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Identity politics as neoliberal diversion of attention from inequality

A new flavor of "divide and conquer strategy"  practiced by soft neoliberals of the Democratic Party

News Class Struggle In The USA Recommended Links Kavanauch witch hunt Bait and Switch  Divide and conquer strategy
Hillary Clinton faux feminism Bill Clinton, the founder of "Vichy left" Identity politics as divide and conquer Transgender Activism Backlush to identy politics  
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite Theory Leo Strauss and the Neocons  
Obama: a yet another Neocon Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Color revolutions   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Powerful Few
American Exceptionalism Corporatism Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Predator state Deception as an art form Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the
Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Big Uncle is Watching You Divide and conquer strategy Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.” ― George Orwell, 1984

The term "neoliberal identity politics"  can also be used in a neutral, non-pejorative sense to encompass ‘feminism, black liberation, gay rights, minorities right, nationalism, etc …’

Neoliberal Democrats abandoned the idea of "class warfare" for "identity politics". A Blairite would say: "we wanted to be a party of power". Which in the USA led to Dem sellout to Wall Street and adoption of wedge issues. Identity politics led to "unilateral representation of ethnic minorities", that is a politic decision based on race.

Identity politics has been co-opted by the neoliberal technocracy to divert attention from wealth inequalities, the dominance of big corporations and financial oligarchy in politics, and the complete lack of democratic accountability of elected officials.

This is why African Americans voters which have been just as let down by neoliberal politics by Bill Clinton and Obama  voted overwhelmingly for Bill Clinton, Obama and Hillary Clinton. Such a nice politico-technological trick did them in.

This election identity politics did not work all the time. One resent and spectacular failure was Presidential elections of 2016.  Neoliberal establishment candidate -- a staunch neocon and warmonger Hillary  Clinton with all her identity politics tricks lost the election to Donald Trump who positioned himself as an independent candidate not controlled by financial oligarchy:

Minorityreported
For the last thirty years, there has been no left or right wing governments - not economically or fiscally. Third way centrism (liberal progressiveness) embraced the primacy of unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and focused exclusively on using political power as a tool to win the culture war instead.

That's fine if you've done materially very well out of unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and all that therefore matters to you is social justice issues.

But if you were once in a secure job with a decent income and decent prospects for your children, and all of that has been ripped away from you by unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and the people responsible for preventing that - or at least fixing it when it happens - are more concerned with policing the language you use to express your fears and pain, and demonstrating their compassion by trying to improve the life chances of people on other continents, then social justice issues become a source of burning resentment, not enlightenment.

There has been a crushing rejection of globalism and corporate plutocracy by Western electorates. The Western progressive left will only survive if it has the courage to recognise that, and prioritises the fight for economic and fiscal policies that promote the interests and prospects of its own poor and middle class, over and above the cultural issues that have defined it for a quarter of a century.

We should always remain vigilant, but the truth is that the culture war is won. It would be tragic beyond words if that victory was reversed by an explosion of resentment caused by the left's determination to guard old battle fields, while ignoring the reality that its thinkers and activists are needed to right new injustices. Trump's success doesn't represent the victory of hate over hope, it just represents the loss of hope. The left has to see that or its finished.

confluence50,
The left pandered to the margins. It is more important for them to impose a transsexual using a rest room with my daughter in school than it is to just keep the boys with boys and girls with girls.

One example, but my point is that this kind of policy alienates and offends more people than it seeks to serve. The dems let us down by pandering to the margins of our society along with prioritizing all sorts of things that simply just don't matter to the rank and file American.

dusktildawn,

I agree. I think looking at this through the prism of race and gender is a massive red herring. Race and gender bias are symptoms of insecurity, not causes of it. The insecurity in this case is the feeling that the country - economically, politically and culturally - has been stolen by elites who care naught about ordinary, less privileged folk.

On another thread I also mentioned another issue which is how fractured society has become in the West, how disconnected its different parts, a process which technology has fuelled. You can get through your life today without dealing in any significant way with anyone who disagrees with you, which is actually very, very dangerous.

Potyka Kalman,
They given up "class warfare" for "identity politics". A Blairite would say: "we wanted to be a party of power" => money.

Identity politics led to "unilateral representation of ethnic minorities", that is a politic decision based on race.

Yeah, Democrats has a lot to account for. They are guilty.

lotusblue,
The working classes have been stripped of their dignity, whole communities have become wastelands and virtual ghettos. The working class don't trust the left to sort things out for them and that is why and how a figure like Trump can come along and say 'I will save you all' and become President.

Meanwhile, the socialist left sit around scratching their heads, unable to work out what has happened and squabble about the spirit of socialism and ideology that in all honesty, most working class people don't give a toss about. They just want jobs that pay a decent wage, a nice house to own, nice food on the table, two cars and nice holidays. They want to be middle class in other words.

marjane52 lotusblue, 
But democrats are not left. They right wing too. If Americans think that Democrats are left, they don΄t know what left is at all. And what socialist goverment has USA had. I see Americans saying tthat Democrats are socialists, really?.Hillary left and socialist?. Trump and Hillary are both right wing, only that Trump is more extreme.
muttley79,  
Guardian columnists such as Hadley Freeman, Lucia Graves, Wolff, Abramson, Freedland and company should be forced to read this article. These columnists very rarely if ever talk about the Gilded Age style inequality levels in the West, and the USA in particular. Instead it is all about identity politics for them. Can these individuals start writing about the disastrous chasm between the very rich and the rest please?

hexotic -> muttley79,

Definitely. Identity politics has been coopted by the neoliberal technocracy to divert attention from wealth inequalities, the operation of big corporations in politics and the general lack of democratic accountability in governance.



NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

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

[Mar 12, 2020] Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake?

Mar 12, 2020 | twitter.com

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

[Mar 04, 2020] Trump Slams 'SPOILER' Elizabeth Warren For Sinking Sanders

A pretty sharp political thinking from the President
Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

20 minutes later, Trump tweeted that it was " So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race ," as she has "Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly."

"So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!"

So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race. She has Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly. So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Three hours later, Trump tweeted: " Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas , not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER! "

Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

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

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Democrats want to pass (and have introduced) programs like subsidized day care, parental leave, and universal health care. If you're not hearing them address this, you're not listening. And anything they try to pass through Congress would be immediately shot down by the GOP. ..."
Dec 23, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com


Feminists need to rout some of their commendable passion into making sure that American mothers are cared for.

Whatever one thinks about the roar of noise that is the #MeToo movement, it’s proved damned effective at galvanizing action and debate.

It’s also demonstrated how the world has grown more willing to do something about sexist and misogynistic injustices—ranging from minor everyday ones to graver ones entrenched over a lifetime—that women have endured for centuries.

In which case: why the barely audible squeaks about maternity leave for America’s moms?

In my native UK, contractually employed mums (our brave versions of your brave moms) are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, 39 weeks of which is paid. That’s left me continually stunned at how this issue is so rarely touched on in America during these supposedly progressive and enlightened times.

The United States remains the only country in the developed world that does not mandate paid maternity leave. All that’s on the books is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, which requires 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers of newborn or newly adopted children. And that’s only if they’ve been working in their jobs for a year and their employers have more than 50 employees within 75 miles of where they work.

The downright pernickety-ness and stinginess of it all is only further exacerbated by the fact that if your spouse works at the same company that you do, your employer can divide the 12-week total between the two of you.

Such splitting of hairs seems almost designed to pummel the morale of first-time or once-again mothers (as well as bleary-eyed fathers). Yet very little has been said—and even less done—to improve matters since 1993. Not by politicians, not by public figures, and, most tellingly for this article, not by feminists, even though the issue is a source of anxiety and woe for so many women. All these sleep-deprived new moms, their bodies and hormones in chaos, their emotions rollercoastering, dragging themselves back to the office.

Seven in 10 moms with kids younger than 18 were in the labor force in 2015, up from 47 percent in 1975, according to the Pew Research Center, which also found that mothers are the primary breadwinners in four in 10 American families.

Given such stats and the miserable implications for families at such a challenging period in women’s lives, it’s odd to observe what battles are not being fought by those feminists who claim to speak for all women, especially right now, when their voices seem to be so effective. Admittedly several states have their own laws that offer partially paid maternity leave. And some employers do offer paid leave of their own volition. But the fact is that, because FMLA is all there is, many women must return to work after those 12 weeks are up.

So why not make more noise about #MomsToo, especially considering that #MeToo surely has some volume to spare?

I put that question to a single mom who works in women’s counseling, child assault protection, and the prevention of intimate partner violence—suffice to say, she is well steeped in matters of men not stepping up or doing far worse. She countered that the #MeToo movement is not just about sexual harassment; it’s about the general way that men and society view women. This in turn, she explained, affects lots of other issues, including maternity leave, though she said that more pressing for her are the terrible maternal mortality rates across the United States. In short, she says, the #MeToo tide is looking to raise all manner of boats skippered by and sheltering long-suffering women.

I’d struggle to argue with any of that. At the same time, though, any worthy movement can become a bandwagon. And I suspect the lack of #MomsToo attention has to do with some #MeToo supporters wanting to look edgy and on trend on social media, which can’t usually be achieved by discussing the dull and antiquated institution of motherhood. Selfless devotion and sacrifice to a little screaming brat who might not even live out the all but guaranteed extinction of the world? Please, girl.

I recently came across a book aimed at new moms that purported to explore the “brilliant, terrible, wonderful, confusing realities of first-time motherhood.” Going off what I have seen of motherhood and speaking to new moms—my sister included, who has had four kids, and does not hold back from offering candid assessments—that description seems apt. It captures the wild spectrum of maternal experiences, which range from utter joy to utter nightmare, with an enormous amount in between.

Yet despite all that, American society keeps its arms folded when it comes to cutting moms some slack regarding their so-called duties to their employers, with barely anything suggested about a duty of care due the other way.

Even more concerning is how the poor state of maternity leave is part of a much larger and more troubling dynamic, one that, once again, the feminists could do more to consider and confront.

The New York Times comes in for a fair amount of criticism these days for its on-trend topics and attempts to appear woke. But full credit to it for running in last weekend’s Sunday paper a devastatingly humane and thought-provoking article—the kind that seems an endangered species—addressing declining birth rates in the developed world.

While acknowledging that the downward trend typically accompanies the spread of economic development that brings benefits to women, it still delved into the nuances of how that trend also reflects a “profound failure: of employers and governments to make parenting and work compatible” due to “the glaring absence of family-friendly policies in the U.S.”

This, the article’s author, Anna Louie Sussman, argues, is the result of the bigger picture that society is missing—and that much talk of feminist empowerment misses too—whereby the current version of global capitalism is generating “social conditions inimical to starting families.”

I think both sexes are being sold a lot of hokum in the name of self-realization, taking back control, and so on. And that peddling is being done in the name of the overarching lord of us all: The Economy.

Sussman aptly addresses this, describing “a secular world in which a capitalist ethos–extract, optimize, earn, achieve, grow—prevails,” while “a lifetime of messaging directs us” towards an “engaging career, esoteric hobbies, exotic holidays.” The result, she says, is the “promise and pressure of seemingly limitless freedom, which can combine to make children an after-thought, or an unwelcome intrusion on a life that offers rewards and satisfactions of another kind.”

This crisis in reproduction, Sussman argues, is compounded by the fact that so many people who are thinking of having a child are wrestling with—and often giving up in the face of—well-grounded anxieties ranging from the increasing financial burdens of child rearing to bringing children into a world wrought by environmental degradation.

Hence Sussman’s conclusion that improvements such as paid parental leave are “only a partial fix for our current crisis, a handful of crumbs when our bodies and souls require a nourishing meal.”

As I’ve previously noted, men undoubtedly still play a role in women-centric issues, and hence have a right to participate in important discussions that ultimately affect all of us.

Some feminists might disagree with that. But rather than calling out men for interfering, how about instead directing some of that commendable passion into achieving important change? How about highlighting those more neglected issues such as maternity leave that remain stubbornly entrenched amid the broader hypocrisies of a supposedly caring society that leaves so many mothers in the lurch?

James Jeffrey is a freelance journalist who splits his time between the U.S., the UK, and further afield, and writes for various international media. Follow him on Twitter @jrfjeffrey .


Zgler 8 hours ago

Stingy maternity leave policies are driven by libertarian principles. The principal, driven by corporate donors, is that government shall interfere with corporatism as little as possible. The other side of the lobby against maternity leave are conservatives who don't believe women should be working at all while their children are in younger than high-school age. By the way, aren't men parents too? Surely men should be on board with better maternity leave if they believe in family.
tz1 7 hours ago
Why is AmConMag going beyond National Review in its series of articles "The Conservative Case for rabid Socialism"

This is both socialism and gender feminism. Or maybe because it isn't the government but "employers" enslaved by the government, it is economic fascism?

Moms belong at home with their children over their entire childhood, and do they get another year of Maternity leave if they get pregnant again within a few months of birth? Who pays for this? Maybe it is why we are sending jobs to Mexico and China because they not merely do it cheaper, they don't have things like this that make employers into playing an inverse lottery. Hire a mother to be, get stuck with a huge bill? But we've already wanted to lower wages so you need a two-income household, and how WILL those women ever pay off their student loan debt?

You are extremely charitable with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY. How about YOU supporting YOUR wife (and children)? If Women decide they want to spend their 20's with college degrees, six figure debt, and careers, they shouldn't be mothers.

Instead, if you insist, why not do a "Child Support" on steroids and make the FATHER - even and especially if he is married to the woman - pay for the leave and kid?

Rousseau 7 hours ago
If paid maternity leave is so important, why don't conservatives lead? Oh, I forget conservatives don't care about maternity leave because it would be a burden on businesses. Republicans (economic liberals) don't want any burdens on businesses. This isn't complicated. Come on, why even write about this?
cka2nd 7 hours ago
Um, see https://www.theguardian.com...
Jen 7 hours ago
Democrats want to pass (and have introduced) programs like subsidized day care, parental leave, and universal health care. If you're not hearing them address this, you're not listening. And anything they try to pass through Congress would be immediately shot down by the GOP.

In addition, there are numerous political advocacy groups, one example being Moms Rising ( https://www.momsrising.org/... .

And states are coming up with their own paid family leave plans due to the failure of the federal government to come up with a plan (WA state, for example).

What bubble are you in that you don't hear about these things?

Ken T 6 hours ago
why the barely audible squeaks about maternity leave for America's moms?

One wonders what you have been listening to, since the fight for paid family leave has been one of the most consistent, ongoing issues of the US left for decades. And yes, that includes pretty much every "MeToo" activist. Of course, maybe you've just missed it since we describe it as "family leave" that can be used by either or both parents; rather than your patronizing "maternity leave for America's moms" framing.

Barry_D 4 hours ago
One might well ask where the family values people are.

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

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "...real fear or anguish..." in fact only exist in people's heads. Identity politics poisoned neolibs like to externalize these sensations as being tangible features of the physical (non-metaphysical and non-imaginary) world. They are not. ..."
"... The corporate mass media exists solely to manufacture megatrends in society. Whether that is to manufacture mass cravings for a particular color and artificial flavor of carbonated corn syrup water or to manufacture the "real fear or anguish" that we are threatened by scary "others" to get the herd to crowd around symbols of security, the overall purpose is the same: Serve the interests of the big business elites. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jul 22 2019 14:14 utc | 148

"...real fear or anguish..." in fact only exist in people's heads. Identity politics poisoned neolibs like to externalize these sensations as being tangible features of the physical (non-metaphysical and non-imaginary) world. They are not.

More topically, the corporate mass media excels at manufacturing "real fear or anguish" . The farce taking place in HK is a perfect example of this, but we can see similar examples elsewhere like Venezuela where well-fed upper middle class Venezuelans are convinced beyond reason that Venezuelans (others that they don't know) are starving, or like in Ukraine where western Ukrainians were certain in their anguish that eastern Ukrainians were being killed by Russians. Many Americans are still experiencing very "real fear or anguish" that Russians are wrecking their sham "Democracy™" . As real as this may seem to the delusional and hysterical, it is still delusion and hysteria.

The corporate mass media exists solely to manufacture megatrends in society. Whether that is to manufacture mass cravings for a particular color and artificial flavor of carbonated corn syrup water or to manufacture the "real fear or anguish" that we are threatened by scary "others" to get the herd to crowd around symbols of security, the overall purpose is the same: Serve the interests of the big business elites.

[Jan 23, 2020] 'The Denver Post's most read columnist says he was fired by the newspaper for his belief that there are only two sexes

Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jan 24 2020 2:29 utc | 152

'The Denver Post's most read columnist says he was fired by the newspaper for his belief that there are only two sexes.

In a Facebook post, Jon Caldara said he was dismissed because his writing was too "insensitive."

https://www.davidicke.com/article/562662/denver-posts-read-columnist-says-fired-newspaper-belief-two-sexes

[Jan 20, 2020] Identity Politics Nihilism, Ego Distraction by Andre Vltchek

Notable quotes:
"... Such focus is totally fragmenting Western societies. It leads to extreme individualism and dark nihilism. What should stay behind closed doors is being brought out to the center of attention. ..."
"... And the Empire knows it, and precisely for that reason, it does everything possible to elevate sex and sexuality into something tremendously important, glorified, as well as untouchable. Terms and definitions then get confused: centering people's identity around their genitals, gets defined as "their identity". Their struggle for sexual rights is now being defined as "progressive", even, bizarrely as left-wing. ..."
"... Gender changing surgery is now obviously a much more important topic in the UK and the US, than whether Western imperialism should be stopped, once and forever. ..."
"... This is not a push for tolerance, this is an Orwellian attempt to control perception of reality and also to control language. If a man declares himself to be a woman, then you MUST perceive him as a woman, and you must change your language to conform with his self-identity. ..."
"... This is a bold attempt at societal management. It has led to great splits in leftist movements, as people who prefer to remain reality-based, and who base their politics on material reality, instead of ephemeral idealism, consisting of "feelings inside", are being attacked, threatened, de-platformed and harassed by those who have adopted their master's agenda. ..."
"... Having mobs of young people, schooled in queer politics instead of class politics, who attack older activists who still understand that it is the material world which determines reality, not thoughts, prayers and internal feelings, is a very effective way of shutting down any principled resistance to the Empire's imperialism and to the destruction of the planet by unfettered capitalism. ..."
"... The CIA, from its very beginning, has been deeply influenced by the group psychology/mass manipulation theories of Sigmund Freud's nephew Edward Bernays, who worked for the agency after the war. ..."
"... Personally I think it is a last resort for a dying empire that has lost any credibility ..."
"... Globo Homo (aggressive, politicised, strident homosexuality; aggressive premature sexualisation and indoctrination of children enforced by law, and outright paedophilia; aggressive promotion of transgender dysphoria; bestiality and incest, together with the virulent denigration of normal healthy family life) is a symptom of an irredeemably degenerate and very sick society on the verge of total collapse. ..."
"... The same is true of the Great Global Warming Hoax, with Soros- and Wall Street-funded Little Greta astroturfing her way across the planet, so that Green Eco Warriors like Mark Carney can raid the pensions and transfer trillions upwards into the pockets of the 0.1%. ..."
"... The world system of capital is breaking up. Among its signs are multi polar violence, ecological collapse, returning fascism, etc. The system of capital is based on class relations, and class relations underlie all other human relations. Sexual relations are basic to the human condition, regardless of the political economic system. Therefore, as capitalism crumbles all social relations go into flux, including sexual relations. Public hysteria about sex is mainly a sign of a global system breaking down and a new in forming. ..."
"... The aim is to atomise society into a mushrooming number of arcane identity groups, based on race, gender, religion and sexuality. The 57 varieties of gender that are being peddled, with punishment for people who forget to use the right invented pronoun. People can then be classified according to their identity group and sub-group and sub-sub-group above all other considerations, rather like an extreme version of the Indian caste system. ..."
"... It is another form of destabilisation that West is desperately keep on creating. It could be a sign of a state of panic they are in. ..."
"... Identity and sexual politics and sport and porn and politics and war .. all tied up into one – an article to keep and share especially to all these still lapping up the Grauniad cool aid – which stuffs the nonsense down their throats daily. ..."
"... Thank you Andre for your takedown of the vapid banality and extreme me-ism of identity politics. I've said it a few times before on the site, and I'll repeat it: Identity Politics has been a very effective Trojan Horse used to fragment and splinter and create disunity. Especially amongst the Left; who by and large have jettisoned class politics and class struggle in favour of this postmodernist cul de sac crud. ..."
"... It's an artificial construct to deflect from the real agenda . Humanity against the transnational financiers. ..."
"... It's the old ruse: bread and circuses. The new opium for the people is 'identity politics'. The 99% of us should ignore it. And the 99% of us should boycott the media outlets that push it. This would be the democratic way to defeat this nonsense. ..."
Jan 20, 2020 | off-guardian.org

In the West, there is a new wave of political correctness at work: it is all about one's sexual orientation; who has sex with whom, and how. Suddenly, the mass media in London, Paris and New York is greatly concerned about who has the right to change his or her sex, and who does not want to belong to any 'traditional' gender bracket.

Thinking about 'it', writing about it, doing it, is considered "progressive"; cutting edge. Entire novels are being commissioned and then subsidized, as far away as in the Asia Pacific. Western organizations and NGOs (so-called "non-government organizations", but financed by Western rιgimes), are thriving on the matter.

These days it is not just LGBT that are in the spotlight, glorified and propagandized; there are all sorts of new types of combinations that many people never even heard about, or imagined could exist.

Even some Western airlines do not call their passengers "ladies, gentlemen and children", anymore, in order "not to offend" those who do not want to be any of the above.

Accept any sexual habit, repeat loudly, many times, that you have done it; then preferably write about it, and you will be lauded as progressive, tolerant, and even "left-wing'.

This is a discussion which is clearly encouraged, even invented by the Western regime: a safe discussion which is aimed at diverting dialogue from topics such as the fact that even in the West, a great number of people are living in fear and misery, and that the majority of neo-colonies of North America and Europe are once again being totally, shamelessly exploited.

Talking about poverty and exploitation, about military coups triggered by Washington are rarely spoken about. Such discussions are even being portrayed as old-fashioned, if not regressive.

Hype is, these days, all about the interaction of penises, of vaginas, or about the lack of such interactions. It is about one's "identity" and about the right to change one's gender. What you do with your private parts is much more important than billions of people who are forced to live in filthy slums. Surgery that is aimed at changing one's gender is more newsworthy than the "regime changes" and consequent destruction of millions of human lives.

Such focus is totally fragmenting Western societies. It leads to extreme individualism and dark nihilism. What should stay behind closed doors is being brought out to the center of attention.

Don't think that it is all a coincidence. It is clearly designed this way. Like the enormous flood of free pornography did not come from out of the blue. The hidden message is clear: watch as much free porn as you can in your free time, watch football, enjoy booze, and put your sexual identity at the very center of your existence.

Then, define all those who disagree with these sorts of lifestyles as 'intolerant', 'backward', and even 'oppressive'.

Why is all this happening? Why are Western countries so obsessed with "sexual identities"?

The answer is simple: because those who are obsessed with their own bodies, desires, identities and endless "rights", have hardly any time left to think about the rest of the world.

And vice versa: those who are passionately fighting for a better world, building people-oriented societies, sacrificing their own comfort and personal benefits; those individuals often have no time, or very little time, to think about the nuances of their sexuality. For them, sexuality is simply part of their life; often powerful and important, but it is definitely not their center of gravity, not their very essence.

And precisely this kind of optimistic, unselfish mindset is extremely dangerous for the survival of Western regimes, and the Empire itself.

*

I am all for people to have their right to choose how they want to express themselves sexually. As long as it is done discreetly, and without forcing anyone into anything.

But I am strongly against the so-called sexual identity monopolizing political narrative of entire nations.

There are much more important issues that Western societies should be concerned with, and obviously are not.

And the Empire knows it, and precisely for that reason, it does everything possible to elevate sex and sexuality into something tremendously important, glorified, as well as untouchable. Terms and definitions then get confused: centering people's identity around their genitals, gets defined as "their identity". Their struggle for sexual rights is now being defined as "progressive", even, bizarrely as left-wing.

It is, of course, an absolute nonsense. The fight for sexual rights is the fight for sexual rights: it is not right, or left.

There is absolutely no guarantee that a man who undergoes gender-changing surgery, would gain a deep interest in the US-triggered coup in Bolivia, or in the tremendous torment, inflicted by the West, on the people of Syria or Afghanistan.

I have discussed this issue, in-depth, with my friends and relatives who happen to be professional psychiatrists and psychologists: Jung, who attacked Western imperialism as a clinical disease (pathology), has been criticized and discredited by almost all Western schools. While the self-centred Freud, has been glorified to this very day. He became untouchable in Europe and North America. We are all encourage to see ourselves through his eyes.

We are supposed to think and analyze the world in a Freudian way. To say "penis" or "vagina", or to show them, and especially change them, is supposed to send a shiver up our backs, to make us feel heroic, progressive.

While the Empire murders millions of people worldwide. While British and North American children are suffering from hunger, while NATO is bringing our planet closer and closer to the next huge war which our humanity may not survive, people inhabiting the Empire are encouraged to think, to write and to fight for totally different issues than those that could save our humanity.

*

I have to report that, after working in some 160 countries of the world, on all continents, the issues that I am addressing above, are prevalent only in the West. Well, also in countries and territories that have been deeply indoctrinated by the West, like Argentina and Hong Kong, to give just two examples. Which makes one wonder what is really going on?

I am not talking about people being born gay or lesbian and then getting discriminated against (such discrimination should be, of course, confronted), or forced by brutal family practices (like I witnessed in Samoa) to unwillingly change their sexual identity. I am fully, and determinedly supporting people to have their rights, to practice what they feel like, and to be fully protected by the law.

I am addressing here this totally wild obsession with the topic. I am talking about forcing people in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and some European countries, to accept as essential a dialogue, which is absolutely irrelevant to more than 99% of the population on our planet. It is not about LGBT anymore. This is now about something absolutely else; about color shades, about nuances, about details: while the entire world is burning; in flames.

