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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Authoritarians and Corporate Psychopaths as Toxic Managers

News Books Recommended Links The psychopath in the corner office

Female Sociopaths

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist Borderline Psychopaths

Narcissists

Micromanagers Workplace bullies Incompetent Managers Authoritarians and F-scale Corporate bullshit as a communication method Surviving a Bad Performance Review
The Techniques of a Female Sociopaths Divorcing Borderline Psychopath Negative Politeness Tactful communication Rules of Communication Paranoid Managers Model of Corporate Psychopath Behavior
Understanding Micromanagers Surviving Micromanagers Office Stockholm Syndrome Mayberry Machiavellians in Office Steps for Decreasing Toxic Worry Large organizations Preventing Burnout
Stoicism  Learned helplessness Anger trap The Fiefdom Syndrome Fraud Caused by Social Pressures Workagolism and work overload Obsessive compulsive personality
Insubordination Threat Fake Sexual Harassment Claims Understanding Borderline Rage Analogy between corporate and psychopathic behavior Machiavellians Manipulators Tricks Diplomatic Communication Avoiding Anger Trap when dealing with corporate psychopaths
High Demand Cults Leaders Practices Sociopath attack methods Gaslighting Classic cycle of sociopathic relations (Evaluate-seduce-devalue-discard) Workplace mobbing Signs that you might be dismissed soon Projection
Groupthink Conformism Lysenkoism Psychopaths in Movies Quotes about Psychopaths Humor Videos
  "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"

From Hamlet (I, iv, 90)

Introduction

Softpanorama Classification of Toxic Managers

Psychopaths are real aliens, "people without conscience"

Warning

Note: This is page devoted to all IT professionals who suffer from psychopathic bosses. Only those who already suffered or still suffering from one of those types can understand the level of pain as well as stakes involved in dealing with such individuals.

Introduction

If you are reading this page, you probably have problems with your boss ;-).  Now what ? Actually the situation is bad, and you are really trapped, but it is not inescapable situation. You can and should escape.  As old saying goes "Knowledge is power" and this is the area where this saying is literally true. Learning the ropes can help to find a way to escape, and lessen the current pain.

It is important to understand that whose managers who produce living hell are not all created equal. But they have a common tendency to project their dissatisfaction with their life and emotional emptiness outward and ascribe it to others. If they succeed it is all them, but if they fail, it's your fault.

They are incapable of trust, because everything they do is a facade, a lie, a Potemkin village.  The same Potemkin village as their family life, where wife and children at best are viewed as a desirable possession. And that's it.  They have utter contempt for other people, although they will use flattery, deceit and other means to create a dependency while they are using them. And after that is done, you will be discarded like an empty box. In other words they are real sharks, endlessly seeking the prey to fill their emotional emptiness with possessions, be they things or other people. And they are literally insatiable in their needs, and highly focused in their pursuit of them.

There two large group of dangerous managers who typically make the life of subordinates a living hell. We will call them "toxic managers".

Both types are power hungry and have inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, etc.”  (see Understanding Borderline Rage), which serves as a vehicles of intimidation and can be carefully rehearsed. The key differential is the amount of deceit in daily interactions and about personal and family history.  Manipulation and deceit are hallmarks of psychopathic personality. They live life as actors acting different roles depending on what is profitable and what helps to achieve their goals. Much like cult leaders (which who they have a lot in common) socialized psychopath are masters of creating an "artificial past" inventing their personal histories (including education, achievements, etc ) and sometimes even relatives as well as keeping victims from escaping. See The psychopath in the corner office for the list of traits that you need to try to match with to confirm this diagnose.

As this is not a psychiatry manual, we will use an umbrella term  "toxic managers" for both corporate psychopaths and (more numerous) authoritarian managers.  That term actually allow us to avoid nitpicking about whether particular manager is real psychopath, or something else and concentrate of patterns of behavior many of which are surprisingly common.  For our purpose real psychological diagnosis is of secondary importance, but methods of fight of this personality are of primary importance.

In this respect, what matter for us is the fact that both authoritarians and psychopath of various "denominations"  are really dangerous predators of corporate jungles in general and IT jungles in particular. And they blend extremely well into the current environment within government and mega corporations.

As all of them there is one important encompassing feature: predation. Most individuals in modern societies are caught up in the perpetual struggle of striking a balance between pursuing their own interests and respecting others' rights.  When their own pursuits take precedent over others, individuals typically feel some guilt or shame about their greed. But there is no such conflict inside sociopathic managers.  They do not need to rationalize their exploitation of other, they simply feel they are entitled.  Which makes them perfect predator of corporate jungles.  When in power, they typically use their animosity to keep others in line.  Often they create kind of cult of personality environment in which, like in Stalinist Russia, in order to survive, employees must identify with their aggressor or become one of the leader's victims (and please note that Joseph Stalin was a pretty charming personality in his narrow Politburo circle).

It goes without saying that presence of such individuals in the role of the manager puts a tremendous stress on his direct reports. Psychopaths are more that rare among general population and by some estimates represent over 1% of population and approximately 4% of managers. Authoritarians are more common and often constitute majority of middle managers in the corporation.  So both university students and regular cubicle dwellers should better know your enemy as they might need to deal with them in their first or next "manager-subordinate" relationship. They (especially Authoritarians) might be present among your immediate or extended family too.

Softpanorama Classification of Toxic Managers

With those reservations, we would distinguish the following non-orthogonal types based on a single,  dominant behavioral stereotype (for example all psychopath are bullies, but only bullies has this as a predominant feature). That's a crude and unscientific classification but it does has some practical value in dealing with this type of predators because our emphasis is of classifying and describing typical set of behaviors that those people use during "hunt" for prey.  It is valuable to knew something about what to expect if you are on the receiving end of such a behavior.  We will distinguish:

Authoritarians, quintessential kiss up kick down personalities

Authoritarians are more numerous and and while dangerious and toxic, they are less dangerous category in comparison with "real" phychopaths, especially micromanagers. If you boss fits the description you need to go to the church and light the candle. While your situation is bad and often justifiably can be called simply terrible, believe me it could be much, much worse (see below).

It is not always easy to detect authoritarian manager while not being his/her subordinates. Sometimes, like in romantic relations, it is quote difficult until it's too late. Typically authorititarian kiss up behavior can be polished to perfection and generally emogh equals he is often viewed as "normal" person. Trobles start only when you report to him.

Still there are som indicatins that are usful even when you are reporting to this jerk. In the latter  case indications are useless, because you are already cooked :-(.

One of the few good indications of authoritarian personality are extreme right wing views (see Double High Authoritarians). In any case as soon as this guy/nice lady become your boss, "kick down" side of his/her personality will be demonstrated to you in all glory and you will have zero problems with the detection. The only problem is that it's too late ;-).

Also it is not necessary that authoritarian boss should be incompetent. First of all, while there is correlation  between authoritarianism and low intelligence it is just a correlation. Some authoritarians are quite bright (for example, Bill O'Reilly -- a Fox News talking head to be more like double high authoritarian rather then a typical psychopath).

Another important trait that can be observed by outsiders and should warn you is that authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold ontradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking. Moreover, they are typically unable to acknowledge their own limitations and assume responsibility for errors and blunders.  Here is a short but very useful list from Our Church Administration is Critically Infected « Another Voice

1.Illogical Thinking: The lack of independent, critical thinking.

2. Highly Compartmentalized Minds: Authoritarians’ ideas are poorly integrated with one another.

3. Double Standards : When your ideas live independent lives from one another it is pretty easy to use double standards in your judgments. You simply call up the idea that will justify (afterwards) what you’ve decided to do.

4. Hypocrisy: The leaders of authoritarian movements sometimes accuse their opponents of being anti-democratic and anti-free speech when the latter protest
against various books, movies, speakers, teachers and so on.

5. Blindness To Themselves: self-righteousness.

6. A Profound Ethnocentrism: Ethnocentrism means dividing the world up into in-groups and out-groups…….in-groups are holy and good…out-groups are evil and Satanic.

7. Dogmatism: the Authoritarian’s Last Ditch Defense: By dogmatism I mean relatively unchangeable, unjustified certainty. Loyal followers obey without questions…..

I would put dogmatism higher as this is valuable test which works when this type of people report to you or are on the same level as you and the personality they present to you is their "fake", Potemkin village facade.

But other then that this is an excellent, simply excellent list. One missing, but important feature is that authoritarians are generally more favorable to punishment and control than personal freedom and diversity. When discussing political preferences, tor example, they are more willing to suspend constitutional guarantees of liberty such as the Bill of Rights. They also are more likely to advocate strict, punitive sentences for criminals, and they admit that they obtain personal satisfaction from punishing such people. See Authoritarians

Bullies or aggressive psychopaths

Aggression in inherent in psychopath as a predator in corporate environment, and to tell that a psychopath is a bully is just to tell that the water is wet. So this is a sure sign that the boss is psychopath, but it does not help in classification of the set of behaviors that distinguish this particular predator from others. But for some sociopaths this pattern of behavior serves is the most favorite tactics that they use systematically. Those psychopaths have a distinct a tendency toward sadism and derive perverse gratification from harming others. They do like to hurt, frighten, tyrannize. They do it for a sense of power and control, and will often only drop subtle hints about what they are up to (this is also typical of authoritarians).

At the same time they systematically polish their aggressive, domineering manner in such a way to disguise any intimidation as legitimate corporate behavior and avoid coming under HR scrutiny for their behavior. Such pathological personalities always seek out positions of power, such as teacher, bureaucrat, manager, or police officer. You can also distinguish several subtypes:

I would like to stress it again that direct or indirect aggression is inherent in sociopath (a socialized psychopath) and to tell that a psychopath is a bully is just to tell that the water is wet.

US National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be broken into two categories:

Indirect bullying is more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip, staring, and mocking. While women can be as aggressive or even more aggressive then men they usually are more indirect. I would like to stress that gender differences in aggression are subject to review; human society is too complex and direct projection from animal world, for example, from great apes is of limited value. See important paper by Kaj Bjorkqvist Sex Differences in Physical, Verbal, and Indirect Aggression: A review of recent research

Accordingly, one should not expect women to develop and use exactly the same strategies for attaining their goals as men do. If strategies for aggression and conflict resolution are learned, not innate, then women are likely to learn different methods than men. Important aspects are power and capacity, not only physical, but also verbal, and social.

Human beings have nonphysical powers which are far beyond those of any other animal. Accordingly, human aggression has faces and forms, inconceivable within the realm of animal aggression. Extrapolations from animal studies are, therefore, misleading. Aggressive styles are also subject to developmental change during the life course. As indicated, animal aggression is mostly physical. Also among young children lacking verbal skills, aggression is predominantly physical.

Verbal skills, when they develop, are quickly utilized not only for peaceful communication, but also for aggressive purposes. When social skills develop, even more sophisticated strategies of aggression are made possible, with the aggressor being able to harm a target person without even being identified: Those strategies may be referred to as indirect aggression (Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, and Peltonen, 1988; Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz, and Kaukiainen, 1992).

There are good reasons to believe that, as far as adult interpersonal conflict is concerned, physical aggression is really the exception, not the rule. Other means are more likely to be used.

Burbank (1987) reviews anthropological research on female aggression. She finds females of different cultures having a large potential of aggressive means to use in order to get even with their husbands, such as, e.g., locking them out of the house for the night: she regards this as an act of aggression. Burbank (1987) found females seldom to resort to physical aggression against their husbands, but they did so, occasionally. The most common reason was that their husbands had committed adultery. Burbank found, however, that women are much more often aggressive towards other women than towards men.

Here is one type from popular literature that fits the pattern:

The Fearmonger Boss. People do what a “fearsome” boss says because they’re afraid of him, which actually encourages further intimidation. He always has a threat, and he constantly follows through with that threat in order to keep his employees acquiescent.

Often bulling behavior is combined with paranoia tendencies (paranoiac self-defense). Again this category is fuzzy.

See Bullies or aggressive psychopaths  for more information

Paranoids

Paranoid managers are psychopaths for whom continual mistrust and misjudgment of environment dominates other (often no less pathological) personality features. Wikipedia defines paranoia in the following way:

Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that denotes a personality disorder with paranoid features. It is characterized by an exaggerated sensitivity to rejection, resentfulness, distrust, as well as the inclination to distort experienced events. Neutral and friendly actions of others are often misinterpreted as being hostile or contemptuous.

Unfounded suspicions regarding the sexual loyalty of partners and loyalty in general as well as the belief that one’s rights are not being recognized is stubbornly and argumentatively insisted upon.

Paranoid managers are suspicious, touchy, typically humorless, quick to take offense and slow to forgive, self-righteous (Which makes them remarkably similar to authoritarians and micromanagers). They are often argumentative and litigious. They seldom show tenderness and may avoid intimacy; often they seem tense and brusque.

Paranoid personalities find causal connections everywhere; for them nothing is coincidental.

They are constantly on guard and are hypersensitive to critique. That means that they often take offense where none is intended. Often they have problems with understanding humor. They appear cold and, in fact, often avoid becoming intimate with others. Often pride themselves on their rationality, objectivity and fairness. Paranoid managers rarely come forward to seek help from subordinates.

Often paranoia combines with "toxic incompetence" as they cannot make decision on time (analysis paralysis), insists of creating tons of useless documentation and due to this skip important project milestones, etc. Fear of exposure of paranoid manager is blended into a pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness. An inability to trust, doubts about others' loyalty, distortion and fabrication of personal histories, qualifications and facts, misinterpretation, and bearing grudges unnecessarily are generally hallmarks of the disorder. Pathological and instinctive aggressive counter-attack, the need to control others is also a prominent feature. They like to collect evidence of subordinates. Paranoid managers often can be classified as "raw bullies", as in relations with subordinates they prefer to rely on brute force and direct intimidation.

For more information see Paranoids

Micromanagers

Tendency to micromanage subordinates is often combined with paranoia and bulling in various (but of course lesser then those classified as bullies or as paranoid) degrees. It also pretty often demonstrate itself as a distinct condition close to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OSD).

Micromanagers are remarkably close to authoritarian personalities in patterns of behaviour and demonstrate typical for the latter category bouts of anger (Borderline Rage). Reverse is not true, some authoritarians avoid micromanaging. Micromanagers often have almost pathological neatness; the latter is especially typical for women. Often their hairstyle is distinctly refined.

Especially dangerous are paranoid incompetent micromanagers (PIMM) the type which we will study in more detail on a separate set of pages:

Micromanagers is one of the few areas were gender stereotyping might provide some survival benefits. Women tend to be more detail oriented, and female corporate psychopaths more often tend to behave like micromanagers. Female PIMM can be mean, evil, vindictive and quite petty.

If a female boss is insecure about her skills and abilities she is more likely to exhibit PIMM behavior. Female PIMM are usually more skilled in using indirect aggression, especially isolation. 

Level of paranoia is elevated and often micromanagers simultaneously can be classified as paranoid managers. Among common traits are complete absence of trust in the staff, pathological need for control, pathologic dissatisfaction with results, and recurring "tantrums."

Many of PIMM can be also classified as bullies but again they, especially female PIMM, prefer indirect aggression to direct. Usually, female PIMM cultivate spying on subordinates and encourage "little birds" to rest on their shoulders and whisper all forms of gossip. This, these minions believe, ingratiates them to their bosses.

For more information see Micromanagers

Narcissists

The narcissistic bosses are characterized by "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy," often evidenced as envy, taking advantage of others, an exaggerated sense of self-importance and entitlement, and arrogant or haughty behavior. There is not much hope for the poor shmacs toiling for the narcissistic personality-disordered boss who demands perfection, absolute loyalty, and 24/7 devotion to the job.

Narcissistic managers are not that different from other types and also suffer from compulsive need for control ("control freaks"). Narcissistic behavior is dominated by compulsive desire to project highly positive image  resulting in unstable behavior with emotional outbursts caused by insecurity and weakness rather than any real feelings of confidence or self-esteem.  One interesting feature of narcissists is that their behaviour in family environment is often more brutal and tyrannical then with subordinates of the office.  That makes they close to micromanagers.

Typically they are oversensitive to criticism and do not accept slightest criticism from below. They often can be simultaneously classified both as bullies and micromanagers. As they need to steal all the achievements of subordinates to built their image they are typically "gatekeepers" who try tightly control all the communications channels with the superiors'. Can be quite paranoid and react inadequately on any threat to their projected image.

For more information see Narcissists.

Manipulator bosses or Machiavellian boss ("wolfs in sheep closing")

Manipulative psychopaths are probably the smoothest of corporate psychopaths. Here we will mean a class of corporate psychopath who excels in manipulative behaviors including, but not limited to flattery and seduction. All psychopaths use this to a certain extent, but for this type this is a preferred tactic. Also they are typically talented actors and can wear their fake, "invented personality" with confidence and aplomb typical for great actors in movies and theater.

While manipulative behaviors including, but not limited to flattery and seduction are prominent, other features typical for corporate psychopath are usually present too. They are very similar to paranoid managers in their behavior toward subordinates, but unlike paranoids are capable to create a real smokescreen over their real personality by using flattery and seduction.

Unlike bullies they prefer indirect aggression to direct. They have tendency to play by the rules only as long as it suits them and break rules as soon as this is needed for achieving thier objectives. They are notoriously capable to exploit  "grey" area in their favor. This distinguishes them from paranoids. Like narcissists they fear becoming less valued, if their underlings get any recognition for exemplary work. Manipulator bosses are backstabbers who'll go to frightening lengths to look good to their superiors at the expense of denigrating subordinates.

Typically have a dual personality syndrome and behave completely differently with superiors then with subordinates. Here is how they are described in one of Monster career self-help articles:

The Manipulator Boss

Also known as the Machiavellian boss, this type is extremely intelligent and one of the most dangerous. The manipulator boss is highly focused, very motivated, and always has a secret plan. He looks at people as a means to an end. The world is a giant pyramid and the apex is his. People he touches or runs over on the way to the top are casualties he writes off. If you work for a manipulator, watch your back. Your best bet is to be open and honest with him. Volunteer information. Your boss, who has long forgotten what truth is, will be left impressed by it.

For more information see Manipulator bosses or Machiavellian boss ("wolfs in sheep closing")

Empty Suits (Aggressive Incompetent Managers)

We need to distinguish between normal and abnormal incompetence. Normal or institutional incompetence is inherent in large bureaucracies and in reflected on Peter Principle and Parkinson law.  In this case the manager was competent on some lower level of hierarchy but became incompetent after promotion or as often happens in IT due to loss of technical qualification in the current position. 

But there is also other, abnormal incompetence, when a person got to his position due to some "institutional lift" (for example being close friend or relative of  one of the higher level managers, or a secretary who is a mistress of the upper manager and was promoted to some technical position in IT department). This case  is also called pathological incompetence or colloquially "empty suits". 

It is usually quite toxic if such a manager is also aggressive. Unfortunately more often then not it is correlated with extreme aggressiveness as well as other personality problems -- most toxically incompetent managers are micromanagers or narcissists or bullies or some combination.   No substance and not much style. Just very sharp claws and elbows.

Such managers are more widespread that this is assumed in Harvard Business Scholl publications: in a large organization competence is not the primary value. Politics, connections, and clever tactics can compensate for incompetence. The sad truth that they are pretty typical in large organizations for reasons completely different from The Peter Principle.  In "bootlickocracy", the most incompetents are valued for "different reasons" and can easily propel themselves into a supervisory role.

Toxic incompetence is usually correlated with various other personality disorders and is prominent among corporate psychopaths.  Common clues include:

For more information see Empty Suits (Aggressive Incompetent Managers).

Psychopaths are real aliens, "people without conscience"

Psychopathic bosses are people that are so different from normal people that they can be truly called aliens. And those dramatic differences cannot be understood in terms of antisocial rearing or development. They operate using different set of assumptions, and it is the latter that makes them the natural "predators" of the corporate world, "criminals without criminal offences".

In corporate environment psychopath is the person who fails to recognize, much less to empathize with, the personal human dignity and rights of subordinates. That's why they are called "people without conscience".  They do not feel remorse at lying or manipulating, and they typically lie without limit creating an elaborate edifice of their fake past. This "addiction to lying" (and related inconsistencies in their descriptions of their past) is probably the most telling early warning sign about psychopath. Typically they "invent" their past. They have trouble with teamwork for the same reason. They will say one thing to one person, and something different to someone else.

As psychopaths are addicted to lying, they frequently contradict themselves. Typically they also enjoy harming and bullying others.  In young age they are often cruel to animals...

And it is difficult to understand how alien they are from "common people". To a certain extent they are insane. Please note that "sanity" does not mean perfection; it merely means sufficient engagement with the real world and society to allow us to survive both day-by-day and in the long term – thus “sane” individuals usually tend to obey traffic laws, learn from their mistakes and practical experience and, in the case of moral sanity, they recognize in others their worth and their capacity for joy and suffering.  Psychopaths are by definition reckless. This actions aren't merely misguided, but often are clinically dysfunctional. That's why they often self-destruct.

Furthermore, sanity implies an ability of introspection: capacity to critically evaluate one’s experience, to distinguish fact from fiction, and to tune behavior, to adapt to the real world. Insanity, by implication, suggests a significant level of detachment from reality and inability to change one behavior despite negative feedback from the environment.  For example, a psychopath not only can't recognize the human worth and the capacity for pleasure and pain in others, he does not recognize any value of that. For him treating people like objects is "normal" and any empathy is for suckers.  In this sense he/she is living in an "unreal", artificial world. Detached for reality world, the world were no empathy exits. It is often correlates with other psychological disorders such as paranoia.

The presence or absence of conscience and related lack of emotions is a deep human division, arguably as significant as intelligence, race, and closer then many would think to gender differences.

We don't know what makes psychopath ticks and how they acquire the set of behavioral patterns they demonstrate. So most of modern literature is limited to "traits based description". For  extensive list of traits see The psychopath in the corner office. This "trait classification" method that prevails in the literature is very limited and in general should be considered unscientific. As such, it overlaps with "popular urban mythology". Still even mythology is better then nothing and we do not have any other approach that is really better.

Warning

You need to understand that those description are pretty much ad hoc. Reality is more complex and does not fit well within this rigid scheme. Often traits are intermixed in a unique way that defy classification. That's why you need really put an effort into studying your particular type and documenting his/her behavior to get some real insights into particular beast you are dealing with. One important variable partially omitted is the level of intellect (also low IQ is reflected in Empty Suits (Aggressive Incompetent Managers) type).  Often psychopaths have high or very high IQ. 

There are probably several more important factors that were omitted. For example, gender differences are also very important and color psychopathic behavior in a unique way. See Female Sociopaths

Methods of attacks used by psychopathic bosses vary but one common is based on performance reviews. There are several traps there you can and should avoid.  See Surviving a Bad Performance Review

The simplest way to get some additional insight would be checkpoint list based on typical traits displayed by psychopaths. See The psychopath in the corner office

For psychopaths the office environment is a theatre of war and like in any war ends justify means. So dirty tricks are ok  as French proverb A la guerre, comme a la guerre  implies. They are typically used by psychopaths without any constrains (spreading dirty rumors is the specialty of female sociopath and those skills are usually polished since childhood to perfection.).  The greatest variety is observable from Machiavellians Manipulators but sophistication is typical for psychopath in general. See Machiavellians Manipulators Tricks.

You should remember  famous saying that "War is a continuation of policy by other means" and don't overreact.

First of all, like in real war, there is a "fog of war" over the whole situation (i.e., you are facing incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement). Which complicate rational assessment of the situation so delays with the reaction and keeping your cards close to your chest might in many cases be not detrimental, but  advantageous.

Actually studying war tactics which were discussed, for example, in famous Clausewitz On War (available free from clausewitz.com.) and The Art of War  is not a bad idea. Among them (cited from Wikipedia):

There are several good books on the subject that you should definitely read. Stakes are so high that any additional ammo worth much more then its nominal cost. See a list of suggestions in  Toxic managers: The Problem of Corporate Psychopaths. But again, you should took information provided with a grain of salt.

Watching films that depict psychopath also provide some additional insight and this way of study should not be overlooked.  Unlike real events you can watch the film over and over again and that's enhance the understanding of specific tricks and attack methods. See Psychopaths in Movies. 

Some behavior patterns are really easier to study via movies. This is especially true about female sociopaths. For example there is certain logic in outbursts of anger used by psychopath. They are not completely spontaneous, but more of a sign that you entered the territory they already staked. Or they want something that you refuse to give. The same is true for authoritarians (authoritarian rage).  See Understanding Borderline Rage.

At the same time, being reserved is very important. One of the tactics used is to  provoked you into a burst of your own impulsive behavior as this way psychopath can play victim, while being actually an aggressor.  See Anger trap

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


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Old News ;-)

[Nov 25, 2016] EdwardBernays

Nov 25, 2016 | profile.theguardian.com
, 14 Nov 2016 08:3>
Neoliberalism is the ideology of children who didn't get their needs met or suffered abuse or neglect. The more adverse child experiences one suffers, the greater the danger they pose to everyone else, and they seem to gravitate to warped belief systems where compassion or relying on others is deemed deeply shameful
dreamwatcher EdwardBernays , 14 Nov 2016 09:0>
I am no psychologist, but it must be evident to most that, at the micro level, childhood trauma and mental, physical and sexual abuse experienced at a young age within the family unit can lead to the child intending to rebalance and repay the power imbalance in adult life, with invariably adverse consequences for their environment and those around them.

Looking at the world today it is not hard to see the culmination of the sins of the father over the centuries in the form of decent, hard-working people with no power struggles to redress being subjected to endless and downright cruel, even vindictive actions and policies enshrined into law and played out across the world stage by those who have abused power to make it to the top.

And it is the socially disadvantaged and most vulnerable in society who have invariably suffered the most, hence the vast inequality in wealth distribution which has gathered momentum in recent years.

Brexit and Trump are a symptom, a reaction and a backlash to the traumatised child reclaiming and abusing their power on a macro level.

[Nov 21, 2016] Belgiums Dutroux Pedophile, Child Rape Affair A Road Map for Deep-State Criminality

Nov 20, 2016 | www.newnationalist.net
Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, controlled press and a mere token opposition party.

1. Dummy up . If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant . This is also known as the "how dare you" gambit.

3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors."

4. Knock down straw men . Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot" and, of course, "rumor monger." You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.

6. Impugn motives . Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.

7. Invoke authority . Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9. Come half-clean . This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hang-out route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.

10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward , using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report it.

12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.

13. Change the subject . This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction.

[Nov 12, 2016] Dealing with Your Incompetent Boss - Amy Gallo - Best Practices - Harvard Business Review

blogs.hbr.org

Think twice before ratting anyone out

When you're working for someone who isn't getting the job done, it can be tempting to go to your boss's boss or another leader in the organization. First consider the consequences. "Hierarchy is alive and well. And this person has more power than you do. If you're going to expose them, you need to understand the political current in your organization," warns McKee. People at the top of an organization may feel threatened if they see someone trying to take down their peer and may be unwilling to help. Useem agrees. "It's hazardous to speak up in a very pragmatic sense. If it becomes known that it was you, who's going to be the first to go?" he says. So if you do decide to formally complain, he advises doing it carefully. Test the waters with someone you trust before going to HR or a superior.

Both McKee and Useem emphasize that there are times when you are obligated to speak up. "In extreme circumstances, if the boss is involved in malfeasance, you have a duty to act," says Useem. In these cases, you need to go to HR and report what you have observed. Be ready to share evidence.

Take care of yourself
Working for an incompetent boss can be bad for your health. "There is a lot of research on the negative psychological effects," says McKee. She suggests creating psychological boundaries that protect you from the emotional damage. We have a tendency to point to a bad boss and say, "He is ruining my life." But, this ignores the fact that you have agency in the situation: you can decide whether to stay or not. "Once you become a victim, you cease to become a leader," she says. Focus on what makes you happy about your job, not miserable. "We can come to work every day and pay attention to this horrible boss or we can choose to pay attention to the people we are happy to see every day or the work we enjoy. We can choose which emotions we lean into," says McKee.

Of course, if you aren't able to do that, you shouldn't suffer indefinitely. Consider looking for a transfer to a new boss or a new employer.

Principles to Remember

Do


Don't

[Nov 12, 2016] Politics in a Programming Environment

Jan 02, 2006 | c-sharpcorner.com

When you first got out of school you probably thought, "Gee, I'm going to have a nice, quiet, low-stress desk job and just enjoy the good life, programming my heart out. Hah!!" Then you land your first programming job and find it's not the picture you had in mind. You find yourself in a team of individuals, each with his or her own idiosyncrasies and personality disorders. So you might ask yourself, "Did I sign up for my dream job, or a stint in the mental institution?" Before you high tail it out of there, please consider the following words of wisdom: All programming jobs come with a strange mix of people, so find ways to cope and survive in the milieu you fell into. Consider it just as much a part of your job to successfully interact with your cohorts as it is to write a well designed piece of software. In the end, both tasks are equally important.

If you never coded on a team before, you may ask yourself, "What sort of challenges might I run into in day-to-day encounters with programmers?" Here are a few:

The Control Freak

That special someone on your team exhibiting this quality will stand out like a sore thumb. He will want to do his task and yours. You can never do it right no matter how hard you try. Go ahead and start coding...it's already wrong to the control freak. And whatever you do, don't argue with him, because he has a certain way of doing things...his way (and by the way, it's the only way!). An extreme control freak will eventually take everyone's tasks and assigns them to himself.

Dealing with the Control Freak

I struggle with a good answer to this problem. If a control freak is really good at what he does, then he may be the best one to control the project. But you don't want him to do all the tasks. Convince the control freak that you can take some of the stress out of his life by doing a piece of work that will make his life easier.

Warning: Trying to convince the Control Freak of anything might not have any affect whatsoever.

Another solution may be to talk to the control freak's manager (assuming the control freak is not the manager), and to explain the situation delicately. Let him know that you need the tasks to be more evenly divided so the project can be done efficiently. Keep in mind that a good manager never lets a control freak get out of hand, but often the control freak is stronger than the manager and too vital a player to piss off. Again, a tough situation.

The Secret Coder

The secret coder is actually another kind of control freak that codes in his own world oblivious to the life and fauna around him. As far as the secret coder is concerned, there is no team. In fact there is no office, only some conjured-up world of coding where the secret coder and computer live happily. Occasionally, someone steps into the secret coder's world through a source control management system, or some annoying interruption such as a team meeting (but that's okay, because the secret coder can code in his head during the meeting). The danger of the secret coder is that he is trapped in the cocoon of his own world, so that ultimately, his piece of the system may not coexist in the rest of the team's world.

Dealing with the Secret Coder

Try periodically to bring the secret coder back to earth. Make it a habit to talk to the secret coder about the whole pie and insist that he learns how his piece of code fits into the system.

The Perfectionist

You may think that the perfectionist is like the control freak, but not exactly. The perfectionist is critical of his own code in such a way that he can always make it better. Better, better, better. The end result...the perfectionist never gets anything done. He just continues to improve the code to a point that it's so optimal, so efficient, so streamlined, and so...late.

Dealing with the Perfectionist.

Convince the project manager to put the perfectionist on a schedule. The perfectionist needs to hit deadlines, and if he doesn't hit them, he should be forced to give the piece of code to someone else.

The Politician

Sometimes (and hopefully rarely), you get someone on the team who contributes little in the form of technical input but knows how to work the corporate system. He can BS their way through any project but doesn't get anything tangible done. Yes, he can "talk the talk" but he mostly does a lot of dancing around.

Dealing with the Politician

Ask the manager to assign him a task and a deadline. Warning: If he doesn't complete the scheduled task, cut him loose. He can destroy a project.

The Soldier

The soldier codes what he is ordered to code, but that's it. He doesn't go beyond what his is asked to do. The soldier is an asset to the team because he accomplishes specific finite tasks, but it can be frustrating when he doesn't embrace additional necessary tasks.

Dealing with the Soldier

Encourage the soldier to join you on leading a project. This forces him to consider the entire project instead of just his narrow task. He will be surprised about what he can accomplish once he starts thinking for himself.

Conclusion

Many of you reading this column may be thinking, "Yeah, I know people like that, but your advice is useless. I've tried everything, but the control freak is too impossible, the secret coder is in another universe, the perfectionist is too anal, the politician is too connected, the soldier is too stubborn. Nothing (and I mean nothing) is going to change these people."

Yes, this is all true, but then you have to ask yourself, "Who else do I have to work with?" Sometimes, the only solution to these problems is to channel the individual programmer's personality to a part of the project in which they perform best. Perhaps the control freak would be better off managing a project rather than touching any code. Perhaps the politician should be the one dealing with outside groups to smooth communications between the control freak and other players. Maybe the perfectionist, soldier, and secret coder can get together to accomplish tasks set out by the control freak. Don't lose hope! Many programming projects have been accomplished in spite of the impediments of multiple personalities. Even if you run to these personality obstacles every day, consider it part of your responsibility to work with them, and to help them channel their weirdness into getting the project done.

[Nov 12, 2016] Tech managers arent doing a good job developing IT talent survey

Jun 01, 2012 | www.networkworld.com

A majority of IT professionals judge their current managers as graders (61%) versus teachers (26%), but it's more important to create a nurturing workplace than a pass/fail department, Silver said.

"There will always be a need for some grading, but the emphasis should be on teaching. Tech professionals do their best work when it's a safe environment to try new solutions, explore alternatives and fail," Silver said. "Over time, wisdom gained equals fewer mistakes, cutting quickly to the best solution and increasing production. That's a pretty good payback."

If tech employees don't feel valued, they're going to jump ship. Turnover has fallen below average for 41 months in a row, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but tech managers can't count on a struggling economy and tight job market to keep their departments staffed. Good talent will flee, Silver says.

"Frankly, companies haven't felt the repercussions of subpar workplaces in the last three years. But, the gap between the importance of the employee-manager relationship and the way it's developing is unacceptable. Both sides need to remember this is a lasting connection and one worth the effort."

Darth Vader

Tech managers always look to their vendor for guidance as to what to do with their tech people. Vendors, after all, compete with similar skills in techs since they build and sometimes even use the products and tools the client tech managers deal with on daily basis.

When vendors like IBM have been treating their tech skills asset like dirt and call them "resources", it is a surprise that the client managers of those same skills don't do the same thing?

Until the hypocrisy of calling tech people vital but treating them like "human resources" ends we will continue to have this management problem. If and when the economy turns around. the new rising young generation of cynical and self-centered tech employees which these management practices have created will come to roost to American business.

[Nov 12, 2016] Why We Hate HR

Notable quotes:
"... Strategic Human Resource Management ..."
Aug 08, 2005 | fastcompany.com

In a knowledge economy, companies with the best talent win. And finding, nurturing, and developing that talent should be one of the most important tasks in a corporation. So why does human resources do such a bad job -- and how can we fix it?

From: Issue 97 | August 2005 | Page 40 | By: Keith H. Hammonds | Illustrations by: Gary Baseman

Because let's face it: After close to 20 years of hopeful rhetoric about becoming "strategic partners" with a "seat at the table" where the business decisions that matter are made, most human-resources professionals aren't nearly there. They have no seat, and the table is locked inside a conference room to which they have no key. HR people are, for most practical purposes, neither strategic nor leaders.

I don't care for Las Vegas. And if it's not clear already, I don't like HR, either, which is why I'm here. The human-resources trade long ago proved itself, at best, a necessary evil -- and at worst, a dark bureaucratic force that blindly enforces nonsensical rules, resists creativity, and impedes constructive change. HR is the corporate function with the greatest potential -- the key driver, in theory, of business performance -- and also the one that most consistently underdelivers. And I am here to find out why.

Why are annual performance appraisals so time-consuming -- and so routinely useless? Why is HR so often a henchman for the chief financial officer, finding ever-more ingenious ways to cut benefits and hack at payroll? Why do its communications -- when we can understand them at all -- so often flout reality? Why are so many people processes duplicative and wasteful, creating a forest of paperwork for every minor transaction? And why does HR insist on sameness as a proxy for equity?

It's no wonder that we hate HR. In a 2005 survey by consultancy Hay Group, just 40% of employees commended their companies for retaining high-quality workers. Just 41% agreed that performance evaluations were fair. Only 58% rated their job training as favorable. Most said they had few opportunities for advancement -- and that they didn't know, in any case, what was required to move up. Most telling, only about half of workers below the manager level believed their companies took a genuine interest in their well-being.

None of this is explained immediately in Vegas. These HR folks, from employers across the nation, are neither evil courtiers nor thoughtless automatons. They are mostly smart, engaging people who seem genuinely interested in doing their jobs better. They speak convincingly about employee development and cultural transformation. And, over drinks, they spin some pretty funny yarns of employee weirdness. (Like the one about the guy who threatened to sue his wife's company for "enabling" her affair with a coworker. Then there was the mentally disabled worker and the hooker -- well, no, never mind. . . .)

But then the facade cracks. It happens at an afternoon presentation called "From Technicians to Consultants: How to Transform Your HR Staff into Strategic Business Partners." The speaker, Julie Muckler, is senior vice president of human resources at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. She is an enthusiastic woman with a broad smile and 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson & Johnson and General Tire. She has degrees in consumer economics and human resources and organizational development.

And I have no idea what she's talking about. There is mention of "internal action learning" and "being more planful in my approach." PowerPoint slides outline Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's initiatives in performance management, organization design, and horizontal-solutions teams. Muckler describes leveraging internal resources and involving external resources -- and she leaves her audience dazed. That evening, even the human-resources pros confide they didn't understand much of it, either.

This, friends, is the trouble with HR. In a knowledge economy, companies that have the best talent win. We all know that. Human resources execs should be making the most of our, well, human resources -- finding the best hires, nurturing the stars, fostering a productive work environment -- just as IT runs the computers and finance minds the capital. HR should be joined to business strategy at the hip.

Instead, most HR organizations have ghettoized themselves literally to the brink of obsolescence. They are competent at the administrivia of pay, benefits, and retirement, but companies increasingly are farming those functions out to contractors who can handle such routine tasks at lower expense. What's left is the more important strategic role of raising the reputational and intellectual capital of the company -- but HR is, it turns out, uniquely unsuited for that.

Here's why.

1. HR people aren't the sharpest tacks in the box. We'll be blunt: If you are an ambitious young thing newly graduated from a top college or B-school with your eye on a rewarding career in business, your first instinct is not to join the human-resources dance. (At the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, which arguably boasts the nation's top faculty for organizational issues, just 1.2% of 2004 grads did so.) Says a management professor at one leading school: "The best and the brightest don't go into HR."

Who does? Intelligent people, sometimes -- but not businesspeople. "HR doesn't tend to hire a lot of independent thinkers or people who stand up as moral compasses," says Garold L. Markle, a longtime human-resources executive at Exxon and Shell Offshore who now runs his own consultancy. Some are exiles from the corporate mainstream: They've fared poorly in meatier roles -- but not poorly enough to be fired. For them, and for their employers, HR represents a relatively low-risk parking spot.

Others enter the field by choice and with the best of intentions, but for the wrong reasons. They like working with people, and they want to be helpful -- noble motives that thoroughly tick off some HR thinkers. "When people have come to me and said, 'I want to work with people,' I say, 'Good, go be a social worker,' " says Arnold Kanarick, who has headed human resources at the Limited and, until recently, at Bear Stearns. "HR isn't about being a do-gooder. It's about how do you get the best and brightest people and raise the value of the firm."

The really scary news is that the gulf between capabilities and job requirements appears to be widening. As business and legal demands on the function intensify, staffers' educational qualifications haven't kept pace. In fact, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a considerably smaller proportion of HR professionals today have some education beyond a bachelor's degree than in 1990.

And here's one more slice of telling SHRM data: When HR professionals were asked about the worth of various academic courses toward a "successful career in HR," 83% said that classes in interpersonal communications skills had "extremely high value." Employment law and business ethics followed, at 71% and 66%, respectively. Where was change management? At 35%. Strategic management? 32%. Finance? Um, that was just 2%.

The truth? Most human-resources managers aren't particularly interested in, or equipped for, doing business. And in a business, that's sort of a problem. As guardians of a company's talent, HR has to understand how people serve corporate objectives. Instead, "business acumen is the single biggest factor that HR professionals in the U.S. lack today," says Anthony J. Rucci, executive vice president at Cardinal Health Inc., a big health-care supply distributor.

Rucci is consistently mentioned by academics, consultants, and other HR leaders as an executive who actually does know business. At Baxter International, he ran both HR and corporate strategy. Before that, at Sears, he led a study of results at 800 stores over five years to assess the connection between employee commitment, customer loyalty, and profitability.

As far as Rucci is concerned, there are three questions that any decent HR person in the world should be able to answer. First, who is your company's core customer? "Have you talked to one lately? Do you know what challenges they face?" Second, who is the competition? "What do they do well and not well?" And most important, who are we? "What is a realistic assessment of what we do well and not so well vis a vis the customer and the competition?"

Does your HR pro know the answers?

2. HR pursues efficiency in lieu of value. Why? Because it's easier -- and easier to measure. Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan, recalls meeting with the chairman and top HR people from a big bank. "The training person said that 80% of employees have done at least 40 hours in classes. The chairman said, 'Congratulations.' I said, 'You're talking about the activities you're doing. The question is, What are you delivering?' "

That sort of stuff drives Ulrich nuts. Over 20 years, he has become the HR trade's best-known guru (see "The Once and Future Consultant," page 48) and a leading proponent of the push to take on more-strategic roles within corporations. But human-resources managers, he acknowledges, typically undermine that effort by investing more importance in activities than in outcomes. "You're only effective if you add value," Ulrich says. "That means you're not measured by what you do but by what you deliver." By that, he refers not just to the value delivered to employees and line managers, but the benefits that accrue to investors and customers, as well.

So here's a true story: A talented young marketing exec accepts a job offer with Time Warner out of business school. She interviews for openings in several departments -- then is told by HR that only one is interested in her. In fact, she learns later, they all had been. She had been railroaded into the job, under the supervision of a widely reviled manager, because no one inside the company would take it.

You make the call: Did HR do its job? On the one hand, it filled the empty slot. "It did what was organizationally expedient," says the woman now. "Getting someone who wouldn't kick and scream about this role probably made sense to them. But I just felt angry." She left Time Warner after just a year. (A Time Warner spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.)

Part of the problem is that Time Warner's metrics likely will never catch the real cost of its HR department's action. Human resources can readily provide the number of people it hired, the percentage of performance evaluations completed, and the extent to which employees are satisfied or not with their benefits. But only rarely does it link any of those metrics to business performance.

John W. Boudreau, a professor at the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations, likens the failing to shortcomings of the finance function before DuPont figured out how to calculate return on investment in 1912. In HR, he says, "we don't have anywhere near that kind of logical sophistication in the way of people or talent. So the decisions that get made about that resource are far less sophisticated, reliable, and consistent."

Cardinal Health's Rucci is trying to fix that. Cardinal regularly asks its employees 12 questions designed to measure engagement. Among them: Do they understand the company's strategy? Do they see the connection between that and their jobs? Are they proud to tell people where they work? Rucci correlates the results to those of a survey of 2,000 customers, as well as monthly sales data and brand-awareness scores.

"So I don't know if our HR processes are having an impact" per se, Rucci says. "But I know absolutely that employee-engagement scores have an impact on our business," accounting for between 1% and 10% of earnings, depending on the business and the employee's role. "Cardinal may not anytime soon get invited by the Conference Board to explain our world-class best practices in any area of HR -- and I couldn't care less. The real question is, Is the business effective and successful?"

3. HR isn't working for you. Want to know why you go through that asinine performance appraisal every year, really? Markle, who admits to having administered countless numbers of them over the years, is pleased to confirm your suspicions. Companies, he says "are doing it to protect themselves against their own employees," he says. "They put a piece of paper between you and employees, so if you ever have a confrontation, you can go to the file and say, 'Here, I've documented this problem.' "

There's a good reason for this defensive stance, of course. In the last two generations, government has created an immense thicket of labor regulations. Equal Employment Opportunity; Fair Labor Standards; Occupational Safety and Health; Family and Medical Leave; and the ever-popular ERISA. These are complex, serious issues requiring technical expertise, and HR has to apply reasonable caution.

But "it's easy to get sucked down into that," says Mark Royal, a senior consultant with Hay Group. "There's a tension created by HR's role as protector of corporate assets -- making sure it doesn't run afoul of the rules. That puts you in the position of saying no a lot, of playing the bad cop. You have to step out of that, see the broad possibilities, and take a more open-minded approach. You need to understand where the exceptions to broad policies can be made."

Typically, HR people can't, or won't. Instead, they pursue standardization and uniformity in the face of a workforce that is heterogeneous and complex. A manager at a large capital leasing company complains that corporate HR is trying to eliminate most vice-president titles there -- even though veeps are a dime a dozen in the finance industry. Why? Because in the company's commercial business, vice president is a rank reserved for the top officers. In its drive for bureaucratic "fairness," HR is actually threatening the reputation, and so the effectiveness, of the company's finance professionals.

The urge for one-size-fits-all, says one professor who studies the field, "is partly about compliance, but mostly because it's just easier." Bureaucrats everywhere abhor exceptions -- not just because they open up the company to charges of bias but because they require more than rote solutions. They're time-consuming and expensive to manage. Make one exception, HR fears, and the floodgates will open.

There's a contradiction here, of course: Making exceptions should be exactly what human resources does, all the time -- not because it's nice for employees, but because it drives the business. Employers keep their best people by acknowledging and rewarding their distinctive performance, not by treating them the same as everyone else. "If I'm running a business, I can tell you who's really helping to drive the business forward," says Dennis Ackley, an employee communication consultant. "HR should have the same view. We should send the message that we value our high-performing employees and we're focused on rewarding and retaining them."

Instead, human-resources departments benchmark salaries, function by function and job by job, against industry standards, keeping pay -- even that of the stars -- within a narrow band determined by competitors. They bounce performance appraisals back to managers who rate their employees too highly, unwilling to acknowledge accomplishments that would merit much more than the 4% companywide increase.

Human resources, in other words, forfeits long-term value for short-term cost efficiency. A simple test: Who does your company's vice president of human resources report to? If it's the CFO -- and chances are good it is -- then HR is headed in the wrong direction. "That's a model that cannot work," says one top HR exec who has been there. "A financial person is concerned with taking money out of the organization. HR should be concerned with putting investments in."

4. The corner office doesn't get HR (and vice versa). I'm at another rockin' party: a few dozen midlevel human-resources managers at a hotel restaurant in Mahwah, New Jersey. It is not glam in any way. (I've got to get a better travel agent.) But it is telling, in a hopeful way. Hunter Douglas, a $2.1 billion manufacturer of window coverings, has brought its HR staff here from across the United States to celebrate their accomplishments.

The company's top brass is on hand. Marvin B. Hopkins, president and CEO of North American operations, lays on the praise: "I feel fantastic about your achievements," he says. "Our business is about people. Hiring, training, and empathizing with employees is extremely important. When someone is fired or leaves, we've failed in some way. People have to feel they have a place at the company, a sense of ownership."

So, yeah, it's corporate-speak in a drab exurban office park. But you know what? The human-resources managers from Tupelo and Dallas are totally pumped up. They've been flown into headquarters, they've had their picture taken with the boss, and they're seeing Mamma Mia on Broadway that afternoon on the company's dime.

Can your HR department say it has the ear of top management? Probably not. "Sometimes," says Ulrich, "line managers just have this legacy of HR in their minds, and they can't get rid of it. I felt really badly for one HR guy. The chairman wanted someone to plan company picnics and manage the union, and every time this guy tried to be strategic, he got shot down."

Say what? Execs don't think HR matters? What about all that happy talk about employees being their most important asset? Well, that turns out to have been a small misunderstanding. In the 1990s, a group of British academics examined the relationship between what companies (among them, the UK units of Hewlett-Packard and Citibank) said about their human assets and how they actually behaved. The results were, perhaps, inevitable.

In their rhetoric, human-resources organizations embraced the language of a "soft" approach, speaking of training, development, and commitment. But "the underlying principle was invariably restricted to the improvements of bottom-line performance," the authors wrote in the resulting book, Strategic Human Resource Management (Oxford University Press, 1999). "Even if the rhetoric of HRM is soft, the reality is almost always 'hard,' with the interests of the organization prevailing over those of the individual."

In the best of worlds, says London Business School professor Lynda Gratton, one of the study's authors, "the reality should be some combination of hard and soft." That's what's going on at Hunter Douglas. Human resources can address the needs of employees because it has proven its business mettle -- and vice versa. Betty Lou Smith, the company's vice president of corporate HR, began investigating the connection between employee turnover and product quality. Divisions with the highest turnover rates, she found, were also those with damaged-goods rates of 5% or higher. And extraordinarily, 70% of employees were leaving the company within six months of being hired.

Smith's staffers learned that new employees were leaving for a variety of reasons: They didn't feel respected, they didn't have input in decisions, but mostly, they felt a lack of connection when they were first hired. "We gave them a 10-minute orientation, then they were out on the floor," Smith says. She addressed the weakness by creating a mentoring program that matched new hires with experienced workers. The latter were suspicious at first, but eventually, the mentor positions (with spiffy shirts and caps) came to be seen as prestigious. The six-month turnover rate dropped dramatically, to 16%. Attendance and productivity -- and the damaged-goods rate -- improved.

"We don't wait to hear from top management," Smith says. "You can't just sit in the corner and look at benefits. We have to know what the issues in our business are. HR has to step up and assume responsibility, not wait for management to knock on our door."

But most HR people do.

H unter Douglas gives us a glimmer of hope -- of the possibility that HR can be done right. And surely, even within ineffective human-resources organizations, there are great individual HR managers -- trustworthy, caring people with their ears to the ground, who are sensitive to cultural nuance yet also understand the business and how people fit in. Professionals who move voluntarily into HR from line positions can prove especially adroit, bringing a profit-and-loss sensibility and strong management skills.

At Yahoo, Libby Sartain, chief people officer, is building a group that may prove to be the truly effective human-resources department that employees and executives imagine. In this, Sartain enjoys two advantages. First, she arrived with a reputation as a creative maverick, won in her 13 years running HR at Southwest Airlines. And second, she had license from the top to do whatever it took to create a world-class organization.

Sartain doesn't just have a "seat at the table" at Yahoo; she actually helped build the table, instituting a weekly operations meeting that she coordinates with COO Dan Rosensweig. Talent is always at the top of the agenda -- and at the end of each meeting, the executive team mulls individual development decisions on key staffers.

That meeting, Sartain says, "sends a strong message to everyone at Yahoo that we can't do anything without HR." It also signals to HR staffers that they're responsible for more than shuffling papers and getting in the way. "We view human resources as the caretaker of the largest investment of the company," Sartain says. "If you're not nurturing that investment and watching it grow, you're not doing your job."

Yahoo, say some experts and peers at other organizations, is among a few companies -- among them Cardinal Health, Procter & Gamble, Pitney Bowes, Goldman Sachs, and General Electric -- that truly are bringing human resources into the realm of business strategy. But they are indeed the few. USC professor Edward E. Lawler III says that last year HR professionals reported spending 23% of their time "being a strategic business partner" -- no more than they reported in 1995. And line managers, he found, said HR is far less involved in strategy than HR thinks it is. "Despite great huffing and puffing about strategy," Lawler says, "there's still a long way to go." (Indeed. When I asked one midlevel HR person exactly how she was involved in business strategy for her division, she excitedly described organizing a monthly lunch for her vice president with employees.)

What's driving the strategy disconnect? London Business School's Gratton spends a lot of time training human-resources professionals to create more impact. She sees two problems: Many HR people, she says, bring strong technical expertise to the party but no "point of view about the future and how organizations are going to change." And second, "it's very difficult to align HR strategy to business strategy, because business strategy changes very fast, and it's hard to fiddle around with a compensation strategy or benefits to keep up." More than simply understanding strategy, Gratton says, truly effective executives "need to be operating out of a set of principles and personal values." And few actually do.

In the meantime, economic natural selection is, in a way, taking care of the problem for us. Some 94% of large employers surveyed this year by Hewitt Associates reported they were outsourcing at least one human-resources activity. By 2008, according to the survey, many plan to expand outsourcing to include activities such as learning and development, payroll, recruiting, health and welfare, and global mobility.

