Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Identity politics bulletin, 2019

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jun 21, 2020] Eliminating Talent By Force by Rod Dreher

Highly recommended!
De Blasio policies are directed against middle class. Upper class uses private schools anyway and as such is exempt from his experiments.
Notable quotes:
"... there's an essay on socialism by Igor Shafarevich. In it, he quotes Marx saying that communism aims to "eliminate talent by force." Equality must be achieved above all things. ..."
"... Mayor Bill de Blasio's School Diversity Advisory Group has recommended that the city eliminated gifted and talented programs for elementary schools, and stop using academic criteria for admission to middle schools. Why? Diversity, of course. ..."
"... You can have excellence, or you can have equality, but you can't have both. ..."
"... This criterion for racism is non-sensical...admission based on merit cannot be racist, because it is based on merit and not race! Need I say that if based on the latter, then it would be some form of racism.... ..."
"... The opposite of "equality" isn't inequality, but difference. And everyone really knows there is no blank slate. Children have a genetic heritage which combines with environment factors in creating intelligence and success. ..."
"... Acknowledging "difference" is true celebration of life and its varieties. And some people are smarter than others. ..."
Aug 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Equalizer: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio ( Morning Joe screenshot ) In that same book I quoted in an earlier post , From Under The Rubble (which you can read online for free by following the link), there's an essay on socialism by Igor Shafarevich. In it, he quotes Marx saying that communism aims to "eliminate talent by force." Equality must be achieved above all things.

Reading the Shafarevich, I thought of the removal and/or relocation of photographs of white males from medical schools, on ideological grounds ( I wrote about it here on Monday. ) It won't stop there. That's just the first step. They begin by removing the images of certain figures, and will eventually get around to removing people like them from the schools, all in the name of equality.

Something like this might be about to happen in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio's School Diversity Advisory Group has recommended that the city eliminated gifted and talented programs for elementary schools, and stop using academic criteria for admission to middle schools. Why? Diversity, of course. Too many of the kids who get into the better schools and programs are white and Asian, not enough are black and Hispanic, according to progressive dogma. Christine Rosen writes:

All the city's selective schools are already open to anyone regardless of race. But because the majority of students who gain admission to schools that screen applicants are white and Asian, the panel reasoned, merit-based admissions procedures must be racist. Indeed, the advisory panel describes merit-based testing and other screening procedures used in New York City's public schools as "exclusionary admissions practices," not because they found any evidence of racial bias in the screening procedures but simply because the outcome of screening does not perfectly reflect the demographic make-up of the city. According to the New York Times , the panel argued that a screening system based on academic ability "is not equitable, even if it is effective for some."

The Progressive Caucus of the city council agrees. In a letter to the diversity panel, it urged "caps on the allowable concentrations of high-achieving and low-achieving students in the same schools." New York City schools chancellor Richard Carranza, who would implement the panel's recommendations if the mayor approves them, already thinks too many students are labeled "gifted."

In other words, the progressives' answer to the problem of racial gaps in educational achievement is a Harrison Bergeron-like downward social leveling that would ensure that excellence and competition are eliminated in favor of mediocrity and "diversity." Since more than half of the city's public school students can't pass the state math and English exams, and only 28 percent of the city's black students passed the math exam (compared to 67 percent of white students and 74 percent of Asian-American students), the leveling effect will likely be significant.

Punishing excellence by demanding that everyone conform to the lowest common denominator is a recipe for educational failure and societal stagnation. By this logic, schools will eventually have to eliminate grades and other forms of ranking, since outcomes will never match progressives' diversity requirements.

This is identity politics in action. It will punish, or eliminate, talent by force. It's the old socialist claim -- that hierarchy is always and everywhere the result of injustice -- applied to racial politics.

Here's how The New York Times describes the situation:

For years, New York City has essentially maintained two parallel public school systems.

A group of selective schools and programs geared to students labeled gifted and talented is filled mostly with white and Asian children. The rest of the system is open to all students and is predominantly black and Hispanic.

Now, a high-level panel appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio is recommending that the city do away with most of these selective programs in an effort to desegregate the system, which has 1.1 million students and is by far the largest in the country.

More:

The panel's report, obtained by The New York Times, amounts to a repudiation of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's education agenda, which reoriented the system toward school choice for families, including more gifted and screened schools, to combat decades of low performance.

Some of those policies deepened inequality even as student achievement rose . Mr. de Blasio has been sharply critical of his predecessor's philosophy on education, but must now decide whether to dismantle some of the structures that Mr. Bloomberg helped to build.

You can have excellence, or you can have equality, but you can't have both. De Blasio seems to be aiming for equality by denying the concept of "good schools":

Though Mr. de Blasio has vowed to create a school system where the idea of "good schools" and "bad schools" becomes obsolete, dozens of schools are extremely low-performing, and many more are struggling.

As the city has tried for decades to improve its underperforming schools, it has long relied on accelerated academic offerings and screened schools, including the specialized high schools, to entice white families to stay in public schools.

But at the same time, white, Asian and middle-class families have sometimes exacerbated segregation by avoiding neighborhood schools , and instead choosing gifted programs or other selective schools. In gentrifying neighborhoods, some white parents have rallied for more gifted classes, which has in some cases led to segregated classrooms within diverse schools .

Progressives don't allow one to ask why white, Asian, and middle-class families are avoiding those schools, or that gifted classes lead to segregated classrooms within diverse schools. The progressive mind can only imagine that these outcomes are racist, and therefore must be eliminated so New York City can build a pedagogical heaven on earth.

One more note:

Still, the so-called School Diversity Advisory Group acknowledged that the city would have to take pains to prevent middle-class families from fleeing the system.

If those students decamp to private schools or to the suburbs, "it will become even more difficult to create high-quality integrated schools," in New York, the report said. The panel wrote that "high-achievement students deserve to be challenged," but in different ways.

Right. Here's a link to the full School Diversity Advisory Group report.

The panel blamed the failure of G&T programs in schools serving poor neighborhoods on economic privilege:

The reforms of the early 2000s brought over 20 new G&T programs meant to cater to underserved communities, in further hopes of expanded enrichment opportunities for a more diverse group of children. Three years later, most of these new programs were unable to fill a single spot in their incoming classes, because the majority of students in these neighborhoods and districts were low-income and not able to invest in equitable test-prep resources. Since the mid-2000s the number of G&T programs has nearly halved, with most surviving offerings operating in affluent white neighborhoods.

There's no doubt that well-off parents have the resources to help their children prepare for tests. But the panel does not consider the role of culture -- within the family, and the students' communities -- in affecting the outcomes. It's widely known that Asian families put a premium on education, and that that means Asian kids generally study more and work harder to achieve. Why should they be punished for that?

NYC is a left-wing town, as we all know, but it's also the case that middle-class progressives get real protective of their own children, and may find some rationale to fight this proposal, at the expense of their own stated principles. But perhaps not. Because left-wing identity politics demonizes achievement by people of the "wrong" ethnicity, it might not be possible to fight this -- not if the price of resisting it is bearing the cost of being publicly condemned as racist.

It's down to the Asians to lead the resistance, if there is any resistance at all.

UPDATE: Reader Another Dave comments:

I live in NYC and have kids in the public school system. Asians are already pushing back hard, and have attended several public forums en masse to jeer at and heckle Carranza, and openly call him a bigot, which he clearly is.

Both DiBlasio and Carranza are loathsome midwits, and deserve whatever vitriol is directed at them.

The NYPost has covered most of this in detail, but a number of Asian community groups have formed activist committees, and are making as much noise as humanly possible, and then some.

I could go into much greater detail about my own experiences with the public school system here on the UES, but it would take up too much space and potentially bore everyone.

I socialize with several people, all of the black and Latin, who have worked in education in NYC for decades, and have had whatever remained of their progressive rose colored glasses shattered by dealing directly with poor black and Hispanic communities. Suffice it to say, poor black and Hispanic communities, outside of some individual exceptions, simply don't place a premium on scholastic excellence and academic rigor.

Again, there are exceptions, and there are certainly students with parents from Africa or the Caribbean who do not fit into this category, but generally speaking, no matter what the racial ideologues and the woke activists say, poor and working class blacks and Hispanics just don't have the same regard for academic achievement. The parents will tell you to your face that they do, and then you see how they raise their kids and how they approach homework and test prep, and it just doesn't compare to what Asian and white parents do with and for their kids. It's two different worlds.

Black and Hispanic parents obviously love their kids, and do what they think is right, but they simply lack the same degree of focus and stick-to-it-iveness, and yes, even intellectual horsepower, that Asian and white parents have.

This is an important story, because it reveals just how far racial activists intend on going to achieve parity. They will detonate the entire system to do so, and this doesn't really bother them in the least. To them, the disparities prove the system is not just broken, but evil, and must be overturned. Asian and white excellence is a continual slap in the face, and it cannot be allowed to stand, no matter the consequences.

The mayor, his attack dog Carranza, and all of the racist black and Hispanic activists have a deep, emotional commitment to their utopian vision, and reason will not be allowed to prevail, up to and including chasing the highest performing whites and Asians right out of the entire system and into private education.

This is a microcosm of a larger societal drama, and all of Rod's self deceptive liberal commenters would do well to acquaint themselves with the details, because this is where our entire society is headed if we don't put the brakes on.


David J. White • 2 hours ago

I suspect that more and more wealthy parents of high-achieving students will simply move out of New York, unless their brains have been rotted by Wokeness.
Rod Dreher Moderator Matt in VA • 2 hours ago
I'm talking about only in NYC will the Asians be able to effectively lead the resistance, because they can't be accused of racism. If you read the links I posted, you'll find that 70 percent of the population of NYC schools are black and Hispanic. White people can (and should) fight to preserve the schools where their kids attend, but political reality on the ground in NYC indicates that the resistance will have a better chance of resisting if it is led by Asians, given their immunity to the usual progressive racial demagoguery. Mind you, I know some Asians buy into this demagoguery, but I'm betting most ordinary ones in NYC don't. I could be wrong.
Matthew Rod Dreher • an hour ago
Essentially the Asian community will be fighting the same battle as those now fighting to see just how explicitly Harvard discriminates against Asians when it comes to their admissions policy. And in that case it certainly is not a unified front. Many of those Asian students have no desire to be put front and center in this ideological battle. There have been a few different essays about the Harvard admissions challenge that specifically quoted Asian students as not wanting to wade into the political mess, or they simply agreed with and supported Harvards P.C. admissions policy. It is a lot easier to just accept your admission into top tier school 2 or 3 on your list and move on.
Sheldon2 • an hour ago • edited
Well-to-do white families will opt for private school. The ones who will suffer under the new arrangement will be those who can't afford private school or a move to the suburbs: middle- and lower-class white families with bright kids who will now get a lowest-common-denominator education.

No one would argue with efforts to address the inequality in resources devoted to poorer kids and neighborhoods, and to provide struggling families with additional support. But attempting to overcome inequality by eliminating gifted and talented programs is a deeply stupid, immoral, counterproductive, and ultimately fanatical form of social engineering. As an aside, good luck trying to win re-election, Mr. de Blasio.

Manualman • an hour ago
If I read correctly on this elsewhere, the mayor doesn't control the high schools so can't implement this there. But the logic would apply. Consider these as predictions of where this is going:
1. Honors and AP classes have been found to be excessively populated by white and Asian kids, so we are going to discontinue them and place kids in classes randomly from now on to assure diversity and prevent racism.
2. An extensive evaluation of the graduates of Columbia University has shown that the upper 10% of every graduating class remains consistently over-represented in white and Asian populations. In spite of repeated warnings, the university has failed to end it's clearly racist policies, so will be shut down immediately. We have a variety of very good community colleges whose diversity scores are better, so they are obviously better schools anyways.
You get the idea. If we can contain this madness to enclaves like New York, they will destroy themselves in a generation or two and sane people can move in and take over. Anybody who has ever spent time in a classroom knows that the worst kid sets the tone and culture for the rest. The only way to let the best kids flourish is to protect them from the kids who want only to tear down and destroy. Race has nothing to do with that, but culture sure does.
Mike • an hour ago
As a kid who loved his gifted/talented classes,I believe in their worthiness. For me there was nothing worse than being in a class bored silly and one should be challenged in school, otherwise what's the point? Rather than drastically change the standards, why not invest in resources for the test prep? Would that not increase the number of minority students qualifying?
ludwig • an hour ago • edited
"majority of students who gain admission to schools that screen applicants are white and Asian, the panel reasoned, merit-based admissions procedures must be racist"

This criterion for racism is non-sensical...admission based on merit cannot be racist, because it is based on merit and not race! Need I say that if based on the latter, then it would be some form of racism....

next, from rod, "In it, he quotes Marx saying that communism aims to "eliminate talent by force." Equality must be achieved above all things."

but what about the oft-quoted and here-paraphrased marxian quote, "each to his ability, each to his interest". seems to contradict 'eliminating talent by force'?

Gaius1Gracchus • 44 minutes ago
The opposite of "equality" isn't inequality, but difference. And everyone really knows there is no blank slate. Children have a genetic heritage which combines with environment factors in creating intelligence and success.

Not everyone can be a great artist. Even with all the resources in the world, an untalented would be artist (myself, for example) will never be good.

Likewise most all the best long distance runners are from a single tribe in Kenya.

Acknowledging "difference" is true celebration of life and its varieties. And some people are smarter than others.

The smartest boy in my elementary school class stopped taking difficult classes in middle school. He didn't take a single honors or AP class. He still got a high SAT score and went to a University of California school (I can't remember if it was Berkeley or another one) and failed out after one year. He moved home and has been a pothead bum for 30 years.

Talent gurantees nothing, but gives opportunities. Social status and such also give opportunities.

It almost seems like the attempt to close the NYC elite public schools is really an effort to shut down a way up for lower and middle class families. The rich largely skip the elite schools because there is too much competition and their kids will not succeed. They want to limit real meritocracy and really just want their credentialism to continue.

This is just more class warfare by the rich against those beneath them.

Another Dave • 38 minutes ago
I live in NYC and have kids in the public school system. Asians are already pushing back hard, and have attended several public forums en masse to jeer at and heckle Carranza, and openly call him a bigot, which he clearly is.

Both DiBlasio and Carranza are loathsome midwits, and deserve whatever vitriol is directed at them. The NYPost has covered most of this in detail, but a number of Asian community groups have formed activist committees, and are making as much noise as humanly possible, and then some.

I could go into much greater detail about my own experiences with the public school system here on the UES, but it would take up too much space and potentially bore everyone.

I socialize with several people, all of the black and Latin, who have worked in education in NYC for decades, and have had whatever remained of their progressive rose colored glasses shattered by dealing directly with poor black and Hispanic communities. Suffice it to say, poor black and Hispanic communities, outside of some individual exceptions, simply don't place a premium on scholastic excellence and academic rigor.

Again, there are exceptions, and there are certainly students with parents from Africa or the Caribbean who do not fit into this category, but generally speaking, no matter what the racial ideologues and the woke activists say, poor and working class blacks and Hispanics just don't have the same regard for academic achievement. The parents will tell you to your face that they do, and then you see how they raise their kids and how they approach homework and test prep, and it just doesn't compare to what Asian and white parents do with and for their kids. It's two different worlds.

Black and Hispanic parents obviously love their kids, and do what they think is right, but they simply lack the same degree of focus and stick-to-it-iveness, and yes, even intellectual horsepower, that Asian and white parents have.

This is an important story, because it reveals just how far racial activists intend on going to achieve parity. They will detonate the entire system to do so, and this doesn't really bother them in the least. To them, the disparities prove the system is not just broken, but evil, and must be overturned. Asian and white excellence is a continual slap in the face, and it cannot be allowed to stand, no matter the consequences.

The mayor, his attack dog Carranza, and all of the racist black and Hispanic activists have a deep, emotional commitment to their utopian vision, and reason will not be allowed to prevail, up to and including chasing the highest performing whites and Asians right out of the entire system and into private education.

This is a microcosm of a larger societal drama, and all of Rod's self deceptive liberal commenters would do well to acquaint themselves with the details, because this is where our entire society is headed if we don't put the brakes on.

William harrington • 28 minutes ago
Well, progressives have used antiquated ideologies for over a century to try to solve the social problems they see. Can't figure out how to improve failing schools/ Scream racism and eliminate schools that aren't failing. Then the problem disappears from view. This is the same thing we see with gun control; can't figure out why more and more people are choosing to commit mass murder? Blame the tool, not the tool user. This way the tools passing laws can get votes and look like they are doing something, but we haven't solved the underlying problem, why do more and more people want to commit mass murder. I suppose the problem is that progressiveness has become a religion with an inferior anthropology that has little to offer in the way of guidance for self examination or examination of society.

Identitarianism is a dualistic system of understanding the world that has no capacity to analyze the actual complexities of human individuals or society. Progressive identitarians have no choice but to seek simplistic solutions that will exacerbate the actual problems because their system is unable to express the actual problems.

[Dec 24, 2019] About embracing of all things LGBTQPIBN+

Dec 24, 2019 | www.theburningplatform.com

The globalist cabal controls the money, the promotions, the tenure, the continuance of careers. God help anyone who disagrees.

Pequiste Just maybe this embracing (that will sound bad in this context ) of all things LGBTQPIBN+, no matter how bizarrre or disgusting, is to usher into a position of great importance in the government, the likes of Pete Buttgeek?

[Dec 22, 2019] Promoting identity over merit naturall led to emegence of strong far right movement

Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

This, in turn, has led to young men coming together around their identity, trying to find empowerment in all the wrong places -- in movements like the alt-right and incel forums, where they find mutual solace in their sense of shared victimhood.

It's hard to blame them when the media and Big Tech bombards them with messaging that extol the evils of their demographic.

[Dec 08, 2019] La Rouchefoucald: "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue"

Dec 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

In all of this, it's worth remembering the observation of La Rouchefoucald that "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue". The accusation of virtue signalling represents the refusal of vice to pay this tribute.


Phil 12.05.19 at 10:10 am ( 2 )

... in my experience the kind of people who talk about VS also talk about 'clicktivism' and similar; in other words, a lack of effort or cost is particularly characteristic of VS (and, in their eyes, particularly repugnant).
nastywoman 12.05.19 at 11:13 am ( 4 )
...And what's about all these people who wear these: "I'm a Deplorable" – T-shirts?
SusanC 12.05.19 at 12:37 pm (no link)
I thought the concept was supposed to be (a)not actually doing anything to reduce a problem; while (b) making ostentatious signs that purport to show you care about it.

A better example might be attending an Extinction Rebellion protest without changing your own consumption/pollution causing activities.

I wonder if it somehow relates to the Mary Douglas cultural theory of risk?

If so, we might tentatively include, e.g. Making a big noise about terrorism without really considering yourself to be at risk from it

"Vice signaling" was a good joke; I think it captures a notion that the affiliation the person is attempting to signal is not a universally shared one,

SusanC 12.05.19 at 12:45 pm (no link)
For that matter, terrorism itself, in its typical modern form, could be regarded as vice signalling: ostentatiously commiting public acts of violence ostensibly in support of a political cause, without regard to whether the political cause is in fact being advanced by their actions.
cs 12.05.19 at 1:37 pm (no link)
... I would say the implication is about the ostentation and a kind of insincerity. Insincerity in the sense that the person displaying the rainbow flag wants to be seen as the kind of person who cares about gay rights, when maybe they don't actually care about it all that much. That isn't quite the same as hypocrisy I think.
MisterMr 12.05.19 at 2:02 pm ( 12 )
I'll try to give my economic based explanation for this, based on this paper from Piketty:

Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right:Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict

This paper has been cited here various times, however I'll drop this line from the abstract that summarizes the main finding:

Using post-electoral surveys from France, Britain and the US, this paper documents a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the 1950s-1960s, the vote for left-wing (socialist-labour-democratic) parties was associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a "multiple-elite" party systemin the 2000s-2010s: high-education elites now vote for the "left", while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the "right"

chedolf 12.05.19 at 4:14 pm ( 18 )
Do you think the criticism of Pharisees who pray theatrically in public was exclusively an attack on hypocrisy?
Sashas 12.05.19 at 4:15 pm ( 19 )
I would add to Phil @2 a third option.
(a) You're a hypocrite.
(b) The thing you're signalling isn't actually a virtue.
(c) You're attacking me by reminding everyone of a virtue I don't have.
MrMister 12.05.19 at 4:34 pm ( 21 )
I think the old-fashioned term for virtue signalling is sanctimony, not hypocrisy. Notably, sanctimony is also compatible with genuine belief and/or commitment. It does connote that the committed person has a degree of self-love over their commitments, and that perhaps the frequency or intensity of their display of their commitments is caused by an underlying desire to experience that self-love whenever the opportunity arises.
Tohubohu 12.05.19 at 8:15 pm ( 26 )
Sanctimony–correct word, I think–puts me in mind of that old bumper sticker, "I brake for animals" of which I once saw an example tidily shortened to: "I bake animals".
Trader Joe 12.05.19 at 9:41 pm ( 29 )
The problem I have with the whole concept is the stereotyping and bias implicit in it.

When I see the Rainbow I'm supposed to think open minded, inclusive and left-thinking and that's fully o.k in the minds of liberals, but not in the minds of the Conservatives who see something else (which I'm not inclined to list).

When I see the MAGA I'm supposed to think closed minded, racist and right-thinking, but Conservatives would see hard-working Americans trying to make their country a better place.

Dr. Hilarius 12.05.19 at 10:24 pm ( 30 )
Displaying a rainbow flag or wearing a MAGA hat strikes me as visible tribal identification more than virtue signaling. I think MrMister's mention of sanctimony is closer to the truth. Another poster mentioned Pharisees and public prayer. Consider a meeting to discuss replacing culverts to allow better passage of spawning salmon. The participants represent various interested parties, private and government. The meeting is disrupted by a person who proceeds to lecture all present about the history of racism, broken treaties and Native American reverence for nature. This person is not Native American. The speaker assumes that his/her information is unknown to the audience. The information does nothing to advance the goal of culvert replacement nor does it do anything to right historic wrongs. The speaker gets to feel superior. This is high-grade virtue signaling.

It has been my experience that virtue signalling is often practiced on behalf of marginalized groups by people who do not belong to that group but presume to speak for them.

SamChevre 12.05.19 at 11:17 pm ( 32 )
I'll second several commenters above: "virtue signalling" isn't primarily an accusation of hypocrisy. The related accusations targeted at the right are "sanctimony" and "prudishness" more than hypocrisy. The accusation is that you care more about "being seen as the sort of person who supports X" than about X.
engels 12.06.19 at 2:19 am ( 37 )
I think it means making a political statement in order to look good, where good is understood in a moral sense. That's a real phenomenon, especially in our age of online narcissism/personal branding, and it probably does affect the liberal-left more than the right because left-liberal politics tends to be more morally inspired.

I wouldn't use the term myself (or SJW)

Bernard Yomtov 12.06.19 at 2:28 am ( 38 )
I agree with SusanC at 7 and cs at 10 that the term is mostly intended to suggest that you support some cause or other that you don't really care about, as a way to identify yourself, or establish bona fides, with some group.
steven t johnson 12.07.19 at 12:19 am ( 53 )
https://www.primalpoly.com/virtue-signaling-further-reading

https://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/10/if-youre-not-continuously-outraged-you-must-be-a-horrible-person/

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/a-university-degree-is-a-signal-coming-through-loud-and-clear-to-employers-a6873881.html

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/are-you-guilty-virtue-signaling

https://areomagazine.com/2019/03/05/virtue-signal-or-piety-display-the-search-for-cognitive-identity-and-the-attack-on-social-bargaining/

https://hedgehogreview.com/issues/identitieswhat-are-they-good-for/articles/virtue-signaling

https://www.nas.org/blogs/dicta/are_colleges_wasting_endowment_funds_on_virtue_signaling

I'm so far behind I'm still bemused by the thought that a flag lapel pin, pledges of allegiance and praying in public, are all virtue signalling. The tie-ins to libertarian economics and evolutionary psychology are even more puzzling, but maybe that's because I think they're just ideological scams/Vavilovian mimicry trying to pass off nonsense as real ideas.

engels 12.07.19 at 10:41 am ( 57 )
I invented 'virtue signalling'. Now it's taking over the world
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/i-invented-virtue-signalling-now-its-taking-over-the-world/
mtraven 12.07.19 at 6:47 pm ( 62 )
Bartholomew did not invent "virtue signalling", of course: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/virtue-signalling-putdown-passed-sell-by-date
Donald 12.08.19 at 12:42 am ( 64 )
The term is related to " Social Justice Warrior".