Can we please talk, finally about Hong Kong, Iraq, Bolivia, North Korea?

And as a writer, as a novelist, I reserve my right to create, to write as I want to! If I want to say, "ladies, gentlemen and children", you can all stop reading me, but I will write it precisely as I want. You can go and read the latest generation of politically correct scribes. Although you know as well as I do, that you will never find any great literature created by them.

The Empire makes sure that many essential topics, including those like whether the world should continue to live under the boot of savage capitalism or whether it should be selecting socialism, hardly ever get discussed on the television screens, and on the front pages of the internet.

Gender changing surgery is now obviously a much more important topic in the UK and the US, than whether Western imperialism should be stopped, once and forever.

But remember: We will all burn if we burn. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, trans-gender individuals, even those whose sexual orientation I still do not understand. If there is a Third World War, we will all be fried.

Therefore, I suggest that we first try to disarm the Empire, stop savage capitalism, give freedom and the right to choose their destiny to all nations of the world, and then Only then, shall we make sure that we support all the people of countless sexual orientation, that our humanity has.

But first things first, please!

Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have the capacity to fight on various fronts, for numerous causes. And they often choose to struggle for the issues that are extremely close to their waist.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook

Paula Densnow ,

Sexual politics are very divisive and distractive, although the western indifference to who people choose to have sex with, as long as they are consenting adults, is a healthy step, imo.

Sexual orientation, however, is separate from the sexual identity propaganda now being pushed so heavily, and not just online. The entire Establishment is behind this agenda, including mainstream media, the government, the military, the drug companies, the medical industry, the schools and universities, libraries, the police, prisons, social workers, etc.

This is not a push for tolerance, this is an Orwellian attempt to control perception of reality and also to control language. If a man declares himself to be a woman, then you MUST perceive him as a woman, and you must change your language to conform with his self-identity.

"Preferred pronouns" are enforced by the police in some cases, and "deadnaming" is a newly invented thought crime which has led to bans and harassment in enforcement.

This is a bold attempt at societal management. It has led to great splits in leftist movements, as people who prefer to remain reality-based, and who base their politics on material reality, instead of ephemeral idealism, consisting of "feelings inside", are being attacked, threatened, de-platformed and harassed by those who have adopted their master's agenda.

Longtime leftists, with decades of organizing experience, are being shut out of meetings, lectures, Parties and organizations, with claims that their very presence "contaminates and makes unsafe" entire buildings! And in the case of Helen Steel, a longtime activist in UK, an entire moor was deemed off limits to her, to cater to trans activists and their claims of feeling unsafe.

Having mobs of young people, schooled in queer politics instead of class politics, who attack older activists who still understand that it is the material world which determines reality, not thoughts, prayers and internal feelings, is a very effective way of shutting down any principled resistance to the Empire's imperialism and to the destruction of the planet by unfettered capitalism.

Ramdan ,

Today,a new Oxfam report came out where is claimed that 1% of the human species owns the equivalent of 6400 millions of other humans. Comments on social media are appalling, to say the least. Those who dare criticized this situation are called haters and envious by .others also from the 99%. Mankind resambles a well-trained dog, one that learned helplessness .

Some representatives of the Homo "sapiens" fantisizes to have a colony in Mars by 2050 to scape .they are part of that 1% .

As of today, humanity is happily waking to its own demise, and it seems that only through a catastrophic event of biblical proportions, can humanity be saved from itself. Maybe then ,real wisdom will come out and guide those who survive.

Cuauhtemoc Negro ,

As usual, Vltchek is spot on.

The CIA, from its very beginning, has been deeply influenced by the group psychology/mass manipulation theories of Sigmund Freud's nephew Edward Bernays, who worked for the agency after the war.

Since today all the USA mass and social media are controlled by the cia, it is fairly easy to see that the gender identity hysteria is another manipulation whose purpose is to divert left-leaning people in the west away from the true aims of leftism -- anti capitalism and anti imperialism -- towards an ideology which is harmless.

The citizens of the empire need to wake up: the free world will not tolerate for much longer their nation's crimes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn0I26EJi1o

Gall ,

I remember back in the '90's reading Triton by Sam Delany when I was into Sci Fi that was written in the mid '70's where the protagonist was fixated on gender issues and contemplating changing his sex which he eventually does. I think I eventually lost interest in the book and what passes for Sci Fi or what they now call "speculative fiction" these days.

Anyway like Margaret Mead and Toffler's Future Shock crowd at SRI that Sci Fi like Delany instead of speculating about the future were creating it through gradual social engineering. This gender issue is a case in point. Since who would have thought it would actually have been an issue back then?

Even after Gore Vidal wrote Mrya Breckenridge which became a best seller and the movie was a blockbuster that started a fad for a while but then people went back to more substantive issues other than getting a sex change in Sweden yet now it seems that the media has gone into a full court press on this issue. So one has to ask "what's behind it?"

Personally I think it is a last resort for a dying empire that has lost any credibility as you seem to be pointing out Andre.

George Mc ,

Consumer capitalism thrives on discontent. Convincing everyone that their hair is wrong, their skin is bad, their face doesn't look right, their clothes are awful etc. to get them to buy buy buy. And sex is the most intense engine of this constant drive to induce self-loathing.

Everything conspires to tell you that you are repulsive, that you will not find a mate unless you splash out on this and that – and once you've found a mate, perhaps he/she isn't really the one for you. The sex you're getting is never as good as it could be. Look at all those glamourous stars. Imagine what they're getting up to. Hell – you don't even have to imagine! Look at those glossy images! Read about this kind of sex and that kind of sex. Bet you've never had anything like that etc.

Thus this glorified sex is the most perfect embodiment of the laboratory rat wheel. No matter how fast you go and how much you buy, you stay in the same place. And yet images of ecstasy pull you on. And all the time you're buying buying buying.

But perhaps it's all too easy now? Everyone is used to the common variations. Time for some new stuff. Time for the sequel, the new series, the new fashion, the new lovely little honeypot scam. Let's invent loadsa new sexualities. New areas for creating anxieties, hang-ups, phoney controversies, with all the concomitant books and programmes and magazines and scandals and whipped up confrontations between prejudices etc. KaChing! Looooovely!

paul ,

Globo Homo (aggressive, politicised, strident homosexuality; aggressive premature sexualisation and indoctrination of children enforced by law, and outright paedophilia; aggressive promotion of transgender dysphoria; bestiality and incest, together with the virulent denigration of normal healthy family life) is a symptom of an irredeemably degenerate and very sick society on the verge of total collapse.

There is nothing new in any of this. The same things were very much in evidence in ancient Rome as it declined and fell, with a cross dressing emperor plying his trade as a prostitute.

The only difference is that these things are now aggressively promoted by a degenerate globalist paedophile elite, both to legitimise their own habits and perversions and as a harmless distraction from their other activities, their criminality, tyranny, parasitism and abuse of power.

The same is true of the Great Global Warming Hoax, with Soros- and Wall Street-funded Little Greta astroturfing her way across the planet, so that Green Eco Warriors like Mark Carney can raid the pensions and transfer trillions upwards into the pockets of the 0.1%.

Geoffrey Skoll ,

Andre is correct of course, but there is another angle. It's not just identity politics as distracting and divisive. It's that identity politics, especially sexual identity politics has emerged when it has–i.e., in the last few years. So, here is my thesis.

The world system of capital is breaking up. Among its signs are multi polar violence, ecological collapse, returning fascism, etc. The system of capital is based on class relations, and class relations underlie all other human relations. Sexual relations are basic to the human condition, regardless of the political economic system. Therefore, as capitalism crumbles all social relations go into flux, including sexual relations. Public hysteria about sex is mainly a sign of a global system breaking down and a new in forming.

lundiel ,

Let's not forget, identity politics is not just about gender. It's all sorts of cultural, ethnic, religious, environmental groups and factions along with sexual and gender based groups. I think this has evolved partly because of social media, and partly because our political representatives are so shit. They've all been telling us that class is dead, when it clearly isn't and the rot starts with local politicians who are, mostly the worst people qualified to represent us.

lundiel ,

The only way to fix this, imo, is to take the marketing, lobbying and public relations out of politics. The we can get on with addressing the issues that are important to people, and everything else will be a whole lot easier.

paul ,

The aim is to atomise society into a mushrooming number of arcane identity groups, based on race, gender, religion and sexuality. The 57 varieties of gender that are being peddled, with punishment for people who forget to use the right invented pronoun. People can then be classified according to their identity group and sub-group and sub-sub-group above all other considerations, rather like an extreme version of the Indian caste system.

So people should vote for Clinton because she has a vagina. If she is a corrupt, mendacious warmonger with blood on her hands, that doesn't matter, because she's one of the wimmin. You see the same mentality with people like Jess Phillips.

Ignore the fact that we are being ruled over by a psychopathic, self serving, kleptocratic kakistocracy that is lying through its teeth, robbing us blind, and subjecting us to blanket surveillance, among other things. Just go charging down the rabbit hole of your choice. And get the gender pronouns right.

Berlin beerman ,

Mr.Putin got it right on this issue. Live free as you wish but I am not changing the bathroom signs and I am not altering the Russian language. Homosexuality is like the black man when it comes to societies. If you see the colour of the skin and feel the need to discuss it, to address it, then you are the racist amoung us. Do you need a court to tell you what a racist is? Do you need a government ? Same thing with sexual orientation.

Morgan Freeman explains it well enough for those with an IQ high enough to understand it and reason with it.

Frank ,

On the subject of Morgan Freeman's IQ: https://youtu.be/GbtuhrSrslI

Protect ,

It is another form of destabilisation that West is desperately keep on creating. It could be a sign of a state of panic they are in.

... ... ...

Dungroanin ,

A great article to start the week – especially after yestetdays don't know what to call it.

Identity and sexual politics and sport and porn and politics and war .. all tied up into one – an article to keep and share especially to all these still lapping up the Grauniad cool aid – which stuffs the nonsense down their throats daily.

Gezzah Potts ,

Thank you Andre for your takedown of the vapid banality and extreme me-ism of identity politics. I've said it a few times before on the site, and I'll repeat it: Identity Politics has been a very effective Trojan Horse used to fragment and splinter and create disunity. Especially amongst the Left; who by and large have jettisoned class politics and class struggle in favour of this postmodernist cul de sac crud.

My sexual orientation is just one part of who I am. A segment of the whole. It's not something I shout from the rooftops, it's not something to ram down other people's throats. My ideal is Live and Let Live – treat others as you'd like them to treat you – regardless of who they are. And yes, I've been bashed twice because of my sexuality, including by 'workmates' while at work. I've had many instances of homophobic abuse directed at me over the years.

And I'll say this very clearly: I fully oppose and reject identity politics, despite my own history. Our real enemies are the parasitic 0.01% billionaires, the ruling elites who pull the strings, the Warren Buffets, Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch's who rake in vast fortunes from pillaging this planet and screwing so many into the mud; the Wall St Banks, the Hedge funds, the IMF and World Bank, the Multinational Corporations, the very Economic System which creates such despair and inequality and the deaths of so many human beings.

To benefit so few. Identity Politics is a cynical distraction from all of this bloody carnage. It separates us when we need to unite more than ever.
.

Willem ,

Michael Parenti on gender inequality issues and how to tackle those issues (really funny)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkttzU86CFE

Gezzah Potts ,

"in this very exploitative society which we must continue to resist and rectify" .
Thanks for the clip Willem, and yeah, Michael Parenti nails it, as usual.

0use4msm ,

The push towards the dominance of sexuality and gender based identity in the West has been in various successive waves. The most recent one was in response to the Occupy movement successfully putting plutocracy and extreme inequality on the agenda with its 99% vs 1% memes back in 2011. I agree with the article that this push was very deliberate.

nottheonly1 ,

Worst answer ever:

The answer is simple: because those who are obsessed with their own bodies, desires, identities and endless "rights", have hardly any time left to think about the rest of the world.

Amazing how great the hate against 'Transgender' people is in a majority of Christian/Orthodox countries.

I have a solution for all you flaming hypocrites and story peddlers:

Why don't you push all the Transgender folks into the ovens? You surely remember how its done, right?

What a pathetic piece of drivel – blaming of course those whose lives are exploited and who are murdered every day in the most cruel ways. Like ISIS style cutting off of the head. Like Jewish/Christian/Muslim stoning of people that don't deserve to live – because of: sexual acts.

But for the last time for people like Vitchek et al:

SEX IS NOT GENDER.
GENDER IS NOT SEX.

If it would not be for religious freaks that are stuck in a morally flat world view the world over, people that do not conform to their narrowminded and fanatic delusions would not be murdered.

It is saddening that OffGuradian has published this hate piece.

Especially, since the whole Gender and Sex thing is subject to greater evolutionary processes Mr. Vitchek et al are incapable to detect. Well, haters.

To sum it up quickly:

Transgender Folks are responsible for everything that is fucked up on earth – making them fucked up as well. They went to illegally assault and invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and voment overthrows of democratically elected governments. They have corrupted the Western world with citizen united and poison the world with glyphosate and GMO. They steal trillions of dollars from the war ministry and thus from the taxpayer.

No wonder religious people hate Transgender Folks so much. They are the reason for all evil in this world. As a matter of fact, they could also be called 'satanic' – as they only aim at disrupting the bigoted, sex addicted minds of religious freaks.

This world would be a much better place if people just focused on WHAT REALLY HURTS AND HARMS.

Oh, and yes, of course. Mr. Vitchek, you were obviously not able to give a voice to those at the receiving end of the stick. Only the voice of the emotionally hurt religious fanatics.

0use4msm ,

Congratulations for succinctly managing to exemplify what the article is describing. Since you have failed to grasp that the article, and the issue it brings up at large, is not attacking the morality of individuals associated with the LGBTQ+ alphabet , I suggest you read it again. And again, if necessary.

lundiel ,

I don't think he's attacking trans people, just the self absorbtion of those engaging in identity politics, while denying/forgetting the class struggle. I don't see any hate here towards trans people, just the fact that it's a personal issue that's been politicised. If we had a culture more like that of the Maoris and less reliant on the Bible's teachings, this would never have been an issue.

Berlin beerman ,

Well you just stepped right into it didn't you. Exemplified almost perfectly what Mr. Vitchek was trying to bring out in his writing.

juggle ,

all part of the fiendish cocktail of divide & rule they're putting in the water these days..

Dave Hansell ,

Precisely!

Confusing personal identity with social identity (which is about what you do) is bad enough but insisting that everyone accept that they are (a) both the same and/or (b) the social should be subservient to the individual – both on penalty of being ostracised from having the right to survive and exist on the basis of having and expressing a different world view being equated to hatred – is not grown up politics. It's the sort of approach one meets in a school playground.

Fortunately, like everything else in life, most sensible people – whatever their individual identify – realise and comprehend that in any organised realm of life there are always sub-groups of any particular group who kick the backside out whatever it is.

It's just a fact of life that those who make the most noise muddy an issue and are not necessarily representative of the whole of a particular group.

Whatever it happens to be, the notion that one specific individual or sub-group subjective opinion should trump either any differing subjective opinion or objective discernable reality on the basis that simply articulating or holding either equates to the hatred of those belonging to that whole group is dangerously divisive.

Society and social identity does not operate on the basis of someone, anyone, dictating that just because they say something is so than it must be so and anyone challenging that is guilty of hatred requiring not only their being ostracised from social media but that they should lose their job for having such temerity (and it has happened); having the crime of rape against them trivialised (again, it has happened); their hard fought rights to specific representation reduced (it's currently happening in various organisations); that they be incarcerated and lose their liberty (once again, this is being demanded).

The social space is a shared one. My right to throw out my arm with a clenched fist ends at the point of someone else's, everyone elses, nose tip. My rights only start where someone else's ends. And vice versa.

That's how society works and remains coherent.

On the same basis as detailed above the post- modernist left who push this line are not representative of the left per se. They are a noisy and naive sub- group kicking the arse out of it for everyone else and the sooner they grow up the better.

Meanwhile in the real world of divide and rule:

https://www.rt.com/business/478674-billionaire-report-gap-oxfam/

We see nothing but excuses, excuses, excuses:

Don't forget to doff your cap and tug your forelock as you move forward in the queue towards the oblivion of being surplus to requirements as there is no emergency exit – even for those with the gumption to know there is need for one.

It's called social identity. It comes with wider responsibilities.

andyoldlabour ,

nottheonly1

Your response simply confirms what Andre has written in this superb article. Your post was a narcissistic rant, very similar to others which I have read in the past year.

If someone wants to identify as something else and it doesn't impact on other people, then go for it, fill your boots. However, should you overstep the mark and make unreasonable demands on society as a whole, to present yourself constantly as a victim, then society will look less favourably at you.
Let me give you an example – male bodied people, irrespective of how they identify, do not belong in women's sports, women's changing rooms or women's refuges.

George Mc ,

Amazing how great the hate against 'Transgender' people is in a majority of Christian/Orthodox countries.

Nice try at erecting yet another phony battle. But the fact is that most people don't give a flying fuck about "transgender" people – and indeed don't even know, and have no wish to know, what it means. That's because most people are smart enough to know that by this time next year we will have any number of new wondrously inventive demographics (Trans-glandular? Trans-testicular? Bio-quadrangular?) to give the infinitely concerned an opportunity to scream about intolerance etc. And how revealing that you drag religion into it for maximum divisiveness.

Jen ,

Dear NotTheOnly1,

You managed to create another category of people to demonise and attack: the so-called religious fanatics and freaks.

Thanks very much for making things so much harder for the rest of us to resist the slice'n'dice categorisation and the lifestyle-marketing brainwashing that goes with it

John Deehan ,

In many of his books Professor Antony C Sutton argued that the narrative of left and right was false. Furthermore, he said the notion of division in politics was created by and encouraged by transnational finance. To put it simply, it set up divisions which were used to manipulate the masses. Hidden History, the secret causes of WW1, also illustrates how an enemy was created in order to justify the mass murder of millions of people which is being repeated by the new designated enemy. It's called propaganda. Vitchek is correct in his analysis of this latest wave of distraction from the most important issues affecting humanity. How do the transnational financial overlords achieve these conjuring deceitful false flag narratives. Well, ignorance through control of the media, academia and promotion of right thinking apparatchiks is one method besides of course the deep stratification of society through the cast system. Aldous Huxley looked at this in his book Brave New World. What is the end goal of it? A feudalistic system of serfs, servers and sovereigns!

Ash ,

Left/right is an ECONOMIC continuum with a specific meaning, but of course the waters have been so thoroughly muddied and so many unrelated issues being peddled as left/right that most people don't even know what they're arguing about these days.

John Deehan ,

It's an artificial construct to deflect from the real agenda . Humanity against the transnational financiers.

Einstein ,

It's the old ruse: bread and circuses. The new opium for the people is 'identity politics'. The 99% of us should ignore it. And the 99% of us should boycott the media outlets that push it. This would be the democratic way to defeat this nonsense.

[Jan 19, 2020] Media Skewers 'Sexist' Sanders for Refusing to Bend the Knee

Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, if you don't agree with Sen. Warren's version of events, or if you mention her history of "embellishing," you are a sexist and a misogynist just like Sanders. So fall in line with the establishment narrative, quick. ..."
"... In a statement to CNN, Sanders said before the debate that's not what happened at all. ..."
"... "It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," said Sanders, chalking up the story to "staff who weren't in the room lying about what happened." ..."
"... Warren's staff knows she is prone to "embellish" things ..."
"... No wonder Sanders was complaining about liberals' obsession with identity politics . As an elderly, Jewish socialist, he might be an endangered species, but he's one minority group that intersectional politics has no use for. ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The media cannot forgive Bernie Sanders for refusing to "bend the knee" to Elizabeth Warren regarding her recounting of a now infamous December 2018 meeting between the two, in which the Vermont senator allegedly said a woman could not be elected president.

Furthermore, if you don't agree with Sen. Warren's version of events, or if you mention her history of "embellishing," you are a sexist and a misogynist just like Sanders. So fall in line with the establishment narrative, quick.

That is the clear takeaway after the media took off its fig leaf of journalistic impartiality at the seventh Democrat presidential debate in Iowa Tuesday.

Never mind that women make up about 70 percent of Sanders' campaign leadership team, or that young women actually make up a bigger share of Sanders's base than young men do .

During the debate, CNN moderator Abby Phillips had this exchange:

Phillips: You're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman couldn't win the election?

Bernie: Correct.

Phillips: Senator Warren, what did you think when Sanders said a woman couldn't win the election?

Warren: I disagreed. Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.

This is "when did you stop beating your wife" level debate questioning from CNN. The question is premised around an anonymously-sourced story CNN reported Monday describing a meeting between Sanders and Warren in December 2018, where the two agreed to a non-aggression pact of sorts. For the sake of the progressive movement, they reportedly agreed they would not attack each other during the campaign:

They also discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters. Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.

In a statement to CNN, Sanders said before the debate that's not what happened at all.

"It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," said Sanders, chalking up the story to "staff who weren't in the room lying about what happened."

"I thought a woman could win; he disagreed," said Warren in a statement.

Cue CNN's gladiatorial presidential debates.

Eager to strike all the right girl-power notes for the night, Phillips followed up by asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar the substantive policy question, "what do you say to people who say that a woman can't win this election?" and Warren earned cheers for a line about women successfully winning elections.

"Look at the men on this stage," Warren said. "Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women: Amy (Klobuchar) and me."

After the debate, media commentators roundly declared Warren the winner, and pundits attacked the very idea of questioning the veracity of Warren's account.

Here's CNN, just after the debate:

Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter: Sanders, look, a lot of it is personal preference. I didn't think his answer vis-a-vis Elizabeth Warren and what was said in that conversation was particularly good. He was largely dismissive. "Well, I didn't say it. Everyone knows I didn't say it, we don't need to talk about it."

Jess McIntosh, CNN political commentator: And I think what Bernie forgot was that this isn't a he-said-she-said story. This is a reported-out story that CNN was part of breaking. So to have him just flat out say "no," I think, wasn't nearly enough to address that for the women watching.

Joe Lockhart, CNN political commentator: And I can't imagine any woman watching last night and saying, I believe Bernie. I think people believe Elizabeth.

Van Jones, CNN political commentator: This was Elizabeth Warren's night. She needed to do something and there was a banana peel sitting out there for Bernie to step on when it came to his comments about women. I think Bernie stepped on it and slid around. She knocked that moment out of the park.

But isn't this story the literal definition of a he-said, she-said story?

The accusation may have appeared in a "reported-out story," but these are its sources:

"The description of that meeting [between Sanders and Warren in December 2018] is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting."

Is it sexist to question why this story would come out on the eve of the debate -- after months of the two candidates getting along as they had promised to do, when Sanders pulls ahead of Warren in polling ?

If CNN were impartial, they would have mentioned the sourcing and timing of the story, and Warren's fraught history with the truth. Warren has shown she is willing to tell lies in order to get a job she wants, like when she claimed to have Native American blood. She has also claimed she go fired from her teaching job for being pregnant, even when records contradict that. She's said her children went to public schools, not private ones, even though that's not true either.

In addition to Warren's tenuous relationship with the truth, there also happens to be video from the 1980s where Sanders says a woman could be president:

1988, @BernieSanders , backing Jackson:"The real issue is not whether you're black or white, whether you're a woman or a man *in my view, a woman could be elected POTUS* The real issue is are you on the side of workers & poor ppl, or are you on the side of big money &corporations?" pic.twitter.com/VHmfzvyJdy

-- Every nimble plane is a policy failure. (@KindAndUnblind) January 13, 2020

Yet, you wouldn't know any of that, listening to the coverage of the debate, where commentators waxed poetic about Warren's "win" and how any attacks on her predilection for lying were misogyny itself.

Over on Sirius XM POTUS channel Tuesday, an executive producer on Chris Cuomo's show (Chris Cillizza filling in) said that the suggestion from Sanders surrogates that Warren's staff knows she is prone to "embellish" things is "a misogynistic thing to put out there like, 'oh well, look at the quaint housewife, she is prone to embellishment.'"

The New York Times also embraced the questionable sexism premise, writing that in"a conflict heavily focused on which candidate is telling the truth, Ms. Warren faces a real risk: Several studies have shown that voters punish women more harshly than men for real or perceived dishonesty If voters conclude that Ms. Warren is lying, it is most likely to hurt her more than it will hurt Mr. Sanders if voters conclude that he is lying."

Over at Vox:

The over-the-top language -- likening criticism of an opponent to a knife in the back -- was familiar. When powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent years, they and others have often complained that they've been "killed" or that their "lives are over" The situation between Warren and Sanders is very different from those that have arisen as part of the Me Too movement. But the exaggerated language around a woman's decision to speak out is strikingly similar.

This sort of language is an insult to all women who have had to deal with sexism and misogyny, both in the workplace and in society, and this need to glom on to any aggrieved group, no matter how ill-fitting, is getting really stale.

Meanwhile, former Hillary Clinton and Obama Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri tweeted, "I just rewatched the footage from last night and found it odd that Sanders never says 'a woman could beat Trump.' His formulation is he believes a 'woman could be president.' It's only when he speaks about his own abilities that he talks about what it takes to 'beat Trump.'"

This is the old sexist standby: "I'd vote for a woman, just not that woman."

What is it that these people want, for Sanders to endorse his opponent, simply because she is female? Isn't that the very definition of sexism? By virtue of the fact that Sanders is still in this race, he obviously thinks he can do a better job as president than Warren. There isn't going to be another presidential race against Trump, but Palmieri still essentially wants Sanders to say, in a five-way race three weeks before the Iowa caucus, "Warren can beat Trump in November."

The question here should be whether this is a person that we can trust, not whether the candidate is male or female. Does this person have a history of being honest, or do they have a history of lying?

No wonder Sanders was complaining about liberals' obsession with identity politics . As an elderly, Jewish socialist, he might be an endangered species, but he's one minority group that intersectional politics has no use for.


