provide answers for economic despair the road is paved for strong-armed, bloviating fascists. And the more desperate things become fascism will only get stronger if history is any indication.
Dec 14, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

ban nock on Fri, 12/13/2019 - 6:18am and the analogies with Sanders and the US only go so far.

Politics in the US, Britain, and Europe in general are being upended, I'd caution against pigeon holing things into the old left/right, Dem/Repub, Tory/Labor, scenario.

Britain's Labor similar to America's Democratic Party has lost lots of it's legitimacy with working people. Globalisation has decimated cities like Liverpool and Manchester. Labor didn't support Brexit, the biggest issue in politics in Britain. Being a part of the EU allowed workers from Eastern Europe to enter England and directly compete for low skilled jobs.

Labor in England also included upper middle class woke culture, which is very pro EU and anti Brexit. It's impossible to imagine a pro Brexit leader in Labor just as much as it is impossible to imagine working class people in England supporting the loss of their jobs via Remain. People voted for their economic self interests, can you blame them? As in the US there are more working class voters than there are upper middle class intellectuals.

Boris Johnson promised increased funding for the National Health Service, not tearing it down as many seem to suggest. Whether he does so is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't read his win as a rejection of the social safety net. Socialism is for many some kind of intellectual game, the working class is much less interested in ideas, and much more interested in health care, higher wages, and better conditions overall.

Ever since I watched Bernie Sanders' rise in the primaries in 16 I've felt he would be a much stronger general election candidate than he is in the primaries. As contrary as Trump might seem to hard core political junkies, Trump did steal many of Sander's memes and use them in the general election. Most wage earners actually do feel powerless in the face of the corporate overclass, they feel things getting worse not better.

To have even a snowball's chance in the pre primaries, the endless positioning and twitter wars that have occurred for months prior to even our first primary, Sanders is now committed to many of the same positions as the woke side of the Democratic Party. There might well be a big enough drop off of Hispanics, African Americans, and Working Class Dems of all hues to lose this thing again, even if Sanders wins the primary. The Democratic Party has lost working people even as it has gained Country Club Republicans from the suburbs.

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence. It's as if they didn't realize 2016 happened and were surprised all over again.

[Dec 14, 2019] The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33

A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people.

Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.


MFB , Dec 13 2019 8:19 utc | 36

Thing is, this destroys the left in Britain. The right in Labour had been in control since the early 1980s, and Corbyn's leadership victory was an accident which will not be given a second chance. Now what will replace Corbyn will not be Blairism, it will be something well to the right of Blairism, something much more like the DNC in the United States.

In other words, this is not a defeat of a party, it is a catastrophe for anyone seeking to struggle against the triumph of neoliberal barbarism. Oh, and it makes the probability of the end of the world through environmental catastrophe or nuclear war much higher. So apart from the ideological catastrophe it's also a human calamity.

Tsar Nicholas , Dec 13 2019 8:29 utc | 37
Corbyn destroyed hismelf. He performed quite well, unexpectedly so, in 2017 because he said that he would honour the result of the 2016 referendum. Yesterday the electors punished him for reneging on that and telling 17.4 million voters that they were wrong.

It was the less well off who voted to Leave, and it was the less well off who yesterday deserted Labour in droves. They have had enough of being told that they are in the wrong by a middle class elite who would be repelled if they ever actually met someone from the working class.

Bemildred , Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I find it interesting that so much effort was expended to defeat Corbyn, over such a long period, when apparently it was so little needed.

I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

Norwegian , Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40
Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

I am no expert on UK politics either, but from my point of view in Norway the main issue to be resolved is dismantling the EU, and it looks like the Brexit vote and this election confirms that many in the UK see it the same way. Whether it will happen is another question.

I voted NO in the 1994 Norwegian referendum on the question of becoming member of "European Community". One of the arguments in the debate at that time was that the "European Community" was aiming to become a union and a superstate. Those who argued that way were called lots of things, including conspiracy theorists. Today we are not members of the EU, but all the "regulations" are forced upon us anyway. The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished.

I don't expect much good from the Tories, I don't exclude another betrayal of the Brexit cause, but we shall see. Corbyn lost on his betrayal of Brexit, that is for sure. I sympathize with Corbyn, but betraying the Brexit referendum is a no-no.

