Populism as social protest against neoliberalism

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Populism is a term advanced be neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM. It is an important part of the neoliberal propaganda arsenal.  It was invented by those weasels (which is actually affront to weasels ;-) as a substitute for “social protest” in order to discredit the whole idea of revolt against the elite. The revolt that has been a part of human history for centuries.  Now open revolt is impossible due to "National Security State" with its militarized police and  Total survellance.  The only viable form of protest is voting booth. And neoliberal MSM try to hush down and discredit this sentiment linking it to "far right", xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment.  (while simultaneously they do love far right in Ukraine, don't they; and any other places were far right dance to the tune from Washington). For example Bloomberg presstitutes try to define this process strictly in anti-immigration and secular stagnation terms. They avoid mentioning the words neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization (Nationalists and Populists Poised to Dominate European Balloting - Bloomberg)

In the coming 12 months, four of Europe’s five largest economies have votes that will almost certainly mean serious gains for right-wing populists and nationalists. Once seen as fringe groups, France’s National Front, Italy’s Five Star Movement, and the Freedom Party in the Netherlands have attracted legions of followers by tapping discontent over immigration, terrorism, and feeble economic performance. “The Netherlands should again become a country of and for the Dutch people,” says Evert Davelaar, a Freedom Party backer who says immigrants don’t share “Western and Christian values.”

When neoliberal propagandists start using the word populism often that means that propaganda stopped working and people start waking up to the damage neoliberalism has done to societies. Emerging from decades of neoliberal brainwashing, woking people class has not yet to realize the enormous task of dismantling neoliberal empire. We see only  opening moments of this unfolding struggle.

Wikipedia is especially bad (this is the case when it can really be called "CIA front" ;-):

Populism is a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a small circle of elites, who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together. Populism depicts elites as trampling on the rights, values, and voice of the legitimate people.[1]

The problem with Wikipedia definition is the people are always mistreated by the elite. That’s the essence of the elite rule. Most of the time they suffer quietly. Only when quantity turns into quality we have a vocal social protest. At this point people wake up to the level of mistreatment and abuse from the elite. While the level of degeneration of the elite prevents emergence of leaders able to cope with the challenges.  Under US neoliberal regime. since 80th social inequality in the USA has reached staggering proportions. Indeed, according to some reports, income inequality in the United States is greater than that which exists in Egypt and Tunisia befor they were spet in color revolutions (aka Arab spring). Of course the repressive apparatus in the USA is much stronger so open protest will be crushed (as quickly happened with the Occupy movement), but to control how people vote at the voting booth during 2016 presidential election is more difficult task. It requires rigging the election, to which Trump alluded several times.  The USa election are rigged by definition as they do not have checks and balances like international observers and  representative of both parties during counting process.  Also electronic machines used do not have paper trail.

Labeling social protest against neoliberalism as “populism” is one of dirty neoliberal propaganda tricks.

And cries about “populism” signify the point when the elite loses part of the  control over previous obedient  “peons”. Propaganda and brainwashing suddenly stop working. As happened with neoliberal propaganda and brainwashing now. That signifies troubles for neoliberalism, troubles that actually started in 2008 (ideology is already dead, but social forces behind it are still strong, so it continues to exist in zombie state) and neoliberal globalization in particular. With secular stagnation, deterioration standards of living for 90% of population, widening social inequality, police brutality, ecological catastrophes, crumbling infrastructure,  and the growing threat of a new world war there is an emerging mass consensus that the great neoliberal experiment stared by Reagan and Thatcher has failed.

Note how Times has written about "color revolution" In Moscow in 2011-2012. Now this is fully applicable to the USA:

In short, 2011 was unlike any year since 1989—but more extraordinary, more global, more democratic, since in ’89 the regime disintegrations were all the result of a single disintegration at headquarters, one big switch pulled in Moscow that cut off the power throughout the system. So 2011 was unlike any year since 1968—but more consequential because more protesters have more skin in the game.

Their protests weren’t part of a countercultural pageant, as in ’68, and rapidly morphed into full-fledged rebellions, bringing down regimes and immediately changing the course of history. It was, in other words, unlike anything in any of our lifetimes, probably unlike any year since 1848, when one street protest in Paris blossomed into a three-day revolution that turned a monarchy into a republican democracy and then—within weeks, thanks in part to the new technologies (telegraphy, railroads, rotary printing presses)—inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe.

This discontent is the byproduct of the economic collapse of 2008. During the bubble years there was enough money trickling down to keep peons more or less happy, but now the global financial crisis and economic stagnation make them feel like suckers.

In 2016 the US ruling elite suddenly became aware of the danger from their own social isolation. They did not understand that outside the top 10%, there is the vast swats of working people, whose standard of living undergone an immense and unrelenting deterioration. The end of the USSR in 1991 unleashed an eruption of neoliberal triumphalism, which proclaimed that neoliberalism represents the permanent refutation of Bolshevism (which was true) and "the end of history". They were wrong with the second part as 35 years later that facede of neoliberalism is crumbling and the neoliberal elite is running for cover.

That means Neoliberal political leaders lose the legitimacy in the eyes of substantial strata of people, including the middle class. In other words the situation, which Marxism defines as a “revolutionary situation” arises ( http://www.marxist.com/greece-on-the-brink-of-revolutionary-situation.htm )

In the writings of Lenin and Trotsky, we can find the definition of what is a revolutionary situation. In his book “The failure of the Second International” (1916) Lenin explained:

“What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.

“…..The totality of all these objective changes is called a revolutionary situation. Such a situation existed in 1905 in Russia, and in all revolutionary periods in the West;…”

Trotsky in 1940, in the Emergency Manifesto explained the necessary conditions for the victory of the proletariat:

“The basic conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution have been established by historical experience and clarified theoretically: (1) the bourgeois impasse and the resulting confusion of the ruling class; (2) the sharp dissatisfaction and the striving towards decisive changes in the ranks of the petty bourgeoisie, without whose support the big bourgeoisie cannot maintain itself; (3) the consciousness of the intolerable situation and readiness for revolutionary actions in the ranks of the proletariat; (4) a clear program and a firm leadership of the proletarian vanguard—these are the four conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on Imperialist War and the Imperialist War).

Also, at this point, the neoliberal elite itself became discredited. Attitude to Hillary is a clear indication that this is happening in the USA. People mostly despise her.

From The Guardian comments ( https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/13/birth-of-populism-donald-trump?CMP=fb_us )

sniffmysmellysocks

‘Populism’ is a term used by the neoliberal elite to describe democracy as seen recently in the Brexit referendum.

Oldfranky

A very simple way to explain popularism:- A rise against the perceived norms in politics. In the case of the UK , a vote against the smug over confident career Oxbridge politician, who has not a clue of real life…

Earl_Grey

Call it what you want, but agree, the People are starting to wake up to the fact that they are being screwed. That can only mean one thing, time the Rich start a war that is big enough to distract the People and send a lot of them off to fight in it…

GodfreyRich

The metropolitan establishment have brought this on themselves by ignoring the interests of the British working class and by promoting multiculturalism over traditional British values.

MrHumbug

As I recall, F.D. Roosevelt was also widely branded as a “populist.” Populism is always a movement against the ruling elites on behalf of downtrodden and ignored majority. It is only incidental that modern populism has a “right wing” in aspect, for most of modern history it was decidedly left-leaning since the ruling paradigm of the elite was traditionally of the right variety.

And besides, I consider the whole left/right dichotomy completely out of date and useless in 21st century. We need new terms.


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[Dec 05, 2017] The revival of American populism Will there be blood

Nice illustration of criminality of private equity
Mar 29, 2009 | The Economist

jomellon wrote: March 29, 2009 12:02

The Problem that The Economist wants to talk about? Public Outrage a.k.a. Populism.

The other less important problem that a magazine called The Economist might want to address, but which it doesn't want to talk about: the economy is bust, and why.

Typical scenario for the last 18 years:

This happens 100 times so the banks are bust too, but get bailed out by the taxpayer (that's those guys who lost their jobs and pensions at Widgets)

PEI lives happily in The Bahamas with the 550 million which he 'earned' in a fabulous year of 'value creation' made possible by the power of free and light touch regulated markets.

Sadly, due to the complexity of all this the bright chaps at The Economist can not quite see why this is a slightly problematic way to run an economy... Honi suit qui mal y pense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Frank is a Guardian columnist

Thirdparty -> bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 04:04

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

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

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

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

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

curiouswes -> HauptmannGurski , 9 Oct 2017 01:22

What are we at?

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

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

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

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

Conservatives argue against identity politics.

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

I don't know what that refers to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> upward mobility is being taken from us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This movement is one of the grassroots pillars fueling Bannonism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gonna get ugly before it's fixed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 12, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You've got your head in the sand, pal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Sep 01, 2017] Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism

Sep 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Asher Schechter at ProMarket discusses Raghuram Rajan's views on the rise of populist nationalism:

Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is "the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism" : The wave of populist nationalism that has been sweeping through Western democracies in the past two years is "a cry for help from communities who have seen growth bypass them."
So said Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, during a keynote address he gave at the Stigler Center's conference on the political economy of finance that took place in June.
Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion.
In his talk, Rajan focused on three questions related to current populist discontent: 1. Why is anger focused on trade? 2. Why now? 3. Why do so many voters turn to far-right nationalist movements?
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

There's quite a bit more. I don't agree with everything he (Raghuram) says, but thought it might provoke discussion.

DrDick , August 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Frankly, "crony capitalism" has always been the primary one, as even Adam Smith noted.
Paine , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
The understanding of exploitation
Of wage earning production workers
Is a better base then the 18 th century liberal ideal of equality

Exploitation and oppression are obviously not the same
even if they make synergistic team mates oftener then not
So long as " them " are blatantly oppressed
It's easy to Forget you are exploited
Unlike oppression
Exploitation can be so stealthy
So not part of the common description of the surface of daily life

Calls for equality must include a careful answer to the question
" equal with who ? "

Unearned equality is not seen as fair to those who wanna believe they earned their status
Add in the obvious :
To be part of a successful movement aimed at Exclusion of some " thems " or other
Is narcotic
Just as fighting exclusion can be a narcotic too for " thems "

But fighting against exclusion coming from among a privileged rank among
The community of would be excluders
That is a bummer
A thankless act of sanctimony
Unless you spiritually join the " thems"

Now what have we got ?

Jim Crow thrived for decades it only ended
When black arms and hands in the field at noon ...by the tens of millions
were no longer necessary to Dixie

Christopher H. , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

I thought this sort of thinking was widely accepted only in 2016 we were told by the center left that no it's not true.

"Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion."

Instead the center left is arguing that workers have nothing to complain about and besides they're racist/sexist.

gregory byshenk , September 01, 2017 at 08:54 AM
'"These communities have become disempowered partly for economic reasons but partly also because decision-making has increasingly been centralized toward state governments, national governments, and multilateral [agreements]," said Rajan. In the European Union, he noted, the concentration of decision-making in Brussels has led to a lot of discontent.'

I'd suggest that this part is not true. Communities have become politically disempowered in large part because they have become economically disempowered. A shrinking economy means a shrinking tax base and less funds to do things locally. Even if the local government attempts to rebuild by recruiting other employers, they end up in a race to the bottom with other communities in a similar situation.

I'd also suggest that the largest part of the "discontent" in the EU is not because of any "concentration of decision-making", but because local (and regional, and national) politicians have used the EU as a convenient scapegoat for any required, but unpopular action.

[Jul 25, 2017] Anti-Populism Ideology of the Ruling Class by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers. ..."
"... The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers. ..."
"... Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns. ..."
"... The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite. ..."
"... The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists. ..."
"... In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters. ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Throughout the US and European corporate and state media, right and left, we are told that ' populism' has become the overarching threat to democracy, freedom and . . . free markets. The media's ' anti-populism' campaign has been used and abused by ruling elites and their academic and intellectual camp followers as the principal weapon to distract, discredit and destroy the rising tide of mass discontent with ruling class-imposed austerity programs, the accelerating concentration of wealth and the deepening inequalities.

We will begin by examining the conceptual manipulation of ' populism' and its multiple usages. Then we will turn to the historic economic origins of populism and anti-populism. Finally, we will critically analyze the contemporary movements and parties dubbed ' populist' by the ideologues of ' anti-populism' .

Conceptual Manipulation

In order to understand the current ideological manipulation accompanying ' anti-populism ' it is necessary to examine the historical roots of populism as a popular movement.

Populism emerged during the 19 th and 20 th century as an ideology, movement and government in opposition to autocracy, feudalism, capitalism, imperialism and socialism. In the United States, populist leaders led agrarian struggles backed by millions of small farmers in opposition to bankers, railroad magnates and land speculators. Opposing monopolistic practices of the 'robber barons', the populist movement supported broad-based commercial agriculture, access to low interest farm credit and reduced transport costs.

In all cases, the populist governments in Latin America were based on a coalition of nationalist capitalists, urban workers and the rural poor. In some notable cases, nationalist military officers brought populist governments to power. What they had in common was their opposition to foreign capital and its local supporters and exporters ('compradores'), bankers and their elite military collaborators. Populists promoted 'third way' politics by opposing imperialism on the right, and socialism and communism on the left. The populists supported the redistribution of wealth but not the expropriation of property. They sought to reconcile national capitalists and urban workers. They opposed class struggle but supported state intervention in the economy and import-substitution as a development strategy.

Imperialist powers were the leading anti-populists of that period. They defended property privileges and condemned nationalism as 'authoritarian' and undemocratic. They demonized the mass support for populism as 'a threat to Western Christian civilization'. Not infrequently, the anti-populists ideologues would label the national-populists as 'fascists' . . . even as they won numerous elections at different times and in a variety of countries.

The historical experience of populism, in theory and practice, has nothing to do with what today's ' anti-populists' in the media are calling ' populism' . In reality, current anti-populism is still a continuation of anti-communism , a political weapon to disarm working class and popular movements. It advances the class interest of the ruling class. Both 'anti's' have been orchestrated by ruling class ideologues seeking to blur the real nature of their 'pro-capitalist' privileged agenda and practice. Presenting your program as 'pro-capitalist', pro-inequalities, pro-tax evasion and pro-state subsidies for the elite is more difficult to defend at the ballot box than to claim to be ' anti-populist' .

' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers.

The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers.

Historic 'anti-populism' has its roots in the inability of capitalism to secure popular consent via elections. It reflects their anger and frustration at their failure to grow the economy, to conquer and exploit independent countries and to finance growing fiscal deficits.

The Amalgamation of Historical Populism with the Contemporary Fabricated Populism

What the current anti-populists ideologues label ' populism' has little to do with the historical movements.

Unlike all of the past populist governments, which sought to nationalize strategic industries, none of the current movements and parties, denounced as 'populist' by the media, are anti-imperialists. In fact, the current ' populists' attack the lowest classes and defend the imperialist-allied capitalist elites. The so-called current ' populists' support imperialist wars and bank swindlers, unlike the historical populists who were anti-war and anti-bankers.

Ruling class ideologues simplistically conflate a motley collection of rightwing capitalist parties and organizations with the pro-welfare state, pro-worker and pro-farmer parties of the past in order to discredit and undermine the burgeoning popular multi-class movements and regimes.

Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns.

One has only to compare the currently demonized ' populist' Donald Trump with the truly populist US President Franklin Roosevelt, who promoted social welfare, unionization, labor rights, increased taxes on the rich, income redistribution, and genuine health and workplace safety legislation within a multi-class coalition to see how absurd the current media campaign has become.

The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite.

The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists.

In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters.

The anti-populism of the ruling class serves to confuse the 'right' with the 'left'; to sidelight the latter and promote the former; to amalgamate rightwing 'rallies' with working class strikes; and to conflate rightwing demagogues with popular mass leaders.

Unfortunately, too many leftist academics and pundits are loudly chanting in the 'anti-populist' chorus. They have failed to see themselves among the shock troops of the right. The left ideologues join the ruling class in condemning the corporate populists in the name of 'anti-fascism'. Leftwing writers, claiming to 'combat the far-right enemies of the people' , overlook the fact that they are 'fellow-travelling' with an anti-populist ruling class, which has imposed savage cuts in living standards, spread imperial wars of aggression resulting in millions of desperate refugees- not immigrants –and concentrated immense wealth.

The bankruptcy of today's ' anti-populist' left will leave them sitting in their coffee shops, scratching at fleas, as the mass popular movements take to the streets!

[Jul 04, 2017] Economics of the Populist Backlash naked capitalism

Populism is a weasel word that is use by neoliberal MSM to delitimize the resistance. This is a typical neoliberal thinking.
Financial globalization is different from trade. It is more of neocolonialism that racket, as is the case with trade.
Notable quotes:
"... Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour. ..."
"... I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence. ..."
"... Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought. ..."
"... "Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision. ..."
"... In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under. ..."
"... they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives ..."
"... This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism ..."
"... But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations. ..."
"... The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy. ..."
"... Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. ..."
"... As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology. ..."
"... Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War. ..."
"... The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'Populism' is a loose label that encompasses a diverse set of movements. The term originates from the late 19th century, when a coalition of farmers, workers, and miners in the US rallied against the Gold Standard and the Northeastern banking and finance establishment. Latin America has a long tradition of populism going back to the 1930s, and exemplified by Peronism. Today populism spans a wide gamut of political movements, including anti-euro and anti-immigrant parties in Europe, Syriza and Podemos in Greece and Spain, Trump's anti-trade nativism in the US, the economic populism of Chavez in Latin America, and many others in between. What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance.

The populist backlash may have been a surprise to many, but it really should not have been in light of economic history and economic theory.

Take history first. The first era of globalisation under the Gold Standard produced the first self-conscious populist movement in history, as noted above. In trade, finance, and immigration, political backlash was not late in coming. The decline in world agricultural prices in 1870s and 1880s produced pressure for resumption in import protection. With the exception of Britain, nearly all European countries raised agricultural tariffs towards the end of the 19th century. Immigration limits also began to appear in the late 19th century. The United States Congress passed in 1882 the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act that restricted Chinese immigration specifically. Japanese immigration was restricted in 1907. And the Gold Standard aroused farmers' ire because it was seen to produce tight credit conditions and a deflationary effect on agricultural prices. In a speech at the Democratic national convention of 1896, the populist firebrand William Jennings Bryan uttered the famous words: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

To anyone familiar with the basic economics of trade and financial integration, the politically contentious nature of globalisation should not be a surprise. The workhorse models with which international economists work tend to have strong redistributive implications. One of the most remarkable theorems in economics is the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which generates very sharp distributional implications from opening up to trade. Specifically, in a model with two goods and two factors of production, with full inter-sectoral mobility of the factors, owners of one of the two factors are made necessarily worse off with the opening to trade. The factor which is used intensively in the importable good must experience a decline in its real earnings.

The Stolper-Samuelson theorem assumes very specific conditions. But there is one Stolper-Samuelson-like result that is extremely general, and which can be stated as follows. Under competitive conditions, as long as the importable good(s) continue to be produced at home – that is, ruling out complete specialisation – there is always at least one factor of production that is rendered worse off by the liberalisation of trade. In other words, trade generically produces losers. Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain.

Economic theory has an additional implication, which is less well recognised. In relative terms, the redistributive effects of liberalisation get larger and tend to swamp the net gains as the trade barriers in question become smaller. The ratio of redistribution to net gains rises as trade liberalisation tackles progressively lower barriers.

The logic is simple. Consider the denominator of this ratio first. It is a standard result in public finance that the efficiency cost of a tax increases with the square of the tax rate. Since an import tariff is a tax on imports, the same convexity applies to tariffs as well. Small tariffs have very small distorting effects; large tariffs have very large negative effects. Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower. The redistributive effects, on the other hand, are roughly linear with respect to price changes and are invariant, at the margin, to the magnitude of the barriers. Putting these two facts together, we have the result just stated, namely that the losses incurred by adversely affected groups per dollar of efficiency gain are higher the lower the barrier that is removed.

Evidence is in line with these theoretical expectations. For example, in the case of NAFTA, Hakobyan and McLaren (2016) have found very large adverse effects for an "important minority" of US workers, while Caliendo and Parro (2015) estimate that the overall gains to the US economy from the agreement were minute (a "welfare" gain of 0.08%).

In principle, the gains from trade can be redistributed to compensate the losers and ensure no identifiable group is left behind. Trade openness has been greatly facilitated in Europe by the creation of welfare states. But the US, which became a truly open economy relatively late, did not move in the same direction. This may account for why imports from specific trade partners such as China or Mexico are so much more contentious in the US.

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups. But they have a harder time making sense of why trade gets picked on so much by populists both on the right and the left. After all, imports are only one source of churn in labour markets, and typically not even the most important source. What is it that renders trade so much more salient politically? Perhaps trade is a convenient scapegoat. But there is another, deeper issue that renders redistribution caused by trade more contentious than other forms of competition or technological change. Sometimes international trade involves types of competition that are ruled out at home because they violate widely held domestic norms or social understandings. When such "blocked exchanges" (Walzer 1983) are enabled through trade they raise difficult questions of distributive justice. What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Financial globalisation is in principle similar to trade insofar as it generates overall economic benefits. Nevertheless, the economics profession's current views on financial globalisation can be best described as ambivalent. Most of the scepticism is directed at short-term financial flows, which are associated with financial crises and other excesses. Long-term flows and direct foreign investment in particular are generally still viewed favourably. Direct foreign investment tends to be more stable and growth-promoting. But there is evidence that it has produced shifts in taxation and bargaining power that are adverse to labour.

The boom-and-bust cycle associated with capital inflows has long been familiar to developing nations. Prior to the Global Crisis, there was a presumption that such problems were largely the province of poorer countries. Advanced economies, with their better institutions and regulation, would be insulated from financial crises induced by financial globalisation. It did not quite turn out that way. In the US, the housing bubble, excessive risk-taking, and over-leveraging during the years leading up to the crisis were amplified by capital inflows from the rest of the world. In the Eurozone, financial integration, on a regional scale, played an even larger role. Credit booms fostered by interest-rate convergence would eventually turn into bust and sustained economic collapses in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland once credit dried up in the immediate aftermath of the crisis in the US.

Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour.

The populist backlash may have been predictable, but the specific form it took was less so. Populism comes in different versions. It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism, which differ with respect to the societal cleavages that populist politicians highlight and render salient. The US progressive movement and most Latin American populism took a left-wing form. Donald Trump and European populism today represent, with some instructive exceptions, the right-wing variant (Figure 2). What accounts for the emergence of right-wing versus left-wing variants of opposition to globalization?

Figure 2 Contrasting patterns of populism in Europe and Latin America

Notes : See Rodrik (2017) for sources and methods.

I suggest that these different reactions are related to the forms in which globalisation shocks make themselves felt in society (Rodrik 2017). It is easier for populist politicians to mobilise along ethno-national/cultural cleavages when the globalisation shock becomes salient in the form of immigration and refugees. That is largely the story of advanced countries in Europe. On the other hand, it is easier to mobilise along income/social class lines when the globalisation shock takes the form mainly of trade, finance, and foreign investment. That in turn is the case with southern Europe and Latin America. The US, where arguably both types of shocks have become highly salient recently, has produced populists of both stripes (Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump).

It is important to distinguish between the demand and supply sides of the rise in populism. The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalisation generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. Overlooking this distinction can obscure the respective roles of economic and cultural factors in driving populist politics.

Finally, it is important to emphasise that globalization has not been the only force at play - nor necessarily even the most important one. Changes in technology, rise of winner-take-all markets, erosion of labour market protections, and decline of norms restricting pay differentials all have played their part. These developments are not entirely independent from globalisation, insofar as they both fostered globalization and were reinforced by it. But neither can they be reduced to it. Nevertheless, economic history and economic theory both give us strong reasons to believe that advanced stages of globalisation are prone to populist backlash.

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

An interesting post.

One question he does not address is why the opposition to globalization has had its most obvious consequences in two countries:- the US and the UK with Trump and Brexit respectively.

I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence.

For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier.

John Wright , July 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

re: "ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected"

Note that for the recent TPP, industry executives and senior government officials were well represented for the drafting of the agreement, labor and environmental groups were not.

There simply may be no mechanism to "ensure the benefits are distributed among all affected" in the USA political climate as those benefits are grabbed by favored groups, who don't want to re-distribute them later.

Some USA politicians argue for passing flawed legislation while suggesting they will fix it later, as I remember California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein stating when she voted for Bush Jr's Medicare Part D ("buy elderly votes for Republicans").

It has been about 15 years, and I don't remember any reform efforts on Medicare Part D from Di-Fi.

Legislation should be approached with the anticipated inequality problems solved FIRST when wealthy and powerful interests are only anticipating increased wealth via "free trade". Instead, the political process gifts first to the wealthy and powerful first and adopts a "we'll fix it later" attitude for those harmed. And the same process occurs, the wealthy/powerful subsequently strongly resist sharing their newly acquired "free trade" wealth increment with the free trade losers..

If the USA adopted a "fix inequality first" requirement, one wonders if these free trade bills would get much purchase with the elite.

different clue , July 4, 2017 at 4:14 am

Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought.

NAFTA Bill Clinton lit the fuse to the bomb which finally exploded under his lovely wife Hillary in 2016.

Ignacio , July 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

The big problem I find in this analysis is that it completely forgets how different countries use fiscal/financial policies to play merchantilistic games under globalization.

Doug , July 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

Yves, thanks for posting this from Dani Rodrik - whose clear thinking is always worthwhile. It's an excellent, succinct post. Still, one 'ouch': "Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain."

This is dehumanizing glibness that we cannot afford. The pain spreads like wildfire. It burns down houses, savings, jobs, communities, bridges, roads, health and health care, education, food systems, air, water, the 'real' economy, civility, shared values - in short everything for billions of human beings - all while sickening, isolating and killing.

The gain? Yes, as you so often point out, cui bono? But, really it goes beyond even that question. It requires asking, "Is this gain so obscene to arguably be no gain at all because its price for those who cannot have too many homes and yachts and so forth is the loss of humanity?

Consider, for example, Mitch McConnell. He cannot reasonably be considered human. At all. And, before the trolls create any gifs for the Teenager-In-Chief, one could say the same - or almost the same - for any number of flexians who denominate themselves D or R (e.g. Jamie Gorelick).

No pain, no gain? Fine for getting into better shape or choosing to get better at some discipline.

It's an abominable abstraction, though, for describing phenomena now so far along toward planet-o-cide.

Thuto , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision.

Another categorization that I find less than apt, outmoded and a misnomer is the phrase "advanced economies", especially given that level of industrialization and gdp per capita are the key metrics used to arrive at these classifications. Globalization has shifted most industrial activity away from countries that invested in rapid industrialization post WW2 to countries with large pools of readily exploitable labour while gdp per capita numbers include sections of the population with no direct participation in creating economic output (and the growth of these marginalized sections is trending ever upward).

Meanwhile the financial benefits of growing GDP numbers gush ever upwards to the financial-political elites instead of "trickling downwards" as we are told they should, inequality grows unabated, stress related diseases eat away at the bodies of otherwise young men and women etc. I'm not sure any of these dynamics, which describe perfectly what is happening in many so called advanced economies, are the mark of societies that should describe themselves as "advanced"

Yves Smith Post author , July 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Sorry, but the original populist movement in the US called themselves the Populists or the Populist Party. Being popular is good. You are the one who is assigning a pejorative tone to it.

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

Populism is widely used in the mainstream media, and even in the so called alternative media, as a really pejorative term. That is what he means (I would say).

witters , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

On the other hand:

"What all these share is an establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the elites against the people, support for liberal economics and globalisation, and always a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm

You nailed it. Let me know when we get our Constitution back!

Eclair , July 3, 2017 at 8:09 am

"Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour."

So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints, results in all the riches flowing to the fat cats and all the taxes, famines, wars, droughts, floods and other natural disasters being dumped upon the peasants.

The Lakota, roaming the grassy plains of the North American mid-continent, glorified their 'fat cats,' the hunters who brought back the bison which provided food, shelter and clothing to the people. And the rule was that the spoils of the hunt were shared unequally; the old, women and children got the choice high calorie fatty parts. The more that a hunter gave away, the more he was revered.

The Lakota, after some decades of interaction with the European invaders, bestowed on them a disparaging soubriquet: wasi'chu. It means 'fat-taker;' someone who is greedy, taking all the best parts for himself and leaving nothing for the people.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:04 am

"So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints .."

Nailed it!! That's something that has always bothered me it's great for the propagandists to acclaim globalization but they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives .there should be a murderous outrage against this kind of globalized exploitation and the consequent sufferings. Oh, but I forgot! It's all about the money that is supposed to give incentive to those who are left behind to "recoup", "regroup" and in today's age develop some kind of "app" to make up for all those losses .

In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives

That's a feature, not a bug. Notice that big corporations are all in favor of globalization except when it comes to things like labor law. Then, somehow, local is better.

edr , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

"The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalization generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. "

Excellent and interesting point. Which political party presents itself as a believable tool for redress affects the direction populism will take, making itself available as supply to the existing populist demand. That should provide for 100 years of political science research.

Anonymous2 : "For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier."

Seems so simply, right ?

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

It ought to be but sadly I fear our politicians are bought. I am unsure I have the solution . In the past when things got really bad I suspect people ended up with a major war before these sorts of problems could be addressed. I doubt that is going to be a solution this time.

Kuhio Kane , July 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 2:27 am

Well said.

washunate , July 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

Yep, Rodrik has been writing about these things for decades and has a remarkable talent for never actually getting anywhere. He's particularly enamored by the neoliberal shiny toy of "skills", as if predation, looting, and fraud simply don't exist.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

And yet, in the profession, he is one of the least objectionable.

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

This is a prime example of what is wrong with professional economic thinking. First, note that Rodrik is nominally on our side: socially progressive, conscious of the increasingly frightful cost of enviro externalities, etc.

But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations.

Only nation states provide the mass of people any form and extent of political participation in determining their own destiny. The failure of corporations to provide political participation can probably be recited my almost all readers of NC. Indeed, a key problem of the past few decades is that corp.s have increasingly marginalized the role of nation states and mass political participation. The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy.

Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. Another is the aftereffects of the economic dislocations Rodrik alludes to.