Osse a vote for liz a day ago

What are you talking about? If you want to know what Sanders says on this issue, rad his interview with the NYT which was conducted before this cynical hit job occurred. He says many voters are misogynistic, but not that a woman can't win.

I think both were telling the truth in that Warren probably took it to mean a woman can't win, but her campaign cynically released thi story over a year later because she was slipping in tge pollls behind Bernie.

AGPhillbin Osse a day ago
That's ridiculously generous of you, at least towards Warren. She knows perfectly well his position on the possibility of a woman president, and women running for office generally. she knows he campaigned vigorously for HRC after the nomination, and she knows that Sanders knows that HRC took the popular vote by over 3 million votes, so he obviously knows that it is highly possible for a woman to win the presidency. This is simply a bald-faced lie on Warren's part, but she has gained nothing electorally for this desperate smear. Sanders not only had a record fundraising day after this surfaced, but at least one poll has him up 2 points in Iowa, where he was already in the lead, with Warren stuck at 12%.
trailhiker 2 days ago
Six corporations own something like 90% of the media now.
And CNN is part of the corporate-media-complex.
So not too much of a surprise that they are going after Sanders.
The billionaires are worried he might win, so in a way, this is a good
sign.
Great CoB 2 days ago
The 24 hour news channels depend on Trump to bring in the outrage required to keep up their viewing figures. So it makes sense that they should help give him a democrat opponent he can't lose against, like Elizabeth Warren.
𝙆𝙧𝙖𝙯𝙮 𝙐𝙣𝙘𝙡𝙚 2 days ago
While it should be fairly obvious to most that Bernie Sanders political rivals are trying everything they can to get ahead of him, it's also true that the DNC and the Main Stream Media, are also trying to trash Bernie in an attempt to take him out as a candidate. The DNC and the MSM did the same thing the last time he attempted to win the nomination, and it appears they are doing so now.

The corporate MSM machine should be careful. Another candidate they trashed during the last election cycle, and ever since, became the President. It seems some voters have tied the corporate MSM together with the D.C. establishment, and voters that want an outsider to lead them may just see the MSM's attempts to denigrate a candidate as a ringing endorsement for the outsider.

As a side note, I find it humorous that the MSM attempts to diminish Bernie's supporters as zealots and too extreme to be taken seriously... I thought that political candidates actually worked to gain the support of enthusiastic and motivated supporters? Or, is that just for the candidates that are acceptable to the Main Stream Media and the political Parties?

BigShot 2 days ago
Voted for Trump in great part because Hillary Clinton was such a liar. Now he turned out to be an even bigger liar than she was. It sure would be nice to have a candidate who didn't lie so much, but now I don't know whether that would be Sanders or Warren.
Connecticut Farmer FND a day ago
Strictly speaking, socialism was an abject failure which ended with the fall of the Iron Curtain, There is an unfortunate tendency to conflate "socialism" with what is called the "welfare state." The United States is a welfare state but can hardly be mistaken for a socialist state.
Gutbomb Connecticut Farmer a day ago
I think I see it mostly the same way you do, but with semantic differences. I would argue that communism - the totalitarian version of socialism - was the abject failure. Any first world modern state is a blend of market-based economies and socialism. The question is always which exchanges are best left to market forces and which are best managed from above. And then, how much management to provide. I caution against seeing socialism vs capitalism as some binary switch to flip.
former-vet Gutbomb a day ago
Smartest statement I've seen in years.
cka2nd Gutbomb a day ago
And the fact is that many of these welfare states were implemented by self-declared socialists, including many parties that were members of the Socialist, or Second, International.

Unfortunately, many of these socialist and labor parties hopped on the neo-liberal train in the 1980's, and are today deathly afraid of their own Bernie Sanders (see Corbyn, Jeremy), and even more afraid of scaring off international finance and the German Central Bank.

Connecticut Farmer Gutbomb 7 hours ago
Point taken. Perhaps "radical socialism" would have been more accurate. Your description of the modern state as a "blend" is spot-on. An economics professor I once had called ours a "mixed economy", which was a phrase that has always stuck in my mind.
Osse FND a day ago
Substantively Bernie's policies are social democratic and consistent with those of the Scandinavian countries.
cka2nd EdMan 7 hours ago
Social democratic and labor parties around the world turned neo-liberal in the 1980's, including the Scandinavian ones. They've been helping to rip up the "social contract" between Capital and Labor, and the social welfare state, ever since, as well as reversing previous nationalizations and launching privatization. This phenomenon has included Scandinavia, which is why the parties there are so sensitive to all this talk in the U.S. about them being models of "socialism."
AGPhillbin FND a day ago
Fact is, all non-Marxist "socialist" countries are market based, and are in fact capitalist at the economic base. When did any Scandinavian "socialist" country ever expropriate any major corporations?
cka2nd AGPhillbin a day ago
You might actually want to do a bit of research on that point. Going back 60, 70 or 80 years, there might be some nationalizations of railroads, utilities, energy companies and other major industries not involved in the actual manufacturing of goods in Scandinavia. Great Britain certainly saw such nationalizations, although revolutionary leftists sometimes dismissed them as "lemon socialism" because the capitalist class was fobbing off money-losing or capital-intensive sectors of the economy on the government, in order to concentrate on more profitable enterprises.

[Jan 14, 2020] Illinois Becomes 20th State To Force Taxpayers To Foot Bill For Transgender Surgery Zero Hedge

Jan 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/14/2020 - 17:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Tyler O'Neil via PJMedia.com,

Far-left activists don't just want Americans to approve of transgender ideology and to call people by preferred pronouns unmoored from biological sex - they also want to force taxpayers to foot the bill for dangerous experimental surgeries that leave people infertile and scarred for life.

On December 23 , Illinois joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia to explicitly require Medicaid to pay for transgender surgeries. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the state's primary Medicaid agency, published new administrative rules mandating the coverage of certain "gender-affirming" services. Illinois formerly excluded "transsexual surgery" from the taxpayer-funded program.

"Health care is a right, not a privilege, and I'm committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right," Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) said in a statement in April.

" Expanding Medicaid to cover gender affirming surgeries is cost effective, helps avoid long-term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do. With continued attacks coming from Washington, this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives."

Almost everything in this statement was dead wrong. Health care should not be considered a "right," because it involves the hard work of doctors and nurses, who deserved to be compensated for their work. Perhaps most importantly, however, the idea that "gender-affirming" surgeries help "avoid long-term health consquences" is false, as is the idea that covering these surgeries is necessarily "the right thing to do."

Transgender activists have pushed this narrative based on the idea that the only way to curb the high rate of suicide among people who identify themselves as transgender is to force society to accept transgender identity. Te thinking goes like this: When transgender people have surgery to "affirm" their identity as the opposite sex, they will be less likely to commit suicide. Therefore, transgender surgery is essential to their health, and the government paying for it actually saves money in the long run.

The evidence actually suggests the opposite. While there are few long-term studies on transgender health available, the most thorough follow-up study involving transgender people -- extending over 30 years and conducted in Sweden, where there is a strong pro-transgender culture -- found that transgender surgery does not paper over mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone the surgery rose to 20 times that of their peers!

Many of those who undergo the surgery experience deep and painful regret.

"Now that I'm all healed from the surgeries, I regret them," a 19-year-old man who had himself surgically mutilated to affirm a female identity, wrote in a letter . "The result of the bottom surgery looks like a Frankenstein hack job at best, and that got me thinking critically about myself. I had turned myself into a plastic-surgery facsimile of a woman, but I knew I still wasn't one. I became (and to an extent, still feel) deeply depressed."

Transgender activist Jazz Jennings experienced complications during the surgery to remove his male genitals, leaving him with scars across the top of his legs.

Even those who stopped shy of the genital mutilation have found themselves permanently scarred .

"I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o'clock shadow because I couldn't face the idea of growing up to be a woman, that's my reality," admitted Cari Stella.

The medical establishment has rushed to affirm transgender "health care" that often involves giving healthy people a disease or urging genital mutilation on perfectly healthy men and women.

After the case of the 6-year-old boy James Younger seized national attention, states across the nation are expected to pass laws protecting children from the damaging effects of transgender drugs.

Yet Illinois joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia in going the opposite direction -- forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for transgender surgery. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin also use Medicaid funds for transgender surgery.

Sixty-two percent of Americans said employers should be able to opt-out of covering transgender surgeries, and 80 percent of them said doctors and medical professionals should be able to opt-out of performing surgeries they think dangerous to their patients.

If businesses should be able to opt-out of footing the bill for dangerous and controversial surgeries, why shouldn't taxpayers?

[Jan 06, 2020] Sure, of course the rich classes don't care about the oppression of minorities, women, LGBT, etc. They use the oppression of these groups to divide and weaken the lower classes.

Notable quotes:
"... Maybe so, but ipso facto and for the same reasons, the ‘capitalist class’ don’t actually care about the oppression of women, nor of racial minorities, except insofar as it serves their goals of winning the class struggle. ..."
"... The phrase ‘class struggle’ is invariably misinterpreted by bourgeois liberals (such as yourself), incidentally. The class struggle is not something that working people choose to take part in. The class struggle is something that is going on and will continue whether you choose to fight in it or not (or whether or not you choose to recognise that it is going on, or not). ..."
"... Elites essentially created themselves and then began to create the various stratification strategies that, with increasing elaborations, we have had to live with since then, in order to hold on to the power that they had seized. So Buffet is right. ‘It’s my class that’s….making (the) war.’ ..."
"... The class war is not on any sense fought by the poor who choose to take part in it. The class war is willfully and deliberately fought by the rich, against the poor, who are forced to take part in it simply to defend themselves against this attack (and again, the war continues whether the poor choose to take part in it or not, or even whether or not they recognise that they are taking part in it or not. It’s just that if they choose one of these two options or both of them, then they lose). ..."
"... One of the core misrepresentations of Marxism (and it’s a claim that has been made over and over again, not least on CT comments threads) is that Marxism is a ‘determinist’ philosophy. But as Hobsbawm pointed out many years ago, even a quick skim through the Communist Manifesto, page one, shows this is not true: viz. ..."
"... Sure, of course the rich classes don't care about the oppression of minorities, women, LGBT, etc. They use the oppression of these groups to divide and weaken the lower classes. Of course. But that's not the POINT. ..."
"... The POINT is that some in these class-based movements argue that its WRONG for (e.g.) women's rights activists to focus so much on women's rights -- that instead, they should be focusing on building a broad class-based movement for economic redistribution, fighting inequality... ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 01.04.20 at 11:44 am 64

@ 56 ‘Marxists, it seems to me, don’t actually care about the oppression of women, nor of racial minorities, except insofar as it serves their goals of winning the class struggle. They. Just. Don’t. Care.’

Maybe so, but ipso facto and for the same reasons, the ‘capitalist class’ don’t actually care about the oppression of women, nor of racial minorities, except insofar as it serves their goals of winning the class struggle.

The phrase ‘class struggle’ is invariably misinterpreted by bourgeois liberals (such as yourself), incidentally. The class struggle is not something that working people choose to take part in. The class struggle is something that is going on and will continue whether you choose to fight in it or not (or whether or not you choose to recognise that it is going on, or not).

You don’t need to read this in Karl Marx, incidentally. Listen to Warren Buffet: ‘There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’

This is unquestionably and unarguably true. Back in the day, if you go back 20 or 30 thousand years, you had relatively egalitarian hunter-gatherer tribes. It was the changes in human civilisation that date from about 15000 BCE (some would say earlier than that) that moved things towards a class-stratified society, but please note this was not a ‘bottom-up’ thing but a. ‘top-down’ thing. Elites essentially created themselves and then began to create the various stratification strategies that, with increasing elaborations, we have had to live with since then, in order to hold on to the power that they had seized. So Buffet is right. ‘It’s my class that’s….making (the) war.’

The class war is not on any sense fought by the poor who choose to take part in it. The class war is willfully and deliberately fought by the rich, against the poor, who are forced to take part in it simply to defend themselves against this attack (and again, the war continues whether the poor choose to take part in it or not, or even whether or not they recognise that they are taking part in it or not. It’s just that if they choose one of these two options or both of them, then they lose).

One of the core misrepresentations of Marxism (and it’s a claim that has been made over and over again, not least on CT comments threads) is that Marxism is a ‘determinist’ philosophy. But as Hobsbawm pointed out many years ago, even a quick skim through the Communist Manifesto, page one, shows this is not true: viz.

‘Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.’

You have a fight between the rich and the poor. Either the poor can win, or there is mutual annihilation. What can’t happen is long term victory by the rich, because you can have a society without the rich, but you can’t have a society without the poor (the ‘working classes’) or else nothing will get done. You can have a factory without managers but not one without workers.

What we’ve seen over the last 100 years (at least since about 1950) is a series of seemingly endless victories by the rich and powerful over the poor, by the global North over the global South, and yet, mysteriously, these victories have not led to peace or stability or anything similar but have instead turned to dust and ashes in their mouths , and it seems that the current phase of the class struggle will not lead to some fantasy of American power and dominance for eternity but, instead, the ‘common ruin of the contending classes’ in the form of climate change and the oncoming eco-geddon.

And all this happens whether you recognize that this is happening or not.

soru 01.04.20 at 4:02 pm 65

Marxists, it seems to me, don’t actually care about the oppression of women, nor of racial minorities, except insofar as it serves their goals of winning the class struggle. They. Just. Don’t. Care.

This is perhaps true, on average. Most such favor measure they see as fixing the problem, rather than demonstrating their empathy for those suffering. For example, in the anti-slavery movement, proto-Marxists were often too busy arguing for economic change (i.e. abolition) to spend as much time as they could have on thoughts and prayers for those enslaved.

Now it may be the case, and certainly a lot of people think, that no such equivalently-effectively economic change is possible, or perhaps desirable, in the modern day. But it is not the case that Marxists agree with that assessment; if you disagree with them, that is the core of your disagreement.

Chetan Murthy 01.05.20 at 1:29 am ( 69 )

Hidari @ 64:

Maybe so, but ipso facto and for the same reasons, the 'capitalist class' don't actually care about the oppression of women, nor of racial minorities, except insofar as it serves their goals of winning the class struggle.

Sure, of course the rich classes don't care about the oppression of minorities, women, LGBT, etc. They use the oppression of these groups to divide and weaken the lower classes. Of course. But that's not the POINT.

The POINT is that some in these class-based movements argue that its WRONG for (e.g.) women's rights activists to focus so much on women's rights -- that instead, they should be focusing on building a broad class-based movement for economic redistribution, fighting inequality...

[Jan 04, 2020] I think one of the disadvantages of Marxian analysis and this particular critique is much older than I am is that it does tend to flatten out the contours of human experience so that it can be rendered more intelligible and commensurable so that there can be a more easily verbalized dialectic about class.

This looks like identity bigot, Cultural marxist position.
Jan 04, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Heshel 01.02.20 at 6:35 pm 46

MisterMr @ 29:

"In my view, the correct way to see oppressions is not as a set of different one to one relationships where one is oppressor and the other oppressed, but one should sum all these relationships and compare the sum to a sort of societal average, so that those above that average and those below are the oppressed. As the society we live in is pyramidal, I expect most people to be below that average."

I don't wish to pile onto Chetan Murthy's thoughtful reply @39, but rather restate the issue a little more abstractly. I engage with this comment out of respect for MisterMr's overwhelmingly well-considered comments here and elsewhere on this blog.

I think one of the disadvantages of Marxian analysis–and this particular critique is much older than I am–is that it does tend to flatten out the contours of human experience so that it can be rendered more intelligible and commensurable so that there can be a more easily verbalized dialectic about class. In other words, Marxians are lumpers. And lumping has its uses, but sometimes contours are needed to understand the underlying processes that result in the social problems upon which we wish to improve with policy.

One of the advantages of intersectional analysis is that it acknowledges that experiences of privilege/oppression are contextual because they are socially constructed and because social construction is messy and non-uniform. We each experience privileges and/or oppressions that are the results of historical processes (more and more) loosely bounded by geographical inhibitions to travel.

In this way, an African American man can expect to experience such oppressions as being treated as untrustworthy; assumed to be prone to violence; assumed to be a habitual drug user; assumed to lack certain non-cognitive skills (which are really just the current preferred collective habits of the upper middle class–I teach some of their kids kung fu) etc . A woman can expect to experience such oppressions as being treated as unintelligent; evaluated based on a narrow range of acceptability on her appearance, tone of voice, apparel, accoutrements, hobbies, reproductive choices, sexual choices, really just about any choices.

Even though each of these specific ways of being harmed by the collective (mostly) non-conscious will to discriminate based on things that don't matter most of the time in most places is at root a failure of most people most of the time to exercise their meta-cognitive skills around the meaning of respect and to whom it is due and what kind of behavior that requires of oneself, they do not easily offer a consensus on the sorts of policies that ought to be implemented across a society because each of these oppressions are historically contingent and enacted in specific kinds of social spaces for specific reasons–reasons that most people most of the time are not required to articulate because hey, everybody's doing it.

The difference between kinds of oppressions and the kinds of policy solutions they invite sharpens when considering white women's and black men's disparate experiences with the police across the history of the (sort of) former confederate states of America–yes, I know it was bad everywhere else, too, but my understanding of the history is that the difference is sharper in the South (no I will not provide J-D with a cite)–or their disparate experiences interfacing with organizations such as firms and universities as the suite of policies known as affirmative action became passed and enforced. In some ways, many individuals classified in each (and both) group(s) aggregately benefited but the benefits were asymmetric and the accompanying backlash manifested as different kinds of oppressions depending on the most salient group assignment.

Incidentally, I think one of the better ways that coalitions form are when activist groups find themselves being deliberately wedged against each other, for instance with aggressive policing proposals, and try to find another way to meet each group's needs. The recent renewed advocacy for Civilian Police Review Boards seems like one possible way forward to accommodate the need from multiple constituencies that have historically been ignored.

I think intersectionality also happens to give us some useful theoretical tools to help make these kinds of coalitional policy solutions more abundant and more easy to institutionalize throughout a large and diverse state–which is why there is absolutely a political interest among some (probably not so much the Marxians) in detracting from it.

Anyway, two cheers (for now) for intersectionality. But don't get cocky splitters.

Tm 01.03.20 at 5:33 pm ( 61 )

The term privilege is often misused. The original meaning of the term is simply a right or an advantage specifically conveyed on a certain group of people. It is not wrong for example to call the right to attend a university a privilege. Not long ago, that right was a privilege restricted to men (mostly upper class but also some lower class). The right to vote, if it is not universal, could also be called a privilege. It is not correct to say that only the upper class can be privileged – privileges can be to some extent independent of class structure. OTOH Real privilege is enshrined in law. Habitual discrimination is a different thing and it's probably better to call it by a different name.

[Jan 03, 2020] Will 2020 See the Emergence of a Nationalist Left by Andrew Joyce, Ph.D.

Dec 29, 2019 | www.theoccidentalobserver.net

"The life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely a metaphorical one, against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand."
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

Although Nietzsche seems to be the philosopher of choice for many on the Dissident Right, I've always had a soft spot for Arthur Schopenhauer. His cantankerous philosophical pessimism has always struck a chord with my own temperament, and for many years I've found his quasi-Buddhist and highly compassionate conceptualisation of suffering to be strangely comforting. That life is a struggle involving endless adversaries and competitors also forms an aspect of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and this continues to be significant in shaping my political and philosophical outlook. Certainly, it goes without saying that adversaries have never been in short supply for members of the Dissident Right. They are arrayed before us now, emerging from all points of the political spectrum, and often even from within our own ranks. Dissident right political philosophies, more than any other, appear destined to be mired in continual conflict, and I often find it difficult to shake the dark impression that one day I will die, metaphorical sword in hand, with every battle raging but far from won. For this reason, I sometimes permit myself the relief of optimism (a form of cowardice to both Schopenhauer and Spengler), and part of this is the attempt to find allies where formerly one may have seen only foes. This brings me to the subject matter of this essay -- recent developments on the Left which appear to suggest the emergence of an anti-globalist, anti-immigration, and anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic politics.

Swedish Communists Wake Up

Just days ago, Sputnik reported on the fact that almost half of the members of the Communist Party in Malmö, Sweden, are resigning. They plan to establish a new workers' party that no longer features multiculturalism, LGBT interests, and climate change as key policy goals. Nils Littorin, one of the defectors, told a local newspaper that today's Left has become part of the elite and has come to "dismiss the views of the working class as alien and problematic." Littorin suggested that the Left "is going through a prolonged identity crisis" and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class politics. Littorin adds "[The Left] don't understand why so many workers don't think that multiculturalism, the LGBT movement and Greta Thunberg are something fantastic, but instead believe we are in the 1930s' Germany and that workers who vote [right-wing] Sweden Democrats have been infected by some Nazi sickness." In a piece of simple insight previously rare on the Left, he argues that the rise in right-wing votes for people like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are in fact due to "widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to low-wage competition and the ghettoisation of communities, a development that only benefits major companies." Rather than being beneficial to working class Whites, Littorin condemns a "chaotic" immigration policy that has led to "cultural clashes, segregation and exclusion due to an uncontrolled influx from parts of the world characterised by honour culture and clan mentalities."

Littorin continues to talk sense when it comes to the LGBT agenda. He explains that LGBT issues and the climate movement are merely "state ideologies" that are "rammed down people's throats". Littorin adds that phenomena like these happen at the expense of real issues, such as poverty, homelessness, and income equality: "Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old."

As well as prioritising jobs and pensions over the flamboyant celebration of buggery, Littorin and his colleagues have pledged to abandon the name and ethos of Communism, describing it as a

word drawn to the dirt, a nasty word today, and not entirely undeservedly. In communist parties, there is this risk of elitism, self-indulgence, and a belief that a certain avant-garde should lead a working class that does not know its own best interests, instead of asking people what they want. 20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century but has been stuck in 100-year-old books.

Curiously, events in Malmö have been mirrored somewhat in broader Swedish Left politics, with Markus Allard, the leader of the left-wing Örebro Party, expressing similar thoughts in an op-ed titled "Socialists don't belong to the left," accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class."

British Socialists Reinvent Themselves

Almost simultaneously, an identical process is occurring in Britain with George Galloway 's announcement of a new Workers Party of Britain . At the time of its launch Galloway described the party as "hard Brexit and hard labour," and added: "If you're a liberal who thinks it's Left if you're still pining for the EU, if you think shouting "racist," "homophobic," "transphobic" at everybody who doesn't agree with you is the way forward, we're probably not for you." Galloway's pro-Brexit stance is rooted in his belief that the modern British Left "have no vision for an alternative to rampant neoliberalism and a deindustrialised, finance-led, low wage economy, they calculate the best way to make this work is within the EU." He argues that the cosmopolitan leadership of the Labour Party in particular "think we are some kind of uncivilised tribe, painting our faces blue, and only able to vote in a right-wing government," a view he finds "not only deeply insulting, but also self-defeating and overly optimistic about the EU." On immigration, Galloway argues that there is "nothing left-wing about unlimited mass immigration. It decapitates the countries from which the immigrants leave, and drives down wages in those where they arrive. The wealthy benefit from it, as they can afford cheap labor for their companies, or cheap au-pairs, cheap baristas, cheap plumbers. But the working class suffers."

Galloway has also stressed that his new party will strongly pursue anti-Israel politics, and is fully committed to opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Galloway and the Workers Party of Britain have also taken a stand against the more extreme forms of LGBT indoctrination, particularly the mass promotion of transgenderism. Galloway, who has previously been attacked by a self-styled "trans anarchist" while giving a speech, is here following the lead of the pro-Brexit Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which recently published Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? In this text, and other articles on the party's website, including this very interesting speech denouncing transgender ideology as anti-materialist and anti-scientific, the argument is made that

Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing . It doesn't just exist in humanity, it exists in many species throughout the natural world. Sexual reproduction is a natural biological process that has persisted in nature due to the diversity it engenders; it is a phenomenon encountered in the natural world. And let's not forget how this debate impinged upon us. We've been following this ideological trend, and encountering identity politics (idpol) among supporters and candidates for membership of our party, and amongst people we've been working with for at least four or five years. Because idpol has become a fashion in that period. And it is a fashion; it is a trend. And it suddenly -- from being very marginal to certain academic institutions in the 1970s -- became mainstream globally worldwide; it was actively promoted. Not promoted by communists, not by socialists, but picked up on and accepted by many of them, because they are led by, and they blindly followed, bourgeoise society down this dead-end. There is a group of self-proclaimed 'socialists' who are not actually any longer fighting against our oppression, they're fighting against reality!

The Left in Crisis?

None of these developments are entirely surprising and, in fact, the argument could be made that they are the inevitable side effect of what Nils Littorin termed the Left's prolonged "identity crisis." The endorsement and promotion of multiculturalism and its sex-politics corollaries never did make much sense within the framework of rational critiques of capitalism, and the tension between the nominal desire for working class solidarity and divisive pseudo-Marxian doctrines (e.g. Whiteness Studies) designed to mobilise imported ethnic factions against the largest section of the working class (blue-collar Whites) was always destined to bring about significant stress fractures when Leftist fortunes began to decline.

And decline they have. Of course, we have to set aside rampant ideological and cultural success. Figures and cliques operating under the banner of social equality and eternal progress continue to hold the reins of power in government, academia, and the mass media. But the Left is without question currently subject to a period of political decline. It's losing votes, and more important, it's fast losing hearts and minds. I should also add that they aren't losing them to right-wing ideas, but to the hollow shells of right-wing ideas (Free Enterprise! Build the Wall!) and to the charismatic globalist play-actors who promote-these ideas like salesmen selling used cars or aftershave. White working-class people are voting for free enterprise without hesitation while Jewish vulture capitalism operates with impunity under that very banner, destroying their towns, exporting their jobs, and repossessing their homes. The same people vote for a wall they'll never get -- and would never really solve the problems resulting from capitalism or ensure a majority White future. And they do it not because of concern about identity or racial destiny, but in the same way one might decide to install CCTV in a grocery store -- the ever-elusive Wall will never be built so long as it represents nothing more than the aspiration to protect mere inventory. The hollow men of the pseudo-Right-wing offer flimsy placebos, and yet the political Left, supposedly the historical repository of hard materialism, can't seem to compete.