What the UK needs is real progressives that see the EU as the globalist project it is. It also means that the "climate crisis" must be recognised as a political tool created by the same forces. Corbyn failed on both accounts and therefore he lost.

vk , Dec 13 2019 11:38 utc | 46
Now that the official results are out, I'll comment on the British elections.
If Corbyn had won and taken us out of the EU we would have gone all Venezuela. If he'd won and kept us in the EU we'd have gone all Greece. The result is the best of the bad options available.
- Valiant_Thor, 26m ago

This comment on The Guardian encapsulates the average Conservative voter for these 2019 elections.

The UK is really at a crossroads: it is too tiny and poor in natural resources to implement socialism, but it is declining as a capitalist power.

I don't think the average British really thinks Venezuela is socialist or that Corbyn's policies would make them very poor, but I think they are afraid of the sanctions and embargoes they would suffer from the USA if they dared to try to go back to social-democracy.

This defeat may also be historic: this could go to History as the end of social-democracy. Social-democracy was already dead as an effective political force after the oil crisis of 1974-5, but at least it was able to polarize with neoliberalism in the ideological field and had some prestige that far outlived itself (to the point it was the main propaganda weapon that ultimately convinced Gorbachev to destroy the USSR, and to the point it was able to convince historians like Hobsbawn that it had actually "won the war" after 2008). Now it isn't considered even credible by half of the population of one of the few countries it was able to govern and fully influence in the post-war period.

In Rosa Luxemburg's last article (a few days before she was executed), she finally admitted defeat to the Bolsheviks. "We must separate the essential from the non-essential", she wrote. And the essential, she completed, was the fact that the Bolsheviks were right and the German Social-Democrats were wrong. It happened again, almost 100 years later.

[Dec 14, 2019] Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. In 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Dec 12 2019 22:30 utc | 13

@ Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:57 utc | 5

(Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US. If the media wrote about basic economics everyone would know this. Instead the bottom 75% have plain unfocussed anger with Trump/Brexit being lightening rods to direct it).

It might be wise to be careful here about assumptions used. First off, cognisance of population changes will not automatically translate into employed working sector changes, many factors intervene preventing a direct relationship. Secondly, having a accurate GDP measure from beginning to end of the period observed is crucial (to avoid apples vs. oranges comparisons) so that changes in productive sources (and their employed numbers) are accounted for (law offices rarely employ as many as heavy industrial firms). The history of price/wage inflation or loss of exchange value of currency will affect reported GDP statistics as well. Thirdly is measuring the general education and skill level of those employed, as those decrease so do earnings/salaries/wages. Fourthly, look at the change in social protections provided to the population in question, these protections have a cost that must be met, their absence has an even greater cost to income obtained but rarely appearing on the economic balance sheets. Regulatory capture by monopoly, sovereign & trust-fund management removes business restrictions and passes those costs to those employed. Try putting this on a bumper-sticker for your car.

In the U.S. the population had increased in double digits from the census of 1950 (150.9 millions) to 2010 (308.7 millions). Working income had not significantly increased from 1970's, Purchasing Power Parity of 1970 dollar and 2019 dollar is unobtainable information. GDP statistics are of the nature of apples vs. oranges, measuring unrelated economic production; it can be done but isn't (for reasons political) [an income of US$400,000 in 1915 would translate into a 1980's income of about US$ 8.5 millions; the economies were still roughly speaking nearly the same still and comparable, as wealth distributions were becoming again].

[Dec 09, 2019] As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 8 2019 19:17 utc | 25

"A botched assassination attempt against Ukrainian politician and businessman Vyacheslav Sobolev has resulted in the death of his three-year-old son, Alexander.

"While Sobolev and his wife were leaving his high-end restaurant "Mario" in Kiev this past Sunday, right-wing thugs opened fire on Sobolev's Range Rover, missing him but hitting his son who was seated in the back of the vehicle. The three-year-old died on the way to the hospital.

