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Two Party System as Polyarchy and anti-Democratic mechanisms of "first past the post" elections

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

The USA looks more and more like a single party state -- it is governed by  Neoliberal party with two factions
 "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals"(Republican Party)

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Demexit Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking The Deep State Donald Trump
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocons foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Bernie Sanders Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?
Neocons Obama: a yet another Neocon Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  New American Militarism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Myth about intelligent voter Electoral College Non-Interventionism US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

 

 

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible, if elections use "the first after the post" rule?  Another important question is "democracy for whom". There are always part of society living under the dictatorship and excluded from the democratic process.

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system. In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR under so called "one party" system. Which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population.  

The "first after the post" system provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force.  No less effective the Societ one party rule, but more subtle and more acceptable to the population. Which is all what is needed to continuation of the rule of the oligarchy.  The same is true for the parties themselves. Iron law of olgarchy was actualy discovered by observing the evolution of the party leadership.

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current ruling elite (or in less politically correct term oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation". Some signs of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what was essentially an independent candidate -- Donald Trump.  It was clear that there is a widespread feeling that the current system is wrong and unjust. And when the people do not wont to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda does not work anymore " a rare moment when "the change we can believe in" becomes possible. Not the con that the king of "bait and switch" maneuver Obama sold to the US lemmings twice, but the "real" change; which can be for the good or bad. Stability of the society has its great value. As Chinese curse state it succinctly "May you live in interesting times".

 In such cases, often the ruling elite decides to unleash a foreign war and use "rally around the flag" effect  to suppress dissent and to restore the control (that's the real meaning of Samuel Johnson quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"). The pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016 in neoliberal MSM suggest that some part of the US elite is not totally hostile to this solution even in nuclear age. As John Kenneth Galbraith noted “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.”

In 2016 we saw an attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Even by promoting a deeply criminal and candidate with serious health problems. The level of propaganda displayed in 2015-2016 election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the level achieved by communist propagandists in best days of the USSR.  And that happened because this time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. (at least partially) "paleoconservative", who rejects the idea of neoliberal globalization and by extension the necessity of fighting constant wars for the expansion of the US led global neoliberal empire.   This heresy is not acceptable in the corridors of Washington deep state, and the hissy fit in neoliberal media and the just of intelligence agencies on an "avanscena" of political process (hackingate") were to be expected.

There is also an interesting question what kind of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demonstrates. And not only "democratcy for who" -- it is clera tha thtis is democracy for the top 1% or at best top 20% of population.

Also interesting were the methods of indoctrination of population which were borrowed by the USA neoliberals from the Soviet experience. They use university course in economics in the same (or more correctly slightly more subtle; using mathematics as smoke screen for indoctrination into neoliberal ideology)  way Soviet universities use the course of philosophy. In the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy were obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin; but there were problem here -- as Marx famously said he was not a Marxist.  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentially a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.  This problem was solved by carefully pre-selecting "classics" works to only a subset that felt in like with Bolshevism.

But deteriorating economy and stagnation make this propaganda less effective, much like happened with neoliberal propganda in the USA in 2016. And people were listening to BBC and Voice of America at night, despite jamming.  Similar things happened inthe USA after 2008. Eventhoroughly brainwashed the USA population, who like member of high demand cult now internalized postulates of neoliberalism like dogmas of some civil religion, started to have doubts.  And like Soviet population resorted to the alternative sources of information (for example Guardian, RT, Asia Times, to name a few).

But still the general level  political education of US votes leave much to be desired and is much lower then it was in the USSR (due to obsessive emphasis on the works of Marxs and Lenin much like modern incarnations of Jesus Christ in Soviet state). Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs neoliberal platform. Or define what the term "neoliberal" means. It is difficult also because the terms "neoliberalism" and "Paleoconservatism" are expunged from MSM. Like Trotsky writings were in the USSR. Assuming that this might well be the key difference between two frontrunner in the last Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

The myth about intelligent voters

That means the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (see Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful in the USA, despite being a primitive variation of classic "divide and conquer" strategy. In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoned Democratic neoliberals and flocked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries, and then engaged in anti-Russian hysteria to hide this criminal fact).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen.

The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their imperial ambitions. As in the efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieved by nomenklatura in Soviet Union outside of "Stalinism" period.  Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful "presstitutes" instead of olitical analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%. 

Neoliberalism divides the society in  two classes like in old, good Marxism

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

Corporation as the role model for government under neoliberalism excludes the possibility of democracy

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance is "wealth maximization". Which proved to be very seductive for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.”

As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarianism of two factions of the same "Grand neoliberal Party of the USA"

Both Democratic Party and Republican arty in the USA are neoliberal parties. So effectively we have one-party system skillfully masked as duopoly ;-). Communists could use the same trick, by having the part Socialist internationalists worker-peasants party of the USSR and Democratic internationalists peasant-worker party of the USSR, with leaders wet kissing each other behind the curtain as is the case in the USA. In the USA we have Cola/Pepsi duopoly that is sold as the shining example of democracy, although just the rule "the first after the post" prevents democracy from functioning as it eliminates minorities from governance. 

Political atmosphere at the USA since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street really reminds me the USSR.  But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians.

If we assume that this is true, the the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and using which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, such as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics.

Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective : a large part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarianism and corresponding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part,  voting behavior of the the USA "white block" electorate.


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[Aug 21, 2017] We have a very in-depth understanding of how Soros and other financial criminals fund neoliberals like Clinton. So who is funding the far right?

Aug 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Almand | Aug 20, 2017 11:47:49 PM | 23

I've had a thought, I wonder if someone has any ideas. We have a very in-depth understanding of how Soros and other financial criminals fund liberal/leftist causes. So who is funding the right?

I don't mean the Chamber of Commerce, Koch Brothers tennis-playing types, I mean the Eurasianist/Trumpist popular right.

Peter Thiel has made no secret of his support for Trump and Ron Paul. Still, it's amazing that the right-wing alternative media apparatus is seemingly so well-oiled and widely circulated. Who is their secret sugar daddy. A lot of these folks present themselves as "concernced patriots", but I'm not that naïve.

[Aug 20, 2017] The Permanent Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton is satisfied with the status quo, and uses identity politics as a veneer for economic policies that benefit Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and multinational corporations ..."
"... What we might call the party of Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is both more radical on questions of political correctness and identity and hostile to the established order. The party of Sanders wants radical change. Beginning with Medicare for all. ..."
"... What we have are four parties: The mainstream Republicans, the party of Trump, the mainstream Democrats, and the party of Sanders. ..."
"... White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's bizarre call to the editor of the liberal American Prospect ..."
"... But the effort is doomed to fail. In twenty-first century America culture and identity take precedence over economics, and it is in regards to culture and identity that the true break between left and right is found. ..."
"... metteur en scene ..."
"... The Benedict Option ..."
"... I feel the same way, redbrick. My patriotism has gradually dried up over the past 15 or so years. At this point, the US is the place where I live, nothing more. It's an administrative unit, not a nation. I love it in the same way I love the DMV or a utility service. ..."
"... As you get more towards the middle I think you find folks who are less urgent for big changes in either direction and who become less upset when policies swing away from their preferred position for a cycle or two. Yet they are more focused on competence, on keeping the trains running on time and on successfully passing to future generations the good that we already have. I suspect the Trump crazy train is bolstering this tendency. ..."
"... "And now Steve Bannon is gone. Don't think for a moment that is going to make any difference. " ..."
"... Ah, but it does make a difference. Bannon's presence was cause for mild hope that some part of Trump's populist agenda would be realized. ..."
"... Now it's clear that the coup / hijacking is well under way, with the usual vultures wrestling over the carcass. Meantime more immigration, more jobs for foreigners, bigger deficits, more wars, no "Wall", no infrastructure work, etc. ..."
"... Anyway, I think Trump is better off without Bannon with his sympathies to the alt right. (Unfortunately the alt right tendencies to go weird Zionist conspiracy theories is not helping.) ..."
"... It is a dangerous situation. I have often said I would prefer a clear feeling of victory for either side than this current "everyone loses" mentality. Currently, everyone is a rebel against the perceived mainstream, willing to see the rebels on the other side as the stormtroopers of the establishment. ..."
"... M_Young , says: August 18, 2017 at 11:23 pm ..."
"... Many here have come up with elaborate rational why a line can be drawn at removing the 'traitor' (untried, unconvicted, but hey, you know better than Grant) Robert E Lee. You believe other former heroes will remain unscathed. ..."
"... Well, today a statue of Saint Junipero Serra, pretty much founder of California, was vandalized as was an accompanying statue of a child. And lest you think that is all, there has already been a bill put forth in California to repeal and replace him as one of our state's representatives in the hall a statuary. ..."
"... http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/08/17/junipero-serra-statue-vandalized/ ..."
"... And a Columbus statue in Houston was vandalized. ..."
"... http://abc13.com/security-stepped-up-amid-statue-vandalism-protests/2320244/ ..."
"... You see, this isn't about you white liberals with your reasoned arguments (such as they are). It's about how [blacks, 'Hispanics', Asians, Amerinds] feel ..."
"... James Hartwick , says: August 19, 2017 at 12:33 am ..."
"... KevinS: As a university professor, I can attest that most of my colleagues are of "the left." I do not think any of them ever heard of Antifa before last week. I know I had not. ..."
"... I'm curious then about what you and your colleagues thought about the protests, say, at Berkeley last winter, when Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak? There was violence (fists and bricks thrown apparently) and fires were set. Who did you think was doing that kind of stuff? ..."
"... Also, while TAC doesn't seem to have had many articles about antifa (others have covered that topic more thoroughly), Rod did mention it back in January, when a masked antifa sucker punched white nationalist Richard Spencer on the street and The Nation's Natasha Lennard praised him . ..."
"... Hound of Ulster , says: August 19, 2017 at 4:33 am ..."
"... Sadly, the radicals have the biggest megaphones right now. The vast center-right to center-left middle has been silenced by numerous minor changes in media and politics. ..."
"... It should be noted that in any other Western democracy, Trump never would have won because of his popular vote defeat. He is only president because of the elitist quirk of the Electoral College. Which, in the height of historical irony, was created by the Founders to prevent figures like him (Caesar-type populist dictators) from coming to power. Oops. ..."
"... John , says: August 19, 2017 at 6:33 am ..."
"... It is impossible to stop a trend. Those who oppose it will be mowed down. ..."
"... The right extremist faction is a puny force. It is just a convenient punching bag for the left to justify its will to power as it continues gearing up for an all out war on civil society. The trashing of Washington, DC protesting the inauguration of Trump as President of the USA; Charlottesville, Gainesville, Boston of the currently planned free-speech rallies are but preliminary to the really major battles of violence sure to erupt during the 2018 midterm elections, then predictably culminating in even a larger wave of assaults during the 2020 presidential election campaign. ..."
"... The rumble may start even sooner, say, the next time Trump attempts to have one of his usual rallies at some midwestern venue. ..."
"... The trend favors the left not the right because the country at large has an ideologically radicalized and committed liberal base, (the mainstream press, -the cultural elite-, most especially the universities, and a secularized "religious" establishment (Protestants, Catholics, and Jews,etc.,) and the right does not. Black Lives, other racial and and gender issues are the weapons of choice of the Left. They are not the real issues. At the end these stake holders, useful idiots, will be worse off than before, lumped together with the other vanquished. Power is the only thing at stake. ..."
"... Hollywood has been anticipating the future in a number of futuristic scenarios which depict chaotic, lawless societies following conflicts of large-scale disruptions. There is evil in the air. And evil has gone mainstream for many decades now. The 20th-21rst centuries produced massacres of epic proportions: WW I-II, Cambodia, ISIS are some of the worst examples. I would include the evil of abortion among humanity's greatest tragedies as well. It is an organized program financed with public funds worldwide. It has desensitized the globe to accept killing as nothing else has done before. North Korea just boasted of its ability to annihilate millions of its sisters and brothers on the other side of the DMZ and more oversees. Islamists killing innocents is a daily happening. ..."
"... The U.S. Congress, both parties, and the President must get together to head off the coming widespread domestic violence. The President should call upon the leaders to gather for an emergency consultation. Instead of aiding and abetting the ANTIFA movement the Democratic Party leadership must publicly repudiate ANTIFA leadership, members, and its aims. Unless and until they do there will be no solution to the disorder that is now well underway. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Matthew Continetti has a good piece about the dynamics tearing the country apart politically. He begins by talking about how Trump is dividing is own party, as well as factions within the nation at large. And:

Making things more complicated is the fact that there are more than these two parties. Drutman also found divisions within the Democrats. "To the extent that the Democratic Party is divided, these divisions are more about faith in the political system and general disaffection than they are about issue positions." The Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton is satisfied with the status quo, and uses identity politics as a veneer for economic policies that benefit Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and multinational corporations .

What we might call the party of Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is both more radical on questions of political correctness and identity and hostile to the established order. The party of Sanders wants radical change. Beginning with Medicare for all.

Recent events have brought to light the distinction between the party of Trump and the GOP. But it would be foolish for Democrats to believe that they are out of the woods, that America has settled, for the moment, on a three-party system. What we have are four parties: The mainstream Republicans, the party of Trump, the mainstream Democrats, and the party of Sanders.

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's bizarre call to the editor of the liberal American Prospect magazine can be seen as a clumsy attempt to forge a new majority by rejecting the mainstream Republicans and aligning with the party of Sanders on trade, entitlements, and infrastructure spending.

But the effort is doomed to fail. In twenty-first century America culture and identity take precedence over economics, and it is in regards to culture and identity that the true break between left and right is found.

President Trump's isolation from the party whose nomination he wrested from insiders and scions is just part of a larger trend in American society and politics. The widening divisions within and between parties are symptoms of our fractured republic , of the unbundling, disaggregation, and dissociation of our communal lives. Mounting political violence, too, is a consequence of the polarization that estranges Americans from one another and turns every disagreement into an apocalyptic battle royal. Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, and Sanders are pulling the mystic cords of memory in four different directions. And they won't quit doing so. Until the cords snap.

It is striking how so many people are eager to exacerbate our divisions for political gain. As Continetti indicates, Steve Bannon has a theory that if he can get culture-war Democrats distracted by race, he can forge a new coalition. He told the liberal editor Robert Kuttner that it makes him happy to see all the fighting over statues, because in theory, it makes it possible for him to get done what he wants to get done. The best spin you can put on that is that it's breathtakingly cynical. But now we have this from the other side:

. @SpeakerRyan , it is time to immediately remove Confederate statues from the halls of Congress. https://t.co/twJ4MFOfgB pic.twitter.com/7Yx6p4JgCK

! Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 17, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

You do know, I trust, that in all the years that Nancy Pelosi was House speaker, she never said a peep about those abominable Confederate statues. But now she can energize her base with it, so here we are.

Trump will say or do something outrageous today that will ratchet up the tension. And then his enemies will respond in kind. It's all starting to bring to mind this passage from the contemporary German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, describing the Weimar Republic:

Theatricality appeared to be the common denominator of all manifestations of life – from Expressionism to Marlene Dietrich's spectacular legs in Blue Angel ; from the bloody comedy of Hitler's 1923 putsch to Brecht's Threepenny Opera ; from the impressive funeral of Rathenau to the calculated banditry of the Reichstag fire of 1933. The permanent crisis proved to be an excellent metteur en scene , one who knew how to direct quite a few memorable effects.

Another Sloterdijk passage, which to me suggests Trump and what he stands for:

Fatally, the term "barbarian" is the password that opens up the archives of the twentieth century. It refers to the despiser of achievement, the vandal, the status denier, the iconoclast, who refuses to acknowledge any ranking rules or hierarchy. Whoever wishes to understand the twentieth century must always keep the barbaric factor in view. Precisely in more recent modernity, it was and still is typical to allow an alliance between barbarism and success before a large audience, initially more in the form of insensitive imperialism, and today in the costumes of that invasive vulgarity which advances into virtually all areas through the vehicle of popular culture. That the barbaric position in twentieth-century Europe was even considered the way forward among the purveyors of high culture for a time, extending to a messianism of uneducatedness, indeed the utopia of a new beginning on the clean slate of ignorance, illustrates the extent of the civilizatory crisis this continent has gone through in the last century and a half – including the cultural revolution downwards, which runs through the twentieth century in our climes and casts its shadow ahead onto the twenty-first.

We have not yet seen a left-wing Trump, but we will. That's because Trump is far less a producer of this decadent culture than a product of the decadent culture. That's why I write in The Benedict Option that he is no cure for the disease, but rather a symptom of it.

For quite some time now we have had the performative malice of right-wing talk radio hosts, manipulating the emotions of their listeners for the sake of ratings and political success. ( John Derbyshire wrote well about this a few years ago, for TAC. ) Today we have Milo's campus cabaret. On the Left, we have had for years to deal with the operatic rituals of political correctness, which entered into a new, more hysterical stage in 2015. People on both sides are enjoying this hate. With shared standards abandoned, people are reverting to tribalism, one aspect of which is finding unity and purpose in rallying against a common enemy.

I suppose this is to be expected in a culture of emotivism, in which people come to think of truth as what feels good to them. We didn't become emotivists the day before yesterday. This has been building in our culture for decades, and it is a natural extension of a core quality of the American character: individualism. On both the Left and the Right, we exalt the individual and his preferences. We do this in our different ways, with emphases on different aspects of the individual. But we all do it. Identity politics is what you get when people cease to try to get outside of their heads, and strive to live by ideals of the common good, and instead limit their politics solely to what's good for them and their tribe. It is perfectly ordinary politics to contend for one's own interests, but what makes identity politics so toxic is that it distorts political reality by decontextualizing the individual. That is to say, we stop thinking about how we, and our kind, relate to the whole, and focus entirely on ourselves and our desires.

In fact, we have come to think of our desires as defining our own identities. The Left pushes this farthest, of course, as we can see with its dogmatic insistence that if someone claims to be a woman or a man, then they are, despite biology. We see this in the Left's obsession with race, sex, and gender categories. Sometimes it seems that the only people in this country as obsessed with whiteness as white nationalists is the campus Left.

But I think the identity politics curse affects all of us. To be an identitarian is to start statements with formulations like, "Speaking as a Latinx lesbian ," and to believe that assertion is the same thing as argument. To dispute them, they believe, is to deny their personhood. If that is true, then democracy is impossible.

I have never heard people on the Right talk in precisely those terms, but I have heard the same manner of thinking ! or rather, not thinking, emotion ! manifested often on the Right. It's as if we (whoever constitutes "we") are the only real people, and everybody else is an abstraction that keeps us from getting what we want. And make no mistake: for identitarians of the Left and the Right, what we want is what we deserve .

The center cannot hold, I fear. The forces tearing us apart are greater than the forces holding us together. Both Left and Right are going to snap the cords.

And now Steve Bannon is gone. Don't think for a moment that is going to make any difference.

... ... .. 67 Responses to The Permanent Crisis ← Older Comments

Mel Profit , says: August 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

Mr Cosimano has a point. Every time I leave the confines of American reality as filtered by media, I am struck by how normal and placid things and people seem. Flying somewhere, for example, you witness huge groups of people undergoing enormous frustration–from crowding, delays, or just the imperious incompetence of the airlines. And yet, the incidence of violence, or even speaking out, is remarkably rare. The same for peoples' behavior on subways, in traffic jams, at most public events. The occasional freakouts get all the attention, but if you spend enough time in crowded cities or other environments where humans are exposed to near-torturous incitement, the really amazing thing is not how much violence and lunacy there is, but given the circumstances how little.

Without doubt, this is Weimar Republic, and it probably cannot hold given the extreme deformations of the American elite, which as always defines the Zeitgeist through ownership of media, entertainment, and political propaganda. But the vast majority of Americans, in my experience, while dejected, disoriented and increasingly angry, are not appreciably different from the Americans of the 1950s. To a shocking degree, in day to day American life, normalcy still reigns.

As seems to be true of much history, the present West is both a very dark dark age and in other ways the most dazzling of golden ages.

Patrick , says: August 19, 2017 at 10:21 am
Eric Erickson is a public supporter of torture to gather intelligence. Now you may agree with that or not agree, but his moral preening (and most of the warmongering GOP) vis-a-vis Trump is nauseating to anyone who remembers the Bush years.

Hey, guys: y'all supported a war that killed thousands and screwed up all sorts of lives. I know it isn't rude Tweets or something, but please realize that Trump's supporters find you obnoxious hypocrites rather than merely obnoxious.

JonF , says: August 19, 2017 at 11:14 am
RE: It's difficult to imagine a person thinking its moving to the right. However, most liberals seem to genuinely believe it is.

Well, follow the money. Who has most benefited from the last forty years of so of government policy? It sure hasn't been the poor, the working people or the middle class.

Erdrick , says: August 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

redbrick
August 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm

What will snap and what has snapped for people like me is that old warm patriotic feeling in the heart for this Nation.

I don't feel it loves me or has any interest in protecting my history or future. I and millions like me wont ever resort to political violence but we will secede in our hearts. No longer willing to die for this ruling class.

I feel the same way, redbrick. My patriotism has gradually dried up over the past 15 or so years. At this point, the US is the place where I live, nothing more. It's an administrative unit, not a nation. I love it in the same way I love the DMV or a utility service.

The left has been arguing for my entire life that new arrivals and illegals are more American than those of us who have been here for generations. They've convinced me. So now the new arrivals and illegals can take of things. There's no way I'd want my children to join the military, and I'm hard pressed to think of something that would inspire me to risk my life for the country. In any event, why would the country want some white-privileged, patriarchal, heteronormative, cis-gendered bigot like me defending it?

And on a different topic, I don't believe the people in these comments who claim they had never heard of Antifa until last weekend. Anyone who has paid any attention to European news at all in the past few decades has to have heard of them. They've been prominent for a long time. Either all of these commentators have been living under various rocks, or they're being dishonest.

Anne , says: August 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm
Unfortunately, Pence can't stay away from culture war divisiveness, because he's built his reputation on it, as have so many of his fellow Republicans who might otherwise be able to "heal the wounds" after the impeachment and/or resignation we all know is coming. The problem is, some 30+ years ago, Republicans bound themselves to issues that, by nature, don't yield to compromise, which means they've effectively ruled out any political resolution. Instead of "the art of the possible" or just Trump's art of the deal, politics has become an ongoing war, which some Republicans fully acknowledge yet most Democrats keep hoping will disappear once the Religious Right finally fades away as leftwing pundits predict it is doing after every presidential election cycle, including 2016. Trump's been called a lot of things, but "religious" was never one of them.

The problem is, once Republicans claimed God's will, Democrats had to claim something at least approaching that sort of high moral commitment, which became, in the case of abortion and related matters, a Woman's Right to Control Her Own Body, and some other equally non-negotiable values when the issue was something else. Since nobody compromises on absolutes, and yet compromise is what politics is all about, American politics has reached stalemate. Literally, metaphorically, we're not moving. The President might as well become an autocrat signing executive orders as Trump sees the role, because as a democratic leader he'll just be stymied and obstructed at every turn (witness Obama's experience from 2010 on).

No wonder no one's jumping to impeach Trump even with the many obstruction of justice possibilities he's provided. I don't think many believe it's safe to leave an undisciplined amateur loose around the nuclear codes, but taking the lead on Trump means cleaning up after, which requires politics as usual, and those people haven't done that in a looong time, and I don't think Republican pols even trust their uncompromising "base" to let them.

America has gone through crises far harder to manage than this, from Civil War and its aftermath to world wars and a global economic depression, not to mention the "cultural" upheavals of the 1960s and 70s that in many ways led to the self-inflicted wounds our political parties are going through right now. God himself has guided his people through religious conflicts far worse. The main problem facing America right now is a little different from all the great issues swirling through the world at large. Ours is a specifically political problem, an essential misunderstanding of what exactly democratic politics can or should do, which Americans being far more religious than we've ever given ourselves credit for being, tend to conflate with the Christian's vocation on earth, which is something else again. Ironically, if all we really expected of a President or our representatives in Washington was something as limited and parochial as Trump's so-called "art of the deal," we might at least be able to dial down some of this existential angst and doomsday talk about the end of civilization as we know it. Problem is these fears have allowed some of the more religious among us to elect an irreligious "pharoah" whose personal dealings have likely put him on the wrong side of the law. To deal with the real crisis this is bringing about, our politicians really need to get back to politics as usual, and the best thing religious people might do to facilitate that process would be to back off and stop conflating Caesar's business with God's.

bbkingfish , says: August 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm
How was the "mass assassination attempt" materially different than the attempts on Gabby Giffords, or Presidents Reagan, Ford, Kennedy, McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln, Roosevelt, or candidate Wallace (off the top of my head)? Seems to me that, in a nation of 500 million guns, with a gun policy that holds every man has the right to build his own arsenal, and openly carry any part of that arsenal on any trip to the local Walmart, or to his weekend white solidarity rally, that sort of stuff simply is going to happen every so often, and it has .even before Trump was President.

And can anyone tell me when was that time in our past that national politicians didn't try to spin current events to partisan advantage? I'd really like to know that, because it had to be before my lifetime, and I'm 68.

No. I think what's different today is the internet, where we find out instantly every travesty perpetrated by every nut in the world, and, within 15 minutes, a raftful of commentators compete to tell us what it all means, with the competition most vigorous at the outsides of the opinion continuum, where a sturm und drang sensibility grips both the left and right.

No offense meant, just my opinion.

Lllurker , says: August 19, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Eliavy: "His response when asked what he'll do if/when everything falls apart "

To some extent my point is that there will be no falling apart for your husband to worry about. Maybe a way to define "the center" is as it being the place for people who are far from either extreme, even though they happen to lean right or left. As you get more towards the middle I think you find folks who are less urgent for big changes in either direction and who become less upset when policies swing away from their preferred position for a cycle or two. Yet they are more focused on competence, on keeping the trains running on time and on successfully passing to future generations the good that we already have. I suspect the Trump crazy train is bolstering this tendency.

Time will tell but I doubt we'll be seeing any bomb-throwers emerging from the primaries in the near future. One won't be able to talk of things like deconstructing administrative states and win nominations"

The pollsters make a big deal out of the observation that there are fewer swing voters than there used to be. IMO this isn't a product of our country producing some new breed of human, it's because the sources filtering information to voters have become more fragmented and polemical, which allows politicians to cling to positions that they would have been forced to abandon in the past. Similar things have been happening overseas as well ! the starkest of course being Brexit ! but since that vote the trend hasn't continued as many predicted. Brexit rattled a lot of Europeans in the same way that I think Trump has rattled a lot of folks over here.

Incidentally I don't see us ever finding our way back to the media environment we once had but what we can begin to do is demand that our sources of information not lie to us. This current obsession with media bias has masked the widespread growth of media deceit, a far more destructive state of affairs than the bias problem ever was . IMO pushing back against that is the best way to create a strong bulwark against things ever "coming apart."

DRK , says: August 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm
M Young, both a Christopher Columbus statue and an MLK statue were vandalized Thursday night in Houston. So I guess it's about how white supremacists feel , too?

http://www.chron.com/houston/article/Reports-Christopher-Columbus-statue-vandalized-11883027.php#photo-13829974

St. Vitus Dancehall , says: August 19, 2017 at 11:57 pm

"And now Steve Bannon is gone. Don't think for a moment that is going to make any difference. "

Ah, but it does make a difference. Bannon's presence was cause for mild hope that some part of Trump's populist agenda would be realized.

Now it's clear that the coup / hijacking is well under way, with the usual vultures wrestling over the carcass. Meantime more immigration, more jobs for foreigners, bigger deficits, more wars, no "Wall", no infrastructure work, etc.

kitchen timer , says: August 20, 2017 at 12:22 am
What did "je suis Charlie Hebdo" mean?
JonF , says: August 20, 2017 at 7:46 am
Re: likes President Trump better than President Obama (because Trump thus far hasn't affected his life personally,

Question: How did Obama affect his life? Does your family purchase health insurance from the individual market?\

Re: He laughs at the idea of getting politically involved.

This is very much someone who is part of the problem, not the solution. And what I am seeing here is a classic "I got mine (screw you)" ethic. That is utterly reprehensible, and it goes a long way to explaining why we are in the situation we are.

Earl Uhtred , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's bizarre call to the editor of the liberal American Prospect magazine can be seen as a clumsy attempt to forge a new majority by rejecting the mainstream Republicans and aligning with the party of Sanders on trade, entitlements, and infrastructure spending.

For the record: a dubious proposition. The call was more likely either a fig leaf for Bannon's impending departure, an effort to distance the White House from the nastier white nationalists in Charlottesville, or both.

Michael , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm
I discovered a five hour long radio series that is essentially just a curated interview with Rene Girard about his work. His prescience grows every day. The Right scapegoats antifa, the Left scapegoats the Klan.

(Also, before anyone gets excited, the fact that Klan is a genuinely evil organization of terrorists with over a century of blood on their hands does not stop them from fitting the bill of a Girardian scapegoat. As in, I'm not saying they're getting a bad rap. Screw the Klan.)

[NFR: I've been thinking that we are headed for a Girardian moment with the president. May God spare us. Let the reader understand. ! RD]

redbrick , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm
"Both Left and Right are going to snap the cords."

It only tears if both Left and Right pull on the cord with equal strength.

The leaders of the American conservative movement are basically rich boomers. They have given in on gay marriage, given in on mass immigration, given in on civil war statues .and there is really not much besides tax cuts they wont eventually give in on.

These boomer Republican just wont to keep the status quo until they die rich in their nice neighborhoods.

There fore the cord will not snap .it will just keep pulling the center of the country to the Left.

What will snap and what has snapped for people like me is that old warm patriotic feeling in the heart for this Nation.

I don't feel it loves me or has any interest in protecting my history or future. I and millions like me wont ever resort to political violence but we will secede in our hearts. No longer willing to die for this ruling class.

There will be no civil war number 2 .but if some other outside massive economic collpase or military earthquake happened .well who knows.

People thought the Soviet Union would never fall in 1970 .20 years later it was in the trash heap of history.

Nate J , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm
I've defended Trump here before, but now I fear that without Bannon, we have Trump the showman without the (capital-P) Plan.

At least before I could believe that his brashness and intemperate demeanor were in service of some idea – a map towards economic nationalism and a repudiation of the stultifying political correctness that has gripped this age. Now who is running this spectacle? Jared? Ivanka? McMaster and his band of military-industrial globalists? Maybe he can replace Bannon with another Wall Street bandit insider?

Now, in Trump's defense, we cannot judge this until we see what fruit this bears. Perhaps Bannon can do more good working from the outside and perhaps Trump's commitment to the ideas that got him elected are genuine. My biggest fear at this point is that the military-industrial globalists in his ear will have all sorts of good ideas about how to get those poll numbers back up

Pseudonym , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm
Respectfully, Rod, drama queens in the media aren't helping things.

You were already blindsided by the disconnect between the media narrative of a nation in crisis over Charlottesville and the collective shrug revealed by opinion polls. You and your bubble buddies would do well to spend less time on Twitter and cable news and more time out talking with your neighbors. As, indeed, would we all.

yahtzee , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm
Are you really with Erick Erickson though? The problem with him, and the David Frums, and the Jonah Goldbergs, and the rest of the #NeverTrump conservatives is that they think once Trump is gone, they are going to slide back into power and everything is going to go back to the way it was. That's why the obsession with 3.5 years, and with constantly asserting that, "Trump has to step down after this latest of debacles."

It's like the people who kept saying, at the end of 2016, "I can't wait for this year to be over." Really?! Do you think that 2017 is going be *better*?

I think contra Erickson, the general argument of this blog (and even this post) is, "there's no going back," and "once Trump is gone, something worse will follow." That seems much more correct to me.

[NFR: I don't know Erickson's inner thoughts, but my sense reading this column of his is that he does not hope for any kind of restoration. I too believe that after Trump, worse will come (though I don't know what form or forms it will take). ! RD]

Khalid , says: August 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm
"In fact, we have come to think of our desires as defining our own identities. The Left pushes this farthest, of course, .."

Not sure. The right ( or parts of it) has been pushing the idea that our individual preferences or desires are all that count ( in its support for an economic system that emphasizes a hollow, formal notion of freedom). In fact, it's got worse since under the system the right has championed there's hardly concern with an enduring idea of the person: just ' constantly moving happiness machines' , really.

Rod, the opening chapter of Macintyre's new book has a brilliant discussion on desire.

David , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm
Well, golly, Rod. There's another way forward here, too. I think there's a plausible future in which:

1) Trump gets defenestrated via the 25th amendment;

2) Everyone takes a deep breath, and

3) President Pence behaves like a statesman ! the theme of his administration is to *actually bind up* the wounds that divide us. So, in addition to trying to address the unease and unrest of Trump's supporters, he stays away from culture-war nonsense of any stripe.

This last is probably the least likely link in this chain of events, which is unfortunate. Trump's removal would act as a safety valve through which the built-up rage and pressure on the left can slowly dissipate, but his successor has to avoid any actions that would build the pressure right back up.

Most obviously, this means no rollback of LGBT protections by executive order (and of course no ADVANCE of them, either ! call it a freeze-in-place). But it's not enough for Trump's successor to say he wants a ceasefire in the culture war. He has to have a positive agenda ! has to have talking points that emphasize good governance, common sense, and compromise.

And there's got to be follow-through, too. This means having legislative priorities like infrastructure and tax reform. And it means, in the end, trying to govern a bitterly divided country with relentlessly bland centrism *because that's what we need* right now ! slow, hard work to rebuild our trust that America *works*.

I mean, I don't think this is especially LIKELY. But part of the reason I say this is that everyone is breathing very rapidly into a paper bag right now, and talking about how we're almost at a breaking point.

Well, maybe we ARE on the precipice, but you know the nice thing about standing on the edge of a cliff? You can always choose to back away.

Hans , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Great column, even though I basically disagree with it. Love seeing references to Brecht in a column about modern America.

I straight up disagree with Continetti's skepticism that Bannon can't form a new coalition. I don't know if Bannon is the man to do it, but I actually think that that coalition will come together. Many on the left think that identitarianism is ridiculous. Many in the right think that white supremacy is abhorrent. Many immigrants think that an open door policy is insanity.

That centrist coalition is just waiting to be built. Maybe the first brick is the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case on political (not racial) gerrymandering. That could be the first step is sidelining the extremists of both sides.

Cash , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Look the far right and far left matter only because the center is weak. There's no voice speaking for issues matter to ciyizens who are a bit to left and right of the center.

Even the Repub establishment, with its agenda of tax cuts for the rich, smaller govt and deregulation, is out of the step with the mass of the party. Voters want a govt that addresses their concerns. This is why Trump and Sanders did so well last year.

Alt-right, SJW, antifa, Freedom Caucus ! none matter if the two major parties regain their strength and relevance. That's the most important task before us. Repubs need to end the Hastert rule and starting reaching across the aisle to allies in the Dem party. We need to end partisan redistricting and have general elections feature the top two vote getters in the primary.

A moderate, centrist politics, with the extremists unable to gain traction is how this country revives democracy.

Ms , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm
I wish we would try to live with malice toward none, and charity toward all, and guided by the better angels of our nature. As was once said when we were torn apart before.
KevinS , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm
"But Antifa is as violent and loved by the left, or at least tolerated."

As a university professor, I can attest that most of my colleagues are of "the left." I do not think any of them ever heard of Antifa before last week. I know I had not. Not sure there was any reference to Antifa in TAC more than two weeks ago. It's hard to love a group one did not know even existed 300 hours ago.

Jeremy , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm
"The forces tearing us apart are greater than the forces holding us together."

Honest question, Rod. In your view, what is holding us together?

[NFR: At this point? Inertia, mostly. ! RD]

Ana Gorey , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm
Rod, thanks for the great Erikson piece. Have you seen the new Red State article "The Flight 103 Presidency" http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2017/08/17/flight-103-presidency/ It's worth a read.

Meanwhile, here in our quiet little East Bay town in northern CA, it appears that someone just vandalized the local Jewish temple. https://www.jweekly.com/2017/08/17/vandalism-temple-israel-alameda-windows-smashed/

And of course we are bracing for the protests coming to SF and Berkeley.

midtown , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:12 pm
I'll be honest: last night I went to the grocery store and, along with the usual groceries, I bought a goodly amount of canned goods for the express reason that there is a madness in the air, politically. Maybe nothing will happen almost certainly won't. But I don't want to put my family at any more risk than necessary if there is some sort of massive disruption in society.
Kent A Powell , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm
Mr. Dreher, This may come across as simplistic, however as a fellow Christian I will point out a few tenants that you may reflect on. Obviously your work causes you to take sides. As you know we are not to judge. Gods Commandments and Christs teachings show us how to live. It isn't easy and we all fall short.The Beatitudes were preached for all who believe. We all have idols and yet God loves us. Get back to the Word and stop flailing against the world. Thank you.
Ben H , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm
Don't get drawn into the panic. The mainstream media/instant internet culture thrive on the demand that we take action now, without reflection. It's the way they compel your compliance.

Political violence is always very bad, but let's be honest it is very low level. We are not seeing it break out all over. It's the same relatively isolated groups involved (or isolated loners obsessed with some aspect of the instant media culture). At this point it is being used by people blowing off steam, not as a threat to compel real political change.

Noah172 , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm
Nate J wrote:

I fear that without Bannon, we have Trump the showman without the (capital-P) Plan

Trump was running on a nationalist platform for a year before hiring Bannon. Bannon can still influence Trump in the media. For all we know Trump may continue converse directly with Bannon over the phone, and that Bannon's formal departure from the administration may be merely a means of appeasing Kelly, McMaster, Cohn, and other antagonists.

(Or Bannon may turn on Trump, or Trump on Bannon. We'll see.)

I am concerned what Bannon's departure means for Afghanistan, but even there, the President himself is a skeptic of the whole enterprise, which is why the escalation Mattis and McMaster want has been delayed.

Adamant , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm
'I have never heard people on the Right talk in precisely those terms, but I have heard the same manner of thinking ! or rather, not thinking, emotion ! manifested often on the Right.'

Sure you have. Simply turn on your radio right now and on any one of a number of stations, new vistas of identity politics are there for you to enjoy.

http://bigthink.com/the-moral-sciences-club/country-music-openness-to-experience-and-the-psychology-of-culture-war

JonF , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm
Re: There fore the cord will not snap .it will just keep pulling the center of the country to the Left.

Huh? In what alternate reality has America been pulled leftward? On social issues– well, maybe– and really just on the gay stuff– public opinion on abortion has not budged significantly in my adult life.
Meanwhile economically we've been pulled right– hard right, at least insofar as such policies have benefited the 1% and their enablers in the upper middle class.

JZ , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm
This is not sustainable. Something is going to have to give. I do not know what, but something will give. The nation cannot sustain this constant state of chaos and crisis drift for three and a half more years. We will either see external or internal forces applied that will hurt the nation.

The idea that this can't last for 3.5 more years is simply not true. If you know anything of history you know that there have been much longer periods of time lived under much greater social stress. Yes, you can absolutely feel the pressure building. The principles that once bound us have been abandoned. Liquid modernity has seemingly unmoored everything we thought we knew. The elite are spectacularly corrupt. We seem to have no ability to confront national issues everyone knows exist. Populist anger is rising on all sides. The tide is certainly rising, yet we could very well go on like this for a very long time. However, once the wall has been breached, things could spin out of control very quickly.

People often compare our time to the Weimar Republic. I think a better German analogy is the Protestant Reformation/revolution. European society at the time was undergoing rapid change in the form of the Renaissance. Corruption of the elites – very much including but not limited to the clergy – had seemingly crystallized. Calls for reform of head and members of the Church went on unceasingly for decades with no urgency from the elites. Nationalism was rising in all corners. Enter the bombastic figure of Martin Luther. Much like Trump he was vulgar, hot temptered and completely unable to accept criticism without responding with a vitriol that would make Steve Bannon blush. He used the word papist much like Trump uses fake news. Most importantly he knew how to work the populist crowd and how to use the communications revolution of his day (the printing press) to speak directly to the people via countless pamphlets. The elites had both lost their credibility and were slow to respond.

Luther blasted through the walls holding Christendom together. Will Trump be the cannon ball shot through through the American system? It's impossible to know, but it's far from a sure thing. Christendom healed itself countless times before those fateful events of 500 years ago.

Roger H. , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm
"It's as if we (whoever constitutes "we") are the only real people, and everybody else is an abstraction that keeps us from getting what we want. And make no mistake: for identitarians of the Left and the Right, what we want is what we deserve."

It seems to me that everyone is becoming so confident in the righteousness of their anger that they are losing the ability to feel empathy for anyone else.

Ben H , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm
Trump is a drama queen but also a blowhard, and despite the efforts to manufacture panic and cynicism actually has a middle of the road agenda. His agenda is khaki not zubaz.

The danger is not Trump, the danger is the establishment response to Trump. He's one guy, they are many. He is an outsider, they consider 'our' government is theirs. He'll be gone one day, they will stay. They are trying to provoke a crisis in every way possible to discredit him. The real danger comes from inside the system because they will destroy rather than have it fall out of their hand (like one of those African dictators who refused to accept the outcome of an election).

The correct way to deal with Trump would be to bore him by routine and wait out the time until they can take over again and complete their final plan to sell us all as sex slaves to Arabs.

collin , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm
This is not sustainable. Something is going to have to give. I do not know what, but something will give.

I am sorry I see Erick Erickson as part of the problem saying Obama in 2014 "Hates America" and called "The Left ISIS." Right wing identity politics has been around for a good long while and went fairly wild during the Obama years.

In terms, it has gotten to point where the Left should follow the military and learn to ignore our President. Let him say what he wants to get attention while we withdraw from his nonsense and focus protesting on the right policy. (like Healthcare.)

Anyway, I think Trump is better off without Bannon with his sympathies to the alt right. (Unfortunately the alt right tendencies to go weird Zionist conspiracy theories is not helping.)

Bannon probably won Trump the election with Hillary "Evil In Her Heart!" Clinton campaign but he was ineffective (like Trump) at governing because the EVIL HRC had diminishing returns after November.

Charles Cosimano , says: August 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm
"People thought the Soviet Union would never fall in 1970 .20 years later it was in the trash heap of history." Actually by 1970 we knew the Soviet Union was going to fall. We just did not know when or by what mechanism. I would not worry too much. It's a big country and the bulk of the people are too busy enjoying summer to get very excited about any of this. It's like murders on the South Side of Chicago, something that gets on the news but really has no impact on your life.
Charles Cosimano , says: August 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm
I really like what JZ said. Remember, the Protestant Revolution was the best thing that happened to the west since Romulus looked at the Sabines and said, "Rome needs women!"

Following Luther, the West became more powerful than ever. Along with kicking the Papal elite from their pedestal and smashing their faces into the mud, the Turkish Menace was crushed, Western armies spread Western civilization across the world and western science has done unimaginable things.

We have stood upon the Moon and sent our message to the stars.

Good will come of this.