[Nov 04, 2019] Postmodernism The Ideological Embellishment of Neoliberalism by Vaska

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Robert Pfaller: Until the late 1970s, all "Western" (capitalist) governments, right or left, pursued a Keynesian economic policy of state investment and deficit spending. (Even Richard Nixon is said to have once, in the early 1970ies, stated, "We are all Keynesians"). This lead to a considerable decrease of inequality in Western societies in the first three decades after WWII, as the numbers presented by Thomas Piketty and Branko Milanovic in their books prove. Apparently, it was seen as necessary to appease Western workers with high wages and high employment rates in order to prevent them from becoming communists. ..."
"... Whenever the social-democratic left came into power, for example with Tony Blair, or Gerhard Schroeder, they proved to be the even more radical neoliberal reformers. As a consequence, leftist parties did not have an economic alternative to what their conservative and liberal opponents offered. Thus they had to find another point of distinction. This is how the left became "cultural" (while, of course, ceasing to be a "left"): from now on the marks of distinction were produced by all kinds of concerns for minorities or subaltern groups. And instead of promoting economic equality and equal rights for all groups, the left now focused on symbolic "recognition" and "visibility" for these groups. ..."
"... Thus not only all economic and social concerns were sacrificed for the sake of sexual and ethnic minorities, but even the sake of these minorities itself. Since a good part of the problem of these groups was precisely economic, social and juridical, and not cultural or symbolic. And whenever you really solve a problem of a minority group, the visibility of this group decreases. But by insisting on the visibility of these groups, the policies of the new pseudo-left succeded at making the problems of these groups permanent – and, of course, at pissing off many other people who started to guess that the concern for minorities was actually just a pretext for pursuing a most brutal policy of increasing economic inequality. ..."
"... The connection to neoliberalism is the latter's totalitarian contention of reducing the entirety of human condition into a gender-neutral cosmopolitan self expressing nondescript market preferences in a conceptual vacuum, a contention celebrated by its ideologues as "liberation" and "humanism" despite its inherent repression and inhumanity. ..."
"... "..'identity politics,' which pretty much encapsulate the central concerns of what these days is deemed to represent what little of the 'left' survives, plays into the hands of the neoliberal ruling establishment(s), because at bottom it is a 'politics' that has been emptied of all that is substantively political.." ..."
"... Agreed. And the truth is that the message is much clearer than that of the critics, below. So it ought to be for the world, sliding into fascism, in which we live in might have been baked by the neo-liberals but it was iced by 57 varieties of Blairites . The cowards who flinched led by the traitors who sneered. ..."
"... 'identity politics,' which pretty much encapsulate the central concerns of what these days is deemed to represent what little of the 'left' survives, plays into the hands of the neoliberal ruling establishment(s), because at bottom it is a 'politics' that has been emptied of all that is substantively political, namely, the fight for an equitable production and distribution of goods, both material and cultural, ensuring a decent life for all. ..."
"... Why bother getting your hands dirty with an actual worker's struggle when you can write yet another glamorously "radical" critique of the latest Hollywood blockbuster (which in truth just ends up as another advert for it)? ..."
"... The One Per Cent saw an opportunity of unlimited exploitation and they ran with it. They're still running (albeit in jets and yachts) and us Proles are either struggling or crawling. Greed is neither Left or Right. It exists for its own self gratification. ..."
"... Actually, post-modernism doesn't include everybody -- just the 'marginalized' and 'disenfranchised' minorities whom Michel Foucault championed. The whole thing resembles nothing so much as the old capitalist strategy of playing off the Lumpenproletariat against the proletariat, to borrow the original Marxist terminology. ..."
"... if you don't mind me asking, exactly at what point do you feel capitalism was restored in the USSR? It was, I take it, with the first Five Year Plan, not the NEP? ..."
"... Also, the Socialist or, to use your nomenclature, "Stalinist" system, that was destroyed in the the USSR in the 1990s–it was, in truth, just one form of capitalism replaced by another form of capitalism? ..."
OffGuardian
Robert Pfaller interviewed by Kamran Baradaran, via ILNA
The ruling ideology since the fall of the Berlin Wall, or even earlier, is postmodernism. This is the ideological embellishment that the brutal neoliberal attack on Western societies' welfare (that was launched in the late 1970s) required in order to attain a "human", "liberal" and "progressive" face.

Robert Pfaller is one of the most distinguished figures in today's radical Left. He teaches at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria. He is a founding member of the Viennese psychoanalytic research group 'stuzzicadenti'.

Pfaller is the author of books such as On the Pleasure Principle in Culture: Illusions Without Owners , Interpassivity: The Aesthetics of Delegated Enjoyment , among others. Below is the ILNA's interview with this authoritative philosopher on the Fall of Berlin Wall and "Idea of Communism".

ILNA: What is the role of "pleasure principle" in a world after the Berlin Wall? What role does the lack of ideological dichotomy, which unveils itself as absent of a powerful left state, play in dismantling democracy?

Robert Pfaller: Until the late 1970s, all "Western" (capitalist) governments, right or left, pursued a Keynesian economic policy of state investment and deficit spending. (Even Richard Nixon is said to have once, in the early 1970ies, stated, "We are all Keynesians"). This lead to a considerable decrease of inequality in Western societies in the first three decades after WWII, as the numbers presented by Thomas Piketty and Branko Milanovic in their books prove. Apparently, it was seen as necessary to appease Western workers with high wages and high employment rates in order to prevent them from becoming communists.

Ironically one could say that it was precisely Western workers who profited considerably of "real existing socialism" in the Eastern European countries.

At the very moment when the "threat" of real existing socialism was not felt anymore, due to the Western economic and military superiority in the 1980ies (that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall), the economic paradigm in the Western countries shifted. All of a sudden, all governments, left or right, pursued a neoliberal economic policy (of privatization, austerity politics, the subjection of education and health sectors under the rule of profitability, liberalization of regulations for the migration of capital and cheap labour, limitation of democratic sovereignty, etc.).

Whenever the social-democratic left came into power, for example with Tony Blair, or Gerhard Schroeder, they proved to be the even more radical neoliberal reformers. As a consequence, leftist parties did not have an economic alternative to what their conservative and liberal opponents offered. Thus they had to find another point of distinction. This is how the left became "cultural" (while, of course, ceasing to be a "left"): from now on the marks of distinction were produced by all kinds of concerns for minorities or subaltern groups. And instead of promoting economic equality and equal rights for all groups, the left now focused on symbolic "recognition" and "visibility" for these groups.

Thus not only all economic and social concerns were sacrificed for the sake of sexual and ethnic minorities, but even the sake of these minorities itself. Since a good part of the problem of these groups was precisely economic, social and juridical, and not cultural or symbolic. And whenever you really solve a problem of a minority group, the visibility of this group decreases. But by insisting on the visibility of these groups, the policies of the new pseudo-left succeded at making the problems of these groups permanent – and, of course, at pissing off many other people who started to guess that the concern for minorities was actually just a pretext for pursuing a most brutal policy of increasing economic inequality.

ILNA: The world after the Berlin Wall is mainly considered as post-ideological. Does ideology has truly decamped from our world or it has only taken more perverse forms? On the other hand, many liberals believe that our world today is based on the promise of happiness. In this sense, how does capitalism promotes itself on the basis of this ideology?

Robert Pfaller: The ruling ideology since the fall of the Berlin Wall, or even earlier, is postmodernism. This is the ideological embellishment that the brutal neoliberal attack on Western societies' welfare (that was launched in the late 1970s) required in order to attain a "human", "liberal" and "progressive" face. This coalition between an economic policy that serves the interest of a tiny minority, and an ideology that appears to "include" everybody is what Nancy Fraser has aptly called "progressive neoliberalism". It consists of neoliberalism, plus postmodernism as its ideological superstructure.

The ideology of postmodernism today has some of its most prominent symptoms in the omnipresent concern about "discrimination" (for example, of "people of color") and in the resentment against "old, white men". This is particularly funny in countries like Germany: since, of course, there has been massive racism and slavery in Germany in the 20th century – yet the victims of this racism and slavery in Germany have in the first place been white men (Jews, communists, Gypsies, red army prisoners of war, etc.).

Here it is most obvious that a certain German pseudo-leftism does not care for the real problems of this society, but prefers to import some of the problems that US-society has to deal with. As Louis Althusser has remarked, ideology always consists in trading in your real problems for the imaginary problems that you would prefer to have.

The general ideological task of postmodernism is to present all existing injustice as an effect of discrimination. This is, of course, funny again: Since every discrimination presupposes an already established class structure of inequality. If you do not have unequal places, you cannot distribute individuals in a discriminating way, even if you want to do so. Thus progressive neoliberalism massively increases social inequality, while distributing all minority groups in an "equal" way over the unequal places.


MASTER OF UNIVE

Abbreviate & reduce to lowest common denominator which is hyperinflation by today's standards given that we are indeed all Keynesians now that leveraged debt no longer suffices to prop Wall Street up. Welcome to the New World Disorder. Screw 'postmodernism' & Chicago School 'neoliberalism'!

MOU

Danubium
There is no such thing as "post-modernism". The derided fad is an organic evolution of the ideologies of "modernity" and the "Enlightenment", and represents the logical conclusion of their core premise: the "enlightened self" as the source of truth instead of the pre-modern epistemologies of divine revelation, tradition and reason.

It does not represent any "liberation" from restrictive thought, as the "self" can only ever be "enlightened" by cult-like submission to dogma or groupthink that gives tangible meaning to the intangible buzzword, its apparent relativism is a product of social detachment of the intellectual class and its complete and utter apathy towards the human condition.

The connection to neoliberalism is the latter's totalitarian contention of reducing the entirety of human condition into a gender-neutral cosmopolitan self expressing nondescript market preferences in a conceptual vacuum, a contention celebrated by its ideologues as "liberation" and "humanism" despite its inherent repression and inhumanity.

The trend is not to successor or opponent, but rather modernism itself in its degenerative, terminal stage.

Monobazeus
Well said
bevin
"..'identity politics,' which pretty much encapsulate the central concerns of what these days is deemed to represent what little of the 'left' survives, plays into the hands of the neoliberal ruling establishment(s), because at bottom it is a 'politics' that has been emptied of all that is substantively political.."

Agreed. And the truth is that the message is much clearer than that of the critics, below. So it ought to be for the world, sliding into fascism, in which we live in might have been baked by the neo-liberals but it was iced by 57 varieties of Blairites . The cowards who flinched led by the traitors who sneered.

Norman Pilon
So cutting through all of the verbiage, the upshot of Pfaller's contentions seems to be that 'identity politics,' which pretty much encapsulate the central concerns of what these days is deemed to represent what little of the 'left' survives, plays into the hands of the neoliberal ruling establishment(s), because at bottom it is a 'politics' that has been emptied of all that is substantively political, namely, the fight for an equitable production and distribution of goods, both material and cultural, ensuring a decent life for all.

Difficult not to agree.

For indeed, "If you do not have unequal places, you cannot distribute individuals in a discriminating way, even if you want to do so."

Capricornia Man
You've nailed it, Norman. In many countries, the left's obsession with identity politics has driven class politics to the periphery of its concerns, which is exactly where the neoliberals want it to be. It's why the working class just isn't interested.
Martin Usher
It must be fun to sit on top of the heap watching the great unwashed squabbling over the crumbs.
Red Allover
The world needs another put down of postmodern philosophy like it needs a Bob Dylan album of Sinatra covers . . .
maxine chiu
I'm glad the article was short .I don't think I'm stupid but too much pseudo-intellectualism makes me fall asleep.
Tim Jenkins
Lol, especially when there are some galling glaring errors within " too much pseudo-intellectualism "

Thanks for the laugh, maxine,

Let them stew & chew (chiu) on our comments 🙂

Bootlyboob
As with any use of an -ism though, you need sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to using 'postmodernism'. Do you mean Baudrillard and Delueze? or do you mean some dirty cunt like Bernard Henri-Levy. There is a bit of a difference.
Bootlyboob
Ok, so Levi is not really a postmodernist. But still, there are philosphers of postmodernism that were, and still are, worth reading.
BigB
Postmodernism: what is it? I defy anyone to give a coherent and specific definition. Not least, because the one 'Classical Liberal' philosopher who did – Stephen Hicks – used the term as a blanket commodification of all post-Enlightenment thought starting with Rousseau's Romanticism. So PoMo has pre-Modern roots? When the left start playing broad and wide with political philosophical categories too – grafting PoMo onto post-Classical roots as a seeming post-Berlin Wall emergence what actually is being said? With such a depth and breadth of human inquiry being commodified as 'PoMo' – arguably, nothing useful.

Neoliberalism is Classic Liberalism writ large. The basic unit of Classicism is an individuated, independent, intentional, individual identitarianism as an atom of the rational ('moral') market and its self-maximising agency. Only, the 'Rights of Man' and the 'Social Contract' have been transfered from the Person (collectively: "We the People " as a the democratic sovereign power) to the Corporation as the new 'Neo-Classicist' supranational sovereign. Fundamentally, nothing has changed.

As pointed out below: this was already well underway by November 1991 – as a structural-function of the burgeoning Euromarkets. These were themselves on the rise as the largest source of global capital *before* the Nixon Shock in 1971. There is an argument to be made that they actually caused the abandoning of Breton Woods and the Gold Standard. Nonetheless, 1991 is a somewhat arbitrary date for the transition from 'High Modernity' to 'PostModernity'. Philosophers. political, and social scientists – as Wittgenstein pointed out – perhaps are victims of their own commodification and naming crisis? Don't get me started on 'post-Humanism' but what does PoMo actually mean?

As the article hints at: the grafting of some subjectivist single rights issues to the ultra-objectivist core market rationality of neoliberalism is an intentional character masking. Even the 'neoliberal CNS' (central nervous system) of the WEF admits to four distinct phases of globalisation. The current 'Globalisation 4.0' – concurrent with the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' – is a further development of this quasi-subjectivist propagandic ploy. Globalisation is now humanist, sovereigntist, environmentalist, and technologist (technocratic). Its ultimate *telos* is 'fully automated luxury communism' or the harmoniousness of man and nature under an ecolological *Tianxia* the sustainable 'Ecological Civilisation'. Which, I would hope, absolutely nobody is gullible enough to believe?

Who says the leopard cannot change its spots? It can, and indeed does. Neoliberalism is a big-data micromarketing driven technocratic engine of reproduction tailored to the identitarian individual. PoMo – in one sense – is thus the logical extremisation of Classical Liberalism which is happening within the Classical Liberal tradition. It is certainly not a successor state or 'Fourth Political Theory' which is one of the few things Aleksandr Dugin gets right.

This is why the term needs defintion and precisification or, preferably, abandoning. If both the left and right bandy the term around as a eupehemism for what either does not like – the term can only be a noun of incoherence. Much like 'antisemitism': it becomes a negative projection of all undesirable effects onto the 'Other'. Which, when either end of the political spectrum nihilates the Other leaves us with the vicious dehumanisation of the 'traditional' identitarian fascist centre. All binary arguments using shared synthetic terminology – that are plastic in meaning depending on who is using the term – cancel each other out.

Of which, much of which is objectified and commodified as 'PoMo' was a reaction against. A reaction that anticipated the breakdown of the identitarian and sectarian 'technological postmodern' society. So how can that logically be a 'reaction against' and an 'embelishment to' neoliberalism'?

This is not a mere instance of pedantry: I/we are witnessing the decoherence of language due to an extremisation of generalisation and abstraction of sense and meaning. That meaning is deferred is a post-structuralist tenet: but one that proceeds from the extreme objectivisation of language (one to one mapping of meaning as the analytical signified/signifier relationship) and the mathematicisation of logic (post-Fregian 'meta-ontology') not its subjectivisation.

If PoMo means anything: it is a rich and authentic vein of human inquiry that was/is a creative attempt to rescue us from a pure objectivist Hell (David Ray Griffin's "positive postmodernism"). One that was/is not entirely satisfactory; merely because it has not yet completed. In the midst: we have the morbid hybrid symptomatology of the old Classical Libertarian fascism trying to recuperate the new Universal Humanism for which PoMo is a meaningless label. Especially if it is used to character masque the perennial philosophy of Humanism that has been dehumanised and subjugated by successive identitarian regimes of knowledge and power since forever in pre-Antiquity.

We are all human: only some humans are ideologically more human than others is the counter-history of humanity. When we encounter such ideologically imprecise degenerative labels as 'PoMo' – that can mean anything to anyone (but favours the status quo) this makes a nonsense of at least 5,000 years of thought. Is it any wonder that we are super-ordinated by those who can better dictate who we are? Language is overpower and writing is supra-sovereign administration and bureaucracy over the 'owness' of identity. Its co-option by the pseudoleft is a complete denigration and betrayal of the potential of a new Humanism. The key to which is the spiritual recovery and embodiment of who we really are – proto-linguistically and pre-ontologically – before all these meaningless labels get in the way.

Bootlyboob
You said it better than I ever could.

Stephen Hick's book is quite the laugh. I tried to read it but it made no sense. From memory, it starts at Kant and Hegel and gets them completely wrong, (he even draws little charts with their ideas in tabulated form, WTF?) so I quickly deleted the .pdf. Any book that begins with a summary of these two philosophers and then thinks they can hold my attention until they get to their take on 'postmodernism' is sorely mistaken. Postmodernism is a made up label for about four or five French intellectuals in the 1970's that somehow took over the world and completely fucked it up. Why do I somehow not follow this line of 'thought'?

Reg
No, Postmodernism is a real thing, it is the capitalist assimilation of situationism to overcome the crisis of profit in the 70s caused by overproduction and the attempt by the 1% to recapture a greater a greater % of GDP that they had lost due to the post war settlement. This was an increasingly a zero sum game economy after Germany and Japan had rebuilt their manufacturing capacity, with the US constrained by a widening trade deficit and the cost of the cold and Vietnam war increasing US debt. The inflation spikes in the 70s is only reflective of these competing demands.

The problem of modernism is than peoples needs are easily saited, particularly in conditions of overproduction. Postmodern production is all about creating virtual needs that are unsatisfied. The desire for status or belonging or identity are infinite, and overcomes the dead time of 'valourisation' (time taken for investment to turn into profit) of capital by switching to virtual production of weightless capitalism. The creation of 'intangible asset's such as trade marks, while off shoring production is central. This is a form of rentier extraction, as the creation of a trade mark creates no real value if you have offshored not only production but R&D to China. This is why fiance, and free movement of capital supported by monetary policy and independent central banks are central to Postmodern neo-liberal production. The problem being that intangible assets are easy to replace and require monopoly protection supported by a Imperial hegemon to maintain rentier extraction. Why does China need a US or UK trade mark of products where both innovation and production increasingly come from China? How long can the US as a diminishing empire maintain rentier extraction at the point of a military it increasingly cannot afford, particularly against a military and economic superpower like China? It is no accident US companies that have managed to monetise internet technologies are monopolies, google, microsoft, Apple. An operating system for example has a reproduction cost of zero, the same can be said of films or music, so the natural price is zero, only a monopoly maintains profit.

The connection to situationism is the cry of May 68 'Make your dreams reality', which was marketised by making peoples dreams very interesting ones about fitted kitchens, where even 'self actualisation was developed into a product, where even ones own body identity became a product to be developed at a price. This is at the extreme end of Marxist alienation as not only work or the home becomes alienated, but the body itself.
David Harvey covers some of this quite well in his "The condition of Postmodernity". Adam Curtis also covers quite well in 'The Trap' and the 'Century of the self'.

BigB
I'm inclined to agree with everything you write. It would fall into what I called 'precisification' and actual definition. What you describe is pure Baudrillard: that capitalism reproduces as a holistic system of objects that we buy into without ever satisfying the artificial advertorial need to buy. What we actually seek is a holism of self that cannot be replaced by a holism of objects hence an encoded need for dissatisfaction articulated as dissatisfaction a Hyperrealism of the eternally desiring capitalist subject. But Baudrillard rejected the label too.

What I was pointing out was the idea of 'contested concept'. Sure, if we define terms, let's use it. Without that pre-agreed defintion: the term is meaningless. As are many of our grandiloquent ideas of 'Democracy', 'Freedom', 'Prosperity', and especially 'Peace'. Language is partisan and polarised. Plastic words like 'change' can mean anything and intentionally do. And the convention of naming creates its own decoherence sequence. What follows 'postmodernism'? Post-humanism is an assault on sense and meaning. As is the current idea that "reality is the greatest illusion of all".

We are having a real communication breakdown due to the limitations of the language and out proliferation of beliefs. Baudrillard also anticipated the involution and implosion of the Code. He was speaking from a de Saussurian (semiologic) perspective. Cognitive Linguistics makes this ever more clear. Language is maninly frames and metaphors. Over expand them over too many cognitive domains: and the sense and meaning capability is diluted toward meaninglessnes – where reality is no longer real. This puts us in the inferiorised position of having our terms – and thus our meaning – dictated by a cognitive elite a linguistic 'noocracy' (which is homologous with the plutocracy – who can afford private education).

Capitalism itself is a purely linguistic phenomena: which is so far off the beaten track I'm not even going to expand on it. Except to say: that a pre-existing system of objects giving rise to a separate system of thoughts – separate objectivity and subjectivity – is becoming less tenable to defend. I'd prefer to think in terms of 'embodiment' and 'disembodiment' rather than distinct historical phases. And open and closed cognitive cycles rather than discreet psycholgical phases. We cannot be post-humans if we never embodied our humanism fully. And we cannot be be post-modern when we have never fully lived in the present having invented a disembodied reality without us in it, which we proliferated trans-historically the so-called 'remembered present'.

Language and our ideas of reality are close-correlates – I would argue very close correlates. They are breaking down because language and realism are disembodied which, in itself is ludicrous to say. But we have inherited and formalised an idealism that is exactly that. Meaning resides in an immaterial intellect in an intangible mind floating around in an abstract neo-Platonic heaven waiting for Reason to concur with it. Which is metaphysical bullshit, but it is also the foundation of culture and 'Realism'. Which makes my position 'anti-Realist'. Can you see my problem with socio-philosophical labels now!? They can carry sense if used carefully, as you did. In general discourse they mean whatever they want to mean. Which generally means they will be used against you.

Ramdan
"the SPIRITUAL RECOVERY and embodiment of who we really are – PROTO-LINGUISTICALLY and PRE-ONTOLOGICALLY – BEFORE all these MEANINGLESS LABELS get in the way."

Thanks BigB. I just took the liberty to add emphasis.

Robbobbobin
Smarty pants (label).
Robert Laine
A reply to the article worthy of another Off-G article (or perhaps a book) which would include at a minimum the importance of non-dualistic thinking, misuse of language in the creation of MSM and government narratives and the need to be conscious of living life from time to time while we talk about it. Thankyou, BigB.
Simon Hodges
Don't you love how all these people discuss postmodernism without ever bothering to define what it is. How confused. Hicks and Peterson see postmodernists as Neo-Marxists and this guy sees them as Neoliberals. None of the main theorists that have been associated with Postmodernism and Post-Structuralism and I'm thinking Derrida, Baudrillard and Foucault here (not that I see Foucault as really belonging in the group) would not even accept the term 'postmodernism' as they would see it as an inappropriate form of stereo-typography with no coherent meaning or definition and that presupposing that one can simply trade such signifiers in 'transparent' communication and for us all to think and understand the same thing that 'postmodernism' as a body of texts and ideas might be 'constituted by' is a large part of the problem under discussion. I often think that a large question that arises from Derrida's project is not to study communication as such but to study and understand miss-communication and how and why it comes about and what is involved in our misunderstandings. If people don't get that about 'postmodern' and post-structuralist theories then they've not understood any thing about it.
BigB
You are absolutely right: the way we think in commodities of identities – as huge generalizations and blanket abstractions – tends toward grand narration and meaninglessness. Which is at once dehumanising, ethnocentric, exceptionalist, imperialist in a way that favours dominion and overpower. All these tendencies are encoded in the hierarchical structures of the language – as "vicious" binary constructivisms. In short, socio-linguistic culture is a regime of overpower and subjugation. One that is "philosopho-political" and hyper-normalises our discrimination.