"Police later apprehended two men who had fled the scene in a black Lexus sedan, Oleksiy Semenov, 19, and Andrei Lavrega, 20. Both are veterans of the war in Donbass in eastern Ukraine where they served as members of the fascist Right Sector's paramilitary formation until June of this year.
"The Right Sector was instrumental in the US- and EU-backed, fascist-led coup in February 2014 that toppled the Yanukovitch government and replaced it with a pro-Western and anti-Russian regime. Since then, the Right Sector has been among the far-right forces that have been heavily involved in the war against Russian-backed separatists in East Ukraine.

"As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

"Lavrega, who has been identified as the principal shooter in the killing, has been a member of the Right Sector for at least half a decade. He had participated in the Maidan movement of 2014 as a member of the Right Sector and perfected his shooting skills as a sniper killing separatist soldiers in eastern Ukraine. According to his Right Sector battalion commander, Andrei Herhert, Lavrega -- also known as "Quiet" -- was "one of the best snipers in the war" and "very ideological."

"As a thanks for his service to the right-wing Kiev government, Lavrega received a military decoration from former President Petro Poroshenko for "courage" just last year, in October of 2018." ..........

"Whoever is ultimately responsible for ordering this political assassination and the murder of the three-year-old boy, it is clear that the same far-right forces that were instrumental in the coup in February 2014 and the civil war are now being employed to carry out political assassinations by the Ukrainian oligarchy.

"Since the 2014 coup, the number of targeted political assassinations by right-wing neo-Nazi groups like C14 and the Right Sector has skyrocketed. At least 15 people have been murdered in such hit jobs by the far right since 2014. Among them was the well-known Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet and the politician Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed in a horrific acid attack by right-wing thugs last year.

"In virtually all these cases, the perpetrators have been protected from serious legal prosecution. One of the murderers of Handziuk received a barely three-year prison sentence. A critical role in shielding the neo-Nazis is played by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs' Arsen Avakov, who controls the country's police force and possesses well-known ties to Ukraine's most notorious fascist militia, the Azov Battalion.

"Avakov is one of the few members of the previous Poroshenko government that have remained in the current Cabinet of Ministers under President Volodmyr Zelensky. He was recently praised by former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while testifying before the House of Representatives regarding the Trump impeachment investigation (see also: "The impeachment crisis and American imperialism").

"President Zelensky, who was elected in April this year on the basis of promises that he would bring an end to the widely despised civil war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people, has maintained a conspicuous silence on this latest political assassination attempt by the far right. Instead, the day after the murder, he posted a message on Facebook to honor two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine this past weekend."
The rest of the story can be found at the WSWS
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/07/ukra-d06.html

The Right Sector links with the former US Ambassador-Democratic heroine- are topical.


cirsium , Dec 9 2019 0:03 utc | 53

@bevin, 25. - this article from The Stalkerzone provides information on the killers and suggests that they intended to kill the child as a message to the father
https://www.stalkerzone.org/ato-monsters-in-ukraine-a-market-of-hired-serial-killers-appeared/
uncle tungsten , Dec 9 2019 8:19 utc | 75
psychohistorian #68

Thank you for that insight. I cannot see how Zelensky will manage the Nazi Ukrainians short of a virtual civil war against one western district. The USA will foment a major insurrection to destroy him if he does a deal with Gazprom. Your suggestion as to where those issues are discussed would be welcome.

A User #72

Thank you and well said. The eurocentric kabuki does mesmerise the information providers. I too seek escape from that dominance and spent a good time today researching the Power of Siberia implications and issues of South America. The global assault on all things African is a matter of deep despair for me and I feel totally powerless to reverse the relentless assault on their world.

[Dec 06, 2019] The 11 nations of the United States and their cultures - Business Insider

Dec 06, 2019 | www.businessinsider.com

This map shows how the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures Andy Kiersz and Allana Akhtar Dec 4, 2019, 7:56 PM Facebook Icon The letter F. Email icon An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email. Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url. Twitter icon A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting. LinkedIn icon The word "in". Fliboard icon A stylized letter F. More icon Three evenly spaced dots forming an ellipsis: "...". Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

11 Nations 11 Nations <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/55b273a2371d2211008b9793?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
The 11 nations of North America
Colin Woodward and Tufts/Brian Stauffer

America may be divided into 50 states, but many areas are culturally similar.