Which is to say, they will farm out pretty much everything HR does. The happy rhetoric from the HR world says this is all for the best: Outsourcing the administrative minutiae, after all, would allow human-resources professionals to focus on more important stuff that's central to the business. You know, being strategic partners.

The problem, if you're an HR person, is this: The tasks companies are outsourcing -- the administrivia -- tend to be what you're good at. And what's left isn't exactly your strong suit. Human resources is crippled by what Jay Jamrog, executive director of the Human Resource Institute, calls "educated incapacity: You're smart, and you know the way you're working today isn't going to hold 10 years from now. But you can't move to that level. You're stuck."

That's where human resources is today. Stuck. "This is a unique organization in the company," says USC's Boudreau. "It discovers things about the business through the lens of people and talent. That's an opportunity for competitive advantage." In most companies, that opportunity is utterly wasted.

And that's why I don't like HR.

Keith H. Hammonds is Fast Company's deputy editor.

[Nov 12, 2016] Check Your Attitude at the Door - No, Youre Not Crazy

"...common sense is dead in the corporate world..."
StateUniversity.com

My department must hold the record for the company's fastest revolving door. In less than a year, we've been re-orged three times. I've had four different managers, and every new person who comes in wants to 'mark his territory.' Meanwhile, none of these people know as much about my area as I do, so their guidance is useless. Plus, I'm changing direction so much I never get anything done. What is it they say-same sh*t different day? If I have to be 'rah rah' at yet another welcome lunch, I think I'm going to explode.

Robert, 27, Oregon

If you're reading this chapter because you're struggling with someone's attitude problem at work, you're not alone, and your hostility is probably justified. I've spoken to dozens of twenty-somethings, and most have spent their fair share of time banging their heads against the wall and regretting the day they signed their offer letters.

As much as I feel your pain, I don't believe it does much good to complain, because unless you're going to grad school or can successfully start your own business, you're in the corporate world to stay. We all have to deal with business-world insanity whether we love our jobs or not, so we might as well take the necessary steps to overcome the challenges. However, because this chapter is about your emotional well-being, we need to start by recognizing the things about work that drive us nuts. Most of these points will probably sound familiar, so read on and be comforted. Warning: Do not hang this list in your cube!

Top 10 Annoying Things About the Corporate World

  1. Corporate Déjà Vu. It seems as though it's a requirement in corporate business that you spend huge amounts of time reporting the same information in a dozen different formats, attending status meetings where conversation from the week before is repeated word for word, and putting out the same fires, because your department doesn't learn from its mistakes.
  2. Invoking Syndrome. The invoking syndrome occurs when colleagues try to persuade you to do what they want by name-dropping someone higher up. Whether the executive manager was actually involved or not, invoking him is a manipulative tactic used to get you to bend to your colleagues' wishes (for example, "Really? Well, I spoke to the CEO last night, and he told me we have to do the event this way.")
  3. Egomania. When certain people reach a high level in a company, they think that they are better than everyone else and that they are entitled to be treated like a god. Regardless of the issue, they believe they are always right and that they can't possibly learn anything from someone lower on the chain.
  4. Hierarchies. In the corporate world, all men are not created equal, and sometimes you can actually get in trouble just by talking to someone higher up without going through the proper channels. Unless you happen to know the right people, you're invisible.
  5. Denigration. In some companies, it's an unspoken rule that the younger you are, the less respect you receive. Many senior managers are quick to call you on the carpet for situations that may or may not be your fault, but they say nothing when you've done superior work.
  6. Bureaucracy. How many departments does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Corporate business has a lengthy approval process for everything, and companies delight in changing those processes constantly so that you're never sure which 10 departments you need to consult before a decision can be made.
  7. Hypocrisy. Don't you just love the way some companies tout values such as quality, entrepreneurship, innovation, and integrity, when they would be perfectly happy if their employees just kept quiet and never strayed from their designated roles? If you've ever acted on your company's values and gotten burned for it, you are probably a victim of naked ambition (when doing what's best for the company leaves you out in the cold).
  8. Micromanagement. Twenty-somethings thrive on independence, yet some managers will bear down on you with critical eyes at every minuscule stage of a project. Gotta sneeze? Better make sure your manager knows about it.
  9. Uncommon Sense. I've read that common sense is dead in the corporate world. The author almost sounded proud of this. People might make a joke of it, but this dearth of logical thought in corporate business is kind of sad. It's also frustrating when the obviously correct way to do something is staring everyone right in the face, and no one sees it.
  10. Nonsensical Change. Every now and then, companies will decide to throw their departments up in the air and see where all the pieces land. Yes, it's the corporate reorganization (aka the dreaded re-org). Despite the fact that it results in mass confusion, greatly decreased productivity, and low employee morale, companies continue to do it year after year.

[Nov 12, 2016] Educational films

www.newsday.com
Think your boss is a horror? Some of these film honchos probably make him or her look like Mother Teresa.

[Nov 12, 2016] The Other One Percent: Corporate Psychopaths and the Global Financial Crisis

Anyone who has ever worked in a large corporation has seen the empty suits that seem to inexplicably rise to positions of power. They talk a great game, possessing extraordinary verbal acuity, and often with an amazing ability to rise quickly without significant accomplishments to positions of great personal power, and often using it ruthlessly once it is achieved. Their ruthless obsession with power and its visible rewards rises above the general level of narcissism and sycophancy that often plagues large organizations, especially those with an established franchise where performance is not as much of an issue as collecting their rents. And anyone who has been on the inside of the national political process knows this is certainly nothing exclusive to the corporate world.
Dec 02, 2011 | Jesse's Café Américain

Anyone who has ever worked in a large corporation has seen the empty suits that seem to inexplicably rise to positions of power. They talk a great game, possessing extraordinary verbal acuity, and often with an amazing ability to rise quickly without significant accomplishments to positions of great personal power, and often using it ruthlessly once it is achieved.

Their ruthless obsession with power and its visible rewards rises above the general level of narcissism and sycophancy that often plagues large organizations, especially those with an established franchise where performance is not as much of an issue as collecting their rents.

And anyone who has been on the inside of the national political process knows this is certainly nothing exclusive to the corporate world.

Here is a paper recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics that hypothesizes along these lines. It is only a preliminary paper, lacking in full scholarship and a cycle of peer review.

But it raises a very important subject. Organizational theories such as the efficient markets hypothesis that assume rational behavior on the part of market participants tends to fall apart in the presence of the irrational and selfish short term focus of a significant minority of people who seek power, much less the top one percent of the psychologically ruthless.

Indeed, not only was previously unheard of behavior allowed, it became quite fashionable and desired in certain sections of American management where ruthless pursuit of profits at any cost was highly prized and rewarded. And if caught, well, only the little people must pay for their transgressions. The glass ceiling becomes a floor above which the ordinary rules do not apply.

If you wish to determine the character of a generation or a people, look to their heroes, leaders, and role models.

This is nothing new, but a lesson from history that has been unlearned. The entire system of checks and balances, of rule of law, of transparency in government, of accountability and personal honor, is based on the premise that one cannot always count on people to be naturally good and self-effacing. And further, that at times it seems that a relatively small group of corrupt people can rise to power, and harm the very fabric of a society.

'When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.'

Edmund Burke

'And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.'

Lord Acton

These things tend to go in cycles. It will be interesting to see how this line of analysis progresses. I am sure we all have a few candidates we would like to submit for testing. No one is perfect or even perfectly average. But systems that assume as much are more dangerous than standing armies, since like finds like, and dishonesty and fraud can become epidemic in an organization and a corporate culture, finally undermining the very law and principle of stewardship itself.
'Our government...teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.'

Louis D. Brandeis

MF Global, and the reaction to it thus far, is one of the better examples of shocking behaviour that lately seems to be tolerated, ignored, and all too often met with weak excuses and lame promises to do better next time, while continuing on as before.
"These corporate collapses have gathered pace in recent years, especially in the western world, and have culminated in the Global Financial Crisis that we are now in.

In watching these events unfold it often appears that the senior directors involved walk away with a clean conscience and huge amounts of money. Further, they seem to be unaffected by the corporate collapses they have created. They present themselves as glibly unbothered by the chaos around them, unconcerned about those who have lost their jobs, savings, and investments, and as lacking any regrets about what they have done.

They cheerfully lie about their involvement in events are very persuasive in blaming others for what has happened and have no doubts about their own continued worth and value. They are happy to walk away from the economic disaster that they have managed to bring about, with huge payoffs and with new roles advising governments how to prevent such economic disasters.

Many of these people display several of the characteristics of psychopaths and some of them are undoubtedly true psychopaths. Psychopaths are the 1% of people who have no conscience or empathy and who do not care for anyone other than themselves.

Some psychopaths are violent and end up in jail, others forge careers in corporations. The latter group who forge successful corporate careers is called Corporate Psychopaths...

Psychologists have argued that Corporate Psychopaths within organizations may be singled out for rapid promotion because of their polish, charm, and cool decisiveness. Expert commentators on the rise of Corporate Psychopaths within modern corporations have also hypothesized that they are more likely to be found at the top of current organisations than at the bottom.

Further, that if this is the case, then this phenomenon will have dire consequences for the organisations concerned and for the societies in which those organisations are based. Since this prediction of dire consequences was made the Global Financial Crisis has come about.

Research by Babiak and Hare in the USA, Board and Fritzon in the UK and in Australia has shown that psychopaths are indeed to be found at greater levels of incidence at senior levels of organisations than they are at junior levels (Boddy et al., 2010a). There is also some evidence that they may tend to join some types of organisations rather than others and that, for example, large financial organisations may be attractive to them because of the potential rewards on offer in these organizations."

Clive R. Boddy, The Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis, Journal of Business Ethics, 2011

[Nov 08, 2016] What sort of president then will Hillary Clinton be?

www.moonofalabama.org

mauisurfer | Nov 8, 2016 12:02:23 AM | 60

Michael Hudson says

> Ashcroft: What sort of president then will Hillary Clinton be?

> Hudson: A dictator. She… a vindictive dictator, punishing her enemies, appointing neocons in the secretary of state, in the defense department, appointing Wall Street people in the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and the class war will really break out very explicitly. And she'll-as Warren Buffet said, there is a class war and we're winning it.

> Ashcroft: As in the one percent are winning it.

> Hudson: The one percent are winning it. And she will try to use the rhetoric to tell people: "Nothing to see here folks. Keep on moving," while the economy goes down and down and she cashes in as she's been doing all along, richer and richer, and if she's president, there will not be an investigator of the criminal conflict of interest of the Bill Clinton Foundation, of pay-to-play. You'll have a presidency in which corporations who pay the Clintons will be able to set policy. Whoever has the money to buy the politicians will buy control of policy because elections have been privatized and made part of the market economy in the United States. That's what the Citizens United Supreme Court case was all about.

[Nov 06, 2016] Bernie Sanders Supporter Bashes Hillary Clinton from Her Own Stage 'Trapped in World of Elite,' 'Lost Grip of Average Person'

Notable quotes:
"... He opened his remarks by bashing Donald Trump on student loan debt, but then surprisingly turned to bashing Hillary Clinton from her own stage. "Unfortunately, Hillary doesn't really care about this issue either," Vanfosson said. "The only thing she cares about is pleasing her donors, the billionaires who fund her campaign. The only people that really trust Hillary are Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup can trust Hillary, the military industrial complex can trust Hillary. Her good friend Henry Kissinger can trust Hillary." ..."
"... "She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost grip on what it's like to be an average person," Vanfosson continued. "She doesn't care. Voting for another lesser of two evils, there's no point." ..."
www.breitbart.com

Just a few days before the general election, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) still can't unite her party. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her Democratic primary rival, are disrupting her campaign's efforts to take on GOP nominee Donald J. Trump, and in Iowa on Saturday one prominent Sanders backer was actually escorted out of a Clinton campaign event for urging those present not to vote for Clinton-for which he was cheered by the crowd.

Kaleb Vanfosson, the president of Iowa State University's Students for Bernie chapter, bashed Hillary Clinton and told rally-goers at her own campaign event not to vote for her. He was cheered.

He opened his remarks by bashing Donald Trump on student loan debt, but then surprisingly turned to bashing Hillary Clinton from her own stage. "Unfortunately, Hillary doesn't really care about this issue either," Vanfosson said. "The only thing she cares about is pleasing her donors, the billionaires who fund her campaign. The only people that really trust Hillary are Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup can trust Hillary, the military industrial complex can trust Hillary. Her good friend Henry Kissinger can trust Hillary."

The crowd at the Clinton-Kaine event erupted in applause.

"She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost grip on what it's like to be an average person," Vanfosson continued. "She doesn't care. Voting for another lesser of two evils, there's no point."

At that point, a Clinton staffer rushed on stage and grabbed the young man by the arm to escort him off the stage and out of the event.

[Nov 03, 2016] Obama channels inner Pinocchio: "I trust her," Obama said. "I know her. And I wouldn't be supporting her if I didn't have absolute confidence in her integrity."

He completely forgot what he said about her in 2008. At that time he was much closer to truth.
www.nakedcapitalism.com

Fiver

Further to throwing Comey under the bus yesterday, Obama had this to say:

"I trust her," Obama said. "I know her. And I wouldn't be supporting her if I didn't have absolute confidence in her integrity."

No amount of Bleach-bit can remove that yellow streak running down his back and straight through the entirety of his 'legacy'. Not once did he come down on the side opposite entrenched power – in fact, we can now add major 'obstruction of justice' to his prior litany of failures to prosecute white collar criminals as the basis for its own section, splitting criminal activity into two parts, one domestic, the other for a raft of war crimes.

[Nov 03, 2016] If elected Hillary would have as much contempt for the electorate as she had for her staff.

Notable quotes:
"... If elected Hillary would have as much contempt for the electorate as she had for her staff. ..."
"... In an e-mail sent from Comcast after Clinton was interviewed by NBC's Matt Lauer, Lauer came under fire after questioning Hillary on the e-mails, according to the technical crew after the show Hillary proceeded to pick up a full glass of water and throw it at the face of her assistant and then the screaming started, she was in full meltdown, she came apart literally unglued, she is the most foul mouthed woman I've ever heard, and that voice at screech level…"If that f-ing bastard wins we all hang from nooses! Lauer's finished and if I lose its all on your heads for screwing this up". She screamed "she'd get that f-ing Lauer fired for this". ..."
"... Donna Brazile was singled out by Clinton.."I'm so sick of your face, you stare at the wall like a brain dead buffalo while letting that fucking Lauer get away with this. What are you good for really? Get the f–k to work janitoring this mess.. do I make myself clear". ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

harrylaw | Nov 3, 2016 5:09:39 PM | 22

If elected Hillary would have as much contempt for the electorate as she had for her staff.

In an e-mail sent from Comcast after Clinton was interviewed by NBC's Matt Lauer, Lauer came under fire after questioning Hillary on the e-mails, according to the technical crew after the show Hillary proceeded to pick up a full glass of water and throw it at the face of her assistant and then the screaming started, she was in full meltdown, she came apart literally unglued, she is the most foul mouthed woman I've ever heard, and that voice at screech level…"If that f-ing bastard wins we all hang from nooses! Lauer's finished and if I lose its all on your heads for screwing this up". She screamed "she'd get that f-ing Lauer fired for this".

Donna Brazile was singled out by Clinton.."I'm so sick of your face, you stare at the wall like a brain dead buffalo while letting that fucking Lauer get away with this. What are you good for really? Get the f–k to work janitoring this mess.. do I make myself clear". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NfFAaPZqs8

[Nov 02, 2016] Ex-Secret Service officer behind Clinton tell-all planning defamation suit

Notable quotes:
"... It also demands Brock "immediately and publicly retract any statement or inference by yourself and/or Media Matters to the effect that Officer Byrne was not fully truthful in recounting within 'Crisis of Character' details from any previous testimony." ..."
"... His lawyer states that "some of our best witnesses to such immediacy are George Stephanopoulos, John Podesta, Leon Panetta, Bruce Lindsey, Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Clinton himself - who appear to have already confirmed … under oath … the regular proximity of Officer Byrne to the President for many years." ..."
"... Byrne claims the liberal advocacy group tried to hurt his credibility to defend the Clintons. ..."
Oct 26, 2016 | nypost.com

A former Secret Service officer who published an explosive tell-all from his days guarding the Bill and Hillary Clinton White House is planning to file a defamation lawsuit against his detractors, The Post has learned.

A lawyer for Gary Byrne, whose book " Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate ," has sent notices to Media Matters for America and David Brock informing them that he intends to file suit.

"Officer Byrne will bring legal action against you, in your personal capacity, and against Media Matters," a lawyer for the former Secret Service officer wrote to Brock, a loyal Clinton ally and the founder of the liberal advocacy group Media Matters.

The letter requests Brock and Media Matters to "hold" all records and communications associated with their communications regarding Byrne - including "Any communication(s) between David Brock and The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton" regarding the former Secret Service officer, suggesting there might be collusion between the campaign and her defenders.

It also demands Brock "immediately and publicly retract any statement or inference by yourself and/or Media Matters to the effect that Officer Byrne was not fully truthful in recounting within 'Crisis of Character' details from any previous testimony."

Additionally, Byrne's attorney demanded a retraction for "the utterly false statement(s) that Officer Byrne was not in close proximity to President William Jefferson Clinton."

His lawyer states that "some of our best witnesses to such immediacy are George Stephanopoulos, John Podesta, Leon Panetta, Bruce Lindsey, Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Clinton himself - who appear to have already confirmed … under oath … the regular proximity of Officer Byrne to the President for many years."

Byrne claims the liberal advocacy group tried to hurt his credibility to defend the Clintons.

[Oct 30, 2016] Former FBI Official Calls Bill, Hillary Clinton a Crime Family

Notable quotes:
"... "The problem here is this investigation was never a real investigation," he said. "That's the problem. They never had a grand jury empanelled, and the reason they never had a grand jury empanelled, I'm sure, is Loretta Lynch would not go along with that." ..."
"... Kallstrom blamed the FBI leadership under FBI Director James Comey as the reason the investigation was held back, but not the rest of the bureau. ..."
"... "The agents are furious with what's going on, I know that for a fact," he said. ..."
Oct 30, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
A former FBI official said Sunday that Bill and Hillary Clinton are part of a "crime family" and added that top officials impeded the investigation into Clinton's email server while she was secretary of state.

Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom praised Donald Trump before he offered a take down of the Clintons in a radio interview with John Catsimatidis, The Hill reported.

"The Clintons, that's a crime family, basically," Kallstrom said. "It's like organized crime. I mean the Clinton Foundation is a cesspool."

Kallstrom, best known for spearheading the investigation into the explosion of TWA flight 800 in the late '90s, called Clinton a "pathological liar" and blamed Attorney General Loretta Lynch for botching the Clinton email server investigation.

"The problem here is this investigation was never a real investigation," he said. "That's the problem. They never had a grand jury empanelled, and the reason they never had a grand jury empanelled, I'm sure, is Loretta Lynch would not go along with that."

"God forbid we put someone like that in the White House," he added of Clinton.

Kallstrom blamed the FBI leadership under FBI Director James Comey as the reason the investigation was held back, but not the rest of the bureau.

"The agents are furious with what's going on, I know that for a fact," he said.

[Oct 29, 2016] Bill and Hillary Clinton failed to get required permits for a rushed renovation of the house and grounds they recently bought next to their original Westchester home, it was reported Friday

Oct 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Something about Hillary and Bill management skiils...

Jim Haygood October 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Penny ante but completely typical:

Bill and Hillary Clinton failed to get required permits for a rushed renovation of the house and grounds they recently bought next to their original Westchester home, it was reported Friday.

Records show that the Clintons' contractors filled in an in-ground pool, covering it with gravel, and extensively remodeled the interior of the property - all without applying for permits and paying the required fees to the town of New Castle.

Building Inspector William Maskiell inspected the Chappaqua property after getting the tip about the pool work and then discovered the other renovations that were underway.

Attached to the building inspector's letter was a document titled Clinton Violation Inspection Report in which Maskiell said the contractor told him the Clintons "were quite adamant about [the Thanksgiving deadline] and what had started as a paint job turned into this," meaning the major renovation.

http://nypost.com/2016/10/28/clintons-failed-to-get-permits-for-rushed-home-renovation/

When Hillary becomes "adamant," nobody dares to confront her, even if her demands are illegal.

Building permits are for little people. Hillary can grant herself a retroactive permit with an executive order.

Tom October 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Crazy - there are more problems than just the lack of building permits:

The Clintons also have outstanding zoning and Building Department problems at their residence next door at 15 Old House Lane,

They obtained variances in 2000 for a guard house on the property, for a higher fence and for "lot coverage," or the amount of space buildings take up on the property.

The variances must be renewed every five years - but the Clintons never showed up before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

"Consequently, they are null and void. They should have come back in 2005, 2010 and 2015. So the variances have expired and they have to start from scratch" and reapply, said the inspector.

The original home and a combination library and gym in an outbuilding still have outstanding building permit issues as well, including a sprinkler "sign off" by the town engineer and an electrical inspection in the library/gym

I'm not seeing much basic competency here in executing home ownership responsibilities. Next I'll hear Bill steals the neigbor's Sunday newspaper off their porch.

Jim Haygood October 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm

More likely he steals the neighbor's teenage daughter for a midnight ride.

[Oct 29, 2016] The Nuclear Option - Wikileaks Reveals Even Hillarys Own Staff Knows Truth Shes Psychotic

Notable quotes:
"... Remember back when President Bill Clinton got into all that trouble molesting the young intern in his Oral Office? Remember the first thing the lying, conniving, dissembling commander-in-cheek did? ..."
"... In the latest batch of leaked emails, one top Democratic operative is still grappling with "WJC Issues." "How is what Bill Clinton did different from what Bill Cosby did?" Ron Klain asks in a list of questions worth posing to Mrs. Clinton. "You said every woman should be believed. Why not the women who accused him?" And, perhaps the best: "Will you apologize to the women who were wrongly smeared by your husband and his allies?" ..."
"... Never apologize. Never admit. And always keep lying. ..."
"... That is the very heart of the ethos of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Lie about everything. Lie all the time. ..."
"... Lie about emails. Lie about servers. Lie about national security. Lie about who knew what when. Lie about spilling classified secrets. Lie about dead soldiers. ..."
Oct 29, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
...l each batch of stolen emails is worse than the last.

Hillary Clinton is a liar. She has terrible instincts. She doesn't believe in anything. Her head is broken. She doesn't know why she should be president. She is pathological. And she is psychotic.

Just ask everybody who works for her. Just ask campaign chairman John Podesta. Just ask the people working the hardest to get her elected president.

I mean, in her most rabid streak of attacks on Donald Trump's alleged unfitness for office, Mrs. Clinton doesn't call him "psychotic."

Psychotic! That is what her campaign chairman called her.

Remember back when President Bill Clinton got into all that trouble molesting the young intern in his Oral Office? Remember the first thing the lying, conniving, dissembling commander-in-cheek did?

Take a poll. And he found out that he could skate by on even this - even this! But first - the poll told him - he had to stall for time. He had to lie about it for as long as he possibly could before coming clean.

And that was exactly what he did. And he survived.

And good thing he survived so he could go on to haunt America another 15 years later.

In the latest batch of leaked emails, one top Democratic operative is still grappling with "WJC Issues." "How is what Bill Clinton did different from what Bill Cosby did?" Ron Klain asks in a list of questions worth posing to Mrs. Clinton. "You said every woman should be believed. Why not the women who accused him?" And, perhaps the best: "Will you apologize to the women who were wrongly smeared by your husband and his allies?"

Answer: Not likely.

Never apologize. Never admit. And always keep lying.

That is the very heart of the ethos of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Lie about everything. Lie all the time.

Lie about emails. Lie about servers. Lie about national security. Lie about who knew what when. Lie about spilling classified secrets. Lie about dead soldiers.

Exhaust the people with lies. And then, very flippantly, after months or years of lying, say whatever you have to say to make the press go away.

"I am sorry you were confused."

"I have already said I wish I had done it differently."

"What difference, at this point, does it make?"

It is all so shameless and dirty and befuddling that it would make Niccolo Machiavelli blush.

Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt .

[Oct 28, 2016] Team Clinton Headspace Emails Published by WikiLeaks Are About Her Mood

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems.... ..."
"... She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President ..."
"... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women. ..."
"... The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors! ..."
"... Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA. ..."
"... So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams. ..."
"... It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video. ..."
"... Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems....

She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President because she also is a Criminal and belongs in Federal Prison.

RobL_v2 2 hours ago Her mood??

This is coded speech microaggression. They are discriminating against her because she is a woman, implying she is 'moody' you know 'hysterical'... hysterectomy... its sexist, its misogynist its harassment, its abuse, its hate speech.

Come on Liberal media, where are you ... call it out... this is your bread and butter... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women.

They did it to Sarah Palin and Barbara Bachman... You know they'd do it if Trump said Hillary was 'moody'.

The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors!

Lion 3 WhiteSplainItToYou 42 minutes ago

Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA.

DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ an hour ago

Wikileaks needs to get this out (I have not verified the info sent to me last night):

So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams.

It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video.

Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor.

So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised...and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had Stingers.

Suelark DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ 42 minutes ago

Please repost this here and elsewhere. If true it would make sense of much of what has happened.

Regular Guy an hour ago
Tim Kaine: "I don't think we can dignify documents dumped by WikiLeaks and just assume that they're all accurate and true,"

They were confirmed true when John Podesta's Twitter password was distributed in one of the WikiLeaks email releases and his Twitter account was hijacked the same day by a troll saying, "Trump 2016! Hi pol". Checkmate b!tch. see more DNC Russian Hacker Pepe Regular Guy 12 minutes ago The way they parse words, the Kaine statement still doesn't state the documents are not accurate. He makes an editorial statement to mislead the listener into thinking there is some reason to question the facts.

DeplorableCarlo an hour ago
Sounds pretty much like poor temperament to me when you have mood problems. Can we please put national security on hold for now, we have to check her mood ring. It is imperative for the best outcome that we check her head space. WOW! That's a real dumb explanation. Maybe if we use the word mood instead of temperament that will be better than telling people she has health problems in her head.

[Oct 24, 2016] Qatar, like most Muslim countries, treats women as second-class citizens, but champion-of-women Hillary never lets a little thing like that stop her from doing business

nypost.com

Qatar, like most Muslim countries, treats women as second-class citizens, but champion-of-women Hillary never lets a little thing like that stop her from doing business. (See: "On favors.") And a far greater threat than murderous Muslims adhering to a fanatical 7th-century religious ideology lurks right here at home - those pesky Roman Catholics and their silly 2,000-year-old faith. (See: "On Catholics.")

[Oct 23, 2016] Clintonism is wedge politics directed against any class or populist upheaval that might threaten neoliberalism

That's explains vicious campaign by neoliberal MSM against Trump and swiping under the carpet all criminal deeds of Clinton family. They feel the threat...
Notable quotes:
"... It should be remembered that fascism does not succeed in the real world as a crusade by race-obsessed lumpen. It succeeds when fascists are co-opted by capitalists, as was unambiguously the case in Nazi Germany and Italy. And big business supported fascism because it feared the alternatives: socialism and communism. ..."
"... That's because there is no more effective counter to class consciousness than race consciousness. That's one reason why, in my opinion, socialism hasn't done a better job of catching on in the United States. The contradictions between black and white labor formed a ready-made wedge. ..."
Oct 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

An excellent article

It should be remembered that fascism does not succeed in the real world as a crusade by race-obsessed lumpen. It succeeds when fascists are co-opted by capitalists, as was unambiguously the case in Nazi Germany and Italy. And big business supported fascism because it feared the alternatives: socialism and communism.

That's because there is no more effective counter to class consciousness than race consciousness. That's one reason why, in my opinion, socialism hasn't done a better job of catching on in the United States. The contradictions between black and white labor formed a ready-made wedge. The North's abhorrence at the spread of slavery into the American West before the Civil War had more to do a desire to preserve these new realms for "free" labor-"free" in one context, from the competition of slave labor-than egalitarian principle.[…]

There is more to Clintonism, I think, than simply playing the "identity politics" card to screw Bernie Sanders or discombobulate the Trump campaign. "Identity politics" is near the core of the Clintonian agenda as a bulwark against any class/populist upheaval that might threaten her brand of billionaire-friendly liberalism.

In other words it's all part of a grand plan when the Clintonoids aren't busy debating the finer points of her marketing and "mark"–a term normally applied to the graphic logo on a commercial product.

http://www.unz.com/plee/trump-we-wish-the-problem-was-fascism/

[Oct 15, 2016] Hillarys Public Vs. Private Positions - Deceit

Strausian neocon deception promoted by Hillary...
Oct 15, 2016 | www.ronpaulforums.com
In a recently-leaked speech from 2013, Hillary Clinton said that it is important to take both public and private positions on each issue. Is this the language of the typical politician, or something even more deceptive? How does that explain her positions on Syria and Saudi Arabia?

watch-v=-U9IrnpmeAA

[Oct 14, 2016] This Many Deaths Are Way More Than Happenstance

Oct 14, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

DuneCreature Oct 14, 2016 9:15 AM

We could always have a few murders and suspecious deaths looked into again. .... A few to chose from:

- Kevin Ives and Don Henry , both 17, crushed by a train, August 23, 1987. Their deaths were ruled accidental, with the medical examiner saying they had fallen asleep on a railroad line after smoking marijuana, but a grand jury found they had been murdered before being placed on the tracks. They had allegedly stumbled on a plot to smuggle drugs and guns from an airport in Mena, Arkansas, that Bill Clinton was said to be involved in as state governor.

- Victor Raiser , 53, small plane crash, July 30, 1992. The second finance co-chair of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign was killed along with his son during a fishing vacation in Alaska. Campaign press secretary Dee Dee Myers called Raiser a major player in the organization.

- Paul Tully , 48, heart attack, September 25, 1992. A chain-smoking, heavy drinking political consultant who weighed more than 320lb. Tully died seven weeks before Clinton's first presidential election win. He had been political director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during Clinton's rise. Tully was on the left of the Democratic Party and usually worked for those who shared his views, however he agreed to work for Clinton because he thought he was the only Democrat who could beat President George Bush.

- Paula Gober , 36, single car accident, December 7, 1992. She was Clinton's interpreter for the deaf for several years and traveled with him while he was governor of Arkansas. Her vehicle overturned on a bend, throwing her 30 feet. There were no witnesses.

- Vince Foster , 48, suicide, July 20, 1993. A long-time friend of the Clintons in Arkansas, new president Bill Clinton appointed him Deputy White House Counsel. Foster soon realized he hated the job and fell into a deep depression. He was found shot to death in Fort Marcy Park in Washington.

- Stanley Heard , 47, small plane crash, September 3, 1993. An Arkansas chiropractor who, according to the book, A Profession of One's Own, treated the Clinton family, Heard was asked by Bill Clinton to represent the practice as plans for 'Hillarycare' were being finalized. His attorney Steve Dickson, was flying him home from a healthcare meeting in Washington, DC. On the way to the capital from his home in Kansas, Dickson's small plane developed problems so he landed in St Louis and rented another plane. That rented plane was the one that crashed in rural Virginia, killing both men.

- Jerry Parks , 47, shot to death, September 23, 1993. The head of security for Bill Clinton's headquarters in Arkansas was driving home in West Little Rock when two men pulled alongside his car and sprayed it with semi-automatic gunfire. As Parks's car stopped a man stepped out of the Chevy and shot him twice with a 9mm pistol and sped off. Despite several witnesses, no-one was ever arrested. The killing came two months after Parks had watched news of Foster's death and allegedly told his son Gary 'I'm a dead man'. His wife Lois remarried, and her second husband, Dr David Millstein was stabbed to death in 2006.

- Ed Willey , 60, suicide, November 29, 1993. Husband of Bill Clinton accuser Kathleen Willey, he was deeply in debt and shot himself to death on the day that his wife alleges she was groped by Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.

- Herschel Friday , 70, small plane crash, March 1, 1994. Friday was an Arkansas lawyer who Richard Nixon had once considered for the Supreme Court. Friday was known as a benefactor of Bill Clinton, serving on his campaign finance committee.

- Kathy Ferguson , 37, gun suicide, May 11, 1994. She was the ex-wife of Arkansas State Trooper Danny Ferguson, who was named in a sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton. Ferguson left a note blaming problems with her fiancé, Bill Shelton. A month later Shelton, upset about the suicide verdict, killed himself.

- Ron Brown , 54, plane crash, April 3, 1996. Brown was chair of the Democratic National Committee during Bill Clinton's rise to the presidential nomination and was rewarded with the cabinet position. He was under a corruption investigation when his plane slammed into a mountainside in Croatia. Doctors who examined his body found a circular wound on the top of his head which led to suspicions that he had died before the plane crashed, but that theory was later discounted. The crash was attributed to pilot error.

- Charles Meissner , 56, same plane crash as Brown. Meissner was assistant secretary for international trade and had been criticized for allegedly giving special security clearance to John Huang, who later pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for violating campaign finance laws, in a case that enmeshed the Clinton administration.

- Barbara Wise , 48, natural causes, November 29, 1996. Wise, who worked alongside Brown, Meissner and Huang in the Commerce Department was found dead at her desk on the day after Thanksgiving 1996. Her death was originally classified as a homicide but police later said Wise, 48, who had a history of severe ill health, had died from natural causes. A local TV station initially quoted an unidentified police source as saying her body was partially nude and her office was locked, but those reports were later denied.

- Mary Mahoney , 25, armed robbery, July 7, 1997. Mahoney was a White House intern during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. A lesbian gay rights activist, she never found herself troubled by Clinton, but she did take to counseling those who did. She was shot dead during a robbery at a Washington Starbucks where she worked.

- Jim McDougal , 57, heart attack, March 8, 1998. McDougal and his wife Susan were involved in the Whitewater real estate scandal that rocked the Clinton administration. They and the Clintons had invested $203,000 to buy land in the Ozarks but the venture failed and McDougal was convicted of corruption for borrowing money from his Savings and Loan to cover the cost. He died in federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

- John Ashe , 61, weightlifting accident, June 22, 2016. The Antiguan diplomat dropped a dumbbell on his neck and asphyxiated himself at his home in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He was due to stand trial for allegedly receiving $500,000 from billionaire real estate developer Ng Lap Seng who was involved in a scandal involving illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee during Bill Clinton's presidency.

- Seth Rich , 27, armed robbery, July 26, 2016. A rising star in the DNC, Rich was robbed at gunpoint after a night of drinking in Washington, DC. The robbers took nothing, leaving his watch and wallet after shooting him several times in the back. Rich had allegedly been involved in the leak of documents that brought down Hillary Clinton ally Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

- Mark Weiner , 62, leukemia, July 26, 2016. Despite his condition, Weiner, a prodigious Clinton fundraiser, was due to attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and was dressing on the day he was due to travel from his home in Rhode Island. But he suddenly felt ill and went to bed and never got up again.

- Victor Thorn , 54, suicide, August 1, 2016. Thorn shot himself in the head at the top of Nittany Mountain, Pennsylvania, on his birthday. He had written four books highly critical of the Clintons. He was also a Holocaust denier.

- Shawn Lucas , 38, unexplained, August 2, 2016. Just days before his death, Lucas, a process server had delivered papers to the Democratic National Committee's headquarters in Washington, DC, filming himself as he did so. He was found dead in his apartment in the city.

There are more but these are a good start.

Live Hard, This Many Deaths Are Way More Than Happenstance, Die Free

~ DC v2.0

rmopf2010 VinceFostersGhost Oct 14, 2016 9:45 AM Another one to be Clintonized

[Oct 13, 2016] Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

See also Propaganda
This election is about the backlash against neoliberalism that became the dominant ideology of the ruling elite in the USA since 1980th. At this point blue color workers became sick of Demorats (aka Neoliberal Democrats) who are betraying them after each elections ("Change we can believe in" in worlds of the king of "bait and switch" Obama) and expecting still they will vote for Democratic as they have nowhere to go (Clinton strategy). They want to show middle finger to Clinton and other neoliberal criminals who deprived them of work, of dignity, of health (heroine epidemic is hitting the USA really hard). It's a class war all over again. Note how neoliberal media tried to misrepresent it accusing Trump supporters of racism, bigotry, and all other sins to mask anti-neoliberal backlash of the US population, and the revolutionary situation in the county, when the elite lost the control of the population. Which really somewhat reminds me the last days of the USSR when communist propaganda stopped working and people start seeing the "Politburo" as "naked king" -- a bunch of corrupt priests of obscure religion, who do not believe in the ideology they promote for "shmucks", only with their own and their families well-being. that their sons and daughters attend Western universities and their wives are shopping in Paris.
Notable quotes:
"... Last month, results of 87,000 interviews conducted by Gallup showed that those who liked Trump were under no more economic distress or immigration-related anxiety than those who opposed him. ..."
"... Earlier this year, primary exit polls revealed that Trump voters were, in fact, more affluent than most Americans, with a median household income of $72,000 – higher than that of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporters. ..."
"... These facts haven't stopped pundits and journalists from pushing story after story about the white working class's giddy embrace of a bloviating demagogue. ..."
"... stories about the Democratic lawmakers who in recent decades ended welfare as we knew it, hopped in the sack with Wall Street and forgot American labor in their global trade agreements. ..."
"... Countless images of working-class progressives, including women such as Betty, are thus rendered invisible by a ratings-fixated media that covers elections as horse races and seeks sensational b-roll. ..."
"... This media paradigm created the tale of a divided America – "red" v "blue"– in which the 42% of Kansans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 are meaningless. ..."
"... In lieu of such coverage, media makers cast the white working class as a monolith and imply an old, treacherous story convenient to capitalism: that the poor are dangerous idiots. ..."
"... I'm hard-pressed to think of a worse slight than the media figures who have disregarded the embattled white working class for decades now beseeching the country to have sympathy for them. We don't need their analysis, and we sure don't need their tears. What we need is to have our stories told, preferably by someone who can walk into a factory without his own guilt fogging his glasses. ..."
"... Zaitchik wisely described those he met as a "blue-collar middle class"– mostly white people who have worked hard and lost a lot, whether in the market crash of 2008 or the manufacturing layoffs of recent decades. He found that their motivations overwhelmingly "started with economics and ended with economics". The anger he observed was "pointed up, not down" at those who forgot them when global trade deals were negotiated, not at minority groups. ..."
"... When Hillary Clinton recently declared half of Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables", Zaitchik told another reporter, the language "could be read as another way of saying 'white-trash bin'." ..."
"... It wasn't poor whites who criminalized blackness by way of marijuana laws and the "war on drugs". Nor was it poor whites who conjured the specter of the black "welfare queen". These points should not minimize the horrors of racism at the lowest economic rungs of society, but remind us that those horrors reside at the top in different forms and with more terrible power. ..."
"... The main reason that national media outlets have a blind spot in matters of class is the lack of socioeconomic diversity within their ranks. Few people born to deprivation end up working in newsrooms or publishing books. ..."
"... American [neoliberal] journalism has been willfully obtuse about the grievances on Main Streets for decades – surely a factor in digging the hole of resentment that Trump's venom now fills. That the term "populism" has become a pejorative among prominent liberal commentators should give us great pause. A journalism that embodies the plutocracy it's supposed to critique has failed its watchdog duty and lost the respect of people who call bullshit when they see it. ..."
"... What a balanced, engaging and informative read! She just blew away my stereotype of Trump supporters and illuminated the conundrum of why/how Trump has indeed gotten this far in spite of all the foul language, insults, etc. while still maintaining an impressive base of supporters -- obviously not the "white trash" to whom his success has been conveniently attributed by elite thinkers. ..."
"... I love how Republican/neocons explain the economy for past 8 years: GWB's tenure had nothing to do with how bad the economy got (America during each Presidential administration exists in a vacuum, wholly separate from the preceding one); Obama gets no credit for any improvement (he's so weak and pathetic that anything good that happened was because of brave Republicans forcing legislation through over his hysterical objections); Obama is fully to blame for whatever slow and unevenly-felt recovery the economy has been making (he never passes any Republican-backed legislation that would make it all better and ninja-wizards it so the Republicans can't override him) ..."
"... I'm a little confused by the title of this article that is supposedly describing the liberal media elite and it's failings concerning the working-class. Two of the "liberal media elite" are conservative David Brooks and National Review's Kevin Williamson who are as far from liberal as you can get. ..."
"... This year, more Kansans caucused for Bernie Sanders than for Donald Trump – a newsworthy point I never saw noted in national press, who perhaps couldn't fathom that "flyover country" might contain millions of Americans more progressive than their Clinton strongholds. ..."
"... The self-congratulatory [neo]liberal media has done such a terrible disservice to such a huge group of people by trivializing their concerns. It seems that anyone who disagrees with the media's perspective can glibly be insulted. What the media doesn't seem to get is that insulting people, after a while, only creates rage. ..."
"... The New Yorker's excellent economic writer James Surowiecki has an essay in this week's mag. noting that if Trump gets in and enacts his tax "plan" the richest Americans will receive a 10-11% tax cut and the rest of us get a walloping . 05%. He excoriated the notion that this makes him an "outsider," a claim many of us have been deriding from the onset. This suggests moneyed interests, which invariably are powerful interests, stand to gain a literal fortune if Trump wins, a sobering thought about who and what may truly be fueling his race. ..."
"... The US is different to Europe, even the UK, and the conflict between 'the land of the free', and everyone has an opportunity to make it big time, with the patent impact of raw capitalism on workers has been around since the eighteenth century. That it has got worse since Reagan and Thatcher opened up neo-liberal economics to full throttle is a catalyst for dissatisfaction, not the total cause. There already was an intolerance in the US in the same way as in the UK but the cycle of time has taken us from the inception of the welfare state to the stirrings of populism and the sort of nationalism that troubled the world in the '30s. ..."
"... One must also remember that the seeds were sown for Trump's brand of intolerance by the 'Tea Party' movement and Republican intransigence since 2008. ..."
"... One thing that is not considered is how it can impact on two party politics. There's plenty here who say there are only two choices - Clinton or Trump, and that any failure to vote for Clinton is de facto a vote for Trump. They never appear to consider the converse. There's only two choices, and that a vote for Clinton is a vote for more of the same, therefore voting for anyone but Trump is a de facto vote for more of the same. ..."
"... Great piece, was the same with brexit. Are you racist or do you support remain? Having successfully framed the question as such it's not surprising that polls turned out to be wrong. This paper in particular became/fostered an outlet for hatred of those inferior to the left, so fair play for publishing this article. ..."
"... The problem is that the Liberal Elite media isn't liberal any more. The Guardian is in full support of big business and banks, and their unwavering support of any politician who wants to keep the status quo. ..."
"... It isn't liberal or conservative. It lives in a [neoliberal] fantasy land where your station in life is merit based. If you are poor, it's a personal failing. Rich, you earned every penny. ..."
"... They incorrectly believe the American Dream is something more than a fairytale rich people tell themselves to justify the misery they inflict on the poor. It's pro technocrat; "we have a perfect solution if it would just get implemented.... It won't rock the apple cart and will have minimum benefits but it makes us look like we care." ..."
"... That problem is rooted in the notion that higher class means higher integrity. As journalist Lorraine Berry wrote last month, "The story remains that only the ignorant would be racist. Racism disappears with education we're told." As the first from my family to hold degrees, I assure you that none of us had to go to college to learn basic human decency. ..."
"... People support trump because they see through the BS and propaganda that the MSM have been serving up all these years, and they are tired of it. Nobody wants what the establishment is selling. That anyone supports Hillary is a testament to the power of propaganda. That half the population supports trump is proof that the propaganda is losing its effectiveness. ..."
"... It's said that towards the end of the Soviet empire, it was the same. ..."
"... From my own worm's eye perspective, I can see the comparisons with British society and the high handed attitudes of our own liberal-left social elites who bemoan the masses for voting for Brexit. The damned uneducated and unwashed masses eh, look at what they've done the poor fools! ..."
"... you no longer get to hide behind it because we are rejecting you and the Democratic Party as unreliable partners. ..."
"... Besides the polling, one only needs to look at the number of people attending Trump rallies versus Hillary Clintons'. Trump is filling arena with 10 to 20,000 seats with people still lined up outside trying to get in. Whereas Hillary is barely filling a high school gymnasium. ..."
"... Neoliberalism has failed the poor, disadvantaged and disabled. Making these people pay for the mistakes, corruption of our banks and major institutions is indicative of the greedy rich and elite who don't give a toss for their suffering. ..."
"... Trump is a dispicable human being...but he has touched those who are desperate for a change. Unfortunately for them, Trump could never be the change they need - whilst Clinton is just more of the same sh*t as we've had for the last 40 years or more. Bernie was the best hope for change...but the establishment made sure he could not win by the manipulation of the "super delegate vote"! ..."
"... American journalism has been willfully obtuse about the grievances on Main Streets for decades – surely a factor in digging the hole of resentment that Trump's venom now fills. ..."
"... That the term "populism" has become a pejorative among prominent liberal commentators should give us great pause. A journalism that embodies the plutocracy it's supposed to critique has failed its watchdog duty and lost the respect of people who call bullshit when they see it. ..."
"... I see a kernel of truth. Many I know well who support Trump are middle class who are not racists, bigots, and do not fit the profile attached to Trump. They are religious, social and fiscal conservatives who are furious that they are unfairly labeled by the media. ..."
"... They are voting for him because he stuck a finger in the eye of the complacent Republican hierarchy who believe and practice "business as usual" while the middle class is stagnating in place. ..."
"... The Democrats attract the rich and elitist voters (and this includes the main stream media) on one hand and the poor and uneducated on the other hand. ..."
"... The middle class feels betrayed - and will sadly turn to ANYBODY who projects their anger and rage, even if that anybody is a charlatan and con artist. ..."
"... New York Times: Hillary is a congenital liar. Except that was 1996: "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady -- a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation -- is a congenital liar." ..."
"... Trump represents change, and it doesn't matter if it's good or bad. Trump is the man with the bulldozer who'll knock everything down so perhaps something new can be rebuilt upon the ashes. America is unsalvageable at this point, so continuing on with a status quo president, represented perfectly by Hillary Clinton, is totally pointless. ..."
Oct 13, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

... Hard numbers complicate, if not roundly dismiss, the oft-regurgitated theory that income or education levels predict Trump support, or that working-class whites support him disproportionately. Last month, results of 87,000 interviews conducted by Gallup showed that those who liked Trump were under no more economic distress or immigration-related anxiety than those who opposed him.

According to the study, his supporters didn't have lower incomes or higher unemployment levels than other Americans. Income data misses a lot; those with healthy earnings might also have negative wealth or downward mobility. But respondents overall weren't clinging to jobs perceived to be endangered. "Surprisingly", a Gallup researcher wrote, "there appears to be no link whatsoever between exposure to trade competition and support for nationalist policies in America, as embodied by the Trump campaign."

Earlier this year, primary exit polls revealed that Trump voters were, in fact, more affluent than most Americans, with a median household income of $72,000 – higher than that of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporters. Forty-four percent of them had college degrees, well above the national average of 33% among whites or 29% overall. In January, political scientist Matthew MacWilliams reported findings that a penchant for authoritarianism – not income, education, gender, age or race –predicted Trump support.

These facts haven't stopped pundits and journalists from pushing story after story about the white working class's giddy embrace of a bloviating demagogue.

In seeking to explain Trump's appeal, proportionate media coverage would require more stories about the racism and misogyny among white Trump supporters in tony suburbs. Or, if we're examining economically driven bitterness among the working class, stories about the Democratic lawmakers who in recent decades ended welfare as we knew it, hopped in the sack with Wall Street and forgot American labor in their global trade agreements.

But, for national media outlets comprised largely of middle- and upper-class [neo]liberals, that would mean looking their own class in the face.

The faces journalists do train the cameras on – hateful ones screaming sexist vitriol next to Confederate flags – must receive coverage but do not speak for the communities I know well. That the media industry ignored my home for so long left a vacuum of understanding in which the first glimpse of an economically downtrodden white is presumed to represent the whole.

Part of the current glimpse is JD Vance, author of the bestselling new memoir Hillbilly Elegy . A successful attorney who had a precariously middle-class upbringing in an Ohio steel town, Vance wrote of the chaos that can haunt a family with generational memory of deep poverty. A conservative who says he won't vote for Trump, Vance speculates about why working-class whites will: cultural anxiety that arises when opioid overdose kills your friends and the political establishment has proven it will throw you under the bus. While his theories may hold up in some corners, in interviews coastal media members have repeatedly asked Vance to speak for the entire white working class.

... ... ...

One-dimensional stereotypes fester where journalism fails to tread. The last time I saw my native class receive substantial focus, before now, was over 20 years ago – not in the news but on the television show Roseanne , the fictional storylines of which remain more accurate than the musings of comfortable commentators in New York studios.

Countless images of working-class progressives, including women such as Betty, are thus rendered invisible by a ratings-fixated media that covers elections as horse races and seeks sensational b-roll.

This media paradigm created the tale of a divided America – "red" v "blue"– in which the 42% of Kansans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 are meaningless.

This year, more Kansans caucused for Bernie Sanders than for Donald Trump – a newsworthy point I never saw noted in national press, who perhaps couldn't fathom that "flyover country" might contain millions of Americans more progressive than their Clinton strongholds.

In lieu of such coverage, media makers cast the white working class as a monolith and imply an old, treacherous story convenient to capitalism: that the poor are dangerous idiots.

Poor whiteness and poor character

The two-fold myth about the white working class – that they are to blame for Trump's rise, and that those among them who support him for the worst reasons exemplify the rest – takes flight on the wings of moral superiority affluent Americans often pin upon themselves. I have never seen them flap so insistently as in today's election commentary, where notions of poor whiteness and poor character are routinely conflated.

In an election piece last March in the National Review, writer Kevin Williamson's assessment of poor white voters – among whom mortality rates have sharply risen in recent decades – expressed what many conservatives and liberals alike may well believe when he observed that communities ravaged by oxycodone use " deserve to die ".

"The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles," Williamson wrote. "Donald Trump's speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin."

For confirmation that this point is lost on most reporters, not just conservative provocateurs, look no further than a recent Washington Post series that explored spiking death rates among rural white women by fixating on their smoking habits and graphically detailing the "haggard face" and embalming processes of their corpses . Imagine wealthy white woman examined thusly after their deaths. The outrage among family and friends with the education, time, and agency to write letters to the editor would have been deafening.

A sentiment that I care for even less than contempt or degradation is their tender cousin: pity. In a recent op-ed headlined Dignity and Sadness in the Working Class , David Brooks told of a laid-off Kentucky metal worker he met. On his last day, the man left to rows of cheering coworkers – a moment I read as triumphant, but that Brooks declared pitiable. How hard the man worked for so little, how great his skills and how dwindling their value, Brooks pointed out, for people he said radiate "the residual sadness of the lonely heart".

I'm hard-pressed to think of a worse slight than the media figures who have disregarded the embattled white working class for decades now beseeching the country to have sympathy for them. We don't need their analysis, and we sure don't need their tears. What we need is to have our stories told, preferably by someone who can walk into a factory without his own guilt fogging his glasses.

One such journalist, Alexander Zaitchik, spent several months on the road in six states getting to know white working-class people who do support Trump. His goal for the resulting new book, The Gilded Rage , was to convey the human complexity that daily news misses. Zaitchik wrote that his mission arose from frustration with "'hot takes' written by people living several time zones and income brackets away from their subjects".

Zaitchik wisely described those he met as a "blue-collar middle class"– mostly white people who have worked hard and lost a lot, whether in the market crash of 2008 or the manufacturing layoffs of recent decades. He found that their motivations overwhelmingly "started with economics and ended with economics". The anger he observed was "pointed up, not down" at those who forgot them when global trade deals were negotiated, not at minority groups.

Meanwhile, the racism and nationalism that surely exist among them also exist among Democrats and higher socioeconomic strata. A poll conducted last spring by Reuters found that a third of questioned Democrats supported a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. In another, by YouGov, 45% of polled Democrats reported holding an unfavorable view of Islam, with almost no fluctuation based on household income. Those who won't vote for Trump are not necessarily paragons of virtue, while the rest are easily scapegoated as the country's moral scourge.