Deleuze went further when he said language is "univocal". We only have one equiprimordial concept of identity – Being. It is our ontological primitive singularity of sense and meaning. Everything we identity – as "Difference" – is in terms of Being (non-Being is it's binary mirror state) as an object with attributes (substances). Being is differentiated into hierarchies (the more attributes, the more "substantial"- the 'greater' the being) which are made "real" by "Repetition" hence Difference and Repetition. The language of Dominion, polarization, and overpower is a reified "grand ontological narrative" constructivism. One dominated by absolutised conceptual Being. That's all.

[One in which we are naturally inferiorised in our unconscious relationship of being qua Being in which we are dominated by a conceptual "Oedipal Father" – the singularity of the Known – but that's another primal 'onto-theocratic' narrative the grandest of then all].

One that we are born and acculturated into. Which the majority accept and never question. How many people question not just their processes of thought but the structure of their processes of thought? A thought cannot escape its own structure and that structure is inherently dominative. If not in it's immediacy then deferred somewhere else via a coduit of systemic violence structured as a "violent hierarchy" of opposition and Othering.

Which is the ultimate mis-communication of anything that can be said to be "real" non-dominative, egalitarian, empathic, etc. Which, of course, if we realise the full implications we can change the way we think and the "naturalised" power structures we collectively validate.

When people let their opinions be formed for them, and commodify Romanticism, German Idealism, Marxism, Phenomenology, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Existentialism, etc as the pseudo-word "PoMo" – only to dismiss it they are unbeknowingly validating the hegemony of power and false-knowledge over. Then paradoxically using those binary power structures to rail about being dominated!

Those linguistic power structures dominate politics too. The "political unconscious" is binary and oppositional which tends toward negation and favours the status quo but how many people think in terms of the psychopolitical and psycholinguistic algorithms of power and politics?

Derrida's project is now our project and it has hardly yet begun. Not least because cognitive linguistics were unkown to Derrida. That's how knowledge works by contemporising and updating previous knowledge from Structuralism to Post-Structuralism to

Nihilating anything that can be called "PoMo" (including that other pseudo-label "Cultural Marxism") condemns us to another 200 years of Classical Liberalism which should be enough impetus to compel everyone to embrace the positive aspects of PoMo! Especially post-post-structuralism that stupid naming convention again

Simon Hodges
I think a lot of people forget that both Derrida and Baudrillard died before the financial crisis. I don't think either of them like myself at that time paid much attention to economics and markets as they worked within very specific and focused fields. Derrida spent his whole life analysing phonocentrism and logocentrism throughout the history of philosophy and Baudrillard was more a cultural sociologist then anything else. They like most people assumed that neoliberalism was working and they enjoyed well paid jobs and great celebrity so they didn't have much cause to pay that much attention to politics. Following the Invasion of Iraq Derrida did come out very strongly against the US calling it the biggest and most dangerous rogue state in the world and he cited and quoted Chomsky's excellent work. We should also include the UK as the second biggest rogue state.

Once the GFC happened I realized that my knowledge on those subjects was virtually zero and I have since spent years looking at them all very closely. I think Derrida and Baudrillard would have become very political following the GFC and even more so now given current events with the yellow vests in France. Shame those two great thinkers died before all the corruption of neoliberalism was finally revealed. I believe that would have had a great deal to say about it Derrida at least was a very moral and ethical man.

Bootlyboob
I think you would like this essay if you have not read it already.

https://cidadeinseguranca.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/deleuze_control.pdf

Simon Hodges
There's a good video by Cuck Philosophy on YouTube covering control societies below.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_i8_WuyqAY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&start=3&wmode=transparent

If anyone wants a good overview of postmodernism and post-structuralism Cuck philosophy has has some excellent videos covering the subject matter and ideas. He explains how postmodernism has nothing to do with identity politics and shows how Hick and Peterson have fundamentally misunderstood postmodernism. He also has 3 videos covering postmodern basics and some others on Derrida and Baudrillard. You will not find the concepts explained better though one can never give a comprehensive review as such things are essentially beyond us.

He puts too much weight on Foucault for my liking but that's just the fact that my understanding of postmodernism is obviously different to his because all of our largely chance encounters with different texts at different times, which mean that we all come away with slightly different ideas about what these things might mean at any given time. Even in relation to differences in our own ideas from day to day or year to year.

Bootlyboob
Yes, that's why I mentioned the article in relation to your earlier comment. I don't think any of these philosophers would have changed their stances based on the events 20 or 30 post their deaths. They essentially predicted the course that society has taken.
Simon Hodges
Judith Butler took part in the occupy wall street movement and she's a post-structuralist so she has clearly changed her mind since the GFC. Deleuze may have to a certain extent have predicted such things but that doesn't necessarily mean they would have been happy about them. Derrida always spoke of the 'democracy' to come. Instead what we are looking forward to is tech based technocratic totalitarianism. I don't go along with Deleuze on that matter anyway. I don't see a discreet transition from one to the other but rather see us having to endure the combined worst of both scenarios.
Bootlyboob
In relation to Peterson. I did write an email to him once and he wrote back to me saying he does indeed like the writings of Deleuze and Baudrillard. But it was a one line response. I'm still assuming he merely uses a false reading of Derrida as a prop to advance his own arguments.
Simon Hodges
Peterson doesn't understand that postmodernism is not the source of identity politics or cultural marxism. That source is Anglo sociology. I was doing an MSc in sociology back in 1994/95 and they had been transitioning away from Marx and class conflict to Nietzsche and power conflicts understood within a very simplistic definition of power as a simple binary opposition of forces between and 'oppressor' and a 'resistor'.

They borrow a bit from Foucault but they cannot accept his postmodern conclusions as power is necessarily revealed as a positive force that actually constructs us all: in which case one cannot really object to it on political grounds. Let's face it, these cultural ex-Marxists (now actually an elitist Nietzschean ubermench) don't seem to object to power's miss-functioning at all on any kind of institutional level but solely concentrate on supposed power relations at the personal level.

That's all if you buy into 'power'at all as such. Baudrillard wrote 'Forget Foucault' and that 'the more one sees power everywhere the less one is able to speak thereof'. I try and stay clear of any theory that tries to account for everything with a single concept or perspective as they end up over-determining and reductionist.

Steve Hayes
A major benefit (for the elites) of postmodernism is its epistemological relativism, which denies the fundamentally important commitments to objectivity, to facts and evidence. This results in the absurd situation where all the matters is the narrative. This obvious fact is partially obscured by the substitution of emotion for evidence and logic. https://viewsandstories.blogspot.com/2018/06/emotion-substitutes-for-evidence-and.html
Seamus Padraig
Yup. Among other things, po-mo 'theory' enables Orwell's doublethink .
BigB
This is exactly the misunderstanding of a mythical "po-mo 'theory'" – if such a thing exists – that I am getting at. 'Po-mo theory' is in fact a modernity/postmodernity hybrid theory. Pomo theory is yet to emerge.

For instance: Derrida talked of the 'alterity' of language and consciousness that was neither subjectivist nor objectivist. He also spoke of 'inversion/subversion' – where one bipolar oppositional term becomes the new dominant ie 'black over white' or 'female over male'. This, he made specifically clear, was just as violent a domination as the old normal. How is this enabling 'doublethink'.

If you actually study where Derrida, Baudrillard, Deleuze; etc where taking their 'semiotics' it was to the 'Middle Way' of language – much the same destination as Buddhism. This is the clear and precise non-domination of either extreme of language. Only, they never supplied the praxis; and their followers and denigrators where not as prescient.

There is so much more to come from de Saussurian/Piercian semiotics and Bergsonian/Whiteheadian process philosophy. We have barely scratched the surface. One possibility is the fabled East/West synthesis of thought that quantum physics and neuroscience hint at.

What yo do not realise is that our true identity is lost in the language. Specifically: the Law of Identity and the Law of the Excluded Middle of our current Theory of Mind prevent the understanding of consciousness. To understand why you actually have to read and understand the linguistic foundations of the very theory you have just dismissed.

Robbobbobin
"Specifically: the Law of Identity and the Law of the Excluded Middle of our current Theory of Mind prevent the understanding of consciousness."

Yes, but. What do you mean by " our current Theory of Mind"?

Tim Jenkins
Was that a promo for Po-mo theory, BigB ? (chuckle)
BigB
In fact: if followed through – PoMo leads to the point of decoherence of all narrative constructivism. Which is the same point the Buddhist Yogacara/Madhyamaka synthesis leads to. Which is the same point quantum physics and contemporary cognitive neuroscience leads to. The fact of a pre-existent, mind-independent, objective ground for reality is no longer tenable. Objectivism is dead. But so is subjectivism.

What is yet to appear is a coherent narrative that accommodates this. Precisely because language does not allow this. It is either subjectivism or objectivism tertium non datur – a third is not given. It is precisely within the excluded middle of language that the understanding of consciouness lies. The reason we have an ontological cosmogony without consciousness lies precisely in the objectification and commodification of language. All propositions and narratives are ultimately false especially this one.

Crucially, just because we cannot create a narrative construction or identity for 'reality' – does not mean we cannot experience 'reality'. Which is what a propositional device like a Zen koan refers to

All linguistic constructivism – whether objective or subjective – acts as a covering of reality. We take the ontological narrative imaginary for the real 'abhuta-parikalpa'. Both object and subject are pratitya-samutpada – co-evolutionary contingent dependendencies. The disjunction of all dualities via ersatz spatio-temporality creates Samsara. The ending of Samsara is the ending and re-uniting of all falsely dichotomised binary definitions. About which: we can say precisely nothing.

Does this mean language is dead? No way. Language is there for the reclamation by understanding its superimpositional qualitiy (upacara). A metaphoric understanding that George Lakoff has reached with Mark Johnston totally independently of Buddhism. I call it 'poetic objectivism' of 'critical realism' which is the non-nihilational, non-solipsistic, middle way. Which precisely nihilates both elitism and capitalism: which is why there is so much confusion around the language. There is more at stake than mere linguistics. The future of humanity will be determined by our relationship with our languages.

vexarb
@BigB: "The fact of a pre-existent, mind-independent, objective ground for reality is no longer tenable. Objectivism is dead."

Do you mean that there is more to life than just "atoms and empty space"? Plato, Dante and Blake (to name the first 3 who popped into my head) would have agreed with that: the ground of objective reality is mind -- the mind of God.

"The atoms of Democritus, and Newton's particles of Light,
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright".

Tim Jenkins
Funnily enough, I was only writing just yesterday on OffG's 'India's Tryst with Destiny' article, just what poor standards we have in the Education of our children today, in urgent need of massive revisions, which I've highlighted and how the guilt lays squarely on the shoulders of Scientists & Academia in our Universities, from Physics to History & Law & the 'Physiology of Psychology' these guys really just don't 'cut it' anymore resting on Laurels, living in Fear and corrupted by capitalism >>> wholly !

Somebody should be shot, I say for Terrorist Acts !

Corruption is the Destruction of Culture &

"The Destruction of Culture is a Terrorist Act", now officially,
in international Law @UNESCO (thanks, Irina Bokova)

Would the author of this piece like to review & correct some obviously glaring errors ?

George
Good article. On this topic, I read an essay by the late Ellen Meiksins Wood where she noted that our splendid "new Left" are all at once too pessimistic and too optimistic. Too pessimistic because they blandly assume that socialism is dead and so all struggles in that direction are futile. Too optimistic because they assume that this (up till now) bearable capitalism around them can simply continue with its shopping sprees, pop celebrity culture, soap operas, scandal sheets, ineffectual though comfortable tut-tutting over corrupt and stupid politicians and – best of all – its endless opportunity for writing postmodernist deconstructions of all those phenomena.

Why bother getting your hands dirty with an actual worker's struggle when you can write yet another glamorously "radical" critique of the latest Hollywood blockbuster (which in truth just ends up as another advert for it)?

Fair Dinkum
During the 50's and 60's most folks living in Western cultures were happy with their lot: One house, one car, one spouse, one job, three or four kids and enough money to live the 'good life' Then along came Vance Packard's 'Hidden Persuaders' and hell broke loose.

The One Per Cent saw an opportunity of unlimited exploitation and they ran with it. They're still running (albeit in jets and yachts) and us Proles are either struggling or crawling. Greed is neither Left or Right. It exists for its own self gratification.

Seamus Padraig
Excellent article and very true. Just one minor quibble:

This coalition between an economic policy that serves the interest of a tiny minority, and an ideology that appears to "include" everybody is what Nancy Fraser has aptly called "progressive neoliberalism".

Actually, post-modernism doesn't include everybody -- just the 'marginalized' and 'disenfranchised' minorities whom Michel Foucault championed. The whole thing resembles nothing so much as the old capitalist strategy of playing off the Lumpenproletariat against the proletariat, to borrow the original Marxist terminology.

Stephen Morrell
The following facile claim doesn't bear scrutiny: "At the very moment when the "threat" of real existing socialism was not felt anymore, due to the Western economic and military superiority in the 1980ies (that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall), the economic paradigm in the Western countries shifted."

The economic paradigm shifted well before the 1980s and it had nothing to do with "Western economic and military superiority in the 1980ies". The death knell of Keynesianism was sounded with the de-linking of the US dollar and the gold standard in 1971 and the first oil crisis of 1973. Subsequently, the 1970s were marked by a continuous and escalating campaign of capital strikes which produced both high inflation and high unemployment ('stagflation') in the main imperial centres. These strikes persisted until the bourgeoisie's servants were able to implement their desired 'free market' measures in the 1980s, the key ones being smashing of trade union power and consequent devastation of working conditions and living standards, privatisation of essential services, dissolution of social welfare and all the rest. All in the name of 'encouraging investment'.

The fear of 'existing socialism' (and of the military might of Eastern Europe and the USSR) persisted right up to the restoration of capitalism in the USSR in 1991-92. The post-soviet triumphalism (to that moronic and ultimate post-modernist war cry, 'The End of History') only opened the floodgates for the imposition of the neoliberal paradigm over the whole globe. The real essence of the 'globalisation' ideology has been this imposition of imperial monopoly and hegemony on economically backward but resource-rich countries that hitherto could gain some respite or succour from the USSR and Eastern Europe as an alternative to the tender mercies of the World Bank and IMF whose terms correspondingly centred on the neoliberal paradigm.

The key class-war victories of the 1980s by the ruling class, especially in the main Anglophone imperial centres (exemplified by the air traffic controllers strike in Reagan's US and the Great Coal Strike in Thatcher's England), were the necessary condition to them getting their way domestically. However, the dissolution of the USSR not only allowed the imperialists to rampage internationally (through the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc) but gave great fillip to their initial class-war victories at home to impose with impunity ever more grinding impoverishment and austerity on the working class and oppressed -- from the 1990s right up to fraught and crisis-ridden present. The impunity was fuelled in many countries by that domestic accompaniment to the dissolution of the USSR, the rapidly spiralling and terminal decline of the mass Stalinist Communist parties, the bourgeoisie's bogeyman.

Finally, productivity in the capitalist west was always higher than in post-capitalist countries. The latter universally have been socialised economies built in economically backward countries and saddled with stultifying Stalinist bureaucracies, including in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Capitalist productivity didn't suddenly exceed that in the USSR or Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

So, overall, the 'triumph' of the neoliberal paradigm didn't really have much to do with the imperialist lie of "Western economic and military superiority in the 1980ies". That fairytale might fit into some post-modernist relativist epistemology of everything being equally 'true' or 'valid', but in the real world it doesn't hold up empirically or logically. In Anglophone philosophic academia at least, post-modernism really picked up only after Althusser strangled his wife, and hyper-objectivist structuralism correspondingly was strangled by hyper-subjectivist post-modernism.

Seamus Padraig

The death knell of Keynesianism was sounded with the de-linking of the US dollar and the gold standard in 1971 and the first oil crisis of 1973.

Not really, no. In fact, we still do have Keynesianism; but now, it's just a Keynsianism for the banks, the corporations and the MIC rather than the rest of us. But check the stats: the governments of West are still heavily involved in deficit spending–US deficits, in fact, haven't been this big since WW2! Wish I got some of that money

Tim Jenkins
I find this kind of a pointless discussion on Keynes & so on

"Capitalism has Failed." Christine Lagarde 27/5/2014 Mansion House

"Socialism for the Rich" (Stiglitz: Nobel Economic laureate, 2008/9)

More important is the structuring of Central Banks to discuss and
Richard A. Werner's sound observations in the link

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521915001477

Riddle me this Seamus: this year we just got a new statue of Woodrow Wilson in Plovdiv BG.
Last year we got a statue of John no-name McCain in Sofia Bulgaria
See the patterns in the most poverty stricken EU nation ?
Not difficult !

vexarb
Seamus, me too! At least, wish I could get some of my own money back.
Tim Jenkins
Whenever I think about some serious R.O.I. of time & money & family contributions to Tech. Designs, lost in the '80's, I have to play some music or switch to Zen mode 🙂
vexarb
@Tim: "R.O.I (Return On Investment)". The first time I have come across that P.O.V (Point Of View) on this site. The essence of Darwin's theory of evolutionary progress: to slowly build on an initial slight advantage. The 80s (I was there), Maggie Snatcher, Baroness Muck, no such thing as Society, the years that the Locust has eaten. Little ROI despite a tsunami of fiat money swirling around the electronic world. Where is the ROI from capital in the WC.Clinton / B.Liar / Brown regimes, that were so boastful of their economic policies. Where are the snows of yesteryear?
Tim Jenkins
Well said, Stephen: this wholly weird wee article certainly begs the question, how old is & where was this tainted memory & member of academia in the 'Winter of '79' ? and how could he have possibly missed all the denationalisation/privatisation, beginning with NFC and onwards, throughout the '80's, under Thatcher ? Culminating in screwing UK societal futures, by failing to rollout Fibre Optic Cable in the UK, (except for the Square Mile city interests of London) which Boris now promises to do today, nationwide,

a mere 30 years too damn late, when it would have been so cheap, back then and production costs could have been tied to contracts of sale of the elite British Tech. at that time

http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784/2

Worth reading both part one & two of that link, imo scandalous !

Nice wholly suitable reference to Althusser 😉 say no more.

Talk about 'Bonkers' 🙂 we shan't be buying the book, for sure 🙂

Your comment was way more valuable. Do people get paid for writing things like this, these days. I was just outside Linz for 2 months, just before last Christmas and I found more knowledgeable people on the street, in & around Hitler's ole' 'patch', during his formative years, on the streets of Linz: where the joke goes something along the lines of

"If a homeless unemployed artist can't make it in Austria, he has nothing to fear, knowing that he can be on the road to becoming the Chancellor of Germany in just another year "

BigB
I was right with you to the end, Stephen. Althusser killed his wife for sure: but he was deemed insane and never stood trial. He was almost certainly suffering from a combination of conditions, exacerbated by a severe form of PTSD, as we would call it now.

Whether or not one has sympathy for this has become highly politicised. Classic Liberals, anti-communists, and radical feminists always seem to portray the 'murder' as a rational act of the misogynistic male in the grips of a radical philosophy for which wife murder is as natural a consequence as the Gulag. His supporters try to portray the 'mercy' killing of Helene as an 'act of love'. It wasn't that simple though, was it? Nor that black and white.

I cannot imagine what life was like in a German concentration camp for someone who was already suffering from mental illness. From what I have read: the 'treatment' available in the '50s was worse than the underlying condition. He was also 'self-medicating'. I cannot imagine what the state of his mind was in 1980: but I am inclined to cut him some slack. A lot of slack.

I cannot agree with your last statement. Althusser's madness was not a global trigger event – proceeding as a natural consequence from "hyper-subjectivist post-modernism". Which makes for a literary original, but highly inaccurate metaphor. Not least because Althusser was generally considered as a Structuralist himself.

Other than that, great comment.

Stephen Morrell
I understand your sentiments toward Althusser, and am sorry if my remarks about him were insensitive or offensive. However, I know from personal experience of hardline Althusserian academic philosophers who suddenly became post-modernists after the unfortunate incident. The point I was trying to make was that his philosophy wasn't abandoned for philosophical reasons but non-philosophical, moral ones. It wasn't a condemnation of Althusser. It was a condemnation of many of his followers.

I made no claim that this was some kind of 'global trigger event'. Philosophy departments, or ideas as such, don't bring change. If post-modernism didn't become useful to at least some sectors of the ruling class at some point, then it would have remained an academic backwater (as it should have). Nor that post-modernism was some kind of 'natural consequence' of structuralism (which is what I think you meant). Philosophically, it was a certainly one reaction to structuralism, one among several. Other more rational reactions to structuralism included EP Thompson's and Sebastiano Timpinaro's.

As Marx said, "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas" [German Ideology], and if the ruling class finds some of them useful they'll adopt them. Or as Milton Friedman, one of the main proponents of neoliberalism, proclaimed: "Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around." Post-modernism, as a philosophy 'lying around', serves as a nice philosophical/ideological fit for the intelligentsia to rationalise the anti-science ideology the ruling class today is foisting on rest of the population.

Politically, Althusser was disowned by many French leftists for his support of the thoroughly counter-revolutionary role of the Stalinist PCF in the 1968 May events. His authority lasted for over a decade longer in the Anglophone countries.

Lochearn
"In Anglophone philosophic academia at least, post-modernism really picked up only after Althusser strangled his wife, and hyper-objectivist structuralism correspondingly was strangled by hyper-subjectivist post-modernism."

Wonderful sentence. I'll keep that – if I may – for some imaginary dinner table with some imaginary academic friends.

Tim Jenkins
I was thinking exactly the same and imagining the window of opportunity to provoke some sound conversation, after some spluttering of red w(h)ine
Stephen Morrell
Thank you. I'll rephrase it to improve it slightly if you like:

In Anglophone philosophic academia at least, post-modernism really picked up only after Althusser strangled his wife, and in revenge hyper-objectivist structuralism was strangled by hyper-subjectivist post-modernism.

Red Allover
Mr. Morrell's use of the phrase "stultifying Stalinist bureaucracies," to describe the actually existing Socialist societies of the Eastern bloc, indicates to me that he is very much of the bourgeois mind set that he purports to criticize. This "plague on both your houses" attitude is very typical of the lower middle class intellectual in capitalist countries, c.f. Chomsky, Zizek, etc.
Stephen Morrell
On the contrary, all the remaining workers states (China, North Korea, Viet Nam, Laos and Cuba) must be defended against imperialist attack and internal counterrevolution despite the bureaucratic castes that hold political power in these countries. Political, not social, revolutions are needed to sweep away these bureaucracies to establish organs of workers democracy and political power (eg soviets) which never existed in these countries (unlike in the first years of the USSR).

To his last days, the dying Lenin fought the rising bureaucracy led by Stalin, but Russia's backwardness and the failure of the revolution to spread to an advanced country (especially Germany, October 1923) drove its rise. Its ideological shell was the profoundly reactionary outlook and program of 'Socialism in One Country' (and only one country). And while Stalin defeated him and his followers, it was Trotsky who came to a Marxist, materialist understanding of what produced and drove the Soviet Thermidor. Trotsky didn't go running off to the bourgeoisie of the world blubbering about a 'new class' the way Kautsky, Djilas, Shachtman, Cliff, et al. did.

The restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union was a profound defeat for the working class worldwide, as it would be for the remaining workers states. Now if that's a 'bourgeois mindset' of a 'lower middle class intellectual', be my guest and nominate the bourgeois or petty bourgeois layers that hold such views. Certainly Chomsky, Zizek et al. couldn't agree with such an outlook, but it's only the bourgeoisie and the Stalinists who contend that the workers states are 'socialist' or 'communist'. Only a true post-modernist could delude themselves into concurring, or claim that the political repression, censorship and corrupting bureaucratism of the Stalinist regimes were indeed not stultifying.