One is the increasing constriction of government budgets. These in turn have caused a scaling back of science R&D which I believe will have huge but incalculable negative effects in coming years. How do you measure the cost of failing to find a cure for a disease? Or failing to develop technologies to reverse climate change? Or just to double the charge duration of electric batteries under load? As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology.

FluffytheObeseCat , July 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Intellectually poisoned by his social environment perhaps. The biggest problems with this piece were its sweeping generalizations about unquantified socio-political trends. The things that academic economists are least trained in; the things they speak about in passing without much thought.

I.e. Descriptions of political 'populism' that lumps Peronists, 19th century U.S. prairie populists, Trump, and Sanders all into one neat category. Because, social movements driven by immiseration of the common man are interchangeable like paper cups at a fast food restaurant.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:15 am

Agree with much of what you comment .I believe that the conditions you describe are conveniently dismissed by the pro economists as: "Externalities" LOL!! They seem to dump everything that doesn't correlate to their dream of "Free Markets", "Globalization", etc .into that category .you gotta love 'em!!

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War.

In fact, the best historian of USA agrarian populism, Lawrence Goodwyn, argued that it was exactly the populists' reluctant alliance with Byran in the 1896 election that destroyed the populist movement. It was not so much an issue of the gold standard, as it was "hard money" vs "soft money" : gold AND silver vs the populists' preference for greenbacks, and currency and credit issued by US Treasury instead of the eastern banks.

A rough analogy is that Byran was the Hillary Clinton of his day, with the voters not given any way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or the House of Morgan.

Massinissa , July 3, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Honestly I would say Bryan is more an unwitting Bernie Sanders than a Hillary Clinton. But the effect was essentially the same.

flora , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm

"the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances "

That power was expressed in total control of the Congress and Presidential office. Then, as now, the 80-90% of the voters had neither R or D party that represented their economic, property, and safety interests. Given the same economic circumstances, if one party truly pushed for ameliorating regulations or programs the populist movement would be unnecessary. Yes, Bryan was allowed to run (and he had a large following) and to speak at the Dem convention, much like Bernie today. The "Bourbon Democrats" kept firm control of the party and downed Jennings' programs just as the neolib Dem estab today keep control of the party out of the hands of progressives.

an aside: among many things, the progressives pushed for good government (ending cronyism), trust busting, and honest trade, i.e not selling unfit tinned and bottled food as wholesome food. Today, we could use an "honest contracts and dealings" act to regulate the theft committed by what the banks call "honest contract enforcement", complete with forges documents. (Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle (1906) about the meatpacking industry. What would he make of today's mortgage industry, or insurance industry, for example.)

washunate , July 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

For an author and article so interested in international trade, I'm fascinated by the lack of evidence or argumentation that trade is the problem. The real issue being described here is excessive inequality delivered through authoritarianism, not international trade. The intra-city divergence between a hospital administrator and a home health aid is a much bigger problem in the US than trade across national borders. The empire abroad and the police state at home is a much bigger problem than competition from China or Mexico. Etc. Blaming international trade for domestic policies (and opposition to them) is just simple misdirection and xenophobia, nothing more.

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I take exception to most of Prof. Rodrik's post, which is filled with factual and/or logical inaccuracies.

"Populism appears to be a recent phenomenon, but it has been on the rise for quite some time (Figure 1)."

Wrong. Pretending that a historical generic is somehow new Populism has been around since at least the time of Jesus or William Wallace or the American Revolution or FDR.

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wrong. Creating a straw man through overgeneralization. Just because one country's "populism" appears to have taken on a certain color, does not mean the current populist movement in another part of the world will be the same. The only essential characteristics of populism are the anti-establishment orientation and seeking policies that will redress an imbalance in which some elites have aggrandized themselves unjustly at the expense of the rest of the people. The rest of the items in the list above are straw men in a generalization. Rise of authoritarian (non-democratic) governance after a populist uprising implies the rise of a new elite and would be a failure, a derailing of the populist movement – not a characteristic of it.

"Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower."

If, in fact, we were seeing lower trade barriers, and this was driving populism, this whole line of reasoning might have some value. But as it is, well over half the US economy is either loaded with barriers, subject to monopolistic pricing, or has not seen any "trade liberalization". Pharmaceuticals, despite being commodities, have no common global price the way, say, oil does. Oil hasn't had lowered barriers, though, and thus doesn't count in favor of the argument either. When China, Japan and Europe drop their import barriers, and all of them plus the U.S. get serious about antitrust enforcement, there might be a case to be made

"It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism"

Actually it isn't. The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so.

About the only thing the author gets right is the admission that certain economic policies unjustly create pain among many groups of people, leading to popular retribution. But that's not insightful, especially since he fails to address the issue quantitatively and identify WHICH policies have created the bulk of the pain. For instance, was more damage done by globalization, or by the multi-trillion-$ fleecing of the U.S. middle class by the bankers and federal reserve during the recent housing bubble and aftermath? What about the more recent ongoing fleecing of the government and the people by the healthcare cartels, at about $1.5-2 trillion/year in the U.S.?

This is only the top of a long list

PKMKII , July 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Which is the primary worldview setting for the neo-reactionary right in America. Everything is a question of whether or not ones income was "fairly earned."

So you get government employees and union members voting for politicians who've practically declared war against those voters' class, but vote for them anyway because they set their arguments in a mode of fairness morality: You can vote for the party of hard workers, or the party of handouts to the lazy. Which is why China keeps getting depicted as a currency manipulator and exploiter of free trade agreements.

Economic rivals can only succeed via "cheating," not being industrious like the US.

Livius Drusus , July 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm

That describes a number of my relatives and their friends. They are union members and government employees yet hold hard right-wing views and are always complaining about lazy moochers living on welfare. I ask them why they love the Republicans so much when this same party demonizes union members and public employees as overpaid and lazy and the usual answer is that Republicans are talking about some other unions or other government employees, usually teachers.

I suspect that the people in my anecdote hate public school teachers and their unions because they are often female and non-white or teach in areas with a lot of minority children. I see this a lot with white guys in traditional masculine industrial unions. They sometimes look down on unions in fields that have many female and non-white members, teachers being the best example I can think of.

tongorad , July 3, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups.

No, no they don't.

[Jul 03, 2017] boots-on-the-ground report

Notable quotes:
"... To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative! ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.stirjournal.com
and understand why working class whites voted so overwhelmingly for Trump. ( Note : that author was not supporting Trump and probably finds the alt-right horrifying.)

The alt-right, we should note, rejects the "movement" conservatism of the mainstream GOP as dead - compromised, intimidated, out of ideas, having no idea what it wants to conserve. For decades now mainstream Republicans have been walking gingerly around issues like affirmative action, because they are scared of their shadows of being called racists - a fact hardly lost on the Left. The result is a movement that has spent itself, and has little left to say. Think again of last year's GOP debates and how Trump owned them. Mainstream Republicans floundered helplessly in the face of his command of both mass media and social media. At the same time, one heard no new ideas at all from Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or even Mitt Romney at one point. Mostly they just embarrassed themselves (and in the case of Bush, the original favorite of corporate insiders, wasted over $100 million in donor money).

Moreover, the bulk of GOP "satellite" institutions, the many "think tanks" (e.g., Heritage) and its major publications (e.g., National Review , Human Events , "conservative" syndicated columnists such as George Will, etc.), attacked Trump, but communicated no forward-looking path for the country. This was not lost on the alt-right.

The mainstream GOP has furthered not conservatism but neo conservatism. The differences are, uh, huge -- To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative!

Against all this, the alt-right raises its fist and says, Hell No, We Won't Go! We demand our identity as white Americans, the right to preserve our own culture, and the right to live and associate with those of our choice!

So after all of this explication, why do I see the alt-right as an understandable and perhaps even justifiable response to our current situation, but otherwise at least partly wrongheaded, philosophically and culturally?

Recent history should help clarify matters. Generalized open borders policies born of a multiculturalist mindset do not result in stable mass societies. If they fail for a society of around 67 million people (roughly the population of France), then assuredly they won't work for one of over 325 million people (that of the U.S.). Such policies cannot work for those who do not consciously choose them, which is most people. The term the masses sounds derogatory. It need not be. It simply means the majority, those who are average , who go off experience and habit, whose lives are circumscribed by what affects them directly (family, work, church, filing a tax return once a year, etc.), who rarely think outside the boxes these supply, and who bring to the table the talents and skills they have, along with their individual hopes, dreams, fears, sweet spots, and pain points. They are often very good at what they've learned to do. Most can generally take care of themselves, so long as their lives are not disrupted by forces they neither understand nor can control. Most prefer the company of people like them, who think like them, who can relate to them, will trust them because they've known each other all their lives in some cases, and with whom they would be comfortable sharing a beer.

Interfere with these people, force them down paths not of their choosing, and barring the appearance of a Donald Trump you might not have a rebellion on your hands, but you will almost surely get slow but increasing dysfunction, as is the clearly the case with many working class white people who voted for Trump: the one population whose fortunes are shrinking along with their numbers, and whose tendencies toward chronic health problems, substance abuse, suicide, etc., are rising.

Other things being equal, I'd allow them (including those white people who find that the alt-right is making sense) to live as they see fit and be left alone. If they wish to separate, then let them separate. This is what the alt-right gets "right."

But before they depart I'd ask them: instead of rejecting just left-wing Hegelianism, why not reject the entire Hegelian paradigm? The embrace of right-wing Hegelianism is what the alt-right gets "wrong." The Master-Slave dichotomy may have seemed necessary, but never truly was. It was always an academic construct laid on top of a far more complex reality. Slave-consciousness may be overcome, in time, by self-reliance consciousness: a large frontage road alongside the Enlightenment superhighway of modernity, less traveled but fruitful for those who did. What is good and right about self-reliance consciousness is its absence of ethnic or gender specificity. White Europeans of various nationalities other than British chose it for decades when they came to the U.S. as immigrants with nothing but the shirts on their backs. They devoted themselves to the ways of their new home, learning English, and in many cases became successful business owners. Asians followed suit. They had a rougher ride, but also succeeded. Their children went on to earn doctorates in physics and engineering. "White privilege" did not stop them.

In American mass political culture, however, self-reliance was replaced by a sense of entitlement: government should take care of us . The Fabian-inspired New Deal has proven to have its dark side, this being chronic dependency on government (i.e., on taxpayers) and, in practice, has rendered ever more people vulnerable to being taken advantage of by predatory corporations (Big Insurance, Big Pharma). Obvious example: health care. One could write extensively on the dangers of too much comfort and convenience, especially for those who grow up immersed in it, absent any sense of the work that went into producing it. But that, too, is an essay for another day.

But just note in passing - and this is of crucial importance : before separating, one must consider that the price of separation and community self-determination in a world dominated by globalized power elites is self-reliance at a community level .

For example, speaking hypothetically, were a state or group of states to secede from the U.S. today, they would relinquish any right their people might have thought they had to Social Security, Medicare, and so on. Relinquishing these systems of dependency would be part of what they'd signed off on. What to put in place of those until they could transition back to self-reliance would become a major issue, and quickly!

Moreover, "populist" economics requires self-reliance because if "populists" are elected in a country, the economically powerful pull their investments and/or remove their operations, understandably fearful of the nationalization which happened in Chile when Salvador Allende was elected president in 1970. When a Hugo Chávez becomes president in a Venezuela, the corporate movers and shakers pull out. What happens: the economy tanks. Jobs vanish. Distribution systems collapse. Goods become scarce; price inflation soars. The "populists" are blamed for the debacle.

Without self-reliance at both an individual and community level, especially after decades of living in a relatively advancing civilization, it is a given that one's standard of living will drop. Venezuela has learned this the hard way! In the real world, there are only two ways of maintaining a given standard of living. One is to depend on others to supply it. The other is to work to sustain it. One of these might be sustainable in the long run. The other is not. Readers who have followed me this far will be intelligent enough to discern which is which.

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

Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

lavoisier June 21, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

@Pissedoffalese

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

Thank you PG Thoughtful comment.

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

Where are the respectable liberals in this country?

I despise Democrats as you despise Republicans.

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

Our Republic is on life support.

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then where will we be?

America's Most Abundant Manufactured Product May Be Pain

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

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

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

Many More Ways Than One to Be a Denier

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

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

Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur.

elstprof , June 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

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

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

jefemt , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

BAU, TINA, BAU!! BOHICA!!!

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

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

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

RWood , June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

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

willem , June 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

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

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

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

sierra7 , June 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

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

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

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

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

bdy , June 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

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

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

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

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

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

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

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

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

roadrider , June 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

There's a social contract? Who knew?

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

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

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

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

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

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

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

JEHR , June 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

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

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

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

jrs , June 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

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

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

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

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

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

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd very much like to be proven wrong.

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

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

Archangel , June 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

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

oh , June 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

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

Vatch , June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

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

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

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

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

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When do you think it was crossed?

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

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

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

Kyddyl , Jun 15, 2017 8:44 PM

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

Forbes , Jun 15, 2017 8:53 PM

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

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

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

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

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

TeethVillage88s , Jun 15, 2017 9:05 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Makes you think.

ElTerco , Jun 15, 2017 10:26 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

roxy , June 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

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

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

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

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

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

Jun 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

No, this isn't the Onion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That's our job.

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

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

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

    Lind has a point but way overstates it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • [Jun 10, 2017] In Europe, right-wing parties are preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for selected groups. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats

    Jun 10, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Christopher H. June 09, 2017 at 11:09 AM https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/populism-and-the-politics-of-health/

    Populism and the Politics of Health
    MARCH 14, 2017 1:43 PM
    by Paul Krugman

    ...

    This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

    The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can't be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these "populist" voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won't hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that's what happened.

    That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich.

    In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open." Reply Friday, Christopher H. - , June 09, 2017 at 11:12 AM

    There has been a silence from the center left during the Corbyn campaign and now after it is over. Luckily they have Comey to talk about. I will be curious to hear from Chris Dillow.
    libezkova - , June 09, 2017 at 10:22 PM
    "In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open"

    this is an interesting observation.

    [Jun 09, 2017] Some people were raising the question, what is genuine populism?

    This sound like neofascism, not so much as populism...
    Notable quotes:
    "... One major component is offering simplistic solutions to complex problems: remove government regulations to create more jobs, restrict foreign imports to create more jobs, ban immigration from certain countries to curtail terrorism, build a wall to prevent illegal immigration, ban teaching contraception to prevent teenagers from having sex, allow guns to let armed citizen vigilantes defend us against mass murderers, privatize education, government services and infrastructure to make them more "economical", etc... ..."
    "... And most of all: elect a strong leader who is not bound by laws to come in and kick ass and make the country great again. ..."
    Jun 09, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    ralphieboy | Jun 9, 2017 10:55:08 AM | 7

    "Some people were raising the question, what is genuine populism?"

    One major component is offering simplistic solutions to complex problems: remove government regulations to create more jobs, restrict foreign imports to create more jobs, ban immigration from certain countries to curtail terrorism, build a wall to prevent illegal immigration, ban teaching contraception to prevent teenagers from having sex, allow guns to let armed citizen vigilantes defend us against mass murderers, privatize education, government services and infrastructure to make them more "economical", etc...

    And most of all: elect a strong leader who is not bound by laws to come in and kick ass and make the country great again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Back to Murphy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Murphy:

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

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

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

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

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

    Murphy:

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

    And then, twisting the knife:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    One wonders if psychologists are ignorant of history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I hope Murphy already has tenure. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @Randal


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @CanSpeccy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

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

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

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

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

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

    @iffen There is no genetic imperative for reproduction.

    There is a genetic imperative to have sex.

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

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

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

    His materialism also limits his ability to understand Jews.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @CanSpeccy


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

    Just what a globalist shill for European genocide would say.

    The truth, however, is quite the opposite.

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

    Some survival strategy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @AaronB You're not thinking it through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And so on and so forth.

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

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

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

    No scientific evidence.

    I think it would have turned up by now.

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

    How would that work genetically?

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

    @AaronB You're not thinking it through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And so on and so forth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @utu Your genes will most certainly not perish.

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

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

    @CanSpeccy


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

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

    As for


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

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

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

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

    Take Israel
    Please do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    May 22, 2017 The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

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

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

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

    Both are selfish materialistic interests.

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

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

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

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

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

    SFG , May 24, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT

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

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

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT

    @Anon So one Jew speaks for the whole group? Does Ted Bundy speak for you?

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:15 pm GMT

    @utu Your genes will most certainly not perish.

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

    CanSpeccy , Website May 24, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT

    @jilles dykstra One wonders if psychologists are ignorant of history.
    Some 300 years BCE a Greek calculated the circumference of the earth at 39.000 km, the right figure is 40.000.
    Yet Columbus' sailors were afraid to fall of the earth.
    For some 1600 years the christian church prevented all independent thought, in 1600 the pope had Giordano Bruno burned alive, for heretic thoughts, about the universe, about the holy trinity.
    At about the same time Calvin burned Servetius, the man who discovered blood circulation, alive to death, also about the trinity.
    So Servetius was unable to tell the world about the blood circulation.
    Galileo got away with house arrest.
    Even around 1860 the pope declared that philosophical thinking not controlled by the church was illegal.
    So there is nothing special in the christian culture about no independent thought.
    On top of that, as Chomsky states: in any culture there is a standard truth, if this truth is not considered, no debate is possible, but between those who know better.
    We see this right now, much wailing about the indeed horrible carnage in Manchester, that the USA, Predators with Hellfire, causes such carnage every week three or fout times, it cannot be said.
    Terrorism is caused by the Islam, not by the west.

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 11:41 pm GMT

    @reiner Tor


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

    How would that work genetically?

    If I paid you $10,000 and gave you a day, could you come up with a rough back-of-the-envelope model where people would have a hardwired genetic predisposition to wanting to have many kids yet end up having a different number of kids under different circumstances?

    Actually, I could come up with such models for free.

    Santoculto , May 24, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.
    Except, as you forgot to mention, the survival of the European people. But liberals, of course, are always ready to sacrifice European people for whatever depraved cause they may have in mind.
    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm GMT

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

    No scientific evidence.

    I think it would have turned up by now.

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

    How would that work genetically?

    iffen , May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm GMT

    @Kevin O'Keeffe


    Yet to anyone who isn't a materialist, how obvious it is why Whites are committing suicide.
    Seeing as how the future of Western civilization is at stake, now may not be the best time to be keeping us in suspense.
    Alden , May 24, 2017 at 11:58 pm GMT

    @annamaria A case in point - Libya: http://theduran.com/hillary-clinton-bears-responsibility-for-the-manchester-atrocity/
    "The illegal NATO war against Libya was Hillary Clinton's war above all others. It was her who took a stable, prosperous, secular socialist country and turned it into a failed state and a terrorist playground. Gaddafi warned that he was the rampart holding back al-Qaeda from Europe, but Hillary Clinton did not care. She even laughed about Gaddafi's inhumane, barbaric execution at the hands of terrorists.
    Had Hillary Clinton not been able to convince Barack Obama and his useful war propagandists David Cameron in Britain and Nicholas Sarkozy, the dead children in Manchester might be with us today.
    Hillary Clinton famously said of Gaddafi's illegal execution, "We came, we saw, he died". Indeed, she came, she saw, he died and now thousands of more have died in Libya, many others have died in Europe because of this, including those who recently perished in Manchester."

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 12:10 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    But, restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates is a terrible mistake from every point of view.
    Except, as you forgot to mention, the survival of the European people. But liberals, of course, are always ready to sacrifice European people for whatever depraved cause they may have in mind.
    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 12:13 am GMT

    So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged .

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    iffen , May 25, 2017 at 12:22 am GMT

    @Alden Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

    Classic case of how PC can make white psychology stupid and gullible.

    https://altright.com/2017/05/24/blacks-mastermind-criminal-uses-white-guilt-to-steal-iphones-from-unsuspecting-liberals/

    Fact is blacks are more likely to lie, cheat, steal, and rob.

    They have less conscience and inhibition.

    Evolution made them that way. They had to survive in a world of competition with hyenas, leopards, crocodiles, and hippos.

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

    @Alden You're too intelligent to keep repeating Calvinist and enlightenment propaganda. Columbus and his sailors knew that the earth was round and if they just keep sailing west they would eventually run into Asia about 5,000 miles from The coast of Spain.

    What Columbus didn't know was that the Americas are between Europe and Asia.

    Why is the calendar used today called the Georgian calendar? Because the calendar needs to be adjusted every 1, 500 years. It was adjusted around 40 BC when Juluus Cesear was Emperor. By 1500AD it needed further adjustment. That adjustment was done in the best observatory in the world at the time by the beat astronomers and mathmeticians in the world. The work was done in the Vatican observatory. The astronomers and mathematicians were Vatican priests.

    I very heard of the scientific method? It was created around 1100 AD by priests and monks at the Roman Catholic University of Paris Sorbonne.

    Your own country the Netherlands was under the North Sea in 500 AD. It was Roman Catholic monks who settled on the beaches and began a thousand year process of land reclamation that literally built the land now called the Netherlands.

    Every university established in Europe before 1800 was established by the church. During those 1600 years you cite the only libraries in Europe belonged to the church

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

    @iffen instinctive objective of reproduction

    There is no instinct for reproduction.

    There is an instinct to have sex.

    iffen , May 25, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT

    @AaronB So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged....

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 12:50 am GMT

    @AaronB You know, if we adopt the genetic perspective, then none of this matters at all.

    Behaviors get selected for in a vast impersonal process that doesn't care about the outcome.

    I do not see why the conscious *I* should give one whit about my genes.

    If someone has inherited a concern with his genetic transmission, or if someone has not, is a neutral fact with no significance from this point of view. If that person's genes don't make it to the next generation, that is a fact - it is without value. We have banished value, and created a world of impersonal facts.

    There can be no discussion, because there are no values, there are no reference points - it is all a vast impersonal process that is utterly blind.

    You cannot derive value from fact - and your attempt to do so is merely the metaphysical instinct hard at work, trying to derive meaning from the concepts available to you, even if those concepts cannot yield meaning.

    Such is the strength of man's metaphysical instinct (the search for value and meaning) - finally, after much toil and effort, we arrive at a world view which banishes all metaphysics, yet we try immediately to sneak it in through the back door.

    Tell me, why *should* I care about my genes? Ah, but with that word "should", we are back into metaphysics, and out of the genetic world-view.

    These double-binds and knots that Western thinking has finally tied itself into - if we cannot untie these knots, we are doomed to death.

    Because this talk of genetic transmission will not give us the motivation to save ourselves.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT

    @AaronB So iffen mocks me, and CanSpeccy fumes in silence, with his back to me.

    I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged....

    Its unfortunate. If we cannot even tolerate challenges to materialism, we are without hope.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world, full of faith, replaces us.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 12:57 am GMT

    @Alden There is a theory that Hildabeast attacked Libya on orders from the bankers because Ghaddafi took Libya out of the international monetary system.

    America needs a leader like Ghaddafi, a leader who cares about his own people and nation.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:02 am GMT

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

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

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:04 am GMT

    @utu The anti Catholic propaganda was particularly strong in The Netherlands: "Liever Turks dan Paaps"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liever_Turks_dan_Paaps

    dcite , May 25, 2017 at 1:04 am GMT

    "Childless spinsters are often quite bitter, and most folk psychologists give at least two reasons why, with one of them being bitter about not having children. "

    You sure understand more about the person using certain vocabulary, than the subject they are opining about. Chuckling at the images he's conjuring up. To judge from what I've seen, those "spinsters" probably got more action than most properly married and childed women.
    There are lots of other reasons to be bitter than not having kids. Like having kids you wish you'd never had. Some of the bitterest people I've ever met have been parents. Both kinds.
    It is common to overestimate the desire of women to reproduce. I was flabbergasted at the young women I met years ago who declared with absoluteness, they wanted no children. That seemed so final and I couldn't get why they didn't see the potential in raising super-kids. They said it with absolute conviction and awareness that they would probably not die young and would be old without kids. Today, most are just fine. Most do not seem bitter. Maybe they should for the good of society you want high quality people to reproduce. But these are the very types least concerned, and by and large they are just fine with the situation. What is convenient for the individual is not always good for society; but it does make for a happy individual.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:09 am GMT

    @iffen Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Why would you use birth control if you have an 'instinct" to reproduce?

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:15 am GMT

    @iffen Don't forget about reliable birth control.

    Why would you use birth control if you have an 'instinct" to reproduce?

    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 1:16 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    I do not see why the conscious *I* should give one whit about my genes.
    Doesn't matter whether you see why or not. The genes of those who do care are more likely to be represented in succeeding generations than the genes of those who do not. Caring about such things is largely a cultural matter. Hence, as
    Raphael Lemkin who coined the term genocide explained, genocide can be achieved by:

    a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort.
    That is exactly what the European peoples are exposed to now. In arguing for the Islamification of Europe, through mass immigration you are promoting genocide of the Europeans, for whatever reasons, maybe hatred of Europeans, or maybe it pays - for you to raise a family and thus increase the representation of your genes in the gene pool.
    utu , May 25, 2017 at 1:18 am GMT

    @Alden Better Turks than Papists? That must be why the Netherlands revolt against the Spanish Empire occurred just in time to distract the Spanish from the very important naval war against the Turks which culminated in the Catholic victory of Lepanto which made the Mediterranean and Atlantic safer for Europeans.

    I don't know why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes against the Catholic Church. None of his allegations are true, just 400 yr old enlightenment propaganda. Columbus consulted the priests at the university of Salmonacca. The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right. That's quite an achievement for an anti science religion.

    Once Columbus realized that he could sail that distance he was able to raise funds from the Spanish crown. Of course Dysktra will heap scorn on the scientists of Salmonacca for not realizing the Americas were between Spain and Asia.

    Even American fundamentalists and Jews have ratcheted down the anti Catholic Calvinist rhetoric in the last 80 years.

    AaronB , May 25, 2017 at 1:20 am GMT

    @iffen I get the sense committed materialists really do not like being challenged .

    I love a challenge, more than most.

    Faith failed.

    Case closed.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT

    @MarkinLA I just think Hillary was looking to her Presidential run in 2016 and saw an opportunity to burnish her "foreign policy" bonafides. She thought it would be a cake walk and successful and could then brag in 2016 how she was head and shoulders above everybody else in foreign policy. Benghazi happened and everything was supposed to go down the memory hole.

    MarkinLA , May 25, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT

    @Alden Better Turks than Papists? That must be why the Netherlands revolt against the Spanish Empire occurred just in time to distract the Spanish from the very important naval war against the Turks which culminated in the Catholic victory of Lepanto which made the Mediterranean and Atlantic safer for Europeans.

    I don't know why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes against the Catholic Church. None of his allegations are true, just 400 yr old enlightenment propaganda. Columbus consulted the priests at the university of Salmonacca. The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right. That's quite an achievement for an anti science religion.

    Once Columbus realized that he could sail that distance he was able to raise funds from the Spanish crown. Of course Dysktra will heap scorn on the scientists of Salmonacca for not realizing the Americas were between Spain and Asia.

    Even American fundamentalists and Jews have ratcheted down the anti Catholic Calvinist rhetoric in the last 80 years.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:35 am GMT

    @utu why Jilles Dykstra keeps injecting his trite 1700s diatribes

    I think he genuinely believes it. Several centuries of incessant propaganda and brain washing. In England it was not much better.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 1:52 am GMT

    @Anon So one Jew speaks for the whole group? Does Ted Bundy speak for you?

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 1:54 am GMT

    Hilarious.

    What Progs SAY is a means to cover up what they DO.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/black-farmer-calls-liberal-racism-191552524.html

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 2:02 am GMT

    @Alden I know but the English stopped the anti Catholic nonsense when they stopped attending their Protestant churches. But Dykstra just keeps posting the same old same old.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 2:11 am GMT

    @utu


    restricting immigration on the grounds he advocates
    I think it would be useful to go through all possible arguments in favor of controlling immigration. Why does it seem so that so many arguments are stigmatized and have negative connotations? Different argument will work with different people. Some arguments will fall on deaf ears in the US but might be persuasive in some European countries.

    Cultural arguments (destruction of cultures of both of the host and that of the immigrant, irreconcilable religious and cultural differences)

    Economic arguments (group and individual impact of immigration, who benefits and who does not)

    Legal arguments (sovereignty, ownership of land and country, national home, who can live in it and who can decide if every citizen is a part owner of the country, rule of reciprocity and 1st categorical imperative: what if everybody did this)

    Biological arguments (irreversibility of miscegenation, loss of natural biological diversity)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfxL_wuYtSg

    utu , May 25, 2017 at 2:15 am GMT

    @MarkinLA The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right.

    Uh, no. The Atlantic is about 3000 miles, the Continental US is about 3000 miles and the Pacific is about 5000 miles.

    CanSpeccy , Website May 25, 2017 at 2:29 am GMT

    @AaronB I am not at all arguing for the Islamization of Europe - quite the opposite!

    I was merely pointing out that if we remain self-interested materialists, we will have no really compelling reason to make the necessary self-sacrifice to resist.

    "The genes of those who do care are more likely to be represented in succeeding generations than the genes of those who do not. Caring about such things is largely a cultural matter. "

    So is it genetically determined, or a cultural attitude, subject to change? Since you distinguish between the two, I assume you do not think culture is genetically determined - otherwise the two sentences are identical.

    If it is genetically determined, then the European population is clearly composed of people who do not possess the gene that makes one care about the survival of one's group - and then, what are you hoping for?

    Anon , May 25, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT

    ROTFL.

    The nuttery just gets better and better.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447906/christine-fair-accosts-richard-spencer-gym

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 2:53 am GMT

    @Wizard of Oz You unfairly snipe at SS and JD for some reason. My tecollection is that Steve was brought up Catholic but his genetic father is Jewish. But i can't see in any case why he should be expected to write to your prescription.
    Also you seem to have missed the Derbyshire piece about the Jews in America who still mrntally live in 1880 Russia hiding from the Cossacks.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:13 am GMT

    @utu Various prejudices and misconceptions function in popular culture. Nobody really question them. You can find them in Monty Python.