When Hillary Clinton recently declared half of Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables", Zaitchik told another reporter, the language "could be read as another way of saying 'white-trash bin'." Clinton quickly apologized for the comment, the context of which contained compassion for many Trump voters. But making such generalizations at a $6m fundraiser in downtown New York City, at which some attendees paid $50,000 for a seat, recalled for me scenes from the television political satire Veep in which powerful Washington figures discuss "normals" with distaste behind closed doors.

... ... ...

Many people recommended to me the bestselling new history book White Trash , for instance, without registering that its title is a slur that refers to me and the people I love as garbage. My happy relief that someone set out to tell this ignored thread of our shared past was squashed by my wincing every time I saw it on my shelf, so much so that I finally took the book jacket off. Incredibly, promotional copy for the book commits precisely the elitist shaming Isenberg is out to expose: "(the book) takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing – if occasionally entertaining –poor white trash."

The book itself is more sensitively wrought and imparts facts that one hopes would dismantle popular use of its titular term. But even Isenberg can't escape our classist frameworks.

When On the Media host Brooke Gladstone asked Isenberg, earlier this year, to address long-held perceptions of poor whites as bigots, the author described a conundrum: "They do subscribe to certain views that are undoubtedly racist, and you can't mask it and pretend that it's not there. It is very much a part of their thinking." Entertain a parallel broad statement about any other disenfranchised group, and you might begin to see how rudimentary class discussion is for this relatively young country that long believed itself to be free of castes. Isenberg has sniffed out the hypocrisy in play, though.

"The other problem is when people want to blame poor whites for being the only racist in the room," she told Gladstone. "… as if they're more racist than everyone else."

That problem is rooted in the notion that higher class means higher integrity. As journalist Lorraine Berry wrote last month, "The story remains that only the ignorant would be racist. Racism disappears with education we're told." As the first from my family to hold degrees, I assure you that none of us had to go to college to learn basic human decency.

Berry points out that Ivy-League-minted Republicans shepherded the rise of the alt-right. Indeed, it was not poor whites – not even white Republicans – who passed legislation bent on preserving segregation, or who watched the Confederate flag raised outside state capitols for decades to come.

It wasn't poor whites who criminalized blackness by way of marijuana laws and the "war on drugs". Nor was it poor whites who conjured the specter of the black "welfare queen". These points should not minimize the horrors of racism at the lowest economic rungs of society, but remind us that those horrors reside at the top in different forms and with more terrible power.

Among reporters and commentators this election cycle, then, a steady finger ought be pointed at whites with economic leverage: social conservatives who donate to Trump's campaign while being too civilized to attend a political rally and yell what they really believe.

Mainstream media is set to fail the ordinary American

Based on Trump's campaign rhetoric and available data, it appears that most of his voters this November will be people who are getting by well enough but who think of themselves as victims. One thing the media misses is that a great portion of the white working class would align with any sense before victimhood. Right now they are clocking in and out of work, sorting their grocery coupons, raising their children to respect others, and avoiding political news coverage.

... ... ...

Media fascination with the hateful white Trump voter fuels the theory, now in fashion, that bigotry is the only explanation for supporting him. Certainly, financial struggle does not predict a soft spot for Trump, as cash-strapped people of color – who face the threat of his racism and xenophobia, and who resoundingly reject him, by all available measures – can attest. However, one imagines that elite white liberals who maintain an air of ethical grandness this election season would have a harder time thinking globally about trade and immigration if it were their factory job that was lost and their community that was decimated.

Affluent analysts who oppose Trump, though, have a way of taking a systemic view when examining social woes but viewing their place on the political continuum as a triumph of individual character. Most of them presumably inherited their political bent, just like most of those in "red" America did. If you were handed liberalism, give yourself no pats on the back for your vote against Trump.

Spare, too, the condescending argument that disaffected Democrats who joined Republican ranks in recent decades are "voting against their own best interests," undemocratic in its implication that a large swath of America isn't mentally fit to cast a ballot.

Whoever remains on Trump's side as stories concerning his treatment of women, racism and other dangers continue to unfurl gets no pass from me for any reason. They are capable of voting, and they own their decisions. Let's be aware of our class biases, though, as we discern who "they" are.

Journalist? Then chances are you're not blue collar

A recent print-edition New York Times cutline described a Kentucky man:

"Mitch Hedges, who farms cattle and welds coal-mining equipment. He expects to lose his job in six months, but does not support Mr Trump, who he says is 'an idiot.'"

This made me cheer for the rare spotlight on a member of the white working class who doesn't support Trump. It also made me laugh – one can't "farm cattle". One farms crops, and one raises livestock. It's sometimes hard for a journalist who has done both to take the New York Times seriously.

The main reason that national media outlets have a blind spot in matters of class is the lack of socioeconomic diversity within their ranks. Few people born to deprivation end up working in newsrooms or publishing books. So few, in fact, that this former laborer has found cause to shift her entire writing career to talk specifically about class in a wealth-privileged industry, much as journalists of color find themselves talking about race in a whiteness-privileged one.

This isn't to say that one must reside among a given group or place to do it justice, of course, as good muckrakers and commentators have shown for the past century and beyond. See On the Media's fine new series on poverty, the second episode of which includes Gladstone's reflection that "the poor are no more monolithic than the rest of us."

I know journalists to be hard-working people who want to get the story right, and I'm resistant to rote condemnations of "the media". The classism of cable-news hosts merely reflects the classism of privileged America in general. It's everywhere, from tweets describing Trump voters as inbred hillbillies to a Democratic campaign platform that didn't bother with a specific anti-poverty platform until a month out from the general election.

The economic trench between reporter and reported on has never been more hazardous than at this moment of historic wealth disparity, though, when stories focus more often on the stock market than on people who own no stocks. American [neoliberal] journalism has been willfully obtuse about the grievances on Main Streets for decades – surely a factor in digging the hole of resentment that Trump's venom now fills. That the term "populism" has become a pejorative among prominent liberal commentators should give us great pause. A journalism that embodies the plutocracy it's supposed to critique has failed its watchdog duty and lost the respect of people who call bullshit when they see it.

... ... ...

DonnaU, 8m ago

What a balanced, engaging and informative read! She just blew away my stereotype of Trump supporters and illuminated the conundrum of why/how Trump has indeed gotten this far in spite of all the foul language, insults, etc. while still maintaining an impressive base of supporters -- obviously not the "white trash" to whom his success has been conveniently attributed by elite thinkers. I am humbled. This writer deserves a Pulitzer!
alikatt , 14 Oct 2016 14:10)
What an amazing piece of journalism. It challenged most of my prejudices and presumptions not just about Trump voters, but also similar groups here in Australia.
Thanks for writing and to guardian for publishing it.
OblateSpheroid , 14 Oct 2016 14:00)
A few nights ago a neighbor described to me how Bill Clinton reaped the rewards of all the great stuff that Reagan and GHWB did.
He could not explain how, exactly, Bill Clinton reversed all the great stuff that Reagan and GHWB did, thereby explaining why our/the global economy contracted severely from start-->finish of the GWB administration, nor the great stuff that GWB did that allowed Obama to preside during a period of recovery.

I love how Republican/neocons explain the economy for past 8 years: GWB's tenure had nothing to do with how bad the economy got (America during each Presidential administration exists in a vacuum, wholly separate from the preceding one); Obama gets no credit for any improvement (he's so weak and pathetic that anything good that happened was because of brave Republicans forcing legislation through over his hysterical objections); Obama is fully to blame for whatever slow and unevenly-felt recovery the economy has been making (he never passes any Republican-backed legislation that would make it all better and ninja-wizards it so the Republicans can't override him)

KilgoreTrout2012 , 14 Oct 2016 12:34)
I'm a little confused by the title of this article that is supposedly describing the liberal media elite and it's failings concerning the working-class. Two of the "liberal media elite" are conservative David Brooks and National Review's Kevin Williamson who are as far from liberal as you can get.
Mkjaks , 14 Oct 2016 12:16)
This year, more Kansans caucused for Bernie Sanders than for Donald Trump – a newsworthy point I never saw noted in national press, who perhaps couldn't fathom that "flyover country" might contain millions of Americans more progressive than their Clinton strongholds.

In lieu of such coverage, media makers cast the white working class as a monolith and imply an old, treacherous story convenient to capitalism: that the poor are dangerous idiots.

Thank you so much for this article. Really felt inspired to learn that more Kansans caucused for Bernie Sanders than Donald Trump. The self-congratulatory [neo]liberal media has done such a terrible disservice to such a huge group of people by trivializing their concerns. It seems that anyone who disagrees with the media's perspective can glibly be insulted. What the media doesn't seem to get is that insulting people, after a while, only creates rage.

Roger Dafremen , 14 Oct 2016 11:26)
Smug elitists love to brag about their college educations and compare price tags. I much prefer the company of those educated by experience rather than institutions.

In my experience as a software engineer, I found the college educated to be entirely too sure of themselves for their ability level. They cost us more time, more frustration, had a greater chance of making the customer experience a negative one, etc. Experience was always the deciding factor and why, in at least two cases, our company chose non-degreed computer geeks over college graduates.

Again and again the ineptitude and ignorant selfishness of the privileged and acutely privileged burdens the working class. Especially in politics and business. We're doing everything anyway, no need for useless, stuck up freeloaders.

We should drop this cold potato and see what happens.

AhBrightWings , 14 Oct 2016 11:22)
The New Yorker's excellent economic writer James Surowiecki has an essay in this week's mag. noting that if Trump gets in and enacts his tax "plan" the richest Americans will receive a 10-11% tax cut and the rest of us get a walloping . 05%. He excoriated the notion that this makes him an "outsider," a claim many of us have been deriding from the onset. This suggests moneyed interests, which invariably are powerful interests, stand to gain a literal fortune if Trump wins, a sobering thought about who and what may truly be fueling his race.

The most valuable part of this Guardian essay is that it also dismantles the myth that Trump's followers are the poor and working class, though that message seems a bit lost here as it gets tangled up in the effort to blame a supposedly liberal press (some of the writers she quotes, who often aren't saying what she claims, aren't liberals).

zavaell , 14 Oct 2016 11:13)
"...political scientist Matthew MacWilliams reported findings that a penchant for authoritarianism – not income, education, gender, age or race –predicted Trump support."

This is a good article with plenty from which to abstract many complex issues. I am a Brit (who wants to remain in the EU) but have had a six decade fascination with the US; even with some background from reading and visiting I think the author has to realize that my quote from her article is one that resonates outside the States.

The US is different to Europe, even the UK, and the conflict between 'the land of the free', and everyone has an opportunity to make it big time, with the patent impact of raw capitalism on workers has been around since the eighteenth century. That it has got worse since Reagan and Thatcher opened up neo-liberal economics to full throttle is a catalyst for dissatisfaction, not the total cause. There already was an intolerance in the US in the same way as in the UK but the cycle of time has taken us from the inception of the welfare state to the stirrings of populism and the sort of nationalism that troubled the world in the '30s.

One must also remember that the seeds were sown for Trump's brand of intolerance by the 'Tea Party' movement and Republican intransigence since 2008. You cannot ride the tiger.

DrMcNounVerber , 14 Oct 2016 11:09)
This is really rather good. Certainly far better then most of the regulars.

One thing that is not considered is how it can impact on two party politics. There's plenty here who say there are only two choices - Clinton or Trump, and that any failure to vote for Clinton is de facto a vote for Trump. They never appear to consider the converse. There's only two choices, and that a vote for Clinton is a vote for more of the same, therefore voting for anyone but Trump is a de facto vote for more of the same.

To be clear I doubt I could a lower opinion of the effect Trump could have on the States, and I fully acknowledge the tendency to place entire sections of society in boxes (and sneer at them) in this article, but in a choice between government and opposition that's what you've got.

hum9ol , 14 Oct 2016 09:44)
Great piece, was the same with brexit. Are you racist or do you support remain? Having successfully framed the question as such it's not surprising that polls turned out to be wrong. This paper in particular became/fostered an outlet for hatred of those inferior to the left, so fair play for publishing this article.

People are more complex than clickbait.

Epivore hum9ol , 14 Oct 2016 10:54)
"was the same with Brexit'. No, it wasn't. And your accusation that the Guardian promoted hatred of your self-categorised Brexit-supporting white working class is utter nonsense. Go read the comments going back months before the referendum and all the hatred and bile is flowing from Brexit supporters who decamped from the Daily Mail and Sun to pour scorn on the 'latte-sipping metropolitan leftie SJW metrosexual elite' here. And when Leave won the referendum, the Brexiters were here again telling everyone else to shut up and accept it, accusing people who dissented of being traitors etc. Trying to paint them as victims is laughable when it was a Labour MP and campaigner for refugees rights who was assassinated in broad daylight by a racist who clearly felt empowered to act by the same racist, xenophobic propaganda you'd like to pretend never existed.

SirWillis , 14 Oct 2016 10:54)

The problem is that the Liberal Elite media isn't liberal any more. The Guardian is in full support of big business and banks, and their unwavering support of any politician who wants to keep the status quo. As soon as a candidate comes along that actually wants to take away the power large banks and businesses have over governments, they immediately attack them. Bernie sanders and Jeremy Corbyn being perfect examples.
sharpydufc , 14 Oct 2016 09:21)
Is the media in America liberal though? Bloomberg and Fox certainly are not.
UserFriendlyyy sharpydufc , 14 Oct 2016 09:46)
It isn't liberal or conservative. It lives in a [neoliberal] fantasy land where your station in life is merit based. If you are poor, it's a personal failing. Rich, you earned every penny.

They incorrectly believe the American Dream is something more than a fairytale rich people tell themselves to justify the misery they inflict on the poor. It's pro technocrat; "we have a perfect solution if it would just get implemented.... It won't rock the apple cart and will have minimum benefits but it makes us look like we care."

UserFriendlyyy sharpydufc , 14 Oct 2016 09:49)
If you want to see the bias at play check out this: http://harpers.org/archive/2016/11/swat-team-2/1/

alpykog , 14 Oct 2016 09:10)

Your hero Reagan killed off working class representation i.e. unions as Thatcher did in the UK. Then he enriched his friends. Geddit?
daffyddw , 14 Oct 2016 08:47)
Difficult and timely truth. Thanks for this article.

That problem is rooted in the notion that higher class means higher integrity. As journalist Lorraine Berry wrote last month, "The story remains that only the ignorant would be racist. Racism disappears with education we're told." As the first from my family to hold degrees, I assure you that none of us had to go to college to learn basic human decency.

So well and directly put and made me feel ashamed (the first of a generation of our family to go to gain degrees) of my own stupidity and detachment.
MrIncredlous , 14 Oct 2016 08:44)
People support trump because they see through the BS and propaganda that the MSM have been serving up all these years, and they are tired of it. Nobody wants what the establishment is selling. That anyone supports Hillary is a testament to the power of propaganda. That half the population supports trump is proof that the propaganda is losing its effectiveness.

It's said that towards the end of the Soviet empire, it was the same.

KikideMontparnasse , 14 Oct 2016 08:42)

Despite that most people watch news rather than read, they see very little or nothing. The reason is that the media has become the theatre for talking heads. We see the same pictures ad nauseum, the footage of few dangerous hours (let's say from Syria) edited to few seconds; too many Americans have absolutely no chance to see anything from the outside world and yet they feel competent to judge immigrant crisis, the Middle East, Europe (Paris under siege, no go zones...) just because some big mouth told them what to think. And Trump being of that world was ready, set to go.
We know that the media is the most powerful designer of public opinion, and they are shit (pardon my French).
ravioliollie KikideMontparnasse , 14 Oct 2016 10:14)
To find objective news and rational opinions go to your local library. Legitimate news is non existent on the t.v. Any legitimate reporter either writes a book or works for such pubs as The Atlantic, Harper's, New Yorker, and believe it or not Rolling Stone. There are countless other news sources that won't go near MSM and its slanted 30 seconds news AND consumption driven commercials.
JWBARR6119 , 14 Oct 2016 08:29)
Excellent article. No one likes to be told how it is and I'm surprised this article even got to be printed in the Guardian. From my own worm's eye perspective, I can see the comparisons with British society and the high handed attitudes of our own liberal-left social elites who bemoan the masses for voting for Brexit. The damned uneducated and unwashed masses eh, look at what they've done the poor fools!

fireangel , 14 Oct 2016 08:15)

This article is very good ,thanks.
The bit about Maher making a joke about "check your bread" after the seven died in the grain silo,
was very much to the point. And says a lot about Maher and his grinning smugness.
marxmarv HerLao , 14 Oct 2016 09:36)
Title suggests such a thing only if you are committed to the corporate party duopoly. There is a left, and you no longer get to hide behind it because we are rejecting you and the Democratic Party as unreliable partners.

Trump4Prez2016 HerLao , 14 Oct 2016 10:55)

Well don't be surprised and have a total nervous breakdown when Trump actually does win in a landslide. Here's the thing about polls. Polls are great at making people feel good when they reinforce something that a person believes in. However polls are too easily manipulated by the pollsters conducting them by varying the sample size or ending the poll when a predetermined prefered outcome is reached. Here's the thing though, I can tell you the last time I was ever called up on the telephone by a pollster-NEVER. Will go a step further and tell you that out of the couple hundred people I know located throughout the US no one has ever been called by a pollster. If in fact they were: A.) They did not know it was a pollster; B.) They did not answer the phone and C.) They did not know what the poll entailed

Besides the polling, one only needs to look at the number of people attending Trump rallies versus Hillary Clintons'. Trump is filling arena with 10 to 20,000 seats with people still lined up outside trying to get in. Whereas Hillary is barely filling a high school gymnasium.

Finally when you consider that all main stream media is protecting their darling Empress Hillary and only reporting positive spin pieces on her and broadcasting negative press for Trump, they, the MSM, is in the tank for Hillary. Shame on them for picking sides when they are supposed to be fair and objective. Also shame on them for thinking that people are either blind or too stupid to see thru this nonsense. Shame on you for buying into it hook, line and sinker. Please repeat after me: President Donald J Trump-45th President of the United States of America. One more thing, he will Make America Great Again.

boo321 , 14 Oct 2016 07:53)
Neoliberalism has failed the poor, disadvantaged and disabled. Making these people pay for the mistakes, corruption of our banks and major institutions is indicative of the greedy rich and elite who don't give a toss for their suffering.

Trump is a dispicable human being...but he has touched those who are desperate for a change. Unfortunately for them, Trump could never be the change they need - whilst Clinton is just more of the same sh*t as we've had for the last 40 years or more. Bernie was the best hope for change...but the establishment made sure he could not win by the manipulation of the "super delegate vote"!

On a public vote basis, Bernie won hands down!

TomMcKinley , 14 Oct 2016 05:56)
What a great paragraph:

"The economic trench between reporter and reported on has never been more hazardous than at this moment of historic wealth disparity, though, when stories focus more often on the stock market than on people who own no stocks.

American journalism has been willfully obtuse about the grievances on Main Streets for decades – surely a factor in digging the hole of resentment that Trump's venom now fills.

That the term "populism" has become a pejorative among prominent liberal commentators should give us great pause. A journalism that embodies the plutocracy it's supposed to critique has failed its watchdog duty and lost the respect of people who call bullshit when they see it."

Samuel Dauner , 14 Oct 2016 05:56)
Fantastic read. Even though I'm a world away, the sentiments resonate well over here in Australia. We too have our own issues with race and class, spurred on by the talking heads and op-ed columnists who are far too removed from the reality of working class whites. Especially from those of the left (which I am on the whole sympathetic, this media outlet is one of my faves). But there is quite honestly a stench of holier than thou, elitist and consistently derogatory smugness in some commentary that shames the blue collar, more often than not white, lower socioeconomic class with xenephobic, racist, misogynistic and downright cruel dispositions that are prevelant through all cross sections of society. To heap all of these nationalistic and ignorant views on the white working class is just as troublesome as the views that the media purports to be so dangerous. Trump and his sympathisers across the right wing politics of the are deeply disturbing and dangerous but to blame this phenomena all on one section of society is just as, if not worse.
Alg2013 , 14 Oct 2016 05:56)
I see a kernel of truth. Many I know well who support Trump are middle class who are not racists, bigots, and do not fit the profile attached to Trump. They are religious, social and fiscal conservatives who are furious that they are unfairly labeled by the media.
zeetubes Alg2013 , 14 Oct 2016 05:21)
I could (but probably won't) vote in the US elections. If I did, I would definitely vote for Trump. I would have voted for Bernie but that option was taken away from me. I just want to avoid at all costs allowing that war-mongering hag to become president.

tsforcertain OblateSpheroid , 14 Oct 2016 05:21)

They are voting for him because he stuck a finger in the eye of the complacent Republican hierarchy who believe and practice "business as usual" while the middle class is stagnating in place.

The Democrats attract the rich and elitist voters (and this includes the main stream media) on one hand and the poor and uneducated on the other hand. No one is representing the average working stiff who is struggling with a mortgage, car payments, rising insurance costs for his family while scrimping to save enough for the kids' college education.

The middle class feels betrayed - and will sadly turn to ANYBODY who projects their anger and rage, even if that anybody is a charlatan and con artist.

The John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of rarified, isolated Washington DC gifted this crisis of trust to the Republican Party, leaving us in the US having the election options of Mussolini or Lady Macbeth. Ugh.

zeetubes , 14 Oct 2016 05:21)

New York Times: Hillary is a congenital liar. Except that was 1996: "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady -- a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation -- is a congenital liar."

I somehow can't imagine the NYT printing anything like that now.

Shatford Shatford , 14 Oct 2016 05:21)

Many Trump supporters are mad at the government, at its institutions, and at the current state of America. It is nothing like the America of their parent's generation. Long dead is the American dream.

Trump represents change, and it doesn't matter if it's good or bad. Trump is the man with the bulldozer who'll knock everything down so perhaps something new can be rebuilt upon the ashes. America is unsalvageable at this point, so continuing on with a status quo president, represented perfectly by Hillary Clinton, is totally pointless.

... ... ...

Make no mistake: it isn't.

[Oct 13, 2016] Anonymous - Hillary Clinton A Career Criminal

Oct 13, 2016 | www.youtube.com

YouTube

Trench Coat 3 months ago HILLARY "There should be no individual too powerful to jail."

kevin b 1 day ago +Eric Shutter tell that to the investigation committee..the FBI and the congress investigation who all covered her with "gross misconduct" instead of guilty by hacked emails to known hacking and homeland security of confidential documents! another clinton victory by paying off or threatening these guys if she gets into office. what an ugly person she is..she does think the law is beneath her to follow...typical elitist narcissistic profile!
Hank Chinaski 1 day ago This psycho bitch will start WWIII... elect her at your own risk.
Tam 1 day ago 0:17 Travelgate 1:03 Vince Foster's Death 1:29 Hillary Care 2:56 Whitewater Investigation 4:44 Cattlegate 5:48 Filegate 6:22 The Clinton Legal defense fund 6:33 Chinagate 7:18 IRS Abuses 7:52 Pardongate 9:41 FALN Terrorists 10:58 New York Senate Campaign Finance 12:15 New York Senate performance 12:50 Senate Rules Violations 13:11 2008 Presidential Canidate 13:45 Madam Secretary 15:08 State Department Scandals and Cover-ups 15:59 Benghazi Terrorist Attack Cover-up 17:12 Clinton Secrets (FoI) 17:37 Clinton Foundation Conflicts of Interest 20:37 Various snippets
hellopuppy00 2 days ago The fact that so many corrupts scandals of one person can be listed for 25 minutes straight like this is bad enough. The horrific part is that American is about to make her President.
Eric Barth 1 day ago (edited) we have no control over who we get to choose and even then electoral votes control th powers above popular votes. Citizens do not matter in this regard whatsoever. This game is controlled from the top while feigning that it is controlled by the people. Raymond Cestaro 1 day ago and this video is just scratching the surface
Erkuht Ateue 5 months ago HOLY SHIT, How can american people be so fucking blind? This is outrageous! View all 55 replies Kevin S 3 days ago Two ways. 1. Dumbing Down of the population. 2. Entertainment. It is sickening!
Tom F 48 minutes ago Past Mobsters never come close to besting this bitch and her Billy.
Took the Red Pill 1 day ago Holy shit this is amazing. The work here is fantastic. FBI really outdid themselves here. Still gonna vote for Clinton, we cannot allow a man who likes Pussy into office. I'm with HER :D
jefftc14 4 months ago anyone else notice or remember how the Clinton's were heavily involved in massive amounts of cocaine smuggling into the U.S. and then hmm look at all their friends they bail out.. all cocaine kingpins..

[Oct 12, 2016] Compare Clinton accusing Trump with schene from Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: You see Nick … were both innocent.

Notable quotes:
"... I better like the reasoning in Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: "You see Nick … we're both innocent." ..."
Oct 12, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
timbers October 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

The Trail

"The Case for a 'Two-Faced' Hillary Clinton" [The New Republic]. "In an election in which one of the nominees is promising he'll make great deals-that he'll deliver everything under the sun, without remotely explaining how any of it would be politically possible-there's something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it's not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest."

I better like the reasoning in Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: "You see Nick … we're both innocent."

Yikes:

"We therefore hold that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured,' the court said" … PHH said the law creating the CFPB gave an unaccountable director too much authority."

Can we get this same judge to rule on the constitutionality of the AUMF, Patriot Act, or any case brought regarding NSA spyiny?

[Oct 12, 2016] The Case for a Two-Faced Hillary Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... I better like the reasoning in Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: "You see Nick … we're both innocent." ..."
"... Even the liberal Harvard Law School … ..."
Oct 12, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The New Republic

"In an election in which one of the nominees is promising he'll make great deals-that he'll deliver everything under the sun, without remotely explaining how any of it would be politically possible-there's something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making.

Maybe it's not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest."

timbers October 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

The Trail

"The Case for a 'Two-Faced' Hillary Clinton" [The New Republic]. "In an election in which one of the nominees is promising he'll make great deals-that he'll deliver everything under the sun, without remotely explaining how any of it would be politically possible-there's something bold, even radical, in espousing such a practical philosophy for political deal-making. Maybe it's not a popular message in this populist moment, but it would have the virtue of being honest."

I better like the reasoning in Basic Instinct when Sharon Stone just after passing a lie detector test said to Nick in reference to his killing civilians while on cocaine: "You see Nick … we're both innocent."

Yikes:

"We therefore hold that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured,' the court said" … PHH said the law creating the CFPB gave an unaccountable director too much authority."

Can we get this same judge to rule on the constitutionality of the AUMF, Patriot Act, or any case brought regarding NSA spyiny?

allan October 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm

"Can we get this same judge to rule on the constitutionality of the AUMF, Patriot Act, or any case brought regarding NSA spyiny?"

Unfortunately, this very same judge has a long history on those issues,
including time in the Bush Cheney White House before getting a lifetime appointment on the bench,
and for the most part it's not pretty. Emptywheel has an entire archive devoted to him.

Vatch October 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

This segues into an argument in favor of voting for Hillary Clinton that I can't rebut: Republicans appoint bad people to both the Executive branch and to the Judiciary, but Democrats only appoint bad people to the Executive branch. Therefore, one should vote for Hillary Clinton, Democrat. I've oversimplified the argument, but in general, that's what some people have told me, and I don't have a good counter argument.

That doesn't mean I'm going to vote for Clinton. She's a crook. I'll either leave the Presidential part of the ballot blank, or vote for Stein, despite my great annoyance over some of the things that Ajamu Baraka has said.

nippersmom October 11, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Merrick Garland, Obama's latest nominee, is pro-Ciizen's United, so not sure how "good" he is. Conventional wisdom about Democratic vs. Republican appointees to the bench would seem suspect to me in a day when the Overton window has shifted so far to the right that the Democratic candidate for President is more conservative, more pro-business, more hawkish, and less environmentally responsible than Richard Nixon,

Vatch October 11, 2016 at 4:56 pm

I challenge you to find any Democratic judicial appointments of the past 3 decades that are as bad as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or Samuel Alito.

As for Garland, he's not good, but he's certainly not as bad as any Republican nominee would be. And he hasn't even been confirmed.

nippersmom October 11, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Hillary is surrounding herself with exactly the same cast of characters as those who appointed the judges you name. Why do you think her taste in justices will be any different than her taste in policy advisors or potential cabinet members?

After Clinton signs the TPP, the Supreme Court will be moot anyway.

Vatch October 11, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Obama's Executive branch appointments have been dismal, but his judicial appointments seem to be better - Sotomayor and Kagan. Bill Clinton appointed Breyer and Ginsburg. None of these 4 judges is remotely like Scalia.

I strongly suspect that Hillary Clinton would nominate similar judges.

We definitely don't want the TPP to pass. We need to keep the pressure on Congress, so we don't have to worry about what a President might do.

I reiterate: there are many things wrong with Clinton, and I will not vote for her.

I appreciate the feedback.

allan October 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Sotomayor has been great, but Kagan has been a mixed bag. She voted (in a losing dissent, along with Scalia, Kennedy and Silent Clarence) , to allow Sarbanes-Oxley to be used against a fisherman for throwing his catch overboard. She was to the right of Roberts on this one.
Even the liberal Harvard Law School …

marym October 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Clinton's first "appointment," first in the line of succession, Tim Kaine, is pro-TPP, pro-Hyde Amendment, anti-labor (pro-right-to-work-for-nothing), and pro-intervention in Syria.

Vatch October 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Tim Kaine would be in the Executive branch, not the Judiciary.

timbers October 11, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Know what you mean but try asking people who bring up judges as the reason to vote blue, why should we believe that when Dems can't even deliver on judges when their nominee is a REPUBLICAN for goodness sakes? Then take exaggerated offense at being expected to settle for so LITTLE .

Just a suggestion.

Vatch October 11, 2016 at 5:18 pm

I appreciate the feedback. However, I don't think it's clear that Garland is a Republican. Prior to nominating him, there were trial balloons from the White House suggesting that Republican Brian Sandoval of Nevada would be chosen.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef October 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

A good counter argument is this: Hillary is a Republican.

WJ October 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

The New Republic piece is a festering pile of shit, and I intend that phrase as purely descriptive account of the object.

This is a woman who with her husband earned over $139 MILLION DOLLARS in paid speeches to the .1%–the OLIGARCHY–between 2007-2014 ALONE!

And yet the cretin of a human being calling himself the author of this "piece" [of shit] chooses to insult my intelligence–yea, even perpetrate fraud upon the species!–by pretending as if this UNQUESTIONABLE FACT is simply IRRELEVANT to Clinton's "nuanced"–[insert sounds of my heaving vomit]–distinction between her public and private position. A DISTINCTION THAT WOULD ITSELF HAVE BEEN WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC RECORD IF IT HAD NOT BEEN LEAKED BY WIKILEAKS, THE FOUNDER OF WHOM SHE HAS PROPOSED BE MURDERED BY DRONE STRIKE!!

No, MY PROBLEM, YOUR PROBLEM, ANYBODY'S PROBLEM with this avaricious sociopathic warmongering ulcerous wretch is–MUST BE–that she is a WOMAN?!

"As substantively defensible-even virtuous-as dealmaking can be, taking this tack runs the risk of confirming the public's worst fears about Clinton: that she's dishonest and lacking in core conviction. That notion, which has a gendered element to it…." [but might also perhaps not be unrelated to her long history of manipulation, lying, stealing, backstabbing, fraud, embezzlement, fraud, more lying, murder, more murder, more fraud]…

Fuck it. The oligarchy doesn't even have to be good at "public relations" anymore. Might as well get ahead of the curve and move to Brazil.

Jim Haygood October 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

The "gendered element" canard hyperlinks to a WaPo article containing this statement from one of the interviewees:

"Research on gender stereotypes has shown that women are often perceived as more honest than their male counterparts."

Meaning that even with a head start thanks to favorable bias, Hillary is still perceived as deceitful.

Heckuva job, Hillary.

Prufrock October 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm

PHH is horrible. They purchased my mortgage last year, and started forclosure proceedings within the 60 day grace period while my autopayment was still going to the previous servicer (as allowed by law). Their customer support in Asia lied repeatedly, and when I starting informing them that I would record the calls, they would hang up or refuse to talk to me.

They finally acknowledged their error after 3-4 calls (particularly once I found out I had to keep asking for a supervisor until I was connected to the US), but it was a huge waste of my time.

john k October 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm

It was actually a great investment of your time.

Jim Haygood October 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Four legs good, two legs bad - photo of a fetching young centaur from Comic Con in NYC:

http://tinyurl.com/zyujq3q

Not to be confused with COMECON, the trade pact among the eastern bloc during Soviet days.

allan October 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Nor to be confused with ECOMCON .

ambrit October 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Nor the 'Necrotelecomnicon.' The handy guide to contacting H Clinton's core advisor circle. As for which precise 'circle' (of H-,) H Clintons advisors come from; opinions are divided.

[Oct 11, 2016] It is unclear when Hillary states her public or private position Shes very nuanced, you know.

Oct 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Anne October 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I did not take that to mean she hated actual, everyday Americans – I took it that she hates that phrase.

I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I'm running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion. I think if she doesn't say it once, people will notice and say we false started in Iowa.

And no, I don't know why the phrase wasn't put into quotes, but I note that there aren't any quotes around the part that begins "she says I'm running for president because…" either. As I read the e-mail, it sure seems to me like it's about the phrase, not about people.

WJ October 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Well, is that her public or private position she's stating? She's very nuanced, you know.

pretzelattack October 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm

it's just, if she did mean that she hated "everyday americans", it would be plausible. it would be irresponsible not to speculate.

[Oct 09, 2016] The asterisked material is how the Clinton campaign staffer "flagged" the quotes they considered dangerous

Oct 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
fresno dan October 9, 2016 at 10:41 am

(The email is a compilation of quotes from Clinton's paid speeches, not otherwise available. It begins: "Attached are the flags from HRC's paid speeches we have from HWA." The asterisked material is how the Clinton campaign staffer "flagged" the quotes they considered dangerous.) Since these quotes are from paid speeches, we can expect Clinton's private position - expect, that is, if we assume that Clinton isn't cheating her clients by failing to deliver value for money in terms of services to be rendered - to be a more accurate representation of her views than her public one. In other words, we're looking at a pitch to the donor class, when Clinton was laying the groundwork for her campaign. In an oligarchy, this would be natural.

===============================================
Sorry, but as I have said before, I don't believe Clinton's speeches are important – they are just a McGuffin to deflect from the real travesty occurring in plain site – what Lloyd Blankfein tells Clinton at the gladhanding after the speech….
As someone once told me in Washington, nothing TRULY important is ever committed to paper.

none October 9, 2016 at 10:48 am

I posted this yesterday but reposting since it's brutal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPrt9GkaQNQ

parody of Clinton ad… I won't post a spoiler.

Jim Haygood October 9, 2016 at 11:12 am

Wish they could've worked in a few seconds from this old chestnut, featuring 0bama saying the p-word:

http://tinyurl.com/gpljv92

[Oct 09, 2016] Hillary Camp Worked With Reporter On Anti-Sanders Story

Notable quotes:
"... Then, Mook reveals that the campaign is working with Epstein on a piece bashing Sanders staff for underhanded tactics. ..."
"... "We are also working with Jen Epstein for a story about this (not necessarily the 11pm knocks, which we are working to confirm) regarding Sanders staff coming to office openings, tracking us, lying about endorsements, other shady field activity, etc.," Mook says in the email. ..."
Oct 09, 2016 | dailycaller.com
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign collaborated with Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein to create an anti-Bernie Sanders story prior to the Nevada caucus.

In the vast trove of Clinton emails leaked Thursday by the organization DCLeaks, there is an email exchange between Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and Emily Ruiz, head of the campaign's Nevada operation. In the exchange, Ruiz and Mook discuss rumors that Sanders volunteers were posing as Clinton operatives and engaging in irritating behavior like knocking on voters' doors at 11 pm.

Then, Mook reveals that the campaign is working with Epstein on a piece bashing Sanders staff for underhanded tactics.

"We are also working with Jen Epstein for a story about this (not necessarily the 11pm knocks, which we are working to confirm) regarding Sanders staff coming to office openings, tracking us, lying about endorsements, other shady field activity, etc.," Mook says in the email.

[Oct 09, 2016] Some of Clintons pledges sound great. Until you remember whos president

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton and husband Bill will turn the White House and the U.S. Government into their personal bank. ..."
"... If the American electorate selects Hillary as their commander and chief she will immediately demand a No-Fly Zone over Syria. She will impose more economic sanctions on Russia, including an increase in NATO strength on Russia's western borders, just to show she is the Queen bitch. She will give israHell carte blanche to increase and expand further abuse in the Gaza strip. She is a woman scorned. And a very dangerous one. ..."
"... [neo]Liberalism is in terminal decline, and not a moment too soon. ..."
"... Hillary does not have any creative spark at all. She, like Obama is a dud, but one thing is for sure, she is not Donald. ..."
"... These same americans should go back, for once, to his 2008 campaign to defeat first Hillary in the primaries and then the republican McCain. ..."
"... The climate was dominated by the financial meltdown, which really started in the summer of 2007 and was evident by early spring of 2008. Hillary was the candidate of Wall Street, according to Obama, the republicans were one and the same with Wall Street and all the big corporate world, he was Hope and Change. ..."
"... Hope? What hope? And even more: change, what change? There has been little change, if almost half of the nation is now ready to accept Trump as a promise of change. Obama's main financial support came in 2008 from Wall Street, hedge funds in particular, and they were right because nobody like the first Afro-American president, himself inevitably the incarnation of progressivism, could save their ass after all the criminal finance they indulged in. ..."
"... So, Obama's inheritance is a problem, and Hillary is running on Obama's inheritance. ..."
"... Robert Kagan, ringleader of the cabal of neo-cons has endorsed Hillary, who is Roberts wife? why bless me if it isn't Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland, ..."
"... Samantha Powers is a neo-con acolyte, Ashton Carter is too, the State Dept. and the council of foreign relations is riddled with their people, all the horror figures of Dubya's days are lurking there and pulling strings, ..."
"... Kerry isn't really a neo-con, but the Pentagon and CIA sabotage anything half decent he tries to do, ..."
"... Basically Hillary is as genuine, left leaning and honest as Tony Blair.... ..."
"... Also remember the lack of believability of Hillary. She is a politician that has been caught in lies so often that people just don't believe her. She pushed the soda tax in Philly until Coca-Cola complained that they gave too much money to the Foundation to be treated that way. Hillary backed off. She made millions from speaking to Big Banks. So we really believe she will go after Wells Fargo? She is beholden to them (unless Goldman Sachs gets to choose). She says raise taxes to pay fair share, but her biggest supporters are Apple, Google, and their executives that keep billions of income overseas to avoid the highest corporate income tax in the world. Do we really think she will hurt the contributors to the Foundation? And the more the email saga plays out, the longer the untrustworthy issue remains in everyone's mind. MonotonousLanguor , 2016-10-07 20:58:06 Does anyone really believe Hillary Clinton will hold anyone on Wall Street accountable??? She is bought and paid for by Wall Street, starting with all the green backs Hillary and Bill stuffed in their pockets from the those speaking fees. Obama's Justice Department motto was, Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail. The Democrats are not going to bite their masters on Wall Street, and of course neither will the Republicans. IanB52 -> NoctilucentGinswig , 2016-10-07 20:41:06 Prosecuting bankers, prosecuting torturers, stopping white collar crime, wars, assassinations, warrantless spying and even scheduling of Marijuana are all under the control of the Executive Branch. Find even one of these where the President did the right thing. Uncle Putin , 2016-10-07 20:26:49 This is exactly what I was thinking during the first presidential debate. Hillary is an old pro at saying all the right things, pushing all the right buttons to get the votes she needs, but can you believe much of what she says? ..."
"... This is why, despite a poor debate performance overall, I thought Trump was spot on when he simply said she was a typical politician--all talk, no action, sounds great, none of it will ever happen. He's correct. ..."
"... What Frank seldom writes of but remains extremely important to many people on the left in the US is that Obama has governed as the effective prisoner of the Pentagon and security establishment. His wars (including on whistleblowers), nuclear build-up, and confrontation with Russia have given added momentum to growing neoconservative bipartisan consensus that will likely see a new President Clinton start a war with Russia in Syria and/or Ukraine. ..."
"... The Democrats are now both so neoliberal and so neoconservative that the only thing that differentiates them from Republicans is social progressivism. Given a choice between the latter and greatly increased likelihood of nuclear war, I have to confess to preferring that Trump win. Trump has been consistent in wanting to lessen tensions with Russia. ..."
"... Not even social progressivism, so much as a set of captive client constituencies whom they name-drop and weaponize. ..."
Oct 09, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Thomas Frank

The Guardian

The puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her? Trump has now stumbled through a series of the kind of blunders that break ordinary political campaigns – the sort of deadly hypocrisies that always kill the demagogue in old movies – and yet this particular demagogue keeps on trucking. Why?

Let us answer that burning pundit question of today by jumping to what will undoubtedly be the next great object of pundit ardor: the legacy of President Barack Obama. Two months from now, when all the TV wise men are playing historian and giving their estimation on where Obama ranks in the pantheon of the greats, they will probably neglect to mention that his legacy helped to determine Hillary's fortunes in this election cycle.

"As a beloved figure among Democrats, for example, Obama was instrumental in securing the nomination for her. As a president who has accomplished little since 2011, however, Obama has pretty much undermined Clinton's ability to sell us on another centrist Democratic presidency. His legacy has diluted her promise

…. Or take this headline from just a few days ago: "Clinton promises to hold Wells Fargo accountable". Go get 'em, Hillary! To see a president get tough with elite bankers and with CEOs in general – that's something we can all cheer for. But then that nagging voice piped up again: if Democrats think it is so critical to get tough with crooked banksters, why oh why didn't Barack Obama take the many, many opportunities he had to do so back in the days when it would have really mattered?"

Senator Elizabeth Warren pronounced on the current state of middle America as follows:

Look around. Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat. Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up. Housing, healthcare, child care – costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans. Working people are in debt. Seniors can't stretch a social security check to cover the basics.

It was a powerful indictment of what Warren called a "rigged" system – except for one thing: that system is presided over by Barack Obama, a man that same Democratic convention was determined to apotheosize as one of the greatest politicians of all times.

The larger problem facing them is the terminal irrelevance of their great, overarching campaign theme. Remember the "man from Hope"? "Hope is on the way"? "Keep hope alive"? Well, this year "hope" is most assuredly dead. Thanks to Obama's flagrant hope-dealing in the dark days of 2008 – followed up by his failure to reverse the disintegration of the middle class – this favorite Democratic cliché has finally become just that: an empty phrase.

dalepues , 2016-10-08 03:43:57
Hillary Clinton and husband Bill will turn the White House and the U.S. Government into their personal bank.
ID8737013 , 2016-10-08 03:12:16
If the American electorate selects Hillary as their commander and chief she will immediately demand a No-Fly Zone over Syria. She will impose more economic sanctions on Russia, including an increase in NATO strength on Russia's western borders, just to show she is the Queen bitch. She will give israHell carte blanche to increase and expand further abuse in the Gaza strip. She is a woman scorned. And a very dangerous one.
marxmarv , 2016-10-08 01:14:18
[neo]Liberalism is in terminal decline, and not a moment too soon. It's far past time we redeveloped a politics of interests rather than this Christianised values sham.
bobkolker , 2016-10-08 00:16:15
Hillary will win because she is not Trump. If she wins it is another 4 Obama like years and it is Bill's Third Term in Office. Hillary does not have any creative spark at all. She, like Obama is a dud, but one thing is for sure, she is not Donald.
cilina2011 , 2016-10-07 22:16:45
I find Thomas Frank's piece very good.

Too many americans are mesmerized by the fact that Obama is young and articulate, plays well the presidential role, is generally speaking what is called a nice person or at least behaves formally as if he were one, has but only of late (thanks to Hillary and Trump perhaps, by contrast) a fairly high popularity score.

These same americans should go back, for once, to his 2008 campaign to defeat first Hillary in the primaries and then the republican McCain.

The climate was dominated by the financial meltdown, which really started in the summer of 2007 and was evident by early spring of 2008. Hillary was the candidate of Wall Street, according to Obama, the republicans were one and the same with Wall Street and all the big corporate world, he was Hope and Change.

Hope? What hope? And even more: change, what change? There has been little change, if almost half of the nation is now ready to accept Trump as a promise of change. Obama's main financial support came in 2008 from Wall Street, hedge funds in particular, and they were right because nobody like the first Afro-American president, himself inevitably the incarnation of progressivism, could save their ass after all the criminal finance they indulged in.

And Obama did save their skin, as everybody knows. Obama took on board plenty of Clinton (and Wall Street) people, starting in June 2008, when Hillary was finished. You cannot change that much after the financial crisis if you take Lawrence Summers as economic top advisor and you install young Geithner at the Treasury. Paul Volcker, who inspired so many good and useful judgements for candidate Obama, was put in the closet.

Obama is a lawyer by education and he knows who is the best customer. That's not the man or the woman of Main Street. To them, some of them, he gave Obamacare, which is not all bad and something of it will remain, I think, but it's not at all that major reform he has been boasting about. By november 8 everybody will know that Obamacare has serious problems.

So, Obama's inheritance is a problem, and Hillary is running on Obama's inheritance.

And Thomas Frank is right.

MattThePleb , 2016-10-07 22:05:27
nice to see the Guardian have a moment of clarity!

I do feel sympathy for Obama, he, and his family, have effectively spent 8 years held hostage in the White House by those perfidious neo-conservatives,

they existed in Ronnie Raygun's day but he laughed at them, G H Bush referred to them as 'the crazies in the basement' and kept close tabs on them,

they were happily meddling away during Bill Clintons era helping destroy Yugoslavia and furiously planning their 'Project for a New American Century' PNAC basically a blueprint and justification for every shitty thing done since,

G W Bush let loose the neo-cons of war and we know what they've done,

Barack Obama's greatest folly was to not round them up on the first day of his presidency, put them in a sack with a brick and throw them in the river,

they have infested his government and followed their own agenda whilst laughing at him, so the story goes, at a private dinner party Barack was asked why he wasn't doing anything to thwart these shits and his reply was 'you saw what they did to MLK'

now at the transition to Clinton these neo-cons are actively endorsing her, they consider her 'their girl' Clinton may well turn out to be George 'Dubya' with tits,

Robert Kagan, ringleader of the cabal of neo-cons has endorsed Hillary, who is Roberts wife? why bless me if it isn't Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland,

Samantha Powers is a neo-con acolyte, Ashton Carter is too, the State Dept. and the council of foreign relations is riddled with their people, all the horror figures of Dubya's days are lurking there and pulling strings,

Kerry isn't really a neo-con, but the Pentagon and CIA sabotage anything half decent he tries to do,

Elizabeth Warren as VP would have given Hillary great credibility but she is explicitly not a neo-conservative,

Basically Hillary is as genuine, left leaning and honest as Tony Blair....

and people wonder why they pin their last tatter of hope Donald 'Mr Bombastic' Trump?

much as I find Trump and his hardcore supporters loathsome I have to point out that he has:

expressed interest in talking with and working with Putin as opposed to starting WW3

accepted the concept of climate change (massive move for a Republican) but pointed out nuclear war is an even greater and more immediate threat,

pointed out the expenditure of 5-6 Trillion dollars on pointless wars whilst the country crumbles to ruins, basically a third of the US national debt run up in 15 years,

the fact he wants to make America great again is because he acknowledges that it isn't great atm,

he's pointed out that Hillary makes all these pledges but has been in a position of power for decades and has done sod all about it,

and the establishment , especially the neo-cons absolutely hate him...

if you're going to hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil maybe chauvinism and casual racism are those lesser evils,

LGBT rights will not defend you from nuclear bombs, the heat flash that vaporises you is fairly indifferent to skin colour or religion,

lvtaxman , 2016-10-07 22:01:35
Also remember the lack of believability of Hillary. She is a politician that has been caught in lies so often that people just don't believe her. She pushed the soda tax in Philly until Coca-Cola complained that they gave too much money to the Foundation to be treated that way. Hillary backed off.

She made millions from speaking to Big Banks. So we really believe she will go after Wells Fargo? She is beholden to them (unless Goldman Sachs gets to choose).

She says raise taxes to pay fair share, but her biggest supporters are Apple, Google, and their executives that keep billions of income overseas to avoid the highest corporate income tax in the world. Do we really think she will hurt the contributors to the Foundation?

And the more the email saga plays out, the longer the untrustworthy issue remains in everyone's mind.

MonotonousLanguor , 2016-10-07 20:58:06
Does anyone really believe Hillary Clinton will hold anyone on Wall Street accountable??? She is bought and paid for by Wall Street, starting with all the green backs Hillary and Bill stuffed in their pockets from the those speaking fees.

Obama's Justice Department motto was, Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail. The Democrats are not going to bite their masters on Wall Street, and of course neither will the Republicans.

IanB52 -> NoctilucentGinswig , 2016-10-07 20:41:06
Prosecuting bankers, prosecuting torturers, stopping white collar crime, wars, assassinations, warrantless spying and even scheduling of Marijuana are all under the control of the Executive Branch. Find even one of these where the President did the right thing.
Uncle Putin , 2016-10-07 20:26:49
This is exactly what I was thinking during the first presidential debate. Hillary is an old pro at saying all the right things, pushing all the right buttons to get the votes she needs, but can you believe much of what she says?

This is why, despite a poor debate performance overall, I thought Trump was spot on when he simply said she was a typical politician--all talk, no action, sounds great, none of it will ever happen. He's correct.

Hillary is promising all sorts of things that she knows will never come to fruition. I voted for Obama twice, but I'm chomping at the bit to vote for Trump, for no other reason then the fact that he is the true outsider here. It's a gamble for sure, but with the right advisors he could potentially institute some major changes that will never happen under a cautious Hillary who will be obsessed with re-election the minute she starts her first term.

Wayne Waxman , 2016-10-07 20:02:39
What Frank seldom writes of but remains extremely important to many people on the left in the US is that Obama has governed as the effective prisoner of the Pentagon and security establishment. His wars (including on whistleblowers), nuclear build-up, and confrontation with Russia have given added momentum to growing neoconservative bipartisan consensus that will likely see a new President Clinton start a war with Russia in Syria and/or Ukraine.

The Democrats are now both so neoliberal and so neoconservative that the only thing that differentiates them from Republicans is social progressivism. Given a choice between the latter and greatly increased likelihood of nuclear war, I have to confess to preferring that Trump win. Trump has been consistent in wanting to lessen tensions with Russia.

As a voter, of course, I could vote for neither, and so am voting for Jill Stein.

marxmarv Wayne Waxman , 2016-10-08 01:26:45
Not even social progressivism, so much as a set of captive client constituencies whom they name-drop and weaponize.

[Oct 09, 2016] Litany of lies, corruption, deceit and infamy

Oct 09, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Kathleen Lake 9m ago 1 2 Hillary, we believe Assange not you and you have earned out contempt. It's sickening to know isn't it, that almost ANY anonymous hacker has more credibility than she who pretends to the throne (and in Clinton's case it is a monarchy not a democracy as thev"line of succession" was determined long before even one vote was cast). Thanks for allowing your (lack of) character to give us one more entry into you litany of lies, corruption, deceit and infamy.", hillary. I will not vote for corruption, lies and oil wars, so I will not vote you... ever. David Stalker 11m ago 0 1 Well what with Bill Clinton gaining the presidency and Hillary the secretary of state position along with the wealth they have generated how could they be none other than establishment for those not familiar with that phrase. and i quote from wikipedia. The Establishment generally denotes a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The Establishment may be a closed social group which selects its own members or specific entrenched elite structures, either in government or in specific institutions. And as such my view is she will get the job as President. eldudeabides 14m ago 1 2 In public we hear her yarn about being against TTIP.....in private, the opposite.

She is not to be believed on any issue.

she is the puppet of her neoliberalist masters. centerline 16m ago 1 2 The wikileaks release here
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/press-release
The Podesta Emails; Part One

....In April 2015 the New York Times published a story about a company called "Uranium One" which was sold to Russian government-controlled interests, giving Russia effective control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for the production of nuclear weapons, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of US government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off the deal was the State Department, then headed by Secretary Clinton. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprises, among others, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy.