Deplorable Me , says: August 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm
I still say everything will remain relatively quiet as long as pro sports, college sports, and giant American vehicles are around. Don't forget, Rod, your job is monitoring this stuff, so it looms larger to you than to many of us. I would venture to say that at least half the people I know don't know what Antifa is.

That said, go ahead and stockpile water and canned goods. If all turns out well, you'll end up with a nice big donation to a food drive, and if all doesn't go well

I will start taking Antifa and the Nazi wanna-bes seriously when the ruling class does. So far, they have done little or nothing to stop or to encourage either side.

CharleyCarp , says: August 18, 2017 at 6:22 pm
I was wrong about Bannon yesterday ! was it only yesterday? ! so get your salt out.

I don't think we're necessarily headed for worse. The failure of Trump, of which there's much more to come, is more likely to be a cautionary tale on the Republican side. The question 'what have we got to lose' has been answered: anything worth having.

Is Gov Kasich the front-runner for 2020 right now? Why not?

On the Dem side, none of the contenders are going to be even close to the rails, much less off them. Here again, Trump is the cautionary tale: we were right about snake oil, so, what, we're going to try buying our own next time? Don't bet on it.

(IMO, it's a bad idea to try to predict Democratic positioning based on the utterances of people who (a) wouldn't be caught dead identifying as a Democrat and (b) don't vote anyway.)

Watch the red state Dem senators in 2018. Watch the Dem governors.

Brian Villanueva , says: August 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm
redbrick: "I don't feel it loves me or has any interest in protecting my history or future. I and millions like me wont ever resort to political violence but we will secede in our hearts. No longer willing to die for this ruling class."

This is one of the saddest comments I have heard recently from anyone left or right.

If a significant mass of hard-working, everyday people are so dis-spirited they believe their fellow Americans don't care about protecting their future, and give up on the idea of defending the idea of America, we're already finished.

The Left will congratulate itself as it carves up the pieces, paving the way for a new dictatorship.

I hope you're wrong, Rod. And redbrick, please don't lose hope completely.

Fran Macadam , says: August 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm
To blame Trump or think he's causing the decline, even if he is in some ways representative of it, is completely false. Trump was elected because the interests of the greedy staus quo elites no longer align with those of a huge swathe of the population. A Clinton victory would have merely been a delusion for the ruling class that even if not all is well, they had managed to put a lid on it and could continue, unsteady as she goes. There are the real philistines and barbarians, responsible for the Goldman Sacking of the Empire. And to a large degree, they are intentionally fomenting the chaos with their own brand of fake news, in the hopes to impose their unchallenged rule.

Bannon gone? Wonder who else is left who doesn't want to expand all the wars and fix domestic infrastructure.

Fran Macadam , says: August 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm
Trump as that "scoundrel" Luther? Gimme a break! It's definitely Weimar, with all the churches compromised. Attend an RC church in The Castro and see what I mean.
Joan , says: August 18, 2017 at 7:40 pm
What a nostalgia trip! Nothing like a forecast of societal collapse or civil war to send me right back to '69. Such forecasts got into print fairly regularly back then, including some by Marxists who salivated at the thought of literal, armed class war the way a certain strain of white supremacist salivates at the thought of race war. Nobody on any side predicted that the whole thing would simmer down by 1975.
Siarlys Jenkins , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm
The Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton is satisfied with the status quo, and uses identity politics as a veneer for economic policies that benefit Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and multinational corporations.

That's right on target, and it was the most disappointing thing about Barack Obama. Some of us Sanders voters would like just a select bit of Ron Paul grafted in. You know, the kind of commies who are also lifetime members of the NRA. (I'm not, but I've known some.) Actually I'm thinking more of bitter clingers who DID vote for Obama.

KingP , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm
It is also possible that much, if not all of the cultural angst detailed on this site is the result of a single phenomenon. Namely, a relatively affluent society where individuals can spend vast amounts of time online demanding validation for every single opinion, thought and whimsy without even the slightest twinge of humor or circumspection. Nothing done while angry usually amounts to anything constructive. Voting and tweeting especially.

Computer Mediated Paranoia is indeed a thing. Resist both it and the urge to stock canned goods. Unless they contain chili, pork n' beans and other items that you can utilize for a tailgate party during the upcoming college and pro football season. An event which will once again unite all Americans regardless of race, religion or creed.

Richard2 , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm
In the election of 2016 American voters hated both of the candidates of the major parties. Since both could not lose, Trump achieved victory by such a thin margin he lost the popular vote. This was perhaps a pity because Clinton may be closer to sane than Trump. But right now Democrats see a wonderful opportunity to take back control of Congress next year, and perhaps dump Trump in 2020.
JEinCA , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm
When the illiberal NeoBolshevik left gets the reigns of power you and I will be practicing your Benedict Option in a Gulag in Death Valley while our children are taught the joys of diversity and why they should hate their Christian parents in Reeducation camps with rainbow flags flying out front. The Revolution is not coming it is here. Arm yourselves and prepare to fight to for the Kingdom of God and for your children whom He gave you authority over and a duty to protect with your life.
LFM , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm
Only one thing to quote, here, again, as often as it has been quoted before, from the Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh; its appositeness may not be immediately apparent, but I think it will become so:

'"Is there any place that is free from evil? It is too simple to say that only the Nazis wanted war. These Communists wanted it too. It was the only way in which they could come to power. Many of my people wanted it, to be revenged on the Germans, to hasten the creation of the national state. It seems to me there was a will to war, a death wish, everywhere. Even good men thought their private honour would be satisfied by war. They could assert their manhood by killing and being killed. They would accept hardships in recompense for having been selfish and lazy. Danger justified privilege. I knew Italians-not very many perhaps-who felt this. Were there none in England?"

"God forgive me," said Guy. "I was one of them."'

All the buzzards are gathering around to grab at the corpses, watching with interested eyes.

KingP , says: August 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm
To clarify, we cannot worry that the Republic will be undone by loopy 80s b-grade pseudo-celebrity any more than we would believe that a guy who called himself "Barry" as as teenager and, by some accounts, had a pretty decent jumpshot, was/is the antichrist.

The founding fathers are surely not weeping, but are instead looking down/up/askance at us and chuckling a bit. The system was intentionally structured in a manner that did indeed allow for the election of an idiot in certain circumstances, and conversely, the removal of said idiot in due time. We will survive.

Bob Taylor , says: August 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm
JZ, your equating Trump with Luther is just inane at best. I would prefer not to believe you're truly that dishonest.

Luther was passionate for God, while Trump cares only about himself. Luther was a "man on fire," but Trump is as lifeless looking a human being as anyone I've ever seen. Luther was indeed vulgar, as the Lord Jesus could be, but Trump is vile.

Most important, Luther exalted the Bible as the Word of God, while Trump acknowledges only himself as a point of reference.

I never see anything from Protestants in these comments which comes close to equalling the animosity toward Catholics which Catholics direct so easily toward Protestants.

As well, Eastern Orthodox commenters are always respectful.

This is the most splenetic I've ever been in a comment on Rod's blogs, but I'm really tired of it.

Catholic theology holds that we Protestants are "separated brethren." Why don't you heed your theologians and stop insulting your brothers?

Sean Mitchell , says: August 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm
Pelosi wants the Confederate statues in the Capitol removed. That's just priceless! Why didn't she have them removed when she was Speaker of the House? If I'm Paul Ryan, I just say, "That's your problem Nancy – all of those Confederate statues are Democrats. You clean up your own mess."
Furor , says: August 18, 2017 at 10:01 pm
Again I ask – what mindset dominates on the Left? Is it constitutional democrats? Socialist Revolutionaries? Mensheviks? Bolsheviks? Do Bolsheviks in the end always win, because they lead the leftist reasoning to its rational conclusion, but it only takes them more time with the West than it did with Russia?

And what is the "alt-right" answer to this? Just white racism and a desire for a white ethno-state? Is there any common vision among counter-revolutionaries on what to do? Because the Left I think is very united by its usual vision – destruction and anti-culture

Lllurker , says: August 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm
RD: " I too believe that after Trump, worse will come (though I don't know what form or forms it will take)."

Rod forgive the snark but really, isn't that a pretty good summation of the Dreher Worldview? (I actually tried to put a "TM" after that like you do but couldn't figure out hie to do it.)

"The center cannot hold, I fear. The forces tearing us apart are greater than the forces holding us together. Both Left and Right are going to snap the cords."

I would challenge that this way: how much do you really know about the center? The people in the center? Because that's what we're really talking about here, millions and millions of moderate and decent American people. Hundreds of millions actually. And they haven't gone anywhere. But what has happened to them is that they've been shellshocked by this Trump mess. In fact most are probably still in denial that this has happened to this great country.

What this Trump scare likely portends for the future is a frustratingly long run of moderate voting, eventually begetting lots and lots of moderate politicians. The pendulum always swings back.

Lllurker , says: August 18, 2017 at 11:07 pm
I lost track of who mentioned it above but I agree that the so-called Hastert Rule really does need to go.

When the founders initially set everything up they just had no way of foreseeing how destructive party politics could become.

Optatus Cleary , says: August 18, 2017 at 11:23 pm
"Huh? In what alternate reality has America been pulled leftward?"

This is what I view as the biggest problem in America today. We all believe we're losing. I, and most conservatives I know, genuinely feel that the country is moving ever leftwards. It's difficult to imagine a person thinking its moving to the right. However, most liberals seem to genuinely believe it is.

I think that part of it is that we tend to see the other side as monolithic (ignoring the differences between Obama and the radical left, or between a Marco Rubio type and Donald Trump). We also tend to focus on the areas where we don't get our way. Also, we tend to overemphasize the importance to our opponents of their own victories.

It is a dangerous situation. I have often said I would prefer a clear feeling of victory for either side than this current "everyone loses" mentality. Currently, everyone is a rebel against the perceived mainstream, willing to see the rebels on the other side as the stormtroopers of the establishment.

M_Young , says: August 18, 2017 at 11:23 pm
Many here have come up with elaborate rational why a line can be drawn at removing the 'traitor' (untried, unconvicted, but hey, you know better than Grant) Robert E Lee. You believe other former heroes will remain unscathed.

Well, today a statue of Saint Junipero Serra, pretty much founder of California, was vandalized as was an accompanying statue of a child. And lest you think that is all, there has already been a bill put forth in California to repeal and replace him as one of our state's representatives in the hall a statuary.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/08/17/junipero-serra-statue-vandalized/

And a Columbus statue in Houston was vandalized.

http://abc13.com/security-stepped-up-amid-statue-vandalism-protests/2320244/

You see, this isn't about you white liberals with your reasoned arguments (such as they are). It's about how [blacks, 'Hispanics', Asians, Amerinds] feel

James Hartwick , says: August 19, 2017 at 12:33 am
KevinS:
As a university professor, I can attest that most of my colleagues are of "the left." I do not think any of them ever heard of Antifa before last week. I know I had not.

I'm curious then about what you and your colleagues thought about the protests, say, at Berkeley last winter, when Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak? There was violence (fists and bricks thrown apparently) and fires were set. Who did you think was doing that kind of stuff?

Also, while TAC doesn't seem to have had many articles about antifa (others have covered that topic more thoroughly), Rod did mention it back in January, when a masked antifa sucker punched white nationalist Richard Spencer on the street and The Nation's Natasha Lennard praised him .

Hound of Ulster , says: August 19, 2017 at 4:33 am
Sadly, the radicals have the biggest megaphones right now. The vast center-right to center-left middle has been silenced by numerous minor changes in media and politics.

It should be noted that in any other Western democracy, Trump never would have won because of his popular vote defeat. He is only president because of the elitist quirk of the Electoral College. Which, in the height of historical irony, was created by the Founders to prevent figures like him (Caesar-type populist dictators) from coming to power. Oops.

John , says: August 19, 2017 at 6:33 am
It is impossible to stop a trend. Those who oppose it will be mowed down.

The right extremist faction is a puny force. It is just a convenient punching bag for the left to justify its will to power as it continues gearing up for an all out war on civil society. The trashing of Washington, DC protesting the inauguration of Trump as President of the USA; Charlottesville, Gainesville, Boston of the currently planned free-speech rallies are but preliminary to the really major battles of violence sure to erupt during the 2018 midterm elections, then predictably culminating in even a larger wave of assaults during the 2020 presidential election campaign.

The rumble may start even sooner, say, the next time Trump attempts to have one of his usual rallies at some midwestern venue.

The trend favors the left not the right because the country at large has an ideologically radicalized and committed liberal base, (the mainstream press, -the cultural elite-, most especially the universities, and a secularized "religious" establishment (Protestants, Catholics, and Jews,etc.,) and the right does not. Black Lives, other racial and and gender issues are the weapons of choice of the Left. They are not the real issues. At the end these stake holders, useful idiots, will be worse off than before, lumped together with the other vanquished. Power is the only thing at stake.

Hollywood has been anticipating the future in a number of futuristic scenarios which depict chaotic, lawless societies following conflicts of large-scale disruptions. There is evil in the air. And evil has gone mainstream for many decades now. The 20th-21rst centuries produced massacres of epic proportions: WW I-II, Cambodia, ISIS are some of the worst examples. I would include the evil of abortion among humanity's greatest tragedies as well. It is an organized program financed with public funds worldwide. It has desensitized the globe to accept killing as nothing else has done before. North Korea just boasted of its ability to annihilate millions of its sisters and brothers on the other side of the DMZ and more oversees. Islamists killing innocents is a daily happening.

The U.S. Congress, both parties, and the President must get together to head off the coming widespread domestic violence. The President should call upon the leaders to gather for an emergency consultation. Instead of aiding and abetting the ANTIFA movement the Democratic Party leadership must publicly repudiate ANTIFA leadership, members, and its aims. Unless and until they do there will be no solution to the disorder that is now well underway.

[Aug 20, 2017] Bannon Was Set for a Graceful Exit. Then Came Charlottesville.

Aug 20, 2017 | www.msn.com

With little process to speak of, tensions over policy swelled. Ideological differences devolved into caustic personality clashes. Perhaps nowhere was the mutual disgust thicker than between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump's daughter and son-in-law.

Mr. Bannon openly complained to White House colleagues that he resented how Ms. Trump would try to undo some of the major policy initiatives that he and Mr. Trump agreed were important to the president's economic nationalist agenda, like withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. In this sense, he was relieved when Mr. Kelly took over and put in place a structure that kept other aides from freelancing.

"Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry," he told multiple people.

Mr. Bannon made little secret of the fact that he believed "Javanka," as he referred to the couple behind their backs, had naïve political instincts and were going to alienate Mr. Trump's core coalition of white working-class voters.

[Aug 20, 2017] The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. They use identity politics to discredit his base.

The USA started to imitate post-Maydan Ukraine: another war with statues... "Identity politics" flourishing in some unusual areas like history of the country. Which like in Ukraine is pretty divisive.
McAuliffe was co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and was one of her superdelegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Notable quotes:
"... The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. ..."
"... It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats. ..."
"... Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general. ..."
"... So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. ..."
"... Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive. ..."
"... From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person). ..."
"... I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). ..."
"... Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently. ..."
"... There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]... ..."
"... I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts. ..."
"... But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor. ..."
"... The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor. ..."
"... On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election. ..."
"... The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening. ..."
"... What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving. ..."
"... I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault. ..."
"... There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation. ..."
"... CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. ..."
"... The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election. ..."
"... As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers). ..."
"... It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness. ..."
"... But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

doug , 17 August 2017 at 04:54 PM

The media, and political elite, pile on is precisely what I expect. The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. And his few allies are increasingly uncertain of their future.

The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. Trump is the epitome of the salesman that believes he can sell anything to anyone with the right pitch. Reporters that might normally be restrained by actual facts and a degree of fairness simply are no longer so constrained.

It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats.

Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general.

So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. After that they will happily dispatch Trump with some discovered impeachable crime. At that point it won't be hard to get enough Republicans to go along.

The Republicans can only hope to convince Trump to resign well prior to the midterms. They hope they won't have to go on record with a vote and get nailed in the elections.

In the meantime the country is going to go through hell.

turcopolier , 17 August 2017 at 05:19 PM
kerim,

Yes, we are staring into the depths and the abyss has begun to take note of us. BTW the US was put back together after the CW/WBS on the basis of an understanding that the Confederates would accept the situation and the North would not interfere with their cultural rituals.

There was a general amnesty for former Confederates in the 1870s and a number of them became US senators, Consuls General overseas and state governors.

That period of attempted reconciliation has now ended. Who can imagine the "Gone With the Win" Pulitzer and Best Picture of the Year now? pl

Tyler , 17 August 2017 at 05:30 PM
Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive.
Murali -> LeeG... , 17 August 2017 at 05:38 PM
I totally disagree with you LeeG. From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person).

I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). I hope he will succeed but I learnt that we will always be left with Hope!

AK -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 06:27 PM
Dr. Puck,

The calls have begun:

That last tweet is from the Green Party candidate for VP. Those are just a few examples from a quick Google search before I get back to work. Those of you with more disposable time will surely find more.

BillWade , 17 August 2017 at 06:47 PM
Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently.

I believe Charlottsville was a staged catalyst to bring about Trump's downfall, there seems now to be a "full-court press" against him. If he survives this latest attempt, I'll be both surprised and in awe of his political skills. If he doesn't survive I'll (and many others, no matter the "legality of the process") will consider it a coup d'etat and start to think of a different way to prepare for the future.

A.I.Schmelzer , 17 August 2017 at 07:20 PM
There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]...

I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts.

But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor.

As far as statue removal goes: There should be legal ways of deciding such things democratically. There should also be the possibility of relocating the statues in question. I imagine that there should be plenty of private properties who are willing to host these statues on their land. This should be quite soundly protected by the US constitution.

That these monuments got, iirc, erected long after the war is nothing unusual. Same is true for monuments to the white army, of which there are now a couple in Russia.

As far as the civil war goes, my sympathies lie with the Union, I would not be, more then a 100 years after the war, be averse to monuments depicting the common Confederate Soldier.

I can understand the statue toppler somewhat. If someone would place a Bandera statue in my surroundings, I would try to wreck it. I may be willing to tolerate a Petljura statue, probably a also Wrangel or Denikin statue, but not a Vlassov or Shuskevich statue. Imho Lees "wickedness", historically speaking, simply isn't anything extraordinary.

Haralambos -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 07:29 PM
Col., thank you for this comment. I grew up in the "North" and recall the centenary of the Civil War as featured in _Life_ magazine. I was fascinated by the history, the uniforms and the composition of the various armies as well as their arms. I would add to that the devastating use of grapeshot. I knew the biographies of the various generals on both sides and their relative effectiveness. I would urge others to read Faulkner's _Intruder in the Dust_ to gain some understanding of the Reconstruction and carpetbagging.

I believe the choice to remove the monument as opposed to some other measure, such as the bit of history you offer, was highly incendiary. I also find it interesting that the ACLU is taking up their case in regard to free-speech: http://tinyurl.com/ybdkrcaz

I was living in Chicago when the Skokie protest occurred.

Fred -> Lars... , 17 August 2017 at 07:36 PM
Lars,

"They came to Charlottesville to do harm. They came armed and were looking for a fight."

I agree. This means Governor McAuliffe failed in his duty to the people of the Commonwealth and so did the Mayor of Charlottesville and the senior members of the police forces present in the city. Congradulations to the alt-left.

They - the left - previously came to DC to do harm - on flag day no less. Namely the Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, domestic terrorist, who attempted to assasinate Steve Scalise and a number of other elected representatives. The left did not denounce him nor his cause. Sadly they did not even denounce the people who actually betrayed him - those who rigged the Democratic primary: Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Seamus Padraig -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 07:40 PM
"I know of no call by anybody to remove all statues of the slaveholders. Please edify."

Well, it appears that Al Sharpton is now in favor of defunding the Jefferson Memorial. That's close, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg4XKIX1bs4&feature=youtu.be&t=5

VietnamVet , 17 August 2017 at 08:32 PM
PT

The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor.

On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election.

The protestors on both divides were organized and spoiling for a fight.

The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening.

James , 17 August 2017 at 09:32 PM
It seems to me that this brouhaha may work in Trump's favor. The more different things they accuse Trump of (without evidence), the more diluted their message becomes.

I think the Borg's collective hysteria can be explained by the "unite the right" theme of the Charlottesville Rally. A lot of Trump supporters are very angry, and if they start marching next to people who are carrying signs that blame "the Jews" for America's problems, then anti-Zionist (or even outright anti-Semitic) thinking might start to go mainstream. The Borg would do well to work to address the Trump supporters legitimate grievances. There are a number of different ways that things might get very ugly if they don't. Unfortunately the establishment just wants to heap abuse on the Trump supporters and I think that approach is myopic.

Jack , 17 August 2017 at 09:56 PM
There will always be an outrage du jour for the NeverTrumpers. The Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe & Mika ain't gonna quit. And it seems it's ratings gold for them. Of course McCain and his office wife and the rest of the establishment crew also have to come out to ring the obligatory bell and say how awful Trump's tweet was.

What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving.

Cvillereader -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 10:17 PM
It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia to wear a mask that covers one's face in most public settings.

LEOs in Central Va encountered this exact requirement when a man in a motorcycle helmet entered a Walmart on Rt 29 in 2012. Several customers reported him to 911 because they believed him to being acting suspiciously. He was detained in Albemarle County and was eventually submitted for mental health evaluation.

This is not a law that Charlottesville police would be unfamiliar with.

luxetveritas , 17 August 2017 at 10:45 PM
Chomsky: "As for Antifa, it's a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were. "It's a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant."

"what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive."

"When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it's the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is. That's quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism."

Bill H , 18 August 2017 at 02:02 AM
I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault.

There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation.

CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. A pundit on CBS claimed that "if they went" to the park in question, which of course they did, "they would not have been arrested because it was a public park." He failed to mention that large groups still are required to have a permit to assemble in a public park.

The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election.

Old Microbiologist -> Lars... , 18 August 2017 at 03:53 AM
Lars, but they came with a legal permit to protest and knew what they would be facing. The anti-protestors including ANTIFA had a large number of people being paid to be there and funded by Soros and were there illegally. The same mechanisms were in place to ramp up protests like in Ferguson which were violent and this response was no different.

However, the Virginia Governor a crony of the Clintons, ordered a police stand down and no effort was made to separate the groups. I remind you also that open carry is legal in Virginia.

So, IMHO this was deliberately set up for a lethal confrontation by the people on the left. I will also remind you that the American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party among others, are perfectly legal in the US as is the KKK. Believing and saying what you want, no matter how offensive, is legal under the First Amendment. Actively discriminating against someone is not legal but speech is. Say what you want but that is the Constitution.

AK -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 04:02 AM
Richardstevenshack,

Your last paragraph is a suitably Leftist post-modern ideological oversimplification of an infinitely complex phenomenon. It also reveals a great deal of what motivates the SJW Left:

" As for the notion that this is a 'cultural issue', I quote: 'Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver.' 'Culture' is the means by which some people oppress others. It's much like 'civilization' or 'ethics' or 'morality' - a tool to beat people over the head who have something you want. "

First, it is a cultural issue. It's an issue between people who accept this culture as a necessary but flawed, yet incrementally improvable structure for carrying out a relatively peaceful existence among one another, and those whose grudging, bitter misanthropy has led them to the conclusion that the whole thing isn't fair (i.e. easy) so fuck it, burn it all down. In no uncertain terms, this is the ethos driving the radical Left.

Second, I don't know exactly which culture created you, but I'm fairly sure it was a western liberal democracy, as I'm fairly certain is the case with almost all Leftists these days, regardless of how radical. And I'm also fairly certain the culture you decry is the western liberal democratic culture in its current iterations. But before you or anyone else lights the fuse on that, remember that the very culture you want to burn down because it's so loathsome, that's the thing that gave you that shiny device you use to connect with the world, it's the thing that taught you how to articulate your thoughts into written and spoken word, so that you could then go out and bitch about it, and it even lets you bitch about it, freely and with no consequences. This "civilization" is the thing that gives rise to the "morals" and "ethics" that allow you to take your shiny gadgets to a coffee shop, where the barista makes your favorite beverage, instead of simply smashing you over the head and taking your shiny gadgets because he wants them. These principles didn't arise out of thin air, and neither did you, me, or anyone else. This culture is an agreed-upon game that most of us play to ensure we stand a chance at getting though this with as little suffering as possible. It's not perfect, but it works better than anything else I've seen in history.

Old Microbiologist -> FourthAndLong... , 18 August 2017 at 04:12 AM
Not as significant but along a similar trend to re-write history is this pastor asking Chicago mayor Emmanuel to rename parks named for Presidents because they were also slave owners. http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/inevitable-chicago-pastor-demands-washington-name-be-removed-from-park-because-of-slavery-ties/
AK -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 04:33 AM
In his inimitable fashion, I'll grant Tyler (and the Colonel, as well) the creditable foresight to call this one. Those of you who find yourselves wishing, hoping, agitating, and activisting for an overturn of the election result, and/or of traditional American culture in general would do well to take their warnings seriously.

If traditional American culture is so deeply and irredeemably corrupt, I must ask, what's your alternative? And how do you mean to install it? I would at least like to know that. Regardless of your answer to question one, if your answer to question two is "revolution", well then you and anyone else on that wagon better be prepared to suffer, and to increase many fold the overall quotient of human suffering in the world. Because that's what it will take.

You want your revolution, but you also want your Wi-Fi to keep working.
You want your revolution, but you also want your hybrid car.
You want your revolution, but you also want your safe spaces, such as your bed when you sleep at night.

If you think you can manage all that by way of shouting down, race baiting, character assassinating, and social shaming, without bearing the great burden of suffering that all revolutions entail, you have bitter days ahead. And there are literally millions of Americans who will oppose you along the way. And unlike the kulaks when the Bolsheviks rode into town, they see you coming and they're ready for you. And if you insist on taking it as far as you can, it won't be pretty, and it won't be cinematic. Just a lot of tragedy for everyone involved. But one side will win, and my guess is it'll be the guys like Tyler. It's not my desire or aim to see any of that happen. It's just how I see things falling out on their current trajectory.

The situation calls to mind a quote from a black radical, spoken-word group from Harlem who were around in the early to mid 60s, called the Last Poets. The line goes, "Speak not of revolution until you are willing to eat rats to survive." Just something to think about when you advocate burning it all down.

johnklis56@gmail.com -> rick... , 18 August 2017 at 07:19 AM
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has added his name to a growing list of public officials in state governments encouraging the removal of Confederate statues and memorials throughout the South. Late in the day on Wednesday McAuliffe released an official statement saying monuments of Confederate leaders have now become "flashpoints for hatred, division and violence" in a reference to the weekend of violence which shook Charlottesville as white nationalists rallied against the city's planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. McAuliffe further described the monuments as "a barrier to progress" and appealed to state and local governments to take action. The governor said:

As we attempt to heal and learn from the tragic events in Charlottesville, I encourage Virginia's localities and the General Assembly – which are vested with the legal authority – to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings. I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make...

It seems the push for monument removal is now picking up steam, with cities like Baltimore simply deciding to act briskly while claiming anti-racism and concern for public safety. Of course, the irony in all this is that the White nationalist and supremacist groups which showed up in force at Charlottesville and which are even now planning a major protest in Lexington, Kentucky, are actually themselves likely hastening the removal of these monuments through their repugnant racial ideology, symbols, and flags.

Bishop James Dukes, a pastor at Liberation Christian Center located on Chicago's south side, is demanding that the city of Chicago re-dedicate two parks in the area that are named after former presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson. His reasons? Dukes says that monuments honoring men who owned slaves have no place in the black community, even if those men once led the free world.

Just a few I've seen....

James F , 18 August 2017 at 07:29 AM
Salve, Publius. Thanks for the article. Col. Lang made an excellent point in the comments' section that the Confederate memorials represent the reconciliation between the North and the South. The same argument is presented in a lengthier fashion in this morning's TAC http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-confederate-monuments-represent-reconciliation/ . That reconciliation could have been handled much better, i.e. without endorsing Jim Crow. I wish more monuments were erected to commemorate Longstreet and Cleburne, JB Hood and Hardee. I wish there was more Lee and less Forrest. Nonetheless, the important historical point is that a national reconciliation occurred. Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation. The past which is being erased is not the Civil War but the civil peace which followed it. That is tragic.
Ishmael Zechariah -> Dr.Puck... , 18 August 2017 at 08:14 AM
Dr. Puck,
Do you agree w/ this elected representative's statement: ""I hope Trump is assassinated!" Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, wrote during a morning Facebook exchange, referring to Republican President Donald Trump."
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/chappelle-nadal-posts-deletes-facebook-post-hoping-for-trump-s/article_406059d6-1aa4-52fc-89ee-2a6a69baaf2e.html
Ishmael Zechariah
Kooshy -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 09:21 AM
IMO, most of the problems majority of people (specially the ruling class) have with Donald Trump' presidency is that, he acts and is an accidental president, Ironically, everybody including, him, possibly you, and me who voted for him knows this and is not willing to take his presidency serious and act as such. IMO, he happens to run for president, when the country, due to setbacks and defeat on multiple choice wars, as well as national economic misfortunes and misshapes, including mass negligence of working class, was in dismay and a big social divide, as of the result, majority decided to vote for some one outside of familiar cemented in DC ruling class knowing he is not qualified and is a BS artist. IMO that is what took place, which at the end of the day, ends of to be same.
Croesus -> doug... , 18 August 2017 at 09:52 AM
Netanyahu is under pressure for failing to speak out forcefully against Trump

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/benjamin-netanyahu-resists-calls-to-denounce-trumps-response-to-charlottesville/

Bibi has keen political skills. He hasn't lasted this long based on his mastery of judo.

Fred -> James F... , 18 August 2017 at 10:03 AM
James F,

" Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation."

That is the intent. The coalition of urban and coastal ethnic populists and economic elites has been for increased concentration and expansion of federal power at the expense of the states, especially the Southern states, for generations. This wave of agitprop with NGO and MSM backing is intended to undo the constitutional election and return the left to power at the federal level.

TV , 18 August 2017 at 10:18 AM
I agree with most of Trump's policy positions, but he is negating these positions with his out-of-control mouth and tweets.
As much as I have nothing but contempt and loathing for the "establishment" (Dems, Republicans, especially the media, the "intelligence" community and the rest of the permanent government), Trump doesn't seem to comprehend that he can't get anything done without taming some of these elements, all of whom are SERIOUSLY opposed to him as a threat to their sinecures and riches.
"Who is this OUTSIDER to come in and think that he in charge of OUR government?"
blowback , 18 August 2017 at 10:33 AM
What seems like a balanced eyewitness account of Charlottesville that suggests that although the radicals on both sides brought the violence, it was the police who allowed it to happen.

https://newrepublic.com/article/144365/cops-dropped-ball-charlottesville

The need to keep protesters away from counter-protesters particular when both are tooled should be obvious to anyone, but not so with the protest in Charlottevlle.

doug -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 10:40 AM
-"Trump isnt our last chance. Its your last chance."

Reminds me of the 60's and the SDS and their ilk. A large part of the under 30 crowd idolized Mao's Little Red Book and convinced themselves the "revolution" was imminent. So many times I heard the phrase "Up Against the Wall, MFs." Stupid fools. Back then people found each other by "teach-ins" and the so called "underground press." In those days it took a larger fraction to be able to blow in each other's ear and convince themselves they were the future "vanguard."

These days, with the internet, it is far easier for a smaller fraction to gravitate to an echo chamber, reinforce group think, and believe their numbers are much larger than what, in reality, exists. This happens across the board. It's a rabbit hole Tyler. Don't go down it.

turcopolier , 18 August 2017 at 10:45 AM
Booby

Yes, Forts Bragg, Hood, Lee, AP Hill, Benning, etc., started as temporary camps during WW1 and were so named to encourage Southern participation in the war. The South had been reluctant about the Spanish War. Wade Hampton, governor of SC said of that war, "Let the North fight. the South knows the cost of war." pl

ISL , 18 August 2017 at 10:53 AM
I would like to share my viewpoint. As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers).

But violence on all sides is absolute BS. Nazi violence gets its own sentence and language at least as strong as the language he has no trouble hitting ISIS with. Didn't hear that. So I guess in his mind, the threat the US faced from Nazis during WW2 was less than a ragtag, 3rd world guerilla force whose only successes are because of 1. US, Saudi, and other weapons, and their war on unstable third world countries. Give me a break - did he never watch a John Wayne movie as a kid?

When I discuss nazi's, F-bombs are dropped. I support the right of nazi's to march and spew their vitriolic hatred, and even more strongly support the right of free speech to counter their filth with facts and arguments and history.

I am sorry, but Antifa was not fighting against the US in WW2. If one wants to critique Antifa, or another group, that criticism belongs in a separate paragraph or better in another press conference. Taking 2 days to do so, and then walking it back, is the hallmark of a political idiot (or a billionaire who listens to no one and lives in his own mental echo chamber).

If Trump gets his info and opinions from TV news, despite having the $80+ billion US Intel system at his beck and call, he is the largest idiot on the planet.

sid_finster , 18 August 2017 at 11:29 AM
It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness.

But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen.

[Aug 18, 2017] Postmodernism is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict; instead of judging people by the content of their character, they are now to be judged by the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera).

Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 4:18:43 PM | 58

re #50

OT but not really -
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-unfortunate-fallout-of-campus-postmodernism

"In an article for Quillette.com on "Methods Behind the Campus Madness," graduate researcher Sumantra Maitra of the University of Nottingham in England reported that 12 of the 13 academics at U.C. Berkeley who signed a letter to the chancellor protesting Yiannopoulos were from "Critical theory, Gender studies and Post-Colonial/Postmodernist/Marxist background."

This is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict; instead of judging people by the content of their character, they are now to be judged by the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera).

"Postmodernists have tried to hijack biology, have taken over large parts of political science, almost all of anthropology, history and English," Maitra concludes, "and have proliferated self-referential journals, citation circles, non-replicable research, and the curtailing of nuanced debate through activism and marches, instigating a bunch of gullible students to intimidate any opposing ideas.""

[Aug 17, 2017] Google Culture Wars

Notable quotes:
"... So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength? ..."
"... The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates. ..."
"... "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them". ..."
"... "There are only two important days in the life of any person, the day that your are born and then day you find out why." ..."
"... The supreme irony of l'affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore's memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my "inept thinkers" comment. ..."
"... Look how Canadian 'hate speech laws' began with silencing 'Neo-Nazis' (fake ones, btw) and then spread to going after those who don't use proper pronouns. Self-Righteous Addiction created all these Self-Righteous Junkies. ..."
"... The bigger question is why Homo Sapiens is the only primate on the planet where The female is expected to be equal to the male ..."
"... The whole argument "for equality" is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal. As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other. ..."
"... P.S. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business. ..."
"... it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

Peripatetic commenter > , August 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm GMT

OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.

James Thompson > , Website August 16, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT

@Peripatetic commenter Fine, but better to read a few chapters of the book.

res > , August 16, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT

Thank you for your comprehensive post.

One thought about:

This argument makes me smile. Hyde seems to take as granted that males have an advantage on "tightly timed tests for mathematical and spatial tasks". Is it simply my male point of view that to do well on any test, in the sense of getting things right, and doing so quickly, would be considered a double advantage? Why regard speedy thinking as a complexity of interpretation? Why is speed in correctly completing a task judged to be "speed as much as skill"? Absurdly, the prompt and correct completion of a task seems to be cast as mere male impetuosity. Furthermore, any employer reading this argument would be justified in thinking "On difficult tasks involving maths and spatial analysis, women need more time" so, given a chance, it might be better not to employ them.

Agreed, but the timing issue for spatial tests actually strikes me as even more important than that. I am good at typical spatial tests, but one thing I have noticed is that for the hardest items I find myself going through a very working memory loaded process of checking whether a rotation works for a variety of details (number of details being limited by WM). I am pretty sure this process is more g loaded than spatial (have to find, remember, and analyze these differences). It is also slow at my WM limits (I trial and error choose which details to focus on for the hardest items). I am certain I could improve my performance by making pen and paper notes, but consider that cheating on those tests. It would be interesting to explore differences in solution speed and style both within and between groups (e.g. do similar scoring men and women differ in technique?).

Thus I tend to think the need for more time indicates a relative deficit in "real" spatial skill in favor of g. Whether this "real" spatial skill is what drives the relationship of spatial skills with programming is unclear, but I think it might be. I would hypothesize that it might not be easy for someone like me to emulate the reasoning a higher spatial ability person might use to solve real world problems (rotations are a relatively simple special case problem). If so, presumably this problem would be even worse for someone with even less "real" spatial ability.

Part of what I base my self assessment on is my sense that some people just immediately see the answer to hard spatial problems. Another part of this is my experience with tasks like navigating in complex topographical environments (I suspect that is a related skill). I routinely encounter people who I think are much better at navigation than I am (especially considered in tandem with more g loaded differences). My sense is that this instant recognition correlates with g but is a separate ability (perhaps more separate than the spatial test correlations indicate given my substitutability observation above). I would be very interested in either anecdotal observations or research discussing this!

Overall, my takeaways from the whole l'affaire Damore (surprised I haven't seen this pun used yet, just searched and here is a use , though I disagree with it that post and the comments are worth a look) are:

res > , August 16, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT

@Peripatetic commenter Perhaps a good start is to read (or at least skim) Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve as a collection of critiques of The Bell Curve which seem better than most. Then look for critiques of that book and its papers.

Another approach would be to look at Linda Gottfredson's work, most notably: Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An Editorial With 52 Signatories, History, and Bibliography

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.366.7808&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Though IIRC that is more useful as a source of information to form critiques than as ready made rebuttals to any particular work.

P.S. I agree with Dr. Thompson about reading TBC, but based on your other comments assume you have done so already.

Peripatetic commenter > , August 16, 2017 at 6:29 pm GMT

The Note makes it very clear that men and women "differ in part due to biological causes", that many such differences are small, with significant overlaps, and that you cannot say anything about an individual on the basis of population level distributions.

So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength?

res > , August 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm GMT

@Peripatetic commenter Short answer, no. Though it arguably depends on where you fall in the male range and the population size (which controls how much of an outlier one can expect to occur). If you want to make this more concrete, here is a paper on strength differences which seems to imply (though I don't see it stated) a Cohen's d of about 3 for upper body strength: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756754/
Plugging that into the visualizer here (3 is the maximum value supported) you see only 13% overlap: http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/
Worth noting that these analyses don't account for size differences (so your equal height condition skews things).

To answer your question a different way, try looking at world championship weightlifting results. Can you lift more than the strongest woman there less than or equal to you in height (or weight as a proxy)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_records_in_Olympic_weightlifting

https://rawpowerlifting.com/records/world_records/

Razib's grip strength post is a worthwhile look at this sort of thing: https://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average

Peripatetic commenter > , August 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

To answer your question a different way, try looking at world championship weightlifting results. Can you lift more than the strongest woman there less than or equal to you in height (or weight as a proxy)?

I don't do weight training but if I did, I think I could and I would assert that world championship male weight lifters could.

Peripatetic commenter > , August 16, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT

I started reading https://people.ok.ubc.ca/lgabora/papers/Gabora-Russon-EOI-2011.pdf

and found this:

The more we learn about nonhuman intelligence, however, the more we find that abilities previously thought to be uniquely human are not. For example, it was thought until the 1960s that humans alone make tools. But then Jane Goodall (1963) found wild chimpanzees making them. Later, several other species were found making tools too (Beck, 1980). Thus, ideas about what marks the boundary between human and nonhuman intelligence have undergone repeated

There is an enormous qualitative difference between the tools that Chimps (or other primates) use and something like, say, https://www.thoughtco.com/acheulean-handaxe-first-tool-171238 .

What is the use of making such statements? Chimps are not going to suddenly start making screw drivers or knives or bows and arrows etc. Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

Priss Factor > , Website August 17, 2017 at 4:38 am GMT

2 Kevins says we are living 'matriarchy'.

wayfarer > , August 17, 2017 at 4:44 am GMT

"Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out!"

utu > , August 17, 2017 at 4:44 am GMT

@Peripatetic commenter

Tom Welsh > , August 17, 2017 at 8:44 am GMT

I suspect that no one with enough intelligence to think clearly understands what all the fuss is about. I have never been particularly successful at anything, despite my IQ of over 160 (according to Mensa). The only clearcut effect this has had, as far as I can make out, is that most people find my conversation obscure and boring.

If an IQ 60% above average confers no apparent practical advantage, what is the point in squabbling heatedly about hypothetical differences on the order of 1%? It is surely well established, even if it weren't glaringly obvious to common sense, that while pure intelligence is vital in some fields of work, its effects are usually swamped by those of other characteristics such as persistence, enthusiasm, charisma and empathy.

Indeed, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair. There is a lot to hate and fear in the world, and most people seem to be spared the worst consequences by the simplest of defence mechanisms – a sheer failure to notice.

Tom Welsh > , August 17, 2017 at 8:52 am GMT

@Peripatetic commenter "Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?"

Yes. Although of course we are not chimps, nor are we directly descended from chimps. The human brain is immensely flexible and adaptable, and once the practice of solving problems by making tools became established, a whole vast new world opened up. Note that people were making stone tools for a very, very long time before the first metals were discovered. Note also that many of the human race's greatest discoveries may have been made only once or twice before spreading worldwide.

One serious weakness that most humans suffer from is an inability to visualize long periods of time. Just as, to the average citizen, a million, a billion, and a trillion are all more or less just "lots and lots", most of us really cannot conceive of a million years or what might happen in such a time. At about three generations per century, a million years represents about 30,000 generations. A mere 50 generations ago the Roman Empire was still flourishing.

James Thompson > , Website August 17, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

@res Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments.

On the speed issue, for all tasks, I was objecting to Hyde's implied distinction between speed and ability, because ability is related to speed. I think that W.D.Furneaux was onto this issue years ago, and progressed it well. From memory, I have classified his key insight as saying that intellectual achievement depended on: speed, accuracy and persistence.

The first two are often a trade-off, though of course the brightest people are both speedy and accurate. Persistence is often an ignored characteristic, though it is a key part of most great intellectual achievements.

As regards g, at higher levels of ability it account for less variance.

1. Furneaux, W. D., Nature, 170, 37 (1952). | ISI |
2. Furneaux, W. D. "The Determinants of Success in Intelligence Tests" (paper read to Brit. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1955).
3. Furneaux, W. D., Manual of Nufferno Speed Tests (Nat. Found. Educ. Res., London, 1955).
4. Furneaux, W. D., in Intellectual Abilities and Problem Solving Behaviour in Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (edit. by Eysenck, H. J.) (Pergamon Press, London, 1960)

James Thompson > , Website August 17, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT

@Peripatetic commenter I think you are right if we alter it from "any woman" to "almost any woman", simply because the difference in body strength (in the paper Res references, and in the others) is a d of 3.5 so I wouldn't bother with further calculations to correct for height. What would make a difference is the small numbers of elite women athletes, as shown in the paper Razib posted.

If one simplifies the whole issue to look at height, weight and body strength together, then women are at risk in any physical encounter with men, even old ones. This has been noticed before, resulting in kind societies paying extra respect to and showing more consideration for women, and in less kind societies to their abuse.

