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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Old News ;-)

[Dec 08, 2018] In office, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 5, 2018 4:54:14 PM | link

"The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Article from Truthdig: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-it-means-that-hillary-clinton-might-run-for-president-in-2020/

[Dec 08, 2018] Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter.

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Durruti , says: December 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT

"Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter. This emboldens them. The reality of votes cast and "democracy" past does not does bode well for the people of the United Kingdom, their future as a nation or their hopeful return to sovereignty once called, "Brexit."

Dynamite opening paragraph by Brett Redmayne-Titley.

It defines the vital issue of -To be or not to be – for our Planet's citizens who struggle (or aught to), for functioning Democratic Republics founded upon the ideal of Liberty and Justice for All.

Titley's ending mention of the trials of the Greek nation, and others, is well placed and a tribute to his worldview, that is key to analyzing the situation in any particular corner.

"Britains should consider this arbitrary bullying of Italy and of the UK. Then they should consider the sad EU imposed current condition of Greece. Next, they might dwell on the failed outcomes of previous elections within the nearby EU nations, and how similar movements were defeated in their nation as well. Last, they must pay closest of attention to what is actually in the souls of their own politicians and what they truly support."

In America, we lost our Democratic Republic and our last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy , in a hail of bullets in the Coup D'état of November 22, 1963.

The Citizen Yellow Vests in France , supported by their 2 leading Resistance Fighters, Dieudonné , and Alain Soral , display the next step forward in the Resistance to Tyranny.

Step 1 – Committees of Correspondence (mainstream media free – websites, & communications).

2. Step away from the TVs – & breathe the free air outside as the Citizen Militia Yellow Vests(Minutemen), regain the streets and stretch their muscles.

3. Final Step: We are Joined by free police, military, even CIA & other police agency employees, in the act of regaining their Countries, with their Sovereignty, and their Honor. We Restore Our Republics!

a. Zionist imperialist/racists to jail and awaiting Trial.

b. Cleanup & rebuilding.

c. Unbought electoral process - no $ allowed in the process (equal media access for all candidates), Debates between the candidates. Let a hundred flowers bloom (what democrat said that?)?

Something like that.

Durruti – for the Anarchist Collective

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Corbyn, in my opinion one of the many not too bright socialists, who are caught in their own ideological prison: worldwide socialism is globalisation, globalisation took power away from politicians, and gave it to multinationals and banks.
jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
@niceland The expression class war is often used without realising what the issue is, same with tax evasion.
The rich of course consume more, however, there is a limit to what one can consume, it takes time to squander money.
So the end of the class war may make the rich poor, but alas the poor hardly richer.

About tax evasion, some economist, do not remember his name, did not read the article attentively, analysed wealth in the world, and concluded that eight % of this wealth had originated in evading taxes.
Over what period this evasion had taken place, do not remember this economist had reached a conclusion, but anyone understands that ending tax evasion will not make all poor rich.

There is quite another aspect of class war, evading taxes, wealth inequality, that is quite worrying: the political power money can yield.
Soros is at war with Hungary, his Open University must leave Hungary.
USA MSM furious, some basic human right, or rights, have been violated, many in Brussels furious, the 226 Soros followers among them, I suppose.
But since when is it allowed, legally and/or morally, to try to change the culture of a country, in this case by a foreigner, just by pumping money into a country ?
Soros advertises himself as a philantropist, the Hungarian majority sees him as some kind of imperialist, I suppose.

Tyrion 2 , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Simon in London 90% Labour party members supported remain, as did 65% of their voters and 95% of their MPs.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

Well , I am reading " The occult renaissance church of Rome " by Michael Hoffman , Independent History and research . Coeur d`Alene , Idaho . http://www.RevisionistHistory.org
I saw about this book in this Unz web .

I used to think than the rot started with protestantism , but Hoffman says it started with catholic Renaissance in Rome itself in the XV century , the Medici , the Popes , usury

Mike P , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
This whole affair illustrates beautifully the real purpose of the sham laughingly known as "representative democracy," namely, not to "empower" the public but to deprive it of its power.

With modern means of communication, direct democracy would be technically feasible even in large countries. Nevertheless, practically all "democratic" countries continue to delegate all legislative powers to elected "representatives." These are nothing more than consenting hostages of those with the real power, who control and at the same time hide behind those "representatives." The more this becomes obvious, the lower the calibre of the people willing to be used in this manner – hence, the current crop of mental gnomes and opportunist shills in European politics.

Wizard of Oz , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
I would only shout this rambling ignoramus a beer in the pub to stop his mouth for a while. Some of his egregious errors have been noted. and Greece, anyway, is an irrelevance to the critical decisions on Brexit.

Once Article 50 was invoked the game was over. All the trump cards were on the EU side. Now we know that, even assuming Britain could muster a competent team to plan and negotiate for Brexit that all the work of proving up the case and negotiating or preparing the ground has to be done over years leading up to the triggering of Article 50. And that's assuming that recent events leave you believing that the once great Britain is fit to be a sovereign nation without adult supervision.

As it is one has to hope that Britain will not be constrained by the total humbug which says that a 51 per cent vote of those choosing to vote in that very un British thing, a referendum, is some sort of reason for not giving effect to a more up to date and better informed view.

Stebbing Heuer , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Erm Varoufakis didn't knuckle under. He resigned in protest at Tsipras' knuckling under.
anon [108] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Hypothesis: The British masses would fare better without a privatized government.

"Corbyn may prove to be real .. .. old-time Labour platform [leadership, capable to].. return [political, social and financial] control back to the hands of the UK worker".. [but the privateers will use the government itself and mass media to defeat such platforms and to suppress labor with new laws and domestic armed warfare]. Why would a member of the British masses allow [the Oligarch elite and the[ir] powerful business and foreign political interests restrain democracy and waste the victims of privately owned automation revolution? .. ..

[Corbyn's Labour platform challenges ] privatized capitalist because the PCs use the British government to keep imprisoned in propaganda and suppressed in opportunity, the masses. The privateers made wealthy by their monopolies, are using their resources to maintain rule making and enforcement control (via the government) over the masses; such privateers have looted the government, and taken by privatization a vast array of economic monopolies that once belonged to the government. If the British government survives, the Privateers (monopoly thieves) will continue to use the government to replace humanity, in favor of corporate owned Robots and super capable algorithms.

Corbyn's threat to use government to represent the masses and to suppress or reduce asymmetric power and wealth, and to provide sufficient for everyone extends to, and alerts the masses in every capitalist dominated place in the world. He (Corbyn) is a very dangerous man, so too was Jesus Christ."

There is a similar call in France, but it is not yet so well led.

Michael Kenny , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This sounds like a halfway house between hysterical panic and sour grapes. The author clearly believes that Brexit is going to fail.
T.T , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
Every working Dutch person is "owed" 50k euro from the bailout of Greece, not that Greece will ever pay this back, and not as if Greece ever really got the money as it just went straight to northern European banks to bail them out. Then we have the fiscal policy creating more money by the day to stimulate the economy, which also doesn't reach the countries or people just the banks. Then we have the flirting with East-European mobsters to pull them in the EU sphere corrupting top EU bureaucrats. Then we have all of south Europe being extremely unstable, including France, both its populations and its economy.

It's sad to see the British government doesn't see the disaster ahead, any price would be cheaper then future forced EU integration. And especially at this point, the EU is so unstable, that they can't go to war on the UK without also committing A kamikaze attack.

Brett Redmayne-Titley , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Brabantian Thank you for your comment and addition to my evaluation of Corbyn. I do agree with you that Corbyn has yet to be tested for sincerity and effectiveness as PM, but he will likely get his chance and only then will we and the Brits find out for sure. The main point I was hoping to make was that: due to the perceived threat of Labour socialist reform under Corbyn, he has been an ulterior motive in the negotiations and another reason that the EU wants PM May to get her deal passed. Yes, I too am watching Corbyn with jaundiced optimism. Thank you.

[Dec 07, 2018] An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

Che Guava , says: December 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm GMT

I agree Jilles, and with many other of the commenters.

Read enough to see that the article has many errors of fact and perception. It is bad enough to suspect *propaganda* , but Brett is clearly not at that level.

An important point that you hint at is that the Brits were violently and manipulatively forced to accept mass immigration for many years.

Yet strangely, to say anything about it only became acceptable when some numbers of the immigrants were fellow Europeans from within the EU, and most having some compatibility with existing ethnicity and previous culture.

Even people living far away notice such forced false consciousness.

As for Corbyn, he is nothing like the old left of old Labour. He tries to convey that image, it is a lie.

He may not be Blairite-Zio New Labour, and received some influence from the more heavily Marxist old Labour figures, but he is very much a creature of the post-worst-of-1968 and dirty hippy new left, Frankfurt School and all that crap, doubt that he has actually read much of it, but he has internalised it through his formal and political education.

By the way, the best translation of the name of North Korea's ruling party is 'Labour Party'. While it is a true fact, I intend nothing from it but a small laugh.

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 27, 2018] Trump betrayed the Rust Belt. As the result Trump s Rust Belt support evaporate and the king is now naked

Trump most probably will be a one time President... The American people will elect the next time another bullshit artist but this time probably from Democratic Party..
Notable quotes:
"... I'll give the congressman all of that, especially ..."
"... When the economy is bad, nobody wants a bullsh*t artist in the White House. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "He came to our community and said, 'Don't sell your house. These jobs are coming back,' " Green said. "We've seen nothing but job losses around here." ..."
"... What you can blame Trump for is exploiting the hopes of Rust Belt people by telling them that he could bring those jobs back. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You heard that General Motors is idling five plants and laying off 14,000 workers, right? Excerpt:

Part of the retrenchment is a response to a slowdown in new-car sales that has prompted automakers to slim their operations and shed jobs. And earlier bets on smaller cars have had to be unwound as consumers have gravitated toward pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles in response to low gasoline prices.

In addition, automakers have paid a price for the trade battle that Mr. Trump set in motion. In June G.M. slashed its profit outlook for the year because tariffs were driving up production costs, raising prices even on domestic steel. Rising interest rates are also generating headwinds.

Ms. Barra said no single factor had prompted G.M.'s cutbacks, portraying them as a prudent trimming of sails. "We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market," she said on a conference call with analysts.

More:

But demand for small and midsize cars has plunged. Two-thirds of all new vehicles sold last year were trucks and S.U.V.s. That shift has hit G.M.'s Lordstown plant hard. Just a few years ago, the factory employed three shifts of workers to churn out Chevy Cruzes. Now it is down to one. In 2017 the plant made about 180,000 cars, down from 248,000 in 2013.

More broadly, the years long boom in car and truck sales in North America appears to be ending, said John Hoffecker, vice chairman at AlixPartners, a global consulting firm with a large automotive practice. "Sales have held up well this year, but we do see a downturn coming," he said. AlixPartners forecast that domestic auto sales will fall to about 15 million cars and light trucks in 2020, from about 17 million this year.

Watching cable news tonight at the gym, I heard an Ohio Democratic Congressman blast the president over this. He ripped Trump for having made promises to industrial workers in his state in 2016, about how he would bring jobs back. He ripped Trump over the steel tariffs that have driven up costs of production. And he ripped Trump for not taking his job seriously, for caring more about Twitter than coming up with a strategy that might save jobs.

I'll give the congressman all of that, especially on Trump being a lazy, golfing-and-tweeting buffoon who doesn't care about his job. Trump can get away with that when the economy is booming, but now it looks like things might be turning downward.

When the economy is bad, nobody wants a bullsh*t artist in the White House. From the Washington Post :

In Lordstown, workers planned to pray for a miraculous reversal of the company's decision, according to David Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112.

"It's like someone knocks the wind out of you," he said of GM's announcement. "You lose your breath for a minute."

About 40 percent of the local's members voted for Trump, Green said. Now workers want to see the president keep his promises, he said.

"He came to our community and said, 'Don't sell your house. These jobs are coming back,' " Green said. "We've seen nothing but job losses around here."

Indeed, even before Monday's announcement, Lordstown had been bleeding jobs. Since Trump took office, GM has eliminated two shifts and roughly 3,000 jobs at the plant, according to John Russo, a visiting scholar at Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor.

But we have to face some facts. People aren't buying what GM is making. Aside from the move away from small cars, an effect of lower gasoline prices, sedan sales have been declining across all manufacturers. This summer, I got a good deal on a 2018 Honda Accord, a car I really love, and that received rapturous praise from the automobile press when it came out. Honda struggled to sell the cars. It's not because they're lousy cars. They're actually terrific cars. It's that consumers are losing interest in sedans. What good does it do GM to manufacture cars that people will not buy?

You can't blame Trump for that.

What you can blame Trump for is exploiting the hopes of Rust Belt people by telling them that he could bring those jobs back. The Rust Belt made the crucial difference for Trump in 2016. Unless the Democrats' 2020 nominee is someone who is more or less a space alien, it's going to be hard to win those voters' support when you've improved your Twitter game and your golf score, but those plants are idle.

[Nov 25, 2018] Trump and His Loyalists are "Animal Farm's" Pigs

Notable quotes:
"... Despite the animals' increasingly desperate circumstances on the farm, Squealer's barrage of untruths ultimately convince the lowly, overworked animals that "things were getting better." ..."
"... Anymore, whether it's in the company of dictators Trump keeps or among the multi-millionaires and billionaires that our purported Capitol Hill representatives mingle with at home and abroad, it's becoming increasingly harder to tell "which is which." ..."
Nov 25, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Trump and His Loyalists are "Animal Farm's" Pigs by Kevin McKinney They are the Pigs in Animal Farm , preaching righteousness, peddling preposterousness and hoarding all the "milk and apples" for themselves.

If the demogagic President Donald Trump and his greedy loyalist Republican abettors had their way, the American citizenry would be consigned to a life of Farm -like drudgery.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" becomes the leader pigs' contorted "Commandment" to the rest of the farm animals by the end of Animal Farm .

... ... ...

Orwell himself, indicated that his simplistic foreboding fairtale held "a wider application" about "power-hungry people."

"I meant the moral to be that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert.." Orwell writes Politics magazine founder Dwight Macdonald in a 1946 letter.

"What I was trying to say was," Orwell continues, "'You can't have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship.'"

Disillusioned Americans, who weren't so much "alert" as they were desperate, clearly were swindled by Trump's disingenous populous revolution of sorts.

Now, in the flotsam wake of the midterm election's Democratic blue wave -- demonstrating a new found citizen alertness that will flood the House in January -- the mistake of ever allowing a Trump Presidency, is coming into sharp, unsettling focus.

Oppression is oppression. Greed and abuse of power produce essentially the same result whatever the misanthropic ideology – Communism or Fascism or some other hybrid demagogic "ism" to which Trump and his loyalists aspire.

If Washington D.C's plutocratic pigs had their druthers, Americans would be so dumbed down by the con-in-chief's exhaustive lies and grating vitriol, endorsed by congressional majority party Republicans, that we would have about as much say in our Republic's affairs as Animal Farm 's befuddled barnyard animals had on the farm under the pigs.

"Napoleon is Always Right"

Trump is akin to Farm 's ruthless ruling pig, Napoleon, a Berkshire boar who, Orwell writes, has a knack for "getting his own way."

Napoleon counted on his propagandist pig, Squealer, who "could turn black into white" to brainwash the farm animals with lies about their tyrannical leader's supposed benevolence.

Even Clover the mare, who notices the changes the pigs sneakily make to Animalism's Commandments, eventually is lulled into a sense of complacency, convincing herself that she must have "remembered it wrong."

As the Farm animals work harder for less, the beloved, but dim-witted carthorse Boxer declares, "I will work harder" and routinely motivates himself by extolling the pigs' most controlling lie of all: "Napoleon is always right."

To advance his doubtless premeditated assault on truth and civility from the start of 2017, President Trump has employed his own tag team versions of Squealer – in imaginative mouthpieces Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Sanders, White House press secretary, seems eternally lost in an alternate reality where if President Trump "says it, it must be true" – just as Farm's animals were programmed to parrot of Napoleon, no matter how absurd the lie.

... ... ...

And we Americans, like Farm 's flock of mindless sheep taught by Squealer to obediently bleat "Four legs good, two legs better ," are supposed to believe it all.

... ... ...

Pigs Hoarded Milk and Apples; Repubs, Tax Cuts For Rich

Just as Farm 's pigs reason early on that they need all of the farm's "milk and apples" to lead the rest of the animals, Trump and his complicit Republican chums insisted at the outset that billionaires' tax breaks are the key to economic revival for all.

Never mind that Reaganomics trickled down – and out, decades ago. Never mind that corporate profits are soaring, while workers' wages have stagnated.

And that now, in order to pay for corporate big wigs' tax cuts, Republicans contrive to carve up the people's Medicare and Medicaid, while sinisterly eyeing social security benefits.

Who is the real "enemy of the people"?

"The turning-point of the story was supposed to be when the pigs kept the milk and apples for themselves," Orwell writes in the 1946 letter to Macdonald, published in George Orwell: A Life In Letters , 2013.

"If the other animals had had the sense to put their foot down then," Orwell continues, "it would have been all right."

At the first sign of feebleness, Boxer, the farm's hardest worker -- instrumental in the farm's success from which the pigs alone capitalized -- is hauled off to the slaughterhouse.

Despite the animals' increasingly desperate circumstances on the farm, Squealer's barrage of untruths ultimately convince the lowly, overworked animals that "things were getting better."

Think of Trump's grandiose claims of new plant openings and soaring jobs numbers. When Fox News' asked him this past weekend how he would grade his job as President so far, Trump offered, "A plus."

And look no further than Trump's scripted, dictator-esque, brainwashing rallies, where gullible Reality TV "fans" pathetically worship a snake oil salesman, cheering on command and smiling idiotic smiles.

Which is Which?

In Farm' s last pages, the pigs have rewritten Animalism's "Seven Commandments" to suit them, embracing the ways of the animals' sworn enemy humans.

"Comrade Napoleon" and his fellow privileged porkers have moved into overthrown (Manor Farm) owner Mr. Jones' farm house, are dressed in his clothes and are walking upright on their two hind legs.

By then, the incoherent sheep under the absolute sway of Napoleon's propagandist pig Squealer, no longer are sounding off on command: "Four legs good, two legs bad," but rather, "Four legs good, two legs better ."

Animal Farm leaves us with the animals peering through the farm house dining room window as the pigs inside schmooze and toast mugs of beer with neighboring farmer, Mr. Pilkington and his associates.

The pigs and humans end up squabbling over a card game in which Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington each play an ace of spades.

Who is cheating?

In the novella's last line, the baffled animals at the window look from face to face, from the humans to the pigs, but: "It was impossible to say which was which."

Anymore, whether it's in the company of dictators Trump keeps or among the multi-millionaires and billionaires that our purported Capitol Hill representatives mingle with at home and abroad, it's becoming increasingly harder to tell "which is which."

... ... ...

[Nov 25, 2018] Trump vs Berlusconi

Nov 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

All that said, the subject's personality cannot help shine through anyway. One understands Berlusconi's original appeal: salesmanship on a massive scale. First as a developer and salesman in the booming 1970s Italian property market. Then by founding Italy's first private television stations, circumventing the state ban on private national channels Ride of the Valkyries . Berlusconi's success as a businessman reflects the materialism and superficiality characteristic of the postwar democratic West, his power derives from the masses' bottomless desire for things and for spectacle.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Berlusconi in effect converted his media appeal and economic clout into political capital. My Way does give a sense of the man's charm, brashness, and sordid sense of humor. Nonetheless, one can't help laughing at his jokes and enjoying his company. We see him give a pep talk to his football players. Berlusconi tells a black player that he would like to meet his wife, because she is so beautiful, adding that he needn't worry as he's already "too old." He tells a fifty-year-old man that he looks great, adding however that he still doesn't look as a good as Berlusconi himself. This is funny, but Berlusconi, who was almost eighty during the interviews, does look like an awful case of plastic surgery.

Berlusconi gives us a tour of his gorgeous villa at Arcore (20 kilometers from Milan), showing his collection of Renaissance paintings, classical Greco-Roman sculpture (some given to him by Muamar Gaddafi from Libya), and a whole room of paintings of . . . himself, apparently given to him over the years by his many admirers. Among these we are shown a heroic painting of Mussolini, with Berlusconi weakly protesting that this shouldn't be filmed, lest they give the wrong impression.

Berlusconi is a man who gets what he wants. Call it a weakness for appetite or a strength of will. In any event, Berlusconi tells Friedman that he has never ever gone to bed with his often-changing wife/girlfriend without making love to her. So much passion. After having two children with his first wife (who did not age gracefully), he moved in with and eventually married Veronica Lario. They stayed together for many years but they eventually divorced and, in keeping with the modern era of female empowerment, Berlusconi has since 2013 been required pay her $48 million per year as part of their settlement. Berlusconi's girlfriend since 2012 is 50 years his junior and, for her service, will presumably receive an even bigger payout. Let no one say that THOT-ery does not pay!

Berlusconi's penchant for girls was part of his undoing in another respect, namely in his notorious "Bunga Bunga" parties with nubile young women, culminating in the trial alleging that he had had sex with an underage Moroccan prostitute nicknamed "Ruby Rubacuore" (Ruby Heartstealer). In the interviews, Berlusconi explains that the term "Bunga Bunga" comes from a sex joke involving an African tribe . . . on which I will say nothing other than I was astonished to hear it because it was also popular in the high school I frequented.

My Way , while an hour and thirty-eight minutes long, does not tell you all that much about Berlusconi's politics. Besides his changing of Italian laws so as to escape prosecution for various misdeeds, the little that is said largely speaks in his favor. He is extremely proud of having hosted a NATO summit near Rome in 2002, at which Berlusconi, U.S. President George W. Bush, and Russian President Vladimir Putin really hit it off. Berlusconi goes so far as to claim that his summit "ended the Cold War," which is the usual hyperbolic salesman-speak, much like Trump's perennial "tremendous." Certainly, this marked a warming of relations between Moscow and Washington after the disagreements over the Kosovo War. On the substance, one can only welcome attempts to bring peace and good relations among Europe, America, and Russia, which have so often been needlessly in conflict.

Loro & My Way, by Guillaume Durocher - The Unz Review

In the interviews, Berlusconi makes the case against the Iraq War and against the Libya War. In both cases he argues, as a good realist, that you need a strong leader, in effect a dictator, to maintain order in these multiethnic countries. To bring "democracy" would mean only chaos. Berlusconi notes that Iraq is made up of three antagonistic ethno-religious groups and that Libya is made up of some 105 tribes, who had regularly declared Gaddafi "King of Kings." Since the dictators are gone, these Arab nations have known only civil war . . . an impotence which naturally great benefits Israel, has allowed the foundation of the Islamic State, and harmed Europe by sparking massive Afro-Islamic migration. The fall of Gaddafi's dictatorship also led the spread of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which captured Timbuktu in 2012, destroying some of that city's ancient shrines and mausoleums, one of the few examples of indigenous Sub-Saharan African architectural heritage.

Berlusconi expresses the basic truth: multicultural societies are not compatible with democracy or, to put it more positively, with civic politics in general. There can be no solidarity without identity. Given this fact, the multiculturalists and immigrationists are digging the grave of liberal democracy, and in their ignorance and delusion, are preparing the way for new regimes. Let us hope that these will be indeed more coherent and honest forms of government.

I do not know if Berlusconi actually privately opposed the Iraq invasion in 2003. In any event, once Bush got on his way, Italy did send troops there. On Libya, Berlusconi was outmaneuvered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom Friedman accurately describes as fomenting a war to boost his flagging approval ratings and distract from his lackluster economic performance.

We then move to the eurozone crisis in 2011. In this instance, the Great European Ponzi Scheme of malinvestment in southern European property and debt, collapsed, threatening the whole continent's banking sector. Friedman does not give the watcher any good idea of why all this was occurring. He does explicitly show, based primarily on U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner's testimony, that Berlusconi was taken out under pressure by Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who blamed Italy's lack of "reforms" for the eurozone's ills. The European Central Bank also threatened to let Italy go bankrupt unless Rome towed the line.

Berlusconi was toppled and Mario Monti, a former EU commissioner and Goldman Sachs banker, was parachuted in, on the recommendation of George Soros , no less. I for one don't think that rule by a small, rootless, international clique tends to be very stable. Monti proved monstrously unpopular and was kicked out of office within two years. The Italians have since responded to EU diktats by electing anti-Brussels populists of various stripes.

Loro & My Way, by Guillaume Durocher - The Unz Review

Friedman interviewed a number of people in making his documentary. These include a (probably rightly) indignant Italian prosecutor, a colorless Italian journalist, a former Spanish prime minister, a former EU president, and even Putin himself. Not a whole lot of light comes out of all of this. Strikingly, Berlusconi emerges as if anything the most likable character among the whole motley crew of people interviewed, at that is saying something. Despite his more-or-less hostile narration, the interviewer Friedman is shown constantly being friendly and making ingratiating smiles with Berlusconi, only to dump him at the end of the film, saying "and I never saw him again" with a credit role showcasing Berlusconi and his associates' various convictions.

On Berlusconi the talented and opportunist politician, I can add the following which was not mentioned in the documentary. He knew how to make the difficult deals to form Italy's notoriously-unstable coalition governments, starting in 1994, with a short-lived alliance with the regionalist Lega Nord and post-fascist National Alliance (who hated each other, essentially over the Southern Question). He knew how to compaign for what the people wanted. His famous 2001 "Contract with the Italians" promised less and simpler taxes, infrastructure, more jobs, more pensions, more police, and less politicians. Of course, he rarely delivered. In 2006, constitutional reforms proposed by Berlusconi would have strengthened the prime minister and devolved more powers to Italy's regions, but this was rejected by referendum.

The Italian journalist in the documentary points out that Berlusconi never did the "reforms" necessary to save the economy, as he did not want to upset his electorate or his coalition partners. In short, for all the kvetching, Berlusconi was too much of a democrat to get much done.

Berlusconi was however decidedly anti-leftist. He wanted to reform the constitution because it had been co-drafted by the "Soviets" (as a matter of fact, communist and Marxist parties made up about 40% of the 1946 Constituent Assembly and to this day Italy's official emblem looks communist ). When facing Romano Prodi's left-wing coalition "the Union" in the mid-2000s, Berlusconi nicknamed it "the Soviet Union." Unlike in France or Germany, Italy had no taboo on the center-right, including Berlusconi, making alliances with nationalist and sometimes even neofascist parties. He was born in 1936 in what was then the Kingdom of Italy, well into the second decade of Fascist government.

At a holocaust remembrance ceremony in 2013, Berlusconi argued that Mussolini's Fascist government did many good things , all the while lamenting the alliance with the Third Reich and participation in the holocaust (specifically, the deportation of Jews, although in fact the survival rate for Italian Jews was among the highest in Europe and these deportations only began after Germany had created their own puppet government in northern Italy, nominally led by Mussolini). As a matter of fact, many figures as diverse as Ezra Pound, Charles de Gaulle, and Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi admired Italian Fascism's political stability and ability to promote communitarian values stressing individual self-sacrifice for the common good. All this may not be understood today however.

In the end, Berlusconi achieved little politically. He maintained good relations with Russia, America, Israel, and Libya, the latter being of particular value in containing the ever-rising tied of African illegal immigration. He had excellent instincts in general. But, ultimately, he was merely an end in himself, masculinity without purpose.

Salvini's party has eclipsed that of Berlusconi

With the declining influence of the mainstream media and the ability of outsiders to appeal directly to the masses through social media, we will no doubt see the rise of many more populists movements of both left and right. Happily, in Italy itself, Berlusconian populism has given way to that of Matteo Salvini , who while something an opportunist himself (like all electoral politicians, I am tempted to add), is saying and doing many of the right things on immigration and demography . . . and is getting even more popular as a result.

The opportunity here is in overthrowing an emotionally stunted and ideologically incoherent establishment, which is destroying Western civilization based on a fundamentally incorrect understanding of human nature. The risk is that we fall into mere demotism, with governments mindlessly following the fluctuations of the debased desires and prejudices of public opinion, which would certainly not be optimal either. From this, there will be more electoral demand for economically unsustainable left-wing economic policies, and for environmentally damaging right-wing policies. Neither is desirable, I do not rejoice at Trump's blowing up of America's hills for coal and gas or Bolsonaro's proposals to further cut down the rain forests.

But this is what democracy means! This is the ineluctable product of the hegemonic "anti-fascism" and rejection of all authority since 1945! To those who are upset with the careers of Berlusconi, Trump, and Bolsonaro, I am tempted to quote Gladiator : "Are you not entertained!? Is this not why you are here!?"

Loro & My Way, by Guillaume Durocher - The Unz Review

Western men and women can no longer understand the ancient notion of justice: that justice is a right hierarchy. Obviously, there can be no hierarchy or justice among "equals," for whom anyone's claim to superiority is necessarily presumptuous arrogance. Westerners today are not ready to hear or understand these truths. In the natural course of events, things must necessarily get worse before human beings realize that they are doing or thinking something wrong, and correct course. This takes time. Things certainly are not bad enough yet. We are far too comfy.

In the meantime, we will see not only more Berlusconis, but many more Trumps, Bolsonaros, Orbáns , and Salvinis in the future, as well as Corbyns and Grillos. Loro & My Way, by Guillaume Durocher - The Unz Review


Anon [305] Disclaimer , says: November 20, 2018 at 5:08 pm GMT

Hey,

you also have to live in the country you talk about, or be on close terms with someone objective who is really friendly to you and lives there, before confidently drawing judgments on politicians (or writers, or anybody).

Because interests, ego-interests and career interests, cloud reports and opinions.

In the specific, verbally and culturally assaulting Berlusconi during the time of his being influential and charismatic was the national (and European) sport for the "if Trump wins I leave the USA, no longer feeling safe" types -- from Organized Press and TV "journalists" and "film-makers" to "poets", "singers', "thinkers", and, well, every sort of "influencer".

The same mechanics at play with Trump in the USA.

He was not superficial and initially got elected with programs and projects ahead of the time for Italy, meeting the opposition (on top of the Left, as said) of his allies, who were aggrieved by his overwhelming popularity.

He was no Orban no Haider no Le Pen no Farage. The closest comparison is with Trump but he was no Trump either.
Among other things, he was always pushing to abridge the gap between Italy and those few countries ahead of it (very few, but stably ahead) -- thus drawing upon himself the ire of those countries' establishment.

He pursued independence from European élites, and the USA, in foreign politics and economic governance, as well as efonomically strategical "friendships" with Russia-Putin and Libya-Ghaddafi.
Such independence was no longer tolerated when, in the mid-00s, the Financial Times & Goldman Sachs folks gained greater than ever control on exactly foreign policy of European countries and economic policy.

"The Markets" suddenly stopped trusting Italy's trustwhortiness amd ability to honour its debts; the "International Press" went on describing financial instability and dire prospects for Italy full-time, as they do when there's an end to achieve (and to be achieved shortly).

Interest rates that had to be paid to creditors and people who's buy state debt soared above any reasonable height, forcing the government's lapse.
Mario Monti, an economist who had served in the ranks of Goldman Sachs, and an international-élite member, was made President upon, very clearly, orders from abroad.

Suddenly The Markets and the International Press went back to finding Italy's finances and financial prospects healthy, debt rates went back to their normal.

In 2018, after some years an independent goverment is elected again (Salvini-Di Maio), and again you have the EU's economy chiefs, the Press that Matters, the Markets, the USA rating agencies, all worried about Italy's financial conditions. And again this makes debt rates on issued state bonds soar.

It happens whenever elected politicians show lack of obedience -- especially if they fail to harass Putin, has Berlusconi then, and Salvini & Di Maio now, failed and fail to.

Digital Samizdat , says: November 20, 2018 at 8:13 pm GMT
@Anon

It happens whenever elected politicians show lack of obedience -- especially if they fail to harass Putin, has Berlusconi then, and Salvini & Di Maio now, failed and fail to.

Yup. The bond-ratings agencies are nothing but a tool of the globalist debt-vultures on Wall Street. The whole ratings system is a total scam.

[Friedman] does explicitly show, based primarily on U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner's testimony, that Berlusconi was taken out under pressure by Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who blamed Italy's lack of "reforms" for the eurozone's ills. The European Central Bank also threatened to let Italy go bankrupt unless Rome towed the line.

I heard a slightly different version of the story. I heard that Berlusconi was pushed out of office when he threatened to retaliate against Berlin/Brussels by dropping the euro:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/19/the-plot-to-topple-berlusconi/

In any case, it's a real delight having Guillaume Durocher here at Unz.com. I had never heard of him before, but I have so far enjoyed all of his articles. It's always good to get a European droite nouvelle perspective on politics.

Guillaume Durocher , says: Website November 21, 2018 at 8:48 am GMT
@Anon Very informative. Thanks for your comment! Let's hop Di Maio/Salvini prove more resilient to international pressure.
Guillaume Durocher , says: Website November 21, 2018 at 8:58 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Thanks for your comment! Indeed Italy is perhaps the country for which the euro is the worst fit. I can imagine business circles around Berlusconi being tempted to get out..
Oleaginous Outrager , says: November 21, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT
The story of AC Milan, mentioned only in passing here, is instructive: he doesn't know when to walk away. This can be viewed as positive (tenacity!) or negative (blatant egotism!), but the fact is his inability to let go means his hand gets forced and in the case of both Italy and Milan, everybody ends up with a completely crap deal.
Verymuchalive , says: November 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm GMT

In the meantime, we will see not only more Berlusconis, but many more Trumps, Bolsonaros, Orbáns, and Salvinis in the future, as well as Corbyns and Grillos.

Let's be absolutely clear about this. Corbyn is no populist. He has little empathy for the white working class and is in favour of large 3rd World immigration. In fact, Durocher's case for Left Wing Populism does not stand up to any form of scrutiny. To paraphrase the dramatist, the mainstream and far left want to dissolve the people and elect a new one. More and more immigration, they believe, will result in more and more people reliant on welfare. These people, when enfranchised, will vote for the parties of welfare – the Left. The Left will be in power forever, so they believe. Given their vested interest, they are inherently anti-Populist.

From this, there will be more electoral demand for economically unsustainable left-wing economic policies, and for environmentally damaging right-wing policies. Neither is desirable, I do not rejoice at Trump's blowing up of America's hills for coal and gas or Bolsonaro's proposals to further cut down the rain forests.

The population of the US and Brazil 100 years ago was a fraction of what it is now. In 1917 the US population was about 80 million. Now it is 327 million, a 4-fold increase. Environmental degradation is logical outcome of large and sudden increase in population, especially in small areas.
It is even more marked in countries like China and North Korea where there is no democracy at all.
It has little to do with "demotism" or "right-wing policies."
Large scale industrialisation is also associated with environmental degradation. Yet in Western Europe and North America, in the last 60 years, air, land and water pollution has been drastically reduced. In the early 1950s, thousands died of respiratory diseases due to urban smog – the London Pea Souper being the most notorious. These are now just a memory.
By contrast, countries like India and China have trouble even supplying the population with clean water. Many millions of Chinese have tap water with toxic levels of heavy metals and other pollutants. The resultant deaths also run into the millions.
Mr Durocher seems to have a talent for deducing the wrong inference.

Sean , says: November 23, 2018 at 9:04 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw-qm-liCPA

Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo about Italian PM Giulio Andreotti who was actually convicted of ordering the murder of a journalist (although that was by the same prosecutors' office that convicted Amanda Knox).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Andreotti
A joke about Andreotti (originally seen in a strip by Stefano Disegni and Massimo Caviglia) had him receiving a phone call from a fellow party member, who pleaded with him to attend judge Giovanni Falcone's funeral. His friend supposedly begged, "The State must give an answer to the Mafia, and you are one of the top authorities in it!" To which a puzzled Andreotti asked, "Which one do you mean?"

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

1990 Andreotti was involved in getting all parties to agree to a binding timetable for the Maastricht Treaty. The deep Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union favoured by Italy was opposed by Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who wanted a system of competition between currencies. Germany had doubts about committing to the project without requiring economic reforms from Italy, which was seen as having various imbalances. As President of the European Council, Andreotti co-opted Germany by making admittance to the single market automatic once the criteria had been met, and committing to a rigorous overhaul of Italian public finances. Critics later questioned Andreotti's understanding of the obligation, or whether he had ever intended to fulfill it.[50][51]

Italians are taking the French banks that made bad loans to it, and Germany that backs those loans to prop up the EU single market (Mutualisation), for yet another ride. Macron was elected as the banks' mutualisation man to making French toxic loans something Germany will stand behind. Italy is the third largest economy in Europe and too big to fail and they know it. Technocrat Mario Monti was the bankers' man to reduce Italy's live now pay never lifestyle , but Italy knew it had a much stronger hand to play and so they elected a populist. The Germans are going to be squeezed till the pips squeak.