Red Allover
Thanks for your intelligent response. I am very familiar with the Trotskyist positions you outline. I could give you the Leninist rebuttal to each of them, but you are probably familiar with them as well. I don't want to waste your time, or mine. However, if you don't mind me asking, exactly at what point do you feel capitalism was restored in the USSR? It was, I take it, with the first Five Year Plan, not the NEP?

Also, the Socialist or, to use your nomenclature, "Stalinist" system, that was destroyed in the the USSR in the 1990s–it was, in truth, just one form of capitalism replaced by another form of capitalism? Would this summarize your view accurately?

Stephen Morrell
Capitalism was restored in the USSR in 1991-92. Stalinism was not another form of capitalism, as the Third Campists would contend. The Stalinist bureaucracy rested on exactly the same property relations a socialist system would which were destroyed with Yeltsin's (and Bush's) counterrevolution. Last, I've never labelled the Stalinist bureaucracy as a 'system'.
GMW
Perhaps if you changed your moniker to: "Troll Allover" one could take you seriously, well, not really – 'seriously' – but at least in a sort of weird, twisted & warped post-modern sense – eh?
Red Allover
I'm sorry, what is the argument you are making? I know name calling is beneath intelligent, educated people.

[Nov 02, 2019] Eveen Obama slams 'wokeness'

Notable quotes:
"... America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people. ..."
"... @Alligator Ed ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

identity politics icon himself

"This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama said, to some laughs from the crowd.
"The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws." he continued.

Obama cited college campuses and social media as a breeding ground for wokeness.

"One danger I see among young people particularly on college campuses," he said, "I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, there is this sense sometimes the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that's enough."

Obama then directly poked fun at 'woke' keyboard warriors:

"Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb or then, I can sit back and feel good about myself: 'You see how woke I was? I called you out.'" he mocked.

Here are a few callouts.. @lizzyh7

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

up 24 users have voted. --

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery


Alligator Ed on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 7:47pm

snoop, give the guy a break

@snoopydawg He only filled 12 of the 13 Citigroup nominees. A real sell-out Neolib/neocon woulda done all 13.

13's an unlucky number? Yeah. So is number 44.

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

Wally on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 9:05am
What's this Obama lovin' stuff, Alligator Ed?

@Alligator Ed

A veritable Mr. Aloha, huh?

In a nutshell, Obama is saying we all need a little more aloha spirit -- being respectful & caring for one another. Not being so quick to judge. Not seeing everything as black/white. I hope you'll join me in bringing the spirit of aloha to the White House. https://t.co/tYADx6Dzqs

-- Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 30, 2019

#2.1.1 He only filled 12 of the 13 Citigroup nominees. A real sell-out Neolib/neocon woulda done all 13.

13's an unlucky number? Yeah. So is number 44.

Cant Stop the M... on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 2:07pm
My comment elsewhere in this essay

@snoopydawg

should not be taken to mean disagreement with your excellent points here, snoop.

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

-- Ruth Bader Joinersburg (@JuboktimusPrime) October 30, 2019

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

Wally on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 4:14pm
Promises, promises

@lizzyh7

Obama made some pretty campaign finance promises in the 2008 primary, and then did an about-face during the general, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from the usual suspects. Then he declined to prosecute the bankers. Let's not do that again.

-- Meagan Day (@meaganmday) September 24, 2019


Bernie Sanders on Elizabeth Warren's work for big corporations such as advising Dow Chemical:

"I'll let the American people make that judgment. I've never worked for a corporation. I've never carried their baggage in the U.S. Senate." pic.twitter.com/yV9TRw7jPB

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

snoopydawg on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 9:08pm
Have you seen how the Bernie tweet is being played?

@Wally

People are defending Warbama's helping DOW screw women who had breast cancer out of their settlement. It's absolutely sickening to see people defending the indefensible. "She needed the experience." WTAF does that even mean?

#2.1

Obama made some pretty campaign finance promises in the 2008 primary, and then did an about-face during the general, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from the usual suspects. Then he declined to prosecute the bankers. Let's not do that again.

-- Meagan Day (@meaganmday) September 24, 2019

Bernie Sanders on Elizabeth Warren's work for big corporations such as advising Dow Chemical:

"I'll let the American people make that judgment. I've never worked for a corporation. I've never carried their baggage in the U.S. Senate." pic.twitter.com/yV9TRw7jPB

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

Cant Stop the M... on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 2:02pm
Barack is intelligent enough to know that the current brand

@lizzyh7

of identity politics is bullshit. He's offended enough by irrationality that he's willing to comment on that in public--now that he's out of the Presidency and doesn't have to win any more elections.

However, none of that would stop him (or did stop him) using that kind of identity politics to the hilt for his own political advantage.

#2 Go on ahead and mock all you want. Those of us who see you for what you are will never stop seeing it and calling you out on it. Boohoo mofo.

[Oct 24, 2019] When a Court Forces Your Boy to Become a Girl by Libby Emmons

Notable quotes:
"... Trans ideology initially surfaced in mainstream culture as a pre-formed idea, with activists claiming that even to question it was hate speech. These ideologues successfully manipulated public compassion to convince people that the view that biological sex is mutable and gender is innate in the brain is correct, even if that doesn't make any biological or logical sense. ..."
"... Now the existence of trans adults is mandating the creation of trans children. The idea that grownups who were born male were actually always female only works if there are trans youth. The court system is allowing this delusion to be perpetrated simply so that the dogma of trans adults can make sense. If a child came forward and said he needed one leg removed, or an eyeball sewn onto his hand, or a nose job, the courts would undoubtedly say no. The fact that they say otherwise to drastic body modifications when trans is involved shows how powerful this perspective has become. ..."
"... Whether or not James believes he is female -- which is seriously in doubt -- there should be no medical professional who is willing to give a child life-altering drugs designed to deny his biological sex and development. If a parent speaks out against this, the court should do everything in its power to open the door to preventing the child from undergoing medical harm. Additionally, if this seven-year-old's idea that he is female turns out to be untrue, he'll need an adult in his life to whom he can turn, to whom he will not feel responsible to stay trans in order to earn their approval. The court is denying that the child will ever need a way out, yet detransitioners exist and are making their voices heard. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When a Court Forces Your Boy to Become a Girl It's happening in Texas, showing just how far coercive trans ideology has wormed into our culture.

The latest case to have every rational person in a state of horror is that of a Texas dad who has been forced by court order to allow his seven-year-old son to undergo a medical gender transition at the hands of the child's mother. It's a massive judicial overreach that destroys the bond between parent and child, and it exemplifies everything that opponents of trans ideology have been warning about.

Dr. Anne Georgulas and Jeffrey Younger, parents to twin boys, are in stark disagreement as to the best treatment for their son. Unable to come to an adequate solution, the dispute landed them in court. On one side was Georgulas, who believes that her seven-year-old, James, wishes to live as a girl called Luna. Her answer to this delusion (which may, in fact, be her own, and not her son's) is to drug the child with puberty blockers and estrogen. Younger, the boys' father, who until this point has had joint custody with Georgulas, does not believe his healthy son should be altered in this way.

Judge and jury have now found in Georgulas' favor. Under mother's care, James will be chemically castrated, put on drugs that will render him infertile, and only allowed to interact with those who call him Luna, reinforcing the falsehood that he is a girl. While what's happening to James is tragic, the most dangerous part of all is how this case could set a precedent for further social indoctrination and maltreatment. Younger is being compelled by a court of law to lie to his own son.

Trans ideology initially surfaced in mainstream culture as a pre-formed idea, with activists claiming that even to question it was hate speech. These ideologues successfully manipulated public compassion to convince people that the view that biological sex is mutable and gender is innate in the brain is correct, even if that doesn't make any biological or logical sense.

Now the existence of trans adults is mandating the creation of trans children. The idea that grownups who were born male were actually always female only works if there are trans youth. The court system is allowing this delusion to be perpetrated simply so that the dogma of trans adults can make sense. If a child came forward and said he needed one leg removed, or an eyeball sewn onto his hand, or a nose job, the courts would undoubtedly say no. The fact that they say otherwise to drastic body modifications when trans is involved shows how powerful this perspective has become.

The idea of trans is that gender dysphoric youth need to be affirmed in their delusions because otherwise they will commit suicide. But this is the only area where risk of self-harm has led to the upholding of a sick person's self-deception. Similar reinforcement is never attempted with anorexia, depression, or any other mental condition. What makes trans so special is the advocates behind it, who are pushing at every level for recognition, even if it means depriving a parent of his rights.

This court case makes clear that if parents do not go along with trans ideology, their rights to properly raise their children will be taken from them. Custody disputes are always a mess. But there should never be be a case in which a parent is removed from joint custody because he or she objects to a healthy child undergoing unnecessary, experimental medical treatment.

Whether or not James believes he is female -- which is seriously in doubt -- there should be no medical professional who is willing to give a child life-altering drugs designed to deny his biological sex and development. If a parent speaks out against this, the court should do everything in its power to open the door to preventing the child from undergoing medical harm. Additionally, if this seven-year-old's idea that he is female turns out to be untrue, he'll need an adult in his life to whom he can turn, to whom he will not feel responsible to stay trans in order to earn their approval. The court is denying that the child will ever need a way out, yet detransitioners exist and are making their voices heard.

When we are seven, we believe what we are told, not only about the world around us but about our own bodies. It's easy to convince children that lies are truth, because they have nothing to base their understanding on. This is why it's so essential to give kids accurate information. Just as it would be cruel to tell a child that red is blue, or cats are dogs, it is similarly horrible to tell them that boys can become girls. They will believe it, and it is a lie.

Fortunately, some in the medical establishment are starting to sound the alarm about the dangers of puberty blockers and cross sex hormones being administered to young children. The risks of these drugs include bone loss, brain dysfunction, and permanent sterility. There may be other side effects, too, but since these drugs are not tested, no one knows what those might be. Yet trans advocates insist that affirming their ideology is more important than watchful waiting.

The practice of affirmation is actually confirmation. Compelling those around the child to use a new language and new name, to support the delusion instead of insisting that the child's body is fine as it was made, reinforces that the child is trans. No parent should be compelled by a court of law to lie in this way, and that it's happened shows how insidious trans ideology has wormed into our culture.

Libby Emmons is a playwright living in Brooklyn, New York. She has written for The Federalist, Quillette, and Arc Digital, among other publications. You can follow her on Twitter @li88yinc .

[Oct 23, 2019] The treason of the intellectuals The Undoing of Thought by Roger Kimball

Highly recommended!
Supporting neoliberalism is the key treason of contemporary intellectuals eeho were instrumental in decimating the New Deal capitalism, to say nothing about neocon, who downgraded themselves into intellectual prostitutes of MIC mad try to destroy post WWII order.
Notable quotes:
"... More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. ..."
"... "Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds ," he wrote near the beginning of the book. "It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity." There was no need to add that its place in moral history would be as a cautionary tale. In little more than a decade, Benda's prediction that, because of the "great betrayal" of the intellectuals, humanity was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world," would achieve a terrifying corroboration. ..."
"... In Plato's Gorgias , for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates' devotion to philosophy: "I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child." Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that "the more powerful, the better, and the stronger" are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, "luxury and intemperance are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel." How contemporary Callicles sounds! ..."
"... In Benda's formula, this boils down to the conviction that "politics decides morality." To be sure, the cynicism that Callicles espoused is perennial: like the poor, it will be always with us. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. "It is true indeed that these new 'clerks' declare that they do not know what is meant by justice, truth, and other 'metaphysical fogs,' that for them the true is determined by the useful, the just by circumstances," he noted. "All these things were taught by Callicles, but with this difference; he revolted all the important thinkers of his time." ..."
"... In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. ..."
"... His doctrine of "the will to power," his contempt for the "slave morality" of Christianity, his plea for an ethic "beyond good and evil," his infatuation with violence -- all epitomize the disastrous "pragmatism" that marks the intellectual's "treason." The real problem was not the unattainability but the disintegration of ideals, an event that Nietzsche hailed as the "transvaluation of all values." "Formerly," Benda observed, "leaders of States practiced realism, but did not honor it; With them morality was violated but moral notions remained intact, and that is why, in spite of all their violence, they did not disturb civilization ." ..."
"... From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. Benda spoke of "a cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world." That cataclysm is erupting in every corner of cultural life today. ..."
"... Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal. A frequent point of reference is the eighteenth-century German Romantic philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder. "From the beginning, or to be more precise, from the time of Plato until that of Voltaire," he writes, "human diversity had come before the tribunal of universal values; with Herder the eternal values were condemned by the court of diversity." ..."
"... Finkielkraut focuses especially on Herder's definitively anti-Enlightenment idea of the Volksgeist or "national spirit." ..."
"... Nevertheless, the multiculturalists' obsession with "diversity" and ethnic origins is in many ways a contemporary redaction of Herder's elevation of racial particularism over the universalizing mandate of reason ..."
"... In Goethe's words, "A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of particular individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity." ..."
"... The geography of intellectual betrayal has changed dramatically in the last sixty-odd years. In 1927, intellectuals still had something definite to betray. In today's "postmodernist" world, the terrain is far mushier: the claims of tradition are much attenuated and betrayal is often only a matter of acquiescence. ..."
"... In the broadest terms, The Undoing of Thought is a brief for the principles of the Enlightenment. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions ..."
"... Granted, the belief that there is "Jewish thinking" or "Soviet science" or "Aryan art" is no longer as widespread as it once was. But the dispersal of these particular chimeras has provided no inoculation against kindred fabrications: "African knowledge," "female language," "Eurocentric science": these are among today's talismanic fetishes. ..."
"... Then, too, one finds a stunning array of anti-Enlightenment phantasmagoria congregated under the banner of "anti-positivism." The idea that history is a "myth," that the truths of science are merely "fictions" dressed up in forbidding clothes, that reason and language are powerless to discover the truth -- more, that truth itself is a deceitful ideological construct: these and other absurdities are now part of the standard intellectual diet of Western intellectuals. The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mid-1940s. ..."
"... Historically, the Enlightenment arose as a deeply anti-clerical and, perforce, anti-traditional movement. Its goal, in Kant's famous phrase, was to release man from his "self-imposed immaturity." ..."
"... The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. "Non-thought," in Finkielkraut's phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. ..."
"... There are many sides to this phenomenon. What Finkielkraut has given us is not a systematic dissection but a kind of pathologist's scrapbook. He reminds us, for example, that the multiculturalists' demand for "diversity" requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group ..."
"... To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the subjection of culture to anthropology. ..."
"... In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism. The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say (in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes): "A pair of boots is worth more than Shakespeare." ..."
"... The upshot is not only that Shakespeare is downgraded, but also that the bootmaker is elevated. "It is not just that high culture must be demystified; sport, fashion and leisure now lay claim to high cultural status." A grotesque fantasy? ..."
"... . Finkielkraut notes that the rhetoric of postmodernism is in some ways similar to the rhetoric of Enlightenment. Both look forward to releasing man from his "self-imposed immaturity." But there is this difference: Enlightenment looks to culture as a repository of values that transcend the self, postmodernism looks to the fleeting desires of the isolated self as the only legitimate source of value ..."
"... The products of culture are valuable only as a source of amusement or distraction. In order to realize the freedom that postmodernism promises, culture must be transformed into a field of arbitrary "options." "The post-modern individual," Finkielkraut writes, "is a free and easy bundle of fleeting and contingent appetites. He has forgotten that liberty involves more than the ability to change one's chains, and that culture itself is more than a satiated whim." ..."
"... "'All cultures are equally legitimate and everything is cultural,' is the common cry of affluent society's spoiled children and of the detractors of the West. ..."
"... There is another, perhaps even darker, result of the undoing of thought. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. ..."
"... As the impassioned proponents of "diversity" meet the postmodern apostles of acquiescence, fanaticism mixes with apathy to challenge the commitment required to preserve freedom. ..."
"... Communism may have been effectively discredited. But "what is dying along with it is not the totalitarian cast of mind, but the idea of a world common to all men." ..."
Dec 01, 1992 | www.moonofalabama.org

On the abandonment of Enlightenment intellectualism, and the emergence of a new form of Volksgeist.

When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning. -- Alain Finkielkraut, The Undoing of Thought

Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance? -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

I n 1927, the French essayist Julien Benda published his famous attack on the intellectual corruption of the age, La Trahison des clercs. I said "famous," but perhaps "once famous" would have been more accurate. For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency. "La trahison des clercs": it is one of those memorable phrases that bristles with hints and associations without stating anything definite. Benda tells us that he uses the term "clerc" in "the medieval sense," i.e., to mean "scribe," someone we would now call a member of the intelligentsia. Academics and journalists, pundits, moralists, and pontificators of all varieties are in this sense clercs . The English translation, The Treason of the Intellectuals , 1 sums it up neatly.

The "treason" in question was the betrayal by the "clerks" of their vocation as intellectuals. From the time of the pre-Socratics, intellectuals, considered in their role as intellectuals, had been a breed apart. In Benda's terms, they were understood to be "all those whose activity essentially is not the pursuit of practical aims, all those who seek their joy in the practice of an art or a science or a metaphysical speculation, in short in the possession of non-material advantages." Thanks to such men, Benda wrote, "humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honored good. This contradiction was an honor to the human species, and formed the rift whereby civilization slipped into the world."

According to Benda, however, this situation was changing. More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. The attack on the universal went forward in social and political life as well as in the refined precincts of epistemology and metaphysics: "Those who for centuries had exhorted men, at least theoretically, to deaden the feeling of their differences have now come to praise them, according to where the sermon is given, for their 'fidelity to the French soul,' 'the immutability of their German consciousness,' for the 'fervor of their Italian hearts.'" In short, intellectuals began to immerse themselves in the unsettlingly practical and material world of political passions: precisely those passions, Benda observed, "owing to which men rise up against other men, the chief of which are racial passions, class passions and national passions." The "rift" into which civilization had been wont to slip narrowed and threatened to close altogether.

Writing at a moment when ethnic and nationalistic hatreds were beginning to tear Europe asunder, Benda's diagnosis assumed the lineaments of a prophecy -- a prophecy that continues to have deep resonance today. "Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds ," he wrote near the beginning of the book. "It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity." There was no need to add that its place in moral history would be as a cautionary tale. In little more than a decade, Benda's prediction that, because of the "great betrayal" of the intellectuals, humanity was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world," would achieve a terrifying corroboration.

J ulien Benda was not so naïve as to believe that intellectuals as a class had ever entirely abstained from political involvement, or, indeed, from involvement in the realm of practical affairs. Nor did he believe that intellectuals, as citizens, necessarily should abstain from political commitment or practical affairs. The "treason" or betrayal he sought to publish concerned the way that intellectuals had lately allowed political commitment to insinuate itself into their understanding of the intellectual vocation as such. Increasingly, Benda claimed, politics was "mingled with their work as artists, as men of learning, as philosophers." The ideal of disinterestedness, the universality of truth: such guiding principles were contemptuously deployed as masks when they were not jettisoned altogether. It was in this sense that he castigated the " desire to abase the values of knowledge before the values of action ."

In its crassest but perhaps also most powerful form, this desire led to that familiar phenomenon Benda dubbed "the cult of success." It is summed up, he writes, in "the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt." In itself, this idea is hardly novel, as history from the Greek sophists on down reminds us. In Plato's Gorgias , for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates' devotion to philosophy: "I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child." Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that "the more powerful, the better, and the stronger" are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, "luxury and intemperance are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel." How contemporary Callicles sounds!

In Benda's formula, this boils down to the conviction that "politics decides morality." To be sure, the cynicism that Callicles espoused is perennial: like the poor, it will be always with us. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. "It is true indeed that these new 'clerks' declare that they do not know what is meant by justice, truth, and other 'metaphysical fogs,' that for them the true is determined by the useful, the just by circumstances," he noted. "All these things were taught by Callicles, but with this difference; he revolted all the important thinkers of his time."

In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. To appreciate the force of Benda's thesis one need only think of that most influential modern Callicles, Friedrich Nietzsche. His doctrine of "the will to power," his contempt for the "slave morality" of Christianity, his plea for an ethic "beyond good and evil," his infatuation with violence -- all epitomize the disastrous "pragmatism" that marks the intellectual's "treason." The real problem was not the unattainability but the disintegration of ideals, an event that Nietzsche hailed as the "transvaluation of all values." "Formerly," Benda observed, "leaders of States practiced realism, but did not honor it; With them morality was violated but moral notions remained intact, and that is why, in spite of all their violence, they did not disturb civilization ."

Benda understood that the stakes were high: the treason of the intellectuals signaled not simply the corruption of a bunch of scribblers but a fundamental betrayal of culture. By embracing the ethic of Callicles, intellectuals had, Benda reckoned, precipitated "one of the most remarkable turning points in the moral history of the human species. It is impossible," he continued,

to exaggerate the importance of a movement whereby those who for twenty centuries taught Man that the criterion of the morality of an act is its disinterestedness, that good is a decree of his reason insofar as it is universal, that his will is only moral if it seeks its law outside its objects, should begin to teach him that the moral act is the act whereby he secures his existence against an environment which disputes it, that his will is moral insofar as it is a will "to power," that the part of his soul which determines what is good is its "will to live" wherein it is most "hostile to all reason," that the morality of an act is measured by its adaptation to its end, and that the only morality is the morality of circumstances. The educators of the human mind now take sides with Callicles against Socrates, a revolution which I dare to say seems to me more important than all political upheavals.

T he Treason of the Intellectuals is an energetic hodgepodge of a book. The philosopher Jean-François Revel recently described it as "one of the fussiest pleas on behalf of the necessary independence of intellectuals." Certainly it is rich, quirky, erudite, digressive, and polemical: more an exclamation than an analysis. Partisan in its claims for disinterestedness, it is ruthless in its defense of intellectual high-mindedness. Yet given the horrific events that unfolded in the decades following its publication, Benda's unremitting attack on the politicization of the intellect and ethnic separatism cannot but strike us as prescient. And given the continuing echo in our own time of the problems he anatomized, the relevance of his observations to our situation can hardly be doubted. From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. Benda spoke of "a cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world." That cataclysm is erupting in every corner of cultural life today.

In 1988, the young French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut took up where Benda left off, producing a brief but searching inventory of our contemporary cataclysms. Entitled La Défaite de la pensée 2 ("The 'Defeat' or 'Undoing' of Thought"), his essay is in part an updated taxonomy of intellectual betrayals. In this sense, the book is a trahison des clercs for the post-Communist world, a world dominated as much by the leveling imperatives of pop culture as by resurgent nationalism and ethnic separatism. Beginning with Benda, Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal. A frequent point of reference is the eighteenth-century German Romantic philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder. "From the beginning, or to be more precise, from the time of Plato until that of Voltaire," he writes, "human diversity had come before the tribunal of universal values; with Herder the eternal values were condemned by the court of diversity."

Finkielkraut focuses especially on Herder's definitively anti-Enlightenment idea of the Volksgeist or "national spirit." Quoting the French historian Joseph Renan, he describes the idea as "the most dangerous explosive of modern times." "Nothing," he writes, "can stop a state that has become prey to the Volksgeist ." It is one of Finkielkraut's leitmotifs that today's multiculturalists are in many respects Herder's (generally unwitting) heirs.

True, Herder's emphasis on history and language did much to temper the tendency to abstraction that one finds in some expressions of the Enlightenment. Ernst Cassirer even remarked that "Herder's achievement is one of the greatest intellectual triumphs of the philosophy of the Enlightenment."

Nevertheless, the multiculturalists' obsession with "diversity" and ethnic origins is in many ways a contemporary redaction of Herder's elevation of racial particularism over the universalizing mandate of reason. Finkielkraut opposes this just as the mature Goethe once took issue with Herder's adoration of the Volksgeist. Finkielkraut concedes that we all "relate to a particular tradition" and are "shaped by our national identity." But, unlike the multiculturalists, he soberly insists that "this reality merit[s] some recognition, not idolatry."

