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Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

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And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

-- Howard Zinn

Neoliberalism creates powerful nationalistic impulses die to its failure of fulfill its promises. Disappointed, impoverished, and, especially, unemployed people are easy recruits for far right movements.  In this sense the situation is similar to Bolshevism, which after being discredited as ideology (which was based on the promise of rising standard of living and eventual overtaking the capitalist West in prosperity) failed to keep the country together because of  growing (and lavishly supported both in propaganda and financially by the West) wave of nationalism which swept the USSR into oblivion. Disintegration of the USSR was based on two major factors -- betrayal of the "nomenklatura" which switched to neoliberalism, and abandoning Comminist ideology (in which actually nobody believed after 1970th)  and the tide of nationalistic sentiments.

Now nationalism is on the rise in all major Western countries. Such events as Brexit and election of Trump are links of the same chain of events.

Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an neoliberal economic order and ideology. Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich is generally hostile to nationalism. It often purposely destabilize  the nation-states to open them to transnational corporations ("creative destruction" of sort), the dominant political players under neoliberalism. For example, when the federal government of Canada adopted neoliberal policies one immediate consequence was the termination of the funding programs  for the francophone community cultural programs (along with the termination of the welfare programs). Indeed, the Official Languages Act itself was overhauled.

The United States' pursuit of global primacy is based upon a complex melding of neoliberal economics and hegemonic politics which produce strong anti-American sentiments in various part of the globe, fueling nationalism.  US imperialism is inherently predatory  and profoundly different from the productive capitalism that had been the basis of American economic success. It is essentially a War and color revolutions based racket. It has important difference with classic colonialism: what traditional colonialism tried to achieve with standing armies now is achieved using financial instruments and tiny strata of  "comprador elite" within the given country.  Putting the nation into debt-bondage proved to be even more effective in extracting resources from the countries then the old colonial rule. 

Ethno-nationalism is not the only form of nationalism in existence. Moreover, Ethno-nationalism is in decline, as it is now discomforting intellectually and morally for many people. But two other, more modern and no less powerful forms of nationalism emerged: "cultural nationalism" and "economic nationalism".

As social scientists demonstrated nationalistic sentiments are often a product of culture, often deliberately constructed by the local elite to achieve pretty nefarious and selfish goals.  Still the culture can as solid core of nationalism as ethnicity. this new form of nationalism became an important player on the world scene.

Ukrainian color revolution of February 2014 (EuroMaydan), despite surface slogans about Eurointergation, was fought and won by Western Ukrainian nationalists, which later tried to impose their will on the rest of the country provoking the civil war in Donbass (with substantial help from Russia, which decided to support Russian speaking population against Ukrainian nationalists cultural assault).  While they were ethnic nationalists in the past, now they by-and-large converted in cultural nationalists, which oppose not Russians as a national by Russian culture and language and try to instill Ukrainian culture and language in the country were the majority of population speaks Russian.

So far the net result was a destruction of the Ukrainian economy due to break-up of Soviet era ties with Russian industries and abandonment of Russian market (while Ukrainian goods are no values as much in Western markets and face various often artificial barriers in EU). In 216 the impoverishment of the population reached the Central African states level (less then $2 dollar a day for the majority of population).

Americans generally are strongly negative to the idea of ethnic nationalism and that's is one of the best features of Americans as a nation. After all, in the United States people of varying ethnic origins live in peace. For example within two or three generations of immigration,  ethnic identities of Western and Eastern European immigrants are attenuated by cultural assimilation and intermarriage. In general, immigrants to the United States usually arrive with a willingness to fit into their new country and reshape their identities accordingly. But for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities still sometimes take more ancient ethnic or religious form, producing powerful claims to political power. In the past, the creation of nation-states in Europe has often the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. 

While the apogee of ethno-nationalism was probably in 1930th and during post war decolonization,  ethno-nationalism while in decline still remain a powerful social force in some countries. In many way ethno-nationalism is still linked with national socialism.  But traditional national socialism version of ethno-nationalism  was slowly but surely replaced by what the form that is based on colon culture and language --  "cultural nationalism". I think that  American Exceptionalism is one of the most interesting examples of this type of nationalism. And the fact that US flags in the USA are everywhere definitely signify its strength in mind of the people. Unlike many European state were driving a car with the national flag would be considered bad manners, in the USA it is OK behaviour.

The US elite as the leading imperial elite that overtook British elite on the world stage achieved great mastery in using divide and conquer strategy by inciting nationalistic feelings all over the world. This mastery (despite Bush "Chicken Kiev" speech)  was especially demonstrated in facilitation the break-up of the USSR. It was nationalism that had blown up the USSR when it started experiencing economic difficulties and crisis of the political doctrine under which it was created as well as suffering from the losing Afghan war.

It is interesting to note that the crisis in the USSR was amplified due to supply of modern technology. Personal computers inside the country which broke traditional hold on distribution of literature by Communist Party (which rules the country as a religious sect, crushing even minor deviations form holy doctrine), were very similar to Stringers hand held missiles in Afghan war, which deteriorated Russian air superiority, and limited the use of helicopters (with a pretty nasty effect 30 years later).  This along the  money with which the USA and Saudi financed radical Islamic fundamentalism  converted Islamist revels it into a powerful political force. Political Islam was if nor born then strengthens in Afghan war.  Which paradoxically is another example of "cultural nationalism", were the religion serves as the cementing force and identification of us vs. them. .

People often forget that Osama bin Laden was essentially a recruiting agent on Saudi Intelligence payroll during the USSR Afghan war.  In this sense tragedy of 9/11 was simply a blowback of previous efforts to defeat the USSR in Afghan war by whatever means possible. And one of those means was spreading of Wahhabism and what can be called "Islamic cultural nationalism". 

As author of the note Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11? observed:

I would indeed go further and say that Islamic schools infuse a dangerous and un-Islamic Islam-supremacist, and indeed now sectarian Wahhabi-supremacist view vis-à-vis all other religions and cultures and this is at least partly responsible for many of the problems Muslims face around the world today.

In other words with  the ascendance of neoliberalism nationalism re-emerged as a powerful countervailing force.  Brexit was just the first powerful manifestation of this effect.

likbez : , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 02:47 PM
Neoliberalism creates an impulse for nationalism in several ways:

1. It destroys human solidarity. And resorting to nationalism in a compensational mechanism to restore it in human societies. that's why the elite often resorts to foreign wars if it feels that it losing the control over peons.

2. Neoliberalism impoverishes the majority of population enriching top 1% and provokes the search for scapegoats. Which in the past traditionally were Jews. Now look like MSM are trying to substitute them for Russians

3. Usually the rise of nationalism is correlated with the crisis in the society. There is a crisis of neoliberalism that we experience in the USA now: after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, when the ideology is discredited, but forces behind it are way too strong for any social change to be implemented. Much like was the case during "Brezhnev socialism" in the USSR.

So those who claim that we are experiencing replay of late 1920th on a new level might be partially right. With the important difference that it does not make sense to establish fascist dictatorship in the USA. Combination of "Inverted totalitarism" and "national security state" already achieved the same major objectives with much less blood and violence.

Secessionist movements

In the post-Second World War period until 1989, superpowers were committed to upholding existing state boundaries. While decolonization was permitted, the borders of states were treated, in international law and practice, as permanent—non-negotiable—features of the international state system.

Secessionist movements are based on groups that have a strong national identification, and are fuelled by nationalism. Minority nations, in multination states, often criticize state policies on the grounds that they implicitly privilege the majority national group on the territory. They have resisted majority control over certain aspects of state policy, and have made claims for state protection of their culture or for recognition of their distinct identity. This usually means that they want their language to be used in official capacities and their children to be educated in their language and about their culture. They typically demand their own political institutions, to enable them to control their own affairs.

As a political principle nationalism postulates that the political and national unit should be congruent. That naturally leads to secessionist movements. It has many variations and in weaker form presuppose  the moral significance of the national community, its existence in the past and into the future, and typically seeks some form of political protection to safeguard its future existence.

One advantage of viewing nationalism as a normative theory about the value of national membership and national communities is that it can account for the key policies or demands of nationalists. On this conception, the demand for national self-determination is an important plank in many nationalist movements although not, contra Gellner, a fundamental principle of nationalism. Nationalists may, and often do, seek complete independence or state sovereignty. However, in some cases, where the costs of independence are too high, or the benefits of independence too precarious, nationalists may seek other forms of institutional recognition.

,,, ,,, ,,,

the category 'nation', like 'friends' and 'lovers', falls into the second group. It is contingent on its members' sustaining a certain image of it based on their perceptions and feelings—although of course there are a number of conditions which lead to the construction of an image of a nation, such as shared religion, language, law, geographical isolation, colonial policies, bureaucratic decisions, and the like.

... ... ...

David Miller lists five elements that together constitute a nation: it is, he writes 'a community (1) constituted by shared beliefs and mutual commitments, (2) extended in history, (3) active in character, (4) connected to a particular territory, and (5) marked off from other communities by its distinct public culture'. 12 This definition also suggests that the subjective identification is crucial.

... ... ...

One common line of argument, associated with the work of Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, and others, is that national identity is linked with broad historical forces. National forms of identity become prominent in the modern period as a result of industrialization, and the social and bureaucratic changes that accompany industrialization—or precede it, in the case of states aspiring to be industrialized. In Gellner's formulation of the argument, the modern economy is crucially dependent on standardized modes of communication and cultural practices, and people's life chances are shaped by the language in which they communicate, as well as other cultural forms of interaction. This is in contrast to the premodern period when cultural or linguistic differences were politically irrelevant.

That means that the language and culture  became the most important components which defines the boundaries of national identity, while all other characteristics that define nationality, such as specific for given ethnos DNA, receded. That consideration gave rise of élite-manipulation models of nationalism. They view national identity as the product of actions by political or economic élites, who foster national identities for their own (self-interested) ends. More sophisticated élite-manipulation theories describe élites as encoding violence or antagonism as ethnic or national which could be described in other ways—as criminal or class violence, say—for their own ends. Nationalism  is merely a means for élites to preserve or enhance their own power and status in the society. This is a variation of the old Plato's argument that the masses are easily duped and so cannot steer the ship of state. The fact that nations are socially constructed does not suggest that they are less real or are to be regarded with suspicion. Some people focus on the fact that they are 'imagined' communities to suggest that they may have no basis in 'reality'.

The social image is important because it is impossible for all its members to engage in face-to-face contact with each other at all times. Therefore members must refer to their perception of the image of the nation. Of course, on this definition, many, if not most, communities, except the very smallest, are imagined in the same way. Religious communities are imagined; my university is imagined; even my extended family is imagined. 26 But they may all be important, and legitimate, bases of identification.

That means that it is more accurate to describe national identities as existing along a continuum, with the language, the habits or customs or character of the group on one end and the institutional structure of state on the another. For example, in immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, where groups of people left their various 'homelands' to become part of a different political project, immigrant groups do not have the "national territory" as a basis to reproduce their own culture en masse and the political identities in question—the Canadian, Australian, and American identities — are genuinely available to them, in the sense that the host society did not exclude them from the political project and the political project propose to then a new, "born again"  cultural and political identity. In case the have like, for example in Quebec -- their nationalism assumes the forms that are typical for Old World.

Similarly in the case of France, ethnic groups were incorporated or integrated into France prior to the Age of Nationalism, and assimilation was largely effective. There has been some attempt to revive these minority nationalisms, but minority nations typically lack much shared (institutionally separate) history—since Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Languedoc and Burgundy were all incorporated into France prior to 1500.  They lack an institutional basis, as well as social differentiation. The nationalisms are accordingly very weak. The French formula cannot be applied to other areas, where separate institutional or bureaucratic structures were in place by the time of mass democratic participation and the politicization of national and cultural differences by the bureaucratic modern state.  But the reaction against immigrant communities, especially Muslim community was very strong.

At the same time, as little as forty years ago, Britain was thought to be a homogeneous society, with strong class politics, but little in the way of national politics. Now, however, the conglomerate 'British' national identity seems to be eroding and is challenged by Scottish, Welsh, and to a lesser extent—and mainly in reaction to the other two nationalisms—English national identities.

The issue of rights to territory is also important because one basis of the distinction between immigrant groups and national groups is that the latter have territory and the former do not. Whether a group has territory is therefore crucially important, not only to this conceptual distinction, but it also affects, on at least one influential argument, the kind of rights and entitlements that attach to the groups.

Given the chronic availability of nationalist and ethnic idioms in modern polities, one might expect economic crises to foster heightened nation-statist or ethnic exclusion.  Intensified efforts to blame national and ethnic outsiders for economic distress, to protect domestic producers and workers against foreign (or ethnically “alien”) competition, or to treat politically vulnerable minorities as scapegoats. And earlier crises furnish ample precedent for such efforts. This review has suggested, however, that economic crises do not automatically or uniformly generate such responses and that nationalist and ethno-political responses to the present crisis have so far been relatively muted.

The credit crisis on 2008 was mainly interpreted in nation-statist terms and was blamed (outside the United States) on the American profligacy, American-style casino capitalism, the global financial system, or an externally imposed neoliberalism.

Until Brexit nationalist reaction of the crisis of neoliberalism  — or reactions with a more or less pronounced nationalist components were not successful outside a few countries such as Hungary and Russia. Legal and institutional constraints, complex forms of economic interdependence, and prevailing cultural idioms have all worked to inhibit radical measures designed to protect domestic producers or labor markets (although more limited forms of protection were widely implemented).  Even in the USA, the citadel of neoliberalism, the disenchantment with neoliberalism led to the rise of such politicians as Sanders and Trump.

It is   too soon to assess consequences of Brexit on neoliberal globalization, but it is clear that the growing wave of nationalism is able at least to slow if not revert that recent neoliberal "advances" in this direction. If you add coming oil crisis the future of neoliberal globalization now looks more and more uncertain.

As Indonesian Chinese massacre of 1998 proves modern societies are sill not above finding ethnic scapegoats in case of severe economic crisis:


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[Feb 11, 2019] Is political nationalism a viable way of resisting neoliberalism today? by Rafael Winkler

Notable quotes:
"... Is this political nationalism a viable way of resisting neoliberalism today? Can it gainsay the primacy of economic rationality and the culture of narcissist consumerism, and restore meaning to the political question concerning the common good? Or has nationalism irreversibly become an ethnic, separatist project? It is not easy to say. So far, we have witnessed one kind of response to the social insecurities generated by the global spread of neoliberalism. This is a return to ethnicity and religion as havens of safety and security. ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | mg.co.za

Nationalism was an emancipatory political project during the anti-colonial struggles of the second half of the 20th century. It was not tribalist or communalist.

According to Eric Hobsbawm in Nations and Nationalism since 1780, its aim was to extend the size of the social, cultural and political group. It was not to restrict it or to separate it from others. Nationalism was a political programme divorced from ethnicity.

Is this political nationalism a viable way of resisting neoliberalism today? Can it gainsay the primacy of economic rationality and the culture of narcissist consumerism, and restore meaning to the political question concerning the common good? Or has nationalism irreversibly become an ethnic, separatist project? It is not easy to say. So far, we have witnessed one kind of response to the social insecurities generated by the global spread of neoliberalism. This is a return to ethnicity and religion as havens of safety and security.

When society fails us owing to job insecurity, and, concomitantly, with regard to housing and healthcare, one tends to fall back on one's ethnicity or religious identity as an ultimate guarantee.

Moreover, nationalism as a political programme depends on the idea of the state. It holds that a group defined as a "nation" has the right to form a territorial state and exercise sovereign power over it. But given the decline of the state, there are reasons to think that political nationalism has withdrawn as a real possibility.

By the "decline of the state" I do not mean that it no longer exists. The state has never been more present in the private life of individuals. It regulates the relations between men and women. It regulates their birth and death, the rearing of children, the health of individuals and so forth. The state is, today, ubiquitous.

What some people mean by the "decline of the state" is that, with the existence of transnational corporations, it is no longer the most important site of the reproduction of capital. The state has become managerial. Its function is to manage obstacles to liberalisation and free trade.

Perhaps that is one of the challenges of the 21st century. How is a "nation" possible, a "national community" that is not defined by ethnicity, on the one hand, and, on the other, that forsakes the desire to exercise sovereign power in general and, in particular, over a territorial state?

The university is perhaps the place where such a community can begin to be thought.

Rafael Winkler is an associate professor in the philosophy department at the University of Johannesburg

[Feb 03, 2019] In my opinion, being a supporter of Israel automatically means being far-right.