There's been a scramble to blame the situation on a lack of charismatic leaders , disunity, a lack of attractive policies, and even the idea that the European Left made the fatal mistake of trying to meet the Right on its own turf by "flirting with closed-border nationalism or neoliberalism." But the real reason is surely the fact the Left has consistently alienated and browbeat working class Whites, while slowly revealing itself to be an elite-run clique of cosmopolitans, who are living the high life while waxing lyrical about oppressions that are rarely real and often imaginary, and in any case never affect them personally. Added to this is the fact Leftist ideology has become so convoluted and contorted, with the square-peg doctrine of Marx endlessly forced into new and increasingly abstract circular and triangular holes, resulting in Marxist interpretations of such ephemera as graffiti, pop music, and drag queens, all of which strike the average blue-collar worker as a steaming pile of effeminate middle-class navel-gazing. All this plays out as young yet dithering social justice warriors, jobless and senseless, search for oppression like an old lady with dementia searches for a purse she hasn't owned in 20 years. As the pundits split hairs, I look on, and it occurs to me rather simply that right now the pseudo-Left-wing liars aren't quite as good as the pseudo-Right-wing liars.

Are These Rebels Potential Allies?

When I was around 11 years old, my mother made a new friend, a Scottish woman in her 30s, who always struck me as very strange. It was her eyes. I didn't know at first what schizophrenia was, though I would soon find out. One day she arrived at our house and, recognising her, I opened the door and welcomed her in. I called to my mother, who was upstairs, and made small talk with the Scottish woman, who, standing still and staring right at me, seemed perfectly cheerful and articulate. She asked about how I was doing at school, and we talked a little bit about science, which she seemed to know a lot about. It was only after a few minutes that I noticed the smell and deduced that the woman had fouled herself. By the time my mother arrived, the Scottish woman had descended into a stream-of-consciousness gibberish that culminated in her attempting unsuccessfully to retrieve a knife from the kitchen before running from the property. She'd simply stopped taking her medication. We later discovered she was found by police that night, dancing and weeping with bare, bloody feet in a nearby graveyard, wearing nothing but a nightgown and proclaiming to the dead that she was God, distraught at the death of the crucified son.

The episode has remained with me now for over two decades, shaping my perceptions of reality, relationships, and trust. Here it suffices only to remark that the insane talk sense at times, even as their psyche shatters. And if we dig deeply enough into the statements of these moderately "awakened" Leftists, do we yet see signs of madness? A look again at the statement from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), along with some reading between the lines, suggests something decidedly off . Yes, "biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing." Of course it is. But so is biological differentiation between races, and yet here our erstwhile British hardcore materialists, currently led by a full-blooded ethnic Indian named Harpal Brar , decide to fight against reality. On that note, we should add that Brar's daughter, Joti Brar, has been announced as George Galloway's deputy leader at the "hard Brexit and hard labour" Worker's Party of Britain. Galloway, it's worth adding, has been married four times, with three marriages to non-Whites (Palestinian Amineh Abu-Zayyad in 1994, Lebanese Rima Husseini in 2007, and ethnic Indonesian Putri Gayatri Pertiwi in 2012). So for all his protestations of being against mass migration, one gets the distinct impression that Galloway is a committed multiculturalist and that his party will be internationalist in every meaningful sense of the term.

If there is any hope for some sanity in this camp of frustrated Leftists it is for the simple reason that these small new pockets of reason are for the most part free of Jewish influence and all the intellectual distortions such influence entails. In a 2018 essay titled " On "Leftist Anti-Semitism": Past and Present ," I considered the gradual shift of Jews away from the hard Left due to growing anti-Zionism, and their growing confinement in centrist neoliberalism:

Jewish blindness to their privileges, genuine or feigned, is of course one major cause for the undeniable friction between Jews and the modern Left. It was perhaps inevitable that foolish but earnest egalitarians on the Left would come to the slow realization that their 'comrades of the Jewish faith' were in fact not only elitists, but an elite of a very special sort. The simultaneous preaching of open borders/common property and 'the land of the Jewish people' was always going to strike a discordant note among the wearers of sweaty Che Guevara t-shirts, especially when accompanied so very often by the cacophony of Israeli gunfire and the screams of bloodied Palestinian children. Mass migration, that well-crafted toxin coursing through the highways and rail lines of Europe, has proven just as difficult to manage. Great waves of human detritus wash upon Western shores, bringing raw and passionate grievances even from the frontiers of Israel. These are people whose eyes have seen behind the veil, and who sit only with great discomfort alongside the kin of the IDF in league with the Western political Left -- the only common ground being a shared desire to dispossess the hated White man. For these reasons, the Left could well become a cold house for Jews without becoming authentically, systematically, or traditionally anti-Semitic. One might therefore expect Jews to regroup away from the radical left, occupying a political space best described as staunchly centrist -- a centrism that leans left only to pursue multiculturalism and other destructive 'egalitarian' social policies, and leans right only in order to obtain elite protections and privileges [domestically for the Jewish community, internationally for Israel]. A centrism based, in that old familiar formula, on 'what is best for Jews.'

As seen in the recent clash between Jews and the UK's Labour Party, the political relocation of Jews to a kind of amorphous and opportunistic centrism will bring them into direct conflict with those on the hard Left who not only pursue anti-Zionist politics but also object to manifestations of raw Jewish power like the mass adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and the economic abuses of politically ambiguous (neither Left nor Right, but Jewish) oligarchs like Paul Singer. As such, and together with their natural aversion to being part of the Right, Jews will increasingly find it difficult to define themselves politically as anything other than Jews, leading to the increased visibility of their activities and interests -- something witnessed in the unprecedented step of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis openly calling for British Jews to move against Jeremy Corbyn. This increased visibility can only be a good thing for those concerned with Jewish influence, and who have been frustrated in previous periods by Jewish influence masquerading in various political guises.

A potential opportunity, imperfect but perhaps feasible, may therefore be arising whereby White interests could be subliminally or even publicly defended through savvy, nominally hard-Left activism against mass migration (on economic rather than racial grounds), against Israel and international Zionist influence, against some aspects of PC culture, and against the capitalist excesses of the Jewish vulture funds. It goes without saying that Leftist activists don't receive anywhere near the same level of social, professional, or legal punishment for their activism as those on the Right, especially the dissident Right. I don't think I'm too wide of the mark in suggesting that an anti-immigration agitator with "Workers Party of Britain" plastered over his social media is less likely to lose his job than someone with public National Front affiliations. It may therefore be worth serious consideration by young activists as to whether they might want to cultivate a kind of "Leftist" mask to defend White interests in much the same way as Jews in the past have adopted various convenient political masks while concealing deeper ethnic interests. I am suggesting a combination of infiltration and masquerade. What matters most is the private motivation and the potential benefits of the ultimate goal -- White interests and objectives serving them.

There are, of course, also dangers in supporting such movements. I am not suggesting the investment of serious time and money in these groups, since the risk is great that the majority of their members are committed to a politics that is ultimately antagonistic and destructive to our own ultimate goals. There is also huge potential for betrayal on many of the issues where we might have common ground -- immigration, LGBT madness, PC culture -- and I find it difficult to shake off the impression that these developments bear the mark of a temporary despair and are designed to dupe blue-collar Whites into voting Left once more.

Still, 2020 may open up a new front in the war, and as the New Year approaches, I'll silence my inner Schopenhauer and toast to that.

[Jan 03, 2020] Will 2020 See the Emergence of a Nationalist Left by Andrew Joyce, Ph.D.

Jan 03, 2020 | www.theoccidentalobserver.net

December 29, 2019

"The life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely a metaphorical one, against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand."
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

Although Nietzsche seems to be the philosopher of choice for many on the Dissident Right, I've always had a soft spot for Arthur Schopenhauer. His cantankerous philosophical pessimism has always struck a chord with my own temperament, and for many years I've found his quasi-Buddhist and highly compassionate conceptualisation of suffering to be strangely comforting. That life is a struggle involving endless adversaries and competitors also forms an aspect of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and this continues to be significant in shaping my political and philosophical outlook. Certainly, it goes without saying that adversaries have never been in short supply for members of the Dissident Right. They are arrayed before us now, emerging from all points of the political spectrum, and often even from within our own ranks. Dissident right political philosophies, more than any other, appear destined to be mired in continual conflict, and I often find it difficult to shake the dark impression that one day I will die, metaphorical sword in hand, with every battle raging but far from won. For this reason, I sometimes permit myself the relief of optimism (a form of cowardice to both Schopenhauer and Spengler), and part of this is the attempt to find allies where formerly one may have seen only foes. This brings me to the subject matter of this essay -- recent developments on the Left which appear to suggest the emergence of an anti-globalist, anti-immigration, and anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic politics.

Swedish Communists Wake Up

Just days ago, Sputnik reported on the fact that almost half of the members of the Communist Party in Malmö, Sweden, are resigning. They plan to establish a new workers' party that no longer features multiculturalism, LGBT interests, and climate change as key policy goals. Nils Littorin, one of the defectors, told a local newspaper that today's Left has become part of the elite and has come to "dismiss the views of the working class as alien and problematic." Littorin suggested that the Left "is going through a prolonged identity crisis" and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class politics. Littorin adds "[The Left] don't understand why so many workers don't think that multiculturalism, the LGBT movement and Greta Thunberg are something fantastic, but instead believe we are in the 1930s' Germany and that workers who vote [right-wing] Sweden Democrats have been infected by some Nazi sickness." In a piece of simple insight previously rare on the Left, he argues that the rise in right-wing votes for people like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are in fact due to "widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to low-wage competition and the ghettoisation of communities, a development that only benefits major companies." Rather than being beneficial to working class Whites, Littorin condemns a "chaotic" immigration policy that has led to "cultural clashes, segregation and exclusion due to an uncontrolled influx from parts of the world characterised by honour culture and clan mentalities."

Littorin continues to talk sense when it comes to the LGBT agenda. He explains that LGBT issues and the climate movement are merely "state ideologies" that are "rammed down people's throats". Littorin adds that phenomena like these happen at the expense of real issues, such as poverty, homelessness, and income equality: "Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old."

As well as prioritising jobs and pensions over the flamboyant celebration of buggery, Littorin and his colleagues have pledged to abandon the name and ethos of Communism, describing it as a

word drawn to the dirt, a nasty word today, and not entirely undeservedly. In communist parties, there is this risk of elitism, self-indulgence, and a belief that a certain avant-garde should lead a working class that does not know its own best interests, instead of asking people what they want. 20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century but has been stuck in 100-year-old books.

Curiously, events in Malmö have been mirrored somewhat in broader Swedish Left politics, with Markus Allard, the leader of the left-wing Örebro Party, expressing similar thoughts in an op-ed titled "Socialists don't belong to the left," accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class."

British Socialists Reinvent Themselves

Almost simultaneously, an identical process is occurring in Britain with George Galloway 's announcement of a new Workers Party of Britain . At the time of its launch Galloway described the party as "hard Brexit and hard labour," and added: "If you're a liberal who thinks it's Left if you're still pining for the EU, if you think shouting "racist," "homophobic," "transphobic" at everybody who doesn't agree with you is the way forward, we're probably not for you." Galloway's pro-Brexit stance is rooted in his belief that the modern British Left "have no vision for an alternative to rampant neoliberalism and a deindustrialised, finance-led, low wage economy, they calculate the best way to make this work is within the EU." He argues that the cosmopolitan leadership of the Labour Party in particular "think we are some kind of uncivilised tribe, painting our faces blue, and only able to vote in a right-wing government," a view he finds "not only deeply insulting, but also self-defeating and overly optimistic about the EU." On immigration, Galloway argues that there is "nothing left-wing about unlimited mass immigration. It decapitates the countries from which the immigrants leave, and drives down wages in those where they arrive. The wealthy benefit from it, as they can afford cheap labor for their companies, or cheap au-pairs, cheap baristas, cheap plumbers. But the working class suffers."

Galloway has also stressed that his new party will strongly pursue anti-Israel politics, and is fully committed to opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Galloway and the Workers Party of Britain have also taken a stand against the more extreme forms of LGBT indoctrination, particularly the mass promotion of transgenderism. Galloway, who has previously been attacked by a self-styled "trans anarchist" while giving a speech, is here following the lead of the pro-Brexit Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which recently published Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? In this text, and other articles on the party's website, including this very interesting speech denouncing transgender ideology as anti-materialist and anti-scientific, the argument is made that

Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing . It doesn't just exist in humanity, it exists in many species throughout the natural world. Sexual reproduction is a natural biological process that has persisted in nature due to the diversity it engenders; it is a phenomenon encountered in the natural world. And let's not forget how this debate impinged upon us. We've been following this ideological trend, and encountering identity politics (idpol) among supporters and candidates for membership of our party, and amongst people we've been working with for at least four or five years. Because idpol has become a fashion in that period. And it is a fashion; it is a trend. And it suddenly -- from being very marginal to certain academic institutions in the 1970s -- became mainstream globally worldwide; it was actively promoted. Not promoted by communists, not by socialists, but picked up on and accepted by many of them, because they are led by, and they blindly followed, bourgeoise society down this dead-end. There is a group of self-proclaimed 'socialists' who are not actually any longer fighting against our oppression, they're fighting against reality!

The Left in Crisis?

None of these developments are entirely surprising and, in fact, the argument could be made that they are the inevitable side effect of what Nils Littorin termed the Left's prolonged "identity crisis." The endorsement and promotion of multiculturalism and its sex-politics corollaries never did make much sense within the framework of rational critiques of capitalism, and the tension between the nominal desire for working class solidarity and divisive pseudo-Marxian doctrines (e.g. Whiteness Studies) designed to mobilise imported ethnic factions against the largest section of the working class (blue-collar Whites) was always destined to bring about significant stress fractures when Leftist fortunes began to decline.

And decline they have. Of course, we have to set aside rampant ideological and cultural success. Figures and cliques operating under the banner of social equality and eternal progress continue to hold the reins of power in government, academia, and the mass media. But the Left is without question currently subject to a period of political decline. It's losing votes, and more important, it's fast losing hearts and minds. I should also add that they aren't losing them to right-wing ideas, but to the hollow shells of right-wing ideas (Free Enterprise! Build the Wall!) and to the charismatic globalist play-actors who promote-these ideas like salesmen selling used cars or aftershave. White working-class people are voting for free enterprise without hesitation while Jewish vulture capitalism operates with impunity under that very banner, destroying their towns, exporting their jobs, and repossessing their homes. The same people vote for a wall they'll never get -- and would never really solve the problems resulting from capitalism or ensure a majority White future. And they do it not because of concern about identity or racial destiny, but in the same way one might decide to install CCTV in a grocery store -- the ever-elusive Wall will never be built so long as it represents nothing more than the aspiration to protect mere inventory. The hollow men of the pseudo-Right-wing offer flimsy placebos, and yet the political Left, supposedly the historical repository of hard materialism, can't seem to compete.

There's been a scramble to blame the situation on a lack of charismatic leaders , disunity, a lack of attractive policies, and even the idea that the European Left made the fatal mistake of trying to meet the Right on its own turf by "flirting with closed-border nationalism or neoliberalism." But the real reason is surely the fact the Left has consistently alienated and browbeat working class Whites, while slowly revealing itself to be an elite-run clique of cosmopolitans, who are living the high life while waxing lyrical about oppressions that are rarely real and often imaginary, and in any case never affect them personally. Added to this is the fact Leftist ideology has become so convoluted and contorted, with the square-peg doctrine of Marx endlessly forced into new and increasingly abstract circular and triangular holes, resulting in Marxist interpretations of such ephemera as graffiti, pop music, and drag queens, all of which strike the average blue-collar worker as a steaming pile of effeminate middle-class navel-gazing. All this plays out as young yet dithering social justice warriors, jobless and senseless, search for oppression like an old lady with dementia searches for a purse she hasn't owned in 20 years. As the pundits split hairs, I look on, and it occurs to me rather simply that right now the pseudo-Left-wing liars aren't quite as good as the pseudo-Right-wing liars.

Are These Rebels Potential Allies?

When I was around 11 years old, my mother made a new friend, a Scottish woman in her 30s, who always struck me as very strange. It was her eyes. I didn't know at first what schizophrenia was, though I would soon find out. One day she arrived at our house and, recognising her, I opened the door and welcomed her in. I called to my mother, who was upstairs, and made small talk with the Scottish woman, who, standing still and staring right at me, seemed perfectly cheerful and articulate. She asked about how I was doing at school, and we talked a little bit about science, which she seemed to know a lot about. It was only after a few minutes that I noticed the smell and deduced that the woman had fouled herself. By the time my mother arrived, the Scottish woman had descended into a stream-of-consciousness gibberish that culminated in her attempting unsuccessfully to retrieve a knife from the kitchen before running from the property. She'd simply stopped taking her medication. We later discovered she was found by police that night, dancing and weeping with bare, bloody feet in a nearby graveyard, wearing nothing but a nightgown and proclaiming to the dead that she was God, distraught at the death of the crucified son.

The episode has remained with me now for over two decades, shaping my perceptions of reality, relationships, and trust. Here it suffices only to remark that the insane talk sense at times, even as their psyche shatters. And if we dig deeply enough into the statements of these moderately "awakened" Leftists, do we yet see signs of madness? A look again at the statement from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), along with some reading between the lines, suggests something decidedly off . Yes, "biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing." Of course it is. But so is biological differentiation between races, and yet here our erstwhile British hardcore materialists, currently led by a full-blooded ethnic Indian named Harpal Brar , decide to fight against reality. On that note, we should add that Brar's daughter, Joti Brar, has been announced as George Galloway's deputy leader at the "hard Brexit and hard labour" Worker's Party of Britain. Galloway, it's worth adding, has been married four times, with three marriages to non-Whites (Palestinian Amineh Abu-Zayyad in 1994, Lebanese Rima Husseini in 2007, and ethnic Indonesian Putri Gayatri Pertiwi in 2012). So for all his protestations of being against mass migration, one gets the distinct impression that Galloway is a committed multiculturalist and that his party will be internationalist in every meaningful sense of the term.

If there is any hope for some sanity in this camp of frustrated Leftists it is for the simple reason that these small new pockets of reason are for the most part free of Jewish influence and all the intellectual distortions such influence entails. In a 2018 essay titled " On "Leftist Anti-Semitism": Past and Present ," I considered the gradual shift of Jews away from the hard Left due to growing anti-Zionism, and their growing confinement in centrist neoliberalism:

Jewish blindness to their privileges, genuine or feigned, is of course one major cause for the undeniable friction between Jews and the modern Left. It was perhaps inevitable that foolish but earnest egalitarians on the Left would come to the slow realization that their 'comrades of the Jewish faith' were in fact not only elitists, but an elite of a very special sort. The simultaneous preaching of open borders/common property and 'the land of the Jewish people' was always going to strike a discordant note among the wearers of sweaty Che Guevara t-shirts, especially when accompanied so very often by the cacophony of Israeli gunfire and the screams of bloodied Palestinian children. Mass migration, that well-crafted toxin coursing through the highways and rail lines of Europe, has proven just as difficult to manage. Great waves of human detritus wash upon Western shores, bringing raw and passionate grievances even from the frontiers of Israel. These are people whose eyes have seen behind the veil, and who sit only with great discomfort alongside the kin of the IDF in league with the Western political Left -- the only common ground being a shared desire to dispossess the hated White man. For these reasons, the Left could well become a cold house for Jews without becoming authentically, systematically, or traditionally anti-Semitic. One might therefore expect Jews to regroup away from the radical left, occupying a political space best described as staunchly centrist -- a centrism that leans left only to pursue multiculturalism and other destructive 'egalitarian' social policies, and leans right only in order to obtain elite protections and privileges [domestically for the Jewish community, internationally for Israel]. A centrism based, in that old familiar formula, on 'what is best for Jews.'

As seen in the recent clash between Jews and the UK's Labour Party, the political relocation of Jews to a kind of amorphous and opportunistic centrism will bring them into direct conflict with those on the hard Left who not only pursue anti-Zionist politics but also object to manifestations of raw Jewish power like the mass adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and the economic abuses of politically ambiguous (neither Left nor Right, but Jewish) oligarchs like Paul Singer. As such, and together with their natural aversion to being part of the Right, Jews will increasingly find it difficult to define themselves politically as anything other than Jews, leading to the increased visibility of their activities and interests -- something witnessed in the unprecedented step of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis openly calling for British Jews to move against Jeremy Corbyn. This increased visibility can only be a good thing for those concerned with Jewish influence, and who have been frustrated in previous periods by Jewish influence masquerading in various political guises.

A potential opportunity, imperfect but perhaps feasible, may therefore be arising whereby White interests could be subliminally or even publicly defended through savvy, nominally hard-Left activism against mass migration (on economic rather than racial grounds), against Israel and international Zionist influence, against some aspects of PC culture, and against the capitalist excesses of the Jewish vulture funds. It goes without saying that Leftist activists don't receive anywhere near the same level of social, professional, or legal punishment for their activism as those on the Right, especially the dissident Right. I don't think I'm too wide of the mark in suggesting that an anti-immigration agitator with "Workers Party of Britain" plastered over his social media is less likely to lose his job than someone with public National Front affiliations. It may therefore be worth serious consideration by young activists as to whether they might want to cultivate a kind of "Leftist" mask to defend White interests in much the same way as Jews in the past have adopted various convenient political masks while concealing deeper ethnic interests. I am suggesting a combination of infiltration and masquerade. What matters most is the private motivation and the potential benefits of the ultimate goal -- White interests and objectives serving them.

There are, of course, also dangers in supporting such movements. I am not suggesting the investment of serious time and money in these groups, since the risk is great that the majority of their members are committed to a politics that is ultimately antagonistic and destructive to our own ultimate goals. There is also huge potential for betrayal on many of the issues where we might have common ground -- immigration, LGBT madness, PC culture -- and I find it difficult to shake off the impression that these developments bear the mark of a temporary despair and are designed to dupe blue-collar Whites into voting Left once more.

Still, 2020 may open up a new front in the war, and as the New Year approaches, I'll silence my inner Schopenhauer and toast to that.

[Jan 03, 2020] Transgender and other "identity extremists" as a tool of pushing blue collar voters to Republican Party

Jan 03, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

EB 12.31.19 at 3:58 pm ( 19 )

@ Tim #3: Totally. Already, 20% of immigrants voted for Trump. Even somewhere between 12 and 15% of African-American men voted for him. Not because they like him, but because they don't identify with the rhetoric of the left. And I say this as a longstanding member of the left.

The highly exclusionary mottoes of the various identity-based groups that the Democrats provide a home for are working against us -- "the future is female," "gender is not binary and not fixed," "the problem of whiteness," the extreme insistence on equality of outcomes over equality of opportunity -- these are all pushing parts of the natural Democratic constituency away and into the arms of the Republicans (or into a stance of not voting at all).

And the rhetoric around economic issues is not helping either. Voters are not stupid; they realize that free college, college loan forgiveness, Medicare for all, and massive spending on housing are not going to happen all at once given the makeup of congress. They are not hearing enough from the Democratic primary candidates about policy changes that can realistically happen in the next 4 years.

[Jan 02, 2020] Intersectionality vs dominant identity politics

Highly recommended!
This stupid idea of "intersectionality" is just a fig leaf on dangerous government policy
Notable quotes:
"... “essentialist” identity politics ..."
"... “working class” politics ..."
"... likbez 01.02.20 at 1:11 am ..."
"... the left, as a movement, is going through a prolonged identity crisis and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class warfare. ..."
"... The right-wingers' major gains from the working class are, according to Littorin, a token of widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to "low-wage competition" and the "ghettoisation of communities", a development that "only benefits major companies". ..."
"... Littorin described multiculturalism, LGBT issues and the climate movement as state ideologies that are "rammed down people's throats". According to him, phenomena like LGBT-certification and the cult around 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and "other -isms" happen at the expense of the real issues, such as income equality. ..."
"... "Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old," Littorin explained. ..."
"... 20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century ..."
"... similar thoughts in an opinion piece called "Socialists don't belong to the left", accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class". ..."
Jan 02, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

As I see it, intersectionality combines a recognition that people are oppressed both through the economic structures of capitalism and as members of various subordinate groups with a rejection of both:

likbez 01.02.20 at 1:11 am (no link)

Jake Gibson 01.01.20 at 3:49 pm @35

Here, I thought likbez was just a social reactionary, now I find he/she is also an infowars style conspiracist.

This is an ad hominem attack and as such is without merits.

Being labeled a conspiracist is actually not that bad, as probably 80% of major conspiracies (the term invented by CIA to discredit the opposition to Warren commission findings) proved to be the most adequate, albeit "politically incorrect" explanations of the events in question. They are just the explanations that undermine the establishment narrative. Right now most people (around 61% of voters and 71% of independents) believe that CIA operatives at senior levels played active role in JFK assassination. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-one-thing-in-politics-most-americans-believe-in-jfk-conspiracies/

So IMHO if a person views Russiagate as a color revolution against Trump run by intelligence agencies and Ukrainegate as attempt to replicate 2018 success with Mueller witch hunt on a new level by neoliberal Democrats led by Pelosi and Schumer, this suggests some attempt of independent thinking, and some level of resistance to neoliberal groupthink. Which may be a bridge too far, but in general is not that bad, even if wrong.

The opposite camp that does not question the establishment narrative, especially as for Russiagate (and related false flag operations such as DNC leak converted by Crowdstrike into Russian hack using CIA malware, probably from Vault 7 exposed by Wikileaks and the creation of Gussifer 2.0 fake personality ) can be called a camp of neoliberal lemmings, or victims of neoliberal brainwashing, your choice ;-)

Also for an Infowars adept I have friends in strange places -- a faction of Swedish communists -- which somehow managed to replicate my views almost to a tee ;-)

https://www.eutimes.net/2019/12/sweden-launches-original-communist-party-with-no-multiculturalism-lgbt-climate-change-just-like-in-ussr/

Almost half of the members of the Communist Party in Malmö are resigning. Instead, they plan establish a new workers' party that doesn't put as much emphasis on things like multiculturalism, LGBT issues and climate alarmism, which have become the staples and rallying calls of today's left.