    Arriving in England, I went from a country where religion was everywhere, but of little interest to me, to a country that had little interest in religion, but still defined me by my purported beliefs. Modern Britain is a country founded in large part on anti-Catholicism.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/aug/22/pope-visit-catholic-prejudice

    And then you have this:

    Although there is a popular perception in Scotland that Anti-Catholicism is football related (specifically directed against fans of Celtic F.C.), statistics released in 2004 by the Scottish Executive showed that 85% of sectarian attacks were not football related. Sixty-three percent of the victims of sectarian attacks are Catholics, but when adjusted for population size this makes Catholics between five and eight times more likely to be a victim of a sectarian attack than a Protestant. (wiki)

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:21 am GMT

    @CanSpeccy


    I am not at all arguing for the Islamization of Europe – quite the opposite!

    I was merely pointing out that if we remain self-interested materialists, we will have no really compelling reason to make the necessary self-sacrifice to resist.

    What is this self-sacrifice?

    What sacrifice is there in closing the door to rape-culture refugees?

    What sacrifice is there in closing the door to H1b visa entrants to the US who take decent jobs from Americans?

    What sacrifice is there to closing the door to people from Asia, Africa and the Middle-East - perfectly fine people for the most part, I am sure - who will take any job that a European has and do the work for a lower wage?

    The only sacrifice you are saying "we" have to make is actually the sacrifice that the greedy globalist shysters such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and all the other billionaire globalist bastards have to make. No more off-shoring of jobs to maximize profits, no more trade deals that override national law, and no more mass immigration either as a source of cheap labor or as a genocidal instrument of national destruction to make way for an undemocratic global governance regime.

    It is the greed and unconstrained ambition of the plutocracy and their paid agents, the Clintons, the Blairs, and all the other bought "representatives of the people," not the materialism of the people themselves that is driving mass immigration and the destruction of the European peoples both racially and culturally. Indeed, it is only through the exploitation of the generosity of a gullible population that the crime of national genocide by mass immigration has been taken to the point of no return in many parts of the formerly European world.

    Alden , May 25, 2017 at 3:39 am GMT

    @MarkinLA The priests calculated the distance between Spain and Asia. They got the distance right.

    Uh, no. The Atlantic is about 3000 miles, the Continental US is about 3000 miles and the Pacific is about 5000 miles.

    Wizard of Oz , May 25, 2017 at 4:04 am GMT

    @Alden Here is the real reason the Jews fled Russia in the 1880s. It was draft evasion. I forget the exact date, but around 1880 Jews got their full civil rights. Unfortunately that included civil obligations such as conscription. That's why the Jews left, not programs, not affirmative action for the goyim, not crackdowns on usury.

    In the foreign affairs/ state department archives of every country in Europe and the Americas are reports from diplomats stationed in Russia that there was no persecution and that the stories about programs were just stories intended to get sympathy so as to facilitate immigration to other countries. That's why the Russian Jews swarmed England, the USA and Latin American countries that did not have the draft. They didn't go to Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Spain because all those countries had conscription.

    Russia's draft was for 25 years which is horrible to contemplate unless one is down and out and desperate for 3 hots and a cot. But the other European countries had just a few years draftee enlistment and the Jews didn't go to those countries, they went to draft free England and America.

    That's why they left.

    [May 24, 2017] All Power to the Banks!

    This is not a new trick, but still it was impressive. Macron played his hand well and brought extreme neoliberals to power using threat of fascism, while his neoliberal views might be even closer to neo-fascism then LePen's.
    "Divide and conquer" and "bait and switch" proved again very effective tools. In other words Macron victory is another neoliberal coup after Argentina and Brazil. Neoliberal zombies do not want to die. The power of neoliberal propaganda is still substantial -- the population can be brainwashed despite the fact that must now understand that neoliberal promised are fake and the redistribution of wealth up destroys middle class and impoverishes lower 60-80% of population
    Notable quotes:
    "... Les Républicains (LR), ..."
    "... In reality, both have adopted neoliberal economic policies, or more precisely, they have followed European Union directives requiring member states to adopt neoliberal economic policies. Especially since the adoption of the common currency, the euro, a little over fifteen years ago, those economic policies have become tangibly harmful to France, hastening its deindustrialization, the ruin of its farmers and the growing indebtedness of the State to private banks. ..."
    "... The most thoughtful reaction has been to start realizing that it is the European Union itself that imposes this unpopular economic conformism. ..."
    "... To quell growing criticism of the European Union, the well-oiled Macron machine, labeled "En Marche!" ..."
    "... The destruction of the Socialist Party was easy. Since the "Socialist" government was so unpopular that it could not hope to win, it was easy to lure prominent members of that party to jump the sinking ship and rally to Macron, who had been economics minister in that unpopular government, but who was advertised by all the media as "new" and "anti-system". ..."
    "... Fillon still cared about preserving France, and favored an independent foreign policy including good Canard Enchainé ..."
    "... These "civil society" newcomers tend to be successful individuals, winners in the game of globalized competition, who will have no trouble voting for anti-labor measures. Macron is thus confirming Marine Le Pen's longstanding assertion that the two main parties were really one big single party, whose rhetorical differences masked their political convergence. ..."
    "... Macron won in part because older voters in particular were frightened by his opponents' hints at leaving the European Union, which they have been indoctrinated to consider necessary to prevent renewal of Europe's old wars. But only the hysterical anti-fascist scare can explain why self-styled leftist "revolutionaries" such as François Ruffin, known for his successful anti-capitalist movie "Merci Patron", could join the stampede to vote for Macron – promising to "oppose him later". But how? ..."
    "... Later, after five years of Macron, opposition may be harder than ever. In recent decades, as manufacturing moves to low wage countries, including EU members such as Poland and Rumania, France has lost 40% of its industry. Loss of industry means loss of jobs and fewer workers. When industry is no longer essential, workers have lost their key power: striking to shut down industry. Currently the desperate workers in a failing auto-works factory in central France are threatening to blow it up unless the government takes measures to save their jobs. But violence is powerless when it has no price tag. ..."
    "... The Macron program amounts to a profound ideological transformation of the French ideal of égalité ..."
    "... Macron is sufficiently Americanized, or, to be more precise, globalized, to have declared that "there is no such thing as French culture". From this viewpoint, France is just a place open to diverse cultures, as well as to immigrants and of course foreign capital. He has clearly signaled his rejection of French independence in the foreign policy field. ..."
    "... Macron echoes the Russophobic line of the neocons. He broke tradition on his inauguration by riding down the Champs-Elysées in a military vehicle. A change of tone is indicated by his cabinet nominations. The title of the new foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who served as defense minister in the Hollande government, is "Minister of Europe and of Foreign Affairs", clearly giving Europe preference in the matter. Sylvie Goulard, an ardent Europeist who has remarked that "she does not feel French", has been named Minister of Armies and Minister of Defense. Clearly national defense is an afterthought, when the main idea is to deploy the armed forces in various joint Western interventions. ..."
    "... Mélenchon ran a spectacularly popular campaign, leaving the Socialist Party far behind (the party he personally left behind years ago). Initially, as he seemed to be taking votes away from Le Pen as well as from the Socialists, he got friendly media coverage, but as he came closer to making it to the decisive second round, the tone started to change. Just as Le Pen was finally knocked out as a "fascist", there is little doubt that had Mélenchon been Macron's challenger, he would have been increasingly denounced as "communist". ..."
    "... La France Insoumise ..."
    "... categories populaires ..."
    "... Marine Le Pen would have tried to enact measures to save French industry and the jobs it provides, provide various benefits for low-income people, withdraw from NATO, and even promote a peaceful world, starting with friendly relations with Russia. She would even have begun to prepare her compatriots for escape from the euro. ..."
    "... A "color revolution" was ready to be stirred up. The deep state is vigilant in NATOland. ..."
    May 24, 2017 | www.unz.com
    A ghost of the past was the real winner of the French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron won only because a majority felt they had to vote against the ghost of "fascism" allegedly embodied by his opponent, Marine Le Pen. Whether out of panic or out of the need to feel respectable, the French voted two to one in favor of a man whose program most of them either ignored or disliked. Now they are stuck with him for five years.

    If people had voted on the issues, the majority would never have elected a man representing the trans-Atlantic elite totally committed to "globalization", using whatever is left of the power of national governments to weaken them still further, turning over decision-making to "the markets" – that is, to international capital, managed by the major banks and financial institutions, notably those located in the United States, such as Goldman-Sachs.

    The significance of this election is so widely misrepresented that clarification requires a fairly thorough explanation, not only of the Macron project, but also of what the (impossible) election of Marine Le Pen would have meant.

    From a Two Party to a Single Party System

    Despite the multiparty nature of French elections, for the past generation France has been essentially ruled by a two-party system, with government power alternating between the Socialist Party, roughly the equivalent of the U.S. Democratic Party, and a party inherited from the Gaullist tradition which has gone through various name changes before recently settling on calling itself Les Républicains (LR), in obvious imitation of the United States . For decades, there has been nothing "socialist" about the Socialist Party and nothing Gaullist about The Republicans.

    In reality, both have adopted neoliberal economic policies, or more precisely, they have followed European Union directives requiring member states to adopt neoliberal economic policies. Especially since the adoption of the common currency, the euro, a little over fifteen years ago, those economic policies have become tangibly harmful to France, hastening its deindustrialization, the ruin of its farmers and the growing indebtedness of the State to private banks.

    This has had inevitable political repercussions. The simplest reaction has been widespread reaction against both parties for continuing to pursue the same unpopular policies. The most thoughtful reaction has been to start realizing that it is the European Union itself that imposes this unpopular economic conformism.

    To quell growing criticism of the European Union, the well-oiled Macron machine, labeled "En Marche!" has exploited the popular reaction against both governing parties. It has broken and absorbed large parts of both, in an obvious move to turn En Marche! into a single catch-all party loyal to Macron.

    The destruction of the Socialist Party was easy. Since the "Socialist" government was so unpopular that it could not hope to win, it was easy to lure prominent members of that party to jump the sinking ship and rally to Macron, who had been economics minister in that unpopular government, but who was advertised by all the media as "new" and "anti-system".

    Weakening the Republicans was trickier. Thanks to the deep unpopularity of the outgoing Socialist government, the Republican candidate, François Fillon, looked like a shoo-in. But despite his pro-business economic policies, Fillon still cared about preserving France, and favored an independent foreign policy including good Canard Enchainé to be revealed at a critical moment in the campaign. The uproar drowned out the issues. To an electorate already wary of "establishment politicians", these revelations were fatal. The impression that "politicians are all corrupt" played into the hands of Emmanuel Macron, too young to have done anything worse than make a few quick millions during his passage through the Rothschild Bank, and there's nothing illegal about that.

    In France, the presidential election is followed by parliamentary elections, which normally give a majority to the party of the newly elected president. But Macron had no party, so he is creating one for the occasion, made up of defectors from the major defeated parties as well as his own innovation, candidates from "civil society", with no political experience, but loyal to him personally. These "civil society" newcomers tend to be successful individuals, winners in the game of globalized competition, who will have no trouble voting for anti-labor measures. Macron is thus confirming Marine Le Pen's longstanding assertion that the two main parties were really one big single party, whose rhetorical differences masked their political convergence.

    The Macron victory demoralized Republicans. Weakening them further, Macron named a Republican, Edouard Philippe, as his Prime Minister, in a government with four Socialist and two Republican, alongside his own selections from "civil society".

    Transforming France

    Macron won in part because older voters in particular were frightened by his opponents' hints at leaving the European Union, which they have been indoctrinated to consider necessary to prevent renewal of Europe's old wars. But only the hysterical anti-fascist scare can explain why self-styled leftist "revolutionaries" such as François Ruffin, known for his successful anti-capitalist movie "Merci Patron", could join the stampede to vote for Macron – promising to "oppose him later". But how?

    Later, after five years of Macron, opposition may be harder than ever. In recent decades, as manufacturing moves to low wage countries, including EU members such as Poland and Rumania, France has lost 40% of its industry. Loss of industry means loss of jobs and fewer workers. When industry is no longer essential, workers have lost their key power: striking to shut down industry. Currently the desperate workers in a failing auto-works factory in central France are threatening to blow it up unless the government takes measures to save their jobs. But violence is powerless when it has no price tag.

    Emmanuel Macron has said that he wants to spend only a short time in political life, before getting back to business. He has a mission, and he is in a hurry. If he gains an absolute majority in the June parliamentary elections, he has a free hand to govern for five years. He means to use this period not to "reform" the country, as his predecessors put it, but to "transform" France into a different sort of country. If he has his way, in five years France will no longer be a sovereign nation, but a reliable region in a federalized European Union, following a rigorous economic policy made in Germany by bankers and a bellicose foreign policy made in Washington by neocons.

    As usual, the newly elected French president's first move was to rush to Berlin to assert loyalty to the increasingly lopsided "Franco-German partnership". He was most warmly welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanks to his clear determination to force through the austerity measures demanded by the Frankfurt budget masters. Macron hopes that his fiscal obedience will be rewarded by German consent to a European investment fund for stimulating economic growth, but this implies a degree of federalism that the pfennig-pinching Germans show little sign of accepting.

    First of all, he has promised to complete the dismantling of the French labor code, which offers various protections to workers. This should save money for employers and the government. For Macron, the ruin of French industry and French farming seem to be welcome steps toward an economy of individual initiative, symbolized by startups.

    The Macron program amounts to a profound ideological transformation of the French ideal of égalité , equality, from a horizontal concept, meaning equal benefits for all, to the vertical ideal of "equality of opportunity", meaning the theoretical chance of every individual to rise above the others. This is an ideal easily accepted in the United States with its longstanding myth of the self-made man. The French have traditionally been logical enough to understand that everyone can't rise above the others.

    Horizontal equality in France has primarily meant institutional redistribution of wealth via universal access to benefits such as health care, pensions, communications and transportation facilities, allocations for families raising children, unemployment insurance, free education at all levels. These are the benefits that are under threat from the European Union in various ways. One way is the imposition of "competition" rules that impose privatization and favor foreign takeovers that transform public services into profit-seekers. Another is the imposition of public budget restrictions, along with the obligation of the State to seek private loans, increasing its debt, and the loss of tax revenue that all end up up making the State too poor to continue providing such services.

    Very few French people would want to give up such horizontal equality for the privilege of hoping to become a billionaire.

    Macron is sufficiently Americanized, or, to be more precise, globalized, to have declared that "there is no such thing as French culture". From this viewpoint, France is just a place open to diverse cultures, as well as to immigrants and of course foreign capital. He has clearly signaled his rejection of French independence in the foreign policy field. Unlike his leading rivals, who all called for improved relations with Russia, Macron echoes the Russophobic line of the neocons. He broke tradition on his inauguration by riding down the Champs-Elysées in a military vehicle. A change of tone is indicated by his cabinet nominations. The title of the new foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who served as defense minister in the Hollande government, is "Minister of Europe and of Foreign Affairs", clearly giving Europe preference in the matter. Sylvie Goulard, an ardent Europeist who has remarked that "she does not feel French", has been named Minister of Armies and Minister of Defense. Clearly national defense is an afterthought, when the main idea is to deploy the armed forces in various joint Western interventions.

    The Divided Opposition

    Unless the June parliamentary elections produce stunning surprises, the opposition to Macron's catch-all governance party appears weak and fatally divided. The Socialist Party is almost wiped out. The Republicans are profoundly destabilized. Genuine opposition to the Macron regime can only be based on defense of French interests against EU economic dictates, starting with the euro, which prevents the country from pursuing an independent economic and foreign policy. In short, the genuine opposition must be " souverainiste ", concerned with preserving French sovereignty.

    Two strong personalities emerged from the presidential election as potential leaders of that opposition: Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen. But they are drastically divided.

    Mélenchon ran a spectacularly popular campaign, leaving the Socialist Party far behind (the party he personally left behind years ago). Initially, as he seemed to be taking votes away from Le Pen as well as from the Socialists, he got friendly media coverage, but as he came closer to making it to the decisive second round, the tone started to change. Just as Le Pen was finally knocked out as a "fascist", there is little doubt that had Mélenchon been Macron's challenger, he would have been increasingly denounced as "communist".

    Mélenchon is intelligent enough to have realized that the social policies he advocates cannot be achieved unless France recovers control of its currency. He therefore took a stand against both NATO and the euro. So did Marine Le Pen. Mélenchon was embarrassed by the resemblance between their two programs, and contrary to other eliminated candidates, refrained from endorsing Macron, instead calling on his movement, La France Insoumise , to choose between Macron and abstention. Finally, 25% of Mélenchon voters abstained in the second round, but 62% voted for Macron – almost exclusively motivated by the alleged need to "stop fascism". That compares with the final total results of 66% for Macron and 34 % for Le Pen.

    That vote confirmed the impossibility of forming a unified souverainiste opposition and allows Marine Le Pen to strengthen her claim to be the leader of a genuine opposition to Macron. She has admitted her own mistakes in the campaign, particularly in her debate with Macron, who beat her hands down with his arrogant performance as the economic expert. But despite her mere 34%, she retains the most loyal base of supporters in a changing scene. The problem for Mélenchon is that his electorate is more versatile.

    Despite his loud appeal to "youth", Macron was elected by France's huge population of old people. Among voters over 65, he won 80% against 20% for Le Pen. Marine Le Pen did best with the youngest age group, 18 to 24, winning 44% against Macron's 56%. [1] According to poll of 7,752 representative voters by Le Figaro/LCI,

    The differences were also significant between socio-professional categories. Macron won a whopping 83% of the votes coming from the "superior socio-professional categories" – categories where the "winners" in competitive society are largely ensconced. But in what are described as " categories populaires ", a French term for ordinary folk, with less education, the vote was 53% in favor of Le Pen. And she confirmed her position as favorite candidate of the working class, winning 63% of workers' votes.

    Note that the "superior socio-professional categories" are where the significance of these results will be defined. Individuals from that category – journalists, commentators and show business personalities – are all in a position to spread the word that this vote indicates that the workers must be "racist", and therefore that we have narrowly escaped being taken over by "fascism".

    One of the many odd things about the latest French presidential election is the rejoicing among foreign "leftists" over the fact that the candidate of the rich roundly defeated the candidate of the poor. It used to be the other way around, but that was long ago. These days, the winners in the competitive game comfort themselves that they morally deserve their success, because they are in favor of diversity and against racism, whereas the less fortunate, the rural people and the working class, don't deserve much of anything, because they must be "racist" to be wary of globalization.

    The fact that Paris voted 90% for Macron is natural, considering that real estate prices have pushed the working class out of the capital, whose population is now overwhelmingly what is called "bobo" – the bohemian bourgeoisie, many of whom are employed in various branches of the dominant human rights ideology fabrication business: journalists, professors, teachers, consultants, the entertainment industry. In these milieux, hardly anyone would even dare speak a positive word about Marine Le Pen.

    What if Marine Le Pen had won?

    Since politics is largely fantasy, we may as well try to imagine the unimaginable: what if Marine Le Pen had won the election? This was never a realistic possibility, but it is worth imagining.

    It could have had one, perhaps only one, extremely positive result: it could have freed France from its paralyzing obsession with the nonexistent "fascist threat". The ghost would be exorcised. If the word has any meaning, "fascism" implies single party rule, whereas Marine Le Pen made clear her desire to govern by coalition, and selected the leader of a small Gaullist party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, as her prospective prime minister. Poof! No fascism. That would have been an immeasurable benefit for political debate in France. At last genuine issues might matter. Real threats could be confronted.

    Another advantage would have been the demise of the National Front. Since Marine Le Pen took over the notorious party founded by her reactionary father, it has kept a precarious balance between two opposing wings. There is the right wing in the southeast, along the Riviera, the bastion of the party's founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a region represented in the outgoing parliament by his conservative granddaughter Marion Maréchal Le Pen. In the old industrial northeast region, between Arras and Lille, Marine Le Pen has built her own bastion, as champion of ordinary working people, where she won a majority of votes in the presidential election.

    This is not the only time in history when an heiress has gone away with the heritage to join someone of whom her father disapproves. All those who want to cling to their comforting hatred of the left's official Satan have trouble believing that Marine Le Pen broke with her reactionary father to go her own way (just as U.S. hawks couldn't believe in Gorbachev). This change owes everything to her encounter with Florian Philippot, an intellectual who gave up on the ability of the Socialists to face the real issues. Marine has the personal qualities of a leader, and Philippot provided the intellectual substance she needed. Marine has decisively chosen Philippot as her advisor and co-leader, despite grumblings by Jean-Marie that she has been led astray by a gay Marxist. Had Marine won, her left wing would have been strengthened enough to enable her and Philippot to scrap the National Front and found a new "Patriot Party". However, by scoring below 40%, she has weakened her authority and must try to hold the troublesome party together in order to win seats in the new parliament – which will not be easy.

    Marine Le Pen would have tried to enact measures to save French industry and the jobs it provides, provide various benefits for low-income people, withdraw from NATO, and even promote a peaceful world, starting with friendly relations with Russia. She would even have begun to prepare her compatriots for escape from the euro.

    But not to worry, none of this "fascist" program would ever have come to pass. If she had won, bands of protesting "antifascists" would have invaded the streets, smashing windows and attacking police. The outgoing Socialist government was preparing to use the resulting chaos as a pretext to stay in power long enough to manage the parliamentary elections, [2] "Si Le Pen avait été élue le plan secret pour 'protéger la République'", Le Nouvel Observateur, May 17, 2017 , ensuring that President Marine Le Pen would be held in check. A "color revolution" was ready to be stirred up. The deep state is vigilant in NATOland.

    Diana Johnstone is co-author of " From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning ", by Paul H. Johnstone, her father. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

    [May 23, 2017] Populism organizing political principle was a moral fight between the common man and a few moneyed elites who exploited the masses for personal gain

    "Universalist Democrat"="Neoliberal Democrats" or Clinton wing of the party.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Rhetorically, universalist Democrats often end up appealing for a party that offers a space for everyone to voice their concerns. Hillary Clinton is a great example of this ..."
    "... Populists, according to Gerring's categories, were the dominant force in national Democratic politics from 1896 to 1948. ..."
    "... Their organizing political principle was a moral fight between the common man and a few moneyed elites who exploited the masses for personal gain. Populists often targeted trusts. They used moral language, explicitly calling policies "right" or "wrong" and believed that the government was the only force strong enough to restrain big business, ensure that the basic needs of citizens were met and bring people into a state of true equality." ..."
    May 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    [ RealClearPolitics ] Interesting ideological formulation:

    "Gerring writes that universalism started to take hold in the Democratic Party in the postwar era as national Democrats shifted away from an anti-elitist, populist message and toward rhetoric centered on unity, peace and prosperity.

    Universalists tend to see abstract concepts rather than specific people or institutions as problems - think of the efforts to stop poverty, end racism or reduce income inequality. Universalist Democrats cast themselves as managers of the welfare state rather than crusaders against a powerful elite, and they often championed the rights and causes of a wide array of individual groups.

    Democrats' focus on LGBT rights, civil rights protections for African-Americans, comprehensive immigration reform, women's rights and more can all be thought of as part of as a universalist commitment to the particular needs of groups.

    Rhetorically, universalist Democrats often end up appealing for a party that offers a space for everyone to voice their concerns. Hillary Clinton is a great example of this" .

    "Sanders, however, doesn't ultimately trace his policy positions to a fight with poverty or for better health care, but to a fight against Wall Street bankers or pharmaceutical companies. His economic narratives have clear and present antagonists . In these ways, Sanders is more of a populist than many modern Democrats. Populists, according to Gerring's categories, were the dominant force in national Democratic politics from 1896 to 1948.

    Their organizing political principle was a moral fight between the common man and a few moneyed elites who exploited the masses for personal gain. Populists often targeted trusts. They used moral language, explicitly calling policies "right" or "wrong" and believed that the government was the only force strong enough to restrain big business, ensure that the basic needs of citizens were met and bring people into a state of true equality."

    [May 22, 2017] Faux populist model of governance

    Notable quotes:
    "... My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are ..."
    "... A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. ..."
    "... Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB. ..."
    "... crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". ..."
    "... A compliant media ..."
    "... This is a toxic mix because it sends the message that neither your vote nor your opinion matters so why waste your time seeking out truth? ..."
    "... a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself. ..."
    May 22, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:10:15 PM | 89

    Anon @83

    I think you misread or misunderstood what I wrote.

    My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are :

    1. A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. They signal their willingness via:

    > forgiving past abuses ("no-drama Obama"; Trump's not prosecuting Hillary)

    > constraining their own power: Obama's bi-partisanship (termed "11-dimensional chess" by critics), Trump's brashness/recklessness that gives his opponents fodder ("tapes" on Comey, etc.)

    2. Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB.

    3. crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". By crazy opposition, I mean

    > Obama: 'birthers' and smears like "socialist muslim".

    Trump: Russia probe; smears like "the new Hitler"

    4. apologists that take as a given that the President wants to fulfill the promises, both spoken and unspoken, that he has made to the people.

    PS I wrote about this on my blog.
    Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:47:50 PM | 90
    And, of course:
    5. A compliant media
    Other considerations: This is a toxic mix because it sends the message that neither your vote nor your opinion matters so why waste your time seeking out truth?
    jfl | May 20, 2017 7:04:53 PM | 92
    in what's termed the second of a series, someone named Jonathan Marshall makes the crucial point about the various 'lobbies' in the usofa ... How China Lobby Shaped America

    In 1949, two members of Congress called for an investigation of the lobby's "brazen power." Rep. Mike Mansfield, a Montana Democrat who would later become Senate majority leader, accused Nationalist Chinese officials - who had fled the mainland for Taiwan that year in the wake of the communist revolution - of diverting U.S. aid to fund political propaganda in the United States.

    Ironically, a timely dispensation of $800,000 from Nationalist Chinese officials in Taiwan to their New York office financed a successful campaign to squelch that proposed investigation.

    ... they are self-funding operations. once the money starts to flow a portion is set aside for kickbacks, bribes, and efforts to protect the mainstream funding itself. it is truly a parasitic operation that feeds on the fruits of its effort on others' behalf, and thus strengthens itself, becoming a stand-alone operation.

    there are tens of thousands of people in ac/dc working in these operations, looking out for taiwan's interests, israel's interests, making sure that russia stays demonized ... all the various corporate issues ... but at base and before all else, looking out for number one.

    a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself.

    with a gang like that at the core of our government what, as they say, could go wrong?

    [May 19, 2017] Centrist Macron Yes, a dead-center insider for global capitalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy ..."
    "... Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. ..."
    "... Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. ..."
    "... Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for." ..."
    "... Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. ..."
    May 10, 2017 | www.eutimes.net

    Everything about France's new president Emmanuel Macron suggests a theatrical production of hype and illusion. He is being "sold" to the masses as an "outsider" and "centrist", a benign liberal.

    In reality, enter the economic hitman who will blow French society apart in the service of the oligarchy.

    At age 39, Macron has been described as a "political wonderboy" and France's "youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte." The former Rothschild banker who reportedly once had the nickname "the Mozart of Finance" is now promising to renew France and bring the nation together, where people will no longer "vote for extremes."

    Fittingly for the Mozart of Finance, the new president used the "grandest of backdrops for entrance on the world stage," when he made his victory speech on Sunday night in the courtyard of the Louvre, noted the Financial Times. His dramatic walk to the stage through the world-famous museum courtyard took a full four minutes. The night lights and shadows played with Macron's unsmiling, stoney face as he strode purposely forward amid the strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy. The choice of the European Union's national anthem, rather than France's, is a harbinger of Macron's political project and the globalist interests he serves.

    The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy

    Geographically, the Louvre is situated midway between the traditional political venues of the Place de la Concorde for the right, and La Bastille for the left. Here was Macron intimating once again, as he did during his campaign, that he represents neither right or left. He has vowed to overturn the bipartisan structure of French politics, creating a new "centrist" movement. Just like his other moniker of being an "outsider," however, this image of Macron is a deftly manicured illusion.

    Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. Now he is to become the eighth president of the French Fifth Republic.

    Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. With his elite education at the Ecole National Academie (ENA) where future French political leaders are groomed, to his precocious elevation in investment banking, followed by his seamless entrance into top-flight government politics, Macron is evidently a person with powerful guiding forces behind him.

    Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for."

    As the Financial Times noted: "At the bank, Mr Macron navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances - an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA."

    After quitting private finance, Macron joined the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande, where he at first served as a "special advisor." In 2014, Hollande appointed him as economy minister where he drew up a draconian program to undermine French employment rights in favor of corporate profits. Macron resigned from his ministerial post only last year when he set up his own political party in anticipation of contesting the presidential election.

    Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. What little is known about Macron's policies is his stated commitment to more stringent economic austerity, promises to slash €60 billion in public spending over the next five years and axe up to 120,000 state sector jobs. He is also setting to drive through more "business friendly" changes in labor laws that will allow bosses to more easily hire and fire employees. He is giving companies license to negotiate increased working hours and lower salaries outside of statutory law. So, the notion that Macron is some kind of benign "centrist" is an insult to common intelligence. He is a "centrist" only in the sense of illusory corporate media branding; in objective terms, Macron is a dedicated economic hitman for global capitalism.

    Whatever one might think of his defeated rival Marine Le Pen of the Front National, she certainly had Macron accurately summed up when she referred to him as the "candidate of finance." Independent Socialist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was narrowly knocked out in the first round of the election on April 23, predicts that Macron will be a "disaster" for French society, blowing apart economic inequality and social contracts to turn the country into the kind of poverty-wage slavery seen in the US and Britain.

    There is sound reason why the French and European political establishment exulted in Macron's victory. He is no outsider, overturning the status quo for a more democratic outcome. He is in fact a consummate insider who will pursue policies pandering to elite interests, at the expense of the great majority.

    Macron's "centrist [sic] victory brought joy to Europe's political establishment," reported the New York Times, while the BBC informed of "palpable relief among European leaders." Outgoing President Francois Hollande – the most unpopular French leader ever – warmly congratulated Macron, as did incumbent prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve and other senior government figures. Macron had been endorsed by Hollande's so-called Socialist Party and the center-right Republicans. So much for his vaunted "outsider" image. Macron was also endorsed prior to the weekend vote by former US President Barack Obama and European leaders, including Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    The irony of such brazen "electoral interference" is of course that this was what such Western leaders have accused Russia of. Again, it also shows that Macron will be a "centrist" in more ways than is meant. He will serve as a "dead-center" advocate of the transatlantic politics of Washington-led neoliberal capitalism and NATO militarism. The French President-elect published a political autobiography earlier this year entitled 'Revolution'. The only thing "revolutionary" about Macron's victory is that the political establishment has invented an image for itself that upturns reality.