Feb 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Gesine Hammerling , Feb 2, 2019 8:20:01 PM | link

@149:

Interestingly, the BAK Shalom group, which you called far-left, is one of the most fanatical pro-Israel lobby groups in Germany. In my opinion, being a supporter of Israel automatically means being far-right.

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 20, 2019] This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears

Notable quotes:
"... Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity. ..."
"... I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Jan 20, 2019 6:02:29 PM | link

On Integrity Initiative Endgame:

From Consortium News

It should be pointed out that the Integrity Initiative recently claimed on Twitter that some of the documents leaked in batch #4 were not theirs and had been misrepresented as part of the organisation.

It doesn't really matter, though: all that we know, anti-socialist shills writing propaganda on behalf of II (Nimmo, Cohen, Reid-Ross) have confirmed their own roles, and the Twitter account was proven to have pushed out slanderous material on Jeremy Corbyn.

Note that "misrepresented" could have referred to the inclusion of the Corbyn slide show document which was presented at but created by the II.

This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears,

-Yellow Vests
– Jill Stein
-Jeremy Corbyn
-George Galloway
-Seuams Milne
-German Left Party
-French Left Party
-French Communist Party
-Greek Communist Party
-Podemos
-Norwegian Red Party
-Norwegian Socialist Left Party
-Swedish Left Party
-Swedish Greens
-International Anti-NATO Groups
-Greyzone Project
-Julian Assange
-MintPressNews

Via

-Infiltrating Corbyn and Sanders campaigns
-Inserting propaganda anonymously into local media including the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, The Times, the Guardian, and more
-Using social media to orchestrate hate and dismissal campaigns against those mentioned above
-Hosting events for collaboration between members
-Building online "clusters" to deploy and shape discourse in the media and elsewhere

By repeating or openly collaborating with:

-Ben Nimmo
-Oz Katergi
-Anne Applebaum
-Peter Pomerantsev
-Bellingcat
-Atlantic Council
-Carole Cadwalladr
-David Aaronovitch
-Center For A Stateless Society
-PropOrNot
-Alexander Reid-Ross
-Nick Cohen
-Michael Weiss
-Jamie Fly
-Jamie Kirchick

Directed by:

-Tory Government
-NATO
-Facebook
-German Multinationals

uncle tungsten | Jan 20, 2019 6:18:59 PM | 16

Thank you Anne Jaclard @ | 14

Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity.

I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people.

[Jan 13, 2019] The American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections

Notable quotes:
"... This link, I believe, points into a very interesting direction. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-23/imperial-naivete-american-public I don't think that "naivete" is a correct word there. ..."
"... the American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:35 pm GMT

Back to topic. This link, I believe, points into a very interesting direction. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-23/imperial-naivete-american-public I don't think that "naivete" is a correct word there. Some, perhaps, interesting excerpts:

.a public lulled into a warm and fuzzy sense of moral superiority based on the notion that we only go to war to save the good and punish the evil, and if we meddle in other nations' domestic affairs and elections, we're only doing so for their own good.

If we weren't a kindly, generous Empire, we'd let them go down the drain without trying to set them straight.

Key expression " moral superiority "

There is more:

. the American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections.

I don't think it's "naive" though. It's something else like, again:

there are no limits on our execution of power because we're morally superior

That is the key. That is what, deep in their hearts, Americans believe. We .are .better than .anybody .else. So, blaming "them", media, whatever no no that's a copout. Weak one. The crux is simple, eternal, hard wired: "I am better than you". "I can be homeless punk here, but, I am better than YOU." Feels good. That's all.

Blasphemy, a?

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 03, 2019] Trumpist-Populism, Neo-Liberalism And Anti-Semitism

Notable quotes:
"... Trumpism's Contradictions and American Jews, and Islamophobia ..."
"... "I do not stop repeating it to French Jews. Not only is the National Front not your enemy, but it is without a doubt the best shield to protect you. It stands at your side for the defense of our freedoms of thought and of religion against the only real enemy, Islamist fundamentalism." ..."
"... Is Antisemitism on the rise? ..."
"... Anti-Semitism among Liberals and Conservatives ..."
"... Evangelical Christians: Friends of Israel, Enemies of secular American-Jews? ..."
"... What would happen to Jews in America and the relationship with Israel if they lost support from evangelical Christians? ..."
Jan 03, 2019 | countercurrents.org

As it becomes increasingly apparent that the populist billionaire business "Messiah" behind the mask of the "Trumpism" cult is merely in power to "Make America Great Again" by transferring even more wealth from the lower and middle classes to the top 1% of wealthiest Americans, the politics of rightwing extremism will intensify and even greater sociopolitical division is inevitable. Billionaires and millionaires behind rightwing populism represent a desperate effort to save the privileges that capitalists enjoy by driving a segment of society ideologically and politically to the extreme right even if this entails embracing even more austere police state methods, especially surveillance, than currently exist.

The Justice Department under Trump introduced harsher measures for petty crimes, loosening any safety net protections of minorities from police abuse, while easing up on regulations affecting white collar crime. Along with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny, anti-Semitism is in the broader mix that characterizes a segment of Trump supporters that the Republican Party mobilizes. For the Republican Party to continue catering to the establishment while claiming to be anti-establishment, populism is a useful vehicle as it breaks the solidarity of the working class by advancing the policies of social discrimination.

The neoliberal establishment would have achieved the same goals of capital concentration with a Democrat president in power. This was the case under both Bill Clinton and Barak Obama catering to a different popular base distinguished by traditional Democrat identity politics – feminists, gay rights, and greater integration of minorities into the capitalist mainstream. While Republican rhetoric and policies project false hope to rightwing elements from Reagan Democrats, Evangelicals to neo-Nazis that the social contract will be anti-elite and focused on the white majority feeling threatened by identity politics, Democrats remain focused on reviving the old Cold War with Russia and catering to Wall Street, while promoting cultural and lifestyle issues with a greater commitment to balance the welfare state with corporate welfare. Ironically, Democrat identity politics is actually just as divisive because it refuses to address issues along structural lines, thus leaving many among the masses to be duped by the promises of populist rhetoric.

Trumpism's Contradictions and American Jews, and Islamophobia

Although anti-Semitism has a long and ugly history, no minority group in US history has suffered greater discrimination and institutionalized racism than African-Americans. The white Anglo-Saxon majority has historically categorized ethnic immigrants in a hierarchy based on skin color, ethnic origin, and religion. American Jews were not exempt from ethnocentrism, remaining a favorite target of the KKK among other rightwing groups. Because class in some cases transcends ethnicity, race and religion, Jews that became capitalists or moved into middle class professions benefited from assimilation into the institutional mainstream much more than those of the same faith in the lower middle class and working class.

By the early 21 st century, American Jews were well integrated into the mainstream, reflecting society's diversity ideologically, politically, and socioeconomically. From 2000 until 2016, Jewish voting patterns indicate that between two-thirds and three-fourths supported the Democrat presidential candidates. Although these percentages are very similar to Hispanic Catholic voting trends, stereotypes deeply ingrained in society remain just below the thin façade of political correctness where saying the right thing in public is the only thing that matters. Many within the rightwing populist movement accept the stereotypes that Jews are in control of everything from Wall Street to the media, the political arena, higher education, and the entertainment industry.

Interestingly, it never even occurs to anti-Semites to ask why so many of the elites are Anglo-Saxon Protestant. This is indicative that American racists believe it is natural to be Anglo-Saxon protestant and be among the elites because national identity rests with this category of people since the republic was founded. While it is true that Jews are in every sector of society, just as are Christians, a larger percentage of Jews is integrated into the capitalist class in comparison to other minorities especially blacks and Hispanics. However, it is blatantly false that Jews control the entire institutional structure and use it to advance some amorphous "Jewish agenda", as neo-Nazi and other conspiracy theorists propagate. On the contrary, throughout European and US history Jews have proved more loyal and more conformist to the institutional structure than any other minority.

Conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the institutional structure are the basis of anti-Semitism that has declined since the interwar era as much in the US as in Western Europe, though the same does not hold true for Eastern Europe. With the rise of populism in American politics during the presidential campaign of 2016, anti-Semitism assumed the spotlight once again, despite the fact that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is Jewish with business and personal connections to Israel. Moreover, top administration officials in control of financial, economic and trade policy are also Jewish linked to Wall Street and specifically the multinational financial syndicate Goldman Sachs.

While it is true that all US presidents cater to Wall Street, and all presidents since Ronald Reagan have relied on former Goldman Sachs executives who have been invariably Jewish to conduct fiscal, economic, trade and foreign policy, it is especially noteworthy that Trump has long-standing links to Jewish billionaires. This in itself would not be unusual except that his has been using populist anti-big business, anti-elite rhetoric to appeal to populist elements among them neo-Nazis, KKK, and other varieties of racists and anti-Semites. The glaring contradiction that cannot be reconciled is that Trumpism symbolizes and emboldens ethnocentrism while the administration includes millionaire and billionaire American Jews who are in the awkward position of accepting rightwing populism so that they can advance neoliberal policies.

It is hardly surprising that some emboldened Trump supporters have engaged in anti-Semitic activities, assuming that their leader really represents the extremist white Christian masses rather than the multi-ethnic, including Jewish, capitalist elites. In March 2017, prominent Jewish-American groups demanded that Trump denounce anti-Semitism in light of a rise in documented incidents in different parts of the country. The corporate media exposed this issue, but like Jewish organization the media did not frame it in its larger context of rightwing populism where anti-Semitism is but one of many aspects of racism. Trump's refusal to accept responsibility for his brand of populism giving rise to anti-Semitism was revealing and somewhat shocking to all people embracing pluralism but especially to Jews who assumed he would be friendlier because his daughter is married to Kushner.

Trump had no choice but to reject the suggestion that Trumpism entails anti-Semitism. Admitting that Trumpism leads to anti-Semitism would have forced the president to accept that his ideological/political movement is politically and culturally racist at its core and that his administration is driven by the politics of exclusion rather than integration in a pluralistic society. Even more alarming, the entire Republican establishment with few exceptions refused to denounce the racist core of Trumpism, thus demonstrating that the party clings to the rightwing populist base even when some within that base are neo-Nazis.

Contrary to how the media and many analysts who focused on the cult of personality see Trumpism, this phenomenon did not fall to earth from space. It has deep roots in both parties, but especially in the Republican Party going as far back as the 1920s. Despite "Trumpism" as an integral part of the Republican Party and American society, anti-Semitism has actually remained relatively low in comparison with Western Europe and especially Eastern Europe where it is only exceeded by Islamic countries. Of course, opinion polls and hate crime reports cannot possibly measure with any degree of accuracy the level of anti-Semitism across society. People conceal their attitudes toward Jews as they do toward Muslims and blacks because in a pluralistic society where political correctness takes precedence overt racism is unacceptable – politically incorrect and bad for business given that the American consumer base is multi-ethnic.

Some analysts were encouraged that anti-Semitism has been on the decline in the last two decades because of the rise of Islamophobia, a form of religious discrimination that spiked after the Iranian Revolution and assumed astronomical proportions after 9/11. However, the rise of rightwing populism, which includes Christians driven by prejudice against other faiths, has emboldened anti-Semitism as much in the US and across Europe in the past two decades when the neoliberal elites celebrated the triumph of globalization. Neoliberalism is the catalyst in the rise of globalization, the rise of rightwing populism and the rise of Islamophobia in the last two decades.

Combined with a persistently anti-Islam bias in the media that has been reinforcing Islamophobia and the rise of rightwing populism aimed at Islam in general and Muslim immigrants specifically, the war on terror has been a catalytic factor in the change of mass attitudes from anti-Semitism to Islamophobia. The fact that Israel has been pursuing apartheid policies toward Palestinians and pursuing a militarist approach to foreign policy has worked in its favor when it comes to attracting mainstream conservative and Cold War liberal elements across the US and Western Europe, thus transferring the historic focus of prejudice from Jews to Muslims.

France's National Front under Marine Le Pen is a good example of a political party that has been focusing more on the Muslim enemy where all bourgeois political parties also focused rather than clinging to anti-Semitism that carries a political and social stigma. In an interview in June 2014, she stated: "I do not stop repeating it to French Jews. Not only is the National Front not your enemy, but it is without a doubt the best shield to protect you. It stands at your side for the defense of our freedoms of thought and of religion against the only real enemy, Islamist fundamentalism." https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/marine-le-pen-national-front-jews-muslims/523302/

Ironically, the rising tide of populism across Western and Eastern Europe as well as Trump's America has reinvigorated racists of all sorts, despite the official policies of governments to support Israeli apartheid policies and militarism while keeping Islamophobia in the forefront of the political dialogue. The fact that the US claims to support the war on terror while remaining a major arms supplier to countries like Saudi Arabia where most jihadists have originated and where the regime has been supplying jihadist rebels with weapons in both Syria and Yemen does not seem to register any more with liberals than with conservatives. While the US and EU arms manufacturers make billions in profits selling weapons to countries with a history of supporting jihadists, the Western media and governments continue to promote the myth about strengthening national security against Islamic terrorism, thus promoting Islamophobia and xenophobia.

Although anti-Semitism has deep roots throughout the Western World as does Islamophobia, many Christians learned anti-Semitism from their families while they learned about Islamophobia from mainstream media and politicians since the Iranian Revolution. Overt or subtle hiding behind political correctness, religious prejudice is convenient for opportunistic bourgeois politicians, for the media and pundits when there are serious structural problems in the economy as in 2008 great recession. Racists default the rise in unemployment, stagnant wages, and political polarization following 2008 to Jewish elites and immigrant workers rather than the political economy predicated on socioeconomic inequality and political marginalization.

The neoliberal system that creates greater socioeconomic inequality thrives on racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia because it distracts focus from the root causes of structural problems in society. Rightwing populism in the US and Europe finds a popular response from angry middle class and working class that are unable to discern the structural inequality that the political economy creates. Blaming Jews, Arabs, Hispanics, Blacks, and other minorities because the system does not integrate the "native majority" into the upward trajectory of the mainstream is simple and convenient because it also fulfills an emotional need to vent. Adolph Hitler's belief that people need someone to hate rather than abstract systems and institutions beyond their comprehension works just as well today as it did in the turbulent 1930s.

Is Antisemitism on the rise?

In January 2017 there were 40 to 68 bomb threats (depending on the source) against Jewish community centers in 27 states, with Jewish cemeteries the most well publicized targets. When we consider that the number of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses in 2015 were twice as many as in 2014, it appears that anti-Semitism had been rising under the Obama administration pursuing neoliberal policies. Statistics from public opinion polls indicate that anti-Semitic incidents rose immediately after Trump won the presidency, something that hardly surprised many critics who had been warning that such is the price of appealing to extreme rightwing elements for political support.

FBI statistics on hate crimes indicate that there have not been significant changes since the presidential election of 2012, but threats against Jewish centers and Jewish journalists did experience a spike in threats once Trump won the election. It is noteworthy that the reporting of anti-Semitic incidents is more accurate and prevalent than the reporting of racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice of other groups that the media routinely overlooks both at the local but especially the national level. Hate crimes motivated by religion have targeted Jews and Muslims since Trump's election, although Islamophobia spiked sharply since 9/11 and it is under-reported in comparison with anti-Semitic incidents. While institutional anti-Semitism is very low partly because of the cordial US-Israeli ties but also because Jews are more thoroughly integrated in society, the same is not the case for institutional racism aimed at Muslims and blacks.

Because Trump won with a populist appeal, it was inevitable that xenophobia aimed at Muslims and Latin Americans as main targets, racism, sexism, homophobia, and chauvinism as main cultural traits would become even more acceptable driven by the politics of division. In very subtle ways, rightwing news organizations that have been supporting Trump have been promoting social discrimination; some daring to cross the line to attack Jews backing liberal causes and the Democrat Party. Although anti-Semitism finds no expression in public policy as does Islamophobia, America's ideological orientation has become so rightwing than the Democrats find it necessary to attack the Republican president by reviving Cold War anti-Russia propaganda. Instead of remaining focused on specific allegations of corruption, collusion, money laundering, and above all Republican policies that worsen inequality and weaken the middle class and workers, Democrats committed to neoliberal policies are just as guilty as Republicans for avoiding the key issue of social justice.