Miro23 > , August 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other.

Or maybe it's not for ferocious attacks or scholarly debate. It's just a difference of opinion (remember "diversity") – not something to get so excited about. The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates.

Moi > , August 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT

Free speech is an interesting concept – but don't try to put it into practice.

James Thompson > , Website August 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Dear Tom,
An IQ of 160 is only found in 1 in 31,560 persons, being higher than 99.9976142490% of the population. This is more than a 60% advantage over the average citizen. IQ points are not percentages.

The work of Benbow and Lubinski shows that the higher the intelligence the greater the achievement. While other personality factors may be involved, they have yet to be shown to be as important. Typically, high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average, with lower rates of mental disorder.

dc.sunsets > , August 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT

@James Thompson Not to worry. We have Hollywood providing young women with all the confidence necessary that, should she walk down a dark alley and be accosted by a man, she will likely strike him a few times in the face and walk away unscathed.

/sarc off.

If women grasped even vaguely just how great is the gulf between them and the overwhelming majority of men, I suspect we'd see a lot fewer women using their divorce attorney to torment their soon-to-be (or already) ex-husband. I've watched women metaphorically poke the most dangerous animal on Planet Earth, an adult male human, as he sits in a cage that lacks bars.

The only time I've seen the "Entertainment Industry" show what can really happen in a confrontation between a typical woman and a typical (in this case viciously predatory) man, it was in a foreign-made film titled "Irreversible," available on Amazon Video. It was without a doubt the most horrifying rape-beating ever put on film, and watching it would scare the living daylights out of women. It ran rings around any horror film ever made.

Tom Welsh > , August 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT

@Moi That's nothing new, either.

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them".

– Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. XX

Moi > , August 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Sam Clemens was sui generis. And I love this one of his: "There are only two important days in the life of any person, the day that your are born and then day you find out why."

szopen > , August 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm GMT

Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of "men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8″) but I couldn't; Can anyone help?

The best I could found was the study which claimed that in people-vs-things rating, within the top 25% of topc scorers – which would be, if I understood correctly, people who are the most interested in things (as contrasted with "interested in people") ratio of women to men is 0.287. That would mean there would be around 78% men, 22% women.

Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average "things" preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of "there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers".

Also, it seems that i saw in one study taht this difference decreases with age, which is strange. This would contradict the theory that the preference is driven by the social expectations (because, then "sexist" expectations would cause is to go up with age) but this could be explained by "it is caused by biology" theory; HOWEVER, the bad thing and the weakness is that "it's caused by biology" could be used to justify BOTH increasing and decreasing the gap – a realisation which leaves bad taste in my mouth.

Anyway I'd love to see
(1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying "the effect is large with Cohen's d=1.23″
(2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population
(3) studies measuring the trait in very early age

res > , August 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT

@James Thompson Thanks for expanding on the speed, accuracy and persistence idea. And giving references!

I am having trouble chasing down your references though. This 1967 letter gives a very similar list of references but states that there were errors in the 1952 Furneaux paper equations: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v214/n5092/abs/2141056a0.html

This book (The Measurement of Intelligence, edited by Michael? Eysenck, copyright 1973, I actually have a copy but am having trouble finding it, I think that chapter would be a good starting point for me): https://books.google.com/books?id=wjLpCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236
gives a title for your first reference: Some Speed, Error and Difficulty Relationships within a Problem-solving Situation
From which I find: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v170/n4314/abs/170037a0.html
It is nice that Nature assigns DOIs to its old papers. That appears to be a two page letter. Interesting, but I am having trouble drawing inferences from it.

I am not sure I communicated my agreement with your earlier speed, accuracy, and persistence comments. I was trying to extend the idea to consider that slow speed might be an indicator of the substitution of skills (other than persistence, though that is certainly critical there) for the skill nominally being tested for. In my earlier example, g for spatial ability. For another example, I took an online autism test a while ago (identifying emotions from pictures). I scored above average (in a good way ; ), but found myself again using a more "logical" (g based IMHO) process for the harder items. I doubt that is the way most people approach that test (though I could be wrong) and my result might overstate my ability on the skill they are trying to test .

The fundamental distinction I am trying to make is between solving a problem in the same way (or sufficiently similar) just more slowly and solving the problem using a fundamentally different approach (or skill/ability?!). The former could be viewed as changing the clock speed on a computer and I think corresponds with the point you make about persistence. For the latter envision a case where one person solves a problem using visual intuition and a quick mathematical check while another person uses an extended mathematical derivation. I think this kind of substitutabiltity could be a problem in subtests intended to measure a specific skill (e.g. spatial!). And g is a very useful Swiss army knife ; ).

Perhaps this is a second order effect relative to the basic speed/persistence issue and should (could?) not really be considered until that has been solved? I guess I am just interested in anyone who has thought about this substitutability idea in the more general form. Furneaux seems focused on the speed side. In particular, Furneaux limits his consideration to the 10-85% range of difficulty while my personal experience is much more about the hard end of the difficulty scale.

This seems like a fairly obvious idea to me so I presume it has been considered. Perhaps some combination of "second order effect" and "hard to test" prevents something having been done about it?

One other thought that occurs to me. Does Furneaux's deemphasis of higher D(ifficulty) items say something about the difficulty of creating high ceiling tests? Is it possible that the combination of substitutability and more idiosyncratic skill profiles at the high end are part of that problem?

res > , August 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm GMT

@Miro23

It's just a difference of opinion (remember "diversity") – not something to get so excited about.

The supreme irony of l'affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore's memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my "inept thinkers" comment.

Tom Welsh > , August 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT

@dc.sunsets "No one is insuring your foods are safe".

Actually, Western governments have for decades been going out of their way to recommend actively unhealthy foods and drinks. In 1865, in 1910 and in 1939 it was clearly understood everywhere that meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and nuts, together with some dairy and fruit, were the essential dietary items. Carbohydrates, sugars and grains in particular, were clearly understood to be fattening and probably causative of many diseases.

Yet since the US government led the charge with its McGovern Committee Report in the 1970s, Western governments have been warning against meat, saturated fat, and other healthy foods while urging consumption of more foods made from sugars and grains. We all require about 20% of daily energy from protein, and the rest is a mixture of fats and carbs. Cut out the fats, and that means 70-80% carbs, which leads inexorably to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and for many people eventual diabetes.

Did I mention that Senator McGovern represented a grain-producing state?

Tom Welsh > , August 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm GMT

@res

I would like, in this context, to repeat my quotation of Alfred Korzybski's declaration.

"I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said".

Intelligent, let alone constructive, discourse will not be possible until everyone understands that saying and takes care to make sure they understand what others mean.

James Thompson > , Website August 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT

@res Good points. Sorry about the references: I took the first ones to hand, and should have searched through my own posts. Have done that now, and found this:

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/you-want-it-good-or-you-want-it-tuesday

This will add some content, but I agree that I did not properly answer your question. I think the question you raise would be considered a task solving strategy problem: "I have tried shape, as I did on the easier items, but that doesn't work for this more difficult problems, so I will try feature categorization". That is, you went from a modular solution to a g-loaded general strategy when the module seemed to fail you.

My first point is that if we can find someone who solves even the difficulty problem easily, we hire them because their module does the job for us!
Second, and more interestingly, most problem solving approaches fail when the problem is both novel and very difficult. (I cannot say what makes a problem difficult, but it probably relates to the number of items and the number of operations involved in solving it). At that point in the act of creation, people try all manner of re-framings and re-descriptions, in the hope that an analogy might open up a new line of attack. For example, I cannot assist anyone with finding new elements. Despite that, out of ignorance I can make some suggestions. For example, would anything be gained by taking the target close down to absolute zero? Would it make it easier to hit something?

So, problem-solving strategies often become the real test. That also involves working out what problems you don't have to solve. During the Manhattan project one group started worrying that in focusing the charges they would get wear in the system which would throw out their very crucial calculations about the critical mass required. After a while a team member pointed out the obvious fact that the firing mechanism would only be used once.

You are right that a different approach is what we generally need for very difficult problems.
Sorry that I cannot answer all your interesting questions.

res > , August 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh That is a good quote. Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but I don't see the applicability to my comment 32. Especially given that I was not responding to you. Perhaps you could elaborate?

If anything the obligation to understand lies first with those criticizing Damore's memo.

Priss Factor > , Website August 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm GMT

@schrub

I don't mind DS not existing. The question is IF they can go after DS, where does it end?

Look how Canadian 'hate speech laws' began with silencing 'Neo-Nazis' (fake ones, btw) and then spread to going after those who don't use proper pronouns. Self-Righteous Addiction created all these Self-Righteous Junkies.

Delinquent Snail > , August 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh What? 3 generations a century? That would mean people are having kids in their 30s . Which didn't happen until this last century. Its more like 4-5, maybe even 6, generations a century.

I agree humans can't visualize large spans of time. Plus, a very large minority think the world was created 2017 years ago, so that doesn't help.

Astuteobservor II > , August 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm GMT

I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other. Expressing different opinions should be a cue for debate, not outrage.

this is why I support him.

Bill Jones > , August 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm GMT

The bigger question is why Homo Sapiens is the only primate on the planet where The female is expected to be equal to the male.

Art > , August 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

The whole argument "for equality" is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal. As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other.

Our goal is to find a niche for ourselves – there is room for all different capabilities in a rational society. There is only so much need for rocket scientists.

Proving that men and women are equal is fools work.

Smart people will endeavor to prove that all work is of value – and deserving of a living compensation.

Peace ! Art

P.S. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business.

Bill Jones > , August 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT

@James Thompson

Cspan had an excellent two hour or so interview of the guy on one of their weekend book shows a decade or so ago. Worth the search and a download of at least the audio.

szopen > , August 17, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@res Thanks a lot for a link to "interpretating cohen's d"! FInally I understood the concept

However, the problem with COhen's d is that it assumes – if I am not mistaken – the equal standard deviations, while I think it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. That would mean that using "d" would not truly reflect the ratios of population over some cutoff, am i right?

res > , August 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm GMT

@szopen My understanding is the official definition of Cohen's d uses the pooled SDs of the subpopulations, but I am not sure how rigorously that subtlety is observed. For example, this page gives them as alternate definitions: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Cohen%27s_d

I am not sure how much of a difference that makes in practice. That might be a good thing to investigate with some simulations.

Bill Jones > , August 17, 2017 at 11:45 pm GMT

@CanSpeccy

"To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K."

Even if it demonstrably true. Can't let reality get in the way of the religion , can we?

[Aug 16, 2017] HARPER: IDENTITY POLITICS--WE ALL LOSE

Notable quotes:
"... I vividly recall staying up past 1 AM on election night 2016, watching CNN, as it became clear that Donald Trump had been elected the next President of the United States. News anchor Dana Bash was beside herself at the outcome, and at one point, in a fit of honesty, she exclaimed, "This means the end of identity politics." Well, yes, but a deep ideology like identity politics does not die a quiet and sober death. Last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, we saw identity politics playing out--violently. Whether it was the white protesters who formed part of the original crowd, or the black and "antifa" protesters who formed part of the counter-demonstration, we witnessed a clash of identities. ..."
"... Watching the tirades on MSNBC and other news outlets over the past 48 hours, I can't help but lament how twisted our public discourse has become. Clearly some of the counter-demonstrators were part of the very same "antifa" apparatus that got very different news coverage when they torched and trashed Seattle a number of years back in protest at a WTO meeting. This time around, they were defended by the icons of media, who denounced any thought that there was "moral equivalence" between their violence and the violence of the hardcore white racists who made up part of the protesters on UVA campus. ..."
"... There is a difference between legitimate civil rights struggles, which at times led to violence, and the reverse racism that I see and hear far too often out of the Black Lives Matter people. ..."
"... Soros Money Matters too. He is not a benign figure but a promoter of division and discord. I sat in a room when he complained bitterly, with racist overtones, during a meeting of the Drug Policy Foundation years ago, that there were not black voices promoting the legalization of crack cocaine, part of his libertine agenda. Is he a friend of the black community? I don't think so. ..."
"... Identity politics is a disease. It divides people and makes them into the sum of their self-defined attributes. Far from bringing about the end of identity politics, the Trump election has hardened the fault lines, whether on Capitol Hill or on the streets of American cities. ..."
Aug 16, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I vividly recall staying up past 1 AM on election night 2016, watching CNN, as it became clear that Donald Trump had been elected the next President of the United States. News anchor Dana Bash was beside herself at the outcome, and at one point, in a fit of honesty, she exclaimed, "This means the end of identity politics." Well, yes, but a deep ideology like identity politics does not die a quiet and sober death. Last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, we saw identity politics playing out--violently. Whether it was the white protesters who formed part of the original crowd, or the black and "antifa" protesters who formed part of the counter-demonstration, we witnessed a clash of identities.

President Trump was not wrong when he said that there were violent protesters on both sides of the clash, and that many of the protesters were not there to show their racism, but to protest the tearing down of a statue of a figure in American history who cannot be airbrushed out of our nation's story. Is the next step to burn down the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, because it was co-named after Robert E. Lee after the Civil War?

Watching the tirades on MSNBC and other news outlets over the past 48 hours, I can't help but lament how twisted our public discourse has become. Clearly some of the counter-demonstrators were part of the very same "antifa" apparatus that got very different news coverage when they torched and trashed Seattle a number of years back in protest at a WTO meeting. This time around, they were defended by the icons of media, who denounced any thought that there was "moral equivalence" between their violence and the violence of the hardcore white racists who made up part of the protesters on UVA campus.

There is a difference between legitimate civil rights struggles, which at times led to violence, and the reverse racism that I see and hear far too often out of the Black Lives Matter people.

And there is the matter of George Soros spending millions of dollars to help launch that movement after Ferguson. Soros Money Matters too. He is not a benign figure but a promoter of division and discord. I sat in a room when he complained bitterly, with racist overtones, during a meeting of the Drug Policy Foundation years ago, that there were not black voices promoting the legalization of crack cocaine, part of his libertine agenda. Is he a friend of the black community? I don't think so.

Identity politics is a disease. It divides people and makes them into the sum of their self-defined attributes. Far from bringing about the end of identity politics, the Trump election has hardened the fault lines, whether on Capitol Hill or on the streets of American cities.

gaikokumaniakku , 16 August 2017 at 06:27 PM

Brennan Gilmore, Tom Perrielo, Michael Signer, and other friends of Podesta arranged the Charlottesville violence. This isn't just a bunch of college-age leftists getting excited about Derrida. The Charlottesville violence was the result of a conspiracy by well-connected insiders.

I quote the "Signs of the Times" website linked below:

The STOP KONY 2012 psyop was all about using the Joseph Kony boogieman to justify letting Barack Obama send Special Operations troops into Africa to run around and squash any and all resistance to our new imperialism campaign. It was a fraud. A show. And Brennan was part of it.

He was also part of the campaign of Tom Perriello's in Virginia to become the next governor.

End quote.

"Signs of the Times" dot net has a story on this that I will link in the third field below.

https://www.sott.net/article/359361-Charlottesville-Brennan-Gilmore-and-the-STOP-KONY-2012-Psyop

turcopolier , 16 August 2017 at 06:47 PM
gaikokumaniakku

I fear that we are approaching a season of disintegration. September 11 at Texas A&M and September 16 on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia will be indicators. pl

Lars , 16 August 2017 at 06:48 PM
On June 6, 1944, a bunch of "protesters" attacked Nazis and did so violently. Was there a moral equivalency then too? You have to reach rather low to accept Nazis, et al, and try to deflect blame for what they stand for. What the defenders of the Confederacy has managed to do is to thoroughly discredit their cause by associating with these despicable groups. It is again a lost cause and again, they only have themselves to blame.

We may be watching the end of the Trump era come nearer. By association, he is rapidly losing the moral stature of the office that he holds. A lot of people near him are losing their reputations forever.

turcopolier , 16 August 2017 at 06:48 PM
Lars

Of course Sweden did not fight the Nazis at all. Was there a moral equivalence there or was it just self-interest? In fact there were many Swedish volunteers in the 5th SS Panzer Division. What is the factual basis for saying that the people who would not have the statues moved are Nazi-associated or supporting? Do you think the UDC and SCV (of whom I am not qualified to be a member) are Nazi-associated? pl

[Aug 16, 2017] MoA - Smashing Statues, Seeding Strife

Aug 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Smashing Statues, Seeding Strife

In the aftermath of competing protests in Charlottesville a wave of dismantling of Confederate statues is on the rise. Overnight Baltimore took down four Confederate statues. One of these honored Confederate soldiers and sailors, another one Confederate women. Elsewhere statues were toppled or defiled .

The Charlottesville conflict itself was about the intent to dismantle a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The activist part of the political right protested against the take down, the activist part of the political left protested against those protests. According to a number of witnesses quoted in the LA Times sub-groups on both sides came prepared for and readily engaged in violence.

In 2003 a U.S. military tank pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein on Firdos Square in Baghdad. Narrowly shot TV picture made it look as if a group of Iraqis were doing this. But they were mere actors within a U.S. propaganda show . Pulling down the statue demonstrated a lack of respect towards those who had fought under, worked for or somewhat supported Saddam Hussein. It helped to incite the resistance against the U.S. occupation.

The right-wing nutters who, under U.S. direction, forcefully toppled the legitimate government of Ukraine pulled down hundreds of the remaining Lenin statues in the country. Veterans who fought under the Soviets in the second world war took this as a sign of disrespect. Others saw this as an attack on their fond memories of better times and protected them . The forceful erasement of history further split the country:

"It's not like if you go east they want Lenin but if you go west they want to destroy him," Mr. Gobert said. "These differences don't only go through geography, they go through generations, through social criteria and economic criteria, through the urban and the rural."

Statues standing in cities and places are much more than veneration of one person or group. They are symbols, landmarks and fragments of personal memories:

"One guy said he didn't really care about Lenin, but the statue was at the center of the village and it was the place he kissed his wife for the first time," Mr. Gobert said. "When the statue went down it was part of his personal history that went away."

(People had better sex under socialism . Does not Lenin deserves statues if only for helping that along?)

Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery. But there are few historic figures without fail. Did not George Washington "own" slaves? Did not Lyndon B. Johnson lie about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and launched an unjust huge war against non-white people under false pretense? At least some people will think of that when they see their statues. Should those also be taken down?

As time passes the meaning of a monument changes. While it may have been erected with a certain ideology or concept in mind , the view on it will change over time:

[The Charlottesville statue] was unveiled by Lee's great-granddaughter at a ceremony in May 1924. As was the custom on these occasions it was accompanied by a parade and speeches. In the dedication address, Lee was celebrated as a hero, who embodied "the moral greatness of the Old South", and as a proponent of reconciliation between the two sections. The war itself was remembered as a conflict between "interpretations of our Constitution" and between "ideals of democracy."

The white racists who came to "protect" the statue in Charlottesville will hardly have done so in the name of reconciliation. Nor will those who had come to violently oppose them. Lee was a racist. Those who came to "defend" the statue were mostly "white supremacy" racists. I am all for protesting against them.

But the issue here is bigger. We must not forget that statues have multiple meanings and messages. Lee was also the man who wrote :

What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.

That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down. The park in Charlottesville, in which the statue stands, was recently renamed from Lee Park into Emancipation Park. It makes sense to keep the statue there to reflect on the contrast between it and the new park name.

Old monuments and statues must not (only) be seen as glorifications within their time. They are reminders of history. With a bit of education they can become valuable occasions of reflection.

George Orwell wrote in his book 1984: "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." People do not want to be destroyed. They will fight against attempts to do so. Taking down monuments or statues without a very wide consent will split a society. A large part of the U.S. people voted for Trump. One gets the impression that the current wave of statue take downs is seen as well deserved "punishment" for those who voted wrongly - i.e. not for Hillary Clinton. While many Trump voters will dislike statues of Robert Lee, they will understand that dislike the campaign to take them down even more.

That may be the intend of some people behind the current quarrel. The radicalization on opposing sides may have a purpose. The Trump camp can use it to cover up its plans to further disenfranchise they people. The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans.

Anyone who wants to stoke the fires with this issue should be careful what they wish for.

Merasmus | Aug 16, 2017 12:42:12 PM | 1

"That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down."

How about the fact that he was a traitor?

"George Orwell wrote in his book 1984: 'The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.'"

The only reason statues of traitors like Lee exist is because the South likes to engage in 'Lost Cause' revisionism; to pretend these were noble people fighting for something other than the right to own human beings as pets.

james | Aug 16, 2017 12:42:57 PM | 2
isn't taking down statues what isis does?

erasing history seems part of the goal.. i feel the usa has never really addressed racism.. the issue hasn't gone away and remains a deep wound that has yet to heal.. events like this probably don't help.

DMC | Aug 16, 2017 12:45:04 PM | 3
The statues of Lee and his ilk should come down because they are TRAITORS who deserve no honor. Washington and Jefferson may have owned slaves but they were PATRIOTS. Its really that simple.
RUKidding | Aug 16, 2017 1:03:54 PM | 4
I don't want to get derailed into the rights or wrongs of toppling statues. I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to start this trend right at this particular tinder box moment.

That said, the USA has never ever truly confronted either: 1) the systemic genocide of the Native Americans earlier in our history; and b) what slavery really meant and was. NO reconciliation has ever really been done about either of these barbarous acts. Rather, at best/most, we're handed platitudes and lip service that purports that we've "moved on" from said barbarity - well I guess WHITES (I'm one) have. But Native Americans - witness what happened to them at Standing Rock recently - and minorities, especially African Americans, are pretty much not permitted to move on. Witness the unending police murders of AA men across the country, where, routinely, most of the cops get off scott-free.

To quote b:

The Trump camp can use it to cover up its plans to further disenfranchise they people. The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans.

While I dislike to descend into the liturgy of Both Siderism, it's completely true that both Rs and Ds enjoy and use pitting the rubes in the 99% against one another because it means that the rapine, plunder & pillaging by the Oligarchs and their pet poodles in Congress & the White House can continue apace with alacrity. And: That's Exactly What's Happening.

The Oligarchs could give a flying fig about Heather Heyer's murder, nor could they give a stuff about US citizens cracking each other's skulls in a bit of the old ultra-violence. Gives an opening for increasing the Police State and cracking down on our freedumbs and liberties, etc.

I heard or read somewhere that Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer are absolutely committed to not impeaching Donald Trump because it means all the Ds have to do is Sweet Eff All and just "represent" themselves as the Anti-Trump, while, yes, enjoying the "benefits" of the programs/policies/legislation enacted by the Trump Admin. I have no link and certainly cannot prove this assertion, but it sure seems likely. Just frickin' great.

kgw | Aug 16, 2017 1:09:10 PM | 5
Lee was not a racist; I'd say you are addressing your own overblown egos. The U.S. Civil War was long in coming. During the 1830's during Andrew Jackson's presidency, and John Calhoun's vice-presidency, at an annual state dinner, the custom of toasts was used to present political views. Jackson toasted the Union of the states, saying "The Union, it must be preserved." Calhoun's toast was next, "The Union, next to our liberty, most dear."

Calhoun was a proponent of the Doctrine of Nullification, wherein if a national law inflicted harm on any state, the state could nullify the law, until such time as a negotiation of a satisfactory outcome could come about. The absolute Unionists were outraged by such an idea.

Curtis | Aug 16, 2017 1:27:39 PM | 6
My memory tells me that the invention of the cotton gin made cotton a good crop, but that you needed the slaves. Slaves represented the major money invested in this operation. Free the slaves and make slave holders poor. Rich people didn't like that idea. I think maybe the cotton was made into cloth in the factories up north. Just saying.
dh | Aug 16, 2017 1:27:57 PM | 7
How would 'addressing the problem' actually work? Should all native Americans and people of colour go to Washington to be presented with $1 million each by grovelling white men?
joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 1:34:24 PM | 8
Did not George Washington "own" slaves?
But, the memorials to GW, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al , does not honor them for owning slaves. Memorials of Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, et al , is because they took up arms against a legitimate government simply to support of a vile system.
kgw | Aug 16, 2017 1:37:23 PM | 9
@6
The manufacturing states put export duties on the agricultural states, and tariffs on British imported cloth. The English mills were undercutting the U.S. mills prices for a number of reasons, not the least of which was they were more experienced in the industry.
therevolutionwas | Aug 16, 2017 1:46:02 PM | 10
The civil war in the US was not really started because of slavery. Robert E. Lee did not join the south and fight the north in order to preserve slavery, in his mind it was state's rights. Lincoln did not start the civil war to free the slaves. See https://ixquick-proxy.com/do/show_picture.pl?l=english&rais=1&oiu=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fen%2Fc%2Fc9%2FThe_Real_Lincoln_cover_art.jpg&sp=b359dec0befbd12fc479633d5b6c6de4
Dan Lynch | Aug 16, 2017 1:49:57 PM | 11
The difference between a statue of Lee vs. a statue of Washington, Jefferson, LBJ, etc., is that Washington, Jefferson, and LBJ did some good things to earn our respect even though they did a lot of bad things, too. The Confederacy did no good things. It would be like erecting a statue to honor Hitler's SS.

If there were statues honoring the SS, would anyone be surprised if Jews objected? Why then does anyone fail to understand why blacks object to Confederate symbols?

I would, however, support statues that depict a Confederate surrendering. Perhaps the statue of Lee on a horse could be replaced with a statue of Lee surrendering to Grant?

I am not a fan of the "counter-protests." Martin Luther King never "counter-protested" a KKK rally. A counter-protest is a good way to start a fight, but a poor way to win hearts and minds. It bothers me when the 99% fight among themselves. Our real enemy is the 1%.

fi | Aug 16, 2017 1:56:38 PM | 12


George Washington "the father of our country" was a slave owner, a rapist and a murderer. What do we expect from his descendants?
should we remove his face of the dollar bill and destroy his statues?

The civil war was due to economic reasons, free labor is good business.
Now cheap Mexican-labor ( the new type of slavery) is good business to the other side.
when will the new civil war in the US start?


maningi | Aug 16, 2017 2:00:24 PM | 13
@b
Many years ago, within the leadership of my student organization, I initiated to rename the University I was attending, which was named after a communist ideological former state acting figure, with very bloody hands, co-responsible for the death of tenths of thousands and thousands of people. Today I still think, that educational and cultural institutions (and many more) should be named either neutral, or by persons with cultural background and with impeccable moral history, no many to be found. On the other side, I opposed the removal of the very statue of the same person at a nearby public plaza - and there it stands today - as a rather painful reminder of the past bloody history of my country, that went through a conflict, that today seems so bizarre. Wherever I go, I look into black abyss, knowing, that the very culture I belong to (the so called Christian Liberal Free Western World) has inflicted so many horrors and crimes against other nations and ethnic groups, its even difficult to count. Karlheinz Deschner wrote 10 books, titled "The Criminal History of Christianity (Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums - on YT you can find videos him reading from it). Yes, this is the very civilization, we Westerners originate from. It was deadly for centuries - and its about time to change this. And keeping the memory of our so bloody history, will help us to find the right and hopefully more peaceful solutions in the future. Don`t tear down monuments or change street names, but give them the so often shameful meaning, they had in history.
Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 14
Then southern states have no business being part of United States of America since their history and customs are not honored. That is good overall I think. Best for the world. Southern states are very unlikely to attack any other sovereign state thousands of miles away, but all united as unitary state, we can see how persistent in their aggression on the rest of the world they are. 222 years out of its 239 years US has been aggressor:
https://www.infowars.com/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/
Time to break US lust for attacking, invading and raiding other countries.
james | Aug 16, 2017 2:05:07 PM | 15
what little of this history i know - which is to say very little - kgw reflects what i have read.. the problem is way deeper.. if you want to address racism, you are going to have to pull down most of the statues in the usa today of historical figures..
james | Aug 16, 2017 2:06:35 PM | 16
if - that is why way you think it will matter, lol.. forgot to add that.. otherwise, forget pulling down statues and see if you can address the real issue - like @4 rukidding and some others here are addressing..
ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:10:18 PM | 17
A little false equivalency anyone? I'm sure Adolph Hitler had some reasonable remarks at some point in his life, so, I guess we should tolerate a few statues of him also? States rights as the cause for the U$A's civil war? baloney, it was about the murder and enslavement of millions of humans.
Grieved | Aug 16, 2017 2:12:25 PM | 18
Bob Dylan's "Only a Pawn in Their Game" still spells out unsurpassed the divide and rule strategy, to my mind. Powers that be are rubbing their hands with satisfaction at this point, one would think.

I like your observation, b, that statues don't necessarily represent what they did when they were erected. It's an important point. It meant something at the time, but now it's a part of today's heritage, and has often taken on some of your own meaning. To destroy your own heritage is a self-limiting thing, and Orwell's point is well taken. Perhaps people without history have nowhere in the present to stand.

Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 2:12:50 PM | 19
Have to add, slavery wasn't the cause for the war. It was centralization, rights of the states. Yankees wanted strong central government with wide array of power, Southerners didn't. Yankees were supported by London banking families and their banking allies or agents in the US, Southerners were on their own. I personally think Southerners were much better soldiers, more honorable and courageous, but we lacked industrial capacity and financial funds. I could be biased having Southern blood, but my opinion anyway.
PavewayIV | Aug 16, 2017 2:13:51 PM | 20
therevolutionwas@10 - Have to agree. The events leading up to the US Civil War and the war itself were for reasons far more numerous and complex then slavery. Emancipation was a fortunate and desirable outcome and slavery was an issue, but saying the entire war was about ending slavery is the same as saying WW II was mostly about stopping Nazis from killing jews. Dumbing down history serves nobody.
dh | Aug 16, 2017 2:14:02 PM | 21
Still wondering how specifically the 'real issue' can be addressed. I don't think any amount of money will compensate plains Indians .actually some are quite well off due to casinos. But the days of buffalo hunting are gone and white people will not be going back where they came from. As for blacks in urban ghettos you could build them nice houses in the suburbs but I doubt if that will fix the drugs/gangs problem.
michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 2:15:36 PM | 22
"That Lee was a racist does not mean that his statue should be taken down."

If the sole criteria for taking down any statues was that a man was a 'racist', meaning that he hated people of color/hated black people, can we assume then that all those who owned slaves were also racist?

Then all the statues in the whole country of Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Monroe and perhaps all the Founding Daddies who owned slaves, should be removed. I am playing devil's advocate here.

Fashions come and go.... and so the vices of yesterday are virtues today; and the virtues of yesterday are vices today.


Bernard is correct at the end: "The fake Clintonian "resistance" needs these cultural disputes to cover for its lack of political resistance to Trump's plans." The Demos have nothing, so they tend to fall back on their identity politics.


FYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_who_owned_slaves

....In total, twelve presidents owned slaves at some point in their lives, eight of whom owned slaves while serving as president. George Washington was the first president to own slaves, including while he was president. Zachary Taylor was the last president to own slaves during his presidency, and Ulysses S. Grant was the last president to have owned a slave at some point in his life.


psychohistorian | Aug 16, 2017 2:17:06 PM | 23
Pitting people against people by inciting and validating fringe groups is a tried and true social manipulation ploy.....and it seems to be working as intended.

Focus is on this conflict gets folks riled up and myopic about who the real enemies of society really are.....and then that riled up energy is transferred to bigger conflicts like war between nations.....with gobs of "our side is more righteous" propaganda

Humanity has been played like this for centuries now and our extinction would probably be a kinder future for the Cosmos since we don't seem to be evolving beyond power/control based governance.

And yes, as Dan Lynch wrote just above: "It bothers me when the 99% fight among themselves. Our real enemy is the 1%"

ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:20:12 PM | 24
The U$A was conceived in genocide. I think we should throw out much of our history
woogs | Aug 16, 2017 2:27:34 PM | 25
Robert E. Lee a racist? No, he was a man of his time. B, you blew it with this one. You have confused what you don't know with what you think you know.

Now, if Lee was a racist, what about this guy?

From Lincoln's Speech, Sept. 18, 1858.

"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or jurors of negroes, NOR OF QUALIFYING THEM HOLD OFFICE, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of her man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:36:31 PM | 26
@ 25: Leading an army to perpetuate a system that enslaves and murders millions, is just a bit different than being a racist. More false equivalency?
b | Aug 16, 2017 2:38:38 PM | 27
All states who joined the confederation cited the "need" and "right" to uphold slavery in their individual declarations. To say that the civil war was not about this point is strongly misleading. Like all wars there were several named and unnamed reasons. Slavery was the most cited point.

The argument of rather unlimited "state rights" is simply the demand of a minority to argue for the right to ignore majority decisions. With universal state rights a union can never be a union. There is no point to it. What is needed (and was done) is to segregate certain fields wherein the union decides from other policy fields that fall solely within the rights of member states. The conflict over which fields should belong where hardly ever ends.

P. S.--If it were up to me, I'd tear down monuments to most of the U$A's presidents for perpetuating and abetting the rise of an empire who has enslaved and murdered millions around the globe, simply for profits for the few. Economic slavery has replaced the iron shackles, but the murder is still murder...

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:45:29 PM | 28

P. S.--If it were up to me, I'd tear down monuments to most of the U$A's presidents for perpetuating and abetting the rise of an empire who has enslaved and murdered millions around the globe, simply for profits for the few. Economic slavery has replaced the iron shackles, but the murder is still murder...

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2017 2:45:29 PM | 28 /div

Jackrabbit | Aug 16, 2017 2:48:00 PM | 29
Northern Lights @19 is right.

The Northern manufacturers were exploiting the South and wanted to continue doing so. They didn't much care that the raw materials came from slave labor.

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to encourage slave rebellion (meaning fewer white Southern men available for military service) and to punish the South.

Yet, while slavery ended when the North won, we all know how that turned out. For nearly 100 years (and some might say, even today) , many black people were still virtual slaves due to discrimination and poor education.

woogs | Aug 16, 2017 2:53:03 PM | 30
B@27: you're missing a couple of very basic points.

First, not all states that seceded issued declarations. Virginia, for example, of which the 'racist' Robert E. Leehailed, only seceded after Lincoln made his move on fort sumter. In fact, Virginia had voted against secession just prior but, as with 3 other southern states, seceded when Lincoln called for them to supply troops for his war.

Speaking of declarations of causes, have a look at the cherokee declaration. Yes, united indian tribes fought for the confederacy.

Finally, the causes for secession are not the causes for war. Secession is what the southerners did. War is what Lincoln did. One should not have automatically led to the other.

Oilman2 | Aug 16, 2017 3:09:32 PM | 31
Well, just reading the comments here it is obvious that there are several versions of history taught at different times in the last century. If not, then all of us would "know" the real reason for the CW - there would be no need for discussion. What is also obvious is that this delving back into a muddied history, the defacing of formerly meaningful objects, the thrusting of certain "rights" into the face of anyone even questioning them - all of it is working. It is working extremely well in distracting us from things like the numerous economic bubbles, the deep state scratching at war or chaos everywhere, politicians who are at best prevaricating prostitutes and at worst thieves enriching themselves at our expense as we struggle to maintain in the face of their idiocy.

It simply doesn't MATTER what started the Civil War - it ought to be enough to look at the death toll on BOTH sides and know we don't need to go there again.

Who stands to gain from this? Because it surely isn't the historically ignorant antifa bunch, who are against everything that includes a moral boundary. It isn't the alt-right, who get nothing but egg on their face and decimation of position by virtue of many being "white". CUI BONO?

The single answer is threefold: media, the government and the military - who continue to refuse to address any of our problems - and feed us a diet of revolting pablum and double-speak.

Honestly, congress passed a law legalizing propaganda - did anyone notice? Did anyone factor in that they allowed themselves freedom to lie to anyone and everyone? It wasn't done for show - it was done to deny future accountability.

Don't let this site get bogged down in history that is being constantly rewritten on Wikipedia. Don't buy into the left/right division process. Don't let your self identify with either group, as they are being led by provocateurs.

The lies we know of regarding Iraq, Syria, Libya - aren't they enough to force people to disbelieve our media completely? The HUGE lies in our media about what is going on in Venezuela should be quite enough (bastante suficiente) to make most people simply disbelieve. But they cannot because they are only allowed to see and hear what our government approves - and for our government, lying is quite legal now.

Let the emotions go - they are pushed via media to force you to think in white or black, right or left, old vs young - any way that is divisive. Getting beaten for a statue would likely make the guy who posed for it laugh his butt off most likely...

Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 3:14:42 PM | 32
Speaking of Lincoln's quotes, here is a good one to dispel the myth about slavery being the cause of war.
Pres. Abraham Lincoln: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

I the civil war was for the most part connected with the federal reserve central bank charter right which unionist Yankees frightful about possible restraints of bankers rights were keen to give London banking families unrestricted rights to do whatever they please in the US. Other reasons exclusively included expanding federal government powers. Adding personal income tax would be unimaginable prior to CW. Creation of all those fed gov agencies too. It was all made possible by London bankers' servants Yankees.

MRW | Aug 16, 2017 3:18:49 PM | 33
Posted by: therevolutionwas | Aug 16, 2017 1:46:02 PM | 10
The civil war in the US was not really started because of slavery. Robert E. Lee did not join the south and fight the north in order to preserve slavery, in his mind it was state's rights. Lincoln did not start the civil war to free the slaves.

You're right. The Emancipation Act was an afterthought really because Europe had turned against the idea of slavery before the Civil War broke out, in fact was repelled by it, and Lincoln knew that it would hurt commerce.
Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 3:19:39 PM | 34
@29
Jack the South was right. The South was always right.
woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:21:37 PM | 35
The southern states felt they had a right to secede, using the tenth amendment as the legal basis. It states simply " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.".

Furthermore, the union of states was referred to many times by the founders as a compact. Under the theory of compacts, when one party doesn't honor said compact, it is rendered null.

Slavery, regardless of how we may feel today, was a legal and federally protected institution. With the rise of the republican party, a campaign of agitation towards the south and slavery had begun. It is this agitation towards a legal institution that rankled southerners.

The south saw this coming well before the election of Lincoln. William seward, the favorite to win the election, gave a speech in l858 called "the irrepressible conflict". The south well knew of this and saw the writing on the wall if a republican was elected president.

When reading the declarations of causes, this background should be kept in mind if one wants to understand the southern position. Or, one can just count how many times the word 'slavery' appears like a word cloud.

Probably the best articulated statement on the southern position was south Carolina's "address to the slaveholding states".


Lea | Aug 16, 2017 3:29:49 PM | 36
I'm afraid if you go back in time, no US president can be saved from a well-deserved statue toppling. Including Abraham Lincoln, the hypocrite who DID NOT, and I repeat, DID NOT abolish slavery. The U.S "elite" has always been rotten through and through, so good luck with those statues.
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/06/the-clintons-had-slaves
woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:33:55 PM | 37
Northern Lights@32:

You used Lincoln's inaugural address to show that the war was not over slavery. It's plain enough coming from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Lincoln, in that same inaugural address, stated what the war would be fought over ...... and it was revenue.

Here's the quote:

The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.

historicus | Aug 16, 2017 3:35:02 PM | 38
As a rare book dealer and history buff with thirty-odd years of experience reading and studying original civil war era periodicals and documents, a fact stands out for me about these now-controversial statues. None is from the civil war period. Many, like the Lee statue in this article, date to the 1920's, which was the era of the second Ku Klux Klan. The infamous movie "Birth of a Nation" inspired the nationwide revival of that faded terrorist group. The year that statue was dedicated a hundred thousand Klansmen paraded in full regalia in the streets of Washington.

The children and grandchildren of the men who had taken up arms against the United States had by then completed a very flattering myth about 1861 - 1865. Consider too that romanticized lost cause mythology was integral to the regional spirit long before the rebellion. The Scots Irish who settled the American south carried with them the long memory their forebears' defeats at the Boyne and Culloden, at the hands of the English – the very ancestors of the hated Yankees living to the north of their new homeland.

Note also that many more CSA statues and memorials were built in the 1960s, as symbols of defiance of the civil rights movement of that era. The War for the Union was fought at its heart because the elite of the old south refused to accept the result of a fair and free democratic election, but for those who came after, white supremacy became the comforting myth that rationalized their ancestors' incredibly foolish treason.

I.W. | Aug 16, 2017 3:35:32 PM | 39
"Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery."

Would this have been written in his time? Would it be written today in other countries (Africa included) where slavery (aka human trafficking) is big business today?

I'm disappointed that Moon of Alabama, usually so astute in its presentations, would print this article.

Don Wiscacho | Aug 16, 2017 3:37:30 PM | 40
A whole lot of false equivalence goin' on.

That the many statutes of America's founding fathers should be re-evaluated is actually a great idea. Many of these people were simply oligarchs who wanted to be the top of the pyramid instead of the British. Many owned slaves and perpetuated slavery. Others, like Andrew Jackson were legitimate psychopaths. Pretty much all of them cheered the genocide of Native Americans. So maybe we *should* have different heros.

Using the logic b spells out above, one could argue that statues of Nazis should be allowed too, after all they did come up with the Autobahn (modern highways), jet engines, and viable rockets, all technology used all over the world. Some patriotic, well meaning Germans fought in the Wehrmacht, don't they deserve statues, too? What about the Banderists and Forest Brothers? The Imperial Japanese? Don't those well-meaning fascists deserve to celebrate their heritage?

But simply saying that idea out loud is enough to realize what a crock that notion is. Nazis and fascists don't deserve statues, neither do confederates. Neither do most Americans, for that matter.

Trying to make some moral equivalence between NeoNazis and the leftists who oppose them is about as silly as it gets. I don't support violence against these idiots, and they have the same rights as anyone else in expressing their opinion. But to paint legit NeoNazis and the leftists opposing them (admittedly in a very juvenile manner) in the same brush ("Both sides came prepared for violence") is utter hogwash. We don't give Nazis a pass in Ukraine, don't give them a pass in Palestine, and we sure as hell don't give them a pass in the US. It doesn't matter what hypocritical liberal snowflake is on the other side of the barricade, the Nazi is still a f*****g Nazi.

Joe | Aug 16, 2017 3:39:00 PM | 41
"Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery."

b, you have just displayed your ignorance of the character of Robert E. Lee, why he fought, and what he fought for. To give you the short n sweet of it, General Lee was a Christian gentleman respected by those in the North as well as the South. He fought the Federal leviathan as it had chosen to make war on what he considered to be his home and country--the State of Virginia. The issue at hand was not racism and slavery but Federal tyranny. Lincoln himself said he had no quarrel with slavery and as long as the South paid the Federal leviathan its taxes, the South was free to go. Make a visit to Paul Craig Roberts site for his latest essay which explains the world of the 1860s American scene much more eloquently than I can ...

folktruther | Aug 16, 2017 3:41:47 PM | 42
b is completely wrong in thread. The USA has been a highly racist power system historically where killing non-Whites has been a major historical policy. Lee is not merely a racist, he epitomizes this policy and is a symbol of it. Attacking racist symbols is essential to destroying racism.
woogs | Aug 16, 2017 3:45:05 PM | 43
Historicus@38: that 'fair and free democratic election' was replete with Lincoln supporters printing counterfeit tickets to the convention in order to shut out seward supporters.