    The intense media marketing of Macron as a "centrist outsider" is a coup against the meaning of words and plain language. It is also worth noting that over 16 million French voters abstained or spoiled their votes against the 20 million who opted for Macron. French society, as for other Western nations, is riven by the ravages of global capitalism. And now here comes the "Mozart of Finance" to allegedly bring harmony from the appalling discord he and others like him have sown.

    Source

    [May 09, 2017] France Fear versus Anger by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

    I think the situation in the USA was same but anger prevailed over fear and Trump was elected.
    May 09, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

    Fear and anger dominate the emotions of the French, and today's presidential election will not only signify the predominance of one candidate over the other. It will also illustrate the predominance of one emotion over the other.

    Support for Macron is primarily motivated by fear of Marine Le Pen. Le Pen's support derives from the anger against "the [neoliberal] system" personified by Macron.

    According to the findings of an extensive study published in today's Monde newspaper, almost 70% of French people are today in the grip of fear and 67% of anger at the political system!

    Only 34% profess hope and only 26% enthusiasm when it comes to the French political system.

    It is not fear, as is widely but falsely believed, according to researchers, but anger that impels people towards "extremes", towards "populism", the fashionable term for antisystemic currents. This is what experts have concluded.

    Fear, they note, reinforces calculations of danger and makes people less adventurous in their quest for solutions, and so more conservative.

    [May 07, 2017] Twenty Truths about Marine Le Pen by James Petras

    Notable quotes:
    "... This is why all the economic populists will inevitably be labelled right-wing. The 'left' is incapable of dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism, because the most effective tool of neoliberalism, mass immgration, is now held as utterly sacrosanct by them. ..."
    "... The modern 'left' is totally anti-working class in every dimension. Only they do adore welfare as a form of charity to dull the effects of mass migration (Though it is likely now more an accelerant of it) and corporatists are fine with it because they pay less from tax increases than they make in outsourcing and insourcing. ..."
    "... And the modern left is like this because it is so thoroughly middle class, there are so many reasons for this, but the reality is what it is. So they get confused and ponder why the working class is 'voting against it's own interests'. ..."
    "... The part that irks me the most is their disdain for native working class for various, often exaggerated, PC defects and then praise newcomers who have even worse pathologies. Maybe they don't recognise it, but they hate the native working class because they are of their society and thus a threat whereas outsiders can be safely brought in like strike breakers. (They think) ..."
    May 01, 2017 | www.unz.com
    87 Comments

    Introduction: Every day in unimaginable ways, prominent leaders from the left and the right, from bankers to Parisian intellectuals, are fabricating stories and pushing slogans that denigrate presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

    They obfuscate her program, substituting the label 'extremist' for her pro-working class and anti-imperialist commitment. Fear and envy over the fact that a new leader heads a popular movement has seeped into Emmanuel "Manny" Macron's champagne-soaked dinner parties. He has good reason to be afraid: Le Pen addresses the fundamental interests of the vast- majority of French workers, farmers, public employees, unemployed and underemployed youth and older workers approaching retirement.

    The mass media, political class and judicial as well as street provocateurs savagely assault Le Pen, distorting her domestic and foreign policies. They are incensed that Le Pen pledges to remove France from NATO's integrated command – effectively ending its commitment to US directed global wars. Le Pen rejects the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations. Le Pen promises to convoke a national referendum over the EU – to decide French submission. Le Pen promises to end sanctions against Russia and, instead, increase trade. She will end France's intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine.

    Le Pen is committed to Keynesian demand-driven industrial revitalization as opposed to Emmanuel Macron's ultra-neoliberal supply-side agenda.

    Le Pen's program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France's retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

    Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

    Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.

    Marine Le Pen will reduce migration to ten thousand people and crack down on immigrants with links to terrorists.

    Emmanuel Macron: Macro Billionaire and Micro Worker Programs

    Macron has been an investment banker serving the Rothschild and Cie Banque oligarchy, which profited from speculation and the pillage of the public treasury. Macron served in President Hollande's Economy Ministry, in charge of 'Industry and Digital Affairs' from 2014 through 2016. This was when the 'Socialist' Hollande imposed a pro-business agenda, which included a 40 billion-euro tax cut for the rich.

    Macron is tied to the Republican Party and its allied banking and business Confederations, whose demands include: raising the retirement age, reducing social spending, firing tens of thousands of public employees and facilitating the outflow of capital and the inflow of cheap imports.

    Macron is an unconditional supporter of NATO and the Pentagon. He fully supports the European Union. For their part, the EU oligarchs are thrilled with Macron's embrace of greater austerity for French workers, while the generals can expect total material support for the ongoing and future US-NATO wars on three continents.

    Propaganda, Labels and Lies

    Macron's pro-war, anti-working class and 'supply-side' economic policies leave us with only one conclusion: Marine Le Pen is the only candidate of the left. Her program and commitments are pro-labor, not 'hard' or 'far' right – and certainly not 'fascist'.

    Macron, on the other hand is a committed rightwing extremist, certainly no 'centrist', as the media and the political elite claim! One has only to look at his background in banking, his current supporters among the oligarchs and his ministerial policies when he served Francois Holland.

    The 'Macronistas' have accused Marine Le Pen of extreme 'nationalism', 'fascism', 'anti-Semitism' and 'anti-immigrant racism'. 'The French Left', or what remains of it, has blindly swallowed the oligarchs' campaign against Le Pen despite the malodorous source of these libels.

    Le Pen is above all a 'sovereigntist': 'France First'. Her fight is against the Brussels oligarchs and for the restoration of sovereignty to the French people. There is an infinite irony in labeling the fight against imperial political power as 'hard right'. It is insulting to debase popular demands for domestic democratic power over basic economic policies, fiscal spending, incomes and prices policies, budgets and deficits as 'extremist and far right'.

    Marine Le Pen has systematically transformed the leadership, social, economic program and direction of the National Front Party.

    She expelled its anti-Semites, including her own father! She transformed its policy on women's rights, abortion, gays and race. She won the support of young unemployed and employed factory workers, public employees and farmers. Young workers are three times more likely to support her national industrial revitalization program over Macron's 'free market dogma'. Le Pen has drawn support from French farmers as well as the downwardly mobile provincial middle-class, shopkeepers, clerks and tourism-based workers and business owners.

    Despite the trends among the French masses against the oligarchs, academics, intellectuals and political journalists have aped the elite's slander against Le Pen because they will not antagonize the prestigious media and their administrators in the universities. They will not acknowledge the profound changes that have occurred within the National Front under Marine Le Pen. They are masters of the 'double discourse' – speaking from the left while working with the right. They confuse the lesser evil with the greater evil.

    If Macron wins this election (and nothing is guaranteed!), he will certainly implement his 'hard' and 'extreme' neo-liberal agenda. When the French workers go on strike and demonstrators erect barricades in the streets in response to Macron's austerity, the fake-left will bleat out their inconsequential 'critique' of 'impure reason'. They will claim that they were right all along.

    If Le Pen loses this election, Macron will impose his program and ignite popular fury. Marine will make an even stronger candidate in the next election if the French oligarchs' judiciary does not imprison her for the crime of defending sovereignty and social justice.

    Altai , May 1, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

    This is why all the economic populists will inevitably be labelled right-wing. The 'left' is incapable of dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism, because the most effective tool of neoliberalism, mass immgration, is now held as utterly sacrosanct by them. Thus any salves by the 'left' or 'far-left' (Hi Syriza and your blanket amnesty of illegal immigrants at a time of 40% unemployment in Greece!) will be temporary at best. No amount of welfare will make up for increased unemployment, lowered wages, a lack of housing, a lack of affordable family foundation and ethnic displacement. It makes me sick when I see so-called socialists making energetic campaigns to stop failed asylum seekers being deported.

    The modern 'left' is totally anti-working class in every dimension. Only they do adore welfare as a form of charity to dull the effects of mass migration (Though it is likely now more an accelerant of it) and corporatists are fine with it because they pay less from tax increases than they make in outsourcing and insourcing.

    And the modern left is like this because it is so thoroughly middle class, there are so many reasons for this, but the reality is what it is. So they get confused and ponder why the working class is 'voting against it's own interests'. It's painful to watch. One's ethnic group having a majority and centrality in it's homeland is the most valuable thing imaginable. The wealthy whites who sneer pay an exorbitant tax to insulate their children and raise them among their own kind, but don't ever seem to realise.

    The part that irks me the most is their disdain for native working class for various, often exaggerated, PC defects and then praise newcomers who have even worse pathologies. Maybe they don't recognise it, but they hate the native working class because they are of their society and thus a threat whereas outsiders can be safely brought in like strike breakers. (They think)

    Carlton Meyer , May 2, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

    Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

    watch-v=p_XeQs5n5js

    wayfarer , May 2, 2017 at 5:31 am GMT

    Brother Nathanael, has Marine Le Pen's back!

    jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 6:07 am GMT

    The antisemitism of old Le Pen was just two statements:

    Both statements are objectively true.
    Le Pen's crime is denying the unique holocaust.
    He's not the only one, a USA Indian has the same view
    Ward Churchill, 'A Little Matter of Genocide, Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present', San Francisco 1997
    Ward Churchill, a professor of Boulder university, also fell into disgrace.
    Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

    jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 6:11 am GMT

    @Carlton Meyer Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=150&v=p_XeQs5n5js

    edNels , May 2, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT

    @Carlton Meyer Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=150&v=p_XeQs5n5js

    unpc downunder , May 2, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

    The big issue is why Le Pen's popularity seems to have tanked, even though opinion polls suggest most French people support immigration restrictionism.

    The usual explanation is MSM brainwashing, which no doubt plays a part, but if people are so easily influenced by the media, why haven't they been brainwashed into supporting more immigration?

    In my personal experience, people say they won't vote for nationalist candidates like Le Pen for two reasons:

    1. they're dejected working class people who distrust all politicians (including nationalists) and can't be persuaded to turn up and vote

    2. they're cautious middle-class people who want less immigration but are afraid politically inexperienced outsiders will mess up the economy and social services.

    Anonymous , May 2, 2017 at 10:31 am GMT

    "Le Pen rejects the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations. Le Pen promises to convoke a national referendum over the EU – to decide French submission. Le Pen promises to end sanctions against Russia and, instead, increase trade. She will end France's intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine."

    Do you remember anybody from recent history who also made similar lofty promises, but found himself neutered by invisible rulers?

    France (that hypocrite nation) is a proud part of the western civilisation, which thrives on hegemony. So, LePen-the-cursed will not do anything to change that fundamental world order. Therein lies the rub.

    anonymous , May 2, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

    Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

    True but misleading. Most of those deaths were due to accidentally introduced diseases. North America, in particular, was largely emptied out by waves of new diseases that struck down tribes that had never seen or heard of the white man.

    Yes, there was some fighting, though much of it was factional rather than racial - eg, the abused slaves of the Aztecs sided with the Spaniards for good reason . the Spaniards, at least, weren't cannibals (except in the transubstantiational sense.) Yes, there were a few cases where - after the vast accidental wipeout - whites noticed the disease vulnerability of the natives and intentionally exploited it (smallpox tainted blankets).

    But even if none of the deliberate massacres had been done, the demographics wouldn't look much different - a Europe teeming with starving peasants simply wasn't going to stay put while the recently-emptied North America sat mostly idle. Nature abhors a vacuum and adverse-possession laws exist for a reason.

    Today, of course, whites in Europe and America contracept themselves to extinction and then bitch and moan about Moslem and Mexican invasion . silly people. At least the American Indians didn't do it to themselves.

    Avery , May 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm GMT

    @Z-man Amanpour isn't a Neocon, per say, as she isn't genetically a Jew. However since she married and had an offspring with a Jew and from this interview's tone she now qualifies. lol She is also a beast to look at or listen to. (Grin)

    jacques sheete , May 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm GMT

    @jilles dykstra The antisemitism of old Le Pen was just two statements:
    - the gas chambers are just a footnote in history
    - the German occupation was relatively benign.
    Both statements are objectively true.
    Le Pen's crime is denying the unique holocaust.
    He's not the only one, a USA Indian has the same view
    Ward Churchill, 'A Little Matter of Genocide, Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present', San Francisco 1997
    Ward Churchill, a professor of Boulder university, also fell into disgrace.
    Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

    jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm GMT

    @unpc downunder The big issue is why Le Pen's popularity seems to have tanked, even though opinion polls suggest most French people support immigration restrictionism.

    The usual explanation is MSM brainwashing, which no doubt plays a part, but if people are so easily influenced by the media, why haven't they been brainwashed into supporting more immigration?

    In my personal experience, people say they won't vote for nationalist candidates like Le Pen for two reasons:

    1. they're dejected working class people who distrust all politicians (including nationalists) and can't be persuaded to turn up and vote

    2. they're cautious middle-class people who want less immigration but are afraid politically inexperienced outsiders will mess up the economy and social services.

    [May 05, 2017] Are Populist Attacks on Elites a Dead End ?

    Notable quotes:
    "... In a system rigged for ever-increasing concentration of wealth, identifying whose ox to gore is precisely an important part of making things better. And the higher one goes on the wealth spectrum, the bigger the number of resentful underlings who are prepared to do the necessary ox-goring. ..."
    "... Just Noah being disingenuous, as usual. ..."
    "... That's given (part of his institutional role as a Bloomberg columnist). What is important is his amazingly sophisticated level of dishonesty. In this sense he is simply great: he creatively apply identity politics to the problem that in all times was defined as "class straggle", in which Warren Buffet class is winning ;-) "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." ..."
    "... Note that he never mentioned the term "neoliberalism" and "neoliberal globalization". Still a very creative astroturfing ..."
    "... FDR taxed virtually everyone, by getting Congress to tax almost everyone. Exempt from taxes as a compromise were most blacks and browns and white people trash, but every white workers was taxed. Those taxes mostly paid workers, with some taxes paid to workers without jobs so they could keep paying workers to work as iffy they still had a job paying them money they used to pay workers. ..."
    "... FDR was much plainer speaking compared to today, but that's driven by progressives buying into the majority of free lunch economics sold by the Kochs of the 50s and 60s and turned into mainline by Milton Friedman ..."
    "... "A large proportion of these unemployed and their dependents have been forced on the relief rolls. The burden on the Federal Government has grown with great rapidity. We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers. ..."
    "... "I am not willing [to accept] that the vitality of our people be further sapped by the giving of cash, of market baskets, of a few hours of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves or picking up .papers in the public parks. We must preserve not only the bodies of the unemployed from destitution but also their self-respect, their self-reliance and courage and determination. This decision brings me to the problem of what the Government should do with approximately five million unemployed now on the relief rolls." ..."
    "... And it was FDR who was the capitalist: "All work undertaken should be useful -- not just for a day, or a year, but useful in the sense that it affords permanent improvement in living conditions or that it creates future new wealth for the Nation. ... Preference should be given to those projects which will be self-liquidating in the sense that there is a reasonable expectation that the Government will get its money back at some future time." ..."
    "... I doubt that Jeff Bezos subscribes to the idea that "All work undertaken should be useful..." His business model is to subvert all brick and mortar stores into acing as his exhibition halls so that customer can investigate item and buy it from Amazon slightly cheaper. that's a kind of sophisticated, Internet age, parasitism. ..."
    "... One also can argue that Elon Musk is a new type of Ponzi entrepreneur, using Minsky classification. His ability to repay those loans that he is taking is very questionable. ..."
    May 05, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    New Deal democrat -> Peter K.... , May 04, 2017 at 01:56 PM

    Noah Smith: Populist Attacks on Elites Are a Dead End - Noah Smith

    "The problem with populism isn't that its anger is unjustified -- lots of people are really hurting, and the economic and political systems really are deeply unfair in many ways. It's that the anger is aimed in all directions in a confused jumble of blame and resentment.
    That kind of confused war of all against all is unlikely to yield good results. Instead of an anger-based populism that focuses its energy on attacking some group of elites, what the country needs is a reformist populist movement that focuses on changing the system itself. Instead of thinking about who to blame, Americans should be thinking about how to make things better."

    First response: "yeah, that whole 'French Revolution' thing was useless." / snark

    Second response: "What pablum! In a system rigged for ever-increasing concentration of wealth, identifying whose ox to gore is precisely an important part of making things better. And the higher one goes on the wealth spectrum, the bigger the number of resentful underlings who are prepared to do the necessary ox-goring."

    paine -> New Deal democrat... , May 04, 2017 at 03:34 PM
    Excellent points
    DrDick -> New Deal democrat... , May 04, 2017 at 04:41 PM
    Just Noah being disingenuous, as usual.
    libezkova said in reply to DrDick... , May 04, 2017 at 05:52 PM
    "Just Noah being disingenuous, as usual."

    That's given (part of his institutional role as a Bloomberg columnist). What is important is his amazingly sophisticated level of dishonesty. In this sense he is simply great: he creatively apply identity politics to the problem that in all times was defined as "class straggle", in which Warren Buffet class is winning ;-) "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

    That's typical for neoliberals in general.

    Note that he never mentioned the term "neoliberalism" and "neoliberal globalization". Still a very creative astroturfing

    mulp -> Peter K.... , May 04, 2017 at 03:01 PM
    "You kind of need to get your analysis right. Also you can try many different things like FDR did. Why isn't Noah Smith complaining about Yellen killing jobs?"

    You obviously have no clue what FDR, and his Yellen, Mariner Eccles, actually did, nor the role of the Congress voters elected back then.

    FDR taxed virtually everyone, by getting Congress to tax almost everyone. Exempt from taxes as a compromise were most blacks and browns and white people trash, but every white workers was taxed. Those taxes mostly paid workers, with some taxes paid to workers without jobs so they could keep paying workers to work as iffy they still had a job paying them money they used to pay workers.

    FDR was much plainer speaking compared to today, but that's driven by progressives buying into the majority of free lunch economics sold by the Kochs of the 50s and 60s and turned into mainline by Milton Friedman.

    I never see you saying anything like FDR:

    "A large proportion of these unemployed and their dependents have been forced on the relief rolls. The burden on the Federal Government has grown with great rapidity. We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers.

    "The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.

    "I am not willing [to accept] that the vitality of our people be further sapped by the giving of cash, of market baskets, of a few hours of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves or picking up .papers in the public parks. We must preserve not only the bodies of the unemployed from destitution but also their self-respect, their self-reliance and courage and determination. This decision brings me to the problem of what the Government should do with approximately five million unemployed now on the relief rolls."

    It was FDR who described welfare as the opiate of the masses. It was FDR who called unemployment a moral decay. It was FDR who called government paid work something that sapped individual vitality.

    And it was FDR who was the capitalist: "All work undertaken should be useful -- not just for a day, or a year, but useful in the sense that it affords permanent improvement in living conditions or that it creates future new wealth for the Nation. ... Preference should be given to those projects which will be self-liquidating in the sense that there is a reasonable expectation that the Government will get its money back at some future time."

    FDR and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would all be in total agreement. None believe in or promise free lunches.

    Paying for things has gotten a bad name, but Obama got thing paid for, which is the reason the left and right hate him. The left and right want only free lunches.

    paine -> mulp... , May 04, 2017 at 03:36 PM
    Your axe is now edgeless time for a regrind
    paine -> paine... , May 04, 2017 at 03:38 PM
    The lessons and discoveries of the period 1933 to 1944 Await your careful review
    libezkova -> mulp... , May 04, 2017 at 06:05 PM

    "All work undertaken should be useful..."

    FDR and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would all be in total agreement. None believe in or promise free lunches.

    I doubt that Jeff Bezos subscribes to the idea that "All work undertaken should be useful..." His business model is to subvert all brick and mortar stores into acing as his exhibition halls so that customer can investigate item and buy it from Amazon slightly cheaper. that's a kind of sophisticated, Internet age, parasitism.

    One also can argue that Elon Musk is a new type of Ponzi entrepreneur, using Minsky classification. His ability to repay those loans that he is taking is very questionable.

    [May 01, 2017] Strategies for resisting right-wing populism

    May 01, 2017 | understandingsociety.blogspot.com
    Apr 29, 2017

    A more comprehensive attempt at an answer to the question, why is populism on the rise?, is suggested in the concluding chapter of the volume in an interview with Jurgen Habermas. Habermas calls out several factors in the past twenty-five years that have led to a rising appeal of right-wing populism among large segments of the populations of democratic countries in Europe and the United States. First among these factors is the steep and continuing increase in inequalities that neoliberal economies brought about since 1989. He believes that this trend could only be offset by an active state policy of social welfare -- the policies of social democracy -- and that advanced capitalist democracies have retreated from such policies.

    Second, he highlights the deliberate politics and rhetoric of the right in both Europe and the United States in pursuing a politics of division and resentment. People suffer; and politicians aim their resentment at vulnerable others.

    Third, Habermas emphasizes the fact that neoliberal globalization has not delivered on the promises made on its behalf in the 1970s, that globalization will improve everyone's standard of living. In fact, he argues that globalization has led to stagnation of living standards in many countries and has led to an overall decline of the importance of the western capitalist economies within the global system overall. This trend in turn has given new energy to the nationalistic forces underlying right-wing populism.

    So what advice does Habermas offer to the progressive parties in western democracies? He argues that the progressive left needs to confront the root of the problem -- the increasing inequalities that exist both nationally and internationally. Moreover, he argues that this will require substantial international cooperation:

    The question is why left-wing parties do not go on the offensive against social inequality by embarking upon a co-ordinated and cross-border taming of unregulated markets. As a sensible alternative – as much to the status quo of feral financial capitalism as to the agenda for a völkisch or left-nationalist retreat into the supposed sovereignty of long-since hollowed-out nation states – I would suggest there is only a supranational form of co-operation that pursues the goal of shaping a socially acceptable political reconfiguration of economic globalisation. (Kindle Locations 566-569)
    In Habermas's judgment, the fundamental impetus to right-wing populism was the cooptation of "social-democrat" parties like the Democratic Party in the United States and the Labour Party in Britain by the siren song of neoliberalism:
    Since Clinton, Blair and Schröder social democrats have swung over to the prevailing neoliberal line in economic policies because that was or seemed to be promising in the political sense: in the "battle for the middle ground" these political parties thought they could win majorities only by adopting the neoliberal course of action. This meant taking on board toleration of long-standing and growing social inequalities. Meantime, this price – the economic and socio-cultural "hanging out to dry" of ever-greater parts of the populace – has clearly risen so high that the reaction to it has gone over to the right. (Kindle Locations 573-578)
    So what is the path to broad support for the progressive left? It is to be progressive -- to confront the root cause of the economic stagnation of the working class people whose lives are increasingly precarious and whose standard of living has not advanced materially in twenty-five years.
    But this requires being willing to open up a completely different front in domestic politics and doing so by making the above-mentioned problem the key point at issue: How do we regain the political initiative vis-à-vis the destructive forces of unbridled capitalist globalisation? Instead, the political scene is predominantly grey on grey, where, for example, the left-wing pro-globalisation agenda of giving a political shape to a global society growing together economically and digitally can no longer be distinguished from the neoliberal agenda of political abdication to the blackmailing power of the banks and of the unregulated markets. (Kindle Locations 590-595)

    [Apr 03, 2017] Globalists who express the interests of transnational corporations and world financial organisations vs populists who express the interests of the people in their countries

    Apr 03, 2017 | thesaker.is
    Question: Today we see a growing split of the world political elites. There are globalists who express the interests of transnational corporations and world financial organisations and there is a new political concept, the so-called populists who express the interests of the people in their countries. A vivid example is the election of US President Donald Trump, and there are a number of other political leaders who are seen as fringe politicians in the West, for example Marine Le Pen. Given this, it is not by chance that Russia is seen as a leader in half of the world. Is this view justified? Can we talk about a future victory for one of these ideologies? How would this influence today's world order?

    Sergey Lavrov: I wouldn't call Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen "fringe politicians" if only because they absolutely fit into the principles that underlie the functioning of the American and French states. Marine Le Pen is a European member of parliament and her party is active in the national parliament. Donald Trump has been elected in full accordance with the American constitution, with its two-level indirect system of electing the president. I would not even call them populists. The word "populist" has a negative connotation. You said interestingly that populists are those who represent the people. There are nuances in the interpretation of the word "populist." In modern Russian it tends to be applied to people who go into politics, but do not bear the responsibility for their words and just seek to lure voters. A populist is someone who might promise to triple wages while the budget absolutely cannot support it, etc. So I would rather call them realists or anti-globalists, if you like. Having said that, anti-globalists are also associated with hooligans who try to disrupt the G20 and G7 summits, and so on. Come to think of it, even now that the new president of the world's largest power has declared that it is necessary to think not of global expansion, but of how America lives, the role of globalists will be changing. American corporations have already demanded a reduction in manufacturing in developing countries to move it to the US in order to create jobs there. Granted, this may not be very good news for the consumer because labour is more expensive in the US, so the prices for goods, cars and so on will increase. But this is the trend. In general, President Trump's conceptual slogans during his election campaign to the effect that America should interfere less in the affairs of other countries and address its own issues send a very serious signal to the globalists themselves. Again, up until now the US has been perceived as a symbol of globalism and the expansion of transnational corporations. Those who represent their interests are the huge team that has taken up arms against President Trump and his administration and in general against everything he does, and which tries, in any way possible, to throw a spanner in the works. Something similar things are happening in France where mountains of compromising materials of ten or fifteen years ago have been unearthed which invariably are presented through an "anti-Russia prism." It's been a long time since I've seen such a dirty campaign when at stake are the concepts and ideas of how to develop the state and their country, and a smear war is being waged. We had this not so long ago, and I don't see anything good about it.

    In parallel the global market and the global trade system are being reappraised through the actions and statements of the new US administration. As you know, they have walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and said they would work through regional and bilateral agreements. We believe, though, that the World Trade Organisation which it took us such a long time to join did provide a common umbrella for world trade. Some regional structures could be built into these universal systems so as not to break the ties with the non-members of these regional organisations to maintain some common contact and exchanges through the WTO. That too is now under threat. So, we are in a period of rethinking our approaches, and I don't think it has everything to do with Trump. These changes have been brewing; otherwise the American position on so many issues could not have changed so abruptly. They were long in coming, and the WTO was in a major crisis when the Western countries categorically refused to listen to the leading developing countries on a range of issues connected with investment, financial services, etc.

    I wouldn't say that there are globalists and populists. There are simply people who want to get elected and follow a well-trodden path and preserve the neoliberal structures that are all over the place in the West, and then there are people who see the neoliberalism and permissiveness which are part of the neoliberal approach as a threat to their societies, traditions and cultures. This is accompanied by philosophical reflections and practical discussions of what to do about the problem of illegal migrants, their own roots and religions, whether it is politically correct to remind people that you are an Orthodox or Catholic or whether you should forget about religion altogether. I have said more than once that the European Union wanted to adopt a constitution many years ago and was drafting it. The commission was headed by Giscard d'Estaing and he proposed a very simple sentence about Europe having Christian roots. He was prevented from doing so on the grounds that it would not be politically correct and would insult the Muslims. In reality it turns out that if you are cautious about making your religious roots known you end up not caring about the religious roots of others and the consequences are not usually good. Therefore, at the UN and UNESCO, we actively support all the initiatives that are particularly relevant today: the Dialogue of Civilisations, the Dialogue of Cultures and the Dialogue of Religions. It is not by chance that they have become topical issues on the agenda because they reflect the fermentation within societies and the need to somehow search for a national consensus.

    [Apr 03, 2017] Is the USA entered a revolutionary situation which usually is referred as crisis of legitimacy in English-language literature.

    Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova , April 02, 2017 at 09:22 AM
    Is the USA entered a "revolutionary situation" which usually is referred as "crisis of legitimacy" in English-language literature.

    Looks like it did judging from what MSM write about Trump and his entourage. And anti-Russian hysteria is a reaction of this crisis of legitimacy, attempt to suppress it at least temporary by uniting the nation against the external threat ( and this efforts fall into fertile ground of dreams about Trump impeachment in democratic circles; Russians of Chinese, does not matter -- but the orange menace should be eliminated):

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/fake_news_covers_crisis

    The key question is: Who has the stronger claim to speak on behalf of the people: the president or the majority that opposes his policies?" No automatic mechanism exists within the system to resolve this, and so each side has an incentive to escalate its claim and attempt to seize more power.

    It actually started around 2000:

    Questions of legitimacy certainly do arise if voters would rather not have outsourcing and offshoring, cuts in public spending including healthcare, and cuts in taxes for rich -- but are getting those policies anyway. Global financial oligarchy still pressure for privatization of utilities, healthcare, education, you name it, despite crisis of 2008. In other words, neoliberalism in zombie stage is probably more dangerous that pre-2008 neoliberalism.

    The regulatory race to the bottom (aka deregulation) did not stopped. Several types of regulation-for example, of health and safety in the workplace, terms of employment, product and environmental standards -- have both ideological and political content.

    If voters say: this is not the agenda we elected Trump to implement, democratic dreams about Trump impeachment might become more realistic then inflating anti-Russian hysteria path, the path that the corrupt Democratic Party leadership selected and finance.

    But at the same time Democrats does not really represent the opposition. They are also corrupt to the core (Schumer, Raid, Pelosi are nice examples here) and adopted neoliberalism in essentially the same form as Republicans. They fully adopted such policies as "moderation" in taxes (cutting taxes for the rich and making tax scheme more flat)) and "moderation" of public spending, "fiscal responsibility" and the rest of neoliberal "pro financial oligarchy" program.