Anti-Semitism among Liberals and Conservatives

Anti-Semitism is subtle even among those liberal elements that cling to political correctness often used to conceal real intentions. Leftist critics of Israel are driven by the apartheid conditions and Israel's militarist approach to foreign policy and by the neoliberal orientation of the entire Western World that the Israeli business and political elites support. Critics are concerned that the Israeli government, not people, has come a very long way in emulating the Third Reich's racism when it comes to treatment of Palestinians. This does not mean that all leftists are free of anti-Semitism and they are not using Israel's horrific policies to justify racism. Because it is true that anti-Zionism can lead to legitimizing anti-Semitism, it is essential to denounce any form of discrimination and differentiate between government policy and ethnic or religious prejudice. Labeling any critic of Israeli anti-Semite merely for supporting peace in the Middle East is propaganda and a sign of using the pretext of anti-Semitism to suppress dissent.

Rightwing elements are more comfortable in anti-Semitism because it is an integral part of their ideological orientation. Besides the KKK, neo-Nazi groups and some new elements that emerged with the explosion of rightwing media, anti-Semitism as an integral part of the ideological rightwing has historical roots among Christian business and political elites that looked the other way during the 1930s when the Third Reich was systematically persecuting Jews. Anti-Semitism from the right has found expression from a number of social media outlets where the white nationalist ALT-RIGHT among others has increased their anti-Semitic attacks with hate speech. The anti-Defamation League reported 2.6 million tweets aimed at Jewish journalists in 12 months, summer 2015 to summer 2016. Although Trump does not use anti-Semitic rhetoric and he has long-standing ties to Jewish millionaires and billionaires, many of his working class Christian supporters assume he is talking about Jews in the liberal "fake" media when he speaks of 'enemies of the people'. https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-task-force-issues-report-detailing-widespread-anti-semitic-harassment-of

As the latest layer building on existing ones of American rightwing populism, Trumpism is indicative of an ideological, political and cultural orientation, but also a reflection of one's values as well as aspirations and illusions about what a populist regime led by a Messiah businessman can deliver to its middle and working class base. Deeply imbedded in Trumpism is anti-Semitism from the extreme right that has gained legitimacy because Trump is president, no matter his ties to Jewish business elites. While the liberal left as represented by Senator Bernie Sanders, the son of Jewish immigrants, has also criticized the financial and media elites that include Jews, there is hardly a comparison between the Sanders movement to pursue social justice for all people and the politics of hate and division that Trump and his Republican propagandists promoted.

Evangelical Christians: Friends of Israel, Enemies of secular American-Jews?

Ever since the preeminence of neoconservatives in the Reagan decade of the eighties, there has been a strange alliance between American Jews and Evangelicals. Besides their common distaste for Muslims, their common Cold War militarist foreign policy and their common conservative social values that brought these two groups closer together they seem like natural allies, using religious dogmatism to justify imperialist foreign policies and social inequality. Evangelicals have consistently remained in a military-solution mode when it came to foreign policy hotspots and viewed Israel as defender of the Christian West against the Muslims becoming radicalized after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

The alliance between American Jews and Evangelicals began showing cracks in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, but especially in 2016 when many Jews backed Hillary Clinton while Evangelicals sided with Trump who promised them Reagan-style social and judicial conservatism, along with jobs and economic nationalism intended to "make American great again", partly implying the integration of white Christians into the mainstream from which they had been excluded under the neoliberal regime of Bill Clinton and Obama. Besides the Evangelicals vote for Trump and the American secular Jews largely backing Clinton in 2016, the rift between Evangelicals and Jews was evident in the "liberal" vs. the populist rightwing media wars over the Trump administration's policies and personalities such as Steve Bannon, former Goldman Sachs banker and Breitbart news executive and no stranger to racism, white nationalism, and anti-Semitism.

Israeli neoliberal and militarist elites continue to hope that they can have Evangelicals supporting Israel, just as they supported Trump win the election. The Israeli-Evangelical alliance appears on firm ground, but it is becoming increasingly problematic because Trumpism not only entails xenophobia, ethnocentrism and nationalism, but anti-Semitism among many of its voters, even some younger Evangelicals. The Republicans and the rightwing media have tried to identify liberal Jews as the enemy, but such rhetoric only reinforces anti-Semitism. Evangelicals and rightwing media have hammered at the close identification of the Democrats with Jewish billionaires like George Soros famous for his support of liberal causes. This association has reinforced anti-Semitism among the rightwing populists, largely because the rightwing media and politicians keep at it.

Ironically, the same criticism of Jewish billionaires and their liberal causes is also made across much of Europe, especially in Eastern Europe where the commitment to diversity and pluralism is a pale imitation of what exists in Scandinavian countries. The same criticism is never leveled against liberal Anglo-Saxon billionaires like Warren Buffet or others, projecting the impression that Jewish money somehow corrupts the political process more than Protestant money. The obvious hypocrisy on the part of right wingers including Evangelicals regarding Jewish money vs. Protestant money influencing the political arena extends to Israel treated as a friendly militarist state while Muslim militarist states are deserving of condemnation.

What would happen to Jews in America and the relationship with Israel if they lost support from evangelical Christians?

Neoliberals from the Clinton and neoconservative leftovers from the Reagan decade have cultivated close ties between American Evangelicals and Israel but the relationship is showing signs of deterioration largely because the younger Evangelicals question the wisdom of one-sided US foreign policy. Although public opinion polls indicate that American Jews largely mistrust Evangelicals, Evangelical organizations remain committed to support of Israel as a frontline state against the Arabs and radical Islam. This ideological commitment is largely based on money pouring into Evangelical churches and their affiliate NGOs that are tools of recruitment and indoctrination. The highly organized Evangelical groups using the media, educational centers and Christian media remain a political force that helped to elect Trump while keeping the populist wing of the Republican Party strong.

The irony of Evangelical support for Israel is that some of its members are anti-Semitic. Ever since the Reagan administration, rightwing Christian fundamentalist elements, which American Jews and the Israeli lobby have been trying to mobilize, are not just anti-Muslim but some are anti-Semitic as well. While the war on terror shifted the focus of American Evangelicals to the imminent Muslim threat as they understand it, this does not mean that anti-Semitism disappeared. On the contrary, as socioeconomic conditions deteriorate, and as a segment of the population perceives that Jewish elites from Wall Street to media and Hollywood are to partly blame for the elusive American Dream not trickling down to the masses, anti-Semitism will rise and support for Israel will diminish. Trump's 'America First' economic nationalism and slashing foreign aid as part of neo-isolationism will eventually impact Israel, especially as the administration will drive budgetary deficits and the public debt to record levels because of corporate tax cuts and more corporate welfare at the expense of health and social programs.

Regardless of who is in the White House, the US will always support Israel diplomatically because both political parties have done so since 1948 and they will continue to do so for many reasons. This is not only because of the very powerful Israeli lobby, but also the fact that Israel serves the convenient role of perpetuating destabilization in the Middle East that helps the defense industry of the US. Despite the apartheid conditions toward the Palestinians, Israel will remain a key US ally even if younger Evangelicals question US support and even if a segment of the rightwing Republican popular base becomes more anti-Semitic.

Conclusion

The political correctness rhetoric of liberals and conservatives alike notwithstanding, the socioeconomic effects of neoliberal policies on society gives rise to ultra-rightwing ideological and political movements. Through the media, the political and socioeconomic elites help to indoctrinate and mobilize the masses into the rightwing camp using it as the popular base of the Republican Party that caters to Wall Street, as much as the Democrats use identity politics to mobilize their popular base while also catering to Wall Street. Given that the two-party system represents the interests of the same elites despite ideological and political affiliations among the elites, the masses merely follow instead of breaking away to create a class-based grassroots movement that would bring social justice through systemic change. Rightwing populism becomes the grassroots movement and its followers are convinced that it is the vehicle to the fulfillment of the social contract; an illusion that conservative politicians, media and pundits constantly reinforce.

Mobilizing the remnants of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, Trumpism gained momentum because neoliberal policies exacerbated socioeconomic polarization under Obama. Although Trumpism will fade away along with Trump at some point, its imprint on society will remain as did that of Reaganism that helped to bring a segment of the population father to the rightwing ideological domain where discrimination assumes an unspoken legitimacy just below the surface of political correctness. The rightwing orientation of society as an integral part of deradicalization of the masses is essential to maintaining the political economy of inequality, although it comes at the cost of the absence of social justice and social discrimination.

The bourgeois value system is based on individualism, but bourgeois institutions and policies have historically promoted discrimination on the basis of group identity disregarding the merits of the individual. Like all forms of prejudice rooted in ignorance, fear and social conditioning, anti-Semitism is no different. It is futile to assume that anti-Semitism can be mitigated in isolation of all other forms of prejudice separate from the larger issue of a socially just society. All social, economic and political indicators point not to greater social discrimination and prejudice in a society where the mass concentration of wealth at the expense of the middle and working classes has resulted in the search for enemies to blame, whether Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, etc.

As the US slowly creeps down the road of more authoritarianism and a surveillance state, becoming less tolerant of differences and diversity amid its inevitable decline as the world's preeminent economic power, it will have a much weaker middle class and a working class with lower living standards. A segment of the population whose identity rests with the flag and the cross will become more open to the idea of a police militarized state that enforces conformity through constant surveillance and stricter laws that punish petty criminals while allowing the legalized corporate thieves to enjoy a privileged status in society.

In the absence of embracing human rights and social justice there cannot possibly be an end to anti-Semitism any more than any other form of prejudice. If the political economy feed a culture of prejudice because it has an interest in maintaining the institutional structure, then it is hardly surprising that prejudice would be widespread. Under neoliberalism thriving under Trumpist populism, various forms of prejudice will manifest themselves once the promise of "Make America Great Again" never filters down to the masses.

Jon V. Kofas , Ph.D. – Retired university professor of history – author of ten academic books and two dozens scholarly articles. Specializing in International Political economy, Kofas has taught courses and written on US diplomatic history, and the roles of the World Bank and IMF in the world.

[Jan 02, 2019] Britain must surely be in the running for the Wooden Spoon award doe 2018

Notable quotes:
"... Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 31, 2018 3:36:34 PM | link

If Syria wins the award for Country of the Year 2018, I'd hate to see who gets the Wooden Spoon for 2018. There must be quite a few serious contenders for that prize!

Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment.

[Jan 02, 2019] In these times, the real political debate is centered around the issues of migration and national identity. It's what Brexit was all about.

Jan 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

geokat62 , says: January 1, 2019 at 7:50 pm GMT

@wayfarer

How the Globalists Stole Our Home

Great video. I especially enjoyed these remarks:

In these times, the real political debate is centered around the issues of migration and national identity. It's what Brexit was all about. It's the reason the one thing all Trump supporters really want him to do, is to build the wall. It would be an international symbol of our longing for and right to nationhood a billion dollar monument to nationalism and a trigger for nationalist revival.

This is why the forces of globalism will throw everything at stopping it's construction. If Trump leaves office and that wall is not built, his presidency will have been for naught.

[Dec 31, 2018] Trump s Trade Czar, The Latest Architect of Imperial Disaster by Alfred McCoy

Notable quotes:
"... San Diego Confidential, ..."
"... now, playing catch-up, the US is employing the crudest of methods: tariffs & military bullying (& God help us all, kidnapping). ..."
"... Copley implies that cohesive societies that seek victory over all other societies can't have it, because a cohesive society must have enemies, invented or carefully preserved if necessary. Perhaps that's what the Russia affair is about. If so, its not working. ..."
"... Poor General Kelly, one of the generals who let 911 happen, is probably going to be promoted to Bechtel. I say poor because he's only worth about $5 Million, which is a low figure for the super rich who own the military industrial complex. ..."
"... my take is that we are in the end game of imperialism. the western empire is in terminal decline and there will be more empires. from the evidence Russia and China, having learned the lessons of a few thousand years of experience are not seeking for empires. ..."
"... War is Good for Business and Organized Crime. Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US Afghanistan's opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the US. ..."
"... Place this against the U.S. – NSA – on record for what seems to be global surveillance having tapped the phones of U.S. European allies heads of states like Angela Merkel -among other things- with it's budget of $80 billion per year. Similar amount to the total Russian defense budget. Then there is the CIA and other "three letter organizations" in the U.S. and similar operations in the U.K. I think this is David against Goliath struggle and the latter is doing most of the beating. ..."
"... This madness is driving Russia into coalition with China and creating all sorts of totally unnecessary tensions. Forcing them to avoid the US dollar and so forth. How any of this supports western interests, or the interests of U.S. or U.K. citizens is a great misery. One thing is certain – this is self-destruction policy for the U.S. in the long run. This is what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum. ..."
"... Thankfully Vladimir Putin seems to be extremely capable and stable person – not likely to fall into temptation of hitting back with horrible consequences for world peace. ..."
"... Navarro appears to have the full support of Silicon Valley, Boeing and our other high tech exporters. On the other side is Wall Street and possibly British interests. For all of the hullabaloo about Trump violating the law against private citizens conducting foreign diplomacy when he was President-elect, the Wall Street crowd appears to have transgressed much further: ..."
Dec 31, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Geopolitics of Trump's Trade War

Most recently, a dissident economist and failed California politician named Peter Navarro has parlayed his hostility toward China into the role of key architect of Donald Trump's "trade war" against Beijing. Like his Russian counterpart Alexander Dugin, Navarro is another in a long line of intellectuals whose embrace of geopolitics changed the trajectory of his career.

Raised by a single mom who worked secretarial jobs to rent one-bedroomapartments where he slept on the couch, Navarro went to college at Tufts on a scholarship and earned a doctorate in economics from Harvard. Despite that Ivy League degree, he remained an angry outsider, denouncing the special interests "stealing America" in his first book and later, as a business professor at the University of California-Irvine, branding San Diego developers "punks in pinstripes." A passionate environmentalist, in 1992 Navarro plunged into politics as a Democratic candidate for the mayor of San Diego, denouncing his opponent's husband as a convicted drug-money launderer and losing when he smirked as she wept during their televised debate.

For the next 10 years, Navarro fought losing campaigns for everything from city council to Congress. He detailed his crushing defeat for a seat in the House of Representatives in a tell-all book , San Diego Confidential, that dished out disdain for that duplicitous "sell out" Bill Clinton, dumb "blue-collar detritus" voters, and just about everybody else as well.

Following his last losing campaign for city council, Navarro spent a decade churning out books attacking a new enemy: China. His first "shock and awe" jeremiad in 2006 told horror stories about that country's foreign trade; five years later, Death By China was filled with torrid tales of "bone-crushing, cancer-causing, flammable, poisonous, and otherwise lethal products" from that land. In 2015, a third book turned to geopolitics, complete with carefully drawn maps and respectful references to Captain Mahan, to offer an analysis of how China's military was pursuing a relentless strategy of "anti-access, area denial" to challenge the U.S. Navy's control over the Western Pacific.

To check China, the Pentagon then had two competing strategies -- "Air-Sea Battle," in which China's satellites were to be blinded, knocking out its missiles, and "Offshore Control," in which China's entire coastline was to be blockaded by mining six maritime choke points from Japan to Singapore. Both, Navarro claimed, were fatally flawed. Given that, Navarro's third book and a companion film ( endorsed by one Donald Trump) asked: What should the United States do to check Beijing's aggression and its rise as a global power? Since all U.S. imports from China, Navarro suggested, were "helping to finance a Chinese military buildup," the only realistic solution was "the imposition of countervailing tariffs to offset China's unfair trade practices."

Just a year after reaching that controversial conclusion, Navarro joined the Trump election campaign as a policy adviser and then, after the November victory, became a junior member of the White House economic team. As a protectionist in an administration initially dominated by globalists, he would be excluded from high-level meetings and, according to Time Magazine , "required to copy chief economic adviser Gary Cohn on all his emails." By February 2018, however, Cohn was on his way out and Navarro had become assistant to the president, with his new trade office now the co-equal of the National Economic Council.

As the chief defender of Trump's belief that "trade wars are good and easy to win," Navarro has finally realized his own geopolitical dream of attempting to check China with tariffs. In March, the president slapped heavy ones on Chinese steel imports and, just a few weeks later, promised to impose more of them on $50 billion of imports. When those started in July, China's leaders retaliated against what they called "typical trade bullying," imposing similar duties on American goods. Despite a warning from the Federal Reserve chairman that "trade tensions could pose serious risks to the U.S. and global economy," with Navarro at his elbow, Trump escalated in September, adding tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods and threatening another $267 billion worth if China dared retaliate. Nonetheless, Beijing hit back, this time on just $60 billion in goods since 95% of all U.S. imports had already been covered.

Then something truly surprising happened. In September, the U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned to $305 billion for the year, driven by an 8% surge in Chinese imports -- a clear sign that Navarro's bold geopolitical vision of beating Beijing into submission with tariffs had collided big time with the complexities of world trade. Whether this tariff dispute will fizzle out inconsequentially or escalate into a full-blown trade war, wreaking havoc on global supply chains and the world economy, none of us can yet know, particularly that would-be geopolitical grandmaster Peter Navarro.