The gambit worked and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ian | Aug 16, 2017 3:45:37 PM | 44
I suggest reading this article for some perspective:

http://takimag.com/article/carved_upon_the_landscape_steve_sailer#axzz4pwMfiSP8

karlof1 | Aug 16, 2017 3:51:18 PM | 45
Wow! What to write? Craig Murray wrote a very intriguing piece related to Charlottesville while putting the event somewhat into the context of the Scottish Independence Movement; it and the many comments are well worth the time to read and reflect upon, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/08/americans-irish-uzbeks-ukrainians-pakistanis-balls-scots/

james @2--You are 1000000000% correct. And given the current state-of-affairs, will continue to fester for another century if not more thanks to historical ignorance and elite Machiavellian maneuvering.

Southern Extremist self-proclaimed Fire Eaters were the ones that started the war as they took the bait Lincoln cunningly offered them. If they'd been kept away from the coastal artillery at Charlestown, the lanyard they pulled may have remained still and war avoided for the moment. The advent of the US Civil War can be blamed totally on the Constitution and those who wrote it, although they had no clue as to the fuse they lit.

Chattel Slavery was introduced in the Western Hemisphere because the enslaved First Peoples died off and the sugar plantations needed laborers. Rice, tobacco, indigo, "Naval Stores," and other related cash crops were the next. Cotton only became part of the mix when the cotton gin made greatly lessened the expense of its processing. But, cotton wore out the thin Southern soils, so it cotton plantations slowly marched West thus making Mexican lands attractive for conquest. But slaves were used for so much more--particularly the draining of swamps and construction of port works. The capital base for modern capitalism was made possible by slavery--a sentence you will NOT read in any history textbook. There are a great many books written on the subject; I suggest starting with Marcus Rediker's The Slave Ship: A Human History , followed by Eric Williams's classic Capitalism and Slavery , Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism , and John Clarke's Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism .

There are even more books published about the war itself. But as many have pointed out, it's learning about the reasons for the war that's most important. Vice President Henry Wilson was the first to write a very detailed 3 volume history of those reasons, Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America beginning in 1872, and they are rare books indeed; fortunately, they've been digitized and can be found here, https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Wilson%2C+Henry%2C+1812-1875%22 Perhaps the most complete is Allan Nevins 8 volume Ordeal of the Union , although for me it begins too late in 1847, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordeal_of_the_Union Finally, no study of the period's complete without examining the unraveling and utter dysfunction of the political process that occurred between 1856 and 1860 that allowed Lincoln to win the presidency, Roy Nichols's The Disruption of American Democracy illustrates that best.

The US Civil War can't be boiled down to having just one cause; it's causes were multiple, although slavery--being an economic and social system--resides at its core. As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong; better to display the Spirit of '76 flag if stars and stripes are to be displayed. (I wonder what will become of the UK's Union Jack if Scotland votes to leave the UK.) Personal display of the Stars and Bars for me amounts to a political statement which people within the Outlaw US Empire still have the right to express despite the animus it directs at myself and other non-Anglo ethnicities. (I'm Germanic Visigoth with Spanish surname--people are surprised at my color when they hear my name.)

The current deep dysfunction in the Outlaw US Empire's domestic politics mirrors that of the latter 1850s somewhat but the reasons are entirely different yet solvable--IF--the populous can gain a high degree of solidarity.

ruralito | Aug 16, 2017 4:01:10 PM | 46
There's also the school of thought that holds that Honest Abe freed the slaves in order that northern industrialists could acquire replacements for workers lost in the war.
Pareto | Aug 16, 2017 4:05:35 PM | 47
"racism" i.e., when a white person notices demographic patterns lol.
Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:06:37 PM | 48
@37
Aye Woogs. All about expanding fed gov powers, most of which was focused on permanent central banking charter. Many forget that central banking charter had been in place before CW in the US and that great statesman Andrew Jackson repelled it. The first central banking charter caused terrible economic suffering, which is why it was repelled. People had more sense then. Not so much now.

"Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal I will rout you out!"
~Andrew Jackson

ken | Aug 16, 2017 4:11:20 PM | 49
It saddens me that so many buy into the South fought for slavery. That story line was used in the same manner that Weapons of Mass Destruction was used to war with Iraq. The difference is the internet was able to get the truth out. Doesn't do much good to argue as most believe the Confederate slavery propaganda. The US is done as a nation. A thousand different groups that hate each other preaching no hate. Yes it will limp along for a while but it's done for.
michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 4:23:39 PM | 50
@46 karlof1

many thanks for the history, and the books. I read Murray's essay and consider it a good take....


".... As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong..."

I have to agree.


& there is at least one sane (african american) person in LA, as per below article

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hollywood-forever-monument-20170815-story.html

"....Los Angeles resident Monique Edwards says historical monuments, like the Confederate statue removed from Hollywood Forever Cemetery, need to be preserved and used as teachable moments...."

joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 4:24:42 PM | 51
@Northern Lights (19)
Yankees wanted strong central government with wide array of power, Southerners didn't. Yankees were supported by London banking families and their banking allies or agents in the US, Southerners were on their own.

I recall that it was the slavers that wanted the central government to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act even in states that outlawed slavery; it was the slavers that insisted that slavery be legal in the new territories, regardless of the wishes of the settlers.

Also, the London industrial and banking interest strongly supported the breakaway slavers because:
(1) It was the slave produced cotton that fueled the textile industry in England.
(2) Imported British ¨prestige¨ items found a ready market with the nouveau riche planters grown fat on stolen labor.
(3) A Balkanized NA would be more subject to pressure from the ¨Mother Country.¨
(4) Lincoln refused to borrow from the bankers and printed ¨greenbacks¨ to finance the war; this infuriated the bankers.

Neo-Confederate revisionism creates mythical history, in a large part, by attempting to deify vile human beings.

Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:26:38 PM | 52
Me too Ken. Used to say to those I would like to offer them fairy dust to buy. Half of them didn't catch the meaning.
somebody | Aug 16, 2017 4:30:53 PM | 53
7
How about memorials for red indians and slaves.

Like this one .

somebody | Aug 16, 2017 4:34:53 PM | 54
51
I would say a country that cannot agree on its history has a huge problem.
woogs | Aug 16, 2017 4:35:22 PM | 55
Ben@26: Lincoln stated that he would only use force to collect imposts and duties.

The first battle of the war (actually more a skirmish) was the battle of Phillipi in western Virginia in early June, l86l.

To the best of my knowledge, there were no customs houses in western Virginia as it was not a port of entry. This was simply an invasion by the union army at Lincoln's command that revealed his true colors. The war was Lincoln's war, plain and simple.

Northern Lights | Aug 16, 2017 4:36:10 PM | 56
@51
Joey, I would like yo offer you fairy dust to buy. Interested? Luckily we should part our ways soon. Should have happened ages ago if you ask me. Your history is not our own. You were aggressors fighting for foreign entity. Time for us to part I think. have your own history and say whatever you want there. We will have ours.
NemesisCalling | Aug 16, 2017 4:40:58 PM | 57
In my view, b is comparing a modern sensibility on race relations with that of a mid 19th century confederate leader and so with this bad thesis it is quite easy to dismiss this post entirely. Was the north that much more enlightened on the treatent of blacks? I think not. Was the emancipation proclamation largely a political gesture to incite ire and violence not only among southerners but also slaves living in these states towards their owners? Meanwhile, the effect of such a proclamation was exempt on states where said effect would not "pinch" the south. The north, if anything, was even more racist using blacks as a means towards the end to consolidate power even more centrally.

It honestly reads like most neutral apologetic drivel out of the "other" msm which is on the ropes right now from an all-out wholly political assault. If you truly wanted to educate people on their history you would stand up for fair and honest discourse. Make no mistake, this is all about obscuration and historical-revisionism. Globalists gotta eat.

"Slavery as an institution, is a moral &political evil in any Country... I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race... The blacks are immeasurably better off." Robert E. Lee

Sounds like a man with opinions, but without the burning fire to see that evil enshrined in a state-policy towards blacks. Basically, one condemns him for sharing a popular view of the day. CALL THE THOUGHT POLICE!

Clueless Joe | Aug 16, 2017 4:43:56 PM | 58
From a British point of view, Washington and Jefferson were traitors as well.
As for Lee, he was racist, but doesn't seem to have been more racist than the average Yankee. No more racist than Sherman or Lincoln, and less racist than many of the Confederate top guys, for instance.

Then, there's the nutjob idea that forcefully taking down other statues in the South will make these guys "win". At least, the Lee statue had a more or less legal and democratic process going on, which is the only way to go if you don't want to look like a Taliban.
Really, did these idiots not understand that bringing down Confederate statues without due process will massively piss off most of the locals? Do they really want the local hardliners to come armed and ready to use their guns, one of these days? Is this the plan all along, to spark another civil war for asshat reasons?

(Like B, toppling Saddam and communist statues was the very first thing I thought of. As if these poor fools had just been freed from a terrible dictatorship, instead of nothing having changed or been won at all in the last months)

john | Aug 16, 2017 4:51:09 PM | 59
ben says:

I think we should throw out much of our history

Paul Craig Roberts thinks so too

Mithera | Aug 16, 2017 4:54:03 PM | 60
I agree with Woogs (25). How stoopid are we ? History has been re-written and manipulated going back a long way. Most of the readers here know that our "masters" , and their versions of history are not accurate. Yet here we are arguing and such ... " he was good...NO He was bad...." acting as if we know truth from fiction. Back then, as now, it was all planned. Divide and conquer. Slavery was the "excuse" for war. The Power Elite" were based in Europe at that time and saw America as a real threat to their global rule. It was becoming too strong and so needed to be divided. Thus the people of those times were played....just as we are today. Manipulated into war. Of course America despite the Civil War , continued to grow and prosper so the elite devised another plan. Plan "B" has worked better than they could have ever imagined. They have infected the "soul" of America and the infection is spreading rapidly.Everyone , please re-read oilman2 comments (31)
Pnyx | Aug 16, 2017 5:16:11 PM | 61
Thanks B, precisely my thinking. It has a smell of vendetta. And I believe this sort of old testament thinking is very common in the u.s. of A. What's currently happening will further alienate both sides and lead to even more urgent need to externalize an internal problem via more wars.
virgile | Aug 16, 2017 5:18:00 PM | 62
If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?
Pat Buchanan • August 15, 2017
somebody | Aug 16, 2017 5:19:47 PM | 63
There is a reason for this craze to get rid of confederate statues.

Dylann Roof who photographed himself at confederate landmarks before he shot nine black people in a church .

It is futile to discuss what the confederacy was then, when white supremacy groups consider them their home today.

These monuments were not built after or during the civil war. And the reason for building them was racism .

In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that there were over 1,500 "symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces" in the United States. The majority of them are located, as one might expect, in the 11 states that seceded from the union, but as Vice aptly points out, some can be found in Union states (New York, for example has three, Pennsylvania, four) and at least 22 of them are located in states that didn't even exist during the Civil War.

How can that be possible? Because largely, Confederate monuments were built during two key periods of American history: the beginnings of Jim Crow in the 1920s and the civil rights movement in the early 1950s and 1960s.

To be sure, some sprung up in the years following the Confederacy's defeat (the concept of a Confederate memorial day dates back to back to 1866 and was still officially observed by the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as of the publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center's report), and some continue to be built!USA Today notes that 35 Confederate monuments have been erected in North Carolina since 2000.

But when these statues!be they historical place markers, or myth-building icons of Lee or Stonewall Jackson!were built seems to suggest these monuments have very little to do with paying tribute to the Civil War dead and everything to do with erecting monuments to black disenfranchisement, segregation, and 20th-century racial tension.

I don't know if b. realizes how many German monuments got destroyed because people did not wish to recall this particular part of history, the bomb raids of the allies helped, of course, but there are cemeteries of Marx, Engels and Lenin statues, and only revisionists recall what was destroyed after WWII .

Young people need some space to breath. They don't need monuments of war heros.

47 | Aug 16, 2017 5:20:32 PM | 64
b wrote "Statues standing in cities and places are much more than veneration of one person or group. They are symbols, landmarks and fragments of personal memories..."

Symbols indeed, traits in cultural landscapes. This piece may add another dimension to the importance of cultural landscape in the context of this conversation:
"To this day, the question remains: why would the Southerners remember and celebrate a losing team, and how come the non-Southerners care about it so passionately? A convenient answer revolves around the issue of slavery; i.e., a commemoration of the era of slavery for the former, and, for the latter, the feeling that the landscape reminders of that era should be entirely erased."
and
"In the past two decades, the American(s)' intervention has brought down the statues of Hussein, Gaddafi, Davis, and Lee respectively. Internationally, the work seems to be completed. Domestically, the next stage will be removing the names of highways, libraries, parks, and schools of the men who have not done an illegal act. Eventually, all such traits in the cultural landscape of Virginia may steadily disappear, because they are symbols of Confederacy."
http://www.zokpavlovic.com/conflict/the-war-between-the-states-of-mind-in-virginia-and-elsewhere/

virgile | Aug 16, 2017 5:20:37 PM | 65
What about the statues of the American "heroes" who massacred the Indians?
Robert Browning | Aug 16, 2017 5:24:32 PM | 66
It warms my heart that you are not a racist. But who really gives a fuck? And what makes you think not favoring your own kind like every other racial and ethnic group does makes you a better than those of your own racial group?? Something is wrong with you.
Bill | Aug 16, 2017 5:33:25 PM | 67
Statues are kim jong un like silly and useless anyway. Put up a nice obelisk or rotunda instead.
joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 5:33:44 PM | 68
@Clueless Joe (58)
From a British point of view, Washington and Jefferson were traitors as well.
Kindly correct me if i´m wrong, but, to my knowledge, there are no monuments to Washington or Jefferson on Trafalgar Square.
did these idiots not understand that bringing down Confederate statues without due process will massively piss off most of the locals?
It is my understanding that ¨due process¨ was underway because of pressure from the locals when the neo-Nazis sought to short circuit this process.
joeymac | Aug 16, 2017 5:47:36 PM | 69
@Northern Lights
Your history is not our own.

You are certainly entitled to your attitudes, hatreds, memories, affinities and such. You are not entitled to your own history. History is what happened. Quit lying about it!

Anonymous | Aug 16, 2017 5:59:02 PM | 70
Lee is the past. Obama is the present. The 'Nobel Peace Prize' winner ran more concurrent wars than any other president. He inaugurated the state execution of US citizens by drone based on secret evidence presented in secret courts. He was in charge when ISIS was created by the US Maw machine. What about removing his Nobel Peace Prize?
Erlindur | Aug 16, 2017 5:59:30 PM | 71
A long time ago Christians destroyed the old god's statues because they were pagan and didn't comply with their religion (or is it ideology?). Muslims followed and did the same on what was left. They even do that now when ISIS blows up ancient monuments.

What is next? Burning books? Lets burn the library of Alexandria once again...

aaaa | Aug 16, 2017 6:02:53 PM | 72
Just posting to say that I'm done with this place - will probably read but am not posting here anymore. Have fun
Clueless Joe | Aug 16, 2017 6:11:39 PM | 73
Joeymac 69:
I didn't mean the Charlottesville mess was done without due process. I refer to the cases that have happened these last few days - a trend that won't stop overnight.
Extremists from both sides aren't making friends on the other ones, and obviously are only making matters worse.

Somebody 63:
"It is futile to discuss what the confederacy was then, when white supremacy groups consider them their home today."
That's the whole fucking problem. By this logic, nobody should listen to Wagner or read Nietzsche anymore. Screw that. Assholes and criminals from now should be judged according to current values, laws and opinions, based on their very own crimes. People, groups, states, religions from the past should be judged according to their very own actions as well, and not based on what some idiot would fantasize they were 1.500 years later.

Merasmus | Aug 16, 2017 6:38:35 PM | 74
Looks like the Lee apologetics and claims that the war was about state's rights (go read the CSA constitution, it tramples the rights of its own member states to *not* be slave holding) or tariffs are alive and well in these comments. That's what these statues represent: the utter perversion of the historical record. And as pointed out @38, none of these statues are from anywhere near the Civil War or Reconstruction era.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/

https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states

http://www.americancivilwarforum.com/five-myths-about-secession-169444.html?PageSpeed=noscript

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/the-great-civil-war-lie/?mcubz=3

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 16, 2017 6:43:32 PM | 75
I think anyone and everyone who instigates a successful campaign to destroy a memorial which glorifies war should be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace & Sanity and be memorialised in bronze, nearby, as a permanent reminder that war WAS a racket, until Reason prevailed.
No offense intended.
Anonymous | Aug 16, 2017 6:49:20 PM | 76
Arch-propagandist Rove said "[Those] in what we call the reality-based community, [who] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality [e.g Russia hacked the election]. And while you're studying that reality!judiciously, as you will!we'll act again, creating other new realities [e.g. Neo-Nazi White Supremacism], which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

There is a coup underway to get rid of Trump [who's 'unpardonable crime' seems to be that he isn't going along with the War Party]. The War Party will try anything, anything, if there is a hope that it will work to get rid of him. When Trump launched the cruise missiles against Syria, there was a moment's silence, totally spooky given all the bs that was flying ... Would he start a war with Russia? Would Trump go all the way with that, as Clinton probably would have done? When the attack fizzled out, the chorus resumed their attacks as though nothing had happened.

Their tactical attacks change as they are revealed to be fakes. The current attack, probably using War Party provacateurs operating on both sides, is the next tactical phase - out with 'Russian Hacking the Election', in with 'Trump White Supremacist Nazi'. If there is the standard CIA regime change plan behind this (as outlined by John Perkins and seen in Ukraine, Libya, Syria)] and the relatively passive actions don't work, they will ultimately resort to hard violence. At that stage, they resort to using snipers to kill people on both sides.

The anti-fas' are supposedly liberal, anti-gun, but there already have been stories of them training with weapons, even working with the Kurds in Syria so the ground is laid for their use of weapons. There are those on the Trump side who would relish the excuse for gun violence irrespective on consequence so the whole thing could spiral out of control very rapidly and very dangerously.

Disclosure - I do not support Trump [or any US politico for that matter]. The whole US political system is totally corrupt and morally bankrupt. Those that rise [or more accurately those that are allowed to rise] to the top reflect that corruption and bankruptcy. This could get very very messy.

Lemur | Aug 16, 2017 6:50:58 PM | 77
There's nothing wrong with being racist. Racism is simply preference for one's extended family. 'b' calls the admittedly rather goony lot at C'ville 'white supremacists'. But do they want to enslave blacks or rule over non-whites? No. In fact most of the alt-right lament the slave trade and all its ills, including mixing two groups who, as Lincoln pointed out, had no future together. What the left wants to do is reduce Confederate American heritage and culture down to the slavery issue, despite the fact only a few Southerners owned slaves.

Now, within ethnic European countries, should whites be supreme? You're goddamn right they should. Just as the Japanese should practice 'yellow supremacy', and so on and so forth. Most of you lot here, being liberals, will be in favour of no fault divorce. You understand there can be irreconcilable differences which in way suggest either person is objectively bad. The same applies to disparate ethnicities. If white Slovaks and Czechs can't get one, why would white and non-white groups?

You lefties need to have a serious moral dialogue over your rejection of ethno-nationalism! Time to get on the right side of history! Have you noticed the alt-right, despite being comprised of 'hateful bigots', is favourably disposed toward Iran, Syria, and Russia? That's because we consistently apply principles which can protect our racially, culturally, religiously, and ethnically diverse planet, and mitigate conflict. But the woke woke left (not a typo) meanwhile has to 'resist' imperialism by constantly vilifying America. ITS NOT THAT I'M IN FAVOUR OF ASSAD OR PUTIN, ITS JUST THAT AMERICA IS SO NAUGHTY! OH, HOW BASE ARE OUR MOTIVES. OH, WHAT A POX WE ARE. Weak tea. You have no theoretical arguments against liberal interventionism or neoconservativism.

Newsflash folks. Hillary Clinton doesn't fundamentally differ from you in principle. She merely differs on what methods should be employed to achieve Kojeve's universal homogeneous state. Most of you just want to replace global capitalism with global socialism. Seen how occupy wall street turned out? Didn't make a dent. See how your precious POCs voted for the neoliberal war monger? Diversity increases the power of capital. The only force which can beat globalization is primordial tribalism.

I suggest you all start off your transition to nationalism by reading up on 'Social Democracy for the 21st Century'. http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.nz/

Seamus Padraig | Aug 16, 2017 6:57:50 PM | 78
All in all, b, a pretty brave post -- especially in these dark times. Only a few minor points to add:
Robert Lee was a brutal man who fought for racism and slavery.

Lee wasn't known for being brutal. You're probably confusing him with Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had a notorious mean streak: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Bedford_Forrest

Lee actually thought the Civil War an awful tragedy. He was asked to choose between his state and his country. That's not much different from being asked to choose between your family and your clan.

Lee was a racist.

That might be true, depending on one's definition of a racist. But then, why should Abraham Lincoln get a pass? It's well known that he did not start the Civil War to end slavery -- that idea only occurred to him halfway through the conflict. But there's also the fact that, while he was never a great fan of slavery, he apparently did not believe in the natural equality of the races, and he even once professed to have no intention of granting blacks equality under the law:
"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or jurors of negroes, NOR OF QUALIFYING THEM HOLD OFFICE, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of her man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

It turns out that history's a complicated thing! To bad it wasn't all written by Hollywood with a bunch of cartoon villains and heroes ...
One gets the impression that the current wave of statue take downs is seen as well deserved "punishment" for those who voted wrongly - i.e. not for Hillary Clinton. While many Trump voters will dislike statues of Robert Lee, they will understand that dislike the campaign to take them down even more.

You nailed it, b. The way things are headed, I now wonder if I will someday be arrested for owning Lynard Skynard albums (the covers of which usually had Confederate battle flags) or for having watched Dukes of Hazard shows as a child. It's starting to get that crazy.

Anyway, thanks for running a sane blog in a mad world!

jdmckay | Aug 16, 2017 6:58:20 PM | 79
Good interview with a Black, female pastor in Charlottsville who was in church when the march began Friday night. They caught a lot that wasn't on network news.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-is-lying-about-charlottesville-says-witness-1025515075632

George Smiley | Aug 16, 2017 6:58:29 PM | 80
"Don't let this site get bogged down in history that is being constantly rewritten on Wikipedia. Don't buy into the left/right division process. Don't let your self identify with either group, as they are being led by provocateurs.

The lies we know of regarding Iraq, Syria, Libya - aren't they enough to force people to disbelieve our media completely? The HUGE lies in our media about what is going on in Venezuela should be quite enough (bastante suficiente) to make most people simply disbelieve. But they cannot because they are only allowed to see and hear what our government approves - and for our government, lying is quite legal now.

Let the emotions go - they are pushed via media to force you to think in white or black, right or left, old vs young - any way that is divisive. Getting beaten for a statue would likely make the guy who posed for it laugh his butt off most likely..."

Posted by: Oilman2 | Aug 16, 2017 3:09:32 PM | 31

Well said. Hope to see your thoughts in the future.

And as always, Karlof1 you have some insights I rarely get ever else (especially not in a comment section)

______________________________

"The US Civil War can't be boiled down to having just one cause; it's causes were multiple, although slavery--being an economic and social system--resides at its core. As an historian, I can't really justify the removal of statues and other items of historical relevance, although displaying the Confederate Flag on public buildings I see as wrong; better to display the Spirit of '76 flag if stars and stripes are to be displayed. (I wonder what will become of the UK's Union Jack if Scotland votes to leave the UK.) Personal display of the Stars and Bars for me amounts to a political statement which people within the Outlaw US Empire still have the right to express despite the animus it directs at myself and other non-Anglo ethnicities. (I'm Germanic Visigoth with Spanish surname--people are surprised at my color when they hear my name.)

The current deep dysfunction in the Outlaw US Empire's domestic politics mirrors that of the latter 1850s somewhat but the reasons are entirely different yet solvable--IF--the populous can gain a high degree of solidarity."

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16, 2017 3:51:18 PM | 45

____________________________

Also, somebody @63, very poignant to mention. While I could care less whether about some statues stand or fall (it helps living outside the empire), to deny that they are (generally) symbols of racism, or were built with that in mind, is a little off base in my eyes. Going to repost this quote because I think it had quite a bit of value in this discussion.

"In 2016 the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that there were over 1,500 "symbols of thE Confederacy in public spaces" in the United States. The majority of them are located, as one might expect, in the 11 states that seceded from the union, but as Vice aptly points out, some can be found in Union states (New York, for example has three, Pennsylvania, four) and at least 22 of them are located in states that didn't even exist during the Civil War.

How can that be possible? Because largely, Confederate monuments were built during two key periods of American history: the beginnings of Jim Crow in the 1920s and the civil rights movement in the early 1950s and 1960s.

To be sure, some sprung up in the years following the Confederacy's defeat (the concept of a Confederate memorial day dates back to back to 1866 and was still officially observed by the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as of the publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center's report), and some continue to be built!USA Today notes that 35 Confederate monuments have been erected in North Carolina since 2000.

But when these statues!be they historical place markers, or myth-building icons of Lee or Stonewall Jackson!were built seems to suggest these monuments have very little to do with paying tribute to the Civil War dead and everything to do with erecting monuments to black disenfranchisement, segregation, and 20th-century racial tension."

Peter AU 1 | Aug 16, 2017 6:59:17 PM | 81
@77

Racism means zero understanding or tolerance of other people/cultures, an attitude that ones own culture or skin colour or group is far superior to those 'others'.

NemesisCalling | Aug 16, 2017 7:01:45 PM | 82
@77 lemur

Hear, hear. Generally, a resurgence of American nationalism WILL take the form of populist socialism because it will mark a turning away from the global police state which America is leading currently and will replace it with nationalistic spending on socialist programs with an emphasis on decreased military spending. This will continue ideally until a balance of low taxation and government regulation form a true economy which begins at a local level from the ground up.

annie | Aug 16, 2017 7:05:36 PM | 83
the city council, elected by the people, voted to remove the monument.

Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?

In 1861, the vice-president of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, offered this foundational explanation of the Confederate cause: "Its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. "

how much public space in the US should be dedicated to monuments honoring these people in the coming century? and for the children and grandchildren of slaves walking by them every day? what about their heritage? and the public monuments to the indigenous people of this land who we genocided? oh right, as a country we have still not even officially recognized that genocide. monuments should not be solely a reflection of the past, but of the future, of who we want to be. who we choose to recognize in our public spaces says a lot about us.

anon | Aug 16, 2017 7:06:12 PM | 84
It's pretty fair too say several of the "alt-right" leaders who planned this event agent are provocateurs or Sheep Dipped assets running honeypot "white nationalist" operations.

You can see from the make-up of the phony "Nazis" in the groups and their continued use of various propaganda that serves only to tie people and movements OPPOSED by the Deep State to "Nazis" and racist ideology, you can see how on the ground level, this event has psyop planners' fingerprints all over it.


It's also fair too say the complicit media's near universal take on the event signals a uniform, ready-made reaction more than likely dictated to them from a single source.

Trump is attacked. The ACLU is attacked. Peace activists opposed to the CIA's regime change operation in Syria are attacked. Tucker Carlson is attacked. Everyone attacked that the CIA and various other aspects of the Deep State want attacked as if the MSM were all sent the same talking points memo.

And keep in mind, this all comes right after the news was starting to pick up on the story that the Deep State's bullshit narrative about a "Russian hack" was falling apart.

Also keep in mind it comes at a time when 600,000 Syrians returned home after the CIA's terrorist regime change operation fell apart.

(from Scott Creighton's blog)

Zico the musketeer | Aug 16, 2017 7:11:22 PM | 85
Is there a left in America?
I think is really fun to watch those burgers call an US citizen a lefties.

From outside US you ALL looks like ULYRA right wing.
This is ridiculous!

Sigil | Aug 16, 2017 7:21:33 PM | 86
The statues were erected when the KKK was at its peak, to keep the blacks in their place. They started getting torn down after the 2015 massacre of black churchgoers by a Nazi. For once, don't blame Clinton.
Vas | Aug 16, 2017 7:28:08 PM | 87
as the country becomes less and less white
more and more symbols of white supremacy
have to go..
perry | Aug 16, 2017 7:51:05 PM | 88
Karlof1@45

My only argument with your post is "Chattel Slavery was introduced in the Western Hemisphere"
Chattel = movable property as opposed to your house. In that day and long before women and children were chattel.

Thinking about what might have been might help. If the south had won would we have had a strong enough central government to create and give corporate charters and vast rights of way to railroads which then cross our nation. Would states have created their own individual banking systems negating the need for the all controlling Federal reserve? Would states have their own military units willing to join other states to repel an attack instead of the MIC which treats the rest of the world like expendable slaves?

Before our constitution there was the Articles of Confederation. Article 1,2+3.....
Article I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America."

Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

This first set of laws in the new world was later undone in a secret convention with Madison, input from Jefferson and others found on our money and other honorariums. 1868 gave us the 14th amendment to the constitution that freed all who are born within this nation and were given equal rights. (Not saying that this worked for all slaves. Within a few years this was used to create corporate persons with access to the bill of rights.

I am thinking there were many reasons that people who lived in those times had to fight for what they did. We today are not in a position to judge why individuals fought. Certainly many poor white southerners who owned no slaves at all fought and died. Was it to keep slaves they did not own enslaved or did they fight and die for issues around protection of local or state rights, freedoms and way of life?

Histories are written and paid for by the winners who control that particular present time for the glorification of those rulers. A vast removal of historical artifacts speaks of a weak nation fading into the west's need to clean up some points from history of mean and brutal behaviors which we as a nation support now in the present but try and make it about others.

Peter AU 1 | Aug 16, 2017 8:01:00 PM | 89
A paragragh here from lemur 77 comment...
"Now, within ethnic European countries, should whites be supreme? You're goddamn right they should. Just as the Japanese should practice 'yellow supremacy', and so on and so forth. Most of you lot here, being liberals, will be in favour of no fault divorce. You understand there can be irreconcilable differences which in way suggest either person is objectively bad. The same applies to disparate ethnicities. If white Slovaks and Czechs can't get one, why would white and non-white groups?"

What is the United States of America? It is made up of British, French, Spanish and Russian territories aquired or conquered, the original colonists in turn taking them from the native inhabitants. The US has had a largley open imigration policy, people of all cultures, languages and skin colours and religions.
Why should white Europeans be supreme in the US lemur?

psychohistorian | Aug 16, 2017 8:01:58 PM | 90
The following is the guts of a posting from Raw Story that I see as quite related.
"
White House senior strategist Steve Bannon is rejoicing at the criticism President Donald Trump is receiving for defending white nationalism.

Bannon phoned The American Prospect progressive writer and editor Robert Kuttner Tuesday, according to his analysis of the interview.

In the interview, Bannon dismissed ethno-nationalists as irrelevant.

"Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element," Bannon noted.

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon claimed to welcome the intense criticism Trump has received.

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

Kuttner described Bannon as being in "high spirits" during the call

"You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss's continuing indulgence of white supremacists," Kuttner explained. "But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury."

"They're wetting themselves," Bannon said of opponents he planned to oust at State and Defense.
"

Curtis | Aug 16, 2017 8:25:00 PM | 91
Curtis 6 isn't me. However, I somewhat agree with the point.

Joe 41
Very true. Lee saw himself as defending Virginia. Slavery was the chief issue used in the states declarations of secession. But the end goal was a separate govt (that actually banned the importation of new slaves).

Nemesis 57
Excellent. Racism was bad in the North, too.

Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 16, 2017 8:37:55 PM | 92
Strange how the left are pulling down statues of democrats, and the right are fighting to have them stand. The confederates were democrats, but nobody seem to remember that now anymore.
sigil | Aug 16, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 93
Nothing strange about it. The Democrats dropped the southern racists and the Republicans picked them up with the Southern Strategy. It's all pretty well documented. The current Republicans are not heirs to Lincoln in any meaningful way.
michaelj72 | Aug 16, 2017 8:53:14 PM | 94
some may consider this interesting.. at the end of Robert Kuttner's conversation with Steve Bannon, Bannon says:

http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant

...."The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.".....

Petra | Aug 16, 2017 9:11:29 PM | 95
Those who make silly talk about "Patriots and Traitors" (Swallows and Amazons?) are being obtuse about their history. The whole system was racist through and through, depended upon it and was built upon it, starting with the very first rapacious sorties inland from the swampy coast.

Some excellent commentary here, including james's percipient notes, Grieved's point, RUKidding's and karlof1's, perry's observations and speculations.

Aside, this "99% v.1%" discourse is disempowering and one has to ask whose interests such talk and attendant disempowerment serve.

Krollchem | Aug 16, 2017 9:33:38 PM | 96
Both sides of this ideological issue are frooty and do not see the invisible hands that manipulate their weak minds. See Mike Krieger On Charlottesville: "Don't Play Into The Divide & Conquer Game"
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-14/mike-krieger-charlottesville-dont-play-divide-conquer-game

Please note that slavery persisted in some Northern States after the end of the Civil War. The slave trade was even a profit center in the North:

http://www.tracingcenter.org/resources/background/northern-involvement-in-the-slave-trade/

VietnamVet | Aug 16, 2017 9:40:12 PM | 97
This is a meaningful post on a touchy subject. Global Brahmins are looting the developed world. Color revolutions and ethnic rifts make great fire sales. In a sane world, old monuments would molder away in obscurity. Instead a faux resistance to divide and conquer the little people has commenced. But, it is careening out of control due to austerity and job loss. Deplorable Bushwhackers are fighting for tribalism and supremacy. After the 27 year old war in Iraq, subjected Sunnis turned to their ethnic myths and traditions to fight back; obliterating two ancient cities and themselves. The Chaos is coming west.
John Merryman | Aug 16, 2017 9:43:21 PM | 98
The problem is that people focus on the effects of history, like slavery and the holocaust, but if you go into the causes and context of these events, then you get accused of rationalizing them. Yet being ignorant of the causes is when history gets repeated. By the time another seriously bad effect rises, it's too late.
As for slavery, it's not as though peoples lives haven't been thoroughly commodified before and continue to be. Yes, slavery in the early part of this country was horrendous and the resulting racism arose from the more reptilian parts of people's minds, but that part still exists and needs to be better understood, not dismissed.
It should also be noted that if it wasn't for slavery, the African American population would otherwise only be about as large as the Arab American population. It is a bit like being the offspring of a rape. It might the absolute worst aspect of your life, but you wouldn't be here otherwise. It's the Native Americans who really got screwed in the deal, but there are not nearly enough of them left, to get much notice.
John Merryman | Aug 16, 2017 9:47:52 PM | 99
PS,
For those who know their legal history, no, I'm not using a pseudonym. There is a lot of family history in this country, from well before it was a country.

[Aug 16, 2017] A New Martin Luther

Aug 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

Original: https://tsargrad.tv/articles/triumf-gendernyh-sharikovyh_79187

Translated by Fluctuarius Argenteus

Google fires employee James Damore for "perpetuating gender stereotypes.

– You persecute your employees for having opinions and violate the rights of White men, Centrists, and Conservatives.

– No, we don't. You're fired.

A conversation just like or similar to this one recently took place in the office of one of modern information market monsters, the Google Corporation.

Illustration to the Google scandal. James Damore fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes". Source: Screenshot of Instragram user bluehelix.

Google knows almost everything about us, including the contents of our emails, our addresses, our voice samples ( OK Google ), our favorite stuff, and, sometimes, our sexual preferences. Google used to be on the verge of literally looking at the world with our own eyes through Google Glass, but this prospect appears to have been postponed, probably temporarily. However, the threat of manipulating public opinion through search engine algorithms has been discussed in the West for a long while, even to the point of becoming a central House of Cards plotline.

Conversely, we know next to nothing about Google. Now, thanks to an ideological scandal that shook the company, we suddenly got a glimpse of corporate values and convictions that the company uses a roadmap to influencing us in a major way, and American worldview even more so. Suddenly, Google was revealed to be a system permeated by ideology, suffused with Leftist and aggressively feminist values.

The story goes this way. In early August, an anonymous manifesto titled Google's Ideological Echo Chamber was circulated through the local network of Google. The author lambasted the company's ideological climate, especially its policy of so-called diversity. This policy has been adopted by almost all of US companies, and Google has gone as far as to appoint a "chief diversity officer". The goal of the polity is to reduce the number of white cisgendered male employees, to employ as many minorities and women as possible and to give them fast-track promotions – which, in reality, gives them an unfair, non-market based advantage.

The author argues that Leftism and "diversity" policies lead to creating an "echo chamber" within the company, where a person only talks to those who share their opinions, and, through this conversation, is reinforced in the opinion that their beliefs are the only ones that matter. This "echo chamber" narrows one's intellectual horizon and undermines work efficiency, with following "the party line" taking precedence over real productivity.

In contrast to Google's buzzwords of "vision" and "innovation", the author claims that the company has lost its sight behind its self-imposed ideological blindfold and is stuck in a morass.

As Google employs intellectuals, argues the critic, and most modern Western intellectuals are from the Left, this leads to creating a closed Leftist clique within the company. If the Right rejects everything contrary to the God>human>nature hierarchy, the Left declares all natural differences between humans to be nonexistent or created by social constructs.

The central Leftist idea is the class struggle, and, given that the proletariat vs. bourgeoisie struggle is now irrelevant, the atmosphere of struggle has been transposed onto gender and race relations. Oppressed Blacks are fighting against White oppressors, oppressed women challenge oppressive males. And the corporate management (and, until recently, the US presidency) is charged with bringing the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to life by imposing the "diversity" policy.

The critic argues that the witch-hunt of Centrists and Conservatives, who are forced to conceal their political alignment or resign from the job, is not the only effect of this Leftist tyranny. Leftism also leads to inefficiency, as the coveted job goes not to the best there is but to the "best woman of color". There are multiple educational or motivation programs open only to women or minorities. This leads to plummeting efficiencies, disincentivizes White men from putting effort into work, and creates a climate of nervousness, if not sabotage. Instead of churning out new ground-breaking products, opines the critic, Google wastes too much effort on fanning the flames of class struggle.

What is the proposed solution?

Stop diving people into "oppressors" and "the oppressed" and forcefully oppressing the alleged oppressors. Stop branding every dissident as an immoral scoundrel, a racist, etc.

The diversity of opinion must apply to everyone. The company must stop alienating Conservatives, who are, to call a spade a spade, a minority that needs their rights to be protected. In addition, conservatively-inclined people have their own advantages, such as a focused and methodical approach to work.

Fight all kinds of prejudice, not only those deemed worthy by the politically correct America.

End diversity programs discriminatory towards White men and replace them with non-discriminatory ones.

Have an unbiased assessment of the costs and efficiency of diversity programs, which are not only expensive but also pit one part of the company's employees against the other.

Instead of gender and race differences, focus on psychological safety within the company. Instead of calling to "feel the others' pain", discuss facts. Instead of cultivating sensitivity and soft skins, analyze real issues.

Admit that not all racial or gender differences are social constructs or products of oppression. Be open towards the study of human nature.

The last point proved to be the most vulnerable, as the author of the manifesto went on to formulate his ideas on male vs. female differences that should be accepted as fact if Google is to improve its performance.

The differences argued by the author are as follows:

Women are more interested in people, men are more interested in objects.

Women are prone to cooperation, men to competition. All too often, women can't take the methods of competition considered natural among men.

Women are looking for a balance between work and private life, men are obsessed with status

Feminism played a major part in emancipating women from their gender roles, but men are still strongly tied to theirs. If the society seeks to "feminize" men, this will only lead to them leaving STEM for "girly" occupations (which will weaken society in the long run).

It was the think piece on the natural differences of men and women that provoked the greatest ire. The author was immediately charged with propagating outdated sexist stereotypes, and the Google management commenced a search for the dissent, with a clear purpose of giving him the sack. On 8th August, the heretic was revealed to be James Damore, a programmer. He was fired with immediate effect because, as claimed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, "portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". Damore announced that he was considering a lawsuit.

We live in a post-Trump day and age, that is why the Western press is far from having a unanimous verdict on the Damore affair. Some call him "a typical sexist", for others he is a "free speech martyr". By dismissing Damore from his job, Google implicitly confirmed that all claims of an "echo chamber" and aggressive Leftist intolerance were precisely on point. Julian Assange has already tweeted: "Censorship is for losers, WikiLeaks is offering a job to fired Google engineer James Damore".

It is highly plausible that the Damore Memo may play the same breakthrough part in discussing the politically correct insanity as WikiLeaks and Snowden files did in discussing the dirty laundry of governments and secret services. If it comes to pass, Damore will make history as a new Martin Luther challenging the Liberal "Popery".

However, his intellectual audacity notwithstanding, it should be noted that Damore's own views are vulnerable to Conservative criticism. Unfortunately, like the bulk of Western thought, they fall into the trap of Leftist "cultural constructivism" and Conservative naturalism.

Allegedly, there are only two possible viewpoints. Either gender and race differences are biologically preordained and therefore unremovable and therefore should always be taken into account, or those differences are no more than social constructs and should be destroyed for being arbitrary and unfair.

The ideological groundwork of the opposing viewpoints is immediately apparent. Both equate "biological" with "natural" and therefore "true", and "social" with "artificial" and therefore "arbitrary" and "false". Both sides reject "prejudice" in favor of "vision", but politically correct Leftists reject only a fraction of prejudices while the critic calls for throwing all of them away indiscriminately.

As a response, Damore gets slapped with an accusation of drawing upon misogynist prejudice for his own ideas. Likewise, his view of Conservatives is quite superficial. The main Conservative trait is not putting effort into routine work but drawing upon tradition for creative inspiration. The Conservative principle is "innovation through tradition".

The key common mistake of both Google Leftists and their critic is their vision of stereotypes as a negative distortion of some natural truth. If both sides went for an in-depth reading of Edmund Burke, the "father of Conservatism", they would learn that the prejudice is a colossal historical experience pressurized into a pre-logical form, a collective consciousness that acts when individual reason fails or a scrupulous analysis is impossible. In such circumstances, following the prejudice is a more sound strategy than contradicting it. Prejudice is shorthand for common sense. Sometimes it oversimplifies things, but still works most of the time. And, most importantly, all attempts to act "in spite of the prejudice" almost invariably end in disaster.

Illustration to the Google scandal. A fox sits gazing at the Google's Ideological Echo Chamber exposing the ideas of the fired engineer James Damore. Source: Screenshot of Instragram user bluehelix.

However, the modern era allows us to diagnose our own prejudice and rationalize them so we could control them better, as opposed to blind obedience or rejection. Moreover, if the issue of "psychological training" ever becomes relevant in a country as conservative as Russia is, that is the problem we should concentrate on: analyzing the roots of our prejudices and their efficient use.

The same could be argued for gender relations. Damore opposes the Leftist "class struggle of the genders" with a technocratic model of maximizing the profit from each gender's pros and cons. This functionalism appears to be logical in its own way, but is indeed based on too broad assumptions, claiming that all women are unfit for competition, that all of them like relationships and housekeeping while all men are driven by objects and career. And, as Damore claims biological grounds for his assumptions, all our options boil down to mostly agreeing with him or branding him as a horrible sexist and male chauvinist.