In his fourth book, " American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America ," award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US.

"The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty," Woodard, a Maine native who won the 2012 George Polk Award for investigative reporting, told Business Insider. "[But] in order to have any productive conversation on these issues," he added, "you need to know where you come from."

Woodard also believes the nation is likely to become more polarized, even though America is becoming a more diverse place every day. He says this is because people are "self-sorting."

"People choose to move to places where they identify with the values," Woodard says. "Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller."

Here's how Woodard describes each nation:

Matthew Speiser contributed to a previous version of this article. Yankeedom values education, and members are comfortable with government regulation. <

Syracuse New York <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/59b2be5c45e2381d008b5876?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> debra millet/Shutterstock
>

Encompassing the entire Northeast north of New York City and spreading through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Yankeedom values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny. Yankees are comfortable with government regulation. Woodard notes that Yankees have a "Utopian streak." The area was settled by radical Calvinists. New Netherland in the New York area has a "materialistic" culture. <

soho New York city <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de800e9fd9db247a976a267?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock
>

A highly commercial culture, New Netherland is "materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience," according to Woodard. It is a natural ally with Yankeedom and encompasses New York City and northern New Jersey. The area was settled by the Dutch. The Midlands, largely located in the Midwest, opposes government regulation. <

The Liberty Bell. <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80a7ffd9db23e5a1dd0f7?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Matt Rourke / AP
>

Settled by English Quakers, The Midlands are a welcoming middle-class society that spawned the culture of the "American Heartland." Political opinion is moderate, and government regulation is frowned upon. Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands "America's great swing region." Within the Midlands are parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Tidewater started as a feudal society that embraced slavery. <

Harrisburg, North Carolina <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5d60177b00ef2b6aa56bf1e1?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Shutterstock
>

Tidewater was built by the young English gentry in the area around the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina. Starting as a feudal society that embraced slavery, the region places a high value on respect for authority and tradition. Woodard notes that Tidewater is in decline, partly because "it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk." Greater Appalachia encompasses parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Texas. <

kentucky derby <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80db9fd9db252bf4b2083?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Michael Hickey/Getty Images
>

Colonized by settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Greater Appalachia is stereotyped as the land of hillbillies and rednecks. Woodard says Appalachia values personal sovereignty and individual liberty and is "intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike." It sides with the Deep South to counter the influence of federal government. Within Greater Appalachia are parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas. Deep South adopts a rigid social structure and opposition to government regulation. <

university of alabama football fans <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80dfcfd9db2413c3a5eea?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Dave Martin/Getty Images
>

The Deep South was established by English slave lords from Barbados and was styled as a West Indies-style slave society, Woodard notes. It has a very rigid social structure and fights against government regulation that threatens individual liberty. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina are all part of the Deep South. El Norte has a dominant Hispanic culture. <

mexican american flag <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80748fd9db24dc40f4fe2?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> David McNew/Reuters
>

Composed of the borderlands of the Spanish-American empire, El Norte is "a place apart" from the rest of America, according to Woodard. Hispanic culture dominates in the area, and the region values independence, self-sufficiency, and hard work above all else. Parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California are in El Norte. The Left Coast, located in coastal California, is a lot like Yankeedom and Greater Appalachia. <

San Francisco <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de8079efd9db239ec1a8f34?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
California has permanently moved up its presidential primary from June to March.
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
>

Colonized by New Englanders and Appalachian Midwesterners, the Left Coast is a hybrid of "Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration," Woodard says, adding that it is the staunchest ally of Yankeedom. Coastal California, Oregon, and Washington are in the Left Coast. The Far West spans states in the central US including Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. <

South Dakota <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80e54fd9db2417a02be09?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Scott Olson/Getty Images
>

The conservative west. Developed through large investment in industry, yet where inhabitants continue to "resent" the Eastern interests that initially controlled that investment. The Far West spans several states, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, and California. New France inhabitants are comfortable with government involvement in the economy. <

louisiana music new orleans <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de8086cfd9db24eb80e8128?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Max Becherer/AP
>