The Desire to be Grandmaster of the Universe

Though such experts usually dazzle the public and the powerful alike with erudition and boldness of vision, their geopolitical moves often have troubling long-term consequences. Mahan's plans for Pacific dominion through offshore bases created a strategic conundrum that plagued American defense policy for a half-century. Brzezinski's geopolitical lunge at the Soviet Union's soft Central Asian underbelly helped unleash radical Islam. Today, Alexander Dugin's use of geopolitics to revive Russia's dominion over Eurasia has placed Moscow on a volatile collision course with Europe and the United States. Simultaneously, Peter Navarro's bold gambit to contain China's military and economic push into the Pacific with a trade war could, if it persists, produce untold complications for our globalized economy.

No matter how deeply flawed such geopolitical visions may ultimately prove to be, their brief moments as official policy have regularly shaped the destiny of nations and of empires in unpredictable, unplanned, and often dangerous ways. And no matter how this current round of geopolitical gambits plays out, we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade , the now-classic book which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the recently published In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power ( Dispatch Books).


joun , says: December 3, 2018 at 1:56 am GMT

Dugin, regardless of what minor success he had ten years ago, is not influential in the Kremlin. He did not orchestrate Russia's absorption of Crimea. Simple strategic needs demanded that Crimea be absorbed, and a flawless Russian execution of an ambitious plan won the day.

Peter Navarro is correct w/r/t China. Our trading relationship with China has been a disaster for our economy (to which I mean our ability to have an economy absent financial shenanigans) and USG has effectively funded China's rise. There is no strategic benefit to offshoring productive capacity. I don't really care if Navarro has failed at other tasks in his life. He is correct on this one.

Si1ver1ock , says: December 3, 2018 at 2:03 am GMT

we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

Damn! Sounds just like me. Anyway, the US has made a lot of mistakes. It transferred much of its manufacturing base to China and much of its technology. The Chinese see a chance to break away from the US economically and in technology.

The US invested in China's future. China invested in its future. Which is why China has a future.

China 2025:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/05/03/what-is-made-in-china-2025-and-why-is-it-a-threat-to-trumps-trade-goals/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.79ef31c78b0d

Sean , says: December 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT

https://www.waterstones.com/book/prisoners-of-geography/tim-marshall/9781783962433

Seeing geography as a decisive factor in the course of human history can be construed as a bleak view of the world, which is why it is disliked in some intellectual circles. It suggests that nature is more powerful than man, and that we can only go so far in determining our own fate.

Splitting the globe into ten distinct regions, former Sky News Diplomatic Editor Tim Marshall redresses our techno-centric view of the world and suggests that our key political driver continues to be our physical geography. Beginning with Russia (and its bewildering eleven time-zones), we are treated to an illuminating, border-by-border disassembly of what makes the world what it is; why, for instance, China and India will never fall into conflict (the Himalayas), or why the Ukraine is such a tactical jewel in the crown. With its panoptic view over our circumstance, Prisoners of Geography makes a compelling case around how the physical framework of the world itself has defined our history. It's one of those books that prompts real reflection and one that on publication absolutely grasped the imagination of our customers, ensuring it as a guaranteed entrant to our 2016 Paperbacks of the Year.

'One of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine: reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding.' – Nicholas Lezard,

animalogic , says: December 16, 2018 at 11:12 am GMT
@joun

"There is no strategic benefit to offshoring productive capacity. "

Quite right. However – that horse has long bolted. And now, playing catch-up, the US is employing the crudest of methods: tariffs & military bullying (& God help us all, kidnapping).

Unfortunately, circumstances demand a radical & imaginative response & even harder, a realisation that the horse has bolted.

Anon [275] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 5:24 am GMT

Dear Mr. McCoy:

Now that you're here, you should read the Saker more. I'll pose this question though, If Russia and China are hell bent on imperial expansion, why don't they show any interest in Mongolia? Fertile land, rich mineral resources, a tiny population incapable of resistance it would be a no brainier. The reason they don't is because they are not imperial powers. Also, is empire a good thing? In every historical example it has followed the same pattern and failed. Civilisations however endure through the ages.

Puzzled , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:33 am GMT

" Vladimir Putin seeks to shatter the Western alliance with cyberwar " was where I noted this essayist is a fool and stopped reading. Russians! Russians! Russians everywhere!

*vomit*

Anon [275] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT
@Puzzled ire is failing and wrote this insightful essay on why. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176007/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_washington%27s_great_game_and_why_it%27s_failing_

But since then has gone on to muse how it might be extended. My argument is that the Empire does not serve the American people and is leading to the destruction of the republic and the American people. The sooner it ends the better, and if Trump can speed up its demise, then he is our guy.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT

A very interesting article, for me, but, I suppose, for quite other reasons than most here expect. The essence of interest is in the last two paragraphs.
In the first of these two those men are mentioned who by geopolitical ideas caused world wide disasters. If they did, I do not know. The question 'did Napoleon make history or did history make Napoleon' still is a difficult one among historians, and will remain difficult, is my idea. The man not mentioned in this paragraph is Hitler.

Then we get the ominous last paragraph, someone grabbing world wide power for geopolitical reasons, a great menace.

The essence of good propaganda is not telling lies, but telling just half truths. Not mentioned is that the area that now is Germany for maybe hundreds of years could not feed the population, had to import food. In order to be able to import one must export, a country with not enough agricultural production naturally must export industrial products, to fabricate these one needs raw materials.

Not for nothing both WWI and WWII had geopolitical causes, German economic expansion to the SW and E, economic expansion that threatened, in the British view, the autarcic British empire.

The implication of the last paragraph for me is clear, beware of the next Hitler. If the author has someone in mind who will unleash the last world war is not clear to me.

Counterinsurgency , says: December 31, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@Puzzled y_, section on "managing enemies".

Copley implies that cohesive societies that seek victory over all other societies can't have it, because a cohesive society must have enemies, invented or carefully preserved if necessary. Perhaps that's what the Russia affair is about. If so, its not working.

It's like the Federal German republic trying 90 year old people who were drafted as teenagers to be concentration camp guards in late WW II, when the Reich was scraping through the bottom of the manpower barrel, or like the British digging up Cromwell's bones (see Wikipedia, "Oliver Cromwell", section: "Death and posthumous execution"). Not convincing.

Counterinsurgency

Biff , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT

Alfred McCoy isn't the exact polar opposite of Bill Kristol who is wrong about everything , but McCoy does have a pretty good track record of being mostly correct about the issues he covers, nevertheless, he still reads like an opinion column. He also seems bonded by how he sees the American empire being some sort of force of benevolence when it acts and reacts in the same manner as any other empire that's come and gone – and of course he loathes the idea of the next empire simply by default(they'll brag about freedom too Alfred). And of course, in the realm of geopolitics, he never really mentions the bastard child; which leaves a gaping hole in his analysis.

My guess is McCoy's basically on the right track. Not exactly, but he'll get you out of the woods.

Herald , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT

Spot on. The reference to Russia waging cyberwar was an early warning that reading this long article would be a waste of time.

Alfred , says: December 31, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT

For the past decade, he has been a forceful advocate for Russian expansionism

It gets a bit boring reading about how aggressive Putin is and how he wants to reconquer all the territories that were voluntarily given up by his predecessors. How exactly would Russia benefit by reaquiring the Baltic States or Poland? These countries are on life-support. Poland get $20bn annually in direct and indirect subsidies from the EU. As for Ukraine, what possible benefit to Russia would it be to have an extra 35 million people who are broke. Ukrainians today spend half their income on food and that other half on heat – and that in a country with a very cold winter.

Let's not forget that there would not have been a "Berlin Crisis" if Stalin had not given parts of Berlin to the USA, the UK and France. Can you imagine the USA doing something similar? This whole article is a real let down. I am disappointed. I guess every barrel has to have a rotten apple or two.

Jayzerbee , says: December 31, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT

I would add that in my life, Henry Kissinger was the other supreme geopolitical theorist who attempted to establish a multipolar geopolitics over a bipolar one. Keep in mind that it was he who essentially argued that China must be recognized in order to blunt the USSR. Nixon thus became the one who opened China to the US, so that in theory the world was to be divided into the Russia pole; the China pole; the American/NATO pole, and the "Third World" pole. With a dash of Mahan added to the mix, all would be balanced and stable, or so Kissinger argued. Hmmmm, maybe not!

onebornfree , says: Website December 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT

"Chain chain chain, chain of fools"

Also, perhaps read "Hormegeddon" by the great Bill Bonner:

https://bonnerandpartners.com/prepare-for-hormegeddon/

Regards, onebornfree

http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/

Anonymous [349] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@Miggle ext">

Are you for real? Have you looked at where these two respective areas are geographically? Hell, their borders aren't even adjacent.

As for China's interest in Tibet: what was once's part of the Empire will always be part of the Empire. Tibets been part of the empire twice now, first under Genghis' Yuan Dynasty and again during under the Qing. That simple fact means from now until the sun goes supernova, for China to be considered unified, Tibet must be a part of it. No ifs or buts.

That's not to mention the strategic considerations of occupying the high ground vis a vis the sub-continentals as well as the area being the source of several great rivers. You'd have to be a madman to give that kind of advantage up.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm GMT
@Anon Ghandi was of the opinion that the people of India, forgot the number, 100 million or more ?, served 400.000 rich Britons.
The Roman empire, I'd say 1% rich, 99% poor.
The tsarist empire, not much better.
The German empire again the exception, nowhere else at the end of the 19th century were common people in comparable living conditions.
The EU empire, EP members tax free incomes of some € 200.000 a year, plus an extravagant pension system.
Verhofstadt, additional income, not tax free, of at least € 450.000 a year.
Declarations, Schulz has been accused of spending € 700.000 in a year, among other things he liked a glass of wine.
ThreeCranes , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:41 pm GMT

When it suits their purpose, writers on economics–I won't call them Economists–praise the tiger-like speed and agility with which Capitalism responds to the vagaries of pressures and demands that arise in world markets. But when they're engaging in public relations we get this:

"Despite a warning from the Federal Reserve chairman that " trade tensions could pose serious risks to the U.S. and global economy ," .. Whether this tariff dispute will fizzle out inconsequentially or escalate into a full-blown trade war, wreaking havoc on global supply chains and the world economy

which throw a protective cloak over a poor, picked-upon capitalism which is, apparently, incapable of getting out of its own way.

Patrick Armstrong , says: Website December 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm GMT

Disappointing read. No, there is nothing to suggest that Dugin has any influence on Putin. No, there is no Russian cyberwar. Putin's aims are Russia's recovery from the disasters of communism (a road to a blind alley as he has called it) and defending Russia against NATO's expansion, colour revolutions and numerous false accusations.

Beijing is the place to look today for big strategic thinking.

SteveM , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:19 pm GMT
@Puzzled reasons would be the last. Because the Europeans would find of other sources and shut out Russia as being an unreliable business partner. Moreover, Russia is now the largest exporter of wheat and is developing export levels of production in soybeans and pork. You can't sell to countries that you have wrecked militarily.

It's the U.S., not Russia that is playing the 800 pound Global Cop Gorilla with its war-mongering, economic warfare and global subversion.

Like Puzzled, when I read that stupid, irrational line by Alfred McCoy, I simply stopped reading. Because nobody that dense about obvious geo-political reality deserves to be read.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT

Disappointing read. No, there is nothing to suggest that Dugin has any influence on Putin.

No kidding. This is what happens when you get your Russian news from the Times and the Beeb. I mean, if Dugin were such a Kremlin favorite, how could he have lost his job at Moscow State University? You'd think he could just pick up the phone, call 'Uncle Vova', and get his job back!

Of course Putin is a Eurasianist, but that's not because Dugin told him to be one. It's because every Russian ruler has been a Eurasianist for centuries now. Why? Just look at a map: Russia is located in Eurasia. Would we therefore expect the Russians to be Pan-Africanists or something else? Naturally they're going to be Eurasianists. They learned long ago that if they don't dominate Eurasia, somebody else will -- and that will cause security problems for Russia. I can't say I hold that against them. It's not as though the US would take kindly to some foreign empire coming on over to the Western Hemisphere and setting up shop, say, in Latin America. In fact, just consider how Washington reacted when the Soviets concluded an alliance with Cuba. There was no talk about the 'sovereignty of small nations' coming from the wallscreen then!

therevolutionwas , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm GMT
@joun

What financial shenanigans? And how has the US effectively funded China's rise? And how do tariffs destroy China ? (tariffs are like shooting yourself in the foot)

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Tibet is the Achilles Heel of China it's there where the over confident Middle Kingdom will die the death of a thousand paper cuts!

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
@Anon

Fertile land? Are you out of your freaking wits, Anon [275]? You can't grow shit in Mongolia!

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:55 pm GMT

My prediction for 2019: America will remain the hyperpower for the next 81 years; thereafter, I couldn't give a schitt!

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@therevolutionwas

Analysis of US investment in China would explain a lot. It is zero? I do not think so!!!!!!!!!

Unrepentant Conservative , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT

Beware of self-styled strategic thinkers attempting to revive flagging careers and gain influence.

Agent76 , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm GMT

The cause for poverty is located at the Pentagon because they own the national debt! When if ever will the Joint Chiefs be put on trial for these treasonous Wars and lost trillions?

December 24, 2013 The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the *Pentagon* one of the *largest* landowners worldwide.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564

Dec 21, 2013 Black Budget: US govt clueless about missing Pentagon $trillions

The Pentagon has secured a 630 billion dollar budget for next year, even though it's failed to even account for the money it's received since 1996. A whopping 8.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer cash have gone to defence programmes – none of which has been audited.

Sean , says: December 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova between other countries and with its own colonies. As the Dutch comparative advantage was frozen out, their military aggression declined with it. America sitting on its hands while China becomes a giant Hong Kong and countries all over Eurasia fall under its sway would by likely to lead to a very nasty war that America would loose and loose badly. It is better to try now to stop China growing that big and dangerous by declining to trade with them under conditions that will inevitably make them grow too large to fight. Will trade barriers to China work well enough? Probably not because they are past the lift off stage now (Carter did too good a job), but it is worth a try.
wayfarer , says: December 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm GMT

There is opportunity for an American renaissance and really the only practical solution for its people – that is to swiftly and decidedly push its pathetic government aside – and begin rapidly re-educating, re-training, re-tooling, and re-building a next-generation manufacturing base.

The Next Manufacturing Revolution is Here

never-anonymous , says: December 31, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT

Everything about this CIA agent's history lesson sounds fake. The blood sucking military runs the White House. ISIS or ISIL or whatever the CIA calls itself today poses no threat. Poor General Kelly, one of the generals who let 911 happen, is probably going to be promoted to Bechtel. I say poor because he's only worth about $5 Million, which is a low figure for the super rich who own the military industrial complex.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Sean ised an efficient military staff, efficient in planning. The Prussian army was the first to make extensive use of railways, first time after the French 1870 attack. Very capable people, Germans. Red Army use of railways even in 1941 was a mess.
The GB preparations for the occupation of neutral Norway in April 1940, also a mess.
Pity quoted book is in German and with gothic letters, Ludendorff shows with extensive map material how the Germans in WWI fought a two front, sometimes even three front war. Just possible through detailed transport planning.
Erich Ludendorff, 'Meine Kriegserinnerungen 1914 = 1918′, Berlin, 1918
Lin , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
@joun

As I said before, rhetorics such as 'USG has effectively funded China's rise' are just over-exaggeration if not BS. Facts:
–Foreign investments only constitute a small % of Chinese domestic investment,
–The majority of foreign Investment in china are NOT from US.
–Total investment in China in recent years amount to $trillions per year

If one cares to examine the major industrial sectors in China , like hi-speed rail, steel, photovoltaic panels, electricity, energy,.. automobiles Only in the auto sector the americans have a sizable role because the yanks want market access.

5371 , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:52 pm GMT

Numerous historical howlers in this piece.