However, the fact that gender roles historically developed based on biology but are, as a whole, a construct of society and culture does not give an excuse to changing or tearing them down, as clamored by Leftists. Quite the contrary: the social, cultural, and historical determinism of these roles gives us a reason to keep them in generally the same form without any coups or revolutions.

First, that tradition is an ever-growing accumulation of experience. Rejecting tradition is tantamount to social default and requires very good reasons to justify. Second, no change of tradition occurs as a result of a "gender revolution", only its parodic inversion. Putting men into high heels, miniskirts, and bras, fighting against urinals in public WCs only reverses the polarity without creating true equality. The public consciousness still sees the "male" as "superior", and demoting "masculinity" to "femininity" as a deliberate degradation of the "superior". No good can come of it, just as no good came out of humiliating wealth and nobility during the Communist revolution in Russia. What's happening now is not equal rights for women but the triumph of gender Bolshevism.

Damore's error, therefore, consists in abandoning the domain of the social and the historical to the enemy while limiting the Conservative sphere of influence to the natural, biological domain. However, the single most valuable trait in conservative worldview is defending the achievements of history and not just biological determinism.

The final goal of a Conservative solution to the gender problem should not be limited to a rationalist functionalization of society. It should lead to discovering a social cohesion where adhering to traditional male and female ways and stereotypes (let's not call them roles – the world is not a stage, and men and women not merely players) would not keep males and females from expressing themselves in other domains, provided they have a genuine calling and talent.

The art of war is not typical of a woman; however, women warriors such as Joan of Arc leave a much greater impact in historical memory. The art of government is seen as mostly male, yet it makes great female rulers, marked not by functional usefulness but true charisma, all the more memorable. The family is the stereotypical domain of the woman, which leads to greater reverence towards fathers that put their heart and soul into their families.

Social cohesion, an integral part of it being the harmony of men and women in the temple of the family, is the ideal to be pursued by our Russian, Orthodox, Conservative society. It is the collapse of the family that made gender relations into such an enormous issue in the West: men and women are no longer joined in a nucleus of solidarity but pitted against one another as members of antagonistic classes. And this struggle, as the Damore Memo has demonstrated, is already stymieing the business of Western corporations. Well, given our current hostile relations, it's probably for the better.

[Aug 14, 2017] Slouching Toward Mar-a-Lago

Notable quotes:
"... Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all). ..."
"... Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation ! an America made "great again" ! is not going to materialize. ..."
"... Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence. ..."
"... the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid. ..."
"... "Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. ..."
"... Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s ! plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability. ..."
"... The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era ! Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ! put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. ..."
"... To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass. ..."
"... I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion. ..."
"... Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate. ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

If we have, as innumerable commentators assert, embarked upon the Age of Trump, the defining feature of that age might well be the single-minded determination of those horrified and intent on ensuring its prompt termination. In 2016, TIME magazine chose Trump as its person of the year . In 2017, when it comes to dominating the news, that "person" might turn out to be a group ! all those fixated on cleansing the White House of Trump's defiling presence.

Egged on and abetted in every way by Trump himself, the anti-Trump resistance has made itself the Big Story. Lies, hate, collusion, conspiracy, fascism: rarely has the everyday vocabulary of American politics been as ominous and forbidding as over the past six months. Take resistance rhetoric at face value and you might conclude that Donald Trump is indeed the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse , his presence in the presidential saddle eclipsing all other concerns. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death will just have to wait.

The unspoken assumption of those most determined to banish him from public life appears to be this: once he's gone, history will be returned to its intended path, humankind will breathe a collective sigh of relief, and all will be well again. Yet such an assumption strikes me as remarkably wrongheaded ! and not merely because, should Trump prematurely depart from office, Mike Pence will succeed him. Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all).

Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation ! an America made "great again" ! is not going to materialize.

Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence.

For too long, the cult of the presidency has provided an excuse for treating politics as a melodrama staged at four-year intervals and centering on hopes of another Roosevelt or Kennedy or Reagan appearing as the agent of American deliverance. Donald Trump's ascent to the office once inhabited by those worthies should demolish such fantasies once and for all.

How is it that someone like Trump could become president in the first place? Blame sexism, Fox News, James Comey, Russian meddling, and Hillary's failure to visit Wisconsin all you want, but a more fundamental explanation is this: the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid.

Rabbit Poses a Question

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. In short order, Rabbit got his answer. So, too, after only perfunctory consultation, did his fellow citizens.

The passing of the Cold War offered cause for celebration. On that point all agreed. Yet, as it turned out, it did not require reflection from the public at large. Policy elites professed to have matters well in hand. The dawning era, they believed, summoned Americans not to think anew, but to keep doing precisely what they were accustomed to doing, albeit without fretting further about Communist takeovers or the risks of nuclear Armageddon. In a world where a " single superpower " was calling the shots, utopia was right around the corner. All that was needed was for the United States to demonstrate the requisite confidence and resolve.

Three specific propositions made up the elite consensus that coalesced during the initial decade of the post-Cold-War era. According to the first, the globalization of corporate capitalism held the key to wealth creation on a hitherto unimaginable scale. According to the second, jettisoning norms derived from Judeo-Christian religious traditions held the key to the further expansion of personal freedom. According to the third, muscular global leadership exercised by the United States held the key to promoting a stable and humane international order.

Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s ! plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability.

The Cold War itself had fostered notable improvements in computational speed and capacity, new modes of communication, and techniques for storing, accessing, and manipulating information. Yet, however impressive, such developments remained subsidiary to the larger East-West competition. Only as the Cold War receded did they move from background to forefront. For true believers, information technology came to serve a quasi-theological function, promising answers to life's ultimate questions. Although God might be dead, Americans found in Bill Gates and Steve Jobs nerdy but compelling idols.

More immediately, in the eyes of the policy elite, the information revolution meshed with and reinforced the policy consensus. For those focused on the political economy, it greased the wheels of globalized capitalism, creating vast new opportunities for trade and investment. For those looking to shed constraints on personal freedom, information promised empowerment, making identity itself something to choose, discard, or modify. For members of the national security apparatus, the information revolution seemed certain to endow the United States with seemingly unassailable military capabilities. That these various enhancements would combine to improve the human condition was taken for granted; that they would, in due course, align everybody ! from Afghans to Zimbabweans ! with American values and the American way of life seemed more or less inevitable.

The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era ! Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ! put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass.

The emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism improved the status of groups long subjected to discrimination. Yet these advances have done remarkably little to reduce the alienation and despair pervading a society suffering from epidemics of chronic substance abuse , morbid obesity , teen suicide , and similar afflictions. Throw in the world's highest incarceration rate , a seemingly endless appetite for porn , urban school systems mired in permanent crisis, and mass shootings that occur with metronomic regularity, and what you have is something other than the profile of a healthy society.

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama. Yet it has also embroiled the United States in a series of costly, senseless, unsuccessful, and ultimately counterproductive wars. As for the vaunted information revolution, its impact has been ambiguous at best, even if those with eyeballs glued to their personal electronic devices can't tolerate being offline long enough to assess the actual costs of being perpetually connected.

In November 2016, Americans who consider themselves ill served by the post-Cold-War consensus signaled that they had had enough. Voters not persuaded that neoliberal economic policies, a culture taking its motto from the Outback steakhouse chain, and a national security strategy that employs the U.S. military as a global police force were working to their benefit provided a crucial margin in the election of Donald Trump.

The response of the political establishment to this extraordinary repudiation testifies to the extent of its bankruptcy. The Republican Party still clings to the notion that reducing taxes, cutting government red tape, restricting abortion, curbing immigration, prohibiting flag-burning, and increasing military spending will alleviate all that ails the country. Meanwhile, to judge by the promises contained in their recently unveiled (and instantly forgotten ) program for a "Better Deal," Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage, capping the cost of prescription drugs, and creating apprenticeship programs for the unemployed will return their party to the good graces of the American electorate.

In both parties embarrassingly small-bore thinking prevails, with Republicans and Democrats equally bereft of fresh ideas. Each party is led by aging hacks. Neither has devised an antidote to the crisis in American politics signified by the nomination and election of Donald Trump.

While our emperor tweets, Rome itself fiddles.

... ... ...

Robert Magill > , August 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm GMT

First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics.

The November numbers indicate that for the time being without the Electoral College, California and New York will elect our President well into the future.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Priss Factor > , Website August 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm GMT

If Bacevich had really balls, he would cut to the chase and say it like it is.

I think Trump the person doesn't want trouble with Iran, Syria, and Russia. He's a businessman who wants to do business with the world while protecting US borders and sovereignty. Trump is anti-Iran because of Jewish Lobby. His peace with Russia was destroyed by the Lobby and its purse-strings and puppet-strings.

The undeniable fact of the US is it's not a democracy in terms of real power. It is a Jewish Supremacist Oligarchy. To be sure, there are Jewish critics of Jewish power. Think of Philip Weiss and others. Technically, US still has rule of law and due process. But in the end, the Power decides. Look at the anti-BDS bill supported even by Republicans who make a big stink about liberty and free speech.

California is said to be uber-'progressive', and many grassroots people there are supportive of BDS. But California elites and whore politicians are anti-BDS and even passed laws against it. What does that tell you?

Rule of Law is for little people. The Power has Rule of Rule. And if American People, along with their politicians, seem to schizo, well, what does one expect? They get their info from J-Media that feed that lies 24/7.

What is often called 'American' is processed mindset, like yellow American singles is bogus processed 'cheese food'. Because handful of industries control all the media that beam same signals to over 300 million TV sets in the US, 'Americanism' is processed mind-food. We need more organic minds. Too many minds have been processed and re-processed by Great Mind Grinder of J-Media.

The Scalpel > , Website August 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT

AB's 10 recommendations remind me of the beauty pageant contestant answering the question about what she intended to do ."promote world peace".

Actually the beauty queen is being more sincere and realistic. AB's points are very nice sounding, but he gives us no idea how realistically, he or anyone could achieve them and we are left with the feeling that he is just grandstanding. Like the beauty queen, he knows that he will never do much of anything concrete to further these goals, not even if his life or his son' life, depended on it.

DYiFC > , August 10, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

Well said. I agree – Trump is a symptom of the underlying problems in this country.

Stogumber > , August 12, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?"

Well, Updike speaks from the position of a "universalist"? Did he ever consider that being an American may not mean standing up for universal ideas, but simply caring for one's own children and grandchildren? But even from a universalist position the answer seems simple now – not for Bacevich, but for me. The United States are singled out and unique w.r.t. their First Amendment. Whereas all other Western countries have succumbed to Bolshevist propaganda and have undermined freedom of speech, the "Americans" are the only ones to stand up for it. Why, even Damore may win a lawsuit against Google.

Carlton Meyer > , Website August 14, 2017 at 4:50 am GMT

Whoops Colonel, you forgot to add slashing military spending to your list. The USA could cut its military budget in half and still spend more than Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China combined. Trump's insane push for more military spending undermines his effort at cutting domestic programs to balance the budget. Yet Jimmy Dore explains that most Democrats voted boost the military budget even more than Trump!

It is unfair to depict Trump as a bumpkin. He graduated from an excellent university and used a few million dollars from Dad's seed money to become a billionaire. Moreover, he defied all odds to become President of the USA. I challenge all his brilliant critics to run for President in 2020 to prove that is simple.

LarryS > , August 14, 2017 at 4:59 am GMT

@Robert Magill The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 7:05 am GMT

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama.

Goodbye Saddam?? The implication being that all the death and destruction was somehow worth it?? You scum, of the most evil *beep* nation on earth! A pox on all of you.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

"First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics."

Yeah, let's trade the consensus of a nation of local communities for the tyranny of the (bi-coastal) majority. I might give up the EC, however, if the system was replaced by gladiatorial combat to the death for all who want the job, or, if we're sticking to a two-party system, the decision can come by pistols at dawn (Good Morning America can't get the nod I hate that Roker chap, and I don't think Megan Kelly should be anywhere near selection of a President). Real skin in the game, so to say.

Yeah, bring back the draft. Military service only. We won't end senseless wars unless many more of our young people actually experience them, and that's not going to happen if they are picking up litter or emptying bed pans.

More money for public education? We've been doing that for years dude, and we get worse results as we spend more. There's already too much money in public education. College for all is a mistake, and in gen snowflake, tell me who isn't deserving. How about serious testing for results and beating for those who do not achieve them?

Income equality sounds nice, but it's never been had anywhere by taxation. It takes a certain societal moderation and modesty requiring our ruling elites to not want to be so conspicuous in their consumption (this in the age of the Rich Kids of Instagram) and to share the wealth through employment and good wages to their fellow citizens. Good luck with that ever gracing our shores.

Stop yakking about the pseudoscience nay the religion of climate change. Plant some more trees and take a couple aspirin. Add the costs of global wars for resources to the cost of gas, which will spike it to $6 per gallon and dissuade a lot of unnecessary driving.

Require all candidates for Federal elective office to be physically neutered, and forbid any of their progeny for at least three generations as well as any immediate relations closer than fourth cousin from holding any position of honor, elective office, or Federal employment whatsoever.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:20 am GMT

Trump or no Trump, things would be much saner without Jewish globalist pressure.

I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion.

Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate.

In the US, politicians must hate according to Jewish neurosis. And that's the problem. We don't have autonomy of likes and dislikes. Like dogs, we have to like or hate what our master likes or hates. And Jewish Globalists are elites. The great evil of America is we are forced to HATE whatever Jewish globalists Hate. It is a culture of Hate. Ironically, the biggest haters accuse others of hate.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT

Jeff & Gerald Celente – The Trump Presidential Freak Show

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 10:25 am GMT

Stephen Cohen on why we need close cooperation with Russia.

A new kind of terrorism in aftermath of state collapse in Middle East.

But it seems new sanctions will totally derail any sane policy.

Reactionary Utopian > , August 14, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT

Most of Mr. Bacevich's piece was quite good. Then we got to the Ten-Point Program. A bold, revolutionary program calling for more of how we got here. What the hell?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@LarryS The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning. Yes, it is interesting how smaller states in federations show that they understand and will hold on to their leverage even when , as in Australia, the people themselves vote on constitutional change.

But why would eliminating the Electoral College allow presidentlal elections to be decided by the popular vote in California and NY as someone suggested? Aren't the number of electoral college votes adjusted quite promptly in proportion to population changes?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT

Here's an anti Imperial Presidency policy for the author to consider and perhaps endorse .

1. Move towards the constitutiobal monarchy or limited presidency parliamentary model by strengthening the H of R and relying on ordinary human ambition to forward the project;

2. Specifically extend Congressional terms from 2 years to 4 (and perhaps provide lots of public financing and free publicity to diminish thevcorruption by donors)

3. Enhance the role of Majority leader – indeed facilitate his forming his own Cabinet – and restrict the amending of budget bills submitted (as the main ones would have to be) by the leader of the majority – or his nominated Finance spokesperson..

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Aren't the votes in the Electoral College quite promptly adjusted for population changes?

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz To some extent, but since each state has at least one Representative and two Senators, there is a bias toward political geography that is difficult to overcome by population. This is a good thing.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Sorry, should have connected the dots each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435.

bliss_porsena > , August 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

Eleven: write more articles with never-can-be-done lists until the whole aberrant construct cracks wide open.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Only with respect to the EC votes corresponding to the number of House Representatives. From Wikipedia:

"Each state chooses electors, totaling in number to that state's combined total of senators and representatives."

Each state – irrespective of population – has two senators, so this protects citizens of less populous states from those in, e.g., California. Part of the Constitutional bargain that makes for a republic as opposed to a national democracy.

Were you sincerely unaware of this?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Sorry, should have connected the dots ... each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435. Yes, the effect of adding in the senators is substantial. The two biggest (Democrat) states add just 4 out of 543 to their basic Congressional weighting while the 48 other states add 96/543. Thus 17.6 per cent against just an extra 0.7 per cent.
Not even Texas would think of supporting the abolition of the Electoral College. A pity yhe excellent author should be so sloppy as not at least to acknowledge which items on his wish list are pure fantasy.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm GMT

"Nominally, the Constitution assigns responsibilities and allocates prerogatives to three co-equal branches of government."

Oh, dear, I do get tired of this meme.

No, the Constitution does not create "three co-equal branches of government," no matter how often the phrase is repeated.

The Constitution establishes a legislative branch that, whenever it is sufficiently united and desirous, has absolute power over the other two branches.

The Congress can remove any member of the other two branches from office, among other powers, but the countervailing power of the other two branches over Congress, at least per the Constitution, is very limited indeed.

In most republics and constitutional monarchies, the executive branch has a number of ways to influence the legisilature, including calling new elections when desired. Our Constitution has none of that.

Under the Constitution, the Congress is not co-equal. Its supreme.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

@gustafus " as we import more and more of the LOW IQ 3rd world – education will be more about the reasons we don't boink our children siblings and cousins"

Nahh, that would be imposing our Eurocentric values on their vibrant cultures.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin That sounds like another valid reason to stick with the EC.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

@Logan And that's why it's ownership by the donors is so destructive.

Jus' Sayin'... > , August 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm GMT

@Robert Magill Any citizen of the USA and/or student of its history who writes in the same essay both that he is a conservative and that he favors abolishing the Electoral College is either a fool, an unprincipled knave, or most likely both.

Olorin > , August 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@Robert Magill I came in to make the same point and will add that it would be effectively only two metropolitan areas–LA and NYC.

Whoever would control those cities politically would control the nation politically, economically, and socially the way Chicago's elites control much of Wisconsin (to use an example recently discussed at iSteve).

The republic would be ripe for division into two coastal demesnes vying with each other for power, resources, and serfs (both in the coastal hives and the "flyover states").

What is undermining the legitimacy of American politics isn't the United States Constitution. It is the countless billions of dollars spend on election campaigning each year. That includes all corollary expenditures, as on media buys and polling.

Not the kind of polling that involves voting. The kind of polling that Nate Silver does.

Election campaigns engineer infiltration of the public culture at every level–federal, state, county, municipal, and local–by divisive discourse and methods. These originally were developed so that merchants could differentiate and sell to the masses soap and junk food brands. Not even the commodities themselves–but brands of them.

Political campaigning rolls up the worst elements of advertising, PR, propaganda, and opinion research into one unending tsunami of hostility, division, manufactured conflict, false equivalencies, forced choices, and sneering tearing-down of what others believe, want, or have built.

The people who create political campaigns for a living–with all the corollary products that go with that, including the candidate himself/herself–are, like the people who communicate those, among the biggest parasites in the republic. They literally create positions, opinions, and ideas, then go out and create the demand for them by whatever means it takes. They produce nothing of value. They siphon off value and resources and set the conditions where by organic excellence is drowned in a sea of mass communications.

If the Electoral College were demolished tomorrow, they would have even more unfettered access to more billions of dollars as Candidate Cool Ranch Dorito vied for an influential and lucrative sinecure with Candidate Salty Crunchy Triangular Fried Corn Thing.

And thanks to Citizens United, money is free speech, and free speech means carefully selected, constructed, massaged, spun, and polled speech.

Keeping the campaign-media-finance industrial complex operating is all that matters to these people. Sounds like Bacevich is one of them. Members of the Pontificating Caste usually are. The Constitution is a barrier to their aspirations.

As it was designed to be.

Linda Green > , August 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm GMT

The author did a decent job of describing the zeitgeist. But his list of 10 big government solutions is a riot! The solution is a return to human liberty and acceptance of the reality that all politics that matter to people is local. But our owners don't like local, they like global, they like universal, they claim to be supporters of diversity but their diversity if they have their way looks exactly the same everywhere you go – wow, how diverse. You can be in any major metropolitan area in the US these days and you find it has the same chain store signage dominating the landscape, the same stories in the newspapers, the same ideological megaphones spouting (((their))) doctrines to the masses, the same conformity of expressed opinions (don't say what you really think if you want to keep your job at xyz corp), the same. And unbeknownst to most Americans who are quick to thank servicemen for "their service", their actual service is that when are elites have finally won the entire world will be indistinguishable like US metropolitan areas are today. There is not a big government solution to these issues, big xxx is the problem. The real question at least in my mind is if our owners would allow pockets of American style, liberty based pockets to emerge?

If we could find responsible enough men to do it, we could take back monetary sovereignty from the federal reserve and start a Bank of America. We have our politicians beginning to sell off the commons (highways for example) to investors. We can fund that by letting some money creation occur by being earned into existence rather than loaned into existence. This is explicitly disallowed in the FEDs charter, and it is not for certain we can find men responsible enough to handle this task without problems nor is it certain that global finance would not retaliate. But we have a lot of infrastructure that needs upgrading and maintenance. This would allow some level of exodus from the metros back to Mayberry if there were jobs. We need a small effective government that has a long term plan of how we are going to maintain our infrastructure. Presently the elected children in Washington, short sighted immature bunch they are, put construction money for bridges in the back of bills recognizing a particular day as "insert bullshit day here day" to make their fellow child go along with the pork they put is some other garbage bill. This is an awful way to run a country and the chickens have come home and are roosting. Let the metros continue their present course of forced conformity via peer shaming and propaganda.

Flavius > , August 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

Alarm bells going off in the night? How about Bill Clinton? Robert Dole? Al Gore? George W Bush? How about the stupendously unqualified mirage of Presidential gravitas, Barrack Obama? his opponents, the snarling ignoramus from Arizona, John McCain? the leaden corporatist Mitt Romney. Perhaps we are to understand these names that the Colonel leaves unmentioned as constituting the "slouching:" But the reason we have arrived at Mar-a-Lago is that the terminally corrupt Democratic Party chose as their candidate the terminally corrupt, stupendously unqualified former President's wife. The foresight of our founding Father's saved us from that miserable fate, thank you US Constitution.
But lest we become too nostalgic for a time when our co-equal legislative branch had members who could assert themselves against the stooge of the moment who the people had installed in the White House, let us take a moment to ponder the stupendous stupidity of our current body that just recently, with near unanimity, chose to lump Russia in with Iran and North Korea on its sanctions bill while producing no evidence of any kind to justify its measure.

Alden > , August 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin Vote fraud is not necessary in California. I'm the only person I know who votes Republican.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Quite right. Though the whole thing started when the "real" job of the congressman became re-election. Once that was internalized, the rest was pretty much inevitable. As long as the government is heavily involved with businesses, determining not only their profit rate but perhaps whether they even survive, they will continue efforts to influence government decisions. Limiting contribution's primary effect, I suspect, would be to drive the influence-buying underground.

The solution, of course, is to get the government out of business and indeed everything else to the extent possible.

[Aug 14, 2017] the USA is somewhat similar to the USSR: it is ruled by a Nomenklatura , an Inner Party to use Orwells expression, which keeps the rest of the 99 pecent in a condition that I would describe as semi-serfdom by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Not that I believe that there is much of a difference between the Demoblicans and the Republicrats (Pepsi vs Cola, really), but this simply illustrates two basic facts of the US political system: ..."
"... The US "deep state" is not affected by changes in the White House ..."
"... In a way, the USA is very similar to the bad old Soviet Union: it is ruled by a Nomenklatura , an " Inner Party " to use Orwell's expression, which keeps the rest of the 99% in a condition that I would describe as semi-serfdom ("semi" because the modern serf can legally leave his place of labor and move to another one). And while the real "deep state" is only a small sub-section of the US Nomenklatura, the entire Nomenklatura is bound to it by a deep sense of class solidarity. ..."
Sep 11, 2016 | www.unz.com
402 Comments

Not that I believe that there is much of a difference between the Demoblicans and the Republicrats (Pepsi vs Cola, really), but this simply illustrates two basic facts of the US political system:

  1. The US "deep state" is not affected by changes in the White House
  2. The US "deep state" is equally embedded in both factions of the "1% Party" in power

In a way, the USA is very similar to the bad old Soviet Union: it is ruled by a Nomenklatura , an " Inner Party " to use Orwell's expression, which keeps the rest of the 99% in a condition that I would describe as semi-serfdom ("semi" because the modern serf can legally leave his place of labor and move to another one). And while the real "deep state" is only a small sub-section of the US Nomenklatura, the entire Nomenklatura is bound to it by a deep sense of class solidarity.

This is what primarily explains the collective blindness of quite literally all the US elites about 9/11: just like everybody now knows that Kennedy was not killed by a lone gunman, most people by now suspect that the official 9/11 conspiracy theory is a stupid load of hogwash – but they just don't see what difference it makes for them and the world they live in.

[Aug 11, 2017] To be elected a US politician has first to sell himself/herself to big business

Notable quotes:
"... Money, money money. That's what drives the engine of elections. Incumbents have it working for them in so many ways: PACs, corporate centers of influence; radio and teevee. ..."
Aug 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Skip | Aug 7, 2017 12:04:55 PM | 93

@15

"Not me! Term limits mean nothing more than the elimination of the ability of the voters to assess candidates based on legislative track records. The result is that every two years the voters will have to choose representatives with no past history of legislation. Disaster."

Gag me with a spoon. This argument is so old and so worn thin. Statistically 95+% of these fools are reelected because the highly cerebral voters you refer to have elevators that almost never go to the top of the building.

Money, money money. That's what drives the engine of elections. Incumbents have it working for them in so many ways: PACs, corporate centers of influence; radio and teevee.

All of the alternatives you propose are red herrings. They are only workable in heaven, not here on Terra Firma.

Remember, all of that institutional memory brought about by all of the 'experienced' members of congress got us where we are today. And, it's gotten them a 10% approval rating.

[Aug 11, 2017] Making Sense of the Google Memo

Notable quotes:
"... Neuroscientist Debra W. Soh, writing at Quillette, observes that ..."
"... It is well-established by Pinker and other scientists that women have higher IQs on average, while men preponderate the extremes of brilliance and dullness. ..."
Aug 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

...Damore has joined an increasing number of people from the worlds of business and academia to be sacrificed at the altar of diversity. In an unsurprising public relations move, Google has succeeded in saving some face by appeasing the partisans of political correctness and of so-called equality. Meanwhile, those who don't subscribe to the progressive delusion may feel more anxious at the prospect of failing to play the coward's game correctly. Can one sneeze these days without offending the HR department?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in a memo laden with incoherence and hypocrisy, says that

we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace. Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects "each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination."

The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn't have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being "agreeable" rather than "assertive," showing a "lower stress tolerance," or being "neurotic."

At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo!such as the portions criticizing Google's trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all!are important topics. The author had a right to express their views on those topics!we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.

What were those "harmful gender stereotypes," so "offensive" to the good team members at Google? Let's take a look at the first paragraph of the memo that has so many people worried about the white patriarchal obstacle that, now as ever, stands cruelly in the progressive path.

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I've gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

Surely no unbiased reader can fail to find Damore's words eminently reasonable. Though recently fired, the man is no enemy of diversity and inclusion, nor does he say sexism is not a real problem. There is nothing here (or elsewhere in the memo) to suggest he is not fair-minded. Indeed, if you read his memo, you will surely see!so long, again, as you are not biased!that as people go, Damore is exceptionally fair in his perceptions and reasoning, though it is well to remember Emerson's maxim: "To be great is to be misunderstood." Damore is concerned to give some nuance to understanding the issues since, after all, it is not prima facie evident that men and women are utterly the same; with the result that, where a corporation's representation of gender does not wholly reflect the national population, sexism is present by definition. The crucial phrase is "differences in distribution." Though feminists, progressives and Leftists generally are keen to deny it, men and women are not mere blank slates on which the "unequal" environment imprints its ink; we should not assume as a matter of course that something is awry if the workplace reflects! as it inevitably must !those gender differences which we all seem to notice the moment we leave it.

Neuroscientist Debra W. Soh, writing at Quillette, observes that

within the field of neuroscience, sex differences between women and men!when it comes to brain structure and function and associated differences in personality and occupational preferences!are understood to be true, because the evidence for them (thousands of studies) is strong. This is not information that's considered controversial or up for debate; if you tried to argue otherwise, or for purely social influences, you'd be laughed at.

Sex researchers recognize that these differences are not inherently supportive of sexism or stratifying opportunities based on sex. It is only because a group of individuals have chosen to interpret them that way, and to subsequently deny the science around them, that we have to have this conversation at a public level. Some of these ideas have been published in neuroscientific journals!despite having faulty study methodology!because they've been deemed socially pleasing and "progressive." As a result, there's so much misinformation out there now that people genuinely don't know what to believe.

Also at Quillette , eminent evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller remarks that "almost all of the Google memo's empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history."

Steven Pinker himself!he of the very solid liberal credentials!has published much rigorous work on natural gender differences, in both intelligence and personality traits. Here he is on YouTube, giving a talk which might be used to support James Damore's case:

Note, what is so revealing, that Pinker takes care to appease the dogmatic academic crowd via the usual trite and simplistic reduction of human history to patriarchal oppression, lest, like Ibsen's Dr. Stockmann, he be thought an enemy of the people. It can't be that man simply found himself in a harsh world in which his superior brute strength was an immense advantage. It can't be that a severe division of labor was for most of history inevitable for the sexes. Like the Jews, man has always been behind the scenes, conspiring to oppress everyone. Well, at least Pinker was prudent. After all, those aggressive, broad-shouldered feminists have been known to body slam many an hysterically logical speaker.

Like Geoffrey Miller's, Pinker's work helps us to see better what ordinary people already know well enough from everyday life (and which, thankfully for them, they feel no need to deny, outside of the increasingly touchy workplace, anyway): that men and women are indeed different; nor is it obvious, in a sane world, why that should be such a scandal. For these differences, qua differences, are value neutral. My working-class mother, who never finished high school, is not obviously inferior as a person to Heather MacDonald, despite my own admiration for that excellent and courageous scholar-journalist.

It is well-established by Pinker and other scientists that women have higher IQs on average, while men preponderate the extremes of brilliance and dullness. Many if not most Google employees surely do have exceptionally high IQs. That men should so excel at the Google corporation!as they do at so many other things at the highest level!reflects Nature itself and is consistent with a massive amount of empirical findings. It is also consistent with many traditional stereotypes, for the most part. The psychologist Lee Jusim, among others, has done excellent work on the overwhelming accuracy (though typically, much suppressed) of stereotypes. If you want to see a humorous example of the truth of stereotypes, see the exceedingly emotional reactions by the female Google employees!who have made their disgust well-known on Twitter!that Pichai describes in the second paragraph where I quote him above. It is reported that many female Google employees stayed home from work on Monday, triggered into melancholy by Damore's truthful words. Tragically, the feminist quilting bee soon degenerated into a wild intersectional tizzy, the rotund blue and pink-haired ladies of various races and gender identities squabbling over whose cat should first be allowed to peck at Damore's soon to be flayed carcass. Looking at the photos and social media accounts of Google's Diversity-rabble, one is struck by how stereotypical they are; virtually everyone looks fresh from a Judith Butler conference at Bryn Mawr college: trans-this, queer-that, communist, ad nauseam . Defective specimens of divorce culture, therapy culture, and human folly and degeneration generally. Persons who, hardly ever having been around traditional masculinity, cannot but misunderstand it, and with the all-too-human fear and hatred of the unknown. Perusing pictures of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, one perceives, quite palpably, a typical skinny, weak, effete twenty-first century Last Man: born to take orders from nasty women and resentment-pipers generally

Gender differences may be bad news for Feminist Dogma, yet as Pinker says in his talk, the truth cannot be sexist, nor should it be "harmful"!to an adult mind, at least. Of course, like Lawrence Summers, who was obliged to step down from the Harvard Presidency a while back for not going along with Feminist Dogma, Pinker has caught fire from feminists!increasingly nasty women, as it were. Sundar Pichai, like our feminists, says all the right things about diversity and the like, but when it comes to the reality of one gender being better, on average, at, say, engineering, he goes in for cant about "harmful gender stereotypes." If, though, anybody was to say, what there is also much evidence to support, that women, on average, are better at language skills than men, nobody would be troubled. Such hypocritical intolerance by the partisans of tolerance should be expected to continue apace, unless we others make a principled stand. Looking at the academy and at our intellectuals in general, we may wonder how so many people can manage to walk upright without a spine. Alas, more vital work for the deplorables.

The Diversity Idol is confused and inherently self-defeating. As Debra W. Soh puts it in the The Globe and Mail ,

research has shown that cultures with greater gender equity have larger sex differences when it comes to job preferences, because in these societies, people are free to choose their occupations based on what they enjoy.

As the memo suggests, seeking to fulfill a 50-per-cent quota of women in STEM is unrealistic. As gender equity continues to improve in developing societies, we should expect to see this gender gap widen.

The Diversity Idol also reeks of hypocrisy. Where are all the calls for more women in bricklaying and coal mining, fields in which there are hardly any women?

As for women's relative lack of leadership positions, at Google and elsewhere, much the best explanation is that by Jordan Peterson. The issue is not so much lack of ability as (sensible) lack of interest. Why, Peterson asks, should women want anything to do with what is commonly called leadership, seeing as it is generally a quite mad and foolish affair (endless work and stress, all for wealth that does not make happy)? Women's relative lack of interest in so-called leadership!which ultimately, today as yesterday, amounts in the main to men vying to outdo one another in order to win the favor of women in the sexual marketplace!signifies their greater good sense, which certainly is of a piece with their greater psychological and emotional discernment generally, and quite a long way from man's lunatic competitiveness and zeal for mammon. It is well to reflect on just what women are really missing out on by not exercising the power that men do, all in all. Is it a power worth having, most of the time? Do we not find our highest good when we are free to pursue that which has inherent value? Then too, there is the reality, hardly recognized in our time, that, as G.K. Chesterton put it, "feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands." For my own part, though an awful cook, I should rather be a house husband at home tending to my children than live a professional death-in-life at some touchy, humorless office.

In our status-obsessed society, there are constant gripes about how women are "excluded" from exercising power in the workplace. Meanwhile nobody says anything about the enormous psycho-biological power women possess simply by virtue of being women. This power, of course, is essentially determined by a woman's attractiveness, which is closely associated with youth and good health. No surprise, then, that women all over the world are forever trying to appear as attractive as possible, to the cost of billions every year. Such power, though inevitably prevalent in the workplace itself, far transcends it: it is a law of Nature itself, and indeed one of the strongest. As noted above, the endless male struggle for status mostly comes down to being able to obtain a desirable woman.

Today we see countless attractive young women spending vast amounts of time uploading photos of themselves on social media. How many wish to be a star! Hence that increasingly common phenomenon the duck face, which some might take for a kind of strange medical affliction: "Pucker up," thinks the generic young beauty in her vanity; "everybody's watching!" Like women on the many dating websites and apps, these social media darlings find that they can hardly keep up with all the male attention!surely an intoxicating pleasure, although doubtless often corrupting. No matter their intentions, and whether they are aware of it or not, such women are extremely powerful. The notion that a woman like Emily Ratajkowski is "oppressed" because of her "objectification" is absurd beyond description. Hers is a most willful objection; there is massive power in it; and even if the stunner was not affluent through her modeling and other endeavors, she would still not have to work: countess men would get in line to provide for her, now as ever. On the other hand, take away Bill Gates' billions, and how many women would even give that unattractive, uncharming fellow the time of day?

Google and other corporations, to maximize their profits, feel obliged to keep the diversity crowd happy. Yet there is, ironically, nothing the diversity crowd opposes more than diversity itself. To see this, consider that to effect "social justice," we must all become thesame , like a mad God who chooses to bungle His creation. For, so long as I differ from you in some way or other, it will always be possible to make a value judgment!of inferiority, of superiority, or of whatever!concerning that difference. And this would be true even if everyone had the same amount of money, even if there were no private property, and so on. For the most part, the social justice crowd is not motivated by benevolent justice, but by wicked resentment: that is why it wants not universal economic sufficiency (which I strongly support, insofar as it is achievable), but equality of outcome; with the result that comparative value judgment will be impossible.

Now equality of outcome derives from human psychology, from the permanent truth that there's nothing we children of pride detest more than the thought: "That person is better than me." Seeing other people perceive that superiority induces the same burning, violent envy, like a child who wants to destroy his parent's favored sibling. Indeed, from childhood on, man!the esteeming animal!defines himself in terms of competition, of rank, of hierarchy. No artist or athlete wants to be equal to another. Not every person, waxing indignant about inequality, wants to make the same income as every neighbor; very few do, in fact. Like suffering and death, this extreme competiveness is a law of Nature, from which we merely issue. Try to get rid of it, and see what mediocrity, corruption and degeneration follow. I say, look around you.

Biographical note: Christopher DeGroot is a writer and independent scholar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

CanSpeccy > , Website August 11, 2017 at 4:27 am GMT

regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it.

Pichai is is an idiot. If a vast majority of "Googlers" disagreed with Damore's memorandum, how come most oppose his firing .

If Google's board wishes to avoid massive damage to the company, they should fire Pichai without delay on the grounds of his dishonesty and stupidity.

But the won't.

Good.

Let the manipulative, globalist, scum suffer massive damage to their credibility: credibility they do not deserve.

bliss_porsena > , August 11, 2017 at 4:58 am GMT

I have just staggered through Pepe Escobar on the Goolag Deep Swamp Memo and beg to be excused from more of the same, or similar.

jilles dykstra > , August 11, 2017 at 6:10 am GMT

Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London
already argues that truth does not matter any more.

TG > , August 11, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT

The field of Optometry is increasingly dominated by women. I have served on the admissions committee for an optometry school, and we'd like a better balance between male and female, but if most of the best applicants are female, well that's that and nobody whines. Many of these applicants are quite up-front about choosing optometry because it offers a better work-life balance than, say, ophthalmic surgery, and again, so what?

New enrollment in US medical schools is now 50/50 between men and women, and will likely become majority female before too long. Where is the angst?

And I remind you that, on average, people with degrees in medicine and optometry have significantly larger salaries than people with degrees in engineering, and significantly longer careers. On balance, I'd not say that professional women are doing all that bad. It's just that, for whatever reasons, the smart women tend to choose medicine over engineering. I fail to see a problem here.

Dieter Kief > , August 11, 2017 at 8:56 am GMT

The Pope, Emerson an Chesterton quotes are great. Especially the Pope-quote.
Thanks for putting Pinker, Peterson and Soh at the right place in the big picture.

These lines are a little bit misleading, because siblings rivlary is nothing exclusively boyish. There are women-athletes who want to win too, aren't there?

Seeing other people perceive that superiority induces the same burning, violent envy, like a child who wants to destroy his parent's favored sibling. Indeed, from childhood on, man!the esteeming animal!defines himself in terms of competition, of rank, of hierarchy. No artist or athlete wants to be equal to another. Not every person, waxing indignant about inequality, wants to make the same income as every neighbor; very few do, in fact.

((Article is very good – if a tad long, maybe.))

Zogby > , August 11, 2017 at 11:13 am GMT

How come noone is discussing the role that Pinchai is himself a product of affirmitive action plays in this? Do people really believe an Indian immigrant would serve as CEO of Google, as CEO of Microsoft if not for affirmitive action? Being CEO is not an engineering position. There are plenty of native-born mainstream Americans that could do these jobs. Most large American companies would never give the job of CEO to an immigrant from a 3rd-world country. Some of the business men that founded large companies may be immigrants, but it's different if they built the company. They're in control. Pinchai is just a hired hand, like Damore was.

Njguy73 > , August 11, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

"Science is an odd sort of pursuit, way off the beaten track of human intellection There were theologians and politicians long, long, long before there were scientists. In dark moments I am inclined to think the former will still be with us long after the latter have been eliminated, probably via mass lynching Scientists themselves tend to forget this because they associate mainly with other scientists."

John Derbyshire, 2007

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/Religion/religionandpolitics.html

jim jones > , August 11, 2017 at 11:28 am GMT

Good thread on Reddit by a hiring manager about the realities of diversity:

https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/6scd84/long_my_experience_as_a

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm GMT

"It is well-established by Pinker and other scientists that women have higher IQs on average, while men preponderate the extremes of brilliance and dullness."

First time I'm hearing that claim. I've heard about the flatter, wider Bell Curve for men but the average IQ was either the same or even higher. That's also more logical since men need higher IQs to both prove themselves as providers and charm the pants off their mates. Women love intelligence + health in their mates while men look for beauty + health. A highly stratified, unequal and un-meritocratic (old money, castes or arranged marriages) system can distort the choices quite a bit but that's the baseline.

This is also interesting if true:

Recent research using DNA analysis answered this question about two years ago. Today's human population is descended from twice as many women as men.

I think this difference is the single most underappreciated fact about gender. To get that kind of difference, you had to have something like, throughout the entire history of the human race, maybe 80% of women but only 40% of men reproduced.

https://archive.is/9F5rK

CanSpeccy > , Website August 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Damone is somebody's shill. Nobody with two functioning brain cells would publish that memo in that environment without some expectation of losing his job; either he is looking for fame and a payout, or he is simply insane.

Damone [sic] is somebody's shill.

.So exposing the reality of liberal-leftist bigotry, bullying and discrimination is proof that you're "sombody's shill"? What kind of bullshit argument is that?

Nobody with two functioning brain cells would publish that memo in that environment without some expectation of losing his job; either he is looking for fame and a payout, or he is simply insane.

Which reveals what a scoundrel mentality you have. Exposing corruption, bigotry, and manipulation of the public mind through the control of information is something you think a sane person would do, only for fame or money.

The idea of blowing the whistle on a bunch of dirty manipulators, bigots, bullies and scumbags who routinely misdirect the public for both political ends or to boost profits because you no longer wish to work with them, or because you think the public should know what such people are doing, or because you believe in propagating truth not using the most powerful tools for the enlightenment of humanity for the purpose of pushing some grotesque leftist agenda is, apparently, to a moral numbskull such as yourself, unintelligible.

What a sick society America has become, that it can produce individuals who not only think as you do, but who think anyone who thinks otherwise is insane.

But the cherry on the cake is that Damore did not blow the whistle on anyone. He merely circulated a memorandum among what Pichai, Google's idiot savant CEO, calls "Googlers". It was Pichai, confirming his own idiocy, who blew the whistle on himself by firing Damore.

What delicious irony. The shit CEO of the dirty search engine company, dicked himself.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London
already argues that truth does not matter any more. Thanks for referencing this book. Read it when it was first published. As such it served as my introduction to Lasch, who was a very prescient thinker (read "The True and Only Heaven"). And here's what's disturbing: Lasch, as I recall, pointed out that narcissism is in fact a mental disorder which is considered to be so deep-seated as to be impossible to cure.

[Aug 11, 2017] Steve Sailer

Aug 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

From Ben Kurtz :

Google has just earned itself a lawsuit.

California Labor Code § 1102 requires that "no employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity." Furthermore, the "whistleblower" provisions at §1102.5 prohibit employers from adopting rules preventing disclosure of, or retaliating against an employee for having disclosed, "information to a person with authority over the employee, or another employee who has authority to investigate, discover or correct the violation if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee's job duties."