A pocket of liberalism nestled in the Deep South, its people are consensus driven, tolerant, and comfortable with government involvement in the economy. Woodard says New France is among the most liberal places in North America. New France is focused around New Orleans in Louisiana as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. First Nation, most of whose people live in the northern part of the country, is made up of Native Americans. <

PIPELINE NATIVE AMERICANS <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de808bdfd9db23afd1df6e8?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 9, 2016.
REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
>

Made up of Native Americans, the First Nation's members enjoy tribal sovereignty in the US. Woodard says the territory of the First Nations is huge, but its population is under 300,000, most of whose people live in the northern reaches of Canada. SEE ALSO: 50 maps that explain how America lives, spends, and believes DON'T MISS: The best books of 2019 on how we can rethink today's capitalism and improve the economy

[Dec 04, 2019] America's War Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet by William Astore

Highly recommended!
Our leaders like to say we value human rights around the world, but what they really manifest is greed. It all makes sense in a Gekko- or Machiavellian kind of way.
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is? ..."
"... A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right. ..."
"... If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life. ..."
"... I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too. ..."
"... Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it. ..."
"... they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism. ..."
"... Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower. ..."
"... The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources. ..."
"... Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.) ..."
"... The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep! ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views . Originally published at TomDispatch

Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch , I've been arguing against America's forever wars, whether in Afghanistan , Iraq , or elsewhere . Unfortunately, it's no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined . And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

Sadly, there isn't just one obvious reason for this generational debacle. If there were, we could focus on it, tackle it, and perhaps even fix it. But no such luck.

So why do America's disastrous wars persist ? I can think of many reasons , some obvious and easy to understand, like the endless pursuit of profit through weapons sales for those very wars, and some more subtle but no less significant, like a deep-seated conviction in Washington that a willingness to wage war is a sign of national toughness and seriousness. Before I go on, though, here's another distinctive aspect of our forever-war moment: Have you noticed that peace is no longer even a topic in America today? The very word, once at least part of the rhetoric of Washington politicians, has essentially dropped out of use entirely. Consider the current crop of Democratic candidates for president. One, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, wants to end regime-change wars, but is otherwise a self-professed hawk on the subject of the war on terror. Another, Senator Bernie Sanders, vows to end " endless wars " but is careful to express strong support for Israel and the ultra-expensive F-35 fighter jet.

The other dozen or so tend to make vague sounds about cutting defense spending or gradually withdrawing U.S. troops from various wars, but none of them even consider openly speaking of peace . And the Republicans? While President Trump may talk of ending wars, since his inauguration he's sent more troops to Afghanistan and into the Middle East, while greatly expanding drone and other air strikes , something about which he openly boasts .

War, in other words, is our new normal, America's default position on global affairs, and peace, some ancient, long-faded dream. And when your default position is war, whether against the Taliban, ISIS, "terror" more generally, or possibly even Iran or Russia or China , is it any surprise that war is what you get? When you garrison the world with an unprecedented 800 or so military bases , when you configure your armed forces for what's called power projection, when you divide the globe -- the total planet -- into areas of dominance (with acronyms like CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM) commanded by four-star generals and admirals, when you spend more on your military than the next seven countries combined, when you insist on modernizing a nuclear arsenal (to the tune of perhaps $1.7 trillion ) already quite capable of ending all life on this and several other planets, what can you expect but a reality of endless war?

Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is?

If we're ever to put an end to our country's endless twenty-first-century wars, that mindset will have to be changed. But to do that, we would first have to recognize and confront war's many uses in American life and culture.

War, Its Uses (and Abuses)

A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right.

As the title of a book by former war reporter Chris Hedges so aptly put it , war is a force that gives us meaning. And let's face it, a significant part of America's meaning in this century has involved pride in having the toughest military on the planet, even as trillions of tax dollars went into a misguided attempt to maintain bragging rights to being the world's sole superpower.

And keep in mind as well that, among other things, never-ending war weakens democracy while strengthening authoritarian tendencies in politics and society. In an age of gaping inequality , using up the country's resources in such profligate and destructive ways offers a striking exercise in consumption that profits the few at the expense of the many.

In other words, for a select few, war pays dividends in ways that peace doesn't. In a nutshell, or perhaps an artillery shell, war is anti-democratic, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, and anti-human. Yet, as we know, history makes heroes out of its participants and celebrates mass murderers like Napoleon as "great captains."