Nils Littorin, one of the defectors, explained to Lokaltidningen that today's left has become part of the elite and has come to "dismiss the views of the working class as alien and problematic". Littorin suggested that the left, as a movement, is going through a prolonged identity crisis and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class warfare.

"They don't understand why so many workers don't think that multiculturalism, the LGBT movement and Greta Thunberg are something fantastic, but instead believe we are in the 1930s' Germany and that workers who vote [right-wing] Sweden Democrats have been infected by some Nazi sickness," he explained to Lokaltidningen.

The right-wingers' major gains from the working class are, according to Littorin, a token of widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to "low-wage competition" and the "ghettoisation of communities", a development that "only benefits major companies".

According to Littorin, one of the underlying problems is a "chaotic" immigration policy that has led to cultural clashes, segregation and exclusion due to an uncontrolled influx from parts of the world characterised by honour culture and clan mentalities.

Littorin described multiculturalism, LGBT issues and the climate movement as state ideologies that are "rammed down people's throats". According to him, phenomena like LGBT-certification and the cult around 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and "other -isms" happen at the expense of the real issues, such as income equality.

"Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old," Littorin explained.

The goal, according to Littorin is to enter Malmö City Council by 2022. The name of the party remains undetermined, but Littorin stressed that the word "Communist" will no longer be present.

It's a word drawn to the dirt, a nasty word today, and not entirely undeservedly. In communist parties, there is this risk of elitism, self-indulgence, and a belief that a certain avant-garde should lead a working class that does not know its own best interests, instead of asking people what they want.

20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century but has been stuck in 100-year-old books. But the principles that Marx formulated, they still apply to me," Littorin concluded.

Earlier this week, Markus Allard, the leader of the left-wing Örebro Party expressed similar thoughts in an opinion piece called "Socialists don't belong to the left", accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class".

[Jan 02, 2020] SJWs As Bourgeois Bolshies by Rod Dreher •

Notable quotes:
"... To be clear, Social Justice religion is not the same thing as Bolshevism, which conquered a nation and turned it into a charnel house. But the psychological dynamics are so similar that I can understand now why Soviet-bloc emigres feel in their bones that something wicked is coming, and coming fast. ..."
Oct 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

October 22, 2019, 2:09 AM

LGBT Pride poster in Soviet Style ( Design Boom ) I'm reading one of the best books I've ever seen, historian Yuri Slezkine's The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution . It's a massive -- over 1,000 pages -- history of the Bolshevik movement, focusing on the people who lived in a vast apartment building constructed across the Moskva River from the Kremlin, for party elites. In the 1930s, during the purges, it was the most dangerous address in the country. The secret police came for people there all the time.

The book has given me a breakthrough in understanding why so many people who grew up under communism are unnerved by what's going on in the West today, even if they can't all articulate it beyond expressing intense but inchoate anxiety about political correctness. Reading Slezkine , a UC-Berkeley historian, clarifies things immensely. Let me explain as concisely as I can. All of this is going into the book I'm working on, by the way.

In my book, I identify two main factors that make the "soft totalitarianism" we're drifting into different from the hard totalitarianism of the communist years. One is the vastly greater capabilities of surveillance technology, and its penetration into daily life in this current stage of capitalism. The other is the pseudo-religion of Social Justice, the holy trinity of which is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The mathematician James Lindsay last year wrote an insightful essay analyzing Social Justice ideology as a kind of postmodern religion ("faith system," he writes). Reading Slezkine on Bolshevism illuminates this with new depth.

To be clear, Social Justice religion is not the same thing as Bolshevism, which conquered a nation and turned it into a charnel house. But the psychological dynamics are so similar that I can understand now why Soviet-bloc emigres feel in their bones that something wicked is coming, and coming fast.

I'm going to give a brief overview of the ideas in this part of Slezkine's book. Slezkine describes the Bolsheviks as "millenarian sectarians preparing for the apocalypse." He gives a short history of apocalyptic sects, which he said began in the Axial Age , the period between the 8th and the 3rd centuries BC that saw parallel developments in civilizations -- Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Greco-Roman -- that caused a fundamental shift in human consciousness. The Axial Age introduced some concepts that are still with us today, including the idea that history is linear. Religion and philosophical systems of the Axial Age developed a sense of separation from the Real (that is, what is material), and the Ideal (what is transcendent). They also introduced the idea that time would culminate in a final battle between Good and Evil that would result in the End of History and the everlasting reign of Justice. The rich will be conquered, and the poor will triumph.

Slezkine writes at some length about these themes in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), but points out that they also existed in parallel in other religions of the era. The two Abrahamic religions that emerged from Axial Age Judaism -- Christianity and Islam -- modified these same concepts for themselves. The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible is the standard Western account of the Apocalypse, but not the only one.

In the 16th century, the radical Protestant theologian Thomas Mόntzer , leader of an apocalyptic Reformation sect, led an armed revolt against the Catholic Church, Martin Luther, and feudal authority. He and his followers believed the Last Days were upon the world, and that revolutionary violence was necessary to prepare for them.

These movements, says Slezkine, often depend on the virtuous mutually surveilling each other to keep everyone in line. Calvin's Geneva was like this, and had laws prescribing the death penalty for relatively minor violations of its purity code. In the 17th century, the English Puritan movement under Thomas Oliver [the mistake was mine -- RD] Cromwell (the "Puritan Moses") was in this same vein.

The Enlightenment birthed apocalyptic millenarianism without God. Slezkine doesn't mention him, but I want to put in a plug for the book Black Mass by the English political philosopher John Gray, which I wrote about here. Gray is an atheist, but he cannot stand the militant atheism of people like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. In the book, Gray writes about how the instinct for utopia, born out of religion, keeps surfacing in the West, even without God. Nothing is more human, he writes, than to be prepared to kill and die to secure meaning in life. More Gray:

Those who demand that religion be exorcised from politics think this can be achieved by excluding traditional faiths from public institutions; but secular creeds are formed from religious concepts, and suppressing religion does not mean it ceases to control thinking and behaviour. Like repressed sexual desire, faith returns, often in grotesque forms, to govern the lives of those who deny it.

Slezkine writes that this same apocalyptic millenarianism erupted in anti-Christian form in the French Revolution. The Jacobins were Enlightenment apocalyptics, believing in the triumph of Reason, Science, and Virtue. And they were proto-Bolsheviks. Robespierre, in a 1794 speech to the National Assembly, praised "virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. The Terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is thus an emanation of virtue."

In 19th century America, millenarianism took more gentle forms, but was still popular. Baptist preacher William Miller prophesied the end of the world in 1843, and reached a national audience with his forecast of doom. It didn't happen, but his work gave rise to the Adventist movements, which are still with us today. Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter-Day Saints faith, was another millenarian -- a more successful one.

Slezkine says that apocalyptic millenarianism in 19th century Europe often took the form of nationalism. Karl Marx advocated German nationalism as the first step in the worldwide communist revolution. Following Hegel, History was Marx's god. Slezkine:

[F]aith in progress is just as basic to modernity as the Second Coming was to Christianity ('progressive' means 'virtuous' and 'change' means 'hope'). 'Totalitarianism' is not a mysterious mutation: it is a memory and a promise; an attempt to keep hope alive.

By "totalitarianism," he means the system by which apocalyptic millenarians enforce the conditions they believe will constitute the New Jerusalem -- the utopia in which their sect believes.

The Marxist faith system prophesied a worldwide conflagration -- Revolution -- that would see the saints (the Proletariat) cleanse the world of the wicked (the Bourgeoisie) and their false religion (Capitalism). The Revolution would establish Communism: a paradise in which the state would wither away, because the cause of man's alienation would have been dealt with. Marx despised religion, but he did not believe that his system was religious at all. It was, he taught, entirely scientific -- thus making Marxism entirely compatible with what Enlightenment-era elites believed was the prime source of authority.

In Russia of the late 19th century, there was a great deal of apocalyptic fervor, and, of course, a number of Marxist and other left-wing revolutionary groups. The Bolsheviks were the most ruthless and disciplined of them all. Slezkine says it doesn't matter whether the faith of the Bolsheviks was really a religion or not. The fact is, it functioned like one. If religion is a set of agreements about sacred realities, though sacred realities believed to be objectively true, and the community organized around those beliefs, then every state on earth is religious. The Bolshevik "faith" united people, focused them around what Slezkine calls "the ultimate conditions of their existence," and told them what they had to do.

For the pre-revolutionary Bolsheviks, the priests and the prophets were their intellectuals, who were "religious about being secular." Writes Slezkine: "A conversion to socialism was a conversion to the intelligentsia, to a fusion of millenarian faith and lifelong learning."

The Bolshevik faith was initially spread among the intellectuals primarily through reading groups. Once you adopted the Marxist faith, everything else in life became illuminated. The intellectuals went into the world to preach religion to the workers. These missionaries, says Slezkine, appealed to and tried to intensify hatred in the hearts of their listeners. They spoke to the moral sense within the common people, and gave them what, if taken in a strictly religious sense, would be called prophetic revelations.

The pre-revolutionary Bolsheviks denounced "Philistines" -- people who are sunk in their everydayness, and lack revolutionary consciousness. It is chilling to read the lines of description they had for people like this. Slezkine calls the Philistines the "stock antipode of the intelligent" -- that is, the kind of person that a member of the intelligentsia saw as his exact opposite. In pre-revolutionary Russia, the intelligentsia saw themselves as a kind of secular priesthood. The way they wrote about their enemies, and the way they rhapsodized about revolution, was utterly fanatical and inhuman. Slezkine:

The revolutionaries were going to prevail because of the sheer power of their hatred. It cleansed the soul and swelled like the flood of the real day.

The "real day" is the day of Apocalypse, when the truth is fully made manifest, and all evil, injustice, and lies are cleansed from the earth. It would come about through "sacred fury." Slezkine quotes Bolshevik memoirs recalling the revolutionary days of 1917-18. Pure ecstasy, like the day of Pentecost in the New Testament.

Slezkine draws this interesting distinction:

Marx and Engels were not utopians – they were prophets. They did not talk about what a perfect system of social order should be and how and why it should be adopted or tested; they knew with absolute certainty that it was coming – right now, all by itself, and thanks to their words and deeds.

The Bolsheviks, however, did have a complex plan for creating utopia. Reading Slezkine, you can't help but be impressed by the power and discipline that Lenin and his lieutenants exercised. He was one of the most evil men who ever lived, Lenin -- Slezkine's accounts of Bolshevik mass murder of class enemies on Lenin's orders make Robespierre's bloodthirstiness seem like amateur hour. But he was a true revolutionary genius.

For young people in pre-revolutionary Russia, being part of these leftist groups "gave one a great sense of purpose, power, and belonging." Note this: one reason for the advance of revolutionary consciousness is that parents, despite depending on the stability of Tsarist autocracy, would not turn away from their radicalized children. Slezkine: "The 'students' were almost always abetted at home while still in school and almost never damned when they became revolutionaries."

Bolshevism in power tried to destroy the traditional family, seeing it as an incubator of capitalism. Slezkine writes about how this form of Bolshevik radicalism had to give way to a more conservative ideology of the family, because it caused problems that Soviet society could not deal with.

In power, Bolsheviks carried out apocalyptic destruction of the old order, including the mass murder of class enemies. I have just now arrived at the point in Slezkine's narrative in which he describes the "Great Disappointment" -- a term (borrowed from the Millerites) for the experience of the New Jerusalem not having arrived as promised. As I understand it, Slezkine will describe the homicidal spasms of the 1930s, under Stalin, as the vengeful Bolshevik reaction to utopia's failure. Utopia can only have failed because its proselytes were weak in faith -- and therefore deserve to be punished for their infidelity.

So, what does this have to do with our own Social Justice Warriors? There are clear parallels. Again, I encourage you to read James Lindsay's analysis of the postmodern faith system of Social Justice for more. I believe that this is what those who lived under communism intuit from the Social Justice Warriors -- I mean, why it frightens them:

Like the early Bolsheviks, the SJWs are radically alienated from society. They regard ordinary people as the intelligents regarded the so-called Philistines: with visceral contempt.

Justice depends on group identity. For Marxists, the line between Good and Evil ran between classes: the Proletariat and the Peasants on one side, the Bourgeoisie on the other. Marxism sees justice as entirely a matter of taking power away from the Bourgeoisie, and giving it to the revolutionary classes. Some in the bourgeoisie acquired revolutionary consciousness, and aided the Revolution.

Similarly, for the SJWs, the line also passes between groups, based on group identity. The Oppressors are whites, males, capitalists, heterosexuals, and Christians. The Oppressed are ethnic minorities, women, anti-capitalists, LGBTs, atheists, and other "marginalized" people. Justice is about taking power from the Oppressors and giving it to the Oppressed. Some among the Oppressors acquire revolutionary consciousness and aid the revolution; they are called "allies," and practice "allyship."

Social Justice Warriors, like the early Bolsheviks, are intellectuals whose gospel is spread by intellectual agitation. It is a gospel that depends on awakening and inspiring hatred in the hearts of those it wishes to induce into revolutionary consciousness. This is why it matters immensely that they have established their base within universities, where they can train those who will be going out to work in society's institutions in ideologized hatred.

SJWs believe that science is on their side, even when their claims are unscientific. They are doing the old post-Enlightenment utopian trick of making essentially religious claims, but claiming that they are objectively true. Quote from a Times story: "We're all born nonbinary. We learn gender."

SJWs are utopians who believe that Progress requires smashing all the old forms for the sake of liberation. After we are freed from the chains that bind us, we will experience a new form of life. From a June 4 New York Times Magazine story on destroying gender binaries :

Our talk shifted again from the past to the future. Jacobs spoke about foreseeing a time when people passing each other on the street wouldn't immediately, unconsciously sort one another into male or female, which even Jacobs reflexively does. "I don't know what genders are going to look like four generations from now," they added, allowing that they might sound utopian, naοve. "I think we're going to perceive each other as people. The classifications we live under will fall by the wayside."

Among the voices of the young, there are echoes and amplifications of Jacobs's optimism, along with the stories of private struggle. "There are as many genders as there are people," Emmy Johnson, a nonbinary employee at Jan Tate's clinic, told me with earnest authority. Johnson was about to sign up for a new dating app that caters to the genderqueer. "Sex is different as a nonbinary person," they said. "You're free of gender roles, and the farther you can get from those scripts, the better sex is going to be." Their tone was more triumphal: the better life is going to be. "The gender boxes are exploding," they declared.

In the case of transgender SJWs, parents can become the greatest advocates for their children, as in pre-revolutionary Russia with the radical youth. A distressed parent of a female-to-male transgender told me that in her child's high school, the pressure on parents from other parents to suppress all doubts about transgenderism was intense. Here, from that same NYT Magazine piece I quote above, is another anecdote:

Kai grew up in the Maryland suburbs outside Washington; both his parents are economists. He came out to them as genderqueer a year and a half ago, and they, as he put it, were willing "to step through the door" he held wide for them, the door into his way of seeing himself. They read a piece of creative writing he gave them, a meditation using Dadaism to explicate the nonsense of either-or. His mother asked if she could buy him new clothes. "Shopping for clothes was something we'd always done," he said. "It was her way of saying, 'I want to keep being part of your life.' That was really stepping through the door. And then, all the nerve-rackingness of shopping in the men's section of a department store and trying on pants and worrying about how people are looking at you and reading your gender, it would have been really hard to do on my own. But my mother was there. Just like when we'd shopped together before. And that made it normal."

Here's an interesting difference: from what I can tell, most SJWs don't have a clearly envisioned utopia. What will the world look like when whiteness is once and for all defeated? When toxic masculinity has been fully vanquished? And so forth. They don't know; all they know is that these things must come to pass, and will come to pass. We have to first destroy the old world and its corrupt structures. From the point of view of someone who stands to be smashed by these revolutionaries, it doesn't really matter whether or not they have a plan for what to do after you're overthrown.

Here's another interesting difference, and an important one: SJWs may want to destroy the oppressive practices, but unlike the Bolsheviks, they don't want to destroy the institutions of society. Rather, they want to conquer them and administer them . The religion of Social Justice has already conquered the university, as James Lindsay points out, and is moving quickly into other institutions: media (the NYT is its Pravda ), law, tech, entertainment, and corporate America. The Social Justice faith system can be easily adapted by the institutions of bourgeois capitalism -- a fact that conceals its radicalism.

The people who have lived in societies suffused with this kind of ideology -- emigres from Soviet-bloc countries -- can see through the veil. With this new book I'm working on, I'm going to do my best to help readers see through their eyes. Meanwhile, if you are really interested in the Russian Revolution, I strongly urge you to read The House Of Government -- all 1,128 pages of it. Yuri Slezkine is a masterful storyteller. It reads like a novel.

[Jan 01, 2020] Identity politics as attempt to weaken the threat of nationalism coming to power

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

geokat62 , says: December 31, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT

@Ginger bread man

This was the Frankfurt School's great insight.

The best way to undermine a sense of nationalism is to divide the people through the promotion of identity politics, including LGBTQ.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-12/birth-cultural-marxism-how-frankfurt-school-changed-america

[Jan 01, 2020] The internal contrudictions of identity politics is clearly demonstrated by the current approach to transgender activism

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

ph 12.30.19 at 12:54 am ( 90 )

"Identity politics involves a demand not merely for tolerance but for acceptance."

For me this is the critical issue. When we 'demand' something from another, or another group, we are making an explicit statement of our own intolerance, we refuse to accept the values, attitudes, and/or behaviours of another. And the framing of this demand as a right, rather than a request, or a suggestion, is a problem for many here.

The levels of bigotry, hatred, and intolerance expressed towards MAGA people in general, and a few individuals in specific, over the last three years has been breathtaking. The notion that respect, tolerance, and acceptance cut both ways is routinely explicitly rejected. Indeed, so much so that both the NYT and the WAPO this weekend felt the need to remind readers of the need to respect MAGA people. The same might be said of people of faith, another much-maligned group, especially if these folks happen to be white and Christian.

I'm glad that JH posted the 'amateur' warning, because that's precisely what too much of what CT has become. People may or may not be engaging in good faith arguments. Calling people racists and fascists, as a matter of course, in no way contributes anything to any discussion, and would seem to be a direct violation of the comments policy. Yet, in thread after thread, that's what we continue read – racist, Christian, fascist, racist,white fascist, racist, fascist until the terms have lost all meaning, lo these many years.

The ground is moving beneath our feet. If the last few months (years?) are any indication, the CT community has very few ideas about what is happening in America, Europe, and other nations, or what to do about it. Or, people are expressing their ideas elsewhere.

Buying into myths does the community no good: remember all the time wasted on Koch Conspiracy Theories? Then, from 2016 up to the present, leading Democrats and 'progressive' bubbleheads literally channelled Joe McCarthy 'I have secret evidence, which I cannot divulge now, that leading members of this administration are in fact agents of a foreign power!' I mean, you couldn't make that stuff up.

Night after night, day after day for the last three years – TRAITORS, RUSSIAN AGENTS, and no matter how many times a few (Greenwald, Taibbi, Tracy) tried to point out that the accusations had been crafted literally by the same intelligence agents that brought us Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, these factual cautions fell on deaf ears.

Lost in all of this is reality: which is that the world is not twitter. All firsthand reports I receive from family and friends in Canada, America, and Europe is that people of different faiths and opinions work hard, if not harder now, to demonstrate respect and compassion to one another and sincerely enjoy doing so. Huh?

Happy Holidays and the best to everyone in 2020!

Aubergine 12.30.19 at 2:24 am ( 91 )
JQ: To get back to the criticism of identity politics from the left, consider what would happen if your original post was made in a less sedate, more idpol-friendly forum. Nobody would be engaging with the arguments you've made, which at least some commenters on this thread have been doing. Instead, they'd be focussing on you , working out which classes of privilege you enjoy – particularly racial, gender-based and (dis)ability-based privileges – so that they can attack you from those directions in the knowledge that any response from you would be considered an expression of privilege, and thus subject to further criticism.

Since this post is pretty unobjectionable you might get away with it, but I can see at least a couple of angles of attack in the first line ("Warning: Amateur sociological/political analysis ahead"): if you're an "amateur", why are you speaking instead of listening to the people who have direct personal experience of [whatever marginalised identity]? , and why does this analysis need to come from you when you could be making space for someone less privileged to give their own, more valuable analysis?

dbk 12.30.19 at 4:25 am ( 92 )
I read the sequence in the OP differently, I think, from most commenters (and, I think, from JQ):

Tolerance: Women allowed the vote (19th Amendment, 1920);
Acceptance: Women admitted to all-male Ivy League universities (Yale, 1969)
Deference: Affirmative Action (EEOC, 1965)
Dominance: ? The election of Barack Obama (2008) ?

[Note: This is the interpretation given by those on the right – those currently in power.]

Identity Politics has served to mask the real problem in the U.S. over the past 30-40 years: growing inequality. Yes yes, I know: intersectionality – but how successful has that been, really? Examples, please. [Note: Idpol imho belongs to the so-called "private sphere," not the "public sphere" – I have no interest in the private life of others; their public life, however, is of considerable interest to me and other citizens.]

I don't think this was accidental. It is to the ruling class's benefit that citizens/voters coalesce emotionally around issues which detract attention from growing inequality.

The U.S. is governed by the rich, the 1%. But if this were broadly understood and accepted, the 1% would be voted out of office at all levels (local, state, national).

Identity politics ensures that voters will be more or less equally distributed between Ds and Rs, with Ds = pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-abortion; Rs = anti-LGBTQ rights, anti-abortion (+ other issues).

I invite CT commenters to engage in a small thought-experiment: What would it be like in the U.S. if its Gini score were half what it was in 2016 (so, 20 instead of 40+)?

On a related – though not, for some, alas, obviously so – note, I recommend an about-to-be-published book by labor historian Toni Gilpin: "The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland," which will come out early in 2020. Gilpin analyzes the Farm Equipment Workers (FE) union and their strike in Louisville, KY against IH (International Harvester), during which blacks and whites united against IH for economic reasons, and won.

Full economic equality goes a fair way towards advancing tolerance and acceptance, obviates the need for deference, and does away with the existence of dominance.

MisterMr 12.30.19 at 12:59 pm ( 95 )
@orange watch 79

It seems to me that in this thread there is a lot of confusion about the idea of identity and groups, and your comment doubles down with the idea that economic class is an identity.

First from a old fart Marxist point of view, you are mixing up base (the economic structure, the relationship with the means of production) with superstructure (blue collar identity). These two are not the same thing, the same way sex (a biological fact) is not the same as gender (a cultural thing). Only gender is a matter of identity, biological sex cannot be, precisely because it is not a cultural thing. For similar reasons class proper is not the same as identities based more or less on class.

Second, however you want to put it high education at best makes you upper middle class, not ruling class (although many people of the ruling class also have high education, but they aren't ruling class because of this). This again is the old (19th century) distinction by Max Weber between classe and ceto, I use the Italian words because they both translate as "class" in English damn you anglophones. I recently chatted with a friend who has a degree in statistics who confirmed that this is still a taught as a bread and butter distinction in statistics, at least in Italy.

Finally there is a big distinction between identities and the often (but not always) different moral assumptions that go with that on the one hand, and on the other the way these identities are used in terms of political marketing, that is something different and mostly make sense in democracies, but not for example in an argument about colonialism where identities still exist but the political situation is totally different.

Finally, the problem is that with each identity or set of identities comes a set of moral values. Now if we see morals as coming from identities but identities as a natural thing, we enter in a world of moral relativism where only the identity group who cries louder can manage to force its values on others.
This is in fact the implicit idea in right wing populism, and the reason they sometimes seem to think that political might makes right.
But in reality:
1) identities are not a natural thing at all, for example gender identities depend on forms of the family that are obviously historical and linked to economic structures, so is the low education blue collar identity;
2) many disequalities are objective and we can measure them, for example we know that economic inequality increased in recent decades.

So on the whole I think it is possible to make a case about objectively more egalitarian (and therefore better) sets of values and identity.

EB 12.30.19 at 1:10 pm ( 96 )
Three questions:

1. There is a missing category in the 4-stage paradigm, and it is "affirmation." People can feel tolerated and then accepted, but not affirmed as much as the majority group feels affirmed, and this is a significant. Although what, specifically, it feels like to be affirmed, or to extend affirmation, can be murky. Is affirmation even a legitimate or realistic thing to expect or demand from one's social environment? Why or why not? What proportion of the social environment should extend affirmation in order for an individual from a marginalized group feel that they are being treated equally?

2. In every society in which there are dominant identities (I can think of few where the dominant group is singular and monolithic), there is history to contend with. The four (or five) states of intergroup relations are not like a light switch that can be turned on or off. What rate of changed attitudes and relationships of power are realistic to expect?

3. How do we feel about groups who are in some senses marginalized, but that within their own community, express dominance in harmful ways against some members of their group or against some members of other groups? What about feminists who look down on specific (or all) religions, and within their group do not tolerate religious individuals? what about religious minorities that persecute LGBTQ individuals? and so forth.

Chetan Murthy 12.30.19 at 6:27 pm ( 98 )
dbk @ 92:

I invite CT commenters to engage in a small thought-experiment: What would it be like in the U.S. if its Gini score were half what it was in 2016 (so, 20 instead of 40+)?

There's been considerable academic work on this subject. Just off the top of my head, there's the seminal paper by Bland, Castile, Crawford, Garner, Martin, Rice et al. And another important study of labor force effects by Argent, Arquette, Beckinsale, Garth, et al. And no literature review would be complete without discussing the groundbreaking work by Boyne, Carroll, Crooks, Harth, Holvey, Zervos et al.