As Russian interests gradually took control of Uranium One millions of dollars were donated to the Clinton Foundation between 2009 and 2013 from individuals directly connected to the deal including the Chairman of Uranium One, Ian Telfer. Although Mrs Clinton had an agreement with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors to the Clinton Foundation, the contributions from the Chairman of Uranium One were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons.

sblejo 1h ago 3 4 How can anyone trust Clinton and CO. when they undermined Bernie Sanders, of their own party, because he was winning??? Despicable, disreputable, dishonest, power hungry, corrupt. What else can be said about her and her ilk. And then they blame Russia for exposing the treachery, Americans, so easily led, ignored the truth of the situation. Americans, still do not admit the ugly truth, voting for power rather than ethics. Incredible, she is the other side of the Trump coin. Confucion 2h ago 3 4

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump said at a campaign rally here.

No difference between Trump and Hillary. They are pathological liars, sociopath and extremely sick minds.

They can be caught constantly in their bad deeds but yet they still US presidential candidates.

Time ago people will reject slavery, injustice and abuse. Today it is laissez faire, laissez passer because US people became zombies. Hopeless of hopeless. europeangrayling 2h ago 8 9 It does not matter, people who support Hillary they support Hillary. Does not matter, either they don't believe it, it's right wing conspiracy, or it's OK, nothing wrong with it.

She has a 'private and public position', that's Hillary, she is so smart and experienced. She is for TPP, then against TPP in the primary, now we see 'her private position' is as many 'free trade' deals as we can, they are fine with it. There was survey that says over 70% of Americans don't know what the TPP is, so that makes sense. She even said she supports cutting SS and raising retirement age in a speech, called it 'sensible'.

Hillary's support for the Iraq war, Libya, supporting the Saudis in Yemen and Syria, LIkud in Israel, the Honduras coup of a democratic government helped greatly by the US, that she admitted and advocated for in her book, but then took it out in the new paper back version.

Where now environmental Native American activists and regime critics are being killed by the new regime, and there's a lot more violence in general, but the new regime is friendly' to western corporate interests and Hillary donors, so Hillary loves it, still says there was no coup at all. Even as the EU and our ambassador to Honduras said it was a coup.

I don't know why, but that Honduras thing really hit me, and Berta Cáceres's murder. I mean Hillary is ruthless, or is so detached from reality of life and what these policies and politics do to regular people, I don't know. Just like Cheney, so it makes sense that Wolfowitz and the neocons support her too. But the Honduras things alone, I can't vote for all that. !-- DogsLivesMatter europeangrayling 1h ago 0 1 This documentary is about Berta Caceres if you are interested:
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2016/09/honduras-blood-water-160920064355648.html Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Chillskier 3h ago 4 5 Hillary Clinton on Assange "Can't we just drone this guy:

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/782906224937410562?ref_src=twsrc !-- dynamic22 3h ago 5 6 "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders"

This is not going to go over well with what she has been campaigning recently. Trade is the one area Trump has the advantage currentl Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report dynamic22 dynamic22 3h ago 1 2 *currently, and this quote how it relates to "open borders" provides him a good pivot tp also attack her on immigration !-- dynamic22 3h ago 3 4 having "both a public and a private positions" is damaging to Clinton, as well as the "bucket of losers" comments. Some of her tepid support for the finance industry to regulate itself is also bad for her.

The comments on bonding with Putin over Tiger preservation are hilarious.

"Hillary Clinton Said One Time She Visited Putin And Bonded With Him Over Protecting The Habitat Of Tigers. "One time, I was visiting with him in his dacha outside of Moscow, and he was going on and on, you know, just listing all of the problems that he thinks are caused by the United States. And I said, 'Well, you know, Mr.'-at that time, he was still prime minister. I said, 'You know, Mr. Prime Minister, we actually have some things in common. We both want to protect wildlife, and I know how committed you are to protecting the tiger.' I mean, all of a sudden, he sat up straight and his eyes got big and he goes, 'You care about the tiger? I said, 'I care about the tiger, I care about the elephant, I care about the rhinoceros, I care about the whale. I mean, yeah, I think we have a duty. You know, it's an obligation that we as human beings have to protect God's creation.' He goes, 'Come with me.' So we go down the stairs, we go down this long hall, we go into this private inner sanctum. All of his, you know, very beefy security guys are there, they all jump up at attention, you know, they punch a code, he goes through a heavily-armed door. And then we're in an inner, inner sanctum with, you know, just this long, wooden table, and then further back, there's a desk and the biggest map of Russia I ever saw. And he starts talking to me about, you know, the habitat of the tigers and the habitat of the seals and the whales. And it was quite something." [Jewish United Fund Of Metropolitan Chicago Vanguard Luncheon, 10/28/13]"

So much to go through already. !-- PottyPants 3h ago 7 8 Trump may be the scum of the earth, but he's not a career politician.

Ask any American on the street what the biggest problem with our government is and they'll tell you...

Big Business and the Career Politicians who serve it. Trump is not that. Which is why he was nominated, against all odds, by an increasingly disgruntled voter base.

Read your history books... look at the events leading up to Hitler coming to power... see the similarities with America.

The BLS reports a 5% unemployment rate... that's what all the govt. releases and media outlets use. But if we look at "U-6" unemployment, which counts those only employed part time and "marginally attached" (I.E. TEMPS) that number grows to 10%. Moreover the labor participation rate is at a 30 year low. 50% of American households receive some form of government aid... 43.5 million Americans receive Food Stamps, down from 46.5 because of a forced change in qualification due to that lovely 5% unemployment rate.

The government, and the big businesses that run it, are trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and have you believe that things are just hunky dory... in truth we're doing pretty poorly. This "recovery" has been staged on the back of nine TRILLION dollars in TARP and QE, printed out of thin air and loaned at effectively 0%... and the Fed has as much as admitted they can't raise rates or the whole house of cards will come tumbling down yet again. !-- PerspectivesPlease 3h ago 8 9 An article published on TruePundit.com and tweeted by WikiLeaks claims that in 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broached the idea of launching a drone strike to take out Julian Assange.

Clinton and the state department held numerous meetings to discuss what could be done about Assange and his site which had already exposed damning military secrets about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq before the promised document dump was to come. The department was under pressure from both the White House and foreign governments to silence Wikileaks.

Everyone in the room had laughed and became silent when they realized that Clinton was serious.

http://theantimedia.org/report-clinton-drone-strike-assange /
https://www.rt.com/usa/361459-secretary-clinton-drone-assange / !-- DeConstruct 3h ago 4 5

"I mean, in my campaign – I lose track, but I think I raised $250 million or some such enormous amount, and in the last campaign President Obama raised 1.1 billion, and that was before the Super PACs and all of this other money just rushing in, and it's so ridiculous that we have this kind of free for all with all of this financial interest at stake, but, you know, the Supreme Court said that's basically what we're in for.

Yeah ! If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Right.

[Oct 09, 2016] Some of Clinton's pledges sound great. Until you remember her husband and the current president

Oct 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
geoff October 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm

"Some of Clinton's pledges sound great. Until you remember who's president" (Thomas Frank)

Yes, and I don't recall (hey, that's her line!) the exact phraseology, but something Mrs. Clinton said during the first debate reminded me strongly of Bill in '92. And we all know how that worked out.

No one believes the Dems' talking points any more because they have largely been unfulfilled during the last two Democratic presidencies.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef October 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm

The quality of Hillary's pledges depends on the teleprompter.

She merely reads from it.

[Oct 08, 2016] Hillary is a very warm and nurturing person. When an 8-ball can't make you feel good about your master of the universe self, you hire madame secretary to fluff your fragile feelings a bit.

Oct 08, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Reply
Waldenpond October 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Clinton agrees with you. She's tired of the bias also.

https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/784507647395495937

"But, you know, part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives. You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes so very onerous and unnecessary."

Back aching scrubbing and knee straining cleaning to maintain a decent and safe environment is exhausting. Accumulating wealth and being criticized for accumulating it at the expense of others is equally exhausting. She is the personification of empathy.

Waldenpond October 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Hmmm. … I thought this e-mail was a copy of the Wash Exam article, is it really leaks of portions of Clinton's speeches? It's text book Clinton. I couldn't find the WE article and now Buzzfeed writes it appears to be paid speeches.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/wikileaks-appears-to-release-hillary-clintons-paid-speech-tr?utm_term=.vjaomX3oG#.boZ2ZG520

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927

Waldenpond October 7, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Buzzfeed has it. Now Intercept. Anyone else see it? OK, now CBS.

cnchal October 7, 2016 at 7:12 pm

The more interesting part is this.

"SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that. He said, you know, when he came to Washington he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small – – MR. BLANKFEIN: That's how you have a small fortune , is you go to Washington. . .

The sacrifices they make for us.

Reminds me of a saying in racing. How do you get a million bucks? Start with two.

OIFVet October 7, 2016 at 7:19 pm

The way I read Lord Blankfein is that in a way he was being condescending to the help madame secretary and her Bubba.

Waldenpond October 7, 2016 at 7:25 pm

*Hillary Clinton Said Her Dream Is A Hemispheric Common Market, With Open Trade And Open Markets. *"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere." [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]

What? Open borders with Europe? She can't mean Russia. To be clear, she's also declaring support for that greenest of projects, the Keystone pipeline in another speech.

OIFVet October 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

Hillary is a very warm and nurturing person. When an 8-ball can't make you feel good about your master of the universe self, you hire madame secretary to fluff your fragile feelings a bit. Or you pay mr. president to put on a comfortable pair of shoes and stand guard between you and the peasants with the pitchforks.

[Oct 05, 2016] It reminds me of a string of wet sponges.

Oct 05, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
DJG October 5, 2016 at 9:39 am

Thanks just for this:
Of Harding's speechifying, H.L. Mencken wrote at the time, "It reminds me of a string of wet sponges." Mencken characterized Harding's rhetoric as "so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash." So, too, with Hillary Clinton. She is our Warren G. Harding. In her oratory, flapdoodle and balderdash live on.

And when a person keeps pointing out the importance of keeping one's word, it almost always means that he or she is lying.

John Wright October 5, 2016 at 10:30 am

If only Clinton could be like Warren G. Harding.

At least Harding was aware of the damage his friends caused to him: "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights! "

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Harding had the political courage to pardon, and free from prison, Eugene V. Debs for his crime of giving an anti-war speech the Wilson administration did not like.

Harding did not believe in foreign involvements and was never personally implicated in the financial corruption of his administration.

The Presidency was pushed on him, and he admitted felt he was not qualified.

I believe Harding gets a bad rap because he was not the leader of bold actions (wars) and the corruption of people in his administration was well-documented.

His death was widely mourned in the USA.

As far as long term harm to the country, the do-nothing Harding was not bad for the country.

If Clinton is to be compared to Harding, it would be to view Clinton as a "new" Harding who now believes she is well qualified to be President, wants to do much foreign military involvement, perhaps resulting in war, who is now trusting of her sycopathic friends to give her good advice, and who is personally involved in selling government favors (via the Clinton foundation)

Clinton is probably well coached by well paid advisors in her oratory.

Probably Harding wrote his own..

I would prefer Clinton to be like the old Harding, and the country would muddle through.

[Oct 04, 2016] One interpretation of Hillary actions in Libya and Syria is that she is stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Other is that she was caught up in the amoral bubble of neoliberal empire building that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment views more strongly then any personal psychopathy.

Notable quotes:
"... The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. ..."
"... One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. ..."
crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 7:49 pm 332

Anarcissie @ 239: We basically have a whole class of people, at the top of the social order, who seem devoid of a moral sense - a problem which the upcoming election isn't going to touch, much less solve. I don't blame Clinton for this . . .

JimV @ 317: I am sorry if I mischaracterized BW as implying that HRC is evil, . . .

Peter T @ 320: Whatever the merits of their individual stances, there is no reason to suppose that either Obama or Hillary can exert more than loose control over this mess [the multi-sided regional civil war engulfing Syria and northern Iraq]

stevenjohnson @ 324: The recent leak that Clinton is against nuclear armed cruise missiles and isn't committed to Obama's trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade appears to suggest she's not quite on board with plans for general war.

LFC @ 330: I disagree w the notion that the pt of nuclear 'modernization' is to make plausible the threat of "imminent general nuclear war." If U.S. military planners took hallucinogenic drugs and went nuts, they could "plausibly" threaten "imminent general nuclear war" right now with the US nuclear arsenal as currently configured. They don't need to upgrade the weapons to do that. The program is prob more the result of rigid, unimaginative thinking at top levels of Pentagon and influence of outside companies (e.g. Boeing etc) that work on the upgrades.

I don't know if that seems like a somewhat random collection of precursors to assemble as preface to a comment. I was thinking of picking out a few upthread references to climate change and the response to it (or inadequacy thereof) as well.

I am a little disturbed by the idea of leaving the impression that I think Hillary Clinton is "evil". What I think is that American politics in general is not generating realistic, adaptive governance.

I am using that bloodless phrase, "realistic, adaptive governance", deliberately, to emphasize wanting to step outside the passions of the Presidential election. I think the Manichean narrative where Trump is The Most Horrible Candidate Evah and Everyone Must Line Up Behind Clinton as an Ethical Imperative of a High Order is part of the process of propaganda and manipulation that distorts popular discussion and understanding and helps to create a politics that cannot govern realistically and adaptively. This is not about me thinking Trump is anything but a horrible mess of a candidate who ought to be kept far from power.

I see Clinton as someone who is trapped inside the dynamics of this seriously deranged politics qua political process. I don't see her as entirely blameless. Politicians like Obama and either Clinton, at the top of the political order, are masters (keeping in mind that there are many masters working to some extent in opposition to one another as rivals, allies, enemies and so on) of the process and create the process by the exercise of their mastery, as much as they are mastered by it. I see them as trapped by the process they have helped (more than a little opportunistically) to create, but trapped as Dr Frankenstein is by his Creature.

Clinton must struggle with the ethical contradictions of governance at the highest levels of leadership: she must, in the exercise of power in office and out, practice the political art of the possible in relation to crafting policy that will be "good" in the sense of passably effective and efficient - this may involve a high degree of foresightful wonkery or a lethally ruthless statesmanship, depending upon circumstances. Beside this business of making the great machinery of the state lumber forward, she must strive to appear "good", like Machiavelli's Prince, even while playing an amoral game of real politick, gathering and shepherding a complex coalition of allies, supporters, donors and cooperative enemies.

Machiavelli, when he was considering the Princely business of appearing "good", was contending with the hypocrisies and impossible idealism of authoritarian Catholic morality. He barely connected with anything that we would recognize as democratic Public Opinion and could scarcely conceive of what Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays, let alone Fox News, Vox and the world wide web might do to politics.

We are trapped, just as Clinton is trapped, in the vast communication nightmare of surrealistic news and opinion washing in upon us in a tide that never ebbs. We are trapped by the politics of media "gotchas" and Kinsley Gaffes (A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.)

I don't think Clinton lacks a moral sense. What I think is that Clinton's moral sense is exhausted calculating what to say or do within the parameters of media-synthesized conventional wisdom policed by people who are themselves exhausted trying to manage it. Matt Lauer's interview with Clinton was notorious for the relentless and clueless questioning about the email server, although I, personally, was shocked when he asked her a question that seemed premised on the idea that veterans should be offended by admitting the Iraq War was a mistake.

I would think it is easy to see that the media circus is out of control, especially when a clown like Trump graduates from The Apprentice to the Republican nomination. YMMV, but I think this is a serious problem that goes beyond vividly imagined sepia-toned parodies of Trump's candidacy as the second coming of Mussolini.

While we're getting ourselves agitated over Trump's racism or threats to bar Muslims from entry, apparently the Military-Industrial Complex, left on autopilot, is re-designing the nation's nuclear arsenal to make the outbreak of nuclear war far more likely. And, the closest Clinton gets to a comment, campaign commitment or public discussion, let alone an exercise of power, is a PR "leak"!!!

The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. Clinton offered up a sound-bite last year, saying that she favored imposing a "no-fly" zone, which was exposed as kind of crazy idea, given that the Russians as well as Assad's government are the ones flying, not to mention the recent experience with a no-fly zone in Libya. One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. What's most alarming to me is that we cannot count on personal character to put the brakes on that process, which is now the process of governance. I am writing now of the process of governance by public relations that was has been exposed a bit in profiles of the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes.

In Syria, it has become almost comical, if you can overlook the bodies piling up, as the U.S. has sought a the mythical unicorn of Syrian Moderate Democrats whom the Pentagon or the CIA can advise, train and arm. This is foreign policy by PR narrative and it is insanely unrealistic. But, our politics is trapped in it, and, worse, policy is trapped in it. Layer after layer of b.s. have piled up obscuring U.S. interests and practical options. Recently, U.S. forces supporting the Turks have come dangerously close to blowing up U.S. forces supporting the Kurds. When you find yourself on opposing sides of a civil war like Charles I you may be in the process of losing your head. Some of the worst elements opposing Assad have been engaged in a transparent re-branding exercise aimed at garnering U.S. aid. And, U.S. diplomats and media face the high challenge of explaining why the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

But, hey, Clinton will get Robert Kagan's vote and a better tomorrow is only a Friedman unit away, so it is all good.

[Oct 02, 2016] Hillary had called for a physical barrier to keep out immigrants

Notable quotes:
"... Wow, that 5 minute video is well worth watching. HRC calls multiple times for walls and "barriers" to be constructed along the Mexican border. ..."
"... trump campaign should distribute that to every spanish speaking organization that's out there. ..."
"... Understandably, Hillary was filled with enthusiasm after visiting Israel's security wall and seeing how well it keeps out unwanted brown people. /sarc ..."
Oct 02, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Edna M. October 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

An important find from the Jimmy Dore show: Hillary had called for a physical barrier to keep out immigrants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jCG566TFZI&index=8&list=LLZJl7owO_xSf0NPr6iXK_0w

Pavel October 2, 2016 at 9:10 am

Wow, that 5 minute video is well worth watching. HRC calls multiple times for walls and "barriers" to be constructed along the Mexican border.

pretzelattack October 2, 2016 at 9:21 am

trump campaign should distribute that to every spanish speaking organization that's out there.

Jim Haygood October 2, 2016 at 10:07 am

Understandably, Hillary was filled with enthusiasm after visiting Israel's security wall and seeing how well it keeps out unwanted brown people. /sarc

[Sep 28, 2016] Goldwater wasn't a liar

Notable quotes:
"... I'd actually say that endorsing Hillary very much reflects conservative ideals and Republican (party) principles. Kudos to them on maintaining their streak. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Alex morfesis September 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

The arizona republic has Never endorsed a democrat…$hillary is just a goldwater girl wearing democratic spanx(tm)….

Reply
Benedict@Large September 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Goldwater wasn't a liar.

Daryl September 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm

> "Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles"

I'd actually say that endorsing Hillary very much reflects conservative ideals and Republican (party) principles. Kudos to them on maintaining their streak.

[Sep 26, 2016] Hillarys lies are always are well crafted, well designed, kind of lawyerly dissertations on misdirection and obfuscation.

Notable quotes:
"... First, I would certainly agree that Trump lies. Which is not to be confused with his inchoate policy prescriptions and vast ignorance. But as I have noted, Trump lies are – to use an overused phrase – "transparent". ..."
"... Compare to Hillary's lies – which are well crafted, well designed, and are lawyerly dissertations on misdirection and obfuscation. As well as being made to advance policy goals that are for the benefit of the 1%. Is Hillary against TPP in ANY sense of the meaning of the word "against" ? ..."
"... And with regard to media "fact checkers" – their "fact" checks take political statements at face value, and strike me as hopelessly unsophisticated and naive, and additionally hopelessly uninformed. As well as the "frame" of the question. Do a search regarding whether Clinton started birtherism. And than do a search whether Clinton used racist dog whistles to advance her 2008 campaign. Quite a difference. Which is effectively worse (hmmm – thats a twofer: is Clinton using dog whistles or is the media not asking relevant questions worse)??? ..."
"... People understand that it is all hype, all spin, and usually worse all the time. Is that too cynical? Well, when money and power are involved, it probably isn't…. ..."
"... An interesting take in that article, essentially arguing that the public has been gaslighted for so long by PR and image scrubbing that they crave Trump because his egotism is at least real ..."
"... So classic! The example Loofbourow gives to show how people are sick of gaslighting is… a classic case of gaslighting itself, as Trump never said he "loves" Putin, and Putin never called him a "genius". Rather these are the memes that our Acela Bubble gaslighters have been flooding into our brains. ..."
"... brangelina article . ..."
"... There is no perfect explanation that will account for Trump supporters' anger. They seem to share with Bernie Sanders supporters a deep sense of betrayal, of fundamental and unsolvable mistrust. ..."
"... One major problem with clinton's campaign message of portraying trump as nuts and 'unfit' is that 1) trump has no history of mental illness or known medical issues. I've read he doesn't drink and hasn't had any incidents where he's lost his temper and done something crazy that she can point to. 2) the whole 'unfit' thing presumes that people have confidence in the current political class and will reject someone who isn't up to that standard. ..."
Sep 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

fresno dan September 25, 2016 at 7:33 am

"One visible frustration shared by Team Clinton and its many allies in the punditocracy is that many voters are ignoring what they think the rules should be, particularly that Trump routinely says things that are false, yet poll responses suggest that respondents don't care all that much about how often Trump lies or wings it and gets it wrong."

First, I would certainly agree that Trump lies. Which is not to be confused with his inchoate policy prescriptions and vast ignorance. But as I have noted, Trump lies are – to use an overused phrase – "transparent".

Compare to Hillary's lies – which are well crafted, well designed, and are lawyerly dissertations on misdirection and obfuscation. As well as being made to advance policy goals that are for the benefit of the 1%. Is Hillary against TPP in ANY sense of the meaning of the word "against" ?

And with regard to media "fact checkers" – their "fact" checks take political statements at face value, and strike me as hopelessly unsophisticated and naive, and additionally hopelessly uninformed. As well as the "frame" of the question. Do a search regarding whether Clinton started birtherism. And than do a search whether Clinton used racist dog whistles to advance her 2008 campaign. Quite a difference. Which is effectively worse (hmmm – thats a twofer: is Clinton using dog whistles or is the media not asking relevant questions worse)???

Now, for me, its hard to believe that media people, whose ONLY job is to write about politics, are so uninformed as to not understand the term "dog whistle" or to not understand that an awful lot of politics is trying to smear your opposition without leaving fingerprints. How many stories have you read in the MSM about the Clinton foundation that gave a detailed analysis of what they spend money on by someone that you trust really understands and can explain how a charity should operate???

Now, this link to "Brangelina" I think actually is pertinent to why media "fact checkers" are so scorned – the second half of the article offers insight how the modern press relations business runs circles around the media and how people who want to portray a "message" can easily do so.

http://theweek.com/articles/650080/brangelina-matters

People understand that it is all hype, all spin, and usually worse all the time. Is that too cynical? Well, when money and power are involved, it probably isn't….

RabidGandhi September 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

An interesting take in that article, essentially arguing that the public has been gaslighted for so long by PR and image scrubbing that they crave Trump because his egotism is at least real:

You know who does seem authentic? Someone who does everything out of nothing but naked self-interest, and admits it frankly. Someone who makes no pretense that he's trying to live up to some notion of decency. Someone whose only metric - whose admitted basis of action on any topic - is how it will affect him. Donald Trump loves Vladimir Putin. Why? Because Putin called him a genius. What else could possibly matter? To pretend one cares about anything else would be just that: a pretense. His rationale may not be good, but it is at least pure, uncontaminated by considerations of how things will look.

So classic! The example Loofbourow gives to show how people are sick of gaslighting is… a classic case of gaslighting itself, as Trump never said he "loves" Putin, and Putin never called him a "genius". Rather these are the memes that our Acela Bubble gaslighters have been flooding into our brains.

Embrace the meta.

John Rose September 25, 2016 at 10:22 am

And another quote that ends the brangelina article .

There is no perfect explanation that will account for Trump supporters' anger. They seem to share with Bernie Sanders supporters a deep sense of betrayal, of fundamental and unsolvable mistrust. And of course a great deal of that sense of grievance has to do with class, and race, and gender - and the economy and our justice system and racism and education and income inequality and foreign wars and xenophobia.

But we're in danger of missing a huge chunk of what drives the American psyche if we forget just how frivolous we are, if we forget to look at what Americans actually think about and watch in their spare time. And that isn't politics. It's The Bachelorette. It's Instagram. It's the Kardashians. This week, it's Brangelina and the peculiar wave of nostalgia their breakup inspired as we remember a time when we weren't quite this jaded.

The Jolie-Pitt divorce has been hailed as the end of an era. So it is: The end of their union marks the end of a style of celebrity fluent in rewriting the narrative, of spinning scandal into decency and a happy ending so convincing that people threw away their #TeamJen shirts. Sure, sure, this is a "real family." Yes, these are "real people." This story is no doubt "complicated." But secretly, we believe complexity is a con. Really, the end of Brangelina just confirms our suspicions: It's lies all the way down, just as we always feared.

johnnygl September 25, 2016 at 9:07 am

One major problem with clinton's campaign message of portraying trump as nuts and 'unfit' is that 1) trump has no history of mental illness or known medical issues. I've read he doesn't drink and hasn't had any incidents where he's lost his temper and done something crazy that she can point to. 2) the whole 'unfit' thing presumes that people have confidence in the current political class and will reject someone who isn't up to that standard.

Trump just needs to seems reasonable and not like the whacko seen in the constant barrage of clinton ads.

[Sep 14, 2016] Hillary Clinton views almost everytbody outside of the top one percent as Basket of deplorables

Notable quotes:
"... True. I attribute it all to deep-seated self loathing. Somewhere deep down the vestigal organ known as the "conscience" is paying attention. ..."
"... was taken as evidence in his own mind ..."
"... Liberals believe in addressing every issue within a socio-economic context (Crime, Terrorism, …) Except racism. That issue is context free ..."
"... Kids just feel and act, unconditioned. ..."
"... They are pure and genuine. They are not cheaters. Kids are our masters, we must learn from them. We should be more like kids. ..."
"... Today we can learn from them, just watch these kids in action. ..."
"... I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes ..."
"... "I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari ..."
"... "In the minds of many, soil is simply dirt, but without it we would all cease to exist. Unlike the water we drink and the air we breathe, soil is not protected in the EU and its quality is getting worse" ..."
Sep 14, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
skeeter , September 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm

"Basket of deplorables," how pithy a metaphor for placing your detractors in a container from which their voices and needs can be discounted. Clinton gives us a great turn of phrase with which we can contemplate her inclination to strip the prerogatives of citizenship – such as the inclination not to select her at the ballot – from her detractors.

Agamben's thesis is that western constitutional democracies inevitably turn to the state of exception and strip citizenship from their peoples on the way.

We have been at it a long time in America. The delightful new twist is contemplating the election of a candidate who tells us that not being a card carrying identity politics connected elitist, or sycophant of, will get you relegated to the ranks of homo sacer – the bare human. And oh yes, the Secretary is inclined to be the decider. There is no functional distinction between the nightmares these candidates represent.

JohnnyGL , September 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Check this out….NPR quotes CNBC to smear Trump's day-care tax deduction plan with the old, "how you gonna pay for that?" line.

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/13/493755181/trump-campaign-sketches-out-family-care-plans-questions-linger-over-funding

Interesting to see that this is Ivanka's pet issue. Maybe Trump really intends on pushing for this?

It's nice to be pandered to!

RabidGandhi , September 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Re: Charles Blow, "if the basket fits…"
_____________

Blow makes it official: this is the Best Election Ever for Team Blue. First they get to bring their "kick-the-left" game up to the next level with the mugging of the Sanders campaign. Then they (finally!) get to copulate in public with their neo-con friends-with-benefits. And now, as Blow demonstrates, they are at last free to spew their hate against the ignorant chumps in flyover: all the bile they have piled up but just couldn't articulate because you gotta be PC ("impolitic" dixit Blow).

Read the comments on the NYT articles or in other liberal goodthink rags: HRC was just articulating what the entire Acela bubble wanted to say but was too tactful. Listen to HRC making the actual comments: there were no boos or gasps, just laughter (sadly showing how part of the LGBT movement has become appallingly intolerant: a vast cry from the movement's origins).

Blow is just one voice in a blue chorus singing battlesongs against the poor and the left. A very clarifying election indeed.

HopeLB , September 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Love your analysis!

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 13, 2016 at 7:52 pm

True. I attribute it all to deep-seated self loathing. Somewhere deep down the vestigal organ known as the "conscience" is paying attention.

Anonymous , September 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

> "Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Collected $125 Million" [Fortune]. I think it's very important that a woman –Carrie Tolstedt - shattered the glass ceiling for accounting control fraud.

When the story first broke a few days ago, I knew right away (as in, before even finishing reading the headline) that this was another accounting control fraud. It's really sad that NC is the only place where the term "control fraud" is used in connection with this scandal.

HopeLB , September 13, 2016 at 7:25 pm

I was entertaining a variation of that very idea. Some honest to God disgruntled and disappointed Justice Fighter from the FBI goes rogue, righting Comey's wrong, with the Russian Conspiracy twist(polonium) thrown in for ironic flair.

Jake Mudrosti , September 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm

The only positive thing to happen during this election season is the death of mainstream media. With their insufferable propaganda fully exposed, there is no coming back.

I have a bleaker view of human cognition, and so disagree. It must be noted that in the past couple weeks, an NC commenter honestly felt he needed to inform me of my own country of origin, because in his mind this was something that I clearly needed to be schooled about. Yes, the fact that I disagreed with his narrative was taken as evidence in his own mind that he needed to school me - to teach me where I'm from, and teach me how my friends and family died. A clearer example of basic cognitive failure would be hard to come by.

Yet, as 20th century world history shows very clearly, when a culture shifts in that direction, such self-certain lunacy just becomes the new order of the day. It becomes the style.

It seems that many of my previous NC comments mention Robert Jay Lifton's books, and, well, can't avoid doing it again. Critics of his analyses fault them for being "unfalsifiable," etc, but I counter by saying that they were offered in a totally different spirit as a summary of his painstaking observations rather than a cognitive theory.

If there's any hope of digging out of the cultural hole in the near term, I'd say that'd be the place to start.

Robert Hahl , September 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Thanks, I will look at Lifton.

Speaking of books that offer deep insights into human behavior without citing any evidence, I really loved Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti.

Kim Kaufman , September 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

""Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Collected $125 Million" [Fortune]. I think it's very important that a woman –Carrie Tolstedt - shattered the glass ceiling for accounting control fraud."

See? We're living in a post racist, sexist world. Now it's not only white men who can eff over everyone else, African-Americans and women can join that elite club of amoral people. And get rich doing it!

Arizona Slim , September 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

And if you say anything mean about Carrie, you are being sexist!

DWD , September 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Liberals believe in addressing every issue within a socio-economic context (Crime, Terrorism, …)
Except racism. That issue is context free

Maybe it is just me but I disagree vehemently with this sentiment.

The reasoning is fairly simple: these issues that are used to divide us (racism, sexism, religion, economics) are made much stronger when the economy is the weakest.

If you need proof look to the great industrial states of the Midwest with their racist (now, never before) governments: Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even Rauner in Illinois. These political beliefs would never gain traction when the economies were going great. Working people have taken the brunt of the globalization bullshit and the endless contempt of "Clinton Liberals" everywhere (apparently)

Gareth , September 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Economic hardship is an amplifier of racism. This is what the limousine liberals never seem to understand. For them is it much more satisfying to demonstrate their moral superiority through contempt for the deplorables.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

The socio-economic context they're talking about is whether they can afford the deserving poor and the opera.

Also, what Gareth says.

abynormal , September 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Kids just feel and act, unconditioned.

They are pure and genuine.
They are not cheaters.
Kids are our masters, we must learn from them.
We should be more like kids.

Today we can learn from them, just watch these kids in action.
http://www.lifehack.org/428542/these-kids-really-show-the-bright-side-human-nature

2 days ago i went to a local park just to swing and to be honest, cry… where no one would be put out. took about a minute for a toddler to bring me a tiny flower…i didn't even know she was near. at first i was embarrassed but then realized her heart will grow thru endearing gestures. i smiled and asked her if she could show me how to swing as high as she does. hope yall get a rise out of kids. they can be near at the strangest moment…when we let them.

Janie , September 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Been thinking about you with tears in my eyes but unable to find the right words. You have more friends than you know.

Jim Haygood , September 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Good on you, aby.

The universe reached out to you.

Romancing The Loan , September 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Given that we're all becoming resigned to having a horrible president yet again I'm taking a surprising delight in the proliferating Clinton conspiracy theories after her collapse Sunday (the body double, the catheter, etc.). I hadn't seen this one before and thought I would share with the group – that Chelsea's 10M condo (where Hillary was taken), at The Whitman at 21 E. 26th St. in the NY – is supposedly (I have no idea) the same building as has listed " Metrocare Home Services "

The conspiracy theory is that Hillary has her own private hospital in the same building, which going to "Chelsea's apartment" is cover for.

I'm sure it's not true but, like all the others, it'd be pretty funny if it was and I'm sure the Clinton team would have zero compunction about the deception involved.

Jess , September 13, 2016 at 4:15 pm

That's so sweet and beautiful. I can imagine the scene in my mind, as I'm sure many other readers can.

Mark John , September 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

It is amazing what one can come up with when one absolutely does not trust another. Let me say, first of all, that Hillary allowing herself to go out on a hot day in the middle of a large crowd after working like a "demon" (!!!) is not the best political move. It is like sticking one's head into the jaws of the conspiracy theorists and saying bite down hard.

But, if, perhaps Clinton is not soooo politically inept, which, Lord knows, she gives every evidence of being, here is an alternative perspective I cooked up with a little appetizer. . .

First item..The Clintons tell Loretta Lynch they want to keep her on at DOJ. But that will be hard to do if she is the face of not filing charges against Hillary. Let's do an impromptu meeting (Bill and Loretta Lynch) on airplane, then put it out in marquis letters so the conspiracy theorists run with it. Loretta Lynch honorably steps down, gets to keep her job if Hillary is elected.

From this line of thinking, conspiratorial as it also well is, Hillary is expected to clobber Donald Trump in the debates. Politically speaking, she has set for herself a very high bar, being so qualified and all. Let's use this illness thing, cook up a minor illness and Hillary faints at the 9/11 memorial. The conspiracy theorists run away with it, she is on death's door, yadayada. Some upside is that she will engender some sympathy.

Two weeks later at Hofstra, bar much lower, she comes back as robust as can be, bar set much , much lower. Headlines read "Clinton Comes Back Swinging" and "Clinton Alive and Well at Hofstra".

Roger Smith , September 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing!

Vatch , September 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

In the movie "Being There", the super rich guy played by Melvyn Douglas has a mini hospital in his home. Maybe that's standard operating procedure for the oligarchs!

nowhere , September 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Two doors down from the panic room (the private server being behind the other door, of course).

Tom , September 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

And one door away from the emergency chute that empties in the sub basement, where a disused subway tunnel has been refurbished to whisk away any particularly privacy-oriented presidential candidate, safe from prying eyes.

grayslady , September 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

The whole building seems to have been the admin. headquarters for an outfit called Metrocare Home Services before it was refitted as a swanky, 4-unit residential building. Amusing, but no "there" there.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Red herring. "This facility is closed or merged with another facility. " (NYSDH)

Besides, she or anyone else with dough can have an ostentatiously well-appointed sickroom within the apartment, regardless of previous or present tenants of the building. And a home health care business wouldn't make a particularly useful front to stockpile advanced treatments etc. for what ails her. They tend not to keep much inventory, in my limited experience.

McWatt , September 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Had my catalytic converter stolen by thieves with battery operated sawsall's. They are under the car
and out in two minutes. Locally they get $40.00-50.00 for them. Cost to replace…Dealer $2,200.00,
local guy you know $1200.00 .

Police report in my area from two weeks ago said 12 were stolen in one night's rampage.

Paid Minion , September 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

I got that beat……..

Car broken into, rummaged thru, change stolen from center console.

Money stolen = About four bucks

Damage to car = Shattered window, prybar damage to "A" pillar and window seals, when they tried to pry the window open = $1500.

Damage/theft ratio = 375 to 1

But according to this morning's post, they were probably tearing up my s##t because they were hungry, so I guess I should blame myself for only paying half my income in various taxes.

Robert Hahl , September 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

You don't pay taxes, your employer does. If taxes dropped your income would adjust down by the same amount.

Sammy Maudlin , September 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

That statement is wrong on numerous levels, number one of which is that while an employer may withhold earnings of a W-2 employee for the purpose of paying income taxes, it is the employee that pays those taxes. Until a return is filed and processed, the withheld amount is a deposit made on the employee's behalf. The amount of the deposit is based on the gross wages of the employee. If the tax rate drops, also would the deposit, and ultimately the tax. But the amount of gross wages are unaffected.

Also, last I checked, employers generally don't pay sales or property taxes for employees on non-employment related purchases.

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Oh good God, over 40% of the population gets their payroll taxes back.

Yes, it sucks that they are taken out to begin with, particularly when there are definitely pay periods when the 50 bucks could be utilized to pay a co pay or buy things that one needs.

Additionally, if you are paying property taxes to begin with you're one up on much of the population, it means you have a house or a car. You've made a conscious choice to own things. The streets your car and house are located on aren't free. The schools in your communities aren't no cost. I'm so over people whining about paying taxes.

Sammy Maudlin , September 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

My comment strictly relates to the erroneous characterizations of the responsibility for paying taxes and the effect of a tax reduction on gross wages asserted by Robert Hahl.

I did not intend to address the amount thereof, justification for, nor the proper amount of self-righteousness a taxpayer may exude for paying said taxes.

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

getting some of the broken windows policing types on NC?

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm

I probably should have just called BS on his claim that he pays 50% in taxes or called him on his lack of empathy for those that actually go hungry(many of which are CHILDREN.)

My first instinct to tell those fortunate enough to have to pay is to tell them to go ahead and "spite" the system by getting that job at BK so they can live the "good life" on minimum wage and then they too can not pay taxes….of course, they'll also forgo retirement accounts, vacation days, owning a home, struggle with owning a car and the costs associated with it, etc, etc but hey, they won't be paying 50% in taxes.

Personally, I am profoundly grateful that our family pays a percentage in taxes(not 50% but above Mitt Romney.) It means we can afford a car, a house and we have a decent income. It means I can afford that DVD that I pay sales tax on. All in all it means our family is accumulating wealth.

Anyway, I should have directed this at the OP, not you.

Bubba_Gump , September 13, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Pretty sure my federal taxes go to defense contractors to make war. My state and local taxes cover what doesn't come from the feds anymore cause they're too busy spending on war. That's why I complain.

cwaltz , September 14, 2016 at 12:21 am

They go organizations that work on roads, they go to organizations that make sure you have clean water, organizations that make sure your kids don't eat lead, organizations that make sure you aren't eating food filled with e coli- Don't go to the states to help pay for schools or other local programs not covered by your local or state taxes.

Don't get me wrong, way too much money goes to war. On that we are in absolute agreement however, be angry instead that our government has so much potential to do so much more than destroy with that money. Our government could be doing more for things like schooling or health care and it would be a way better use of the monies we pay.

I think the right and left agree that the government is failing us. Where we disagree is on what to do about it. The right thinks that things will be better if the government gets smaller and gets out of the way. I tend to disagree. It needs good leaders that believe in accountability and have vision. It needs people to right size it, not downsize it and people that negotiate in good faith with the private sector, not roll over for it.

A government is only as good as it's leadership and right now we've got some pretty questionable leadership.

inode_buddha , September 13, 2016 at 10:10 pm

I would dearly love to know how to get it all back every year, having spent my entire life under 30k and paying (aggregate) about 20% per anum. What really gets me is listening to co-workers go on about how people go on welfare because the gov't gives them so much money.

cwaltz , September 14, 2016 at 12:40 am

All my experiences with those on welfare is it's a pretty miserable experience. After my stepfather died, my mom had to get help financially for her 3 minor children. They means tested everything, she couldn't even own a car for more than something ridiculous like $3000.

I also know someone who turned down work because actually working hours she did not know would be guaranteed the next month would have cut her food stamps the following month.

It seems positively contradictory to me to set up a system that encourages reliance forever because you are continually threatening the safety net of a person the minute they get a tiny bit ahead.

Personally, I'd love to see the government start doing what it does for the very rich and allowing or helping people to put assets away in an "emergency account(up to $5,000)." Instead it's only the really rich and middle class who get to put money away tax free for retirement(401ks, hsas, IRAs) schools for their kids, health care, etc, etc. All of this money is meant for long term savings which for someone on the bottom of the income ladder is something they can't do because they're too worried about having access to money when that crappy $3000 car breaks down.

It's a stupid, crazy system and I know we could be doing better.

Robert Hahl , September 14, 2016 at 1:45 am

Again, if all of your taxes were lowered, your employer would be able to pay you less, and that is what would happen.

Left in Wisconsin , September 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

My guess would be $$ for heroin.

Paid Minion , September 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Oxycodone, or something like that. The "Drug du Jour" according to my kids.

It's hard for us old folk to keep track of all of the different ways people are effing themselves up anymore.

An interesting study could be made on how many people have made themselves essentially unemployable due to drugs/alcohol/excessive marijuana usage.

Better yet, align that study with the people essentially unemployable due to giant, unsightly tattoos.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

I am told that the tattoo approval test is a generational thing…if you're old, you are not likely to have one or know a friend who has one (most of time…many wonderful older people – in this country or many other countries – have them).

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Property is theft.

Then you have theft of theft, that is, theft of property.

Property theft is under reported, it feels to me (based on my personal experience and talking with neighbors around here…do i live in a bad neighborhood?).

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

You must have a fairly high income if your tax rate cumulatively is 50%.

Is that you Phil Mickelson whining that you only get to keep a portion of your 61 million that you got paid to play golf?

Jim Haygood , September 13, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Going from memory here, but I seem to recall reading in a car magazine - late 60s, early 70s - that master thieves in NYC could drop a 4-speed transmission from a curb-parked Corvette in 8 minutes flat.

Dropping a trans is not a trivial task.

Now butchers with sawzalls can swipe a cat converter in 2 minutes, with two quick, crude cuts through a thinwall exhaust pipe.

Just goes to show how skills have declined. :-(

I was a butcher cutting up meat
My hands were bloody, I'm dying on my feet
I was a surgeon 'till I start to shake
I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes

- Rolling Stones, You Got Me Rocking

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:42 pm

I was a-falling 'till you put on the brakes

hope you can believe in

steelhead23 , September 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

"I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari

I am surprised you didn't comment on this, Lambert. The federal deficit is just a number. Kashkari's argument that increasing the deficit implies future higher taxes is bunk – displaying a lack in understanding monetary theory. I admit to only a cursory understanding, but the real purpose of income taxes is to slow the flow of money through the economy to reduce inflationary pressures. Federal infrastructure spending would boost the lagging economy, with virtually no downside. There is absolutely no need to pay-down the debt. I would be more comfortable with Kashkari as the treasurer of my local PTA than a regional Federal Reserve Bank president. Can't we do better?

Yves Smith , September 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Kashkari is a diehard libertarian. And he's upfront about it if you read up on his failed bid to be CA governor.

hunkerdown , September 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Kashkari's argument that increasing the deficit implies future higher taxes is bunk – displaying a lack in understanding monetary theory.

Kashkari, as a big banker, would presumably be the recipient of those higher taxes, since he would presumably be part of those financing said deficit. He's talking business, not monetary theory. It's the flexian way to presume that managers are there to be served.

John k , September 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Can either cut taxes, boost spending, or raise interest rates to suppress inflation.

Taxing citizens give value to the currency and thereby makes them willing to sell their goods and services to gov to obtain sufficient taxes to pay tax.
So gov levies a tax to obtain goods and services, not dollars that have no value to the entity that creates them.

Left in Wisconsin , September 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

OTOH, here is Kocherlakota on Janet Yellen:

She argued in part that, thanks to its new tools of forward guidance and long-term asset purchases, the Fed would be able to offset the next recession, even if interest rates eventually stabilized at historically low levels.

Yet] two years into this hypothetical recession, the Fed would be refusing to provide more accommodation, even though the unemployment rate would be above 9 percent and it would be expecting the inflation rate to be falling further below its target for another three years.

But I wonder why the good econo-doctor has only got religion now that he is off the Fed.

allan , September 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Wake up and smell the methane impunity:

SoCal Gas to pay $4-million settlement over massive Porter Ranch gas leak
[LA Times]

Southern California Gas Co. agreed to a $4-million settlement Tuesday to end a criminal case filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors over the utility's handling of the massive gas leak near Porter Ranch last year.

The gas company pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of failing to immediately notify the California Office of Emergency Services and Los Angeles County Fire Department of the leak that began on or around Oct. 23, 2015, in the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. The utility will pay the maximum fine of $75,000 for that three-day delay, according to the L.A. County district attorney's office.

The gas company will pay $232,500 in state penalties on top of that fine and $246,672 for the fire department's response to the leak.

Three other misdemeanor counts will be dismissed when the utility is sentenced on Nov. 29.

End of story. Literally.

This is believed to be one of the largest releases in human history of the most powerful green house gas.

nowhere , September 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Definitely makes a strong case for companies to continue to defer maintenance. Seems there is no downside.

Synoia , September 13, 2016 at 7:01 pm

It is nothing compared with the GHGs exhaled by the US DOD.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , September 13, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Who gets the puny $4 million money?

The state government?

The people who are victims directly or (in greater S. Cal areas or even neighboring states) indirectly?

The animals and plants that suffered through the release of more green house gas?

I really hope it's not more money to the state so they can hire more traffic cops to get those who do not stop completely at stop signs.

craazyman , September 13, 2016 at 4:40 pm

another confusing plantidote. Is the plantidoe the yellow flower or is it the green thingies by the rocks?

I suppose it's up to the viewer to decide. Which seems like a lot of work. Some crackpot might choose the rocks themselves and then argue that there's microscopic plants on the rocks and that's what they mean. if you can't see them, that's your problem. The world is like that, crackpots pointing at things only they can see and blaming you for not seeing them. Then kicking your ass if they can.

Things should be obvous. And they are obvious, if you know what's what. Then you don't need to kick people's ass unless they really deserve it. mostly you just lay around waiting for people to see the things you see, knowing that they would if they could. That's a lot different than blaming them and kicking their ass. That's a lot of work - to kick someone's ass. What a pain. Work is to be avoided if at all possible. That should be obvious to everybody

Chauncey Gardiner , September 13, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Thank you for keeping the spotlight focused on efforts of the TBTF banks and transnational corporations to gain passage of the TPP, TTIP and TiSA, Lambert. Appears their lobbyists and the Obama administration have a full-court press underway on members of Congress now. One can only guess at what is being offered our congressional representatives for their vote during the lame duck session after the November election in exchange for trading away our national sovereignty.

clarky90 , September 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

A behind-the-scenes look at medical education

by Dr Jason Fung (one of my heroes!)

https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/big-pharma-behind-scenes/

"……..Doctors get continuing medical education (CME) through events like lectures and conferences. CME is necessary because many physicians practise for 30 or 40 years, and medicine is changing continuously, so they cannot rely on their medical school training, which might have happened in the 1960s. Doctors are required to get a certain number of hours of CME every year. You might imagine that doctors learn from unbiased experts dedicated to learning. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. The dirty little secret is that virtually all CME is sponsored heavily by Big Pharma giving them huge influence over what information is presented to doctors.

Every single level of CME has been corrupted by $$$. Let's start at the bottom.

In virtually every hospital in North America, there are lectures called 'rounds'. They happen in every specialty and almost every single day, mostly at lunchtime. What a great idea. Doctors would spend lunchtime teaching each other the intricacies of their specialty. Sorry, no. Most doctors don't prepare a full hours worth of lecture topic. Most are too busy to spend an hour listening a the lecture anyway. So, the friendly drug rep from Big Pharma helpfully gets lunch for everybody. Free lunch! That helps bring in the audience, but it doesn't help the fact that they still need a speaker………"

This probably explains, IMO, the pickle that HRC finds herself in

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I'm pretty sure the fluid and rest that she was prescribed by the MD, but she chose to ignore ,wasn't brought to you by pharmaceutical America.

The pickle Hillary finds herself in is a pickle of her own making.

Anne , September 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm

It isn't about her health, it's about her judgment. It's about the apparent decision not to disclose the pneumonia diagnosis until they were forced to – and even then, they tried three other "explanations" before – hours later – they announced that fully 48 hours earlier, she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. First, she wasn't feeling well. Then she became overheated. Then she was dehydrated. It wasn't until some time after her reappearance on the street looking fine and dandy that they disclosed the pneumonia.

Do you see the pattern? It's the same one we saw with the e-mails. We're seeing it with the Clinton Foundation. This is a woman who doesn't seem to feel any obligation or accept any responsibility for playing by the rules, for following the protocols.

And she has the nerve to blame the right-wing conspiracy that's out to get her when in reality she creates much of the controversy all by herself.

I don't frankly care if she has or had pneumonia or her toenail fungus was acting up, but what she has once again managed to do is make it impossible for people to believe whichever story qualifies as the latest, and if anything she said before then has even a shred of truth in it.

What I fear, and what I do think would be a concern, is if the pneumonia diagnosis is a giant head-fake designed to cover up that she may be experiencing some neurological problems, perhaps related to the 2012 concussion (and Lord only knows if that story was factual) that even her husband says took her every bit of 6 months to recover from.

I get why she would want to hide anything even remotely like that, but what she doesn't seem to understand is that she really has no right, as a candidate for the highest office in the land, to hide it. Again, and again, she allows her personal ambition to cloud her judgment; years and years of important and wealthy people telling her she's one of the smartest people in the room, paying to be in her presence, have convinced her she just knows better than anyone. That she doesn't have to listen, that she has nothing to learn.

And sometimes, she probably does, but she doesn't ever seem to be able to know when she doesn't. That – the judgment problem – that's what she has, and that's what matters here.

cwaltz , September 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Oh, I absolutely agree with you she has a judgment problem, straight down to ignoring good advice.

I just think it is interesting that the post I was commenting on seems to be a jab at doctors and continuing education and

Pharma may be responsible for many things, Hillary Clinton's decision not to follow her doctor's instructions on rest and fluid aren't one of them though. They are in no way responsible for "the pickle that HRC finds herself in." Hillary owns that.

Roger Smith , September 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm

+++ great post

Bubba_Gump , September 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Agree.

John k , September 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Can anybody point me to links to critical reviews of the Clinton foundation?
Thanks

nycTerrierist , September 13, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Charles Ortel is a good source, lots of links here:

https://twitter.com/charlesortel

sd , September 14, 2016 at 1:37 am

Kristi Culpepper
https://medium.com/@munilass

Amy Sterling Casil
https://medium.com/@ASterling

PlutoniumKun , September 13, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Re: EurActive article on soils.

The EU did have a Soil Framework Directive in the works for years but it was eventually stymied by the UK, as George Monbiot has pointed out . One of the good things about Brexit is that it will undoubtedly improve the EU's capacity to bring forward more environmental protect directives – the UK has always been one of the main obstacles in this.

ekstase , September 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

"As part of the lockout, LIU cut off professors' email accounts and health insurance,"

If, God forbid, someone gets very ill or worse, because they have had their health insurance cut off, will that be bad for p.r.?

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm

"I am skeptical that a large-scale expansion of government spending by itself is the best way forward, since larger fiscal deficits will lead to higher expected future taxes, which could further undermine private sector confidence" Neel Kashkari

what a commedian

Jay M , September 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

"In the minds of many, soil is simply dirt, but without it we would all cease to exist. Unlike the water we drink and the air we breathe, soil is not protected in the EU and its quality is getting worse"

and the air and water, better?

(not opposed to regulation)

petal , September 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Primary Day in NH. I went about 6:45p, 15 minutes before the polls closed. On my way out, I asked the nice ladies staffing the place if turnout had been light. They said "Very" and made disappointed faces.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 13, 2016 at 10:19 pm

Aren't you out by Keene? Southwest NH isn't exactly a Republican hotbed.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm

There were Democratic primaries today for various state offices, but the GOP had the Senate primary and statewide races.