In Goethe's words, "A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of particular individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity."

The Undoing of Thought resembles The Treason of the Intellectuals stylistically as well as thematically. Both books are sometimes breathless congeries of sources and aperçus. And Finkielkraut, like Benda (and, indeed, like Montaigne), tends to proceed more by collage than by demonstration. But he does not simply recapitulate Benda's argument.

The geography of intellectual betrayal has changed dramatically in the last sixty-odd years. In 1927, intellectuals still had something definite to betray. In today's "postmodernist" world, the terrain is far mushier: the claims of tradition are much attenuated and betrayal is often only a matter of acquiescence. Finkielkraut's distinctive contribution is to have taken the measure of the cultural swamp that surrounds us, to have delineated the links joining the politicization of the intellect and its current forms of debasement.

In the broadest terms, The Undoing of Thought is a brief for the principles of the Enlightenment. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions.

The humanizing "reason" that Enlightenment champions is a universal reason, sharable, in principle, by all. Such ideals have not fared well in the twentieth century: Herder's progeny have labored hard to discredit them. Granted, the belief that there is "Jewish thinking" or "Soviet science" or "Aryan art" is no longer as widespread as it once was. But the dispersal of these particular chimeras has provided no inoculation against kindred fabrications: "African knowledge," "female language," "Eurocentric science": these are among today's talismanic fetishes.

Then, too, one finds a stunning array of anti-Enlightenment phantasmagoria congregated under the banner of "anti-positivism." The idea that history is a "myth," that the truths of science are merely "fictions" dressed up in forbidding clothes, that reason and language are powerless to discover the truth -- more, that truth itself is a deceitful ideological construct: these and other absurdities are now part of the standard intellectual diet of Western intellectuals. The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mid-1940s.

Safely ensconced in Los Angeles, these refugees from Hitler's Reich published an influential essay on the concept of Enlightenment. Among much else, they assured readers that "Enlightenment is totalitarian." Never mind that at that very moment the Nazi war machine -- what one might be forgiven for calling real totalitarianism -- was busy liquidating millions of people in order to fulfill another set of anti-Enlightenment fantasies inspired by devotion to the Volksgeist .

The diatribe that Horkheimer and Adorno mounted against the concept of Enlightenment reminds us of an important peculiarity about the history of Enlightenment: namely, that it is a movement of thought that began as a reaction against tradition and has now emerged as one of tradition's most important safeguards. Historically, the Enlightenment arose as a deeply anti-clerical and, perforce, anti-traditional movement. Its goal, in Kant's famous phrase, was to release man from his "self-imposed immaturity."

The chief enemy of Enlightenment was "superstition," an omnibus term that included all manner of religious, philosophical, and moral ideas. But as the sociologist Edward Shils has noted, although the Enlightenment was in important respects "antithetical to tradition" in its origins, its success was due in large part "to the fact that it was promulgated and pursued in a society in which substantive traditions were rather strong." "It was successful against its enemies," Shils notes in his book Tradition (1981),

because the enemies were strong enough to resist its complete victory over them. Living on a soil of substantive traditionality, the ideas of the Enlightenment advanced without undoing themselves. As long as respect for authority on the one side and self-confidence in those exercising authority on the other persisted, the Enlightenment's ideal of emancipation through the exercise of reason went forward. It did not ravage society as it would have done had society lost all legitimacy.

It is this mature form of Enlightenment, championing reason but respectful of tradition, that Finkielkraut holds up as an ideal.

W hat Finkielkraut calls "the undoing of thought" flows from the widespread disintegration of a faith. At the center of that faith is the assumption that the life of thought is "the higher life" and that culture -- what the Germans call Bildung -- is its end or goal.

The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. "Non-thought," in Finkielkraut's phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. "It is," he writes, "the first time in European history that non-thought has donned the same label and enjoyed the same status as thought itself, and the first time that those who, in the name of 'high culture,' dare to call this non-thought by its name, are dismissed as racists and reactionaries." The attack is perpetrated not from outside, by uncomprehending barbarians, but chiefly from inside, by a new class of barbarians, the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia. This is the undoing of thought. This is the new "treason of the intellectuals."

There are many sides to this phenomenon. What Finkielkraut has given us is not a systematic dissection but a kind of pathologist's scrapbook. He reminds us, for example, that the multiculturalists' demand for "diversity" requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group . "Their most extraordinary feat," he observes, "is to have put forward as the ultimate individual liberty the unconditional primacy of the collective." Western rationalism and individualism are rejected in the name of a more "authentic" cult.

One example: Finkielkraut quotes a champion of multiculturalism who maintains that "to help immigrants means first of all respecting them for what they are, respecting whatever they aspire to in their national life, in their distinctive culture and in their attachment to their spiritual and religious roots." Would this, Finkielkraut asks, include "respecting" those religious codes which demanded that the barren woman be cast out and the adulteress be punished with death?

What about those cultures in which the testimony of one man counts for that of two women? In which female circumcision is practiced? In which slavery flourishes? In which mixed marriages are forbidden and polygamy encouraged? Multiculturalism, as Finkielkraut points out, requires that we respect such practices. To criticize them is to be dismissed as "racist" and "ethnocentric." In this secular age, "cultural identity" steps in where the transcendent once was: "Fanaticism is indefensible when it appeals to heaven, but beyond reproach when it is grounded in antiquity and cultural distinctiveness."

To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the subjection of culture to anthropology. Finkielkraut speaks in this context of a "cheerful confusion which raises everyday anthropological practices to the pinnacle of the human race's greatest achievements." This process began in the nineteenth century, but it has been greatly accelerated in our own age. One thinks, for example, of the tireless campaigning of that great anthropological leveler, Claude Lévi-Strauss. Lévi-Strauss is assuredly a brilliant writer, but he has also been an extraordinarily baneful influence. Already in the early 1950s, when he was pontificating for UNESCO , he was urging all and sundry to "fight against ranking cultural differences hierarchically." In La Pensée sauvage (1961), he warned against the "false antinomy between logical and prelogical mentality" and was careful in his descriptions of natives to refer to "so-called primitive thought." "So-called" indeed. In a famous article on race and history, Lévi-Strauss maintained that the barbarian was not the opposite of the civilized man but "first of all the man who believes there is such a thing as barbarism." That of course is good to know. It helps one to appreciate Lévi-Strauss's claim, in Tristes Tropiques (1955), that the "true purpose of civilization" is to produce "inertia." As one ruminates on the proposition that cultures should not be ranked hierarchically, it is also well to consider what Lévi-Strauss coyly refers to as "the positive forms of cannibalism." For Lévi-Strauss, cannibalism has been unfairly stigmatized in the "so-called" civilized West. In fact, he explains, cannibalism was "often observed with great discretion, the vital mouthful being made up of a small quantity of organic matter mixed, on occasion, with other forms of food." What, merely a "vital mouthful"? Not to worry! Only an ignoramus who believed that there were important distinctions, qualitative distinctions, between the barbarian and the civilized man could possibly think of objecting.

Of course, the attack on distinctions that Finkielkraut castigates takes place not only among cultures but also within a given culture. Here again, the anthropological imperative has played a major role. "Under the equalizing eye of social science," he writes,

hierarchies are abolished, and all the criteria of taste are exposed as arbitrary. From now on no rigid division separates masterpieces from run-of-the mill works. The same fundamental structure, the same general and elemental traits are common to the "great" novels (whose excellence will henceforth be demystified by the accompanying quotation marks) and plebian types of narrative activity.

F or confirmation of this, one need only glance at the pronouncements of our critics. Whether working in the academy or other cultural institutions, they bring us the same news: there is "no such thing" as intrinsic merit, "quality" is an only ideological construction, aesthetic value is a distillation of social power, etc., etc.

In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism. The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say (in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes): "A pair of boots is worth more than Shakespeare."

Those whom Finkielkraut calls "postmodernists," waving the standard of radical chic, declare that Shakespeare is no better than the latest fashion -- no better, say, than the newest item offered by Calvin Klein. The litany that Finkielkraut recites is familiar:

A comic which combines exciting intrigue and some pretty pictures is just as good as a Nabokov novel. What little Lolitas read is as good as Lolita . An effective publicity slogan counts for as much as a poem by Apollinaire or Francis Ponge . The footballer and the choreographer, the painter and the couturier, the writer and the ad-man, the musician and the rock-and-roller, are all the same: creators. We must scrap the prejudice which restricts that title to certain people and regards others as sub-cultural.

The upshot is not only that Shakespeare is downgraded, but also that the bootmaker is elevated. "It is not just that high culture must be demystified; sport, fashion and leisure now lay claim to high cultural status." A grotesque fantasy? Anyone who thinks so should take a moment to recall the major exhibition called "High & Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture" that the Museum of Modern Art mounted a few years ago: it might have been called "Krazy Kat Meets Picasso." Few events can have so consummately summed up the corrosive trivialization of culture now perpetrated by those entrusted with preserving it. Among other things, that exhibition demonstrated the extent to which the apotheosis of popular culture undermines the very possibility of appreciating high art on its own terms.

When the distinction between culture and entertainment is obliterated, high art is orphaned, exiled from the only context in which its distinctive meaning can manifest itself: Picasso becomes a kind of cartoon. This, more than any elitism or obscurity, is the real threat to culture today. As Hannah Arendt once observed, "there are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect, but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say."

And this brings us to the question of freedom. Finkielkraut notes that the rhetoric of postmodernism is in some ways similar to the rhetoric of Enlightenment. Both look forward to releasing man from his "self-imposed immaturity." But there is this difference: Enlightenment looks to culture as a repository of values that transcend the self, postmodernism looks to the fleeting desires of the isolated self as the only legitimate source of value.

For the postmodernist, then, "culture is no longer seen as a means of emancipation, but as one of the élitist obstacles to this." The products of culture are valuable only as a source of amusement or distraction. In order to realize the freedom that postmodernism promises, culture must be transformed into a field of arbitrary "options." "The post-modern individual," Finkielkraut writes, "is a free and easy bundle of fleeting and contingent appetites. He has forgotten that liberty involves more than the ability to change one's chains, and that culture itself is more than a satiated whim."

What Finkielkraut has understood with admirable clarity is that modern attacks on elitism represent not the extension but the destruction of culture. "Democracy," he writes, "once implied access to culture for everybody. From now on it is going to mean everyone's right to the culture of his choice." This may sound marvelous -- it is after all the slogan one hears shouted in academic and cultural institutions across the country -- but the result is precisely the opposite of what was intended.

"'All cultures are equally legitimate and everything is cultural,' is the common cry of affluent society's spoiled children and of the detractors of the West." The irony, alas, is that by removing standards and declaring that "anything goes," one does not get more culture, one gets more and more debased imitations of culture. This fraud is the dirty secret that our cultural commissars refuse to acknowledge.

There is another, perhaps even darker, result of the undoing of thought. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. "A careless indifference to grand causes," Finkielkraut warns, "has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force." As the impassioned proponents of "diversity" meet the postmodern apostles of acquiescence, fanaticism mixes with apathy to challenge the commitment required to preserve freedom.

Communism may have been effectively discredited. But "what is dying along with it is not the totalitarian cast of mind, but the idea of a world common to all men."

Julien Benda took his epigraph for La Trahison des clercs from the nineteenth-century French philosopher Charles Renouvier: Le monde souffre du manque de foi en une vérité transcendante : "The world suffers from lack of faith in a transcendent truth." Without some such faith, we are powerless against the depredations of intellectuals who have embraced the nihilism of Callicles as their truth.

1 The Treason of the Intellectuals, by Julien Benda, translated by Richard Aldington, was first published in 1928. This translation is still in print from Norton.

2 La Défaite de la pensée , by Alain Finkielkraut; Gallimard, 162 pages, 72 FF . It is available in English, in a translation by Dennis O'Keeffe, as The Undoing of Thought (The Claridge Press [London], 133 pages, £6.95 paper).

Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and President and Publisher of Encounter Books. His latest book is The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press)

.

[Oct 20, 2019] Putin sarcastic remark on Western neoliberal multiculturalism

Highly recommended!
Oct 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

"If minorities prefer Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law.

Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell "discrimination"

-Vladimir Putin

[Oct 13, 2019] American STD Cases Rise To Record High

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

fliebinite , 1 hour ago link

Maybe the fastest way to reduce STDs is to stop promoting homosexuality in our schools. Since HIV inhibitors were created and HIV virtually cured, the gay community has been in overdrive on the sexual practices that causes most of the STDs on the report. Just like the 80's the doctors in these studies suggest a massive increase in spending across everyone when in fact, you can reduce the rate of these diseases massively by targeting this subsector of society that continues these filthy practices.

"In 2014, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases where sex of sex partner was known in the United States. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men often get other STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. HPV (Human papillomavirus) , the most common STD in the United States, is also a concern for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Some types of HPV can cause genital and anal warts and some can lead to the development of anal and oral cancers. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are 17 times more likely to get anal cancer than heterosexual men. Men who are HIV-positive are even more likely than those who do not have HIV to get anal cancer."

https://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm

[Sep 24, 2019] Google Employees Explain How They Were Retaliated Against For Reporting Abuse - Slashdot

Sep 24, 2019 | tech.slashdot.org

RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @06:47PM ( #59228670 )

It's a real coincidence... ( Score: 4 , Interesting)

It's just such a coincidence that the people Google tends to hire would be so high maintenance. Just one of those weird things I guess. Google should keep hiring the same people, I'm sure it will turn out different!

On the other hand, as someone over 40 who isn't a dramatic, hysterical weirdo like at least 30% of those under 35 are, I'm liking my job prospects over the next 15 years as employers get sick of this shit and notice a pattern. Wonder if they'll make "reverse age discrimination" a thing.

Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @07:14PM ( #59228786 )
Re:It's a real coincidence... ( Score: 5 , Interesting)
It's just such a coincidence that the people Google tends to hire would be so high maintenance. Just one of those weird things I guess. Google should keep hiring the same people, I'm sure it will turn out different!

I'm no fan of Google (anymore) but to be fair, Google employs 103,459 people as of Q1 2019. 45 people throwing a fit is an acceptable margin considering their overall size.

I agree their is an issue with ageism but I disagree with the idea that it would reduce the number of people throwing a fit because nutcases come in all ages.

swillden ( 191260 ) writes: < shawn-ds@willden.org > on Monday September 23, 2019 @07:37PM ( #59228890 ) Homepage Journal
Re:It's a real coincidence... ( Score: 5 , Interesting)
It's just such a coincidence that the people Google tends to hire would be so high maintenance. Just one of those weird things I guess. Google should keep hiring the same people, I'm sure it will turn out different!

OTOH, consider that Google has over 100K employees, and in a few months 45 such stories were collected... and the stories themselves cover a period of a couple of years. I don't want to minimize the issues suffered by any mistreated employee, but I find it hard to believe that any company could be so perfectly well-managed as to not have a couple dozen cases per year where employees were pretty badly treated. Or, as you imply, that a couple dozen employees might feel mistreated even when they aren't. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to the individuals.

As a Google employee myself I do have some concern about the alleged retaliation against the organizers of the walkout. That sort of thing could have a chilling effect on future protests (though I've seen no evidence of it so far), and I think that's a potential problem. It's important that employees feel free to protest actions by the company if a large enough percentage of them are bothered by it. Personally, I didn't join the walkout, but some others on my team did and I supported their action even though I didn't agree with their complaint.

On the other hand, as someone over 40 who isn't a dramatic, hysterical weirdo like at least 30% of those under 35 are, I'm liking my job prospects over the next 15 years as employers get sick of this shit and notice a pattern. Wonder if they'll make "reverse age discrimination" a thing.

FWIW, in my nearly 10 years with Google I've seen no evidence of age discrimination. A large percentage of new hires are straight out of college (mostly grad school), which does skew the employee population young, but I'm in my 50s and I've worked with guys in their 60s and one in his mid-70s. Of course, my experience is anecdotal.

jebrick ( 164096 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @07:10PM ( #59228770 )
HR ( Score: 3 )

As many people find out, HR is for the company, not for the employee.

beepsky ( 6008348 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @07:19PM ( #59228814 )
"Punished for reporting sexual jokes" ( Score: 3 , Interesting)

"Punished for reporting sexual jokes"

Please keep doing this. People without a sense of humor are the worst, especially when they're cunts who report everybody whenever they don't get the job

imidan ( 559239 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @08:07PM ( #59228982 )
Re:"Punished for reporting sexual jokes" ( Score: 4 , Insightful)

I'm a straight white guy, and I have worked with a guy who was a never-ending source of sexual and racist "jokes." I never reported him, but after a couple of months, I wished every time I worked with him that he'd just shut the fuck up and do his job. Any tactful suggestion that he do just that was met with more laughing, sneering, "it was only a joke" or "no, you don't get it." Yes, I got it, man. Your shitty old boomer joke about how you hate your ugly wife but want to fuck her anyway just wasn't funny. God, it was like a goddamn clown show you couldn't turn off. It wasn't even so much that I was offended by his shit; it was that he seemed to genuinely believe he was hilarious, and if you didn't think so, too, you had to endure his constant, pathetic attempts to make you feel somehow inferior for not appreciating his humor.

Anyway. People who mistakenly think they have a sense of humor are, indeed, the worst.

Anonymous Coward , Monday September 23, 2019 @08:12PM ( #59229000 )
Re:LatinX? ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
No. Consider the words "latino" and "latina." These are gender specific. The fact that they specify gender is a great harm. A great deal of mental gymnastics are necessary to perceive that harm, but it is possible.

Yet in the same sentence they mention "female". You can't make this shit up.

Tailhook ( 98486 ) , Monday September 23, 2019 @07:31PM ( #59228868 )
Re:Gaslighting? ( Score: 4 , Insightful)

While gaslighting does indeed have a useful definition -- one that you can trivially learn for yourself and I won't repeat here -- that meaning won't be helpful in understanding the most common use of the word. Gaslighting is a term frequently used to blame someone else for the difficulty one suffers reconciling reality with the ones own cognitive dissonance.

AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) , Tuesday September 24, 2019 @04:52AM ( #59229990 ) Homepage Journal
Re:Gaslighting? ( Score: 2 )

It's a form of psychological abuse where the abuser acts as if something is true when it clearly isn't.

It's from a book where a character is driven mad by the people around her claiming the the gaslights are lit when she can clearly see that they are not. She starts to think that she must be losing her grip on reality if everyone else can see the gaslights but she can't.

It's not uncommon in abusive relationships, unfortunately.

[Sep 24, 2019] That's what being a social justice warrior is all about: Mass shaming.

Sep 24, 2019 | slashdot.org

MrKaos ( 858439 ) , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @02:58AM ( #59202012 ) Journal

The Shaming has to End ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
That's not going to stop a PR disaster unless they do fire them. That's what being a social justice warrior is all about: Mass shaming.

Point and shame. That's how you destroy careers and the standards of excellence that makes a nation. No evidence required, don't bother reading the deposition, the personal is the political, ad hominem attacks from beginning to end for defending someone (Minsky) that wasn't accused of anything .

With metoo backfiring so that men don't trust being alone in an office with a woman, feminism is looking a lot like a hate movement with the way they throw accusations of sex crime around in order to get their hit of indignation to maintain their moral superiority. Guilt by association, career destroyed, court of opinion adjourned.

Considering what RMS contributed not only to freedom but economic wealth you can see these people don't care who they destroy and it doesn't matter if you are innocent of all charges once your reputation is destroyed. Getting even isn't equality.

That's why this shaming of men must end.

Kokuyo ( 549451 ) , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @03:50AM ( #59202094 ) Journal
Re:The Shaming has to End ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

There is another reason this must end.

If they piss off men long enough, they're going to hit back with real patriarchy.

I mean just look at MGTOW... Instead of just being careful when choosing a mate, as they should have been taught to be anyway, they're just going in the opposite extreme. A considerable pool of men deciding to be bachelors is neither good for those men psychologically, nor is it good for the species.

The backlash will be just as dumb as what we're seeing right now. This is a social equivalent of England and France laying the groundwork for the second world war in Versailles.

The eradication of accountability is going to come back to haunt us for decades to come.

Muros ( 1167213 ) , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @07:10AM ( #59202434 )
Re:The Shaming has to End ( Score: 4 , Interesting)
A considerable pool of men deciding to be bachelors is neither good for those men psychologically, nor is it good for the species.

I'm pretty sure studies have found that single men have better mental health than married men, but poorer physical health.

Penguinisto ( 415985 ) , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @11:30AM ( #59203456 ) Journal
Re:The Shaming has to End ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
I'm pretty sure studies have found that single men have better mental health than married men, but poorer physical health.

Depends on who you marry (no, seriously). If you are as choosy as the ladies are, you find yourself far better off in the long run.

Anonymous Coward , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @07:47AM ( #59202522 )
Re:Patriarchy ( Score: 5 , Interesting)
Never had a female president in the US

Last time I looked more than half the US population is female and President is elected, so how is that a sign of the patriarchy?

the vast majority of corporate management is male

Studies have shown that men are more willing to put career ahead of family in an effort to move up the ranks. What is stopping women from doing the same thing?

women are paid less for equal work

This has been debunked in numerous studies. Women are not paid less for equal work but are paid less in general precisely because they don't do equal work and because during salary negotiations at hiring time they are, on average, less forceful in demanding a higher starting salary.

These reports claiming otherwise are looking solely at titles - oh Jane the Jr. Java Developer makes less than Joe the Jr. Java Developer, obviously the company is paying women less.

Let's not consider, however, that Jane only works 9-4 so she can be home with her kids, won't pull weekend duties or be on call late night, whereas Joe is in at 7, leaves at 6, works on weekends to meet deadlines and carries a pager 1 week out of 4. Also, let's not consider that when being hired Joe negotiated up from the offered $68k start to a starting salary of $75k as a base and Jane simply accepted the offered $68k.

Both were given the exact same opportunities, but Joe works harder, more hours and was willing to negotiate a hgher starting wage.

But let's not let facts get in the way of a good attack narrative shall we?

they cannot be priests

Yes they can in many denominations, maybe not yours but others.

huge percentages of them have been raped

huge is an overstatement, studies show it around 20%. Also if you look at the statistics [wikipedia.org] not all rapes are against women and not all rapes of women are by men.

and the list goes on

As does the continued mis-information campaign.

Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) , Tuesday September 17, 2019 @08:10AM ( #59202578 )
Re:Patriarchy ( Score: 5 , Informative)

I would also like to add to your stats. Men in USA are raped more often and more brutally than women are. Yes, prison rape counts.

burtosis ( 1124179 ) writes: on Tuesday September 17, 2019 @09:12AM ( #59202814 )
Re:Patriarchy ( Score: 4 , Interesting)

If you approach any authority as a man and claim you were raped, not only will they likely laugh in your face, but probably harass you as well. Women are afraid of not being believed. Who really cares which gender is raped more often, is it too much to ask that the claims be taken seriously regardless of gender?

jcr ( 53032 ) writes: < jcr@Nospam.mac.com > on Tuesday September 17, 2019 @08:14AM ( #59202590 ) Journal
Re:Patriarchy ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

Never had a female president in the US

If you want a female president, try nominating a decent female candidate. That criminal narcissist the Democrats came up with last time couldn't even beat Trump, for fuck's sake.

-jcr

[Aug 25, 2019] Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegations.

Notable quotes:
"... I've always wondered if the whole MeToo movement was orchestrated by a hidden hand ..."
"... It seemed like the MeToo was weaponized ..."
"... Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegation ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

Amanda , says: August 24, 2019 at 10:47 pm GMT

@Paul Tarsus Good question. Others have asked the same thing:

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/22/the-missing-howls-of-denunciation-over-major-sex-trafficking/

I've always wondered if the whole MeToo movement was orchestrated by a hidden hand – same for those horrible pussy hats they came out with after Trump was elected.

It seemed like the MeToo was weaponized and ready to go when Kavanaugh was nominated (and I'm not a fan–he's connected to Bush and the Patriot Act). They brought out Dr. Chrissy Fraud and Julie Swetnick (who seemed quite mentally unstable with her accusations that Kavanaugh was connected to gang rape parties).

Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegations.