    People feel disempowered by global neoliberalism. And that might start to affect the stability of the society soon. In 2015 New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow made this point recently in a commentary on the relations between minority communities and our system of justice. He said that we need a "restoration - or a formation - of faith for all of America's citizens in the American justice system itself."

    http://capcr-stl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Crisis-of-Legitimacy-2.pdf

    See also

    https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/211/44824.html

    [Apr 02, 2017] The Great Recession clearly gave rise to right-wing populism

    Apr 02, 2017 | theweek.com
    Ryan Cooper

    In 2008, the whole world was convulsed by a financial crisis, leading to mass unemployment in the United States and Europe. The initial response was fairly similar in both places, featuring immense public bailouts of ailing banks. But after that, there was a sharp divergence: America generally tried large fiscal and monetary stimulus, while Europe did the opposite with spending cuts and tax increases - that is, austerity - and tight money.

    Though the U.S. stimulus was inadequate, the worst was avoided, and economic conditions improved slowly, surpassing its pre-crisis GDP by 2011. In Europe - and especially within the eurozone, where the common currency became a gold standard-esque economic straitjacket - the result was disaster. So much austerity was forced on debtor nations that they fell into full-blown depression. Greece's economy is worse than that of America in the 1930s - and the eurozone as a whole only matched its pre-crisis GDP in April of last year .

    Mass unemployment is electoral poison, and about every party that happened to be holding power during the worst of it - generally either center-right (Fianna Fáil in Ireland, People of Freedom in Italy) or center-left (the Socialist Party in France, the Democrats in America) - suffered serious setbacks in subsequent elections. Radical parties on both the left and right gained as establishment parties were badly discredited. New fascist parties (Golden Dawn in Greece) sprung to prominence, and older fascist-lite ones (National Front in France) gained strength.

    But Beauchamp barely even references this history, restricting his argument almost entirely to welfare policy. He assembles reasonably convincing evidence and expert testimony to the effect that welfare states increase racist resentment in both the United States and Europe. But he does not mention mass unemployment, austerity, or the eurozone. These are yawning absences in an article purporting to deal with the social effects of economic policy.

    Welfare is one chapter of leftist economic policy, but the first and most important one is full employment. That is the major route by which leftist economic policy can deflate right-wing nativism. Center-left parties often claim to support full employment, but they have manifestly failed to do so over the last eight years, and arguably long before that . (President Obama was plumping for austerity in February of 2010, with unemployment at 9.8 percent .) Fascists organize best in the chaos and misery of depression, as people lose faith in traditional solutions and root around for scapegoats. Is it really a coincidence that the Nazi electoral high tide came at a time of nearly 30 percent unemployment?

    Now, politics is a chaotic process. It takes a lot of ideological spadework to convince people that austerity is the problem, and a lot of time and effort to build a political coalition dedicated to an anti-austerity platform. And sometimes it doesn't work well, as Beauchamp's detailed discussion of the U.K. Labour Party's difficulties since losing the elections of 2015 (on a pro-austerity platform, mind you). But savage infighting within the party is likely just as much to blame for Labour's collapse as leader Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing views. Sometimes political coalitions fracture over personality and internal struggles for dominance.

    Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

    [Mar 30, 2017] Truly populist up politics in the long run reduce financialization, for-profit scams, phara gouging

    Notable quotes:
    "... Centralized bargaining (sector wide labor agreements) practiced by the Teamster's National Master Freight Agreement -- also by French Canada, continental Europe and I think Argentina and Indonesia -- blocks the Walmart-killing-supermarket-contracts race to the bottom. Airline employees would kill for centralized too. ..."
    "... Truly populist up politics in the long run reduce financialization, for-profit scams, phara gouging, etc. etc., etc. Dean of Washington press corps said when he came to Washington (1950s?) all the lobbyists were union. ..."
    "... The center-left are technocrats and don't really believe in unions or economic democracy. ..."
    "... They're all about the meritocracy and so instead of arguing for workers to get organized and political and instead of arguing for a hot economy so labor markets are tight, they scold workers for not "skilling up" and acquiring the skills business want for their jobs. ..."
    Mar 30, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    Denis Drew , March 29, 2017 at 06:42 AM

    STARTS OUT A LITTLE OFF TOPIC BUT THEN GOES PRECISELY WHERE THE AUTHOR WANTS US TO GO I THINK

    Re: Keynes' flaws - Stumbling and Mumbling
    [cut-and-paste]
    Neither rust-belt Americans nor Chicago gang-bangers are interested in up-to-date kitchens or two vans in the driveway. Both are most especially not interested in $10 an hour jobs.

    Both would be very, very especially interested in $20 an hour jobs.

    80 years ago Congress forgot to put criminal enforcement in the NLRA(a). Had union busting been a felony all along we would be like Germany today. Maybe at some point our progressives might note that collective bargaining is the T-Rex in the room -- or the missing T-Rex.

    The money is there for $20 jobs. 49 years -- and half the per capita income ago -- the fed min wage was $11. Since then the bottom 45% went from 20% overall income share to 10% -- while the top 1% went from 10% to 20%.

    How to get it -- how to get collective bargaining set up? States can make union busting a felony without worrying about so-called federal preemption:

    + a state law sanctioning wholesalers, for instance, using market power to block small retail establishments from combining their bargaining power could be the same one that makes union busting a felony -- overlap like min wage laws -- especially since on crim penalties the fed has left nothing to overlap since 1935

    + First Amendment right to collectively bargain cannot be forced by the fed down (the current) impassable road. Double ditto for FedEx employees who have to hurdle the whole-nation-at-once certification election barrier

    + for contrast, examples of state infringement on federal preemption might be a state finding of union busting leading to a mandate for an election under the fed setup -- or any state certification setup for labor already covered by NLRA(a) or RLA(a). (Okay for excluded farm workers.)

    Collective bargaining would ameliorate much competition for jobs from immigrants because labor's price would be set by how much the consumer can be squeezed before (s)he goes somewhere else -- not by how little the most desperate worker will hire on for. Your kid will be grabbed before somebody still mastering English.

    Centralized bargaining (sector wide labor agreements) practiced by the Teamster's National Master Freight Agreement -- also by French Canada, continental Europe and I think Argentina and Indonesia -- blocks the Walmart-killing-supermarket-contracts race to the bottom. Airline employees would kill for centralized too.

    Republicans would have no place to hide -- rehabs US labor market -- all (truly) free market.

    Truly populist up politics in the long run reduce financialization, for-profit scams, phara gouging, etc. etc., etc. Dean of Washington press corps said when he came to Washington (1950s?) all the lobbyists were union.

    PS. After I explained the American spinning wheels labor market to my late brother John (we were not even talking about race), he came back with: "Martin Luther King got his people on the up escalator just in time for it to start going down for everybody."

    Peter K. -> Denis Drew ... , March 29, 2017 at 06:52 AM
    I agree. All of the center-left are like Keynes in a bad way. Chris Dillow nails it.

    The center-left are technocrats and don't really believe in unions or economic democracy.

    They're all about the meritocracy and so instead of arguing for workers to get organized and political and instead of arguing for a hot economy so labor markets are tight, they scold workers for not "skilling up" and acquiring the skills business want for their jobs.

    They enjoy scolding the backward rural and dying manufacturing towns where the large employers have closed.

    The technocrats are running the economy the best they can, it's up to the workers to educate themselves so they can be "competitive" on international markets.

    Meanwhile for the past 40 years the technocrats have been doing a poor job.

    (or maybe a good job from their sponsors' perspective as Chris Dillow points out.)

    DeLong is right about mainstream economics. SWL is wrong. "Mainstream" economics is complicit as the technocrats are complicit.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , March 29, 2017 at 06:53 AM
    Perhaps even DeLong is too much like Keynes and too much the "neoliberal" technocrat to understand why businessmen keep voting Republican even though the economy does better on Democrats.

    [Mar 28, 2017] Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open

    Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    DeDude , March 27, 2017 at 08:35 AM
    This is an excellent discussion of populism and where Trump support comes from.

    http://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/3/27/15037232/trump-populist-appeal-culture-economy

    Peter K. -> DeDude... , March 27, 2017 at 08:39 AM
    "Why Trump's populist appeal is about culture, not the economy"

    Nope. Vox and the center-left are really pushing this propaganda for obvious reasons.

    It's funny that even Sanjait and PGL disagree. Even funnier still that they refuse to talk about it!

    Don't want to give the hippies ammunition when your job is to punch the hippies. Here's the blog post from Krugman on the same subject which they didn't want to talk about:

    "This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

    The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can't be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these "populist" voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won't hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that's what happened.

    That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich.

    In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open."

    Populism and the Politics of Health by Krugman

    https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/populism-and-the-politics-of-health/

    [Mar 26, 2017] They are an American Taliban: I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

    Notable quotes:
    "... The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple. ..."
    "... They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way. ..."
    "... Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects. ..."
    "... US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending. ..."
    "... The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights. ..."
    "... The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media... ..."
    Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    reason , March 25, 2017 at 03:01 PM
    I just read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/25/why-republicans-were-in-such-a-hurry-on-health-care/?utm_term=.590e103e2761

    I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

    reason -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 03:03 PM
    By mad - I mean angry. And at the Republican party more than Trump.
    libezkova -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 05:10 PM
    I like the following comment:

    Farang Chiang Mai, 7:39 PM EDT

    The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple.

    I would love to see this lying, cheating, selfish, crazy devil (yeah, I know I sound a bit OTT but the description is fact based) of a president and his enablers challenged on their Christian values.

    They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way.

    libezkova -> libezkova... , March 25, 2017 at 05:31 PM
    An interesting question arise:

    Are the people who consider our current rulers to be "American Taliban" inclined to become "leakers" of government activities against the citizens, because they definitely stop to consider the country as their own and view it as occupied by dangerous and violent religious cult?

    Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects.

    ilsm -> libezkova... March 26, 2017 at 05:42 AM

    I see the angst over Sessions talking to a Russia diplomat twice as a red herring.

    US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending.

    The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights.

    The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media.....

    [Mar 26, 2017] The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their way of life and standards of living is not new

    Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova , March 26, 2017 at 04:03 PM
    Trump victory was almost 30 years in the making, and I think all presidents starting from Carter contributed to it.

    Even if Hillary became president this time, that would be just one term postponement on the inevitable outcome of neoliberal domination for the last 30 years.

    I think anybody with dictatorial inclinations and promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC now has serious changes on victory in the US Presidential elections. So after Trump I, we might see Trump II.

    So it people find that Trump betrays his election promised they will turn to democratic Party. They will turn father right, to some Trump II.

    Due to economic instability and loss of jobs, people are ready to trade (fake) two party "democracy" (which ensures the rule of financial oligarchy by forcing to select between two equally unpalatable candidates) that we have for economic security, even if the latter means the slide to the dictatorship.

    That's very sad, but I think this is a valid observation. What we experience is a new variation of the theme first played in 1930th, after the crash of 1928.

    The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their "way of life" and standards of living is not new. In 1930th the US ruling class proved to be ready to accept the New Deal as the alternative. In Germany it was not.

    Please read

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

    to understand that.

    Now the neoliberal oligarchy wants to go off the cliff with all of us, as long as they can cling to their power.

    [Mar 20, 2017] As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled

    Notable quotes:
    "... "There's been a real evolution," Philippe Renault-Guillemet, the retired head of a small manufacturing company, said as he handed out National Front leaflets in the market on a recent day. "A few years ago, they would insult us. It's changed ..."
    "... With a month to go, the signs are mixed. Many voters, particularly affluent ones, at markets here and farther up the coast betray a traditional distaste for the far-right party. Yet others once repelled by a party with a heritage rooted in France's darkest political traditions - anti-Semitism, xenophobia and a penchant for the fist - are considering it. ..."
    "... French politics are particularly volatile this election season. Traditional power centers - the governing Socialists and the center-right Republicans - are in turmoil. Ms. Le Pen's chief rival, Emmanuel Macron, is a youthful and untested politician running at the head of a new party. ..."
    "... Those uncertainties - and a nagging sense that mainstream parties have failed to offer solutions to France's economic anemia - have left the National Front better positioned than at any time in its 45-year history. ..."
    "... Frédéric Boccaletti, the party's leader in the Var, knows exactly what needs to be done. Last week, he and his fellow National Front activists gathered for an evening planning session in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, a working-class port town devastated by the closing of centuries-old naval shipyards nearly 20 years ago. Mr. Boccaletti, who is running for Parliament, keeps his headquarters here. ..."
    "... It is not unlike the strategy that President Trump applied in the United States by campaigning in blue-collar, Democratic strongholds in rust-belt Ohio. No one thought he stood a chance there. Yet he won. ..."
    "... "Now, we've got doctors, lawyers, the liberal professions with us," Mr. Boccaletti said. "Since the election of Marine" to the party's presidency in 2011, "it's all changed. ..."
    "... The backlash against neoliberal globalization creates very strange alliances indeed. That was already visible during the last Presidential elections. When a considerable part of lower middle class professionals (including women) voted against Hillary. ..."
    "... As Fred noted today (Why did so many white women vote for Donald Trump http://for.tn/2f51y7s ) there were many Trump supporters among white women with the college degree, for which Democrats identity politics prescribed voting for Hillary. ..."
    "... I think this tendency might only became stronger in the next elections: neoliberal globalization is now viewed as something detrimental to the country future and current economic prosperity by many, usually not allied, segments of population. ..."
    Mar 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. : March 20, 2017 at 09:23 AM
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/world/europe/french-election-marine-le-pen-national-front.html

    As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled

    By ADAM NOSSITER

    MARCH 19, 2017

    SANARY-SUR-MER, France - The National Front's leafleteers are no longer spat upon. Its local candidate's headquarters sit defiantly in a fraying Muslim neighborhood. And last week, Marine Le Pen, the party's leader, packed thousands into a steamy meeting hall nearby for a pugnacious speech mocking "the system" and vowing victory in this spring's French presidential election.

    "There's been a real evolution," Philippe Renault-Guillemet, the retired head of a small manufacturing company, said as he handed out National Front leaflets in the market on a recent day. "A few years ago, they would insult us. It's changed."

    It has long been accepted wisdom that Ms. Le Pen and her far-right party can make it through the first round of the presidential voting on April 23, when she and four other candidates will be on the ballot, but that she will never capture the majority needed to win in a runoff in May.

    But a visit to this southeastern National Front stronghold suggests that Ms. Le Pen may be succeeding in broadening her appeal to the point where a victory is more plausible, even if the odds are still stacked against her.

    With a month to go, the signs are mixed. Many voters, particularly affluent ones, at markets here and farther up the coast betray a traditional distaste for the far-right party. Yet others once repelled by a party with a heritage rooted in France's darkest political traditions - anti-Semitism, xenophobia and a penchant for the fist - are considering it.

    "I've said several times I would do it, but I've never had the courage," Christian Pignol, a vendor of plants and vegetables at the Bandol market, said about voting for the National Front. "This time may be the good one."

    "It's the fear of the unknown," he continued, as several fellow vendors nodded. "People would like to try it, but they are afraid. But maybe it's the solution. We've tried everything for 30, 40 years. We'd like to try it, but we're also afraid."

    French politics are particularly volatile this election season. Traditional power centers - the governing Socialists and the center-right Republicans - are in turmoil. Ms. Le Pen's chief rival, Emmanuel Macron, is a youthful and untested politician running at the head of a new party.

    Those uncertainties - and a nagging sense that mainstream parties have failed to offer solutions to France's economic anemia - have left the National Front better positioned than at any time in its 45-year history.

    But if it is to win nationally, the party must do much better than even the 49 percent support it won in this conservative Var department, home to three National Front mayors, in elections in 2015. More critically, it must turn once-hostile areas of the country in Ms. Le Pen's favor and attract new kinds of voters - professionals and the upper and middle classes. Political analysts are skeptical.

    Frédéric Boccaletti, the party's leader in the Var, knows exactly what needs to be done. Last week, he and his fellow National Front activists gathered for an evening planning session in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, a working-class port town devastated by the closing of centuries-old naval shipyards nearly 20 years ago. Mr. Boccaletti, who is running for Parliament, keeps his headquarters here.

    "I'm telling you, you've got to go to the difficult neighborhoods - it's not what you think," Mr. Boccaletti told them, laughing slyly. "Our work has got to be in the areas that have resisted us most" - meaning the coast's more affluent areas.

    It is not unlike the strategy that President Trump applied in the United States by campaigning in blue-collar, Democratic strongholds in rust-belt Ohio. No one thought he stood a chance there. Yet he won.

    "Now, we've got doctors, lawyers, the liberal professions with us," Mr. Boccaletti said. "Since the election of Marine" to the party's presidency in 2011, "it's all changed."

    ...

    libezkova -> Peter K.... March 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    The backlash against neoliberal globalization creates very strange alliances indeed. That was already visible during the last Presidential elections. When a considerable part of lower middle class professionals (including women) voted against Hillary.

    As Fred noted today (Why did so many white women vote for Donald Trump http://for.tn/2f51y7s ) there were many Trump supporters among white women with the college degree, for which Democrats identity politics prescribed voting for Hillary.

    I think this tendency might only became stronger in the next elections: neoliberal globalization is now viewed as something detrimental to the country future and current economic prosperity by many, usually not allied, segments of population.

    [Mar 20, 2017] Any answer to right-wing populism requires left-wing economics

    Notable quotes:
    "... [Arzheimer] found that the stronger the welfare state, the bigger the gains for far-right parties among the working class. The top third of countries - that is, the ones with the largest welfare states - saw roughly four times the rate of far-right support among the working class as the countries in the bottom third did. ..."
    "... Welfare state policies are the link between economic crisis, unemployment and far right party support. Welfare cuts have increased the insecurity of the European middle classes that are being hit by the economic crisis. This matters because of the implications it has for policy. By reversing austerity, which results in welfare cuts and increases insecurity, we can limit the appeal of right-wing extremism. ..."
    "... The typical model for how social democratic politics would defeat far-right reactionaries rests on the belief that "universal benefits enable a solidarity mindset" while "means-tested [benefits] enable resentment," as Ryan Cooper of The Week has argued. So one would expect that citizens living under social democratic welfare regimes would be more sympathetic to immigrants than those living under Christian democratic or liberal welfare regimes would. ..."
    "... This suggests that less diverging lifestyles between the rich and the poor lead to more understanding towards (potential) immigrant welfare recipients among majority populations. Put differently, in more unequal societies the rich are more likely to consider minority groups deviant, and therefore less entitled to welfare. [Emphasis added] ..."
    "... A 2014 study by Antonio Martín-Artiles, a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Guglielmo Meardi, a professor at the University of Warwick, meanwhile, found that "social protection expenditure and unemployment benefits are correlated with a reduction in social inequality and the risk of poverty, ultimately contributing to the formation of attitudes favourable to immigration." ..."
    Mar 20, 2017 | medium.com

    https://medium.com/@eshhou/any-answer-to-right-wing-populism-requires-left-wing-economics-545e9e214f76#.mohjenx2x

    by eshhou

    Why Zack Beauchamp's piece arguing otherwise is wrong

    Zack Beauchamp of Vox has written an article entitled "No easy answers: why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism." In this piece, he argues that "tacking to the left on economics won't give Democrats a silver bullet to use against the racial resentment powering Trump's success [and] could actually wind up [making] Trump [stronger.]" Matt Bruenig has written about the piece's odd moral implications; I want to discuss some of the evidence Beauchamp provides, and why I don't find it all that convincing.

    There's plenty of evidence suggesting strong welfare states can blunt the far-right

    "A legion of commentators and politicians," Beauchamp writes, "have argued that center-left parties must shift further to the left in order to fight off right-wing populists such as [Donald] Trump and France's Marine Le Pen."

    Supporters of these leaders[, these commentators and politicians] argue, are motivated by a sense of economic insecurity in an increasingly unequal world; promise them a stronger welfare state, one better equipped to address their fundamental needs, and they will flock to the left.

    Against these claims, Beauchamp contends that:

    [A] lot of data suggests that countries with more robust welfare states tend to have stronger far-right movements. Providing white voters with higher levels of economic security does not tamp down their anxieties about race and immigration - or, more precisely, it doesn't do it powerfully enough. For some, it frees them to worry less about what it's in their wallet and more about who may be moving into their neighborhoods or competing with them for jobs.

    His main evidence for this claim consists of a study from Kai Arzheimer, a professor at the University of Mainz, looking at "data on working-class voters, the traditional base of social democratic parties, between 1980 and 2002."

    [Arzheimer] found that the stronger the welfare state, the bigger the gains for far-right parties among the working class. The top third of countries - that is, the ones with the largest welfare states - saw roughly four times the rate of far-right support among the working class as the countries in the bottom third did.

    There are plenty that conclude just the opposite. A 2003 study by Duane Swank of Marquette University and Hans-Georg Betz of the University of Zurich, for example, based on an "empirical analysis of national elections in 16 European [countries] from 1981 to 1998" found that "the universal welfare state directly depresse[d] the vote for radical right-wing populist parties." Furthermore, a 2015 study by Daphne Halikiopoulou and Tim Vlandas of the University of Reading looking at the link between unemployment benefit levels and far-right party success in the 2014 European parliament elections found that across countries "[u]nemployment benefits have a strongly negative and statistically significant association with far-right support." Based off of this, they write in The Huffington Post that:

    Welfare state policies are the link between economic crisis, unemployment and far right party support. Welfare cuts have increased the insecurity of the European middle classes that are being hit by the economic crisis. This matters because of the implications it has for policy. By reversing austerity, which results in welfare cuts and increases insecurity, we can limit the appeal of right-wing extremism.

    Anti-immigrant sentiment and the welfare state

    Anti-immigrant sentiment (which Beauchamp argues is the true driver of far-right support), has also been shown to be ameliorated by stronger welfare states.

    In his 1990 book The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Gøsta Esping-Andersen, a professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain, divided the welfare states of developed countries into three types: liberal, Christian democratic, and social democratic. The liberal category ("liberal" being used in the classical, European sense) includes the US, as well as Britain and Australia (among others)- countries that have relatively small and highly targeted welfare states. The Christian democratic category, on the other hand, is typified by the welfare regimes that exist in Germany and Austria. Falling in the middle between liberal type welfare states and social democratic type welfare states in generosity, the Christian democratic welfare state tends to make less use of means-tested benefits than the liberal welfare state does, but places more emphasis on preserving traditional family structures through benefit design than the social democratic welfare state tends to. Lastly, there is the social democratic category, typified by the welfare regimes that exist in the Nordic countries, which is the most generous and universalistic of the three welfare regimes.

    The typical model for how social democratic politics would defeat far-right reactionaries rests on the belief that "universal benefits enable a solidarity mindset" while "means-tested [benefits] enable resentment," as Ryan Cooper of The Week has argued. So one would expect that citizens living under social democratic welfare regimes would be more sympathetic to immigrants than those living under Christian democratic or liberal welfare regimes would.

    And indeed, a study by Jeroen Van Der Waal and Willem De Koster of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Wim Van Oorschot of KU Leuven finds that the "native[-born] populations of liberal and [Christian democratic] welfare regimes are more reluctant to entitle immigrants to welfare than those living under social-democratic regimes." They conclude that the reason why "the native populations in social-democratic welfare regimes consider immigrants most entitled to welfare [is] because of the low levels of income inequality" as "higher levels of income inequality go hand in hand with higher levels of welfare chauvinism." They then continue:

    This suggests that less diverging lifestyles between the rich and the poor lead to more understanding towards (potential) immigrant welfare recipients among majority populations. Put differently, in more unequal societies the rich are more likely to consider minority groups deviant, and therefore less entitled to welfare. [Emphasis added]

    This point is especially significant given Beauchamp's accurate observation that "[r]ight-wing populists typically have gotten their best results in wealthier areas of countries - that is, with voters who experience the least amounts of economic insecurity."

    "Our results" Van Der Waal, De Koster, and Van Oorschot write, "indicate that strengthening policies and institutions aimed at reducing income inequality can be utilized" to "help in fighting" against "exclusionary sentiments".

    A 2014 study by Antonio Martín-Artiles, a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Guglielmo Meardi, a professor at the University of Warwick, meanwhile, found that "social protection expenditure and unemployment benefits are correlated with a reduction in social inequality and the risk of poverty, ultimately contributing to the formation of attitudes favourable to immigration."

    Additionally, Markus Crepaz and Regan Damron of the University of Georgia found in 2012 that "the more comprehensive the welfare state is, the more tolerant native[-born citizens] are of immigrants," while a 2009 study by Xavier Escandell of the University of Iowa and Alin Ceobanu of the University of Florida, looking at "Anti-immigrant Sentiment and Welfare State Regimes in Europe" found "mean levels of anti-immigrant sentiment" to be "lower in those countries with high levels of public spending in social protection programs." They therefore conclude that "investments in social protection systems seem to have a strong payoff when it comes to reducing prejudice towards immigrants."

    ...

    [Mar 19, 2017] Why Trumpism Is a Global Phenomenon

    Notable quotes:
    "... various European countries have seen a significant rise in votes for populist parties (on the right and left) and a decline in center-left "mainstream" parties. ..."
    "... As a result, most Americans are in debt, most Americans' wages have not increased above inflation, and most of the gains of the past 30 years of America's economic growth have gone to the top 1% of income earners. (And the same trends are true for other Western democracies.) ..."
    "... Blyth points out the famous Elephant Chart by economist Branko Milanovic, which shows the change in real income between 1988 and 2008 for all people in the world: basically, during the past 30 years, everyone in the world has seen a real increase in their income except for the Western world's middle class. ..."
    "... Mark Blyth poses the example of a hypothetical man named Gary who lives in Gary, Indiana, who is emblematic of a typical Midwestern white working-class Trump voter. In 1989, Gary had 10 years in the union at age 30 and was a line supervisor making $30 an hour (real dollars, adjusted for inflation). In 1993, after a few years of losing factory jobs to Southern states, the U.S. passed NAFTA and his town lost a lot of jobs. The town took a huge economic hit. Tax base declines, schools get worse. Gary wound up getting a job in a call center for $15 an hour. 5 years later, the call center moved from Indiana to India. Now at age 58, Gary works for $11.67 per hour at Walmart. ..."
    "... The only person who actually seems to articulate anything that Gary gives a shit about is Trump. And Gary knows that Trump's a buffoon, he knows he's a reality TV star. But Gary has seen politician after politician every four years saying 'vote for me, better jobs! vote for me, more security!' and Gary's life has gotten crappier and crappier. So he has no reason whatsoever to believe a word that they say. So he has a liar on one side, and a bullshit artist on the other. Which one gives you more possibilities?" ..."
    "... However: a sizable portion of Trump's vote-just like Brexit and just like the rise of other populist parties in the UK and Europe-was more of a despairing protest vote, a way to send a message to the political establishment and mainstream media: we don't like what you're doing, this system you've built is not working for us, we don't like the way you talk down to us, and we're gonna throw a brick through your window. ..."
    Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. -> Peter K.... March 17, 2017 at 09:32 AM

    , 2017 at 09:32 AM
    https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/01/trump-is-not-a-fluke-why-trumpism-is-a-global-phen.html

    Trump Is Not a Fluke: Why "Trumpism" Is a Global Phenomenon

    By Ben Gran | January 31, 2017 | 4:25pm

    Where did Trump come from? Is the rise of Trump a fluke, a problem unique to America, born of American reality TV culture, combining 20th century American xenophobia with the worst aspects of 21st century social media into an ominous new post-truth world? Are American Trump voters uniquely racist and stupid and self-sabotaging? Or is Trump part of a broader global trend in politics, where voters throughout the industrialized world are revolting against the established political, economic and social order?

    There was a great lecture (from before the election) by Mark Blyth, Brown University professor of international political economy, about global Trumpism where he discusses how the same factors that are playing out in America are also happening in lots of other Western democracies, driven by populism (both right-wing and left-wing), racism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. For example, various European countries have seen a significant rise in votes for populist parties (on the right and left) and a decline in center-left "mainstream" parties. One particularly powerful example was the unexpected success of the Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union; despite the pleas of the political establishment and most members of the media, a small majority of UK voters decided to leave the EU even though it was widely described as an economically damaging, self-sabotaging, xenophobia-driven, unthinkable decision. Sound familiar?

    Blyth explores the economic factors and argues that Trump's victory should not be seen as an isolated, local "America-only" event; instead, Trump's victory is part of a broader trend where the post-World War II neoliberal global order is breaking down. What will replace it? No one knows. But it's worth listening to Mark Blyth for perspectives on how we ended up with Trump, and how to understand the broader political and economic forces that made Trump possible.

    Here are a few of Mark Blyth's key points on what "global Trumpism" means and how it happened:

    A Brief History of the Post World War II Economic Order

    Ever since World War II, the governments and financial institutions of "the West" (U.S., UK, Europe) have focused their national economic policy on two broad targets-from 1945 to 1975, broadly speaking, the goal was to achieve "full employment." This is part of why the 1950s-60s are looked back upon as a kind of Golden Age for the middle class, especially for people who worked in manufacturing at union jobs with good wages and benefits. And broadly speaking, this policy was successful! But full employment led to inflation-and by 1975, inflation had gotten so bad that creditor classes within these countries (investors, banks, wealthy people) started to revolt, and put in politicians like Reagan and Thatcher who focused on strong anti-inflation policies, and who changed the way that everyday people thought about the economy by appealing to voters' interests as consumers ("low-priced products from China are good! High-paid union labor is bad!") instead of their interests as workers or union members. All of this was good for creditors and consumers, even if it was bad for borrowers and workers. That's where we've been ever since 1975: central banks have fought inflation, interest rates have been low, labor unions have been weak-to-nonexistent, and life has gotten better for creditors and worse for debtors.

    As a result, most Americans are in debt, most Americans' wages have not increased above inflation, and most of the gains of the past 30 years of America's economic growth have gone to the top 1% of income earners. (And the same trends are true for other Western democracies.)

    Meanwhile, during that time, the center-left parties (Clinton's New Democrats, Tony Blair's New Labour, and Germany's Social Democratic Party) have moved away from their traditional working-class base and have become more comfortable hob-nobbing with bankers and tech CEOs and other corporate interests. So where are working class voters supposed to go? This is where left-wing populists like Bernie Sanders and right-wing nationalists like Trump are filling the void in the political marketplace.

    The Elephant Chart

    Blyth points out the famous Elephant Chart by economist Branko Milanovic, which shows the change in real income between 1988 and 2008 for all people in the world: basically, during the past 30 years, everyone in the world has seen a real increase in their income except for the Western world's middle class.