[Sep 13, 2016] Is Hillary Clinton Dishonest

Neocons like Nicholas Kristof support Hillar y, no question about it. But that does not make her less disonest. Actually that makes her more "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character."
Notable quotes:
"... But Clinton's big challenge is the trust issue: The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as "honest and trustworthy." ..."
"... Indeed, when Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear "Hillary Clinton," the most common response can be summed up as "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character." Another common category is "criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail." ..."
"... Hillary isn't crooked. She is dishonest in the sense that she gets to power by any means she can, including doing a complete turn on long-held opinions or saying she's evolved but not changing the bits and pieces that go with that evolution. She is dishonest in the sense that she defends taking money from Wall Street but refuses to show what she took it for, while maintaining that she has never changed a decision as a result. The thing is, she's never been faced with having to vote against Wall Street in any significant way or make a decision that, potentially, Wall Street would view as negative. ..."
"... She is intellectually dishonest in that she adopts her opponents' positions in name only but refuses to adopt the planks that go along with it, all the while calling herself a progressive who gets things done. Hillary Clinton has always been a neoliberal Democrat. She and Bill Clinton redefined center right democrat during his tenure. There is nothing wrong with owning up to that political bent. There is everything wrong with pretending someone you are not, as evidenced by her favorability numbers. ..."
"... Dishonesty and the paranoid secrecy that goes with it are fundamental to her personality. That many American are not wrong in their widespread judgment of her character. That is something that juries and other such groups judge well. ..."
"... She has many specific instances of dishonesty. She was not shot at in Bosnia for example. Her sneaky dishonest attacks on Bernie were accompanied by sly smiles when she did them, pleased with herself for laying out a considered and prepared lie. ..."
"... To support Hillary, you must believe receiving hundreds of millions from special interests (speaking fees, the foundation & campaign) does not make you beholden to those special interests. Democrats used to claim money given to politicians had a corrupting influence, but now with Hillary the chosen one, Democrats require a showing of quid pro corruption. ..."
"... Her foreign policy experience--it should scare us all. She voted for the Iraq war before politically being required to apologize for it. As Sec. of State, she supported bombing Libya into a stateless terrorist haven, supported rebels, turned terrorists in Syria and she is an Israeli hawk. ..."
"... It is not because she is a woman. That is an excuse. It is because she is an extreme hawk, a Washington Consensus neoliberal of trade deals and Wall Street. It is because she is Hillary, not because Hillary happens to be a woman. ..."
"... No other candidate running for president has given paid speeches to Wall Street and corporate America. Clinton is the ONLY candidate to do so. She accepted speaking fees until early 2015 knowing she was about to announce her candidacy. This is UNPRECEDENTED. ..."
"... This label of dishonesty that trails Clinton is not just about the most recent stuff. There's the story from way back when about how the Clintons took almost $200,000 worth of stuff when they left the White House. They eventually decided to return or pay for $114,000 worth of items. Things they'd claimed to have received before taking up residence were shown to have been received after they arrived; they claimed as personal gifts things donors specified as designated for the White House itself, etc. ..."
"... So, repeat after me--taking hundreds of millions from every special interest group does not in any way influence Hillary's independent judgment. Keep repeating and eventually you will believe it. See how easy that is. ..."
"... Now on to repeating how the neocon foreign policy hawks supporting Hillary as the best commander in chief is good. ..."
"... is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 22 hours ago ..."
"... People have noticed how assiduously both Clintons have courted money over the years, whether it is Whitewater and everything else leading up to the present day fundraising, including the Times' revelatory piece on Ukrainian money in an energy deal, it all reeks, but as is wont with the Clintons, stops just shy of actual misdeed. ..."
"... With the proliferation of small digital sound recording devices, someone out there made a recording. And when it winds up public (probably during the general election campaign when it would do the most damage), it will be Mrs. Clinton's "47% moment". ..."
"... People find her dishonest and untrustworthy because she is. It doesn't take an advanced degree to see that she's a self-interested political animal through and through. She has a long, well-documented history of taking whatever position is most politically expedient and changing it when the polling changes. ..."
"... Furthermore her and her husband's well-documented history of taking money from everybody from Wall St. banksters to foreign autocrats for everything from private speeches the proceeds of which go directly into their pockets to their "foundation" suggests at the minimum a clueless recklessness about the appearance or corruption and at worst outright contempt for the intelligence of American voters. ..."
"... Again, it doesn't take membership in Mensa to apply a little critical thought and personal experience to the issue of her honesty or trustworthiness. Anybody who's ever done anything they felt even the tiniest bit ethically or morally uncomfortable about in order to keep their job or anybody who's observed this behavior in even the smallest or least significant way from colleagues knows Wall St. banksters and the Saudis princes don't give millions of dollars to people who aren't minimally receptive to their interests and people who take those millions don't do so with the intention of turning off that spigot down the line. ..."
"... What if decades of facially shady conduct is true? What if Bill Safire is right that HRC is a congenital liar? Why doesn't HRC give all this the lie by releasing her speech transcripts? Since leaving office the Clintons and the Foundation have amassed millions. Can we not think, as did Honore de Balzac that "behind every great fortune is a great crime"? How Mrs. Clinton must actually hate Barack Obama, Bernard Sanders and those under 40 who have or may yet deny her the crown. ..."
"... Often, the corruption is in the form of compensation after the public official leaves office. I used to work in NJ State Government. I can cite numerous examples of regulators who left public service, and were rewarded with lucrative contracts by the firms they formerly regulated. This would sometimes be laundered. For example, the former public official would join a law firm or consulting firm, and suddenly that firm would get a big contract from the firm they formerly regulated. ..."
"... In the case of Mrs Clinton, she was a "private citizen" only temporarily. She resigned as Secretary of State, but it was public knowledge that she was going to announce a Presidential run. ..."
"... She may not be dishonest, but boy is she greedy. ..."
"... Hillary is less transparent. She hides a lot. Does that make her dishonest? Maybe not. But unlikeable for sure. ..."
"... Sorry--the burden is squarely on Hillary to explain how money corrupts politicians, but she, Bill, the foundation and campaign taking hundreds of millions from special interests does not. Or, is a politician free to take all of the money her heart desires, unless there is iron clad proof of quid pro quo corruption? And if you believe that. you agree with the right wing majority in Citizens United. ..."
"... So the whitewashing of Hillary by the nominal Progressives begins. Whether or not she is "fundamentally" honest, as Jill Abrahamson has written, means what exactly? That she won't rob a bank, or pick your pocket? Yet she will defend bankers who rob their own banks and brokers who pick their investors' pockets every trading day by skimming others' potential profits with their high speed trades. Her husband's candidacy was rescued by winning the New York primary after his loss in New Hampshire and as President he deregulated the banks, and once he was in private life again, he became a centa millionaire by speaking in front of bankers. One would be naive to believe the Clintons did not make a deal the the banks put out the word. Perhaps there was no quid pro quo, but there certainly was some quo pro quid. Ditto for Hillary. ..."
"... Why a "Progressive" would paper over the record of Goldwater girl turned "NeoLiberal," which is pretty much the same thing, who is fundamentally against everything real Progressives stand for boggles the imagination. ..."
Apr 23, 2016 | New York Times

AFTER the New York primary, the betting websites are giving Hillary Clinton about a 94 percent chance of being the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump a 66 percent chance of ending up as the Republican nominee.

But Clinton's big challenge is the trust issue: The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as "honest and trustworthy."

Indeed, when Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear "Hillary Clinton," the most common response can be summed up as "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character." Another common category is "criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail."

... My late friend and Times colleague William Safire in 1996 dubbed Clinton "a congenital liar."

... Then there's the question of Clinton raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from speeches to Goldman Sachs and other companies. For a person planning to run for president, this was nuts. It also created potential conflicts of interest ...

... As for the fundamental question of whether Clinton risked American national security with her email server, I suspect the problem has been exaggerated

Rima Regas

is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 23 hours ago

Hillary isn't crooked. She is dishonest in the sense that she gets to power by any means she can, including doing a complete turn on long-held opinions or saying she's evolved but not changing the bits and pieces that go with that evolution. She is dishonest in the sense that she defends taking money from Wall Street but refuses to show what she took it for, while maintaining that she has never changed a decision as a result. The thing is, she's never been faced with having to vote against Wall Street in any significant way or make a decision that, potentially, Wall Street would view as negative.

She is intellectually dishonest in that she adopts her opponents' positions in name only but refuses to adopt the planks that go along with it, all the while calling herself a progressive who gets things done. Hillary Clinton has always been a neoliberal Democrat. She and Bill Clinton redefined center right democrat during his tenure. There is nothing wrong with owning up to that political bent. There is everything wrong with pretending someone you are not, as evidenced by her favorability numbers.

Hillary is not, nor has she ever been a progressive Democrat. That title is reserved for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, and many other distinguished Democrats who have been in the progressive trenches for decades. http://wp.me/p2KJ3H-2cQ

You can't pretend to be someone you're not and expect everyone else to play along. http://wp.me/p2KJ3H-27p

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 23 hours ago

Yes, Hillary is dishonest.

Dishonesty and the paranoid secrecy that goes with it are fundamental to her personality. That many American are not wrong in their widespread judgment of her character. That is something that juries and other such groups judge well.

She has many specific instances of dishonesty. She was not shot at in Bosnia for example. Her sneaky dishonest attacks on Bernie were accompanied by sly smiles when she did them, pleased with herself for laying out a considered and prepared lie.

If she is elected, we will be so sick of this that NYT columnists will be writing "how could we have not seen this?" Well, it is them leading the way.

They should expect to be reminded loudly and often.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 22 hours ago

To support Hillary, you must believe receiving hundreds of millions from special interests (speaking fees, the foundation & campaign) does not make you beholden to those special interests. Democrats used to claim money given to politicians had a corrupting influence, but now with Hillary the chosen one, Democrats require a showing of quid pro corruption.

Sorry -- either money is corrupting or it is not, and the Clintons have personally received hundreds of millions from every possible special interest. By supporting Hillary you are saying special interest money is a good thing.

The Times also ran an interesting profile in the magazine section about how Hillary became a hawk. She follows the neocons playbook and as stated in the piece, one of her significant military advisors is a Fox news pundit. Hillary admits a mutual admiration with Kissinger.

So I don't trust Hillary when she says special interests do not influence her judgment. If they really don't--which is impossible to believe--they have wasted millions paying for 40 minute speeches. Lobbyists don't contribute money to candidates who don't not help their causes.

Her foreign policy experience--it should scare us all. She voted for the Iraq war before politically being required to apologize for it. As Sec. of State, she supported bombing Libya into a stateless terrorist haven, supported rebels, turned terrorists in Syria and she is an Israeli hawk.

All of this causes grave concerns that go well beyond trust.

Michael Ebner, Lake Forest, IL 7 hours ago

It comes down to the fact the HRC is the best Democratic aspirant for the party's presidential nomination in 2016.

I cast my ballot for her in the Illinois primary and will gladly do so again in November.

Do I have reservations? Surely.

But think of the reservations about some earlier Democratic as well as Republican nominees ....

Franklin Delano Roosevelt reneged on his longtime support for the League of Nations and adamantly refused to cross swords with Southern Democrats. Would you vote for Hoover, Landon, or Willkie?

Harry Truman had longstanding ties to Kansas City's Pendergast gang. I would have voted for him.

Eisenhower evaded a golden opportunity to denounce Joseph McCarthy while campaigning in Wisconsin during 1952. He forfeited the opportunity to call out McCarthy for his frontal attack on General George C. Marshall.

JFK as a US Senator stepped to the side on the Joseph McCarthy issue because his father was something of an enthusiast. If I could have voted in 1960, it would have been easy to vote for JFK rather than RMN.

LBJ was a political animal to his very core, but hands down a better choice than Senator Goldwater.

Jimmy Carter had made his way to the governorship of Georgia because of ties to the Talmadge organization that was out-and-out segregationist. In campaigning for the governorship JEC was something of a muted segregationist. I gladly voted for him over Gerald Ford.

And so on and so forth.

Saints don't rise to the presidency.

David Underwood, is a trusted commenter Citrus Heights 18 hours ago

Dishonest, you want dishonest, try Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the whole lot of them. She is evasive, she has made some exaggerations like being shot at, and yes she voted for W to attack Saddam if he did not stop killing his own people. She also has supported the Syrian rebels, as many of us have done, until they got subverted by Daesh.

The email issue is a GOP tail chase which is going nowhere, but keeps them accusing her, just as they did with Benghazi. She is tough putting up with all the crap I see from people here. Lies, opinions made of suppositions, unprovable accusations, a lesser person would have folded by now.

Anetliner Netliner, is a trusted commenter Washington, DC area 20 hours ago


I will vote for Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee, but find her deeply untrustworthy. Examples, gong back to the early '90s:

-The commodities trading episode. Clinton asserted that she learned to trade commodities "by reading the Wall Street Journal", which is impossible. I was a great fan of Clinton's until I heard her utter this falsehood on national television.
-Travelgate. Career civil service employees improperly fired at Clinton's behest, so that they could be replaced with the services of a member of the Clintons' inner circle.
-Poor judgment on foreign policy: Iraq (not bothering to read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting to go to war.) Libya. No fly zone in Syria. Failure to close the U.S. mission to Libya in the summer of 2012: the UK closed its mission in response to growing danger; why did the U.S. not follow suit?
-Poor judgment in governmental administration: use of a private e-mail server. Initial explanation: "I didn't want to carry two devices." (Absurd on its face to anyone who has ever used a smart phone.)
-Shifting positions: Keystone XL, Trans-Pacific Partnership, single-payer health care.
-Distortion of opponents' positions. From the current campaign: distortion of Bernie Sanders' positions on the auto bailout and gun control.

I could go on, but the pattern is clear. I respect Clinton's intelligence, but deplore her duplicity and poor judgment. I'll support her in November only because the alternatives are worse.

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 22 hours ago

It is not because she is a woman. That is an excuse. It is because she is an extreme hawk, a Washington Consensus neoliberal of trade deals and Wall Street. It is because she is Hillary, not because Hillary happens to be a woman.


Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 22 hours ago

"and yet, she has been highly vetted prior to becoming First Lady, most certainly so prior to becoming a Senator for NYC"

Nonsense. Nobody vets the President's wife. She is who he married. Nobody vets a Senator either. We've got some pretty strange Senators, arrested in bathrooms and stuff. They'd never get past vetting.

RLS, is a trusted commenter Virginia 19 hours ago

Winchestereast,

No other candidate running for president has given paid speeches to Wall Street and corporate America. Clinton is the ONLY candidate to do so. She accepted speaking fees until early 2015 knowing she was about to announce her candidacy. This is UNPRECEDENTED. Of course, congressional Democrats don't say it publicly but many wish that Clinton had shown better judgment.


Siobhan, is a trusted commenter New York 21 hours ago

This label of dishonesty that trails Clinton is not just about the most recent stuff. There's the story from way back when about how the Clintons took almost $200,000 worth of stuff when they left the White House. They eventually decided to return or pay for $114,000 worth of items. Things they'd claimed to have received before taking up residence were shown to have been received after they arrived; they claimed as personal gifts things donors specified as designated for the White House itself, etc.

It's this kind of stuff that leaves people feeling that the Clintons just aren't trustworthy.

Link to above story:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856&page=1


Scott Stafford, North America 7 hours ago

Ah. The Five Stages Of Every Clinton Scandal:

1. I did *absolutely nothing wrong*.
2. You can't *prove* I did anything wrong.
3. Technically speaking, no law was actually violated.
4. Well, it's a stupid law anyhow.
5. Everybody does it.

pjd, is a trusted commenter Westford 18 hours ago

"... if that's corrupt then so is our entire campaign finance system."

Yes, it is. It is driven by massive amounts of money. The only "sin" committed by Ms. Clinton in the case of her speaking fees is to take publicly traceable money. Meanwhile, the rest of the bunch are taking cash by the truckload thanks to the Supreme Court-approved Citizens United.

Politics _is_ a dirty business. No one is innocent.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

You and Kristof have joined the growing Democratic chorus that money is just a fact of politics. It may be true, but wasn't there a time Democrats advocated for taking money out of politics by overturning Citizens United? Or is it like Hillary's speaking transcripts, the Dems will agree to getting money out of politics when the Republicans do.

So, repeat after me--taking hundreds of millions from every special interest group does not in any way influence Hillary's independent judgment. Keep repeating and eventually you will believe it. See how easy that is.

Now on to repeating how the neocon foreign policy hawks supporting Hillary as the best commander in chief is good.

Rima Regas, is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 22 hours ago

Mark,

I have no disagreements with you. It is my personal code of ethics that stops me from going there, for as long as she isn't caught red handed. People have noticed how assiduously both Clintons have courted money over the years, whether it is Whitewater and everything else leading up to the present day fundraising, including the Times' revelatory piece on Ukrainian money in an energy deal, it all reeks, but as is wont with the Clintons, stops just shy of actual misdeed.

That is what the trust and favorability stats keep telling us, over and over again, no matter whether it is conservatives or democrats who are polled and, now, the Bernie Or Bust movement that is being vilified by the neoliberal punditry. There comes a time when people have had it up to here and it is my sense that it may finally be here. That is the topic of my Sunday essay. Krugman just posted a new blog post on a related topic. See my comment there.

Money and greed are the root of all evil.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 21 hours ago

As for the speeches, you do not have to prove an actual "favor" in return for millions in payments. Any attorney (and Mrs. Clinton is an attorney) who has had any exposure to the canons of attorney ethics knows that both actual impropriety, and APPEARANCES of impropriety are to be avoided. "Appearance" requires no proof of an actual quid pro quo. Besides, the payments can be interpreted as payments in hope of future considerations. should she be in a position to provide such considerations.

And if she is elected President and never gives them a break, as she says she won't, that is maybe even worse. Is there anything as dishonest as a public official who takes a bribe, and then does not deliver for the briber?

With the proliferation of small digital sound recording devices, someone out there made a recording. And when it winds up public (probably during the general election campaign when it would do the most damage), it will be Mrs. Clinton's "47% moment".

AC, Astoria, NY 6 hours ago

People find her dishonest and untrustworthy because she is. It doesn't take an advanced degree to see that she's a self-interested political animal through and through. She has a long, well-documented history of taking whatever position is most politically expedient and changing it when the polling changes.

Furthermore her and her husband's well-documented history of taking money from everybody from Wall St. banksters to foreign autocrats for everything from private speeches the proceeds of which go directly into their pockets to their "foundation" suggests at the minimum a clueless recklessness about the appearance or corruption and at worst outright contempt for the intelligence of American voters.

Again, it doesn't take membership in Mensa to apply a little critical thought and personal experience to the issue of her honesty or trustworthiness. Anybody who's ever done anything they felt even the tiniest bit ethically or morally uncomfortable about in order to keep their job or anybody who's observed this behavior in even the smallest or least significant way from colleagues knows Wall St. banksters and the Saudis princes don't give millions of dollars to people who aren't minimally receptive to their interests and people who take those millions don't do so with the intention of turning off that spigot down the line.

Ronald Cohen, is a trusted commenter Wilmington, N.C. 19 hours ago

Nicholas Kristoff blames the media for the view that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy. I agree that the media as a blameworthy record in this election cycle of pushing Donald J. Trump by trumpeting his antics until he became a real danger while ignoring Bernard Sanders because he didn't suit the coronation of HRC in an effort, ongoing, of shoving Clinton down the National throat.

What if decades of facially shady conduct is true? What if Bill Safire is right that HRC is a congenital liar? Why doesn't HRC give all this the lie by releasing her speech transcripts? Since leaving office the Clintons and the Foundation have amassed millions. Can we not think, as did Honore de Balzac that "behind every great fortune is a great crime"? How Mrs. Clinton must actually hate Barack Obama, Bernard Sanders and those under 40 who have or may yet deny her the crown.


ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

If you are interested in a factually based article outlining the $21.6 million Hillary took in from special interests between 2013-2015, read the AP story. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/the-associated-press-firms-that-paid-for-...

Even if you support Hillary, it is good to know who is paying her what.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 21 hours ago

Often, the corruption is in the form of compensation after the public official leaves office. I used to work in NJ State Government. I can cite numerous examples of regulators who left public service, and were rewarded with lucrative contracts by the firms they formerly regulated. This would sometimes be laundered. For example, the former public official would join a law firm or consulting firm, and suddenly that firm would get a big contract from the firm they formerly regulated.

In the case of Mrs Clinton, she was a "private citizen" only temporarily. She resigned as Secretary of State, but it was public knowledge that she was going to announce a Presidential run. A lot different than, say, Janet Reno giving a speech.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

@RM--you raise an excellent point. If you outlined a political couple who did what the Clintons have done making money from special interests, but did not reveal their identities, everyone would agree they would be unduly influenced by special interest money. Reveal their identities and suddenly Hillary's supporters suspend previous beliefs that money corrupts politicians. And that is why nothing ever changes.

Ronald Cohen, is a trusted commenter Wilmington, N.C. 19 hours ago

"The others are worse" argument should be addressed to the DNC and the party mandarins who won't field an honest candidate. If we don't vote for HRC then the party that ran her is to blame. Where are "the best and the brightest"? Why is our choice always between the dregs?

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 21 hours ago

Remember when you could say that money in politics was a corrupting influence and democrats did not challenge you to show a quid pro quo? Democrats have suddenly adopted the conservative majority's reasoning in Citizens United there must be a quid pro quo for money to be bad.

We need to tell all of the lobbyists and special interests funneling money to the Clintons they are wasting their money because unlike other politicians, they can never be influenced by that money.

organic farmer, NY 6 hours ago

If 50% of Kristof's statements were true or 'mostly true', would he be still employed by the NYT? If I told the truth half the time, I doubt my family and co-workers would be impressed! If 50% of what my employees say were lies, they would get fired.

As a female middle-aged Democrat, I will vote for Clinton in November if I have to, but it won't be with any enthusiasm or confidence, and certainly I will not be voting for a leader I believe in. As a woman, I admire her intelligence, ambition, and determination, and I'm fairly convinced her integrity is probably somewhat better than many in politics, but we desperately need a President with a different vision for our future. We don't need a divisive leader beholden to Big Banks, Big Ag, Big Business, Big Military - this will not serve the United States well.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 19 hours ago

It would not be my fault that the Democratic party chose to force upon the voting public a candidate with high negatives. Such high negatives, that even Ted Cruz could defeat her.

Janice Badger Nelson, is a trusted commenter Park City, Utah, from Boston 15 hours ago

She may not be dishonest, but boy is she greedy.

You have got to hand it to her though, she has been through the mill and still stands there. I cannot imagine the humiliation she must have felt over the Lewinsky debacle. That alone would have done most of us in. But she ran for Senate and then President, became the Secretary of State and now is leading as the democratic candidate for President.

In her 60's. Quite remarkable, if you think about it. I do not know how she does it other than the fact she has supportive people surrounding her and that must help. I also think that she feels entitled somehow, and that is troubling to me. I also think her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, is a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy. I like that so much. Hillary is less transparent. She hides a lot. Does that make her dishonest? Maybe not. But unlikeable for sure.

RM, is a trusted commenter Vermont 20 hours ago

I won't. A decision to support the lesser of two evils is a decision to support an evil. Maybe if you sat it out, or voted third party, it would be a message to the major parties to nominate better candidates.

Perhaps, to record that you came to vote, and found both candidates unsupportable, you could write in "none of the above"

But vote the rest of the ticket.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 18 hours ago

@Christine--you got me. You are right. Those special interests just gave Hillary and Bill hundreds of millions because they oppose everything the special interests want. None of the policies Hillary advocates are favored by any of those special interests. They are wasting their money!

Sorry--the burden is squarely on Hillary to explain how money corrupts politicians, but she, Bill, the foundation and campaign taking hundreds of millions from special interests does not. Or, is a politician free to take all of the money her heart desires, unless there is iron clad proof of quid pro quo corruption? And if you believe that. you agree with the right wing majority in Citizens United.

Of course you can believe that, but never again state that money corrupts politicians, nor ever state lobbyist spending tens of millions to influence policy is bad.

amboycharlie, Nagoya, Japan 9 hours ago

So the whitewashing of Hillary by the nominal Progressives begins. Whether or not she is "fundamentally" honest, as Jill Abrahamson has written, means what exactly? That she won't rob a bank, or pick your pocket? Yet she will defend bankers who rob their own banks and brokers who pick their investors' pockets every trading day by skimming others' potential profits with their high speed trades. Her husband's candidacy was rescued by winning the New York primary after his loss in New Hampshire and as President he deregulated the banks, and once he was in private life again, he became a centa millionaire by speaking in front of bankers. One would be naive to believe the Clintons did not make a deal the the banks put out the word. Perhaps there was no quid pro quo, but there certainly was some quo pro quid. Ditto for Hillary.

The Clinton Foundation took huge donations from dictatorial regimes worldwide and Hillary as SecState, rewarded them with arms deals they would otherwise not have gotten, due to their human rights violations. The list of apparent crimes by the Clintons goes on and on. Why a "Progressive" would paper over the record of Goldwater girl turned "NeoLiberal," which is pretty much the same thing, who is fundamentally against everything real Progressives stand for boggles the imagination.

Thomas Zaslavsky, is a trusted commenter Binghamton, N.Y. 16 hours ago

Wcdessert Girl, you are straining so hard to smear Bernie Sanders that you deserve to have a busted gut. (No that I'm wishing it upon you.) He got the normal Congressional salary (not all that large; barely upper middle class, these days) and the normal Congressional benefits (sure, we should all get them), and you question his financial integrity? Be ashamed.

Now, try to defend Hillary without a baseless smear against anyone else.

Liberty Apples, Providence 9 hours ago

``One basic test of a politician's honesty is whether that person tells the truth when on the campaign trail, and by that standard Clinton does well.''

Excuse me?

She lied about Sanders support for the auto bailout.
She lied about Sanders support for the Paris climate accord.
She was in knots trying to explain her position on the $15 minimum wage.

You get the idea. The truth has always been an inconvenience for the Clintons.

Barry, Minneapolis 10 hours ago

She lies about little things. Hot sauce. Medium sized things. Coming under fire; she only wanted to carry one cell; the papers that turned up in a parlor. Big things. "If I had known then." That was as bad as Nixon's "secret plan."

Nixon wasn't the New Nixon, but she is.

[Sep 12, 2016] Serving the Clintonian Interest: The last thing we need is a Clinton in charge of foreign policy

This is Christopher Hitchens biting analysis from previous Presidential elections, but still relevant
Notable quotes:
"... The last time that Clinton foreign-policy associations came up for congressional review, the investigations ended in a cloud of murk that still has not been dispelled. ..."
"... the real problem is otherwise. Both President and Sen. Clinton, while in office, made it obvious to foreign powers that they and their relatives were wide open to suggestions from lobbyists and middlemen. ..."
"... If you recall the names John Huang, James Riady, Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, and others, you will remember the pattern of acquired amnesia syndrome and stubborn reluctance to testify, followed by sudden willingness on the part of the Democratic National Committee to return quite large sums of money from foreign sources. Much of this cash had been raised at political events held in the public rooms of the White House, the sort of events that featured the adorable Roger Tamraz , for another example. ..."
"... It found that the Clinton administration's attitude toward Chinese penetration had been abysmally lax (as lax, I would say, as its attitude toward easy money from businessmen with Chinese military-industrial associations). ..."
"... Many quids and many quos were mooted by these investigations (still incomplete at the time of writing) though perhaps not enough un-ambivalent pros . You can't say that about the Marc Rich and other pardons-the vulgar bonanza with which the last Clinton era came to an end. Rich's ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave large sums to Hillary Clinton's re-election campaign and to Bill Clinton's library, and Marc Rich got a pardon. ..."
"... Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, convicted of bank fraud, hired Hillary Clinton's brother Tony and paid him $250,000, and they got a pardon. Carlos Vignali Jr. and Almon Glenn Braswell paid $400,000 to Hillary Clinton's other brother, Hugh , and, hey, they , respectively, got a presidential commutation and a presidential pardon, too. ..."
"... Does this sibling and fraternal squalor have foreign-policy implications, too? Yes. Until late 1999, the fabulous Rodham boys were toiling on another scheme to get the hazelnut concession from the newly independent republic of Georgia. There was something quixotically awful about this scheme-something simultaneously too small-time and too big-time-but it also involved a partnership with the main political foe of the then-Georgian president (who may conceivably have had political aspirations), so once again the United States was made to look as if its extended first family were operating like a banana republic. ..."
"... In matters of foreign policy, it has been proved time and again, the Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own. ..."
"... Who can say with a straight face that this is true of a woman whose personal ambition is without limit; whose second loyalty is to an impeached and disbarred and discredited former president; and who is ready at any moment, and on government time, to take a wheedling call from either of her bulbous brothers? This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing. What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me. ..."
Nov 01, 2008 | www.slate.com

It was apt in a small way that the first endorser of Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state should have been Henry Kissinger. The last time he was nominated for any position of responsibility-the chairmanship of the 9/11 commission-he accepted with many florid words about the great honor and responsibility, and then he withdrew when it became clear that he would have to disclose the client list of Kissinger Associates. (See, for the article that began this embarrassing process for him, my Slate column "The Latest Kissinger Outrage.")

It is possible that the Senate will be as much of a club as the undistinguished fraternity/sorority of our ex-secretaries of state, but even so, it's difficult to see Sen. Clinton achieving confirmation unless our elected representatives are ready to ask a few questions about conflict of interest along similar lines. And how can they not? The last time that Clinton foreign-policy associations came up for congressional review, the investigations ended in a cloud of murk that still has not been dispelled. Former President Bill Clinton has recently and rather disingenuously offered to submit his own foundation to scrutiny (see the work of my Vanity Fair colleague Todd Purdum on the delightful friends and associates that Clinton has acquired since he left office), but the real problem is otherwise. Both President and Sen. Clinton, while in office, made it obvious to foreign powers that they and their relatives were wide open to suggestions from lobbyists and middlemen.

Just to give the most salient examples from the Clinton fundraising scandals of the late 1990s: The House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight published a list of witnesses called before it who had either "fled or pled"-in other words, who had left the country to avoid testifying or invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. Some Democratic members of the committee said that this was unfair to, say, the Buddhist nuns who raised the unlawful California temple dough for then-Vice President Al Gore, but however fair you want to be, the number of those who found it highly inconvenient to testify fluctuates between 94 and 120. If you recall the names John Huang, James Riady, Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, and others, you will remember the pattern of acquired amnesia syndrome and stubborn reluctance to testify, followed by sudden willingness on the part of the Democratic National Committee to return quite large sums of money from foreign sources. Much of this cash had been raised at political events held in the public rooms of the White House, the sort of events that featured the adorable Roger Tamraz, for another example.

Related was the result of a House select committee on Chinese espionage in the United States and the illegal transfer to China of advanced military technology. Chaired by Christopher Cox, R-Calif., the committee issued a report in 1999 with no dissenting or "minority" signature. It found that the Clinton administration's attitude toward Chinese penetration had been abysmally lax (as lax, I would say, as its attitude toward easy money from businessmen with Chinese military-industrial associations).

Many quids and many quos were mooted by these investigations (still incomplete at the time of writing) though perhaps not enough un-ambivalent pros. You can't say that about the Marc Rich and other pardons-the vulgar bonanza with which the last Clinton era came to an end. Rich's ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave large sums to Hillary Clinton's re-election campaign and to Bill Clinton's library, and Marc Rich got a pardon.

Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, convicted of bank fraud, hired Hillary Clinton's brother Tony and paid him $250,000, and they got a pardon. Carlos Vignali Jr. and Almon Glenn Braswell paid $400,000 to Hillary Clinton's other brother, Hugh, and, hey, they, respectively, got a presidential commutation and a presidential pardon, too. In the Hugh case, the money was returned as being too embarrassing for words (and as though following the hallowed custom, when busted or flustered, of the Clinton-era DNC). But I would say that it was more embarrassing to realize that a former first lady, and a candidate for secretary of state, was a full partner in years of seedy overseas money-grubbing and has two greedy brothers to whom she cannot say no.

Does this sibling and fraternal squalor have foreign-policy implications, too? Yes. Until late 1999, the fabulous Rodham boys were toiling on another scheme to get the hazelnut concession from the newly independent republic of Georgia. There was something quixotically awful about this scheme-something simultaneously too small-time and too big-time-but it also involved a partnership with the main political foe of the then-Georgian president (who may conceivably have had political aspirations), so once again the United States was made to look as if its extended first family were operating like a banana republic.

China, Indonesia, Georgia-these are not exactly negligible countries on our defense and financial and ideological peripheries. In each country, there are important special interests that equate the name Clinton with the word pushover. And did I forget to add what President Clinton pleaded when the revulsion at the Rich pardons became too acute? He claimed that he had concerted the deal with the government of Israel in the intervals of the Camp David "agreement"! So anyone who criticized the pardons had better have been careful if they didn't want to hear from the Anti-Defamation League. Another splendid way of showing that all is aboveboard and of convincing the Muslim world of our evenhandedness.

In matters of foreign policy, it has been proved time and again, the Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own. A president absolutely has to know of his chief foreign-policy executive that he or she has no other agenda than the one he has set. Who can say with a straight face that this is true of a woman whose personal ambition is without limit; whose second loyalty is to an impeached and disbarred and discredited former president; and who is ready at any moment, and on government time, to take a wheedling call from either of her bulbous brothers? This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing. What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of Arguably, a collection of essays.

[Sep 10, 2016] Pathological Liar – Impulsive, Compulsive Lying, Self-Deception

Feb 05, 2016 | depressiond.com
Pathological Liar – All About PATHOLOGICAL LYING, Lying, Self-Deception, Types, Classification, from Pseudologia Fantastica to Habitual Lying.
  1. Pathological Liar – Definition

    Pathological liar refers to a liar that is compulsive or impulsive, lies on a regular basis and is unable to control their lying despite of foreseeing inevitable negative consequences or ultimate disclosure of the lie. Generally lies told by a pathological liar have self-defeating quality to them and don't serve the long term material needs of the person. Therefore pathological lying is lying that is caused by a pathology, occurs on a regular basis, is compulsive or impulsive & uncontrolled, and has self-defeating, self-trapping quality to it.

    Lying or self-deception is a part of everyday human interactions. In many cases lying can be beneficial for those who lie and those who are being lied to. Most of this type of lying with positive consequences occurs in a controlled way, thoughtfully, with careful weighting of beneficial consequences. Unlike these, the lies told by a pathological liar are uncontrolled and are likely to have damaging consequences.

    Pathological lying covers a wide range of lying behavior, from pseudologia fantastica to habitual lying. Lying is a commonly found clinical component with people who suffer from impulse control disorders such as gambling, compulsive shopping, substance abuse, kleptomania etc. Pathological lying is generally caused by a combination of factors, which may include genetic components, dysfunctional or insecure childhood, dyslexia or other type of cerebral dysfunction. Such conditions may host environment that is likely to emerge chronic or pathological lying as an adaptive defense mechanism. Dysfunctional family, parental overprotection, sibling rivalry, mental retardation are among many causes of pathological lying.

  2. Low Self-Esteem And Pathological Lying

    Low self-esteem is a commonly found feature in pathological liars. The lie maybe an attempt to feel good about themselves, generally for a short period of time, similar to the effect of drugs & alcohol. The same lie or deceit repeated over and over may create a myth of personal well-being or success or displacement of faults of own failures on others, thus creating an imaginary fantasy protection bubble, which may reinforce self-esteem. Pathological liars repeatedly use deceit as an ego defense mechanism, which is primarily caused by the lack of ability to cope with everyday problems in more mature ways (Selling 1942).

  3. Pathological Liar – Causes

    Causes of development of pathological lying can be, but are not limited to, one or more of the factors mentioned below:

    • A dysfunctional family;
    • Sexual or physical abuse in childhood;
    • Neuropsychological abnormalities; such as borderline mental retardation, learning disabilities etc.
    • Impulse control disorders; such as kleptomania, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping.
    • Accommodating or suggestible personality traits;
    • Personality disorders such as Sociopathic, Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic and more;
    • Substance abuse or substance abuse in family;
  4. Pathological Liar – Types
    • Daydreaming Pathological Liar – Pseudologia Fantastica

      Some of the more extreme forms of pathological lying is Pseudologia Fantastica. This is a matrix of facts & fiction, mixed together in a way that makes the reality and fantasy almost indistinguishable. The pseudologue type pathological liar makes up stories that seem possible on the surface, but over time things start falling apart. Pseudologues have dynamic approach to their lies, they are likely to change the story if confronted or faced with disbelief, they have excessive anxiety of being caught and they desperately try to modify their story to something that would seem plausible to create or preserve a sense of self that is something they wish they were or at least something better than they fear others would find out they are. The excessive anxiety is driven by unusually low self-esteem, the person tries to hide reality by creating a fake reality, and once the story has enduring quality to it, he/she is likely to repeat it and if repeated enough times he/she might start believing in it as well. This reality escape can be triggered of a past incident or of an unbearable present for the pseudologue.

      About 30% of daydreaming pathological liars have brain dysfunction. For some it may take the form of learning disabilities, ex. dyslexia. Often those with cerebral dysfunction have greater verbal production & lower developed logical, analytical parts of the brain, thus they often fail to control verbal output.

    • Habitual Liar

      Habitual pathological lying is, as the name suggest, habitual. Habitual liar lies so frequently, that it becomes a habit, as a result, he/she puts very little effort in giving a thought about what the output is going to be, nor does he/she care much to process whether it's a lie or not, it's simply a reflex & very often can be completely unnecessary or even opposite to his/her own needs. If he/she stops & thinks about it, he/she knows clearly it's a lie.

      Habitual liars lie for a variety of reasons, which include, but are not limited to:

      • Take advantage of the situation or misguide a rival
      • Avoid confrontation or punishment
      • Cover up lack of knowledge
      • Cover up embarrassment
      • To entertain oneself or others
      • Reinforce self-esteem, because of failing own expectation
      • Receive unearned praise or avoid disappointment or disproval
      • For no reason whatsoever

      Habitual liars gives very few if any psychical or vocal signs of lying, due to the effortless nature of lying. That said, since he/she gives a very little thought to his/her lies, they are usually inconsistent & obvious.

      Fear is a major contributor in developing habitual lying in a child & further advancement into adulthood, more so in conditions when the child finds truth telling results in more frequent or more severe punishment. Lack of appreciating and likelihood of unwanted consequences of telling the truth may result in frequent opting out for lying, which often involves less punishment & therefore becomes more desirable.

    • Impulsive Pathological Liar – Impulse Control Disorders & Lying

      Impulsive pathological liar lies due to impulse control problem, he/she lies to fulfill his/her present (in the moment) needs, without thinking of future negative effects that can be caused because of the lie. Impulsive pathological liar generally suffers from impulse control disorders, such as kleptomania, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping etc. Those suffering from impulse control disorders fail to learn from past negative experiences, frequently suffer from depression, likely to have history of substance abuse in family or have substance abuse problems themselves, likely to have deficiency in brain serotonin. Increase in brain serotonin may have positive effect in decreasing impulsiveness, such medication may have positive effects, however there hasn't been clinical research performed to confirm or deny this theory.

    • Substance Abuse Associated Pathological Liar

      Self-Deception is an undeniable part of addictive process. People abuse alcohol or other drugs constantly lie to themselves & others to avoid embarrassment, conflict, as well as to obtain the substance. Getting off substance requires learning to distance oneself from the deceit, therefore learning to be truthful is generally a part of any Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous program.

  5. Signs of Lying

    Human detection of deceit can be summarized by the following seven signs.

    7 Signs of Lying

    • Disguised smiling
    • Lack of head movement
    • Increased rate of self-adapters (eg., movements such playing with an object in hands, scratching one's head etc.)
    • Increased/Heightened pitch of voice
    • Reduced rate of speech
    • Pause fillers ("uh", "hm", "er")
    • Less corresponding, matching nonverbal behavior from the other communication methods (ex. the movement of hands doesn't match the substance of the lie that is being told orally)

Reference: (Fiedler, Walka, Zuckerman, Driver, Ford)

Pathological lying - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Sep 10, 2016] Meet the Malignant Narcissist

Notable quotes:
"... A personality disorder characterized by grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one's superiority; a lack of empathy, lack of truthfulness, and the tendency to degrade others. ..."
"... Malignant narcissists not only see themselves as superior to others but believe in their superiority to the degree that they view others as relatively worthless, expendable, and justifiably exploitable. ..."
"... This type of narcissism is a defining characteristic of psychopathy/sociopathy and is rooted in an individual's deficient capacity for empathy. It's almost impossible for a person with such shallow feelings and such haughtiness to really care about others or to form a conscience with any of the qualities we typically associate with a humane attitude, which is why most researchers and thinkers on the topic of psychopathy think of psychopaths as individuals without a conscience altogether." ..."
Dec 09, 2015 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"A personality disorder characterized by grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one's superiority; a lack of empathy, lack of truthfulness, and the tendency to degrade others."

"Narcissism becomes particularly malignant (i.e. malevolent, dangerous, harmful, incurable) when it goes beyond mere vanity and excessive self-focus. Malignant narcissists not only see themselves as superior to others but believe in their superiority to the degree that they view others as relatively worthless, expendable, and justifiably exploitable.

This type of narcissism is a defining characteristic of psychopathy/sociopathy and is rooted in an individual's deficient capacity for empathy. It's almost impossible for a person with such shallow feelings and such haughtiness to really care about others or to form a conscience with any of the qualities we typically associate with a humane attitude, which is why most researchers and thinkers on the topic of psychopathy think of psychopaths as individuals without a conscience altogether."

"There is nothing about the man that is service-oriented. He's only serving himself."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x54z2pRAvtg?rel=0"

[Sep 09, 2016] Hillary clinton and huma abedin abuse secret service agents

Notable quotes:
"... Kessler points out that Clinton's protestations that the material under investigation was not marked classified is immaterial, writing, "The pertinent laws make no distinction between classified material that is marked as such or not. If material is classified and is handled improperly, that is a violation of criminal laws." ..."
"... The FBI investigation has been galvanized further by recent revelations involving emails sent by Abedin and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, as well as the fact that State Department BlackBerry devices belonging to Abedin and Mills have likely been liquidated or sold. ..."
"... There's not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary's detail. If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that's considered a form of punishment among the agents. ..."
"... The most egregious example of Clinton's arrogance was evidenced in one particularly nasty incident when she was First Lady. One former agent related, "The first lady steps out of the limo, and another uniformed officer says to her, 'Good morning, ma'am.' Her response to him was 'F-- off.' I couldn't believe I heard it." ..."
Jun 25, 2016 | breitbart.com

Ronald Kessler, writing for The Daily Mail, testifies that Hillary Clinton and her long-time aide Huma Abedin were detested by members of the Secret Service because the two women arrogantly treated the Secret Service agents like dirt.

Kessler, the author of The Secrets of the FBI and The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, dismisses claims by members of the media that the current FBI investigation of Clinton is restricted to a "security investigation." He attests that the investigation of Clinton means that she violated criminal laws, as the FBI will not launch an investigation unless laws have been violated. Kessler points out that Clinton's protestations that the material under investigation was not marked classified is immaterial, writing, "The pertinent laws make no distinction between classified material that is marked as such or not. If material is classified and is handled improperly, that is a violation of criminal laws."

The FBI investigation has been galvanized further by recent revelations involving emails sent by Abedin and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, as well as the fact that State Department BlackBerry devices belonging to Abedin and Mills have likely been liquidated or sold.

Some of the anecdotes involving the imperiousness and haughtiness of Clinton and Abedin include:

In 2008, Abedin lost her way driving Chelsea Clinton to the February 2008 Democrat presidential debate in Los Angeles. One agent who tried to help Abedin recalled, "She was belligerent and angry about being late for the event, no appreciation for any of it, not a thank-you or anything. That was common for her people to be rude."

Another Los Angeles imbroglio occurred when Abedin, who was not wearing a pin certifying her identity, tried to bluster past a female Secret Service agent. The agent, unaware of Abedin's identity, said, "You don't have the proper identification to go beyond this point." Another agent told Kessler, "Huma basically tried to throw her weight around. She tried to just force her way through and said belligerently, 'Do you know who I am?''"

Kessler noted that Secret Service Agents are not required to carry luggage for their protectees, but they will if they like them. One agent recollected that, in Abedin's case, "The agents were just like, 'Hey, you're going to be like that? Well, you get your own luggage to the car. Oh, and by the way, you can carry the first lady's luggage to the car, too. She'd have four bags, and we'd stand there and watch her and say, 'Oh, can we hold the door open for you?'" The agent added, "When it's convenient for them, they'll utilize the service for whatever favor they need, but otherwise, they look down upon the agents, kind of like servants."

An agent who still works for the Secret Service asserted:

There's not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary's detail. If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that's considered a form of punishment among the agents. She's hard to work around, she's known to snap at agents and yell at agents and dress them down to their faces, and they just have to be humble and say, "Yes ma'am," and walk away. Agents don't deserve that. They're there to do a job, they're there to protect her, they'll lay their life down for hers, and there's absolutely no respect for that. And that's why agents do not want to go to her detail.

The most egregious example of Clinton's arrogance was evidenced in one particularly nasty incident when she was First Lady. One former agent related, "The first lady steps out of the limo, and another uniformed officer says to her, 'Good morning, ma'am.' Her response to him was 'F-- off.' I couldn't believe I heard it."

Hillary was famous for wanting the Secret Service to be invisible; one former agent said, "We were basically told, the Clintons don't want to see you, they don't want to hear you, get out of the way. Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions. Supervisors would tell us, 'Listen, stand behind this curtain. They're coming,' or 'Just stand out of the way, don't be seen.'"

Hillary berated a White House electrician changing a light bulb, screaming that he should have waited until the First Family was gone. Franette McCulloch, the assistant White House pastry chief at the time, remembered, "He was a basket case."

FBI agent Coy Copeland told Kessler that Hillary had a "standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another."

One agent was abused by Hillary during the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Whitewater scandal; he said, "Good morning, Mrs. Clinton," and she ranted, "How dare you? You people are just destroying my husband… And where do you buy your suits? Penney's?"

Weeks later, the agent confessed to Copeland, "I was wearing the best suit I owned."

[Sep 04, 2016] Under my definiton of sociopath , Hillary Clinton qualifies on just her laugh about death Muammar Gaddafi, who was sodomized with a bayonet

Notable quotes:
"... As part of the murder process of Muammar Gaddafi, he was sodomized with a bayonet. Out of respect for any children reading this blog, I'm not going to spell that out any further. What was Hillary's RECORDED reaction? ..."
"... "We came, we saw, he died," followed by a laugh and gleeful hand clap. ..."
"... Finally, using Richard Cohen as an source for anything is beyond the pale. This shill for Israel was all-in for the destruction of Iraq. He was a big fan of the destruction of Libya. He's a huge booster for the destruction of Syria. And he most definitely wants somebody in the White House who will finish off Iran. That person is Hillary Clinton. ..."
Sep 04, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

Zachary Smith / August 30, 2016 2:24 p.m.

As part of the murder process of Muammar Gaddafi, he was sodomized with a bayonet. Out of respect for any children reading this blog, I'm not going to spell that out any further. What was Hillary's RECORDED reaction?

"We came, we saw, he died," followed by a laugh and gleeful hand clap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Under my definiton of "sociopath", Hillary Clinton qualifies on that one alone. Of course there are others….

*** My father, too, turned bribes into gifts. ***

I know some saintly people myself, and have no difficulty accepting this claim at face value. Stretching the analogy to the Clinton Foundation is, in my opinion, a stretch too far. If Hillary was as pure as the driven snow, why did she work so hard to ensure her communications were beyond the reach of the Freedom Of Information Act? Why has the State department refused to release her meeting schedules until after the election?

Finally, using Richard Cohen as an source for anything is beyond the pale. This shill for Israel was all-in for the destruction of Iraq. He was a big fan of the destruction of Libya. He's a huge booster for the destruction of Syria. And he most definitely wants somebody in the White House who will finish off Iran. That person is Hillary Clinton.

[Sep 03, 2016] The Clintons' political legacy of dishonesty

nypost.com

When Donald Trump, Ben Carson and other political outsiders first denounced political correctness, they instantly struck a nerve. They were promising to peel back the mushy language that government and so-called sophisticates use to conceal simple truths.

That urge came over me as I watched Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, along with Jeb Bush, ­argue over each other's immigration flip-flops during last week's GOP debate. Because Fox moderators used videos to demonstrate the differences between where the candidates once stood and where they stand, the truth was obvious, yet none of the three ­rivals dared say it.

Why couldn't even one acknowledge that he changed his position and explain why? And if none would, why didn't the others just say, "You're lying"?

These are three men I admire, yet each lacked the courage to be honest on a crucial point during a televised job interview. When did the truth become so toxic and ­untruths so acceptable?

Spin and puffery have a long history in politics, but something has snapped in our culture that we no longer even expect our leaders to talk straight. We have become immune to lies and the ­liars who tell them.

I blame it on the Clintons. Their survival despite a quarter-century of shameful dishonesty has led the way in lowering the bar for ­integrity in public life.

[Sep 03, 2016] Normal people mellow with age, sociopaths often harden

Notable quotes:
"... When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. ..."
Sep 03, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

abynormal , September 3, 2016 at 10:56 am

Right-O. Thank You Jerri-Lynn for clearing & bridging paths!

"When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death."
― Clarence Darrow

Emma , September 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Agreed. Just goes to show if an American trains hard enough, he or she can either choose to travel the world and piss around at gas stations, or rather, focus on hot 'foreign affairs' (!) and radiate wisdom like Jerri-Lynn!

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." Marie Curie

[Sep 02, 2016] Corruption and pathological lies

Sep 02, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Clinton's 2009 ethics agreement: "I currently hold and will continue to hold my position with The Clinton Family Foundation, which maintains all its assets in cash. If confirmed as Secretary of State, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect upon this foundation, unless I first obtain a written waiver or qualify for a regulatory exemption" (pdf) [ Cryptome ]. First, "will not participate" sets a much higher bar than the ludicrously low "quid pro quo" standard set by Clinton's operatives and supporters. Second, is it really usual for charitable foundation to keep "all its assets in cash"? Why would Foundation do that? And why even say it does? (I'm resisting a joke about "maintains all its assets in Bitcoin"….)

"On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton is a big critic of for-profit universities, attacking them for charging high prices but offering students little support and delivering degrees of questionable value. Her administration, she says, would crack down 'on for-profit colleges and loan servicers who have too often taken advantage of borrowers'" [ USA Today ]. "What Clinton doesn't mention are her close family connections to for-profit Laureate Education and the hefty $9.8 billion in loans accumulated just by students at Laureate's Walden University in Minnesota… If Clinton wonders why so many voters consider her to be graspy and question her trustworthiness, she need look no further than the tangled, lucrative ties among Laureate, its owners, the Clinton family and the Clinton Foundation." Graspy.

[Aug 30, 2016] So, Trumps crazy What about Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... compulsive lying can be associated with dementia or brain injury ..."
"... compulsive lying can be associated with a range of diagnoses, such as antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. ..."
"... "This might explain Hillary's consistent unlikability factor, along with her consistent denial of lies, even in her lying about FBI Director Comey pointing out that she lied multiple times. Most of America believes her to be a liar, and yet she seems to have zero remorse, even and up to the point of costing American lives." ..."
"... In addition to pathological lying, Clinton's temper has reportedly been a problem in the past. A former military K9 handler described how then-Secretary of State Clinton once flew into a blind rage, yelling "get that f**king dog away from me." She then berated her security detail for the next 20 minutes about why the dog was in her quarters. After Clinton left after slamming the door in their faces, the leader of the detail explained to the K9 handler, "Happens every day, brother." ..."
"... "Hillary's been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work. She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she's become shrill and, at times, even violent." ..."
Aug 07, 2016 | www.wnd.com

Hillary Clinton has indeed become well known as a serial liar, as fully two-thirds of Americans, 68 percent in a recent poll, said she was neither honest nor trustworthy. Not only does Clinton lie to protect herself, as she has regarding Benghazi and her private email server, but she lies when there appears to be no benefit to doing so.