The memo in question quite plausibly falls into both statutory sections ! advocating that someone "stop alienating conservatives" sure sounds like political activity, and warning of corporate policies and procedures "which can incentivize illegal discrimination," and asking that the employer cease "restricting [certain] programs and classes to certain genders or races" sure sounds like information which an employee would have "reasonable cause to believe" concerns noncompliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

Even better: Somebody could go to jail for this.

Section 1103 provides: "An employer or any other person or entity that violates this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable, in the case of an individual, by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year or a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or both that fine and imprisonment, or, in the case of a corporation, by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).

Alec Leamas (hard at work) > , August 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

@jjbees I had this thought this morning, and while I know it has been said a million times, it still leaves me in awe:

It is so obviously true that men and women are different, that people of different races are different, that for someone to say otherwise is simply insane. These people are insane.

It is so obviously true that men and women are different, that people of different races are different, that for someone to say otherwise is simply insane. These people are insane.

The people at the top don't really believe it. But they do think saying so or acting as if it is true is a fatal breach of decorum and evidence that the speaker doesn't want it to be true. It's like telling a committed Christian that heaven doesn't seem all that nice or desirable.

From a practical perspective, it's harmful to say at Google because of the inevitable flip-outs and resultant lack of productivity.

Think about being in Babu's shoes – you've taken over a tech giant headquartered in the most socially radical region of the United States, which has employed countless employees who skew young and have been steeped from childhood in equalist fantasies. Even if James Damore's statements are correct and even if acting in conformity with the realities he sets forth would lead to the long term financial health and well-being of the Company, in the short term it's a disaster to have all of your Monster Baby employees pitching fits and potentially acting as saboteurs inside the organization to punish you for not getting rid of the heretic. It's easier to throw the occasional James Damore into the volcano (ensuring he will probably be the last) and take the legal consequences than to leave him in place and see the place burnt to the ground.

oddsbodkins > , August 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm GMT

@jjbees It's always tempting to think that one's enemies are collectively insane. They aren't.

Even Japanese soldiers who held out on islands for years were not insane. What they were is loyal, dedicated, and convinced.

tullamore92 > , August 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm GMT

@jjbees https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/124952-in-my-study-of-communist-societies-i-came-to-the

schmenz > , August 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

@reiner Tor This makes them all the more dangerous. Exactly.

anon > , Disclaimer August 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm GMT

I think Google should just pack up and move a little north. They can setup shop in Canada (Vancouver is a nice city; they have lot of real estate on Vancouver Island, if they want to build a silicon valley). The politics in US is simply too poisonous for an information/knowledge/wisdom plumber.

Tim Howells > , August 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

Yeah, yeah but does the employee belong to a protected class? Don't get your hopes up.

Achmed E. Newman > , Website August 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

@reiner Tor

It is so obviously true that men and women are different, that people of different races are different, that for someone to say otherwise is simply insane. These people are insane.

This makes them all the more dangerous.

Hence, the invention of the straight-jacket – probably by some white man or something. Go long straight-jackets, bitchez! [/style: zerohedge-commenter]

San Fernando Curt > , Website August 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

The day they haul out Cherry Sundae and clap him in irons would be de day ob de Jubilee. I won't hold my breath.

KM32 > , August 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT

There is zero chance that he'll be prosecuted for this. What the law says is one thing, and how it is interpreted is another.

NickG > , August 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm GMT

Is a Google Executive Headed for Jail?

This would have been vastly more entertaining in pukka colonial vernacular .

Is Google's top coolie to be banged up in the chokey?

James Bowery > , Website August 11, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

It's an execrable law but I wouldn't be honest if I didn't recognize the perverse "social justice" it would provide, if not selectively enforced. Of course, it will be selectively enforced, as are all such execrable laws.

If I could, I'd sentence every CEO, and every journalist covering the Damore story to read this:

http://jimbowery.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-mau-mauing-of-james-damore.html

Desiderius > , August 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT

@jjbees It's sad funny reading the Heterodox Academy's response which bends over backward to take the madness seriously in a vain (in more ways than one) attempt to preserve their centrist brand.

Jack D > , August 11, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

@reiner Tor Any child can believe things that are simply and obviously true, but as Orwell observed, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them."

Therefore, believing in absurd stuff is sort of an intellectual badge – "I believe in stuff that is absurd on its face and have the ability to rationalize anything. So you know that I must be a bona fide intellectual."

reiner Tor > , August 11, 2017 at 5:48 pm GMT

@Jack D Yes, but it doesn't make them any less crazy. Or dangerous.

Jim Don Bob > , August 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT

Please God!

whorefinder > , Website August 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT

Yeah, he ain't going to jail.

Everyone knows these kinds of "crimes" are really there to be used against white men. They are selectively enforced. So California will either decline to prosecute!and if questioned, say Newspeakingly that there "not enough evidence"!or, if they are forced prosecute, give him probation.

This is rather how "hate crime" legislation (which is clearly unconstitutional, but hey, Diversity!) works. Blacks whined about how they're always criminals and whitey isn't, legislators responded with legislation giving judges the power to overpunish whiteys in white/nonwhite crimes to satisfy the bloodlust. And when blacks commit one? The prosecutors ignore the hate crime aspects and treat it as a non-hate crime.

This happens in a lot of physical fights. In fights, people tend to scream lots of demaning insults at each other; it's the nature of the adrenaline (and in men, also testosterone) kicking in. SO if a white and black and get in a fight and the white lets a racial slur slip out!even if the fight clearly began over something non-racial(i.e. a traffic incident, a fight over a girl)!-the prosecutors will climb all over each other to get whitey on a hate crime. But even if a blacks starts out with the clear intention to assault white people for being white!"I'm going to go beat up some white people, yo, I hate them"! you watch how rarely they get the "hate crime" charge.enhancement.

It's Bonfire of the Vanities 's theme writ into law.

keuril > , August 11, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT

@Jack D Any child can believe things that are simply and obviously true, but as Orwell observed, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them."

Therefore, believing in absurd stuff is sort of an intellectual badge - "I believe in stuff that is absurd on its face and have the ability to rationalize anything. So you know that I must be a bona fide intellectual."

Therefore, believing in absurd stuff is sort of an intellectual badge – "I believe in stuff that is absurd on its face and have the ability to rationalize anything. So you know that I must be a bona fide intellectual

That is, by the way, exactly how Amazon has achieved its ludicrous valuation!an army of insecure, pseudo-intellectual analysts affirming that a company that has never managed a substantial profit in more than 20 yrs as a public corporation can indefinitely "reinvest revenues something something." The same madness we find in the political sphere exists in the financial sphere as well.

[Aug 11, 2017] Google's ideological echo chamber

The most stupid thing to do was to fire this guy. The paper raises an important question -- at what point affirmative action becomes discrimination. But the author does not understand that gender bias is an important part of identity wedge -- a powerful tool under neoliberalism to split and marginalized opposition to neoliberal fat cats adopted and polished by Clintonized Democratic Party (DemoRats).
Notable quotes:
"... ( Editor's note: The following is a 10-page memo written by an anonymous senior software engineer at Google.) ..."
"... This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed. ..."
"... [1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google's Mountain View campus, I can't speak about other offices or countries. ..."
"... [2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I'd be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations. ..."
"... [3] Throughout the document, by "tech", I mostly mean software engineering. ..."
"... [4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal. ..."
"... [5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race. ..."
"... [6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I've seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs. ..."
"... [7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn't going to overthrow their "capitalist oppressors," the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the "white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy." ..."
"... [8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy. ..."
"... [9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power. ..."
"... [10] "The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men's problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak." ..."
"... [11] Political correctness is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against," which makes it clear why it's a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians. ..."
Aug 11, 2017 | www.wnd.com

( Editor's note: The following is a 10-page memo written by an anonymous senior software engineer at Google.)

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I've gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

TL:DR

Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.[2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it's a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.

Google's biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases

Right Biases

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I'll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that's required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we're regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it's far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren't just socially constructed because:

Note, I'm not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are "just." I'm simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there's significant overlap between men and women, so you can't say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:

Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that "greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men's and women's personality traits." Because as "society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider." We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

Men's higher drive for status

We always ask why we don't see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

N on-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I'll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women's representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it's still instructive to list them:

Philosophically, I don't think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimizing for Google!with Google's diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google's funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

The Harm of Google's biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We're told by senior leadership that what we're doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.

Why we're blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the "God > humans > environment" hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren't on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what's being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google's left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we're using to justify highly politicized programs.

In addition to the Left's affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he's labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women's oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of "grass being greener on the other side"; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness[11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn't harbored the violent leftists protests that we're seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

Suggestions

I hope it's clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology. I'm also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I'm advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

De-moralize diversity.

As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the "victims."

Stop alienating conservatives.

Confront Google's biases.

Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.

De-emphasize empathy.

Prioritize intention.

Be open about the science of human nature.

Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google's Mountain View campus, I can't speak about other offices or countries.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I'd be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

[3] Throughout the document, by "tech", I mostly mean software engineering.

[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I've seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn't going to overthrow their "capitalist oppressors," the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the "white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy."

[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

[10] "The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men's problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak."

[11] Political correctness is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against," which makes it clear why it's a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.

[Aug 11, 2017] Thompson

Aug 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Simply because the immediate reaction to the Google Memo concentrated on sex differences I gathered together some posts on sex differences, showing that the sexes differ somewhat in their abilities: not very much, but enough to make a difference at the extremes, and it is the extremes which make a difference to technology based societies, and to a technology dependent world. I left out any mention of the notion that a "diverse" workforce is better than better than a workforce selected purely on ability to do the task in question. My mistake, which I will try to repair now.

I wondered, some years ago, what evidence there was for the proposition that diversity was a good thing. I would like to collect more proposals, because the ones sent to me proved unconvincing. You may have heard a claim that having women in the workforce boosts profits by 40%. This turns out to be a misunderstood joke.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/davos-diversity

Now to the general claim that having women in a group boosts anything, or that having a variety of intellectual levels in a group boosts anything. That was taken apart in a set of experimental studies by Bates and Gupta.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/group-iq-doesnt-exist

My conclusion was:

So, if you want a problem solved, don't form a team. Find the brightest person and let them work on it. Placing them in a team will, on average, reduce their productivity. My advice would be: never form a team if there is one person who can sort out the problem.

Perhaps Damore was a guy who could sort out problems, until the last problem, that is.

I repeat my January 2015 request: if you have any good studies showing that having a sexually or racially diverse workforce boosts profits over a workforce selected on competence alone, please send me send them to me in a comment to this item.

Roast beef, August 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm GMT

https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=8128F3C0-99BC-22E6-838E2A5B1E4366DF

Some of the findings of our initial report are confirmed – greater diversity in boards and management are empirically associated with higher returns on equity, higher price/book valuations and superior stock price performance. However, new findings emerge from this added management analysis – we find no evidence that female led companies reflect greater financial conser- vatism where leverage is concerned. Also, dividend payout ratios have been shown to be higher. Female CEOs have proven to be less acquisitive than men when assuming the leadership position. The analysis makes no claims to causality though the results are striking.

epochehusserl , August 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT

Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords made up by Gramscian marxists to rationalize group rights made up by the courts after not being satisfied with equality under the law. Those buzzwords do nothing to resolve the existential and morals issues raised by group rights. Whose diversity and inclusion are the best anyways? What if I think I would be enriched by this rather than that diversity and inclusion?

TheJester , August 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm GMT

An Example: Talented Individuals vs. Mediocre Groups

In the late 1990s, I was in charge of a regional office of a high tech company that had a problem. We had delivered a complex air defense system but the command module could not communicate with the missile batteries. This was serious stuff. The company put teams of software developers on the problem back at the main campus. They worked for over a month without result. The customer was getting antsy, which is a euphemism for nasty.

Then, the company deployed Burt (not his real name) to the customer location to see what he could do. Burt sat at the conference table in my outer office reading reams of code printed in large binders like a novel (I'm not kidding) no notes, just reading and noticing. Burt didn't even bother with a computer screen or debugging software.

Then, he exclaimed, "I've got it!" (I'll always remember that moment.) Burt noticed that the date format for the commands being sent from the command module was in a different format than the date format expected by the missile batteries.

QED a technical problem that had been plaguing the company for months, that had immobilized a major air defense system, and that had put the company's product line at risk solved by an individual with a few hours of work. I made sure that Burt got a big bonus.

The point: If you ran a startup hoping to bring "creative destruction" to a sector in a high-tech society, would you want (1) a politically correct software development team carefully tailored to meet affirmative action quotas for males, females, Blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, lesbians, and the transgendered in spite of their IQs and personal qualities or, as James Damore argues, would you want (2) a group of "Burt's" acting alone or in concert because of their IQs and unique personal qualities?

The histories of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and Google suggest the latter. The former brings with it progressively higher social and financial "carrying costs" that prejudice the success of any bleeding-edge high-tech endeavor.

MikeyParks , August 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT

When the "diversity" is strictly cosmetic and all points of view are basically identical, what you have is not diversity, it's as Damore described it, an "echo chamber." Google should be smart enough to know this. I would guess that this kind of non-diverse diversity hinders productivity because there are no new ideas, just regurgitations of the party line.

res , August 10, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

I like this one: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/diverse-backgrounds-personalities-can-strengthen-groups

In a recent article disentangling what researchers have learned over the past 50 years, Margaret A. Neale finds that diversity across dimensions, such as functional expertise, education, or personality, can increase performance by enhancing creativity or group problem-solving. In contrast, more visible diversity, such as race, gender, or age, can have negative effects on a group!at least initially.

Of course viewpoint diversity is never what is actually meant by "diversity."

Sadly that article did not include a link to the research. I think this is it (free full text): http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1529-1006.2005.00022.x
The summary has a paragraph matching my quote above.

Anonymous , Disclaimer August 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm GMT

We used to abhor meetings back in the days before the US military was feminized and subject to collaborative group think. So much to do so little time.

We called meetings and other collaborative exercises "circle jerks".

From Wikipedia:

A circle jerk is a sexual practice in which a group of men or boys form a circle and masturbate themselves or each other. In the metaphorical sense, the term is used to refer to self-congratulatory behavior or discussion amongst a group of people, usually in reference to "boring time-wasting meetings or other events".

I suspect that "circle jerks" will become more frequent as Google transitions to a more female-friendly, collaborative organizational structure.

James Thompson , Website August 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm GMT

@Roast beef Thanks. Reading it now. Makes good points, but hard to find appropriate comparison companies for longitudinal comparisons. As authors say, it could be bigger companies doing the "female quota" thing while smaller companies are less inclined or less able to do so. Still reading it, and mostly thinking about the methods .

lump1 , August 11, 2017 at 1:52 am GMT

This is definitely an important question to tackle directly. My two bits is that we should try to disentangle causality if possible. It's not enough just to find correlations between high valuation and racial diversity. It might be like finding correlations between high valuation and having Michelin-star chefs in the company cafeteria. I bet the correlation exists, but it happens because already-successful companies get money to blow on inessential nice things. Diversity is a nice thing that already-successful companies can buy when they have money to spare, but just because they end up with it doesn't mean that it helped them succeed. I mean, it might – I don't know the data – but mere correlations could mislead us. Correlations across time would impress me more. If individual companies grow faster when more diverse and slower after they lose diversity, then the findings would be harder to dismiss.

James Thompson , Website August 11, 2017 at 6:18 am GMT

Agree we need a longitudinal study.

YetAnotherAnon , August 11, 2017 at 8:56 am GMT

Off topic, but it seems Guardian readers are woke to the "everyone must go to university" scam. Bit late but never mind.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/02/i-feel-like-wasting-life-readers-overqualified-jobs

Top rated comment

I think the "50% of the population must have degrees" brigade are to blame for this. It was always going to devalue the worth of an academic degree by attempting to have half of the population wandering the job centres armed with a useless (but very costly) scrap of parchment.

What on earth were successive governments thinking?

But even if the degrees are not as valuable as the salesman (who came to your school and persuaded you, age 17, to sign up for a £60k loan with hefty interest rates) told you, at least you've had three years of leftie indoctrination (e.g. "no borders, no nations" or "Farage is a racist") which will stand our elites in good stead over your lifetime. And you've paid for it yourself!

Dieter Kief , August 11, 2017 at 11:17 am GMT

"if you want a problem solved, don't form a team"

Novels are written by one person – (as Steve Sailer mentions here and there, novels, especialy the really good ones, are very complex things). Great works of art or compositions, – mostly the same thing as in the novels-example.

Pop-music (Rock etc. too) might be an exception: Here, groups yield very interesting results.
(On usually not that high intellectual levels – is that the reason for this exception?)

James Thompson , Website August 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm GMT

Interesting example of pop-music. Usually the song writers are far fewer than the song players.

Joe Franklin , August 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm GMT

@epochehusserl Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords made up by Gramscian marxists to rationalize group rights made up by the courts after not being satisfied with equality under the law. Those buzzwords do nothing to resolve the existential and morals issues raised by group rights. Whose diversity and inclusion are the best anyways? What if I think I would be enriched by this rather than that diversity and inclusion? Diversity and Inclusion are euphemisms when employed by leftist (i.e. Democrats and Neocons) .

The federal government recognizes Diversity as a number of protected class groups that self-identify as being underprivileged, oppressed, disadvantaged, underutilized, and underserved.

Protected class groups identify the Nazi and white supremacist as their common oppressor.

The federal government recognizes Inclusion as federal entitlements for protected class groups.

Here's an example of several federal protected class groups recognized and entitled by the University of Nebraska:

http://www.unk.edu/about/compliance/aaeo/hiring_guidelines/identification_of_protected.php

Identification of Protected Class Groups

The following five groups are considered "Protected Classes" under various federal laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires reporting employment information on the first two groups, females and minorities, which are traditionally underutilized.

See also

Google Sex French Fries Fear and Loathing in Psychology Friday Movies

The Motivational Quotient

The Lack of Progress in Science: Sex Differences Razib Khan July 31, 2016 1,300 Words 100 Comments Genetics Allows the Dead to Speak from the Grave Razib Khan June 14, 2015

[Aug 09, 2017] Equality Or Diversity - An Outrageous Memo Questions Google

That reminds my witch hunt against Summers after his unfortunate speech (although there were other, much more valid reasons to fire him from his position of the president of Harvard; his role in Harvard mafia scandal ( Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia ) is one ).
Notable quotes:
"... Google's Ideological Echo Chamber - How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
memo about " Google's Ideological Echo Chamber - How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion ":
At Google, we're regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it's far from the whole story. On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren't just socially constructed because:
- ...
- ...

Google company policy is in favor of "equal representation" of both genders. As the existing representation in tech jobs is unequal that policy has led to hiring preferences, priority status and special treatment for the underrepresented category, in this case women.

The author says that this policy is based on ideology and not on rationality. It is the wrong way to go, he says. Basic differences, not bias, are (to some extend) responsible for different representations in tech jobs. If the (natural) different representation is "cured" by preferring the underrepresented, the optimal configuration can not be achieved.

The author cites scientific studies which find that men and women (as categories, not as specific persons) are - independent of cultural bias - unequal in several social perspectives. These might be life planning, willingness to work more for a higher status, or social behavior. The differences evolve from the natural biological differences between men and women. A gender preference for specific occupations and positions is to be expected, Cultural bias alone can not explain it. It therefore does not make sense to strive for equal group representation in all occupations.


From James Damore's memo

From there he points to the implementation of Google's policy and concludes:

Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Google fired the engineer. Its 'Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance' stated:

We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company. [..] Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.

(Translation: "You are welcome to discuss your alternative policy views - unless we disagree with them.")

The current public discussion of the case evolves around "conservative" versus "progressive", "left" versus "right" categories. That misses the point the author makes: Google's policy is based on unfounded ideology, not on sciences.

The (legal) "principle of equality" does not imply that everyone and everything must be handled equally. It rather means that in proportion with its equality the same shall be treated equally, and in proportion with its inequality the different shall be treated unequally.

The author asks: Are men and women different? Do these differences result in personal occupation preferences? He quotes the relevant science and answers these questions with "yes" and "yes". From that follows a third question: What is the purpose of compelled equal representation in occupations when the inherent (natural gender) differences are not in line with such an outcome?

Several scientist in the relevant fields have stated that the author's scientific reasoning is largely correct. The biological differences between men and women do result in observable social and psychological differences which are independent of culture and its biases. It is to be expected that these difference lead to different preferences of occupations.

Moreover: If men and women are inherently equal (in their tech job capabilities) why does Google need to say that "diversity and inclusion are critical to our success"? Equality and diversity are in this extend contradictory. (Why, by the way, is Google selling advertising-space with "male" and "female" as targeting criteria?)

If women and men are not equal, we should, in line with the principle of equality, differentiate accordingly. We then should not insist on or strive for equal gender representation in all occupations but accept a certain "gender gap" as the expression of natural differences.

It is sad that Google and the general society avoid to discuss the questions that the author of the memo has asked. That Google fires him only confirms his claim that Google's policy is not based on science and rationality but on a non-discussible ideology.

Posted by b on August 8, 2017 at 01:41 PM | Permalink

TSP | Aug 8, 2017 2:03:15 PM | 1

I worked under a lady CEO. It was so refreshing compared to life under men. There was open dialogue, I felt I could voice ideas safely.

I think all CEO's would be females. It's like their social approaches to inclusion is unilaterally better than (white) men.

Is that sexist?

(From a 50 year old white man).

karlof1 | Aug 8, 2017 2:06:12 PM | 2
Thanks, b, for the change in academic realms from geopolitics to anthropology. You wrote:

"The biological differences between men and women do result in observable social and psychological differences which are independent of culture and its biases."

I disagree. From an anthropological perspective, biological differences form the basis for all cultures and thusly cannot be independent of culture since they form its core. Yes, Google's policy is ideological, but what policy can claim to be ideologically neutral? IMO, the answer is none. Here I invoke Simon de Beauvoir's maxim that females are "slaves to the species" that she irrefutably proves in The Second Sex . Fortunately, some societies based upon matrilineal cultures survived into the 20th century thus upending the male dominated mythos created to support such culturally based polities.

marxman | Aug 8, 2017 2:18:30 PM | 3
bell curve much? read the Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. generally your work is excellent but this post is of poor quality.
Thegenius | Aug 8, 2017 2:45:39 PM | 4
The truth is google only hire women so that the nerds working there can get laid.
Thegenius | Aug 8, 2017 2:48:13 PM | 5
@TSP

Were you beaten senselessly by your dad when you were a child?

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 2:50:21 PM | 6
Social engineering is what it is. Social engineering is what it does.

It's an elite corporate project to androgynise humanity, a la 1984.

Simply put, women will not achieve their full potential outside the family.

The corporate project will continually have to put in place special discriminatory measures to pretend they're equal in the SMET areas when all the evidence shows they're not, other than in very special cases.

It's a project that's doomed to failure in the end, but much misery will be caused to both men and women as this elite project continues.

Thankfully, the rest of the world isn't as brainwashed as Westerners.

They're the future.

Bruce Ballai | Aug 8, 2017 2:52:24 PM | 7
You can disagree with B's science, and you can disagree with James' science. James was fired for expressing his opinions and beliefs. This is so little about sexism and so much about freedom of speech and freedom to consider other ideas. Bias shut that down at Google. These comments are in line with shutting down independent thinking. I'm a little surprised to see that sort of ideology here. When people - like B, like James - put their own circumstances at risk for the sake of open mindedness, they deserve as much support as culture and society can offer.
Thegenius | Aug 8, 2017 2:54:50 PM | 8
If Google or other silicon valley tech companies dont hire unqualified women, the place would be a sausage fest of socially inept nerds
Bamdad | Aug 8, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 9
Ivan Illich wrote a very interesting and controversial book "Gender" on the difference between Gender and Sex. I do recommend every one to read this book (and all of other Illich's writings).
james | Aug 8, 2017 2:57:20 PM | 10
thanks b... this is more politically correct material.. it is what canada and probably many western countries have been doing for some time.. google is a piece of crap corporation as far as i am concerned, so this is in keeping with their neo-liberal agenda..

@7 bruce... i agree it is about freedom of speech, something sorely missing in the politically correct realm of western society at this point in time..

dh | Aug 8, 2017 3:04:46 PM | 11
'non-discussible ideology'.....great phrase b. None of it much matters because in 10-20 everybody will be bi-sexual or trans-gender anyway. Any hold outs will be required to attend re-education courses.
anon | Aug 8, 2017 3:12:33 PM | 12
he says men are better than women - women are "neurotic" and can't handle stress and don't do as much hard work as men and spend more money and on and on and on....

his level of argument and citation is about that of a teenager. he makes a lot of statements with no support, such as men are better coders than women because women like social interaction more. and even if men really are more cutthroat than women, his assumption is that being cutthroat in management makes better companies. (Microsoft made great money, not great products.)

furthermore, his definition of 'left' and 'right' are narrowed to probably his entire life experience which appears to be just out of college?

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 3:14:18 PM | 13
There is some hope though.

The whole SJW thing is being exposed day and daily for the complete nihilistic fraud it is.

Especially in America.

If you wanted to destroy a country then Gender Games is the way to go.

Globalists must destroy the US and Europe to achieve their goal, but they must just keep them alive until Russia is destroyed.

A delicate balancing act.

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 3:18:11 PM | 14
Left and Right are elite frauds, though the Left primarily carried forward the gender destruction project.

The Right was bullied into it and for the most part has jumped aboard.

They seem to be fighting back a bit now.

james | Aug 8, 2017 3:20:20 PM | 15
@11 dh.. lol.. that's about it... it isn't enough us old white males are trying to be flexible here...
Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 3:21:12 PM | 16
@6

"Simply put, women will not achieve their full potential outside the family.

The corporate project will continually have to put in place special discriminatory measures to pretend they're equal in the SMET areas when all the evidence shows they're not, other than in very special cases."

I really wonder how someone can go through life interacting with women every day, and most likely having wives, daughters, nieces, etc, and still hold the opinion that "by the way, you're inferior shit and stupid and only good for producing babies". I would think first of all that actual interaction with women would reveal this not to be the case, but if nothing else I would think not being a freaking sociopath with a bleak worldview would prevent someone from being ending up as such a douchebag.

I also love stuff like this: "It's an elite corporate project to androgynise humanity, a la 1984."

Good god, masculinity is the most fragile thing in existence. Anything, absolutely anything, that in any way threatens its privileged position brings forth the waves of hyperbolic whinging. Talk about being triggered. How about you stop defining your manliness by subjugating women. Efforts to correct inequalities do not mean men are being turned into women, or whatever gibberish you're complaining about.

T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 3:22:14 PM | 17
With respect to the commenter alias "karlof1", you seem to have drifted off-topic somewhat.

Please point out specifically where the author of the now infamous Google memo seeks to in any way denigrate women to a position in any way resembling slavery.

You have signally failed to refute anything in the memo as you have resorted to the lazy straw man of sexism.

You can doubtless try harder and probably do better -- 0/10, for now, and see me at the end...

And while you're at it, why is feminism preferable to chauvinism - do please explain clearly and try to stay on point.

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 3:25:23 PM | 18
Who, I mean who!

Who truly believes that women prefer coding all day long.

You need to be a bit autistic spectrum to enjoy that.

That's why there's so many nerds in these areas.

Perhaps women need to be given extra vaccines at a young age and then they'll develop the skills necessary to succeed in these spheres.

Trading your sociality for nerdom is not a choice many women want to make.

I wouldn't make it myself, and I worked in this area.

Used to make my brain hurt, a lot.

All abstract, nothing tactile.

keep women human, is what I say!

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 3:29:57 PM | 19
Merasmus

The family is not an inferior thing. Women are not an inferior thing.

The family is the centre of life and women its masters.

That's where they will achieve a truly fulfilling life.

Why should women want to demean themselves by accepting the poor male equivalent of female creativity.

Dafranzl | Aug 8, 2017 3:36:05 PM | 20
I was a pilot for Lufthansa and really had no problems with our
ladypilots. Of course they had and have the same salary as males. But what was interesting:only a few chose to apply for the job, with LH this meant to pass a test then enter the pilotschool and passt al checks, incl. licencing. But:the percentage of the few who reallly passed all this was around 90 percent, I mean, a girl who wants this real tech job and is intelligent will get it. Boys tend to overestimate their abilities and therefor fail. Only about 10 percent who try the test actually pass it. That is pne typical gender difference. PS:I am male ;)
T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 3:42:57 PM | 21
Completely agree with poster "Anti-Soros" -- "Merasmus" is twisting this obtusely beyond all recognition, read the memo, "Merasmus", and make your own mind up, so as you don't come over so utterly lopsided and brainwashed in your awareness of sexual politics. And, on that note, as to "Dafranzl", is your comment not verging on real, like genuine, sexism in that you are expressing some kind of shock horror that women can actually pass a couple of tests and fly a plane?
Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 3:46:10 PM | 22
@Anti-Soros

I'm pretty sure it should be up to the women to decide what they want to do with their lives. Some may want to be housewives, others don't. It's about freedom of choice (you know, that thing conservatives are always claim they care so much about). You really don't see any problem with men telling women what women truly want in life, and ensuring that that one thing is the only option available to them, do you? It's amazing how men will declare that the different sexes have different natural spheres, and then put family in the women's column, and literally everything else, and the freedom to choice from all those other things, in the men's column.

Anti-Soros | Aug 8, 2017 4:03:23 PM | 23
Merasmus

You seem to think that the family and children are some sort of lower form of achievement.

Where'd you get that idea?

As I said, female creativity is the closet thing to godliness any human can get.

Don't trade that for poor male efforts at creativity.

There only sadness and frustration lie.

So much so indeed that the elite project in creativity is currently engaged in attempting to undermine God and Female creativity with its own version of androids, robots and all the rest of the cheap Frankenstein tricks for which frustrated males and their ersatz creativity are famous.

When will a bridge or an app, a poem, a book, a piece of music, ever come close to creating and nurturing life itself.

Johan Meyer | Aug 8, 2017 4:07:20 PM | 24
There is a big cultural problem that keep women out of technical fields. In the west, the striving to a career leads to a sudden mid 30s realization that maybe they do want a family. My experience with west Africans is that they marry younger, have their families and get on with careers. This also has the benefit of them going into the work force when they are a bit more mature, and have actual life responsibilities.
okie farmer | Aug 8, 2017 4:19:29 PM | 25
The Mismeasure of Man
From Wikipedia

The Mismeasure of Man

Stephen Jay Gould

The Mismeasure of Man is a 1981 book by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.[1] The book is both a history and critique of the statistical methods and cultural motivations underlying biological determinism, the belief that "the social and economic differences between human groups!primarily races, classes, and sexes!arise from inherited, inborn distinctions and that society, in this sense, is an accurate reflection of biology."[2]
The principal assumption underlying biological determinism is that, "worth can be assigned to individuals and groups by measuring intelligence as a single quantity." This argument is analyzed in discussions of craniometry and psychological testing, the two methods used to measure and establish intelligence as a single quantity. According to Gould, the methods harbor "two deep fallacies." The first fallacy is "reification", which is "our tendency to convert abstract concepts into entities"[3] such as the intelligence quotient (IQ) and the general intelligence factor (g factor), which have been the cornerstones of much research into human intelligence. The second fallacy is that of "ranking", which is the "propensity for ordering complex variation as a gradual ascending scale."[3]
The revised and expanded second edition (1996) analyzes and challenges the methodological accuracy of The Bell Curve (1994), by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. Gould said the book re-presented the arguments of what Gould terms biological determinism, which he defines as "the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups!races, classes, or sexes!are innately inferior and deserve their status."[4]

Piotr Berman | Aug 8, 2017 4:22:17 PM | 26
For starters, good coding is not a male characteristic, because most of the gender is quite terrible. So the question is: are "good coders" a more sizable minority among men or women? Both percentages are culture related, and they probably have a gender component.

A weird thing is the gender ratio of women/men students of computer science seems quite even in some Asian cultures, like Iranian, and very lopsided (1-9, 2-8) in American culture that has a "feminity ideals" like "girls are not good at math". That is overlayed with relatively meager rewards in American society for engineering fields, compared to law and medicine. I suspect that the ratio of male jurists in Iran is very lopsided, so girls, for the want of good legal jobs, go for engineering and math. (That is not a serious theory.)

Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 4:37:41 PM | 27
@Anti-Soros

Ah, benevolent sexism. Putting women on a pedestal and making it their prison.

"Women are not an inferior thing."

It would help in convincing others that you actually believe this if you hadn't literally opened with (and then reiterated later) saying that women are generally too stupid to work in STEM fields.

"Who truly believes that women prefer coding all day long."

You could start by asking some women programmers. Though I really should point out the false dichotomy you're engaging in here: women can be mothers or they can be something else, in your mind they can never be both.

"So much so indeed that the elite project in creativity is currently engaged in attempting to undermine God"

Because I'm sure the (supposed) creator of the entire universe can be undermined by a hairless chimpanzee. "And I would have gotten away with it too, if hadn't been for you meddling humans!"

@T-Sixes

I don't particularly care about the memo or its asinine content. I'm responding to what people have said in these comments.

As for the memo itself, neither side comes out looking particularly good. The engineer's memo essentially boils down to "girlz r stoopid, and need to get out of my workplace" (he's not attempting to engage in debate, which some of his defenders have claimed, as in 'he's just asking questions and the PC police are too scared to engage him'), and Google's response was "you voiced an unacceptable opinion so we're going to fire you" (they aren't interested in debate either, but he wasn't offering one in the first place). It also has a lot of the inane 'both sides have good points, the best answer is in the middle' centrist faux wisdom I've come to expect from the type of idiot who makes up most of the Silicon Valley echo-chamber. Ah yes, the right is 'pragmatic'. They're pragmatically destroying their economies by forever seeking tax cuts and the reduction of a national 'debt' they don't even understand the nature of. Spare me.

Thegenius | Aug 8, 2017 4:38:00 PM | 28
@26
Women are more group oriented and dont like to do solitary work like coding
Damon Harris | Aug 8, 2017 4:46:21 PM | 29
Convenient that we just ignore the substantial body of research on gender bias in professional fields, particularly tech.

Abstract

Biases against women in the workplace have been documented in a variety of studies. This paper presents a large scale study on gender bias, where we compare acceptance rates of contributions from men versus women in an open source software community. Surprisingly, our results show that women's contributions tend to be accepted more often than men's. However, for contributors who are outsiders to a project and their gender is identifiable, men's acceptance rates are higher. Our results suggest that although women on GitHub may be more competent overall, bias against them exists nonetheless.

Damon Harris | Aug 8, 2017 4:47:03 PM | 30
Link to the earlier post: https://peerj.com/articles/cs-111/
Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 4:50:17 PM | 31
@26

The explanation for Iran I've heard is that STEM fields simply aren't held in high esteem in Iran, so at a minimum it's a dearth of male interest in the area that has created a lot of openings for women. On top of that there may be cultural/social pressure for women to go into less prestigious fields while all the 'more important' areas are dominated by men. It's certainly fun to think about how projects like Iran's recent ballistic missile test are in large part facilitated by female input. If Iran is to hold the US at bay (or punish it heavily should it actually attack), it's going to be with weapons created by people working in fields that are apparently held in low esteem.

james | Aug 8, 2017 4:58:00 PM | 32
one thing women can do that men can't? that's right.. some things are factual.. a lot of stuff is culturally and socially imposed though... women working doing coding.. have at it.. forcing equal numbers being hired sure seems like 'politically correct thinking' to me... give the job based on the qualifications.. skip with the politically correct bullshit..
Johan Meyer | Aug 8, 2017 5:05:11 PM | 33
@okie farmer
Perhaps different types of intelligence exist, but if they do, they are highly correlated, hence the emphasis on (the mathematically dubious) g .

FWIW, I advocate a modified lead/iodine deficiency model to explain most variation in IQ. Unlike older studies, more recent studies have found a small IQ gap between men and women, and women having a narrower IQ range (standard deviation) than men, i.e. fewer outliers high and low. If you look at US blacks, they have a narrower standard deviation of IQ than whites as well as a lower mean IQ. This may be understood quite readily:

Healthy pubertal brain development adds to the standard deviation e.g. 9 points standard deviation in my proposed model---12^2+9^2=15^2, where 15 is the defined std deviation over population of IQ. Poor environment e.g. poison or lacking nutrition cause mean to differ as well.

The environmental argument is usually attacked on the basis of twin studies, e.g. using the Falconer equations. That is because the equations are not usually derived from first principles. To wit, one has mean environmental effect, deviation from mean environmental effect correlated with gene, and uncorrelated with genes, which might not even be environmental, but simple developmental noise. Those arguing that twin studies show the environmental effect to be small, ignore that means are subtracted in calculating the Pearson correlation.

For women, especially after bromide replaced iodine in preparing dough for bread, late 70s or early 80s, the need for iodine will not be met sufficiently during puberty, as both breasts and the brain require iodine for development, in large quantities, and with feminising endocrine disruptors in greater quantities in the environment, breast sizes have risen on average (cup size inflation). Note deviation from previous generations' size should matter for same genes, not deviation from population mean, so if daughter is bigger than mother, e.g., then lower IQ expected, but not because daughter is bigger than agemate, as the environmental mean is shared (but does not enter Falconer equations' correlations, being subtracted)...

With US blacks, lead poisoning is still an issue, albeit much smaller than during the 90s. Look at the NHANES III data---the histogram of blood lead is nearly inverse, which suggests sporadic poisoning (lead paint, with dBLL/dt=R-BLL (ln 2)/\tau_{1/2} where R is the rate of intake (function of time, zero most of the time under sporadic poisoning). Also, sub-Saharan Africa largely avoided the Bronze Age, going straight to iron work---the Bantu used a bit of copper but not much evolutionary pressure to develop resistance to lead uptake. If you read e.g. Unz review, I did previously argue that blacks in US are more likely to live in lead painted housing, based on BLL, but US data show whites as likely to live in such housing---blacks take up more lead for same environment.

Johan Meyer | Aug 8, 2017 5:07:33 PM | 34
Forgot to add---lead almost always is present in soft metal e.g. copper deposits.
ab initio | Aug 8, 2017 5:10:44 PM | 35
I find it fascinating that the liberal snowflake SJWs claim to promote diversity except diverse opinion. There's a reason that the neocons were liberals.

And the communist heroes of the left including Lenin & Mao are comparable to the fascists with my way or the highway to death.

ben | Aug 8, 2017 5:12:48 PM | 36
depends entirely on the type of jobs applied for. If one can pass the physical and mental tests for the job applied for, gender or race shouldn't matter. That's assuming the employer's requirements are reasonable.
somebody | Aug 8, 2017 5:13:08 PM | 37
Google probably knows that Russia and China have competitive advantage in employing women.

BBC

According to Unesco, 29% of people in scientific research worldwide are women, compared with 41% in Russia. In the UK, about 4% of inventors are women, whereas the figure is 15% in Russia.

or here

Is engineering destined to remain a male-dominated field? Not everywhere. In China, 40% of engineers are women, and in the former USSR, women accounted for 58% of the engineering workforce.

Women get these jobs when they are needed, if not, they are expected to stay at home. It is not about free speech, feminism, ability or choice.

This plateau is of concern to policy experts. For the last decade, the European Commission has highlighted the risks related to the shortage of engineers and has called on member states to draw more widely on the pool of female talent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics warned last year that the demand for computer engineers in the U.S. would see an increase of 36% by the year 2012. It seems urgent in these conditions to train more women. So what are the obstacles?

Google needs those female engineers. As simple as that.

ben | Aug 8, 2017 5:19:14 PM | 38
P.S.---If men weren't so afraid of the power women weld, because of our lust for pro-creation, things could be different.
karlof1 | Aug 8, 2017 5:19:39 PM | 39
T-Sixes @17--

I didn't address the content of the memo, if you had read more carefully. I quoted a sentence b wrote and went on from there. Seems your knee-jerk hit you I the head.

Lea | Aug 8, 2017 5:34:19 PM | 40
The same thing had been said in 2011 by a Norwegian documentary, "Brainwash" (highly recommended viewing, it can be found on Youtube with English subtitles).
The Norwegian government cut its funding for "Gender studies" after its airing.

I am a woman, and its seems to me the politically correct comments here all have one thing in common: they confuse two distinct notions, difference and inferiority.
I feel different from men, I know I am, but in no way do I feel inferior. I am not interested in sports, cars or coding. I am interested in psychology, childhood and fashion. Sorry, it's not cultural, since it's the same the world over. I will add it cannot be cultural, because the sex roles are differentiated in the animal kingdom too. Take a male lion and a female - the male naps, she hunts. All the other animals equally show different patterns of behaviour according to their sex, save ants, amoebae, viruses and other microbes, bugs or non-mammals. So, pretending that there are no differences between men and women, when all it takes is two minutes of observation of nature (let alone a clothes shop during sales) is sheer gaslighting.

Men and woman are complementary, which is way more beautiful, diverse and life-enhancing than that drab uniformity/sameness that, it seems to me, emanates from people who are so narcissistic they are scared stiff of anything that is not their mirror image.

As for me, I love men, and I love the fact we are different. With men's abilities and women's, there is nothing we can't accomplish together.

T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 5:36:15 PM | 41
@Merasmus

"I don't particularly care about the memo or its asinine content. I'm responding to what people have said in these comments."

-- OK, so be a good girl and make yourself useful: you can start with the housework. Please explain how can you comment so vitriolically upon specific matters you admit that know almost nothing about?

"As for the memo itself, neither side comes out looking particularly good. The engineer's memo essentially boils down to "girlz [sic] r stoopid [sic], and need to get out of my workplace""

-- You are mistaken, as usual: the points are societal, biological and anthropological in their character and not AT ALL driven by chauvinism, which your bitter and ill-informed input, certainly, is.

"(he's [sic] not attempting to engage in debate, which some of his defenders have claimed, as in 'he's just asking questions and the PC police are too scared to engage him'), and Google's response was "you voiced an unacceptable opinion so we're going to fire you" (they aren't interested in debate either, but he wasn't offering one in the first place)."

-- Absolute nonsense, as usual: the guy's gripe seemed to be that there's no oxygen in which to engage with certain subject matter. There's a stultifying, stifling, suffocating, oppressive atmosphere perpetuated and sustained by people just like you, "Merasmus".

"It also has a lot of the inane 'both sides have good points, the best answer is in the middle' centrist faux wisdom I've come to expect from the type of idiot who makes up most of the Silicon Valley echo-chamber."

-- You mean, it's balanced and considered? Have you finally read it now, then?

"Ah yes, the right is 'pragmatic'. They're pragmatically destroying their economies by forever seeking tax cuts and the reduction of a national 'debt' they don't even understand the nature of. Spare me."

-- Are we drifting tediously away from the salient points, due to your total lack of knowledge or awareness of what you are talking about?

T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 5:41:10 PM | 42
@karlof1 - so, to be clear, you are commenting on an article regarding a memo you haven't read? Do you not think it might be an advisable next step for you to take the time to read the memo, in order to better inform yourself, so that you don't keep jerking and hitting yourself in the head?
T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 5:46:05 PM | 43
If you would like to read the memo, let me help you: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf
Temporarily Sane | Aug 8, 2017 6:26:24 PM | 44
@TSP 1
I worked under a lady CEO. It was so refreshing compared to life under men. There was open dialogue, I felt I could voice ideas safely.