Ben Sampson , says: December 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm GMT

we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

my take is that we are in the end game of imperialism. the western empire is in terminal decline and there will be more empires. from the evidence Russia and China, having learned the lessons of a few thousand years of experience are not seeking for empires.

empires, traditional ones, are now altogether too costly, especially approaching their end. the world wont tolerate that anymore. the credit empire is working so far but the people have cottoned on to that. to end global banking power simply take over the banks, and recuse all debt for they were fraudulently accrued.

all banking will then by need be worker co-ops able to deal with all the financial services required by society..no conglomerates required

the capitalists will probably try a desperate military gambit to try maintain their empire but that wont work. they are already outgunned unless they decide to take the world down with them.

but I don't think we will have to worry about such trade 'grandmasters' farting around with the world for too much longer. the end of imperialism will make such work redundant

and if the democracy does not replace capitalism and the elite wins, it's a Brave New World we looking at. Brilliant geneticist bent on engineering humans. brilliant mind controllers, psychiatrists and such would be useful job qualifications to have, not trade specialist.

Brave New World also makes the trade 'genius' redundant

Agent76 , says: December 31, 2018 at 8:51 pm GMT

December 31, 2018 War is Good for Business and Organized Crime. Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US Afghanistan's opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the US.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-is-good-for-business-and-organized-crime-afghanistans-multibillion-dollar-opium-trade-rising-heroin-addiction-in-the-us/5664319

June 10, 2014 Drug War?

American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium. U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Heroin Production

http://www.globalresearch.ca/drug-war-american-troops-are-protecting-afghan-opium-u-s-occupation-leads-to-all-time-high-heroin-production/5358053

niceland , says: December 31, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT

It's always fun to read articles and history. This article was fun and perhaps thought provoking. But at least some parts of it make no sense to me.

Take for example the "heartland" theory. Yes it probably made sense over a century ago when strategist -always looking in the rear view mirror- judged the situation based on the Roman empire or Napoleons conquest. And their thoughts grounded in traditional territorial wars.

Today with nuclear weapons, fast long range missiles and in very different economic reality, I don't think the "Heartland" is the key to control the world, Eurasia, Europe or indeed anything else than possibly the "Heartland" it self. Control from the Heartland over nuclear France or the U.K?

Annexing small part of land on your own borders whose inhabitants overwhelmingly welcome you with open arms, like Russians did in Crimea, is totally different from conquering unwilling, hostile neighbors. The latter is extremely costly and difficult exercise with just about zero upside but gaping black hole on the downside. Remember Afghanistan or Iraq or Vietnam? So the former isn't indication of the latter!

I dont't see anything that supports the theory the Russians are playing by the book of the Heartland theory. In current political situation it's outlandish idea. Perhaps the idea is to paint Russia's leaders as lunatics?

Yes the Russians are probably engaged in cyber-war. They seem to have the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg – as reported by European media it's amateur operation costing perhaps few million dollars per year with 80 people from the unemployment list's hammering on laptops working shifts creating and nurturing social media accounts. No experts in politics or advanced computing in sight, no supercomputers, artificial intelligence. Like I said, amateur operation hardly indicating state-sponsored efforts.

Place this against the U.S. – NSA – on record for what seems to be global surveillance having tapped the phones of U.S. European allies heads of states like Angela Merkel -among other things- with it's budget of $80 billion per year. Similar amount to the total Russian defense budget. Then there is the CIA and other "three letter organizations" in the U.S. and similar operations in the U.K. I think this is David against Goliath struggle and the latter is doing most of the beating.

The press? R.T and few other outlets versus the western MSM who has in recent years acted like a pack of rabid dogs against Russia. Investigative journalism into international affairs is replaced by publishing official statements and "analysis" from "experts". This is war propaganda – nothing less. And the Russians are playing desperate defense most days.

This madness is driving Russia into coalition with China and creating all sorts of totally unnecessary tensions. Forcing them to avoid the US dollar and so forth. How any of this supports western interests, or the interests of U.S. or U.K. citizens is a great misery. One thing is certain – this is self-destruction policy for the U.S. in the long run. This is what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum.

Thankfully Vladimir Putin seems to be extremely capable and stable person – not likely to fall into temptation of hitting back with horrible consequences for world peace.

Happy new year everyone!

JLK , says: December 31, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT

It was a nice history essay, but there isn't much of a logical relationship between Mahan, Haushofer, et al. and the present trade confrontation.

Navarro appears to have the full support of Silicon Valley, Boeing and our other high tech exporters. On the other side is Wall Street and possibly British interests. For all of the hullabaloo about Trump violating the law against private citizens conducting foreign diplomacy when he was President-elect, the Wall Street crowd appears to have transgressed much further:

Navarro tells Wall Street 'globalist billionaires' to end 'shuttle diplomacy' in U.S.-China trade war

It seems the New York banks would gladly trade the SV engineering jobs for a bigger share of the China banking business, a la the Cleveland and Detroit auto industry jobs of the past.

A possible break with Britain is something even bigger to watch, as their involvement in China is even more finance-related.

JLK , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:11 pm GMT
@Anon ng, which far exceeded direct investments into China by any other country.

If we take a look at the Santander report on Hong Kong FDI, most of it seems to come from the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands (both offshore banking locations, with the funds coming from who knows where) and the UK.

https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/hong-kong/foreign-investment

[Dec 27, 2018] The destruction and destabilisation of the ME, an Israeli plan, as far as I know.

Notable quotes:
"... Israel fears Iran, is my idea. Norman Finkelstein once stated that Israeli Jews do not see how there ever can be peace with the Palestinians 'after all we did to them'. Not all Jews are idiots. Forgot in which book I read that in the thirties a Zionist reached Palestine, and saw that this was not the 'land without people for people without land'. He stated 'this is a crime'. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , says: December 25, 2018 at 5:31 pm GMT

@Z-man

Israel fears Iran, is my idea. Norman Finkelstein once stated that Israeli Jews do not see how there ever can be peace with the Palestinians 'after all we did to them'. Not all Jews are idiots. Forgot in which book I read that in the thirties a Zionist reached Palestine, and saw that this was not the 'land without people for people without land'. He stated 'this is a crime'.

The destruction and destabilization of the ME, an Israeli plan, as far as I know.

In 1921 and later years there was the enormous population exchange, without any financial compensation, between Turkey and Greece. To this day tensions exist between the two countries.

Iran is one of the oldest civilizations. Twice, one might say even three time, the west overthrew Iranian democracy. Iran knows of course quite well that the VS brought Saddam to power so that he could subjugate Iran, that had rid itself of the USA puppet shah. Iran also of course knows quite well Jewish power in the USA, Bush' s promise to AIPAC to destroy Iraq. Will those leading Iran now ever trust the USA or Israel ?

So that Netanyahu and USA Jewry now are in complete panic, who had expected it to be otherwise ? Uri Avnery wrote 'the only language zionists understand is power. Is there a problem, use power, if it does not help, use more power, if that also fails, use even more power'.

There has never been any serious negotiation between Israel and its neighbors, or with the Palestinians. About the Oslo negotiations a book appeared in Israel with the title 'How we fooled the Palestinians'? Sharon answered any Arab League peace proposal with force, Jenin, one of them, if my recollection is correct. There always was the idea of overwhelming more military power, and of USA support.

Kissinger saved Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur war by flying over hundreds of the newest USA anti tank weapons, wire guided, TOW. What will the USA do in case Israel is attacked ? Is Netanyahu crazy enough to provoke an attack ?

[Dec 20, 2018] Everything that falls short of fawning praise of Jews is anti-Semitic.

Dec 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Johnny Rottenborough , says: Website December 19, 2018 at 8:49 pm GMT

With accusations of anti-Semitism flying thick and fast, goyim should bear in mind Gilad Atzmon's definition:

Everything that falls short of fawning praise of Jews is anti-Semitic.

[Dec 13, 2018] Brexit Endgame

Notable quotes:
"... Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ambrit , December 13, 2018 at 5:27 am

Hadrian also built a wall.

Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards.

Arguably, May is one of a generation of politicos in decline. Macron, (perhaps Merkel's hope of having a posterity,) has caved. Merkel has seen the face of her political mortality recently. May has her Pyrrhic victory.

The Clintons cannot even give tickets to their road show away. In all of these examples, the replacements waiting in the wings are, to be charitable about it, underwhelming. Brexit is but the opening act of a grand, worldwide crisis of governance.

How England muddles through this will be an object lesson for us all. We had better take notes, because there will be a great testing later.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

Impeccable summing up, if I might be so bold.

While the UK has rightly been the focus, I can't help wondering what the deeper feelings are across Europe. It's very hard to gauge how much thought the rest of Europe is giving to Brexit at this stage. The average punter seems very uninterested at this point, while a growing number (from what I'm reading from other sources) just wish they'd get it over with so the rest of Europe could be allowed to get on with its own internal concerns. I suspect the rest of the EU economies most affected must be putting their 'crash-out' plans into over-drive after this week's continuing escapades.

(Re: Sinn Féin. I was wondering if there was the remotest possibility that they would cross their biggest line just to help a Tory government, and a particularly vile Tory government from their standpoint. When speaking to veteran Belfast Republican during negotiations on the GFA (Good Friday Agreement), their viewpoint was that nearly everything could be negotiated but one thing was impossible: entering into a foreign London parliament. Symbolically and practically, it was a step beyond the pale. I also noticed lately that a couple of older Sinn Féin Republicans, who had to be persuaded into the negotiation camp all those years ago, are again contemplating running for local government positions in the North.)

PlutoniumKun , December 13, 2018 at 6:53 am

Everything I've read indicates that the rest of Europe has simply given up on Brexit – they are unwilling to expend any more energy or political capital on it. The leaders have much bigger things on their plates than Brexit, and the general population have lost interest – I'm told it rarely features much in reporting on the major media. I think they'll grant an extension purely to facilitate another couple of months preparation for a crash out, and thats it.

As for Sinn Fein, I get the feeling that after been caught on the hop by Brexit, they now see a crash out as an opportunity. NI looks likely to suffer more than anywhere else if there is a no-deal – there is hardly a business there that won't be devastated. But they are caught between trying to show their soft face in the south and their hardliner face in the North, and I think they are having difficulty deciding how to play it.

Ignacio , December 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

The British circus attracts interest and there is coverage on the motions and so on treated as UK internal politics. May and the ultra-brexiteers get almost all the attention. The only options mentioned are no deal and May's agreement.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

Hiya Ignacio,

Thanks for the info. Sounds like well balanced and realistic media coverage to me.

makedoanmend , December 13, 2018 at 7:05 am

I was wondering about deeper EU reactions: here from London based European diplomats.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/11/whats-happened-to-you-eu27-diplomats-watch-uk-tie-itself-in-brexit-knots

" European diplomats in London watching the government's Brexit agony have conveyed a mixture of despair, and almost ghoulish fascination, at the state of British politics, with one saying it is as melodramatic as a telenovela, full of subplots, intrigue, tragedy and betrayal

Although privately many diplomats would love Brexit to be reversed, and believe it could mark a turning point against populism, there was also a wariness about the disruption of a second referendum. One ambassador suggested the French realised that European parliamentary election campaign of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, would be damaged by the sight of furious British leave campaigners claiming they had been cheated of their democratic rights by an arrogant elite who refused to listen: "What is happening in France is potentially momentous. The social fabric is under threat, and this anger could spread across the continent," the ambassador said, referring to the gilets jaunes protests ."

[Dec 10, 2018] It's time to recognize the term "anti-Semitism" as a misnomer Countercurrents

Notable quotes:
"... Rima Najjar is a former professor (now retired) at Al-Quds University, Palestine ..."
Dec 10, 2018 | countercurrents.org

This morning I woke up to two news reports in my mailbox that indicated two things to me:

  1. Bigotry against Jews can no more nor less be distinguished from bigotry against any other group of people or religion. Sectarianism by any other name is sectarianism.
  2. The insistence on making bigotry against Jews (in its sense of sectarianism) a separate or unique class of discrimination or hatred altogether, one that is given a special term and that involves controversial and false definitions, is designed to play into the hands of Zionists and neo-Nazis.

Zionist desperation to criminalize anti-Zionist criticism of Israel by legalizing false definitions of anti-Semitism is a measure of how far the term "anti-Semitism" has traveled as a misnomer.

The first news item is from The New York Times – an opinion piece( Opinion | Anti-Zionism Isn't the Same as Anti-Semitism ) by Michelle Goldberg, in which she says,

The conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand that depends on treating Israel as the embodiment of the Jewish people everywhere. Certainly, some criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, but it's entirely possible to oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot. Indeed, it's increasingly absurd to treat the Israeli state as a stand-in for Jews writ large, given the way the current Israeli government has aligned itself with far-right European movements that have anti-Semitic roots.

The second news item comes from the Lobby Watch of the Electronic Intifada, in which Asa Winstanley, an investigative reporter, writes :

A new European Union declaration could make it harder to criticize Israel as a racist state without being dubbed an anti-Semite.

Politicians in Brussels on Thursday rubber-stamped the document .

The declaration asks all EU governments to "endorse the non-legally binding working definition of anti-Semitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance."

The move, passed by EU member states' home affairs ministers, has already been condemned by a number of Israeli and French academics .

The declaration was spearheaded by Austria, whose coalition government includes ministers who are members of a neo-Nazi party .

The term "anti-Semitism" to refer to animus against all Jews is a misnomer. By all accounts, it was coined or popularized by Friedrich Wilhelm Adolph Marr in 1879, a radical writer and politician, described in the title of his first biography as "The Patriarch of Anti-Semitism" and founder of the first "Anti-Semitic League", which he formed in order to agitate against Jewish emancipation in Germany. "Anti-Semitism", as Marr coined it, referred specifically to the anti-Jewish campaigns in central Europe at that time, and not to bigotry or hatred against all Jews, as the term today connotes.

As I write in Anti-Semitism Is Not the Issue; Palestine Is ,

As is well known by now, the building of Palestine in the form of Israel did, in fact, depend, and continues to depend in large part, on the good will of the Jews "outside," many as Norman H. Finkelstein writes in American Jewish History, deriving renewed pride in their religion and their connections to Israel with each Israeli military victory.

The irony/tragedy is that Israeli governments throughout history, including now with the Trump /Bannon merger, work with anti-Semites to promote Jewish immigration to Israel. Zionist collaboration with Nazis is also documented. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism should not be taking center stage either in arguments against Palestinians or in pro-Palestine arguments.

Israel is using a misnomer (the term "anti-Semitism" as animus against all Jews) in order to further its cause among Jews worldwide and among Western governments guilty of past bigotry against Jews in their midst.

Does animus toward Jews because they are Jews exist? Yes. Is this animus special or unique in what FiratHacıahmetoğlu calls "the darker side of western modernity (colonisation, domination, poverty, misery, inequities, injustices, commodification, and dispensability of human life)" or in Western Dark Ages?

Of course, not.

Zionism is a political movement, not "a belief", as expressed in the following definition :

Zionism is the belief that the Jewish nation, the exiles of the Kingdom of Judea that was conquered by Rome in the year 70 CE, have a right to reclaim their homeland.

Jewish suffering, like the suffering of those subjected to bigotry anywhere, is the result of conditions of society and ought to be addressed by fixing society through an increase in political power for disenfranchised groups of people, wherever bigotry exists, thus aiding all the oppressed  --  as, in fact, many Jews in the U.S. have done.

In the early days of Zionism, the Jews who believed that Jewish suffering in Europe is impossible to remedy within their societies (through socialism, for example) because of their lack of political rights and the economic structure imposed on Jews at the time and those who opted for a struggle to separate as a tribe through the acquisition of territory, any territory, outside their countries, represent what Zionism really is as a political movement, which is now oppressing a fourth generation of indigenous Palestinians in their own homeland.

The way I see it, it is time to recognize "anti-Semitism" as the misnomer it is, in order for us to be able to envision Palestinian emancipation and, indeed, all human emancipation, as universal and just.


Note: The above content was first published (7 Dec 2018) as my answer on Quora to the question "Is anti-Semitism a special kind of bigotry? What is the history of the term?".

Rima Najjar is a former professor (now retired) at Al-Quds University, Palestine

[Dec 09, 2018] BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Have I Got News For You @haveigotnews

BREAKING: UK exhausted from endless stream of Brexit bollocks so here's a picture of some puppies.

Theresa May told to quit by Cabinet ministers if her Brexit deal falls and she fails to get better terms from EU Telegraph

No-deal Brexit: Disruption at Dover 'could last six months' BBC. I have trouble understanding why six months. The UK's customs IT system won't be ready and there's no reason to think it will be ready even then. I could see things getting less bad due to adaptations but "less bad" is not normal

The Great Brexit Breakdown Wall Street Journal. Some parts I quibble with, but generally good and includes useful historical detail.