For example, she famously claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary for his conquering of Mt. Everest, even though that didn't happen until six years after Clinton was born. She also notoriously claim she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996, when newspaper and video accounts revealed exactly the opposite.

"Robert Reich, M.D., a New York City psychiatrist and expert in psychopathology, says compulsive lying can be associated with dementia or brain injury," Dr. Gina Loudon, a political psychology and behavior expert, told WND. "Otherwise, compulsive lying can be associated with a range of diagnoses, such as antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

"This might explain Hillary's consistent unlikability factor, along with her consistent denial of lies, even in her lying about FBI Director Comey pointing out that she lied multiple times. Most of America believes her to be a liar, and yet she seems to have zero remorse, even and up to the point of costing American lives."

In addition to pathological lying, Clinton's temper has reportedly been a problem in the past. A former military K9 handler described how then-Secretary of State Clinton once flew into a blind rage, yelling "get that f**king dog away from me." She then berated her security detail for the next 20 minutes about why the dog was in her quarters. After Clinton left after slamming the door in their faces, the leader of the detail explained to the K9 handler, "Happens every day, brother."

These types of outbursts continued after Hillary left her office as secretary of state. An aide on her presidential campaign told the New York Post last October: "Hillary's been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work. She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she's become shrill and, at times, even violent."

[Aug 29, 2016] Commnets to the article Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe

Notable quotes:
"... As disgusted and determined as we might be, we still have to operate within the 'neoliberal' system. We are all 'us' in this context and we are all a product of our environment to some extent. however crap that environment might be. ..."
"... Combined with offshoring of as many jobs abroad as possible, free movement of unskilled workers and the use of agency labour to undercut pay and conditions, the future looks bleak. ..."
"... There is nothing meritocratic about neoliberlaism. Its about who you know. ..."
"... I understand what you say, and there is definitely an element within society which values Success above all else, but I do not personally know anyone like that. ..."
"... .....By "us" of course, you mean commies. I think you are inadvertently demonstrating another of Hares psychopath test features; a lack of empathy and self awareness. ..."
"... I've worked in a few large private companies over the years, and my experience is they increasingly resemble some sort of cult, with endless brainwashing programmes for the 'members', charismatic leaders who can do no wrong, groupthink, mandatory utilisation of specialist jargon (especially cod-psychological terminology) to differentiate those 'in' and those 'out', increased blurring of the lines between 'private' and 'work' life (your ass belongs to us 24-7) and of course, constant, ever more complex monitoring of the 'members' for 'heretical thoughts or beliefs'. ..."
"... And the most striking idea here: Our characters are partly moulded by society. And neo-liberal society, and it's illusions of freedom, has moulded many of us in ways that bring out the worst in us. ..."
"... Neo-liberalism has however killed off post war social mobility. In fact according to the OECD report into social mobility, the more egalitarian a developed society is, the more social mobility there is, the more productivity and the less poverty and social problems there are. ..."
Aug 29, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

Happytobeasocialist, 2014-09-29 09:07:21

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us

Less of the 'us' please. there are plenty of people who are disgusted by neoliberalism and are determined to bring it down

Pasdabong Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:28:58
As disgusted and determined as we might be, we still have to operate within the 'neoliberal' system. We are all 'us' in this context and we are all a product of our environment to some extent. however crap that environment might be.
InconvenientTruths Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:39:02
Neo-Liberal Elephant

There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only chaned

If you have no mandate for such change, it breeds resentment.

For example, race & immigration was used by NuLabour in a blatant attempt at mass societal engineering (via approx 8%+ increase in national population over 13 years).

It was the most significant betrayal in modern democratic times, non mandated change extraordinaire, not only of British Society, but the core traditional voter base for Labour.

To see people still trying to deny it took place and dismiss the fallout of the cultural elephant rampaging around the United Kingdom is as disingenuous as it is pathetic.

Labour are the midwives of UKiP.

This cultural elephant has tusks.

SaulZaentz , 2014-09-29 09:10:36
It's a race to the bottom, and has lead to such "success stories" as G4S, Serco, A4E, ATOS, Railtrack, privatised railways, privatised water and so on.

It's all about to get even worse with TTIP, and if that fails there is always TISA which mandates privatisation of pretty much everything - breaking state monopolies on public services.

Combined with offshoring of as many jobs abroad as possible, free movement of unskilled workers and the use of agency labour to undercut pay and conditions, the future looks bleak.

Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:13:38

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents

There is nothing meritocratic about neoliberlaism. Its about who you know. In the UK things have gone backwards almost to the 1950s. Changes which were brought about by the expansion of universities have pretty much been reversed. The establishment - politics, media, business is dominated by the better=off Oxbridge elite.

AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:16:42
It is difficult for me to agree. I have grown up within Neoliberalism being 35, but you describe no one I know. People I know weigh up the extra work involved in a promotion and decide whether the sacrifice is worth the extra money/success.

People I know go after their dreams, whether that be farming or finance. I understand what you say, and there is definitely an element within society which values Success above all else, but I do not personally know anyone like that.

JamesValencia AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:25:40
He's saying people's characters are changed by their environment. That they aren't set in stone, but are a function of culture. And that the socio-cultural shift in the last few decades is a bad thing, and is bad for our characters. In your words: The dreams have changed.

It's convincing, except it isn't as clear as it could be.

AntiTerrorist JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 09:38:49
I understand his principle but as proof, he sites very specific examples...

A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master's degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

This is used as an example to show the shifting mindset. But as I stated, this describes no one I know. We, us, commenting here are society. I agree that there has been a shift in culture and those reaping the biggest financial rewards are the greedy. But has that not always been the way, the self interested have always walked away with the biggest slice, perhaps at the moment that slice has become larger still, but most people still want to have a comfortable life, lived their way. People haven't changed as much as the OP believes.

The great lie is that financial reward is success and happiness.

CityBoy2006 AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:52:05

This is used as an example to show the shifting mindset. But as I stated, this describes no one I know

Indeed even in the "sociopathic" world of fund management and investment banking, the vast majority of people establish a balance for how they wish to manage their work and professional lives and evaluate decisions in light of them both.

GordonLiddle , 2014-09-29 09:17:21
One could use another word or two, crony capitalism being a particularly good pair. Not what you know but who.
SaulZaentz GordonLiddle , 2014-09-29 09:36:48
Indeed. How come G4S keep winning contracts despite their behaviour being incompetent and veering on criminal, and the fact they are despised pretty much universally. Hardly a meritocracy.
dreamer06 SaulZaentz , 2014-09-29 13:40:16
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/defence/article3862998.ece
(paywall)

You can add A4E to that list and now Capita who have recruited all of 61 part time soldiers in their contract to replace all the thousands of sacked professionals

Pasdabong ElQuixote , 2014-09-29 09:33:20
.....By "us" of course, you mean commies. I think you are inadvertently demonstrating another of Hares psychopath test features; a lack of empathy and self awareness.
KatieL dieterroth , 2014-09-29 09:58:16
"Since the living standards of majority in this country are on a downward trend"

The oil's running out. Living standards, on average, will continue to decline until either it stops running out or fusion power turns out to work after all.

Whether you have capitalism or socialism won't make any difference to the declining energy input.

dieterroth , 2014-09-29 09:19:32
I'm sure I read an article in the 80s predicting what the author has written. Economics and cultural environment is bound to have an effect on behaviour. We now live in a society that worships at the altar of the cult of the individual. Society and growth of poverty no longer matters, a lone success story proves all those people falling into poverty are lazy good for nothing parasites. The political class claims to be impotent when it comes to making a fairer society because the political class is made up of people who were affluent in the first place or benefited from a neo-liberal rigged economy. The claim is, anything to do with a fair society is social engineering and bound to fail. Well, neo-liberal Britain was socially engineered and it is failing the majority of people in the country.

There is a cognitive dissonance going on in the political narrative of neo-liberalism, not everyone can make it in a neo-liberal society and since neo-liberalism destroys social mobility. Ironically, the height of social mobility in the west, from the gradual rise through the 50s and 60s, was the 70s. The 80s started the the downward trend in social mobility despite all the bribes that went along with introducing the property owning democracy, which was really about chaining people to capitalism.

Johanni dieterroth , 2014-09-29 10:24:23

I'm sure I read an article in the 80s predicting what the author has written.

Well, a transformation of human character was the open battle-cry of 1980s proponents of neoliberalism. Helmut Kohl, the German prime minister, called it the "geistig-moralische Wende", the "spiritual and moral sea-change" - I think people just misunderstood what he meant by that, and laughed at what they saw as empty sloganeering. Now we're reaping what his generation sowed.

thebogusman Johanni , 2014-09-29 13:15:54
Tatcher actually said that the goal of neoliberalism is not new economics but to "change the soul"!
arkley dieterroth , 2014-09-29 18:10:04
OK, now can you tell us why individual freedom is such a bad thing?

The previous period of liberal economics ended a century ago, destroyed by the war whose outbreak we are interminably celebrating. That war and the one that followed a generation later brought in strict government control, even down to what people could eat and wear. Orwell's dystopia of 1984 actually describes Britain's wartime society continuing long after the real wars had ended. It was the slow pace of lifting wartime controls, even slower in Eastern Europe, and the lingering mindset that economies and societies could be directed for "the greater good" no matter what individual costs there were that led to a revival of liberal economics.

Febo , 2014-09-29 09:21:28
Neoliberalism is a mere offshoot of Neofeudalism. Labour and Capital - those elements of both not irretrievably bought-out - must demand the return of The Commons . We must extend our analysis back over centuries , not decades - let's strike to the heart of the matter!
Febo undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:49:03
Both neofeudalism - aka neocolonialism-abroad-and-at-home - and neoliberalism rest on the theft of the Commons - they both support monopoly.
callaspodeaspode undersinged , 2014-09-29 10:11:05
Collectivist ideologies including Fascism, Communism and theocracy are all similar to feudalism.

I've worked in a few large private companies over the years, and my experience is they increasingly resemble some sort of cult, with endless brainwashing programmes for the 'members', charismatic leaders who can do no wrong, groupthink, mandatory utilisation of specialist jargon (especially cod-psychological terminology) to differentiate those 'in' and those 'out', increased blurring of the lines between 'private' and 'work' life (your ass belongs to us 24-7) and of course, constant, ever more complex monitoring of the 'members' for 'heretical thoughts or beliefs'.

'Collectivism' is not as incompatible with capitalism as you seem to think.
You sound like one of those 'libertarians'. Frankly, I think the ideals of such are only realisable as a sole trader, or operating in a very small business.

Progress is restricted because the people are made poor by the predations of the state

Neoliberalism is firmly committed to individual liberty, and therefore to peace and mutual toleration

It is firmly committed to ensuring that the boundaries between private and public entities become blurred, with all the ensuing corruption that entails. In other words, that the state becomes (through the taxpayers) a captured one, delivering a never ending, always growing, revenue stream for favoured players in private enterprise. This is, of course, deliberate. 'Individual liberties and mutual toleration' are only important insomuch as they improve, or detract, from profit-centre activity.

You have difficulty in separating propaganda from reality, but you're barely alone in this.

Lastly, you also misunderstand feudalism, which in the European context, flourished before there was a developed concept of a centralised nation state, indeed, the most classic examples occurred after the decentralisation of an empire or suchlike. The primary feudal relation was between the bondsman/peasant and his local magnate, who in turn, was subject to his liege.

In other words a warrior class bound by vassalage to a nobility, with the peasantry bound by manorialism and to the estates of the Church.

Apart from that though, you're right on everything.

JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 09:21:56
I completely agree with the general sentiment.
The specifics aren't that solid though:

- That we think our characters are independent of context/society: I certainly don't.
- That statement about "bullying is more widespread" - lacks justification.

The general theme of "meritocracy is a fiction" is compelling though.
As is "We are free-er in many ways because those ways no longer have any significance" .

And the most striking idea here: Our characters are partly moulded by society. And neo-liberal society, and it's illusions of freedom, has moulded many of us in ways that bring out the worst in us.

UnironicBeard JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 10:39:08
The Rat Race is a joke. Too many people waste their lives away playing the capitalist game. As long as you've got enough money to keep living you can be happy. Just ignore the pathetic willy-wavers with their flashy cars and logos on their shirts and all that guff
CharlesII JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 13:27:30

- That statement about "bullying is more widespread" - lacks justification.

Absolutely. I stopped reading there. Bullying is noticed now, and seen as a 'bad thing'. In offices 30, 50, years ago, it was standard .

JamesValencia UnironicBeard , 2014-09-29 13:42:50
Preaching to the converted, there, Beard :)

All we need is "enough" - Posession isn't that interesting. More a doorway to doing interesting stuff.
I prefer to cut out the posession and go straight to "do interesting stuff" myself. As long as the rent gets paid and so on, obviously.

Doesn't always work, obviously, but I reckon not wanting stuff is a good start to the good life (ref. to series with Felicity Kendall (and some others) intended :)
That, and Epicurus who I keep mentioning on CIF.

dieterroth undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:26:28
Rather naive. History is full of brilliant individuals who made it. Neo-liberalism has however killed off post war social mobility. In fact according to the OECD report into social mobility, the more egalitarian a developed society is, the more social mobility there is, the more productivity and the less poverty and social problems there are.
dieterroth undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:28:55
"Collectivism gave us Communism, Nazism and universalist religions that try to impose uniformity through the method of mass murder."

Capitalism and free markets gave us them as all were reactions to economic failure and having nothing to lose.

Febo undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:34:05
I agree - the central dilemma is that neither individualism nor collectiviism works.

But is this dilemma real? Is there a third system? Yes there is - Henry George.

George's paradigm in nothing funky, it is simply Classical Liberal Economics - society works best when individuals get to keep the fruits of thier labour, but pay rent for the use of The Commons.
At present we have the opposite - labour and capital are taxed heavily and The commons are monopolised by the 1%.
Hence unemployment
Hence the wealth gap
Hence the environmental crisis
Hence poverty

checkreakity , 2014-09-29 09:23:39
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:24:11
So the values and morals that people have are so wafer thin that a variation in the political system governing them can strip them away? Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?
NinthLegion RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:26:57
But it's because these values and moralities are so wafer thin that the Right can swing them in precisely the direction they want to. Greed is good!
LouSnickers RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:28:35
They dont like us!

But then, I dont care for them, either!

dieterroth RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:32:10
"Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?"

Open your eyes and take a lokk at the world. There is enough wealth in the world for everyone to live free from poverty. Yet, the powerful look after themselves and allow poverty to not only exist but spread.

yamba , 2014-09-29 09:30:07
Reminds me very much of No Country for Old Men , by Cormac McCarthy.
annabelle123 yamba , 2014-09-29 11:00:22
That's a good description of the NHS.
WinstonThatcher , 2014-09-29 09:30:58
It's certainly brought out the worst in the Guardian, publishing as it does oodles of brainless clickbate.
nishville WinstonThatcher , 2014-09-29 11:13:50
>If you've ever dithered over the question of whether the UK needs a written constitution, dither no longer. Imagine the clauses required to preserve the status of the Corporation. "The City of London will remain outside the authority of parliament. Domestic and foreign banks will be permitted to vote as if they were human beings, and their votes will outnumber those cast by real people. Its elected officials will be chosen from people deemed acceptable by a group of medieval guilds …".<
paul643 , 2014-09-29 09:31:59

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

I don't believe that bullying is new to the workplace., in fact I'd imagine it was worse before the days of elf 'n' safety.

vivientoft paul643 , 2014-09-29 13:05:01
Why do you say that?
annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:32:23
I agree with much of this. Working in the NHS, as a clinical psychologist, over the past 25 years, I have seen a huge shift in the behaviour of managers who used to be valued for their support and nurturing of talent, but now are recognised for their brutal and aggressive approach to those beneath them. Reorganisations of services, which take place with depressing frequency, provide opportunities to clear out the older, experienced members of the profession who would have acted as mentors and teachers to the less experienced staff.
saltash1920 annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:39:31
I worked in local authority social care, I can certainly see the very close similarities to what you describe in the NHS, and my experience in the local authority.
Davai annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:48:06
Yes those were the days when you had people and personnel departments, rather than 'human resources' I suspect. You can blame the USA for that.

Constant reorgs are a sure sign of inept management.

They're also a sure sign of managers who want to 'hang out' with highly-paid, sexy management consultants and hopefully get offered a job.

But you're a psychologist so you know that already!

David Craig's books are worth a read.

annabelle123 saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 10:58:42
I can well imagine there are big similarities. Friends of mine who work in education say the same - there is a complete mismatch between the aims of the directors/managers and that of the professionals actually providing the teaching/therapy/advice to the public. When I go to senior meetings it is very rare that patients are even mentioned.
StVitusGerulaitis , 2014-09-29 09:32:59

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

This is an incredibly broad generalisation. I remember my grandfather telling me about what went on in the mills he worked in in Glasgow before the war, it sounded like a pretty savage environment if you didn't fit in. It wasn't called bullying, of course.

I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

Isn't this true of pretty much any system? And human relationships in general? I cannot think of a system that is completely blind to the differences between people. If you happen to be lazy or have a problem with authority you will never do as "well" (for want of a better term).

MickGJ StVitusGerulaitis , 2014-09-29 16:15:49

Isn't this true of pretty much any system?

Don't be silly my saintly chum: who ever heard of a psychopath rising to the top in any other system than neo-liberal capitalism?
Socratese , 2014-09-29 09:33:25
I have always said to people who claim they are Liberals that you must support capitalism,the free market,free trade, deregulation etc etc when most of them deny that, I always say you are not a Liberal then you're just cherry-picking the [Liberal] policies you like and the ones you don't like,which is dishonest.
There is nothing neo about Liberalism,it has been around since the 19th century[?].People have been brainwashed in this country [and the USA] since the 1960's to say they are liberals for fear of being accused of being fascists,which is quite another thing.
I have never supported any political ideology,which is what Liberalism is,and believe all of them should be challenged.By doing so you can evolve policies which are fair and just and appropriate to the issue at hand.
pinniped Socratese , 2014-09-29 10:24:59
Ah yes, No True Liberal.
saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 09:34:32
Neoliberalism has only benefited a minority. Usually those with well connected and wealthy families. And of course those who have no hesitation to exploit other's.

In my view, it is characterized by corruption, exploitation and a total lack of social justice. Economically, the whole system is fully dependent on competition not co-operation. One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

rivendel saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 17:40:04
One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

And if we keep consuming all our resources on this finite planet in pursuit of profit and more profit there will be no human race we will all be extinct.,and all that will be left is an exhausted polluted planet that once harbored a vast variety of life.
Isent neolibral capitalism great.

Highlights saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 21:52:03

One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

Violence has already begun, in wars and protests, beheadings and wage cuts which leave people more and more desperate.

PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 09:36:18

We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces

Which is exactly what we've been led to believe, by outside forces.

For other related films, please see:

The Corporation http://www.thecorporation.com/

and

The Century of the Self http://www.thecorporation.com/

PonyBoyUK PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 10:09:55
(doh!)

The Century of the Self - http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

NinthLegion , 2014-09-29 09:40:58
As Marx so often claimed, values, ethics, morality and behaviours are themselves determined by the economic and monetary system under which people live. Stealing is permitted if you are a banker and call it a bonus or interest, murder is permitted if your government sends you to war, surveillance and data mining is permitted if your state tells you there is a danger from terrorists, crime is overlooked if it makes money for the perpetrator, benefit claimants are justified if they belong to an aristocratic caste or political elite.......

There is no universal right or wrong, only that identified as such by the establishment at that particular instance in history, and at that specific place on the planet. Outside that, they have as much relevance today as scriptures instructing that slaves can be raped, adulterers can be stoned or the hands of thieves amputated. Give me the crime and the punishment, and I will give you the time and the place.

Jack3 NinthLegion , 2014-09-29 10:44:31
For a tiny elite sitting on the top everything has been going exactly as it was initially planned.

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men
living together in Society, they create for themselves in the
course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a
moral code that glorifies it".
F. Bastiat.

Finn_Nielsen Jack3 , 2014-09-29 10:58:47
Bastiat was closer to a neoliberal than a Marxist...
skagway Jack3 , 2014-09-30 14:48:40
very true.
Pasdabong , 2014-09-29 09:41:24
Excellent article.
I'm amazed that more isn't made of the relationship between political environment/systems and their effect on the individual. Oliver James Affluenza makes a compelling case for the unhappiness outputs of societies who've embraced neo liberalism yet we still blindly pursue it.
The US has long been world leader in both the demand and supply of psychotherapy and the relentless pursuit of free market economics. these stats are not unconnected.
abugaafar , 2014-09-29 09:42:40
I once had a colleague with the knack of slipping into his conversation complimentary remarks that other people had made about him. It wasn't the only reason for his rapid ascent to great heights, but perhaps it helped.
ThroatWobblaMangrove abugaafar , 2014-09-29 22:58:31
That's one of my favourite characteristics of David Brent from 'The Office'. "You're all looking at me, you're going, "Well yeah, you're a success, you've achieved you're goals, you're reaping the rewards, sure. But, OI, Brent. Is all you care about chasing the Yankee dollar?"
crasspymctabernacle , 2014-09-29 09:42:47
This description is, of course, a caricature taken to extremes

Not when applied to IDS and other members of the cabinet.

BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 09:43:50
Neoliberalism is another Social Darwinist driven philosophy popularised after leading figures of our times (or rather former times) decided Malthus was probably correct.

So here we have it, serious growth in population, possibly unsustainable, and a growing 'weak will perish, strong will survive' mentality. The worst thing is I used to believe in neoliberal policies, until of course I understood the long term ramifications.

PonyBoyUK BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 10:11:45
It's a really good idea, - until you start thinking about it...
AlbertaRabbit BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 10:27:02
And then there's reality.

And the reality is that "neoliberalism" has, in the last few decades, freed hundreds of millions in the developing word from a subsistence living to something resembling a middle class lifestyle.

This has resulted in both plummeting global poverty statistics and in greatly reduced fecundity, so that we will likely see a leveling off of global population in the next few decades. And this slowing down of population growth is the most critical thing we could for increasing sustainability.

BlueBrightFuture PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 10:33:06
I suspect the logical conclusion of the free market is that the State will become formally superseded by an oligopoly - perhaps the energy sector.

I also suspect at least one third of the population in over-developed countries will simply become surplus to requirement.

Everybody wants an iPhone, nobody wants to work in Foxconn.

jimcol , 2014-09-29 09:44:45
It is rooted, I think, in the prevailing idea that what we own is more important than what we do. Consumerism grown and fostered by the greedy.
vacuous jimcol , 2014-09-29 19:17:20
The problem is a judeo-christian idea of "free choice" when experiments, undertaken by Benjamin Libet and since, indicate that it is near to unlikely for there to be volitionally controlled conscious decisions.

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v11/n5/abs/nn.2112.html

If we are not even free to intend and control our decisions, thoughts and ambitions, how can anyone claim to be morally entitled to ownership of their property and have a 'right' to anything as a reward for what decisions they made? Happening is pure luck: meaningful [intended] responsibility and accountability cannot be claimed for decisions and actions and so entitlement cannot be claimed for what acquisitions are causally obtained from those decisions and actions.There is no 'just desserts' or decision-derived entitlement justification for wealth and owning property unless the justifier has a superstitious and scientifically unfounded belief in free choice.

CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 09:47:04

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace

Compared to say, that experienced by domestic staff in big houses, small children in factories, perhaps even amongst miners, dockers and steel workers in the halcyon days of the post-war decade when apparently everything was rosy?

This whole article is a hodge podge of anecdote and flawed observations designed to shoehorn behaviour into a pattern that supports an economic hypothesis - it is factually groundless.

Catonaboat CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 10:09:47
Well I'd say he was spot on, when someone with the handle CityBoy2006 his a classic work place tantrum over the article.
HarryTheHorse CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 11:13:24

Compared to say, that experienced by domestic staff in big houses, small children in factories

Yes, but if it was left to people like you, children would still be working in factories. So please do not take credit for improvements that you would fight tooth and nail against

perhaps even amongst miners, dockers and steel workers in the halcyon days of the post-war decade when apparently everything was rosy?

They had wages coming to them and didn't need to rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over their head. Now people like you bitterly complain about poorly paid workers getting benefits to sustain them.

Slapchips , 2014-09-29 09:47:28
People who "work hard and play hard" are nearly always kidding themselves about the second bit.

It seems to me that the trend in the world of neoliberalism is to think that "playing hard" is defined as "playing with expensive, branded toys" during your two week annual holiday.

Davai Slapchips , 2014-09-29 09:52:24
'Playing hard' in the careerist lexicon = getting blind drunk to mollify the feelings of despair and emptiness which typify a hollow, debt-soaked life defined by motor cars and houses.

All IM(NVH)O, of course. DYOR.

Sammy_89 Davai , 2014-09-29 09:56:06
Pays for schools and hospitals, though
Davai Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 09:59:43
Oh we had those before 1989.

It isn't a binary 'naked selfish captalist/socialist decision'. There is middle ground.

eldorado99 , 2014-09-29 09:49:50
"support any political movement we like."

Except those which have privacy from state surveillance as their core tenet.

ID12345 , 2014-09-29 09:50:07
Green Party: We need to fight Neoliberalism.
Loadsofspace , 2014-09-29 09:51:42
The "Max Factor" life. Selfishness and Greed. The compaction of life. Was it not in a scripture in text?. The Bible. We as humans and followers of "Faith" in christian beliefs and the culture of love they fellow man. The culture of words are a root to all "Evil. Depending on "Who's" the Author and Scrolling the words; and for what reason?. The only way we can save what is left on this planet and save man kind. Is eradicate the above "Selfishness and Greed" ?
ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 09:51:50

We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference.

These changes listed (and then casually dismissed) are monumental social achievements. Many countries in the world do not permit their 'citizens' such freedom of choice and I for one am very grateful to live in a country where these things are possible.

Of course there is much more to be done. But I would suggest that to be born in Western Europe today is probably about as safe, comfortable, and free than at any time and any place in human history. I'm not being complacent about what we still have to achieve. But we won't achieve anything if we take such a flippant attitude towards all the amazing things that have been bequeathed to us.

CityBoy2006 ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 09:55:24
Excellent observation, it's the same way that technology that has quite clearly changed our lives and given us access to information, opportunity to travel and entertainment that would have been beyond the comprehension of our grandparents is dismissed as irrelevant because its just a smart phone and a not a job for life in a British Leyland factory.
Finn_Nielsen ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 10:09:36
It takes a peculairly spoilt and arrogant Westerner to claim that the freedom to criticise religion isn't significant or that we're only allowed to do so because it's no longer important. Tell that to a girl seeking to escape an arranged marriage in Bradford...
HarryTheHorse CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 11:15:51
So being able to have a smart phone compensates for not having a secure place to live? What an absurd bubble you metropolitan types live in.
Harry Palmer , 2014-09-29 09:52:22
OK. Now off you go and apply the same methodology to people living in statist societies, or just have a go at our own civil service or local government workers. Try social workers or the benefits agency or the police.

Let us know what you find.

WindTurbine , 2014-09-29 09:53:31
The author makes some good points, although I wouldn't necessarily call our system a meritocracy.
I guess the key one is how unaware we are about the influence of economic policy on our values.
This kind of systems hurts everyday people and rewards psychopaths, and is damaging to society as a whole over the long term.
Targetising everything is really insidious.
jclucas , 2014-09-29 09:53:32
That neoliberalism puts tremendous pressure on individuals to conform to materialistic norms is undeniable, but for a psychotherapist to disallow the choice of those individuals to nevertheless choose how to live is an admission of failure.

In fact, many people today experience the shallowness and corrupt character of market society and elect either to be in it, but not of it, or to opt out early having made enough money, often making a conscious choice to relinquish the 'trappings' in return for a more meaningful existence. Some do selfless service to their fellow human beings, to the environment or both, and thereby find a degree of fulfillment that they always wanted.

To surrender to the external demands of a superficial and corrupting life is to ignore the tremendous opportunity human life offers to all: self realization.

WindTurbine jclucas , 2014-09-29 10:01:42
It's not either-or, system or individual, but some combination of the two.
Decision making may be 80% structure and 20% individual choice for the mainstream - or maybe the other way round for the rebels amongst us that try to reject the system.

The theory of structuration (Giddens) provides one explanation of how social systems develop through the interactions between the system and actors in it.

I partly agree with you but I think examples of complete self realisation are extremely rare. That means stepping completely out of the system and out of our own personality. Neither this nor that.

jclucas WindTurbine , 2014-09-29 10:21:57
The point is that the individual has the choice to move in the right direction. When and if they do make a decision to change their life, it will be fulfilling for them and for the system.
AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 09:54:07

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, "make" something of ourselves. You don't need to look far for examples. A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success.

I have been in the private sector for generations, and know tons of people who have behaved precisely as described above. I don't know anyone who calls them crazy. In fact, I see the exact opposite tendency - the growing acceptance that money isn't everything, and that once one has achieved a certain level of success and financial security that it is fine to put other priorities first rather than simply trying to acquire ever more.

arkley AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 09:59:50
The ATL article is rather stuffed full of stereotypes.

And speaking personally, I have turned down two offers of promotion to a management position in the last ten years and neither time did I get the sense people thought I was crazy. They might have done if I were in my late twenties rather than mid-fifties but that does reinforce the notion that people - even bosses - can accept that there is more to life than a career.

Sammy_89 arkley , 2014-09-29 10:04:29
I agree about the stereotypes. Also, has anyone ever seriously advised a primary school teacher that they need a masters degree of economics?! I highly doubt that that is the norm!
MickGJ Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 16:18:57

Also, has anyone ever seriously advised a primary school teacher that they need a masters degree of economics?! I

Sounds more like parents advising an exceptionally bright child to go as far as she can with her education before she starts work.

I can't see why a primary school teacher should be dissuaded from doing a master's degree.

arkley , 2014-09-29 09:55:46
How does that navel look today?

I hate to break it to you but no matter how you organise society the nasty people get to the top and the nice people end up doing all the work. "Neo-liberalism" is no different.

Sammy_89 arkley , 2014-09-29 10:02:10
Or you could put it another way - 'neoliberalism' is the least worst economic/social system, because most people are far more powerless and far more worse off under any other system that has ever been developed by man...
TeddyFrench arkley , 2014-09-29 10:06:38
For a start you need a system that is not based on rewarding and encouraging the worst aspects of our characters. I try to encourage my kids not to be greedy, to be honest and to care about others but in this day and age it's an uphill struggle.
Finn_Nielsen Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 10:11:42
It's a funny kind of neoliberalism we're supposedly suffering under when you consider the ratio of state spending to GDP...
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 09:57:13
"A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal."

In the UK we have nothing like a meritocracy with a privately educated elite.

Success and failure are just about parental wealth.

Willhelm123 , 2014-09-29 09:57:41
I kind of see the point of this. What's the alternative though?
MickGJ Willhelm123 , 2014-09-29 16:23:10

I kind of see the point of this. What's the alternative though?

Doing some research?
gcarth , 2014-09-29 09:57:45
"So the values and morals that people have are so wafer thin that a variation in the political system governing them can strip them away? Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?"

RidleyWalker, I can assue you that it is not the left but the right who consistently have a low opinion of humanity. Anyway, what has left and right got to do with this? There are millions of ordinary decent people whose lives are blighted by the obscentity that is neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is designed to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor. Neo-liberalism is responsible for the misery for millions across the globe. The only happy ones are those at the top of the heap...until even their bloated selfish world inevitably implodes.
Of course these disgusting parasites are primitive thinkers and cannot see that we could have a better, happier world for everyone if societies become more equal. Studies demonstrate that more equal societies are more stable and content than those with ever-widening gaps in wealth between rich and poor.

injinoo gcarth , 2014-09-29 10:01:41
Which studies and which equal societies are you referring to. It would be good to know in order to cheer us all up a bit.
Sammy_89 gcarth , 2014-09-29 10:08:52
Neoliberalism...disgusting parasites...primitive thinkers...misery of millions...bloated selfish world

This reads like a Soviet pamphlet from the 1930's. Granted you've replaced the word 'capitalism' with 'neoliberalism' - in other words subsstituted one meaningless abstraction for another. It wasn't true then and it certainly isnt true now...

injinoo , 2014-09-29 09:59:38
Not sure why you think all this is new or attributable to neoliberalism. Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's. All that has changed is that instead of working on assembly lines in factories under the watchful gaze of a foreman we now have university degrees and sit in cubicles pressing buttons on keyboards. Micromanagement, bureaucracy, rules and regulations are as old as the hills. Office politics has replaced shop floor politics; the rich are still rich and the poor are still poor.
Sammy_89 injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:10:20
Well, except that people have more money, live longer and have more opportunities in life than before - most people anyway. The ones left behind are the ones we need to worry about
rosemary152 injinoo , 2014-09-29 14:32:18

Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's.

There is a difference. We now have the psychopathic-tendency merchants in charge, both of the banks, multinationals and our government.

MickGJ injinoo , 2014-09-29 16:24:51

Not sure why you think all this is new or attributable to neoliberalism. Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's.

And you can read far more excoriating critiques of our shallow materialistic capitalism, culture from those decades, now recast as some sort of prelapsarian Golden Age.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 10:00:59
The psychopaths have congregated in Wall Street and the City.

One of the problems with psychopaths is that they never learn form mistakes.

Anyone that is watching will realise we are well on our way to the next Wall Street Crash - part 3.

Wall Street Crash Part 1 - 1929
Wall Street Crash Part 2 - 2008
Wall Street Crash Part 3 - soon

Each is bigger and better than the last - there may not be much left after Part 3.

injinoo regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 10:03:58
Actually, the 1929 crash was not the first by any means. The boom and bust cycle of modern economics goes back a lot further. When my grandparents talked about the "Great Depression" they were referring to the 1890's.
regfromdagenham injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:05:24
The financial psychopaths never learn!
Isiodore injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:49:57
The nineteenth century saw major financial crises in almost every decade, 1825, 1837, 1847, 1857, 1866 before we even get to the Great Depression of 1873-96.
harrogateandrew , 2014-09-29 10:01:24
And Socialism doesn't!

Socialism seems to be happy home of corruption & nepotism. The old saw that Tory MP's are brought down by sex scandals whilst Labour MP's have issues with money still holds.

Portman23 harrogateandrew , 2014-09-29 10:06:13
Why is that relevant? This is a critique of neo liberalism and it is a very accurate one at that. It isn't suggesting that Socialism is better or even offers an alternative, just that neo liberalism has failed society and explores some of how and why.
TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 10:01:25
The main problem is that neoliberalism is a faith dressed up as a science and any evidence that disproves the hypothesis (e.g. the 2008 financial collapse) only helps to reinforce the faith of the fundamentalists supporting it.
AlbertaRabbit TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 10:10:36
The reason why "neoliberalism" is so successful is precisely because the evidence shows it does work. It has not escaped peoples' notice that nations where governments heavily curtail individual and commercial freedom are often rather wretched places to live.
TeddyFrench AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 10:31:54
You conflate individual freedom with corporate freedom.

Also, what happened in 2008 then? Anything to do with the hubris over free markets and de-regulation or was it just a blip?

JonPurrtree TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 11:16:25
It would be nice to curtail coprorate freedom without curtailing the freedom of individuals. I don't see how that might work.

"hubris over free markets" might well be it.
But I might be understanding that in a different way from you. People were making irrational decisions that didn't seem to take on basic logic of a free market, or even common sense. Such as "where is all this money coming from" (madoff, house ladder), "of course this will work" (fred goodwin and his takeovers) and even "will i get my money back" (sub-prime lending).

hansen , 2014-09-29 10:02:14
So why don't we do something about it....genuinely? There appears to be no power left in voting unless people are given an actual choice....Is it not time then to to provide a well grounded articulate choice? The research, in many different disciplines, is already out there.
menedemus hansen , 2014-09-29 10:27:39
What can we do? It appears we are stuck between the Labour party and the Conservatives. Is it even possible for another party to come to power with the next couple of elections?
ElDanielfire menedemus , 2014-09-29 11:41:06
The Lib Dems? ;)
gandrew hansen , 2014-09-29 13:04:53
the Greens, clearly.
AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 10:03:31

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference. Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Verhaeghe begins by criticizing free markets and "neo-liberalism", but ends by criticizing the huge, stifling government bureaucracy that endeavours to micro-manage every aspect of its citizens lives, and is the opposite of true classic liberalism.

Must be confusing for him.

Oscar Mandiaz AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-30 01:37:24
probably not as confusing as it seems to be for you.
this is just the difference between neoliberalism in theory and in practise.
like the "real existierende sozialismus" in eastern germany fell somewhat short of the brilliant utopia of the theorists.
verhaeghe does not criticise the theoretical model, but the practical outcome. And the worst governmant and corporate bureaucracy that mankind has ever seen is part of it. The result of 30+ years of neoliberal policies.
In my experience this buerocracy is gets worse in anglo saxon countries closest to the singularity at the bottom of the neolib black hole.
I am aware that this is only a correlation, but correlations, while they do not prove causation, still require explanation.
Bloreheath , 2014-09-29 10:03:35
Some time ago, and perhaps still, it was/is fashionable for Toryish persons to denigrate the 1960s. I look back to that decade with much nostalgia. Nearly everyone had a job of sorts, not terribly well paid but at least it was a job. And now? You are compelled to toil your guts out, kiss somebody's backside, run up unpayable debts - and, in the UK, live in a house that in many other countries would have been demolished decades ago. Scarcely a day passes when I am not partly disgusted at what has overtaken my beloved country.
LargeMarvin Bloreheath , 2014-09-29 11:25:19
And scooters were 150s and 200s.
capchaos , 2014-09-29 10:04:26
An excellent article! The culture of the 80's has ruled for too long and its damage done.... its down to our youth to start to shape things now and I think that's beginning to happen.
Davai capchaos , 2014-09-29 10:20:12
Is it?

I think the levels of debt amongst young 'consumers' would suggest otherwise.

They are after all, only human. Prone to want the baubles dangled in front of them, as are we all.

Gogoh , 2014-09-29 10:06:33
Brilliant article.
IGrumble , 2014-09-29 10:13:27
Neo-Liberalism as operated today. "Greed is Good" and senior bankers and those who sell and buy money, commodities etc; are diven by this trait of humankind.

But we, the People are just as guilty with our drives for 'More'. More over everything, even shopping at the supermarket - "Buy one & get ten free", must have.

Designer ;bling;, clothes, shoes, bags, I-Pads etc etc, etc. It is never ending. People seem to be scared that they haven't got what next has, and next will think that they are 'Not Cool'.

We, the people should be satisfied with what have got, NOT what what we havn't got. Those who "want" (masses of material goods) usually "Dont get!"

The current system is unsustainable as the World' population rises and rises. Nature (Gaia) will take care of this through disease, famine, and of course the stupidity of Humankind - wars, destruction and general stupidity.

pinniped , 2014-09-29 10:13:49
What's a meritocracy? Oh, that's right - a fable that people who have a lot of money deserve it somehow because they're so much better than the people who work for a living.
Keo2008 , 2014-09-29 10:13:54

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us

Speak for yourself.

Some of us are just as kind and tolerant as we have always been.

Huples Keo2008 , 2014-09-29 10:37:19
The world is nastier than it was before outsourcing and efficiencies.
I am glad you have emerged unscathed

However be happy he is speaking as it allows your natural tolerance to shine ;-)

AlbertaRabbit Huples , 2014-09-29 11:34:05
The world was an even nastier place before the current era. During the 1970s and early 1980s there was huge inflation which robbed people of their saving, high unemployment, and (shudder) Disco.

People tend to view the past with rose-coloured glasses.

Finn_Nielsen , 2014-09-29 10:15:28
What neoliberalism? We've got a mixed economy, which seemingly upsets both those on the right who wish to cut back the state and those on the left who'd bolster it.
Isiodore , 2014-09-29 10:16:21
I work in a law firm specialising in M&A, hardly the cuddliest of environments, but I recognise almost nothing here as a description of my work place. Sure, some people are wankers but that's true everywhere.
alazarin , 2014-09-29 10:16:26
I'm enjoying watching the logical and conceptual contortions of Kippers on CiF attempting to positions themselves as being against neo-liberalism.
Finn_Nielsen , 2014-09-29 10:17:26

You don't need to look far for examples.

Indeed not, you just made a few up.

Babartov , 2014-09-29 10:19:39
human socieity has always rewarded aggressive individuals willing to tread on others.

it's how we roll

pauledwards1000 , 2014-09-29 10:20:17

"Bullying used to be confined to schools".

That is patently untrue. Have you ever been outside your home and do you actually know anyone?

PeteCW pauledwards1000 , 2014-09-29 10:32:52
Have you ever been outside your home and do you actually know anyone?

This sentence could usefully be applied to the entire article.

Gogoh , 2014-09-29 10:20:46
FDR, the Antichrist of the American Right, famously said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And here we are with this ideology which in many ways stokes the fear. The one thing these bastards don't want most of us to feel is secure.
freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 10:23:16
There is no "free market" anywhere. That is a fantasy. It is a term used when corporations want to complain about regulations. What we have in most industrialized countries is corporate socialism wherein corporations get to internalize profits and externalize costs and losses. It has killed of our economies and our middle class.
dr8765 freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 11:35:11
True. All markets are constructs. Each simply operates according to the parameters put in place by those who have constructed it.

Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor has almost become a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true.

iruka , 2014-09-29 10:26:05
Socialism or barbarism -- a starker choice today than when the phrase was coined.

So long, at least, as we have an evolved notion of what socialism entails. Which means, please, not the state capitalism + benign paternalism that it's unfortunately come to mean for most people, in the course of its parasitical relationship with capitalism proper, and so with all capitalism's inventions (the 'nation', the modern bureaucracy, ever-more-efficient exploitation to cumulatively alienating ends......)

It's just as unfortunate, in this light, that the term 'self-management' has been appropriated by the ideologues of pseudo-meritocracy, in just the way the article describes..

Because it's also a term (from the French autogestion) used to describe what I'd argue is the most nuanced and sophisticated collectivist alternative to capitalism -- an alternative that is at one and the same time a rejection of capitalism.... and of the central role of the state and 'nation' (that phony, illusory community that plays a more central role in empowering the modern state than does its monopoly on violence)... and of the ideology of growth, and of the ideal of monolithic, ruthlessly efficient economic totalities organised to this end....

It's a rejection, in other words, of all those things contemplation of which reminds us just how little fundamental difference there is between capitalism and the system cobbled together on the fly by the Bolsheviks -- same vertical organisation to the ends of the same exploitation, same exploitation to the ends of expanding the scope and scale of vertical organisation, all of it with the same destructive effects on the sociabilities of everyday life....

Self-management in this sense goes beyond 'workers control'; (I'd argue that) it envisions a society in which most aspects of life have been cut free from the ties that bind people vertically to sources of influence and control, however they're constituted (private and public bureaucracies, market pressures, the illusory narratives of nation, mass media and commodity...).

The horizontal ties of workplace and local community would thus be constitutive, by default, and society as a whole would become very little more than the sum of its parts -- mutating on a molecular local level as people collectively and democratically decided, in circumstances that actually granted them the power to do so, how to balance the conflicting needs and desires and necessities that a complex society and a complex division of labour present. 'Balance' because there really isn't any prospect of a utopian resolution of these conflicts -- they come with civilisation -- or with barbarism, for than matter, in any of its modern incarnations.

Etc. etc.. Avoiding work again.....

Finn_Nielsen iruka , 2014-09-29 10:44:27
What about those who disagree with such a radical reordering of society? How would the collective deal with those who wished to exploit it?
I'm genuinely interested, beats working...
AlbertaRabbit iruka , 2014-09-29 11:18:41

The horizontal ties of workplace and local community would thus be constitutive, by default, and society as a whole would become very little more than the sum of its parts -- mutating on a molecular local level as people collectively and democratically decided, in circumstances that actually granted them the power to do so, how to balance the conflicting needs and desires and necessities that a complex society and a complex division of labour present.

Why do socialists so often resort to such turgid, impenetrable prose? Could it be an attempt to mask the vacuity of their position?

Catonaboat , 2014-09-29 10:26:13
I read this article skeptically, but then realised how accurately he described my workplace. Most people I know on the outside have nice middle class lives, but underneath it suffer from anxiety, about 1 not putting enough into their careers 2 not spending enough time with their kids. When I decided to cut my work hours in half when I had a child, 2 of my colleagues were genuinely concerned for me over things like, I might be let go, how would I cope with the drop in money, I was cutting my chances of promotion, how would it look in a review. The level of anxiety was frightening.

People on the forum seem to be criticizing what they see as the authors flippant attitude to sexual freedom and lack of religious hold, but I see the authors point, what good are these freedoms when we are stuck in the stranglehold of no job security and huge mortgage debt. Yes you can have a quick shag with whoever you want and don't need to answer to anyone over it on a Sunday, but come Monday morning its back to the the ever sharpening grindstone.

Norfolk , 2014-09-29 10:26:18
This reminds me of the world I started to work in in 1955. I accept that by 1985 it was ten times worse and by the time I retired in 2002, after 47 years, I was very glad to have what I called "survived". At its worst was the increasing difference between the knowledge base of "the boss" when technology started to kick in. I was called into the boss's office once to be criticised for the length of a report. It had a two page summery of the issue and options for resolving the problem. I very meekly inquired if he had decided on any of the options to resolve the problem. What options are you talking about? was his response, which told me that either he had not read the report or did not understand the problem. This was the least of my problems as I later had to spend two days in his office explaining the analysis we (I) were submitting to the Board.
Fooster , 2014-09-29 10:26:35

A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master's degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

Ladies, step away from the jobs.
MissingInActon , 2014-09-29 10:27:29
Speak for yourself.
The current economic situation affects each of us as much as we allow it to. Some may well love neo-liberalism and the concomitant dog eat dog attitude, but there are some of us who regard it as little more than a culture of self-enrichment through lies and aggression. I see it as such, and want nothing to do with it.
If you live by money and power, you'll die by money and power. I prefer to live and work with consensus and co-operation.
I'll never be rich, but I'll never have many enemies.
Jack3 MissingInActon , 2014-09-29 11:30:37

I see it as such, and want nothing to do with it.

Spot on. Neither I.

fanofzapffe , 2014-09-29 10:28:07
I have a book to promote against the 'success narrative'. I'm hoping it fails.
slorter , 2014-09-29 10:30:18
Hedge-fund and private-equity managers, investment bankers, corporate lawyers, management consultants, high-frequency traders, and top lobbyists.They're getting paid vast sums for their labors. Yet it seems doubtful that society is really that much better off because of what they do. They play zero-sum games that take money out of one set of pockets and put it into another. They demand ever more cunning innovations but they create no social value. High-frequency traders who win by a thousandth of a second can reap a fortune, but society as a whole is no better off. the games consume the energies of loads of talented people who might otherwise be making real contributions to society - if not by tending to human needs or enriching our culture then by curing diseases or devising new technological breakthroughs, or helping solve some of our most intractable social problems. Robert Reich said this and I am compelled to agree with him!
nishville , 2014-09-29 10:33:03
Brilliant article. It is not going to change anything, of course, because majority of people of this planet would cooperate with just about any psychopath clever enough not to take away from them that last bit of stinking warm mud to wallow in.

Proof? Read history books and take a look around you. We are the dumbest animals on Earth.

PeteCW nishville , 2014-09-29 10:38:25
Yeah - people are stupid scum aren't they? 'Take a look around you' - wallowing in stinking warm mud all the time. Dumb animals.

Elsewhere in this comment - being a clever psychopath is not nice.

Finn_Nielsen PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:45:42
I'm not sure I want anything changed by those who hold humanity in contempt...
petrolheadpaul nishville , 2014-09-29 11:22:14
Rubbish. We are the most intelligent and successful creature that this planet has ever seen. We have become capable of transforming it, leaving it and destroying it.

No other species has come close to any of those.

SpursSupporter , 2014-09-29 10:34:29

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

I started work nearly 40 years ago and there were always some bullies in the workplace. Maybe there are more now, I don't know but I suspect it is more widely reported now. Workplace bullies were something of a given when I started work and it was an accepted part of the working environment.

Be careful about re-inventing history to suit your own arguments.

richiep40 , 2014-09-29 10:35:01
I'm surprised the normalization of debt was not mentioned. If you are debt free you have more chance of making decisions that don't fit into the model.

So what do we do now, we train nearly 50% of our young that having large amounts of debt is perfectly normal. When I was a student I lived off the grant and had a much lower standard of living than I can see students having now, but of course I had no debt when I graduated. I know student debt is administered differently, I'm talking about the way we are training them to accept debt of all sorts.

Same applies to consumerism inducing the 'I want it and I want it now', increases personal debt, therefore forcing people to fit in, same applies to credit cards and lax personal lending.

Although occasionally there are economic questions about large amounts of personal debt, politically high personal debt is ideal.

PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:35:45
All this article proves is that you've read, and can quote from, books written by other academics that you agree with.
TheKernel PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:41:36
Not sure if you're in the sector, in large parts that's kind of how academia works?

This is also what's referred to in the trade as an opinion piece, where an author will be presenting his views and substantiating them with reference to the researches of others.

Quite simple, really.

Sputnikchaser , 2014-09-29 10:38:33
There is no mystery to neoliberalism -- it is an economic system designed to benefit the 0.1% and leave the rest of us neck deep in shit. That's why our children will be paying for the bankers' bonuses to the day they die. Let's celebrate this new found freedom with all the rest of the Tory lickspittle apologists. Yippee for moral bankruptcy -- three cheers!
Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 10:39:51
David Harvey wrote the best book ever written on the subject.

http://www.sok.bz/web/media/video/ABriefHistoryNeoliberalism.pdf

It's only 200 pages but by god did he nail it.


The Simple Summary is the state/ royality used to hold all the power over the merchants and the public for centuries. Bit by bit the merchants stripped that power away from royality, until eventually the merchants have now taken over everybody. The merchants hold all the power now and they will never give that up as there is nobody to take it from them. By owning the state the merchants now have everything that go with it. The army, police and the laws and the media.

David Harvey puts it all under the microscope and explains in great detail how they've achieved their end game over the last 40 years.

There are millions of economists and many economic theories in our universities. Unfortunately, the merchants will only fund and advertise and support economic theories that further their power and wealth.

As history shows time and time again it will be the public who rip this power from their hands. If they don't give it up it is only a matter of time. The merchants may now own the army, the police, the laws and the parliament. They'll need all of that and more if the public decide to say enough is enough.

Sidefill , 2014-09-29 10:40:51
Bullying used to be confined to schools? Can't agree with that at all. Bullying is an ingrained human tendency which manifests in many contexts, from school to work to military to politics to matters of faith. It is only bad when abused, and can help to form self-confidence.

I am not sure what "neo" means but liberal economics is the basis of the Western economies since the end of feudalism. Some countries have had periods of pronounced social democracy or even socialism but most of western Europe has reverted to the capitalist model and much of the former east bloc is turning to it. As others have noted in the CiF, this does not preclude social policies designed to alleviate the unfair effects of the liberal economies.

But this ship has sailed in other words, the treaties which founded the EU make it clear the system is based on Adam Smith-type free market thinking. (Short of leaving the EU I don't see how that can be changed in its essentials).

Finally, socialist countries require much more conformity of individuals than capitalist ones. So you have to look at the alternatives, which this article does not from what I could see.

jet199 , 2014-09-29 10:42:40
To be honest I don't think Neoliberalism has made much of a difference in the UK where personal responsibility has always been king. In the Victorian age people were quite happy to have people staving to death on the streets and before that people's problems were usually seen as either their own fault or an act of God (which would also be your own fault due to sin). If anything we are kinder to strangers now, than we have been, but are slipping back into our old habits.
I think the best way to combat extreme liberalism is to be knowing about our culture and realise that liberalism is something which is embedded in British culture and is not something imposed on us from else where or by some -ism. It is strengthen not just by politics but also by language and the way we deal with personal and social issues in our own lives. We also need to acknowledge that we get both good and bad things out of living in a liberal society but that doesn't mean we have to put up with the bad stuff. We can put measures in place to prevent the bad stuff and still enjoy the positives even though some capitalists may throw their toys out of the pram.
ForgottenVoice jet199 , 2014-09-29 10:46:38
Personal responsibility is EXACTLY what neoliberalism avoids, even as it advocates it with every breath.