[Nov 24, 2018] Trump Sides With the Iran Hawks on Saudi Arabia by Curt Mills

Trump administration policy on Ukraine is also strictly adhere yo the neocon playbook. As if Victoria Nuland is strill working in State Departemetn and Cheney is the vice president.
Notable quotes:
"... in style and substance, there was no greater avatar for Trump's statement Tuesday than Gaffney's worldview. ..."
"... Trump explicitly namechecked the Muslim Brotherhood, a career-long hobby horse of Gaffney's, and depicted the Middle Eastern theater as straightforward. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

The controversial Washington think-tanker denied to me in August 2017 that he'd directly advised the administration. To the contrary, he'd actually endorsed and counseled Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump's bitter primary rival, in the late stretches of the trench warfare 2016 primary (something, like most who have come over to Trump after the primary, he has sought to minimize). But in style and substance, there was no greater avatar for Trump's statement Tuesday than Gaffney's worldview.

Trump explicitly namechecked the Muslim Brotherhood, a career-long hobby horse of Gaffney's, and depicted the Middle Eastern theater as straightforward. David Reaboi, an alumnus of Gaffney's Center for Security Policy and now with the administration-friendly Security Studies Group, fleshed the statement out Wednesday morning in an illuminating radio interview. Reaboi has commented to me in this publication before; there should be no reason to doubt his sincerity. But for Reaboi, the joint action of last week's indictments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia coupled with U.S. sanctions was sufficient, and it's time to get back to business.

... ... ...

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

[Nov 14, 2018] When 'America First' Becomes Negotiable

Notable quotes:
"... [Don't miss Barndollar discussing the forever war, the military industrial complex, and military reform at our fifth annual foreign policy conference on November 15 in Washington, D.C. Full schedule and free registration here] ..."
"... Gil Barndollar is Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest and Military Fellow-in-Residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. He served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer from 2009 to 2016. ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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The most remarkable thing about Trump's foreign policy is how much it's like his predecessors'. By Gil BarndollarNovember 12, 2018

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Flickr As we near the halfway point of President Donald Trump's first term, U.S. foreign policy is being widely portrayed as off the rails. Yet when one looks past the Trumpian bluster, the predetermined media narrative, and the serial incompetence of an understaffed and often inexperienced administration, one finds a foreign policy agenda that differs far more in style than in substance from its predecessors'.

Donald Trump ran for president as a foreign policy Buchananite in all but name. Thoughhe made pro forma genuflections before the altars of primacy and American military supremacy, Trump repeatedly bemoaned America's disastrous interventions in the Greater Middle East. The South Carolina Republican presidential debate in February 2016 seemed like a watershed moment: Trump attacked George W. Bush's war leadership and proclaimed the Iraq war a disaster, a bold stance in a Republican Party that still refused to acknowledge reality more than a decade after the invasion. Despite being booed by some in the audience, Trump won the state easily and drove "Low Energy" Jeb Bush out of the race.

Candidate Trump offered a radical break with the U.S. foreign policy establishment. He said was NATO obsolete and warned of the danger of a third world war with Russia. He rightly declared the Libyan intervention to be another fiasco, and an illegal one at that. Hillary Clinton, by comparison, bragged about Muammar Gaddafi's death and compared Vladimir Putin to Hitler. Foreign policy realists and restrainers were understandably receptive to a Trump presidency, warts and all.

Much of Trump's rhetoric revolved around the undeniable fact that our allies are prospering under an American security umbrella they do not pay enough to support. He famously said that the United States should "take Iraq's oil" as payback for the American blood and treasure invested there. Trump seemed to sum up his view of America in the world when he told The Washington Post in March 2016: "We certainly can't afford to do this anymore."

Two years later, it is clear that "America First" was negotiable. U.S. troops aren't coming home, entangling alliances are expanding not contracting, and American client states are even more likely to drag us into war in the Middle East. When one pushes the media and the president's personality out of view, the most remarkable thing about Trump's foreign policy is how unremarkable it is. Beneath the rhetoric, American foreign policy these past two years has remained shackled to the traditional pillars of primacy, interventionism, and hubris.

Afghanistan: The war in Afghanistan offers the clearest evidence of business as usual in American foreign policy. The administration's brief attempt at unconventional thinking on Afghanistan was the risible Prince plan, whereby the U.S. would continue to prosecute the war but outsource it to a "modern East India Company." Erik Prince, formerly head of the Blackwater security firm and more recently a logistics provider in Africa and trainer of Chinese security services, proposed to turn Afghanistan over to a brigade of contractors and a "viceroy" with total command of the U.S. war effort. Though many of Prince's critiques of the current strategy are sound, mercenaries cannot fix a country with massive culture and governance problems. This idea was thankfully rejected. More creative thinking, like a real effort to work with Russia, China, and Pakistan to stabilize Afghanistan, or a withdrawal and a pledge to return in force if necessary, appears to have been unwelcome.

Instead, a vaunted new strategy offered little substantive change. U.S. forces in Afghanistan were increased by 4,000 troops, and the number of airstrikes shot up. But the situation there has only gotten worse. Casualties for both civilians and Afghan security forces have risen dramatically in the past year while Pakistan still shelters and abets the Taliban. The Afghan military is still not able to hold territory without U.S. assistance. In fact, independent assessors like the Long War Journal believe that nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan's districts are either under Taliban control or contested. The Department of Defense even briefly trotted out enemy body counts as a metric for progress before The New York Times rightly invoked the Vietnam War.

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Bait and Switch

Meanwhile, 17 years after 9/11, the Pentagon claims there are now upwards of 20 terror groups operating in Afghanistan, including what's left of ISIS, the heir to al Qaeda. For that reason, Americans are told we cannot leave.

Europe: Early in his presidency Trump briefly declined to endorse NATO's Article 5, provoking predictable hysteria on both sides of the Atlantic. A year later, he gave America's European allies a tongue-lashing in Brussels, calling them delinquent in their contributions to collective defense. Germany received special attention, with the president labeling Europe's largest economy a "captive of Russia." In Helsinki a few days later, Trump appeared to dismiss charges of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, igniting yet another firestorm of criticism. Back stateside, he concurred during an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson that starting a war over Montenegro, NATO's newest member, would be folly.

Yet when the dust finally settled, little had changed. The United States continues to support Ukraine in its war against Russian-backed separatists, even selling Kiev Javelin anti-tank missiles and other "lethal aid" that the more cautious President Barack Obama had refused to provide. Sanctions against Russia pile up, dampening that country's long-term economic development. European armies remain largely impotent while mindless NATO expansion continues apace. Despite what he said on Fox News, Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate had already signed off on the addition of Montenegro (and its tiny army of fewer than 2,000 soldiers) to NATO in 2017. Macedonia, another mouse that roared, is next. Poland has recently entertained the idea of a "Fort Trump" to permanently house U.S. troops on its soil -- yet another American tripwire force.

The Middle East: Iran remains the Trump administration's abiding foreign policy obsession. Here, at least, one cannot blame false advertising. The president was explicit about his plans to tear up Obama's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that limited Iran's nuclear ambitions, and make a better deal.

Once in office, the president's instincts on the regime were further fortified by the Saudis and Israelis, to whom he has clung more tightly than any previous administration. He surrounded himself with paid advocates of the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a cult that is hated in Iran. Trump's lawyer and national security advisor, Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton respectively, have spoken on MEK's behalf, despite it being a U.S.-designated terrorist organization until 2012. Bolton now officially abjures regime change, but in July 2017 he promised an MEK gathering in Paris that they would celebrate together in Tehran in 2019.

[Don't miss Barndollar discussing the forever war, the military industrial complex, and military reform at our fifth annual foreign policy conference on November 15 in Washington, D.C. Full schedule and free registration here]

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented Iran with a list of 12 demands that bring to mind Austria-Hungary and Serbia on the eve of World War I. Pompeo's conditions were not a starting point for negotiations or normalization; they were a call for surrender. The administration now believes it can crush Iran through economic sanctions and force it to the negotiating table.

Trump's Iran obsession has had baleful effects beyond the Persian Gulf. U.S. sanctions on Iran are damaging relations with a host of other nations by restricting their trade, even as the president extolled the primacy of sovereignty at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Tethered to the increasingly reckless Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the U.S. has continued to fuel, arm, and otherwise aid the Saudi-led coalition's brutal, stalemated war in Yemen -- a policy begun by Barack Obama.

In Syria and Iraq, the U.S. can take credit for a successful campaign against the Islamic State. Yet in the wake of this victory, U.S. troops seem to be staying put in Syria, despite a promise by Trump to pull them out earlier this year. Top officials announced in September that American forces will not be leaving Syria until the Iranians do. The risk of our presence in Syria dragging us into a war with either Iran or Russia is more real than ever.

In Israel, Trump has doubled down on support of Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardline Likud party. The U.S. finally moved its embassy to Jerusalem, as promised to pro-Israel donors during the campaign, and cut off all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN's Palestinian refugee agency. These moves only cemented a growing impression that Trump never planned to be an honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Many now believe that the peace process is dead.

North Korea: North Korea dominated headlines and fears of during 2017 and early 2018. While the president tweeted about "fire and fury" and "Little Rocket Man" Kim Jong-un, ultra-hawks in Washington pushed for a "bloody nose" preventive attack or even full-on regime change in North Korea. Thankfully, this was one case where Trump's status quo foreign policy prevented conflict. Both sides climbed down, conducted a historic summit in Singapore, and made over-hyped and easily reversible concessions. The president's personalization of diplomacy resulted in a victory, albeit in a verbal conflict that he had done much to create. Substantively, little has changed. North Korea will keep its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, American troops will remain in South Korea, and further negotiations are promised.

This is a good thing: a preventive war with North Korea would be the ultimate expression of Bismarck's line about "committing suicide out of fear of death." It appears that North Korea wants to slowly open itself to the world, a prospect that has South Korean businessmen quietly ecstatic and China relieved. Nonetheless, this is basically business as usual: North Korea threatens, is granted concessions, and the status quo is preserved. We have seen this before. We may be on the cusp of a permanent change in relations with North Korea, but the jury is still out.

China: There is one shining exception to the Trump administration's conventional foreign policy: China. Trump, unencumbered by free trade ideology, is challenging China's economic ascent. Gone is the mindless determinism of Clinton, Bush, and Obama, the evidence-free belief that free trade would somehow gradually end Chinese totalitarianism and mercantilism. The Chinese have never competed on a level playing field and as a result we have spent 20 years ceding American industry and supply chains to China. The hour is late, but there is still time for the United States to fundamentally reorient its relationship with China.

Despite the chimera of a 355-ship navy, America will not win or lose this fight in a Gotterdammerung in the South China Sea. The contest with China may be existential, but it is primarily an economic, technological, and political battle. For all of the deep structural problems in the U.S. economy, China has more to lose from a trade war right now than America does.

It is not clear, though, if we are in the midst of a trade war or a trade bluff. If it is the latter, we are likely to get a slightly better arrangement for U.S. businesses and then proceed towards the same endpoint. If we are fighting a real trade war, however, there is an opportunity to unwind "Chimerica" and bring manufacturing, if not necessarily jobs, home. It is an open question whether the president has the stomach for the economic and political pain that this will entail, as his oft-invoked roaring stock market tanks and Americans feel the bite of tariffs in their wallets.

As with most things this administration does, competence is also an enormous question mark. A trade war with China may be necessary and prudent. Simultaneously battling the Europeans and our NAFTA partners while conducting a trade war with China is neither. If we want to fundamentally reorder our economic relationship with China, for reasons of both national security and long-term prosperity, we need to do it in concert with the other liberal democracies, especially our North American neighbors. They could benefit greatly from a reorientation of American trade. A strategy is needed, not an impulse and a series of tactical tariffs.

How did America First so quickly become business as usual, China excepted? Diehard Trumpists are inclined to defend the president's foreign policy U-turns by painting him as a prisoner of his own administration, surrounded by conventional Republicans who subvert his non-interventionist instincts. The writing was on the wall immediately, they claim, as a trio of generals -- John Kelly, James Mattis, and H. R. McMaster -- were chosen to drive national security policy. As veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, all three were unlikely to support any radical reexamination of America's place in the world. Steve Bannon, who would and did support such a change, was forced out of the White House within a year.

Personnel is policy, as the cliché goes, and the administration's foreign policy team is dominated by men who are conventional internationalists at best, unrepentant neoconservatives at worst. Rex Tillerson presided over a State Department in unprecedented disarray and often found himself focused on limiting the damage of the president's bombast. His successor has been a reliable agent of foreign policy orthodoxy, dutifully dealing with North Korea on the one hand and threatening Iran on the other.

There is undoubtedly something to the narrative of internal betrayal, as Bob Woodward's Fear and the recent anonymous New York Times editorial attest. America may not have a true Deep State, but Trump's personality and some of his policies have provoked unprecedented resistance from within government bureaucracies and even from his own political appointees. Realigning American foreign policy in the face of an obdurate establishment was always going to be a significant challenge. Succeeding in this task without a united team is likely impossible.

But this is not an entirely tenable defense. These are men the president chose, and they are doing his bidding, inasmuch as he knows and communicates what that is. The bench of realists and non-interventionists may be small, but the president has put some of the worst warmongers in Washington into positions of real power and influence.

So those who believe in foreign policy realism and restraint are left with the worst of both worlds: a presidency that espouses an America First agenda but then proceeds to sabotage support for these policies through reckless rhetoric, incompetent implementation, and a refusal to carry out anything approaching a thoughtful, non-interventionist strategy.

Perhaps the next two years will see a drastic change in American foreign policy. Hope springs eternal -- but there is scant reason for anything more than hope.

Gil Barndollar is Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest and Military Fellow-in-Residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. He served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer from 2009 to 2016.

[Nov 14, 2018] Bolton Vows to 'Squeeze' Iran, Escalating Sanctions - News From by Jason Ditz

If this is Trump policy, then Trump is 100% pure neocon. It took just three months for the Deep state to turn him.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse. ..."
Nov 13, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

Says Europe will be forced to accept US demands

With the newly reimposed US sanctions against Iran having little to no perceivable economic impact, national security adviser John Bolton is talking up his plans to continue to escalate the sanctions track, saying he will " squeeze Iran until the pips squeak ."

Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse.

Bolton went on to predict that the European efforts to keep trading with Iran would ultimately fail. He said the Europeans are going through the six stages of grief , and would ultimately led to European acceptance of the US demands.

Either way, Bolton's position is that the US strategy will continue to be imposing new sanctions on Iran going forward. It's not clear what the end game is, beyond just damaging Iran.

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 12, 2018] Trump was elected by advocating a populist-nationalist agenda, he betrayed his voters almost instantly and governed as Bush III

Notable quotes:
"... For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. ..."
"... With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them. ..."
"... Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different. ..."
"... Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive.

With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

[Nov 12, 2018] Although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

I was actually in Texas just a couple of days before the vote, speaking at a Ron Paul-related conference in the Houston area, and although most of the libertarian-leaning attendees thought that Cruz would probably win, they all agreed with the national media that it would probably be close. Cruz's final victory margin of less than three points confirmed this verdict.

But if things had gone differently, and O'Rourke had squeaked out a narrow win, our national politics would have been immediately transformed. Any Republican able to win California has a near-lock on the White House, and the same is true for any Democrat able to carry Texas, especially if the latter is a young and attractive Kennedyesque liberal, fluent in Spanish and probably very popular with the large Latino populations of other important states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. I strongly suspect that a freshman Sen. O'Rourke (R-Texas) would have been offered the 2020 Democratic nomination almost by acclamation, and barring unexpected personal or national developments, would have been a strong favorite in that race against Trump or any other Republican. Rep. O'Rourke raised an astonishing $70 million in nationwide donations, and surely many of his contributors were dreaming of similar possibilities. A shift of just a point and a half, and in twenty-four months he probably would have been our next president. But it was not to be.

[Nov 09, 2018] Globalism Vs Nationalism in Trump's America by Joe Quinn

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal. ..."
"... Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners. ..."
"... Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite. ..."
"... Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia. ..."
"... The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people. ..."
"... The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia. ..."
"... The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first . ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.sott.net
Billed as a 'referendum on Trump's presidency', the US Midterm Elections drew an unusually high number of Americans to the polls yesterday. The minor loss, from Trump's perspective, of majority Republican control of the lower House of Representatives, suggests, if anything, the opposite of what the media and establishment want you to believe it means.

An important clue to why the American media has declared permanent open season on this man transpired during a sometimes heated post-elections press conference at the White House yesterday. First, CNN's obnoxious Jim Acosta insisted on bringing up the patently absurd allegations of 'Russia collusion' and refused to shut up and sit down. Soon after, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor joined her colleagues in asking Trump another loaded question , this time on the 'white nationalism' canard:

Alcindor : On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists...

Trump : I don't know why you'd say this. It's such a racist question.

Alcindor : There are some people who say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?

Trump : Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? That's such a racist question. I love our country. You have nationalists, and you have globalists . I also love the world, and I don't mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems ...

The US media is still "not even wrong" on Trump and why he won the 2016 election. You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal.

Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners.

Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite.

Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia.

These are but a few examples of the "globalism" that drives the Washington establishment. Who, in their right mind, would support it? (I won't get into what constitutes a 'right mind', but we can all agree it does not involve destroying other nations for profit). The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people.

The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia.

Words and their exact meanings matter . To be able to see through the lies of powerful vested interests and get to the truth, we need to know when those same powerful vested interests are exploiting our all-too-human proclivity to be coerced and manipulated by appeals to emotion.

So the words "nationalist" and "nationalism", as they relate to the USA, have never been "dirty" words until they were made that way by the "globalist" element of the Washington establishment (i.e., most of it) by associating it with fringe Nazi and "white supremacist" elements in US society that pose no risk to anyone, (except to the extent that the mainstream media can convince the general population otherwise). The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first .

[Nov 08, 2018] Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

Gold age of the USA (say 40 years from 1946 to approximately 1986 ) were an in some way an aberration caused by WWII. As soon as Germany and Japan rebuilt themselves this era was over. And the collapse of the USSR in 1991 (or more correct Soviet nomenklatura switching sides and adopting neoliberalism) only make the decline more gradual but did not reversed it. After 200 it was clear that neoliberalism is in trouble and in 2008 it was clear that ideology of neoliberalism is dead, much like Bolshevism after 1945.
As the US ruling neoliberal elite adopted this ideology ad its flag, the USA faces the situation somewhat similar the USSR faced in 70th. It needs its "Perestroika" but with weak leader at the helm like Gorbachov it can lead to the dissolution of the state. Dismantling neoliberalism is not less dangerous then dismantling of Bolshevism. The level of brainwashing of both population and the elite (and it looks like the USA elite is brainwashed to an amazing level, probably far exceed the level of brainwashing of Soviet nomenklatura) prevents any constructive moves.
In a way, Neoliberalism probably acts as a mousetrap for the country, similar to the role of Bolshevism in the USSR. Ideology of neoliberalism is dead, so what' next. Another war to patch the internal divisions ? That's probably why Trump is so adamant about attacking Iran. Iran does not have nuclear weapons so this is in a way an ideal target. Unlike, say, Russia. And such a war can serve the same political purpose. That's why many emigrants from the USSR view the current level of divisions with the USA is a direct analog of divisions within the USSR in late 70th and 80th. Similarities are clearly visible with naked eye.
Notable quotes:
"... t is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all. ..."
"... "Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls. ..."
"... A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.' ..."
"... The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people. ..."
"... please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back ..."
"... America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work ..."
"... It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem. ..."
"... And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? ..."
"... The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class... ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/07/2018 - 23:25 13 SHARES Authored by Raja Murthy via The Asia Times,

"The only wealth you keep is wealth you have given away," said Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), last of the great Roman emperors. US President Donald Trump might know of another Italian, Mario Puzo's Don Vito Corleone, and his memorable mumble : "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Forgetting such Aurelian and godfather codes is propelling the decline and fall of the American empire.

Trump is making offers the world can refuse – by reshaping trade deals, dispensing with American sops and forcing powerful corporations to return home, the US is regaining economic wealth but relinquishing global power.

As the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (restructuring) led to the breakup of its vast territory(22 million square kilometers). Gorbachev's failed policies led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and independent countries, and the end of a superpower.

Ironically, the success of Trump's policies will hasten the demise of the American empire: the US regaining economic health but losing its insidious hold over the world.

This diminishing influence was highlighted when India and seven other countries geared up to defy Washington's re-imposition of its unilateral, illegal sanctions against Iran, starting Monday.

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station.

The law of cause and effect unavoidably delivers. The Roman Empire fell after wars of greed and orgies of consumption. A similar nemesis, the genie of Gorbachev, stalks Pennsylvania Avenue, with Trump unwittingly writing the last chapter of World War II: the epilogue of the two rival superpowers that emerged from humanity's most terrible conflict.

The maverick 45th president of the United States may succeed at being an economic messiah to his country, which has racked up a $21.6 trillion debt, but the fallout is the death of American hegemony. These are the declining days of the last empire standing.

Emperors and mafia godfathers knew that wielding great influence means making payoffs. Trump, however, is doing away with the sops, the glue that holds the American empire together, and is making offers that he considers "fair" but instead is alienating the international community– from badgering NATO and other countries to pay more for hosting the US legions (800 military bases in 80 countries) to reducing US aid.

US aid to countries fell from $50 billion in fiscal year 2016, $37 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion so far in 2018. A world less tied to American largesse and generous trade tarrifs can more easily reject the "you are with us or against us" bullying doctrine of US presidents. In the carrot and stick approach that largely passes as American foreign policy, the stick loses power as the carrot vanishes.

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather. Big payoffs needed for big influence. A presidential lesson for Don Trump

More self-respecting leaders will have less tolerance for American hypocrisy, such as sanctioning other countries for nuclear weapons while having the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet.

They will sneer more openly at the hysteria surrounding alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, pointing to Washington's violent record of global meddling. They will cite examples of American hypocrisy such as its sponsorship of coups against elected leaders in Latin America, the US Army's Project Camelot in 1964 targeting 22 countries for intervention (including Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia), its support for bloodthirsty dictators, and its destabilization of the Middle East with the destruction of Iraq and Libya.

Immigrant cannon fodder

Trump's focus on the economy reduces the likelihood of him starting wars. By ending the flood of illegal immigrants to save jobs for US citizens, he is also inadvertently reducing the manpower for illegal wars. Non-citizen immigrants comprise about 5% of the US Army. For its Iraq and Afghanistan wars, US army recruiters offered citizenship to lure illegal immigrants, mostly Latinos.

Among the first US soldiers to die in the Iraq War was 22-year old illegal immigrant Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, an orphan from the streets of Guatemala City. He sneaked across the Mexican border into the US six years before enlisting in exchange for American citizenship.

On March 21, 2003, Gutierrez was killed by friendly fire near Umm Qasr, southern Iraq. The coffin of this illegal immigrant was draped in the US flag, and he received American citizenship – posthumously.

Trump policies targeting illegal immigration simultaneously reduces the availability of cannon fodder for the illegal wars needed to maintain American hegemony.

Everything comes to an end, and so too will the last empire of our era.

The imperial American eagle flying into the sunset will see the dawn of an economically healthier US that minds its own business, and increase hopes for a more equal, happier world – thanks to the unintentional Gorbachev-2 in the White House.


PeaceForWorld , 3 minutes ago link

I am sure that many of us are OK with ending American Empire. Both US citizens and other countries don't want to fight un-necessary and un-ending wars. If Trump can do that, then he is blessed.

Condor_0000 , 23 minutes ago link

Imperialism and the State: Why McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas

By Paul D'Amato

http://www.isreview.org/issues/17/state_and_imperialism.shtml

Excerpt:

The modern nation-state was necessary as a means of creating a single, unified market that could facilitate commerce. But the state was also crucial in providing necessary infrastructure, and sometimes the pooling of capital resources, necessary for national capitalists to operate and compete effectively.

But the state as a bureaucratic institution had another, more fundamental function. Lenin, citing Engels, defined the essence of the state as "bodies of armed men, prisons, etc.," in short, an instrument for the maintenance of the rule of the exploiting minority over the exploited majority.

As capitalism burst the bounds of the nation-state, the coercive military function of the state took on a new dimension--that of protecting (and projecting) the interests of the capitalists of one country over those of another. As capitalism developed, the role of the state increased, the size of the state bureaucracy increased, and the size of its coercive apparatus increased.

Lenin was soon to refine this conception in light of the world's descent into the mass slaughter of the First World War. He argued that capitalism had reached a new stage--imperialism--the struggle between the world's "great powers" for world dominance. The central feature of imperialism was the rivarly between the great powers--whose economic competition gave way to military conflict.

Another Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, put it this way:

The forces of production which capitalism has evolved have outgrown the limits of nation and state. The national state, the present political form, is too narrow for the exploitation of these productive forces. The natural tendency of our economic system, therefore, is to seek to break through the state boundaries. The whole globe, the land and the sea, the surface as well as the interior, has become one economic workshop, the different parts of which are inseparably connected with each other. This work was accomplished by capitalism. But in accomplishing it the capitalist states were led to struggle for the subjection of the world-embracing economic system to the profit interests of the bourgeoisie of each country...

But the way the governments propose to solve this problem of imperialism is not through the intelligent, organized cooperation of all of humanity's producers, but through the exploitation of the world's economic system by the capitalist class of the victorious country; which country is by this War to be transformed from a great power into a world power.5

Golden Showers , 32 minutes ago link

See a pattern here? Raja Murthy, you sound like a pro-American Empire shill. 1964 Project Camelot has nothing to do with the current administration. Raja, you forgot to wear your satirical pants.

The idea and catchy hook of 2016 was Make America Great Again, not wasting lives and resources on the American Empire. You point out the good things. Who might have a problem with the end of the American Empire are Globalists. What is wrong with relinquishing global power and not wasting lives and money?

"The only lives you keep is lives you've given away" That does not ring true. The only lies you keep are the lies you've given away. What? You're not making any sense, dude. How much American Empire are you vested in? Does it bother you if the Empire shrinks its death grip on Asia or the rest of the world? Why don't you just say it: This is good! Hopefully Trump's policies will prevent you from getting writers' cramp and being confusing--along with the canon fodder. Or maybe you're worried about job security.

America is a super power, just like Russia. Just like England. However, whom the US carries water for might change. Hope that's ok.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 33 minutes ago link

Trump is saving the US by destroying the empire. Both the US and the world will be happier for that.

Condor_0000 , 29 minutes ago link

No he's not.

Trump is an empirial president, just like every other US president. In fact, that's what the article is describing. MAGA depends upon imperialist domination. Trump and all of US capitalism know that even if the brain-dead MAGA chumps don't.

Capitalism can't help but seek to rule the world. It is the result of pursuing capitalism's all-important growth. If it's not US capitalism, it will be Chinese capitalism, or Russian capitalism, or European capitalism that will rule the world.

The battle over global markets doesn't stop just because the US might decide not to play anymore. Capitalism means that you're either the global power who is ******* the royal **** out of everyone else, or you're the victim of being fucked up the *** by an imperialist power.

FBaggins , 25 minutes ago link

The only thing which makes the US different from the rest of the world is its super concentration of power, which in effect is a super concentration of corruption.

ebworthen , 33 minutes ago link

Quite entertaining to be living in the modern Rome.

Condor_0000 , 28 minutes ago link

It's a cross between ancient Rome and Nazi Germany. And you're right. It's fascinating.

Condor_0000 , 34 minutes ago link

Another day and another ZeroHedge indictment of American capitalism.

And how refreshing that the article compares US capitalism to gangsterism. It's a most appropriate comparison.

--------------------

Al Capone on Capitalism

It is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all.

In 1930, Cockburn, then a correspondent in America for the Times newspaper, interviewed Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, when Capone was at the height of his power. He recalls that except for 'the sub-machine gun...poking through the transom of a door behind the desk, Capone's own room was nearly indistinguishable from that of, say, a "newly arrived" Texan oil millionaire. Apart from the jowly young murderer on the far side of the desk, what took the eye were a number of large, flattish, solid silver bowls upon the desk, each filled with roses. They were nice to look at, and they had another purpose too, for Capone when agitated stood up and dipped the tips of his fingers in the water in which floated the roses.

I had been a little embarrassed as to how the interview was to be launched. Naturally the nub of all such interviews is somehow to get round to the question "What makes you tick?" but in the case of this millionaire killer the approach to this central question seemed mined with dangerous impediments. However, on the way down to the Lexington Hotel I had had the good fortune to see, I think in the Chicago Daily News , some statistics offered by an insurance company which dealt with the average expectation of life of gangsters in Chicago. I forget exactly what the average was, and also what the exact age of Capone at that time - I think he was in his early thirties. The point was, however, that in any case he was four years older than the upper limit considered by the insurance company to be the proper average expectation of life for a Chicago gangster. This seemed to offer a more or less neutral and academic line of approach, and after the ordinary greetings I asked Capone whether he had read this piece of statistics in the paper. He said that he had. I asked him whether he considered the estimate reasonably accurate. He said that he thought that the insurance companies and the newspaper boys probably knew their stuff. "In that case", I asked him, "how does it feel to be, say, four years over the age?"

He took the question quite seriously and spoke of the matter with neither more nor less excitement or agitation than a man would who, let us say, had been asked whether he, as the rear machine-gunner of a bomber, was aware of the average incidence of casualties in that occupation. He apparently assumed that sooner or later he would be shot despite the elaborate precautions which he regularly took. The idea that - as afterwards turned out to be the case - he would be arrested by the Federal authorities for income-tax evasion had not, I think, at that time so much as crossed his mind. And, after all, he said with a little bit of corn-and-ham somewhere at the back of his throat, supposing he had not gone into this racket? What would be have been doing? He would, he said, "have been selling newspapers barefoot on the street in Brooklyn".

He stood as he spoke, cooling his finger-tips in the rose bowl in front of him. He sat down again, brooding and sighing. Despite the ham-and-corn, what he said was probably true and I said so, sympathetically. A little bit too sympathetically, as immediately emerged, for as I spoke I saw him looking at me suspiciously, not to say censoriously. My remarks about the harsh way the world treats barefoot boys in Brooklyn were interrupted by an urgent angry waggle of his podgy hand.

"Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls.

"This American system of ours," he shouted, "call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." He held out his hand towards me, the fingers dripping a little, and stared at me sternly for a few seconds before reseating himself.

A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.'

LetThemEatRand , 52 minutes ago link

This article was obviously written by someone who wants to maintain the status quo.

America would be much stronger if it were not trying to be an empire. The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people.

hardmedicine , 41 minutes ago link

exactly, please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back and screw the rest of the world, America First

LetThemEatRand , 39 minutes ago link

I truly believe that "America First" is not selfish. America before it went full ****** was the beacon of freedom and success that other countries tried to emulate and that changed the world for the better.

America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work.

HopefulCynical , 26 minutes ago link

Empire is a contrivance, a vehicle for psychopathic powerlust. America was founded by people who stood adamantly opposed to this. Here's hoping Trump holds their true spirit in his heart.

If he doesn't, there's hundreds of millions of us who still do. We don't all live in America...

Posa , 15 minutes ago link

It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem.

CTacitus , 15 minutes ago link

LetThemEatRand:

America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs [sic], not to protect or favor the American people.

And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? Oligarchs...you're FULL of ****. Who exactly pools all (((their))) money, makes sure the [s]elected officials know (((who))) to not question and, instead, just bow down to them, who makes sure these (((officials))) sign pledges for absolute commitment towards Israel--or in no uncertain terms-- and know who will either sponsor them/or opposes them next time around?

JSBach1 called you a 'coward', for being EXACTLY LIKE THESE TRAITOROUS SPINELESS VERMIN who simply just step outside just 'enough' the comfort zone to APPEAR 'real'. IMHO, I concur with JSBach1 ...your're a coward indeed, when you should know better ..... shame you you indeed!

pitz , 55 minutes ago link

There is little evidence, Trump's propaganda aside (that he previously called Obama dishonest for) that the US economy is improving. If anything, the exploding budget and trade deficits indicate that the economy continues to weaken.

Posa , 12 minutes ago link

Correct. The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class...

the US can't even raise an army... even if enough young (men) were dumb enough to volunteer there just aren't enough fit, healthy and mentally acute recruits out there.

[Nov 07, 2018] There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
"... So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.) ..."
"... I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense. ..."
"... If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. ..."
"... They claim there's a difference between the two parties? ..."
"... But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general. ..."
"... Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Nov 7, 2018 6:19:36 AM | 9

It's not even decent theatre. Drama is much lacking, character development zilch. The outcome that dems take congress,& rethugs improve in senate is exactly as was predicted months ago.

The dems reveal once again exactly how mendacious and uncaring of the population they are. Nothing matters other than screwing more cash outta anyone who wants anything done so that the DC trough stays full with the usual crew of 4th & 5th generation wannabe dem pols guzzling hard at the corporate funded 'dem aligned' think tanks which generate much hot air yet never deliver. Hardly suprising given that actually doing something to show they give a sh1t about the citizenry would annoy the donor who would give em all the boot, making all these no-hopers have to take up a gig actually practising law.

These are people whose presence at the best law schools in the country prevented many who wanted to be y'know lawyers from entering Harvard, Cornell etc law school. "one doesn't go to law school to become a lawyer It too hard to even pull down a mil a year as a brief, nah, I studied the law to learn how to make laws that actually do the opposite of what they seem to. That is where the real dough is."

Those who think that is being too hard on the dem slugs, should remember that the rethugs they have been indoctrinated to detest act pretty much as printed on the side of the can. They advertise a service of licking rich arseholes and that is exactly what they do. As venal and sociopathic as they are, at least they don't pretend to be something else; so while there is no way one could vote for anyone spouting republican nonsense at least they don't hide their greed & corruption under a veneer of pseudo-humanist nonsense. Dems cry for the plight of the poverty stricken then they slash welfare.

Or dems sob about the hard row african americans must hoe, then go off to the house of reps to pass laws to keep impoverished african americans slotted up in an over crowded prison for the rest of his/her life.

Not only deceitful and vicious, 100% pointless since any Joe/Jo that votes on the basis of wanting to see more blackfellas incarcerated is always gonna tick the rethug box anyhow.

Yeah- yeah we know all this so what?

This is what - the dems broke their arses getting tens of millions of young first time voters out to "exercise their democratic prerogative" for the first time. Dems did this knowing full well that there would be no effective opposition to rethug demands for more domestic oppression, that in fact it is practically guaranteed that should the trump and the rethug senate require it, in order to ensure something particularly nasty gets passed, that sufficient dem congress people will 'cross the floor' to make certain the bill does get up.

Of course the dems in question will allude to 'folks back home demanding' that the dem slug does vote with the nasties, but that is the excuse, the reality is far too many dem pols are as bigoted greedy and elitist as the worst rethugs.

Anyway the upshot of persuading so many kids to get out and vote, so the kids do but the dems are content to just do more of the same, will be another entire generation lost to elections forever.

If the DNC had been less greedy and more strategic they would have kept their powder dry and hung off press-ganging the kids until getting such a turnout could have resulted in genuine change, prez 2020' or whenever, would be actual success for pols and voters.

But they didn't and wouldn't ever, since for a dem pol, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens living on the street isn't nearly as problematic for them, as the dem wannabe pol paying off the mortgage on his/her DC townhouse by 2020, something that would have been impossible if they hadn't taken congress as all the 'patrons' would have jerked back their cash figuring there is no gain giving dosh to losers who couldn't win a bar raffle.

As for that Sharice Davids - a total miss she needed to be either a midget or missing an arm or leg to qualify as the classic ID dem pol. Being a native american lezzo just doesn't tick enough boxes. I predict a not in the least illustrious career since she cannot even qualify as the punchline in a circa 1980's joke.

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | link

@9

As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.

The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.

There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?

Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.

ken | Nov 7, 2018 12:44:13 PM | 69

Reading most of the comments explaining how the D's won/lost,,, the R's won/lost,,, Trump and company won/lost,,, but couldn't find one post about how America is losing due to the two suffocating party's and a greedy, disunited, selfish, electorate that wants it all free.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the Majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury,,,,,,, After that the Majority always votes for the candidate 'promising the most' ,,,,,,,
Alex Fraser.

The US, and West in general, is proof positive.

Russ | Nov 7, 2018 7:48:10 AM | 17

So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.)

It's no big surprise. Last two years it's been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump, have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk batsh$t-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.

So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?

I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense.

If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here's the chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there's plenty of back-door ways an activist House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, babbles about what the technical powers of this or that body are. The real world doesn't work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it'll be to see what the House is doing about it.

They claim there's a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there's a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let's see what kind of action we get from their "different" party in control of the House.

But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.

Nor will any of these new-fangled fake "socialist" types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrats, they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not do so. This "new" progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.

Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.