What the United States needs today is a new strategy of containment -- not against communist expansion, as in the Cold War, but against war itself. What's stopping us from containing war? You might say that, in some sense, we've grown addicted to it , which is true enough, but here are five additional reasons for war's enduring presence in American life:

The delusional idea that Americans are, by nature, winners and that our wars are therefore winnable: No American leader wants to be labeled a "loser." Meanwhile, such dubious conflicts -- see: the Afghan War, now in its 18th year, with several more years, or even generations , to go -- continue to be treated by the military as if they were indeed winnable, even though they visibly aren't. No president, Republican or Democrat, not even Donald J. Trump, despite his promises that American soldiers will be coming home from such fiascos, has successfully resisted the Pentagon's siren call for patience (and for yet more trillions of dollars) in the cause of ultimate victory, however poorly defined, farfetched, or far-off. American society's almost complete isolation from war's deadly effects: We're not being droned (yet). Our cities are not yet lying in ruins (though they're certainly suffering from a lack of funding, as is our most essential infrastructure , thanks in part to the cost of those overseas wars). It's nonetheless remarkable how little attention, either in the media or elsewhere, this country's never-ending war-making gets here. Unnecessary and sweeping secrecy: How can you resist what you essentially don't know about? Learning its lesson from the Vietnam War, the Pentagon now classifies (in plain speak: covers up) the worst aspects of its disastrous wars. This isn't because the enemy could exploit such details -- the enemy already knows! -- but because the American people might be roused to something like anger and action by it. Principled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning have been imprisoned or otherwise dismissed or, in the case of Edward Snowden, pursued and indicted for sharing honest details about the calamitous Iraq War and America's invasive and intrusive surveillance state. In the process, a clear message of intimidation has been sent to other would-be truth-tellers. An unrepresentative government: Long ago, of course, Congress ceded to the presidency most of its constitutional powers when it comes to making war. Still, despite recent attempts to end America's arms-dealing role in the genocidal Saudi war in Yemen (overridden by Donald Trump's veto power), America's duly elected representatives generally don't represent the people when it comes to this country's disastrous wars. They are, to put it bluntly, largely captives of (and sometimes on leaving politics quite literally go to work for) the military-industrial complex. As long as money is speech ( thank you , Supreme Court!), the weapons makers are always likely to be able to shout louder in Congress than you and I ever will. \ America's persistent empathy gap. Despite our size, we are a remarkably insular nation and suffer from a serious empathy gap when it comes to understanding foreign cultures and peoples or what we're actually doing to them. Even our globetrotting troops, when not fighting and killing foreigners in battle, often stay on vast bases, referred to in the military as "Little Americas," complete with familiar stores, fast food, you name it. Wherever we go, there we are, eating our big burgers, driving our big trucks, wielding our big guns, and dropping our very big bombs. But what those bombs do, whom they hurt or kill, whom they displace from their homes and lives, these are things that Americans turn out to care remarkably little about.

All this puts me sadly in mind of a song popular in my youth, a time when Cat Stevens sang of a " peace train " that was "soundin' louder" in America. Today, that peace train's been derailed and replaced by an armed and armored one eternally prepared for perpetual war -- and that train is indeed soundin' louder to the great peril of us all.

War on Spaceship Earth

Here's the rub, though: even the Pentagon knows that our most serious enemy is climate change , not China or Russia or terror, though in the age of Donald Trump and his administration of arsonists its officials can't express themselves on the subject as openly as they otherwise might. Assuming we don't annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons first, that means our real enemy is the endless war we're waging against Planet Earth.

The U.S. military is also a major consumer of fossil fuels and therefore a significant driver of climate change. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, like any enormously powerful system, only wants to grow more so, but what's welfare for the military brass isn't wellness for the planet.

There is, unfortunately, only one Planet Earth, or Spaceship Earth, if you prefer, since we're all traveling through our galaxy on it. Thought about a certain way, we're its crewmembers, yet instead of cooperating effectively as its stewards, we seem determined to fight one another. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out so long ago, surely a spaceship with a disputatious and self-destructive crew is not likely to survive, no less thrive.