British MP suggests threatening Ireland with food shortages over Brexit, Twitter outrage follows RT (kevin W)

It's crunch time for Labour. Empty posturing on Brexit will no longer do Guardian. Shreds the Corbyn op-ed we criticized yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope I am wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

Even people living far away notice such forced false consciousness.

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

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

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

[Dec 01, 2018] Nationalism Is Loyalty Irritated by Michael Brendan Dougherty

An interesting distinction: "nationalism is patriotism in its irritated state, or that nationalism recruits the patriotic sentiment to accomplish something in a fit of anger." But he might be mixing nationalism, far right nationalism, and fascism. It is fascism that emerges out of feeling of nation/country being humiliated, oppressed, fall into economic despair... It tries to mobilize nation on changing the situation as a united whole -- in this sense fascism rejects individualism and "human rights".
BTW there were quite numerous far right movements in the USA history.
The current emergence of nationalist movements is a reaction on the crisis of neoliberalism as an ideology (since 2008). So nationalism might be a defense reaction of societies when the dominant ideology (in our case neoliberalism) collapses. It is a temporary and defensive reaction. As the author notes: "Foreign aggression and the onset of war will reliably generate nationalist moods and responses. "
The key question here is when a nation "deserves" a sovereign state, and when it would be better off by being a part of a larger ("imperial state" if we understand empire as conglomerate of multiple nations). As it involved economics, some choices can be bad, even devastating for people's wellbeing.
Notable quotes:
"... Macron is not the first to try to make a hard, fast, and rhetorically pungent distinction between nationalism and patriotism. Orwell attempted to do the same in a famous essay . He wrote that patriotism is "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally." ..."
"... In the end, Orwell gives a rather unsatisfying account in which all the mental and moral vices of self-interest and self-regard are transmuted and supercharged by their absorption into a nationalistic "we." Nationalists in his account hold their nations supreme, thereby encouraging themselves to traduce any other people or nation. For Orwell, the patriot prefers this to that . The nationalist privileges us over them . For us, everything, to others nothing. ..."
"... In his recent book, The Virtue of Nationalism , Yoram Hazony makes a different contrast. His work is not primarily concerned with the moral status or self-deception of individuals, but with the organization of geopolitics. For him the contrast is between nationalism and imperialism. ..."
"... Orwell is tempted to believe the nationalist thinks his nation is best in all things, but much of nationalist rhetoric throughout Europe is a rhetoric of envy or arousal. Nationalists sometimes boast about their nations, but in many circumstances they express despair about their countries; they want to excite their people to achieve more, to take themselves as seriously as some rival national actor takes itself. ..."
"... Instead, nationalism is an eruptive feature of politics. It grows out of the normal sentiments of national loyalty, like a pustule or a fever. It could even be said that nationalism is patriotism in its irritated state, or that nationalism recruits the patriotic sentiment to accomplish something in a fit of anger. ..."
"... National loyalty attaches us to a place, and to the people who share in its life. Destroying national loyalty would almost certainly bring about the return of loyalties based on creed and blood. ..."
"... One of the outstanding features of nationalist political movements, the thing that almost always strikes observers about them, is their irritated or aroused character. And it is precisely this that strikes non-nationalists as signaling danger. ..."
"... nationalist movements are teeming with powerful emotions: betrayal, anger, aggression. ..."
"... Nationalist politics tends to be opportunist; it takes other political ideas, philosophies, and forms of mobilization in hand and discards them. Nationalists throughout the 20th century adopted Communism or capitalism to acquire the patronage or weapons to throw off imperial rule, or stick it to a neighbor, for example. ..."
"... The reemergence of nationalist politics in America and abroad requires us to ask those simple questions. What is bothering them? Do they have a point? What do they want to do about it? Would it be just? In broad strokes I intend to take those questions up. ..."
"... What the vast majority of people apparently fail to realize is that the United states is an empire which by definition is a group of states or countries containing diverse ethnic and cultural identities. ..."
"... The break-up of the Soviet Union can be blamed in part for failing to establish a strong national identity ..."
"... Greenfeld describes it as "civic nationalism" to differentiate it from the ethnic, anti-liberal "nationalism" later adopted by Russia and Germany. ..."
"... Identifying "the people" as a linguistic-cultural entity with or without borders set the stage for the bloody conflicts that were fought over borders for these groups, and the discrimination and ethnic cleansing for those who didn't belong to the dominant linguistic-cultural group, to say nothing of what needed to be done about members of the dominant group who lived outside its borders. ..."
"... Also, in the late 16th century during what is now called the Wars of Religions (but which they called Civil Wars) in continental Europe, people moved from Monarchists to Republicans and back, depending of whether they were Catholics or Protestants, but mostly depending of the position of strength in which they were at the time... ..."
"... "Modern Conservatives" have a vested interest in muddying the debate, so that it does not become clear that "conservatism" is not linked to specific political or economical models, and more importantly it is not true that the Founding Fathers were all absolutist libertarian free traders... ;-) ..."
"... What, exactly, are our children inheriting? Press 2 for Spanish. ..."
"... And let us not forget neocons. ..."
"... You should be out there carving an empire for yourself, showing your supremacy and spreading the seeds of your "culture" over uncharted territories and untamed tribes... ;-) ..."
"... I think the obvious irritant lending support to Nationalist sentiments is the non benign aspects of Globalism. ..."
Nov 21, 2018 | www.nationalreview.com
By Michael Brendan Dougherty A stab at defining a tricky word

What is nationalism? The word is suddenly and surprisingly important when talking about the times we live in. But we seem to be working without a shared definition.

"You know what I am? I'm a nationalist," Donald Trump said in an October rally in Houston.

French president Emmanuel Macron slapped back at a commemoration ceremony for World War I in France. "Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism," he said. "By saying 'our interests first, who cares about the others,' we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."

Macron is not the first to try to make a hard, fast, and rhetorically pungent distinction between nationalism and patriotism. Orwell attempted to do the same in a famous essay . He wrote that patriotism is "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally."

On the other hand, "The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."

In the end, Orwell gives a rather unsatisfying account in which all the mental and moral vices of self-interest and self-regard are transmuted and supercharged by their absorption into a nationalistic "we." Nationalists in his account hold their nations supreme, thereby encouraging themselves to traduce any other people or nation. For Orwell, the patriot prefers this to that . The nationalist privileges us over them . For us, everything, to others nothing.

In his recent book, The Virtue of Nationalism , Yoram Hazony makes a different contrast. His work is not primarily concerned with the moral status or self-deception of individuals, but with the organization of geopolitics. For him the contrast is between nationalism and imperialism. For Hazony, it is the nationalist who respects spontaneous order and pluralism. Imperialists run roughshod over these, trampling local life for the benefit of the imperial center.

A border will rein in the ambition of the nationalist, whereas the imperial character rebels against limits. A century ago, in what he called the days of "clashing and crashing Empires," the Irish nationalist Eoin MacNeil felt similarly. For him, the development of a nation -- any nation -- had in it "the actuality or the potentiality of some great gift to the common good of mankind."

It's difficult to find a consistent definition of nationalism from its critics, meanwhile. Sometimes nationalism is dismissed as the love of dirt, or mysticism about language. Other times it's the love of DNA.

In the critics' defense, though, the way nationalism has expressed itself in different nations and different times can be maddeningly diverse. Orwell is tempted to believe the nationalist thinks his nation is best in all things, but much of nationalist rhetoric throughout Europe is a rhetoric of envy or arousal. Nationalists sometimes boast about their nations, but in many circumstances they express despair about their countries; they want to excite their people to achieve more, to take themselves as seriously as some rival national actor takes itself.

I'd like to propose a different way of thinking about the question. When we use the vocabulary of political philosophies, we recognize that we are talking about things that differ along more than one axis. Take Communism, liberalism, and conservatism: The first is a theory of history and power. The second is a political framework built upon rights. The final disclaims the word "ideology" and has been traditionally defined as a set of dispositions toward a political and civilizational inheritance.

I would like to sidestep Hazony's championing of nationalism as a system for organizing political order globally, a theory that my colleague Jonah Goldberg is tempted to call "nationism."

My proposal is that nationalism as a political phenomenon is not a philosophy or science, though it may take either of those in hand. It isn't an account of history. Instead, nationalism is an eruptive feature of politics. It grows out of the normal sentiments of national loyalty, like a pustule or a fever. It could even be said that nationalism is patriotism in its irritated state, or that nationalism recruits the patriotic sentiment to accomplish something in a fit of anger.

In normal or propitious circumstances, national loyalty is the peaceful form of life that exists among people who share a defined territory and endeavor to live under the laws of that territory together. National loyalty attaches us to a place, and to the people who share in its life. Destroying national loyalty would almost certainly bring about the return of loyalties based on creed and blood.

One of the outstanding features of nationalist political movements, the thing that almost always strikes observers about them, is their irritated or aroused character. And it is precisely this that strikes non-nationalists as signaling danger. Republican democracies should be characterized by deliberation. Conservatives distrust swells of passion. Liberals want an order of voluntary rights. But nationalist movements are teeming with powerful emotions: betrayal, anger, aggression.

Therefore, I contend, like a fever, nationalism can be curative or fatal. And, like fevers, it can come and go depending on the nation's internal health or the external circumstances a nation finds itself in. Foreign aggression and the onset of war will reliably generate nationalist moods and responses. But cultural change can do it too. Maybe a national language falls into sharp and sudden decline under pressure from a more powerful lingua franca. Even something as simple or common as rapid urbanization can be felt to agitate upon a people's loyalties, and may generate a cultural response for preserving certain rural traditions and folkways. And of course, sometimes nationalism is excited by the possibility of some new possession coming into view, the opportunity to recover or acquire territory or humiliate a historic rival. The variety of irritants explains the variety of nationalisms.

You tend to find a lot of nationalism where there are persistent or large irritants to the normally peaceful sense of national loyalty. Think of western Ukraine, where the local language and political prerogatives have endured the powerful irritant of Moscow's power and influence in its region, and even in its territory. You find a great deal of nationalism in Northern Ireland, where a lineage of religious differences signals dueling loyalties to the United Kingdom and to Ireland.

Until recently you didn't find a lot of political nationalism in the United States, because it is a prosperous nation with unparalleled independence of action. But we are familiar with bursts of nationalism nonetheless -- for example, at times when European powers threatened the U.S. in the early days of the Republic, during the Civil War and its aftermath, and especially during World War I, which coincided with the tail end of a great wave of migration into the country.

If nationalist political movements are national loyalties in this aroused state, then we must judge them on a case-by-case basis. When non-nationalists notice the irritated and irritable character of nationalism, often the very next thing they say is, "Well, they have a point." You would judge a nationalist movement the way you would judge any man or group of men in an agitated state. Do you have a right to be angry about this matter? What do you intend to do about it? How do you intend to do it?

We all do this almost instinctively. We understand that there are massive differences among nationalist projects. In order to assert his young nation's place on the world stage, John Quincy Adams sought to found a national university. We may judge that one way, whereas we judge Andrew Jackson's Indian-removal policy very differently. In Europe, we might cheer on the ambition of the Irish Parliamentary party to establish a home-rule parliament in Dublin. That was a nationalist project, but so was the German policy of seeking lebensraum through the racial annihilation of the Jews and the enslavement of Poland, which we judge as perhaps the most wicked cause in human history. We might cheer the reestablishment of a Polish nation after World War I, but deplore some of the expansionist wars it immediately embarked upon.

Nationalist politics tends to be opportunist; it takes other political ideas, philosophies, and forms of mobilization in hand and discards them. Nationalists throughout the 20th century adopted Communism or capitalism to acquire the patronage or weapons to throw off imperial rule, or stick it to a neighbor, for example.

The reemergence of nationalist politics in America and abroad requires us to ask those simple questions. What is bothering them? Do they have a point? What do they want to do about it? Would it be just? In broad strokes I intend to take those questions up.


Kontraindicated 2 days ago

There is much discussion below as to the meaning of the term "nationalism" below. In the minds of many, it seems to be a relatively benign term.

However, even recently we have seen extremely violent episodes break out that appear to be associated with some sort of flavour of "nationalism", however it's defined.

In the former Yugoslavia, Tito tried to create a new "nation" that would have a common identity by breaking up the "nations" that had previously existed on the same territory. This involved the forced relocation of various groups of Serbs and Croats (and, to a lesser extent, Bosnians) who would now all live together in peace and harmony. However, when the political structures fell, the people fell back into their old groups and immediately began fighting each other. The end result was an incredibly bloody and vicious civil war and the ultimate re-establishment of Nations/Countries that mapped more closely to the ethnic/cultural/race divisions that the people involved in the conflict were concerned with. Ultimately, they (as individuals) decided which team they wanted to belong to and, as long as the "nation" agreed, they became part of that "nation".

Similar scenarios have played out across Africa and the Middle East (which was artificially set up for a century's worth of conflict by Europeans in 1919).

All of which is mildly interesting, but it's not really related to the reason that this topic is coming up in NRO. The reason that we are discussing this is that Macron spent a considerable amount of time during the Armistice Ceremony decrying "Nationalism" (which, if we treat the term in the Yugoslavian context, likely did play a significant role in two World Wars) and Fox and Friends were then able to teach Donald Trump a new word - after which he declared himself a "Nationalist".

So rather than beating ourselves up over semantics, would it not be better instead to debate two questions?:

  1. Does "Nationalism" represent a growing force within enough countries that it represents a significant threat to the current world order?
  2. Does whatever Donald Trump thinks "Nationalism" means pose a threat to America's current place in the world and is it driving the US away from its leadership role? (will "America First" lead to "America Isolated and Alone?")
Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 2 days ago

Dear Kontraindicated,

First, your last question is already answered, in the WTO, the EU, China, Canada, Mexico have raised a complaint against the falsified use of "national security" by Trump to justify tariffs. If the USA decided then to leave the WTO, because Trump's personal honor would be stained, (without forgetting that the US Congress should have already protested that these tariffs were illegal in the first place) this will be another occasion to show that it is indeed "America Isolated and Alone"... Trump could have allied himself with the EU, Canada, etc. against some of the unfair practices of China, instead he got two of the biggest trading block in the world (including its two territorial neighbors) to ally themselves against the USA.

What a way of winning Donnie! ;-)

Then, let's go back to the question of the meaning of Nationalism.

There are two aspects:

  1. What is the real meaning of nationalism compared to patriotism, when we remove all the fake ideological recent additions to these terms? (and I have answered at length on this in my other comments) And this meaning is not necessarily nefarious. It becomes a problem when one claims that each Nation must have one "sovereign" State (in the sense of country), and there should be only one such Nation per country.
  2. What is the meaning which is actually meant by Trump? And it is clear that he means it the way that it was whispered to him, which is "One Nation, One and only One State; One State, One and only One Nation"...

It is no longer "e pluribus unum", but "e uno unum" (one from one), which is slightly less ambitious and certainly less of a reason to get up in the morning and do something productive (but then there is a lot of opportunity for "Executive Time" and playing golf)... ;-)

Leroy 2 days ago

"Out of many, one." ONE. Get it through your head. ONE. If you are MANY, you ARE Yugoslavia. And that doesn't end well.

TitoPerdue 2 days ago

I try to imagine my parents being informed that they must now accustom themselves to white people being turned into a minority. Would have been stunned, my folks, who first arrived in 1771.

My folks: "But what did we do wrong!"
Me: "You've been too successful and must now be punished."
My folks: "What's wrong with being successful!"
Me: "It's racist. Ask Jonah Goldberg. You know how much the Jews despise ethnocentrism."

Gaurus 3 days ago

This is a useful take on the subject. There is a big Tower of Babel problem with this word as it seems to mean different things to different people, and different nations also define it differently.

This language barrier is why Macron's criticism of the President should be taken with a grain of salt. The left's myopic/robotic attempts to unilaterally define this word on their terms is reprehensible, just like so many of their other attempts at PC authoritarianism aka thought control which is pushed by the national media.

What the vast majority of people apparently fail to realize is that the United states is an empire which by definition is a group of states or countries containing diverse ethnic and cultural identities.

You must at some point come to ask yourself, "what keeps these diverse groups contained in the U.S. from fracturing, dividing, and falling apart?" The answer is nationalism/national identity. It is the keystone or glue that binds these diverse ethnic and cultural groups together. Anyone or anything that tugs or tears at nationalism therefore is altogether a bad thing for the country and will sow division and strife that was not previously there. Ultimately civil war could result if those seeking to divide the country for political gain go too far and the left ignorantly seems all-in on doing this.