SusanC 12.30.19 at 6:49 pm ( 99 )
An alternative take on what "identity politics" might mean:

A style of politics in which people are people are divided – for the purposes of political organization – on the basis of a small number of characteristics, which initially appear to be relative hard to change and easy to determine. Further, such groups are treated as if they were homogeneous, with a shared political interest.

But:

a) Such characteristics are typically not mutually exclusive. A political group that is "homongenous" wrt to one characteristic may well contain members that differ in some other politically relevant characteristic, with consequent divergence of political objectives. eg. "woman" contains both "white women" and "black women". cf. bell hooks

b) Who is a member of the group and who isn't often turns out to be more vexed than it might initially appear. There exist people of mixed race, people with intersex conditions, transgendered people, white momen who have grown up in a household with African-American step-siblings (cf. Rachel Dolezau), etc. etc. A noted feature of "identity politics" is people getting very, very upset about the existence of a small number of borderline cases whose political group membership is being argued.

soru 12.30.19 at 7:12 pm ( 100 )

Black Lives Matter isn't just fighting for economic rights: they're fighting for the right to not be executed in the street.

I think this gets to the heart of the matter: the very thin definition of the word 'economics' held by certain liberals, mostly referring to the precise timing of the next stock market boom/bust cycle.

To those with a less restrictive definition, people being executed in the street is, absolutely and centrally, a matter of economics. Those who support or enable those executions do so because they do not trust the government to effectively defend their private property rights without such measures.

The radical economic solution to that is the abolition of private property; it is of course perfectly understandable that those most affected are not keen on waiting for that.

Nevertheless, the less radical solution is still economic in nature, mainly involving raising taxes in order to spend the money on a police force adequate to the task of maintaining public order without such executions. Most of Europe provides the existence proof that such a thing is possible.

Measurable social issues require the commitment of non-symbolic amounts of societal resources to solve them. In an ideal world, this would leave the phrase 'identity politics' for those issues which could potentially be resolved by the right person tweeting the right thing

[Jan 01, 2020] Gender critical feminist and other crazies

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Seren Rose 12.29.19 at 7:20 am (no link)

There is a horror at finding myself – as a gender critical feminist – adjacent to arguments like Likbez's @1 that I think puts the fear of God in me. So I feel compelled to write a comment, though I usually just observe the conversation here.

Likbez @1 is, I think, similar to those people who would pop up in conversations about gay rights in the 90's and say, "What about this man, who had sex with 300 strangers in one week," as an example of "gay rights extremism." The difference I notice here is that there is no longer any concern, on the conservative or progressive side of the argument, with prurient interest. We glibly discuss the most private details of a child's life and body, and it's incumbent on everyone involved to either hash out the details while condemning, or hash out the details while celebrating.

I * do * think a child accessing sterilising medical and surgical treatments for the purposes of gender affirmation is extreme (and to me it's no less extreme when that child has a supportive family around them). Another useful parallel might be the conversations we had about whether it was respectability politics to not include "bareback" subcultures in gay pride. But again, even there, we had a stable liberal position which could acknowledge the subculture / without / having to condemn or celebrate it.

I wonder if it isn't the gay marriage debate that has evacuated that liberal posture. Well might a social conservative answer a question about the decriminalisation of sex between men by saying, "You can engage in x, y, or z sexual practice, but don't expect me to like it," and it's not really remarkable – why would I expect or require a stranger to / like / the sex I have?! But when it's said about marriage there is something mean about it – marriages, or at least weddings, are by definition the communal celebration of a sexual relationship.

Can we as a liberal society tolerate the miserliness of refusal to celebrate gay marriages? And if we can't, what do we do with this blurring of public and private, this need to endorse and celebrate what is done by strangers (even the compulsion to have a clear formed opinion on all the private activities of strangers).

– I wonder if there isn't a further connection with the anxieties of young people, a need for the approval of strangers.

***

"Instead of being accepted as one element of a diverse community, the formerly dominant group becomes the object of hostility and derision. The signs of that are certainly evident, particularly in relation to the culture wars around religion."

I immediately thought John was talking about Catholics. For centuries, where Catholics have lived as a minority in predominantly Protestant and Anglican societies, they have been exposed to all the bigotry and mistreatment we associate with minority status. But this has had no effect on the institution of the Catholic church, or its hegemony in Catholic societies (and even Catholic communities in protestant / Anglican societies).
(On reflection, I'm not sure that's what JQ is referring to at all).

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 9:38 am ( 68 )
Stephen @ 56

"Good questions. I'm not sure there is a necessity for a default identity and dominant groups; I merely observe that in most if not all stable, long-lived societies there has been such. If you can think of exceptions, they would be very interesting."

As I'm not an expert in the area, I'm probably not a good person to ask. If we assume the observation is true, however, while it may be interesting I don't see that it is particularly helpful.If the number of attempts were zero then that doesn't really tell you anything about if it would work or not.

For example, from my understanding monarchies were the "default" organisational structure in Europe for a long period of history. One can imagine someone who lived during those eras saying – correctly – that most if not all stable, long-lived societies were monarchies. I hope you'd agree that that wouldn't really tell us much about if Monarchies are the only, or indeed even best way of organising a society?

In short, I think that while your observation may be true (I'm afraid I lack the evidence to make any claims one way or another), I don't think it really gets us any closer to understanding whether or not a default identity and/or dominant group are a) necessary, b) useful, and c) beneficial.

As for the default identity including sexuality: I'm not sure it's necessary, just that it mostly goes that way.

Again, I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that the male/female binary is a) not necessarily biologically supported (from asking biologists) and b) may in fact not be the default identity (I believe there are examples outside of western culture, in the Philippines, Mexico, etc.). Of course, I am not an expert (I believe you've already said your not either?) so perhaps it would be better to ask someone who is rather than us speculating in ignorance?

I have trouble in imagining a society in which the default identity does not exclude bestiality or trandgenderism (not that I'm equating the two).

Out of interest, why did you include bestiality alongside being transgender? I don't see that it is helpful or clarifying in any way – bestiality is about what you have sexual intercourse with (and implies a problematic lack of consent), while being transgender is (as the name helpfully implies!) about your personal gender identity (which is not about preferences regarding sexual intercourse, and does not have the problematic inherent consent issue), so these would seem to be very different categories.

[Moreover, and I mean this as a helpful future tip, perhaps if you want to avoid fully any doubts people might have about whether or not you are equating these two things, but you feel it is useful to include a form of sexual attraction, why not pick homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. instead?]

Perhaps I am a bit odd in this respect, but if you ask me to imagine a "default" English person, I don't think I could. It may be a failure of my imagination, but I would think of the people I know who are English, and I don't think there is enough commonality for me to make an assessment. I suspect (though I don't have evidence) that if there is such a thing as a default identity, it is probably most similar to a stereotype. And, as far as I can tell, stereotypes are a) generally not excessively helpful to accuracy and b) vary from area to area and region to region.

Moreover, I would think that "dominant culture" is something that can change (as the OP implies). For example, homosexuality was illegal until fairly recently (if I recall correctly England and Wales: 1960s, Scotland and Ireland 1980s), but I think that now the number of people who would support recriminalizing it is pretty small. The dominant culture which was hostile to homosexuality is now – at the very least – indifferent, if not actively absorbing it. While I certainly wouldn't suggest homophobia is a thing of the past, perhaps in future eras (assuming we don't wipe ourselves out due to our incompetence at handling looming crises) people objecting to homosexuality will be thought of as odd and irrelevant – changing the dominant culture still further. Is it not possible, then, that such a thing could happen with transgender identities?

In short, with respect, I'm not sure what you (or I) can imagine is particularly relevant. Given that neither of us appear to have much expertise in this area, perhaps we should wait for others with better evidence and understanding to way in?

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 9:41 am ( 69 )
[Blast, apologies to the OP, but could you accept this instead of my previous post, I made a HTML tag error which makes it seem as though one of Stephen's statements is actually mine.]

Stephen @ 56

"Good questions. I'm not sure there is a necessity for a default identity and dominant groups; I merely observe that in most if not all stable, long-lived societies there has been such. If you can think of exceptions, they would be very interesting."

As I'm not an expert in the area, I'm probably not a good person to ask. If we assume the observation is true, however, while it may be interesting I don't see that it is particularly helpful.If the number of attempts were zero then that doesn't really tell you anything about if it would work or not.

For example, from my understanding monarchies were the "default" organisational structure for a long time – and one can imagine someone who lived during those eras saying – correctly – that most if not all stable, long-lived societies were monarchies. I hope you'd agree that that wouldn't really tell us much about if it is the only, or indeed even best way of organising a society?

In short, I think that while your observation may or may not be true (I'm afraid I lack the evidence to make any claims one way or another), I don't think it really gets us any closer to understanding whether or not a default identity and/or dominant group are a) necessary, b) useful, and c) beneficial.

As for the default identity including sexuality: I'm not sure it's necessary, just that it mostly goes that way.

Again, I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that the male/female binary is a) not necessarily biologically supported (from asking biologists) and b) may in fact not be the default identity (I believe there are examples outside of western culture, in the Philippines, Mexico, etc.). Of course, I am not an expert (I believe you've already said your not either?) so perhaps it would be better to ask someone who is?

I have trouble in imagining a society in which the default identity does not exclude bestiality or trandgenderism (not that I'm equating the two).

Out of interest, why did you include bestiality alongside being transgender? I don't see that it is helpful or clarifying in any way – bestiality is about what you have sexual intercourse with (and implies a problematic lack of consent), while being transgender is (as the name helpfully implies!) about your personal gender identity (which is not about preferences regarding sexual intercourse, and does not have the problematic consent issue), so these would seem to be very different categories.

[Moreover, as a helpful future tip, perhaps if you want to avoid fully any doubts people might have about whether or not you are equating these two things, but you feel it is useful to include a form of sexual attraction, why not pick homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. instead?]

Perhaps I am a bit odd in this respect, but if you ask me to imagine a "default" English person, I don't think I could. It may be a failure of my imagination, but I would think of the people I know who are English, and I don't think there is enough commonality for me to make an assessment. I suspect (though I don't have evidence) that if there is such a thing as a default identity, it is probably most similar to a stereotype. And, as far as I can tell, stereotypes are a) generally not excessively helpful to accuracy and b) vary from area to area and region to region.

Moreover, I would think that "dominant culture" is something that can change (as the OP implies). For example, homosexuality was illegal until fairly recently (if I recall correctly England and Wales: 1960s, Scotland and Ireland 1980s), but I think that now the number of people who would support recriminalizing it is pretty small. The dominant culture which was hostile to homosexuality is now – at the very least – indifferent, if not actively absorbing it. While I certainly wouldn't suggest homophobia is a thing of the past, perhaps in future eras (assuming we don't wipe ourselves out due to our incompetence at handling looming crises) people objecting to homosexuality will be thought of as odd and irrelevant – changing the dominant culture still further. Is it not possible, then, that such a thing could happen with transgender identities?

In short, with respect, I'm not sure what you (or I) can imagine is particularly relevant.

faustusnotes 12.29.19 at 11:18 am ( 70 )
Seren Rose, likbez is a straight-up christian fascist. If you find your politics overlapping with his in any way shape or form, it might be a good idea to assess whether the overlapping part is something you want to keep. Here's a tip: if the overlapping part is based on excluding a minority from public spaces, there's probably a reason it appeals to likbez.

Also as a gender critical feminist I'm guessing you are in favour of preventing trans women from using female-only spaces. I recommend you read this so that when natal women start being harassed and beaten up as a consequence of your policies, you can't make the excuse that you weren't warned.

Aubergine 12.29.19 at 2:32 pm ( 71 )
Well, I wasn't going to bring it up, but now we're here

Rightwing trolls or troll-like posters like likbez don't focus on transgender activism by accident. It's the ne plus ultra of identity politics gone wrong: it seems superficially reasonable, by association with LGB liberation movements, but its claims are irreconcilable with long-standing goals of other movements usually found on the left (particularly many kinds of feminism); it demands the use of language that makes it difficult or impossible to express disagreement and harrasses, threatens and deplatforms people who refuse to submit; it is relentlessly, viciously misogynistic. And when otherwise sympathetic people get a glimpse into the nastier side of trans activism and who exactly it is protecting (the Dana Rivers, the Karen Whites, the Jessica Yanivs, etc. etc.), and especially what its goals mean for women and girls – the stuff that the activists try with all their might to stop feminists drawing attention to – they tend to begin to regard it as completely bonkers. Which is of course one reason why all dissent must be silenced before it can spread.

It's the perfect wedge, and the trolls know.

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 2:53 pm ( 72 )
Likbez @ 60

I am trying very hard right now to give you the benefit of the doubt in your arguments. You haven't addressed any of my criticisms or comments in my post at 36 (fair enough, you don't owe me any answers). I would assume normally you have missed it, didn't think it was worth replying to, or are formulating a response. However, your most recent comments at 60 are, to put it mildly, very problematic.

First, have you got around to making a working definition for transgender extremism yet? I only ask, because if I think religious extremism I imagine beheadings, massacres, suicide bombings; if I imagine political extremism, I imagine violence, bombings, terrorism; but as far as I can tell your definition of transgender extremism is apparently daring to exist and ask maybe if they could be treated as human beings rather than evil incarnate. One of those does not seem like the others.

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 2:53 pm ( 73 )
Likbez @ 60

Here are my problems with your post at 60. I hope you will at least consider this, and perhaps re-evaluate what you are saying and how you are saying it.

" With this quote I think we reached the point in this discussion when it might be appropriate to discuss the appropriate scope of repression for deviant minority groups when their demands conflict with the larger society or more powerful groups ethics and cultural norms.

"deviant minority groups". OK, so Mormons? Or were they not the deviant minority group you were thinking of? You see, that's one of the fundamental problems with your assertions – you are unable or unwilling to offer any clear ideas as to how you come to decide the term and who it applies to. You seem to operate on what you personally feel comfortable with – which is not a particularly useful starting point.

The usual "woke" argumentation is very weak in issues outlined below and opposite arguments have a real weight: I would repression of the minority groups start with pedophiles and financial oligarchy especially vulture funds leadership such as Romney, Paul Singer, etc. But this is just me.

Funnily enough, people pushing for transgender awareness are not pro-paedophile. I know that you seem to struggle with understanding this (or, indeed, anything judging by your inability to reason), but paedophilia = having sex with children; being transgender = taking on a gender identity in-keeping with your internal model and different to that assigned at birth. The key difference there, and bear with me as apparently you find this very complex, is that one group are raping children, the other isn't. Try repeating this a few times in the mirror – I am optimistic you will eventually get it.

"IMHO insatiable "demanding" and proselyting of transgender identity already brought us very close to a strong corporate and community backlash against transgender rights and by extension LGBT rights as a whole."

You know, people said the same thing about gay rights. And you know what was interesting? It turns out the whole "line to far" was that they existed. Given you haven't really made any attempt to explain why you think "personal medical decision" is functionally extremism, I am not overly confident in your ability to determine what constitutes "too much" demanding.

"Of course transgender folk is just minor, expendable pawn in a bigger game of Dem Party identity politics, but still."

Yes, because the Democratic party of America basically rules Europe. That was sarcasm, by the way. I did point out before that making US based judgements and assessments without considering how it fits into the global phenomena makes you look ignorant. Apparently you don't think that that was a point worth considering.

"Many Christian parents now prohibit their children to join Scouts of America and their fears and not unfounded ( https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/04/24/boy-scouts-face-hundreds-new-sexual-abuse-claims/3547991002/ )"

Again, when discussing transgender people, you start bringing in sexual abuse with children. Yet no-where in the article is any reference to transgender people. I am now a lot less optimistic in your ability to understand the difference. It is also worth considering that the Catholic Church – which arguably has a little more power and privilege than the LGBT – has been complicit in covering up a horrific amount of child-rape. Interestingly, you don't seem to be railing against them.

To summarise

You don't seem interested in researching anything or gaining any facts. You don't appear to consider other arguments. You repeatedly conflate transgender people with paedophiles. You don't support your arguments, don't define your terms, and don't seem to care whether or not anything you say is rooted in evidence.

This is why I am having a very hard job considering you someone who is arguing in good faith right now.

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 2:58 pm ( 74 )
Likbez @ 60

Finally, as a few comments I hope you will consider.

1) Paedophilia and transgender people

The reason I object to paedophiles is not because they are a small number of people who are different to me. I object to paedophiles because they are causing harm. They are causing harm, because they are committing an action (sex) with someone who cannot give consent (a child).

Transgender people are committing an act (adopting a different gender identity) which affects only themselves (who give consent because they are undertaking it).

If you do not make a case to link transgender people and child rape, I would appreciate if you stopped conflating the two. Even if I assume the absolute best case – that you don't think the two are the same but are trying to incoherently make a point – it makes for a completely incoherent argument to include here.

2) Transgender people in society

If you want to argue that transgender people should be denied privileges available to other people, that is your prerogative. But you should probably actually make a case, and try to support it with evidence. For example, if you could prove that people being allowed to determine their own gender is objectively bad in some way, that would be a good starting point. You don't though – and, though I try to avoid ascribing motivations to other people, I suspect it is because you don't actually have an argument that it is harmful – merely that you don't like it. And apparently, for you, "I don't like this" is a good reason to deny rights to one group of people you extend to others. It might be worth reflecting on what that says about you as a person.

3) likbez

When someone repeatedly refuses to make their case after adopting the burden of proof, it is very difficult to take them seriously on that topic. It also impacts how you precieve them on other topics.

You don't owe me anything, and if you wish to continue making unsupported statements, falacious arguments, and equivication falacies, by all means do continue. I won't however, consider you as someone who should be considered worth listening to – which I hope you'd agree is my prerogative.

William Timberman 12.29.19 at 3:03 pm ( 75 )
Undiscovering America. It's too late for that, I think. The muddying of the waters, i.e. post-historical tribalism, can't obscure the fact that the underlying conflict is between our individual and our collective identity(ies). It doesn't really matter whether the collective is family, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sports team. If we aren't, as individuals, the ultimate arbiters of our own allegiances, and if the collective(s) we belong to, either by accident, affinity, or choice, are unwilling to give up on the project of defining us without asking us what we prefer, then our present conflicts will continue, and in all likelihood get nastier as the stakes in our-post hierarchical, post-literate universe rise ever higher.
William Timberman 12.29.19 at 3:13 pm ( 76 )
I should probably add that China's much-touted ignoble experiment in Gleichschaltung is going to introduce modes of historical failure which the world hasn't seen since Roman times. Xi Jinping has absolutely no effing idea of the doom he's trifling with. Compared to Donald Rumsfeld, I suppose you could call him a visionary, but only if you love the smell of apocalypse in the morning.
notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 3:35 pm ( 77 )
Seren Rose @ 67

I've no wish to tell you "this is how you should think", and am open to having a dialogue with anyone who is interested in doing so (it helps me refine my position or, when I am wrong, to re-evaluate my premises). I hope, therefore, you'll be will to indulge me a little when I make the following comments – I would, if you are interested, value your thoughts (though I don't wish to make demands on your time).

I don't particularly enjoy discussing anyone's private details – I generally prefer it if private lives can remain private – and certainly would hope I don't do so glibly. Unfortunately, when there is a discussion about whether or not a person should be permitted to make a private decision, sometimes it is necessary to discuss the facts surrounding the case. I would state, however, that to me it is important that as much anonymity as possible is afforded the individual, and as little of the details are discussed as necessary. Do you think that that is unreasonable?

My first comments were regarding Likbez's first link. To me, it is not only the first mentioned, but also the most clear cut. Someone who is 17 wishes to transition, their mother (who they have alleged was abusive, whom they left 2 years ago) objects. Given that the individual seems to have made well-reasoned comments, their mother does not seem to be well-placed to make any evaluations (or indeed make any decisions regarding their child), and I have no reason to think they are unable to make an assessment regarding their own gender, I don't see any reason to object. Do you think there is?

Hopefully you'll agree that I have managed to avoid discussing them or their body too much. If not, I'd certainly appreciate it if you pointed out where I've erred – this is not sarcasm, I genuinely want to do better.

You appear to have considerable concerns regarding Likbez's second link. You know what – so do I. It isn't quite as portrayed – further reading indicates that what was proposed was a reversible treatment with no surgery, which allays some of the concerns – but I agree that "what age can someone make a reasonable decision regarding their gender" is a good discussion to have. As is, "what is the best way to handle this", and "how do we ensure that people are afforded freedom proporitionate with their maturity and responsibility". However, I would want such a discussion to involve evidence (not specific details of people, but anonymised scientific evidence), logical arguments, and conclusions which come as close as possible to achieving the best decision. I hope you would agree that that is a good approach?

Now, I am not an expert. However, as far as I can tell, the people who study this for a living seem to say that biology and gender are far more complex that traditional models allow for. That being the case, it does not seem unreasonable to change these models. After all, if you are worried about the effects of peer-pressure on children, I would think that being forced into an identity which causes you incredible discomfort (or even feelings of dissonance) is probably not good for their long term health. For example, trying to force people who are homosexual to be heterosexual does not seem to have been good for them, or for society. I imagine, as a gender critical feminist, you can think of similar examples of the harm resulting from women being forced into roles far better than I.

In short, my position is that people should be afforded the maximum reasonable ability to make their personal decisions. In cases where there are concerns regarding their ability to do so, I am fine with society coming to an evidence based conclusion about where to draw the line. This will, as always, lead to some inherent unfairness (our systems are "one-size-fits-all" and this will inherently lead to some people being let down), but hopefully we can make our society as fair as possible. And, continue to refine.

If you think I am being unreasonable, unnecessarily prurient, or am on a path which is detrimental, I would certainly appreciate your pointing it out to me – I am always keen to do better.

likbez 12.29.19 at 3:54 pm ( 78 )
faustusnotes 12.29.19 at 11:18 am @.70

Here's a tip: if the overlapping part is based on excluding a minority from public spaces, there's probably a reason it appeals to likbez.

Imbecilization of discussion of controversial issues like in case of your comment is a normal development typical for the periods of intellectual declines which naturally follows the economic decline of a given empire.

There's growing evidence the West is going through the same process as the USSR.

Orange Watch 12.29.19 at 5:23 pm ( 79 )
CM@64 :

the history is pretty clear: the class-based movements cane first, and they failed to make any progress toward (or even care about) the rights of these oppressed groups. [ ] Also, many of these movements explicitly recognize the importance of intersectionality -- why else would you see feminists and gay rights groups so heavily involved in immigrant rights?

Well, since you're all about fairness and avoiding double standards let's compare contemporaneous movements. How much did abolitionists help alleviate the oppression of women? How much did suffragettes fight segregation? Did the LGBTQ rights movement include BTQ for most of its history? Did any of these historical movements fight against ablism? How much did they achieve WRT immigrant rights, indigenous rights, and the rights of minority religions? Or are you comparing very, VERY recent developments in these movements with historical class identity movements? I'd point out, BTW, that it's very disputable whether gender/racial right movements came after class identity movements – both are far older than their recent (to say nothing of modern) forms. And throughout the history of all of these, there have been not just unhelpful but actively repressive elements in all of them. Yet you're only comparing contemporary intersectional essentialist identity politics to historical class identity politics why is that? Especially when modern class identity politics are also influenced by intersectional thinking and ally themselves with more than than just class-based movements even if they prioritize class. Yet here we have you telling us that socioeconomic status is not an identity – that the idea of identity becomes meaningless if we consider it as such. That has a very particular and somewhat suspicious look.

To pull this back more closely to the subject of OP, your pile of unexamined privilege looks an awful lot like you're uncritically accepting the highly-educated/rich/socially & professionally networked/managerial-professional-executive workers' (i.e., upper class) "default" cultural perspective, and are insisting that failure to see it is deviant and immoral (no more and no less than a cis het white Xian man insisting that a mythical 1950s represents the objective reality of Americanism). The rich minority is dominate in that epistomology, and the managerial-professional minority is deferred to. Among lower-class conservative adherents, this translates to education being suspect, but wealth & social status is taken as proof that these classes are reliably jus'folks who haven't been corrupted by too much learning; among lower-class liberal adherents, wealth is suspect but the education & social status proves our elites are woke egalitarians who haven't been corrupted by greed and power but in both cases, the rich are dominant and the managerial-professionals are deferred to. 100 years ago this would have been a harder sell, as our culture was more disparate in terms of class identity, but mass media driven by consumption (and advertising) homogenized our worldview and humanized the rich to a great degree, with the result of aggressively encouraging the "temporarily embarrassed millionaire" mindset and belief in the myth of meritocracy.

The point of everything you TL;DR'd in order to lecture me about How Things REALLY Are again was not that you're a hypocrite – it's instead how very telling it is that you don't simply want to de-prioritize the idea of economically-oriented reform, but de-legitimize the very idea of it. It's appalling to see you invoke intersectionality in this context; are you so come-lately to it that you don't know its history before it was housebroken? A common early criticism of intersectionality was that it placed too much focus on just three intersecting identities: gender, race, and, yes, class. The subsequent trend to view intersectionality as a thing distinct from class identity is a development that looks an awful lot like institutional co-opting as former outsiders addressing an insurgent critique of distorted elite analysis made peace with the academic hierarchy, got tenure, and mysteriously lost their impetus to challenge privilege based on wealth, education, profession, or social status. What you've done here has unintentionally been extremely instructive in terms of what OP discusses; you're providing a case study of a privileged minority arguing against perspectives that do not conform to the dominant default culture in order to protect the deference you feel due, and the dominance of the hierarchy which entitles you to that deference.

Chetan Murthy 12.29.19 at 5:43 pm ( 80 )
Seren Rose @ 67:
You write about a lot of things, and some of them I don't feel qualified to comment upon. But at least this, seems pretty obvious:

Can we as a liberal society tolerate the miserliness of refusal to celebrate gay marriages? And if we can't, what do we do with this blurring of public and private

The record here is pretty clear: gay marriage advocates fought for gay marriage not for the private celebration, but because in ways big and small, myriad public and publicly regulated institutions and organizations confer advantages upon the married. From family health insurance policies to "who gets to visit you as you lie dying," to "who gets to pick up your kids at school."