And, of course, such accusations were barely mentioned in the MSM.

[Jul 31, 2019] America's Late-Stage Decadence

This is way too primitive thinking...
Jul 31, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Doug Casey : The PC types say there are supposed to be 30 or 40 or 50 different genders -- it's a fluid number. It shows that wide swathes of the country no longer have a grip on actual physical, scientific reality. That's more than a sign of decline; it's a sign of mass psychosis.

There's no question that some males are wired to act like females and some females are wired to act like males. It's certainly a psychological aberration but probably has some basis in biology.

The problem is when these people politicize their psychological peculiarities, try to turn it into law, and force the rest of the society to grant them specially protected status.

Thousands of people every year go to doctors to have themselves mutilated so that they can become something else. Today they can often get the government or insurers to pay for it.

If you want to self-mutilate, that's fine; that's your business even if it's insane. To make other people pay for it is criminal. But it's now accepted as normal by most of society.

The acceptance of politically correct values -- "diversity," "inclusiveness" -- trigger warnings, safe spaces, gender fluidity, multiculturalism, and a whole suite of similar things that show how degraded society has become. Adversaries of Western civilization like the Mohammedan world and the Chinese justifiably see it as weak, even contemptible.

As with Rome, collapse really comes from internal rot.

Look at who people are voting for. It's not that Americans elected Obama once -- a mob can be swayed easily enough into making a mistake -- but they reelected him. It's not that New Yorkers elected Bill de Blasio once, but they reelected him by a landslide. All of the Democratic candidates out there are saying things that are actually clinically insane and are being applauded.

International Man : In fact, in the recent Democratic debate, candidate Julián Castro even mentioned giving government-funded abortions to transgender women -- biological men. It received one of the loudest bouts of applause from the audience.

That's not to mention that two other candidates spoke in broken Spanish when responding to the moderator's questions.

[Jul 26, 2019] How Democrats Are Shorting White Voters for 2020 by Peter Van Buren

Kamala became too toxic to have a realistic chance in 2020 race, She overplayed her hand and is now viewed as a extremist by many potential voters. .
Jul 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The exaggeration of white privilege has become a cornerstone of progressivism. It's also one of the ways Democrats risk losing the 2020 presidential race, as it leads inexorably to the devaluation of voters needed to clinch the Electoral College.

The problem with a race-based, victim-washed vision of 2019 America is that being white is not enough, and never has been. I was a diplomat for 24 years, about as privileged a job on paper as you can get. But inside the State Department, being white was only a start. The real criteria was "pale, male, and Yale." Being white (the pale part) was great, but only if you were also a man; women were stuck in less desirable jobs (girls are nurses; boys are doctors). No surprise, then, that the State Department has been sued over the years by its women and black diplomats.

But white and male got you only to the door. The "good" jobs required the right background, preferably via an Ivy. A sort of proud graduate of The Ohio State University, my privilege only went so far. I couldn't fake it. They knew each other. Their fathers knew each other. They had money -- well, parents with money. We Big Ten alums never got our class action together and so muddled mostly at the middle levels.

The idea that white was enough was always laughable. America did not welcome our immigrant grandpas; it shunted them into slums and paid them as little as possible to work for male, pale, and Yale owners. Check how many Irish died digging the canals around New Orleans. Read how immigrant children were overworked in factories for decades. The 1924 Johnson-Reed Act used phrenology to exclude Italians. It was so horrendously racist that Hitler praised it in Mein Kampf . In 2019, so much as mentioning the Irish triggers someone with purple hair and a neck tattoo in Elvish to shout that slavery was worse. It was. But applying a rank order to suffering ignores the reason that ideology will drag down the Democratic party in 2020: it is about more than race. What progressives call white privilege is mostly status-wealth privilege, with a lot of unrelated things chucked in to fill out the racist manifesto -- basically everything bad that happens to black people, from airplane seating scrums to what color the director of the next superhero movie is.

The candidates then either dismiss what they call white angst as a Fox News narrative or condemn it as supremacy, Nazism, and fascism, words that have lost all meaning. Dems crow about changing demographics that will turn America into a non-majority-white nation, and celebrate the end of privilege as the country depletes its stock of Caucasians. They fail to see that the salient statistic of America is not that the 61 percent who are white is falling, but that a tiny group, the top 0.1 percent of households, now hold the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

Every white voter in every swing state feels the pull of that. They're afraid of losing their place -- not to black people, but to the economy. And every one of those voters knows that the solutions Democrats propose will not help them (they are also unlikely to fix racism, but that's another matter). Mayor Pete Buttigieg's Douglass Plan provides billions for black businesses and colleges and aims to reduce the prison population by half. Biden wants to provide former felons with housing . Kamala Harris has a $100 billion plan for black homeownership . Everyone on MSNBC favors reparations .

Nothing excuses the at times dangerous behavior of Donald Trump and some of his supporters. Yet declaring all Trump supporters to be racist is far too crude an understanding. Many feel they are under attack by progressives who fail to see their own economic vulnerabilities. Instead of Barack Obama (Columbia '83, Harvard '91) talking about hope and change for everyone, they hear today's Dems dedicating themselves to over-correcting racial wrongs, punishing those in the present for historical sins. Resentment builds as they're scolded over what little more they have than others.

The 2020 Democratic Party Goes Full McGovern Did the Squad Just Make Trump's Day?

Democratic very-hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand failed to sell this penitent version of white privilege right at the ground zero for economic inequality -- Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown was archetypal postwar America, a Midwest city built around a now-dead steel industry. It was racially mixed, not only statistically (49 percent white, 44 percent black), but in reality. The now-gone union jobs paid living wages to whites and blacks and allowed people to buy homes on each others' streets. Workers' privilege. The receding tide grounded all boats.

Gillibrand was asked at a campaign stop there: "This is an area that, across all demographics, has been depressed because of the loss of industry and the opioid crisis. What do you have to say to people in this area about so-called white privilege?"

Her answer, praised by CNN as "powerful," was a wandering narrative about how, while white privilege didn't spare the questioner unemployment, the loss of her house, her son to opioids, and her soul itself at the hands of rapacious inequality, the black folk in Youngstown had it worse -- 'cause the supremacist cops would bust a black kid for weed while a white kid would walk away. It was the perfect answer for a progressive media hit. It was the worst possible answer if a candidate actually wanted to win some of those Ohio votes. Gillibrand stumbled on to say she that she understood families in the community were suffering, "but that's not what this conversation is about."

Her answer was thin soup to women who'd lost sons to drugs. Opioids now rank just below suicide as a cause of death in America (as if the two are unconnected). Many more die from opioids than police violence. Ohio has the second highest opioids death count in the U.S. And how much time will that issue get at the next Democratic debate?

Gillibrand, standing in as the poster child for progressives, likely knows nothing about 1977's Black Monday in Youngstown, when 5,000 steelworkers were laid off, or of the 50,000 who lost their jobs after that. The town never recovered, trauma that helped put Ronald Reagan and then Trump in the White House. She doesn't see what they saw. The problem is not black and white; it is up and down.

The people of Youngstown understand this in their bones, and, to the endless amazement of progressive media , support Trump even when he is ineffective in helping them, because at least he understands. He would never tell them that their economic problems pale in comparison to racism. Gillibrand, on the other hand, went to Youngstown specifically to communicate that she doesn't care -- her eye is on another audience.

It is time to admit that racism is not the core problem, the one Pete Buttigieg claims "threatens to unravel the American project." It is in 2019 an exaggeration driving a key Democratic strategy: betting the White House on unreliable voters (since the 1980s, blacks have turned out in higher numbers than whites, percentage-wise, only for the Obama elections) against a body of whites they devalue.

This is a risky strategy. It alienates too many while challenging others (older Americans of all races historically turn out at 30 to 40 percent higher rates than the youngest voters) to vote for the party that now gleefully denounces Thomas Jefferson as a slaver, and throws its own vice president emeritus and frontrunner under the racism bus. Voters, meanwhile, wonder when the reparations for their lost jobs and homes will come.

The Dems can't reassess because to discuss racism in any but the Party's own terms is more racism. Dissenters are racists, or at least noncompetitive. Mayor Pete, who in January said , "Trump got elected because, in his twisted way, he pointed out the huge troubles in our economy and our democracy," now leads the charge with racism. Argument is ended with "Oh, so says a white person." Whitesplaining! It's like saying only doctors who have cancer are allowed to treat tumors.

In Wall Street terms, Democrats are "shorting" white voters. A short means betting against something, devaluing it. If you are short on Microsoft, you make investments that will go up if Microsoft goes down. Dems think white voters have little value, and are betting against them with exaggerated claims of supremacy. Along the way, they assume all "people of color" will fall into place, believing that what resonates with young urban blacks will also click with their older rural relatives in swing states, as well as with Latinos who trace their roots from Barcelona to Havana to Juarez, and Asians too (why not?), simply because, in Democratic lexicon, any color trumps white -- no shades of nuance needed.

If that sounds simplistic, never mind inaccurate, and a bad idea, you may want to consider shorting the Dems for 2020.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan.


E. T. Bass 3 hours ago

The reason the democrat left’s “identity politics” is doomed to failure is that it disdains, excludes and insults the intelligence of anyone who simply chooses to identify as “American”
James Greenbaum 2 hours ago
Obsessive Democratic Division Disorder. Instead of focusing on Unity and Accord, instead of seeing the US of A as one big melting pot filled with the same hopes & dreams, Democrats have obsessed on dividing the nation into every conceivable sub-category of humanity along lines of political correctness for the impossible idea of cobbling a majority voting block from minority classes that are already protected under Title IX, Family Leave Act, Equal Protection, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, ADA, and a host of other federal and state equally laws.

Hillary, The Inevitable One, failed miserably with Basket of Deplorables voting for Trump. As it turns out a majority of Americans appreciate the US of A, and understand that just because they have American Pride and believe in America, does not mean they should be labeled a racist.

So long as the Democrats Obsess on Dividing the nation falsing accusing anyone not on their Crazy Socialist Train racist, sexist, homophobic, white-privileged or Russian Collusion Conspirators -- the Dems will continue to go down in flames.

Mark Thomason 2 hours ago
"Gillibrand, on the other hand, went to Youngstown specifically to communicate that she doesn’t care—her eye is on another audience."

McCain did the same thing in my town's high school auditorium during his run for President. He came to tell us there was no hope, that no jobs were coming back, and our community had no future. He lost here.

olderwiser an hour ago
50 years ago, I started an entry level job in financial services. Most of my time was spent meeting with low income prospective customers, many of whom had incomes about the same as my entry level salary, or higher. It only took me a short time to realize that I had more in common with the low income minority group customers that I was meeting with than with the managers and executives who ran the company. It was never about race. It’s always about income and wealth and opportunity. The Democrats want to deny opportunity to everyone who is, by their definition, white. It’s already a fact of life for young white people trying to lift themselves out of poverty. Even young people of color recognize the injustice in the Democratic Party policies.
Eva_Galley an hour ago
I dont think its as much skin color as it is the age demographic. If you're 50 and up, despite your race, you were raised in a fairly harmonious age when people knew racism still existed, but the average person did not practice it. It was reserved for the 10% fringe (KKK) of society.
This article is spot-on in declaring the practice of punishing the present-day citizens for historical sins will never gain much momentum, even among the black community. They acknowledge they have never been slaves as much as their whit counterparts have ever owned slaves.
Whatever your color, we all want a steady economy. That's a winning message.
Don Quijote an hour ago • edited
Dems think white voters have little value, and are betting against them with exaggerated claims of supremacy.

No they just think that they will vote their racial resentment instead of their economic interest and so far they have been proven right.

House passes legislation aimed at stabilizing multiemployer pension plans

The House passed legislation Wednesday in a 264-169 vote aimed at helping stabilize multiemployer pension plans in hopes of mitigating the looming pension crisis.

Twenty-nine Republicans — nine of whom co-sponsored the legislation — joined Democrats in voting for the measure.

All Information (Except Text) for S.27 - American Miners Act of 2019

Dave an hour ago
Taken with a grain of salt from the man who wrote on Oct 29 2018 that the Democrats "are unlikely to take control of the House."

[Jul 06, 2019] The whole globalised neoliberal paradigm - allied to the metropolitan elite s obsession with identity politics at the expense of bottom-line issues - has been broken up by people who now realise centre-left politicians (Clinton/Obama) have presided over whole communities being gutted in the name of free trade (for free trade read labour arbitrage).

Notable quotes:
"... I am an angry white male, and I am not a misogynist, as this paper would have it. I am fully aware of the appalling nature of Donald Trump. ..."
"... On the other hand, I fully understand the bureaucratic nature of the Democrat Party, the embedded interests of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex in that bureaucracy, the dirty tricks that that bureaucratic machinery got up to in order to extinguish Bernie Sander's campaign ..."
"... And I am aware of how Hillary was so keen to service this reality and American image of itself. And to go beyond that, and bomb Libya for 6 months, killing thousands of civilians (Middle eastern unpeople) and, may I suggest, doing nothing whatsoever for the women of Libya. Quite the opposite! ..."
"... Michael Moore, in a talk in which he predicted the victory of Trump before the election, notes how Trump went into an American car factory and told the executives of that company that if they relocated to Mexico, he would put a huge tax on their cars coming into America. Not all was misogyny in the vote for Trump. Whether he delivers on his threat or not, unlike the democrat bureaucratic machinery, he showed he was actually listening to working class Americans and that he was ;prepared to face up to company executives. ..."
"... However, the right wing have very skilfully redirected the anger that SHOULD be directed at what Naomi cleverly calls the "Davos class" onto a very small "immigration" issue that we have in the UK today. ..."
"... It is not going to happen. The holier than thou, supremacist arrogance of the illiberal class, means they can never admit they were wrong. ..."
"... It's all about jobs, really, isn't it? There is a natural fear of 'the other', but if times are good and jobs (proper jobs, not ZHC) are plentiful, it feels less important. On the face of it, it seems odd that the most fear of immigration is in places where there isn't much immigration, but they're often places where there isn't much work either. ..."
"... Rights are important, but identity politics contain too much whimsy and focus on the self. ..."
"... Yes, but they're politically and economically cheap, don't require much thought, and you get to hang out with pop-stars. ..."
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

dartmouth75, 10 Nov 2016 10:26

That ship has sailed. Bernie was the opportunity and it wasn't grasped. The moment for a 'left' alternative has been lost for a long time. The whole globalised liberal paradigm - allied to the metropolitan elite's obsession with identity politics at the expense of bottom-line issues - has been broken up by people who now realise centre-left politicians (Clinton/Obama) have presided over whole communities being gutted in the name of 'free' trade (for 'free' trade read labour arbitrage). I felt it in my bones that Trump would be elected - 55% of US households are worse off than they were in 2000, how on earth could anyone possibly think that that would result or a vote for the status quo.

KelvinYearwood , 10 Nov 2016 10:30

Well said Naomi.

I am an angry white male, and I am not a misogynist, as this paper would have it. I am fully aware of the appalling nature of Donald Trump.

On the other hand, I fully understand the bureaucratic nature of the Democrat Party, the embedded interests of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex in that bureaucracy, the dirty tricks that that bureaucratic machinery got up to in order to extinguish Bernie Sander's campaign.

I am aware of how that machinery has been ramping up a situation of global conflict, shamelessly recreating an aggressive Cold war Mk II situation with Russia and China, which is simply cover for the US racist colonial assumption that the world and its resources belongs to it in its sense of itself as an exceptional entity fulfilling its manifest destiny upon a global stage that belongs to its exceptional, wealthy and powerful elites.

And I am aware of how Hillary was so keen to service this reality and American image of itself. And to go beyond that, and bomb Libya for 6 months, killing thousands of civilians (Middle eastern unpeople) and, may I suggest, doing nothing whatsoever for the women of Libya. Quite the opposite!

Michael Moore, in a talk in which he predicted the victory of Trump before the election, notes how Trump went into an American car factory and told the executives of that company that if they relocated to Mexico, he would put a huge tax on their cars coming into America. Not all was misogyny in the vote for Trump. Whether he delivers on his threat or not, unlike the democrat bureaucratic machinery, he showed he was actually listening to working class Americans and that he was ;prepared to face up to company executives.

What has this paper got to say about Hillary and the Democrat Party's class bigotry – its demonstrable contempt for 10s of millions of Americans whose lives are worse now than in 1973, while productivity and wealth overall has skyrocketed over those 43 years.

What has this paper got to say about the lives of African American women, which have been devastated by Republican/Democrat bipartisan policy over the last 43 years?

What has Hadley Freeman got to say about Hillary's comment that President Mubarek of Egypt was "one of the family? A president whose security forces used physical and sexualised abuse of female demonstrators in the Arab Spring?

A feminist would need more than a peg on their nose to vote for Hillary – a feminist would need all the scented oils of Arabia. Perhaps Wahhabi funded Hillary can buy them up.

rebuydonkey , 10 Nov 2016 10:31

Great article. I think there needs to be a lot of soul searching in certain sections of the media and amongst the left wing political parties too. They don't have the correct approach to a rapidly changing ground swell of opinion. They are fast becoming out of touch - leaving a huge void for more conservative rhetoric (euphemism) to take over.

The failure to tackle immigration concerns across the west is the greatest example of comfy left wing elites being so far away from general consensus imo. The assumption that if you are concerned about immigration then you are a racist, xenophobic half wit appears rife amongst elites and the highly educated.

brianpreece -> rebuydonkey

I agree that this is a great article. And I agree that there is a coming migration crisis that we need to be very worried about, as the refugees from the Middle East try desperately for a better life away from conflict zones and poverty. However, the right wing have very skilfully redirected the anger that SHOULD be directed at what Naomi cleverly calls the "Davos class" onto a very small "immigration" issue that we have in the UK today.

The evidence for this is that in the EU referendum, the areas that were most strongly Leave were generally speaking those with few or no immigrants. I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated.

"Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push. I grew up in Northern Ireland so I saw this at first hand. My grandfather was a highly intelligent technocrat, but he was also an Orangeman. He did not seem able to understand that the Catholics he knew and were his friends were the same "them" that he demonised. All progressive people need now to find a way, as Naomi's article says, to repoint this anger to where it belongs. Sorry if this makes me a comfy left wing elite!

TeTsuo36 -> rebuydonkey

It is not going to happen. The holier than thou, supremacist arrogance of the illiberal class, means they can never admit they were wrong. Look at the past year here ATL and then BTL. Witness the absolute, unchanging and frankly extreme editorial line, in the face of massive discourse and well argued opposition BTL. Even now there are no alarm bells ringing in the back of their minds, they are right and everyone else is wrong. No attempt to understand, such is their unwavering belief in the echo chamber. You will only find an attempted programme of re-education in these pages. They will be still be doing it as Europe falls into the hands of the far-right.

zephirine -> brianpreece

I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated. "Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push.

It's all about jobs, really, isn't it? There is a natural fear of 'the other', but if times are good and jobs (proper jobs, not ZHC) are plentiful, it feels less important. On the face of it, it seems odd that the most fear of immigration is in places where there isn't much immigration, but they're often places where there isn't much work either.
ID3924525 , 10 Nov 2016 10:33

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

Yes. But, in the meantime, the system has become so right-wing that it only permits a right-wing outburst - a Social-Democratic one is instantly discredited by the totalitarian media outlets.

There is no way to articulate an effective response to this attack within the system.

OhReallyFFS , 10 Nov 2016 10:34

As usual Klein seems to make more sense than anyone else.

This paper needs to decide where it's going to stand politically for the next few years.

Rights are important, but identity politics contain too much whimsy and focus on the self.

tomandlu -> OhReallyFFS 2 3

Yes, but they're politically and economically cheap, don't require much thought, and you get to hang out with pop-stars.

SaintTimothy , 10 Nov 2016 11:01

This article is spot on except that both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren jumped on the Clinton neoliberal train for reasons of political expediency. From now on, anything either of them say should be critically examined before being supported.

[Jul 06, 2019] In order to justify the unjustifiable (a corporate elite exploiting the world as their own private estate), they constructed an artificial equivalence to make it seem that their self-interested economic system was part and parcel of a package of 'democracy', 'multi-racial tolerance', 'LGBT tolerance' etc

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

PaulDLion , 10 Nov 2016 11:43

In order to justify the unjustifiable (a corporate elite exploiting the world as their own private estate), they constructed an artificial equivalence to make it seem that their self-interested economic system was part and parcel of a package of 'democracy', 'multi-racial tolerance', 'LGBT tolerance' etc, so that people would be fooled into thinking that rejecting the economics meant rejecting all the other things too.

George Soros' "Open Society Foundation'" is a key offender here. The false consciousness thus engendered does indeed set the scene for fascism, but a genuine left opposition can and needs to be built and we can only hope that we can succeed in so doing.

[Jul 01, 2019] Kamala Harris as Hillary No.2 Her level of neocon warmongering in foreign policy probably will hurt her chances, but will bring a lot of donor money

Notable quotes:
"... Kamala Harris is multi-cultural, East Indian and Jamaican, globalist educated in the USA and Canada. To be elected and earn rewards she identifies herself as an African-American. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 6:16:41 PM | 51

Kamala Harris's Hillaryesque tweet re Trump meeting Kim at DMZ:

"This President should take the North Korean nuclear threat and its crimes against humanity seriously. This is not a photo-op. Our security and our values are at stake."

Comments on the thread are telling, and she's not fooling anyone.

VietnamVet , Jun 30, 2019 8:11:02 PM | 76

Thank goodness that there is one place where Globalism, Boeing, and Kamala Harris can be discussed. From the bottom, looking up, they are intertwined. Corporate media strictly ignores the restoration of the robber baron aristocracy, the supremacy of trade treaties, the endless wars for profit, the free flow of capital, and corrupted governments. The sole purpose is to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.

There are many tell-tale signs that this is an apt description of the world. With deregulation and outsourcing, there is no incentive to design and build safe airplanes. That costs money. Two 737 Max(s) crash killing 346. Workplaces are toxic. The life expectancy in the UK and USA is declining. The US dollar is used as a military weapon. Monopolies buy up innovation. Corporate law breaking is punished by fines which are added to the cost of doing business. There is no jail time for chief executives. The cost of storm damage is increasing. Families are migrating to survive. Nationalist and globalist oligarchs are fighting over the spoils. Last week the global economy was 10 minutes away from collapse by an American air attack on Iran.

Kamala Harris is multi-cultural, East Indian and Jamaican, globalist educated in the USA and Canada. To be elected and earn rewards she identifies herself as an African-American. Neo-Populism and France's Yellow Vests are the direct response to global capitalism that is supported by Corporate Democrats, New Labour Party, and Emmanuel Macron. The rise of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in response is no coincidence.

uncle tungsten , Jul 1 2019 8:07 utc | 121
snake #97

Why burden b when you can read this by Caitlin Johnston: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/kamala-harris-is-everything-the-establishment-wants-in-a-politician/

especially read this by Helen Hanna in the comments section:

kamala looked aside while wells fargo bank established 3 million fraudulent accounts while she was attorney general of california. she did nothing to punish them. she might as well be wearing a hillary mask. as someone who lived in the bay area for 31 years, i remember her on the 'matier and ross' interview program--her performance was juvenile and silly--- and i remember her being willing to join the parade of willie brown's cocaine addicted mistresses,. as number 21 and as a woman of color, she was a relief---not white, not skanky, no silver cocaine spoon around her neck while pretending to eat dinner at chez michel with willie, but why on earth would you want to join this parade and go out with this sleazy man whose kiton suits do not improve his image one bit, a politician who offended the san francisco public by his obnoxious habit of publicly flaunting his many skanky female hangers on, and reveling in their 'whiteness.' what a bad choice kamala made. remember that pelosi and feinstein wouldn't let willie brown anywhere near the inauguration podium of barack obama because these women did not want willie's offensive background to sully obama. willie had had an illegitimate child while 'serving as' mayor of san francisco, a city of 500 churches, mostly catholic. the catholic church continued to retain him in the role --'of counsel.' that was astounding to me, absolutely astounding.... willie also laundered drug money in a sutter street garage with his haberdasher, wilkes bashford, but dianne feinstein prevented him from being jailed. i can just see the sisterhood at temple emanuel where dianne feinstein worships--i can just see them admonishing her for even suggesting one of serial adulterer willie's former mistresses be the first woman president....is that why senator feinstein is keeping such a low profile lately? what i don't understand is why pelosi and feinstein keep bringing us these puppet-like women----hillary will always be bill's puppet and kamala will be willie's puppet. you cannot possibly choose two more sleazy, obnoxious men to be your superior.