[Nov 07, 2018] Don't be Flattered, Fooled and Flummoxed in Todays's Election by Ralph Nader

This is somewhat naive, but still useful stance of US elections.
Notable quotes:
"... In 2004 Tom Frank, a Kansas author, wrote: "The poorest county in America isn't in Appalachia or the Deep South. It is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns, and in the election of 2000, George W. Bush carried it by a majority of greater than 75 percent." Inattentive voters are vulnerable to voting against their own interests. They are vulnerable to voting for politicians who support big business and ignore their interests as farmers, workers, consumers, patients, and small taxpayers. Big Business will not spur change in a political system that gives the fatcats every advantage. ..."
"... President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are masters at flattering voters and lying about their positions on issues ranging from health care to the minimum wage. Before you vote, rid yourself of all preconceived, hereditary, ideological, and political straitjackets. Use two general yardsticks for candidates for elective office: Are they playing fair and are they doing right? ..."
"... Ask candidates to speak of Solutions to the major problems confronting our country. Politicians often avoid defining solutions that upset their commercial campaign contributors. ..."
"... Ask about a range of issues, such as energy efficiency, livable wages, lower drug prices, massive government contractor fraud, corporate crimes against consumers, workers and investors, reducing sprawl, safer food, and clean elections. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Let's face it. Most politicians use the mass media to obfuscate. Voters who don't do their homework, who don't study records of the politicians, and who can't separate the words from the deeds will easily fall into traps laid by wily politicians.

In 2002, Connecticut Governor John Rowland was running for re-election against his Democratic opponent, William Curry. Again and again, the outspent Curry informed the media and the voters about the corruption inside and around the governor's office. At the time, the governor's close associates and ex-associates were under investigation by the U.S. attorney. But to the public, Rowland was all smiles, flooding the television stations with self-serving, manipulative images and slogans. He won handily in November. Within weeks, the U.S. attorney's investigation intensified as they probed the charges Curry had raised about Rowland. Rowland's approval rating dropped to record lows, and impeachment initiatives and demands for his resignation grew. He was prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned. Unfortunately, enough voters were flattered, fooled, and flummoxed to cost Bill Curry the race.

In 2004 Tom Frank, a Kansas author, wrote: "The poorest county in America isn't in Appalachia or the Deep South. It is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns, and in the election of 2000, George W. Bush carried it by a majority of greater than 75 percent." Inattentive voters are vulnerable to voting against their own interests. They are vulnerable to voting for politicians who support big business and ignore their interests as farmers, workers, consumers, patients, and small taxpayers. Big Business will not spur change in a political system that gives the fatcats every advantage. Change must come from the voters, and here's how:

President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are masters at flattering voters and lying about their positions on issues ranging from health care to the minimum wage. Before you vote, rid yourself of all preconceived, hereditary, ideological, and political straitjackets. Use two general yardsticks for candidates for elective office: Are they playing fair and are they doing right?

Stay open-minded. Avoid jumping to conclusions about candidates based solely on their stance on your one or two top issues. Pay attention to where these politicians are on the many other issues that profoundly affect you and your family. If you judge them broadly rather than narrowly, you will increase your influence by increasing your demands and expectation levels for public officials. There are numerous evaluations of their votes, easily available on the Internet.

Know where you stand. A handy way to contrast your views with those of the incumbents and challengers is to make your own checklist of twenty issues, explain where you stand and then compare your positions, the candidates' votes and declarations. Seeing how their positions or their actual record matches up to your own positions makes it harder for politicians to play you. Compare candidates with their votes or declarations.

Ask the tough questions. These are many issues that politicians like to avoid. They include questions about whether candidates are willing to debate their opponents and how often, why they avoid talking about and doing something about corporate power and its expanding controls over people's lives, or how they plan specifically to shift power from these global corporate supremacists to the people. After all, the Constitution starts with "We the People" not "We the Corporations." The words "corporations" and "company" are never mentioned in our Constitution!!

Ask candidates to speak of Solutions to the major problems confronting our country. Politicians often avoid defining solutions that upset their commercial campaign contributors.

Ask about a range of issues, such as energy efficiency, livable wages, lower drug prices, massive government contractor fraud, corporate crimes against consumers, workers and investors, reducing sprawl, safer food, and clean elections.

Ask members of Congress to explain why they keep giving themselves salary increases and generous benefits, and yet turn cold at doing the same for the people's frozen minimum wage, health insurance, or pension protections.

All in all, it takes a little work and some time to become a super-voter, impervious to manipulation by politicians who intend to flatter, fool,and flummox. But this education can also be fun, and the pursuit of justice can offer great benefits to your pursuit of happiness.

Such civic engagement will help Americans today become better ancestors for tomorrow's descendants.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

[Nov 07, 2018] The Populist Moment A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America by Lawrence Goodwyn

Nov 07, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Gary Moreau, Author TOP 500 REVIEWER 5.0 out of 5 stars Why the poor still lose March 13, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Populism. The word is used a lot today by political journalists in reference to both President Trump supporters and the Brexit movement. And, historically speaking, it is generally used inaccurately, a fact that I, too, was unaware of until I read another reader's review of a separate title. That reviewer recommended this book, written by Duke professor of history, Lawrence Goodwyn, and published in 1979.

While the title refers to the book as 'short', it is a very thorough review of the populist political movement that rose out of the National Farmers Alliance, which went under a series of different names and platforms that ultimately had everything to do with the coinage of silver and relatively little to do with the original populist reforms.

What is most fascinating to me is not the acquisition of historical accuracy regarding the populist label as it is the revelation of the degree to which the 1896 presidential election, between Republican William McKinley and Democrat (and presumed populist) William Jennings Bryant, ultimately cast the shape of American economics and politics that survives yet today. While that election appeared to turn on gold (McKinley) versus silver (Bryant), the outcome would ultimately define no less than what it means to be an American in the 21st Century.

It all began with the American Civil War, not surprisingly. And, more specifically, who was going to pay the enormous debt incurred to fight it. And that, ultimately, came down to the question of currency. The creation of a hard currency, which is ultimately the position that won out, protected the bankers and other owners of corporate capital, but at the expense of laborers and farmers.

The hard currency ultimately exaggerated the worst abuses of the crop lien system then prevalent in the South, forcing farmers (land-owners and tenants alike) into a cycle of increasing debt and falling commodity prices that they could not escape. It is, in many ways, the same inescapable cycle that entraps the urban and rural poor today.

But that's where the populist analogy ends, as the populist agrarian movement pursued a political agenda that would be the antithesis of Trump's MAGA agenda of today. It was, in fact, the antitheses of both the modern conservative and progressive agendas, both of which only appear to offer a real distinction and choice.

Both agendas presume the economic supremacy of capital and the political supremacy of the corporate and banking classes that control it. Among other things, it is the supremacy of capital that has fueled the rapid and unbridled consolidation of both industry and agriculture in the US, permanently planting the corporation at the top of the political food chain. (In 1870, the average US factory had only 8 workers.)

Before the Civil War, about 80% of all free white men owned property. By 1890, however, the richest 9% of all Americans (still white men) owned three-fourths of all wealth and within a decade one in eight Americans were living in abject poverty. With the exception of a historically brief period following World War II, in which unions managed to give laborers a political voice, now lost, it is a trend that continues to this day.

What was most amazing to me, in reading this book, was how little things have really changed. Our political parties are built on regional alliances far more than differences of ideological substance. Both accept the supremacy of corporate consolidation and the benefit of economies of scale, even though there is little actual evidence to support the premise. Consolidation has done nothing quite so effectively as it has promoted political, social, and financial inequality. (Republicans and Democrats both blamed the farmers themselves for their economic plight in the 1890s, much as politicians frequently blame the poor themselves for their plight today.)

The solutions proposed by the populists of the National Agrarian Federation were decidedly collective in nature and built from the success of the cooperative movement that had provided some relief from corporate anarchy. It called for the abolition of private banks, a new dynamic currency, the nationalization of the railroads, and the formation of government cooperatives to handle crop financing, insurance, and post-harvest handling and storage. It was, in other words, quite the ideological opposite of Trump's anti-immigrant, anti-regulatory, pro-corporate agenda.

The author makes two other important contributions to the current political dialogue. The first is to refute the illusion promoted by both political parties that American history is a timeline of uninterrupted progress and advancement. It is, more than we care to admit, a history of exploitation and the dominance of minority interests under the guise of personal and economic freedom that, for most, does not exist.

And because it is a myth that is almost universally accepted, the author notes, real political reform in the US is virtually impossible to achieve, in short because we refuse to see the world the way it really is. We have, as a result, neither the confidence nor the persistence to force the owners of capital, which control the political agenda, to give up the advantages they have enshrined into American politics and business.

In short, this is a fascinating book that everyone should have the courage to read. You may not agree with the author's conclusions, and there will surely be other historians who will take exception with his interpretation. Each of us, however, should have a commitment to defend that which we believe in the face of inconvenient facts, including those presented in this book.

Martin S. Harris Jr. 5.0 out of 5 stars required reading for understanding of today's "Populism" October 4, 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Most likely (amateur historian opinion) the single best account of the Populist phenomenon I have ever read. If I have to find fault somewhere, It would be the absence of much coverage of earlier Populist themes in American politics, particularly as seen in the Jeffersonian sovereign-yeoman theme and in the Jacksonian anti-big-banking theme.

SK Figler 5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting Big Banks and Corporations---the beginning in America April 28, 2012 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Usually histories of economics put me to sleep. But Lawrence Goodwyn's "The Populist Movement" is an enthralling gem that will give you numerous "Aha!" moments as it shows how and why populist movements, particularly that of the post-Civil War era (with its inception in Texas), began, grew, and failed in competing with big banks and business. There are many surprises to someone like me, who is not an economist but has been led (or pushed) to care about it from what has happened in and to America these past 30 years. Goodwyn shows clearly why the small farmers of southern and Plains America were driven to do something about the crushing control of big banks, growing commercial interests, and Wall Street. Ultimately, they failed because all power and control was in the hands of men like Gould and Morgan and the other Robber Barons. There is, however, a lesson to be taken from "The Populist Movement," that knowing and anticipating what massive blockages stand in the way of economic and political change can help people work around them. No one who reads Goodwyn's book can claim, "Well, I just didn't know."

[Nov 07, 2018] Now this much maligned and misused word democracy denotes a political system in which the public, the many - exercise actual sovereignty: an extremely rare event. So that's not about to happen in the current situation

Notable quotes:
"... But the roots of the word populist we can find in the word popular: and the other day I encountered a list of the actual top concerns of Americans, and as I recall the state of the ocean and rivers and lakes, and water quality, and political corruption, and health care figured highly - were 'popular' concerns, and destroying other countries, not so much. ..."
"... 'Real thing' Populism would be inevitably be flawed, given the human condition, but still offer 'real' improvement. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Nov 7, 2018 5:55:38 PM | link

@92 What might a 'real thing' Populist offer: Well, we have the schooling on the Populist Movement in the United States, late in the 19th century, memorialized in the book by Lawrence Goodwyn - The Populist Moment - and Goodwyn immediately links Populism to Democracy.

Now this much maligned and misused word democracy denotes a political system in which the public, the many - exercise actual sovereignty: an extremely rare event. So that's not about to happen in the current situation.

But the roots of the word populist we can find in the word popular: and the other day I encountered a list of the actual top concerns of Americans, and as I recall the state of the ocean and rivers and lakes, and water quality, and political corruption, and health care figured highly - were 'popular' concerns, and destroying other countries, not so much.

So Piotr, we might extend a kindred list greatly, and we don't have to end up with a list trivial desires or maniacal religions, like demonizing carbon dioxide. ;/

'Real thing' Populism would be inevitably be flawed, given the human condition, but still offer 'real' improvement.

[Nov 06, 2018] Trump is a fake populist; a great charlatan snowing the masses.

Notable quotes:
"... Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Nov 6, 2018 2:43:04 PM | link

@167

Trump is not fixing or weaning. He's acting for the 1%ers. He's a fake populist; a great charlatan snowing the masses.

William Gruff , Nov 6, 2018 2:25:31 PM | link

Unfortunately, Debsisdead is correct. The United States cannot be fixed. It could be that Trump knows what's needed and is deliberately trying to set the US on a course towards sanity using shock treatment, and is deliberately trying to wean America from the petrodollar in such a manner that Americans have no other country to blame/bomb, thus saving civilization from America's inevitable spasm of ultraviolence when the BRICS succeed in taking the petrodollar down. This seems unlikely, though.

The sad reality is that the delusion Americans suffer from (result of their universal cradle-to-grave brainwashing that I mentioned earlier) is too deeply rooted as a core component of their identities.

That mass-based delusion must be overcome before America's psychotic behavior on the world stage can be addressed, but I see no forces within the US making any progress in that direction at all.

Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. As a consequence it could be that the only hope for humanity lies in a radical USA-ectomy with the resulting stump being cauterized.

I certainly wish there were some other way, but I don't see one.

[Nov 06, 2018] What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare Zero Hedge

Nov 06, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare?

by TDB Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:13 23 SHARES by Joe Jarvis via The Daily Bell

In 1966, Gao Jianhua (who later changed his name to Gao Yuan) was 14 years old.

At the Yizhen Middle School near Beijing, China, he witnessed and participated in the birth of China's "Cultural Revolution." He later recorded his personal account in a book called Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution .

The leader of Communist China, Chairman Mao, warned the country that revisionists were threatening to erase all the progress made since the Communist Revolution which brought Mao to power.

It had been almost 20 years since the bloody revolution, and Mao wanted to reinvigorate the rebel spirit in the youth. He instructed students to root out any teachers who wove subtle anti-communist sentiments in their lessons.

Mao encouraged students to rebel against any mindless respect for entrenched authority, remnants, he said, of centuries of capitalist influence.

Students at Yizhen Middle School, like many others, quickly took up the task. They "exposed" capitalist intellectual teachers and paraded them around in dunce caps with insulting signs hung around their necks.

Teachers were beaten and harassed until they confessed to their crimes most of which were, of course, false confessions to avoid further torture.

It only escalated from there.

What ensued puts Lord of the Flies to shame.

One teacher killed himself after being taken captive by students. Most teachers fled.

Soon the students were left entirely in charge of their school. Two factions quickly emerged, one calling themselves the East is Red Corps, and the other the Red Rebels.

One student was kidnapped by the East is Red Corps, and suffocated to death on a sock stuffed in his mouth.

A girl was found to be an East is Red spy among the Red Rebels. She was later cornered with other East is Red students in a building. She shouted from a window that she would rather die than surrender. Praising Chairman Mao, she jumped to her death.

Some Red Rebels died from an accidental explosion while making bombs.

Many were tortured, and another student died from his injuries at the hands of the East is Red Corps.

A female teacher refused to sign an affidavit lying about the cause of death. She was beaten and gang-raped by a group of students.

Robert Greene explains these events, in his new book, The Laws of Human Nature . (Emphasis added.)

Although it might be tempting to see what happened at YMS as mostly relevant to group adolescent behavior what happened at the school occurred throughout China in government offices, factories, within the army, and among Chinese of all ages in an eerily similar way

The students' repressed resentment at having to be so obedient now boiled over into anger and the desire to be the ones doing the punishing and oppressing

In the power vacuum that Mao had now created, another timeless group dynamic emerged. Those who were naturally more assertive, aggressive, and even sadistic pushed their way forward and assumed power , while those who were more passive quietly receded into the background becoming followers

Once all forms of authority were removed and the students ran the school, there was nothing to stop the next and most dangerous development in group dynamics. The split into tribal factions

People may think they are joining because of the different ideas or goals of this tribe or the other, but what they want more than anything is a sense of belonging and a clear tribal identity.

Look at the actual differences between the East is Red Corps and the Red Rebels. As the battle between them intensified it was hard to say what they were fighting for, except to assume power over the other group.

One strong or vicious act of one side called for a reprisal from the other, and any type of violence seemed totally justified. There could be no middle ground, nor any questioning of the rightness of their cause.

The tribe is always right. And to say otherwise is to betray it.

I write this on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.

And like Mao handing down his orders to dispose of capitalist sympathizers, such have the leaders of each major US political party rallied their supporters.

This is the most important election of our lifetime, they say.

No middle ground. Violence is justified to get our way. Betray the tribe, and be considered an enemy.

Just like Mao, they have manufactured a crisis that did not previously exist.

The students had no violent factions before Mao's encouragement. They had no serious problems with their teachers.

Is there any natural crisis occurring right now? Or has the political establishment whipped us into an artificial frenzy?

This isn't just another boring election, they say. This is a battle for our future.

The students battled over who were the purest revolutionaries.

The voters now battle over who has the purest intentions for America.

Do the factions even know what they are fighting for anymore?

They are simply fighting for their tribe's control over the government.

The battle of the factions at schools across China were "resolved" when Mao came to support one side or the other. In that sense, it very much did matter which side the students were on

The government came down hard against the losing faction.

They had chosen wrong and found themselves aligned against the powerful Communist Party.

It won't be a dictator that hands control to one faction or another in this election. It will be a simple majority. And those in the minority will suffer.

The winners will feel that it is their time to wield power, just as the students were happy to finally have the upper hand on their teachers.

If Mao didn't have so much power, he could have never initiated such a violent crisis.

And if our government didn't have so much power, it would hardly matter who wins the election.

Yet here we are, fighting for control of the government because each faction threatens to violently repress the other if they gain power.

It is a manufactured crisis. A crisis that only exists because political elites in the government and media have said so.

They decided that this election will spark the USA's "Cultural Revolution."

And anyone with sympathies from a bygone era will be punished.


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Totally_Disillusioned , 8 hours ago link

Tribal warfare? You clearly don't understand what's happening here. The Globalist cartel has created division between two parties to incite chaos and violence. The "warfare" you reference will be nothing but protesting ->rioting ->anarchy ->police restraint of the Democrat incited sheeple.

There's no tribalism associated with upholding and preserving the Constitution.

Semi-employed White Guy , 6 hours ago link

I think the globalists will try to cool it off before things spin out of (((their))) control. Either that or move to the next phase...world war... so they can just slaughter us and not have to bother trying to herd the increasingly "woke" goyim live stock.

MoralsAreEssential , 11 hours ago link

I have NOT heard about a SINGLE CREDIBLE violent incident where people got hurt FROM THE RIGHT. All the incidents of "White Fascist Violence" look like FALSE FLAGS and contrived incidents. The foregoing CAN NOT be said of the Leftist Antifa types including racist La Raza supporters, racist Blacks who want something for nothing, immigrants from any country who want to be fully supported because they BREATHE and the Top Group (pun intended) Whites who do not believe in boundaries, standards or quality of life UNLESS it's their lives. NOT all Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are in the Left; but most Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are on the Left and havn't a clue they are responsible for their own prisons because they cannot REASON and virtue signaling is more important so they are part of the GROUP. Misplaced EMPHASIS on what is important in creating a CIVILIZED and SAFE society.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bolsonaro a monster engineered by our media by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... Bolsonaro, like Trump, is not a disruption of the current neoliberal order; he is an intensification or escalation of its worst impulses. He is its logical conclusion. ..."
"... Despite their professed concern, the plutocrats and their media spokespeople much prefer a far-right populist like Trump or Bolsonaro to a populist leader of the genuine left. They prefer the social divisions fuelled by neo-fascists like Bolsonaro, divisions that protect their wealth and privilege, over the unifying message of a socialist who wants to curtail class privilege, the real basis of the elite's power. ..."
"... The true left – whether in Brazil, Venezuela, Britain or the US – does not control the police or military, the financial sector, the oil industries, the arms manufacturers, or the corporate media. It was these very industries and institutions that smoothed the path to power for Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary, and Trump in the US. ..."
"... Former socialist leaders like Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela were bound to fail not so much because of their flaws as individuals but because powerful interests rejected their right to rule. These socialists never had control over the key levers of power, the key resources. Their efforts were sabotaged – from within and without – from the moment of their election. ..."
"... The media, the financial elites, the armed forces were never servants of the socialist governments that have been struggling to reform Latin America. The corporate world has no interest either in building proper housing in place of slums or in dragging the masses out of the kind of poverty that fuels the drug gangs that Bolsonaro claims he will crush through more violence. ..."
"... As in Pinochet's Chile, Bolsonaro can rest assured that his kind of neo-fascism will live in easy harmony with neoliberalism. ..."
"... Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net . ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

With Jair Bolsonaro's victory in Brazil's presidential election at the weekend, the doom-mongers among western elites are out in force once again. His success, like Donald Trump's, has confirmed a long-held prejudice: that the people cannot be trusted; that, when empowered, they behave like a mob driven by primitive urges; that the unwashed masses now threaten to bring down the carefully constructed walls of civilisation.

The guardians of the status quo refused to learn the lesson of Trump's election, and so it will be with Bolsonaro. Rather than engaging the intellectual faculties they claim as their exclusive preserve, western "analysts" and "experts" are again averting their gaze from anything that might help them understand what has driven our supposed democracies into the dark places inhabited by the new demagogues. Instead, as ever, the blame is being laid squarely at the door of social media.

Social media and fake news are apparently the reasons Bolsonaro won at the ballot box. Without the gatekeepers in place to limit access to the "free press" – itself the plaything of billionaires and global corporations, with brands and a bottom line to protect – the rabble has supposedly been freed to give expression to their innate bigotry.

Here is Simon Jenkins, a veteran British gatekeeper – a former editor of the Times of London who now writes a column in the Guardian – pontificating on Bolsonaro:

"The lesson for champions of open democracy is glaring. Its values cannot be taken for granted. When debate is no longer through regulated media, courts and institutions, politics will default to the mob. Social media – once hailed as an agent of global concord – has become the purveyor of falsity, anger and hatred. Its algorithms polarise opinion. Its pseudo-information drives argument to the extremes."

This is now the default consensus of the corporate media, whether in its rightwing incarnations or of the variety posing on the liberal-left end of the spectrum like the Guardian. The people are stupid, and we need to be protected from their base instincts. Social media, it is claimed, has unleashed humanity's id.

Selling plutocracy

There is a kind of truth in Jenkins' argument, even if it is not the one he intended. Social media did indeed liberate ordinary people. For the first time in modern history, they were not simply the recipients of official, sanctioned information. They were not only spoken down to by their betters, they could answer back – and not always as deferentially as the media class expected.

Clinging to their old privileges, Jenkins and his ilk are rightly unnerved. They have much to lose.

But that also means they are far from dispassionate observers of the current political scene. They are deeply invested in the status quo, in the existing power structures that have kept them well-paid courtiers of the corporations that dominate the planet.

Bolsonaro, like Trump, is not a disruption of the current neoliberal order; he is an intensification or escalation of its worst impulses. He is its logical conclusion.

The plutocrats who run our societies need figureheads, behind whom they can conceal their unaccountable power. Until now they preferred the slickest salespeople, ones who could sell wars as humanitarian intervention rather than profit-driven exercises in death and destruction; the unsustainable plunder of natural resources as economic growth; the massive accumulation of wealth, stashed in offshore tax havens, as the fair outcome of a free market; the bailouts funded by ordinary taxpayers to stem economic crises they had engineered as necessary austerity; and so on.

A smooth-tongued Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton were the favoured salespeople, especially in an age when the elites had persuaded us of a self-serving argument: that ghetto-like identities based on colour or gender mattered far more than class. It was divide-and-rule dressed up as empowerment. The polarisation now bewailed by Jenkins was in truth stoked and rationalised by the very corporate media he so faithfully serves.

Fear of the domino effect

Despite their professed concern, the plutocrats and their media spokespeople much prefer a far-right populist like Trump or Bolsonaro to a populist leader of the genuine left. They prefer the social divisions fuelled by neo-fascists like Bolsonaro, divisions that protect their wealth and privilege, over the unifying message of a socialist who wants to curtail class privilege, the real basis of the elite's power.

The true left – whether in Brazil, Venezuela, Britain or the US – does not control the police or military, the financial sector, the oil industries, the arms manufacturers, or the corporate media. It was these very industries and institutions that smoothed the path to power for Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary, and Trump in the US.

Former socialist leaders like Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela were bound to fail not so much because of their flaws as individuals but because powerful interests rejected their right to rule. These socialists never had control over the key levers of power, the key resources. Their efforts were sabotaged – from within and without – from the moment of their election.

Local elites in Latin America are tied umbilically to US elites, who in turn are determined to make sure any socialist experiment in their backyard fails – as a way to prevent a much-feared domino effect, one that might seed socialism closer to home.

The media, the financial elites, the armed forces were never servants of the socialist governments that have been struggling to reform Latin America. The corporate world has no interest either in building proper housing in place of slums or in dragging the masses out of the kind of poverty that fuels the drug gangs that Bolsonaro claims he will crush through more violence.

Bolsonaro will not face any of the institutional obstacles Lula da Silva or Chavez needed to overcome. No one in power will stand in his way as he institutes his "reforms". No one will stop him creaming off Brazil's wealth for his corporate friends. As in Pinochet's Chile, Bolsonaro can rest assured that his kind of neo-fascism will live in easy harmony with neoliberalism.

Immune system

If you want to understand the depth of the self-deception of Jenkins and other media gatekeepers, contrast Bolsonaro's political ascent to that of Jeremy Corbyn, the modest social democratic leader of Britain's Labour party. Those like Jenkins who lament the role of social media – they mean you, the public – in promoting leaders like Bolsonaro are also the media chorus who have been wounding Corbyn day after day, blow by blow, for three years – since he accidentally slipped past safeguards intended by party bureacrats to keep someone like him from power.

The supposedly liberal Guardian has been leading that assault. Like the rightwing media, it has shown its absolute determination to stop Corbyn at all costs, using any pretext.

Within days of Corbyn's election to the Labour leadership, the Times newspaper – the voice of the British establishment – published an article quoting a general, whom it refused to name, warning that the British army's commanders had agreed they would sabotage a Corbyn government. The general strongly hinted that there would be a military coup first.

We are not supposed to reach the point where such threats – tearing away the façade of western democracy – ever need to be implemented. Our pretend democracies were created with immune systems whose defences are marshalled to eliminate a threat like Corbyn much earlier.

Once he moved closer to power, however, the rightwing corporate media was forced to deploy the standard tropes used against a left leader: that he was incompetent, unpatriotic, even treasonous.

But just as the human body has different immune cells to increase its chances of success, the corporate media has faux-liberal-left agents like the Guardian to complement the right's defences. The Guardian sought to wound Corbyn through identity politics, the modern left's Achille's heel. An endless stream of confected crises about anti-semitism were intended to erode the hard-earned credit Corbyn had accumulated over decades for his anti-racism work.

Slash-and-burn politics

Why is Corbyn so dangerous? Because he supports the right of workers to a dignified life, because he refuses to accept the might of the corporations, because he implies that a different way of organising our societies is possible. It is a modest, even timid programme he articulates, but even so it is far too radical either for the plutocratic class that rules over us or for the corporate media that serves as its propaganda arm.

The truth ignored by Jenkins and these corporate stenographers is that if you keep sabotaging the programmes of a Chavez, a Lula da Silva, a Corbyn or a Bernie Sanders, then you get a Bolsonaro, a Trump, an Orban.

It is not that the masses are a menace to democracy. It is rather that a growing proportion of voters understand that a global corporate elite has rigged the system to accrue for itself ever greater riches. It is not social media that is polarising our societies. It is rather that the determination of the elites to pillage the planet until it has no more assets to strip has fuelled resentment and destroyed hope. It is not fake news that is unleashing the baser instincts of the lower orders. Rather, it is the frustration of those who feel that change is impossible, that no one in power is listening or cares.

Social media has empowered ordinary people. It has shown them that they cannot trust their leaders, that power trumps justice, that the elite's enrichment requires their poverty. They have concluded that, if the rich can engage in slash-and-burn politics against the planet, our only refuge, they can engage in slash-and-burn politics against the global elite.

Are they choosing wisely in electing a Trump or Bolsonaro? No. But the liberal guardians of the status quo are in no position to judge them. For decades, all parts of the corporate media have helped to undermine a genuine left that could have offered real solutions, that could have taken on and beaten the right, that could have offered a moral compass to a confused, desperate and disillusioned public.

Jenkins wants to lecture the masses about their depraved choices while he and his paper steer them away from any politician who cares about their welfare, who fights for a fairer society, who prioritises mending what is broken.

The western elites will decry Bolsonaro in the forlorn and cynical hope of shoring up their credentials as guardians of the existing, supposedly moral order. But they engineered him. Bolsonaro is their monster.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .

[Nov 05, 2018] Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
Notable quotes:
"... Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? ..."
"... One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. ..."
"... "In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter , along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall , the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

His Republican rival in the Senate race that will be decided Tuesday is Bob Hugin , whose reported net worth is at least $84 million. With Hugin as its CEO, the pharmaceutical firm Celgene made $200 million by conspiring to keep generic cancer drugs off the market, according to its critics. Celgene, a model of everything that is wrong with our for-profit health care system, paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the firm of improperly marketing two drugs to treat several forms of cancer without getting Federal Drug Administration approval, thereby defrauding Medicare. Celgene, over seven years, also doubled the price of the cancer drug Revlimid to some $20,000 for a supply of 28 pills.

The Senate campaign in New Jersey has seen no discussion of substantive issues. It is dominated by both candidates' nonstop personal attacks and negative ads, part of the typical burlesque of American politics.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother?

One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats.

The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics . Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg , weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

... ... ...

[Nov 05, 2018] Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns

Nov 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Mark from Queens

Elections USA, Inc: "Scum Vs. Scum." When I went looking for Hedges's weekly column today I rather expected him to be onto the next Bigger Picture item that he is always adroit at tackling.

So it was a little surprising that he chose instead to lead with an example of the midterm races in his state of NJ, the one between disgraced Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Hugin.

He never disappoints.

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter, along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

In what is so emblematic of how pathetic and corrupt the opposition party, their presidential candidate came out to throw her support behind such an odious criminal and corporate whore and to campaign with him. While at the same time the Dems have made no secret about their intention to crush any candidate who espouses socialist values.

Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg, weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

"Plus ça change, Plus c'est la même chose."

But it is always necessary to remind folks that the Greatest Democracy In The World is not. It is An Auction House To The Highest Bidder.

He goes on to talk about fascism, its characteristics, its incarnation today, and the elements that pave the way for, which are economic instability, concentrated wealth, monopoly, a police state, imperialism, etc. It is Neoliberalism which has ushered in fascism across the globe, plain and simple.

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

American Exceptionalism reigns supreme to the Nationalist. He refuses to acknowledge that the real idea of "freedom" is not owning a munitions factory full of weaponry and putting a flag on the back of a pickup. It is instead the freedom to not have to live in the shadow of being foreclosed upon for a medical emergency, to not have to spend almost all of one's income on rent or mortgage debt, to have more time to spend with loved ones or doing what you love instead of working a dead end job just to pay the bills. In other words, a socialist economy heavily regulating the banks and corporations, in which debt peonage would largely become a thing of the past.

And then there it is. "We are being shackled incrementally," by unseen, unelected and unacknowledged vipers who use their wealth and power to also make sure we're ignorant and impotent to the real story.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin, refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally. Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the Establishment."

As far as I'm concerned America has been fascist for a long time, at least since 9/11 but probably longer. We've been captured by Inverted Totalitarianism. Trump just puts the ugly villainous face to that Fascism which has been rampant for a long time. Lewis Lapham had a great piece called, "Due Process: Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing" that lays out the case for a how concentrated wealth has pretty much ruled with impunity since the beginning. (h/t to wendy davis)

How long will we continue to participate in this elaborate Lesser of Two Evil voting sham?

And these days those who do will surely let you know too. All the Good Zombies will be smiling for their selfies with their, "I Voted" stickers (now an added bonus to your "voting experience," as if it were a child's toy inside of a cereal box or something). How long will it be until we're handed little candies as a reward for voting? In step with the continuation of the infantilization of interaction in America. Civics? Nah. Stickers? Yeah.

Seems we're fucking doomed. But not unless people turn off the tv's and social media to begin talking to one another in public as fellow human beings, who as the 99% pretty much have so many of the same concerns in common.

Partisan ideology, blasted night and day on the propaganda networks, keeping us divided and conquered, with fear, manufactured distraction and celebrity gossip thrown in, to keep the lemmings hypnotized from what's really going on.

It's a damn shame.

Mark from Queens on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:36pm
Leave it to Hedges to exquisitley describe the darkness.

But he also pulled back from saying one shouldn't vote for the Dems to stem Trump's insanity, although he quickly added that it wouldn't stop the onslaught of corporate tyranny.

The only thing giving me hope lately is taking the longview, and the emergence of whistleblowers/journalists exposing the inner workings of the corporate coup. To what degree it matters will depend on how many people they reach.

The former,

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nXL7kO5t5NQ

and the latter (of which I've been putting together an essay on)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q6RXRKlGsV8

Bollox Ref on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:46pm
Americans love to quote Alexis de Tocqueville

but they rarely acknowledge Charles Dickens' impressions of the country.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer

Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

Extracted from Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer. Janus-like, fascism seeks to present itself to a captive public as a force for good and moral renewal. It promises protection against enemies real and invented. But denounce its ideology, challenge its power, demand freedom from fascism's iron grip, and you are mercilessly crushed. Gross knew that if the United States' form of fascism, expressed through corporate tyranny, was able to effectively mask its true intentions behind its "friendly" face we would be stripped of power, shorn of our most cherished rights and impoverished. He has been proved correct.

"Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America," Gross wrote. "Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion."

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin , refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally. Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the Establishment."

Gross foresaw that technological advances in the hands of corporations would be used to trap the public in what he called "cultural ghettoization" so that "almost every individual would get a personalized sequence of information injections at any time of the day -- or night." This is what, of course, television, our electronic devices and the internet have done. He warned that we would be mesmerized by the entertaining shadows on the wall of the Platonic cave as we were enslaved.

Gross knew that the most destructive force against the body politic would be the war profiteers and the militarists. He saw how they would siphon off the resources of the state to wage endless war, a sum that now accounts for half of all discretionary spending. And he grasped that warfare is the natural extension of corporatism. He wrote:

Under the militarism of German, Italian, and Japanese fascism violence was openly glorified. It was applied regionally -- by the Germans in Europe and England, the Italians in the Mediterranean, the Japanese in Asia. In battle, it was administered by professional militarists who, despite many conflicts with politicians, were guided by old-fashioned standards of duty, honor, country, and willingness to risk their own lives.

The emerging militarism of friendly fascism is somewhat different. It is global in scope. It involves weapons of doomsday proportions, something that Hitler could dream of but never achieve. It is based on an integration between industry, science, and the military that the old-fashioned fascists could never even barely approximate. It points toward equally close integration among military, paramilitary, and civilian elements. Many of the civilian leaders -- such as Zbigniew Brzezinski or Paul Nitze -- tend to be much more bloodthirsty than any top brass. In turn, the new-style military professionals tend to become corporate-style entrepreneurs who tend to operate -- as Major Richard A. Gabriel and Lieutenant Colonel Paul L. Savage have disclosed -- in accordance with the ethics of the marketplace. The old buzzwords of duty, honor, and patriotism are mainly used to justify officer subservience to the interests of transnational corporations and the continuing presentation of threats to some corporate investments as threats to the interest of the American people as a whole. Above all, in sharp contrast with classic fascism's glorification of violence, the friendly fascist orientation is to sanitize, even hide, the greater violence of modern warfare behind such "value-free" terms as "nuclear exchange," "counterforce" and "flexible response," behind the huge geographical distances between the senders and receivers of destruction through missiles or even on the "automated battlefield," and the even greater psychological distances between the First World elites and the ordinary people who might be consigned to quick or slow death.

We no longer live in a functioning democracy. Self-styled liberals and progressives, as they do in every election cycle, are urging us to vote for the Democrats, although the Democratic Party in Europe would be classified as a right-wing party, and tell us to begin to build progressive movements the day after the election. Only no one ever builds these movements. The Democratic Party knows there is no price to pay for selling us out and its abject service to corporations. It knows the left and liberals become supplicants in every election cycle. And this is why the Democratic Party drifts further and further to the right and we become more and more irrelevant. If you stand for something, you have to be willing to fight for it. But there is no fight in us.

The elites, Republican and Democrat, belong to the same club. We are not in it. Take a look at the flight roster of the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein , who was accused of prostituting dozens of underage girls and ended up spending 13 months in prison on a single count. He flew political insiders from both parties and the business world to his secluded Caribbean island, known as "Orgy Island," on his jet, which the press nicknamed "the Lolita Express." Some of the names on his flight roster, which usually included unidentified women, were Bill Clinton, who took dozens of trips, Alan Dershowitz , former Treasury Secretary and former Harvard President Larry Summers, the Candide -like Steven Pinker , whose fairy dust ensures we are getting better and better, and Britain's Prince Andrew. Epstein was also a friend of Trump, whom he visited at Mar-a-Lago.

We live on the precipice, the eve of the deluge. Past civilizations have crumbled in the same way, although as Hegel understood, the only thing we learn from history is "that people and governments never have learned anything from history." We will not arrest the decline if the Democrats regain control of the House. At best we will briefly slow it. The corporate engines of pillage, oppression, ecocide and endless war are untouchable. Corporate power will do its dirty work regardless of which face -- the friendly fascist face of the Democrats or the demented visage of the Trump Republicans -- is pushed out front. If you want real change, change that means something, then mobilize, mobilize, mobilize, not for one of the two political parties but to rise up and destroy the corporate structures that ensure our doom.