What it means is that you get as much responsibility as you can afford to foist onto someone else, so a very wealthy person gets none at all. It's always someone else's fault.

Neoliberalism has actually undermined personal responsibility at every single step, delegating it according to wealth or perceived worth.

dairymaid jet199 , 2014-09-29 11:37:13
If Liberalism is the mindset of the British how come we created the NHS, Legal Aid, universal education and social security? These were massive achievements of a post war generation and about as far removed from today's evil shyster politics as it is possible to be.
NaturalOutswing , 2014-09-29 10:43:32
"Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens"

What to people mean when they use the word "society" in this context?

gjjwatson , 2014-09-29 10:46:23
When we stopped having jobs and had careers instead, the rot set in. A career is the promotion of the self and a job the means to realise that goal at the expense of everyone else around you.
The description of psychopathic behaviour perfectly describes a former boss of mine (female). I liked her but knew how dangerous she was. She went easy on me because she knew that I could do the job that she would claim credit for.
The pressure and stress of, for example open plan offices and evaluation reports are all part of the conscious effort on behalf of employers to ensure compliance with this poisonous attitude.
The greatest promoter of this philosophy is the Media, step forward Evan Davies, the slobbering lap dog of the rich and powerful.
On the positive side I detect a growing realisation among normal people of the folly of this worldview.
RamjetMan gjjwatson , 2014-09-29 10:53:56
Self promoters are generally psychopaths who don't have any empathy for the people around them who carry them everyday and make them look good. We call these people show bags. Full of shit and you have to carry them all the time....
anorak , 2014-09-29 10:46:37
No shit Sherlock. Did you get a grant for this extensive research?
ID8665572 , 2014-09-29 10:49:43
"meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others..."
I put to you the simple premsie that you can substitute "meritocratic neoliberalism" with any political system (communism, fascism, social democracy even) and it the same truism would emerge.
Martyn Blackburn , 2014-09-29 10:50:06
"Neoliberalism promotes individual freedom, limited government, and deregulation of the economy...whilst individual freedom is a laudable idea, neoliberalism taken to a dogmatic extreme can be used to justify exploitation of the less powerful and pillaging of the natural environment." - Don Ambrose.

Contrast with this:

"Neoliberal democracy, with its notion of the market uber alles ...instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralised and socially powerless." - Robert W. McChesney in Profit over People, Noam Chomsky.

It is fairly clear that the neoliberal system is designed to exploit the less powerfull when it becomes dogmatic, and that is exactly what it has become: beaurocracy, deregulation, privatisation, and government power .

ForgottenVoice , 2014-09-29 10:50:10
Neoliberalism is a virus that destroys people's power of reason and replaces it with extra greed and self entitlement. Until it is kicked back to the insane asylum it came from it will only keep trying to make us it's indentured labourers. The only creeds more vile were Nazism and Apartheid. Eventually the neoliberals will kill us all, so they can have the freedom to have everything they think they're worth.
pagey23 , 2014-09-29 10:50:48
Liberal Socialism is what we have, how is 45% of the economy run by government and a 1 trillion pound debt economic liberalism
RamjetMan pagey23 , 2014-09-29 10:57:08
Yes we have big government and a finance system which prop each other up. Why it's called neoliberalism is beyond me.
MSP1984 , 2014-09-29 10:51:35

Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Isn't a key feature of neo-liberalism that governments de-regulate? It seems you're willing to blame absolutely everything on neoliberalism, even those things that neoliberalism ostensibly opposes.

Sandra Mae , 2014-09-29 10:52:53
The Professor is correct. We have crafted a nightmare of a society where what is considered good is often to the detriment of the whole community. It is reflected in our TV shows of choice, Survivor, Big Brother, voting off the weakest or the greatest rival. A half a million bucks for being the meanest most sociopathic person in the group, what great entertainment.
Jem Bo , 2014-09-29 10:53:35
articulateness - not much fluency in a sentence when using that word is there?
Choller21 Jem Bo , 2014-09-29 10:58:30
Articulocity.
illeist , 2014-09-29 10:54:39
Always a treat to read your articles, Mr Verhaeghe; well written and supported with examples and external good links. I especially like the link to Hare's site which is a rich resource of information and current discussions and presentations on the subject.

The rise of the psychopath in society has been noted for some time, as have the consequences of this behaviour in wider society and and a growing indifference and increased tolerance for this behaviour.

But what are practical solutions? MRI brain scans and early intervention? We know that behaviour modification does not work, we know that antipsychotic and other psychiatric medication does not alter this behaviour, we know little of genetic causes or if diet and nutrition play a role.

Maybe it is because successful psychopaths leverage themselves into positions of influence and power and reduce the voice, choices and influence of their victims that psychopathy has become such an unsolvable problem, or at least a problem that has been removed from the stage of awareness. It is so much easier to see the social consequences of psychopathy than it is to see the causal activity of psychopaths themselves.

Jack3 illeist , 2014-09-29 11:54:12
To deal with this problem is the most urgent and crucial for humanity if we hope for any future at all.
dr8765 , 2014-09-29 10:54:46
Great article. Thanks.
tufsoft , 2014-09-29 11:00:33
People are pretty much bound to behave this way when you replace the family with the individual as the primary unit of society
quark007 , 2014-09-29 11:02:51
Neoliberalism has entered centre stage politics not as a solution, it is just socialism with a crowd pleasing face. What could the labour party do to get voted in when the leadership consisted of self professed intellectuals in Donkey Jackets which they wore to patronise the working classes. Like the animal reflected in the name they became a laughing stock. Nobody understood their language or cared for it. The people who could understand it claimed that it was full of irrelevant hyperbole and patronising sentiment.

It still is but with nice sounding buzz words and an endless sound bites, the face of politics has been transformed into a hollow shell. Neither of the party's faithful are happy with their leaders. They have become centre stage by understanding process more than substance. As long as your face fits, a person has every chance of success. Real merit on the other hand is either sadly lacking or non existant.

gman1 , 2014-09-29 11:05:43
banxters blah blah
LargeMarvin , 2014-09-29 11:06:40
As one who was a working class history graduate in 1970, this is not exactly news.
Andyz , 2014-09-29 11:08:13
Most people's personalities and behaviour are environment driven, they are moulded by the social context in which they find themselves. The system we currently inhabit is one which is constructed on behalf of the holders of capital, it is a construct of the need to create wealth through interest bearing debt.

The values of this civilisation are consumer ones, we validate and actualise ourselves through ownership of goods, and also the middle-class norms of family life, which are in and of themselves constructs of a liberal consumer based society.

We pride ourselves on tolerance, which is just veiled indifference to anything which we feel as no importance to our own desires. People are becoming automatons, directed through media devices and advertising, and also the implanted desires which the consumer society needs us to act upon to maintain the current system of economy.

None of this can of course survive indefinitely, hence the constant state of underlying anxiety within society as it ploughs along on this suicidal route.

Finn_Nielsen Andyz , 2014-09-29 11:13:15
WAKE UP SHEEPLE
Fence2 , 2014-09-29 11:09:28
Good article, however I would just like to add that the new breed of 'business psychopath' you allude to are fairly easy to spot these days, and as such more people are aware of them, so they could be displaced quite soon, hopefully.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:10:22
Cameron and the Conservatives have long been condemning the lazy and feckless at the bottom of society, but has Cameron ever looked at his aristocratic in-laws.

His father-in-law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, can be checked out on Wikipedia.

His only work seems to have been eight years as a conservative councillor (lazy).

He is a member of three clubs, so he likes to go pissing it up with his rich friends (feckless).

This seems to be total sum of his life's achievements.

He also gets Government subsidies for wind turbines on his land (on benefits).
His estate has been in the family since the 16th Century and the family have probably done very little since, yet we worry about the lower classes having two generations without work, in the upper classes this can go on for centuries.

Wasters don't just exist at the bottom of society.

Mr. Cameron have a closer look at your aristocratic in-laws.

colddebtmountain , 2014-09-29 11:12:39

This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults.

Fundamentally the whole concept is saying "real talent is to be hunted down since, if you do not destroy it, it will destroy you". As a result we have a whole army of useless twats in high positions with not an independent thought between them. The concept of the old boys network has really taken over except now the members are any mental age from zero upwards.

And then we wonder why nothing is done prperly these days....

regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:13:44
If you want to get into this in a bit more depth:

"Status Anxiety" by Alain de Botton is worth a read.

Also, a better insight into the psychopaths amongst us, including bankers, can be gained from Robert Hare's book:

"Without Conscience"

yoghurt2 , 2014-09-29 11:14:19
Neoliberalism is fine in some areas of self-development and actualization of potential, but taken as a kind of religion or as the be-all and end-all it is a manifest failure. For a start it neglects to acknowledge what people have in common, the idea of shared values, the notion of society, the effects of synergy and the geo-biological fact that we are one species all inhabiting the same single planet, a planet that is uniquely adapted to ourselves, and to which we are uniquely adapted.

Generally it works on the micro-scale to free up initiative, but on the macro-scale it is hugely destructive, since its goals are not the welfare of the entire human race and the planet but something far more self-interested.

undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:14:37

I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

This is inevitable. All societies have this property. A warrior society rewards brave fighters and inspiring leaders, while punishing weaklings and cowards. A theocracy rewards those who display piety and knowledge of religious tradition, and punishes skeptics and taboo-breakers. Tyrannies reward cunning, ruthless schemers while punishing the squeamish and naive. Bureaucratic societies reward pernickety types who love rules and regulationsn, and punish those who are careless of jots and tittles. And so on.

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents

It does. In fact, it does in all societies to some extent, even societies that strive to be egalitarian, and societies that try to restrict social mobility by imposing a rigid caste system. There are always individuals who fall or rise through society as a result of their abilities or lack thereof. The freer society is, the more this happens.

For those who believe in the fairytale of unrestricted choice, self-government and self-management are the pre-eminent political messages, especially if they appear to promise freedom.

Straw man. Even anarchists don't believe in completely unrestricted choice, let alone neoliberals. Neoliberalism accepts that people are inevitably limited by their abilities and their situation. Personal responsibility does not depend on complete freedom. It depends on there being some freedom. If you have enough freedom to make good or bad choices, then you have personal responsibility.

Along with the idea of the perfectible individual, the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age.

The idea of the perfectible individual has nothing to do with neoliberalism. On the other hand, it is one of the central pillars of Marxism. In philosophy, Marx is noted as an example of thinker who follows a perfectionist ethical theory.
undersinged undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:18:55
One more: Socialist societies reward lazy and feckless people, and punish strivers who display initiative.
gjjwatson undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:22:15
You miss the point. Neoliberalism promotes negative values and is used consciously to control personal freedom and undermine positive individuality.
Vanillaicetea undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:39:22
An excellent demolition of this piece of whiny idiocy.
variation31 , 2014-09-29 11:16:27
A frightening article, detailing now the psychological strenngths of people are recruited, perverted and rotted by this rat-race ethic.

Ironic that the photo, of Canary Wharf, shows one of the biggest "socialist" gifts of the country (was paid largely by the British taxpayer, if memory serves me correctly, and more or less gifted to the merchant bankers by Thatcher).

66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:16:34
Meritocratic neoliberalism; superficial articulateness which I used to call 'the gift of the gab'. In my job, I was told to be 'extrovert' and I bucked against this, as a prejudice against anyone with a different personality and people wanting CLONES. Not sensible people, or people that could do a job, but a clone; setting the system up for a specific type of person as stated above. Those who quickly tell you, you are wrong. Those that make you think perhaps you are, owing to their confidence. Until your quietness proves them to be totally incorrect, and their naff confidence demonstrates the falseness of what they state.
JonPurrtree 66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:17:25
I call it the bullshit based economy.
undersinged JonPurrtree , 2014-09-29 11:23:55
Most of the richest people in the world are not bullshitters. There are some, to be sure, but the majority are either technical or financial engineers of genius, and they've made their fortune through those skills, rather than through bullshit.
JonPurrtree undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:30:52
Plenty of bullshit keeping companies afloat.

Apart from tetra brik. Thats a useful product.

66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:19:11
Hague lied to the camera about GCHQ having permission to access anyone's electronic devices. He did not blush, he merely stated that a warrant was required. Only the night before we were shown a letter from GCHQ stating that they had access without any warrant.

The ability to LIE has become a VIRTUE that all of us could well LIVE WITHOUT.

undersinged 66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 17:34:47

The ability to LIE has become a VIRTUE

That's not new. It has been widely held that rulers have a right (and sometimes a duty) to lie ever since Machiavelli's Prince was published some 500 years ago.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:19:34
The thinking behind our age was covered in a three part BBC documentary "The Trap".

It was made in 2006, before the financial crisis.

http://thoughtmaybe.com/the-trap/

Why was Iraq such a disaster?
Find out in Part 3.

seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:26:02

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left lose.
-Janice Joplin

RaymondDance seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:45:35

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left lose.
-Janice Joplin

Kris Kristofferson actually,

LargeMarvin seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 14:46:09
Actually it was written by Kris Kristofferson and, having a house, a job pension and an Old Age Pension, frankly, I disagree. The Grateful Dead version is better anyway.
mjhunbeliever seamuspadraig , 2014-09-30 15:46:19
This little video may throw some light on that for you, Paradox of Choice.
dr8765 , 2014-09-29 11:26:23

.... economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities.

I have long thought that introverts are being marginalised in our society. Being introvert seems to be seen by some as almost an illness, by others as virtually a crime.

Not keen on attending that "team bonding" weekend? There must be something wrong with you. Unwilling to set out your life online for all to see? What have you got to hide?

A few very driven and talented introverts have managed to find a niche in the world of IT and computers, earnig fortunes from their bedrooms. But for most, being unwilling or unable to scream their demands and desires across a crowded room is interpreted as "not trying" or being not worth listening to.

seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:28:28

It's important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you've got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That's why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

Perfectly describes our new ruling-class, doesn't it!

Monchberter , 2014-09-29 11:30:05
Neoliberalism:

'Get on', or get f*****d.
Be hard working, or be dispensable.

Trilbey Monchberter , 2014-09-29 12:32:14
Does neoliberalism = fascism = brutality?
Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:30:29

It's important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you've got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That's why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

Sounds like a perfect description of newspaper columnists to me.

illogicalcaptain , 2014-09-29 11:33:08
It's just the general spirit of the place: it's on such a downer and no amount of theorising and talking will ever solve anything. There isn't a good feeling about this country anymore just a lot of tying everyone up in in repressive knots with a lot of hooey like talk and put downs. We need to find freedom again or maybe shove all the pricks into one part of the country and leave them there to fuck each other over so the rest of us can create a new world free of bullcrap. I don't know. Place is a superficial mess: 'look at me; look at what I own; I can cook Coq Au Vin and drink bottles of expensive plonk and keep ten cars on my driveway'
Nah. Fortuneately there are still some decent people left but it's been like Hamlet now for quite some time - "show me an honest man and I'll show you one man in ten thousand" Sucks.
chriskilby , 2014-09-29 11:33:17
So it's official. We are ruled by psychopaths. Figures.
Trilbey chriskilby , 2014-09-29 12:35:58
Perhaps I can help out. There's some good research here:

Are CEOs and Entrepreneurs psychopaths? Multiple studies say "Yes

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2013/10/are-ceos-and-entrepreneurs-psychopaths-multiple-studies-say-yes/

Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 11:33:31
This article is spot on and reflects Karl Marx's analysis regarding the economic base informing and determining the superstructure of a given society, that is, its social, cultural aspects. A neo-liberal, monetarist economy will shape and influence social and work relationships in ways that are not beneficial for the many but as the commentator states, will benefit those possessed of certain thrusting,domineering character traits. The common use of the word "loser" in contemporary society to describe those who haven't "succeeded" financially is in itself telling.
Trilbey Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 12:37:59
Some people are brave enough to buck the system, I'm not, I just keep going to work everyday to get slaughtered.
LargeMarvin Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 14:48:16
Freud's model of the mind is pretty good too, though psychoanalysis itself is controversial. The Krel forgot one thing.................
qwertboi , 2014-09-29 11:34:29
What an incisive article!

It would be the perfect first chapter (foreword/introduction) in a best seller that goes on, chapter by chapter, to show that neoliberalism destroys everything it touches:

Personal relationships;
trust;
personal integrity;
trust;
relationships;
trust;
transactions and trade;
trust;
market systems;
trust;
communities;
trust;
political relationships;
trust;

Etc., etc., etc..
trust;
society;
trust;

Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 11:35:37
This analysis can be found in Marx's critique of the economy published in 1859.
lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 11:36:17
James Meek seems to have nailed it in his recent book, where he pointed out that the socially conservative Thatcher, who wanted a society based on good old fashioned values, helped to create the precise opposite with her enthusiasm for the neoliberal model. Now we are sinking into a dog-eat-dog dystopia.
Trilbey lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 12:53:48
Many of the good old fashioned conservatives had time honoured values. They believed in taking care of yourself but they also believed in integrity and honesty. They believed in living modestly and would save much of their money rather than just spend it, and so would put some aside for a rainy day. They believed in the community and were often active about local issues. They cared about the countryside and the wildlife. They often recycled which went along with their thriftiness and hatred of waste.

This all vanished when Thatcher came in with her selfish 'greed is good' brigade. Loads of money!

LargeMarvin lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 14:49:34
Even shampoo and sets have not come back, though unfortunately slickbacks have.
PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 11:36:31

We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance –

Ha Ha!...

Oh, wait, now I'm sad.... Damn it.

freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 11:38:34
There is nothing "neo" nor "liberal" about neoliberalism. It is a cover for corporations and the wealthy elite to get more corporate welfare .
PonyBoyUK freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 12:28:59
Take what you do, define it in a word or two and then use the most concise antonym. - That is what you will tell the public.

State-protected oligopolies = "The Free Market"

Aggressive wars on civilian populations = "The war on Terror" / "The Ministry of Defence"

Age-old economic oppression = "Neoliberal economics"

Public Manipulation = "Public Relations"

Political Oppression = "Democracy"

LargeMarvin freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 14:50:47
In practice yes, but on the theoretical level the title is valid. It is the resurrection of policies from the 1860s.
Toeparty , 2014-09-29 11:38:44
Capitalist alienation is a daily practise. The daily practise of competing with and using people. This gives rise to the ideology that society and other people are but a means to an end rather than an end in themselves that is of course when they are not a frightening a existential competitive threat. Contempt and fear. That is what we are reduced to by the buying and selling of labour power and yes, only a psychopath can thrive under such conditions.
Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:42:49
According to the left if your only ambition is to watch Jeremy Kyle, pick up a welfare cheque once a week and vote for which ever party will promise to give you £10 a week more in welfare: you're an almost saint like figure.

If you actually do something to try to create a better and more independent life for yourself, your family and your community: you're "displaying psychopathic tendencies" .

Raymond Ashworth Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:49:07
Strawman.
Themiddlegound Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:49:49
If you actually do something to try to create a better and more independent life for yourself, your family and your community: you're "displaying psychopathic tendencies".

So how do you create a better community ?

By paying your taxes on your wealth that so many of you try to avoid. Here lies the crux of the matter. There would be no deficit if taxes were paid.

Some of the rich are so psychpathic they think jsut because they employ people they shouldn't pay any tax. They think the employees should pay thier tax for them.

Why has tax become such a dirty word ? Think about it before you answer.

RaymondDance Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:54:25

There would be no deficit if taxes were paid.

Of course there would.

Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:45:14
I've studied neoliberalism for nearly 20 years.

The conclusion is for me is that it is a brilliant economic model. It is the sheer apathy of the voters and that they are cowards because they don't make it work for them. They allow the people who own the theory to run it for themselves and thus they get all the benefits from it.

I'll try and explain.

Their business plan.

The truth is neoliberalism has infact made the rich western countries poorer and helped so many other poorer countries around the world get richer. Let's face facts here giving to charities would never have achieved this and something needed to be done to even up this world inequality. The only way you are ever going to achieve world peace is if everybody is equal. It's not by chance this theory was introduced by America. They are trying to bring that equality to everyone so that world peace can be achieved. How many more illegal wars and deaths this will take and for how long nobody knows. They are also very sinister and selfish and greedy because if the Americans do achieve what they are trying to do. They will own and countrol the world via washington and the dollar. The way the Americans see it is that the inequality created within each country is a bribe to each power structure within that country which helps America achieve it's long term goals. It creates inequality within each country but at the same time creates equality on the world stage. It might take 100 years to achieve and millions of deaths but eventually every country will be another state of America and look and act like any American state. Once that is achieved world peace will follow. America see it as a war and they also see millions of deaths as acceptable to achieve their end game. I of course disagree there must be a better way. How will history look at this dark period in history in 300 years time if it does achieve world peace in 150 years time ?

In each country neoliberalism works but at the moment it only works for the few because the voters allow it. The voters allow them to get away with it through submission. They've allowed their parliaments to be taken over without a fight and allowed their brains to be brainwashed by the media controlled by the few. Which means the the whole story of neoliberalism has been skewed into a very narrow view which always suits and promotes the voices of the few.

Why did the voters allow that to happen ?

Their biggest success the few had over the many was to create an illusion that made tax a toxic word. They attacked tax with everything they had to form an illusion in the voters minds that paying tax was a bad thing and it was everybodys enemy. Then they passed laws to enhance that view and trotted out scare stories around tax and that if they had to pay it then everybody would leave that country. They created a world set up for them and ulitimately destroyed any chance at all, for the success of neoliberalism to be shared by the many. This was their biggest success to make sure the wealth of neoliberalism stayed with them.

As the author of this piece says quite clearly. "An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities"

One of these traits is that they believe they shouldn't pay tax because they are creating jobs and the tax their employees pay should be the amount of tax these companies pay. Again this makes sure that the wealth is not shared.

Since they now own and control parliaments they also use the state to pay these wages in the way of tax credits and subsidies and grants as they refuse to pay their employees a living wage. It is our taxes they use to do this. Again this is to make sure that the wealth is not shared.

There are too many examples to list of how they make sure that the wealth generated by neoliberalism is not shared. Then surely it is up to the voters to make sure it does. Neoliberalism works and it would work for everybody if the voters would just grow a set of balls. Tax avoidance was the battle that won the war for the few. It is time the voters revisited that battle and re write it so that the outcome was that the many won not just the few. For example there would be no deficit if the many had won that battle. Of course they wouldn't have left a market of 60 million people with money in their pockets, it would have been business suicide.

This is a great example of how they created an illusion, a false culture, a world that does not exist. The focus is all on the deficit and how to fix it, as they socialise the losses and privatise the profits. There is no eyes or light shed on why there is a deficit due to tax avoidance. It's time we changed that and made Neoliberlaism work for us. If we don't then we can't complain when it only works for the few.

Neoliberlaism works. It's about time we owned it for ourselves. Otherwise we'll always be slaves to it. It's not the theory that is corrupt it is the people who own it.

RaymondDance Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:53:29

There is no eyes or light shed on why there is a deficit due to tax avoidance.

... or because politicians have discovered that you can buy votes by giving handouts even to those who don't need them, thereby making everyone dependent on the largesse of the state and, by extension, promoting the interests of the most irresponsible politicians and the bureaucracies they represent.

dr8765 Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 12:02:36
You seem to regard what you call neoliberalism as a creator of wealth. You then claim that the reason for this wealth accruing almost entirely to an elite few is the "the voters" have prevented neoliberalism from distributing the wealth more equitably.

I can't really follow the logic of your argument.

Neoliberalism seems to be working perfectly for those few who are in a position to exploit it. It's doing what it's designed to do.

I agree that the ignorance of "the voters" is allowing the elite to get away with it. But the voters should be voting for those who propose an alternative economic model. Unfortunately, in the western world at the present time, they have no viable alternative to vote for, because the neoliberals have captured all of the mainstream political parties and institutions.

Themiddlegound RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 12:03:10
That's all fine and dandy and I agree.

However, you missed one of the main points. Our parliament has been taken over by the few.

One man used to and probably still does strike fear into the government. Murdoch. Problem is there are millions like him that lobby and control policy and the media.

foralltime , 2014-09-29 11:46:59
..."There are regulations about everything,"... Yes, but higher up the scale you go, the less this regulation is enforced, less individual accountability and less transparency. Neoliberalism has turned society on its head. We see ever growing corporate socialism subsidising the top 1% and heavily regulated hard nosed market capitalism for the rest of us resulting in massive inequality in wealth distribution. This inequality by design makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. We've created a society where people who were once valued as an individual part of that society are now treated as surplus to requirements and somehow need to be eliminated.
RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 11:50:02

Bullying used to be confined to schools

Blimey - and people like this constantly accuse conservatives of being nostalgic for a past that never existed.

LargeMarvin RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 14:54:59
Fair comment. I went to a grammar school where there was, luckily, very little bullying. The bullying happened when I got back to the 'hood.
zavaell , 2014-09-29 11:51:37
All I know is that when I read the comments on cif, I cannot believe that these are people who would be expected to read the Guardian.
RaymondDance zavaell , 2014-09-29 11:56:26

I cannot believe that these are people who would be expected to read the Guardian.

One of the best things about cif is that it allows a wider audience to see just how deluded and narcissistic Guardian readers are.

busyteacher zavaell , 2014-09-29 12:23:12
They're mostly tight g*ts who refuse to pay to use the Mail/Telegraph sites. This is just about the last free forum left now and it's attracting all kinds of undesirables. The level of personal insult has gone up enormously since they came here. Most of us traditional Ciffers don't bother with many posts here any more, it's too boring now.
LargeMarvin zavaell , 2014-09-29 14:55:44
It's called Revenge of the Killer Clerks.
WarwickC , 2014-09-29 11:53:18

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, "make" something of ourselves.

That's always been the way, I think. It's life.
We are all of us the descendants of a million generations of successful organisms, human and pre-human.
The ones that didn't succeed fel by the wayside.
We're the ones left to tell the tale.

Stephen Porter WarwickC , 2014-09-29 12:34:35
We're the ones left to tell the tale"

and what a tale it will be for the last human standing!

EstebanMurphy WarwickC , 2014-09-29 13:14:33

That's always been th

[Aug 29, 2016] [Aug 29, 2016]Commnets to the article Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe

Notable quotes:
"... As disgusted and determined as we might be, we still have to operate within the 'neoliberal' system. We are all 'us' in this context and we are all a product of our environment to some extent. however crap that environment might be. ..."
"... Combined with offshoring of as many jobs abroad as possible, free movement of unskilled workers and the use of agency labour to undercut pay and conditions, the future looks bleak. ..."
"... There is nothing meritocratic about neoliberlaism. Its about who you know. ..."
"... I understand what you say, and there is definitely an element within society which values Success above all else, but I do not personally know anyone like that. ..."
"... .....By "us" of course, you mean commies. I think you are inadvertently demonstrating another of Hares psychopath test features; a lack of empathy and self awareness. ..."
"... I've worked in a few large private companies over the years, and my experience is they increasingly resemble some sort of cult, with endless brainwashing programmes for the 'members', charismatic leaders who can do no wrong, groupthink, mandatory utilisation of specialist jargon (especially cod-psychological terminology) to differentiate those 'in' and those 'out', increased blurring of the lines between 'private' and 'work' life (your ass belongs to us 24-7) and of course, constant, ever more complex monitoring of the 'members' for 'heretical thoughts or beliefs'. ..."
"... And the most striking idea here: Our characters are partly moulded by society. And neo-liberal society, and it's illusions of freedom, has moulded many of us in ways that bring out the worst in us. ..."
"... Neo-liberalism has however killed off post war social mobility. In fact according to the OECD report into social mobility, the more egalitarian a developed society is, the more social mobility there is, the more productivity and the less poverty and social problems there are. ..."
Aug 29, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

Happytobeasocialist, 2014-09-29 09:07:21

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us

Less of the 'us' please. there are plenty of people who are disgusted by neoliberalism and are determined to bring it down

Pasdabong Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:28:58
As disgusted and determined as we might be, we still have to operate within the 'neoliberal' system. We are all 'us' in this context and we are all a product of our environment to some extent. however crap that environment might be.
InconvenientTruths Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:39:02
Neo-Liberal Elephant

There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only chaned

If you have no mandate for such change, it breeds resentment.

For example, race & immigration was used by NuLabour in a blatant attempt at mass societal engineering (via approx 8%+ increase in national population over 13 years).

It was the most significant betrayal in modern democratic times, non mandated change extraordinaire, not only of British Society, but the core traditional voter base for Labour.

To see people still trying to deny it took place and dismiss the fallout of the cultural elephant rampaging around the United Kingdom is as disingenuous as it is pathetic.

Labour are the midwives of UKiP.

This cultural elephant has tusks.

SaulZaentz , 2014-09-29 09:10:36
It's a race to the bottom, and has lead to such "success stories" as G4S, Serco, A4E, ATOS, Railtrack, privatised railways, privatised water and so on.

It's all about to get even worse with TTIP, and if that fails there is always TISA which mandates privatisation of pretty much everything - breaking state monopolies on public services.

Combined with offshoring of as many jobs abroad as possible, free movement of unskilled workers and the use of agency labour to undercut pay and conditions, the future looks bleak.

Happytobeasocialist , 2014-09-29 09:13:38

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents

There is nothing meritocratic about neoliberlaism. Its about who you know. In the UK things have gone backwards almost to the 1950s. Changes which were brought about by the expansion of universities have pretty much been reversed. The establishment - politics, media, business is dominated by the better=off Oxbridge elite.

AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:16:42
It is difficult for me to agree. I have grown up within Neoliberalism being 35, but you describe no one I know. People I know weigh up the extra work involved in a promotion and decide whether the sacrifice is worth the extra money/success.

People I know go after their dreams, whether that be farming or finance. I understand what you say, and there is definitely an element within society which values Success above all else, but I do not personally know anyone like that.

JamesValencia AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:25:40
He's saying people's characters are changed by their environment. That they aren't set in stone, but are a function of culture. And that the socio-cultural shift in the last few decades is a bad thing, and is bad for our characters. In your words: The dreams have changed.

It's convincing, except it isn't as clear as it could be.

AntiTerrorist JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 09:38:49
I understand his principle but as proof, he sites very specific examples...

A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master's degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

This is used as an example to show the shifting mindset. But as I stated, this describes no one I know. We, us, commenting here are society. I agree that there has been a shift in culture and those reaping the biggest financial rewards are the greedy. But has that not always been the way, the self interested have always walked away with the biggest slice, perhaps at the moment that slice has become larger still, but most people still want to have a comfortable life, lived their way. People haven't changed as much as the OP believes.

The great lie is that financial reward is success and happiness.

CityBoy2006 AntiTerrorist , 2014-09-29 09:52:05

This is used as an example to show the shifting mindset. But as I stated, this describes no one I know

Indeed even in the "sociopathic" world of fund management and investment banking, the vast majority of people establish a balance for how they wish to manage their work and professional lives and evaluate decisions in light of them both.

GordonLiddle , 2014-09-29 09:17:21
One could use another word or two, crony capitalism being a particularly good pair. Not what you know but who.
SaulZaentz GordonLiddle , 2014-09-29 09:36:48
Indeed. How come G4S keep winning contracts despite their behaviour being incompetent and veering on criminal, and the fact they are despised pretty much universally. Hardly a meritocracy.
dreamer06 SaulZaentz , 2014-09-29 13:40:16
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/defence/article3862998.ece
(paywall)

You can add A4E to that list and now Capita who have recruited all of 61 part time soldiers in their contract to replace all the thousands of sacked professionals

Pasdabong ElQuixote , 2014-09-29 09:33:20
.....By "us" of course, you mean commies. I think you are inadvertently demonstrating another of Hares psychopath test features; a lack of empathy and self awareness.
KatieL dieterroth , 2014-09-29 09:58:16
"Since the living standards of majority in this country are on a downward trend"

The oil's running out. Living standards, on average, will continue to decline until either it stops running out or fusion power turns out to work after all.

Whether you have capitalism or socialism won't make any difference to the declining energy input.

dieterroth , 2014-09-29 09:19:32
I'm sure I read an article in the 80s predicting what the author has written. Economics and cultural environment is bound to have an effect on behaviour. We now live in a society that worships at the altar of the cult of the individual. Society and growth of poverty no longer matters, a lone success story proves all those people falling into poverty are lazy good for nothing parasites. The political class claims to be impotent when it comes to making a fairer society because the political class is made up of people who were affluent in the first place or benefited from a neo-liberal rigged economy. The claim is, anything to do with a fair society is social engineering and bound to fail. Well, neo-liberal Britain was socially engineered and it is failing the majority of people in the country.

There is a cognitive dissonance going on in the political narrative of neo-liberalism, not everyone can make it in a neo-liberal society and since neo-liberalism destroys social mobility. Ironically, the height of social mobility in the west, from the gradual rise through the 50s and 60s, was the 70s. The 80s started the the downward trend in social mobility despite all the bribes that went along with introducing the property owning democracy, which was really about chaining people to capitalism.

Johanni dieterroth , 2014-09-29 10:24:23

I'm sure I read an article in the 80s predicting what the author has written.

Well, a transformation of human character was the open battle-cry of 1980s proponents of neoliberalism. Helmut Kohl, the German prime minister, called it the "geistig-moralische Wende", the "spiritual and moral sea-change" - I think people just misunderstood what he meant by that, and laughed at what they saw as empty sloganeering. Now we're reaping what his generation sowed.

thebogusman Johanni , 2014-09-29 13:15:54
Tatcher actually said that the goal of neoliberalism is not new economics but to "change the soul"!
arkley dieterroth , 2014-09-29 18:10:04
OK, now can you tell us why individual freedom is such a bad thing?

The previous period of liberal economics ended a century ago, destroyed by the war whose outbreak we are interminably celebrating. That war and the one that followed a generation later brought in strict government control, even down to what people could eat and wear. Orwell's dystopia of 1984 actually describes Britain's wartime society continuing long after the real wars had ended. It was the slow pace of lifting wartime controls, even slower in Eastern Europe, and the lingering mindset that economies and societies could be directed for "the greater good" no matter what individual costs there were that led to a revival of liberal economics.

Febo , 2014-09-29 09:21:28
Neoliberalism is a mere offshoot of Neofeudalism. Labour and Capital - those elements of both not irretrievably bought-out - must demand the return of The Commons . We must extend our analysis back over centuries , not decades - let's strike to the heart of the matter!
Febo undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:49:03
Both neofeudalism - aka neocolonialism-abroad-and-at-home - and neoliberalism rest on the theft of the Commons - they both support monopoly.
callaspodeaspode undersinged , 2014-09-29 10:11:05
Collectivist ideologies including Fascism, Communism and theocracy are all similar to feudalism.

I've worked in a few large private companies over the years, and my experience is they increasingly resemble some sort of cult, with endless brainwashing programmes for the 'members', charismatic leaders who can do no wrong, groupthink, mandatory utilisation of specialist jargon (especially cod-psychological terminology) to differentiate those 'in' and those 'out', increased blurring of the lines between 'private' and 'work' life (your ass belongs to us 24-7) and of course, constant, ever more complex monitoring of the 'members' for 'heretical thoughts or beliefs'.

'Collectivism' is not as incompatible with capitalism as you seem to think.
You sound like one of those 'libertarians'. Frankly, I think the ideals of such are only realisable as a sole trader, or operating in a very small business.

Progress is restricted because the people are made poor by the predations of the state

Neoliberalism is firmly committed to individual liberty, and therefore to peace and mutual toleration

It is firmly committed to ensuring that the boundaries between private and public entities become blurred, with all the ensuing corruption that entails. In other words, that the state becomes (through the taxpayers) a captured one, delivering a never ending, always growing, revenue stream for favoured players in private enterprise. This is, of course, deliberate. 'Individual liberties and mutual toleration' are only important insomuch as they improve, or detract, from profit-centre activity.

You have difficulty in separating propaganda from reality, but you're barely alone in this.

Lastly, you also misunderstand feudalism, which in the European context, flourished before there was a developed concept of a centralised nation state, indeed, the most classic examples occurred after the decentralisation of an empire or suchlike. The primary feudal relation was between the bondsman/peasant and his local magnate, who in turn, was subject to his liege.

In other words a warrior class bound by vassalage to a nobility, with the peasantry bound by manorialism and to the estates of the Church.

Apart from that though, you're right on everything.

JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 09:21:56
I completely agree with the general sentiment.
The specifics aren't that solid though:

- That we think our characters are independent of context/society: I certainly don't.
- That statement about "bullying is more widespread" - lacks justification.

The general theme of "meritocracy is a fiction" is compelling though.
As is "We are free-er in many ways because those ways no longer have any significance" .

And the most striking idea here: Our characters are partly moulded by society. And neo-liberal society, and it's illusions of freedom, has moulded many of us in ways that bring out the worst in us.

UnironicBeard JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 10:39:08
The Rat Race is a joke. Too many people waste their lives away playing the capitalist game. As long as you've got enough money to keep living you can be happy. Just ignore the pathetic willy-wavers with their flashy cars and logos on their shirts and all that guff
CharlesII JamesValencia , 2014-09-29 13:27:30

- That statement about "bullying is more widespread" - lacks justification.

Absolutely. I stopped reading there. Bullying is noticed now, and seen as a 'bad thing'. In offices 30, 50, years ago, it was standard .

JamesValencia UnironicBeard , 2014-09-29 13:42:50
Preaching to the converted, there, Beard :)

All we need is "enough" - Posession isn't that interesting. More a doorway to doing interesting stuff.
I prefer to cut out the posession and go straight to "do interesting stuff" myself. As long as the rent gets paid and so on, obviously.

Doesn't always work, obviously, but I reckon not wanting stuff is a good start to the good life (ref. to series with Felicity Kendall (and some others) intended :)
That, and Epicurus who I keep mentioning on CIF.

dieterroth undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:26:28
Rather naive. History is full of brilliant individuals who made it. Neo-liberalism has however killed off post war social mobility. In fact according to the OECD report into social mobility, the more egalitarian a developed society is, the more social mobility there is, the more productivity and the less poverty and social problems there are.
dieterroth undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:28:55
"Collectivism gave us Communism, Nazism and universalist religions that try to impose uniformity through the method of mass murder."

Capitalism and free markets gave us them as all were reactions to economic failure and having nothing to lose.

Febo undersinged , 2014-09-29 09:34:05
I agree - the central dilemma is that neither individualism nor collectiviism works.

But is this dilemma real? Is there a third system? Yes there is - Henry George.

George's paradigm in nothing funky, it is simply Classical Liberal Economics - society works best when individuals get to keep the fruits of thier labour, but pay rent for the use of The Commons.
At present we have the opposite - labour and capital are taxed heavily and The commons are monopolised by the 1%.
Hence unemployment
Hence the wealth gap
Hence the environmental crisis
Hence poverty

checkreakity , 2014-09-29 09:23:39
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RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:24:11
So the values and morals that people have are so wafer thin that a variation in the political system governing them can strip them away? Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?
NinthLegion RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:26:57
But it's because these values and moralities are so wafer thin that the Right can swing them in precisely the direction they want to. Greed is good!
LouSnickers RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:28:35
They dont like us!

But then, I dont care for them, either!

dieterroth RidleyWalker , 2014-09-29 09:32:10
"Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?"

Open your eyes and take a lokk at the world. There is enough wealth in the world for everyone to live free from poverty. Yet, the powerful look after themselves and allow poverty to not only exist but spread.

yamba , 2014-09-29 09:30:07
Reminds me very much of No Country for Old Men , by Cormac McCarthy.
annabelle123 yamba , 2014-09-29 11:00:22
That's a good description of the NHS.
WinstonThatcher , 2014-09-29 09:30:58
It's certainly brought out the worst in the Guardian, publishing as it does oodles of brainless clickbate.
nishville WinstonThatcher , 2014-09-29 11:13:50
>If you've ever dithered over the question of whether the UK needs a written constitution, dither no longer. Imagine the clauses required to preserve the status of the Corporation. "The City of London will remain outside the authority of parliament. Domestic and foreign banks will be permitted to vote as if they were human beings, and their votes will outnumber those cast by real people. Its elected officials will be chosen from people deemed acceptable by a group of medieval guilds …".<
paul643 , 2014-09-29 09:31:59

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

I don't believe that bullying is new to the workplace., in fact I'd imagine it was worse before the days of elf 'n' safety.

vivientoft paul643 , 2014-09-29 13:05:01
Why do you say that?
annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:32:23
I agree with much of this. Working in the NHS, as a clinical psychologist, over the past 25 years, I have seen a huge shift in the behaviour of managers who used to be valued for their support and nurturing of talent, but now are recognised for their brutal and aggressive approach to those beneath them. Reorganisations of services, which take place with depressing frequency, provide opportunities to clear out the older, experienced members of the profession who would have acted as mentors and teachers to the less experienced staff.
saltash1920 annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:39:31
I worked in local authority social care, I can certainly see the very close similarities to what you describe in the NHS, and my experience in the local authority.
Davai annabelle123 , 2014-09-29 09:48:06
Yes those were the days when you had people and personnel departments, rather than 'human resources' I suspect. You can blame the USA for that.

Constant reorgs are a sure sign of inept management.

They're also a sure sign of managers who want to 'hang out' with highly-paid, sexy management consultants and hopefully get offered a job.

But you're a psychologist so you know that already!

David Craig's books are worth a read.

annabelle123 saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 10:58:42
I can well imagine there are big similarities. Friends of mine who work in education say the same - there is a complete mismatch between the aims of the directors/managers and that of the professionals actually providing the teaching/therapy/advice to the public. When I go to senior meetings it is very rare that patients are even mentioned.
StVitusGerulaitis , 2014-09-29 09:32:59

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

This is an incredibly broad generalisation. I remember my grandfather telling me about what went on in the mills he worked in in Glasgow before the war, it sounded like a pretty savage environment if you didn't fit in. It wasn't called bullying, of course.

I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

Isn't this true of pretty much any system? And human relationships in general? I cannot think of a system that is completely blind to the differences between people. If you happen to be lazy or have a problem with authority you will never do as "well" (for want of a better term).

MickGJ StVitusGerulaitis , 2014-09-29 16:15:49

Isn't this true of pretty much any system?

Don't be silly my saintly chum: who ever heard of a psychopath rising to the top in any other system than neo-liberal capitalism?
Socratese , 2014-09-29 09:33:25
I have always said to people who claim they are Liberals that you must support capitalism,the free market,free trade, deregulation etc etc when most of them deny that, I always say you are not a Liberal then you're just cherry-picking the [Liberal] policies you like and the ones you don't like,which is dishonest.
There is nothing neo about Liberalism,it has been around since the 19th century[?].People have been brainwashed in this country [and the USA] since the 1960's to say they are liberals for fear of being accused of being fascists,which is quite another thing.
I have never supported any political ideology,which is what Liberalism is,and believe all of them should be challenged.By doing so you can evolve policies which are fair and just and appropriate to the issue at hand.
pinniped Socratese , 2014-09-29 10:24:59
Ah yes, No True Liberal.
saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 09:34:32
Neoliberalism has only benefited a minority. Usually those with well connected and wealthy families. And of course those who have no hesitation to exploit other's.

In my view, it is characterized by corruption, exploitation and a total lack of social justice. Economically, the whole system is fully dependent on competition not co-operation. One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

rivendel saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 17:40:04
One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

And if we keep consuming all our resources on this finite planet in pursuit of profit and more profit there will be no human race we will all be extinct.,and all that will be left is an exhausted polluted planet that once harbored a vast variety of life.
Isent neolibral capitalism great.

Highlights saltash1920 , 2014-09-29 21:52:03

One day, the consequences of this total failure will end in violence.

Violence has already begun, in wars and protests, beheadings and wage cuts which leave people more and more desperate.

PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 09:36:18

We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces

Which is exactly what we've been led to believe, by outside forces.

For other related films, please see:

The Corporation http://www.thecorporation.com/

and

The Century of the Self http://www.thecorporation.com/

PonyBoyUK PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 10:09:55
(doh!)

The Century of the Self - http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

NinthLegion , 2014-09-29 09:40:58
As Marx so often claimed, values, ethics, morality and behaviours are themselves determined by the economic and monetary system under which people live. Stealing is permitted if you are a banker and call it a bonus or interest, murder is permitted if your government sends you to war, surveillance and data mining is permitted if your state tells you there is a danger from terrorists, crime is overlooked if it makes money for the perpetrator, benefit claimants are justified if they belong to an aristocratic caste or political elite.......

There is no universal right or wrong, only that identified as such by the establishment at that particular instance in history, and at that specific place on the planet. Outside that, they have as much relevance today as scriptures instructing that slaves can be raped, adulterers can be stoned or the hands of thieves amputated. Give me the crime and the punishment, and I will give you the time and the place.

Jack3 NinthLegion , 2014-09-29 10:44:31
For a tiny elite sitting on the top everything has been going exactly as it was initially planned.

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men
living together in Society, they create for themselves in the
course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a
moral code that glorifies it".
F. Bastiat.

Finn_Nielsen Jack3 , 2014-09-29 10:58:47
Bastiat was closer to a neoliberal than a Marxist...
skagway Jack3 , 2014-09-30 14:48:40
very true.
Pasdabong , 2014-09-29 09:41:24
Excellent article.
I'm amazed that more isn't made of the relationship between political environment/systems and their effect on the individual. Oliver James Affluenza makes a compelling case for the unhappiness outputs of societies who've embraced neo liberalism yet we still blindly pursue it.
The US has long been world leader in both the demand and supply of psychotherapy and the relentless pursuit of free market economics. these stats are not unconnected.
abugaafar , 2014-09-29 09:42:40
I once had a colleague with the knack of slipping into his conversation complimentary remarks that other people had made about him. It wasn't the only reason for his rapid ascent to great heights, but perhaps it helped.
ThroatWobblaMangrove abugaafar , 2014-09-29 22:58:31
That's one of my favourite characteristics of David Brent from 'The Office'. "You're all looking at me, you're going, "Well yeah, you're a success, you've achieved you're goals, you're reaping the rewards, sure. But, OI, Brent. Is all you care about chasing the Yankee dollar?"
crasspymctabernacle , 2014-09-29 09:42:47
This description is, of course, a caricature taken to extremes

Not when applied to IDS and other members of the cabinet.

BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 09:43:50
Neoliberalism is another Social Darwinist driven philosophy popularised after leading figures of our times (or rather former times) decided Malthus was probably correct.

So here we have it, serious growth in population, possibly unsustainable, and a growing 'weak will perish, strong will survive' mentality. The worst thing is I used to believe in neoliberal policies, until of course I understood the long term ramifications.

PonyBoyUK BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 10:11:45
It's a really good idea, - until you start thinking about it...
AlbertaRabbit BlueBrightFuture , 2014-09-29 10:27:02
And then there's reality.

And the reality is that "neoliberalism" has, in the last few decades, freed hundreds of millions in the developing word from a subsistence living to something resembling a middle class lifestyle.

This has resulted in both plummeting global poverty statistics and in greatly reduced fecundity, so that we will likely see a leveling off of global population in the next few decades. And this slowing down of population growth is the most critical thing we could for increasing sustainability.

BlueBrightFuture PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 10:33:06
I suspect the logical conclusion of the free market is that the State will become formally superseded by an oligopoly - perhaps the energy sector.

I also suspect at least one third of the population in over-developed countries will simply become surplus to requirement.

Everybody wants an iPhone, nobody wants to work in Foxconn.

jimcol , 2014-09-29 09:44:45
It is rooted, I think, in the prevailing idea that what we own is more important than what we do. Consumerism grown and fostered by the greedy.
vacuous jimcol , 2014-09-29 19:17:20
The problem is a judeo-christian idea of "free choice" when experiments, undertaken by Benjamin Libet and since, indicate that it is near to unlikely for there to be volitionally controlled conscious decisions.

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v11/n5/abs/nn.2112.html

If we are not even free to intend and control our decisions, thoughts and ambitions, how can anyone claim to be morally entitled to ownership of their property and have a 'right' to anything as a reward for what decisions they made? Happening is pure luck: meaningful [intended] responsibility and accountability cannot be claimed for decisions and actions and so entitlement cannot be claimed for what acquisitions are causally obtained from those decisions and actions.There is no 'just desserts' or decision-derived entitlement justification for wealth and owning property unless the justifier has a superstitious and scientifically unfounded belief in free choice.

CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 09:47:04

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace

Compared to say, that experienced by domestic staff in big houses, small children in factories, perhaps even amongst miners, dockers and steel workers in the halcyon days of the post-war decade when apparently everything was rosy?

This whole article is a hodge podge of anecdote and flawed observations designed to shoehorn behaviour into a pattern that supports an economic hypothesis - it is factually groundless.

Catonaboat CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 10:09:47
Well I'd say he was spot on, when someone with the handle CityBoy2006 his a classic work place tantrum over the article.
HarryTheHorse CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 11:13:24

Compared to say, that experienced by domestic staff in big houses, small children in factories

Yes, but if it was left to people like you, children would still be working in factories. So please do not take credit for improvements that you would fight tooth and nail against

perhaps even amongst miners, dockers and steel workers in the halcyon days of the post-war decade when apparently everything was rosy?

They had wages coming to them and didn't need to rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over their head. Now people like you bitterly complain about poorly paid workers getting benefits to sustain them.

Slapchips , 2014-09-29 09:47:28
People who "work hard and play hard" are nearly always kidding themselves about the second bit.

It seems to me that the trend in the world of neoliberalism is to think that "playing hard" is defined as "playing with expensive, branded toys" during your two week annual holiday.

Davai Slapchips , 2014-09-29 09:52:24
'Playing hard' in the careerist lexicon = getting blind drunk to mollify the feelings of despair and emptiness which typify a hollow, debt-soaked life defined by motor cars and houses.

All IM(NVH)O, of course. DYOR.

Sammy_89 Davai , 2014-09-29 09:56:06
Pays for schools and hospitals, though
Davai Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 09:59:43
Oh we had those before 1989.

It isn't a binary 'naked selfish captalist/socialist decision'. There is middle ground.

eldorado99 , 2014-09-29 09:49:50
"support any political movement we like."

Except those which have privacy from state surveillance as their core tenet.

ID12345 , 2014-09-29 09:50:07
Green Party: We need to fight Neoliberalism.
Loadsofspace , 2014-09-29 09:51:42
The "Max Factor" life. Selfishness and Greed. The compaction of life. Was it not in a scripture in text?. The Bible. We as humans and followers of "Faith" in christian beliefs and the culture of love they fellow man. The culture of words are a root to all "Evil. Depending on "Who's" the Author and Scrolling the words; and for what reason?. The only way we can save what is left on this planet and save man kind. Is eradicate the above "Selfishness and Greed" ?
ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 09:51:50

We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference.

These changes listed (and then casually dismissed) are monumental social achievements. Many countries in the world do not permit their 'citizens' such freedom of choice and I for one am very grateful to live in a country where these things are possible.

Of course there is much more to be done. But I would suggest that to be born in Western Europe today is probably about as safe, comfortable, and free than at any time and any place in human history. I'm not being complacent about what we still have to achieve. But we won't achieve anything if we take such a flippant attitude towards all the amazing things that have been bequeathed to us.

CityBoy2006 ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 09:55:24
Excellent observation, it's the same way that technology that has quite clearly changed our lives and given us access to information, opportunity to travel and entertainment that would have been beyond the comprehension of our grandparents is dismissed as irrelevant because its just a smart phone and a not a job for life in a British Leyland factory.
Finn_Nielsen ForwardMarch , 2014-09-29 10:09:36
It takes a peculairly spoilt and arrogant Westerner to claim that the freedom to criticise religion isn't significant or that we're only allowed to do so because it's no longer important. Tell that to a girl seeking to escape an arranged marriage in Bradford...
HarryTheHorse CityBoy2006 , 2014-09-29 11:15:51
So being able to have a smart phone compensates for not having a secure place to live? What an absurd bubble you metropolitan types live in.
Harry Palmer , 2014-09-29 09:52:22
OK. Now off you go and apply the same methodology to people living in statist societies, or just have a go at our own civil service or local government workers. Try social workers or the benefits agency or the police.