    This is why so many former factory workers in the Midwest are upset about globalization: they haven't seen their lives get better from it; if anything, globalization has made their lives worse. So when Trump promises to "bring jobs back" and raise taxes on companies that export products to the U.S., that message resonates in the Rust Belt states in a way that "the wife of the guy who passed NAFTA" just never would.

    Gary, from Gary

    Mark Blyth poses the example of a hypothetical man named Gary who lives in Gary, Indiana, who is emblematic of a typical Midwestern white working-class Trump voter. In 1989, Gary had 10 years in the union at age 30 and was a line supervisor making $30 an hour (real dollars, adjusted for inflation). In 1993, after a few years of losing factory jobs to Southern states, the U.S. passed NAFTA and his town lost a lot of jobs. The town took a huge economic hit. Tax base declines, schools get worse. Gary wound up getting a job in a call center for $15 an hour. 5 years later, the call center moved from Indiana to India. Now at age 58, Gary works for $11.67 per hour at Walmart.

    As Blyth describes in his lecture, speaking from the point of view of "Gary:" " The only person who actually seems to articulate anything that Gary gives a shit about is Trump. And Gary knows that Trump's a buffoon, he knows he's a reality TV star. But Gary has seen politician after politician every four years saying 'vote for me, better jobs! vote for me, more security!' and Gary's life has gotten crappier and crappier. So he has no reason whatsoever to believe a word that they say. So he has a liar on one side, and a bullshit artist on the other. Which one gives you more possibilities?"

    Trump's Victory was an Anti-Elite Vote

    Yes, Trump's a racist and a misogynist. Yes, he's horrible. Yes, lots of people voted for him out of racist or sexist hostility and wanting to raise a middle finger at Muslims and black people and Mexican immigrants.

    However: a sizable portion of Trump's vote-just like Brexit and just like the rise of other populist parties in the UK and Europe-was more of a despairing protest vote, a way to send a message to the political establishment and mainstream media: we don't like what you're doing, this system you've built is not working for us, we don't like the way you talk down to us, and we're gonna throw a brick through your window.

    But Trump Voters are all Racist ... Right?

    By all means, condemn Trump's racism and sexism. Resist his retrograde agenda every step of the way. But liberals need to be open to the possibility that Trump won not just because of racism and sexism (those voters weren't turning out for the Democrats anyway), but because-especially in a few key Upper Midwest states-Trump was offering a message of aggressive economic populism that the Democrats were not delivering, that was embraced by just enough voters in just the right states (who otherwise might have voted for the Democrat) to give him a victory.

    Trump didn't just happen in America; the political forces he represents are happening all over the Western democratic world. Other countries like Greece and Spain have elected left-wing "Trumpists" but America didn't have one of those choices on the ballot in November.

    If the only lesson that liberals take away from this election is: "48% of America's voters are irredeemably racist and sexist," they're not really understanding the nature of Trump's appeal within this broader context of "global Trumpism." And they'll lose to him again in 2020.

    What's Next?

    Mark Blyth is oddly optimistic about America in the age of Trumpism, especially compared to Europe. He says that America has an advantage over Europe because Europe is bound by the Euro currency, which Blyth says is a "disaster" because individual countries within the Eurozone (such as Greece vs. Germany) have different conflicting political agendas that cannot be addressed by monetary policy. Trump might turn out to be a flash in the pan, a Black Swan event brought on by a one-time bizarre confluence of events and a bad matchup with the Democratic nominee.

    Trump might even have some positive effects, in Blyth's view, because the U.S. would benefit from a more isolationist foreign policy with fewer costly, unending military interventions in other countries. As Blyth says in this discussion on the 2016 election results, if Europe is left to pay more for their own national defense and find their own accommodation with Russia, without relying on American military power, that would not be a bad thing for the U.S. Blyth is skeptical that Trump will actually enact any of his trade protectionist promises, since U.S. voters won't want to see higher prices for their iPhones (imported from China). It's possible that Trump's presidency will be less frighteningly radical than many liberals have feared.

    Aside from Trump's immediate outrages, the broader challenge for America, and the world, is that the neoliberal political order of the past 30 years in the Western democracies is breaking down. We've elected a president who campaigned as a populist, but who's likely going to govern as a traditional Reagan-style "trickle-down economics" Republican. Those Upper Midwest swing voters who voted based on economic populism and "bringing jobs back" are not remotely going to get the populist politics that Trump promised; so the question is, can the Democrats deliver a real populist alternative instead? Will the American Left be defeated by Trumpism, or can they co-opt Trump's appeal to the middle-class and working-class, and create a new politics that truly speaks to the concerns of the people who have been left behind by globalization and our new era of wealth inequality?

    sanjait -> Peter K.... , March 17, 2017 at 09:54 AM
    tl:dr.
    Peter K. -> sanjait... , March 17, 2017 at 01:03 PM
    the short version is that the failure of neoliberalists such as yourself to provide an economy with shared prosperity has led to the rise of the populist right across the globe.

    You really need to go back and study the 1920s and 1930s. History is repeating itself.

    [Mar 19, 2017] The Great Recession clearly gave rise to right-wing populism

    Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. : March 18, 2017 at 06:49 AM , 2017 at 06:49 AM
    Sanjait says it was social media.

    http://theweek.com/articles/685813/great-recession-clearly-gave-rise-rightwing-populism

    March 15, 2017

    The Great Recession clearly gave rise to right-wing populism

    by Ryan Cooper

    at's to blame for the resurgence of racist right-wing populism? Since the election of President Trump, the American left has been consumed with this question, with leftists blaming the failures of neoliberal economic policy and liberals leaning more on cultural explanations.

    Over at Vox, Zack Beauchamp has an entry in this debate on the latter side. He argues that left-wing economic policy actually causes people to be more racist, largely because welfare states tend to disproportionately benefit poor minorities and immigrants, and hence raise resentment among whites. But his account of economics is jarringly incomplete - in particular, skipping almost entirely over the financial collapse of 2008, the ensuing plague of austerity, and the ongoing eurozone currency crisis. And this provides by far the strongest evidence for the leftist case.

    Let's review. In 2008, the whole world was convulsed by a financial crisis, leading to mass unemployment in the United States and Europe. The initial response was fairly similar in both places, featuring immense public bailouts of ailing banks. But after that, there was a sharp divergence: America generally tried large fiscal and monetary stimulus, while Europe did the opposite with spending cuts and tax increases - that is, austerity - and tight money.

    Though the U.S. stimulus was inadequate, the worst was avoided, and economic conditions improved slowly, surpassing its pre-crisis GDP by 2011. In Europe - and especially within the eurozone, where the common currency became a gold standard-esque economic straitjacket - the result was disaster. So much austerity was forced on debtor nations that they fell into full-blown depression. Greece's economy is worse than that of America in the 1930s - and the eurozone as a whole only matched its pre-crisis GDP in April of last year.

    Mass unemployment is electoral poison, and about every party that happened to be holding power during the worst of it - generally either center-right (Fianna Fáil in Ireland, People of Freedom in Italy) or center-left (the Socialist Party in France, the Democrats in America) - suffered serious setbacks in subsequent elections. Radical parties on both the left and right gained as establishment parties were badly discredited. New fascist parties (Golden Dawn in Greece) sprung to prominence, and older fascist-lite ones (National Front in France) gained strength.

    But Beauchamp barely even references this history, restricting his argument almost entirely to welfare policy. He assembles reasonably convincing evidence and expert testimony to the effect that welfare states increase racist resentment in both the United States and Europe. But he does not mention mass unemployment, austerity, or the eurozone. These are yawning absences in an article purporting to deal with the social effects of economic policy.

    Welfare is one chapter of leftist economic policy, but the first and most important one is full employment. That is the major route by which leftist economic policy can deflate right-wing nativism. Center-left parties often claim to support full employment, but they have manifestly failed to do so over the last eight years, and arguably long before that. (President Obama was plumping for austerity in February of 2010, with unemployment at 9.8 percent.) Fascists organize best in the chaos and misery of depression, as people lose faith in traditional solutions and root around for scapegoats. Is it really a coincidence that the Nazi electoral high tide came at a time of nearly 30 percent unemployment?

    Now, politics is a chaotic process. It takes a lot of ideological spadework to convince people that austerity is the problem, and a lot of time and effort to build a political coalition dedicated to an anti-austerity platform. And sometimes it doesn't work well, as Beauchamp's detailed discussion of the U.K. Labour Party's difficulties since losing the elections of 2015 (on a pro-austerity platform, mind you). But savage infighting within the party is likely just as much to blame for Labour's collapse as leader Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing views. Sometimes political coalitions fracture over personality and internal struggles for dominance.

    What's more, Beauchamp doesn't mention other cases where organizing has been more successful, such as Greece or Spain, where parties that didn't even exist before the crisis have leaped to the front rank of politics. In Greece, the center-left PASOK has all but ceased to exist, while the left-wing Syriza actually won in 2015 very obviously because of their anti-austerity platform (the fact that they later were prevented from implementing it at economic knifepoint by eurozone elites notwithstanding). Now, the fascists are the only credible anti-austerity party left in that beleaguered country.

    It's perfectly plausible - obvious even - to say that immigration or more welfare can lead to a racist backlash, especially if you means-test benefit policy to restrict it to disproportionately minority poor people only, as American liberals tend to do. But it simply beggars belief to argue that running on full employment and an end to austerity in a time of depression is a guaranteed loser.

    [Feb 19, 2017] The 2016 election was part Mad Magazine What, me Worry?

    Feb 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 07:41 AM
    'Obama and others have handed him (Trump) a pretty well functioning economy'...not the only way that Obama set the table for Trump. We also have a terrifying NSA to thank Obama for. With SCOTUS in hand, all the pieces are in place for a police state.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> JohnH... , February 18, 2017 at 07:56 AM
    I am not that worried yet. The 2016 election was part Mad Magazine "What, me Worry?" And the other part was "What Hillary? You got to be kidding me!"

    It was also a backlash reaction to globalization and persistently low wages, both accumulating over a long time now. There are a lot of kinds of backlash and we have the potential for all of them in our American diversity. Which one will be next?

    ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM
    I am less worried now we got Trump and not apparatchik (experienced in deep state and catering to Jihadis) Clinton.
    ilsm -> JohnH... , February 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM
    The faux librul side is all Joe McCarthy phony red scaring and surveillance of the opposition activists sort of like what Army Intell did to hippies protesting the liberals' debacle in Southeast Asia.

    Deep state surveillance and trashing the Bill of Rights is a legacy of the past 8 years.

    Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 18, 2017 at 07:58 AM
    There was also the unprecedented austerity forced on the economy by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    The Obama years were worse for some people than the Bush years even if the numbers look pretty good today. That's partly why Trump won.

    8 years of 1.7 averaged annual growth? I think Rosser is suffering from the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 07:59 AM
    But the stock market is up, so, hey all good!
    Barkley Rosser -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 09:53 AM
    There is no question that at least some policies Trump is proposing will boost corporate profits at least in the short run. Not irrational at all for stock market to be up, especially backed up for now by steadily growing non-inflationary economy that Trump has inherited.

    And you thought you were being ironic, didn't you, Peter K.? :-)

    Peter K. -> Barkley Rosser ... , February 18, 2017 at 10:32 AM
    lol well I agree with Larry Summers that it's mostly a "sugar high."

    :>)

    ilsm -> Peter K.... , February 18, 2017 at 12:29 PM
    As a predictor the Dow and S&P are up til they are down.......

    [Feb 15, 2017] Americans arent as attached to democracy as you might think

    Notable quotes:
    "... Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. ..."
    "... Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess. ..."
    "... Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards. ..."
    "... On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time. ..."
    "... What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other. ..."
    Feb 15, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
    Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. Essentially can be be used as another form of lie and propganada

    Lawrence Douglas

    But, the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

    It is tempting to attribute this difference between Trump supporters and others simply to the fact that the president's supporters prefer a more authoritarian style of government, prioritize social order, like strong rulers, and worry about maintaining control in a world they perceive to be filled with threats and on the verge of chaos.


    As the PPP's survey reveals, Trump is appealing to a remarkably receptive audience in his attempts to rule by decree – and many are no longer attached to the rule of law and/or democracy. Other studies confirm these findings. One such study found a dramatic decline in the percentage of people who say it is "essential" to live in a democracy.

    When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how "essential" it is for them "to live in a democracy," 72% of Americans born before World War II check "10," the highest value. But, the millennial generation (those born since 1980) "has grown much more indifferent." Less than 1 in 3 hold a similar belief about the importance of democracy.

    And, the New York Times reports that while 43% of older Americans thought it would be illegitimate for the military to take power if civilian government was incompetent, only 19% of millennials agreed.

    While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences, they have come of age in a time of political paralysis in democratic institutions, declining civility in democratic dialogue, and dramatically increased anxiety about economic security.

    These findings suggest that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy. That's why, while President Trump's behavior has riveted the media and the public, our eyes should not only be focused on him but on this larger – and troubling - trend.

    If the rule of law and democracy are to survive in America we will need to address the decline in the public's understanding of, and support for both. While we celebrate the Ninth Circuit's decision on Trump's ban, we also must initiate a national conversation about democracy and the rule of law. Civics education, long derided, needs to be revived.

    Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable. Defenders of democracy and the rule of law must take their case to the American people and remind them of the Founders' admonition that: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

    We need to remember that our freedom from an arbitrary or intrusive government depends on the rule of law and a functioning democracy. We need to rehabilitate both – before this crisis of faith worsens.

    Austin Sarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College

    , greatapedescendant , 11 Feb 2017 11:29

    "There is much to celebrate in the court decision against President Trump's immigration ban. It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."

    A stirring victory of the rule of law? Hardly. More like an extraordinary act of politicised justice. And an orchestrated one at that. In my opinion that is, and as I see it at this point in time and from what I am able to discern.

    No. I do not see not see any stirring victories for the rule of law here here. Certainly no courage of truth or justice. Nor, as it happens, do I like this travel ban. Nevertheless, the court's ruling seems to me to be wrong since the constitution gives the president the power to enforce blanket bans against countries believed to pose a threat.

    I cannot see how the ban could justifiably be said to be aimed specifically at Muslims since it does not concern some 90 percent of the world's Muslim population. So it looks very much like a political decision from the 9th Circuit Court – and now San Francisco - in a tug of war between Democrats and Republicans.

    I am somehow reminded of the final "Yes we can" in Obama's farewell speech and of a sore loser – the vindictive Mrs Clinton. Some smooth transfer of power.

    The very fact that expert analysts are already sizing up what will be the Supreme Court's decision in terms of breaking the stalemate between 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats provides a perfect illustration of the politicisation of the judiciary at the highest level. Compatibly with this, Democrats are continuing to block Gorsuch's nomination.

    And compatibly with this the illusion of salutary Rawlsian** apolitical amnesiacs on the part of the judiciary disperses like Scotch mist.

    Somehow I have a clear mental picture of a newspaper editor, no one in particular, sitting back in his chair with a smug smile 'Look how we managed to swing that one', I hear him say. The principal protagonists here, overshadowing the US lawcourts, are the mainstream media. A power never to be underestimated, especially when the choir is singing in full maledictory and mephitic unison.

    **The reference is to A Theory of Justice, the monumental work on philosophy of law by John Rawls. It casts damning light on judicial impartiality by focusing on distorting criteria affecting juries. Worth reading in the context of attacks on the impartiality of the judiciary in US lawcourts taking place right now. And also in the wake of recent attacks on the judiciary in Britain over Brexit.

    , sam0412 imperium3 , 11 Feb 2017 11:53
    This,

    Interesting that Clinton's 52% is regarded as a God-given mandate where as the 52% for Leave is unfair as the voters were "too old/uneducated/outside London"

    In both campaigns if more people my age (26) had actually bothered to vote then the results would probably be very different.

    , Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 11:34

    Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

    But that is an utterly assinine question to ask anyone!

    "Making decisions for the United States" suggests setting policy. The judges Trump is so angry with aren't making policy decisions, they are interpreting the laws that already exist.

    Laws without and independent judiciary are not laws at all, they are just whims of whoever or whatever is in power. Might as well ask people do you prefer to live in a country that follows its laws or do you want to live at the whim of an irrational despot with irresponsible power who can do whatever the hell he pleases.

    This survey is clearly a case of garbage in garbage out. Which is a pity, because the subject is an important one.

    , LithophaneFurcifera Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
    In a common law system, like those of Britain and the US, judges do make law. If there is no relevant legislation and no precedent, the judge is required to make new law in order to rule on the case, which will then be cited as precedent by future courts. In a civil law system, like those of continental Europe, judges merely interpret (and generalise, where necessary) the rules set out in statutes and codes, and have less scope to innovate.

    Of course, the recent case over Trump's immigration plans has been based on interpretations of the constitution though, but even interpretations are political (hence why the balance of power between liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court is considered such a big issue).

    , Veryumble , 11 Feb 2017 11:35
    After nearly 40 years of corporate, lobbyist controlled politics, it's little surprise the younger generation have no faith in democracy. What on earth is the point in voting for two shades of the same shit?
    , YoungMrP , 11 Feb 2017 11:36
    You could argue that the US has never been a democracy. It is a strange democracy that allowed slavery, or the later segregation in the south, or that has systematically overlooked the rust belt taking all the gold for the liberal coasts.

    It seems democracy is simply a way of deciding who the dictator should be. Not unlike the U.K. Either.

    , YoungMrP therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:15
    If you were black in Alabama in the early 60s I don't think you would have enjoyed any more freedom, respect or control than your Russian counterpart at that time
    , jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:38
    democracy is, of course, the best form of governance but in practice we see it benefit the wealthy who unhindered can rob
    the poor, only a socialist government can
    usher in a true government to do so it may
    be needed to have an authoritarian regime
    , Cape7441 jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
    True socialism is a form of government which sounds wonderful in theory. In practice it has never successfully worked anywhere in the world. It does not take account of human nature.
    , Captain_Smartypants jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
    Sorry but in the authoritarian nominatively socialist governments of the past the poor were as robbed off the fruit of their labour and their dignity as they are today.
    , BonzoFerret , 11 Feb 2017 11:39
    It's effectively a FPTP system that means you have a choice from only two parties. Even if someone could challenge they'd need to be a billionaire to do so. America is no democracy.
    , Andy Wong Ming Jun therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:22
    Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe. Neither was Franco's Spain. Looking in other areas of the globe and further away from the West, what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?
    , therebythegrace Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:14

    Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe

    Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, it's in very poor taste.

    My parents grew up in Nazi Germany. Yes, it was a zillion times worse. Political opponents were routinely murdered. There was no rule of law. Minorities, gay people etc were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, expelled.

    WTF are on you on about?

    , Metreemewall Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:50
    Clueless.

    Germany was broke, following their defeat in WWI; people were poor, humiliated,insecure and frightened for the future. In other words, the classic breeding ground for demagogues and extremists.

    After WWII, the Allies had learned their lesson and made sure that Germany should, for everyone's security, be helped to prosper.

    , Wehadonebutitbroke Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 16:05
    what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?

    The Friemanite right adored him and many of his equally repressive and dictatorial successors (just as they did Pinochet, Suharto (deemed by Transparency International to be the most corrupt leader in modern history to boot) and endless South American juntas etc).

    Every one else saw him for what he was - an authoritarian who had political opponents tortured and killed and who banned any form of protest.

    , John Favre praxismakesperfec , 11 Feb 2017 16:11

    And is it particularly surprising that Trump voters tend towards anti democratic authoritarianism?

    My dad and two of my brothers voted for Trump. Like most Americans, they detest authoritarian governments. I sincerely doubt you know any Trump voters - let alone ones who favor authoritarianism.

    , fauteuilpolitique , 11 Feb 2017 11:42
    How to misdirect readers with a BUT :

    In a cross-section of Americans, only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges, and 9% were undecided.

    But , the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

    The results are significantly the same, the But implies something different.

    , Paul B tenthenemy , 11 Feb 2017 13:32
    besides, the results are *not* significantly the same. Fauteuil's first sentence suggests that 53% (more than a Brexit majority, hence Will of the People) of Americans support the judiciary over the presidency. In contrast, a majority of Trump supporters, not unnaturally, take the opposite view.
    , sewollef , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
    Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend.

    So let's break this down: 51% of Trump supporters think he can do what he pleases. 51% means one quarter of those who voted in the US general election.

    If we estimate that only two-thirds of the electorate voted, that means in reality, probably less than 16% of total potential voters think this way.

    Not so dramatic now is it?

    , bananacannon , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
    Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess.

    Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards.

    , Jympton , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
    On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time.
    , therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 11:46
    Sad that a new, stupid generation have to learn the truth of Churchill's dictum that 'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

    Sincerely hope for all of us that they don't have to learn this the hard way.

    I say this speaking as someone whose parents fled Nazi Germany, and who also spent time with relatives in the former East Germany prior to the wall coming down. Life under a dictatorship, whether of the right or left, is no picnic.

    , wikiwakiwik olderiamthelessiknow , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
    'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

    But is it democracy's fault when the option as to which kind of government we can choose is so narrow? Scary as it may sound, I think that the majority of young people would swap democracy just for some stability & safety. But what they fail to realize is that it's not democracy that's at the fault - but our form of capitalism. Look what happened in Russian when the wall came down & the free market rushed in & totally screwed over the ordinary Russian. Putin was, to some extent, a reaction to this. His strong man image was something they thought would help them. What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other.

    , NadaZero , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
    "Democracy is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten, because that history has yet to be enacted." --Walt Whitman
    , EpicHawk , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
    Laws aren't final, they evolve with the needs of society. While I support this decidion I find all of this a bit silly and typical of that strange world.. "this is the law, therefor blabla.." I don't get why people even decide to study it in university. Most law students are like : "Yeah I don't know what to pick. Lets do Law, it'll give me a good job". Empty stuff really..
    , Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
    Can someone please explain how the court has over ruled the executive order? From what I understand it's because it would harm some Americans - but does that mean using the same logic courts can undo tax increases, spending cuts, changes in abortion law? Or if the travel ban was instead passed by congress it would then be beyond the remit of judges?
    , Brexit_to_Democracy Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
    And guns!! Surely judges could determine the second amendment can lead to a lot of harm?!
    , referendum Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 12:21
    One example given was schools. Banning students from state universities, or professors, by preventing them from entering the country, was damaging to the schools capacity to earn money ( in tuition fees) and provide state education. Then there was the example of forcibly separating families.

    But this part of the ruling does not exist on it's own, it goes together with another part of the ruling, which was that there was no good reason for this action, since the Government had failed to provide that any person from any of these countries was a threat - which was the reason given in the executive order. For this and other reasons the Executive order was deemed to be not legally enforceable.

    Another problem is that this was an executive order, just a piece of paper signed by Trump, and the President does not have sole authority to make laws, there is also the judiciary and legislative branches - the courts and congress. If the travel ban had been passed by congress then the courts would probably have not been able to overturn it. In this game of stone scissors paper, the executive doesn't beat the other two - it needs one of them to rubber-stamp the decision if challenged. The argument that a presidential order should be all powerful and must be obeyed regardless of whether it was legal or not, was deemed by the judges to be anti constutional and thrown out of court.

    The other examples you give of tax increases or spending cuts or abortion might indeed cause harm, but providing they are not anti-constitutional, and they get through congress, and are not illegal, the harm wouldn't be taken into account.

    , Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
    I would not have voted for Trump. I would not have voted for quite a few American Presidents before him either.
    But the hyperbole about Trump is being overdone.
    The USA is one of the oldest democracies on earth, and, one of only ten nations that have lasted as democracies for more than a century.
    By overstating Trump's impact, you are not helping.
    , mondopinion Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 12:12
    It is actually a kind of hysteria. I remember Senator McCarthy's communist hysteria, and also the marijuana hysteria which swept through schools when I was a child in the 1950s.
    , Tongariro1 , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
    I'm a little surprised that there seems to be less debate in the USA about the electoral college for the presidency than I thought likely. Of course, the electoral college is a completely redundant if it never leads to a different result from a straightforward popular vote. As I understand it, the electoral college is designed to ensure that smaller states have a voice greater than their population size alone would deliver.

    But in a nationwide poll, on a binary issue, such as the election of the president or Brexit, I would have thought that each vote should count equally. SNP supporters might differ in this view, as would presumably US Democratic Party supporters.

    , unclestinky , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.- H. L. Mencken.

    Working so far.

    , MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:49

    Public support for the rule of law and democracy can no longer be taken for granted.


    "no longer"?

    There was a mysterious absence of support for the rule of law when Obama used drones to extrajudicially assassinate American citizens.

    , MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

    Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." In this cross-section of Americans, 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges. 9% were undecided.

    This means absolutely nothing regarding whether people support democracy and the rule of law.

    Were the results about Obama, the very same result would probably be interpreted as racism by the liberal media.

    , innnn , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
    Another poll from Public Polling Policy says that by a margin of 51/23 Trump supporters agree that the Bowling Green massacre shows that Trump's travel ban is a good idea.

    That's shows what you're up against and also why both Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer 'misspeak' so often.

    , cidcid , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

    A new national survey suggests that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy

    Dear Austin, let me educate you a bit about the basics. The rule of law and democracy cannot both exist simultaneously in one society. The former has never been an American tradition. Read Tocqueville.

    The rule of law is characteristic of a totalitarian state where it is enforced by civil servant. The basic principle of such a state were described by Shang Yang 2400 years ago: a civil servant obeys the law, regardless of the will of his superior. Everyone obeys the law from top to bottom.

    In democracy people are judged by courts of jury. Which rule as they like, representing the public opinion, not the written law. Constitution doesn't exist either. Teddy Roosevelt explained when asked if his orders are constitutional: "The constitution was created for the people, not the people for the constitution".

    One nice example: the famous "Affirmative Action". It is obviously inconsistent with the most basic constitutional principle, that people are born equal. But it existed because the public didn't mind.

    , MathiasWeitz , 11 Feb 2017 11:52
    It makes me really wonder if americans (and other nations) are feeling something like a 'weimar' moment, when the germans in 1933 lost trust in their very young democracy after living for years under economic hardship and political pariah.
    There is so much that resembles the nazi-era, this xenophobia, that started with a slow decay of civil rights, the erosion of check and balances without the need to change the constitution.
    When we are heading for the similar kind of fascism like germany eighty years ago, at what point people should be held responsible for making a stand ?
    , MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:54

    Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable.

    Agreed. Special emphasis should be placed on accepting the results of elections, there appears to have been a recent surge in undemocratic sentiment on that front.

    , MrHubris MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:57
    How about special emphasis on debunking lies from people like the cowardly, liar Trump? Share Facebook Twitter
    , therebythegrace MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 12:48
    Are you confusing "accepting the results of elections' with 'denying people the right to peacefully protest'?

    If so, I think you are the one who could do with going back to the fundamentals and learning about what democracy entails.

    Share Facebook Twitter
    , eltonbraces MrHubris , 11 Feb 2017 12:50
    Perhaps sweet, caring, sharing Hillary could visit and put them straight.
    , CortoL , 11 Feb 2017 11:54
    Democracy? What democracy? Share Facebook Twitter
    , Streona25 , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
    Can you have a democratic plutocracy?
    , michaelmichael , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
    "Americans aren't as attached to democracy as you might think"

    you only just realised?? Wow

    'Democracy' is just a handy label for when the US wants to bomb another sovereign state

    , ErikFBerger , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
    "... trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

    This question is badly worded. It is not judges role to lead the country. The question should have been:

    "Should judges uphold the law to the best of their understanding, even if that means nullifying an order by president Trump?"

    , UnashamedPedant , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
    That link to the Federalist of 1788 on Checks & Balances is wrong. Here is the correct version:
    http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm
    , ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
    I suspect that it's a change in what the word democracy means to people. Even the older generation are starting to understand that the 'democracies' that we live under in the western world are horribly distorted. Big corporations, even foreign ones, have far more access to the elected executive than the actual voters. Governments dance to the tune of powerful media. Votes don't often count for much at all.

    With this background it's no wonder that the Brexit voters feel drunk with power. For once they voted on something and believe that they will get exactly what they voted for. The final irony is that for most of them they don't realise that they were turkeys voting for Christmas. Brexit could have possibly bought them some benefits, but the Tories seem determined to deny them even that. Once the realise they have been swindled, what then for democracy?

    , sd0001 ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 13:31
    People have lost faith in democracy, politics, the judicial system and, yes, economics.

    Voting to remain in the EU, is a vote for the status quo...if you're lucky. They want more government, not less. It is not a 20-50 year project. It is forever, and they will not stay still. It will evolve, and not regress politically.

    The UK government will have to change, and they have the chance. They may not succeed, but I believe they will try, and the pressure from the people will be more direct.

    The EU don't want to change. If it was an economic union and not a political one, then it would be a great organisation.

    Forget the garbage about wars and instability. That comes from economic success, with NATO providing any security until that comes to fruition to the developing countries.

    , FCBarca , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
    No surveys needed to arrive at these conclusions I am afraid, apathy and mistrust of govt has been eroding for decades. US government is a cesspool of corruption and in no small way is aided by the fact that its citizens have given tacit approval for the erosion of their own civil liberties and rights while celebrating the war machine that has increasingly rolled on for more than 3 decades

    The abyss looming for the US, and by extension the world, can be traced back to a populace that abandoned democracy and freely gifted the cronies the mandate to accelerate the erosion.

    Solution? Kill apathy and not only get back involved but remain vigilant to preserve checks & balances

    , Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
    Forty years ago, democracy was more or less synonymous with prosperity. Given it's now wider spread to many poorer states across the world, as well as the incredible increase in the standard of living in non-democratic countries, principally China, this is no longer the case. I suspect we have not made the case for democracy as an end in itself, nor as a route to distributing prosperity more widely, or as a corollary of 'The Free Market'.
    , J092939 Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:13
    This (democracy relates to prosperity) is insightful. Will we all be able to operate democratically when climate issues and exhaustion of resources vs. population force us to manage the decline?
    , timiengels , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
    A thought provoking article. Like many things it comes down to terminology .what, for example is democracy? Are the US or UK systems really democracies when it is clear that laws are enacted in the interests of a narrow group of citizens and corporations who have the power to lobby, especially in the US where bribery has been legalized with respect to lobbying.