[Jun 28, 2019] Identity politics remains the central element of the Democratic Party with Harris as flagbearer

Jun 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Originally from: We’ve Seen the Debates–And What Could Be Our Future The American Conservative

... ... ...

Those emotions erupted in the Thursday debate when Kamala Harris took on Biden for his earlier remarks about the old days of the Senate when he could work collaboratively with Southern segregationists such as Alabama's James Eastland. Harris said it was "very hurtful" to hear Biden "talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputation and career on the segregation of race in this country." She scored Biden also for working with such senators in opposition to busing for racial balance in schools during the 1970s.

"Do you agree today, do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then? Do you agree?" she asked with considerable emotion in her voice. She added it was a personal matter with her given that she had benefited from busing policies as a young girl.

Biden retorted: "A mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not praise racists." He added that he never opposed busing as a local policy arrived at through local politics, but didn't think it should be imposed by the federal government. "That's what I opposed," he said.

The exchange accentuated the extent to which racial issues are gaining intensity in America and roiling the nation's politics to a greater extent than in the recent past. Biden's point, as he sought to explain, was that there was a day when senators of all stripes could work together on matters of common concern even when they disliked and opposed each other's fundamental political outlook. That kind of approach could point the way, he implied, to a greater cooperative spirit in Washington and to breaking the current political deadlock suffused with such stark animosities. But that merely stirred further animosities, raising questions about whether today's political rancor in Washington can be easily or soon ameliorated.

[Jun 24, 2019] America To Weimar Germany Hold My Beer

Notable quotes:
"... a cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore is purportedly offering to lop off women's breasts -- including the breasts of teenage girls -- at a discount, to celebrate Pride month: ..."
"... Discount breast-lopping to celebrate a holiday -- is that not the most American thing ever? And you used to think two-for-one radial tire sales for Washington's Birthday were trashy! Can't you just feel the pride? ..."
"... A "pride month" sale on plastic surgery to mutilate children's breasts is the most "snapshot of America in 2019" story imaginable. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Our deranged media continue their propaganda offensive. Here is a Houston TV station celebrating the sexualization of a little boy, whose parents ought to be ashamed of themselves. We have completely lost our moral minds.

This is true:

I long thought the sexualization of little girls in beauty pageants had become gross, and until recently there seemed to be a growing consensus about that. Now the sexualization of little boys dressed as girls is a cause of great celebration. Count me out. https://t.co/j7nVQkRJEX

-- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) June 22, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Meanwhile, a cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore is purportedly offering to lop off women's breasts -- including the breasts of teenage girls -- at a discount, to celebrate Pride month:

1. Latest leak from our source in the affirming parents Facebook group: Dr. Beverly Fischer in Baltimore, MD is offering a $750 discount on double mastectomies if booked during Pride month, according to this mother. pic.twitter.com/Od9w0TFXPp

-- 4thWaveNow (@4th_WaveNow) June 22, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

No kidding -- the surgeon tweeted this out herself:

June is PRIDE MONTH! Celebrate with a $750 discount on our Top Surgery procedure! #plasticsurgery #cosmeticsurgery #genderaffirmation #gendertransition #FTM #DrBevsBoys pic.twitter.com/6tuPy8tl1v

-- Dr. Beverly Fischer (@BeverlyAFischer) June 7, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Discount breast-lopping to celebrate a holiday -- is that not the most American thing ever? And you used to think two-for-one radial tire sales for Washington's Birthday were trashy! Can't you just feel the pride?

We are a sick civilization that deserves to be punished.

Nate J 19 hours ago

A "pride month" sale on plastic surgery to mutilate children's breasts is the most "snapshot of America in 2019" story imaginable. Welcome to the brave new world, where the neoliberal obsession with consumerism (and the reduction of all human experience to markets) meets prog-left social chaos. What an unholy union.

[Jun 21, 2019] It's Not Over Judge Approves Special Prosecutor For Jussie Smollett Case In Nautical Smackdown

Jun 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

hooligan2009 , 7 minutes ago link

lest we forget, kim foxx recused herself so she could attend the oscars.

https://medium.com/@FlorianSohnke/crimefightin-kim-foxx-hits-the-red-carpet-at-the-oscars-e2579d0f3b36

gmak , 8 minutes ago link

good start. now, let's have false accusers do jail time for ruining an innocent man's life with lies and /or innuendo.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 3 minutes ago link

let's have false accusers do jail time for ruining an innocent man's life with lies and /or innuendo.

This! The sentence should be equal to the sentence of the falsely accused, plus some

Ghost of Porky , 9 minutes ago link

$100 bucks says Foxxy "accidentally" bleach-bitted her phone and her hard drive so we will never get to see the correspondence with Michael Obama.

Blue Boat , 6 minutes ago link

HA! NSA has everything. No worries....

waycup , 10 minutes ago link

" If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the Special Prosecutor may take such action..."

RoyalDraco , 1 minute ago link

Are you referring to the Portland State freshman linebacker?

This Foxx bitch judge just chose to dismiss the charges for no apparent reason other than a bribe or gaining favor with the national DNC. I am not a lawyer (thank the Lord) but I see no obstacle regarding bringing the charges back and trying him. Since there was no jury verdict, the constitutional ban against double jeopardy does not apply. I agree that the whole thing is Kabuki theatre, but giving the Mullett some serious time in an Illinois prison would be very "educational." However, with his sexual predilections, it may be throwing Br'er Rabbit in the Briar Patch.

TheVoicesInYourHead , 9 minutes ago link

Perpetrators of fake "hate crimes" are actually guilty of a true hate crime. This should be written into law.

Smolett perpetrated a true hate crime.

[Jun 11, 2019] Pat Buchanan How Do We Remain One Nation One People

Jun 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

What we have here is a clash of values.

What one side believes is preserving the God-given right to life for the unborn, the other regards as an assault on the rights of women.

The clash raises questions that go beyond our culture war to what America should stand for in the world.

"American interests and American values are inseparable," Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Claremont Institute:

"We have had too little courage to confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values."

Are Pompeo and Mayor Pete talking about the same values?

The mayor is proudly gay and in a same-sex marriage. Yet the right to same-sex marriage did not even exist in this country until the Supreme Court discovered it a few years ago.

In a 2011 speech to the U.N., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gay rights are human rights," and she approved of U.S. embassies flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month.

This year, Mike Pompeo told the U.S. embassy in Brazil not to fly the rainbow flag. He explained his concept of his moral duty to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "The task I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior."

The Christian values Pompeo espouses on abortion and gay rights are in conflict with what progressives now call human rights.

And the world mirrors the American divide.

There are gay pride parades in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but none in Riyadh and Mecca. In Brunei, homosexuality can get you killed.

To many Americans, diversity -- racial, ethnic, cultural, religious -- is our greatest strength.

Yet Poland and Hungary are proudly ethnonationalist. South Korea and Japan fiercely resist the racial and ethnic diversity immigration would bring. Catalans and Scots in this century, like Quebecois in the last, seek to secede from nations to which they have belonged for centuries.

Are ethnonationalist nations less righteous than diverse nations likes ours? And if diversity is an American value, is it really a universal value?

Consider the treasured rights of our First Amendment -- freedom of speech, religion and the press.

Saudi Arabia does not permit Christian preachers. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, converts to Christianity face savage reprisals. In Buddhist Myanmar, Muslims are ethnically cleansed.

These nations reject an equality of all faiths, believing instead in the primacy of their own majority faith. They reject our wall of separation between religion and state. Our values and their values conflict.

What makes ours right and theirs wrong? Why should our views and values prevail in what are, after all, their countries?

Under our Constitution, many practices are protected - abortion, blasphemy, pornography, flag-burning, trashing religious beliefs - that other nations regard as symptoms of a disintegrating society.

When Hillary Clinton said half of all Trump supporters could be put into a "basket of deplorables" for being "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic," she was conceding that many Trump's supporters detest many progressive values.

True, but in the era of Trump, why should her liberal values be the values America champions abroad?

With secularism's triumph, we Americans have no common religion, no common faith, no common font of moral truth. We disagree on what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. Without an agreed-upon higher authority, values become matters of opinion. And ours are in conflict and irreconcilable.

Understood. But how, then, do we remain one nation and one people?

[Jun 05, 2019] End of Discussion How the Left s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)

Notable quotes:
"... This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin ..."
"... Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning. ..."
"... A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas. ..."
"... A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Q Garcia , August 9, 2017

1984 is Here - Everybody's Brother is Watching

This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin .

Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning.

.0 out of 5 stars A Professor's Review of the Outrage Circus (and the first non-Vine review :-)
Brumble Buffin , August 18, 2015
Tolerance gone astray

I became interested in this book after watching Megyn Kelly's interview with Benson (Google it), where he gave his thoughts on the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. He made a heartfelt and reasoned plea for tolerance and grace on BOTH sides. He hit it out of the park with this and set himself apart from some of his gay peers who are determined that tolerance is NOT a two-way street.

We are seeing a vindictive campaign of lawsuits and intimidation against Christian business people who choose not to provide flowers and cakes for same-sex weddings. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thumbing your nose at this core American freedom should alarm us all. Personally, I'm for traditional marriage and I think the better solution would be to give civil unions the same legal rights and obligations as marriage, but that's another discussion.

So what about the book? It exceeded my expectations. Ham and Benson are smart and articulate. Their ideas are clearly presented, supported by hard evidence and they are fair and balanced. The book is a pleasure to read - - unless you are a die-hard Lefty. In that case, it may anger you, but anger can be the first step to enlightenment.

Steve Bicker , August 1, 2015
A Well Documented Death of Debate

A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas.

A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them.

The Left lays claim to being the "party of tolerance", unless you happen to "think outside THEIR box", which, to the Left is INtolerable and must not only be silenced, but exterminated... A great book!

[Jun 03, 2019] A n example of identity stereotyping (in this case anti-Semitism)

Jun 03, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Walter 2 months ago ,

Rachel is the grand daughter of a Lithuanian (J) what else would you expect her to be but anti-Russia?

Isabella Jones Walter 2 months ago ,

The brilliant American physicist, Nobel prize winner, Richard Feynham was also descended from LIthuanian Jews.He had no time for any religion, and refused all aspects of Jewishness. He was a brilliant mant who contributed much to American Science.

Don't make generalisations based on race. Every race has demons and devil, and brilliant angels, and all points in between.

Jasaah 2 months ago ,

Rachel Maddow is garbage. She is godless and without any principles, honor, or dignity.

Unfortunately, she probably represents at least 50% of the US population these days.

- Orthodox Christian Palestinian

[May 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Watered-Down Populism

May 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Too often caught between Randian individualism on one hand and big-government collectivism on the other, America's working-class parents need a champion.

They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap , co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows. Long a samizdat favorite among socially conservative writers, the book recently got a new dose of attention after being spotlighted on the Right by Fox News's Tucker Carlson and on the Left by Vox's Matthew Yglesias .

The book's main takeaway was that two-earner families in the early 2000s seemed to be less, rather than more, financially stable than one-earner families in the 1970s. Whereas stay-at-home moms used to provide families with an implicit safety net, able to enter the workforce if circumstances required, the dramatic rise of the two-earner family had effectively bid up the cost of everyday life. Rather than the additional income giving families more breathing room, they argue, "Mom's paycheck has been pumped directly into the basic costs of keeping the children in the middle class."

Warren and Warren Tyagi report that as recently as the late 1970s, a married mother was roughly twice as likely to stay at home with her children than work full-time. But by 2000, those figures had almost reversed. Both parents had been pressed into the workforce to maintain adequate standards of living for their families -- the "two-income trap" of the book's title. Advertisement

What caused the trap to be sprung? Cornell University economist Francine Blau has helpfully drawn a picture of women's changing responsiveness to labor market wages during the 20th century. In her work with Laurence Kahn, Blau found that women's wage elasticities -- how responsive their work decisions were to changes in their potential wages -- used to be far more heavily driven by their husband's earning potential or lack thereof (what economists call cross-wage elasticity). Over time, Blau and Kahn found, women's responsiveness to wages -- their own or their husbands -- began to fall, and their labor force participation choices began to more closely resemble men's, providing empirical backing to the story Warren and Warren Tyagi tell.

Increasing opportunity and education were certainly one driver of this trend. In 1960, just 5.8 percent of all women over age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher. Today, 41.7 percent of mothers aged 25 and over have a college degree. Many of these women entered careers in which they found fulfillment and meaning, and the opportunity costs, both financially and professionally, of staying home might have been quite high.

But what about the plurality of middle- and working-class moms who weren't necessarily looking for a career with a path up the corporate ladder? What was pushing them into full-time work for pay, despite consistently telling pollsters they wished they could work less?

The essential point, stressed by Warren and Warren Tyagi, was the extent to which this massive shift was driven by a desire to provide for one's children. The American Dream has as many interpretations as it does adherents, but a baseline definition would surely include giving your children a better life. Many women in America's working and middle classes entered the labor force purely to provide the best possible option for their families.


Fran Macadam April 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm

She Woke up.

Careerism trumps sanity. In the age of #MeToo, it's got to be all about me.

Tim , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Warren's academic work and cheeky refusal to fold under pressure when her nomination as Obama's consumer ('home ec.'?) finance czar was stymied by the GOP are worthy of respect. I'd like to see her make a strong run at the dem nomination, but am put off by her recent tendency to adopt silly far-left talking points and sentiments (her Native DNA, advocating for reparations, etc.). Nice try, Liz, but I'm still leaning Bernie's direction.

As far as the details of the economic analysis related above, though, I am unqualified to make any judgment – haven't read the book. But one enormously significant economic development in the early 70s wasn't mentioned at all, so I assume she and her daughter passed it over as well. In his first term R. Milhouse Nixon untethered, once & for all, the value of the dollar from traditional hard currency. The economy has been coming along nicely ever since, except for one problematic aspect: with a floating currency we are all now living in an economic environment dominated by the vicissitudes of supplies and demands, are we not? It took awhile to effect the housing market, but signs of the difference it made began to emerge fairly quickly, and accelerated sharply when the tides of globalism washed lots of third world lucre up on our western shores. Now, as clearly implied by both Warren and the author of this article, young Americans whose parents may not have even been born back then – the early 70s – are probably permanently priced out of the housing market in places that used to have only a marginally higher cost of entry – i.e. urban California, where I have lived and worked for most of my nearly 60 years. In places like this even a 3-earner income may not suffice! Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism. Of course, nothing could be more conservative than that, right? What say you, TAColytes?

K squared , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:05 am
"Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers."

Funny that Warren HAS brought up raising taxes on the rich.

[May 06, 2019] Bernie's Degeneracy That's Democracy For Ya by Ilana Mercer

May 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Multiculturalism means that you confer political privileges on many an individual whose illiberal practices run counter to, even undermine, the American political tradition.

Radical leaders across the U.S. quite seriously consider Illegal immigrants as candidates for the vote -- and for every other financial benefit that comes from the work of American citizens.

The rights of all able-bodied idle individuals to an income derived from labor not their own: That, too, is a debate that has arisen in democracy, where the demos rules like a despot.

But then moral degeneracy is inherent in raw democracy. The best political thinkers, including America's constitution-makers, warned a long time ago that mass, egalitarian society would thus degenerate.

What Bernie Sanders prescribes for the country -- unconditional voting -- is but an extension of "mass franchise," which was feared by the greatest thinkers on Democracy. Prime Minister George Canning of Britain, for instance.

Canning, whose thought is distilled in Russell Kirk's magnificent exegesis, "The Conservative Mind," thought that "the franchise should be accorded to persons and classes insofar as they possess the qualifications for right judgment and are worthy members of their particular corporations."

By "corporations," Canning (1770-1827) meant something quite different to our contemporary, community-killing multinationals.

"Corporations," in the nomenclature of the times, meant very plainly in "the spirit of cooperation, based upon the idea of a neighborhood. [C]ities, parishes, townships, professions, and trades are all the corporate bodies that constitute the state."

To the extent that an individual citizen is a decent member of these " little platoons " (Edmund Burke's iridescent term), he may be considered, as Canning saw it, for political participation.

"If voting becomes a universal and arbitrary right," cautioned Canning, "citizens become mere political atoms, rather than members of venerable corporations; and in time this anonymous mass of voters will degenerate into pure democracy," which, in reality is "the enthronement of demagoguery and mediocrity." ("The Conservative Mind," p. 131.)

That's us. Demagoguery and mediocrity are king in contemporary democracies, where the organic, enduring, merit-based communities extolled by Canning, no longer exists and are no longer valued.

This is the point at which America finds itself and against which William Lecky, another brilliant British political philosopher and politician, argued.

The author of "Democracy and Liberty" (1896) predicted that "the continual degradation of the suffrage" through "mass franchise" would end in "a new despotism."

Then as today, radical, nascent egalitarians, who championed the universal vote abhorred by Lecky, attacked "institution after institution," harbored "systematic hostility" toward "owners of landed property" and private property and insisted that "representative institutions" and the franchise be extended to all irrespective of "circumstance and character."

... ... ... "

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016). She's back on Twitter , after being suspended, and is also on Facebook , Gab & YouTube


imbroglio , says: April 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT

The franchise should be granted by whom? You're forgetting the 800 pound gorilla and where he sits when he enters the room. Franchises and every other grant are granted by those who have the power to grant them.

Canning's "organic, enduring, merit-based communities" will emerge, in ghastly form, as the solipsistic constituencies of identity politics. Why do people like Omar laugh at America and Americans? "Here's a people so stupid as to clasp the adder to its breast. You're clasping? I'm biting."

Bernie is utopian. Utopians do terrible things if and when they have the power to do them. But you can't fault him for insincerity.

The younger Tsarnaev who hid out near my home town was doing what his older brother told him to do assuming that the bombing wasn't a false flag. Not an excuse. Only to say the kid had no political convictions and probably wouldn't bother to vote if he could.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: April 27, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
Sanders is just a wine and cheese socialist, totally an armchair theorist. He has no background in actually doing anything besides being involved in politics which has provided a living for him. It's doubtful he could run a couple of Walmarts. This is his last go-around and he's out to see how much in contributions he can garner. Pushing the edge, theoretically of course, keeps him in the conversation. He's worthless but such is the state of politics where characters like him, Biden, and the rest of the Dem lineup could be taken seriously. Just one big clown show.
hamtok , says: May 5, 2019 at 6:15 pm GMT
@Jim Bob Lassiter Yes, but, his wife could steal money from a collapsing college to serve her daughter. Corruption must run in the family as Bernie has been conspicuously silent on this subject. He must feel the Burn!

[May 05, 2019] Are Women, Like New Zealand's Ardern -- Or Gays, Like U.S. Dems' Buttigieg -- REALLY Suited To Politics by Lance Welton

May 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

It is a simple fact that females are more "emotionally unstable" than males. Psychological analyses all agree that by the time females reach adulthood, they are significantly higher in the personality trait "Neuroticism" than are males of the same age. [See Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: Big Five domains and facets in a large cross-sectional sample , by C. Soto et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011].

Neuroticism is characterized by "feeling negative feelings strongly," with the opposite of Neuroticism being "Emotional Stability." Such "Negative Feelings" include sadness, anger and jealousy. But females score particularly strongly on "anxiety" -- possibly because, in prehistory, the children of anxious, protective mothers were less likely to get seriously injured. But the key point is that the stereotype is correct.

And people are also correct to think that women -- that is, those who, on average, score higher in Neuroticism -- will be less able to cope in the brutal world of power-politics.

Successful politicians -- the ones who get into their country's legislature but don't make it to the very top -- score significantly lower than the general public in Neuroticism, according to research published in the leading psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences . [ The personalities of politicians: A big five survey of American legislators , by Richard Hanania , 2017]

And this research reveals something very interesting indeed. These "successful politicians," while being more emotionally stable than most voters, score higher in the personality traits Extraversion ("feeling positive feelings strongly"), Conscientiousness ("rule-following and impulse control") and Agreeableness ("altruism and empathy").

But this does not tend to be true of those who reach the very top of politics -- and especially not of those who are perceived as great, world-changing statesmen. They tend to be highly intelligent but above average on quite the opposite personality traits – psychopathology and Narcissism [ Creativity and psychopathology , by F. Post British Journal of Psychiatry, 1994]. However, high Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Extraversion are true of successful politicians in general.

In much the same way, run-of-the-mill scientists are above average in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness but genius scientists combine being relatively low in these traits with stratospheric intelligence. This gives them creativity, drive and fearless to be original. [ At Our Wits' End , by Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley of Menie, 2018, Ch. 6]

This is important, because these are typically female traits: women score higher than men in Agreeableness, Consciousness and Extraversion. This means that, in general, we would expect the relatively few females who do reach high political office to be fairly atypical women: low in mental instability and certainly moderately low in altruism, empathy or both -- think Margaret Thatcher , who according to Keith Patching in his 2006 book Leadership, Character and Strategy, was organizing her impending Bar Finals from her hospital bed having just had twins; or even Theresa May. Neither of these British Prime Ministers have (or had) neither of whom have particularly "feminine" personalities, though they may reflect (or have reflected) very pronounced Conscientiousness, a trait associated with social conservatism. [ Resolving the "Conscientiousness Paradox" , by Scott A. McGreal, Psychology Today , July 27, 2015]

But, sometimes, a female politician's typically anxiety will apparently be " compensated " for i.e. overwhelmed by her having massively high Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. This likely occurred in the case of Jacinda Ardern, who suffers from intense anxiety to the point of having being hospitalized.

This will become a problem in a time of crisis when, as happened with Ardern, such a politician will become over-emotional. This, combined with very high empathy, would seem to partly explain Ardern's self-identification with New Zealand's Muslims to the extent of donning a head scarf and breaking down in public.

But it also explains why females, on average, tend to be more left-wing than males and more open to refugees. They feel empathy and even sadness for the plight of the refugees more strongly than do men [ Young women are more left wing than men, study reveals, by Rosalind Shorrocks, The Conversation, May 3, 2018

This means that there will be a tendency for females to push politics Leftwards and make it more about empathy and other such "feelings." It also means that, in a serious crisis, they may well even empathize with the enemy.

In that gay men are generally feminized males, this problem help would to explain why people are skeptical of the suitability of homosexual men for supposedly "masculine" professions (such as politics) [ The extreme male brain theory of autism, by Simon Baron-Cohen, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2002], sometimes including political office. [ The Hidden Psychology of Voting, by Zaria Gorvett, BBC News , May 6, 2015]

Supporters of gay Democrat Pete Buttigieg 's campaign for his party's presidential nomination [ Protester Shouts "Sodom and Gomorrah" at Gay 2020 Dem Pete Buttigieg, by Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, April 17, 2019] should, perhaps, take note . . .


freedom-cat , says: April 29, 2019 at 7:34 am GMT

What about Science and Technology? Are they suited for that? Maybe science could use a little more wisdom and conscientiousness.

J Robert Oppenheimer, the genius Physics professor, was known to be "temperamental" and not suited for high stress assignment. So, along with several other genius's, some who came over from Germany, he presided over the making of the A-bomb. Hallelujah just kidding.

There's an excellent book that covers J Robert Oppenheimer and the making of the A-bomb called "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer".
The guy was totally volatile and emotionally unstable. While in school he left a knife in an apple on his teacher's desk that he did not like.

After the bomb was dropped on JAPAN, in a documentary much later, he is shown with tears in his eyes quoting the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds".

A couple decades or so later there were interviews of some of these guys who were part of the project and they were crying. They had the GENIUS to build such a monstrosity, but seemed to have failed to understand the impact it would make on the world; breaking down in tears when talking about it. They had no clue or ability of Foreknowledge. What would have happened if more women were on the team? Would we all be annihilated by now? Or maybe no a-bomb would have been made? Who knows .