[Nov 03, 2018] Partisanship Rules At The Midterms

Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

tmosley , 13 minutes ago link

Absent independents, Republicans are running away with it. And independents are most assuredly witnessing the insanity that has gripped the Democratic Party, and will vote for Republicans at least 9:1.

Tallest Skil , 22 minutes ago link

Don't care. Both parties are entirely owned by Zionists...

BarnacleBill , 16 minutes ago link

Well, hang in there, sport. Yes, the US does seem to be going down the tubes, in that it's lost all respect in the world; we still fear it, but don't respect it. Sic transit gloria , or something like that...

[Nov 03, 2018] Kunstler The Midterm Endgame Democrats' Perpetual Hysteria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed. ..."
"... the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.) ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education. ..."
"... I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler: The Midterm Endgame & Democrats' "Perpetual Hysteria"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/02/2018 - 17:05 44 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Back in the last century, when this was a different country, the Democrats were the "smart" party and the Republicans were the "stupid" party.

How did that work?

Well, back then the Democrats represented a broad middle class, with a base of factory workers, many of them unionized, and the party had to be smart, especially in the courts, to overcome the natural advantages of the owner class.

In contrast, the Republicans looked like a claque of country club drunks who staggered home at night to sleep on their moneybags. Bad optics, as we say nowadays.

The Democrats also occupied the moral high ground as the champion of the little guy. If not for the Dems, factory workers would be laboring twelve hours a day and children would still be maimed in the machinery. Once the relationship between business and labor was settled in the 1950s, the party moved on to a new crusade on even loftier moral high ground: civil rights, aiming to correct arrant and long-lived injustices against downtrodden black Americans. That was a natural move, considering America's self-proclaimed post-war status as the world's Beacon of Liberty. It had to be done and a political consensus that included Republicans got it done. Consensus was still possible.

The Dems built their fortress on that high ground and fifty years later they find themselves prisoners in it. The factory jobs all vamoosed overseas. The middle class has been pounded into penury and addiction.

The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed.

The Republican Party has, at least, sobered up some after getting blindsided by Trump and Trumpism. Like a drunk out of rehab, it's attempting to get a life. Two years in, the party marvels at Mr. Trump's audacity, despite his obvious lack of savoir faire. And despite a longstanding lack of political will to face the country's problems, the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.)

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education.

I hope that Democrats lose as many congressional and senate seats as possible. I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. If there is anything to salvage in this organization, I hope it discovers aims and principles that are unrecognizable from its current agenda of perpetual hysteria. But if the party actually blows up and disappears, as the Whigs did a hundred and fifty years ago, I will be content. Out of the terrible turbulence, maybe something better will be born.

Or, there's the possibility that the dregs of a defeated Democratic Party will just go batshit crazy and use the last of its mojo to incite actual sedition. Of course, there's also a distinct possibility that the Dems will take over congress, in which case they'll ramp up an even more horrific three-ring-circus of political hysteria and persecution that will make the Spanish Inquisition look like a backyard barbeque. That will happen as the US enters the most punishing financial train wreck in our history, an interesting recipe for epic political upheaval.

[Oct 29, 2018] We Were Made for Civil War

Notable quotes:
"... Today's Blue elite represents the greatest concentration of wealth and power in the United States. Moreover, such wealth is scattered across a mosaic of pristine, manicured, gated communities physically and socially divorced from the realities of normal American life -- glittering bubbles of sovereign privilege . This is the very oligarchy Founders like John Adams so feared . While both Red and Blue elites represent themselves as the people's champion, Blue's protests ring the most false . ..."
Oct 29, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, two righteous paths are gridlocked in opposition. Both perceive themselves as champions of national renewal, of cleansing corrupted ideals, and of truly fulfilling America's promise. Both fervently believe that they alone own virtue. Yet the banners of each course are absolutist mirrors of one another, pro and contra, all or nothing. Moreover, lightning rod issues, as in the 1770s and 1850s, make the space between battle lines a no man's land, forcing majority moderates and compromising fence-sitters to choose or be called out as willing collaborators with the other.

Today's lightning rods -- a feminist reordering of jurisprudence , a state-promoted LGBT agenda, closed or open borders, full gun rights guarantees -- should not be seen as mere hot-button issues that can be manipulated at will by political party elites. These are way-of-life banners for two warring coalitions. Iconic issues that now represent the future of two tribal alliances are taking the place of a former, single nation. The time for compromise is over.

Othering. Here, the barren and inhospitable new civic space is dominated along looming, fortified lines. Warring identities have concluded that the only solution is the complete submission of the enemy party, and both sides are beginning to prepare for an ultimate showdown . Othering is a transforming process, through which former kin are reimagined as evil, an American inner-enemy, who once defeated must be punished. The most familiar metaphor of American othering was the 1770s practice of tarring and feathering . This less-than-lethal mob punishment corresponds -- in shaming power and severity -- to mob vengeance pervasive today on social media outlets such as Twitter.

Hence, to work fully as othering, the process must be public, result in the shame of the transgressor, and show that true virtue is in command. More than anything, othering is a ceremonial act designed to bring shame not just on the single person being tarred and feathered, but the entire community to which he belongs. The political object of #MeToo is not the numerically bounded set of guilty men, but rather the entire population set of all men . The political object of Black Lives Matter is not racists, but rather all white people . The political object of the LGBT movement is not homophobes, but rather the whole of straight cisgender society whose reality compass they seek to transform.

The targeted other, equally seized by virtue, operates today from an angry defensive crouch. Thus do corporate elites support marquee Blue "social justice" agendas on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube while censoring counterarguments and comment by Red. This is exactly the goal in this struggle: namely, to condition moderates to widespread acquiescence of a loud and insistent Blue agenda, while subtly coercing them to choose sides. They do this by arraigning Red as social losers, the future minority tribe, on their eventual way to the dustbin of history.

Red and Blue already represent an irreparable religious schism, deeper in doctrinal terms even than the 16th-century Catholic-Protestant schism. The war here is over which faction successfully captures the (social media) flag as true inheritor of American virtue.

The Decision. Othering's most decisive effect is to condition the whole of society to believe that an existential clash is coming, that all must choose, and that there are no realistic alternatives to a final test of wills. Remember, in past times, Jacobins on both sides were small minorities. Yet for either one of these two angry visions to win, there must be a showdown. This demands, perversely, that they work together to bring on open conflict, successfully coercing the majority of Americans to buy into its inevitability. At that point, only a trigger pull is needed.

This was what the Boston Massacre did to push colonials against Britain in 1770, and this is what John Brown's Pottawatomie Massacre and Congressman Preston Brooks's caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor did to push people toward civil war in 1856. This is what the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and the nearly two-year effort to delegitimize and overthrow President Donald Trump may doing today: getting the two halves of the former nation to pull that trigger.

The Fight. If the political balance shifts dramatically, then conflict checks -- held in place by lingering political norms and a longstanding electoral standoff -- disintegrate. Suddenly, both newly advantaged and disadvantaged parties rush to a test of wills sooner rather than later. A triggering incident becomes a spark -- yet the spark itself does not ignite. Rather, it is the readiness for combat in this emerging "community of violence" that makes a fight the natural way forward. In 1774, the Sons of Liberty were spoiling for a fight. In the 1850s, Jayhawkers and Border Ruffians were equally primed to hit back. That pushed the nation to civil war.

Evidence from history and our own eyes tells us that we are deep into phase four. Three takeaways show us how close we are to real battle.

Both sides rush to tear down the constitutional order. Just since the 2016 election, we have witnessed a rolling thunder of Blue and Red elite rhetoric -- packing the Supreme Court, abolishing the Electoral College , repealing the Second Amendment , wholesale state nullification of federal law, shackling of voter rights, and Deep State invocation of the 25th Amendment. These are all potential extremities of action that would not only dismantle our constitutional order, but also skew it to one side's juridical construct of virtue, thus dissolving any semblance of adherence to law by the other. Over time each party becomes emotionally invested in the lust to dismantle the old and make something new.

Hence, constitutional norms exist only conditionally, until such time as they finally be dismantled, and only as long as a precariously balanced electoral divide holds firm. A big historical tilt in favor of one party over the other would very quickly push the nation into crisis because the party with the new mandate would rush to enact its program. The very threat of such constitutional dismantling would be sure casus belli . Such tilts in the early 1770s against Britain, and later in the 1850s against the slaveholding party, were the real tipping points. Not only was Dred Scott v. Sandford just such a tipping point in 1857, but subconsciously its legacy weighs heavily on Americans today, as they contemplate -- often with hysterical passion -- the dread consequences of a Kavanaugh appointment.

The dead hand of the last civil war grabs us from the grave. It is eerie how today's angst pulls us back to the 1860s -- and shows us what is likely to happen in our third civil war. If the poisonous hatreds of the 1860s again inform our civil anger today -- i.e. battles between the alt-right and antifa -- then this should tell us that we are literally on the cusp of another time of rage, where the continuity of strife is stronger than any hopes for reconciliation. What is clear is that two warring parties will accept nothing less from the other than submission, even though the loser will never submit. Moreover, each factional ethos is incapable of empathizing with the other.

Yet we should remember that "unconditional surrender" is like an Old Testament doctrine -- meaning that its invocation hearkens unmistakably to God's judgment. It became the Federal rallying cry throughout the Civil War, a substrate trope in the Versailles Treaty, the president's official position for the end of World War II, and even our complacent conviction during the decomposition of the Soviet Union. It is an apocalyptic vision deeply embedded in both Blue and Red. Such visions presage existential crisis that puts what is left of the nation at real risk. If, at war's end, the sacred scrolls, artifacts, and symbols -- the archaeology of a once-cherished identity -- cannot be restored or repurposed, then our entire history must be destroyed, and the "we" that once was wiped clean. Civil war -- the battle over how, or whether, we belong to one another -- thus demands nothing less than transformation.

Disbelieving war makes it inevitable. People will always disbelieve that we could come to blows, until we do. Delegates at the "Democracy" party convention in Charleston, in the summer of 1860, were still in denial of the coming fury . No one dares imagine another civil war playing out like the last, when two grimly determined American armies fought each other to the death in bloody pitched battles. It is unlikely that a third American civil war will embrace 18th and 19th century military dynamics. Antique Anglo-American society -- organized around community " mustering " -- was culturally equipped to fight civil wars. Today's screen-absorbed Millennials are not. So what?

But the historical consequences of a non-military American civil war would be just as severe as any struggle settled by battle and blood. For example, the map of a divided America today suggests that division into functioning state and local sovereignties -- with autonomy over kinship, identity, and way of life issues -- might be the result of this non-bloody war. This could even represent de facto national partition -- without de jure secession, achieved through a gradual process of accretive state and local nullification .

So what would a non-military civil war look like? Could it be non-violent? Americans are certainly not lovers, but they do not seem really to be fighters either. A possible path to kinship disengagement -- a separation without de jure divorce -- would here likely follow a crisis, a confrontation, and some shocking, spasmodic violence, horrifyingly amplified on social media. Passions at this point would pull back, but investment in separation would not. What might eventuate would be a national sorting out, a de facto kinship separation in which Blue and Red regions would go -- and govern -- their own ways, while still maintaining the surface fiction of a titular "United States." This was, after all, the arrangement America came to after 20 years of civil war (1857-1877). This time, however, there will be no succeeding conciliation (as was achieved in the 1890s). Culturally, this United States will be, from the moment of agreement, two entirely separate sensibilities, peoples, and politics.

♦♦♦

The winding path to civil war has yet another wrinkle: the people-elite divide. In the 1770s and the 1850s, American fissuring was championed by opposing elites. In the 1770s, two elites had emerged: one was the colonial, homegrown elite -- such as Washington, Hamilton, and Adams -- and the other was the metropole, trans-Atlantic British elite , celebrated by royally endowed landowners such as Lord Fairfax , whose holdings were in the thousands of square miles. Yet the British aristocracy was less intimately engaged in the colonies, and the loyalist elite a more sotto voce voice in colonial politics.

Not so the proto-Confederacy, the celebrated "Slave Power." In the looming struggle between North and South, the Southern elite was the dominant economic force in the nation, thanks to its overwhelming capital stored in human flesh. In fact, planter aristocracy capital formation in 1860 equaled all capital invested in manufacturing, railroads, banks, and all currency in circulation -- combined. This was the power of chattel slavery as the wealth ecology of the antebellum South. In defiant opposition to them were the Northern anti-slavery elites , nowhere as privileged and rich as their Southern counterparts. The new Republicans were further thwarted by the indissoluble alliance of planter aristocracy and the nation's financial hub: New York City. There was an unholy bond between a dominant slaveholder elite and an equally dominant New York slave-enabling elite. To make the point, in 1859, New York shipbuilders outfitted 85 slave ships for the hungry needs of the Southern planter class.

The dominant cultural position occupied by the overlords of chattel slavery has its analogy today in the overlords of America's Blue elite. While there is a vocal Red elite, the Blue elite dominates public life through its hold on the Internet, Hollywood, publishing, social media, academia, the Washington bureaucracy, and the global grip of corporate giants. Blue elite's power, in its hold on the cultural pulse and economic lifeblood of American life, compares granularly to the planter aristocracy of the 1850s.

Ruling elites famously overthrown by history -- like the Ancien Régime in France, Czarist Russia, and even the Antebellum South -- were fated by their insatiable selfishness, their impenetrable arrogance, and their sneering aloofness from the despised people -- "the deplorables" -- upon whom their own economic status feasted .

Today's Blue elite represents the greatest concentration of wealth and power in the United States. Moreover, such wealth is scattered across a mosaic of pristine, manicured, gated communities physically and socially divorced from the realities of normal American life -- glittering bubbles of sovereign privilege . This is the very oligarchy Founders like John Adams so feared . While both Red and Blue elites represent themselves as the people's champion, Blue's protests ring the most false .

America is divided today not by customary tussles in party politics, but rather by passionate, existential, and irreconcilable opposition. Furthermore, the onset of battle is driven yet more urgently by the "intersection" of a culturally embedded kinship divide moving -- however haphazardly -- to join up with an elite-people divide.

Tragically, our divide may no longer be an outcome that people of goodwill work to overcome. Schism -- with our nation in an ideological Iron Maiden -- will soon force us all to submit, and choose.

Michael Vlahos teaches strategy and war at Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs and formerly, at the Naval War College. He is the author of the book Fighting Identity: Sacred War and World Change .

Likbez

I think that the key for understating the political crisis in the USA is to understand its connection with the crisis on neoliberalism as an ideology which was encompassed as the USA national ideology after WWII.

The US neoliberal elite lost the support of the population, and the is what the current crisis is about. Also, the level of degeneration of the current elite demonstrated by Haley appointed to the UN and several other disastrous appointments also signify the Us approaching the situation of " let them eat cakes."

The same time the power of surveillance state is such that outside of random acts of violence like we observed recently, insurrection is impossible and political ways to change the situation are blocked.

Neoliberals came to power with Carter, so more than 40 years ago (although formally Reagan is considered to be the first neoliberal president.) Now they are are losing political power and popular support.

Trump attempt to reform "classic neoliberalism" into what can be called "national neoliberalism" or neoliberalism without globalization is probably doomed to be a failure and not only due to Trump weaknesses as a political leader. He trying increase the level of neoliberaliztion with the USA failing to understand that the current problems stem from excessive levels of deregulation (and associated level of corruption), the excessive power of military industrial complex (supported by Wall Street) which led to waiting for trillion of arms race and destruction of New Deal Social protection mechanisms.

With the collapse of neoliberalism of global ideology, international standing of the USA greatly deteriorated, and now in some areas (especially with unilateral Iran sanctions and behavior in Korea crisis), Trump administration approaches the status of a pariah nation.

My impression is the neoliberalism just can't be reformed the way Trump is trying it to reform into what can be called "national neoliberalism."

That's probably why intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic party, closely connected to Wall Street launched a color revolution ("Russiagate) against him in late 2016, trying to depose him and install a more "compliant" leader, who would support kicking the can down the road.

So the two warring camps now represent "classic neoliberalism" with its idea of the global neoliberal empire (and related "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine) and "revisionists" of various flavors (including Trump and Sanders supporters)

BTW neocons, who dominate the USA foreign policy, are also neoliberals, just moonlighting as lobbyists of the military industrial complex.

I think that globalization as an immanent feature and trump policies this will fail.

As the same, the opposition to neoliberalism on the ground level of the US society demand reforms and retreat form the globalization, which they connect with outsourcing and offshoring.

That's why Trump's idea of "national neoliberalism" -- an attempt to retreat from "globalization" and at the same time to obtain some economic advantages by brute force and bilateral treaties instead of multilateral organizations like WTO got some initial support. Along with his fake promises to improve the economic position of the middle class, squeezed by globalization.

the truth is that the "classic neoliberals" (which are represented by Clinton wing of Dems and Paul Ryan wing in Republicans ) lost popular support.

Dems, for example, now rely as their major constituency fringe groups and elements of national security state (that's why so many of their candidates for midterm are associated with intelligence agencies and military). So they are trying to mobilize elements of national security state to help them to return to power. That gambit, like Russiagate before it, probably will fail.

Republicans are also in limbo with Trump clearly betraying his electorate, but still enjoy some level of ground support.

IMHO his betrayals which is very similar to Obama betrayal(in no way he wants to improve the condition of the lower middle class and workers, it just hot air) might cost him two important group of voters who will vote for independent candidates if they vote at all:

1. Anti-war republicans
2. People who want the return of the New Deal.

Factions which are against imperial wars and for more fair redistribution of income in the society, a distribution which were screwed by 40 years of neoliberalism dominance in the USA.

So the US electorate have a classic political choice between disastrous and unpalatable policies once again ;-)

whether that will eventually lead to a military coup in best LA style, we can only guess.

[Oct 27, 2018] Most Americans See A Sharply Divided Nation; The Fourth Turning Is Here

Looks like most Americans do not understand that we are dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism as a social system.
Oct 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
AP-NORC Poll national survey with 1,152 adults found 8 in 10 Americans believe the country is divided regarding essential values, and some expect the division to deepen into 2020.

Only 20% of Americans said they think the country will become less divided over the next several years, and 39% believe conditions will continue to deteriorate. A substantial majority of Americans, 77%, said they are dissatisfied with the state of politics in the country , said AP-NORC.

... ... ...

The nationwide survey was conducted on October 11-14, using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Overall, 59% of Americans disapprove of how Trump is handling his job as president, while 40% of Americans approve.

More specifically, the poll said 83% of Republicans approve of how Trump is handling the job, while 92% of Democrats and 61% of Independents strongly disagree.

More than half of Americans said they are not hearing nor seeing topics from midterm campaigns that are important to them. About 54% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans said vital issues, such as health care, education, and economic activity, Social Security and crime, were topics they wanted to hear more.

Looking at their communities, most American (Republicans and Democrats) are satisfied with their state or local community. However, on a national level, 58% of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, compared to 25%, a small majority who are satisfied.

Most Americans are dissatisfied with the massive gap between rich and poor, race relations and environmental conditions. The poll noticed there are partisan splits, 84% of Democrats are disappointed with the amount of wealth inequality, compared with 43% of Republicans. On the environment, 77% of Democrats and 32% Republicans are dissatisfied. Moreover, while 77% Democrats said they are unhappy with race relations, about 50% of Republicans said the same.

The poll also showed how Democrats and Republicans view certain issues. About 80% of Democrats but less than 33% of Republicans call income inequality, environmental issues or racism very important.

"Healthcare, education and economic growth are the top issues considered especially important by the public. While there are many issues that Republicans and Democrats give similar levels of importance to (trade foreign policy and immigration), there are several concerns where they are far apart. For example, 80% of Democrats say the environment and climate change is extremely or very important, and only 28% of Republicans agree. And while 68% consider the national debt to be extremely or very important, only 55% of Democrats regard it with the same level of significance," said AP-NORC.

Although Democrats and Republicans are divided on most values, many Americans consider the country's diverse population a benefit.

Half said America's melting pot makes the country stronger, while less than 20% said it hurts the country. About 30% said diversity does not affect their outlook.

"However, differences emerge by party identification, gender, location, education, and race . Democrats are more likely to say having a population with various backgrounds makes the country stronger compared to Republicans or Independents. Urbanities and college-educated adults are more likely to say having a mix of ethnicities makes the country stronger, while people living in rural areas and less educated people tend to say diversity has no effect or makes the country weaker," said AP-NORC.

Overall, 60% of Americans said accusations of sexual harassment with some high-profile men forced to resign or be fired was essential to them. However, 73% of women said the issue was critical, compared with 51% of men. The data showed that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to call sexual misconduct significant.

More than 40% of Americans somewhat or strongly disapprove of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court after allegations of sexual harassment in his college years. 35% of Americans said they heartily approved of Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The evidence above sheds light on the internal struggles of America. The country is divided, and this could be a significant problem just ahead.

Why is that? Well, America's future was outlined in a book called "The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous With Destiny."

In the book, which was written in the late 1990s, authors William Strauss and Niel Howe theorize that the history of civilization moves in 80-to-100 year cycles called "saecula."

The idea behind this theory dates back to the Greeks, who believed that at given saeculum's end, there would come "ekpyrosis," or a cataclysmic event.

This era of change is known as the Fourth Turning, and it appears we are in the midst of one right now.

The last few Fourth Turnings that America experienced ushered in the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, and then the Great Depression and World War II. Before all of that, it was the Revolutionary War.

Each Fourth Turning had similar warning signs: periods of political chaos, division, social and economic decay in which the American people reverted from extreme division and were forced to reunite in the rebuild of a new future, but that only came after massive conflict.

Today's divide among many Americans is strong. We are headed for a collision that will rip this country apart at the seams. The timing of the next Fourth Turning is now, and it could take at least another decade to complete the cycle.

After the Fourth Turning, America will not be the America you are accustomed to today. So, let us stop calling today the "greatest economy ever" and start preparing for turbulence.

MusicIsYou , 36 seconds ago link

Yep, Americans are divided, because they're all miserable, but competing to see who's the biggest miserable victim. Very funny.

[Oct 16, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon

Highly recommended!
The question is why the Deep State still is trying to depose him, if he essentially obeys the dictate of the Deep State ?
Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. ..."
"... The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them. ..."
"... Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad. ..."
"... Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ..."
"... Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security. ..."
"... That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? ..."
"... this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers. ..."
"... Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades. ..."
"... "Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama." ..."
"... Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said. ..."
"... He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else. ..."
"... Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world ..."
"... I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In covering President Donald Trump's recent pregnant comments about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, The Wall Street Journal tucked away in its story an observation that hints at the president's foreign policy direction. In an interview for CBS's 60 Minutes , the president described Mattis as "sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth" and suggested he wouldn't be surprised if his military chief left his post soon. After calling him "a good guy" and saying the two "get along very well," Trump added, "He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves . That's Washington."

Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. In just his first 14 months as president, he hired three national security advisors, reflecting the unstable relationships he often has with his top aides. Following the 60 Minutes interview, Washington was of course abuzz with speculation about what all this might mean for Mattis's fate and who might be the successor if Mattis were to quit or be fired. It was just the kind of fodder Washington loves -- human drama revealing Trump's legendary inconstancy amid prospective new turmoil in the capital.

But far more significant than Mattis's future or Trump's love of chaos was a sentence embedded in the Journal 's report. After noting that recent polls indicated that Mattis enjoys strong support from the American people, reporter Nancy A. Youssef writes: "But his influence within the administration has waned in recent months, particularly following the arrival of John Bolton as national security adviser and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state."

The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them.

Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad.

The one area where he seemed to embrace America's post-Cold War aggressiveness was in his attitude toward Iran. But even there he seemed less bellicose than many of his Republican opponents in the 2016 primaries, who said they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal on their first day in office. Trump, by contrast, said it was a bad deal but one he would seek to improve.

Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now we know he didn't mean what he said, and the latest tiff over the fate of Mattis crystallizes that reality. It's not that Mattis represents the kind of anti-establishment outlook that Trump projected during the campaign; in fact, he is a thoroughgoing product of that establishment. He said Iran was the main threat to stability in the Middle East. He supported sending arms to the Syrian rebels. He decried Russia's intent to "break NATO apart."

Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security.

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs. He brilliantly discerned the frustrations of many Americans over the foreign policy of the previous 16 years and hit just the right notes to leverage those frustrations during the campaign. But his actual foreign policy has manifested a lack of consistent and strong philosophy. Consider his approach to NATO. During the campaign he criticized the alliance's eastward push and aggressive approach to Russia; then as president he accepted NATO's inclusion of tiny Montenegro, a slap at the Russians; then later he suggested Montenegro's NATO status could force the U.S. into a major conflagration if that small nation, which he described as aggressive, got itself into a conflict with a non-NATO neighbor. Such inconsistencies are not the actions of a man with strong convictions. They are hallmarks of someone who is winging it on the basis of little knowledge.

That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia.

Thus a conflict was probably inevitable between Mattis and these more recent administration arrivals. The New York Times speculates that Bolton likely undermined Mattis's standing in Trump's eyes. Writes the paper: "Mr. Bolton, an ideological conservative whose views on foreign policy are more hawkish than those of Mr. Mattis, appears to have deepened the president's suspicions that his defense secretary's view of the world is more like those of Democrats than his own."

The paper didn't clarify the basis of this speculation, but it makes sense. Bolton and Pompeo are gut fighters who go for the jugular. Trump is malleable, susceptible to obsequious manipulation. Mattis is an old-style military man with a play-it-straight mentality and a discomfort with guile. Thus it appears we may be seeing before our eyes the transformation of Trump the anti-establishment candidate into Trump the presidential neocon.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for . His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


General Manager October 15, 2018 at 11:30 pm

Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? We need more folks like Phil Giraldi at TAC. Love him or hate him – but please bring him back. The First Amendment needs him. And many of us still long for his direct and well-informed comments.
George Hoffman , says: October 16, 2018 at 5:27 am
"Come on now!" as sports analysts say in a sarcastic segment about football blunders on ESPN. Did GWB really make just an honest mistake based upon faulty intelligence? Does this writer really believe his assertion? This intellectually dishonest essay comes on the heels of a puff piece by another so-called "conservative" writer who asserted that had JFK not been assassinated and won a second term, he would have surely withdrawn American soldiers from South Vietnam. And then later in this essay the writer finally admits that these wars in the global war on terror, excluding the war in Afghanistan, were unnecessary. But if these other wars were unnecessary, then it historically follows they were illegal wars of aggression against humanity. That was the legal basis under which we tried Nazi leaders as war criminals at Numenberg. By the way, if Trump does get rid of Mattis, there are plenty more, one could even say they are a dime a dozen, at the Pentagon who would be willing to toe the line under Trump. They're basically professional careerists, corporate suits with misto salads of colorful medals on their uniforms. They take their marching orders from the military/industrial complex. I'm a Vietnam vet and realized long ago how clueless these generals actually are when we crossed our Rubicon in Vietnam. The war on terror now rivals the Vietnam War as a major foreign policy debacle. All these other unnecessary wars are part of the endgame as we continue our decline as a constitutional republic and we eventually hit bottom and go bankrupt by 2030.
jd , says: October 16, 2018 at 9:37 am
Absolutely right General Manager, this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers.
Kirt Higdon , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:23 am
When was Trump's foreign policy anything but Neo-con? Oh, he had a few good lines when he was running – that was the "con" part. I didn't fall for it but many did. But since he took office, he's been across-the-board anti-Russian, anti-Iran, pro-Saudi, uber-Zionist, and enthusiastic shill for the military-industrial complex.
Patricus , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:35 am
Trump surprised many of us with some very positive conservative actions but has also disappointed smaller government conservatives. The deficits and debt grows as the economy improves. What in the world happens in the next recession?

Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades.

TheSnark , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:05 am
"Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said.

He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else.

swb , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:34 am
Hmm

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs.

Fixed:

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions.

This is another article that attempts to overlay some sort of actual logical policy or moral framework over the top of Trumps actions. Please stop. Next week or next month this whole line of reasoning will be upended again and you will have to start over with another theory that contradicts this one.

BradleyD , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:40 am
@R Dodge

Are are you implying that Mattis is a slacker? Like, he isn't doing a good job? And, specially, what is he failing to do?

Even if he wasn't doing anything at all, you don't fire Mattis. He is beloved among the military. While a fair number revere and maybe even keep their own little "St. Mattis" shrine as a joke, it is only half a joke.

Mattis is one of the few modern military generals with a cult of personality who, I have little doubt, could declare crossing the Rubicon and would get a good number of veterans and active marching in support.

Stephen J. , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:48 am
I believe a good peaceful and appropriate "Foreign Policy" would be to:

"Arrest Them"

Arrest all those responsible for the plight of the Refugees
These people are in camps, or drowning in unfriendly seas
And when these unwanted, reach "safety," or a foreign land
They are treated like garbage and the rulers want them banned

Arrest these "rulers" who created this hell on earth
Who act, that human lives, don't have any worth
They are examples of evil and should not be in power
They really are disgraceful and an awful bloody shower

Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world
Authorizing bombings and killings these "leaders" should be reviled
Instead we give them fancy titles and homes to park their asses
Will there ever be a day of reckoning and a rise up of the masses?

Arrest the financiers of these bloody wars of destruction
This is how these blood sucking parasites get their satisfaction
Drag them away in chains and handcuffs, and orange prison attire
These are the corporate cannibals who set the world on fire

Arrest the fat and plump little "honourable" Ministers of Wars
They are the "useful idiots" for the leading warmongering whores
They never fight in battle or sacrifice any of their rotten lives
They get others to do their evil work while they themselves thrive

Arrest the corporate chieftains who feed off death and destruction
And who count their bloodstained profits with smiling satisfaction
These are the well dressed demons who call their investments "creating jobs"
Meanwhile, around the world the oppressed are crying, and nobody hears their sobs

Arrest the uniformed generals who blindly obey their marching orders
To bomb, kill, maim and destroy: they are the brainwashed enforcers
Years ago there were trials for war crimes committed by those in charge
Now we need them again for we have war criminals at large

Arrest all the aforementioned, and help clean up the world
We cannot afford these people in power: Are they mentally disturbed?
They are a danger to all of us and we better wake up
Is it time to arrest all of them: Have you had enough?
[more info at links below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/arrest-them.html
-- --

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-great-satan-and-his-satanic-gang-of.html
-- –
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-satanic-savages-in-suits-and-dresses.html

FJR Atlanta , says: October 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Hillary was right when she called Trump a puppet. She just had the puppeteers wrong.
Doswell , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm
"The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. "

Yes. Those two names are the main reason that this lifelong Republican is voting against Trump and the GOP in a few weeks. I voted against this kind of crap in 2016.

Sid Finster , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm
Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. That is obvious. What blows my mind is how many people refuse to admit this obvious fact.
b. , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm
"[G]enerally speaking, anyone listening [..] before the election would have been justified in concluding [Trump] would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

What did Judas Goat 43 say again?

"Fool me once, shame on me. Full me twice in the long run we'll all be dead."

I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results.

Cape Fear , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm
If Trump loses at least one house of Congress this year, he can put it down to 1) failure on immigration and border control, 2) failure to control government spending, and 3) failure to get us out of the Middle East.

His new neocon friends are responsible for 3) and couldn't care less about 1) and 2).

One Guy , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Now we know he didn't mean what he said "

No, Mr. Merry. We knew that long ago. I don't know how much attention you've been paying, but it's been so obvious for so long. But better late than never, I suppose.

Myron Hudson , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm
The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised.

[Oct 14, 2018] Where Is Trump's Alleged Isolationism by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... American Conservative ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

It's nearly impossible to read major newspapers, magazines, or online publications in recent months without encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United States is turning inward and "going alone," "abandoning Washington's global leadership role" or "retreating from the world." These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new "isolationism." The chief villain in all of these worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire to decrease Washington's global hegemonic status. Instead, they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

For instance, it's certainly not evident that the United States is abandoning its security commitments to dozens of allies and clients. Despite the speculation that erupted in response to Trump's negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of U.S. policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued to expand its membership with Trump's blessing -- adding Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia.

Indeed, Trump's principal complaint about NATO has always focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing, not about rethinking the wisdom of the security commitments to Europe that America undertook in the early days of the Cold War. In that respect, Trump's emphasis on greater burden-sharing within the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message that previous generations of U.S. officials have tried sending to the allies.

Moreover, Trump's insistence at the July NATO summit in Brussels that the European nations increase their military budgets and do more for transatlantic defense echoed the comments of President Obama's Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2014. Hagel warned his European counterparts that they must step up their commitment to the alliance or watch it become irrelevant. Declining European defense budgets, he emphasized, are "not sustainable. Our alliance can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and invest in it." Rebalancing NATO's "burden-sharing and capabilities," Hagel stressed, "is mandatory -- not elective."

Additionally, U.S. military activities along NATO's eastern flank certainly have not diminished during the Trump administration. Washington has sent forces to participate in a growing number of exercises (war games) along Russia's western land border -- as well as in the Black Sea -- to demonstrate the U.S. determination to protect its alliance partners. Trump has even escalated America's "leadership role" by authorizing the sale of weapons to Ukraine -- a very sensitive step that President Obama carefully avoided.

Trump even seems receptive to establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Eastern Europe. During a state visit to Washington in mid-September, Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, promised to provide $2 billion toward construction costs if the United States built a military base in his country. Duda even offered to name the base "Fort Trump." Trump's reaction was revealing. Noting that Poland "is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland," Trump stated that the United States would take Duda's proposal "very seriously." American Conservative columnist Daniel Larison notes that while Trump often is accused of wanting to "retreat" from the world, "his willingness to entertain this proposal shows that he doesn't care about stationing U.S. forces abroad so long as someone else is footing most of the bill."

U.S. military activism does not seem to have diminished outside the NATO region either. Washington persists in its futile regime-change campaign in Syria, and it continues the shameful policy of assisting Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies pursue their atrocity-ridden war in Yemen. Both of those Obama-era ventures should have been prime candidates for a policy change if Trump had wished to decrease America's military activism.

There are no such indications in Europe, the Middle East, or anywhere else. The U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea have actually increased in size and frequency under Trump -- much to China's anger . Washington's diplomatic support for Taiwan also has quietly increased over the past year or so, and National Security Advisor John Bolton is on record suggesting that the United States move some of its troops stationed on Okinawa to Taiwan. The U.S. military presence in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, both in overall size and the number of host countries.

Those are all extremely strange actions for an administration supposedly flirting with a retreat from the world to be adopting. So, too, is Trump's push for increases in America's already bloated military budget, which now exceeds $700 billion -- with even higher spending levels on the horizon.

Accusations of a U.S. retreat from the world on non-military matters have only slightly greater validity. True, Trump has shown little patience for multilateral arrangements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement, or the United Nations Human Rights Council that he concluded did not serve America's national interests. On those issues, the president's actions demonstrated that his invocation of "America First" was not just rhetoric. However, regarding such matters, as well as the trade disputes with China and North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement partners, the administration's emphasis is on securing a "better deal" for the United States, not abandoning the entire diplomatic process. One might question the wisdom or effectiveness of that approach, but it is a far cry from so-called isolationism.

Indeed, Americans would have been better off if Trump had been more serious about challenging the policy status quo, especially with respect to security issues. A reconsideration of Washington's overgrown and often obsolete security commitments to allies and clients around the world is long overdue. Abandoning the disastrous twin strategies of humanitarian military intervention and regime-change wars is a badly needed step. And waging a new cold war against Russia is the height of dangerous folly that needs to be reversed.

But contrary to Trump's shrill -- and sometimes hysterical -- critics, America has had no meaningful reconsideration of such misguided policies or a willingness to adopt a more focused, limited, and prudent U.S. role in the world. Notions that there has been a pell-mell U.S. retreat from global leadership -- i.e., Washington's hegemonic pretentions -- under Donald Trump are a myth. What Trump has adopted is merely a more unilateral and militarized version of a stale foreign policy that does not benefit the American people.


Source: The National Interest

[Oct 10, 2018] Casualty Lists From the Kavanaugh Battle by Pat Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? ..."
"... Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. ..."
"... Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. ..."
"... I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons. ..."
"... The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website October 9, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT

Mr. Buchanan, you forgot the "treacherous" work of porn lawyer Michael Avenatti who offered the straw that broke the camel's back by presenting such an abysmal "witness" such as Julie Swetnick. Ms. Ramirez' alleged allegations also came down to nothing. Even the so-called Me too movement suffered a big blow. They turned a fundamental democratic principle upside down: The accused is innocent until proven guilty. They insisted instead that the accuser is right because she is a woman!