Applying recent trends in politics using this as a backdrop, one can see how pro-globalists wouldn't care to attack nationalism as they are by definition against the very concept of a nation-state and want top bring back good old feudalism, but this time on a global scale. For comparison Russia is another example of an empire that is aware It needs to fuel nationalist sentiment to hold itself together. The EU is an emerging empire that is conflicted with what this means. The break-up of the Soviet Union can be blamed in part for failing to establish a strong national identity.

Plymouth mtng, PA 3 days ago

Well said! This truth is exemplified by the evidentiary and documented history that the Founding Fathers and Jackson, Lincoln, and Grant and the whole of 19th century America used the language of Liberty and Patriot to define the American Republic.

Leroy 3 days ago

I just learned something new. I thought that ethnicity was the same as race. It isn't. Ethnicity: "the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition." By that definition, we're all in an ethnic group, and we can belong to smaller ethnic groups as well.

If Americans don't become nationalists, understand that we share common interests and goals, it won't matter how much we love our country, because it will be unrecognizable.

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Dear Leroy,

I happen to think that "race" does not exist, but we know that in the USA when people say "ethnic" they mean "race"... ;-)

I remember 30 years ago, at the hairdresser in London, picking up a copy of the tabloid "The Sun", and reading a sentence where "ethnic" was used to mean "foreigner with a darker complexion"... (something like "the three men were ethnic") ;-)

Once more "ethnic" means "national", nothing more nothing less: "ethnos" is the Greek translation of "natio". These are words which have been used for a few thousand years, and we have to understand what they really meant and what they really mean now, and to remove from them the "ideological" additions.

The definition which you give shows such ideological addition, by adding "cultural" and "tradition". By definition a "nation", as the same traditions and therefore the same "culture": they are just redundant in this definition.

An ethnic group is a nation. So yes, you are in an ethnic group, and you can "define" smaller and smaller ethnic groups within the bigger one (the "tribes"). So in Gaul, there were many different "nations", who were Gauls, but had a great diversity between them (just read a few pages of Cæsar).

But at some point when there are many ethnic groups within you country (and this is how a country like France was made by the addition of regions with varying ethnic backgrounds and the migration/invasion of many other ethnic groups), at some point the only unity is in the country, the "patria", this is there that you find the common interests and goals.

So you see in France the difference going from Nation to the Country, because in the early middle ages the king was called "King of the French" Rex Francorum, (there were many other nations recognized on the French territory) and in the later part of the Middle Ages, he was called "King of France", Rex Franciae.

But because the word "nation" is important, and people would not let it go, there has been a tendency to use it to mean "country", as when we speak of the National Anthem, but this is by a shifting of its original sense.

When we want to oppose nationalism and patriotism, we need to go back to the original technical meaning, not invent a new one.

PS: the reason why "ethnic" and "race" are not the same thing, and we saw it with "Pocahontas" controversy (I mentioned it then), it is because a nation can "adopt" somebody who was not genetically related to them. They shall still be fully part of the nation... but their genetic material shall be different.

Leroy 3 days ago

I know you enjoy history, but the meaning of words can shift. I'll go with the meaning of the word Nation that the founders meant when they founded this nation. Nations are sovereign, make laws and control territory. A group of people, who share a culture, but who do not control territory is not a nation.

Hub312 3 days ago ( Edited )

Whoever wants a clear-headed understanding of nationalism, I suggest you read the world's foremost scholar on nationalism, Liah Greenfeld's "Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity" and Pierre Manent's concise but rich "Democracy Without Nations?".

Nationalism is really just another word for modernity and democracy. . It arose in England at the end of the 17th and the 18th centuries as the liberal answer to the question: if the people are sovereign, who are "the people" that we are now calling the nation? Answer: those who live within the borders controlled by the sovereign. The nation state is our home and our protection and we're all in it together regardless of language, culture, etc. This was the essentially liberal idea that was adopted and adapted by the French. This was the form adopted by Americans too. Greenfeld describes it as "civic nationalism" to differentiate it from the ethnic, anti-liberal "nationalism" later adopted by Russia and Germany.

It is the Russians, followed by the Germans and other central Europeans who followed their lead that gave nationalism a bad name. Identifying "the people" as a linguistic-cultural entity with or without borders set the stage for the bloody conflicts that were fought over borders for these groups, and the discrimination and ethnic cleansing for those who didn't belong to the dominant linguistic-cultural group, to say nothing of what needed to be done about members of the dominant group who lived outside its borders.

Empires and nations based on racial and ethnic identity have bloody borders, since it is impossible to draw any border anywhere in the world that includes all members of the dominant group and excludes or oppresses all members of other groups.

Are they both called nationalisms? Yes. But they couldn't be farther apart.

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Dear Hub312,

the word that is missing in your comment is "country". "if the people are sovereign, who are "the people" that we are now calling the nation?... etc."

I am interested to see in which English author of the end of the 17th century you find the expression of "sovereign people" or the "people are sovereign". Do you have some primary sources? I do not find it in Locke, but perhaps I am looking in the wrong place.

And in the UK, in the 18th and 19th century, and still now, it is clear that English, Welsh, Irish and Scots are different nations in the same "country"... Today, in Rugby the 6 nations championship takes place actually between four countries.

In the Middle Ages it is clear that the "supreme power" "summa potestas" comes God, and after this it is a question of open debate whether it is invested directly in the King, or through the people who then may elect a king, or decide on a Republic.

And I find in the Renaissance of the 16th and early 17th century, many proponents of a summa potestas that belongs to the people, which gives incidentally rise to the possibility of removing from power bad kings, but they happen to be Spanish and Catholics: Francisco Suarez, Juan de Mariana and Roberto Bellarmino... worse, they are all Jesuits... ;-), and they claim that the supreme power comes from the consent of the governed, and they were all dead by 1630... So that's it when it comes to the notion of people's sovereignty "arising" in England in the late 17th century... It was up and awake already.

I cannot find "souveraineté" as a word (which is different from having a "sovereign"), before Jean Bodin (16th century) (but you perhaps have better sources than mine), then I can direct you to many discussions about the nature and origin of "souveraineté" in French in the 16th and 17th century.

Rousseau (mid-18th century) is famous for ascribing sovereignty to the people, but he was not English (although he was Protestant), nor French, but he is also the inspiration for the "dictatorship of the people", and the Terror.

Rousseau is part of the Social Contract school, to which is usually adjoined his predecessors Hobbes and Locke, but there is no doubt that Hobbes is a partisan of absolute monarchy, and again I fail to see in Locke a direct notion of people's sovereignty: when he speaks of civil sovereigns he speaks of the "magistrates" who rule. But I am certain that you shall direct me to the proper place in Locke, which currently escapes me.

The thing is that the "consent of the people" or even the "sovereignty of the people", or the "social contract" does not mean that they are individually free afterwards... they may actually live under an absolute monarchy and still have "consented" to it, or under a dictatorship of the people (socialist), or a national dictatorship, or a mixture of both... ;-)

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Of course, as I read again what I wrote, I made the most silly of blunders: Bellarmino was Italian, not Spanish... this invalidates all that I have ever written.. ;-)

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Also, in the late 16th century during what is now called the Wars of Religions (but which they called Civil Wars) in continental Europe, people moved from Monarchists to Republicans and back, depending of whether they were Catholics or Protestants, but mostly depending of the position of strength in which they were at the time... There is a very interesting literature regarding the nature and origin of the supreme power, and whether the people must have absolute obedience to the the sovereign civil power (whatever shape it has). Of course none of this has to do with 17th century England, except that the same questions where asked and answered their own way in the English Civil War (which was a religious war), when the Round-Heads decided to chop that of their King, whose shape they did not like. ;-)

Bellarmino wrote against James I when he tried to sustain is absolute divine right to rule.

All of this to say that these questions were raised long before the Glorious Revolution. ;-)

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 2 days ago

Dear Hub312,

well, why would I read a secondary source book, if it does not know the primary sources which I know?

If this book describes nothing more than what you described (i.e. England, end of the 17th century, etc.), which is refuted by the sources that I know, why would I waste time reading it? it could not edify me, if it does not add to what I know.

Hub312 4 hours ago ( Edited )

...and you would love the Manent book, written from a very European liberal perspective, which is brief and very concise.

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Dear Michael Brendan Dougherty,

I have a revolutionary proposal: instead of investing words with supposed meanings in order to be able to say that we approve of them or not (which in English is called begging the question), why don't we simply use the etymological meaning of the word? ;-)

It's easy, "national" means precisely the same thing as "ethnic": one is Latin, the other is Greek. You know what ethnicity is a euphemism for in the US: "race". A "nation" does not need to have borders to be a nation, the "barbarian nations" of late Antiquity early Middle Ages were roving nations. This is why also initially German nationalism i the 19th and early 20th century was expansive: it meant to "unify" the German nation in one country. This is why Irish, Scottish or Welsh nationalism is divisive and restrictive, it is meant to separate the English (seen as invaders) from the local version of a Celtic nation.

The "Patria" is the Land of the fathers: this is the "country", the "land".

The one is "Blood", the other is "Soil", you see that each can be assigned bad meaning or good meaning, if one wants to.

Behind this you have the age old conflicts between Cain and Abel, between the roving pastor, and the settled farmer.

Both Nation and Patria can be a limit within which to stay, or a limit to expand: so one can be an "imperialist" or not, whether one is a patriot or a nationalist. Because even a patriot, may require more land, to ensure the safety of the one that he has, his own version of "lebensraum".

These two notions are also linked to the "jus sanguinis" (right of blood) and the "jus soli" (right of soil/land) question regarding citizenship.

In countries which have official separate notions of citizenship and nationality (in the former USSR for instance), citizenship is clearly ascribed to the country, and nationality is clearly ascribed to ethnicity: so one can be a Russian national, citizen of Kazakhstan.

It is the notion of the Nation-State (which is comparatively recent), which tends to make believe that for each identifiable "Nation" there must be one identifiable "Country" (a sovereign state). It is the geographical difficulty if not impossibility of this which lead to the political upheavals in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was trying to merge Nationalism and Patriotism that created the problems.

In some cases when supposed "nations" wanted to be unified within one country, there was the notion of "Pan-somethingism", Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, etc., and/or Nations wanted to become independent: so you had the fights for the unification of Italy, Germany, the independence of Poland, Greece, etc., within the 19th century. And then there were all these places were the population was too mixed to make any such separation easy: the Balkans, the remnants of the Turkish Empire (a perfect example together with the Persian Empire (for those who read Xenophon), why "Imperialism" does not mean "centralization"), remnants of "German" populations in "Slavic" countries, etc. You know what followed.

So both nationalism and patriotism can have a good or a bad meaning, depending of how one intends to use them.

For instance the notion of a "Europe of Nations" is what helped secure the Good Friday Agreement, because another way of saying it is a "Europe of Regions", where Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Basques, Bretons (of little Brittany), etc., have a possibility of recognition, without necessarily breaking up "countries".

So you are right there is much more than one axis of meaning, and it is important that one opposes the right terms, and this is the responsibility of what used to be called the "publicists", those who speak of the Res Publica, what we now call "pundits": but in the USA none are more adept at using the wrong formulations than the "modern conservative" pundits. Why? well, "modern conservative" says it all... because you are partly right conservatism is about "a set of dispositions toward a political and civilizational inheritance", and "modern conservatism" is therefore an oxymoron. ;-)

And this is why "Modern Conservatism" became such an easy prey for the Alt-Right Anarchists: because they are not grounded in an actual "tradition", but like all the "progressives" (which they are), they have to reinvent for themselves a new beginning... in the 1950s, they said, now that there is National Review, we shall become "real" conservatives, "modern conservatives", before us, they were not really conservatives... ;-)

But you cannot be a real conservative if you have to identify a date for the birth of your movement.

"Modern Conservatives" have a vested interest in muddying the debate, so that it does not become clear that "conservatism" is not linked to specific political or economical models, and more importantly it is not true that the Founding Fathers were all absolutist libertarian free traders... ;-)

So Conservatism is not the opposite of Liberalism, it is the opposite of Progressivism. Imperialism is indeed about expansion of power, but it is not necessarily about "centralization", as many empires not only have left the "local life" untouched, but this "local life" disappeared when a supposedly more "liberal" power took over...

Therefore I do beg American publicists, especially those of the conservative variety writing in NRO, stop begging the question when you falsely "define" terms, so that they align with what you deem to be good or bad; be instead a real conservative, go back to the etymology and the actual meaning of the words, see how they were used initially, not only in the last 50 or even 100 years... because then you are using "progressive" definitions, and you keep repeating that "progressives" always change the meaning of the words to suit their purpose... You are right on that one. ;-)

Leroy 3 days ago

Conservatism "has been traditionally defined as a set of dispositions toward a political and civilizational inheritance"?

That can't be true. We all know that conservatism now means free trade, where American workers are replaced by Chinese slave labor. We know that conservatism means an insatiable desire for foreign migrants, adding millions of campesino's to our economy every year. Most of all, we know that conservatism stands for foreign imperialist wars and globalist profits.

What, exactly, are our children inheriting? Press 2 for Spanish.

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 3 days ago

Dear Leroy,

I agree with you that US Conservatives are Progressives by another name. see my main comment here. ;-)

TitoPerdue 2 days ago

Indeed. And let us not forget neocons.

Jean_Christophe_Jouffrey 2 days ago

Dear TitoPerdue,

given that the Founding Fathers were already progressives, who for you committed the original sin of believing that "all men are created equal", why do you still live in that den of iniquity that is the USA?

You should be out there carving an empire for yourself, showing your supremacy and spreading the seeds of your "culture" over uncharted territories and untamed tribes... ;-)

I hear that there are still some fairly inaccessible places in Papua-New-Guinea... ;-)

Perfect place to show your supremacy, or end up in the cooking pot. For once your philosophy of life would become true: eat or be eaten! ;-)

hawkesappraisal 3 days ago

I agree. "Nationalism" is a charged but nebulous word, but it describes something that is clearly important in spite of the obscurity of its meaning. So the struggle to come up with coherent definitions is worthwhile. The current Nationalism is probably best defined by, Progressives saying "America sucks!" and the Right responding, "No it doesn't! America is Awesome!"

freedom1 3 days ago ( Edited )

Thoughtful piece. I think the obvious irritant lending support to Nationalist sentiments is the non benign aspects of Globalism.

[Nov 26, 2018] Fighting primitive antisemitism

Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

West Bank Settler and American Patriot


Tyrion 2 , says: November 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT

November 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT 300 Words @neutral

Marxism – (((Marx)))

Marxism is a brilliant sui generis philosophy of history. The attending political position was a heartfelt reaction to the immiseration of the working classes of Europe.

There were many similar ideologies to Marxism in political viewpoint, but Marxism is outstandingly intellectually interesting.

Marx is not differentiated from other (Gentile) socialists by his politics but by his genius. I doubt his part Jewishness had much to do with that.

Libertarianism/Free Market fundamentalists – (((Alisa Rosenbaum, aka Ayn Rand))) , (((Mises)))

Jews have made up a huge proportion of decent economists from all economic perspectives.

Meanwhile, Ayn Rand was an highly eccentric writer of romantic fiction that lucidly captured the snivelling, resentment fueled scumbags who make up the denizens of the swamp.

Pychoanalysis – (((Freud)

Freud's psychoanalysis might be flawed but his work constitutes a truly great body of literature and the invention of a new and important subject. He is one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

USSR – (((Lenin))), (((Trotsky)

Lenin wasn't Jewish. Trotsky was. Lenin was in charge, while Trotsky ended up murdered while in ignominious exile.

SJW/open society/antifa movements – (((Soros))) and other forture 400 (((billionaires)))

I'm not sure how you think antifa and billionaires are best buddies but Jews are obviously a minority among billionaires.

Soros is deranged. There are plenty of bad people in every group. There are more maniac progressive types among Jews. The explanations are mundane.

Big tech censorship – (((ADL))), (((SPLC))), (((Zuckerberg))), (((Brin)))

Again, Jews are a small minority of those enacting big tech censorship. Indeed, America remains one of human history's least censored societies. That doesn't make it good but you need get some perspective before you go all crazy.

Hollywood and other pop culture entertainment – easily all senior positions at the very least 50% jewish

Nonsense. And a lot of that stuff is pretty good.

The jew really is to blame, which is also why they are so hell bent on censoring and jailing people for stating these blatant truths.