I think all CEO's would be females. It's like their social approaches to inclusion is unilaterally better than (white) men.

Is that sexist?

Your experience says more about your boss as an individual and has little or nothing to do with her gender. The worst boss I have had was a woman and so was the best boss I have worked for.

The myth of the "kinder, gentler" female leader has been thoroughly debunked. Hillary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher were both women. Thinking woman are morally and ethically "purer" than men is ridiculous.

As for Google vs. the engineer...of course he was fired. Corporations are not democracies. They are top-down dictatorships.

smuks | Aug 8, 2017 6:38:28 PM | 45
Sorry, but you miss a or perhaps 'the' crucial point here.

So let's say that men & women are indeed different, and this also influences their job preferences, independently of societal influence. I have my doubts, but let's just assume it for now.

Now if an employer thinks that men and women have different qualifications and strengths, s/he might come to the conclusion that they complement each other. It would thus make perfect sense to build teams with a balanced gender mix, in order to optimize results for the company. Whether or not each individual employee is the best possible hire is secondary - it's overall performance that counts.

Actually the first commenter TSP pretty much confirms this thesis, albeit only anecdotally.

PS. had to laugh reading post #4, thanks!

james | Aug 8, 2017 6:50:00 PM | 46
@40 lea. thanks.. i see it much the same way as you..

@45 smuks... as i mentioned - hire people, regardless of sex, race, and etc - based off merit and qualifications.. skip with the politically correct bs.. yes, i agree with @1, however anecdotal is it and i got a laugh from @4 too!

as for a lack of engineers and etc in the west.. i always think back to the joke about their being 30 engineers for every 1 banker in japan, verses 30 banker types for 1 engineer in the usa.. it was something like that... i guess you could throw in real estate sales people instead of bankers if you want... it paints a picture that probably has a good degree of relevance to the changing fortunes of countries, or cultures that pursue a certain path, over other ones also available.

George Smiley | Aug 8, 2017 7:07:43 PM | 47
What awful discussion here. Says a lot that the most adult and mature commentators here are those that I find myself somewhat in disagreement with.

Looking forward to your next piece though as always Bernard. Not that I don't like this either per se - but I'd be lying if I didn't say I find your non-geopolitical work to result in the silliest and most ideological of discussions and commentators. Though I still encourage you to keep doing what fufils you regardless.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8, 2017 7:49:44 PM | 48
...
Good god, masculinity is the most fragile thing in existence.
...
Posted by: Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 3:21:12 PM | 16

How dare you ponder male flaws in a debate about female flaws!?

Curtis | Aug 8, 2017 8:26:23 PM | 49
I agree with his ultimate conclusion:
Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Forced equality is not the way to go. It winds up twisting society in bad ways. Is this the number one problem facing the US and American businesses? Isn't group think bad whether from the inside or the outside? Playing one group (sex, race, etc) off against the other does make a good distraction.

Merasmus | Aug 8, 2017 8:42:28 PM | 50
@T-Sixes

I'm not a woman, you idiot. And I never said I hadn't read it, I said I wasn't addressing it, only responding to things said in these comments.

>various [sics]

Good job! It's almost like I was mocking the memo-maker as a grown up version of the kind of boy who puts 'No Girls Allowed' signs outside his treehouse. A kind of manchild, if you will.

"Absolute nonsense, as usual: the guy's gripe seemed to be that there's no oxygen in which to engage with certain subject matter. There's a stultifying, stifling, suffocating, oppressive atmosphere perpetuated and sustained by people just like you, "Merasmus"."

Riiiiiiiiiiight.

The part about centrism is in relation to the memo explicitly talking about Left and Right politics, and how each side supposedly has valid points. This is precisely the type of centrism that is a. destroying the US and the EU, and b. rapidly disintegrating, especially in America.

@Lea

One key difference would be that humans are (ostensibly) a higher lifeform that isn't driven entirely by instinct. So appealing to how things work in the wider natural world is something of a non-starter. Regardless, even if you were going to do that, there are creatures far more closely related to us than lions we could draw comparisons to. For some *strange* reason people appealing to nature never have much to say about the Bonobo...

"So, pretending that there are no differences between men and women, when all it takes is two minutes of observation of nature"

Literally no one is making this claim though. I have literally never met a feminist who claimed sexual dimorphism didn't exist in humans. What I seen is a whole lot of people who absolutely refuse to differentiate between sex and gender, however.

"Men and woman are complementary [...] With men's abilities and women's, there is nothing we can't accomplish together."

Nice sentiment. The problem is I have never met anyone who, while complaining about women in the workplace and talking about how there's some natural division of labor, then suggested anything like a 50/50 split. Or even 60/40, or 70/30. Instead, they do what Anti-Soros above does, and relegate women to breeding and housekeeping, making the divide more like 90/10 or 95/5 or some similar extremely lopsided value. They give to men by far the greater share of opportunity and freedom, and claim this is a natural and fair division, while telling the women they shouldn't even desire more, and should be content with a 'woman's unique happiness'.

NemesisCalling | Aug 8, 2017 8:46:56 PM | 51
@40 Lea

Nailed it. And I believe the purpose of b's foray into gender and/or lgbtq discrimination is that, currently, it is intrinsically tied to the empire's tactics of subversion and infiltration. It upsets me to no end that fomenting discord between the yin and the yangs of the world is the lockstep modus operandi of the bringers of chaos. "Linear" thinking a la "women can't do it" or "women must do it" are really just distractions, and they are important architectural designs of the true believers in the uniparty who are trying to crush the way to peace.

Any meddlesome actions taken by any entity, whether affirmative action or discrimination against men due to preferencing female hires, is sure to end in disaster anyway. Look at the US and tell me it is not a powder keg. Russia, in the wisdom of ages, saw the ngos in their country for what they were. Eliminating these meddlesome devices is best by nipping them in the bud.

The female always overcomes the male anyway by weakness and stillness. Water over rock. When women want to be rock (Hillary Clinton), you've got problems.

ben | Aug 8, 2017 9:08:59 PM | 52
Lea @ 40: Very thoughtful and insightful comment, thanks..

Unfortunately, most men can't get by the second strongest drive in human existence, the drive to pro-create, and it clouds our thinking. History gives credence to this theory.

psychohistorian | Aug 8, 2017 9:15:31 PM | 53
I haven't seen the term patriarchy introduced to this discussion. I think patriarchy is a good term for the historical attitudes that assert innate/generic/gender related qualitative differences between female/male capabilities.

I posit that women are better at gestating children than men and any other comparison is mostly self serving conjecture because of woefully inadequate science.

And I agree with NemesisCalling that ".....it is intrinsically tied to the empire's tactics of subversion and infiltration. It upsets me to no end that fomenting discord between the yin and the yangs of the world is the lockstep modus operandi of the bringers of chaos. "Linear" thinking a la "women can't do it" or "women must do it" are really just distractions, and they are important architectural designs of the true believers in the uniparty who are trying to crush the way to peace."

x | Aug 8, 2017 9:15:51 PM | 54
@ Posted by: Lea | Aug 8, 2017 5:34:19 PM | 40

A pleasently mature position expressed clearly.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8, 2017 9:22:18 PM | 55
...
..."Dafranzl", is your comment not verging on real, like genuine, sexism in that you are expressing some kind of shock horror that women can actually pass a couple of tests and fly a plane?

Posted by: T-Sixes | Aug 8, 2017 3:42:57 PM | 21

There was nothing ambiguous about what Dafranzl wrote. He expressed genuine respect and explained why he is NOT surprised by their success.

falcemartello | Aug 8, 2017 9:27:45 PM | 56
Oh the totalitarian times we are living.
gepay | Aug 8, 2017 9:31:14 PM | 57
I read the memo. Compare the tone of the memo to the misogyny and sexism of the miners in the movie North Country starring Charlize Theron - the racism of the segregated South of the 50s. There were a number of statements he definitely should have left out even if he thinks they are true. "Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power." or "Women are more prone to stress" (although I would agree with him if he had said - women who are mothers worry more than men) "Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance). This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs." He could have left out his poor analysis of left-right. It is true for me that suffocating and/or just silly political correctness is found more often on the left liberal side. Of many conservatives it can be said, "The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental." Robert Anton Wilson He did show a bias when discussing the differences between men and women. Maybe because I'm an older white man I didn't find them so much insulting as debatable.
There are many other statements that I found correct "men take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths." "Philosophically, I don't think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women." It certainly is true that many of the problems that diverse peoples or women have are equally true of many white men not in the upper crust. "This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed." (Have I found this to be true - revisionist Holocaust history for example)
I certainly think he shouldn't have been fired for bring up these issues. The differences between men and women as they relate to employment should be considered and studied. His firing, in fact, proves one of the points he was trying to make.
Grieved | Aug 8, 2017 9:39:28 PM | 58
Wow.

So this is what they call identity politics. And this is how it drives out issue-based discussion - in this case freedom of expression within the corporation.

Got it, thanks.

ps.. @ 37 somebody - thanks for that slice of real life.

fudmieer | Aug 8, 2017 10:28:34 PM | 59
observable biological diffs (karlof1); womanless females (AntiSoros). google perks (thegenius); thought blockouts (Ballai); neo-liberal agenda (james); non-discussible ideology (dh); a unique corporate category-classified androgine (Merasmus); blinder-enhanced directed-answer response (T-Sixes); amazing test results (Dafranzl); the (statistically) mature woman (Hohan Meyer); determinism (okie farmer); absolutes (ab initio); train more women (somebody); different but not inferior; even complimentary (Lea); top down dictators (Sane); flaws (Hoarsewhisperer); discriminatory (Curtis); rocking women are problems (NemesisCalling);
please consider the following http://www.unz.com/jman/the-five-laws-of-behavioral-genetics/
Johan Meyer | Aug 8, 2017 10:48:34 PM | 60
@59 I actually referred to that piece obliquely, by calling variation not correlated with genes, 'noise,' in particular his last point, from Emil Kierkegaard. Btw if the latter is reading, Mr Kierkegaard, in our last email exchange, in references to a paper by Debes, you interpreted his beta (-2.2) times his proxy (blood lead level's base 10 logarithm) naively, to wit that the logarithm of blood lead level predicts IQ. A simple problem, involving that same ODE---maternal leave, paid or not---expectant mothers' exposure to lead during the pregnancy, under the frequent poisoning regime (gasoline/petrol) will roughly stop upon taking maternal leave, and thus the (linear) dose during the pregnancy will be linearly related to the logarithm of the cord (birth) blood lead level. There is more to say, and I shall email a more detailed commentary shortly...
Thirdeye | Aug 8, 2017 11:34:00 PM | 61
@45

The memo actually said something similar about using the complementary traits of men and women in teams. He mentioned how women's traits were good for the design of user interfaces and men's traits were good for the back end. What made Steve Jobs so distinctive wasn't that he was a great engineer or inventor (he wasn't). He thought about user experience like a woman. Apple was great on the "female" side of software engineering while Microsoft was great on the "male" side. Microsoft did, and still does, better on the back end but, as Jobs famously criticized them for about 25 years ago, their products lacked culture and taste.

Thirdeye | Aug 8, 2017 11:37:08 PM | 62
Camille "if it were up to the women we would still be living in grass huts" Paglia would have a field day with this one.
Thirdeye | Aug 8, 2017 11:53:56 PM | 63
@25

IQ is not biological determinism. Saying that it is strictly hereditary is. There is a strong correlation between IQ and ability to perform intellectual tasks, and with social performance up to about IQ 120. The correlation drops away above that because the extremely profound thinking at which higher IQ provides an advantage is less tied to social performance. I see no contradiction between saying IQ is a valid measure of cognitive ability and saying that it is culturally influenced. Some cultures do not foster the development of cognitive ability.

[Jul 30, 2017] Fascism Is Possible Not in Spite of Liberal Capitalism, but Because of It by Earchiel Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... For a young Mussolini, working-class power seemed to be the way forward. But after beginning his political career in the Italian Socialist Party, the failure of the socialist movement to prevent World War I, as well as the outpouring of patriotic feeling released by the war, catalyzed Mussolini's conversion from class politics to a new brand of nationalism. ..."
"... The conditions of crisis that had led to Italian fascism soon gave rise to parallel movements in other countries. Perhaps because of the visibility of Nazism, in particular in US popular culture, the fascism of the 1930 serves as the primary reference point for analysis of the right-wing authoritarianism we face today. The fascists of Italy, Falangists of Spain, Nazis of Germany and their less well-known counterparts across the Western world believed their elite were destined to rule as autocrats because they had won out in the war of all against all -- or must do so. The new elite would lead the nation in an imperialist project of gaining more spazio vitale (living space, or as the Nazis would call it, Lebensraum), seeking to displace British or American hegemony over the capitalist world-system and gain their people's place under the sun. ..."
"... Fascists paid lip service to "socialism" for the Volksgemeinschaft (the Nazi concept of a racially pure "people's community"), but they found their most willing partners in the project of rationalizing social, political and economic life in the bourgeoisie. ..."
"... Fascists in league with big capital subjected the working class to a redoubled divide-and-conquer strategy. Some sections of workers were included in the Volkgemeinschaft, bound up in corporatist schemes of labor-management compromise in exchange for loyalty necessary for war-making. ..."
"... For the working class, fascism is the bloody assertion of heteronormative, patriarchal capitalism without democracy. The mythologization of hierarchy and the nation, intensified oppression based on ethnic and gender identities, glorification of war, and violent repression of worker and social movement organizations were hallmarks of all the historical regimes we call fascism -- Hitler's National Socialists, Franco's Falangists and others. Today, most of these characteristics are also present in the new wave of right-wing regimes taking power in the West, as well as in India, Russia, Turkey and other authoritarian capitalist states of the periphery. ..."
"... The capital-F Fascism of authoritarian government is possible because of the lower case-f fascism that thrives in everyday life under capitalism. ..."
"... The fascist discourse of national greatness is nothing more than a continuation of the nationalism of the imagined community constructed by the bourgeoisie. ..."
"... Fascism is not only a grotesque exaggeration of the worst elements of bourgeois society. As a popular tendency, it is a response to the same contradictions that generate left radicalism: poverty, powerlessness and alienation. It is the manufactured scarcity of capitalism that opens the door to a fascist solution. ..."
"... In the United States, some -- mostly white, mostly male -- workers were granted some rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Domestic workers and farm laborers were excluded, a concession to white supremacist political factions. This was a far more soft-serve version of the inclusion/exclusion from representation that also characterized the fascist system of labor control of the same era. It was also premised on loyalty to the capitalist state. The leaders of the major union federations were granted seats at the table, in exchange for expelling Communists from their ranks and adopting a depoliticized approach to labor relations ..."
"... The triumph of liberalism in the 1990s belied its own decay. Since the 1970s, global capital has sought to dismantle the liberal welfare state and put more and more social goods (such as education, healthcare and what remains of public housing) on the market through "structural adjustment" and austerity. ..."
"... Today, the body politic is afflicted with a dysphoria -- a disconnect between the lived experiences of the working class, and the political and cultural representations with which hegemonic liberalism seeks to interpellate them. The Clintonite slogan "America Is Already Great" does not resonate with workers who see themselves making less money than their parents' generation. The cultural disjuncture leads to a political rejection of corporate liberals. A new political subject is waiting to be called into existence. The depoliticization of life that accompanied the postwar liberal settlement is over. The center cannot hold. Everyone is picking a side. ..."
"... Neoliberalism promises more of the same, fascism promises "economic nationalism" and a return to a mythologized past, a democratic socialist revival bids for a return to some form of social democracy. But once again, the discontinuities of these ideologies with liberalism are not as strong as their continuities. Both the fascist ideology of Trump and Brexit, and the social-democratic revivalism of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are post-liberal, in that they are symptomatic of the breakdown of the liberal order. But they are also post-liberal, in that they fail to break with the fundamentals of liberal capitalism: private ownership of the means of production, wage labor and markets as a means of distribution. It is these fundamentals of capitalism which brought us to the crisis of neoliberalism, and any movement that is unwilling to challenge these fundamentals will ultimately bring us more of the same. ..."
"... Obama followed in the footsteps of every American regime since the end of WWII. Reagan visited an SS graveyard and memorial and the Truman and Eisenhower regimes made extensive use of not-so-ex Nazis in their spy rings. Trump will continue Obamas policies. ..."
"... Excellent article. Of course the situation here in the U.S. is complicated by the fact that this society, that benefited in general though very unevenly from its status as Global Hegemon for a number of years, is now suffering again very unevenly from the ongoing demise of that position in the Global Capitalist Hierarchy. ..."
Jul 30, 2017 | www.truth-out.org
Originally from: People's World

The question of the labor movement under fascism is the question of what to do when it is already too late. Racist vigilante attacks are intensifying, comrades are being indicted, workers are being deported, bosses are breaking labor law with even greater impunity, the press is under threat, civil liberties are disappearing, politicians are attempting to rule by diktat, police are even more out of control, war is on the horizon. Everywhere, the threadbare niceties of the state under liberalism have vanished.

We are not ready for this. The general strike seems like the only reasonable response, but the existing left and labor organizations are hard-pressed to mobilize for one. The working class is self-organizing, but success remains far from certain. What is this hell we are entering? How did we get here, and what role can the working class play in helping us find a way out?

Origins of Fascism

Fascism did not start out as a pejorative term. The word originates from the Latin fasces, a term for a bundle of sticks bound together around an axe so that they could not be broken, a symbol of unity and power. In ancient Rome, the fasces were carried by lictors, the bodyguards of magistrates and other state officials. The sticks could be unbundled to mete out beatings as prescribed by magistrates. The axe was used for the death penalty.

Fascism first appeared in social movement usage not on the right, but on the Italian left in the late-nineteenth century as a symbol or term for "league" or "group" for various socialist and syndicalist organizations. It was in fact a former socialist who indelibly stamped fascist as an adjective for the far right: Benito Mussolini. His politics were shaped by the conflicts of modernity: violent class struggle, a bourgeoisie attempting to build a nation and a national market, and war. For a young Mussolini, working-class power seemed to be the way forward. But after beginning his political career in the Italian Socialist Party, the failure of the socialist movement to prevent World War I, as well as the outpouring of patriotic feeling released by the war, catalyzed Mussolini's conversion from class politics to a new brand of nationalism.

Mussolini promised to make Italy great again, to return to the golden age of the Roman Empire. In his view, this could only happen through a new cross-class national unity, a powerful state under the tutelage of a new elite of Übermenschen, and a march toward war. The first task of Mussolini's fascism was the violent repression of workers' and peasants' movements in the wave of strikes and occupations after World War I, followed by the destruction of independent labor organizations once state power was attained.

The conditions of crisis that had led to Italian fascism soon gave rise to parallel movements in other countries. Perhaps because of the visibility of Nazism, in particular in US popular culture, the fascism of the 1930 serves as the primary reference point for analysis of the right-wing authoritarianism we face today. The fascists of Italy, Falangists of Spain, Nazis of Germany and their less well-known counterparts across the Western world believed their elite were destined to rule as autocrats because they had won out in the war of all against all -- or must do so. The new elite would lead the nation in an imperialist project of gaining more spazio vitale (living space, or as the Nazis would call it, Lebensraum), seeking to displace British or American hegemony over the capitalist world-system and gain their people's place under the sun.

Fascism cast culture as nature. It enforced and strengthened hierarchies based on ethnic or gender identities, claiming that some are meant to be masters and others to be slaves. Fascist governments replaced liberal guarantees of civil liberties and independent civil society organizations with a reimagining of the nation as a patriarchal family based on a racist conception of self and other, and corporatist organizations subordinated to the state. Corporatism here does not refer to corporations in the sense of a private company -- it actually referred to the incorporation of bosses, workers and state bureaucrats in a single overarching organization that would supposedly reflect their common nationalist interests.

Fascists paid lip service to "socialism" for the Volksgemeinschaft (the Nazi concept of a racially pure "people's community"), but they found their most willing partners in the project of rationalizing social, political and economic life in the bourgeoisie.

Fascists in league with big capital subjected the working class to a redoubled divide-and-conquer strategy. Some sections of workers were included in the Volkgemeinschaft, bound up in corporatist schemes of labor-management compromise in exchange for loyalty necessary for war-making. But those who were not thought to belong to the "master race" were excluded from any form of representation or organization, and subjected to hyper-exploitation. Millions of Jews, Roma, eastern Europeans and others deemed Untermenschen were subjected to persecution, forced labor and genocide.

For the working class, fascism is the bloody assertion of heteronormative, patriarchal capitalism without democracy. The mythologization of hierarchy and the nation, intensified oppression based on ethnic and gender identities, glorification of war, and violent repression of worker and social movement organizations were hallmarks of all the historical regimes we call fascism -- Hitler's National Socialists, Franco's Falangists and others. Today, most of these characteristics are also present in the new wave of right-wing regimes taking power in the West, as well as in India, Russia, Turkey and other authoritarian capitalist states of the periphery.

Continuities With Liberalism

As participants in this unfolding catastrophe, we tend to emphasize its discontinuities with the postwar liberal order that preceded the current unraveling. But the continuities are in fact more alarming, and more important to understand if we want to eradicate fascism root and branch, once and for all. Fascism is possible not in spite of liberal capitalism, but because of it. Both historically and philosophically, fascism is rooted in the same Western tradition as liberalism. Fascism continually reemerges because its seeds are incubated in the contradictions of capitalism.

The capital-F Fascism of authoritarian government is possible because of the lower case-f fascism that thrives in everyday life under capitalism. The centralized state was an invention of the bourgeoisie, a business innovation necessary to manage its affairs. Its bureaucracy stands ready-made for takeover by fascist thugs. Eichmann-like obedience necessary for the Fascist political project is inculcated by the state and corporate bureaucracy built by the bourgeoisie. Fascists march to war down roads that were paved by centuries of European colonialism and imperialism. The fascist discourse of national greatness is nothing more than a continuation of the nationalism of the imagined community constructed by the bourgeoisie.

The fascist enforcement of gender norms is a grotesque exaggeration of the patriarchal division of labor engendered by one form of capitalism. Fascism's celebration of hierarchy and legitimation of class society is an extreme form of the twin lies of liberalism: "meritocracy" (barely distinguishable as a concept from Social Darwinism) and racist essentialism. Racism itself was born of the Western project of colonialism, and given a stamp of legitimacy by Enlightenment science that sought to taxonomize all things, plants, animals and people.

Liberalism promises to keep its Id in check with guarantees of the rights of man, but this was always a promise more often broken than kept. The majority of our planet's inhabitants have already been living under a permanent state of exception. The test runs for the Nazi Holocaust were the late-Victorian holocausts of mass murder in Africa, and the genocidal colonization of the Americas and uncounted colonial massacres.

In the capitalist core, millions have long lived their lives as what Giorgio Agamben termed homo sacer -- a term from ancient Rome signifying those who are deprived of rights by the state, and subject to extra-judicial violence by the George Zimmermans of the world. Across the capitalist core, immigrants and refugees live without the promise of any kind of liberal human rights, facing possible deportation in any interaction with the authorities.

Clintonite cosmopolitan liberalism claims that these oppressions are atavisms of the past, even though they are renewed every day. It promises to unite the world Benetton-like in a multicultural global market, where everyone is equally free to exploit and be exploited. Liberalism will occasionally apologize for its racism, sexism and colonial massacres, and may make affirmative action reforms to stabilize its rule and rationalize production, or in the case of the US government's eventual concessions to the civil rights movement, to compete ideologically with the Soviet Union. But there is one place where it can never acknowledge illegitimate hierarchy: the workplace. And it is precisely here that the contradictions that propel the world toward fascism are rooted.

The Liberal Compromise

Fascism is not only a grotesque exaggeration of the worst elements of bourgeois society. As a popular tendency, it is a response to the same contradictions that generate left radicalism: poverty, powerlessness and alienation. It is the manufactured scarcity of capitalism that opens the door to a fascist solution.

As a form of government, fascism is not the bourgeoisie's first choice, of course. It is an unstable system prone to cronyism that places certain limits on the market. So, like the boss who wants you to try for a promotion rather than organizing a union, liberalism first tries to resolve its contradictions through expansion. This could mean economic growth through technological upgrading, or stimulation of new needs and desires to create new consumer markets, or it could mean capturing new markets through war and trade agreements. As long as the pie is getting bigger, tensions over who gets the biggest piece are diffused.

The contradiction of liberal capitalism played out in real historical time. To stabilize its own rule in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, liberal capitalism accepted a degree of regulation, establishing norms necessary for more-or-less long-term operation of a market, and setting up a system that could compete economically and ideologically with international socialism. This took the form of the New Deal and the Keynesian welfare state, a compromise that institutionalized class struggle to boost consumption.

In the United States, some -- mostly white, mostly male -- workers were granted some rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Domestic workers and farm laborers were excluded, a concession to white supremacist political factions. This was a far more soft-serve version of the inclusion/exclusion from representation that also characterized the fascist system of labor control of the same era. It was also premised on loyalty to the capitalist state. The leaders of the major union federations were granted seats at the table, in exchange for expelling Communists from their ranks and adopting a depoliticized approach to labor relations.

After World War II, the US exported this New Deal model of labor relations through its reconstruction efforts in Western Europe and East Asia. For around thirty years, workers were rewarded for their loyalty with wage increases that matched growth in productivity. For the most part, this resulted in an apolitical acquiescence to life under capitalism. By the end of the twentieth century, liberalism seemed to reign triumphant. Some claimed that liberal capitalism was the End of History, that the age of extremes had definitively passed. Both socialism and fascism were consigned to the dustbin. Under the leadership of the WTO and the largest of the Western corporations, humanity was to march onward into a glorious consumerist future with McDonald's, Starbucks and Apple products for all.

How wrong they were.

Post-Liberalism

Everywhere, authoritarian regimes are winning out over centrist liberalism. The Chinese model of development -- an authoritarian state with just enough market relations to fill the pockets of a kleptocratic elite -- has become the dominant development paradigm for much of Asia and Africa. Western corporate elites have watched jealously as mega-projects and mega-profits that would take years of political wrangling in the capitalist core get the green light in China. Nevertheless, most sectors of capital still seem to prefer Clintonite liberalism to Trumpian fascism, or certainly to Bernie Sanders' social democracy. But increasingly, the centrist option is off the table, for reasons of the bourgeoisie's own doing.

The triumph of liberalism in the 1990s belied its own decay. Since the 1970s, global capital has sought to dismantle the liberal welfare state and put more and more social goods (such as education, healthcare and what remains of public housing) on the market through "structural adjustment" and austerity.

The decay of the liberal system is nowhere more evident than in labor relations. The stable system of collective bargaining put in place by the National Labor Relations Act was under attack from the far right since its inception -- but has been most effectively undermined by the liberal center since 1981. In that year, Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in the PATCO union, signaling open season on the labor movement. Workplace-level union-busting, the use of scabs to break strikes, automation and outsourcing all drove unionization rates in the United States down from around 30 percent in the 1950s, to barely 10 percent in 2017. Behind this evisceration is a shift in ruling-class strategy from grudging acceptance of unions in the system of labor control, to direct domination of each individual worker through "Human Resources Management."

As a result, the standard of living in the capitalist core has undergone almost half a century of decline. This has paralleled the decline of the United States as the hegemonic power in the global political economy. As this decline continues, workers in the capitalist core of all income levels have begun looking for alternatives to neoliberal politics. The mythology of the American Dream no longer works its magic of erasing class antagonisms.

Today, the body politic is afflicted with a dysphoria -- a disconnect between the lived experiences of the working class, and the political and cultural representations with which hegemonic liberalism seeks to interpellate them. The Clintonite slogan "America Is Already Great" does not resonate with workers who see themselves making less money than their parents' generation. The cultural disjuncture leads to a political rejection of corporate liberals. A new political subject is waiting to be called into existence. The depoliticization of life that accompanied the postwar liberal settlement is over. The center cannot hold. Everyone is picking a side.

Neoliberalism promises more of the same, fascism promises "economic nationalism" and a return to a mythologized past, a democratic socialist revival bids for a return to some form of social democracy. But once again, the discontinuities of these ideologies with liberalism are not as strong as their continuities. Both the fascist ideology of Trump and Brexit, and the social-democratic revivalism of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are post-liberal, in that they are symptomatic of the breakdown of the liberal order. But they are also post-liberal, in that they fail to break with the fundamentals of liberal capitalism: private ownership of the means of production, wage labor and markets as a means of distribution. It is these fundamentals of capitalism which brought us to the crisis of neoliberalism, and any movement that is unwilling to challenge these fundamentals will ultimately bring us more of the same.

In some cases, the post-liberal left wins or makes important gains in elections -- Syriza and Podemos serving as the most prominent examples. But their victories tend to be short-lived. Without willingness to fundamentally break with neoliberal capitalism, it is not long before voters realize that they have elected a non-solution, and turn once again to the right. The failure of the left to offer an anti-systemic alternative is what brought the fascist right to power in the United States and threatens to do the same in other places across the world. Now we need to figure out what exactly to expect, and how to fight to win.

The Other Workers' Movement

True to form as fascists, the Trump regime has set to work recasting the boundaries between self and other in the United States. It is a project of scapegoating, and of legitimizing the repression of labor and social movements. Unlike its 1930s antecedents in Germany, Italy or Spain, Trump's cartoonish fascism has not had to ban the unions and set up new ones under direct control of the state. There is no need for a new fascist system of labor control, because under neoliberalism the United States already has one.

Since the 1980s, most workers' organizations have already been liquidated. Most workers are subjects of a capitalist dictatorship in the workplace, and millions have long been excluded from even the most basic guarantees of liberalism: to be paid for your labor, to not be summarily executed by police, to be accorded due process rights. There is a new intensity and scale to these attacks, but the line of attack itself is not actually new.

The "official" workers' movement has largely failed to resist attacks old and new. Under Trump, the labor movement has gladly divided and conquered itself, with the heads of building trade unions meeting with Trump and sycophantically glowing over the "respect" he showed them, while he prepares orders to deport millions of immigrant workers and deprive millions more citizens of their rights. Many unions simply seem to be hoping for the best, while failing to prepare for the worst. Others refuse to publicly attack Trump in the hopes of cutting some sort of deal. But no matter how close some unions get to the boss, they cannot escape the fact that their organizations are in the crosshairs more than ever. Trump's fascism seeks to finish off the legal framework of labor relations under postwar liberalism, dealing the coup de grâce to an institutional labor movement that has long been hemorrhaging members.

The resistance is therefore in the "other" workers' movement -- among those who never were included in the legal mechanisms of the compact of postwar liberalism in the first place, such as immigrant workers, the unwaged labor of women, and students. They are joined by a new "other" workers' movement: the rebel rank-and-file of the institutional unions, such as teachers and public sector workers, and increasingly, self-organized groups of workers who have never belonged to a union. As the state falls under the sway of fascist control, the weapons of this resistance are increasingly extralegal: from protests to strikes, highway blockades and physical confrontations.

While increasingly bold in tactics, resistance to fascism is so far largely conservative, in the true sense of the word: it seeks to conserve the liberal order. Until now, its battles have been mostly defensive, and if they are won, will merely put liberals back in power. The real destruction of fascism can only be accomplished by a new workers' movement, unencumbered by the sacred cows of the bureaucracies that grew up under corporate liberalism. It is in the "other" workers' movement that a radicalism beyond liberal capitalism can be imagined, and it is with the forces that we build with our own hands that it can be won.

How do we win this fight? The tasks are largely the same as before, but with a new sense of urgency, and in conditions of heavier repression. As before, we must engage millions in the fight for a different future. No true revolution is possible without mass participation. We must build a vast network of workplace and community-based organizing committees that make a general strike possible. We must also be prepared to go beyond a general strike, to build dual power through worker and community assemblies that will replace or transform the state with a true democracy. This is a struggle not just to restore the old world-system, but to build a new one. This is the time to be revolutionaries, to fight to win the world we actually want.

Calamity of epic proportions awaits millions in the working class. Deportations, intensified exploitation at work, the destruction of our life-giving planet, vigilante attacks, refugee crisis, resurgent misogyny, transphobia and racism, and the threat of inter-state war. It is already too late to prevent much of this. But it has always already been too late. Untold tragedy is the legacy of liberalism, and of every return of fascism. That is why we fight for the future. That is why we fight to win. This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source. Erik Forman Erik Forman has been active in the Industrial Workers of the World since 2005, working and organizing at Starbucks and Jimmy John's. He is currently compiling a report on union strategies for organizing the food service and retail sectors as a Practitioner Fellow at the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University. Related Stories Fascist America: Have We Finally Turned The Corner? By Sara Robinson, AlterNet | Op-Ed Fascism 101: The Police and Media Control By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed Hitler at Home: How the Nazi PR Machine Duped the World By Despina Stratigakos, The Conversation | Op-Ed Recommend Recommended Discussion Recommended!

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Liberty5 , April 27, 2017 12:55 AM

Mussolini was for a time an avowed Marxist, socialist and atheist. He was never an original liberal. He did support modern Keynesian liberalism, saying that "Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes." But Mussolini hated the liberalism that spelled individualism. In his 1935 version of the "Doctrine of Fascism," he proclaimed: "Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State . . . . It is opposed to classical Liberalism . . . . Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms
the State as the true reality of the individual." Fascism, actually came out of Marxism. Zeev Sternhell says that Fascist ideology... was a revision of Marxism." Fascism also came out of revolutionary syndicalism (unions).

Enrique Woll Battistini , April 20, 2017 2:10 PM

Ultimately, this global state of affairs could only be defended and preserved by the most rancid sort of unfettered fascism:

https://www.academia.edu/13...

Pat Luppens , April 17, 2017 6:51 PM

Your analysis is spot on, BUT "we must engage millions in the fight for a different future" Are you serious? We can't even get half the people off their butts to vote. If we could, this discussion would be moot.

NoDifference , April 16, 2017 8:17 PM

With the advent of nearly complete automation of every production process, and increasing automation of services (think Uber, with the coming Google cars), the employed pool of workers is steadily decreasing as a proportion of the able workforce. We can choose to believe the lies that there will be at least 1 for 1 replacement of these jobs with new, higher-paying technological jobs if we want to I guess. But I don't buy it.

Why would companies like to invest in machinery if it does not help to eliminate manual, human labor? After all, human work is error prone and slow, and in many cases, certain advanced manufacturing processes can not even be performed manually. Corporations invest in automation, recession or otherwise, so the old trope coming from the Right that workers demand too much pay, etc., appears to be convenient but nonsense "reasoning."

So, with labor steadily disappearing from the workplaces of the world, exactly who does Mr. Forman (and others) expect to sign up with their unions? The remaining workers, who earn more than their former counterparts consigned to laborious and dangerous work for poor pay, are probably far more tantalized by technological challenges that make their work pleasant and enjoyable.

It is difficult -- no, actually impossible -- for me to imagine legions of computer programmers and other high-tech workers organizing and hankering for a labor union that would have only marginal advantage for them. And they know better than most that they, too, can be displaced from their jobs by the next iteration of technological advances or better wage prospects for their corporate overlords. So we can probably put this thesis to bed also, no?

There are still millions of workers at fast food restaurants who certainly need solid and reliable labor representation, and the IWW is probably the single best union to do this (I'm a bit of a wob myself, ok?). That said, we are still only looking at a sliver of the population, albeit an increasingly larger portion of the remaining employed workforce.

It occurs to me that what we really need is to organize the consumers to effect the sorts of changes we want. Its first demand should probably be a guaranteed Basic Income (BI), which would put those last workers still languishing in fast food and other poor-paying retail jobs in demand , rather than jobs being in demand. And we could stop wasting resources and destroying the environment so that one more poor person can afford to eat today. (Think commuters driving 30 miles to a minimum wage job and you will understand what I am driving at.)

This would be a complete paradigm shift, one like no other in human history. For the first time, workers and consumers would be united in accomplishing their common purposes, namely a peaceful world that respects human nature and the environment.

Please consider BI as a basis for a more fair and equitable society. See basicincome.org and bein.org for more information.

Michael Tee , April 16, 2017 8:10 AM

Great article. One of the best ever published at Truthout. Must be studied by political activists everywhere.

gmatch , April 16, 2017 3:30 AM

America's regime can be described as a plutocratic military junta controlled by Zionists.

SkepticalPartisan , April 15, 2017 3:44 PM

Thanks for the historical perspective. But there is another metric which is rarely, if ever, used to define the spectrum of socioeconomic systems, one of power concentration.

democracy = power is determined by voters
capitalism = power concentrates in owners; owners game the system to determine who has the opportunity to own
slave capitalism = power of owner extends to owning workers/laborers
feudal capitalism = power concentrates in owners to extent they control many work/labor conditions including wages and residency
communism = power concentrates in members of single state party committee
oligarchic capitalism = power concentrates in small number of owners
monopoly = power concentrates in one corporation and their owners
fascism = power concentrates in one political party

The point is that the concentration of economic power has parallels in the concentration of political power. The terms/names used to describe each system often overlap in meaning and thus, can be confusing. It would be better to use a sliding scale to represent power concentration; something along the lines of the Kinsey sexuality scale. On a scale of 0-10 (low to high) how is political power distributed? How is economic power distributed? Based on Gillens and Page, political power score is roughly 7.6 in favor of the economic elites <http: www.vox.com ="" 2014="" 4="" 18="" 5624310="" martin-gilens-testing-theories-of-american-politics-explained="">. Based on stock ownership, the economic power scale is about 6.6 - top 5% owns about 2/3 of stocks <https: www.salon.com ="" 2013="" 09="" 19="" stock_ownership_who_benefits_partner=""/>. The latter is not the best metric of economic power; actual score is likely significantly higher. This type of granular information is more useful in accurately describing power relationships than misleading names/titles/terms.

NoDifference SkepticalPartisan , April 16, 2017 8:24 PM

Thank you for clearly defining YOUR definition of communism. As I replied to another poster here, the term "communism" is often conflated with its original meaning, and only helps the arguments of the RW.

SkepticalPartisan NoDifference , April 18, 2017 11:40 AM

That's my point, the semantics of political/economic systems are easily distorted. A metric of power concentration in this instance would be useful.

Orestes60 , April 15, 2017 3:11 PM

From the article: "There is no need for a new fascist system of labor control, because under neoliberalism the United States already has one." This is another reason why liberalism whether bourgeois liberal idealism or liberal pragmatism or neoliberalism is not sufficiently anti-fascist. Additionally, liberalism in all its forms will never be anti-capitalist and pro-community socialist.

I wonder what percentage of the earth's inhabitants, who have the power to promote socialism in lieu of various "Third Ways" or imperial anarcho-capitalism, have recognized the truth of the article's graphic "Capitalism Has Outlived Its Usefulness"?

Bill_Perdue , April 15, 2017 2:59 PM

"You're not paranoid if you think the world feels more unstable ! it is. There's a dangerous confluence of political, economic, and military phenomena that is producing a very hazardous international situation. At the center of each maelstrom is the U.S. Government, and instead of acting as a promoter of peace and stability the Obama administration has been a catalyst of confrontation and war. An especially combustible zone is the Ukraine, where the U.S. is engaged in what is becoming a full-fledged proxy war with Russia. " The Obama administration's decisive role in the Ukrainian conflict has received only a sliver of space from the U.S. media, even after an audio of Obama's Under Secretary of State was leaked, exposing the U.S.' direct leadership role in a coup that overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected government." http://www.counterpunch.org...

Obama followed in the footsteps of every American regime since the end of WWII. Reagan visited an SS graveyard and memorial and the Truman and Eisenhower regimes made extensive use of not-so-ex Nazis in their spy rings. Trump will continue Obamas policies.

Fascist movements are growing in the NATO region of Western and Central Europe. Large ultraright and neo-Nazi Islamophobic parties are a real threat in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Greece. Nowhere are they effectively challenged by fake leftists in social democrat parties like the Sozialistische Partei Österreichs, the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) or the Parti Socialiste because they're pro-capitalist parties. Neither they or the old line capitalist parties like the Democrats or Republicans in the US have anything real to offer in the fight against fascism.

There is no imminent danger of fascism coming to power in the US or the EU because although it's advanced, the death agony of capitalism is not such that it would lead the bankster class to create an extremely violent and well armed mass fascist street army to defeat unions and other mass movements of workers. The preconditions for fascism are the collapse and failure of capitalist 'democratic' government, the collapse or total defeat of unions and the left and growth of a mass fascist movement based on the middle, not the working class.

Libby , April 15, 2017 1:33 PM

Excellent article. Although I have more questions than answers, Foreman goes a long way in supplying some of the history and analysis necessary for a new dialogue and the urgency of the same. As part of the same endeavor, educational articles about post-growth and de-growth economics would also be welcome, not only for what they may offer in the way of sustainability, but also in the sense of replacing consumerism, materialism and 'meritocracy' with other -higher - values.

Jethro_T , April 15, 2017 11:51 AM

The penultimate paragraph begins by asking, "How do we win this fight?" It then offers some advice of a general nature, which only hints at what's necessary. Let's first assume that the will for a prolonged general strike exists; how then to subsist without wages until victory is won?

The author suggests "...a vast network of workplace and community-based organizing committees..." and lets it go at that; I would add that those committees must take responsibility for ensuring that all are fed and sheltered, and that those in the community who can't care for themselves are looked after. So: communal gardens providing the food for communal meals, communal daycare for elders and communal schooling and recreation for kids, communal housing, and communal healthcare and transportation as needed---in short, an explicitly and comprehensively anticapitalist modus vivendi.

We can do this---in fact, we must do this, as the only alternative is extinction.

dmorista , April 15, 2017 11:05 AM

Excellent article. Of course the situation here in the U.S. is complicated by the fact that this society, that benefited in general though very unevenly from its status as Global Hegemon for a number of years, is now suffering again very unevenly from the ongoing demise of that position in the Global Capitalist Hierarchy.

We do have a ruling class that is exceptionally violent and brutal, the majority of whose outrages were committed overseas over the last 70 years. However, the police state and terror operations, first used against the Huk rebellion in the post WW 2 Philippines and later honed and further developed in Vietnam, Indonesia, Angola, Congo, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, among other places, will increasingly be inward directed as the crisis of American Empire and the decay of Capitalism continues.

[Jul 27, 2017] The neoliberal system of governance is designed to protect the interests of the most powerful members of financial oligarchy. Trump can't challenge that, but he can expose them. What is good for Goldman Sacks is good to America slogan is here to stay

Notable quotes:
"... the neocons have numerous ways to make him cave. ..."
"... His ability to "do good" for the American masses is as severely limited as that of all his predecessors, unfortunately. ..."
Jul 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete > , July 27, 2017 at 12:31 am GMT

@Wally After only 7 months, is it really that bad for Trump's agenda? I think not.

Wally, yer one of the good guys, and your faith in Trump has aspects of charm, but the neocons have numerous ways to make him cave.