I think this is a good example of the way that demands by identity groups can get misinterpreted, either inadvertently or intentionally. Nobody asked for Evangelical pastors to be compelled to perform gay marriages. What they -did- ask, was that in any public accommodation or regulated business of any sort, that prefers advantages to married couples, this advantage be extended to gay couples who are married. And this is no different from the "full faith and credit" clause that makes marriages in one state valid in another.

Orange Watch 12.29.19 at 5:51 pm ( 81 )
(One thing I'd add to tie the idea of class identity politics to the discussion here is that contemporary upper class resistance to it vs. comparative upper class acceptance of essentialist identity politics fits well into the zero-sum vs. positive-sum distinction made by Peter Dorman . Class identity movements seek to flatten the socio-economic hierarchy via wealth redistribution, progessive taxation, increased democratization of political processes, etc. Essentialist identity movements do not directly threaten the hierarchy that entrenches the rich as dominant and professionals as deferred to – it changes the pool of available candidates within the heirarchy, which may lead to individuals or sub-groups resisting if they feel unable or unwilling to compete with individuals previously below them on other hierarchies, but more diversity in the C-suites is not an existential threat to the upper class.)
Chetan Murthy 12.29.19 at 5:54 pm ( 82 )
notGoodEnough @ 68:
Stephen: "I have trouble in imagining a society in which the default identity does not exclude bestiality or trandgenderism (not that I'm equating the two)."

notGoodEnough: "Out of interest, why did you include bestiality alongside being transgender?"

I have to laugh. We both know why he included that reference, don't we? It's the same reason "Box Turtle Ben (Domenech)" included it in that speech that Texas Senator John Cornyn was to deliver ("It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife"). It's the same reason likbez pretends that pedophiles are an identity group like gay people.

Decent people must feel that bestiality and pedophilia are beyond the pale. By juxtaposing them with LGBT, the goal is to subtly induce decent people to associate their feelings of disgust toward (e.g.) sex with box turtles, and gay people and oh-so-icky ways.

It's a tell that Stephen hasn't got a tolerant bone in his body.

Jake Gibson 12.29.19 at 9:01 pm ( 83 )
TBH, likbez seems to be regurgitating typical transphobic arguments. Linking to homophobic hate groups does not enhance his position.
He/she clearly does not think that trans people have any rights that he is obligated to honor.
On the other hand, seems to expect that we are obligated to respect his bigotry.
John Quiggin 12.29.19 at 10:10 pm ( 84 )
likbez, you've derailed the thread, and your comments are trolling at best. Nothing further from you on this thread, please. Also, if I write further on identity politics, please refrain from commenting.

[Jan 01, 2020] Transgender activism is the ne plus ultra of identity politics gone wrong

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Aubergine 12.29.19 at 2:32 pm ( 71 )

Well, I wasn't going to bring it up, but now we're here

Rightwing trolls or troll-like posters like likbez don't focus on transgender activism by accident. It's the ne plus ultra of identity politics gone wrong: it seems superficially reasonable, by association with LGB liberation movements, but its claims are irreconcilable with long-standing goals of other movements usually found on the left (particularly many kinds of feminism); it demands the use of language that makes it difficult or impossible to express disagreement and harrasses, threatens and deplatforms people who refuse to submit; it is relentlessly, viciously misogynistic.

And when otherwise sympathetic people get a glimpse into the nastier side of trans activism and who exactly it is protecting (the Dana Rivers, the Karen Whites, the Jessica Yanivs, etc. etc.), and especially what its goals mean for women and girls – the stuff that the activists try with all their might to stop feminists drawing attention to – they tend to begin to regard it as completely bonkers.

Which is of course one reason why all dissent must be silenced before it can spread.

It's the perfect wedge, and the trolls know

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 2:53 pm ( 73 )
Likbez @ 60

Here are my problems with your post at 60. I hope you will at least consider this, and perhaps re-evaluate what you are saying and how you are saying it.

" With this quote I think we reached the point in this discussion when it might be appropriate to discuss the appropriate scope of repression for deviant minority groups when their demands conflict with the larger society or more powerful groups ethics and cultural norms.

"deviant minority groups". OK, so Mormons? Or were they not the deviant minority group you were thinking of? You see, that's one of the fundamental problems with your assertions – you are unable or unwilling to offer any clear ideas as to how you come to decide the term and who it applies to. You seem to operate on what you personally feel comfortable with – which is not a particularly useful starting point.

The usual "woke" argumentation is very weak in issues outlined below and opposite arguments have a real weight: I would ]suggest that the ]repression of the minority groups starts with pedophiles and financial oligarchy especially vulture funds leadership such as Romney, Paul Singer, etc. But this is just me.

Orange Watch 12.29.19 at 5:51 pm ( 81 )
(One thing I'd add to tie the idea of class identity politics to the discussion here is that contemporary upper class resistance to it vs. comparative upper class acceptance of essentialist identity politics fits well into the zero-sum vs. positive-sum distinction made by Peter Dorman .
Chetan Murthy 12.29.19 at 5:54 pm ( 82 )
notGoodEnough @ 68:
Stephen: "I have trouble in imagining a society in which the default identity does not exclude bestiality or trandgenderism (not that I'm equating the two)."

notGoodEnough: "Out of interest, why did you include bestiality alongside being transgender?"

I have to laugh. We both know why he included that reference, don't we? It's the same reason "Box Turtle Ben (Domenech)" included it in that speech that Texas Senator John Cornyn was to deliver ("It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife"). It's the same reason likbez pretends that pedophiles are an identity group like gay people.

Decent people must feel that bestiality and pedophilia are beyond the pale. By juxtaposing them with LGBT, the goal is to subtly induce decent people to associate their feelings of disgust toward (e.g.) sex with box turtles, and gay people and oh-so-icky ways.

It's a tell that Stephen hasn't got a tolerant bone in his body.

Chetan Murthy 12.30.19 at 12:37 am ( 87 )
Orange Watch @ 79:

Oy, it looks like you've made my point for me. Let me recap:

(1) Aubergine pointed out that some of these identity groups tend to absolutely privilege pursuit of their group's goals over the pursuit of a broader class-based agenda

(2) I agreed that this was the case, and that it was only natural, because (a) historically broad class-based movements have done zilch for oppressed minorities and interest groups, and (b) indeed, to a great extent, for many of the kinds of physical oppression faced by minorities, women, and LGBT folks, the oppressors are well-represented in the proletariat also.

In short, the only way any of these groups got their very real concerns about the conditions of their labor and life addressed, was by speaking up for themselves.

(3) To this your argument was first that these groups don't work toward a class-based agenda, and now that there's no evidence in history that they have worked to support each other, either. [As if the latter matters; I never argued that class-based movements -should- support (e.g.) gay rights: I noted that they DID NOT, and hence it made sense that gay rights groups FOCUSED on gay rights. Notwithstanding, in recent years these interest groups DO support each other.]

(4) Throughout, you've focused on the economic issues, and denigrated the issues that drove these groups into being:

To pull this back more closely to the subject of OP, your pile of unexamined privilege looks an awful lot like you're uncritically accepting the highly-educated/rich/socially & professionally networked/managerial-professional-executive workers' (i.e., upper class) "default" cultural perspective, and are insisting that failure to see it is deviant and immoral

What can I say? You're making my point for me. If you can't see that the goals #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, ACT-UP and others are important, even though they're not economic, well, is it any surprise they refuse to subordinate them to your goals?

... ... ...

And one last thing: again, it seems like you think that the right of a well-educated woman or black man to have a good job on the same terms as a white man, is less important than lifting up all the poor people. It is as if you're saying

Do you remember what LBJ said?

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

Do you see the similarity with your rhetoric? You're arguing that the effect of these interest groups is to aid entry of members of these minorities into the rich class, and per se this is bad.

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

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear.

Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represent a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

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

Dec 24, 2019 | www.theburningplatform.com

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

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

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

Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

This, in turn, has led to young men coming together around their identity, trying to find empowerment in all the wrong places -- in movements like the alt-right and incel forums, where they find mutual solace in their sense of shared victimhood. It's hard to blame them when the media and Big Tech bombards them with messaging that extol the evils of their demographic.

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

Dec 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

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


Phil 12.05.19 at 10:10 am ( 2 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MASTER OF UNIVE

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

MOU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Difficult not to agree.

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

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

Thanks for the laugh, maxine,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bootlyboob
You said it better than I ever could.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somebody should be shot, I say for Terrorist Acts !

Corruption is the Destruction of Culture &

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seamus Padraig

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice wholly suitable reference to Althusser 😉 say no more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other than that, great comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

identity politics icon himself

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few callouts.. @lizzyh7

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

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

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

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

up 24 users have voted. --

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


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

snoop, give the guy a break

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

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

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

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

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

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

@Alligator Ed

A veritable Mr. Aloha, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

@snoopydawg

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

#2.1

People who do good stuff dont bomb 7 countries

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

Or throw citizens in dog kennels for the oil companies.

Or hire lobbyists in nearly every single cabinet position.

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

@lizzyh7

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

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


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

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

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

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

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

@Wally

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

#2.1

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

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

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

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

-- BERNforBernie2020 (@BernForBernie20) October 29, 2019

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

@lizzyh7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Vladimir Putin

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

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

fliebinite , 1 hour ago link

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

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

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

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

Sep 24, 2019 | tech.slashdot.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Punished for reporting sexual jokes"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's not uncommon in abusive relationships, unfortunately.

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

Sep 24, 2019 | slashdot.org

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

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

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

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

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

That's why this shaming of men must end.

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

There is another reason this must end.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the vast majority of corporate management is male

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

women are paid less for equal work

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

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

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

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

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

they cannot be priests

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

huge percentages of them have been raped

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

and the list goes on

As does the continued mis-information campaign.

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

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

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

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

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

Never had a female president in the US

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

-jcr

[Sep 22, 2019] This is what goes by "hate speech" in today's neoliberal societies

Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [425] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT

It's all so crazy. This is what goes by 'hate speech'. Truth is now hate. In a way, it makes sense because truth hates falsehood.

[Aug 28, 2019] Eliminating Talent By Force by Rod Dreher

Notable quotes:
"... This criterion for racism is non-sensical...admission based on merit cannot be racist, because it is based on merit and not race! Need I say that if based on the latter, then it would be some form of racism.... ..."
"... The opposite of "equality" isn't inequality, but difference. And everyone really knows there is no blank slate. Children have a genetic heritage which combines with environment factors in creating intelligence and success. ..."
"... Acknowledging "difference" is true celebration of life and its varieties. And some people are smarter than others. ..."
Aug 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Equalizer: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio ( Morning Joe screenshot ) In that same book I quoted in an earlier post , From Under The Rubble (which you can read online for free by following the link), there's an essay on socialism by Igor Shafarevich. In it, he quotes Marx saying that communism aims to "eliminate talent by force." Equality must be achieved above all things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One more note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: Reader Another Dave comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


David J. White • 2 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

It seemed like the MeToo was weaponized and ready to go when Kavanaugh was nominated (and I'm not a fan–he's connected to Bush and the Patriot Act). They brought out Dr. Chrissy Fraud and Julie Swetnick (who seemed quite mentally unstable with her accusations that Kavanaugh was connected to gang rape parties). Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegations. And, of course, such accusations were barely mentioned in the MSM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As with Rome, collapse really comes from internal rot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


E. T. Bass 3 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House passes legislation aimed at stabilizing multiemployer pension plans

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

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

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

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

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberal democrats for profit love of minorities

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

JamesWonnacott , 10 Nov 2016 11:18

"And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women."

Muslims, of course, never degrade women do they?

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

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

dartmouth75, 10 Nov 2016 10:26

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

KelvinYearwood , 10 Nov 2016 10:30

Well said Naomi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rebuydonkey , 10 Nov 2016 10:31

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

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

brianpreece -> rebuydonkey

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

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

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

TeTsuo36 -> rebuydonkey

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

zephirine -> brianpreece

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

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

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

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

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

OhReallyFFS , 10 Nov 2016 10:34

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

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

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

tomandlu -> OhReallyFFS 2 3

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

SaintTimothy , 10 Nov 2016 11:01

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

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

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

PaulDLion , 10 Nov 2016 11:43

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

especially read this by Helen Hanna in the comments section:

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

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

Jun 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is true:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No kidding -- the surgeon tweeted this out herself:

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

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

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

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

We are a sick civilization that deserves to be punished.

Nate J 19 hours ago

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

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

Jun 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

hooligan2009 , 7 minutes ago link

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

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

gmak , 8 minutes ago link

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

Wild Bill Steamcock , 3 minutes ago link

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

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

Ghost of Porky , 9 minutes ago link

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

Blue Boat , 6 minutes ago link

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

waycup , 10 minutes ago link

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

RoyalDraco , 1 minute ago link

Are you referring to the Portland State freshman linebacker?

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

TheVoicesInYourHead , 9 minutes ago link

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

Smolett perpetrated a true hate crime.

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

Jun 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

What we have here is a clash of values.

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

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

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Claremont Institute:

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

Are Pompeo and Mayor Pete talking about the same values?

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

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

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

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

And the world mirrors the American divide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q Garcia , August 9, 2017

1984 is Here - Everybody's Brother is Watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 03, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Walter 2 months ago ,

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

Isabella Jones Walter 2 months ago ,

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

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

Jasaah 2 months ago ,

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

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

- Orthodox Christian Palestinian

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

May 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fran Macadam April 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm

She Woke up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ... "

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How stupid is Dump anyway ? That's the question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter the case of Lindsay Shepherd.


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

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

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

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

During their discussion, Lindsay said:

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

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

And she caught it all on tape.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Postscript

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

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

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

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

Feb 18, 2019 | www.rt.com

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

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

Feb 02, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

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

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

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

Jan 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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

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

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

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

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

>they are paid upward of 100k apiece?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 09, 2018] Unintended consequences #MeToo movement causing 'gender segregation' on Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... "It's creating a sense of walking on eggshells," ..."
"... "gender segregation" ..."
"... "unknown risk," ..."
"... "If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment, those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint," ..."
"... "Just try not to be an asshole," ..."
"... "It's really not that hard." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.rt.com

Two female reporters for Bloomberg interviewed 30 Wall Street executives and found that while it's true that women might be afraid to speak up for fear of losing their careers, men are also so afraid of being falsely accused that they won't even have dinner, or even one-to-one business meetings with a female colleague. They worry that a simple comment or gesture could be misinterpreted. "It's creating a sense of walking on eggshells," one Morgan Stanley executive said.

Bloomberg dubbed the phenomenon the 'Pence Effect' after the US vice president who previously admitted that he would never dine alone with any woman other than his wife. British actor Taron Egerton recently also said he now avoided being alone with women for fear of finding himself in #MeToo's crosshairs.

I remember when a woman I was friendly/kind with perceived me as someone who wanted "more." She wrote me a message about how she was uncomfortable. I'm gay. https://t.co/7z0X7Dwzkp

-- Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) December 4, 2018

All these extreme strategies being adopted by men to avoid falling victim to an unjust #MeToo scandal are creating a kind of "gender segregation" on Wall Street, the reporters say.

Hurting women's progress?

The most ironic outcome of a movement that was supposed to be about women's empowerment is that now, even hiring a woman on Wall Street has become an "unknown risk," according to one wealth advisor, who said there is always a concern that a woman might take something said to her in the wrong way.

Also on rt.com #MeToo's Alyssa Milano accused of hypocrisy over links to 'Sharia law-supporting' Muslim activist

With men occupying the most senior positions on Wall Street, women need male mentors who can teach them the ropes and help them advance their careers, but what happens when men are afraid to play that role with their younger female colleagues? The unintended consequence of the #MeToo movement on Wall Street could be the stifling of women's progress and a sanitization of the workplace to the point of not even being able to have a private meeting with the door closed.

Another irony is that while men may think they are avoiding one type of scandal, could find themselves facing another: Discrimination complaints.

"A Wall Street rule for the #MeToo era: Avoid women at all cost." https://t.co/TCGk9UzT4R "Secular sharia" has arrived, as I predicted here: https://t.co/TTrWY6ML34 pic.twitter.com/YpEz78iamJ

-- Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) December 3, 2018

"If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment, those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint," Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison told Bloomberg.

Not all men are responding to the #MeToo movement by fearfully cutting themselves off from women, however. "Just try not to be an asshole," one said, while another added: "It's really not that hard."

It might not be that simple, however. It seems there is no escape from the grip of the #MeToo movement. One of the movements most recent victims of the viral hashtag movement is not a man, but a song -- the time-honored classic 'Baby It's Cold Outside' -- which is being banished from American radio stations because it has a "rapey" vibe.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Nov 27, 2018] Christine Blasey Ford Thanks America For $650,000 Payday, Hopes Life Will Return To Normal

Nov 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Christine Blasey Ford Thanks America For $650,000 Payday, Hopes Life "Will Return To Normal"

by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/27/2018 - 17:30 171 SHARES

Amid the sound and fury of the disgusting antics of the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination process, one of the main defenses of Christine Balsey Ford's sudden recollection of an '80s sexual assault was simply "...why would she lie... what's in it for her?"

Certainly, the forced publicity by Dianne Feinstein and public questioning guaranteed her 15 minutes of fame (and perhaps even more infamy if Kavanaugh's nomination had failed) but now, in a statement thanking everyone who had supported her, Ford is "hopeful that our lives will return to normal."

The full statement was posted to her GoFundMe page :

Words are not adequate to thank all of you who supported me since I came forward to tell the Senate that I had been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh. Your tremendous outpouring of support and kind letters have made it possible for us to cope with the immeasurable stress, particularly the disruption to our safety and privacy. Because of your support, I feel hopeful that our lives will return to normal.

The funds you have sent through GoFundMe have been a godsend. Your donations have allowed us to take reasonable steps to protect ourselves against frightening threats, including physical protection and security for me and my family, and to enhance the security for our home. We used your generous contributions to pay for a security service, which began on September 19 and has recently begun to taper off; a home security system; housing and security costs incurred in Washington DC, and local housing for part of the time we have been displaced. Part of the time we have been able to stay with our security team in a residence generously loaned to us.

With immense gratitude, I am closing this account to further contributions. All funds unused after completion of security expenditures will be donated to organizations that support trauma survivors. I am currently researching organizations where the funds can best be used. We will use this space to let you know when that process is complete.

Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty. Having done so, I am in awe of the many women and men who have written me to share similar life experiences, and now have bravely shared their experience with friends and family, many for the first time. I send you my heartfelt love and support.

I wish I could thank each and every one of you individually. Thank you.
Christine

Well one thing is for sure - she has almost 650 thousand reasons why life since the accusations could be more comfortable...


non_anon , 41 minutes ago link

payday, she should be prosecuted for perjury and in prison. Won't happen.

PCShibai , 43 minutes ago link

Nice work when you an get it. Short duration, no education necessary, and all you need to do is read from a script and lie your *** off.

Dogstar59 , 1 hour ago link

Here's an interesting fact: Her immediate family (siblings and parents) wants nothing to do with her. They refused to sign a petition of support created by "close family and friends", they refused to make any supporting statements and they refused to show up to the hearings.

Very interesting...

petroglyph , 43 minutes ago link

Any links?

spiderbite , 1 hour ago link

Hopes Life "Will Return To Normal"

Mindfucking people for the CIA

chubakka , 1 hour ago link

Sorry doesn't seem like much money to me at all. Put family through all that for that amount? Risk ones families welfare and safety for that amount and a bad name? One would have to be a total idiot or crazy for that.

aardvarkk , 1 hour ago link

Wanders in, belches out a pack of lies, destroys an entire family's lives, tears a big chunk out of the social fabric of the country, collects a huge payday and hits the beach for the rest of her life, or at least the portion not dedicated to indoctrinating yound minds.

She is at least as much of a Democrat as Obama ever was.

Able Ape , 3 hours ago link

Exceedingly unremarkable people always insist on using the title Dr. as if it is a sign of high intelligence and status... They wish...

keep the bastards honest , 3 hours ago link

Disgusting female. Brett Kavanaugh and his family donated the gomfund me set up for his family, to a charity for abused women.

Ford has a second go fund me which raised more, to,pay for legals, she has made a fortune, has a 3 million plus home, and whatever she was given for this charade. And the abortion drug company interest. Plus the google renting illegally events thru the second fromt door.

Kavanaugh has an ordinary car, a simple home worth 1.3 million and a debt of 860,000. Always been an employee so never the big paycheck like Avenatti got.

volunteers for homeless. Plus the sports coaching for school, kids and lecturing...both no more.

[Nov 23, 2018] The recent collision between a Norwegian frigate and a tanker was immediately blamed on Russia, but there are suggestions the real cause may be linked to "Gender Issues" and the intersection of George-Soros-Delusion-Syndrome with mind-numbing incompetence:

Notable quotes:
"... Well, if the objective of having many women on board is to keep all the occupants occupied full-time on a one-to-one basis instead of letting them get busy at shooting at people, then I am all for that, they should adopt it for the whole of NATO, especially the US. ..."
"... Sounds like a good Scandinavian way of addressing NATO policy deficiencies. But when through your distraction you end up crashing into oil tankers, just don't blame it on the Russians or the Chinese. ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Nov 23, 2018 11:36:41 AM | 92 ">link

Gender Politics and the Sinking of the KNM Helge Ingstad

From the article this gem: "It is advantageous to have many women on board. It will be a natural thing and a completely different environment, which I look at as positive," Lieutenant Iselin Emilie Jakobsen Ophus said. She is a navigation officer at KNM Helge Ingstad, according to Defense Forum.

Well, if the objective of having many women on board is to keep all the occupants occupied full-time on a one-to-one basis instead of letting them get busy at shooting at people, then I am all for that, they should adopt it for the whole of NATO, especially the US.

Sounds like a good Scandinavian way of addressing NATO policy deficiencies. But when through your distraction you end up crashing into oil tankers, just don't blame it on the Russians or the Chinese.

Also in the article a very nice picture of the frigate (not the one at the top, the one a little further down the page) which makes for an excellent picture of a George-Soros-frigate. It should be renamed KNM George Soros. Anyone for an HMS George Soros Aircraft carrier?

[Nov 09, 2018] Publius Tacitus on Dr. Ford

Notable quotes:
"... With the benefit of hindsight, I suspect most Democrat leaders now realize that their attempt to take out Judge Brent Kavanaugh with false charges that he sexually assaulted someone in High School was a disaster. Their heavy handed, Bolshevik tactics backfired and galvanized a broad spectrum of Americans who were sickened by the spectacle of a verbal lynch mob being led by the decrepit Diane Feinstein. ..."
"... that he dated Dr. Ford for six years. He said that she never mentioned being the victim of sexual assault or misconduct. He also stated that Dr. Ford did not mention any fear of close quarters or flying, and that the two traveled together, including on a small propeller plane. also said that he witnessed Dr. Ford, drawing from her background in psychology, help prepare her roommate, Ms. Monica McLean, for a potential polygraph examination when Ms. McLean wasinterviewing for jobs with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. He stated that Dr. Ford helped Ms. McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. ..."
"... No! Let's see her tried for perjury with full discovery I will be glad to be a pro bone consultant on that trial and i have a lot of experience. ..."
"... The Dems COULD have made Kavanaugh's support for torture a principled reason for opposing him. ..."
"... The Dems could've raised all kinds of principled objections to Kavanaugh; but tellingly, they chose not to. They chose to take the low road instead. ..."
"... They are complicit. Especially Feinstein. SHe's AOK with torture and 24-7 surveillance. WHat do you expect from an ardent cannabis prohibitionist? ..."
"... Indeed. That would have been a principle worth highlighting. And the question put forward - "Should a torture supporter serve on the Supreme Court?" But..Dianne Feinstein and Chuckie Schumer were never interested in that. All they were interested in was creating a media spectacle and that's exactly what they did by holding on to Ford's letter for 2 months and unleashing it the day before the vote. ..."
"... Christine Ford, Monica McLean and the others should testify to a grand jury. Isn't perjury what they indicted & convicted Gen. Flynn & George Papadopolous for? ..."
"... Why is it that Christine Ford can get away with blatantly and repeatedly lying to Congress about a federal judge but Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos were dragged through court (no doubt at great expense to them) for so-called minor lies to FBI interrogators? ..."
"... Launching 18 USC 1001 prosecutions like so many torpedoes might look expeditious in the short term but in the long term, it will be bad for both the working agent on the street and for justice in the bigger picture. ..."
"... Ford lied to the senate judiciary committee under oath. In your scheme of things people like Avenatti and his female tools can slander and libel at will in conformations even if they are interviewed by the FBI? OK, then the FBI should interview them under oath. ..."
"... If at least one Democrat is going to be removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee as a result of the midterm election realignment, I nominate 'Spartacus' as the guy. ..."
"... Kavanaugh's real crime was he went after Bill Clinton and now he paid the price for it. It's too bad in Yale they don't teach them how to watch their backs in Washington. ..."
"... Brian Merrick has been revealed as the boyfriend. He is a realtor in Malibu. His letter states: " Despite trying to maintain a long distance relationship, I ended the relationship once I discovered that Dr. Ford was unfaithful while living in Hawaii. After the breakup, I took her off the credit card we shared. But nearly 1 year later, I noticed Dr. Ford had been charging the card and charged about $600 worth of merchandise. When confronted, Dr. Ford said she did not use the card but later admitted the use after I threatened to involve fraud prevention." 'Revealed: The Man Accusing Blasey Ford of Lying About Polygraphs.' The Daily Caller, October 3, 2018. https://dailycaller.com/201... ..."
"... A woman who said that she attended UNC with Dr. Ford, identified a third woman, name blotted out, and stated that the three of them "used to purchase drugs" from a male whose name also has been blotted out. The three of them "regularly attended parties with members of his fraternity." The witness said "that she was present at --a blotted out name of an apartment--"one night in April 1987 when Dr. Ford and --someone again blotted out--"arrived to consume drugs." This witness "said that the Dr. Ford she knew had an active and robust social life in college." (Sept.25) ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com

Publius Tacitus on Dr. Ford - posted by PL

With the benefit of hindsight, I suspect most Democrat leaders now realize that their attempt to take out Judge Brent Kavanaugh with false charges that he sexually assaulted someone in High School was a disaster. Their heavy handed, Bolshevik tactics backfired and galvanized a broad spectrum of Americans who were sickened by the spectacle of a verbal lynch mob being led by the decrepit Diane Feinstein. The truth about the sex-fraud, Dr. Chrissie Ford, is now exposed by the voluminous report issued by Senator Grassley's Judiciary Committee staff. Read it here . ( https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-11-02%20Kavanaugh%20Report.pdf ). Here are the highlights:

that he dated Dr. Ford for six years. He said that she never mentioned being the victim of sexual assault or misconduct. He also stated that Dr. Ford did not mention any fear of close quarters or flying, and that the two traveled together, including on a small propeller plane. also said that he witnessed Dr. Ford, drawing from her background in psychology, help prepare her roommate, Ms. Monica McLean, for a potential polygraph examination when Ms. McLean wasinterviewing for jobs with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. He stated that Dr. Ford helped Ms. McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. The Judiciary Committee report also details the allegations and findings from others who alleged sexual misconduct by the Judge. It was all a pack of lies. A contrived hit job intended to destroy the man's reputation and try to cow him into backing away from the nomination. That bullying tactic failed spectacularly. It ended up rallying a broad swath of the American public, especially women, who understand fairness and justice. The injustice on display by the Democrats ended up helping the Republicans nail down a bigger majority in the Senate. Look for fewer Democrat seats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Pat Lang Mod , 21 hours ago

IMO a criminal referral on Dr. Ford would be appropriate.
Kelli K -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Absolutely agree. With Nadler now openly talking about impeaching Kavanaugh, there is no alternative. The truth must be brought out. The alternative is to leave him exposed permanently and keep this whole plan viable for use against future nominees. With RBG approaching retirement this is critical.
Fred W -> Pat Lang , 19 hours ago
Getting to the actual facts would be a great good. But we know that will not happen. The administration and the senate have already shown their attitude toward professional quality investigation. That appears to be the last thing they want. If they actually believed any of what they said, they would follow your advice. We will see.