Let us know what you find.

WindTurbine , 2014-09-29 09:53:31
The author makes some good points, although I wouldn't necessarily call our system a meritocracy.
I guess the key one is how unaware we are about the influence of economic policy on our values.
This kind of systems hurts everyday people and rewards psychopaths, and is damaging to society as a whole over the long term.
Targetising everything is really insidious.
jclucas , 2014-09-29 09:53:32
That neoliberalism puts tremendous pressure on individuals to conform to materialistic norms is undeniable, but for a psychotherapist to disallow the choice of those individuals to nevertheless choose how to live is an admission of failure.

In fact, many people today experience the shallowness and corrupt character of market society and elect either to be in it, but not of it, or to opt out early having made enough money, often making a conscious choice to relinquish the 'trappings' in return for a more meaningful existence. Some do selfless service to their fellow human beings, to the environment or both, and thereby find a degree of fulfillment that they always wanted.

To surrender to the external demands of a superficial and corrupting life is to ignore the tremendous opportunity human life offers to all: self realization.

WindTurbine jclucas , 2014-09-29 10:01:42
It's not either-or, system or individual, but some combination of the two.
Decision making may be 80% structure and 20% individual choice for the mainstream - or maybe the other way round for the rebels amongst us that try to reject the system.

The theory of structuration (Giddens) provides one explanation of how social systems develop through the interactions between the system and actors in it.

I partly agree with you but I think examples of complete self realisation are extremely rare. That means stepping completely out of the system and out of our own personality. Neither this nor that.

jclucas WindTurbine , 2014-09-29 10:21:57
The point is that the individual has the choice to move in the right direction. When and if they do make a decision to change their life, it will be fulfilling for them and for the system.
AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 09:54:07

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, "make" something of ourselves. You don't need to look far for examples. A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success.

I have been in the private sector for generations, and know tons of people who have behaved precisely as described above. I don't know anyone who calls them crazy. In fact, I see the exact opposite tendency - the growing acceptance that money isn't everything, and that once one has achieved a certain level of success and financial security that it is fine to put other priorities first rather than simply trying to acquire ever more.

arkley AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 09:59:50
The ATL article is rather stuffed full of stereotypes.

And speaking personally, I have turned down two offers of promotion to a management position in the last ten years and neither time did I get the sense people thought I was crazy. They might have done if I were in my late twenties rather than mid-fifties but that does reinforce the notion that people - even bosses - can accept that there is more to life than a career.

Sammy_89 arkley , 2014-09-29 10:04:29
I agree about the stereotypes. Also, has anyone ever seriously advised a primary school teacher that they need a masters degree of economics?! I highly doubt that that is the norm!
MickGJ Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 16:18:57

Also, has anyone ever seriously advised a primary school teacher that they need a masters degree of economics?! I

Sounds more like parents advising an exceptionally bright child to go as far as she can with her education before she starts work.

I can't see why a primary school teacher should be dissuaded from doing a master's degree.

arkley , 2014-09-29 09:55:46
How does that navel look today?

I hate to break it to you but no matter how you organise society the nasty people get to the top and the nice people end up doing all the work. "Neo-liberalism" is no different.

Sammy_89 arkley , 2014-09-29 10:02:10
Or you could put it another way - 'neoliberalism' is the least worst economic/social system, because most people are far more powerless and far more worse off under any other system that has ever been developed by man...
TeddyFrench arkley , 2014-09-29 10:06:38
For a start you need a system that is not based on rewarding and encouraging the worst aspects of our characters. I try to encourage my kids not to be greedy, to be honest and to care about others but in this day and age it's an uphill struggle.
Finn_Nielsen Sammy_89 , 2014-09-29 10:11:42
It's a funny kind of neoliberalism we're supposedly suffering under when you consider the ratio of state spending to GDP...
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 09:57:13
"A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal."

In the UK we have nothing like a meritocracy with a privately educated elite.

Success and failure are just about parental wealth.

Willhelm123 , 2014-09-29 09:57:41
I kind of see the point of this. What's the alternative though?
MickGJ Willhelm123 , 2014-09-29 16:23:10

I kind of see the point of this. What's the alternative though?

Doing some research?
gcarth , 2014-09-29 09:57:45
"So the values and morals that people have are so wafer thin that a variation in the political system governing them can strip them away? Why do the left consistently have such a low opinion of humanity?"

RidleyWalker, I can assue you that it is not the left but the right who consistently have a low opinion of humanity. Anyway, what has left and right got to do with this? There are millions of ordinary decent people whose lives are blighted by the obscentity that is neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is designed to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor. Neo-liberalism is responsible for the misery for millions across the globe. The only happy ones are those at the top of the heap...until even their bloated selfish world inevitably implodes.
Of course these disgusting parasites are primitive thinkers and cannot see that we could have a better, happier world for everyone if societies become more equal. Studies demonstrate that more equal societies are more stable and content than those with ever-widening gaps in wealth between rich and poor.

injinoo gcarth , 2014-09-29 10:01:41
Which studies and which equal societies are you referring to. It would be good to know in order to cheer us all up a bit.
Sammy_89 gcarth , 2014-09-29 10:08:52
Neoliberalism...disgusting parasites...primitive thinkers...misery of millions...bloated selfish world

This reads like a Soviet pamphlet from the 1930's. Granted you've replaced the word 'capitalism' with 'neoliberalism' - in other words subsstituted one meaningless abstraction for another. It wasn't true then and it certainly isnt true now...

injinoo , 2014-09-29 09:59:38
Not sure why you think all this is new or attributable to neoliberalism. Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's. All that has changed is that instead of working on assembly lines in factories under the watchful gaze of a foreman we now have university degrees and sit in cubicles pressing buttons on keyboards. Micromanagement, bureaucracy, rules and regulations are as old as the hills. Office politics has replaced shop floor politics; the rich are still rich and the poor are still poor.
Sammy_89 injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:10:20
Well, except that people have more money, live longer and have more opportunities in life than before - most people anyway. The ones left behind are the ones we need to worry about
rosemary152 injinoo , 2014-09-29 14:32:18

Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's.

There is a difference. We now have the psychopathic-tendency merchants in charge, both of the banks, multinationals and our government.

MickGJ injinoo , 2014-09-29 16:24:51

Not sure why you think all this is new or attributable to neoliberalism. Things were much the same in the 1960's and 1970's.

And you can read far more excoriating critiques of our shallow materialistic capitalism, culture from those decades, now recast as some sort of prelapsarian Golden Age.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 10:00:59
The psychopaths have congregated in Wall Street and the City.

One of the problems with psychopaths is that they never learn form mistakes.

Anyone that is watching will realise we are well on our way to the next Wall Street Crash - part 3.

Wall Street Crash Part 1 - 1929
Wall Street Crash Part 2 - 2008
Wall Street Crash Part 3 - soon

Each is bigger and better than the last - there may not be much left after Part 3.

injinoo regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 10:03:58
Actually, the 1929 crash was not the first by any means. The boom and bust cycle of modern economics goes back a lot further. When my grandparents talked about the "Great Depression" they were referring to the 1890's.
regfromdagenham injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:05:24
The financial psychopaths never learn!
Isiodore injinoo , 2014-09-29 10:49:57
The nineteenth century saw major financial crises in almost every decade, 1825, 1837, 1847, 1857, 1866 before we even get to the Great Depression of 1873-96.
harrogateandrew , 2014-09-29 10:01:24
And Socialism doesn't!

Socialism seems to be happy home of corruption & nepotism. The old saw that Tory MP's are brought down by sex scandals whilst Labour MP's have issues with money still holds.

Portman23 harrogateandrew , 2014-09-29 10:06:13
Why is that relevant? This is a critique of neo liberalism and it is a very accurate one at that. It isn't suggesting that Socialism is better or even offers an alternative, just that neo liberalism has failed society and explores some of how and why.
TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 10:01:25
The main problem is that neoliberalism is a faith dressed up as a science and any evidence that disproves the hypothesis (e.g. the 2008 financial collapse) only helps to reinforce the faith of the fundamentalists supporting it.
AlbertaRabbit TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 10:10:36
The reason why "neoliberalism" is so successful is precisely because the evidence shows it does work. It has not escaped peoples' notice that nations where governments heavily curtail individual and commercial freedom are often rather wretched places to live.
TeddyFrench AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 10:31:54
You conflate individual freedom with corporate freedom.

Also, what happened in 2008 then? Anything to do with the hubris over free markets and de-regulation or was it just a blip?

JonPurrtree TeddyFrench , 2014-09-29 11:16:25
It would be nice to curtail coprorate freedom without curtailing the freedom of individuals. I don't see how that might work.

"hubris over free markets" might well be it.
But I might be understanding that in a different way from you. People were making irrational decisions that didn't seem to take on basic logic of a free market, or even common sense. Such as "where is all this money coming from" (madoff, house ladder), "of course this will work" (fred goodwin and his takeovers) and even "will i get my money back" (sub-prime lending).

hansen , 2014-09-29 10:02:14
So why don't we do something about it....genuinely? There appears to be no power left in voting unless people are given an actual choice....Is it not time then to to provide a well grounded articulate choice? The research, in many different disciplines, is already out there.
menedemus hansen , 2014-09-29 10:27:39
What can we do? It appears we are stuck between the Labour party and the Conservatives. Is it even possible for another party to come to power with the next couple of elections?
ElDanielfire menedemus , 2014-09-29 11:41:06
The Lib Dems? ;)
gandrew hansen , 2014-09-29 13:04:53
the Greens, clearly.
AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-29 10:03:31

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference. Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Verhaeghe begins by criticizing free markets and "neo-liberalism", but ends by criticizing the huge, stifling government bureaucracy that endeavours to micro-manage every aspect of its citizens lives, and is the opposite of true classic liberalism.

Must be confusing for him.

Oscar Mandiaz AlbertaRabbit , 2014-09-30 01:37:24
probably not as confusing as it seems to be for you.
this is just the difference between neoliberalism in theory and in practise.
like the "real existierende sozialismus" in eastern germany fell somewhat short of the brilliant utopia of the theorists.
verhaeghe does not criticise the theoretical model, but the practical outcome. And the worst governmant and corporate bureaucracy that mankind has ever seen is part of it. The result of 30+ years of neoliberal policies.
In my experience this buerocracy is gets worse in anglo saxon countries closest to the singularity at the bottom of the neolib black hole.
I am aware that this is only a correlation, but correlations, while they do not prove causation, still require explanation.
Bloreheath , 2014-09-29 10:03:35
Some time ago, and perhaps still, it was/is fashionable for Toryish persons to denigrate the 1960s. I look back to that decade with much nostalgia. Nearly everyone had a job of sorts, not terribly well paid but at least it was a job. And now? You are compelled to toil your guts out, kiss somebody's backside, run up unpayable debts - and, in the UK, live in a house that in many other countries would have been demolished decades ago. Scarcely a day passes when I am not partly disgusted at what has overtaken my beloved country.
LargeMarvin Bloreheath , 2014-09-29 11:25:19
And scooters were 150s and 200s.
capchaos , 2014-09-29 10:04:26
An excellent article! The culture of the 80's has ruled for too long and its damage done.... its down to our youth to start to shape things now and I think that's beginning to happen.
Davai capchaos , 2014-09-29 10:20:12
Is it?

I think the levels of debt amongst young 'consumers' would suggest otherwise.

They are after all, only human. Prone to want the baubles dangled in front of them, as are we all.

Gogoh , 2014-09-29 10:06:33
Brilliant article.
IGrumble , 2014-09-29 10:13:27
Neo-Liberalism as operated today. "Greed is Good" and senior bankers and those who sell and buy money, commodities etc; are diven by this trait of humankind.

But we, the People are just as guilty with our drives for 'More'. More over everything, even shopping at the supermarket - "Buy one & get ten free", must have.

Designer ;bling;, clothes, shoes, bags, I-Pads etc etc, etc. It is never ending. People seem to be scared that they haven't got what next has, and next will think that they are 'Not Cool'.

We, the people should be satisfied with what have got, NOT what what we havn't got. Those who "want" (masses of material goods) usually "Dont get!"

The current system is unsustainable as the World' population rises and rises. Nature (Gaia) will take care of this through disease, famine, and of course the stupidity of Humankind - wars, destruction and general stupidity.

pinniped , 2014-09-29 10:13:49
What's a meritocracy? Oh, that's right - a fable that people who have a lot of money deserve it somehow because they're so much better than the people who work for a living.
Keo2008 , 2014-09-29 10:13:54

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us

Speak for yourself.

Some of us are just as kind and tolerant as we have always been.

Huples Keo2008 , 2014-09-29 10:37:19
The world is nastier than it was before outsourcing and efficiencies.
I am glad you have emerged unscathed

However be happy he is speaking as it allows your natural tolerance to shine ;-)

AlbertaRabbit Huples , 2014-09-29 11:34:05
The world was an even nastier place before the current era. During the 1970s and early 1980s there was huge inflation which robbed people of their saving, high unemployment, and (shudder) Disco.

People tend to view the past with rose-coloured glasses.

Finn_Nielsen , 2014-09-29 10:15:28
What neoliberalism? We've got a mixed economy, which seemingly upsets both those on the right who wish to cut back the state and those on the left who'd bolster it.
Isiodore , 2014-09-29 10:16:21
I work in a law firm specialising in M&A, hardly the cuddliest of environments, but I recognise almost nothing here as a description of my work place. Sure, some people are wankers but that's true everywhere.
alazarin , 2014-09-29 10:16:26
I'm enjoying watching the logical and conceptual contortions of Kippers on CiF attempting to positions themselves as being against neo-liberalism.
Finn_Nielsen , 2014-09-29 10:17:26

You don't need to look far for examples.

Indeed not, you just made a few up.

Babartov , 2014-09-29 10:19:39
human socieity has always rewarded aggressive individuals willing to tread on others.

it's how we roll

pauledwards1000 , 2014-09-29 10:20:17

"Bullying used to be confined to schools".

That is patently untrue. Have you ever been outside your home and do you actually know anyone?

PeteCW pauledwards1000 , 2014-09-29 10:32:52
Have you ever been outside your home and do you actually know anyone?

This sentence could usefully be applied to the entire article.

Gogoh , 2014-09-29 10:20:46
FDR, the Antichrist of the American Right, famously said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And here we are with this ideology which in many ways stokes the fear. The one thing these bastards don't want most of us to feel is secure.
freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 10:23:16
There is no "free market" anywhere. That is a fantasy. It is a term used when corporations want to complain about regulations. What we have in most industrialized countries is corporate socialism wherein corporations get to internalize profits and externalize costs and losses. It has killed of our economies and our middle class.
dr8765 freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 11:35:11
True. All markets are constructs. Each simply operates according to the parameters put in place by those who have constructed it.

Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor has almost become a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true.

iruka , 2014-09-29 10:26:05
Socialism or barbarism -- a starker choice today than when the phrase was coined.

So long, at least, as we have an evolved notion of what socialism entails. Which means, please, not the state capitalism + benign paternalism that it's unfortunately come to mean for most people, in the course of its parasitical relationship with capitalism proper, and so with all capitalism's inventions (the 'nation', the modern bureaucracy, ever-more-efficient exploitation to cumulatively alienating ends......)

It's just as unfortunate, in this light, that the term 'self-management' has been appropriated by the ideologues of pseudo-meritocracy, in just the way the article describes..

Because it's also a term (from the French autogestion) used to describe what I'd argue is the most nuanced and sophisticated collectivist alternative to capitalism -- an alternative that is at one and the same time a rejection of capitalism.... and of the central role of the state and 'nation' (that phony, illusory community that plays a more central role in empowering the modern state than does its monopoly on violence)... and of the ideology of growth, and of the ideal of monolithic, ruthlessly efficient economic totalities organised to this end....

It's a rejection, in other words, of all those things contemplation of which reminds us just how little fundamental difference there is between capitalism and the system cobbled together on the fly by the Bolsheviks -- same vertical organisation to the ends of the same exploitation, same exploitation to the ends of expanding the scope and scale of vertical organisation, all of it with the same destructive effects on the sociabilities of everyday life....

Self-management in this sense goes beyond 'workers control'; (I'd argue that) it envisions a society in which most aspects of life have been cut free from the ties that bind people vertically to sources of influence and control, however they're constituted (private and public bureaucracies, market pressures, the illusory narratives of nation, mass media and commodity...).

The horizontal ties of workplace and local community would thus be constitutive, by default, and society as a whole would become very little more than the sum of its parts -- mutating on a molecular local level as people collectively and democratically decided, in circumstances that actually granted them the power to do so, how to balance the conflicting needs and desires and necessities that a complex society and a complex division of labour present. 'Balance' because there really isn't any prospect of a utopian resolution of these conflicts -- they come with civilisation -- or with barbarism, for than matter, in any of its modern incarnations.

Etc. etc.. Avoiding work again.....

Finn_Nielsen iruka , 2014-09-29 10:44:27
What about those who disagree with such a radical reordering of society? How would the collective deal with those who wished to exploit it?
I'm genuinely interested, beats working...
AlbertaRabbit iruka , 2014-09-29 11:18:41

The horizontal ties of workplace and local community would thus be constitutive, by default, and society as a whole would become very little more than the sum of its parts -- mutating on a molecular local level as people collectively and democratically decided, in circumstances that actually granted them the power to do so, how to balance the conflicting needs and desires and necessities that a complex society and a complex division of labour present.

Why do socialists so often resort to such turgid, impenetrable prose? Could it be an attempt to mask the vacuity of their position?

Catonaboat , 2014-09-29 10:26:13
I read this article skeptically, but then realised how accurately he described my workplace. Most people I know on the outside have nice middle class lives, but underneath it suffer from anxiety, about 1 not putting enough into their careers 2 not spending enough time with their kids. When I decided to cut my work hours in half when I had a child, 2 of my colleagues were genuinely concerned for me over things like, I might be let go, how would I cope with the drop in money, I was cutting my chances of promotion, how would it look in a review. The level of anxiety was frightening.

People on the forum seem to be criticizing what they see as the authors flippant attitude to sexual freedom and lack of religious hold, but I see the authors point, what good are these freedoms when we are stuck in the stranglehold of no job security and huge mortgage debt. Yes you can have a quick shag with whoever you want and don't need to answer to anyone over it on a Sunday, but come Monday morning its back to the the ever sharpening grindstone.

Norfolk , 2014-09-29 10:26:18
This reminds me of the world I started to work in in 1955. I accept that by 1985 it was ten times worse and by the time I retired in 2002, after 47 years, I was very glad to have what I called "survived". At its worst was the increasing difference between the knowledge base of "the boss" when technology started to kick in. I was called into the boss's office once to be criticised for the length of a report. It had a two page summery of the issue and options for resolving the problem. I very meekly inquired if he had decided on any of the options to resolve the problem. What options are you talking about? was his response, which told me that either he had not read the report or did not understand the problem. This was the least of my problems as I later had to spend two days in his office explaining the analysis we (I) were submitting to the Board.
Fooster , 2014-09-29 10:26:35

A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master's degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

Ladies, step away from the jobs.
MissingInActon , 2014-09-29 10:27:29
Speak for yourself.
The current economic situation affects each of us as much as we allow it to. Some may well love neo-liberalism and the concomitant dog eat dog attitude, but there are some of us who regard it as little more than a culture of self-enrichment through lies and aggression. I see it as such, and want nothing to do with it.
If you live by money and power, you'll die by money and power. I prefer to live and work with consensus and co-operation.
I'll never be rich, but I'll never have many enemies.
Jack3 MissingInActon , 2014-09-29 11:30:37

I see it as such, and want nothing to do with it.

Spot on. Neither I.

fanofzapffe , 2014-09-29 10:28:07
I have a book to promote against the 'success narrative'. I'm hoping it fails.
slorter , 2014-09-29 10:30:18
Hedge-fund and private-equity managers, investment bankers, corporate lawyers, management consultants, high-frequency traders, and top lobbyists.They're getting paid vast sums for their labors. Yet it seems doubtful that society is really that much better off because of what they do. They play zero-sum games that take money out of one set of pockets and put it into another. They demand ever more cunning innovations but they create no social value. High-frequency traders who win by a thousandth of a second can reap a fortune, but society as a whole is no better off. the games consume the energies of loads of talented people who might otherwise be making real contributions to society - if not by tending to human needs or enriching our culture then by curing diseases or devising new technological breakthroughs, or helping solve some of our most intractable social problems. Robert Reich said this and I am compelled to agree with him!
nishville , 2014-09-29 10:33:03
Brilliant article. It is not going to change anything, of course, because majority of people of this planet would cooperate with just about any psychopath clever enough not to take away from them that last bit of stinking warm mud to wallow in.

Proof? Read history books and take a look around you. We are the dumbest animals on Earth.

PeteCW nishville , 2014-09-29 10:38:25
Yeah - people are stupid scum aren't they? 'Take a look around you' - wallowing in stinking warm mud all the time. Dumb animals.

Elsewhere in this comment - being a clever psychopath is not nice.

Finn_Nielsen PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:45:42
I'm not sure I want anything changed by those who hold humanity in contempt...
petrolheadpaul nishville , 2014-09-29 11:22:14
Rubbish. We are the most intelligent and successful creature that this planet has ever seen. We have become capable of transforming it, leaving it and destroying it.

No other species has come close to any of those.

SpursSupporter , 2014-09-29 10:34:29

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace.

I started work nearly 40 years ago and there were always some bullies in the workplace. Maybe there are more now, I don't know but I suspect it is more widely reported now. Workplace bullies were something of a given when I started work and it was an accepted part of the working environment.

Be careful about re-inventing history to suit your own arguments.

richiep40 , 2014-09-29 10:35:01
I'm surprised the normalization of debt was not mentioned. If you are debt free you have more chance of making decisions that don't fit into the model.

So what do we do now, we train nearly 50% of our young that having large amounts of debt is perfectly normal. When I was a student I lived off the grant and had a much lower standard of living than I can see students having now, but of course I had no debt when I graduated. I know student debt is administered differently, I'm talking about the way we are training them to accept debt of all sorts.

Same applies to consumerism inducing the 'I want it and I want it now', increases personal debt, therefore forcing people to fit in, same applies to credit cards and lax personal lending.

Although occasionally there are economic questions about large amounts of personal debt, politically high personal debt is ideal.

PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:35:45
All this article proves is that you've read, and can quote from, books written by other academics that you agree with.
TheKernel PeteCW , 2014-09-29 10:41:36
Not sure if you're in the sector, in large parts that's kind of how academia works?

This is also what's referred to in the trade as an opinion piece, where an author will be presenting his views and substantiating them with reference to the researches of others.

Quite simple, really.

Sputnikchaser , 2014-09-29 10:38:33
There is no mystery to neoliberalism -- it is an economic system designed to benefit the 0.1% and leave the rest of us neck deep in shit. That's why our children will be paying for the bankers' bonuses to the day they die. Let's celebrate this new found freedom with all the rest of the Tory lickspittle apologists. Yippee for moral bankruptcy -- three cheers!
Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 10:39:51
David Harvey wrote the best book ever written on the subject.

http://www.sok.bz/web/media/video/ABriefHistoryNeoliberalism.pdf

It's only 200 pages but by god did he nail it.


The Simple Summary is the state/ royality used to hold all the power over the merchants and the public for centuries. Bit by bit the merchants stripped that power away from royality, until eventually the merchants have now taken over everybody. The merchants hold all the power now and they will never give that up as there is nobody to take it from them. By owning the state the merchants now have everything that go with it. The army, police and the laws and the media.

David Harvey puts it all under the microscope and explains in great detail how they've achieved their end game over the last 40 years.

There are millions of economists and many economic theories in our universities. Unfortunately, the merchants will only fund and advertise and support economic theories that further their power and wealth.

As history shows time and time again it will be the public who rip this power from their hands. If they don't give it up it is only a matter of time. The merchants may now own the army, the police, the laws and the parliament. They'll need all of that and more if the public decide to say enough is enough.

Sidefill , 2014-09-29 10:40:51
Bullying used to be confined to schools? Can't agree with that at all. Bullying is an ingrained human tendency which manifests in many contexts, from school to work to military to politics to matters of faith. It is only bad when abused, and can help to form self-confidence.

I am not sure what "neo" means but liberal economics is the basis of the Western economies since the end of feudalism. Some countries have had periods of pronounced social democracy or even socialism but most of western Europe has reverted to the capitalist model and much of the former east bloc is turning to it. As others have noted in the CiF, this does not preclude social policies designed to alleviate the unfair effects of the liberal economies.

But this ship has sailed in other words, the treaties which founded the EU make it clear the system is based on Adam Smith-type free market thinking. (Short of leaving the EU I don't see how that can be changed in its essentials).

Finally, socialist countries require much more conformity of individuals than capitalist ones. So you have to look at the alternatives, which this article does not from what I could see.

jet199 , 2014-09-29 10:42:40
To be honest I don't think Neoliberalism has made much of a difference in the UK where personal responsibility has always been king. In the Victorian age people were quite happy to have people staving to death on the streets and before that people's problems were usually seen as either their own fault or an act of God (which would also be your own fault due to sin). If anything we are kinder to strangers now, than we have been, but are slipping back into our old habits.
I think the best way to combat extreme liberalism is to be knowing about our culture and realise that liberalism is something which is embedded in British culture and is not something imposed on us from else where or by some -ism. It is strengthen not just by politics but also by language and the way we deal with personal and social issues in our own lives. We also need to acknowledge that we get both good and bad things out of living in a liberal society but that doesn't mean we have to put up with the bad stuff. We can put measures in place to prevent the bad stuff and still enjoy the positives even though some capitalists may throw their toys out of the pram.
ForgottenVoice jet199 , 2014-09-29 10:46:38
Personal responsibility is EXACTLY what neoliberalism avoids, even as it advocates it with every breath.

What it means is that you get as much responsibility as you can afford to foist onto someone else, so a very wealthy person gets none at all. It's always someone else's fault.

Neoliberalism has actually undermined personal responsibility at every single step, delegating it according to wealth or perceived worth.

dairymaid jet199 , 2014-09-29 11:37:13
If Liberalism is the mindset of the British how come we created the NHS, Legal Aid, universal education and social security? These were massive achievements of a post war generation and about as far removed from today's evil shyster politics as it is possible to be.
NaturalOutswing , 2014-09-29 10:43:32
"Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens"

What to people mean when they use the word "society" in this context?

gjjwatson , 2014-09-29 10:46:23
When we stopped having jobs and had careers instead, the rot set in. A career is the promotion of the self and a job the means to realise that goal at the expense of everyone else around you.
The description of psychopathic behaviour perfectly describes a former boss of mine (female). I liked her but knew how dangerous she was. She went easy on me because she knew that I could do the job that she would claim credit for.
The pressure and stress of, for example open plan offices and evaluation reports are all part of the conscious effort on behalf of employers to ensure compliance with this poisonous attitude.
The greatest promoter of this philosophy is the Media, step forward Evan Davies, the slobbering lap dog of the rich and powerful.
On the positive side I detect a growing realisation among normal people of the folly of this worldview.
RamjetMan gjjwatson , 2014-09-29 10:53:56
Self promoters are generally psychopaths who don't have any empathy for the people around them who carry them everyday and make them look good. We call these people show bags. Full of shit and you have to carry them all the time....
anorak , 2014-09-29 10:46:37
No shit Sherlock. Did you get a grant for this extensive research?
ID8665572 , 2014-09-29 10:49:43
"meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others..."
I put to you the simple premsie that you can substitute "meritocratic neoliberalism" with any political system (communism, fascism, social democracy even) and it the same truism would emerge.
Martyn Blackburn , 2014-09-29 10:50:06
"Neoliberalism promotes individual freedom, limited government, and deregulation of the economy...whilst individual freedom is a laudable idea, neoliberalism taken to a dogmatic extreme can be used to justify exploitation of the less powerful and pillaging of the natural environment." - Don Ambrose.

Contrast with this:

"Neoliberal democracy, with its notion of the market uber alles ...instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralised and socially powerless." - Robert W. McChesney in Profit over People, Noam Chomsky.

It is fairly clear that the neoliberal system is designed to exploit the less powerfull when it becomes dogmatic, and that is exactly what it has become: beaurocracy, deregulation, privatisation, and government power .

ForgottenVoice , 2014-09-29 10:50:10
Neoliberalism is a virus that destroys people's power of reason and replaces it with extra greed and self entitlement. Until it is kicked back to the insane asylum it came from it will only keep trying to make us it's indentured labourers. The only creeds more vile were Nazism and Apartheid. Eventually the neoliberals will kill us all, so they can have the freedom to have everything they think they're worth.
pagey23 , 2014-09-29 10:50:48
Liberal Socialism is what we have, how is 45% of the economy run by government and a 1 trillion pound debt economic liberalism
RamjetMan pagey23 , 2014-09-29 10:57:08
Yes we have big government and a finance system which prop each other up. Why it's called neoliberalism is beyond me.
MSP1984 , 2014-09-29 10:51:35

Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Isn't a key feature of neo-liberalism that governments de-regulate? It seems you're willing to blame absolutely everything on neoliberalism, even those things that neoliberalism ostensibly opposes.

Sandra Mae , 2014-09-29 10:52:53
The Professor is correct. We have crafted a nightmare of a society where what is considered good is often to the detriment of the whole community. It is reflected in our TV shows of choice, Survivor, Big Brother, voting off the weakest or the greatest rival. A half a million bucks for being the meanest most sociopathic person in the group, what great entertainment.
Jem Bo , 2014-09-29 10:53:35
articulateness - not much fluency in a sentence when using that word is there?
Choller21 Jem Bo , 2014-09-29 10:58:30
Articulocity.
illeist , 2014-09-29 10:54:39
Always a treat to read your articles, Mr Verhaeghe; well written and supported with examples and external good links. I especially like the link to Hare's site which is a rich resource of information and current discussions and presentations on the subject.

The rise of the psychopath in society has been noted for some time, as have the consequences of this behaviour in wider society and and a growing indifference and increased tolerance for this behaviour.

But what are practical solutions? MRI brain scans and early intervention? We know that behaviour modification does not work, we know that antipsychotic and other psychiatric medication does not alter this behaviour, we know little of genetic causes or if diet and nutrition play a role.

Maybe it is because successful psychopaths leverage themselves into positions of influence and power and reduce the voice, choices and influence of their victims that psychopathy has become such an unsolvable problem, or at least a problem that has been removed from the stage of awareness. It is so much easier to see the social consequences of psychopathy than it is to see the causal activity of psychopaths themselves.

Jack3 illeist , 2014-09-29 11:54:12
To deal with this problem is the most urgent and crucial for humanity if we hope for any future at all.
dr8765 , 2014-09-29 10:54:46
Great article. Thanks.
tufsoft , 2014-09-29 11:00:33
People are pretty much bound to behave this way when you replace the family with the individual as the primary unit of society
quark007 , 2014-09-29 11:02:51
Neoliberalism has entered centre stage politics not as a solution, it is just socialism with a crowd pleasing face. What could the labour party do to get voted in when the leadership consisted of self professed intellectuals in Donkey Jackets which they wore to patronise the working classes. Like the animal reflected in the name they became a laughing stock. Nobody understood their language or cared for it. The people who could understand it claimed that it was full of irrelevant hyperbole and patronising sentiment.

It still is but with nice sounding buzz words and an endless sound bites, the face of politics has been transformed into a hollow shell. Neither of the party's faithful are happy with their leaders. They have become centre stage by understanding process more than substance. As long as your face fits, a person has every chance of success. Real merit on the other hand is either sadly lacking or non existant.

gman1 , 2014-09-29 11:05:43
banxters blah blah
LargeMarvin , 2014-09-29 11:06:40
As one who was a working class history graduate in 1970, this is not exactly news.
Andyz , 2014-09-29 11:08:13
Most people's personalities and behaviour are environment driven, they are moulded by the social context in which they find themselves. The system we currently inhabit is one which is constructed on behalf of the holders of capital, it is a construct of the need to create wealth through interest bearing debt.

The values of this civilisation are consumer ones, we validate and actualise ourselves through ownership of goods, and also the middle-class norms of family life, which are in and of themselves constructs of a liberal consumer based society.

We pride ourselves on tolerance, which is just veiled indifference to anything which we feel as no importance to our own desires. People are becoming automatons, directed through media devices and advertising, and also the implanted desires which the consumer society needs us to act upon to maintain the current system of economy.

None of this can of course survive indefinitely, hence the constant state of underlying anxiety within society as it ploughs along on this suicidal route.

Finn_Nielsen Andyz , 2014-09-29 11:13:15
WAKE UP SHEEPLE
Fence2 , 2014-09-29 11:09:28
Good article, however I would just like to add that the new breed of 'business psychopath' you allude to are fairly easy to spot these days, and as such more people are aware of them, so they could be displaced quite soon, hopefully.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:10:22
Cameron and the Conservatives have long been condemning the lazy and feckless at the bottom of society, but has Cameron ever looked at his aristocratic in-laws.

His father-in-law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, can be checked out on Wikipedia.

His only work seems to have been eight years as a conservative councillor (lazy).

He is a member of three clubs, so he likes to go pissing it up with his rich friends (feckless).

This seems to be total sum of his life's achievements.

He also gets Government subsidies for wind turbines on his land (on benefits).
His estate has been in the family since the 16th Century and the family have probably done very little since, yet we worry about the lower classes having two generations without work, in the upper classes this can go on for centuries.

Wasters don't just exist at the bottom of society.

Mr. Cameron have a closer look at your aristocratic in-laws.

colddebtmountain , 2014-09-29 11:12:39

This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults.

Fundamentally the whole concept is saying "real talent is to be hunted down since, if you do not destroy it, it will destroy you". As a result we have a whole army of useless twats in high positions with not an independent thought between them. The concept of the old boys network has really taken over except now the members are any mental age from zero upwards.

And then we wonder why nothing is done prperly these days....

regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:13:44
If you want to get into this in a bit more depth:

"Status Anxiety" by Alain de Botton is worth a read.

Also, a better insight into the psychopaths amongst us, including bankers, can be gained from Robert Hare's book:

"Without Conscience"

yoghurt2 , 2014-09-29 11:14:19
Neoliberalism is fine in some areas of self-development and actualization of potential, but taken as a kind of religion or as the be-all and end-all it is a manifest failure. For a start it neglects to acknowledge what people have in common, the idea of shared values, the notion of society, the effects of synergy and the geo-biological fact that we are one species all inhabiting the same single planet, a planet that is uniquely adapted to ourselves, and to which we are uniquely adapted.

Generally it works on the micro-scale to free up initiative, but on the macro-scale it is hugely destructive, since its goals are not the welfare of the entire human race and the planet but something far more self-interested.

undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:14:37

I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

This is inevitable. All societies have this property. A warrior society rewards brave fighters and inspiring leaders, while punishing weaklings and cowards. A theocracy rewards those who display piety and knowledge of religious tradition, and punishes skeptics and taboo-breakers. Tyrannies reward cunning, ruthless schemers while punishing the squeamish and naive. Bureaucratic societies reward pernickety types who love rules and regulationsn, and punish those who are careless of jots and tittles. And so on.

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents

It does. In fact, it does in all societies to some extent, even societies that strive to be egalitarian, and societies that try to restrict social mobility by imposing a rigid caste system. There are always individuals who fall or rise through society as a result of their abilities or lack thereof. The freer society is, the more this happens.

For those who believe in the fairytale of unrestricted choice, self-government and self-management are the pre-eminent political messages, especially if they appear to promise freedom.

Straw man. Even anarchists don't believe in completely unrestricted choice, let alone neoliberals. Neoliberalism accepts that people are inevitably limited by their abilities and their situation. Personal responsibility does not depend on complete freedom. It depends on there being some freedom. If you have enough freedom to make good or bad choices, then you have personal responsibility.

Along with the idea of the perfectible individual, the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age.

The idea of the perfectible individual has nothing to do with neoliberalism. On the other hand, it is one of the central pillars of Marxism. In philosophy, Marx is noted as an example of thinker who follows a perfectionist ethical theory.
undersinged undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:18:55
One more: Socialist societies reward lazy and feckless people, and punish strivers who display initiative.
gjjwatson undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:22:15
You miss the point. Neoliberalism promotes negative values and is used consciously to control personal freedom and undermine positive individuality.
Vanillaicetea undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:39:22
An excellent demolition of this piece of whiny idiocy.
variation31 , 2014-09-29 11:16:27
A frightening article, detailing now the psychological strenngths of people are recruited, perverted and rotted by this rat-race ethic.

Ironic that the photo, of Canary Wharf, shows one of the biggest "socialist" gifts of the country (was paid largely by the British taxpayer, if memory serves me correctly, and more or less gifted to the merchant bankers by Thatcher).

66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:16:34
Meritocratic neoliberalism; superficial articulateness which I used to call 'the gift of the gab'. In my job, I was told to be 'extrovert' and I bucked against this, as a prejudice against anyone with a different personality and people wanting CLONES. Not sensible people, or people that could do a job, but a clone; setting the system up for a specific type of person as stated above. Those who quickly tell you, you are wrong. Those that make you think perhaps you are, owing to their confidence. Until your quietness proves them to be totally incorrect, and their naff confidence demonstrates the falseness of what they state.
JonPurrtree 66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:17:25
I call it the bullshit based economy.
undersinged JonPurrtree , 2014-09-29 11:23:55
Most of the richest people in the world are not bullshitters. There are some, to be sure, but the majority are either technical or financial engineers of genius, and they've made their fortune through those skills, rather than through bullshit.
JonPurrtree undersinged , 2014-09-29 11:30:52
Plenty of bullshit keeping companies afloat.

Apart from tetra brik. Thats a useful product.

66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 11:19:11
Hague lied to the camera about GCHQ having permission to access anyone's electronic devices. He did not blush, he merely stated that a warrant was required. Only the night before we were shown a letter from GCHQ stating that they had access without any warrant.

The ability to LIE has become a VIRTUE that all of us could well LIVE WITHOUT.

undersinged 66Applicationsperjob , 2014-09-29 17:34:47

The ability to LIE has become a VIRTUE

That's not new. It has been widely held that rulers have a right (and sometimes a duty) to lie ever since Machiavelli's Prince was published some 500 years ago.
regfromdagenham , 2014-09-29 11:19:34
The thinking behind our age was covered in a three part BBC documentary "The Trap".

It was made in 2006, before the financial crisis.

http://thoughtmaybe.com/the-trap/

Why was Iraq such a disaster?
Find out in Part 3.

seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:26:02

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left lose.
-Janice Joplin

RaymondDance seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:45:35

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left lose.
-Janice Joplin

Kris Kristofferson actually,

LargeMarvin seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 14:46:09
Actually it was written by Kris Kristofferson and, having a house, a job pension and an Old Age Pension, frankly, I disagree. The Grateful Dead version is better anyway.
mjhunbeliever seamuspadraig , 2014-09-30 15:46:19
This little video may throw some light on that for you, Paradox of Choice.
dr8765 , 2014-09-29 11:26:23

.... economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities.

I have long thought that introverts are being marginalised in our society. Being introvert seems to be seen by some as almost an illness, by others as virtually a crime.

Not keen on attending that "team bonding" weekend? There must be something wrong with you. Unwilling to set out your life online for all to see? What have you got to hide?

A few very driven and talented introverts have managed to find a niche in the world of IT and computers, earnig fortunes from their bedrooms. But for most, being unwilling or unable to scream their demands and desires across a crowded room is interpreted as "not trying" or being not worth listening to.

seamuspadraig , 2014-09-29 11:28:28

It's important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you've got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That's why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

Perfectly describes our new ruling-class, doesn't it!

Monchberter , 2014-09-29 11:30:05
Neoliberalism:

'Get on', or get f*****d.
Be hard working, or be dispensable.

Trilbey Monchberter , 2014-09-29 12:32:14
Does neoliberalism = fascism = brutality?
Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:30:29

It's important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you've got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That's why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

Sounds like a perfect description of newspaper columnists to me.

illogicalcaptain , 2014-09-29 11:33:08
It's just the general spirit of the place: it's on such a downer and no amount of theorising and talking will ever solve anything. There isn't a good feeling about this country anymore just a lot of tying everyone up in in repressive knots with a lot of hooey like talk and put downs. We need to find freedom again or maybe shove all the pricks into one part of the country and leave them there to fuck each other over so the rest of us can create a new world free of bullcrap. I don't know. Place is a superficial mess: 'look at me; look at what I own; I can cook Coq Au Vin and drink bottles of expensive plonk and keep ten cars on my driveway'
Nah. Fortuneately there are still some decent people left but it's been like Hamlet now for quite some time - "show me an honest man and I'll show you one man in ten thousand" Sucks.
chriskilby , 2014-09-29 11:33:17
So it's official. We are ruled by psychopaths. Figures.
Trilbey chriskilby , 2014-09-29 12:35:58
Perhaps I can help out. There's some good research here:

Are CEOs and Entrepreneurs psychopaths? Multiple studies say "Yes

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2013/10/are-ceos-and-entrepreneurs-psychopaths-multiple-studies-say-yes/

Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 11:33:31
This article is spot on and reflects Karl Marx's analysis regarding the economic base informing and determining the superstructure of a given society, that is, its social, cultural aspects. A neo-liberal, monetarist economy will shape and influence social and work relationships in ways that are not beneficial for the many but as the commentator states, will benefit those possessed of certain thrusting,domineering character traits. The common use of the word "loser" in contemporary society to describe those who haven't "succeeded" financially is in itself telling.
Trilbey Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 12:37:59
Some people are brave enough to buck the system, I'm not, I just keep going to work everyday to get slaughtered.
LargeMarvin Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 14:48:16
Freud's model of the mind is pretty good too, though psychoanalysis itself is controversial. The Krel forgot one thing.................
qwertboi , 2014-09-29 11:34:29
What an incisive article!

It would be the perfect first chapter (foreword/introduction) in a best seller that goes on, chapter by chapter, to show that neoliberalism destroys everything it touches:

Personal relationships;
trust;
personal integrity;
trust;
relationships;
trust;
transactions and trade;
trust;
market systems;
trust;
communities;
trust;
political relationships;
trust;

Etc., etc., etc..
trust;
society;
trust;

Menscheit11 , 2014-09-29 11:35:37
This analysis can be found in Marx's critique of the economy published in 1859.
lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 11:36:17
James Meek seems to have nailed it in his recent book, where he pointed out that the socially conservative Thatcher, who wanted a society based on good old fashioned values, helped to create the precise opposite with her enthusiasm for the neoliberal model. Now we are sinking into a dog-eat-dog dystopia.
Trilbey lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 12:53:48
Many of the good old fashioned conservatives had time honoured values. They believed in taking care of yourself but they also believed in integrity and honesty. They believed in living modestly and would save much of their money rather than just spend it, and so would put some aside for a rainy day. They believed in the community and were often active about local issues. They cared about the countryside and the wildlife. They often recycled which went along with their thriftiness and hatred of waste.

This all vanished when Thatcher came in with her selfish 'greed is good' brigade. Loads of money!

LargeMarvin lexcredendi , 2014-09-29 14:49:34
Even shampoo and sets have not come back, though unfortunately slickbacks have.
PonyBoyUK , 2014-09-29 11:36:31

We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance –

Ha Ha!...

Oh, wait, now I'm sad.... Damn it.

freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 11:38:34
There is nothing "neo" nor "liberal" about neoliberalism. It is a cover for corporations and the wealthy elite to get more corporate welfare .
PonyBoyUK freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 12:28:59
Take what you do, define it in a word or two and then use the most concise antonym. - That is what you will tell the public.

State-protected oligopolies = "The Free Market"

Aggressive wars on civilian populations = "The war on Terror" / "The Ministry of Defence"

Age-old economic oppression = "Neoliberal economics"

Public Manipulation = "Public Relations"

Political Oppression = "Democracy"

LargeMarvin freepedestrian , 2014-09-29 14:50:47
In practice yes, but on the theoretical level the title is valid. It is the resurrection of policies from the 1860s.
Toeparty , 2014-09-29 11:38:44
Capitalist alienation is a daily practise. The daily practise of competing with and using people. This gives rise to the ideology that society and other people are but a means to an end rather than an end in themselves that is of course when they are not a frightening a existential competitive threat. Contempt and fear. That is what we are reduced to by the buying and selling of labour power and yes, only a psychopath can thrive under such conditions.
Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:42:49
According to the left if your only ambition is to watch Jeremy Kyle, pick up a welfare cheque once a week and vote for which ever party will promise to give you £10 a week more in welfare: you're an almost saint like figure.

If you actually do something to try to create a better and more independent life for yourself, your family and your community: you're "displaying psychopathic tendencies" .

Raymond Ashworth Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:49:07
Strawman.
Themiddlegound Vanillaicetea , 2014-09-29 11:49:49
If you actually do something to try to create a better and more independent life for yourself, your family and your community: you're "displaying psychopathic tendencies".

So how do you create a better community ?

By paying your taxes on your wealth that so many of you try to avoid. Here lies the crux of the matter. There would be no deficit if taxes were paid.

Some of the rich are so psychpathic they think jsut because they employ people they shouldn't pay any tax. They think the employees should pay thier tax for them.

Why has tax become such a dirty word ? Think about it before you answer.

RaymondDance Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:54:25

There would be no deficit if taxes were paid.

Of course there would.

Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:45:14
I've studied neoliberalism for nearly 20 years.

The conclusion is for me is that it is a brilliant economic model. It is the sheer apathy of the voters and that they are cowards because they don't make it work for them. They allow the people who own the theory to run it for themselves and thus they get all the benefits from it.

I'll try and explain.

Their business plan.

The truth is neoliberalism has infact made the rich western countries poorer and helped so many other poorer countries around the world get richer. Let's face facts here giving to charities would never have achieved this and something needed to be done to even up this world inequality. The only way you are ever going to achieve world peace is if everybody is equal. It's not by chance this theory was introduced by America. They are trying to bring that equality to everyone so that world peace can be achieved. How many more illegal wars and deaths this will take and for how long nobody knows. They are also very sinister and selfish and greedy because if the Americans do achieve what they are trying to do. They will own and countrol the world via washington and the dollar. The way the Americans see it is that the inequality created within each country is a bribe to each power structure within that country which helps America achieve it's long term goals. It creates inequality within each country but at the same time creates equality on the world stage. It might take 100 years to achieve and millions of deaths but eventually every country will be another state of America and look and act like any American state. Once that is achieved world peace will follow. America see it as a war and they also see millions of deaths as acceptable to achieve their end game. I of course disagree there must be a better way. How will history look at this dark period in history in 300 years time if it does achieve world peace in 150 years time ?

In each country neoliberalism works but at the moment it only works for the few because the voters allow it. The voters allow them to get away with it through submission. They've allowed their parliaments to be taken over without a fight and allowed their brains to be brainwashed by the media controlled by the few. Which means the the whole story of neoliberalism has been skewed into a very narrow view which always suits and promotes the voices of the few.

Why did the voters allow that to happen ?

Their biggest success the few had over the many was to create an illusion that made tax a toxic word. They attacked tax with everything they had to form an illusion in the voters minds that paying tax was a bad thing and it was everybodys enemy. Then they passed laws to enhance that view and trotted out scare stories around tax and that if they had to pay it then everybody would leave that country. They created a world set up for them and ulitimately destroyed any chance at all, for the success of neoliberalism to be shared by the many. This was their biggest success to make sure the wealth of neoliberalism stayed with them.

As the author of this piece says quite clearly. "An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities"

One of these traits is that they believe they shouldn't pay tax because they are creating jobs and the tax their employees pay should be the amount of tax these companies pay. Again this makes sure that the wealth is not shared.

Since they now own and control parliaments they also use the state to pay these wages in the way of tax credits and subsidies and grants as they refuse to pay their employees a living wage. It is our taxes they use to do this. Again this is to make sure that the wealth is not shared.

There are too many examples to list of how they make sure that the wealth generated by neoliberalism is not shared. Then surely it is up to the voters to make sure it does. Neoliberalism works and it would work for everybody if the voters would just grow a set of balls. Tax avoidance was the battle that won the war for the few. It is time the voters revisited that battle and re write it so that the outcome was that the many won not just the few. For example there would be no deficit if the many had won that battle. Of course they wouldn't have left a market of 60 million people with money in their pockets, it would have been business suicide.

This is a great example of how they created an illusion, a false culture, a world that does not exist. The focus is all on the deficit and how to fix it, as they socialise the losses and privatise the profits. There is no eyes or light shed on why there is a deficit due to tax avoidance. It's time we changed that and made Neoliberlaism work for us. If we don't then we can't complain when it only works for the few.

Neoliberlaism works. It's about time we owned it for ourselves. Otherwise we'll always be slaves to it. It's not the theory that is corrupt it is the people who own it.

RaymondDance Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 11:53:29

There is no eyes or light shed on why there is a deficit due to tax avoidance.

... or because politicians have discovered that you can buy votes by giving handouts even to those who don't need them, thereby making everyone dependent on the largesse of the state and, by extension, promoting the interests of the most irresponsible politicians and the bureaucracies they represent.

dr8765 Themiddlegound , 2014-09-29 12:02:36
You seem to regard what you call neoliberalism as a creator of wealth. You then claim that the reason for this wealth accruing almost entirely to an elite few is the "the voters" have prevented neoliberalism from distributing the wealth more equitably.

I can't really follow the logic of your argument.

Neoliberalism seems to be working perfectly for those few who are in a position to exploit it. It's doing what it's designed to do.

I agree that the ignorance of "the voters" is allowing the elite to get away with it. But the voters should be voting for those who propose an alternative economic model. Unfortunately, in the western world at the present time, they have no viable alternative to vote for, because the neoliberals have captured all of the mainstream political parties and institutions.

Themiddlegound RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 12:03:10
That's all fine and dandy and I agree.

However, you missed one of the main points. Our parliament has been taken over by the few.

One man used to and probably still does strike fear into the government. Murdoch. Problem is there are millions like him that lobby and control policy and the media.

foralltime , 2014-09-29 11:46:59
..."There are regulations about everything,"... Yes, but higher up the scale you go, the less this regulation is enforced, less individual accountability and less transparency. Neoliberalism has turned society on its head. We see ever growing corporate socialism subsidising the top 1% and heavily regulated hard nosed market capitalism for the rest of us resulting in massive inequality in wealth distribution. This inequality by design makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. We've created a society where people who were once valued as an individual part of that society are now treated as surplus to requirements and somehow need to be eliminated.
RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 11:50:02

Bullying used to be confined to schools

Blimey - and people like this constantly accuse conservatives of being nostalgic for a past that never existed.

LargeMarvin RaymondDance , 2014-09-29 14:54:59
Fair comment. I went to a grammar school where there was, luckily, very little bullying. The bullying happened when I got back to the 'hood.
zavaell , 2014-09-29 11:51:37
All I know is that when I read the comments on cif, I cannot believe that these are people who would be expected to read the Guardian.
RaymondDance zavaell , 2014-09-29 11:56:26

I cannot believe that these are people who would be expected to read the Guardian.

One of the best things about cif is that it allows a wider audience to see just how deluded and narcissistic Guardian readers are.

busyteacher zavaell , 2014-09-29 12:23:12
They're mostly tight g*ts who refuse to pay to use the Mail/Telegraph sites. This is just about the last free forum left now and it's attracting all kinds of undesirables. The level of personal insult has gone up enormously since they came here. Most of us traditional Ciffers don't bother with many posts here any more, it's too boring now.
LargeMarvin zavaell , 2014-09-29 14:55:44
It's called Revenge of the Killer Clerks.
WarwickC , 2014-09-29 11:53:18

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, "make" something of ourselves.

That's always been the way, I think. It's life.
We are all of us the descendants of a million generations of successful organisms, human and pre-human.
The ones that didn't succeed fel by the wayside.
We're the ones left to tell the tale.

Stephen Porter WarwickC , 2014-09-29 12:34:35
We're the ones left to tell the tale"

and what a tale it will be for the last human standing!

EstebanMurphy WarwickC , 2014-09-29 13:14:33

That's always been th