    Beyond this, look at US attempts to come up with some sort of climate change plan. All of these flounder on the twin rocks of democracy with its lobbying (we'll never get voted in again) or economic cost to the tax payer (we'll get voted out next time).

    Democracy is always presented in our schools, TVs, books and newspapers as a universal good, when in reality there are good democracies and bad democracies with the US and UK versions actually being on the bad side what with an unelected second chamber of grandees in the UK and the US in a state of perpetual wars of choice.

    Countries are what they do. The US starts wars. The UK follows the US into wars. Most countries whether democratic or not, don't start many wars (Germany hasn't started too many wars since 1939). Many countries that don't start wars are actually controlled by non democratic governments or military juntas .and personally I would prefer non democracies that don't start wars. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

    The main problems with all forms of government is abuse of power and it goes on in democracies as much as any other type of government. Look at Tony Blair astride the globe hoover-ing up millions instead of being sitting next the Bush in a 6X8 feet cell. When Britain and America fell asleep and accepted total state surveillance as the price they had to pay to stop a handful of terrorist deaths each year, they set themselves up for this power to be abused in the future and badly abused.
    What's the answer? Really it begins at home with lessons in honesty, modesty, selflessness and the like. The reality and the kids are plonked down in front of the TV watching the avarice of the Kardashians there is little hope.

    , uuuuuuu , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
    After the horrors of WWII most people in the developed world understood both, the dangers and merits of democracy. In fact there is a conventional wisdom that it is totalitarian regimes which start wars, never democracies. By and large that may be true, but I don't think it is true in every instance.

    But the major motivation for people is to press their own advantage, even it is to the detriment of somebody else. Even if it is quite evident that it is to the fatal detriment of somebody else. I guess religion describes this as our original sin. If that goal of personal advantage is better secured by a dictatorship then people (e.g. in 1930s Germany) will support that. Democracy is not a value in itself for the majority, but just a means to an end. After all, I suspect many would prefer to be rich in a totalitarian state, rather than poor in a democracy (especially those people who have never lived under a totalitarian regime).

    What people like Trump do is to legitimise this drive/desire/greed as something positive (greed is good, greed works), when all of our upbringing has told us otherwise. Otherwise we could just take to killing our siblings to acquire their larger bedrooms.

    I suspect the horrors of WWII have to be repeated to re-learn that lesson.

    , Peter55 , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
    oh well who cares. let the US rip itself apart from the inside, we all knew it was gonna happen sooner or later.

    there will be no need for a terrorist attack to destroy the US ,they manage that fine on their own. a 50/50 split in the population over values and believes? Regardless of who's right and who's wrong. Its so damaging that by the end of Trump Pax America will be history.

    US cant even keep control in their own backyard atm, thousands are killed within their own boarders every year by their own people, most average people will never get enough paid to sustain a adequate living condition, they struggle heavily with race and race related problems. They struggle heavily with females and female right.
    But most importantly they are not united, americans hate americans now. Many americans hate their fellow americans more than they hate outside enemies. And thats a fact. How can a society like that survive?

    The US will eat itself and Trump will probably earn a billion on it, he is after all a business man. He does what suits him best. But did anyone actually expect something els?

    , baxterb , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
    Make them afraid, then exploit that fear like there's no tomorrow. Heartening that people don't fall for it though.
    , Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
    It does correlate with research that says one third of US residents believe you must be Christian to be American ( http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/02/01/what-it-takes-to-truly-be-one-of-us /). Jesus makes the laws.

    Take it a step further and apparently the word of Jesus is that you pull the ladder up after you and you look to the demagogue giving false praise to fantastical notions and mocking democracy.

    , Fred Ducleaux Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:17
    There is much confusion between "Christian" America and America's Judeo-Christian Heritage. Books have been written.

    The heritage is what gave America, and Europe, Liberal Democracy and freedoms understood as "self-evident." That is, embedded and safe from lawyers and politicians. You do not need to be a "Christian" to enjoy the freedomos the heritage gives to all.

    , nottaken Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 15:57
    "self-evident" is a strong clue that the constitution was informed more by man-centred Enlightenment than by residual Judeo-Christian Heritage.
    The majority of the framers were Atheists or Deists; any reference to God was part of the necessary legitimizing and marketing process. Since then it has been a process of Christianity (read: Protestantism) being merged with the civic religion, to the point where they are indistinguishable. Both have been mightily degraded in the process.

    More recently, corporate America's propaganda campaign to merge Christianity with Capitalism, fronted by Rev. J Fifield, was hugely successful, and has brought us to the present pass.

    , mikedow , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
    Sitting politicians create the laws the judges interpret.

    That seems to be a necessary reminder.

    Share Facebook Twitter
    , AgainstDarkness , 11 Feb 2017 12:05
    "While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences... "

    They are not politically liberal. They might be vaguely called "socially liberal", supporting the causes prescribed to them by a new "progressivism" in the name of ill-defined tolerance, diversity etc.

    None of the above implies an understanding of liberal democracy.

    There have been many strains of the "left" in the past that would be classified as "liberal" under current American terminology but were totally undemocratic. That was why the term "democratic left" was invented to separate left-wing people that really believe in democracy.

    The modern "progressive identarian" is not a liberal.

    , Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
    If you are a Green Card holder and leave the US you can incure tax liability for up to 10 years. Taxation without representation.

    But........the most flagrant departure from Democracy is giving the lawyers the final say on what is, or is not, the law. The legislature can pass whatever bills they may like but if the lawyers say it is offensive or phobic it will be struck down. The "Supreme" Court is the ultimate power in the USA and none are elected by the people and none can be removed by the people. The only way they go is in a box.

    Sad to say, Tony Blair (surprise surprise!) created the same undemocratic monster in our country and even labelled it the same way: "Supreme." Unelected, unaccountable and as politically motivated as its US counterpart.

    , Jack Taylor Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
    By lawyers I guess you mean judges?
    , snavep Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:22
    No the SC in the US can decide a law is contrary to the constitution.
    Can you give a single example where the UK SC has 'struck down' any legislation? They have declared govt decisions contrary to existing law including common law. You do seem to have a habit of coming on here making stuff up.
    , lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
    In the context of first past the post, democracy is a total con. If you examine those democracies with FPTP you wintness the most right wing governments on the planet that use this system. PR as is used across Europe prevents these extremes and all votes count. Do you think the Tories OR Labour will rush to change to this? No chance. Lastly, here and in the US, you have a choice of two broadly similar parties who serve the rich and powerful who have engineered democracy largely by contolling the press, to suit their own ends. By definition therefore, democracy here and in the US is a caricature of what was originally intended for the people and not fit for purpose.
    , Graz100 lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
    I support the introduction of PR, but it is a mistake to assume that any kind of voting system or institution will stop the collapse of democracy/ democratic institutions Economic and social strife will tend to overcome all safeguards when the public starts to feel desperate. A good example and warning from history is the rise of the Nazi party in pre WW2 Germany. Trump and the republicans have yet to destroy democracy and I see no suggestion that T will refuse to stand fro reelection.
    , Zojo lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
    I agree that the reason democracy has lost its lustre is because both her and in the US we are offered no real choice. In terms of economic policy, the "There is No Alternative" party always wins. Unsurprisingly, people start to believe that there IS no alternative, and therefore the choice on offer is not genuine. They then either lose interest in voting altogether, or look for more extreme offerings which seem to be truly different.
    , brightheart , 11 Feb 2017 12:14
    Bringing up the 'law and order' issues combined with blaming it on immigrants is typical of far right regimes that want to undermine democratic values and move towards dictatorship.
    , IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:19 Guardian Pick
    By casting aspersions on the judiciary, Trump is echoing past dictators. First, he questions their independence and then, when another terrorist incident occurs (whether white or non-white) he can say 'I told you so, this atrocity is all the judge's fault'. America has truly entered a new dark age. Let's pray that good men and women will continue to uphold and defend the Constitution and the rule of law... Share
    , politicsblogsuk IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:33
    An independent judiciary and a free press are considered the pillars or cornerstones of a properly functioning democracy.

    Once you undermine them or the public's trust in them, it is much easier to move the political centre of gravity towards fascism.

    So, why is Trump attacking the judiciary and fee press?

    , mondopinion politicsblogsuk , 11 Feb 2017 13:08
    I for one no longer think the mainstream 'free press' is balanced or impartial.
    , AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
    Democracy has been in decline in the west for some time now, and it isn't just the right or the left which has abandoned it. Nearly every western country has a bill of rights (either a strong version eg the US which can strike down legislation or a weaker one eg the U.K. where the courts award damages for breaches and make declarations of incompatibility). The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic. The UK still has the House of Lords. The Canadian academic James Allen has written a good book on it - how elites have now decided they know best.

    We need to be wary of this endless erosion of majority rule. Tin pot dictators the world over have always had an excuse for ignoring the majority. Latin American military Juntas always explained that they had to have power to ensure security. Human rights lawyers say they are needdd to uphold the ever evolving concept of human rights. The Church used to insist it should have power to enforce God's rule. The Fijian army in 1987 made an openly racist coup (attracting minimal opprobrium and next to no action from the international community). Even those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority have to admit they're not in great historical company

    , Philip J Sparrow AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
    "those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority"

    People like Socrates/Plato, John Stuart Mill, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville...

    , emmasdad AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:49

    The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic.

    The EU is not a state; it is 28 member states acting collaboratively in a number of specified policy areas. As such, the appropriate comparison is not between the EU and a state but between the EU and other collective bodies through which states cooperate with one-another such as the UN or NATO. In terms of giving representation to ordinary citizens of its member states, I would say the EU compares extremely favourably.

    Moreover, the only two bodies in the EU that are able to enact legislation (and can only do so through the agreement of both bodies) are the EU Parliament, which is directly elected by the citizens of the member states and the Council, which consists of members of the Governments of the member states, which, in turn, have been put in place by the citizens of the member states through whichever electoral system is employed in each member state. We don't need to 'pretend' that the EU is democratic; it's system of governance IS democratic in the same way that the governance structures of western democracies are democratic.

    , Vintage59 emmasdad , 11 Feb 2017 15:01
    To put that more succinctly, no one can pretend the EU is democratic but many will still argue that it is if it fits their purposes.

    Amusing.

    , Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
    Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
    , Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
    Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
    , Andy Wong Ming Jun Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 14:28
    History is a cycle. In this respect I agree with Steve Bannon. He's not nuts, he's just someone who knows how to read the winds very well like a wolf.
    , theshining , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
    "It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."
    It most certainly was NOT anything of the kind. It was an act of judicial arrogance and a deliberate attempt to undermine the long upheld power of the President to take actions that HE considers required for the safety of the nation. What the ruling basically did was substitute judicial preferences for Presidential preferences no matter that the Constitution was clearly not supportive of this usurpation of power. you can review LOTS of legal opinions that state precisely this. An horrendously POLITICAL decision that will come back to haunt the courts.
    A defense of 'democracy' that begins with a defense of an arbitrary and demonstrably BAD court ruling is pretty much fatally flawed from the jump.
    Democracy works for as long as the fracture points in society are papered over with a commonality of basic interests. When that is not the case, democracy cannot endure. The US (and others will follow) is fracturing into pieces that simply don't like each other for VERY fundamental reasons, including the definition of a Nation State and what it means.
    Democracy works when things go well. It cannot work when it all falls apart. Oh and it also of course fails when the majority have a vested interest in getting stuff 'free', and can vote to have their demands enacted no matter the consequences.
    LOTS of places are not democracies. It really isn't the future. Too many fault lines coming up.
    , kristinezkochanski , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
    Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

    One of the reasons why I am very sceptical of opinion polls or surveys is that they often ask the wrong questions. It is not for judges to make decisions about what is best for the country which this question clearly implies. Their job is to judge what complies with the law.

    Judges do not make political decisions about what is right for the United States any more than they do about what is right for the UK. It is this lack of understanding which leads to them being called enemies of the people.

    , ennCarey , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
    Here is the great George Carlin summing it all up in just 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

    It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it - George Carlin

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

    , dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
    It all boils down to education. Democracy can't work when you have so many people prepared to believe and base their vote on 'fake news' (a nicer way to say lie).

    Governments in a democracy need to make having a well educated public a priority. Provide a high standard education for all the population up to secondary school level for free (or at a rate affordable to everyone) and you greatly diminish the chances of another Trump/Brexit.

    , therebythegrace dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:52
    And that's why both the Tories and the Republicans have placed so much effort in undermining our education systems.

    They do not want an educated populace who are capable of critical thinking.

    , CyrusA dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:59
    And hopefully diminish the chances of more "moderate" alternatives bringing the Population to its knees? Was Thatcher more "moderate" than Trump or did the Me Generation that she created usher in May and Trump.
    , Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:39
    One person's victory is another's defeat. Politicians and voters are divided on judicial appointments to the Supreme Court, and the 4-4 split in the current court illustrates that the rule of law is simply another reflection of politics.

    I think the Ninth Court made a big mistake. Why? Because playing politics with the law can have serious unintended consequences. American Presidents have been resorting to shock and awe against Muslims because they can't use tough domestic security measures to protect Americans at home for fear of US judges taking an uncompromising view of constitutional rights. Trump's predecessors have not only resorted to foreign military action, but they have taken risks with extra-legal measures like Rendition, Secret Prisons, Torture and Drone attacks.

    The Ninth Court may uphold the constitutional rights of people coming from war zones to attend universities in Washington State, but the real world consequence of their hostility to domestic security measures will be to corner existing and future presidents in to bombing suspected terrorists abroad, making the world infinitely less safe with regime-changing wars.

    , SkiSpy Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:45
    They have a hostility to unlawful, unconstitutional presidential edicts. That's a good thing. Share Facebook Twitter
    , Budanevey SkiSpy , 11 Feb 2017 12:55
    Congress gave the President the power to exclude people from the US on national security grounds. The University of Maryland maintains the Global Terrorism Database which lists more than 150,000 attacks since it began.

    96% of current terrorism killing more than 7000 people each year is claimed by jihadis. President Trump first mentioned his proposed temporary ban after the murders in San Bernardino.

    I don't think its unreasonable to restrict people coming from these war zones when they've been murdering people elsewhere, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin etc. It seems that US judges can't be persuaded that the right to life is more important than the temporary inconvenience of not being able to attend universities in Washington State unless and until such people murder Americans on American soil. I wouldn't call that 'constitutional'. It's offensive stupidity and irresponsible.

    How man

    , Joe Soap Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 13:17
    If Americans were so concerned about the right to life they would do something about their almost non-existent gun laws. Terrorists don't have to kill Americans since Americans are doing such a good job of it on their own.
    , brap123 , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
    Americans are waking up to the fact that the elite and establishment don't care about the them. The media lies, the courts are trying to let in terrorists. TRump is the only one who is fighting for the people. Trump is fighting for truth, Trump is fighting for our safety, even though the establishment is desperate to make us less safe (my guesss do the 1% can profit somehow). Fake news by the media is only continue to push this

    Trump is fighting for Americans, we need to unite behind him. He will never let us down, and never lie to us.

    , c23e , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
    It's funny how Americans use Christianity as a weapon and are always quoting an eye for an eye etc instead of love your neighbour. If you are a Christian then surely you should realise that the old testament which is The Torah is all about revenge and anger whereas the New Testament is all about forgiveness and love and if the two come from the same God then that God has a spilt personality!

    Also looking at history if you remember that Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity ask yourself what were Christians doing 600 years ago and you will see a lot of it was the same as what Jihardis are doing today - torture, beheadings and killing of those seen as apostates in the name of religion.

    And remember American was founded by those seeking religious freedom despite the fact they oppressed the religions of the Native Americans and then went on to break more than 400 treaties with the Native Americans over the years.

    Even the declaration of independence was signed mainly by slave owners ( which is surely anti-christian) and apartheid reigned in the US until Martin Luther King.

    Land of the free and home of the brave is some king of joke played on the people but only noted by historians.

    , PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 12:44
    To an important degree extensive, well-understood and articulately defended democracy only "matters" if you ascribe a large role to the [nation/federal] state - if you think it should spend very large amounts of money, address all manner of social problems, and regulate everything people do to reduce risk and enforce equality/diversity. If you believe in a minimal state (as most of the US founders did) then a much clearer and less pressing kind of democracy for national affairs is fully adequate. It is at the local level - in the states and counties, the towns and cities - that regular and engaged democracy is essential. And this report does not look at that at all. It is only bothered about who gets to drive forward the all-powerful state. If Pres Trump - and it is a very big if - wants to reduce the role of the state, then the significance of his actions through that state become clearer and more capable of control.
    , Paul B PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 13:00
    surely the problem is that so much of what happens in a modern democracy cannot be carried out at a local level. You cannot have a local level internet. You cannot decide where your highways and trains are going to go purely at the local level. You cannot, in most cases, feed and clothe and support your population at the local level and any form of trade requires agreements that take place at a much higher level.
    , Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:46
    It's a very interesting phenomenon. The 'attraction' of Trump is that he's a loose cannon and doesn't seem to have that much control over a lot of what he says. The remarks about Putin and America's own predilection for killing people - which caused him to be called anti-American for actually speaking the truth - is a case in point. He is the precise opposite of your usual buttoned up on-message politician and that, quite frankly, is refreshing. He is precisely where our democracy itself has led to. Because of its reliance on professional politicians who say one thing and mean another, his tendency to blabber and say just what's on his mind, must be perceived as a virtue. Where this will lead, I have no idea, but he is definitely opening up new unexplored territory and what we might find in it is anyone's guess. As the old Chinese curse goes, "May you live in interesting times."
    , Junkets Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:57
    For those thinking of impeaching Trump, think what the alternative will be. Pence. Now that guy really is scary - scarier even than Bannon.

    [Feb 12, 2017] The neocon godfather Leo Strauss would be proud as king of bait and switch Obama promoting lying to people telling them what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected as an official Democratic Party policy

    Notable quotes:
    "... Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus ..."
    "... I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! ..."
    "... If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box. ..."
    Feb 12, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    mk , November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC.

    Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

    Eureka Springs , November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

    If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

    [Feb 12, 2017] Reply

    Feb 12, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d25ed1c1970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">
    Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:12 AM Peter K. said in reply to sanjait... Many of us were warning that Hillary's $275 billion in infrastructure over 5 years wasn't enough.

    Now we have Trump.

    Thanks a lot.
    Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 12:09 PM pgl said in reply to Peter K.... I'm disappointed that you did not add your insight of the decade - calling him a stupid little troll. For the record - I don't like yuan. He actually writes reasoned comments rather calling people "stupid little trolls". Snicker. T here is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

    Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 01:07 PM Yikes said in reply to Peter K.... This is actually a good point. If only Hillary had made extravagant unkeepable promises she could have duped more people like you into voting for her. Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 01:58 PM ilsm said in reply to Yikes... The DNC and HRC thought they had the needed number of dupes, PeterK was not needed! Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 04:55 PM libezkova said in reply to Yikes... No. the train left the station. Obama was a sellout who used to speak right things and did completely opposite to please his sponsors.

    Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump. Reply Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 06:02 AM libezkova said in reply to sanjait... Sanjait,

    The problem with your views is that there is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

    This flavor of democracy for top 1% the they promote (one dollar one vote) should be property called "oligarchy" or at best "polyarchy" (the power of the top 10%).

    The rest (aka "Debt slaves") are second class citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses"). In a way US election is the ultimate form of "bait and switch" maneuvers of the ruling elite.

    The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11. Reply Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    [Feb 01, 2017] In a perverse way Trump has restored a more pure democracy

    Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. -> DeDude... February 01, 2017 at 07:47 AM , 2017 at 07:47 AM
    http://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/1/14412450/donald-trump-matt-taibbi-elections-2016-hillary-clinton-media

    Matt Taibbi on Donald Trump's strange appeal

    "He's what a lot of Americans would be if they had a billion dollars."

    Updated by Sean Illing

    Feb 1, 2017, 9:30am EST

    "Pull a lever for me and you'll horrify them all."

    That's how journalist and author Matt Taibbi describes the proposition Donald Trump made to the electorate in 2016. For the past year, Taibbi has covered Trump for Rolling Stone. His latest book, Insane Clown President: Dispatches From the 2016 Circus, is a collection of long- and shortform articles drawn from that experience.

    To read the pieces in chronological order is to witness a familiar journey: In the beginning, like so many people, Taibbi saw Trump's candidacy as a joke. But then he went to Iowa and saw that something was afoot. Trump had tapped into a reservoir of resentment.

    And then there was the performative aspect. The way he talked, the way he behaved, the way he treated other candidates - it was obscene and spellbinding all at once. Trump treated the campaign like a reality TV show, sucking all the oxygen out of the room. It was a perfect marriage of amorality and shamelessness.

    "In a perverse way," Taibbi wrote in August 2015, "Trump has restored a more pure democracy to this process. He's taken the Beltway thinkfluencers out of the game and turned the presidency into a pure high-school-style popularity contest conducted entirely in the media."

    The wave of spectacle-driven rage that Trump rode in the primaries carried him all the way to the White House. The people who voted for Trump knew they were voting for dynamite, Taibbi argues, and that was the point: to extend a giant middle finger to the establishment.

    I sat down with Taibbi last week to talk about the seeds of this resentment. I also asked him why he still felt blindsided by the election, and why he thinks Trump was able to circumnavigate all the institutional checks that normally prevent someone like him from ascending to the presidency.

    Our conversation, edited for length and clarity, follows.

    Sean Illing
    In 2009, you wrote a book called The Great Derangement in which you talked about various fringe political movements around the country. A big theme was the loss of trust in national institutions, like Congress and the media. You even described a possible future in which politics "stopped being about ideology and instead turned into a problem of information."

    That reads like prophecy now. What did you see in 2009?

    Matt Taibbi
    The main thing was that I saw people tuning out the media. A lot of us have this idea that the truth has a kind of magical power, that if the truth is out there it will convince the country to unite behind it. But this isn't so. People can simply decide to not believe a version of events now. They can shop for information the same way they'd shop for everything else, and they pick the reality they find most pleasing.

    Back when I was thinking about the rapture movement or the 9/11 truther movement, what struck me was that there are bubbles now that you can stay in and you don't have to engage with reality if you don't want to. So it occurred to me that in the future, people might decide en masse to completely tune out. Even the idea of having a debate with people about a commonly accepted body of facts seemed to be slipping away at the time.

    And that's kind of what happened in this election. It was one group of people believing one thing and another group of people seeing something completely different.

    Sean Illing
    Some of this is justified insofar as people, some more than others, feel left behind both economically and culturally. When people feel disinvested in the system, it's a lot easier to tune out.

    Matt Taibbi
    Exactly. We've had this slow, suffocating decline in the real value of people's salaries. Real opportunities are shrinking. Everybody has to work more. There's more debt. There's a broad perception that the mainstream media was in league with this group of elitist forces that were hoarding all of the winnings from society and slowly squeezing everyone else out.

    What I learned talking to people around the country is that the press was seen as the enemy, as part of the grinding, broken system. And that's why they didn't trust us anymore. Fair or not, that was the perception.

    Sean Illing
    How much does Trump remind you of Nixon?

    Matt Taibbi
    When Hunter S. Thompson wrote about Nixon, he was responding to a man he saw as symbolic of his time, a kind of monster of his age. Nixon's personality represented this darkness that was at the heart of everything wrong with America at the time. And Trump is an equivalent figure in that way. But he's not the same kind of person as Nixon. Nixon had many levels to his personality; he was a thinker, well-educated, a schemer. Trump is just a bundle of disorganized urges. He's what a lot of Americans would be if they had a billion dollars: They'd build grotesque castles, bang models, and grow fat.

    So in that sense, Trump represents something horrible about all of us, and that's what reminds me of Nixon.

    Sean Illing
    I admit, I was slow to recognize what was happening last year. For months I insisted Trump would fold, one way or the other. Some of it was cognitive dissonance; some of it was pure denialism. I just got it wrong.

    At what point did you say, "Holy shit, this guy can win the whole thing"?

    Matt Taibbi
    I went through a couple different stages with this. When he first entered the race, I thought it was a joke. And then I went through this period where I went to Iowa and realized that the field of Republican candidates he was running against were comically lightweight. At that point, I believed he was absolutely going to win the nomination. I think when he survived his attack on John McCain, it was even clearer.

    But later, like everyone else, I fell victim to the popular myths about the invincibility of the Obama coalition. I ran into a Democratic operative at the RNC and he laid out all these crazy things that had to happen in order for Trump to win a general election, and I totally bought it. I knew Clinton was weak, but I believed she would win. Obviously that was a mistake.

    I should've gone with what I was seeing, and what I was seeing was Trump generating an enormous amount of energy on the campaign trail, and also that Clinton was the perfect opponent for him. It was all right there, in front of us, but I didn't trust my instincts.

    Sean Illing
    I'm still convinced this guy never wanted to be president. Hell, he hired a bunch of actors to stand in front of him when made his campaign announcement speech. My sense is that this was an exercise in brand promotion that, at some point, exploded into something real.

    Matt Taibbi
    Ha! You know, Trump's foray into this campaign reminded me of this boxer, Peter McNeeley, who fought Mike Tyson right after he got out of jail. So McNeeley was this terrible white boxer with a mullet who got a chance to fight Tyson at the right time. The whole thing was like a frat dare. McNeeley got himself all pumped up and he just ran to the center of ring, right into Tyson's fist, and he just collapsed onto the mat. I thought Trump's campaign would be like that: He'd go into it with a full head of steam, and it would be fantastic for a month or two.

    But then he ran into the total stupidity of America that embraced every dumb thing about him, and that chemically interacted with his narcissistic personality and it turned into this unstoppable force.

    Sean Illing
    Another part of this story is how craftily Trump played the media throughout the campaign. The media was the perfect punching bag, the perfect "cultural villain," as you put it. He just rope-a-doped us all the way to the White House.

    Matt Taibbi
    He tuned in to the fact that all of us are slaves to ratings, even if we pretend that we're not. To be fair, individually a lot us try to do what we know we ought to do, but the reality is that we work for companies that have to make money. Trump understands that, and he understands that he was making everyone money. He knew we'd keep the lights on. He knew we needed him as much as he needed us.

    Sean Illing
    He was also tuned in to the rampant anti-media sentiment out there. After every offense - insulting veterans, menstrual jokes, mocking a disabled reporter, threatening to kill the family members of terrorists, offering to pay the legal fees of supporters who pummel protesters, the "grab 'em by the pussy" scandal - he attacked the press, and most of his supporters loved it. Whoever he offended or whatever he lied about was an afterthought.

    Matt Taibbi
    Absolutely. We see ourselves as the defenders of the public good, but so many of the people I talked to on the campaign trail see the press as the agents of political correctness, as self-important do-gooders who take every opportunity to mock and punish people who don't think and talk and act like we do. Trump was defying all of this, and peopled loved the fact that he stood up to us.

    Sean Illing
    You say in the book that Trump basically went to the American people and said, "Pull a lever for me and you'll horrify them all." And 60 million people said, "I'm in."

    Matt Taibbi
    Again, you have all these people on the progressive side asking themselves, "How can all these Trump voters not be thinking about the reality of what a Trump presidency would look like?" And it just reflects a total misunderstanding of the thought process on the other side. This is about living from second to second, and they just wanted that rush that they were going to get when they saw the looks on our faces when Trump got elected.

    The reality of what comes next is totally secondary.

    Sean Illing
    An interesting question moving forward is how do we cover Trump in a way that's illuminating but also not counterproductive or amenable to the anti-media narrative he's spinning?

    Matt Taibbi
    It's a really great question because Trump has this ability to turn everyone in his orbit into a reality TV character, and he's turned the media into one. We're starting to behave radically, more emotionally, in a way we're giving in to the demands that the public has to ditch our normal approach to things and to be more alarmist in our reporting.

    That's exactly the wrong approach, though I get it. I realize this is ridiculous coming from a guy who just wrote a book with the title "Insane Clown President," but I think we should slowly, methodically focus on the hard facts of everything he's doing and not get into flame wars and distractions and soap operas.

    It's not our job to take on Trump and beat him; our job is to do what we do.

    Sean Illing
    In the book, you write that Trump is "as likely driven by gas as ideology." He's got Steve Bannon, the intellectual light of the alt-right, as his chief strategist. His Cabinet is full of military generals, bankers, and billionaires - there's really no coherent ideological thread holding it together.

    What prospect worries you more: that Trump is a ratings-chasing nihilist or that he might actually believe all the things he said on the trail?

    Matt Taibbi
    Both of those outcomes are extremely dangerous. If he's just a tool for an evil racist revolutionary like Bannon, who actually has a brain in his head and is capable of strategic thought, that would be really bad. If he's just an amoral narcissistic lunatic, as he appears to be, that's also bad. I could easily see him hate-tweeting us into a war.

    So neither scenario is terribly heartening. If it's just him being crazy, well, the president has a lot of power and that could go tragically wrong. If it's him being a puppet or a willing conspirator in this alt-right revolution, that's just as frightening.

    It's like that scene in Goodwill Hunting: "Do you want the belt, the stick, or the wrench?" Shit, I don't want any of them.

    Sean Illing
    I talked to one of Trump's biographers recently, and he echoed something I've heard from a lot of people, which is that Trump only cares about his popularity and that he'll do whatever he thinks will boost his ratings. That's almost comforting, but every indication so far is that Trump is pushing full steam ahead on the promises he made during the campaign.

    Now, signing executive orders doesn't mean things magically happen, but it's an indicator that he intends to advance policies that are popular with his base but not with the majority of the country.

    Matt Taibbi
    I think he's spent so much time with these sycophants who worship him and have responded positively to his loony ideas about the wall and the Muslim ban that he feels pressure to live up to the image of Trump as the savior and rescuer even though it's not winning him a whole lot of popularity among the majority of the country. He still seems to care intensely about things like his ratings, otherwise why make all this noise about mythical voter fraud or crowd sizes?

    So I think the biographer is mostly right. I don't have any idea what that will mean for the next four years, however.

    Sean Illing
    Speaking of the next four years, your book ends on a pessimistic note. You basically declare the dream of unified country dead. Is it that dark?

    Matt Taibbi
    Yeah, I think it is.

    Sean Illing
    Are you encouraged at all by the massive protests or the fact that Trump is historically unpopular?