On second thought that is probably an unfair standard. Opening up discovery for a trial would have negative effects even for a very solid case.

Fred -> Fred W , 18 hours ago
"The administration and the senate have already shown their attitude toward professional quality investigation."

You mean the Mueller "Russia" investigation? That is beyond a joke at this point. Dr. Ford should be charged. She's got $1 million or more from the go bribe fund me accounts. She should lawyer up. So should Ms. Mclean.

Pat Lang Mod -> Fred W , 19 hours ago
No! Let's see her tried for perjury with full discovery I will be glad to be a pro bone consultant on that trial and i have a lot of experience.
Bill H -> Fred W , 3 hours ago
I think the lesson to be learned is that getting all the facts simply cannot be done, which is why we have a statute of limitations, and why Dr. Ford's accusation should not ever have seen the light of day 30 years after the purported event.

Most liberals seem to think the statute of limitations has to do with the purported offender "living with guilt," but the law does not acknowledge the "sensation of guilt." The statute is because after a period of time the offense cannot be fairly prosecuted because witnesses die or move away, memories fade, evidence degrades or disappears, and so forth, and this shoddy exhibition is proof of the validity of that principle.

Pat Lang Mod -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
I do not see how you can fault Grassley's efforts to get the facts. He bent over backward to accommodate the Democrats lies about Kavanaugh and the WH authorized the the additional FBI investigation.
Karl Kolchak , 19 hours ago
The Dems COULD have made Kavanaugh's support for torture a principled reason for opposing him. Then if they lost, which they were likely going to do anyway, it would have at least been considered fair politics and it would have placed the spotlight on a very ugly chapter in the country's recent history that needs to be addressed.
RaisingMac -> Karl Kolchak , 7 hours ago
The Dems could've raised all kinds of principled objections to Kavanaugh; but tellingly, they chose not to. They chose to take the low road instead.
Divadab Newton -> RaisingMac , 4 hours ago
They are complicit. Especially Feinstein. SHe's AOK with torture and 24-7 surveillance. WHat do you expect from an ardent cannabis prohibitionist?
FarNorthSolitude -> Karl Kolchak , 3 hours ago
Shaming, shunning, bullying, threats of violence, and violence are all now accepted as methods by the left. They are totally consumed in a political tribalism. Rather than raising the moral standards of the group they are using the most primitive instincts and you can see this in many of the tweets from the left that use gross sexual imagery to demean their "enemies".

The more I read on group psychology such as Freud, Le Bon, etc. the more concerned I become whether the age of reason, principles, and science will survive group psychosis given the powerful tools like social media enabling it. Social media is one of the most dangerous technologies we have developed.

"In order to make a correct judgment upon the morals of groups, one must take into consideration the fact that when individuals come together in a group all their individual inhibitions fall away and all the cruel, brutal and destructive instincts, which lie dormant in individuals as relics of a primitive epoch, are stirred up to find free gratification. But under the influence of suggestion groups are also capable of high achievements in the shape of abnegation, unselfishness, and devotion to an ideal.

While with isolated individuals personal interest is almost the only motive force, with groups it is very rarely prominent.

It is possible to speak of an individual having his moral standards raised by a group. Whereas the intellectual capacity of a group is always far below that of an individual, its ethical conduct may rise as high above his as it may sink deep below it." - Gustave Le Bon

blue peacock -> Karl Kolchak , 17 hours ago
Indeed. That would have been a principle worth highlighting. And the question put forward - "Should a torture supporter serve on the Supreme Court?" But..Dianne Feinstein and Chuckie Schumer were never interested in that. All they were interested in was creating a media spectacle and that's exactly what they did by holding on to Ford's letter for 2 months and unleashing it the day before the vote.

Christine Ford, Monica McLean and the others should testify to a grand jury. Isn't perjury what they indicted & convicted Gen. Flynn & George Papadopolous for?

william mcdonald , 5 hours ago
Wily old Senator Charles(the Fox) Grassley gave the democrats sufficient rope to hang themselves with, an act they did with gusto.
PRC90 , 10 hours ago
Another amateurish mess. One effect may be that the Democrats will be more careful in their next attempt to discredit some opponent.
DianaLC -> PRC90 , 2 hours ago
The recent accident that RBG experienced has probably caused both Democrats and Republicans some concern that there may soon be another Supreme Court seat to fill under a Trump administration.
akaPatience , 15 hours ago
Why is it that Christine Ford can get away with blatantly and repeatedly lying to Congress about a federal judge but Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos were dragged through court (no doubt at great expense to them) for so-called minor lies to FBI interrogators?

Off topic: I'd love to read PT's take on the mid-term election with attention paid to the boxes of suddenly-discovered ballots in AZ that have put (wouldn't you know!) Democratic Senate candidate Sinema in the lead. And in light of the FL recount, I'd also be interested in what he has to say about the flagrant disregard for chain of custody of [the infamous] Broward Co. boxes of ballots.

Why is it that ballots discovered post-election day always seem to help Democrats? I don't recall ever reading or hearing about newly-discovered ballots that benefited Republican candidates.

Mad_Max22 -> akaPatience , 2 hours ago
In my experience lying to the FBI, 18 USC 1001, was used very, very infrequently. It was used as an add on charge in the prosecution of some of the Watergate subjects and they had been placed under oath. It was used to my knowledge to prosecute an individual who had made a false accusatory statement in the Ray Donavan investigation in the early 80's, another debacle instigated by Senate Democrats. Otherwise it was rarely used, and it shouldn't be used in my opinion unless the person has been given a separate warning and waiver, or placed under oath.

Once Big Government has opened the floodgates on prosecuting people for lying to the FBI, especially when it becomes obvious that it is being used selectively, and in isolation in order to hang a charge on somebody in pursuit of manifestly political ends, cooperation with FBI Agents trying to do their job will, and should, dry up. Who needs to take a chance on some partisan operation, such as Bob Mueller, parsing their adverbs and adjectives for signs of deceit when the option is to take advantage of your right to silence.

Launching 18 USC 1001 prosecutions like so many torpedoes might look expeditious in the short term but in the long term, it will be bad for both the working agent on the street and for justice in the bigger picture.

Pat Lang Mod -> Mad_Max22 , an hour ago
Ford lied to the senate judiciary committee under oath. In your scheme of things people like Avenatti and his female tools can slander and libel at will in conformations even if they are interviewed by the FBI? OK, then the FBI should interview them under oath.
Bill H -> akaPatience , 3 hours ago
Why isn't the Supreme Court stepping in to stop the unseemly Florida recount as it did in 2000?
Pat Lang Mod -> Bill H , an hour ago
we're not "there" yet.
Ed Lindgren , 15 hours ago
If at least one Democrat is going to be removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee as a result of the midterm election realignment, I nominate 'Spartacus' as the guy.
Greco , 17 hours ago
Now that there's a new AG in town--one who isn't either cowed, incompetent, or possibly blackmailed--Mrs.Ford may get her just deserts.

Kavanaugh's real crime was he went after Bill Clinton and now he paid the price for it. It's too bad in Yale they don't teach them how to watch their backs in Washington.

blue peacock , 17 hours ago
"The injustice on display by the Democrats ended up helping the Republicans nail down a bigger majority in the Senate. Look for fewer Democrat seats on the Senate Judiciary Committee."

While this may have held true for the Senate, it didn't in the House.

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 4 hours ago
IMO skillful Democrat candidate selection had a great deal to do with the result in the House.
DianaLC -> Pat Lang , 2 hours ago
I agree with you in the sense that many of the Democrat candidates did not take the ultra progressive (socialist?) path. Many seemed more centrist.

That was the result of state and country Democratic parties.

I think this because I definitely see a difference in the different county Republican parties in my state.

Unfortunately in my state (CO) what happens in Boulder and Denver usually carries. And as we say in CO, Boulder is about 40 square miles surrounded by reality. Denver is becoming a similar alternate reality.

Thus, I am ashamed to say, our current Governor is a person from a quite alternate reality from the one in which I live.

MP98 -> Pat Lang , 4 hours ago
And Never-Trumper RINOs who ran as Democrat-lites.
Tidewater , 18 hours ago
Brian Merrick has been revealed as the boyfriend. He is a realtor in Malibu. His letter states: " Despite trying to maintain a long distance relationship, I ended the relationship once I discovered that Dr. Ford was unfaithful while living in Hawaii. After the breakup, I took her off the credit card we shared. But nearly 1 year later, I noticed Dr. Ford had been charging the card and charged about $600 worth of merchandise. When confronted, Dr. Ford said she did not use the card but later admitted the use after I threatened to involve fraud prevention." 'Revealed: The Man Accusing Blasey Ford of Lying About Polygraphs.' The Daily Caller, October 3, 2018. https://dailycaller.com/201...

A male witness "(Sept. 26): stated that when he was a 19-year-old college student, he visited D.C. over spring break and kissed a girl he believes was Dr. Ford. He said that the kiss happened in the bedroom of a house which was about a 15-to- 20 minute walk from the Van Ness Metro, that Dr. Ford was wearing a swimsuit under her clothing, and that the kissing ended when a friend jumped on them as a joke. The witness said that the woman initiated the kissing and that he did not force himself on her. "

A woman who said that she attended UNC with Dr. Ford, identified a third woman, name blotted out, and stated that the three of them "used to purchase drugs" from a male whose name also has been blotted out. The three of them "regularly attended parties with members of his fraternity." The witness said "that she was present at --a blotted out name of an apartment--"one night in April 1987 when Dr. Ford and --someone again blotted out--"arrived to consume drugs." This witness "said that the Dr. Ford she knew had an active and robust social life in college." (Sept.25)

Keith Harbaugh , 18 hours ago
PT, thanks very much for posting this. I cannot find any mention of this Judiciary Committee report at the Washington Post web site. They had a ton of coverage of Ford's allegation before the vote, including a lengthy interview with her current husband.

It says a lot about them that they have, unless I have missed something, ignored this report. Could the reason they are ignoring it be that they don't want to publicize anything which contradicts the line that "Women tell the truth"? A line that they have used to great political effect, in particular in the sinking of the Senate candidacy of Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.

[Nov 08, 2018] Christine Blasey Ford's Credibility Under New Attack by Senate Republicans - The New York Times

Misogonia now became a ralling cry for female sociopath
Nov 08, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Looks like here are are dealing with two pretty unpleasant people. Kavanuch might have or used to have a drinking problem and might became agreessve in intoxicated state.

She remembers one can of ber she drunk (to protect her testimony from the case of completly drunk woman assalu, whuch is still an assalt) but do not remeber who drove her to the house, location and who drove her back. That's questionable.

Dr. form used somebody else creadit card and lied about poligraph test.

Looks there three scoundrels here: Senator Feldstein (violating the trus a leaking form letter), Klobuchar (trying to expolit fradulent Swtnick testomy for political purposes), Kavanuch (unability to take punches camly, low quality of some regulations (this supplosed to be the best legal mind the county can find), possible past drinking problems, possible agressive behvious when drunk), and Dr. Ford (heavy drinking in high scool and colledge, possible promiscuity, possible stealing funds by abusing former boyfirnd credit card (he left her, not vise versa), using questional methods to rent part of her house, and even more qurestionable method to justify this, etc)

Jay Lincoln NYC 5h ago

Why does the Times always have to spin news with a ludicrously liberal slant? Ford's credibility was attacked by her ex boyfriend of 6 years, who lived with her, saw her prep her friend for polygraph tests, flew with her on small propeller plans among the islands of Hawaii, and had his credit card fraudulently charged by her.

The source is her ex-boyfriend. Yet the title implies it's Senate Republicans launching a partisan attack. Give me a break.

Also, she's hurting her own credibility by claiming to remember having EXACTLY one beer 36 years ago. When she can't even remember where she was or how she got home after supposedly being nearly raped and killed.


JDO Kensignton, MD 5h ago

The longer this Freak Show continues, more and more of Ford's bones will be pulled from the closet. Time to vote, time to move on. If Democrats want to pick judges, they need to win elections.

Bearn Atlanta, GA 3h ago

"Christine Blasey Ford's Credibility Under New Attack by Senate Republicans"

This is an interesting headline for an article that is actually about a former boyfriend who submitted a letter refuting many of Ford's claims.

I am not sure how the Senate Republicans asking Ford's counsel for corroborating evidence, that Ford herself brought up in the hearing, is equivalent to them attacking her credibility? Maybe this article was actually meant to be in the opinion section written by the editorial board?

I am no expert, but isn't it the purpose of journalism to get down to the unbiased truth? The Times should go pursue this ex-boyfriends story and try to find whether or not he is credible rather than spewing out misleading headlines.

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Henry Washington 4h ago

I still find Dr. Ford's testimony believable and far more consistent with what else we know about her and her attacker.

And (here comes one of those dreaded "even if" arguments): Even if Mr. Merrick's account is factual, it elides a crucial distinction. When I read the senate question, the only relevant reason I can see why Republican senators would ask it (through their proxy) is to ferret out if Dr. Ford had any experience "beating" a polygraph, which might undercut the value ascribed to her taking that test.

The old boyfriend seems to be describing something different. He writes that Dr. Ford "explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam." This seems to describe something along the lines of reassuring a friend nervous about her interviews, including anxiety about the experience of taking a polygraph. It seems much more along the lines of something explaining to a nervous patient what to expect during an MRI scan to reduce their anxiety, not some sort of movie scene where the the evil mastermind explains how to beat the cops' interrogation.

Were I in Dr. Ford's place, I'm very sure that an episode in which I'd calmed down an anxious friend before a job interview would be unlikely to come to mind if asked if I'd "ever given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test," and I'd feel confident and honest answering "never".

RobinR California 5h ago

Its absurd that people are up in arms about this. It's a known fact that polygraphs are unreliable, can be cheated and can create false positives. Even the person who invented the test claimed they are faulty. Why she bothered to do one at all is a mystery, since she probably knows they're unreliable. Did Kavenaugh do one?

Ginny Virginia 4h ago

How is investigating the allegations attacking her? SHe made statements in her testimony that this letter form the ex-boyfriend has insight about. He shared what he knows. Should this not be investigated? Does the NYT expect that only information about Kavanaugh should be investigated? She has made allegations. Should not the credibility of those allegations be looked into when there is evidence that perhaps she was not truthful? How is it right to only investigate one side of the story, especially when there is no evidence and there are no witnesses to the alleged event! To simply accept that she is telling the truth and say she is being attacked when anyone questions her story is outrageous. But then this is a story in the NYT, so of course the headlines are salacious and misleading to better advance your agenda. I believe in free press and understand its place in a free society. But these kinds of stunts are yellow journalism, and not healthy for our nation, or for the TImes in the long run. You are destroying your reputation as honest journalism each and every time you do something like this.

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Pono Big Island 2h ago Times Pick

Why shouldn't her credibility be established?
She is making damning accusations dating back 36 years.
Regardless of the genders of the parties involved and the nature of the incident, with no corroborating witness, this still boils down to "she said , he said".
To be fair there is really not much else you can do but try to establish the relative veracity of the two people involved.
It seems that "fairness" is not the goal of extremists on either side.
It's strictly about the outcome going their way.

Jessica Evanston, IL 5h ago

@Psst Ms. Mitchell was right to ask about the test, based on Dr. Ford's expertise as a psychologist. When I hearing that she took and passed a polygraph, I thought, "She's a psychologist, doesn't she know how those work?"

Ralphie CT 4h ago

I'm sorry, but those who "believe" Ford need to understand that polygraphs are not valid and they are not reliable. The psych literature is full of research papers on this. Here is a quick summary from the American Psych Association.

https://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx

Polygraph tests are widely used in psych classes as examples of modern day pseudoscience, akin to phrenology.

People who believe their story, who have been trained, who don't care or who are psychopaths can easily pass a polygraph even when lying.

Dr. Ford, as a psychologist knows this. So her story about taking the polygraph and finding it distressing are ridiculous. She took it as a stunt knowing she could easily pass because polygraph's don't detect lies. The whole charade further undermines her story, as much her professed fear of flying or her statement that she didn't tell anyone about this except husband and therapist until she came forward -- which later morphed to, she discussed it with her beach friends.

I don't know what Ford's game is, she may believe her tale, or she may have deliberately come forward with a false accusation to stop a conservative from ascending to the highest court in the land. She is a committed dem activist.

Polygraphs are bogus -- they only work through intimidating naive individuals.

Brookhawk Maryland 3h ago

I never told boys or men I was dating about my experiences with sexual abuse. Why would I? Dating someone does not require you to open your soul. I never told my parents about two of the three episodes I was victim to. I was too stunned, shocked and ashamed. I'm a woman. That's what I was taught to be. I was taught it was my fault if I was abused. I was taught that by the whole society we live in. Why in heaven's name would I ever mention my history to someone I was simply dating?

JB Chicago 5h ago

Finally we get some information about Kavanaugh's main accuser. For a while it seemed as if she had just sprung into existence and had no history beyond her claims of sexual assault.

Robin Cambridge 2h ago

"Still, Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor who questioned Dr. Blasey at last week's hearing, seemed to know to ask her about whether she had ever advised anyone about taking a polygraph test."

So it's very likely the Republicans knew in advance of Mr Merrick's statement but chose to withhold it. Given their criticism of Democrats' conduct about Dr Ford's statement they seem a little hypocritical. Sen. Grassley's charging a "lack of candor" is risible.

Even if Dr Ford had 20 years ago coached someone in techniques to pass a polygraph test and exaggerated her claustrophobia - both of which I doubt - big deal. "Central to the credibility of her testimony " pace Sen Grassley, it is not. It is on the periphery.

One can only surmise what Mr Merrick's motivation is but it seems overwhelmingly likely he's providing this to support the Republican cause or for money or (contrary to what he says) because he's ill disposed to Dr Ford (or a mixture of the three).

Why else would he interfere? She's not the one applying for the job (if she had been, any intelligent committee would have seen she's far better qualified, temperamentally and intellectually).

freddy 16 harrisburg 4h ago

I did not vote for Trump but it is obvious that the New York Times is out to destroy him and his programs.
Remember Clinton's statements about the economy, " It is the economy, stupid. " You have to give Trump credit for a very strong economy, low unemployment, and a vibrant stock market. Voters will get it, the New York Times may not.
P.S. I believe that the media is responsible for the anger in our country. Would be much better if the media sought to build a consensus, trust, achievement, not division.

GWPDA Arizona 4h ago

This is an obscenity. That the nomination of a marginally qualified apparatchik to the Supreme Court would result in the corruption of the institution and the rule of law as the foundation of the United States is obscene. Any further move other than the nomination's withdrawal will be catastrophic. Any further political involvement in this nomination will be deliberately destructive.

India midwest 4h ago

So it's okay to "smear" Judge Kavanaugh by publicizing allegations from former college "friends" etc, but it is deeply unfair to even mention that Dr Ford might just not be Joan of Arc. I seem to see a bit of a double standard here.

Mark Greenwich 4h ago

People who use others credit cards are liars. Selective honesty is not possible. She is dishonest. Doesn't mean Kavanaugh is honest but she is a pawn and loves the attention.

KBronson Louisiana 4h ago

Every psychologist knows that polygraphs are unreliable and can be faked. It is even an official position of the American Psychological Association. Why would any psychologist have a polygraph test other than to scam someone? If any of this is true, a lot of people have just been duped by a great actress, which the best deceivers always are. But like cultists, having emotionally committed themselves few will have the courage to admit it.

Melissa Massachusetts 3h ago

@Charlie No, that's not clear at all.

Fear of flying and claustrophobia start in adulthood. Ford and this man started dating when she was just out of college, whereas fear of flying's average age of onset, according to online sources is 27 and it worsens with age -- especially after marriage and kids as people emotionally have more to lose.

I had an employee years ago who was fine flying for work in his mid-20s, but as he approached 30 he started to experience terrible anxiety about flying. He also became quite claustrophobic and couldn't get in the elevator if it was crowded. We had to adjust his job around it.

Ford also stated under oath that the attack she alleges was not the only cause of her anxiety/claustrophobia. She alluded to other predispositions. Go back and listen to the testimony.

Harvey NC 3h ago

From this article "The former boyfriend told the Judiciary Committee that he witnessed Dr. Blasey helping a friend prepare for a possible polygraph examination, contradicting her testimony under oath. Dr. Blasey, a psychology professor from California who also goes by her married name Ford, was asked during the hearing whether she had "ever given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test." She answered, "Never."
Someone correct me here as I thought the question was had she ever been given tips or advice by someone on how to take a polygraph test.
Quite a different meaning than asking if she had ever coached someone on how to take a polygraph test.

Rosie James New York, N.Y. 4h ago

Oh, I was under the impression that only The Media could attack (Kavanaugh, that is.) Almost everything I have read in the news (other than the Wall Street Journal) is based on speculation, written by Left Wing Activists (see article from yesterday's NY Times).

Dr. Ford (or probably her attorneys) have mislead and lied directly to the american people about Dr. Ford's "Fear of Flying" when she flies all over the place. When the Senate Committee offered to interview her privately in her California home or anywhere private she wanted she knew nothing about it.

Either she is lying or her attorneys are lying to her or keeping information that doesn't advance their narrative. Either way this whole thing stinks!

roane1 Los Angeles, Ca 3h ago

You accept flat-out what this ex-boyfriend says without question, and thus paint Dr. Blasey Ford as a "liar"? What about Kavanaugh's "selective honesty"? And how you get to being a pawn and loving attention from her extreme reticence is a total mystery. It appears you accept whatever the Senate Committee majority puts out without critical examination or waiting to see if there is any rebuttal.

Wine Country Dude Napa Valley 2h ago

Read: women should not be challenged when they lob career-ending accusations at men. They should be taken at their word and not subjected to any type of opposition. Because, heck, doing so would re-victimize the victim (even though her status as victim is very far from established).

We heard the same thing with Tawana Brawley, Sarah Ylen, Jackie Coakley at UVA and Crystal Gayle Mangum--to subject their stories to any critical analysis was revictimization. When they were shown to be frauds, the argument became that one may not criticize proven liars and frauds because that may "revictimize" other, unnamed, hypothetical victims of sexual assault.

What women propose is an end run around fundamental principles of fairness, to say nothing of the judicial principles that have governed us for centuries. And to say nothing of the proposition that they are adults themselves, have willingly entered the big bad government and financial worlds and proclaimed that they can handle themselves ferociously, just like men, thank you very much.

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zb Miami 3h ago

The evidence clearly corroborates that Kavanagh was a drunken abusive lout in high school and college. His testimony in Congress proves he still is. At this point it really doesn't matter what Miss Ford said or did not say; what matters is what Cavanaugh has said and done.

Soxared, '04, '07, '13 Boston 3h ago

Charles Grassley knew about this lie and fed it to Rachel Mitchell to entrap Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Who can't see through the blatant partisan desperation?

Lee California 4h ago

Isn't it glaring to anyone that not her parents nor her brothers have come out to speak for her? I don't believe they attended the hearing.

Something just isn't right here. I know I would upfront and personal with anyone who would doubt my daughter.

Son of Liberty Fly Over Country 3h ago

I've seen and heard so many of my friends on the left say with great conviction: "I believe her!" But if you're willing to analyze with a fair mind all the accusations flying around, you'll agree there isn't a shred of corroboration.

This credulous yet firmly-held faith in Dr. Ford is just that "Faith" - belief without objective evidence.

In fact, there's more reason to believe in Santa Claus than in Dr. Ford. At least with Santa, the cookies and milk we left for him before bed were gone in the morning and were replaced by presents. Now that's real corroboration - at least in the mind of a credulous child.

gary e. davis Berkeley, CA 3h ago

"Civic duty" doesn't entail going public. It involves providing further information to relevant decision makers, i.e., Judicial Committee members. But