In other words, in waging endless war, Americans are also, in effect, mutinying against the planet. In the process, we are spoiling the last, best hope of earth: a concerted and pacific effort to meet the shared challenges of a rapidly warming and changing planet.

Spaceship Earth should not be allowed to remain Warship Earth as well, not when the existence of significant parts of humanity is already becoming ever more precarious. Think of us as suffering from a coolant leak, causing cabin temperatures to rise even as food and other resources dwindle . Under the circumstances, what's the best strategy for survival: killing each other while ignoring the leak or banding together to fix an increasingly compromised ship?

Unfortunately, for America's leaders, the real "fixes" remain global military and resource domination, even as those resources continue to shrink on an ever-more fragile globe. And as we've seen recently, the resource part of that fix breeds its own madness, as in President Trump's recently stated desire to keep U.S. troops in Syria to steal that country's oil resources, though its wells are largely wrecked (thanks in significant part to American bombing) and even when repaired would produce only a miniscule percentage of the world's petroleum.

If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life.

Despite all of war's uses and abuses, its allures and temptations, it's time that we Americans showed some self-mastery (as well as decency) by putting a stop to the mayhem. Few enough of us experience "our" wars firsthand and that's precisely why some idealize their purpose and idolize their practitioners. But war is a bloody, murderous mess and those practitioners, when not killed or wounded, are marred for life because war functionally makes everyone involved into a murderer.

We need to stop idealizing war and idolizing its so-called warriors. At stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and the viability of life, as we know it, on Spaceship Earth.

likbez December 2, 2019 at 3:17 AM

I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too.

They preach “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Wolfowitz doctrine) and are not shy to unleash the wars to enhance the USA strategic position in particular region (color revolution can be used instead of war, like they in 2014 did in Ukraine). Of course, being chichenhawks, neither they nor members of their families fight in those wars.

For some reason despite his election platform Trump also populated his administration with neoconservatives. So it might be that maintaining the USA centered global neoliberal empire is the real reason and the leitmotiv of the USA foreign policy. that’s why it does not change with the change of Administration: any government that does not play well with the neoliberal empire gets in the hairlines.

Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it.

wjastore says: December 2, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Good point. But why the rise of the neocons? Why did they prosper? I'd say because of the military-industrial complex. Or you might say they feed each other, but the Complex came first. And of course the Complex is a dominant part of the Deep State. How could it not be? Add in 17 intelligence agencies, Homeland Security, the Energy Dept's nukes, and you have a dominant DoD that swallows up more than half of federal discretionary spending each year.
likbez December 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM
I agree, but it is a little bit more complex. You need an ideology to promote the interests of MIC. You can't just say -- let's spend more than a half of federal discretionary spending each year..

That's where neo-conservatism comes into play. So they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism.

wjastore December 2, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower.

The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources.

Think about how no one was punished for the colossal intelligence failure of 9/11. Instead, all the intel agencies were rewarded with more money and authority via the PATRIOT Act.

The Afghan war is an ongoing disaster, the Iraq war a huge misstep, Libya a total failure, yet the Complex has even more Teflon than Ronald Reagan. All failures slide off of it.

greglaxer , December 2, 2019 at 4:12 PM

There is a still bigger picture to consider in all this. I don't want to open the door to conspiracy theory–personally, I find the claim that explosives were placed inside the World Trade Center prior to the strikes by aircraft on 9/11 risible–but it certainly was convenient for the Regime Change Gang that the Saudi operatives were able to get away with what they did on that day, and in preparations leading up to it.

Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.)

Once the great majority of folks in Africa have cellphones and subscriptions to Netflix whither capitalism? Trump denies the severity of the climate crisis because that is part of the ideology/theology of the GOP.

The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep!