    Matt Taibbi
    Not enough to feel especially hopeful about the future. I lived in Russia for several years and one of the things that struck me is how naive I had been growing up in the United States. If you grew up in America, you have no idea how bad it can get. The possibilities for awfulness in human experience are far beyond what we're used to.

    I think we're just beginning to see how bad things can get. We have an illusion of stability thanks to our wealth and geography and the fact that we're still a young country. We take so much for granted. As Yeats said, things can fall apart. The center doesn't hold forever.

    I see things starting to fray here and it's unsettling.

    Sean Illing
    Political order is perilously contingent, and that's a lesson America hasn't learned in a long time.

    Matt Taibbi
    That's exactly right. I'm not sure how this will play out, but it feels like we're at the beginning of something.

    [Feb 01, 2017] So we spend an absurdly low fraction of a % of GDP on helping those who got left behind by technology

    Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    DeDude : So we spend an absurdly low fraction of a % of GDP on helping those who got left behind by technology.

    https://psmag.com/this-chart-helps-explain-why-people-in-the-rust-belt-are-fed-up-dfe331a1c097#.k72pilyxz

    Obama tried to do something about it but was blocked by the GOPsters. Our kindergartener-in-chief doesn't even have a plan. Reply Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 09:28 AM yuan -> DeDude... , February 01, 2017 at 09:44 AM

    Many, if not, most democrats also believe in "jobs" and look on social welfare with puritan disdain. I think it will take at least a couple of generations for USAnians to discard their puritan economic beliefs and acknowledge that capital should be shared (and/or even collectively owned).
    DeDude -> yuan... , February 01, 2017 at 10:44 AM
    At least a couple if not a couple of dozen generations. The draw of US from all over the world has always been about rugged self-made individualism.

    [Jan 24, 2017] Did centrism beget populism

    Neoliberal Third Way caused far right renaissance in the USA, UK and elsewhere...
    Notable quotes:
    "... Warning: amateur political science below ..."
    "... Labour moved further right (and more neoliberal) as they became more accommodating towards austerity. It was hardly a surprise that party members tried to pull the party back by electing Corbyn as leader. ..."
    "... With Labour no longer seen as representing the working class, this allowed the right wing media (with the support of the Conservatives) to help convince the left behind that their problems were a consequence of immigration. ..."
    Jan 24, 2017 | mainlymacro.blogspot.com
    Did centrism beget populism? Warning: amateur political science below

    Stewart Wood has a well argued piece in the New Statesman, saying that it was the move by left and right towards a common centrism that laid the foundations for populism.

    ... ... ...

    Margaret Thatcher was considered pretty right wing when she was in power. Many of her key achievement in terms of her own agenda, such as a diminished union movement and shrinking the state through privatisation, were not reversed by Blair and Brown. It is difficult to argue that the Cameron/Osborne duo made any attempt to undo the Thatcher legacy. Instead they tried to go beyond it, by shrinking the state to a size relative to GDP not seen since the end of WWII. They did it under the pretense that they were forced to because otherwise the markets would no longer buy government debt. This was a colossal deceit. There no evidence that markets were concerned about government debt, and strong evidence that they were not. [1] This deceit should have become clear when Osborne cut taxes at the same time as continuing to cut spending.

    ... ... ...

    Labour moved to the right under Blair, while remaining socially liberal. I agree with Stewart Wood that this alone was important in preparing the way for populism. As well as the lack of a major industrial policy, they did nothing to curb a rampant financial sector or reverse the gains of the 1% that were a feature of the Thatcher period, a point emphasised by Jean Pisani-Ferry in respect of both the UK and US. I think New Labour's position is better described as liberal rather than neoliberal: New Labour substantially increased the amount of resources (as a proportion of GDP) going to the NHS, and they also did a great deal to try and reduce child poverty. Labour moved further right (and more neoliberal) as they became more accommodating towards austerity. It was hardly a surprise that party members tried to pull the party back by electing Corbyn as leader.

    As I argued here , Brexit was a perfect storm where the economically left behind united with social conservatives. With Labour no longer seen as representing the working class, this allowed the right wing media (with the support of the Conservatives) to help convince the left behind that their problems were a consequence of immigration. The Leave campaign was populist in the sense I describe here : advocating a superficially attractive policy to some that would leave everyone worse off. Much the same is true for Trump, who won the electoral college by convincing the left behind that he really could bring back their traditional jobs, something he will be unable to do in any kind of general way.

    ... ... ...

    Unknown , 23 January 2017 at 06:39

    not centrism, but bothsidelism - the unwillingness of the press etc to distinguish between radical extremism and political norms. The outcome is the normalisation of relentless semi-fascism and the acceptance of alternative facts, resulting in unsubstantiated beliefs of victimisation, and the election of candidates who actually revel in and exacerbate the real problems people face in the US

    Anonymous , 23 January 2017 at 07:10

    For the UK, those supporting Leave have essentially endorsed Iain Duncan Smith's leadership of the Conservative Party in the early 2000s. It's no wonder New Labour cannot understand what has happened.

    [Jan 22, 2017] The rise of Trump and Isis have more in common than you might think by Patrick Cockburn

    Notable quotes:
    "... In Europe and the US it was right wing nationalist populism which opposes free trade, mass immigration and military intervention abroad. ..."
    "... Trump instinctively understood that he must keep pressing these three buttons, the importance of which Hillary Clinton and most of the Republican Party leaders, taking their cue from their donors rather than potential voters, never appreciated. ..."
    "... The vehicle for protest and opposition to the status quo in the Middle East and North Africa is, by way of contrast, almost entirely religious and is only seldom nationalist, the most important example being the Kurds. ..."
    "... Secular nationalism was in any case something of a middle class creed in the Arab world, limited in its capacity to provide the glue to hold societies together in the face of crisis. ..."
    "... It was always absurdly simple-minded to blame all the troubles of Iraq, Syria and Libya on Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi, authoritarian leaders whose regimes were more the symptom than the cause of division. ..."
    "... Political divisions in the US are probably greater now than at any time since the American Civil War 150 years ago. Repeated calls for unity in both countries betray a deepening disunity and alarm as people sense that they are moving in the dark and old norms and landmarks are no longer visible and may no longer exist. ..."
    "... Criticism of Trump in the media has lost all regard for truth and falsehood with the publication of patently concocted reports of his antics in Russia ..."
    "... But the rise of Isis, the mass influx of Syrian refugees heading for Central Europe and the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels showed that the crises in the Middle East could not be contained. They helped give a powerful impulse to the anti-immigrant authoritarian nationalist right and made them real contenders for power. ..."
    "... One of the first real tests for Trump will be how far he succeeds in closing down these wars, something that is now at last becoming feasible. ..."
    Jan 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

    In the US, Europe and the Middle East there were many who saw themselves as the losers from globalisation, but the ideological vehicle for protest differed markedly from region to region. In Europe and the US it was right wing nationalist populism which opposes free trade, mass immigration and military intervention abroad. The latter theme is much more resonant in the US than in Europe because of Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump instinctively understood that he must keep pressing these three buttons, the importance of which Hillary Clinton and most of the Republican Party leaders, taking their cue from their donors rather than potential voters, never appreciated.

    The vehicle for protest and opposition to the status quo in the Middle East and North Africa is, by way of contrast, almost entirely religious and is only seldom nationalist, the most important example being the Kurds. This is a big change from 50 years ago when revolutionaries in the region were usually nationalists or socialists, but both beliefs were discredited by corrupt and authoritarian nationalist dictators and by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Secular nationalism was in any case something of a middle class creed in the Arab world, limited in its capacity to provide the glue to hold societies together in the face of crisis. When Isis forces were advancing on Baghdad after taking Mosul in June 2014, it was a fatwa from the Iraqi Shia religious leader Ali al-Sistani that rallied the resistance. No non-religious Iraqi leader could have successfully appealed to hundreds of thousands of people to volunteer to fight to the death against Isis. The Middle East differs also from Europe and the US because states are more fragile than they look and once destroyed prove impossible to recreate. This was a lesson that the foreign policy establishments in Washington, London and Paris failed to take on board after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, though the disastrous outcome of successful or attempted regime change has been bloodily demonstrated again and again. It was always absurdly simple-minded to blame all the troubles of Iraq, Syria and Libya on Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi, authoritarian leaders whose regimes were more the symptom than the cause of division.

    But it is not only in the Middle East that divisions are deepening. Whatever happens in Britain because of the Brexit vote or in the US because of the election of Trump as president, both countries will be more divided and therefore weaker than before. Political divisions in the US are probably greater now than at any time since the American Civil War 150 years ago. Repeated calls for unity in both countries betray a deepening disunity and alarm as people sense that they are moving in the dark and old norms and landmarks are no longer visible and may no longer exist.

    The mainline mass media is finding it difficult to make sense of a new world order which may or may not be emerging. Journalists are generally more rooted in the established order of things than they pretend and are shocked by radical change. Only two big newspapers – the Florida Times-Union and the Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Trump before the election and few of the American commentariat expected him to win, though this has not dented their confidence in their own judgement. Criticism of Trump in the media has lost all regard for truth and falsehood with the publication of patently concocted reports of his antics in Russia, but there is also genuine uncertainty about whether he will be a real force for change, be it good or ill.

    Crises in different parts of the world are beginning to cross-infect and exacerbate each other. Prior to 2014 European leaders, whatever their humanitarian protestations, did not care much what happened in Iraq and Syria. But the rise of Isis, the mass influx of Syrian refugees heading for Central Europe and the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels showed that the crises in the Middle East could not be contained. They helped give a powerful impulse to the anti-immigrant authoritarian nationalist right and made them real contenders for power.

    The Middle East is always a source of instability in the world and never more so than over the last six years. But winners and losers are emerging in Syria where Assad is succeeding with Russian and Iranian help, while in Iraq the Baghdad government backed by US airpower is slowly fighting its way into Mosul. Isis probably has more fight in it than its many enemies want to believe, but is surely on the road to ultimate defeat. One of the first real tests for Trump will be how far he succeeds in closing down these wars, something that is now at last becoming feasible.

    [Jan 22, 2017] Trump's New-Right Politics of Solidarity

    Notable quotes:
    "... The speech was, as predicted, "Jacksonian" - populist, combative, anti-Washington, thick with promises to eradicate America's enemies and favor the forgotten man over globalist elites. ..."
    "... At its darkest, this sort of protective politics veers toward fascism; at its best (and the new president's rhetoric did try to reach in that direction) it points toward a pan-ethnic nationalism, a right-wing politics of solidarity. But in neither case is it compatible with the limited-government catechism and the Republican politics that pushes for free trade deals and fights against Medicaid expansions. ..."
    Jan 22, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

    Jan 20, 2017 |

    "The time for empty talk is over," our new president said near the end of his relatively brief Inaugural Address. And if he actually makes good on that promise, if the speech wasn't just talk but a blueprint for effective presidential action, then we just watched an epochal moment: the last rites of Reaganite conservatism, and the birth of a populist and nationalist new right.

    The speech was, as predicted, "Jacksonian" - populist, combative, anti-Washington, thick with promises to eradicate America's enemies and favor the forgotten man over globalist elites. But if it was anti-Washington, it was not remotely anti-government: Just as he did on the campaign trail, Trump eschewed the rhetoric of liberty in favor of expansive promises of "protection" and rhapsodic paeans to infrastructure spending.

    At its darkest, this sort of protective politics veers toward fascism; at its best (and the new president's rhetoric did try to reach in that direction) it points toward a pan-ethnic nationalism, a right-wing politics of solidarity. But in neither case is it compatible with the limited-government catechism and the Republican politics that pushes for free trade deals and fights against Medicaid expansions.

    Thus, the great ideological questions of the Trump era: Will his rhetoric actually define the policy that gets made in the halls of Congress, where a more Reaganite conservatism still theoretically holds sway? Or will his words be a Buchananite patina on an agenda mostly written by supply-siders and Goldman Sachs appointees? Or will the conflict between the two tendencies simply make his administration less epochal than incoherent, less transformative than simply ineffective?

    During the Trump transition, observers on both the right and left cited the political scientist Stephen Skowronek's theory of "disjunctive" presidents who straddle transitions between old orders and emerging ones. One such president was Jimmy Carter, who tried to maintain the creaking New Deal coalition while also grasping at a new vision for liberal governance. He failed because his party simply couldn't accommodate the tension, and he himself couldn't effectively blend the old and new.

    Right now Trump looks like he might be similarly disjunctive. Like Mr. Carter with the '70s-era Democrats, he has grasped - correctly - that Republican politics desperately needs to be reinvented. But his populist-nationalist vision has seemed too racially and culturally exclusive to win him majority support, and it's layered atop a party that still mostly believes in the "populism" of cutting the estate tax.

    Combine those brute political facts with Trump's implausibly expansive promises, and a Carter scenario - gridlock, disappointment, collapse - seems like the most plausible way to bet. But on the evidence of this speech, Trump has no intention of playing it safe: He will either remake conservatism in his image, or see his presidency fail in the attempt.

    [Jan 18, 2017] A New Problem Emerges For The Davos Elite

    Jan 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    As such, one major problem facing Davos, is one of loss of credibility , as the majority of people now believe the economic and political system is failing them, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, released on Monday ahead of the Jan. 17-20 World Economic Forum.

    A simpler way of putting it: "There's a sense that the system is broken," Richard Edelman, head of the communications marketing firm that commissioned the research, told Reuters .

    And it's not just the poor who have lost faith: " The most shocking statistic of this whole study is that half the people who are high-income, college-educated and well-informed also believe the system doesn't work ."

    As Reuters puts it, the 3,000 business, political and academic leaders meeting in the Swiss Alps this week find themselves increasingly out of step with many voters and populist leaders around the world who distrust elites. And this time the increasingly angry world is closely watching.

    Governments and the media are now trusted by only 41 and 43 percent of people respectively, with confidence in news outlets down particularly sharply after a year in which "post-truth" become the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. Trust in business was slightly higher, at 52 percent, but it too has declined amid scandals, including Volkswagen's rigged diesel emission tests and Samsung Electronics' fire-prone smartphones.

    The credibility of chief executives has fallen in every country surveyed, reaching a low of 18 percent in Japan, while the German figure was 28 percent and the U.S. 38 percent.

    Trust in governments fell in 14 of the countries surveyed, with South Africa, where Davos regular President Jacob Zuma has faced persistent corruption allegations, ranked bottom with just 15 percent support.

    Making matters worse, according to a PwC survey released at Davos , even the global business elite is starting to lose oses confidence in the benefits of globalization, i.e. the very bread and butter of the people present at the world's biggest echo chamber symposium.

    Batman11 , Jan 16, 2017 2:22 PM

    " there is a consensus that something huge is going on, global and in many respects unprecedented. But we don't know what the causes are, nor how to deal with it."

    Let me explain.

    The US set its heart on liberal democracy and the end was already in sight.

    The problems were there at the start but were ignored, it was always going to go wrong in exactly the way it has.

    Francis Fukuyama talked of the "end of history" and "liberal democracy".

    Liberal democracy was the bringing together of two mutually exclusive ideas.

    Economic liberalism – that enriches the few and impoverishes the many.

    Democracy – that requires the support of the majority.

    Trying to bring two mutually exclusive ideas together just doesn't work.

    The ideas of "Economic Liberalism" came from Milton Freidman and the University of Chicago. It was so radical they first tried it in a military dictatorship in Chile, it wouldn't be compatible with democracy. It took death squads, torture and terror to keep it in place, there was an ethnic cleansing of anyone who still showed signs of any left wing thinking.

    It was tried in a few other places in South America using similar techniques. It then did succeed in a democracy but only by tricking the people into thinking they were voting for something else, severe oppression was needed when they found out what they were getting.

    It brings extreme inequality and widespread poverty everywhere it's tested, they decide it's a system that should be rolled out globally. It's just what they are looking for.

    Margaret Thatcher bought these ideas to the West and the plan to eliminate the welfare state has only recently been revealed. Things had to be done slowly in the West due to that bothersome democracy. The West has now seen enough.

    It was implemented far more brutally in the developing world where Milton Freidman's "Chicago Boys" were the henchmen of "The Washington Consensus". The IMF and World Bank acted as enforcers insisting on neoliberal conditionalities for loans.

    Global markets punished those not towing the neoliberal line and kept nations in their place. As Nelson Mandela was released from prison the South African Rand fell 10%, someone like this was going to be pushing up wage costs and would be bad for the economy.

    Looking back it was a grand folly of an international elite whose greed overcame even a modicum of common sense.

    Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" will take you through all the gory details.

    Underlying neo-liberalism is a different economics, neoclassical economics, which is heavily biased towards the wealthy. Inequality and a lack of demand in the global economy were also guaranteed from the start.

    Norma Lacy , Jan 16, 2017 2:22 PM

    Crocodile tears. what they're really saying is that there is no body left to exploit. Gates and his buddies from Mastercard and Visa are now literally ragpicking the poor Indians with their destruction of the cash economy. "Get a credit card or starve you huddled masses!" JPMorgan makes millions of $ every year off food stamps. "Thank you O'Bomber - I just love your golf swing." The latest and greatest? Bezos is getting into the food stamp racket... "Thanks O'Bomber - just keep those doggies rollin."

    These kids are down to seeds and stems and they don't know what the fuck to do next... The Ruskies look tasty but they're too hard to roll... "Killoing the host" fo shuh.

    besnook , Jan 16, 2017 2:24 PM

    the depth of their insanity is revealed in their obvious reluctance to admit the con is over. the foot soldiers who are responsible for keeping the rabble in check are ready for mutiny. these guys would piss in their pants and offer their mother in their place if a red dot appeared on their forehead.

    Dr. Bonzo , Jan 16, 2017 2:25 PM

    System's been broken at least since the 90s. Pretty sure many ZH readers have been accutely aware of this as well. But hey, on behalf of the rest of us, welcome to the party. No run for your fucking lives. Cause you destroyed perfectly good countries with proud histories for no good goddamned reason, and you're going to be held accountable. Scumbags.

    mary mary , Jan 16, 2017 2:32 PM

    The things I love about Davos are:

    1. the way Davos participants open their meetings to all North African and Middle Eastern immigrants;

    2. the way Davos participants pledge to go without paychecks until next year's Davos meeting, because they want to "feel your pain";

    3. the way Davos participants fast for the entirety of the conclave, to remind themselves that "they exist only to serve";

    4. the way Davos participants meet in Syria, tour some areas bombed-and-looted-and-raped by ISIS, crowd onto small boats, row across the Mediterranean to Italy, and then walk the rest of the way to Davos;

    5. the way Davos participants promise not to wear PURPLE all year, to show they do NOT appreciate Hillary's bombing of Syria and killing of its leader.

    Batman11 , Jan 16, 2017 2:33 PM

    "There's a sense that the system is broken,"

    With secular stagnation it's a bit more than a sense, the system is broken.

    MASTER OF UNIVERSE , Jan 16, 2017 2:33 PM

    The entire Global Banking System, and all the Corporate companies in the entire world, will implode, guaranteed. They will implode because of the fact that the Banking Oligopoly has appropriated all of the Disposable Income Gains of the entire world population since the late 1960s. Bill Gates & Warren Buffett should have known that they alone would have to support all the companies in the entire world in order to keep them propped up due to the fact that they are the only individuals with enough money to purchase all the cars, trucks, investments, et cetera. Clearly, Warren Buffett & Bill Gates need to buy all the high end luxury boats and condos in the entire world because no one else can afford to purchase given that everyone is indentured into servitude to bankers that appropriate all of their Disposable Income Gains the world over. The Davos crowd knows what is going on, but they don't want to admit that they stole all the world's wealth so that they could be anal retentive money hoarders like Warren Buffett obviously is. The problems of trust is endemic throughout the entire world now, and it will not be long before we read about Warren Buffett hanging from a lamp post at the hands of an irate population that is panicking.

    I honestly know what is going to happen and why it is happening, but the closed-looped Global Banking System does not care one wit about causality. Clearly, they will care when they get lynched by angry irate mobs of people that are going to freak out when the whole system implodes across the board.

    sharonsj , Jan 16, 2017 2:37 PM

    "But we don't know what the causes are, nor how to deal with it."

    I almost spit out my lunch at that one. Maybe when their heads are in a guillotine they'll remember. Better yet, let this non-elite explain it to you: You've rigged the system so that the rich get richer and everyone else gets screwed. How long did you think that would go on before the masses want you dead?

    [Jan 17, 2017] Common Sense - Addressed To The Inhabitants Of 2017 America

    Notable quotes:
    "... It was read aloud in taverns, churches and town squares, promoting the notion of republicanism, bolstering fervor for complete separation from Britain, and boosting recruitment for the fledgling Continental Army. He rallied public opinion in favor of revolution among layman, farmers, businessmen and lawmakers. It compelled the colonists to make an immediate choice. It made the case against monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny and unfair taxation, offering Americans a solution – liberty and freedom. It was an important precursor to the Declaration of Independence, which was written six months later by Paine's fellow revolutionaries. ..."
    Jan 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

    "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense , the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain." – John Adams

    Thomas Paine was born in 1737 in Britain. His first thirty seven years of life were pretty much a series of failures and disappointments. Business fiascos, firings, the death of his first wife and child, a failed second marriage, and bankruptcy plagued his early life.

    He then met Benjamin Franklin in 1774 and was convinced to emigrate to America, arriving in Philadelphia in November 1774. He thus became the Father of the American Revolution with the publication of Common Sense , pamphlets which crystallized opinion for colonial independence in 1776.

    The first pamphlet was published in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776, and signed anonymously "by an Englishman." It became an instantaneous sensation, swiftly disseminating 100,000 copies in three months among the two and a half million residents of the 13 colonies. Over 500,000 copies were sold during the course of the American Revolution. Paine published Common Sense after the battle of Lexington and Concord, making the argument the colonists should seek complete independence from Great Britain, rather than merely fighting against unfair levels of taxation. The pamphlets stirred the masses with a fighting spirit, instilling in them the backbone to resist a powerful empire.

    It was read aloud in taverns, churches and town squares, promoting the notion of republicanism, bolstering fervor for complete separation from Britain, and boosting recruitment for the fledgling Continental Army. He rallied public opinion in favor of revolution among layman, farmers, businessmen and lawmakers. It compelled the colonists to make an immediate choice. It made the case against monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny and unfair taxation, offering Americans a solution – liberty and freedom. It was an important precursor to the Declaration of Independence, which was written six months later by Paine's fellow revolutionaries.

    Paine's contribution to American independence 241 years ago during the first American Fourth Turning cannot be overstated. His clarion call for colonial unity against a tyrannical British monarch played a providential role in convincing farmers, shopkeepers, and tradesmen reconciliation with a hereditary monarchy was impossible, and armed separation was the only common sense option. He made the case breaking away from Britain was inevitable, and the time was now. Armed conflict had already occurred, but support for a full-fledged revolution had not yet coalesced within the thirteen colonies. Paine's rhetorical style within the pamphlets aroused enough resentment against the British monarchy to rally men to arms, so their children wouldn't have to fight their battles.

    "I prefer peace, but if trouble must come, let it be in my time that my children may know peace." – Thomas Paine

    Paine did not write Common Sense or The American Crisis pamphlets for his contemporaries like John Adams, Samuel Adams, Jefferson, Madison, or Franklin. These intellectual giants were already convinced of the need to permanently break away from the British Empire and form a new nation. Paine wrote his pamphlets in a style understandable to the common man, rendering complex concepts intelligible for the average citizen. Paine seized this historic moment of crisis to provide the intellectual basis for a republican revolution. To inspire his citizen soldiers, George Washington had Paine's pamphlets read aloud at their encampments.

    "These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated." – Thomas Paine – The American Crisis

    The wealthy landowners and firebrands who comprised the Continental Congress leadership were not the audience Paine was trying to sway. They were focused on how a Declaration of Independence would affect the war effort. They were deficient in making their case to the less informed populace.

    Without public support and volunteers to fight the Redcoats, the revolution would have failed. Paine's indispensable contribution to our country's independence was initiating a public debate and disseminating ideas about independence among those who would need to do the fighting and dying if independence was to be achieved.

    Paine was able to synthesize philosophical enlightenment concepts about human rights into common sense ideas understood by ordinary folks. Paine was not a highly educated intellectual and trusted the common people to make sound assessments regarding major issues, based upon wisdom dispensed in a common sense way. He used common sense to refute the professed entitlements of the British ruling establishment. He used common sense as a weapon to de-legitimize King George's despotic monarchy, overturning the conventional thinking among the masses.

    Paine was able to fuse the common cause of the Founding Fathers and the people into a collective revolutionary force. Even though their numbers were small, Paine convinced them they could defeat an empire.

    "It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world" – Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    Paine didn't know he was propelling the American Revolution Fourth Turning towards its successful climax when he wrote those pamphlets. His use of the term Crisis as the title to his second group of pro-revolutionary pamphlets displayed his grasp of the mood in the colonies toward the existing social order. The majority of the 2.5 million people living in the 13 colonies in 1776 were native born. Their loyalty to a distant monarch, treating them with contempt and taxing them to support his far flung empire, had been waning as time progressed. They were ready to shed the cloak of oppression and Paine gave them the rationale for doing so.

    The American Revolution Crisis was ignited by the fiery Prophet Generation leader Samuel Adams with the provocative Boston Tea Party in 1773. The colonial tinderbox was ignited as Adams' committees of correspondence rallied resistance against the Crown and formed a political union among the 13 colonies. After the battles of Lexington & Concord, arming of militias and the formation of the Continental Army under command of George Washington, the regeneracy was at hand.

    Paine, as a Liberty Generation nomad, did what his generation was born to do – be a hands on, pragmatic, get it done leader. His vital contribution to the revolution was rousing the colonists with the toughness, resolution, and backbone to withstand the long difficult trials ahead. He, along with other members of his generation – George Washington, John Adams, and Francis Marion, did the heavy lifting throughout the American Revolution.

    They knew they would hang if their labors failed, but the struggle for liberty against a tyrannical despot drove them forward against all odds. Paine's pamphlets, followed shortly thereafter by the Declaration of Independence, marked the regeneracy of the first American Fourth Turning , as solidarity around the cause of liberty inspired by brave words and valiant deeds, propelled history towards its glorious climax at Yorktown.

    When you're in the midst of a Fourth Turning it is hard to step back and assess where you are on a daily basis. This Fourth Turning began in September 2008, with the global financial implosion created by the Fed and their Wall Street puppet masters. We have just achieved the long awaited regeneracy as Trump has stepped forth as the Grey Champion to lead a revolution against the corrupt tyrannical establishment.

    The election of Trump did not mark the end for the Deep State, but just the beginning of the end. Just as Paine's Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence denoted the beginning of a long string of bloody trials and tribulations, Trump's ascendency to the presidency has marked the beginning of a battle – with the outcome dependent upon our response to the clashes ahead.

    The regeneracy spurred by Thomas Paine and the nation's Founding Fathers in 1776 was followed by five years of ordeal, misery, misfortune, bloody routs, and numerous junctures where total defeat hung in the balance. Lesser men would have abandoned the cause during the dark bitter winter at Valley Forge in 1778.

    The shocking victory by Trump has revealed the depth of corruption among the corporate mass media, both political parties, surveillance agencies, and shadowy Deep State moneyed players behind the scenes. The ivory tower D.C. politicians, their entitlement culture, blatant corruption, vile disregard for the Constitution, and complete disregard for the plight of average Americans living outside their bastions of liberal elitism (NYC, L.A., S.F., D.C., Chicago), have shown their true colors since November 8.

    Trump utilized the same populist messaging invoked by Paine in his Common Sense pamphlets during his unorthodox presidential campaign. He mobilized the large alienated silent majority who has been left behind as the globalists, corporatists, and militarists reaped the rich rewards of a growing corporate fascist surveillance state. Average Americans in flyover country watched as the fetid swamp creatures in the mainstream media, along with debased political establishment hacks, Hollywood elites, left wing billionaires, and so called social justice warriors coalesced behind a criminal establishment candidate. The out of touch elite have controlled the government for decades, treating the country and its people like a two dollar whore.

    Just as Paine hit a nerve among the great unwashed masses, Trump united blue collar workers, small business owners, family men, working mothers, guns rights champions, disaffected conservatives, realistic libertarians, disaffected millennials and various anti-establishment types sick and tired of the status quo. He gave voice to the little man with his in your face populist rhetoric against the corrupt dominant elites.

    His plain spoken, aggressive, no holds barred, pugnacious approach to crushing his enemies rallied millions to his cause. The Make America Great Again revolution has only just begun and the violent, vitriolic pushback from the vested interests are only the opening volleys in this Second American Revolution . The entrenched Deep State establishment will concede nothing. Tyranny will not be defeated without bloodshed.

    "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." – Thomas Paine

    The same common sense Paine used to argue against a tyrannical, oppressive hereditary monarchy applies today when judging our corrupt, authoritarian, co-opted government. His themes of society as a blessing, government as evil, and revolution as inevitable are as applicable today as they were 241 years ago. As we approach Trump's inauguration it has become clear the ruling elite feel threatened and are using their control of the media, intelligence services, military, and financial system to try and undermine his presidency before it begins.

    As their fake news propaganda falls on the deaf ears of disgusted Americans, their next ploy will be violence, war or assassination. The vested interests have no intention of relinquishing their power and wealth, just as King George and his Parliament had no intention of allowing the colonies to form an independent republic.

    If you thought voting Trump into the office of the president constituted a victory, you are badly misreading historical precedent and the inevitable paths of Fourth Turnings. The fight is just beginning. The leftist social justice warriors, their wealthy elite puppeteers, the neo-con military industrial complex warmongers, globalists, multi-culturists, and surveillance state apparatchiks have all made it clear they will violently and rhetorically, through their corporate media mouthpieces, resist Trump and his common man revolution.

    I don't know if the normal people who supported Trump realize how abnormal, deviant, and despicable their opponents are. Blood will be spilled. Violence will beget violence. The country is already split and the divide will only grow wider. Someone will win and someone will lose. Our choices will matter.

    "The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference." – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

    In Part Two of this article I will try to show how Paine's Common Sense , even though written three generations ago, has essential pertinence during these troubled times of our current Fourth Turning .