I watched the whole confirmation circus on CNN. When Dr. Ford started talking my first thought was; this entire testimony is a charade initiated by the Dems. As a journalist, I was appalled by the CNN "colleagues." During the recesses, they held tribunals that were 95 percent staffed by anti-Trumpets. Fairness looks different.

For me, the Democratic Party and the Me too movement lost much of its credibility. To regain it, they have to get rid of the demons of the Clinton's and their ilk. Anyone who is acquainted with the history of the Clinton's knows that they belong to the most politically corrupt politicians in the US.

Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT

So where are we going now?

This country is on a shit slide to hell. No turning back ..to many god damn idiots in this country.

What people in this country better understand is Trump is part of the Deep State and he means harm to all non elites.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@utu You're thinking of Justice Kennedy, another Republican choice for whom young Mr. Kavanaugh clerked before helping President Cheney with the Patriot Act to earn his first robe on the Swampville Circuit. Chief Justice Roberts was the one who nailed down Big Sickness for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Like the "federal" elections held every November in even-numbered years and the 5-4 decrees of the Court, these nailbiting confirmation hearings are another part of the show that keeps people gulled into accepting that so many things in life are to be run by people in Washington. Mr. Buchanan for years has been proclaiming each The Most Important Ever.

I'm still inclined to the notion that the Constitution was intended, at least by some of its authors and supporters, to create a limited national government. But even by the time of Marbury, those entrusted with the powers have arrogated the authority to redefine them. In my lifetime, the Court exists to deal with hot potato social issues in lieu of the invertebrate Congress, to forebear (along with the invertebrate Congress) the warmongering and other "foreign policy" waged under auspices of the President, and to dignify the Establishment's shepherding and fleecing of the people.

Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? Entrusted to enforce the Constitutional limitations on the others? Sure, questions like these are posed from time to time in a dissenting Justice's opinion, but that ends the discussion other than in the context of replacing old Justice X with middle-aged Justice Y, as exemplified in this cliche' column from Mr. Buchanan. Those of us outside the Beltway are told to tune in and root Red. And there are pom pom shakers and color commentators just like him for Team Blue.

Puppet show.

Jon Baptist , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm GMT
Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. Buchanan knows this but is too afraid to tell "the other half of the story."
36 ulster , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT
@verylongaccountname

It was a costly victory, but not a Pyrrhic one. The Left will no doubt raise the decibel and octave levels, but if they incur a richly-deserved defeat a month from now, they won't even make it to the peanut gallery for at least the next two years.

Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. Should the Left choose to up the ante, to REALLY take it to the streets well as the English ditty goes: We have the Maxim Gun/And they have not.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
Pat, you are one of the few thinkers with real common sense.

I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons.

The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left.

They all slept through the Obama disaster thinking the globalist open borders would make the world Shang Ri La instead of crime ridden, diseased, and under attack from Muslims and their twisted ides about God and Sharia Law. Look at the Imam who proclaimed yesterday they Sharia is the law of Britain and that Muslims are at war with the British government. Yet, Tommy Robinson gets jailed for pointing out their sated intentions. Messed up. We cannot let this happen in America.

They ignore the fact that the emasculated Obama failed to fight to pick a Supreme Court Justice. Even though he was going to choose Neil Gorsuch, not a leftist, the Alt-Left no doubt would have remained silent if he had. Why? Because Obama was black. But the Alt-Left is shallow and they could not see that the oreo president was black on the outside but rich and creamy white on the inside. No doubt, Obama was more like a 1980′s Republican than he was a Democrat as I understood them to be for decades.

The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be.


Si1ver1ock , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT

@prefer anon I agree. These parties get hijacked by the worst sort. The Neocons are still riding high in the Republican party.
SolontoCroesus , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

You wanted a fight? You are going to get one and just like the Nazis and confederates we will thrash you

Hold up a sec, pal.

Your lot has painted a target on Russia, claiming Russians collusioned with Trump. Right?

But it was Russians who "thrashed" the Nazis.

Goes without saying you hate the Nazis and extend that epithet to include Germans. Right?

But German mercenaries provided a great deal of the fighting force that "thrashed" the confederates.

Looks like you've made enemies of most of the fighting force you are counting on to thrash the GOP, pal.

Ooops.

Svigor , says: October 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Ludwig Watzal Vis-a-vis #PayAttentionToMeToo, it really was a win-win. Rightists successfully defended the firewall and kept it contained to the left. Perfect. As far as leftists are concerned, it's still perfectly legitimate – the leftist circular firing squads will continue.
Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist

Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling.

Well I get it and have been saying so. Trump knows damn well that the people he has surrounded himself with are Deep Staters Trump is a part of the Deep State. Trump has done nothing of significance for the 99%. Trump hasn't prosecuted anyone for criminal activity 'against' his campaign or administration. Trump hasn't built a wall (he won't either). Instead of reducing conflict and war Trump has been belligerent in his actions toward Russia, China, Syria and Iran .risking all out war. All these things are being done to increase the wealth and power of the Deep State. For the past ten years Republican House members have been promising investigations and prosecutions of Democrats for criminal activities .not one god damn thing changed. Kabuki theater is the name of the game. With such inane bullshit as Dancing With The Stars on TV and the fake Republicans v Democrats game, it is all meant to keep the proles from knowing how they are being screwed .a rather easy task at that.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Si1ver1ock @S1ver1ock

They are in the Democrat party too. In fact, their only allegiance is to Israel. The

Neocons are anti-USA – same as the communists in antifa and the mobs of idiots in the Damnedcrat party.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm GMT
@utu Same sex marriage is basically irrelevant. Less than 10% of homosexuals co-habitate with a partner. Perhaps 10% of the general population is openly homosexual (and that's definitely an over-estimation.).

This means that if all homosexuals that cohabitate with a partner are married, it's less than 1% of the population we're talking about.

This is a "who really cares?" situation. There's more important things to worry about when the nation has been at war for 16 years straight, started over a bunch of lies starting with George W. Bush and continuing with Barak Obama. We have lost the moral high ground because of those two, identical in any important way, scumbags.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

Democrats are enraged and have seen the GOP for the white supremacist evil institution that it is

This from a group of people that have been endlessly complaining that the Butcher of Libya, who voted for the Authorization to Use Force in Iraq (what you know as the 2nd Iraq War) wasn't elected president just because she was running a fraudulent charity, was storing classified information on an unsecured and compromised server illegally, and is telling you absolutely morally bankrupt and unprincipled individuals that you have the moral high ground because she's a woman after all, not just another war criminal like George W. Bush is, and Obama is.

Caligula's horse would have beaten Hillary Clinton, if the voter base had any sense. Clinton was the worst possible candidate ever. Anybody, and I mean anybody, that voted for the Iraq War should be in prison, not in government. They are all traitors.

Hyperion , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Realist Agree Big money interets have broguht us Trump not only for the tax cuts but to destroy America's hemegomony. to start the final leg of the shift from west to east. A traitor of the highest order Pat Buchanan has led the grievence brigade of angry white men for decades distracted and deluded over the social issues meanwhile the Everyman/woman has lost ground economically or stayed static no improvement.
SamAdams , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@Jon Baptist You can just about guarantee that the losers in the false 'Right' versus 'Left' circus will be We The People.

Big Government/Big Insider Corporations/Big Banks feed parasitically off the population. The role of the lawyers wearing black dresses on the SC, is to help hide the theft. They use legal mumbo jumbo. The economists at the Fed use economics & mathematical mumbo jumbo.

Much of current Western society is made up of bullsh*t.

[Oct 08, 2018] American Caesar Tucker Carlson's Conservative Revolution by Jake Bowyer

Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right ..."
"... And, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault, ..."
"... verboten ..."
"... Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution. ..."
"... Well, Ship of Fools ..."
"... Explicit in this critique of America's Ruling Class is the fact that democracies are unstable and prone to self-destruction. In modern America, the elite do not attend to the population, cynical race-mongering is used to win votes at the cost of internal peace, and chicken hawks like Max Boot and William Kristol still receive adulation in the Main Stream Media despite their disastrous record of cheering on military misadventures that kill thousands of Americans. (To say nothing of their fanatical opposition to Trump -- despite the fact that he won the presidency when their catspaws McCain and Romney ignominiously failed). Ship of Fools ..."
"... Jake Bowyer [ Email him ] is the pseudonym of an American college student. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.unz.com
Jake Bowyer October 3, 2018

Since the late fall of 2016, Democrats and other Leftist types have been decrying President Donald J. Trump as "not normal" and a "threat to democracy." Of course, this is hogwash of the most rank sort. The same people lambasting Trump for his supposed " authoritarianism " are the same people who have created the modern American oligarchy. Tucker Carlson , the popular Fox News who wrote the single most brilliant and prescient Main Stream Media article on the Trump phenomenon: Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right | And, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault, by Tucker Carlson, Politico, January 28, 2016.

That was written before, let it be noted, Trump's double-digit triumph in the New Hampshire primary -- has continued to speak verboten things . Now he takes aim at America's oligarchic class in his just-released book Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.

For Carlson, moral and social rot in the United States starts at the very top -- the place where Democrats and Republicans https://vdare.com/posts/they-want-to-lose-gop-congress-sounds-retreat-on-border-wall-funds-democratic-priorities to maintain unpopular elite rule. Carlson compares this American elite to blind drunk captains steering a sinking ship. Making matters worse: the fact that, in keeping with Carlson's nautical parallel, "Anyone who points out the consequences of what they're [the elite] doing gets keelhauled." Gavin McInnes (banned from Twitter ) and Alex Jones (banned from everything ) would agree.

Ship of Fools is no apology for Trumpism. Indeed, Carlson calls Trump "vulgar and ignorant." But he rightly points out that Trump "didn't invade Iraq or bail out Wall Street. He didn't lower interest rates to zero, or open the borders, or sit silently by as the manufacturing sector collapsed and the middle class died." Basically, Donald J. Trump is not your average American politician. Thank God.

For much of Ship of Fools , Carlson comes off sounding like someone with his heart in the center-left. Some cheeky Twitter users might even dub Carlson's latest book National Bolshevism.

Why? Well, Ship of Fools excoriates finance capitalism and the class that has constantly reaped economic benefits out of the labor of American workers without contributing anything of substance to the American body politic. The Democrats used to be the party of populist rabble rousers like Huey Long and Al Smith.

But Carlson points out that "the Democratic Party is now the party of the rich." Rather than attacking mega-wealthy people like Amazon's Jeff Bezos or Apple's Tim Cook , the modern American Left is completely in thrall to money and corporate power. This hurts every American not in the upper income bracket.

Republicans are no better. They remain wedded to the idea of being the party of business, and as such many Republican elected officials support Open Borders because that would provide their donors with an endless supply of cheap labor. This support comes at the cost of angering a majority of Republican voters.

In sum, both parties have given up on the native-born American workers. And, beginning in 2016, American workers began pushing back at the ballot box.

Ship of Fools is a bleak book. It is also much better than the usual fluff penned (or signed) by Fox News pundits. Carlson tells uncomfortable truths and engages with topics that until very recently were only considered fit for the fringe Right (like VDARE.com ).

Take for instance the displacement of white Americans, especially white working-class Americans. America is a nation of 200 million white people. Native-born whites pay more in taxes, provide the majority of America's soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen, and are the offspring of the people who built this country. For this hard work and loyalty, foreign-born editors at the New York Times tweet "#CancelWhitePeople." Hordes of Antifa types cheer on the displacement of native-born whites, while the political elite do nothing to combat rising drug overdose deaths and suicides in the Midwest, rural Northeast, and South. As Carlson warns, " White identity politics will be a response to a world in which identity politics is the only game there is."

And, as anti-white vitriol increases and whites are demoted from majority status, Carlson predicts that white interest groups will form and flex their muscles when they feel that their backs are up against the wall.

At several points in Ship of Fools , Carlson sincerely grieves for the lost Liberal-Left of his childhood. He misses the environmentalists who cared about littering, not about some abstract thing called climate change. He misses those Leftists who cried about injustice in the world rather than ranting and raving at the behest of the elite class. Without an honest Left, America could further descend into corporate anarcho-tyranny -- a place where businesses control free speech and only a small sliver of people enjoy the benefits of the modern and high-tech economy.

Ship of Fools ends with a warning: either practice democracy or be prepared for authoritarian rule.

"In order to survive, democracies must remain egalitarian," Carlson argues."When all the spoils seem to flow upward, the majority will revolt in protest."

Explicit in this critique of America's Ruling Class is the fact that democracies are unstable and prone to self-destruction. In modern America, the elite do not attend to the population, cynical race-mongering is used to win votes at the cost of internal peace, and chicken hawks like Max Boot and William Kristol still receive adulation in the Main Stream Media despite their disastrous record of cheering on military misadventures that kill thousands of Americans. (To say nothing of their fanatical opposition to Trump -- despite the fact that he won the presidency when their catspaws McCain and Romney ignominiously failed). Ship of Fools correctly notes that this is what an empire looks like in its final days.

In this sense the elites may be right to characterize President Trump as a populist. After all, Julius Caesar gave the common man order, security, and bread in the face of a cold and sterile system. By attempting to dismantle the elite consensus, Trump, Trumpism , and America First may just be the first entries in a new age of all-American Caesarism.

We should only be so lucky!

Jake Bowyer [ Email him ] is the pseudonym of an American college student.

KenG , says: October 7, 2018 at 6:36 am GMT

I enjoyed the book immensely even though I'm a socialist myself. Tucker's disdain for wars, technology companies, and the ruling class are a breath of fresh air. I also enjoy his show but I do wish he wouldn't talk over the guests he disagrees with.
AlreadyPublished , says: October 7, 2018 at 4:39 am GMT
There must be a reason why people like j g strijdom and curmudgeon, with their slimy unsubstantiated charges, despise Tucker Carlson. I suspect it is this:

[Oct 05, 2018] White working class who voted for Trump have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan , says: October 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT

Want to talk about lost memory?

How about this lost memory?

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-decision-nominate-brett-kavanaugh-kennedy-2018-7/

White people who voted for Trump for his Supreme Court list have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria." Second, when Trump added Kavanaugh's name to a list of judges after he had gotten into office. Third, when Trump negotiated with scum Anthony Kennedy, who obviously demanded a Kavanaugh nomination in exchange for his retirement.

Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue: how Donald Trump motivated his base to support a candidate from the elitist wing.

But good luck finding conservatives with the balls to publicly point out the truth: the President we elected has stabbed us in the back with an establishment nomination.

[Oct 02, 2018] Democrats, Republicans Unite Populism Destroys Democracy by Caitlin Johnstone

This is a really apt quote: "America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both."
Notable quotes:
"... The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world. ..."
"... America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If there's one thing that brings a tear to my eye, it's the inspiration I feel when watching Republican-aligned neoconservatives and Democrat-aligned neoconservatives find a way to bridge their almost nonexistent differences and come together to discuss the many, many, many, many, many, many many many things they have in common.

In a conference at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, "Resistance" leader and professional left-puncher Neera Tanden met with Iraq-raping neocon Bill Kristol to discuss bipartisanship and shared values. While leprechauns held hands and danced beneath candy rainbows and gumdrop Reaper drones, the duo engaged in a friendly, playful conversation with the event's host in a debate format which was not unlike watching the Pillsbury Doughboy have a pillow fight with himself in a padded room after drinking a bottle of NyQuil.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3oHm5OP621A

To get the event started, the host whose name I refuse to learn asked the pair to discuss briefly what common ground such wildly different people could possibly share to make such a strange taboo-shattering dialogue possible.

"Issues around national security and believing in democratic principles as they relate to foreign policy," replied Tanden . "And opposing authoritarianism, and opposing the kind of creeping populism that undermines democracy itself."

Neera Tanden, in case you are unaware, is a longtime Clinton and Obama insider and CEO of the plutocrat-backed think tank Center for American Progress. Her emails featured prominently in the 2016 Podesta drops by WikiLeaks, which New Republic described as revealing "a pattern of freezing out those who don't toe the line, a disturbing predilection for someone who is a kind of gatekeeper for what ideas are acceptable in Democratic politics." Any quick glance at Tanden's political activism and Twitter presence will render this unsurprising, as she often seems more concerned with attacking the Green Party and noncompliant progressive Democrats than she does with advancing progressive values. Her entire life is dedicated to keeping what passes for America's political left out of the hands of the American populace.

Kristol co-signed Tanden's anti-populist rhetoric and her open endorsement of neoconservative foreign policy, and went on to say that another thing he and Tanden have in common is that they've both served in government, which makes you realize that nothing's black and white and everything's kinda nebulous and amorphous so it doesn't really matter if you, say for example, help deceive your country into a horrific blunder that ends up killing a whole lot of people for no good reason.

"I do think if you've served in government -- this isn't universally true but somewhat true -- that you do have somewhat more of a sense of the complexity of things, and many of its decisions are not black and white, that in public policy there are plusses and minuses to most policies," Kristol said .

"There are authentic disagreements both about values, but also just about how certain things are gonna work or not work and that is what adds a kind of humility to one's belief that one is kind of always right about everything."

I found this very funny coming from the man who is notoriously always wrong about everything, and I'd like to point out that "complexity" is a key talking point that the neoconservatives who've been consistently proven completely wrong about everything are fond of repeating. Everything's complicated and nothing's really known and it's all a big blurry mess so maybe butchering a million Iraqis and destabilizing the Middle East was a good thing . Check out this short clip of John Bolton being confronted by Tucker Carlson about what a spectacular error the Iraq invasion was for a great example of this:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NPFc9YN7LIE

I listened to the whole conference, but it was basically one long smear of amicable politeness which was the verbal equivalent of the color beige, so I had difficulty tuning in. Both Tanden and Kristol hate the far left (or as those of us outside the US pronounce it, "the center"), both Tanden and Kristol hate Trump, and hey maybe Americans have a lot more in common than they think and everyone can come together and together together togetherness blah blah. At one point Kristol said something about disagreeing with internet censorship, which was weird because his Weekly Standard actively participates in Facebook censorship as one of its authorized "fact checkers".

The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world.

America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil.

Neera Tanden and Bill Kristol are the same fucking person. They're both toxic limbs on the same toxic beast, feeding the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad into its gaping mouth in service of the powerful. And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins. Saying populism undermines democracy is like saying democracy undermines democracy.


Keyser , 29 minutes ago

The only thing the neocons care about is money and dead brown people, in that order, because the more dead people, the more $$$ they make...

Jim in MN , 28 minutes ago

You mean, neolibcon globalist elite sociopath traitors, right?

bshirley1968 , 38 minutes ago

I am confident that if I ever spent time around Caitlin there would be a whole host of things we would disagree about......but this,

" America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil."

.....is something we can absolutely agree on. This FACT needs to be expounded and driven down the sheeple throats until they are puking it up. Why don't they teach that in screwls? Because school is where the foundation for this lie of two parties is laid .

DingleBarryObummer , 29 minutes ago

It's funny that you say that. I was just thinking about how high school was a microcosm of how the world is.

The football stars were the "protected class." They could park like assholes, steal food from the cafeteria, and show up late, and wouldn't get in trouble.

That's just one of a multitude of examples. That's a whole nother article in itself.

DingleBarryObummer , 39 minutes ago

Tucker Carlson made Bolton look like the dingus he is in that interview. We all know (((who))) he works for.

+1 to tucker

WTFUD , 43 minutes ago

Campaigns are funded, career Politicians become made-men, conduits for the scramble of BILLIONAIRES gorging bigly on-the-public-teat, with a kick-back revolving door supernova gratuity waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Of course they can ALL AGREE . . . eventually.

Chupacabra-322 , 54 minutes ago

"How many people have Kristol and his ilk murdered in their endless wars for israel?"

Countless.

ChiangMaiXPat , 58 minutes ago

As a Trump voter, I believe I have more in common with Caitlin Johnstone then "any" Neocon. Her articles and writing are mostly "spot on." I imagine I would disagree on a couple key social issues but on foreign policy I believe most conservatives are on the same page as her.

ChiangMaiXPat , 54 minutes ago

I thought her piece was "spot on," she's a very good writer. The Neo CONS will be the death of this country.

[Oct 02, 2018] Spinoza: a Man for Our Troubled Time by Sheldon Richman

Oct 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

In these interesting times, we all need someone to admire. I have found such a one in Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677), the 17th-century rationalist liberal philosopher who advocated freedom of thought and expression, toleration, and simple kindness.

Spinoza lived in what at the time was the most liberal place on earth, the Dutch Republic, his Jewish Portuguese family having moved there after Portugal expelled its Jewish population in 1497. He seems to have been a free thinker at an early age, and it apparently got him into trouble with the Jewish community of Amsterdam. In 1656, at the tender age 23, his synagogue banned him for life from the community for "abominable heresies and monstrous deeds." The excommunication decree -- the charem -- left no doubt about how the Jews of Amsterdam were to regard the young man:

By decree of the angels and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God, Blessed be He, and with the consent of the entire holy congregation, and in front of these holy scrolls with the 613 precepts which are written therein; cursing him with the excommunication with which Joshua banned Jericho and with the curse which Elisha cursed the boys and with all the castigations which are written in the Book of the Law. Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down and cursed be he when he rises up. Cursed be he when he goes out and cursed be he when he comes in. The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law. But you that cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

It ordered "that no one should communicate with him neither in writing nor accord him any favor nor stay with him under the same roof nor within four cubits [six feet] in his vicinity; nor shall he read any treatise composed or written by him."

Spinoza was not upset with this development; he apparently thought his excommunication merely saved him the trouble of leaving the community on his own initiative. So he changed his name from the Hebrew word for blessed , Baruch, to the Latin equivalent, Benedictus. However, he lived in a time and place in which being unaffiliated with any community had its disadvantages.

What had he done to deserve this treatment? No one is really sure because he had not yet written a word, and he would not publish a book for several years. But he must have been talking to friends about the philosophy he was formulating. If so, we should have no problem understanding why Spinoza would have outraged the Jewish authorities, who feared anything that might jeopardize the community's relatively free status in the Protestant republic. His writings, published between those of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, would reject the immortality of the soul and the divine origin of the Bible, while arguing that God was nothing more than nature, or existence, itself without a consciousness or will with which to command, reward, punish, or listen to human beings. His famous phrase was Deus sive Natura , God or/as Nature. For Spinoza, nothing could be beyond nature and logic; thus, no supernatural being or realm existed.

When I (along with others) nominate Spinoza for hero status, I am thinking specifically of his political philosophy, which he expressed in his anonymously published A Theological-Political Treatise (1670), condemned as "a book forged in hell." The authorship of the book soon became an open secret, and all but his book on Descartes were banned in the Dutch Republic and elsewhere. Spinoza also lived in interesting times, which were no doubt on his mind as he formulated his political philosophy: the Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 and the English Civil War raged from 1642 to 1651.

As the libertarian philosopher Douglas Den Uyl notes in God, Man, and Well-Being: Spinoza's Modern Humanism , Spinoza was very much in the tradition of Greek philosophy, but he went the Greek thinkers one better by rejecting the state as a shaper of souls and promoter of virtue. What Spinoza called "blessedness" cannot be achieved through external forces but only through an internal process that individuals undertake. (Den Uyl's earlier book on Spinoza, a doctoral dissertation, is Power, State, and Freedom: An Interpretation of Spinoza's Political Philosophy .)

For Spinoza (alas, no anarchist, but see Daniel Garber's lecture at 44:00), the socially contracted democratic-republican state had one task: to produce security -- full stop. Security enables individuals to 1) live in safety, 2) pursue understanding, which is the key to activeness, power in the sense of efficacy, virtue, and excellence, and 3) enjoy the benefits of cooperation with others through the division of labor. But, properly, number two is neither the state's direct nor indirect goal. Against the claim that Spinoza looked to the state to promote virtue if only indirectly, Den Uyl refers to Spinoza's unfinished Political Treatise , where he writes, "The best way to organize a state is easily discovered by considering the purpose of civil order, which is nothing other than peace and security of life." Virtue is not even an indirect goal? No, because, Den Uyl points out, the failure of people to become more virtuous would not indicate a deficiency in the state. Virtue is a private internal matter.

As an aside, I note that for Spinoza, living actively according to reason (understanding), rather than passively according to appetites and (other) "external" forces, enables one to accomplish more than one's own flourishing directly; it also encourages others to live according to reason, which in turn further promotes one's own flourishing.

Another Spinoza scholar who finds this political philosophy especially worth studying today is Steven Nadler. In his 2016 Aeon article "Why Spinoza Still Matters" (from which many of the Spinoza quotes below are taken), Nadler writes:

At a time when Americans seem willing to bargain away their freedoms for security, when politicians talk of banning people of a certain faith from our shores, and when religious zealotry exercises greater influence on matters of law and public policy, Spinoza's philosophy – especially his defence of democracy, liberty, secularity and toleration – has never been more timely. In his distress over the deteriorating political situation in the Dutch Republic, and despite the personal danger he faced, Spinoza did not hesitate to boldly defend the radical Enlightenment values that he, along with many of his compatriots, held dear. In Spinoza we can find inspiration for resistance to oppressive authority and a role model for intellectual opposition to those who, through the encouragement of irrational beliefs and the maintenance of ignorance, try to get citizens to act contrary to their own best interests .

The political ideal that Spinoza promotes in the Theological-Political Treatise is a secular, democratic commonwealth, one that is free from meddling by ecclesiastics. Spinoza is one of history's most eloquent advocates for freedom and toleration.

In his treatise, Spinoza was quite clear: "The state can pursue no safer course than to regard piety and religion as consisting solely in the exercise of charity and just dealing, and that the right of the sovereign, both in religious and secular spheres, should be restricted to men's actions, with everyone being allowed to think what he will and to say what he thinks."

And: "Freedom to philosophise [on all things –SR] may not only be allowed without danger to piety and the stability of the republic, but that it cannot be refused without destroying the peace of the republic and piety itself."

Further: "A government that attempts to control men's minds is regarded as tyrannical, and a sovereign is thought to wrong his subjects and infringe their right when he seeks to prescribe for every man what he should accept as true and reject as false, and what are the beliefs that will inspire him with devotion to God. All these are matters belonging to individual right, which no man can surrender even if he should so wish."

Nadler elaborates: "No matter what laws are enacted against speech and other means of expression, citizens will continue to say what they believe, only now they will do so in secret. Any attempt to suppress freedom of expression will, once again, only weaken the bonds of loyalty that unite subjects to sovereign. In Spinoza's view, intolerant laws lead ultimately to anger, revenge and sedition."

For Spinoza, it was not enough to have the freedom to think any thoughts. "The more difficult case," Nadler writes, "concerns the liberty of citizens to express those beliefs, either in speech or in writing. And here Spinoza goes further than anyone else in the 17th century":

Utter failure will attend any attempt in a commonwealth to force men to speak only as prescribed by the sovereign despite their different and opposing opinions. The most tyrannical government will be one where the individual is denied the freedom to express and to communicate to others what he thinks, and a moderate government is one where this freedom is granted to every man.

Alas, Spinoza was not what we would call a modern libertarian, although (as Nadler emphasizes) he was a far better liberal than John Locke, whose Letter Concerning Toleration did not extend the courtesy to the beliefs , not to mention the public activities, of atheists and Catholics.

Spinoza thought one can be free "in any kind of state." How so? The free person is guided by reason, he wrote, and reason favors peace; therefore, the reasonable person obeys the state's laws because "peace cannot be attained unless the general laws of the state be respected. Therefore the more he is free, the more constantly will he respect the laws of his country, and obey the commands of the sovereign power to which he is subject." Now Spinoza might have been thinking of a commonwealth in which the laws are perfectly appropriate to rational persons -- except that he says we can be free in any kind of state . Does it follow that ignoring unjust statutes really risks general civil strife? I think Spinoza would reply, in a Hobbesian way, that "justice is dependent on the laws of the authorities." However, while civil strife is not conducive to the good life, neither are unjust statutes that prohibit or regulate peaceful conduct.

Spinoza drew a line between the expression of thoughts and actions. As Nadler points out (in this video ), Spinoza thought the secular authority had a right to dictate how religion was publicly practiced in order to safeguard the peace. Practitioners of alternative religions should be free to think and say what they please, but their public rites were to be permitted only within prescribed limits. As one can see, Spinoza is in some respects a Hobbesian though he was more liberal because Hobbes, unlike Spinoza, had the sovereign serving as the arbiter of right opinion in religious and other matters -- for the sake of civil peace, of course. The one time that Spinoza mentions Hobbes is in a note in his treatise: "Now reason (though Hobbes thinks otherwise) is always on the side of peace, which cannot be attained unless the general laws of the state be respected."

Spinoza wrote:

The rites of religion and the outward observances of piety should be in accordance with the public peace and well-being, and should therefore be determined by the sovereign power alone. I speak here only of the outward observances of piety and the external rites of religion, not of piety, itself, nor of the inward worship of God, nor the means by which the mind is inwardly led to do homage to God in singleness of heart.

Moreover, Nadler says, "Spinoza does not support the absolute freedom of speech. He explicitly states that the expression of seditious ideas is not to be tolerated by the sovereign. There's to be no protection for speech that advocates the overthrow of the government, disobedience to its laws, or harm to fellow citizens."

Citizens should be free to argue for repeal of laws, but that's about it; they may not rebel or even express ideas that implicitly call for rebellion because it would undermine the social contract and the peace. Nadler acknowledges that, despite Spinoza's definition of seditious beliefs , the vagueness of that phrase and his notion of implicitly inciting rebellion properly trouble civil libertarians.

Nevertheless, Spinoza ends his treatise on a high note: "The safest way for a state is to lay down the rule that religion is comprised solely in the exercise of charity and justice, and that the rights of rulers in sacred, no less than in secular matters, should merely have to do with actions, but that every man should think what he likes and say what he thinks." Not bad for 1670.

Spinoza knew he was not entirely politically safe in the world's freest state. (Friends had been persecuted by the state for their ideas.) Besides not putting his name on the book, which was written in Latin rather than the vernacular, he wrote in his final paragraph:

It remains only to call attention to the fact that I have written nothing which I do not most willingly submit to the examination and approval of my country's rulers; and that I am willing to retract anything which they shall decide to be repugnant to the laws, or prejudicial to the public good. I know that I am a man, and as a man liable to error, but against error I have taken scrupulous care, and have striven to keep in entire accordance with the laws of my country, with loyalty, and with morality.

Whatever his limits, we have much to learn from and admire about Spinoza, especially these days.

[Sep 29, 2018] Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit ecaquse he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Digital Samizdat , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm GMT

If you don't know all the local issues and controversies -- and I'll admit I don't -- it makes the mid-terms hard to call.

In general–about 80% of the time–midterms go against a sitting president. But in this case, I agree with the Derb: I think the Dims are in a rude awakening.

It's nice that our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem

Nice? Speak for yourself!

It's nice that Senator Graham has found his high dudgeon at last. Now that he's found it, though, how long will it be before he turns it against immigration patriots?

That's probably the only reason Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit: he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy. Remember the Clarence Thomas hearings? Remember how Arlen Specter was the Republican standard-bearer back then? Nuff said.

anon [317] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
@ advancedatheist It is difficult in these trying times to find good entertainers.

I thought confirmation hearings,were to test for qualifications required to be a Supreme?

Such things as ability to write, understanding of the complexities of the constitution, beliefs and past rulings, convictions about the bill of rights, and things like that? The Constitution is supposed to create the structure of government, authorize payment of fat salaries to 527 elected entertainers and limit the scope of the personal financial activities while in office. I can't image a confirmation hearing that would review the judicial history of the past rulings and professional activities of a candidate. The audience would not be interested to hear what those who practice law and interact with the candidate had to say about him and his legal abilities. When and in which tent are those hearings to begin?

Where are the opinions by Judge Kavanaugh? Why have they not been produced for inspection in the hearings? What does this man think? Why did Trump select Judge Kavanaugh to be a supreme? At the moment it looks like the the hearings have been conducted to cover for the attacks by Israel on Russian Airplanes in Syria. I can think of no other reason for such a circus?

What I have seen, heard and read describe another propaganda guided privately owned media production with side shows by two of the best known acts in circus life ( shows by the Gods of poop and by the Democraps were featured).

I still don't know anything about Judge Kavanaugh do you?

Charles Pewitt , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
I hereby claim that Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow are horrible whores for the GOP Cheap Labor Faction. Both Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow push wage-reducing open borders mass immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders.

I also strongly suggest that Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham were big backers of the Iraq War debacle.

Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham both push sovereignty-sapping trade deal scams.

Larry Kudlow has no memory whatsoever of any guest ever at his house. Is Larry Kudlow a ruling class louse?

Trump brought on board his ship of state all sorts of louts such as Larry Kudlow, Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Nikki Haley, John Bolton and many other no good bastards. Trump invited the swamp into the White House.

Tweets from 2015:

[Sep 29, 2018] Anti-White-Male Kavanaugh Hatefest May Close Midterm Enthusiasm Gap -- And Get GOP Senators On The Trump Train! by John Derbyshir

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her. ..."
Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

advancedatheist , says: September 29, 2018 at 3:35 am GMT

I don't know about anyone else, but I found Dr. Gidget, the aging surfer girl with the vocal fry and the uptalk, just ridiculous and annoying.
Rational , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:21 am GMT
FBI SHOULD CHARGE CHRISTINE FORD FOR PERJURY.

Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her.

That did not happen for 3 decades for one reason -- nothing happened on the night in question.

The Democrats, who are a criminal party, must have coached her and offered her a few 100K under the table, disguised as speaking fees, or scholarship, for manufacturing this racket.

PANCHO PERICO , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:25 am GMT
Kavanaugh has proved himself unfit for the position of supreme court justice. Under heavy fire, he has shown that he is a spineless coward, a crying baby incapable of fighting back like a man. Moreover, he is a total idiot.

What did he expect, that the baby killers were going to accept even the possibility of a supreme court justice who may vote to overturn Wade VS Roe and the end of Planned Parenthood? He has shown that this totally expected attack took him by surprise. What a fool!

Courage under fire? Call the Marines, but not Kavanaugh.

anon [694] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 5:17 am GMT

The key word there is of course "gentlemanly." Could any concept be more at odds with the zeitgeist than gentlemanliness? It's hard not to think there's a demographic dimension to this. That older style of courtesy, forbearance, and compromise that used to inform our politics was a white-European thing, perhaps particularly an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic thing.

I agree that politics in the US is coarsening like our pop culture and increasingly looking like 3rd world politics. This is where America is headed as we become more culturally enriched:

The neocons and neolibs has always been the indignant, end justifies the means crowd. Since Trump's election they've completely gone off the rails....

You're right about Trump being a big disappointment so far in immigration. Caving here and calling for an FBI investigation makes him look as stupid as Flake. Fat chance FBI will close it in a week. This is the same agency that gave us Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page, the Steele Dossier, owned by Deep State and corrupt to the core. These GOP fools are once again playing right into the hands of the (((Dems))) – Feinstein, Blumenthal, Schumer and Ford's lawyer Bromwich, already complaining about the 'artificial timeline'. No one can ever outcon the financial elite.

[Sep 29, 2018] I am concerned about dysfunction and incivility in American culture and politics

Those are signs of political crisis, not the other way around
Notable quotes:
"... The historical parallel is American social and political polarization in the decades prior to the American Civil War. It is conceivable martial law and military power will resolve the conflict and contradictions not reconciled by rule of law and politics. ..."
Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

bj says: September 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm GMT

I am concerned about dysfunction and incivility in American culture and politics.

The historical parallel is American social and political polarization in the decades prior to the American Civil War. It is conceivable martial law and military power will resolve the conflict and contradictions not reconciled by rule of law and politics.

This topic was raised when Senator Lindsey Graham questioned Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the confirmation hearings.

See YouTube video: Senator Lindsey Graham Questions Brett Kavanaugh Military Law vs Criminal Law.


[Sep 29, 2018] Trump Surrenders to the Iron Law of Oligarchy by Dan Sanchez

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists. ..."
"... The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty. ..."
"... But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential." ..."
"... Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day. ..."
"... Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite. ..."
"... Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? ..."
"... Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy ..."
"... Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion." ..."
"... " while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support." ..."
May 02, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Did the Deep State deep-six Trump's populist revolution?

Many observers, especially among his fans, suspect that the seemingly untamable Trump has already been housebroken by the Washington, "globalist" establishment. If true, the downfall of Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn less than a month into the new presidency may have been a warning sign. And the turning point would have been the removal of Steven K. Bannon from the National Security Council on April 5.

Until then, the presidency's early policies had a recognizably populist-nationalist orientation. During his administration's first weeks, Trump's biggest supporters frequently tweeted the hashtag #winning and exulted that he was decisively doing exactly what, on the campaign trail, he said he would do.

In a flurry of executive orders and other unilateral actions bearing Bannon's fingerprints, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, declared a sweeping travel ban, instituted harsher deportation policies, and more.

These policies seemed to fit Trump's reputation as the " tribune of poor white people ," as he has been called; above all, Trump's base calls for protectionism and immigration restrictions. Trump seemed to be delivering on the populist promise of his inauguration speech (thought to be written by Bannon), in which he said:

"Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now." [Emphasis added.]