[Nov 30, 2019] Henry Kissinger Gets It US 'Exceptionalism' Is Over

Looks like exceptions in US political jargon means "no rivals"... Trump is still dreaming about "Full Spectrum Dominance" Otherwise he would not populate his administration with rabid neocons, leftover from Bush II administration. As well as people who were responsible for Obama color revolutions and wars. Instead of gratitude from neocons viper nest in the State Department he got Ukrainegate as a Thanksgiving present.
Notable quotes:
"... If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished. ..."
"... A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival." ..."
"... In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos. ..."
"... While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction." ..."
"... Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia. ..."
"... This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made prudent remarks recently when he said the United States is no longer a uni-power and that it must recognize the reality of China as an equal rival. The furor over a new law passed by the US this week regarding Hong Kong and undermining Beijing's authority underlines Kissinger's warning.

If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished.

Speaking publicly in New York on November 14, the veteran diplomat urged the US and China to resolve their ongoing economic tensions cooperatively and mutually, adding: "It is no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other."

A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival."

In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos.

Kissinger's frank assessment is a breath of fresh air amid the stale and impossibly arrogant self-regard held by too many American politicians who view their nation as an unparalleled power which brooks no other.

The seasoned statesman, who is 96-years-old and retains an admirable acumen for international politics, ended his remarks on an optimistic note by saying: "I am confident the leaders on both sides [US and China] will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties."

Aptly, Kissinger's caution about danger of conflict was reiterated separately by veteran journalist John Pilger, who warned in an exclusive interview for Strategic Culture Foundation this week that, presumed "American exceptionalism is driving the world to war."

Henry Kissinger is indeed a controversial figure. Many US scholars regard him as one of the most outstanding Secretaries of State during the post-Second World War period. He served in the Nixon and Ford administrations during the 1970s and went on to write tomes about geopolitics and international relations. Against that, his reputation was badly tarnished by the US war in Vietnam and the horrendous civilian death toll from relentless aerial bombing across Indochina, believed to have been countenanced by Kissinger.

Kissinger has also been accused of supporting the military coup in Chile in 1973 against elected President Allende, and for backing the dirty war by Argentina's fascist generals during the 1970s against workers and leftists.

... ... ...

At times, President Donald Trump appears to subscribe to realpolitik pragmatism. At other times, he swings to the hyper-ideological mentality as expressed by his Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper. The latter has labeled China as the US's "greatest long-term threat".

This week President Trump signed into law "The Human Rights and Democracy Bill", which will impose sanctions on China over alleged repression in its Hong Kong territory. Beijing has reacted furiously to the legislation, condemning it as a violation of its sovereignty.

This is exactly the kind of baleful move that Kissinger warned against in order to avoid a further poisoning in bilateral relations already tense from the past 16 months of US-China trade war.

One discerns the difference between Kissinger and more recent US politicians: the former has copious historical knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. His shrewd, wily, maybe even Machiavellian streak, informs Kissinger to acknowledge and respect other powers in a complex world. That is contrasted with the puritanical banality and ignorance manifest in Trump's administration and in the Congress.

Greeting Kissinger last Friday, November 22, during a visit to Beijing, President Xi Jinping thanked him for his historic contribution in normalizing US-China relations during 1970s.

"At present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges," said Xi, calling on the two countries to deepen communication on strategic issues. It was an echo of the realpolitik views Kissinger had enunciated the week before.

While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction."

Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia.

This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect.

[Nov 29, 2019] The Origins of White Supremacy by Chelli Stanley

Nov 27, 2019 | blackagendareport.com

White supremacy is an incredibly insincere distraction that tries to erase the histories of White, Black, and Red peoples.

"Many White people seem to have forgotten what happened to them."

Some say the white supremacy ideology comes from pride. Some say it comes from a belief that one's culture is superior. Some say it comes from hatred. I never believed these things are the primary reason because I always sensed a deep loss in the heart of countless white people, some deep emptiness and fear. Though, admitting to this emptiness is another matter.

James Baldwin wrote about American racism beyond the lines designed to separate us, saying of white supremacy: "The root of the white man's hatred is terror. A bottomless and nameless terror..."

It's said that anger is a secondary emotion. Hatred is anger. Racism is hatred. Hatred is anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, beneath it lies something else.

After talking with many White American friends about the real origins of white supremacy, I found there was always a certain limit beyond which they refused to go. This had nothing to do with any hatred toward "the other" and everything to do with a chasm of pain they could not bear to speak of -- not even for a few minutes could they speak of what has been seeping out of