He could only be a dictator in the style you're suggesting if he had the backing of the military and or the big money crowd and I just don't see it. His ability to "do good" for the American masses is as severely limited as that of all his predecessors, unfortunately.

The system was designed to protect the interests of the most powerful money bag crowd while convincing the masses that whatever is good for GM is good for the USA, so to speak.

[Jul 26, 2017] Multi-party kleptocracies rather than illiberal democracies

And Branko Milanovic is unable to utter the word neoliberalism. What a sucker.
Notable quotes:
"... The term "illiberal democracy" was, I think, introduced by Fareed Zakaria. It was used as a badge of honor by Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, the erstwhile poster-child of youthful East European reformers and liberals of the 1990s who then decided to turn over the new leaf. More recently, the term has gained further popularity as a way of naming and explaining the regimes such as Erdoğan's in Turkey or Putin's in Russia. ..."
"... The implication of "illiberal democracy" is that the system is democratic in the sense that there are free elections, more or less free, or at least diverse, media, freedom of assembly etc., but that the "values" espoused by the regime are illiberal. ..."
"... how Putin maintains his power: not as a Stalinesque dictator, but as an indispensable umpire whose sudden departure would throw the system totally off-balance until, possibly after a civil war, a new, generally accepted arbiter emerges. ..."
"... ...I think that it would be wrong, though, to regard such regimes as a different species from the Western liberal regimes. They simply exaggerate some features that exist in "advanced" democracies: sale of regulations and laws is done in both but it is done more openly and blatantly in the "new" regimes; ..."
Jul 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 25, 2017

http://glineq.blogspot.com/2017/07/multi-party-kleptocracies-rather-than.html

July 22, 2017

Multi-party kleptocracies rather than illiberal democracies

The term "illiberal democracy" was, I think, introduced by Fareed Zakaria. It was used as a badge of honor by Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, the erstwhile poster-child of youthful East European reformers and liberals of the 1990s who then decided to turn over the new leaf. More recently, the term has gained further popularity as a way of naming and explaining the regimes such as Erdoğan's in Turkey or Putin's in Russia. Perhaps Venezuela can be placed in the same category too.

The implication of "illiberal democracy" is that the system is democratic in the sense that there are free elections, more or less free, or at least diverse, media, freedom of assembly etc., but that the "values" espoused by the regime are illiberal.

Erdoğan believes in primacy of Islam over the Enlightenment-defined human rights, Orban believes in "Christian civilization", Putin in "Russian spirituality", Maduro in "Bolivarian revolution". "Illiberal" also implies that the system is majoritarian in the sense that certain "inalienable" rights can be taken away through simple vote. At the extreme, a majority can decide to deny certain rights (say, to free speech) to a minority.

This definition, in my opinion, overstates the value component of these regimes. The core, or the desired objective, of this new breed of quasi democratic regimes is multi-partyism in which, however, only one party can win. Russia has gone the furthest on the road of "electoral engineering" where there is seemingly a democracy, multiple parties etc., but the rule of the game is that only one party can win, and that the others, in function of their "pliability" and closeness to the "party of power", are allowed to participate in the division of the spoils.

For it is precisely the "division of the spoils" which is a crucial feature of the regimes. They do not share, as some commentators believes, "values" antithetical to Western liberal values. Rather, I believe, these different values are simply invented to provide voters with a feeling that they are indeed voting for some distinct "national", "homey", "non-cosmopolitan" program while the real objective of the party of power is to control the state in order to steal, either directly (from overcharged public works or state-owned enterprises) or indirectly (through private sector corruption and laws and regulations that are for sale).

Thus, the party of power is simply an organized thievery that, in order to survive and prosper, needs to pretend to defend certain "values" and, most importantly, to keep on providing financial benefits to its supporters. The system is thus fully clientelistic. It functions very similarly to Mobutu's Zaire (as beautifully described in Michala's Wrong's "In the footsteps of Mr. Kurtz"). The top guys (Erdogan and his son, Putin, Rothenberg and other oligarchs etc.) do, like Mobutu, take the largest slice of the pie, but they are more than anything else, arbiters in the process of the division of money between various factions. When you read Wrong's book on Zaire, you realize that Mobutu was at the apex of the pyramid, but that he was not an unchecked dictator. To remain in power, he had to maintain support from various groups that were vying for money. This is precisely how Putin maintains his power: not as a Stalinesque dictator, but as an indispensable umpire whose sudden departure would throw the system totally off-balance until, possibly after a civil war, a new, generally accepted arbiter emerges.

I realized that it is this particular nature of the rule combined with clientelism, which is crucial and not some opposition to "liberal" values, when I spent this Summer in Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro had been ruled by one man, Djukanoviċ, for thirty years. He has in the meantime changed, like Putin, various positions from which he ruled: president of his party, prime minister, president of the country. Moreover, Djukanoviċ's rule is broadly consonant with Western liberal "values" in the areas of gay rights, environment, lack of regulation and the like. He has brought Montenegro to the threshold of the European Union and included it into NATO. But the structure of his rule is equivalent to that of Putin: control of the government in order to steal, and distribution of these gains to his supporters (and of course to himself and his clique).

In order for such a system to survive it needs to continue winning elections, ideally forever....

-- Branko Milanovic

reason -> anne... , July 25, 2017 at 12:40 AM
As far as I can tell the US will soon be on the list.
reason -> anne... , July 25, 2017 at 01:59 AM
Note the following sentence, hidden away without further comment:

" "Illiberal" also implies that the system is majoritarian in the sense that certain "inalienable" rights can be taken away through simple vote. At the extreme, a majority can decide to deny certain rights (say, to free speech) to a minority."

This is the key feature, once a majority is attained it can be indefinitely maintained. It is very important that there be well defined super majority processes for constitution and key administrative functions (imposing transparency and accountability not subject to simple majority overrule). That both the formation of the EU and its partial breakup have occurred without proper constitutional procedures is outrageous.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> anne... , July 25, 2017 at 01:59 AM
[I liked Branko's conclusion best of all.]

*

...I think that it would be wrong, though, to regard such regimes as a different species from the Western liberal regimes. They simply exaggerate some features that exist in "advanced" democracies: sale of regulations and laws is done in both but it is done more openly and blatantly in the "new" regimes; creation of a real second party in Russia is as difficult as the creation of a third party in the United States; voter suppression is just taken one step further. They amplify, sometimes in a grotesque way, the negative sides of democracies and suppress, almost fully, their positive sides.

But the new regimes' key characteristic is that they are multi-party electoral kleptocracies where only one party can win.

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

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

Introduction

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

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

Conceptual Manipulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Amalgamation of Historical Populism with the Contemporary Fabricated Populism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jul 25, 2017] Oligarchs Succeed! Only the People Suffer! by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... target for military conquest ..."
"... The opposition has a formidable array of forces, including the national intelligence apparatus (NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, etc.) and a substantial sector of the Pentagon and defense industry. Moreover, the opposition has created new power centers for ousting President Trump, including the judiciary. This is best seen in the appointment of former FBI Chief Robert Mueller as ' Special Investigator' ..."
"... The President has an increasingly fragile base of support in his Cabinet, family and closest advisers. He has a minority of supporters in the legislature and possibly in the Supreme Court, despite nominal majorities for the Republican Party. ..."
"... In fact, it is the absence of real democracy, which permits the oligarchs to engage in serious intra-elite warfare. The marginalized, de-politicized electorate are incapable of taking advantage of the conflict to advance their own interests. ..."
"... Alas not just in the USA, but also in the EU. The recent French election was no more than the ruling elite's concern that Marine le Pen would be elected. In the USA the unimaginable was the case, a political outsider was elected. The same with Brexit, also unimaginable. ..."
"... Democracy is a lie. It has never existed and cannot exist in society where tiny minority owes almost everything. It is illusion to keep masses preoccupied while they are being fleeced. Same everywhere now. ..."
"... It's a modern-day version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar . Let's hope Trump stays away from the Senate. ..."
"... Following on that same note, someone should tell Hillary Rodham Clinton, "The fault, dear Hillary, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.". I guess the modern day version would be, "The fault, dear Hillary, is not in thousands of Facebook postings by a thousand Russian agents, but in your assumption that the Deep State and the MSM would drag you across the finish line to the victory you felt was rightfully yours." ..."
"... "A reign of witches", Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State under George Washington, aimed this jeremiad at Presidents Washington and Adams. The script is old, only the characters are new. https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/we-have-always-been-a-right-wing-plutocracy/ ..."
"... This is a great summary of where America is today. What could Trump do? Here is a piece of advice. He should choose one intel agency that he can trust, may be DIA or create a new one, may be even informal one to fight the leaks which are after all felony. He should confront his Republican enemies like McCain openly that it is the President that makes foreign policy not senators, he should confront Russia gate openly, by insisting he had a right to establish whatever channels he wished to, he should reopen investigation of Clinton,s emails, Clinton foundation, investigation of who leaked DNC materials in other words refocus the attention on Clinton and Dems, something he should have done from day one. He should activate the social base of supporters in a variety of ways, he should mobilize those segments of business that support him and stand to benefit from his policies. A war is war, he should stop procrastinating in a kind of dismissive defensive posture, it is time to hit back and hit hard. ..."
"... A very fine, evenly balanced analysis of the current bizarro madness that passes for authentic governance. ..."
"... Very important interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtnSVkm7WCg&feature=youtu.be Cynthia McKinney/Sane Progressive Interview: Deep State & Uniting for REAL Alternative Movement ..."
"... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8oGQ4RPFQ Vanessa Beely On White Helmets, Syria w Sane Progressive Interview ..."
May 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

On a scale not seen since the 'great' world depression of the 1930's, the US political system is experiencing sharp political attacks, divisions and power grabs. Executive firings, congressional investigations, demands for impeachment, witch hunts, threats of imprisonment for 'contempt of Congress' and naked power struggles have shredded the façade of political unity and consensus among competing powerful US oligarchs.

For the first time in US history, the incumbent elected president struggles on a daily basis to wield state power. The opposition-controlled state (National Public Radio) and corporate organs of mass propaganda are pitted against the presidential regime. Factions of the military elite and business oligarchy face off in the domestic and international arena. The oligarchs debate and insult each other. They falsify charges, plot and deceive. Their political acolytes, who witness these momentous conflicts, are mute, dumb and blind to the real interests at stake.

The struggle between the Presidential oligarch and the Opposition oligarchs has profound consequences for their factions and for the American people. Wars and markets, pursued by sections of the Oligarchs, have led opposing sections to seek control over the means of political manipulation (media and threats of judicial action).

Intense political competition and open political debate have nothing to do with 'democracy' as it now exists in the United States.

In fact, it is the absence of real democracy, which permits the oligarchs to engage in serious intra-elite warfare. The marginalized, de-politicized electorate are incapable of taking advantage of the conflict to advance their own interests.

What the 'Conflict' is Not About

Despite these similarities in their main focus of maintaining oligarchical power and policies against the interests of the larger population, there are deep divisions over the content and direction of the presidential regime and the permanent state apparatus.

What the Oligarchical Struggle is About

There are profound differences between the oligarch factions on the question of overseas wars and 'interventions'.

While both oligarchical factions support US imperialism, they differ in terms of its nature and means.

For the 'opposition', every country, large or small, can be a target for military conquest . Trump tends to favor the expansion of lucrative overseas markets, in addition to projecting US military dominance.

Oligarchs: Tactical Similarities

The competition among oligarchs does not preclude similarities in means and tactics. Both factions favor increased military spending, support for the Saudi war on Yemen and intervention in Venezuela. They support trade with China and international sanctions against Russia and Iran. They both display slavish deference to the State of Israel and favor the appointment of openly Zionist agents throughout the political, economic and intelligence apparatus.

These similarities are, however, subject to tactical political propaganda skirmishes. The 'Opposition' denounces any deviation in policy toward Russia as 'treason', while Trump accuses the 'Opposition' of having sacrificed American workers through NAFTA.

Whatever the tactical nuances and similarities, the savage inter-oligarchic struggle is far from a theatrical exercise. Whatever the real and feigned similarities and differences, the oligarchs' struggle for imperial and domestic power has profound consequence for the political and constitutional order.

Oligarchical Electoral Representation and the Parallel Police State

The ongoing fight between the Trump Administration and the 'Opposition' is not the typical skirmish over pieces of legislation or decisions. It is not over control of the nation's public wealth. The conflict revolves around control of the regime and the exercise of state power.

The opposition has a formidable array of forces, including the national intelligence apparatus (NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, etc.) and a substantial sector of the Pentagon and defense industry. Moreover, the opposition has created new power centers for ousting President Trump, including the judiciary. This is best seen in the appointment of former FBI Chief Robert Mueller as ' Special Investigator' and key members of the Attorney General's Office, including Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein. It was Rosenstein who appointed Mueller, after the Attorney General 'Jeff' Session (a Trump ally) was 'forced' to recluse himself for having 'met' with Russian diplomats in the course of fulfilling his former Congressional duties as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This 'recusal' took significant discretionary power away from Trump's most important ally within the Judiciary.

The web of opposition power spreads and includes former police state officials including mega-security impresario, Michael Chertoff (an associate of Robert Mueller), who headed Homeland Security under GW Bush, John Brennan (CIA), James Comey (FBI) and others.

The opposition dominates the principal organs of propaganda -the press (Washington Post, Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal), television and radio (ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS/ NPR), which breathlessly magnify and prosecute the President and his allies for an ever-expanding web of unsubstantiated 'crimes and misdemeanors'. Neo-conservative and liberal think tanks and foundations, academic experts and commentators have all joined the 'hysteria chorus' and feeding frenzy to oust the President.

The President has an increasingly fragile base of support in his Cabinet, family and closest advisers. He has a minority of supporters in the legislature and possibly in the Supreme Court, despite nominal majorities for the Republican Party.

The President has the passive support of his voters, but they have demonstrated little ability to mobilize in the streets. The electorate has been marginalized.

Outside of politics (the 'Swamp' as Trump termed Washington, DC) the President's trade, investment, taxation and deregulation policies are backed by the majority of investors, who have benefited from the rising stock market. However, 'money' does not appear to influence the parallel state.

The divergence between Trumps supporters in the investment community and the political power of the opposition state is one of the most extraordinary changes of our century.

Given the President's domestic weakness and the imminent threat of a coup d'état, he has turned to securing 'deals' with overseas allies, including billion-dollar trade and investment agreements.

The multi-billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates will delight the military-industrial complex and its hundreds of thousands of workers.

Political and diplomatic 'kowtowing' to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should please some American Zionists.

But the meetings with the EU in Brussels and with the G7 in Siciliy failed to neutralize Trump's overseas opposition.

NATO's European members did not accept Trump's demands that they increase their contribution to the alliance and they condemned his reluctance to offer unconditional US military support for new NATO members. They showed no sympathy for domestic problems.

In brief, the President's overseas supporters, meetings and agreements will have little impact on the domestic correlation of forces.

Moreover, there are long-standing ties among the various state apparatuses and spy agencies in the EU and the US, which strengthen the reach of the opposition in their attacks on Trump.

While substantive issues divide the Presidential and Opposition oligarchs, these issues are vertical , not horizontal , cleavages – a question of 'their' wars or 'ours'.

Trump intensified the ideological war with North Korea and Iran; promised to increase ground troops in Afghanistan and Syria; boosted military and advisory support for the Saudi invasion of Yemen; and increased US backing for violent demonstrations and mob attacks in Venezuela.

The opposition demands more provocations against Russia and its allies; and the continuation of former President Obama's seven wars.

While both sets of oligarchs support the ongoing wars, the major difference is over who is managing the wars and who can be held responsible for the consequences.

Both conflicting oligarchs are divided over who controls the state apparatus since their power depends on which side directs the spies and generates the fake news.

Currently, both sets of oligarchs wash each other's 'dirty linen' in public, while covering up for their collective illicit practices at home and abroad. The Trump oligarchs want to maximize economic deals through ' uncritical' support for known tyrants; the opposition ' critically' supports tyrants in exchange for access to US military bases and military support for 'interventions'. President Trump pushes for major tax cuts to benefit his oligarch allies while making massive cuts in social programs for his hapless supporters. The Opposition supports milder tax cuts and lesser reductions in social programs.

Conclusion

The battle of the oligarchs has yet to reach a decisive climax. President Trump is still the President of the United States. The Opposition forges ahead with its investigations and lurid media exposés.

The propaganda war is continuous. One day the opposition media focuses on a deported student immigrant and the next day the President features new jobs for American military industries.

The emerging left-neo-conservative academic partnership (e.g. Noam Chomsky-William Kristol) has denounced President Trump's regime as a national 'catastrophe' from the beginning. Meanwhile, Wall Street investors and libertarians join to denounce the Opposition's resistance to major tax 'reforms'.

Oligarchs of all stripes and colors are grabbing for total state power and wealth while the majority of citizens are labeled ' losers' by Trump or 'deplorables' by Madame Clinton.

The 'peace' movement, immigrant rights groups and 'black lives matter' activists have become mindless lackeys pulling the opposition oligarchs' wagon, while rust-belt workers, rural poor and downwardly mobile middle class employees are powerless serfs hitched to President Trump's cart.

Epilogue

After the blood-letting, when and if President Trump is overthrown, the State Security functionaries in their tidy dark suits will return to their nice offices to preside over their 'normal' tasks of spying on the citizens and launching clandestine operations abroad.

The media will blow out some charming tid-bits and 'words of truth' from the new occupant of the 'Oval Office'.

The academic left will churn out some criticism against the newest 'oligarch-in-chief' or crow about how their heroic 'resistance' averted a national catastrophe.

Trump, the ex-President and his oligarch son-in-law Jared Kushner will sign new real estate deals. The Saudis will receive the hundreds of billions of dollars of US arms to re-supply ISIS or its successors and to rust in the 'vast and howling' wilderness of US-Middle East intervention. Israel will demand even more frequent 'servicing' from the new US President.

The triumphant editorialists will claim that 'our' unique political system, despite the 'recent turmoil', has proven that democracy succeeds . . . only the people suffer! Long live the Oligarchs!

jilles dykstra > , June 1, 2017 at 7:25 am GMT

" In fact, it is the absence of real democracy, which permits the oligarchs to engage in serious intra-elite warfare. The marginalized, de-politicized electorate are incapable of taking advantage of the conflict to advance their own interests. "

Alas not just in the USA, but also in the EU. The recent French election was no more than the ruling elite's concern that Marine le Pen would be elected.
In the USA the unimaginable was the case, a political outsider was elected. The same with Brexit, also unimaginable.

So now complete confusion with the elites, what with the EU, with NATO, what with globalisation, is Russia really an enemy, can Israel continue its policies since 1948, what with immigration into Europe, and so on, and so forth.

Sergey Krieger > , June 1, 2017 at 8:45 am GMT

Democracy is a lie. It has never existed and cannot exist in society where tiny minority owes almost everything. It is illusion to keep masses preoccupied while they are being fleeced. Same everywhere now.

The Alarmist > , June 1, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT

It's a modern-day version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar . Let's hope Trump stays away from the Senate.

The Alarmist > , June 1, 2017 at 9:04 am GMT

@The Alarmist

Following on that same note, someone should tell Hillary Rodham Clinton, "The fault, dear Hillary, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.". I guess the modern day version would be, "The fault, dear Hillary, is not in thousands of Facebook postings by a thousand Russian agents, but in your assumption that the Deep State and the MSM would drag you across the finish line to the victory you felt was rightfully yours."

Robert Magill > , June 1, 2017 at 9:24 am GMT

The triumphant editorialists will claim that 'our' unique political system, despite the 'recent turmoil', has proven that democracy succeeds . . . only the people suffer!

Long live the Oligarchs!

"A reign of witches", Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State under George Washington, aimed this jeremiad at Presidents Washington and Adams. The script is old, only the characters are new. https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/we-have-always-been-a-right-wing-plutocracy/

Sergey Krieger > , June 1, 2017 at 10:28 am GMT

@The Alarmist The good thing there is no Hillary statue over there to fell under.

Vlad > , June 1, 2017 at 11:07 am GMT

This is a great summary of where America is today. What could Trump do? Here is a piece of advice. He should choose one intel agency that he can trust, may be DIA or create a new one, may be even informal one to fight the leaks which are after all felony. He should confront his Republican enemies like McCain openly that it is the President that makes foreign policy not senators, he should confront Russia gate openly, by insisting he had a right to establish whatever channels he wished to, he should reopen investigation of Clinton,s emails, Clinton foundation, investigation of who leaked DNC materials in other words refocus the attention on Clinton and Dems, something he should have done from day one. He should activate the social base of supporters in a variety of ways, he should mobilize those segments of business that support him and stand to benefit from his policies. A war is war, he should stop procrastinating in a kind of dismissive defensive posture, it is time to hit back and hit hard.

jacques sheete > , June 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

All the yapping and whining about democracy ignores the fact that the U.S. Constitution was and is an anti-democratic document despite the populist sentiments stated in the Bill of Rights which was tacked on in as an afterthought in order to help get the constitution ratified.

The USA was never intended to be a democracy, and never was. It never really was a republic, either but in name only. And it was never really free, either. Wage and tax slaves are not free.

It was designed and has functioned always as a de facto resoligrcharum .

It is good to see, however, that more and more folks seem to be waking up to those facts though it is an agonizingly slow process

animalogic > , June 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm GMT

This is a very good, thought provoking article.

Clearly there is conflict between Oligarchs: much of conflict is tactical – as the author points out ALL the Oligarchs support US imperialism & (it's major tool) the military. However, Trump prefers a more nationalist economic approach, & bi-lateral over multi-lateral trade agreements. He was , to all appearances, more "open" to Russia than most other Elites. To what degree these are genuinely substantive issues between Oligarchs will, I suspect, be long debated.

What clouds ALL issues is Trump himself. No one can deny that he provokes a visceral, virtually psychotic hatred in many Elites (& not just Dem's but Republicans also). I also suspect that Trump could follow almost all Elite policies & he would STILL be hounded. In such a climate "issues" become mere sticks with which to HIT. (The D's would impeach him for sorcery if they could get away with it)

A couple of negative points in the article:

Surely this (at this point in time) is exaggeration ? "Given the President's domestic weakness and the imminent threat of a coup d'état "

Further, the "epilogue" in which the author argues that were Trump "overthrown" thing would return to normal quite quickly. I do not believe this. Depending on circumstances there are very good odds that not only a political, but social crisis would occur: Trump supporters are not stupid – they KNOW their guy has been treated like Shit from day one.

More positively: authorise spot ON here:

"The 'peace' movement, immigrant rights groups and 'black lives matter' activists have become mindless lackeys pulling the opposition oligarchs' wagon, while rust-belt workers, rural poor and downwardly mobile middle class employees are powerless serfs hitched to President Trump's cart."

Agent76 > , June 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT

Mar 20, 2015 The Cycle of The State (by Daniel Sanchez)

Daniel Sanchez combines the theories of Robert Higgs and Hans-Hermann Hoppe to form a theory of the cycle of the state.

Joseph E Fasciani > , Website June 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

A very fine, evenly balanced analysis of the current bizarro madness that passes for authentic governance.

Agent76 > , June 1, 2017 at 3:09 pm GMT

May 31, 2017 A Groundbreaking Examination of How This Profoundly Altered the Nature of American Democracy

Garry Wills (born May 22, 1934) is an American author, journalist, and historian, specializing in American history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Catholic Church. He won a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1993.

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website June 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm GMT

Consider one of the most odious oligarchs of all time, Ted Kennedy. What damage he did.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/06/edward-teddy-kennedy-how-lecher-became.html

aandrews > , June 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Resoligrcharum. Definition?

jacques sheete > , June 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm GMT

@aandrews

Resoligrcharum. Definition?

Republic is from res publica , "a thing of the public."

Resoligarcharum is my neologism for res oligarcharum, "a thing of the oligarchs."

PS: The antifederalists' suspicions and predictions regarding the constitution were mostly and significantly correct. They saw the fraud coming and knew how it was likely to play out. Regarding the issue of freedom, with the institution of the Federal Reserve, it's even worse than they could have imagined,

nickels > , June 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT

@Agent76 Very interesting. I put his book on my 'to read' stack. This seems like a pretty reasonable narrative on how these institutions gained so much power.

Agent76 > , June 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm GMT

@jacques sheete This quote nails everything in a nutshell, "Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main ballpark." Walter Lippmann

jacques sheete > , June 2, 2017 at 12:29 am GMT

@Agent76

This quote nails everything in a nutshell, "Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main ballpark." Walter Lippmann

Lippman was definitely a mixed bag, but he spoke a lot of truths. His attitude regarding intelligence testing, to name one subject, were spot on and remain so. Short summary: It's pretty much BS. Another thanks to RU. One can read a lot of Lippman's (and other great observers') stuff on another fabulous UNZ site.:

Nearly a century ago Walter Lippman warned us of the sappy and dangerous false conclusions many "high IQ" dingbats would draw. He was correct then and still is.

"One has only to read around in the literature of the subject, but more especially in the work of popularizers like McDougall and Stoddard, to see how easily the Intelligence test can be turned into an engine of cruelty, how easily in the hands of blundering or prejudiced men it could turn into a method of stamping a permanent sense of inferiority upon the soul of a child.
- Walter Lippmann, The Abuse of the Tests, The New Republic, November 15, 1922, p. 297 –

http://www.unz.org/Pub/NewRepublic-1922nov15-00297

jacques sheete > , June 2, 2017 at 12:33 am GMT

@nickels While I'm not familiar with that author, I am a huge fan of A.J. Nock.

This helps explain why I deny that the USA was never truly intended as a republic.:

The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production ! Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle

mises.org/daily/4254

RobinG > , June 2, 2017 at 1:00 am GMT

@The Alarmist

Appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the murder of Seth Rich, the alleged Wikileaks email leaker.

On July 10, 2016, Seth Rich was shot twice in the early morning as he walked back to his house in Washington D.C. Immediately after the crime, the death was called an armed robbery but none of Seth Rich's belongings were taken from him.

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the family, said that there was evidence Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks and that law enforcement were covering this up. MSM is not covering this murder, instead pushing it to the side, so it is now up to us.

The facts do not add up, law enforcement stopped covering the crime, and now it is time for us to fight for justice. Seth Rich deserves this.

Sign here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-special-prosecutor-investigate-murder-seth-rich-alleged-wikileaks-email-leaker

elderlyrstaff > , Website June 2, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

A rather bleak outlook all-in-all. The oligarch's don't win nor do the cruise-control mob. The little guys win now as well as later. Relax and don't stress for no oligarch will escape unscathed. The BOSS always acts (Psa 73).

Dr. Doom > , June 2, 2017 at 2:47 am GMT

Democracy is the gawd that failed. It killed Ancient Athens, Rome and anyone dumb enough to allow the average person to vote himself other peoples' wages. Trump is about as masterful as any old man who has left reality behind. He might as well be doing Wrestlemania again. The "oligarchs" are the dumbest and greediest crooks Satan could dredge from the Global Sewers. Its not a swamp, its a sewer. Raw sewage is beginning to stink to high heaven. Its not a struggle between these greedy idiots, its a fractured fairy tale in a hate filled delusional book of mindless drivel being pushed by the stupidest and most arrogant gaggle of morons ever to make their nightmares the problem of people who if they wanted to could slaughter them like pork bellies by the end of business tomorrow.

This siren song of globalism is a bunch of crazy fags and delusional arrogant whores with delusions of grandeur and the IQ of a head of cabbage trying to get people to work for nothing and thank them for stealing their future. How does it end? Read the Book of Revelation. The Founding Fathers fought the forebears of these idiots at The Bank of England. They run America into the ground at the legalised counterfeiting ring laughably called The Federal Reserve Today. What if this money was real? What if these Satanists were actually smart? What if voting and caring actually mattered?

Well, then I wouldn't be here to kill you Enjoy what you laughingly call a life. Its the End of the World as you know it, but I feel fine.

Joe Levantine > , June 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

" it must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who profit from the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others defend him halfheartedly, so that between them he runs great danger. It is necessary, however, in order to investigate thoroughly this question, to examine whether these innovators are independent, or wether they depend upon others, that is to say, wether in order to carry out their designs they have to entreat or are able to compel. In the first case they invariably succeed ill, and accomplish nothing; but when they can depend on their own strength and are able to use force, they rarely fail. Thus it comes about that all armed prophets have conquered and unarmed ones failed

From Machiavelli's The Prince

If we are to apply these wise words to actual examples of history, it is best to compare the performance of FDR with that of Adolf Hitler. They came to power within a few weeks of each other, they inherited a chaotic situation with unemployment rates hovering around the 25%. Under Hitler, it took two years to reduce unemployment to 3% whereas after six years of the New Deal, American depression was still alive and the population still suffering from a hideous malaise. Had Donald Trump come to power on the back of a third party, preferably with its own militia, he would sail through his reform programs without a hitch. But this is the USA, the land where the founding fathers made sure that no dictator would ever come to power NOT TO PROTECT DEMOCRACY WHICH EXISTED ALL ALONG IN FORM AND NOT IN SUBSTANCE , BUT TO DEFEND AND PRESERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE PREDATORY RULING CLASS.

If we need to compare the situation of Trump with that of another democracy, we can look at the case of France under General De Gaulle. De Gaulle inherited the flawed system of the French Fourth Republic and decided to act quickly and decisively, but in order a to do so, he chose his security team from a group of extremely loyal people and never entrusted this task to the running governmental agencies. His reforms were executed in a firm and coherent way leading to the French Fifth Republic and to an economic boom coupled with an aggrandizement of French power and prestige on a grand scale. Needless to remind the reader, that under Anglo-Zionist machination, General De Gaulle decided to resign before the end of his second mandate.

Trump's success or failure depends on how much he can mobilize the American masses and how much he can clean his surroundings from the many Judases who are there only to sabotage him. Trump needs to address and engage the common person into a full galvanization of the masses to take to the street with the fury of a fanatical partisan. Trump should create his personal security apparatus and accept that no matter what he does to protect himself, he has to live with the danger of assassination. To deal with matters of state the way he dealt with his business endeavors will not lead him anywhere; this means that trying to accommodate the neo-cons and their ilk will put him in an ever weaker position.

nickels > , June 2, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Yes, E Michael Jones goes as far as to say the constitution was basically a document intended to cement the rule of the Oligarchy and the creditors and guarantee that the debtors would never attain even the slightest reprieve from their overlords.

Agent76 > , June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Then there is also this man who studied human behavior and wrote the book Propaganda literally titled propaganda.

Aug 23, 2013 Edward Bernays – "Public relations" is a polite term for propaganda

Edward Bernays, "the father of public relations," recounts the origin of the term public relations. This clip comes from the documentary "Century of the Self," part 2 "The Engineering of Consent."

alan2102 > , June 2, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@jacques sheete "It was designed and has functioned always as a de facto resoligrcharum"

Congratulations! It is rare that google gets completely stumped, but such is the case with "resoligrcharum". Try it. You'll see what I mean.

vx37 > , June 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm GMT

In fact, it is the absence of real democracy, which permits the oligarchs to engage in serious intra-elite warfare. The marginalized, de-politicized electorate are incapable of taking advantage of the conflict to advance their own interests.

This. Prime immediate cause – television and media monopoly. The elite have used the excuse of race to shut down democracy and democratic debate. This latest, and probably final, war on democracy started in America because the elites there had the proper tool at hand: blacks. "Anti-racism" is a contrivance for exploitation, whether it's minorities feeding off the host population or elites using ethnic tensions to centralize power. It's a type of soft colonialism against those who are soft enough to accept it. The hard occupation will come later.

- – – –
"If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist." – Joseph Sobran

Che Guava > , June 2, 2017 at 8:19 pm GMT

That automatically brought to my mind an image of the songbird of the Hanoi Hilton, John McCain, lurching up from his Senate seat, dagger in hand. McCain is psychologically tortured by having been a traitor to his comrades, all those years ago. I am glad that America lost in Vietnam, lbut one does not betray one's comrades.

I feel a little sorry for Trump, where he had good intentions, blocked. Installing his daughter and son-in-law as high officials was in bad taste and bad for policy. Magnanimous behaviour towards Hillary's clear crimes was a mistake, the only return was nonsensical 'Russki hacked the election' becoming more intense. Of course, the latter is very convenient for those who want never to see Russia and the USA, to have a normal and civil connection.

All of that also showed that he can't be serious about his more interesting campaign lines.

RobinG > , June 2, 2017 at 11:21 pm GMT

@Che Guava "Magnanimous behaviour towards Hillary's clear crimes was a mistake.."

How true! Tomorrow her whining minions will (((March for Truth))) – useful idiots, ever. The plan is for protesters to spell out INVESTIGATE TRUMP on the Mall. Did they get a permit for a drone (illegal in DC limits) to shoot a photo?

Someone should photo-bomb with a big LOCK HER UP ! sign. Hillary and her Foundation are what need investigating.

Agent76 > , June 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT

@Joseph E Fasciani

A very fine, evenly balanced analysis of the current bizarro madness that passes for authentic governance. More than most even realize with a lack of participation by most in person except for a few folks. I am not a Democrat or Republican neither party speaks for me and I also have several examples from both with their vote rigged conventions and town hall meetings.

May 18, 2016 What really happened in the Nevada Democratic Convention

Instead, the media is trying to spin it against Bernie, about the violence and them being upset. If you were present at this, wouldn't you be upset? I'm not saying threats are warranted, but at what point do the American People say enough is enough?

Che Guava > , June 3, 2017 at 6:49 pm GMT

@RobinG "Magnanimous behaviour towards Hillary's clear crimes was a mistake.."

How true! Tomorrow her whining minions will (((March for Truth))) - useful idiots, ever. The plan is for protesters to spell out INVESTIGATE TRUMP on the Mall. Did they get a permit for a drone (illegal in DC limits) to shoot a photo?

Someone should photo-bomb with a big LOCK HER UP ! sign. Hillary and her Foundation are what need investigating. Thanks. I still have some hope that Prex. Trump will do some good for your country. I think that he may have the attention-span of one of the duller varieties of insect. a bee wil spend many minutes around a flower-bed, i love to watch, and not frightened, as long as I keep track of where they are..

Trump seems to have a shorter attention span than bumble-bees and similar species have on flowers.

So, his first official overseas trip is to Saudia Arabia. He makes a contract for umpteen million dollars of advanced weapons to a state that will, as much as is possible, pass the portion that is portable to IS and other al-Qaeda offshoots.

Madness.

Next stage, Israel, craven cowering acts and promises of fealty.

After that the Pope, Francesco never had any trouble with Operation Condor, never once raised his voice against it.

My opinion is that he acts mainly out of guilt

RobinG > , June 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm GMT

@Che Guava There is some hope, IF we get our act – and ourselves – together. A few people are trying to build something out of the wreckage of the *Trump and Sanders campaigns. (*Trump was a different guy in the campaign, no?)

Very important interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtnSVkm7WCg&feature=youtu.be Cynthia McKinney/Sane Progressive Interview: Deep State & Uniting for REAL Alternative Movement

Che Guava > , June 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

@RobinG Thanks, RobinG,

I am a long-time Cynthia Mckinney fan, at the time she was in Congress, her and Ron Paul's were the only interesting voices.

Not being a USA person, I have no say.

Her political assassination from the House was also interesting, massive money from obvious sources, so she was out.

Not so interesting since, but no wonder.

Che Guava > , June 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm GMT

@RobinG I watched the vid., McKinney's words make much sense, but the smug idiot in front of the screen, constantly stroking her own chin, posing for her webcam, ruins it.

How amateurish to have it all on a PC screen under the gaze of Ms. Vain.

RobinG > , June 4, 2017 at 10:50 pm GMT

@Che Guava LOL. It's true that Debbie has a rather annoying style, but if you can ignore that, she makes some good points. (Kind of like eating tripe.) She also has quite a loyal following, and apparently 80,000 viewers, so maybe she's gotten too comfortable in front of the camera. And actually, she's not posing for the camera. She's reading messages as they come in from viewers.

Here's her interview of Vanessa Beeley. Since we're in the throes of absurdity (yesterday's "March for Truth" was anything but) it's valuable to have honest journalism, even if it's not technically slick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8oGQ4RPFQ Vanessa Beely On White Helmets, Syria w Sane Progressive Interview

Che Guava > , June 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@RobinG Thx. Robin. I will watching it later.

I do know how difficult video conversion and editing are, am trying to organise hours of band photos and vids onto video CDs and DVDs. If they want to upload them, it is up to them, as long as I get a credit.

My own, too.

Of course, that is old-fashioned, I know. In most cases, I have permission for uploading, but I don't want to do it that way.

OTOH, Ms. Vain didn't even switch to a direct view of Cynthia. That would not be so difficult, same kind of streaming format.

I will also to repeating, the chin stroking seems compulsive.

Have a friend who also does, and his nose, and also is someone who tries to feel very superior, it is like the symptom of a complex. Really creeps another friend out. Just makes me uneasy.

RobinG > , June 8, 2017 at 4:58 am GMT

@Che Guava Thx. Robin. I will watching it later.

I do know how difficult video conversion and editing are, am trying to organise hours of band photos and vids onto video CDs and DVDs. If they want to upload them, it is up to them, as long as I get a credit.

My own, too.

Of course, that is old-fashioned, I know. In most cases, I have permission for uploading, but I don't want to do it that way.

OTOH, Ms. Vain didn't even switch to a direct view of Cynthia. That would not be so difficult, same kind of streaming format.

I will also to repeating, the chin stroking seems compulsive.

Have a friend who also does, and his nose, and also is someone who tries to feel very superior, it is like the symptom of a complex. Really creeps another friend out. Just makes me uneasy. Che, I'm not disagreeing with you (her solo rants when she has no guest can be especially annoying) but she did demonstrate at one point that putting the monitor with Cynthia head-on caused excessive glare.

What interests me most is the project of Cynthia, Robert Steele, and others to bridge the gap between different ideological groups, to make common cause to expose, confront, depose the Deep State. I have yet to meet anyone who shares my viewpoint entirely, but I'm happy to cooperate with almost anybody on issues I consider essential.

[Jul 19, 2017] 'Cultural Marxism' is usually a euphemism for political correctness and identity politics which the right-wing commentariat see rooted in 1960s counter culture supposedly influenced by French and Frankfurt School marxian philosophy.

Jul 19, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

, GalahadThreepwood

, 21 Aug 2016 02:16
This is a good analysis. Given the author's not insignificant role in the surreptitious imposition of the cultural Marxism under which we all live today in which the expression of any ideas by those in public life which run counter to the cultural and economic consensus are greeted with loud indignation, feigned offence and derision, frequently leading to social ostracism, one wonders how the new ideas are to be even debated, let alone taken up.

Pikkety (?) is a good example of original thinking, with whom I don't personally agree, but the way in which he has been derided in most MSM or, worse, completely ignored shows up shallowness of modern political and philosophical discourse.

, panchozecat GalahadThreepwood , 21 Aug 2016 03:07
I have no idea what you mean by 'cultural Marxism', it seems you're way off beam. We have lived through a period of hegemony dominated by neo liberal capitalism - as Martin describes so well. Share Facebook Twitter
, zibibbo panchozecat , 21 Aug 2016 10:38
'Cultural Marxism' is usually a euphemism for political correctness and identity politics which the right-wing commentariat see rooted in 1960s counter culture supposedly influenced by French and Frankfurt School marxian philosophy.
, Marscolonist , 21 Aug 2016 02:17
Similarly Malcolm Turnbull, the ultimate symbol of the success of greed who promoted massive tax cuts to the corporations as an election strategy, was stunned by his rejection at the last election and by the rise of Pauline Hanson, an individual who represents an Australian version of Donald Trump.

Meanwhile other neo-liberal reactionaries like the Premier of NSW, Mike Baird, continue to sell public assets such as the electricity supply, dismantle and dismiss democratically elected local councils, give business owners two votes in Sydney City council elections, tear down functional buildings such as the Power House Museum and the Entertainment center in order to hand the sites to property developers and approves coal mines on prime agricultural land and in areas of great natural beauty yet imagines that he will get away with what he is doing.
He may well discover that come the next election, even the ordinary members of his own party will desert him as the revolt against his destructive and arrogant mis-government catches up with him.

[Jul 17, 2017] This Is The Most Dangerous Time Ever Ex-CIA Boss Says US To Blame For Scourge Without Parallel ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall." ..."
"... My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil. ..."
"... I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them. ..."
"... Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so. ..."
"... The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list. ..."
"... CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection. ..."
"... CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.

According to The Hill,

"I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence," he said on "The Cats Roundtable" in an interview airing Sunday on New York's AM-970.

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life...

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

"You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there," Devine said.

Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall."

Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.

"There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use," he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

"[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance," he added. "Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances."

Finally Devine admits...

"If there's blame to be put, it's on our failure to have done that by this point."

Selected Skeptical Comments

i_call_you_my_base

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s..."

"And by dealt I mean trained and funded."

Looney

John Kerry to the MSM:

Do not use "Al Qaeda" or "Al Nustra" - just call them "Allies" (pronounced Al Lies). ;-)

Looney

Vatican_cameo

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

By small group he means CIA, Right? I thought he would have been a little clearer.

Occident Mortal

My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil.

Paveway IV

"...once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe..."

I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them.

The U.S. blocked the first Iran pipeline (called the Persian Pipeline) FROM IRAN to Iraq in 2010 by forcing the Swiss company that partnered with Iran to back out due to Israeli - ooops, 'Western' sanctions on Iran. The second Iran-sourced NG pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria - called the Friendship Pipeline - was agreed to in 2012 by the countries involved. That's when the U.S. launched it's failed coup attempt in Syria and let its ISIS mad-dogs loose in Iraq. Tyler usually refers to this by the derogatory label of "Islamic Pipeline" - a snide label that Kagan-PNAC and Western oil companies used. Tyler never refers to the Western-backed Qatari pipeline as the Jihadi Pipeline, nor does he refer to the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline as the Jewish Pipeline. I'm not sure about the inconsistency - maybe he's trying to make some point.

Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so.

goldhedge

The CIA guy doesn't mention the House of Saud.

Pfft.

Jack Burton

Good catch! And there never do.

CIA and House of Saud have done a long term deal to look out for each other in this world. The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list.

CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection.

CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings.

scrappy

Somewhere it's 3:00 AM

Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Claims Saudi Arabia is the Largest Donor to "Salafism Terrorists" Worldwide

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/11/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-cl...

Clinton Foundation's Colombian 'Private Equity Fund' Deletes Website

http://investmentwatchblog.com/clinton-foundations-colombian-private-equ...

sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen.

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug".

She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts.

Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

Recently from Author
Of Related Interest Democrats in the Dead Zone Jeffrey St. Clair June 23, 2017 1,500 Words

WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 2 Contrasting patterns of populism in Europe and Latin America

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

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

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

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

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

An interesting post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ignacio , July 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

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

Doug , July 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thuto , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

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

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

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

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

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

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

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

witters , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

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

On the other hand:

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

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

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

Eclair , July 3, 2017 at 8:09 am

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

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

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

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

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:04 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

edr , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

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

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

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

Seems so simply, right ?

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

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

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