After a populist insurgency stormed social media and the voting booths, American democracy, it seemed, had been wrenched from the hands of the Washington elite and restored to "the people," or at least a large, discontented subset of "the people." And this happened in spite of the establishment, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and "polite opinion" throwing everything it had at Trump.

The Betrayal

But for the past month, the administration's axis seems to have shifted. This shift was especially abrupt in Trump's Syria policy.

Days before Bannon's fall from grace, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley declared that forcing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power was no longer top priority. This too was pursuant of Trump's populist promises.

Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists.

The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty.

But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential."

Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day.

Here I make no claim as to whether any of these policy reversals are good or bad. I only point out that they run counter to the populist promises he had given to his core constituents.

Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite.

Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? Or, after constant obstruction, has he simply concluded that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Regardless of how it came about, it seems clear that whatever prospect there was for a truly populist Trump presidency is gone with the wind. Was it inevitable that this would happen, one way or another?

One person who might have thought so was German sociologist Robert Michels, who posited the "iron law of oligarchy" in his 1911 work Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy .

Michels argued that political organizations, no matter how democratically structured, rarely remain truly populist, but inexorably succumb to oligarchic control.

Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion."

This practical limitation necessitates delegation of decision-making to officeholders. These delegates may at first be considered servants of the masses:

"All the offices are filled by election. The officials, executive organs of the general will, play a merely subordinate part, are always dependent upon the collectivity, and can be deprived of their office at any moment. The mass of the party is omnipotent."

But these delegates will inevitably become specialists in the exercise and consolidation of power, which they gradually wrest away from the "sovereign people":

"The technical specialization that inevitably results from all extensive organization renders necessary what is called expert leadership. Consequently the power of determination comes to be considered one of the specific attributes of leadership, and is gradually withdrawn from the masses to be concentrated in the hands of the leaders alone. Thus the leaders, who were at first no more than the executive organs of the collective will, soon emancipate themselves from the mass and become independent of its control.

Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy. In every organization, whether it be a political party, a professional union, or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendency manifests itself very clearly."

Trumped by the Deep State

Thus elected, populist "tribunes" like Trump are ultimately no match for entrenched technocrats nestled in permanent bureaucracy. Especially invincible are technocrats who specialize in political force and intrigue, i.e., the National Security State (military, NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.). And these elite functionaries don't serve "the people" or any large subpopulation. They only serve their own careers, and by extension, big-money special interest groups that make it worth their while: especially big business and foreign lobbies. The nexus of all these powers is what is known as the Deep State.

Trump's more sophisticated champions were aware of these dynamics, but held out hope nonetheless. They thought that Trump would be an exception, because his large personal fortune would grant him immunity from elite influence. That factor did contribute to the independent, untamable spirit of his campaign. But as I predicted during the Republican primaries:

" while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support."

No matter how popular, rich, and bombastic, a populist president simply cannot rule without access to the levers of power. And that access is under the unshakable control of the Deep State. If Trump wants to play president, he has to play ball.

On these grounds, I advised his fans over a year ago, " don't hold out hope that Trump will make good on his isolationist rhetoric " and anticipated, "a complete rapprochement between the populist rebel and the Republican establishment." I also warned that, far from truly threatening the establishment and the warfare state, Trump's populist insurgency would only invigorate them:

"Such phony establishment "deaths" at the hands of "grassroots" outsiders followed by "rebirths" (rebranding) are an excellent way for moribund oligarchies to renew themselves without actually meaningfully changing. Each "populist" reincarnation of the power elite is draped with a freshly-laundered mantle of popular legitimacy, bestowing on it greater license to do as it pleases. And nothing pleases the State more than war."

Politics, even populist politics, is the oligarchy's game. And the house always wins.

Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), developing educational and inspiring content for FEE.org , including articles and courses. The originally appeared on the FEE website and is reprinted with the author's permission.

[Sep 27, 2018] The power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Highly recommended!
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
james , Sep 26, 2018 10:19:13 PM | link

Pft , Sep 26, 2018 9:58:02 PM | link

In my own words then. According to Cook the power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Since they do not actually want change they find actors who pretend to represent change , which is in essence fake change. These then are their insurgent candidates

Trump serves the power elite , because while he appears as an insurgent against the power elite he does little to change anything

Trump promotes his fake insurgency on Twitter stage knowing the power elite will counter any of his promises that might threaten them

As an insurgent candidate Trump was indifferent to Israel and wanted the US out of Syria. He wanted good relations with Russia. He wanted to fix the health care system, rebuild infrastructure, scrap NAFTA and TTIPS, bring back good paying jobs, fight the establishment and Wall Street executives and drain the swamp. America First he said.

Trump the insurgent president , has become Israel's biggest cheerleader and has launched US missiles at Syria, relations with Russia are at Cold War lows, infrastructure is still failing, the percentage of people working is now at an all time low in the post housewife era, he has passed tax cuts for the rich that will endanger medicare, medicaid and social security and prohibit infrastructure spending, relaxed regulations on Wall Street, enhanced NAFTA to include TTIPS provisions and make US automobiles more expensive, and the swamp has been refilled with the rich, neocons , Koch associates, and Goldman Sachs that make up the power elites and Deep State Americas rich and Israel First

@34 pft... regarding the 2 cook articles.. i found they overly wordy myself... however, for anyone paying attention - corbyn seems like the person to vote for given how relentless he is being attacked in the media... i am not so sure about trump, but felt cook summed it up well with these 2 lines.. "Trump the candidate was indifferent to Israel and wanted the US out of Syria. Trump the president has become Israel's biggest cheerleader and has launched US missiles at Syria." i get the impression corbyn is legit which is why the anti-semitism keeps on being mentioned... craig murrary is a good source for staying on top of uk dynamics..

Piotr Berman , Sep 26, 2018 10:23:41 PM | link

For Trump to be "insurgent" he should

(a) talk coherently
(b) have some kind of movement consisting of people that agree with what is says -- that necessitates (a)

Then he could staff his Administration with his supporters rather than a gamut of conventional plutocrats, neocons, and hacks from the Deep State (intelligence, FBI and crazies culled from Pentagon). As it is easy to see, I am describing an alternate reality. Who is a Trumpian member of the Administration? His son-in-law?

karlof1 , Sep 26, 2018 11:42:43 PM | link
Pft @34--

Yes. just like Obama before him--another snake in the swamp!

Pft , Sep 27, 2018 12:53:59 AM | link
Karlof1@39

The swamps been filled with all kinds of vile creatures since the Carter administration. This is when the US/UK went full steam ahead with neoliberal globalism with Israel directing the war on terror for the Trilateral Empire (following Bibis Jerusalem conference so as to fulfill the Yinon plan). 40 years of terror and financial mayhem following the coup that took place from 1963-1974. After Nixons ouster they were ready to go once TLC Carter/Zbig kicked off the Trilateral era. Reagan then ran promising to oust the TLC swamp but broke his promise, as every President has done since .

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[Sep 27, 2018] I assume the Awan brothers and their scandalous spying on the US congress through all those democrats has been bipartisanly removed from public eye

Notable quotes:
"... It does seem to me that Rosenstein is an agent of those opposed to Trump or is another part of the Jewish control apparatus in the US. He is the one who appointed Mueller as the Special Prosecutor. Mueller is definitely a minion of the "Deep State". ..."
"... It seems obvious to me that Trump had real estate dealings with the Russian Mafia. This will never be investigated. These would mostly be about money. So this would be the Jewish Russian Mafia contingent. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
gepay , Sep 26, 2018 4:59:59 PM | link

uncle tungsten , Sep 26, 2018 4:47:44 PM | link

I assume the Awan brothers and their scandalous spying on the US congress through all those democrats has been bipartisanly removed from public eye. If Trump has the cards to play to keep his team in majority NOW is the time to play them.

This is the biggest scandal since Hillary and her crappy email server.

The USA is a dopes circus.

it is obvious that Trump is not in charge. Or he is as stupid as the Dems would like to think he is. It would be obvious to most politicians that Sessions was a terrible choice as attorney General. Just like Agnew was deposed as VP before Nixon was deposed as President, Rosenstein would have to go before Sessions would be replaced. It would take quite a while to get the new AG confirmed. Rosenstein would then be acting AG.

It does seem to me that Rosenstein is an agent of those opposed to Trump or is another part of the Jewish control apparatus in the US. He is the one who appointed Mueller as the Special Prosecutor. Mueller is definitely a minion of the "Deep State".

It seems obvious to me that Trump had real estate dealings with the Russian Mafia. This will never be investigated. These would mostly be about money. So this would be the Jewish Russian Mafia contingent.

There is Israeli collusion in meddling with American election outcomes. Somehow this will never be investigated.

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[Sep 27, 2018] Trump very clearly represents the folks behind the curtain of the Western private finance led "culture"

Notable quotes:
"... Luckily there are still groups of our species that don't live totally controlled by the Western way and the cancer it represents to humanity. They on the outside and "us" on the inside are trying our hardest to shine lights on all the moving parts in hopes that humanity can throw off the shackles of ignorance about private/public finance. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Sep 27, 2018 2:32:41 AM | link

Which is the cohort of voters who allegedly are leaning toward voting Republican in the mid-terms but who allegedly would refrain if Trump accepted Rosenstein's resignation? And which is the cohort not already motivated to turn out to vote Democrat but who allegedly would be motivated by a Rosenstein resignation? Is there real data on these?

I think if I had been a 2016 Trump voter I'd be feeling pretty disappointed about how he's unable to enforce the most basic discipline and loyalty even among his closest administration members, and this Rosenstein episode would be yet another egregious example.

If the Republicans do lose either/both houses, the main reason will be that for once they've taken on the normal Democrat role of being confused and feckless about what they want to do (they can't bring themselves to whole-heartedly get behind Trump; but a major Republican strength has been how they normally do pull together an present a united front). And Trump himself, in his inability to control his own immediate administration, also gives an example of this fecklessness.

AG17 , Sep 27, 2018 2:44:29 AM | link

What other October surprises might be planned by either side?

This gave me chills.

psychohistorian , Sep 27, 2018 2:58:27 AM | link
@ Circe who is writing that any who like any of what Trump is doing must be Zionists.

Get a grip. I didn't vote for Trump but favored him over Clinton II, the war criminal.

Trump represents more clearly the face of the ugly beast of debauched patriarchy, lying, misogyny, bullying and monotheistic "everybody else is goyim" values. Trump very clearly represents the folks behind the curtain of the Western private finance led "culture". He and they are both poor representations of our species who are in power because of heredity and controlled ignorance over the private finance jackboot on the lifeblood of the species.

Luckily there are still groups of our species that don't live totally controlled by the Western way and the cancer it represents to humanity. They on the outside and "us" on the inside are trying our hardest to shine lights on all the moving parts in hopes that humanity can throw off the shackles of ignorance about private/public finance.

I am taking a beginning astronomy class and just learned that it took the monotheistic religions 600 years to accept the science of Galileo Galilei. We could stand to evolve a bit faster as we are about to have our proverbial asses handed to us in the form of extinction, IMO.

[Sep 27, 2018] Misunderstanding Trump s Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's worldview is dominated by a zero-sum view of international relations in which the U.S. is constantly being ripped off by everyone. ..."
"... Trump is a militarist by instinct and as a matter of policy, and his progressive critics repudiate that as well. ..."
"... Trump's critique of past U.S. foreign policy boils down to complaining that other countries don't pay us for protection and that the U.S. doesn't plunder resources from the countries it invades. This is not, to put it mildly, what progressives consider to be wrong with U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... The key failing in Brands' column is that he buys into the falsehood that Trump is in favor of "global retreat," and so he worries that both parties will soon be led by candidates advocating for that. For one thing, there has been no "retreat" under Trump, and everything he has done since taking office has been to mire the U.S. more deeply in the multiple wars he inherited. ..."
"... Literally never heard a Democratic Socialist advocate for anything other than what you summarized – threat de-escalation, reduce US military footprint abroad, don't use the threat of military force as a "diplomatic tool", stop the drone war, end the war in Afghanistan, etc. ..."
"... Of course right now Dem Socialists are just as marginalized within the Democratic party as you are within the Trumpian Neocon hellscape of the current Republican leadership. Maybe one day the Senate will have more Rand Pauls and Chris Murphys but right now we've just got a bunch of Grahams and Schumers perfectly happy to let Trump continue down this dark path. ..."
Sep 26, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

According to Brands, "the ideas at the heart of Trump's critique of U.S. foreign policy are also the ideas at the heart of the progressive critique," but that's also simply not true. Trump's worldview is dominated by a zero-sum view of international relations in which the U.S. is constantly being ripped off by everyone.

The progressive critics he cites specifically reject that assumption and emphasize the importance of international institutions.

Trump is a militarist by instinct and as a matter of policy, and his progressive critics repudiate that as well.

Trump's critique of past U.S. foreign policy boils down to complaining that other countries don't pay us for protection and that the U.S. doesn't plunder resources from the countries it invades. This is not, to put it mildly, what progressives consider to be wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

The key failing in Brands' column is that he buys into the falsehood that Trump is in favor of "global retreat," and so he worries that both parties will soon be led by candidates advocating for that. For one thing, there has been no "retreat" under Trump, and everything he has done since taking office has been to mire the U.S. more deeply in the multiple wars he inherited.

For another, progressives aren't calling for a "retreat" from international engagement, either. They are opposed to certain aggressive and destructive policies, but they don't eschew engagement and cooperation with other states.

On the contrary, they are advocating for more of that while rejecting the militarism that Trump embraces. Indeed, Bessner anticipates Brands' silly criticism and explicitly says, "None of this means the United States should retreat from the world."

Anthony M says: September 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Literally never heard a Democratic Socialist advocate for anything other than what you summarized – threat de-escalation, reduce US military footprint abroad, don't use the threat of military force as a "diplomatic tool", stop the drone war, end the war in Afghanistan, etc.

Of course right now Dem Socialists are just as marginalized within the Democratic party as you are within the Trumpian Neocon hellscape of the current Republican leadership. Maybe one day the Senate will have more Rand Pauls and Chris Murphys but right now we've just got a bunch of Grahams and Schumers perfectly happy to let Trump continue down this dark path.

[Sep 25, 2018] It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East: MAGA quickly mutated into MIGA

Sep 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , says: September 25, 2018 at 5:32 am GMT

"It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East."

Orange Clown's a liar whose presidential campaign was a calculated bait and switch fraud from the beginning. Our presidential poseur obviously had no intention of following through on most of his pre-election intimations and campaign promises.

Non Sum Qualis Eram , says: September 25, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT

Netanyahu might have considered it all a win-win either way, with the Russian plane masking and enabling the Israeli attack without consequence for Israel or, perversely, producing an incident inviting retaliation from Moscow, which would likely lead to a shooting war with the United States after it inevitably steps in to support Israel's government.

There we go! Glad someone gets it.

I had to read Saker's article suggesting that just maybe it could have been an actual accident on Israel's part through my fingers as I could not manage to lift my face from my palm the entire time.

It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East.

I'd love to see this happen, but let's be real. If we pulled out of Israel's terror wars, Mossad would stage a false flag to bring us right back in less than 12 months later. There's only one way to stop fighting wars for Israel and that's to end Israel. We've got to strike at the roots, not the branches.

animalogic , says: September 25, 2018 at 9:52 am GMT
@Uncle Sam

If Russia shot down Israeli aircraft or bombed the airbase from which they took off, or even obliterated Israel, America would do nothing but bitch and complain. The American military does not want a war with Russia, because they know they cannot win a conventional war with Russia. I would go so far as to say that even if Russia sank American warships including an aircraft carrier America would not go to war.

America does not go to war with countries that have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the continental United States. That is why she would bend over backwards to prevent a war with countries like Russia, China or North Korea, and the reason these countries need not fear America. The prevention of nuclear war is the underlying premise of American foreign policy. It has been since the nuclear age began. America would only use its nuclear weapons if the American mainland is hit with nuclear weapons.

America would accept the loss of hundreds or even thousands of its servicemen rather than have the continental USA turned into a wasteland. I'm inclined to agree with your assessment of US unwillingness to fight a nuclear power, but .I also can't forget that the US ruling elites are pathological. Psychotic with hubris, greed & egoism. The "exceptional", the "indispensable" nation .& worse, the wagging dog to the Israeli tail.

Justsaying , says: September 25, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
@windwaves

Trump is owned by israel, I wish I was wrong, but there is no way around it. I mean, I expect him any day to convert to judaism.

No way around it. Trump's infamous campaign slogan of MAGA quickly mutated into MIGA which is the originally intended version anyways. Obedience to Israel has become a norm in presidential election campaigns. Even the disenfranchised minority caucuses, including and especially the Black one is firmly in Israel's pockets now. The Black leadership role has now been essentially reduced to making the odd noise after the shooting of an unarmed Black by a White cop.

Ian | Sep 25, 2018 11:00:14 AM | 172

Briefly listened to Trump's speech at the UN. He's gone full Zio. Midterms is going to be interesting.

Circe | Sep 25, 2018 11:01:00 AM | 173

Trump is presently at the U.N. repeating all the American foreign policy propaganda. The hubris he's delivering is off the charts. Disgusting doesn't begin to cover how deceptive and slimy his zionist-authored rhetoric is. He's a sad, pathetic mouthpiece for his masters in Israel.

[Sep 22, 2018] Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Looks like he like Obama is apuppet of the Depp State

If Trump is a Deep State puppet, then why Deep stat fight it with such intensity. Why "Steele dossier", w3hy Mueller, why "Mistressgate"
But it is true that Trump essentially conduct typical Republican President policy, like Obama betraying his electorate.
Notable quotes:
"... So the Deep State which is far more than entrenched bureaucrats as the naive define it (it includes the ruling elite in finance, MIC, oil, MSM, retired intelligence/military/state/congress, etc), brought in a controlled Trojan horse pretending to be a populist who was all about the working class and anti establishment, anti war and anti globalist while those he served were opposites. Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Lol ..."
"... offshore money coming home due to tax breaks and of course the plunge protection team removing the risk of a major drop until after the mid term elections. We are already seeing the beginning of the next housing market collapse. ..."
Sep 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Sep 22, 2018 4:54:26 PM | 20 ">link

Stormy Daniels supposedly said she was surprised to hear Trump was running for President because he had said to her he didnt want to be be President. After all, why would he? Rich guy with maybe 5 years left to live. Who needs it?

So why did he run. He had no choice. Look at the ease in which government can bring dawn anyone with tax and money laundering charges and look at his partners and a number of his dodgy financial dealings not to mention the ongoing audit firing his campaign. His buddy Felix Sater cut a deal and so didn't Trump. Run and serve and keep your wealth and stay out of jail, and make a few billion with insider deals while you are at it.

So the Deep State which is far more than entrenched bureaucrats as the naive define it (it includes the ruling elite in finance, MIC, oil, MSM, retired intelligence/military/state/congress, etc), brought in a controlled Trojan horse pretending to be a populist who was all about the working class and anti establishment, anti war and anti globalist while those he served were opposites. Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Lol

So what is the endgame for this Russiagate and this phony Deep State vs Trump nonsense? Why Trump?

Not sure I know for sure. Polarizing and dividing the US with perhaps a civil war when Trump gets impeached and resigns, or at least imposition of permanent martial law. Get support for massive censorship which all authoritarian regimes need. And of course as the US goes down this path its puppet states in EU, UK and elsewhere will follow. I guess we will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Trump will feed the beast (tax cuts for rich, tarrifs for middle class, higher Military spending, cuts to Medicare/Medicaid/social security, higher insurance premiums/HC costs, phony economic figures to mask deteriorating economic conditions for the median (remember when Trump said the same of Hillary using the same bogus figures)

Fewer people are working in the US under Trump as more people are disappeared from the work force. GDP growth per MH is due to higher extraction of wealth from middle class by the rentier class, and stock market growth is due to central bank purchases, offshore money coming home due to tax breaks and of course the plunge protection team removing the risk of a major drop until after the mid term elections. We are already seeing the beginning of the next housing market collapse.

[Sep 21, 2018] One party state: Trump's 'Opposition' Supports All His Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be. ..."
"... The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen. ..."
"... They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. ..."
"... US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition. ..."
"... In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push. ..."
"... The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression. ..."
"... Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com . ..."
"... Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive . CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that "if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support." Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be.

It would be so very, very easy for Democratic party leaders and Democrat-aligned media to hurt this administration at the highest level and cause irreparable political damage based on this story. All they'd have to do is give it the same blanket coverage they've given the stories about Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort which end up leading nowhere remotely near impeachment or proof of collusion with the Russian government. The footage of the starving children is right there, ready to be aired to pluck at the heart strings of rank-and-file Americans day after day until Republicans have lost all hope of victory in the midterms and in 2020; all they'd have to do is use it. But they don't. And they won't.

The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen.

The reason for this is very simple: President Trump's ostensible political opposition does not oppose President Trump. They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. This is the reason they attack him on Russian collusion accusations which the brighter bulbs among them know full well will never be proven and have no basis in reality. They don't stand up to Trump because, as Julian Assange once said , they are Trump.

In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, there are jewelry buyers set up around a fishing community which are all owned by the same plutocrat, but they all pretend to be in competition with one another. When the story's protagonist discovers an enormous and valuable pearl and goes to sell it, they all gather round and individually bid far less than it is worth in order to trick him into giving it away for almost nothing. US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition.

In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push.

The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression.

If enough of us keep throwing sand in the gears of the lie factory, we can wake the masses up from the oligarchic lullaby they're being sung. And then maybe we'll be big enough to have a shot at grabbing one of the real video game controllers.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com .

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[Sep 21, 2018] Obama played both sides against the middle telling folks to vote for him and 'hope and change' bullshit and to shake his fist at Wall Street -- all the while enabling them to make more money than they thought existed.

Sep 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anthony Aaron , says: September 21, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT

@nsa

Actually, it was b h o who opened the Fed borrowing window to the Wall Street investment crowd who were able to borrow at 1/4 % interest so that they could play the markets with impunity.

b h o played both sides against the middle telling folks to vote for him and 'hope and change' bullshit and to shake his fist at Wall Street -- all the while enabling them to make more money than they thought existed.

Like so many of his predecessors in the White House, Trump has surrounded himself with Zionists in almost every important position imaginable and they're more than willing to screw us into the ground -- just because they can.

[Sep 21, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama

That's true only in sense of using "bait and switch" with the electorate. Trump partially destroyed previous model created by Clinton-Bush-Obama and introduced "national naoliabralism" -- neoliberalism without globalization. He also openly rely on brute force.
Notable quotes:
"... Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people. ..."
"... Draining the Swamp cannot be taken seriously. Trump installed in the Trump Cabinet, Swamp Creatures through and through, most notably Goldman Sachs dudes we've seen in Dubya Bush, Obama and now Drumpf. ..."
"... Trump is his own man and just like Obama he has minions spread garbage that he is being undermined and the bad stuff is not his fault. Trump showed his true colors when he stocked up on neocons and warmongers and gave the military $100 billion when they were asking for 50. ..."
"... His meetings with Kim and Putin were just theater as Trump gleefully puts more sanctions on Russia and has done nothing but threaten pain for those cheating on sanctions to help North Korea. ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Sep 20, 2018 1:23:50 PM | 19

Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people.

Agree completely. There's nothing political about these "politics", fake-populist politicians are just another kind of celebrity (thus Trump fits in well), cable news is a (highly toxic) genre of entertainment, and partisan Repbots and Dembots aren't political people at all, but competing celebrity or sports fan clubs. None of them cares about any aspect of reality, which is why the system can commit such horrendous real-world crimes; for the political class these crimes aren't real. They're all sociopaths, which is the only way it's possible to be a partisan of either flavor of the Corporate One-Party.

And that's how unelected operatives and the NYT can openly express such contempt for democracy and the open society without fear of provoking any significant reaction from the people: For the kinds of people who read the NYT, such things are meaningless abstractions. Any of them would happily endorse Hitler-level crimes (which the US is very close to anyway) on the part of their "team".

CD Waller , Sep 20, 2018 1:54:48 PM | link
If Trump is a fourth of fifth grader, looks like we have a third grade coup d etat. As you pointed out, these people are not the brightest lights but perhaps the most easily bribed/threatened? I suspect a hidden hand behind the insurrection rather than a stunning example of bureaucratic unity. Ditto for the rash of anti Trump 'literature'. Woodward crawled in bed with the ruling elite decades ago.

Trump is probably not the first president to be 'Trumped' by his bureaucratic minions?n Obama didn't keep a single campaign promise.during his eight disappointing years. Perhaps not all of his betrayal of the electorate is because he was just another lying weasel.

ben , Sep 20, 2018 2:50:21 PM | link
Jr @ 19 said:"Trump and Obama are only heros if you believe that USA is democracy and the democratically elected 'populist' truely represents his/her base. That is a fantasy."

"Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people."

Jr, you nailed it.

Forget ideology, follow the $, you'll understand more..

fast freddy , Sep 20, 2018 7:15:12 PM | link
Draining the Swamp cannot be taken seriously. Trump installed in the Trump Cabinet, Swamp Creatures through and through, most notably Goldman Sachs dudes we've seen in Dubya Bush, Obama and now Drumpf.

Also, we see nothing of any draining at this point and but simply an assault on the commons (and a gift giving for the rich) as would be expected from any boilerplate Republican asshole.

Now foreign policy may be his strong suit but, there has been nothing much to impress here either. Just follow Israel.

snedly arkus , Sep 21, 2018 4:31:24 AM | link

Trump is his own man and just like Obama he has minions spread garbage that he is being undermined and the bad stuff is not his fault. Trump showed his true colors when he stocked up on neocons and warmongers and gave the military $100 billion when they were asking for 50.

His meetings with Kim and Putin were just theater as Trump gleefully puts more sanctions on Russia and has done nothing but threaten pain for those cheating on sanctions to help North Korea.

His body language and emphatic delivery, and sometimes glee, when announcing these new sanctions, and his telling Russia to get out of Syria and give back Crimea, belie the fiction that Trump is being forced to do so.

If that was the case he could have had his minions announce it. One can see the insincerity when he claims the US is getting out of Syria and his confident matter of fact delivery when threatening to bomb Syria over what he knows is a fake gas attack. It was no accident that Trumps 2 hurried missile strikes on Syria happened as Israel was butchering Palestinians thus diverting attention from the dastardly deeds. Trump has been best buddies with Israel and Saudi Arabia and stays mum on Israel bombing Syria and Saudi Arabia killing over tens of thousands of innocent people in Yemen and creating the humanitarian crisis there.

There's the bonus of weapons sales to those "humanitarian" regimes. Up until recently organizations have ignored the inhumane UN sanctions that forbade sending medicines into North Korea and nothing was said. Suddenly last month ALL of them stopped. Somebody gave them the word stop or else. Trump says nothing of the efforts to scuttle better relations between the US and North Korea or the fake news that the Norks are still making missiles and nukes offered with no proof.

While the US is sabotaging the efforts North and South Korea are making great progress which makes me expect South Korea is going to be hit sanctions for "unfair trade." South Korea could defuse the whole thing and announce they are taking possession of the Norths nukes but they know the US would punish them badly as the the US does not want any nukes in the Korea's and needs a boogie man north to justify it's out sized military presence in the area.

Once Trump sat in the big boy chair in the oval office the focus of Making America Great Again switched to continue the drive for US world domination by destroying the economies of the competition and create world wide chaos with sanctions, tariffs, and local currency destruction making the world come crawling to the US to save them. Thus turning the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry to snow white.

Jackrabbit , Sep 20, 2018 1:23:50 PM | link

b: "Why is no public figure expressing concern about this subversion of democracy? How come no one protests?"

Trump is the Republican Obama.

'Trumptards' blame others for the failings of their hero just like 'Obamabots' did. This is not an accident. Apologists are an important part of the faux populist leadership model.

Trump and Obama are only heros if you believe that USA is democracy and the democratically elected 'populist' truely represents his/her base. That is a fantasy.

Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people.

I have made these points many times over the last year. Sadly, people nod their heads and continue to engage on terms set by the establishment.

Caitlin Johnston provides more color in her essay entitled "We are being played" :

You don't have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America's two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it's time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

...

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties , yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined "us vs them" narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you've got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump's own administration. Everyone's cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another .

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

Russ , Sep 20, 2018 1:44:46 PM | link

[Sep 19, 2018] In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

Notable quotes:
"... A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics." ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [340] Disclaimer says: September 16, 2018 at 7:34 am GMT

None of this should have come as a surprise.

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah.

peterAUS , says: September 19, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@Diversity Heretic I applied through the GreatAgain website and never received the courtesy of a reply despite having conributed to the Trump campaign before Iowa, nine years working on Capitol Hill (for Republicans) and seven years in a regulatory commission (working for a Republicaén commissioner), a JD and an MBA. So I'm not surprised to hear that applications through the website were not even considered and jobs filled with Washington insiders. (The first inclination that I had that something was seriously wrong in the staffing area was when Calista Gingrich was named as ambassador to the Vatican.) Trump has the classic problem of the outsider: no institutional mechanism to staff an administration. (Jesse Ventura had a similar problem when he was elected as governor of Minnesota as an independent). He compounds that problem by making poor choices that involve his personal judgment and consideration (e.g., John Bolton and Nikki Haley?!).

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Pretty much.
"Rough ride" in particular.

Biff , says: September 19, 2018 at 7:57 am GMT
@Haxo Angmark before June 2015,

when he put on a populist mask to run for Prez

and fool the White people in flyover country, Trump

was a life-long (((NY))) lib democrat

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

all the rest is dog-and-pony show.

suckers

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

If you go over to the comment section at USAToday, they call him an anti-Semite.

Proud_Srbin , says: September 19, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
It is astonishing that after all the fraudsters and con masters masquerading as politicians there are huge numbers who claim to believe in the system where humans have voluntarily given away their freedoms.
Hope and Change, replaced by MAGA.
Do you honestly believe that your Founding Fathers would rebel against King's Tyranny if it were possible to change it by peaceful means?
DanFromCT , says: September 19, 2018 at 11:54 am GMT
@anonymous None of this should have come as a surprise.

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah. Voting in our national elections has become another example of evil paraded before us as a moral duty. It ironically results in disenfranchisement by perpetually legitimizing a federal government as much at war with its own citizens as with every other people who oppose the new American Proposition -- the antithesis of a fulfilling human culture wherever it's found, and which today amounts to claiming that freedom and democracy equate to owning stuff and vicariously participating in unbridled avarice, sexual depravity, war, torture, and mass murder. Either party and all that horror is a constant.

So, instead of girding middle America mentally, spiritually, and physically to fight to the death for what's worth living for, and while there's still some chance to save ourselves and our nation, we get the Republican leadership, Fox News, and Conservatism Inc blowing smoke in our eyes, temporizing on behalf of the Deep State by pretending these veiled and overt calls for white genocide are just in bad taste or that curtesy and cowardice are an effective policy toward a wildly homicidal left.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 15, 2018] The way you decieve the voters is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Adam Roberts 09.13.18 at 5:30 pm ( 35 )

'Hypocrisy', though a tendentious sort of word, is the key, I think. In electoral politics 40% on either side are going to vote the way they vote regardless of how persuasive the electoral campaign of candidate A, or the unfittedness of candidate B; so the game is: persuading those 20% who used to be called 'floating voters'.

And the way you do that is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Trump's campaign persuaded many that he would in no way 'conserve', but would rather tear down the establishment.

Brexit was masterminded by a group of elite hard right wingers who somehow managed to persuade a large tranche of the electorate that it Remain were all metropolitan elites and that they were the true voice of the people.

The real challenge is not finding a definition of conservatism that can bracket a genius like Burke with a moron like Sarah Palin; it's finding a definition that enables a billionaire playboy to define himself as a man of the people; that allows him to promise eg free healthcare for all and kicking Wall Street out of politics on the campaign trail without losing his Conservative bona fides.

[Sep 15, 2018] "Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC.

Sep 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , says: Website September 14, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT

Mostly reflexively, not always consciously, The Powers That Be seek to retain and enlarge their sphere of influence. Nothing, not even the venerated vote, is allowed to alter that "balance."

That's why the 'Deep State' or whatever one wants to call that malignant organism that has taken over DC–and much of the West–needs professional toadies like Woody, who will dutifully report whatever smelly lump of fertilizer the PTB are trying to sell. Bet Woody's the best paid stenographer in the world, doing a good job of confusing Americans, keeping them anxious of the unknown, so the PTB can keep herding us towards the NWO slaughterhouse.

The washed-out journalist then blurted out this in disbelief: "Trump said the 'World Trade Organization is the worst organization in the world.'"

Another bit of propaganda, as those central banks–like the toxic FED–keep the world under their thumb by controlling the money flow, printing currencies out of thin air, then getting paid outrageous sums of interest each year–around 500 Billion in the US–for their counterfeiting scheme.

That kind of power can and does crash stock markets and wreck economies, as the FED has been doing since it was spawned in 1913. They and their buddies then buy homes, businesses, MSM outlets and costly toys for pennies on the dollar, while us 'deplorables' wonder if they're going to be able to keep making their mortgage payments if they lose their job.

To repeat, this was promised on the campaign trail and in Trump position papers. We now know who stole those promises from the American people.

"We know?" Some do, but many don't, as they rally around Tubby the Grifter to protect their savior from those nasty Democrats.

"Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC. RT, a news outlet, got mugged by a sold-out Congress and forced to register as a lobbying outfit, but not AIPAC. No Sir, why that would be anti-Semitic and only foul, Jew hating Neo-Nazis would even think about making AIPAC follow the law.
What AIPAC has and continues to do needs to be kept hidden from the American public, lest they engage in the dangerous behavior of actually wondering if Israel is an ally or a well-disguised enemy.

Trump was bought and paid for a LONG time ago, and 2016 was when the bill came due. He was 'Chosen,' not be We the People, but AIPAC and Israel as the best POTUS to do their bidding, since Hillary carried way too much baggage.

Trump has been the best POTUS for Israel since the traitorous liar LBJ.

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [251] Disclaimer says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT

All Trump has to do to get rid of the Op Ed guy is to fire all those who want to go to war withRussia. That would leave him with no staff.

But Trump is not fooling me. You do not make a campaign promise to cooperate with Russia, and then hire all these people who want to go to war with Russia.
It tells me that Trump was lying during his campaign.

He told us Iraq was the wrong decision, and now he has bombed Syria twice and is ready to bomb them again; he told us that he wants out of the mid-east; he told us he wanted to cooperate with Russia.

So I voted for him, but he was lying. I already found out he is a brazen liar. He took those Clinton women to his debate to humiliate Hillary and Bill Clinton, when all the while he was doing the same thing with women. That is what I call a brazen liar.

He is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less. They probably told him to hire Bolton and all the other war-mongers around him. He's not surrounded by the enemy. He is surrounded by his friends.

Admiral Assbar , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials.

Tom Welsh , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Admiral Assbar The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials. "The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them "

It seems fairly clear that, whenever a new President is sworn in, he immediately receives a "pep talk" in which he is informed what he will and will not say and do, and what will happen to him, his family, their pets, and everyone they have ever spoken to if he disobeys. Probably this "offer that he can't refuse" is concluded by words along the lines of: " and if you want to get what the Kennedys got, just try stepping out of line".

J. Edgar Hoover used to do something of the kind when he was head of the FBI, but that was relatively benign – just a threat of blackmail accompanied by kindly advice never to fight the FBI.

ChuckOrloski , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@AlbionRevisited I was referring to the campaign, of course we're in a different situation now. It's amazing the way in which they were able to co-oped his administration. AlbionRevisted wrote: "It's amazing the way in which they (Neoconservatives) were able to co-oped his (Trump)
administration."
Greetings AlbionRevisited!
Many were disappointed with Trump and that might even include a percentage of the voting bloc known as "Deplorables."
Nonetheless, after honing into candidate Donald Trump's awful 2017 homage to AIPAC, it becomes dramatically less amazing how Neoconservatives crept into the White House.
Recall how rabid leftist Neoconservatives wanted Hillary, and how suddenly the naysayer, Extra-Octane Neoconservative, John Bolton, stuck with the phoney populist, "America First-After-Israeli-Interests," talkin' Donald J. Trump?
The essence of American presidential campaigns/elections boil down to powerful international Jewry needs & timing, and disemboweled citizens must take-it or leave-it. Uh, support the immoral wars and pay the bill!
Thanks, AlbionRevisted.

Herald says: September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am GMT • 100 Words

@Tom Welsh

I am not convinced that Trump started out with good intentions but quickly bowed to threats. Trump was never a principled person and it seems much more likely that he was always a stooge for the Israel lobby and the MIC.

I used to think that things would have been worse under Hillary but these days I'm even beginning to have doubts on that score.

jacques sheete, September 12, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT • 100 Words

@Admiral Assbar

The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them

No mystery at all. It was all campaign rhetoric like the Shrub's promises of "a humble foreign policy" and "compassionate conservatism," O-bomba-'s "hope and change"and Woody 'n Frankies promises to keep the US out of war.