Ray Woodcock , says: Website April 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm GMT
Interesting. And I appreciate the citations to sources. But I find that interpretation of psychiatric traits is a bit like reading tea leaves: there is a temptation to cherry-pick one's preferred quotes and conclusions. For me, this article would have been stronger if it had followed a recognized authority's path through the Big Five personality traits.
SOL , says: April 29, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT
Feminism is dyscivic.
You can't handle the truth , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:29 am GMT
It seems rather unfair to pick a moron like Jacinda Ardern to represent all female politicians. And even though when it comes to foreign policy, I'll take a Tulsi Gabbard over any male politician like Rubio, Graham, Schumer, Pence, Trump, Pompeo, Bolton any day, I will have to say, in general, you're right, the crop of female politicians we've seen today do not inspire confidence in women as politicians, not just in the US but Merkel, May yikes. But women had been good heads of states in the past, like Margaret Thatcher and Queen Victoria. But they were the exceptions rather than the rule.

Also agree that gays make for bad politicians. Even though their moral degeneracy and drama queen antics make politics look like a natural fit, their extreme narcissism means they will always get sidetracked and can't stay focused. The only thing any gay man cares about is his gayness. Plus no one outside the western world will ever give them an ounce of respect. Picture Buttplug showing up in a muslim country as POTUS, with his husband! Either they'll get stoned to death which will get us into war or the US will be the laughing stock of the world. And then of course he'd have to go bomb some country just to prove his manhood, getting us into more unnecessary wars. No gays for politics, ever.

Anon [192] Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
Are Homosexuals Suited for Politics?

Apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harden–Eulenburg_affair

https://www.google.com/search?q=lavender+mafia

Oh, you really meant to ask Are Homosexuals Suited for Governance?

Dan Hayes , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
@freedom-cat freedom-cat:

There has been a very successful effort to paint Oppenheimer as a secular saint. But Princeton's John Archibald Wheeler stated that he never trusted Oppenheimer. So what? Because JAW was notorious for otherwise saying nice things about almost everyone else, especially his academic rivals. Also JAW happily and productively worked on the US H-bomb project which was embargoed by Oppenheimer and his many disciples.

SafeNow , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
I agree with the point made above, that, in our nuclear age, behavior in a crisis is the most important personality trait. I think that men's crisis-calmness can suffer from macho/ego, and with women, from anxiety and panic. Democratic candidate Amy K reportedly throws things when angry, and to me, this is disqualifying. Assuming no nuclear destruction, the analysis is this: We have devolved into a gigantic banana republic/soft dictatorship; whose personality constellation is best suited to politics in a banana republic?
Thomm , says: May 5, 2019 at 4:34 am GMT
No female leader of any country, ever, has been particularly good, except one.

And that one was only because she was fortunate enough to be the PM of the UK at the same time as Ronald Reagan was President of the US. He was handholding every single decision of hers. Reagan was effectively running two countries (the #1 and #4 largest GDPs in the world at that time). At least she was smart enough to let him tell her exactly what to do.

Given this dataset, no, women are not suitable for very high political office.

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 5, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
Is Ardern still wearing that hijab in order to cynically manipulate her insipid voters? Anyway

I have come to realize that women, on the whole, tend to be poorly suited to many traditionally male-doninated activities. Politics, for sure. Very few good, dependable female politicians come to mind. But the list at my immediate recall that are emotional, vapid, destructive slobs -- Angela Merkel, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Eva Perón, Michelle Bachelet, Isabel Allende Bussi, Annie Lööf, Anne Hidalgo, Ursula von der Leyen, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Rashida Tlaïb, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, et al -- seems practically limitless. Not only is the fairer sex not adept at political leadership, but they are ill-suited to even vote rationally. The weakness of Anglo-American men's resolve against the suffragettes was the beginning of the end.

Preeminent excellence seems to elude the grasp of women in a number of other careers. For whatever reason, there are few women writers of prose fiction that can equal the heights men have reached in that field. This despite the fact that the contemporary literary industry is overwhelmingly dominated by women. True, there are the rare instances of female literary transcendence in the guise of a Clarice Lispector, Hilda Hilst, Okamoto Kanoko, Murasaki Shikibu, Unica Zürn, and so on. But they tend to be the exceptions that prove the rule. (On the other hand, women seem naturally gifted at lyric expression, with great female poets existing since at least Sappho.)

Orchestral conducting, too, is a field wherein women cannot produce an equal or better of, say, a Furtwängler, Mengelberg, or Beecham. There are plenty of them around today -- all lousy. (To be fair, though, nearly all living conductors today -- male or female -- are lousy.)

Teacup , says: May 5, 2019 at 5:03 am GMT
I'm a university degree holding woman, of the traditional type with XX chromosomes, and since I was a teen some forty years ago, I've thought that men are better suited for politics. Not that a few women can't do it successfully (Thatcher and British Queens for examples) but that it's a profession far more suited to men, being as many are more naturally mentally strong, steady and rational, and not as given to bursts of emotion and utopian fancies as women can often be. In fact, I'd be delighted if only U.S. born citizen male property owners over the age of 25 were allowed to vote. How's that for being a Dissident?

[Apr 19, 2019] A child could see through the fake "chemical attack" supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:29 pm GMT

Justin Raimondo has just done a U turn on 'president' Dump

' doesn't this prove I was wrong about Trump and his movement all along?

I was very wrong to discount the role of character, personality, and intelligence: Trump is simply not fit to be President '

Raimondo's reaction to Dump's incredible imbecility re the Syria 'chemical attacks '

' A child could see through the fake "chemical attack" supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria '

Yes anyone watching that white helmets footage is immediately cringing for those poor kids being abused as props in a macabre stage play

How stupid is Dump anyway ? That's the question

[Mar 31, 2019] The Conservation of Controversy Outraged students, helpless teachers, and the President's executive order by Joshua Blair

Notable quotes:
"... Professor Weinstein is an avowed liberal with a long history of progressive thinking. As a young man, he was the center of another controversy when he blew the whistle regarding the exploitation of black strippers by a college fraternity. Regardless, his refusal to participate in what can be described as a "no-white-people-day" ironically earned him the brand "racist" by the student body. He was essentially removed from the campus on the threat of physical harm. ..."
"... Bret Weinstein is on the left, politically, but the leftist students and administration attacked him for not being left enough . Imagine now, how the college may have treated a person who leaned right. As it turns out, there are quite a few examples. ..."
"... Dr. Peterson is a psychology professor, clinician, and best-selling author. He is also, perhaps, today's most controversial academic. He burst into the public consciousness after he opposed bill C-16 in Canada. The bill added gender expression and gender identity to the various protections covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act. ..."
"... One example comes from Queens University. While Dr. Peterson gave a lecture, student protestors broke windows, tried to drown him out with noisemakers and drums, and one protestor told others to burn down the building with Dr. Peterson and the attendees locked inside. ..."
Mar 23, 2019 | blog.usejournal.com

In March 2017, young people armed with baseball bats prowled the parking lots of Evergreen State College. They hoped to find Bret Weinstein, a biology professor, and presumably bash his brains in. Bret had caught the ire of the student body after he refused to participate in an unofficial "Day of Absence," in which white students and faculty were told to stay home, away from the campus, while teachers and students of color attended as they normally would. In prior years, people of color voluntarily absented themselves to highlight their presence and importance on campus. In 2017, the event's organizers decided to flip the event, and white people were pressured to stay away from the school.

In a letter to the school's administration, Bret explained why he opposed the idea:

There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself
On a college campus, one's right to speak  --  or to be  --  must never be based on skin color.

When word of Professor Weinstein's objection got out, enraged student activists began a hostile takeover of the school, and the college president ordered the campus police force not to intervene. Professor Weinstein was told, in essence, that nobody would protect him from young people with baseball bats. The police warned Professor Weinstein that their hands were tied and that he should stay off campus for his own safety.

Professor Weinstein is an avowed liberal with a long history of progressive thinking. As a young man, he was the center of another controversy when he blew the whistle regarding the exploitation of black strippers by a college fraternity. Regardless, his refusal to participate in what can be described as a "no-white-people-day" ironically earned him the brand "racist" by the student body. He was essentially removed from the campus on the threat of physical harm.

And its core, the story of Bret Weinstein and Evergreen State College is about a college's descent into total chaos after someone presented mild resistance to a political demonstration.

Bret Weinstein is on the left, politically, but the leftist students and administration attacked him for not being left enough . Imagine now, how the college may have treated a person who leaned right. As it turns out, there are quite a few examples.


Before discussing what the Wilfrid Laurier University did to a woman named Lindsay Shepherd, it's important to know about Jordan Peterson.


Dr. Peterson is a psychology professor, clinician, and best-selling author. He is also, perhaps, today's most controversial academic. He burst into the public consciousness after he opposed bill C-16 in Canada. The bill added gender expression and gender identity to the various protections covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Dr. Peterson objected to the bill because it set a new precedent  --  requiring citizens to use certain pronouns to address people with non-traditional gender identities. Dr. Peterson calls transexual people by whatever gender they project , as long as he feels like they're asking him to do so in good faith, but he's wary of people playing power games with him, and he saw something dangerous about the government mandating which words he must use. He believed that under C-16, misgendering a person could be classified as hate speech, even it was just an accident.

Having spent much of his life considering the dangers that exist at the furthest ends of the political spectrum  --  Nazi Germany on the far right, the Soviet Union on the far left  --  Dr. Peterson has developed a tendency to see things in apocalyptic terms. In bill C-16, he saw what he considered the seeds of a serious threat to the freedom of expression  --  a list of government-approved words  --  and decided it was a hill worth dying on.

He's controversial, verbose, discursive, sometimes grouchy, and almost incapable of speaking the language of television sound-bites. He makes it easy for critics to attack and misrepresent him  --  and ever since he took a stance against C-16, he's been subjected to student protests and journalistic hit-pieces.

One example comes from Queens University. While Dr. Peterson gave a lecture, student protestors broke windows, tried to drown him out with noisemakers and drums, and one protestor told others to burn down the building with Dr. Peterson and the attendees locked inside.

Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with his opinions, Dr. Peterson should have the right to express them without other people suggesting that he be murdered with fire. Furthermore, people should be able to talk about what he says.

Enter the case of Lindsay Shepherd.


While working as a teacher's aid at Wilfrid Laurier University, Lindsay Shepherd showed students two clips from public access television featuring Jordan Peterson debating someone over bill C-16. After showing the clips, she asked her students to share their thoughts.

Days later, the school called her into a meeting with a panel of three superiors. They said that they had gotten a number of complaints from students. Lindsay asked how many complaints they had received, and was told that the number was confidential.

The panel claimed that she had created a toxic environment by showing the clips and facilitating a discussion without taking a side against Dr. Peterson's view. They said it was as if she had been completely neutral while showing one of Hitler's speeches. The panel thought the clip probably violated the Human Rights Code, and they demanded Shepherd to submit all of her future lesson plans ahead of time so that they could be vetted.

Although one student expressed some concern about the class, the number of formal complaints that the administrators had received was actually zero.

During their discussion, Lindsay said:

The thing is, can you shield people from those ideas? Am I supposed to comfort them and make sure that they are insulated away from this? Is that what the point of this is? Because to me that is against what a university is about.

Lindsay found herself at the mercy of school administrators whose brittle spirits couldn't bear to present students with opinions that they might have found offensive. She had believed that universities were places where people could explore ideas. On that day, the panel showed her just how wrong she'd been.

And she caught it all on tape.

Over the past few years, the news has become littered with stories of schools overrun by children while hand-wringing professors and administrators do everything possible to placate them. Recently, a group called "The Diaspora Coalition" staged a sit-in at Sarah Lawrence. Their demands included, among other things, that they get free fabric-softener. The origin of their grievance was an op-ed published in the New York Times about the imbalance between left-leaning and right-leaning school administrators.

Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business, sums the phenomenon up tidily :

You get kids who are much more anxious and fragile, much more depressed, coming onto campus at a time of much greater political activism  --  and now these grievance studies ideas about, 'America's a matrix of oppression,' and, 'look at the world in terms of good versus evil.' it's much more appealing to them, and it's that minority of students, they're the ones who are initiating a lot of the movements

Every day, or at least every week, I get an email from a professor saying, 'you know, I used a metaphor in class and somebody reported me.' and once this happens to you, you pull back. You change your teaching style

What we're seeing on campus is a spectacular collapse of trust between students and professors. And once we can't trust each other, we can't do our job.

We can't risk being provocative, raising uncomfortable ideas. We have to play it safe, and then everybody suffers.

To understate it, President Donald Trump is a deeply troubling human being. However, he may have done a good thing on Thursday, March 21st, when he signed an executive order that requires public schools to "foster environments that promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate."

Schools that don't comply may lose government-funded research grants.

In theory, the order will compel colleges to prevent scenes like those at Evergreen State and Sarah Lawrence. Schools will have serious financial incentives to protect their professors from mobs of unruly children. If all goes well, students will learn to engage with controversial opinions without resorting to baseball bats or demanding Snuggle Plus fabric softener.

One would be remiss if they didn't consider the hidden or unintended consequences of the new policy, though. The executive order is vague, and it gives no criteria for judging whether an institution complies with its requirements. Instead, the specific implementation is left for structures lower on the hierarchy to decide. Hopefully, nobody decides that Young Earth theories must be taught alongside evolution.

The policy could very well become a tool by which the dominant political party punishes schools that lean in the opposite direction. Since there is a 12-to-1 imbalance between liberals and conservative college administrators right now, it would be a Republican administration punishing liberal colleges.

This is hardly a perfect solution  --  but at least it's an effort to address the problem. The stability of our society depends on an endless balancing act between the left and the right. The political landscape of academia has tilted too far left, and it's clearly becoming insular and unstable. Now it's necessary to push things back toward the center.

Hopefully, this recent executive order does more good than harm.

Postscript

After the events at Evergreen State College, the school was forced to settle with Bret Weinstein and his wife, who was also a professor there. The college paid the couple $500,000. Enrollment at the college is said to have dropped "catastrophically."

After the events at Wilfrid Laurier University, the school released several letters of apology. It is being sued for millions of dollars by Lindsay Shepherd and Jordan Peterson.

Forty professors endorsed the demands made by the Diaspora Coalition at Sarah Lawrence, and several others endorsed challenging Samuel Abrams's tenure  --  Abrams being the person who wrote the op-ed that appeared in the New York Times.

[Feb 18, 2019] Politicians jump ship as Jussie Smollett hate hoax sinks amid revelations

Feb 18, 2019 | www.rt.com

As the narrative of a 'racist, homophobic attack' on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago continues to collapse, politicians and celebrities who fueled the outrage over the incident are quietly backing away and hoping no one notices.

[Feb 02, 2019] N.J. governor signs LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum bill into law

Feb 02, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation on Thursday mandating that every school in the state teach students about "the political, economic, and social contributions" of LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

The legislation, which will apply starting in the 2020-21 school year, requires that the boards of education for middle and high schools ensure that instructional materials, such as text books, include accurate portrayals of the contributions made by LGBTQ people and those with disabilities.

[Jan 04, 2019] The University of Michigan Has At Least 82 Full-Time Diversity Officers at a Total Annual Payroll Cost of $10.6M.

Jan 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ChiGal in Carolina , , January 4, 2019 at 6:01 pm

The University of Michigan Has At Least 82 Full-Time Diversity Officers at a Total Annual Payroll Cost of $10.6M.

so applying some crude arithmetic, 8 cost $1M meaning they are paid upward of 100k apiece? Or if it's differently apportioned the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity makes some unimaginably astronomical salary and the others are in the 60-80k range?

Maybe they are including a travel allowance as part of "payroll"? I know much of what they do is recruitment since back in the 90s my then-bf was one of only two -- count 'em, TWO -- Blacks in the entire graduate physical sciences division at the University of Chicago. He was in Computer Science (machine learning) and the other was in Chemistry. They would send him back to Atlanta where he gone to school at Morehouse and the University of GA.

a different chris , , January 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

>they are paid upward of 100k apiece?

Don't forget that medical is a good 15K, prolly more like 18k, so "paid" is a fluid term here.

Not that there is anything wrong with your post, I just want to make sure our ridiculous medical costs get into every possible discussion :)

[Jan 01, 2019] When We Protected Women From the Wolves by JAMES P. PINKERTON

Notable quotes:
"... A Harlot's Progress ..."
"... A Rake's Progress ..."
"... An American Tragedy ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Little Red Riding Hood ..."
"... James P. Pinkerton is an author and contributing editor at ..."
"... . He served as a White House policy aide to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. ..."
Dec 31, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From time immemorial, it was understood that women, especially young women, needed to be shielded from the sexual predations of men. Camille Paglia, the radical/conservative cultural critic, has been arguing for decades that key institutions in society, often derided as "patriarchal" -- from marriage to single-sex education to exemption from military service -- were mostly the result of a desire to protect women, not to pinion them.

Not surprisingly, legends and parables reinforced this cultural wisdom. For instance, there's Little Red Riding Hood. After many centuries of telling and retelling, the origins of the story are obscure. Yet it doesn't take a Freudian genius to see that there could be more than one meaning to the scene in which Red Riding Hood is tempted into bed with the Big Bad Wolf.

The fact that the story has a happy ending doesn't mitigate its cautionary nature. (Interestingly, a pop song from the '60s, "Little Red Riding Hood," includes lyrics that restate the warning message: "What full lips you have/ They're sure to lure someone bad.")

With these dangers in mind, societies all over the world came up with rituals of courtship, aimed at circumscribing -- if not proscribing altogether -- impulsive romantic love. The bottom line was that parents, matchmakers, chaperones, clergy, and community were involved. Were these social systems confining to women? Perhaps. But they were also confining to men . Suppression was also protection. The overriding goal was for a vulnerable woman not to end up in the lair of a wolf.

Then came modernity, when most of the guardrails were trampled. Or, as Marx said of modern times, "All that is solid melts into air."

We might think of this change, beginning in Europe in the 18th century, as the Great Unleashing, when young people left the farm and mostly ended up in mills and factories, there to meet a new kind of fate.

In 1731, the English artist William Hogarth issued his own form of warning. A Harlot's Progress consists of six engravings showing the descent of a young woman, from innocence to prostitution to death at age 23. Four years later, Hogarth published a companion set of warnings to men, A Rake's Progress .

Two centuries later, on this side of the Atlantic, several novels by Theodore Dreiser also described the new times. Perhaps Dreiser's most famous work, An American Tragedy (1925), began with a look back at the old ways, shaped by family and faith. Describing a stern matriarch, Dreiser writes, "The mother alone stood out as having that force and determination which, however blind or erroneous, makes for self-preservation." And then the family sings a hymn: "The love of Jesus saves me whole/ The love of God my steps control."

The sorrowful message of the book, of course, is that once those restraining strings are untuned -- as when boys and girls end up on their own in the big city -- then hark, what discord comes. (The novel was made into a Hollywood movie twice, once in 1931 and again in 1951 -- the second starring Elizabeth Taylor.)

In this modern vein, it's interesting to note that while "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is closely associated with the Christmas holiday, there's no mention of Christmas, or any holiday, in the lyrics. In these secular times, it seems, "Christmas" is little different from "winter."

In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, the Great Unleashing gained momentum. Indeed, "Baby It's Cold Outside" was sometimes interpreted as a song of women's liberation , a lyric of empowerment -- she being free to make her own choices.

Yet as Dreiser would have predicted, some of those choices were mistakes. Recently, The New York Times published an oral history of Andy Warhol's "Factory," a not-so-homey home for pretty vagabonds:

One day a drug dealer came up. He shot up this girl, and she for some reason passed out. It was in the bathtub. She went under water. We thought she was dead. We panicked because she was not waking up. Finally someone said, "We should send her down the mail chute." We wrote little notes on her body and puts stamps on her forehead. Then we realized she wasn't dead. I don't think she would have fit in the mail chute. But we would have tried.

That nameless girl, of course, was a daughter, and it seems reasonable to assert that society could have done a better job of protecting her -- including, if at all possible, from her own careless impulses. That is, after all, a basic reason that civilization exists.

By the 1980s, sexually transmitted diseases had slowed the pace of the sexual revolution. Many feminists turned more conservative on at least some sexual matters, led by law professor-turned-anti-pornography crusader Catharine MacKinnon .

Today, we can draw a line from MacKinnon's neo-Victorianism to the #MeToo movement, and from there to the monologues of comedian Hannah Gadsby, avatar of a new kind of vengeful anti-humor, perhaps better described as dire sermons against heterosexual men. (Some would say, to be sure, that many males have it coming -- that scorn is the price to be paid for the wolfish life that many have chosen.)

So perhaps now is the right time to put "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in its most socially useful framework: it's a cautionary tale, right up there with Little Red Riding Hood , Hogarth, and Dreiser. Sure, the song is fun and sexy, yet it describes a path that most young women probably don't wish to be on -- at least not in retrospect. And almost certainly, few actively wish that path for their daughters or other female relatives.

Some will insist, of course, that prudential safeguards -- whether as matters of law or just custom -- are inhibiting, even stifling. Others will say there's something dubious about those who dwell too much on the dangers that might befall others. Still others will say that to focus on the harm done to unlucky individuals is to "blame the victim."

Even so, cautionary tales are valuable because, after all, caution is valuable. Society can and should do its part to serve and protect, yet there's no substitute for informed common sense. Oh, and let's not forget: common sense and virtue are good for men as well.

So sure, people will continue to listen to "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Yet at the same time, they should realize that it can be perilous inside.

That's a good synthesis of hard-earned wisdom for the holiday season -- and any other.

James P. Pinkerton is an author and contributing editor at . He served as a White House policy aide to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Continued

Recommended Links

Google matched content

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles

[Nov 04, 2019] Postmodernism The Ideological Embellishment of Neoliberalism by Vaska Published on OffGuardian

[Oct 23, 2019] The treason of the intellectuals The Undoing of Thought by Roger Kimball Published on Dec 01, 1992 | www.moonofalabama.org

[Oct 20, 2019] Putin sarcastic remark on Western neoliberal multiculturalism Published on Oct 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

[Jun 21, 2020] Eliminating Talent By Force by Rod Dreher Published on Aug 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Oldies But Goodies

[Nov 04, 2019] Postmodernism The Ideological Embellishment of Neoliberalism by Vaska

[Oct 23, 2019] The treason of the intellectuals The Undoing of Thought by Roger Kimball

[Oct 20, 2019] Putin sarcastic remark on Western neoliberal multiculturalism

[Jun 16, 2020] "That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." by George Carlin

[Jun 16, 2020] Krystal Ball: The American dream is dead, good riddance

[Jun 15, 2020] Do Deep State Elements Operate within the Protest Movement? by Mike Whitney

[Jun 14, 2020] Trojan horse in BLM camp (superpredators in her terminology): With friends like Hillary (she pushed Joe Biden's 1994 Crime Bill), who needs enemies; she is simply salivating at another opportunity to take revenge on Trump

[Jun 14, 2020] The personalities of Trump and Biden no longer matter in 2020 elections: the level of polarization of the USA electorate is a more important factor now

[Jun 18, 2020] Cornell Law Prof Says There's a Coordinated Effort To Have Him Fired After He Criticized Black Lives Matter

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

[Jun 13, 2020] How False Flag Operations are Carried Out Today by Philip M. Giraldi

[Jun 13, 2020] Candace Owens: I DO NOT support George Floyd! Here's Why!

[Apr 22, 2020] Especially as the insane neoliberal economy we live in, we are ruled by a group of kleptocrats and vicious stooges. Which make allegations against Biden deserving a closer look but that does not make them automatically credible

[Feb 29, 2020] Maternity Leave Where s the #MomsToo Movement by James Jeffrey

[Feb 07, 2020] The corporate mass media excels at manufacturing "real fear or anguish".

[Jan 02, 2020] Intersectionality vs dominant identity politics

[Dec 28, 2019] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Sites



Etc

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D


Copyright © 1996-2020 by Softpanorama Society. www.softpanorama.org was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site

Disclaimer:

The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: June, 18, 2020