KenH, September 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT

Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man.

[Sep 10, 2018] We can't say if Trump survive the Deep State color revolution against him, but we can tell that he already betrayed his voters and abandoned his election promises

Notable quotes:
"... I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster? ..."
"... IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself? ..."
"... I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history. ..."
"... Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure. ..."
"... Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ken Zaretzke September 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm

"But a savvy Donald Trump saw the conspiracy right away. And he realized immediately that in order to carry his campaign agenda to Make America Great Again he must of necessity first preserve his presidency from the conspiracy of the Deep State, the mainstream media, and the establishment elites of both political parties"

I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster?

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation

IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself?

flood plain , says: September 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm
I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history.

Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure.

The smell coming from Washington, Wall Street, the MSM, and Silicon Valley is overpowering.

Patricus , says: September 9, 2018 at 6:33 am
Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars.

Trump had the sense to encourage development and transport of natural resources. He slashed mindless regulations and reduced taxes. The economy is growing after the long Obama depression. His was the worst economy in my lifetime. In the Carter years of stagflation companies would not hire young grads. In the Obama years that was also the case but many middle aged workers were let go as well. We might now be seeing real wage increases across the board. If Trump is a clown, as so many describe, perhaps we should recruit future presidents from clown schools.

[Sep 10, 2018] I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man

The negligence with which he selected his cabinet is pretty telling
Notable quotes:
"... I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man. ..."
"... Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'. ..."
"... Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Sep 9, 2018 4:21:51 PM | 21

Pat Lang starts to wake up:

At some point even the most ardent Trump acolyte will have to admit this [Syria] is now Trump's policy. It is not something done by the neocons, the deep state, the anonymous resister or the ghost of John McCain without Trump's acquiescence. [And] He is not ... clueless, oblivious ...
Pat is half right.

I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man.

Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'.

There are two other fallacies that keep cropping up to confuse things:

1) Triumph of Democracy. While some may recognize that USA is no longer a democracy, others continue to insist that "Trump won" and are incline to suspect Russian interference (even while acknowledging the flaws in that theory). Few care to delve much deeper (i.e. engage brain cells).

2) President's Constitutional power. You see this mistake made as Pat Lang declares that Trump 'owns' the Syrian mess now. The President has great power in the US Constitutional system and (sadly) that is why it is so important to the establishment that it be controlled. Trump was SELECTED, not ELECTED.

Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy.

[Sep 08, 2018] Trump was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

Notable quotes:
"... "Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast. ..."
"... It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior). ..."
"... With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!" ..."
"... There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Si1ver1ock , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT

We gave Trump the presidency, what he does with it is his responsibility. He was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

We are left to wonder how much of this "reality" TV?

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/09/06/we-are-being-played/

see , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT
Quoth Diana:

"Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast.

It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior).

With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!"

There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious.

Not to worry, Trump has a condo just for you .

[Sep 07, 2018] Left, Right, and Dead Center by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day. ..."
"... The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled. ..."
"... It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July. ..."
"... In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role. ..."
"... s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent. ..."
"... Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center. ..."
"... That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days! ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day.

Thus it is mainly in situations in which the regime itself is undergoing fundamental transformations that the center is depleted of its former occupants. In time, though, a new mainstream is constituted, and its center again becomes the point on the left/right continuum where the majority of positions and policies in play at the time cluster.

***

To everyone living through it, it feels as if the Trump presidency has turned the political scene topsy-turvy. This is what happens when there is an imbecilic president whose governing style is a low-grade imitation of a mob boss's.

The fact is, though, that the Trump presidency, destructive as it has been, has changed a good deal less than meets the eye. The foundations of the regime remain the same as before; fundamental neoliberal economic structures remain intact, and the perpetual war regime that went into overdrive after 9/11 continues to flourish.

The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled.

What is disturbingly clear is that for all but the filthy rich, and especially for anyone not white as the driven snow, life in Trump's America has taken a turn for the worse.

Trump has been a godsend for "white nationalists," the current euphemism for nativists and racists. He has legitimated them and their views to an extent that no one would have imagined just a few years ago.

Also, to the detriment of the health and well being of the vast majority of Americans, Trump and his minions have done serious harm to America's feeble welfare state institutions.

And even this is not the main reason why there will be hell to pay when the next economic downturn happens, as it inevitably will, more likely sooner than later. By giving Wall Street free rein again, and by cutting taxes for the rich, depleting the treasury of financial resources that could be put to use in a crisis, Trump has all but guaranteed that most Americans will soon find themselves in straits as bad or worse than ten years ago.

Worst of all, by watering down or setting aside the weak but nevertheless indispensible environmental regulations in place before their arrival on the scene, Trump has hastened the day when the world will be hit with, and perhaps be undone by, grave, possibly irreparable, ecological catastrophes.

There are many other lesser harms for which, directly or indirectly, Trump is responsible. This is all serious stuff, but while they make life worse for many people and shift the political spectrum to the right, they do not shake the foundations of the regime in a way that puts the center in jeopardy -- at least not yet.

In short, what we are living through is not a Trumpian "revolution," not even in the "Reagan Revolution" sense, but a degeneration of much of what is worth preserving in the old regime. Trump didn't start the process, but he has come to dominate it, and his mindless and mean spirited antics accelerate it.

***

If "left," "right," and "center" are understood in relational terms, American politics plainly does have a left, right, and center. These designations overlay the deeply entrenched, semi-established duopoly party system that structures the American political scene.

It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July.

Understood notionally, where "left," "right," and "center" designate positions on an historically evolving, widely understood, ideal political spectrum, the situation is much the same, but with a major difference: there is hardly any left at all.

There have always been plenty of (notional) leftists in the United States, but there has never been much of an intersection between the left of the political spectrum, understood relationally, and anything resembling a notional Left.

In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role.

This unfortunate state of affairs has become worse in recent decades under the aegis of (notionally) center-right Democrats like the Clintons and their co-thinkers. Thanks to them, the Democratic Party today is a (notionally) centrist party through and through.

They succeeded as well as they did partly because our party system stifles progressive politics more effectively than it is stifled in other ways in other liberal democracies.

The duopoly is still going strong, but, even so, times change. Largely thanks to Trump, there are now inklings of a notional Left in formation that stands a chance of avoiding marginalization.

Thus Democrats all along the (relational) spectrum now consider themselves embattled, challenged from the Left by anti-Trump militants. Many of the challengers come from under-represented, Democratic-leaning constituencies – the young, women, and "persons of color" – with traditionally low levels of political participation. In view of the abundant, well meaning but generally toothless "diversity" blather for which Democrats are notorious, this is delightfully ironic.

The challengers include African Americans, of course, but also people drawn from sectors of the population that Trump has targeted and demeaned with particular malice -- Hispanics and Muslims especially.

The Democratic Party has been actively courting – and colonizing – African American and other subaltern constituencies for a long time. A s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent.

But because race and ethnicity intersect with age and gender – and because, in the final analysis, "it's the politics, stupid" -- many of the African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and others now being drawn into the electoral fold will likely not be as amenable to being coopted by Democratic Party grandees as persons who "look like them" have been in the past. The danger of cooptation remains formidable, but it is almost certainly surmountable if the will to resist the pressure is strong.

Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center.

In this context, "red," of course, doesn't mean red; it means almost the opposite, Republican. Only in America!

... ... ...

What passes for a "resistance" in liberal or "democratic socialist" circles nowadays is a pale approximation of the genuine article. This is not just because the spirit of rebellion has been bred out of us or because of any failure of imagination; it is because in the circumstances that currently obtain, resistance, like "revolution," even in the anodyne "Our Revolution" sense, just isn't on the agenda.

But there is something now that can and should be resisted by any and all appropriate means – the illusion that the way to defeat Trump and Trumpism and, more generally, to advance progressive causes, is to tack to the relational center.

That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days!

How pathetic! The whole country's, not just the Democratic Party's, left, right, and center – minus Donald Trump, of course -- heaping praise on a Navy pilot who, heeding McCain family traditions and the call of Lyndon Johnson, killed a lot of Vietnamese peasants for no defensible reason, before becoming a "hero" after the Vietnamese shot his plane down, and who, after repatriation, embarked on a legislative career in which, despite a few "maverick" exceptions, he promoted every retrograde Republican cause that arose, war mongered vociferously at every opportunity, and did all he could, even before Hillary Clinton took a notion, to get the Cold War revved up again.

They were all there, every rotten one of them -- from Barack Obama and Joe Biden and, their brother-in-arms, George W. Bush, the man who, but for Trump, could now boast of being the worst president in modern times, all the way to the decrepit Henry Kissinger, the never to be indicted war criminal whom liberals have learned to stop loathing and to call upon for advice instead.

Even that malevolent airhead couple Jarvanka showed up, invited, it seems, by Senator Lindsey Graham, McCain's hapless sidekick. This was no popular front. It was a festival of the dead Center, a blight on the political landscape, and, with Trump sucking up all the air, a harbinger of things to come.

Resist that!

[Sep 01, 2018] ZERO CHOICE OFFERED TO VOTERS DURING US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Notable quotes:
"... "The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign ..."
"... "The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats." ..."
Sep 01, 2018 | chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

"The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign

"The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats."

No question, the woman fits the description "evil," but that sure doesn't make Trump a saint by comparison.

America's tragedy – one shared by the entire world – is that this is the kind of choice American voters get, a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump.

No matter who wins or loses each American presidential election, the people in general lose and the establishment wins.

And right now, the American establishment likes and embraces the Clinton nonsense about Russia. It serves its current purposes. Actually, it wasn't truly Clinton's own nonsense. She was definitely feeding off a pre-existing set of attitudes in her Washington set.

So, it is more threatening than just a residual from an election campaign.

[Aug 31, 2018] As with Obama new Dems candidates pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly

Notable quotes:
"... there is no way out of this mess through a ballot ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

LXV , Aug 31, 2018 2:26:01 AM | 81

Another sign that the political divisions are 'pretend' is that the 'Dems', the ostensive losers re. Trump, have not behaved like a political party who loses. These generally disband, retire, fold, or make efforts at reform, re-orientation etc. Renewal may be tough but they often try. (As did the Repubs after Obama's election, though the effort was incredibly weak.)

Nothing like that is going on, because the fight is not political. It is based on tribal desperate angst at the 'surprise' election of an outsider who holds cards in his hands nobody can speak about.

re Ort @ 24 who wrote:

To 'True Believers', if [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism or expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

Ocasio-Cortez is merely a willing actress poster-babe (she will earn a LOT). The role is not different from prancing about in lovely swish skirts on some MSM-TV series. She was selected for her looks / background (not the best re. the background, but there aren't many candidates, which is very hopeful imho), her naiveté, ignorance, and submissive stance. Some 'fake' younger figures -only women and male gays, girls are more acceptable to the general public- have to be pictured as up-n-coming Dems, in a kind of sketchy and unconvincing parade of 'diversity' and so on.

Posted by b on August 30, 2018 at 01:07 PM | Permalink

JR is spot on; The Orange Buffoon and the "witchhunt" against him (just like the "Qanon" Hollywood-style drama-thriller) are smoke and mirrors to keep the peasants occupied with bullcrap, while the cleptofascists are done robbing you blind...

The simple truth is that all "western" societies and democracies are hijacked by (((Transformer Borgs))) and, contrary to what (((snake-oil salesmen))) in $5 000 suits tell you, there is no way out of this mess through a ballot.

[Aug 27, 2018] Superficial differences between Dems and Republicans begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham

Aug 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: June 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm GMT

Sorry Mike, what do you mean by saying the goal is to "create a center-right" Democratic Party? The Clinton's accomplished this in the 1990s -- what we have here is a full scale enfoldment of the Dems into the National Security State

Not that it matters much -- both Republicans and Democrats have been on the same page for a few decades now (since the 1940s IMHO). Inter-party politics don't matter much, except insofar as the voting public can be conned into supporting one or the other, because no matter which party holds the Congress or Presidency the same Deep State agenda is their top priority.

Why? It's simple really -- money. Big campaign donors expect "value" in return for their "political contributions". And if value isn't had for their money, the Deep State's intelligence community can usually dig up something "useful" in the offender's background to "persuade" him or her to support the current bipartisan agenda

If it's really true that to find out who has power, just take note of whom is above criticism, perhaps we ought to consider that Rockefeller and JPMorgan money founded the CFR in 1921 and it took root and bloomed in government "service" during and after WWII.

If you doubt the CFR's power as the Deep State personified, I suggest reading historian Quigley's Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time and sociologist Tom Dye's Who Is Running America series.

Paraphrasing Quigley, writing when Bill Clinton was his student at Georgetown, the two parties should be as alike as two sides of a coin so that voters can "throw the rascals out" in any election without significantly changing governmental priorities and policies because the policies the US is and ought be pursuing are not subject to significant dispute (or at the least not by the voting public).

Which begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham. The US is, in this view, just another Banana Republic which Tom Dye ably documents from Watergate to Shrub's administration.

exiled off mainstreet , says: June 9, 2018 at 4:36 am GMT

The two party "uniparty" is alive and well. In fact, while the party's supporters still may include self- described "leftists" the party itself has gone further right than the traditionally rightwing GOP. The dual party structure relies on the "Democrats" to gut "entitlements", that is Social Security or Medicare.

It was the "Democrats" who put in Obamacare, which mandated people to spend an arm and a leg on crappy medical insurance the cost of which was massively inflated which they could only use when they had spent way more than average on medical bills. Meanwhile it was the democrats' harpy candidate who proposed a no-fly zone in Syria on behalf of raghead mercenaries hired by the yankee imperium.

While Trump has largely caved in to the deep state, in part perhaps because of the pressure applied by the phony deep state witch hunt taking over the "justice" department of the yankee regime, we know what the democrats, exponents of the fraudulent "Russia-gate" stories, now espouse: a new cold war far more dangerous than the old one.

Meanwhile, the commercial media in the US and satellite countries, has degenerated into a Goebbels-like propaganda apparat. Trump's clumsiness actually may have the accidental salutary effect of enabling the satellite countries to slip the yankee leash, at least to some extent.

The situation brought about by this unprecedented two faction version of fascism is profoundly depressing, in addition to being seriously dangerous.

Harbinger , says: June 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT

Why is this article entitled: "Dems Put Finishing Touches on One-Party 'Surveillance Superstate'"
This website seems to have articles that show their authors are awake and yet, this article shows quite the opposite. Who today, with the slightest modicum of common sense, who has made the effort in understanding how the system works, still plays the left-right paradigm, Hegelian Dialectic, political game nonsense?
I mean, let's get real here; the Democrats and the Republicans, like their UK counterparts of Labour and Conservative are merely wings on the same bird, ultimately flying to a destination. Both parties are taking the USA towards a one-party, surveillance, super state. You do not enter American politics unless you bow to Zionism and International Jewry. Unless you show 100% support to Israel then forget a career in politics.

Incidentally, to many who may have heard of her; the new luvey of the conservatives is none other than black, Candace Owens, who is better known as Red Pill Black. She has been this new voice who has entered into the 'alternative right', itself nothing more than controlled opposition, speaking out against feminism, white privilege, rape culture, transgender culture etc etc and has gained a large following. Other than being a complete fraud, as information has appeared that she tried to launch a 'doxing' website, targeting youngsters, she has appeared at the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2018/05/14/candace-owens-not-a-single-elected-democrat-is-here-to-celebrate-this-historic-event-in-jerusalem-634472

Why on earth, would some nobody, who has had an incredibly fast rise on YouTube (most certainly her subscriber base and video view has been doctored) and more so a black conservative, be invited to attend the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem? Bottom line? She's being groomed for a career in politics and I wouldn't be surprised if they wheel her out, some time in the future, as a presidential hopeful to capture the black vote in the USA.
Again, this is controlled opposition.

You never vote in a new party in politics. You vote out the old one. 326 million is the population of the USA and there are only two political parties? Are you serious? It's bad enough, here in the UK with three (liberal party along with Labour and Conservative), with a 66 million population but only two in the USA?

Both parties are heavily controlled.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been putting presidents into power now for over a hundred years. The CFR is the sister organization of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, which has been doing the same, here in the UK for the same time. All politicians are groomed from an early age, taught how to avoid answering any question directly, how to lie and of course who their masters are. By implementing their wishes, politicians are then granted a seat on some board, within some multi conglomerate, a six figure salary, a fat pension on top of their political one and of course umpteen houses spread across wherever. Blair and Obama epitomize this.

Both political parties are left wing, hiding under the right wing and classic liberal monikers.

[Aug 27, 2018] American and European Populists Are Talking Past Each Other

Aug 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kai Weiss offered up some food for thought last week when he attempted to explain why any plan for a transatlantic union of populists is doomed. And he's largely correct: the integration of right-wing populist governments and parties in Europe into their own umbrella organizations give them a specifically European orientation, which seems to defeat the purpose of nationalism.

Further, the continued economic relations of populist governments in Italy, Hungary, and Poland with other EU countries would render their shift towards a new political configuration based on shared ideological proclivities with American populists highly unlikely. These assumptions are certainly well-founded, and Kai is correct that we shouldn't interpret any change in the European populist Right as aligning with their American counterpart.

But there's another, perhaps deeper, reason that American and European populists are unlikely to cooperate: they show only superficial similarities. Both are obviously concerned with the globalist threat to their national economies and cultivate a rhetorical style that appeals to the plain folk while ostentatiously bypassing the "uppers." All so-called populists invoke national symbols and colors (thus Trump tells us that all Americans, no matter their race, "bleed red, white, and blue"). All ridicule multinational corporations and their usually socially leftist advocates as rootless. All have antagonistic relationships with left-wing media and devote considerable energy to contending with them.

And of course, both oppose mass immigration. But in Europe more than in the U.S., this opposition stems from widespread concern about a growing Muslim presence and the violent crime and cultural dislocation it's brought about.

That said, the differences between European and American populism may be more critical than the overlaps. Put simply: European populism looks real, while its American counterpart seems contrived. Vehicles of American populism with nationwide followings -- for example, the American Greatness website, Steve Hilton's Sunday night defenses of American populism on Fox News, and the West Coast-Straussian Claremont Review -- identify the American nation with an "idea." This "idea" is found explicitly in the passage of the Declaration of Independence that tells us that "all men are created equal." Lincoln's victory over the slave-holding South and America's military crusades for democracy in two world wars are often viewed as efforts to advance this founding ideal of equality.

While other, presumably inferior, nations are based on ethnic membership, shared religious traditions, and histories going back millennia, the U.S. is supposedly morally superior because of our universal founding principles. Those who argue this are entitled to their beliefs, but out of such abstract universals it is hard to fashion a specifically populist movement. That is because populism, for better or worse (I'm not being judgmental here), depends on very different unifying factors, like all the stuff that our would-be populists keep throwing on the junk heap. Hungarian, Polish, French, and Italian populists happily invoke everything that our populists are not supposed to believe.

One could hardly imagine an American populist saying what Viktor Orban repeatedly stated before the Hungarian national election that he won overwhelmingly in the spring. Orban vowed to " keep Hungary safe and Christian ," and called for the country -- and Europe more widely -- to embrace "a modernized version of Christian democracy" in the decades ahead. "Christian democracy protects us from migration, defends the borders, supports the traditional family model of one man, one woman, and considers the protection of our Christian culture as a natural thing," he said.

In some ways, European populists are more generous than their American imitation. They don't engage in trade wars with their fellow Europeans and generally work toward unity with others on the continent as members of a shared culture and history. European populists reserve their bile for those whom they see as Muslim interlopers and the Cultural Marxist Left. From reading the European right-wing press and knowing leaders of the Swedish Democrats, the National Front, and Alternative for Germany, I am hardly struck by the European Right's affinity for the American ruling class, including self-described American nationalists.

Steve Bannon Tilts at Windmills in Europe Trump's Working-Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment

It seems that, as soon as one moves beyond the Atlanticist crowd, European populists, like other Europeans, believe that American political elites are bullying the Old World. Loose talk about American exceptionalism, regime change aimed at conservative European governments, and the raising of tariffs on European products arouse concern among European populists over unwanted American hegemony. In a tour of the United States in February, the former head of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, praised Trump's defiance of the left-wing media but then criticized his increasingly confrontational relations with Russia.

Clearly she was concerned with American dominance over Europe, a problem that European populists can't imagine will go away even if self-styled populists come to power in the U.S. Confirming this impression was the reluctance of Italian president Sergio Mattarella to name as Italian premier Matteo Salvini, the populist leader of the Lega Nord, after Salvini's stunning electoral victory in a national election in early March. It was the Trump administration that put pressure on Mattarella not to authorize a coalition led by someone who might not be obedient to the American government on foreign affairs. It was only after this American "veto" was removed and proper assurances were offered that Salvini in May was allowed to form a government. If this is what American populist leadership looks like, it may not be the case that Steve Bannon's alliance is just around the corner.

By the way: the American populist website American Greatness quotes approvingly passages taken from National Review that justify American meddling in foreign elections and foreign regimes. Our government "has done so to promote democracy and political liberty and human rights." No doubt Signor Salvini will appreciate this explanation.

Paul Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years. He is a Guggenheim recipient and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents .

[Aug 27, 2018] Neocon/neolib block hysterically embraces any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

Notable quotes:
"... The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump. ..."
"... Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes. ..."
"... As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ort , Aug 26, 2018 8:06:17 PM | 24

The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

I frequent prog-lib sites in the US, where I live, principally to read and post in the comments threads. The prog-lib moderates are not really of the "left", a term which has become a semantic placeholder for anyone or anything that doesn't explicitly identify as right-wing or politically conservative.

But before they were traumatized by, in their view, the abominable Trump usurping the imperial Oval Office Throne, they used to be reliably antiwar, anti-imperialist, anti-military, anti-police state, etc.

Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes.

@ karlof1 | 15

The self-proclaimed Social-Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's words praising the late War Criminal John McCain prove she's not what she declares.
_____________________________

So many bees have accumulated in my bonnet that by now I should be drenched in a perpetually-flowing coating of honey. One of the bees is what I call Progressive-Liberal Electoral Politics 101.

This refers to the tendency of "lesser-evil" moderates to rebut and reject doubts and criticisms of politicians with supposedly knowing, savvy "inside politics" rationales that explain away the criticisms.

It really hit home during Obama's 2008 campaign, when an intelligent but moderate "progressive" relative, "Joe", became infatuated with Bonnie Prince Barry; he vainly hoped I'd become enthralled too. Just a couple of examples:

I was outraged (but not surprised) when Obama reneged on his repeated "vows" to oppose draconian FISA legislation that gave carte blanche to government/corporate surveillance, and immunized corporations who'd illegally and illicitly assisted in conducting such surveillance. Joe responded to my outrage by superciliously explaining, "Oh, he had to do that! He can't just say and do things to keep progressives happy-- he has to reassure a fearful and desperate public that he's 'tough' on national security issues!"

Joe also whipped out this "Oh, he had to do that!" justification at the drop of a hat every time Obama did or didn't do something that seemed to conflict with his progressive "Third Way" image; when nominee and president-elect Obama packed his transition team and cabinet with reactionary Clintonista retreads and Goldman-Sachs banksters, Joe praised this as a shrewd "pragmatic" gambit to "consolidate his support within the party". There was always some pat prog-lib catechism blurb explaining why "he had to do that", case closed.

I've seen exactly this logic applied to AOC. To True Believers, if she seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism-- or, as here, expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

[Aug 26, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Bait and Switch by TAC staff

Trump definitely is hell-bent of destroying the dollar system. He created four powerful allied: China, Russia, Iran and Turkey that will work to weaken dollar hegemony and create alternative systems. It is unclear why.
Smartphones present a viable alternative to credit cards and it is just a matter of time that credit cards became obsolete.
Despite his promises of restraint, America has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue likely to lead to war.
Notable quotes:
"... Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of ..."
"... So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support." ..."
"... The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran ..."
"... So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result. ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of The American Conservative.

We must confess that we never read Donald Trump's famous book, The Art of the Deal . And we don't know if there is a chapter called "Bait and Switch." But that's precisely what Trump perpetrated upon the American people when he crafted a campaign decrying America's destructive and costly military Middle East involvement -- and then, as president, set in motion events seemingly calculated to get us into another war there.

The president also promised to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear deal. However foolish, it was at least an honest representation of what his intention. And ultimately he did it. Thus it was possible to conclude that Trump was sincere on both his resolve to avoid further Mideast wars and his intention to exit the Iranian deal. Voters could draw their own conclusions about whether the two campaign promises were mutually exclusive or not.

But voters had no reason to conclude during the campaign that he would deal with Iran so aggressively as to force a dangerous showdown. Two significant developments suggest Trump's intentions far surpass his campaign rhetoric. One is the recent ultimatum delivered to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He listed 12 demands on what Iran must do to avoid "unprecedented" economic pressure designed to crush Iran's ability to play a major role in its home region. The other is a remarkable New Yorker story by Adam Entous detailing how the Trump administration has joined hands with Iran's regional enemies -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- to strip Iran of its regional influence.

As Pompeo put it, "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." Of course Iran has not dominated the region in any serious way for centuries, but it does have significant influence there by dint of its size, population, economy, and military. And its geopolitical influence expanded exponentially when America destroyed Iraq's Sunni regime and removed a major impediment to Iran's freedom of action.

So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support."

Indeed, they are reminiscent of Austria's 1914 demands of Serbia after the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand and the aggressive ultimatum delivered to Japan by U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull on November 26, 1941. Both were were designed to induce war.

The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran. The headline: "How the President, Israel, and the Gulf states plan to fight Iran -- and leave the Palestinians and the Obama years behind." One Trump friend said Netanyahu, mastermind of the anti-Iranian alliance, encountered at the White House a "blank canvas" for his bold brush strokes. This person added: "Israel just had their way with us."

So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result.

[Aug 14, 2018] The demise of another Bernie Sanders fraud - World Socialist Web Site

By Patrick Martin 9 August 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again. ..."
"... First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system. ..."
"... In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics. ..."
"... The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do. ..."
"... In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them. ..."
"... In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities. ..."
"... Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year. ..."
"... Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed went down to a double-digit defeat Tuesday in the Democratic primary, overwhelmed by the near-unanimous support of the Democratic Party establishment for former state senator Gretchen Whitmer. The daughter of former Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Richard Whitmer won every county in the state and will go on to face Republican State Attorney General Bill Schuette in the November general election.

In a tweet to his supporters, El-Sayed declared: "The victory was not ours today, but the work continues. Congratulations to @gretchenwhitmer on her primary win. Tomorrow we continue the path toward justice, equity and sustainability."

When tomorrow came, however, that "path" led to a unity luncheon at which El-Sayed and the third candidate in the race, self-funding millionaire Shri Thanedar, pledged their full support to Whitmer. "Today we all retool and figure out how we make sure that Bill Schuette does not become governor. I'm super committed to that," El-Sayed said. "Never has it been more important to have a Democrat lead state government."

Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again.

First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

In 2016, this involved appealing to his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The Clinton campaign refused to make the slightest appeal to the working class in order to preserve its support within corporate America and, in the process, drove millions of desperate workers to stay home on Election Day or vote for Trump, allowing the billionaire demagogue to eke out an Electoral College victory.

In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics.

The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do.

Their platforms usually include such demands as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, implementing "Medicare for all," interpreted in various fashions, establishing free public college education for families earning less than $150,000 a year, and enacting universal pre-K education. They usually promise not to accept corporate money and to support campaign finance reform.

These Sanders-backed candidates, like Sanders himself in 2016, have very little to say about foreign policy and make no appeal whatsoever to the deep anti-war sentiment among American youth and workers. There is no discussion of Trump's threats of nuclear war. As for trade war, most, like Sanders himself, embrace the economic nationalism that is the foundation of Trump's trade policy.

In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them.

In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities.

Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year.

The real attitude of Sanders and El-Sayed to genuine socialism was made clear when they sought to ban supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and SEP candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth from distributing leaflets and holding discussions outside campaign rallies for El-Sayed.

This year, Sanders has been campaigning with a sidekick, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who won the Democratic congressional nomination in the 12th District of New York, defeating incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for El-Sayed in Michigan and also for several congressional candidates, including Brent Welder in Kansas and Cori Bush in Missouri, who also went down to defeat on August 7. Like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the Democratic Party can be transformed into a genuinely progressive "party of the people" that will implement social reforms.

But at age 28, Ocasio-Cortez has less practice in performing the song-and-dance of pretending to be independent of the Democratic Party establishment while working to give it a left cover and prop it up. She was clumsier in her execution, attracting notice as she walked back a campaign demand to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sought to downplay her previous criticism of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

After her campaign swing through the Midwest, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, an annual assemblage of the left flank of the Democratic Party. She told her adoring audience that her policies were not radical at all, but firmly in the Democratic mainstream. "It's time for us to remember that universal college education, trade school, a federal jobs guarantee, a universal basic income were not all proposed in 2016," she said. "They were proposed in 1940, by the Democratic president of the United States."

The reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt was inadvertently revealing. Roosevelt adopted reform policies, including many of those suggested by the social democrats of his day such as Norman Thomas. He was no socialist, but rather a clever and conscious bourgeois politician who enacted limited reforms in a deliberate effort to save the capitalist system.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez likewise seek to save the capitalist system, but under conditions where no such reforms are possible. The American ruling class no longer dominates the world economy, but is beset by powerful rivals in both Europe and Asia. It is pouring resources into the military to prepare for world war. And at home, even the most modest measures run up against the intransigent opposition of the super-rich, who control both parties and demand even greater wealth for themselves at the expense of working people.

Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth.

Thus, at Netroots Nation, the assembled "left" Democrats gave a loud ovation to Ocasio-Cortez, but also to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, also young, nonwhite and female. Ortiz Jones has another characteristic, however. She is a career Air Force intelligence officer who was deployed to Iraq, South Sudan and Libya -- all the scenes of US-instigated bloodbaths.

Ortiz Jones is one of nearly three dozen such candidates chosen to represent the Democratic Party in contested congressional districts around the country. Another such candidate is Elissa Slotkin, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin served three tours with the CIA in Baghdad before being promoted to high-level positions in the Pentagon and the Obama-era National Security Council.

The fake leftism of Bernie Sanders in alliance with the CIA: That is the formula for the Democratic Party in 2018.

[Aug 08, 2018] Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled?)

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 03, 2018] Donald Trump might be a symptom that neoliberal system is about to collapse

Amazing interview.
We are in the point when capitalist system (which presented itself as asocial system that created a large middle class) converted into it opposite: it is social system that could not deliver that it promised and now want to distract people from this sad fact.
The Trump adopted tax code is a huge excess: we have 40 year when corporation paid less taxes. This is last moment when they need another gift. To give them tax is crazy excess that reminding Louis XV of France. Those gains are going in buying of socks. And real growth is happening elsewhere in the world.
After WW2 there were a couple of decades of "golden age" of US capitalism when in the USA middle class increased considerably. That was result of pressure of working class devastated by Great Depression. Roosevelt decided that risk is too great and he introduced social security net. But capitalist class was so enraged that they started fighting it almost immediately after the New Deal was introduced. Business class was enrages with the level of taxes and counterattacked. Tarp act and McCarthyism were two successful counterattacks. McCarthyism converting communists and socialists into agents of foreign power.
The quality of jobs are going down. That's why Trump was elected... Which is sad. Giving your finger to the neoliberal elite does not solve their problem
Notable quotes:
"... Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction. ..."
"... When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. ..."
"... Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade. ..."
"... The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:

Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.

So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.

When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.

Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.

The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.

In France, it was said 'Après moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/60FrsWm9OAc

[Aug 03, 2018] Trumpism and the Politics of Distrust

Aug 03, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We have lost some of our democratic habits -- indeed, in many ways we are losing our very cohesion as a society. But I frame the question very differently.

I know a bunch of Trump supporters. Some of them are intellectuals who write for places like TAC . But most are not. Neither are any of them raving bigots or knuckle-dragging neanderthals, and all of them read the news, though with vastly less obsessiveness than people who work in the business.

None of them "like" things like "unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure" or collusion with foreign governments. Some of them minimize some of these things at least some of the time -- and I myself have been known to derive a kind of pleasure from the absurdity of a figure like Mooch. But this isn't what the people who I know who voted Trump voted for , nor is it why they continue to be happy with their vote -- which, however unhappy they are with how the administration is conducting itself, most of them still are.

Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election.


SDS August 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

"They are, however, people who have lost trust in the individuals and institutions who are most alarmed about Trump: the political establishment, the press, etc. And so, on a relative basis, they'd rather continue to put their trust in Trump."

That last line does not follow .We have lost trust in all of the others; so would rather see what Trump does; not that we have any trust in him to do the right thing

THAT would be ridiculous; especially after the last six months.

Will Harrington , says: August 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Hmmm. Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing. As for the American people taking a turn to authoritarianism. This is possible, after all, our Federal government has spent most of the last century increasing their control over many of the aspects of our lives and stretching the limits of the Constitution beyond any recognition. We have been prepared to accept authoritarianism. Increasingly we have had an authoritarian presidency that surveils its own people and has usurped regulatory and warmaking authority from the Congress. The Federal government has created, out of whole cloth, a role for itself in public education. Do not blame the populace for being what the elite has spent a century shaping them to be.
I am convinced that the saber rattling and fear-mongering concerning Korea, Iran, and Russia are not happening because we have any reason to be particularly concerned about these countries or because they threaten our interests. No, this is the way a corrupt and ineffective regime distracts its citizens from its own failings. Lets be clear, this would be happening even if She-who-shall-not-be-named had one the Presidency.
JonF , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Whatever happened to "trust but verify"?
OK, a bunch of people did the political equivalent of a Hail Mary play in voting for Trump. But now that the ball has not only fallen short but gone way out of bounds and beaned some spectators in the stands shouldn't they be revoking that trust and casting around for someone else to represent them? Why stick with a sinking ship?
JessicaR , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/11/why-veterans-voted-donald-trump-swing-states/21603486/

There is strong evidence to suggest that one factor in Trump's victory was distrust of US foreign policy. The link above is to an article about exit polls showing Trump won the veteran's vote 2:1 over Hillary Clinton.

Not long ago, a study by two academicians found that Trump carried counties with high casualties in the Iraq war: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2989040

People don't regret their votes for Trump because if they had voted for Clinton, they or their loved ones would be coming home in body bags–or minus body parts.

As bad as Trump is, his foreign policy instincts are less hawkish than Clinton's–witness his decision to end the CIA funding of Syrian insurgents.

Trump's behavior is certainly "unpresidential" and chaotic. It is also less horrible than war by many orders of magnitude.

Kevin , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm
"The politically relevant, and profoundly disturbing, fact is precisely the opposite of the conventional wisdom: After six months of unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure, and credible evidence of a desire to collude with a hostile foreign government to subvert an American election, President Trump's approval rating is astonishingly high -- with something between one-third and two-fifths of the American people apparently liking what they see and hear from the White House"

But George W Bush at his nadir averaged 26% approval, and that's seven years in, during an epic economic collapse, a catastrophic war, and a host of other disasters. Trump is not THAT far away from that average.

There is simply a line beyond which a president can't decline unless he murders and eats a puppy in public, and I see no reason to presume that we can judge that Trump hit his bottom six months in, when the economy is decent and no non-self inflicted crisis looming.

I'd also add that while all your friends have different reasons to stay aboard the Trump train, all of them sound like high information, fairly ideological voters. This is probably not the profile of Trump voters set to vote for The Rock in 2020

c matt , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm
Well, when a building is rotten to the core, the only thing you can do is raze it to the ground to start rebuilding. Our government has long passed its sell-by date. Really, expecting a political solution to arise from a government controlled system such as ours does not border on insanity – it completely crosses that border in leaves it miles in the dust. Witness our insane Congress voting by a 98% margin to inflict sanctions based upon absolute crock. But then the US has never let reality get in the way of statesmenshowmanship. We get what we deserve, good and hard.
polistra , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm
You're OK until the last line. "And populism by its very nature cannot build institutions, cannot govern "

You're still using the Deepstate definition of populism. In fact populists want only one thing: We think the government of THIS country should serve the interests of the people of THIS country.

It's perfectly possible to govern by this rule. FDR did it magnificently.

Why did it work for FDR? Because he was determined to BREAK the monopolies and forces that acted contrary to the interests of the people, and because governments BELOW the Federal level were still strong. When he closed the banks for several months, cities and Chambers of Commerce jumped in immediately to develop scrip systems.

Thanks to an unbroken series of evil judges and presidents after WW2, local governments and institutions are dead or dying. Even if a competent and determined populist tried to close down banks or Amazon or the "health" insurance system, there would be no organized way to replace them.

Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:59 pm
What exactly did these people think a Clinton administration would do? What nightmarish dystopia did they see coming around the bend? And what do you think -- were their perceptions of America's future under a Clinton administration accurate, or at least close to the mark? And if so, why?
Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Also, I get that people have lost trust in mainstream institutions. What makes them think that Trump is trustworthy in comparison? Why do they have more trust in Trump than in the institutions? And does that seem reasonable?
Heyseed , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm
I didn't vote for Trump: His rhetorical style turns me cold; I don't like his position on many issues, or his general governing philosophy, to the extent he can be said to have one. But, BUT, I sure as Hell did not vote for Hilary Clinton(I voted for Johnson and Weld, who were obvious non-starters from the word Go. I might possibly have voted for Trump if it had looked like the election might be close in Illinois, but since the Chicago Machine had already stolen it for HRC, I could salve my conscience and vote for Johnson.

Clinton was the status quo candidate, and since I did not desire "more of the same", governmentally, Trump and his circus are preferable to Clinton and whatever cabal she would have assembled to run the country.

You claim that the elite "inevitably" run the machinery of government, but it's worth noting that once upon a time in America, most of the people in government were political appointees who could be sent packing(along with their bosses) by the voters. Nowadays, the 'elite' which runs government is dug in pretty much permanently, and the same people will be, in practice, running the government no matter who wins the next election, or the one after that

Hilary Clinton was forthrightly the candidate of the permanent, un-elected bureaucracy, and Trump, well, didn't seem to be. The choice was between Trump, whose actual position on the size of government was not clear, and Hilary Clinton who was actually promising to make government bigger, more centralized, more expensive and less responsive. I'm not sorry Trump won however distasteful he and his henchmen are to me.

Michael R Honohan , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm
I too had a friend who was a huge Ron Paul supporter who not only backed Trump, but became a major apologist for him ever since. The man ran two back to back campaigns in Georgia for US Senate, the Ron Paul mold. Now, no on his original team will give him the time of day. Those who tried to get some sense into him, have been closed off.

As a libertarian, I am no more afraid of the left or the right. In fact, listening to the right rant about the left yields a lot of ignorance, disinformation and paranoia: stock in trade for right wing propaganda. But I am disturbed when people spend years fighting for liberty suddenly joined Cult 45 that has no sense of liberty Ron Paul or his followers would recognize.

But Trump fit the bankrupt GOP. Lest we forget, those 49 GOP Senators who voted for "skinny repeal" (even the name is joke!) never gave a moment's consideration to the bill written by Rand Paul that covers the conservative attributes of free markets and self-determination. Lest we also forget that Rand is not only one of the few legit conservatives, but a doctor and the son of doctor or former Congressman. Those credentials alone would have been enough if GOP was actually interested being conservative. Apparently, Trumpism is what the GOP is about and 49 of them proved it.

ojc , says: August 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm
I think that you have identified a problem that transcends Trump and his opponents. Vitriolic partisanship is one thing. At various points in our history, we have had some nasty spells of polarization. The deeper problem that the institutions of public life are now losing their very legitimacy.

Legitimacy is something deeper than mere approval. It relies upon the unspoken acceptance of political and institutional norms.

We are clearly in the process of publicly reevaluating and even rejecting these norms. The birthers questioning Obama's background and "not my president" folks do not view their oppponents as legitimate, if mistaken. In the case of Trump and the radical left, they contest the legitimacy of the other side even participating in the process, a process by the way to which they owe no fealty.

Whine Merchant , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm
"We had to destroy the village to save it."

Where have we heard that line before??

Cash , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm
Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory, and two, by having top two vote getters in primary face each other in the general.

We'd have a moderate politics with elected officials clustering slightly right and left of the center.

cka2nd , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm
Speaking as a Commie Pinko Red, I still prefer Trump as President over Clinton, precisely because he is doing so much to undermine America's "leadership" in world affairs. He's still a murderous imperialist, maybe even just as much as she would have been, but there's just so much more damage that she could have done making bi-partisan deals with the GOP for the benefit of Wall Street and the insurance industry.

The movement against GOPcare – Trumpcare wasn't really a fair name for the wet dreams of Paul Ryan and Conservative, Inc. – probably couldn't have been so effective or flew under the radar of the establishment tools running the Democratic Party and its media mouthpieces if a Democrat was in the White House and the various beltway "movement" honchos had had their precious seat at the table where they could have rolled over for the Democratic president of the moment.

bt , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm
The biggest problem is what comes after Trump for the GOP?

He's kicked off a process for the GOP that will be very difficult to manage going forward. He showed that outright racism, sexism, continuous lying, even treasonous collusion with Russia to subvert our election is just fine with the Republican Party. How does the GOP sell family values to their 'base' after they all lined up with Donald j Trump, serial wife-cheater and money-launderer?

It will be hard for anyone to forget that any of this happened.

Consider this: 8 years of W Bush yielded the first black President – It really could not have happened if W hadn't burned the house down. What comes after Trump?

FiveString , says: August 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm
I'm a very middle-class worker in the IT sector where most of my coworkers have been sensible, but my weekend hobby of playing music has put me in contact (largely via Facebook) with many Trump supporters who do happen to be knuckle-dragging neanderthals. They generally don't read; their "news" comes from partisan demagogues on the radio or TV. If I give one the benefit of the doubt and share an article from, say, The American Conservative -- "The Madness of King Donald" was a favorite -- it's been all too common to receive a childish/hate-filled meme in response. Bigots are legion: I've unfriended the raving variety, and unfollowed the milder dog-whistlers. These deplorables have in fact been emboldened by the current POTUS.

But I get your point. I abhor the current duopoly, but it could be fixed if thinking citizens wanted to put in some effort. So, it's depressing in a different kind of way that so many thoughtful and well-read Americans are so cynical about state of US politics that they are fine with Trump wrecking it.

Barry , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm
"Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election."

They are people who were full of it beforehand, and as the evidence rolls in, they just sink deeper into lies.

MarkW , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm
Linker's quote "a desire to collude" you reference later as "collusion". The first instance is an attempt to broaden the charge from collusion, the second instance is a (sloppy?) change in language.
Mdet , says: August 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm
@Will Harrington, "Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing."

I read that statement as "Once you are governing, once you are the one(s) in a position of power, then by definition you have become 'the elite' and are no longer 'a plebeian'". Populists, by definition, are the people who call for the tearing down of institutions that make up the status-quo, and elites, by definition, are the people who build and maintain status-quo institutions. At least in my eyes, "being a populist" and "governing institutions" are mutually exclusive.

Frank Lettucebee , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:46 am
Since the conservative party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower was invaded by the right wingers and became the party of Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth, the goal has been to tarnish all concept of a functioning a democracy and a government is built to work for the people, of the people, and by the people. The right wing main tactic is lies and just get people riled up so that they don't realize and oblivious to the fact that America has slipped from capitalism to corporatism; from a capitalist democracy to a caste based plutocracy run for the sole benefit of the oligarchs who bought this country.

Don Trump is the embodiment and distillation of the right winger and their economic and social cultural policies. He is not an alternative or antidote to the Republicans or Democrats.

Cal , says: August 2, 2017 at 2:04 am
" Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government is in chaos and that Trump is not bringing the change he hoped for. But he doesn't regret his vote, and he prefers the chaos of Trump to business-as-usual under either the Democrats or the Republicans. And if Trump winds up discrediting the Federal government generally, that's fine with him."

I didn't vote this election because I didn't like either candidate. I had been promoting 'America First' as a rallying cry for a candidate for years but Trump wasnt exactly the kind of leader I had in mind for it.
But I'm with the guy above -- if chaos will bust up the musical chair dual monarchies of the dems and repubs and the corrupt status quo government bring it on.

Pear Conference , says: August 2, 2017 at 6:23 am
I think the Democratic nominee in 2020 should be O.J. Simpson.

The reason is that I have lost trust in the media and the elites that are most alarmed about O.J. Simpson.

Kurt Gayle , says: August 2, 2017 at 8:37 am
A somewhat related question, Noah: If you had been a young man living in China on August 1, 1927, do you think you would have joined the People's Liberation Army?
connecticut farmer , says: August 2, 2017 at 9:50 am
Originally I wanted to sit out this past election but gave in to peer pressure. And I regret this. Trump? Clinton? Johnson? Stein? All were mediocre. Clinton/Trump were the two worst candidates that the "major" parties have ever produced in my lifetime. It was with fear and trepidation that I voted for Trump, notwithstanding that I fundamentally agreed with him on the issues of immigration and the need for a reduced American role in global affairs. In the end, I rationalized this (wasted) vote based upon the notion that not only had his opponent committed a felony (detouring government emails) but also because (as others have pointed out) she was the candidate of the status quo, the "permanent bureaucracy", Big Finance etc. etc. The fact that Trump actually won surprised me, but only moderately, because as terrible a candidate as he was, his opponent was even worse.

What has transpired since his election comes as no surprise. Had Clinton been elected conditions would have only been mirror imaged, such being the state of things in this once-great republic. I continue to maintain that the two-party system is archaic and has to go. Whether a multi-party system would be better, I don't know. Perhaps we have reached a point where the country is simply ungovernable. Perhaps more responsibility should be returned to state and local government (Jefferson would have approved). Again, I don't know.

What I do know is that the current system is dysfunctional.

And that, my friends, is why we have a real estate/TV personality as President.

wallysdaughter , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm
i am neither an establishment voter, or a member of the media/press. i am deeply worried where the man (trump) is taking this nation. the gop is complicit in this chaos as they see trump as a rubber stamp for their plutocratic agenda. i don't know what it will take to right the ship of state
EliteCommInc. , says: August 3, 2017 at 7:49 am
I don't regret my vote. And I ave had issues with my choice before and after the election. The sky is not even close to falling as predicted. And the democracy you claim is at threat may very well be, but it's from the current executive. And nothing thus far suggests that it will.

I m not going to dismiss the caterwauling liberals have been making since the campaign or the election as major distraction to governance.

And by the way there remain not a twiddle's evidence that the WH prior to the election colluded to undermine the US in any manner. It's time to cease throwing that out as sauce for the goose.

I think I agree with all four of your "freinds". I am very fond of the establishment, they have their place. What they provide in cohesion, stability and continuity is valuable to the state. But they appear to be want for any level of substance, depth thereof or moral consistency (if any at all). The double standards they hold themselves, their donors and connections on issues and accountability is unsustainable in a democracy as I think you understand it.

When I was laid out in the ER, I found myself wrestling with my own position on healthcare. The temptations are great to bend the guide as to my own conditions -- but I don't think I could so with a clear conscience. I am nor sot sure that what we haven't lost is a sense of conscience -- that sense that truth overrides immediate gain. I don't think the US can survive as the US if the leadership is bent on holding themselves to a standard not available to the country's citizens.

"Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government . . ."

And the discredited notions that

1. the rich know how to run an economy effectively and

2. that a rise in the market is a sign of economic health.

Brendan Sexton , says: August 3, 2017 at 10:48 am
Pear Conference captures perfectly the 'thinking' i have heard from more than one Trump voter. This is 'reasoning'?
If there is one system in America that needs blowing up to start over it might be our education system. I am generally supportive of public ed, and i am impressed by some of the commitment and inventiveness i see among the proposers of various alternatives to public ed. So, some folks are trying, even sometimes succeeding, but we have managed to arrive at a point in our culture where we have elected a President whose election success depended more than anything else on a public who have lost the ability to think critically. (if they ever had it, of course)
Yes I know the other one got more votes, by a lot. And i know that this other candidate was oddly not at all an attractive alternative. I know all that, but still, a huge fraction of the voting population–a fraction large enough to make themselves now THE base the government is playing to–is a group who could not/would not see this con-job coming? There was every opportunity to use actual logic and facts to reach a voting decision, but these millions of voters chose instead to go with various variations on the theme of 'they all stink, so i'm using my vote to poke a stick in their eyes." Or, as Pear satirized, "I hate/mistrust the elites and they like almost anybody else other than my guy, so I'm gonna turn my country over to the most vulgar non-elite pig the system can come up with."
There is talk now about the damage he can do to American politics and sense of community, but I think he may be more symptom than cause. We don't value the things we thought were a standard part of the American process: truthfulness, kindness, authenticity, devotion to the common good. We value, it turns out, showmanship, machismo, crass shows of wealth and power, and ..I can't go on.
I'm not sure how we got here, but I know the institutions held in high regard on this site, such as church, and some factors we all put our faith in such as increasing levels of education, turn out not to matter so much as we had thought. It is going to take some hard work and more than a little time to recover from this sickness in the country's soul.
Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:43 am
"Trump supporters are just like people who are outraged by something and show it by rioting and burning down their own neighborhoods." – Greg in PDX

The antifas rioting and destroying in Portland also got very violent when some old folks held a peaceful rally for Trump there.

Oh, sorry. I forgot that when "progressives" disagree with someone, they consider that merely disagreeing with them constitutes "violence" against their "safe space" and they are compelled to go out and punch or shoot people.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:47 am
"Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory"

Right, and by making public disclosure of who you voted for mandatory as well!

Just don't be the first to stop clapping.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:50 am
Those calling for a soft coup to reinstate elite status quo leaders against the election results are the ones who are profoundly anti-democratic.
Grumpy Old Man , says: September 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm
No reason why populism couldn't govern. Huey Long was a damn effective governor of Louisiana. Send the whole Acela Corridor élite to Saddam's woodchipper and the country would noodle along just fine. I'm not for state violence, and yet the fantasy gives me a frisson. Forgive me, a sinner.

[Aug 03, 2018] The elites "have no credibility left by David North and Chris Hedges

Notable quotes:
"... War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class ..."
"... Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt ..."
"... Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt ..."
"... Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.unz.com

On Monday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North interviewed Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, lecturer and former New York Times correspondent. Among Hedges' best-known books are War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class , Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt , which he co-wrote with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, and Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt .

In an article published in Truthdig September 17 , titled "The Silencing of Dissent," Hedges referenced the WSWS coverage of Google's censorship of left-wing sites and warned about the growth of "blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of 'fake news.'"

Hedges wrote that "the Department of Justice called on RT America and its 'associates' -- which may mean people like me -- to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. No doubt, the corporate state knows that most of us will not register as foreign agents, meaning we will be banished from the airwaves. This, I expect, is the intent."

North's interview with Hedges began with a discussion of the significance of the anti-Russia campaign in the media.

David North: How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

I have no doubt that the Russians invested time, energy and money into attempting to influence events in the United States in ways that would serve their interests, in the same way that we have done and do in Russia and all sorts of other countries throughout the world. So I'm not saying there was no influence, or an attempt to influence events.

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

DN: Chris, you worked for the New York Times . When was that, exactly?

CH: From 1990 to 2005.

DN: Since you have some experience with that institution, what changes do you see? We've stressed that it has cultivated a constituency among the affluent upper-middle class.

CH: The New York Times consciously targets 30 million upper-middle class and affluent Americans. It is a national newspaper; only about 11 percent of its readership is in New York. It is very easy to see who the Times seeks to reach by looking at its special sections on Home, Style, Business or Travel. Here, articles explain the difficulty of maintaining, for example, a second house in the Hamptons. It can do good investigative work, although not often. It covers foreign affairs. But it reflects the thinking of the elites. I read the Times every day, maybe to balance it out with your web site.

DN: Well, I hope more than balance it.

CH: Yes, more than balance it. The Times was always an elitist publication, but it wholly embraced the ideology of neo-conservatism and neoliberalism at a time of financial distress, when Abe Rosenthal was editor. He was the one who instituted the special sections that catered to the elite. And he imposed a de facto censorship to shut out critics of unfettered capitalism and imperialism, such as Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. He hounded out reporters like Sydney Schanberg, who challenged the real estate developers in New York, or Raymond Bonner, who reported the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador.

He had lunch every week, along with his publisher, with William F. Buckley. This pivot into the arms of the most retrograde forces of corporate capitalism and proponents of American imperialism, for a time, made the paper very profitable. Eventually, of course, the rise of the internet, the loss of classified ads, which accounted for about 40 percent of all newspaper revenue, crippled the Times as it has crippled all newspapers. Newsprint has lost the monopoly that once connected sellers with buyers. Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth. But like all Byzantine courts, the Times will go down clinging to its holy grail.

The intellectual gravitas of the paper -- in particular the Book Review and the Week in Review -- was obliterated by Bill Keller, himself a neocon, who, as a columnist, had been a cheerleader for the war in Iraq. He brought in figures like Sam Tanenhaus. At that point the paper embraced, without any dissent, the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and the primacy of corporate power as an inevitable form of human progress. The Times , along with business schools, economics departments at universities, and the pundits promoted by the corporate state, propagated the absurd idea that we would all be better off if we prostrated every sector of society before the dictates of the marketplace. It takes a unique kind of stupidity to believe this. You had students at Harvard Business School doing case studies of Enron and its brilliant business model, that is, until Enron collapsed and was exposed as a gigantic scam. This was never, really, in the end, about ideas. It was about unadulterated greed. It was pushed by the supposedly best educated among us, like Larry Summers, which exposes the lie that somehow our decline is due to deficient levels of education. It was due to a bankrupt and amoral elite, and the criminal financial institutions that make them rich.

Critical thinking on the op-ed page, the Week in Review or the Book Review, never very strong to begin with, evaporated under Keller. Globalization was beyond questioning. Since the Times , like all elite institutions, is a hermetically sealed echo chamber, they do not realize how irrelevant they are becoming, or how ridiculous they look. Thomas Friedman and David Brooks might as well write for the Onion .

I worked overseas. I wasn't in the newsroom very much, but the paper is a very anxiety-ridden place. The rules aren't written on the walls, but everyone knows, even if they do not articulate it, the paper's unofficial motto: Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! You can push against them some of the time. But if you are a serious reporter, like Charlie Leduff, or Sydney Schanberg, who wants to give a voice to people who don't have a voice, to address issues of race, class, capitalist exploitation or the crimes of empire, you very swiftly become a management problem and get pushed out. Those who rise in the organization and hold power are consummate careerists. Their loyalty is to their advancement and the stature and profitability of the institution, which is why the hierarchy of the paper is filled with such mediocrities. Careerism is the paper's biggest Achilles heel. It does not lack for talent. But it does lack for intellectual independence and moral courage. It reminds me of Harvard.

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

DN: What about the impact that you've seen of identity politics in America?

CH: Well, identity politics defines the immaturity of the left. The corporate state embraced identity politics. We saw where identity politics got us with Barack Obama, which is worse than nowhere. He was, as Cornel West said, a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

My favorite kind of anecdotal story about identity politics: Cornel West and I, along with others, led a march of homeless people on the Democratic National Convention session in Philadelphia. There was an event that night. It was packed with hundreds of people, mostly angry Bernie Sanders supporters. I had been asked to come speak. And in the back room, there was a group of younger activists, one who said, "We're not letting the white guy go first." Then he got up and gave a speech about how everybody now had to vote for Hillary Clinton. That's kind of where identity politics gets you. There is a big difference between shills for corporate capitalism and imperialism, like Corey Booker and Van Jones, and true radicals like Glen Ford and Ajamu Baraka. The corporate state carefully selects and promotes women, or people of color, to be masks for its cruelty and exploitation.

It is extremely important, obviously, that those voices are heard, but not those voices that have sold out to the power elite. The feminist movement is a perfect example of this. The old feminism, which I admire, the Andrea Dworkin kind of feminism, was about empowering oppressed women. This form of feminism did not try to justify prostitution as sex work. It knew that it is just as wrong to abuse a woman in a sweatshop as it is in the sex trade. The new form of feminism is an example of the poison of neoliberalism. It is about having a woman CEO or woman president, who will, like Hillary Clinton, serve the systems of oppression. It posits that prostitution is about choice. What woman, given a stable income and security, would choose to be raped for a living? Identity politics is anti-politics.

DN: I believe you spoke at a Socialist Convergence conference where you criticized Obama and Sanders, and you were shouted down.

CH: Yes, I don't even remember. I've been shouted down criticizing Obama in many places, including Berkeley. I have had to endure this for a long time as a supporter and speech writer for Ralph Nader. People don't want the illusion of their manufactured personalities, their political saviors, shattered; personalities created by public relations industries. They don't want to do the hard work of truly understanding how power works and organizing to bring it down.

DN: You mentioned that you have been reading the World Socialist Web Site for some time. You know we are quite outside of that framework.

CH: I'm not a Marxist. I'm not a Trotskyist. But I like the site. You report on important issues seriously and in a way a lot of other sites don't. You care about things that are important to me -- mass incarceration, the rights and struggles of the working class and the crimes of empire. I have read the site for a long time.

DN: Much of what claims to be left -- that is, the pseudo-left -- reflects the interests of the affluent middle class.

CH: Precisely. When everybody was, you know, pushing for multiculturalism in lead institutions, it really meant filtering a few people of color or women into university departments or newsrooms, while carrying out this savage economic assault against the working poor and, in particular, poor people of color in deindustrialized pockets of the United States. Very few of these multiculturalists even noticed. I am all for diversity, but not when it is devoid of economic justice. Cornel West has been one of the great champions, not only of the black prophetic tradition, the most important intellectual tradition in our history, but the clarion call for justice in all its forms. There is no racial justice without economic justice. And while these elite institutions sprinkled a few token faces into their hierarchy, they savaged the working class and the poor, especially poor people of color.

Much of the left was fooled by the identity politics trick. It was a boutique activism. It kept the corporate system, the one we must destroy, intact. It gave it a friendly face.

DN: The World Socialist Web Site has made the issue of inequality a central focus of its coverage.

CH: That's why I read it and like it.

DN: Returning to the Russia issue, where do you see this going? How seriously do you see this assault on democratic rights? We call this the new McCarthyism. Is that, in your view, a legitimate analogy?

CH: Yes, of course it's the new McCarthyism. But let's acknowledge how almost irrelevant our voices are.

DN: I don't agree with you on that.

CH: Well, irrelevant in the sense that we're not heard within the mainstream. When I go to Canada I am on the CBC on prime time. The same is true in France. That never happens here. PBS and NPR are never going to do that. Nor are they going to do that for any other serious critic of capitalism or imperialism.

If there is a debate about attacking Syria, for example, it comes down to bombing Syria or bombing Syria and sending in troops, as if these are the only two options. Same with health care. Do we have Obamacare, a creation of the Heritage Foundation and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, or no care? Universal health care for all is not discussed. So we are on the margins. But that does not mean we are not dangerous. Neoliberalism and globalization are zombie ideologies. They have no credibility left. The scam has been found out. The global oligarchs are hated and reviled. The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence.

DN: I think it can be a big mistake to be focused on the sense of isolation or marginalization. I'll make a prediction. You will have, probably sooner than you think, more requests for interviews and television time. We are in a period of colossal political breakdown. We are going to see, more and more, the emergence of the working class as a powerful political force.

CH: That's why we are a target. With the bankruptcy of the ruling ideology, and the bankruptcy of the American liberal class and the American left, those who hold fast to intellectual depth and an examination of systems of power, including economics, culture and politics, have to be silenced. (Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)


JackOH , October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

I'm a moderate admirer of Chris Hedges, but he is really cooking in this interview. Too much to praise here, but his thinking that corporations, the mainstream media, and the academy can and do successfully "game" dissent by suppression, divide and conquer, co-optation, and so on, is spot on.
Albertde , October 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
Good but not great interview with Chris Hodges: he manages to talk about an amorphous elite without identifying any of them and not a word about Israel. So pseudo-good roally
alexander , October 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT
I think this was an excellent discussion, and I would like to thank you both for having it, and sharing it.

Among the crises effecting the United States, the one effecting us most profoundly is the absence of any accountability for the crimes committed by our oligarchic class.

Addressing this issue is ground zero for any meaningful change.

If there is no accountability for their crimes , there will be no change.

Certainly the greatest among these crimes was(is) defrauding the nation into " a war of aggression". which, being the supreme international crime, should be met with harsh prison sentences for all who promoted it.

It is important for everyone to recognize just how much damage these policies have done to the country, not just in terms of our collective morale or our constitutional mandates,not just in terms of our international standing on universal principles of legality and justice, but our long term economic solvency as a nation.

The "exceptionalism" of our "war of aggression" elites has completely devastated our nation's balance sheet.

Since 9-11, our national debt has grown by a mind numbing "fourteen and a half trillion dollars".. nearly quadrupling since 1999.

This unconscionable level of "overspending" is unprecedented in human history.

Not one lawmaker, not one primetime pundit, nor one editorialist (of any major newspaper), has a CLUE how to deal with it.

Aside from the root atrocity in visiting mass murder on millions of innocents who never attacked us (and never intended to) which is a horrible crime in and of itself,

There is the profound crisis , in situ , of potentially demanding that 320 million Americans PAY FOR THE WARS OUR ELITES LIED US INTO .

This is where the rubber meets the road for our "war of aggression-ists ", gentlemen.

This is the "unanimous space" of our entire country's population on the issue of "no taxation without representation".

WHOSE assets should be made forfeit to pay for these wars .The DECEIVERS or the DECEIVED ?

Ask "The People" ..and you will find your answer .very fast.

No wonder our "elites" are terrified to discuss this .

Absolutely terrified.

exiled off mainstreet , October 10, 2017 at 1:27 am GMT
I agree with the general tenor of this article and would further state that in addition to the Iraq thing which was a war crime and eliminated any shreds of legitimacy retained by the yankee regime that the Libya overthrow and destruction, a war crime of historic proportions, and the use of that overthrow to provide major support to the barbaric element in Syria expose the yankee regime as an enemy of civilization with all that entails, including questions of whether, absent any legitimacy, the regime's continued existence itself does not constitute a major threat.
The elements in the article discussing and exposing the New York Times and its role as an integral part of the power structure should be read and remembered by all.
Grandpa Charlie , October 10, 2017 at 6:10 am GMT

How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

With all due respect for Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, I would suggest that what is also and most ridiculous is the thought that it is only agents of Israel that have suborned the neocon faction within USA's government and 'Deep State' (controllers of MSM). Or is this OT? I don't think so, because if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?

Who or what interest is served by anti-Russia propaganda other than, or in addition to, just the usual MIC suspects, profiteering corporations who want to keep a supposed need for nuclear weapons front and center in the minds of Congress? Cui bono?

To be clear: I suggest that neocon office-holders within USA's government or within the Deep State (controllers of MSM) are foreign agents for at least three nations: the People's Republic of China,the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel.

(I would compare USA now with Imperial China in its declining years when it was being sold piecemeal to all the great powers of Europe.)

Who benefits from this situation and how do they benefit? All three of these countries are deeply involved in suborning members of Congress and others within the government of the USA, yet none of the three is mentioned in such a connection by the MSM or by officials of the Executive. Thus, it is beneficial to them to have suspicion thrown onto Russia and thus investigative attention deflected from themselves. A few public figures (e.g., Philip Giraldi) have made such allegations respecting Israel, more public figures have made such suggestions respecting Saudi Arabia, but very few have made the allegations in the case of the PRC.

Let's think about this in the context of history, beginning with the Vietnam War. When USA got involved in Vietnam -- which involvement began during the days of Eisenhower/Dulles -- probably the primary interest groups that swayed USA global/foreign policy were the Vatican and the China Lobby. The interests of these two lobbies converged in Vietnam. From the RC side, consider an historical event that is unknown practically to any Americans under the age of 60 or 70, namely, Operation Passage to Freedom, 1954-55.

"The period was marked by a CIA-backed propaganda campaign on behalf of South Vietnam's Roman Catholic Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. The campaign exhorted Catholics to flee impending religious persecution under communism, and around 60% of the north's 1 million Catholics obliged." (Wikipedia: Operation Passage to Freedom )

From the side of the China Lobby – avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – what we saw in the early years of USA's involvement, 1965-1969, was a period in which the China Lobby could push an agenda that included widening the Vietnam campaign into southern China, particularly to include the tungsten mining operations supposedly owned by K.C. Wu. Tungsten at that time was considered as having tremendous strategic value, centering on, but not limited to, its essential use in the filaments of incandescent light-bulbs. It became clear after the Tet Offensive that the entire strategy of reopening the Chinese civil war, capturing the tungsten, etc, could make sense only if Chang Kai Shek's KMT would commit its troops in huge numbers, virtually all of its troops, on the ground in Vietnam (which would have brought in huge numbers of PRC troops on the other side) -- it became, to borrow one of Nixon's favorite phrases, "perfectly clear" that expansion into southern China and capture of the tungsten operations there were not in the cards. When Kissinger talked up his 'realpolitik', what he really meant was the politics of surrendering to Beijing. So, Nixon in July 1969, recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by the loss of life and expenditure of every form of capital, ordered first of many troop withdrawals from Vietnam. It was all a done deal as of Kissinger taking over as National Security Adviser, January 1969 -- everything but the tears.

Now, patience, dear reader, this is all leading up to a certain crucial event that took place in 1971 -- namely, Kissinger's secret trip to Beijing in July (1971) to arrange for everything regarding what amounted to a surrender to the PRC, except the end of the Vietnam War. The documents are still unavailable as classified Top Secret or whatever, but clearly, China had no interest in seeing an end to the Vietnam War, because both parties – Vietnam and USA – were adversaries of China. (Let them knock each other out!) Most likely, Zhou talked Henry into doing what he could to prolong USA's involvement in the Vietnam War, not to shorten it. See, including between the lines, National Security Archives:

http://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB66/

As noted, this stuff is mostly unavailable to us, the public, but it is clear that USA's 'leaders' (Nixon and Kissinger) wanted to make kissy-kissy with Zhou Enlai, and it was all arranged including George H. W. Bush's appointment as USA's first 'Ambassador' (in all but name) to Beijing, and including giving China's permanent seat on the UNSC to Beijing and otherwise selling out the old China Lobby. I call it the 'old China Lobby' because part of what was arranged was that the old China Lobby would be taken over by the New China lobby, complete with all the payola channels into Congress and the Deep State.

Now, I think, we arrive at today, 2017, and the failure of Trump to act on his campaign promises to oppose China in any way. Maybe he thought about it for a minute, but he was surrounded by neocons, who were already on the payroll of the PRC -- if not taking direct orders from the Standing Committee of the CCP, then at least promised to avoid offending the interests of the PRC -- on pain of losing regular paychecks from Beijing into their secret Grand Cayman accounts.

What I would like to say to Hedges. and others like him, is just this:

THEY say that you are foreign agents for Russia? Time to use a little judo on them: time for YOU to speak truth that THEY are foreign agents for the People's Republic of China.

And don't forget this potent phrase: YET NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON!

AB_Anonymous , October 11, 2017 at 5:24 am GMT

"The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence."

Precisely! What makes it even worse, they will be pushing this new pretexts for control sloppy (as in Vegas) and in a hurry. Which will make them look even more ridiculous and due to the lack of time will force to act even more stupid, resulting in an exponential curve of censorship, oppression and insanity. And that's there the maniacal dreams of certain forces to start a really big war in the Middle East (with or without attacking North Korea first) may come true.

Anonymous Disclaimer , October 11, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – "

Now that's a lie. This part is a lie. Or it is carefully crafted ex post hoc mythology a la Camelot, the Kennedy Mystique.

FACT: JFK was a Cold War Hawk and during his administration increased nuclear arms higher than Ike and until Reagan.

JFK during his administration increased the number of "advisers" to a higher number than Ike.

William F. Buckley pointedly asked Senator Robert Kennedy in the mid. '60′s "So, was there any thought of the White House pulling out [of Vietnam]?

RFK: No. There never was.

If anything, had he lived to see a second term, most likely US involvement in Vietnam would have escalated as much as under LBJ, perhaps with the same disastrous results, perhaps not. But JFK was no peacenik dove.

Mr. Hedges comes across as a total whackjob, and makes Bill Moyers appear to be a gentle moderate in comparison. That he thinks so highly of race man BLM supporter Cornell West speaks volumes of naivety to the nth degree. A total cuck without even knowing it, nay, totally appreciative of being a cuck and it appears to be his hope that one day his cardinal sin of being white will be purged by peoples of color, who are his true moral and intellectual betters in every step of the way.

OilcanFloyd , October 11, 2017 at 10:45 am GMT
I agree that the Russia fixation is garbage, but explaining the populist revolt without touching on the major issue of forced demographic and cultural change through legal and illegal immigration is dishonest. Almost everyone who isn't an immigrant or the descendant or relative of a post-65 immigrant is pissed off beyond words about this! How did you miss the popular response to Trump's promises to "deport them all," end birthright citizenship and chain migration, build a wall etc.? Without those promises, he wouldn't have made it to the debates.

I'm also not sure how welfare has been stripped. What programs aren't available?

I'm not sure how to lower black incarceration rates. Having taught in inner-city schools and worked in the same environment in other jobs, I know that crime and dysfunction are through the roof. I can only imagine what those communities would be like if the predators and crooks that are incarcerated were allowed to roam free.

Greg Bacon , Website October 11, 2017 at 11:13 am GMT

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

Is this the same Chris Hedges that wrote those articles in November 2001 that Saddam and al Qaeda were in cahoots, which led to the illegal 2003 invasion?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/part1/wmd.html

Tell me Chris, did you know about the CIA pollution then or just find out lately? And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you also write NYT articles in the Fall of 2002 saying that Saddam had WMD's?

Again, getting your tips from the CIA? Ever hear of 'Operation Mockingbird?"

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT

It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy.

That's cringe-worthy.

Transformation into an oligarchy? Transformation ??? I like Hedges' work, but such fundamental errors really taint what he sez.

The country was never transformed into an oligarchy; it began as one.

In fact, it was organized and functioned as a pluto-oligarchy right out of the box. In case anyone has the dimness to argue with me about it, all that shows is that you don't know JS about how the cornstitution was foisted on the rest of us by the plutoligarchs.

"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for "

-Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782 . ME 2:163

The Elites "Have No Credibility Left"

Guess what, boys and girls Why did they have any to begin with?

Where do people get their faith? WakeTF up, already!! (Yes, I'm losing it. Because even a duumbshit goy like myself can see it. Where are all you bright bulb know-it-alls with all the flippin answers???)

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT

Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth.

It's amazing that here we are, self-anointed geniuses and dumbos alike, puttering around in the 21st century, and someone feels the necessity to point that out. And he's right; it needs to be pointed out. Drummed into our skulls in fact.

Arrrgggghhhh!!! Jefferson again.:

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.

Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs29.html

More deja vu all over again and again. Note the date.:

"This is a story of a powerful and wealthy newspaper having enormous influence And never a day out of more than ten thousand days that this newspaper has not subtly and cunningly distort the news of the world in the interest of special privilege. "

Upton Sinclair, "The crimes of the "Times" : a test of newspaper decency," pamphlet, 1921

https://archive.org/stream/crimesofthetimes00sincrich/crimesofthetimes00sincrich_djvu.txt

Stephen Paul Foster , Website October 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm GMT
"The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace."

Look what they did to Henry Wallace -- Are you kidding me? Wallace was a Stalinist stooge, too treasonous even for his boss, FDR, although the bird brain Eleanor loved him. The guy was so out of touch with reality that after the Potemkin tour of the Gulag that Stalin gave him during WWII he came back raving about how swell it was for the lunch-bucket gang in Siberia. He also encouraged FDR to sell out the Poles to Stalin

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
I find it most fascinating that none of what Hedges says is news, but even UR readers probably think it is. Here's an antidote to that idea.

The following quote is from Eugene Kelly who's excoriating government press releases but the criticism applies as well to the resulting press reports. I found the whole article striking.:

Any boob can deduce, a priori, what type of "news" is contained in this rubbish.

-Eugene A. Kelly, Distorting the News, The American Mercury, March 1935 , pp. 307-318

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury/

I'd like good evidence that the situation has improved since then. Good luck.

polistra , Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT
Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Aug 02, 2018] MAGA was a bait and switch trick: The Trump election campaign rallying cry was to make America great again, but Trump actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

Aug 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Iskiab -> SILVERGEDDON Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:47 Permalink

One thing I don't understand about MAGA. The rallying cry is to make America great again, but the actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

The height of American civilization was the 50s or 60s, but all the actions are to bring the state back to how it was in pre-WW1 or the 1920s. It was the stronger labour controls and high taxes of the 50s that coincided with American dominance. The kind that if someone tried to introduce them today they'd be called socialist.

chippers -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

never mind the 1920s, are you sure he is not actually aiming for 1900 that is , before the trust busting times

inhibi -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

I agree.

" Indeed, socialism sounds good but, when practiced, leads to disaster"

Im sure the author is thinking of Venezuela. But Venezuela, like all of South America, is a cartel infested, militaristic, corrupt country run by a megalomaniac. It's more oligarch than socialist.

He should ask the question: if socialism in a stable society, like say Sweden, means free health care & education, why do people say the US has a low tax rate? Just add that cost right to your taxes, and bim bam boom the US tax rate is probably more than a 100%, because, lets be honest, the average $55k/year for a family of 4 will NEVER EVER cover the $1 million it would take to send your kids to college debt free.

. . . _ _ _ . . . Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

Pretty subtle anti-Trump article.