Is this self-satire?

anon [100] Disclaimer , says: November 22, 2018 at 3:52 pm GMT
@neutral

Hollywood and other pop culture entertainment – easily all senior positions at the very least 50% jewish.

might even be closer to 75% if you look at those accused of sexual improprieties in the last year or so and if that is an accurate sample

anon [100] Disclaimer , says: November 22, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2

Lenin wasn't Jewish. Trotsky was. Lenin was in charge, while Trotsky ended up murdered while in ignominious exile.

apparently Lenin was part jewish and had disdain for white people, ethnic Russians

Trotsky was the racist he accused others of being – he wanted to fill Russia with what he called "white n1ggers" presumably to ruled by jews like himself – what right a 5% has to rule the rest of the country? It would be like Chinese ruling the U.S.

Again, Jews are a small minority of those enacting big tech censorship.

really? (((Facebook))), (((Google))), and (((SPLC))) and (((ADL))) are the so called "safety advisors" so no leftist or jew should ever have to stumble upon the truth on those sites

also, why do you thnk BitChute lost access to PayPal and Stripe? why do think Paul Nehlen suddenly had trouble with his upstream suppliers for the business he manages? its because jews behind the scenes collude against and punish any competitiors or anyone speaking out about jews – this is what they do

Indeed, America remains one of human history's least censored societies.

no thanks to the jews, who have pulled this "hate speech" crap already in Canada, UK, Australia, and Europe. They are the reason those countries don't have Free Speech and they're coming for Free Speech here in the U.S. too – because (((their))) feelings are more important than your rights

Durruti , says: November 22, 2018 at 4:48 pm GMT
Once more:

I am not an anti-Semite. I like Arabs.

The overwhelming majority of Jews are not Semites (peoples from the Middle East). Most Jews' points of origin are in Europe.

My family (mother's side) German Jews – not a Semite in the bunch. Mostly blond haired & blue eyes.

There is real resistance to those, who attempt to clarify this vital point. Ron Unz, this is your website, and these are some of your topics. Why fear to tread? Why fear the truth? You've come so far. Come all the way into the light.

Most Jews come from – – – Read Arthur Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe" as a start for your education and a cure for your being brainwashed.

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

&

https://www.bing.com/shop?q=the+thirteenth+tribe+koestler&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=9A859D826E0441D89971DA67F8762DAF

Have received some threatening emails, and despite all the political views this Anarchist has, the threats have ALL been in response to my analysis of just who are, and are not Semites. Unz, and Commentators, I need no help here. I fear not, and cannot live forever.

Orwell's 1984 , explains in detail the use of false language and false History as the KEY tools in repressing Humanity, and Humanity's Liberty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

&

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=nineteen+eighty-four&qpvt=nineteen+eighty-four&FORM=IGRE

The misidentification of just who Semites are is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Zionist Land Thieves and their American, British, & French puppets. The Jewish claim to Semitism goes in tandem with their insistence on their right to exterminate Palestinians and occupy their land, and later, the Zionist Oligarchs will continue to occupy all the Middle East "eretz Israel," and concurrently, they will occupy and control (with the weapons of financial/banking and physical terror), the peoples of this planet.

It is no wonder Gilad Atzmon has it all wrong. Look for no help here.

Jews have not been the only recipients of the Brutality that humans often inflict on one another. And Jews have not been specially singled out, over Serbians, Russians, Chinese, Armenians, Native Americans, Iraqis, Syrians, Vietnamese, Indonesians (1965), Yemenis, Libyans, Afghanis, Africans (slavery and neo colonizing of their nations), and dozens more.

Jews belong (yes, they, with all the rest of Earth's people, belong). Jews belong in America, and Europe, where they may reside in happiness and freedom with all the other peoples, and, if they wish, they may visit their newly Freed and Happy Palestinian friends, (and host them in their European and American homes) – as well.

We American Patriots , we will host all, in our Restored American Republic.

And America's finest statesman, Dr. Ron Paul , will become our First Constitutional President – since John F. Kennedy.

The Living Dream, and do not Fear.

Durruti for the Anarchist Collective

West Bank Settler and American Patriot, by Gilad Atzmon - The Unz Review
follyofwar , says: November 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm GMT
@wayfarer The USA is full of Jewish billionaires. Why on earth does Israel need any blood money from the hard-pressed taxpayers when they could supply their home away from home with all the extra money it needs, if indeed it needs any at all? If you are wondering about one of the main causes of US anti-Semitism, look no further than the billions our AIPAC-controlled traitorous Congress gives to that apartheid state every year.

West Bank Settler and American Patriot, by Gilad Atzmon - The Unz Review

mark green , says: November 22, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
What a pleasure to find Gilad Atzmon here at UNZ. And as usual, Mr. Atzmon delivers fresh insights and bold perspectives.

I am grateful that Gilad is examining as well as talking to hyper-Zionists living in Pennsylvania. This is revealing. I appreciate Yonatan Stern's willingness to address Atzmon's questions.

I was similarly impressed–unexpectedly so–when I met the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who I briefly interviewed for a televised TV debate I produced ('Why Terrorism?') in 1986. Former US Congressman, Pete McCloskey (R-CA), took the opposing side in this exchange concerning the future of Palestine/Israel as well as US policies there. In my opinion, Kahane won the debate (though not on its merits).

Rabbi Kahane was an unabashed separatist (like most devout Jews) and he famously declared (somewhat prematurely) that Israel's native gentiles ('Palestinians') had no future in a Jewish State.

Kahane believed that all these resentful, recalcitrant Arabs should be kicked out of Israel. He was unabashedly pro-separation. From a Zionist point of view, Kahane offered a violent though practical long-term solution. Multiculturalism is inherently problematic and destabilizing. It is also incompatible with Jewish nationalism. But Kahane made Jewish liberals blush. As a result, he was declared a 'racist' by establishment Jews; even though Judaism is, at its core, race-driven.

Please keep in mind that during this era (Carter through Clinton) the endless Mideast 'peace process' was still underway with all the hype, fanfare, and false hopes.

The 'peace process' ended up being a road to nowhere–full of highfalutin awards, accords, meetings, 'confidence-building measures' and an endless array of Jewish advisors, pro-Israel committees, donors and 'experts'. Kahane knew that it was doomed from the start.

Nevertheless, Jews from nearly every 'mainstream' political faction world-wide derided Kahane's straightforward and 'racist' solutions, even though his prophetic advice now mirrors today's Israeli policies. Meir Kahane was simply ahead of his time. He was also far too candid for his liberal cousins to own up to.

A few years after Kahane's televised debate with McCloskey, he was assassinated in NYC.

In any event, it is undeniable that blood/ancestry is at the heart of Judaism. The Law of Return tells us so. Religiosity on the other hand has become somewhat incidental to Jewishness. A committed, ethnic Jew (but an atheistic one) such as Allen Dershowitz, for instance, is as 'Jewish' as any orthodox rabbi. Identity and ancestry is what matters.

Thus I appreciate Stern's criticism of his Jewish cousins who have saddled America with top-down 'liberalism', a movement that's functioned as a court-ordered Trojan Horse inside America.

Like his Jewish cousins however, Stern's still a bit of a fraud–since he relies on double-standards, special privileges, and ancestral grievances to justify his unique collection of rights as a land-grabbing Zionist.

Stern hypocritically derides non-violent whites in Charlottesville who want the same rights for themselves in America as Jews get in Israel: to preserve their culture, traditions, racial lineage, and majority status. These are core Zionist values. But Stern would deny them to any and all American whites.

Stern is also disinclined to express any gratitude to his duplicitous, liberal cousins for their decades-long, pro-Jewish activism. Yet Stern is beneficiary of their subterfuge. Jewish activism helps explain why Jews have risen in America while others–such as the white, working-class men in Charlottesville–have fallen.

US Liberalism (with plenty of help from Zionist Jews) coercively integrated America racially (but not in Israel), opened our borders to all (but not in Israel) and erected a towering wall between 'church and state' (but not in Israel).

These tricks have been good for the Jews, which includes Stern. He can now wear his yarmulke proudly and not get laughed at–or punched (since its a 'hate crime' today).

Liberal and 'secular' Jews also helped orchestrate Washington's de facto marriage to the State of Israel. This has also empowered Stern. And to the delight of most Jews (both left and right) the US has been largely de-Christianized over the past sixty years. This is more smart work by Jewish jurists, lawyers, and academics–many with close ties to the 'liberal' ACLU.

As a beneficiary of all this, Stern should thank his liberal cousins for this political black magic. Yet he pretends to object.

Stern is at least correct when he acknowledges that 'progressive' Jews have damaged the West and that they are still doing so.

[Nov 22, 2018] Facing Up to the Gradual Demise of Zionist Political Power

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What struck me in one of his articles is how he sees the holocaust story as essential to Zionist power in the USA. ..."
Nov 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

geokat62 , says: November 21, 2018 at 3:27 am GMT

@jilles dykstra

How long jews can maintain their political power, not just in the USA, but in the whole west, I have no idea, there is not much that points to an important change soon.

This, of course, is the $64,000 question. Rather than us Dumb Goyim speculating about it, why not listen to what a political insider had to say about this issue back in 2001?

His name is Dr. Stephen Steinlight. And although Ron Unz has characterized him as "some totally obscure Zionist activist" he was was for more than five years Director of National Affairs (domestic policy) at the American Zionist Committee. If that doesn't qualify him as an "insider," I don't know what does.

Excerpts from The Zionist Stake in America's Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy :

Facing Up to the Gradual Demise of Zionist Political Power

Not that it is the case that our disproportionate political power (pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America) will erode all at once, or even quickly. We will be able to hang on to it for perhaps a decade or two longer. Unless and until the triumph of campaign finance reform is complete , an extremely unlikely scenario, the great material wealth of the Zionist community will continue to give it significant advantages. We will continue to court and be courted by key figures in Congress. That power is exerted within the political system from the local to national levels through soft money, and especially the provision of out-of-state funds to candidates sympathetic to Israel , a high wall of church/state separation, and social liberalism combined with selective conservatism on criminal justice and welfare issues.

Zionist voter participation also remains legendary; it is among the highest in the nation. Incredible as it sounds, in the recent presidential election more Jews voted in Los Angeles than Latinos. But should the naturalization of resident aliens begin to move more quickly in the next few years, a virtual certainty -- and it should -- then it is only a matter of time before the electoral power of Latinos, as well as that of others, overwhelms us.

All of this notwithstanding, in the short term, a number of factors will continue to play into our hands, even amid the unprecedented wave of continuous immigration. The very scale of the current immigration and its great diversity paradoxically constitutes at least a temporary political asset. While we remain comparatively coherent as a voting bloc, the new mostly non-European immigrants are fractured into a great many distinct, often competing groups, many with no love for each other. This is also true of the many new immigrants from rival sides in the ongoing Balkan wars, as it is for the growing south Asian population from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They have miles and miles to go before they overcome historical hatreds, put aside current enmities and forgive recent enormities, especially Pakistani brutality in the nascent Bangladesh. Queens is no melting pot!

For perhaps another generation, an optimistic forecast, the Zionist community is thus in a position where it will be able to divide and conquer and enter into selective coalitions that support our agendas. But the day will surely come when an effective Asian-American alliance will actually bring Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Koreans, Vietnamese, and the rest closer together. And the enormously complex and as yet significantly divided Latinos will also eventually achieve a more effective political federation. The fact is that the term "Asian American" has only recently come into common parlance among younger Asians (it is still rejected by older folks), while "Latinos" or "Hispanics" often do not think of themselves as part of a multinational ethnic bloc but primarily as Mexicans, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans.

Even with these caveats, an era of astoundingly disproportionate Zionist legislative representation may already have peaked. It is unlikely we will ever see many more U.S. Senates with 10 Zionist members. And although had Al Gore been allowed by the Supreme Court to assume office, a Jew would have been one heartbeat away from the presidency, it may be we'll never get that close again. With the changes in view, how long do we actually believe that nearly 80 percent of the entire foreign aid budget of the United States will go to Israel?

https://cis.org/Report/ Zionist-Stake-Americas-Changing-Demography

jilles dykstra , says: November 21, 2018 at 10:49 am GMT

@geokat62

If Steinlight was obscure or not, I do not know. What struck me in one of his articles is how he sees the holocaust story as essential to Zionist power in the USA.

Also in that article he wondered if at some point in time Jews might be driven out of the USA, 'but, there is always the life boat Israel'. That Israel will collapse the minute Zionist power in the USA [eventually] ends, he seems unable to see this. About your quote, it seems to have been written before it became clear to the world that western power is diminishing.

So even if Zionist power over the West remains, Zionist power in the world is diminishing too. NATO, EU, Pentagon, neocons, whatever, may still want war with Russia, my idea is that on the other hand that more and more people see this intention, and are absolutely against.

While western influence is receding, Assad still is there, Russia has bases in Syria, Erdogan, on what side is he ?; and so on and so forth.

The battle cry 'no more war for Israel' exists for a long time in the USA. And I interpret discussions on this side of the Atlantic about increasing anti-Semitism as the acknowledgement of the fact that more and more people on this side begin to criticize Zionists, especially with regard to Palestinians.

[Nov 19, 2018] US-Funded Neo-Nazis in Ukraine Mentor US White Supremacists by Max Blumenthal

Notable quotes:
"... Last month, an unsealed FBI indictment of four American white supremacists from the Rise Above Movement (RAM) declared that the defendants had trained with Ukraine's Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia officially incorporated into the country's national guard. The training took place after the white supremacist gang participated in violent riots in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, California and Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. ..."
"... Let's not forget that the illegal coup in Ukraine and ensuing civil war was pushed by Obama/Hillary. It was HRC who promoted Dick Cheney's chief foreign adviser, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of European Affairs, and it was Nuland who was caught on tape discussing how to "midwife this thing" in Ukraine. ..."
Nov 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

US-Funded Neo-Nazis in Ukraine Mentor US White Supremacists November 17, 2018 • 43 Comments

Short-sighted U.S. foreign policy that backs jihadists in the Middle East and neo-Nazis in Ukraine is once again blowing back on the United States, as Max Blumenthal explains.

FBI: Azov Battalion Trained Rise Above Movement

Last month, an unsealed FBI indictment of four American white supremacists from the Rise Above Movement (RAM) declared that the defendants had trained with Ukraine's Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia officially incorporated into the country's national guard. The training took place after the white supremacist gang participated in violent riots in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, California and Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

The indictment stated that the Azov Battalion "is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations."

After a wave of racist violence across America that culminated in the massacre of twelve Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the revelation that violent white supremacists have been traveling abroad for training and ideological indoctrination with a well-armed neo-Nazi militia should cause extreme alarm.

Not only are white supremacists from across the West flocking to Ukraine to learn from the combat experience of their fascist brothers-in-arms, they are doing so openly -- chronicling their experiences on social media before they bring their lessons back home. But U.S. law enforcement has done nothing so far to restrict the flow of right-wing American extremists to Azov's bases.

There is one likely explanation for the U.S. government's hands-off approach to Azov recruitment: the extremist militia is fighting pro-Russian separatists as a front-line proxy of Washington. In fact, the United States has directly armed the Azov Battalion, forking over anti-tank rocket launchers and even sending a team of Army officers to meet in the field with Azov commanders in 2017.

Though Congress passed legislation this year forbidding military aid to Azov on the grounds of its white supremacist ideology, the Trump administration's authorization of $200 million in offensive weaponry and aid to the Ukrainian military makes it likely new stores of weapons will wind up the extremist regiment's hands. When queried by reporters about evidence of American military training of Azov personnel, multiple U.S. army spokespersons admitted there was no mechanism in place to prevent that from happening.

... ... ...


Hide Behind , November 18, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Strange people that live in US, those that live under belife of free speech and expression, and yet there are literally thousands of examples where those of opposing view points that try and present them in public are met with disruptive behaviors, banning from presentations of opposing ideology from speaking at Colleges and University campus, and removal and witholding of tenure to those who question edicts of correct speech and lets admit it anything that questions support of Israel the State.

And condoling of violent behavior by groups in US , crosses religious, political Partys, Anarchist, and now a liber storm trooper style ANTIFA that is beginning to better equip themselve tha. just pipes, knives, and clubs into having numbers armed with the Leftist hate most guns.

We have ultra right Trump supportive Militia that actively said they would revolt if Trump was defeated and now if he is impeached. The largest and most virulent part of the southern state militia are of Christian Zionist, and some militias signature patches have Star of David upon them and the cross

... ... ...

frank mintz , November 18, 2018 at 5:28 pm

You think that the October massacre marks a culmination? That is naive: it is undoubtedly not an end point and part of a crescendo building for decades. Meanwhile, the professional Right keeps denouncing the Democrats for anti-Semitism, which is frequently simply criticism of Israel and has nothing whatever to do with attacks on persons or property. Your article reminds us that these psychopathic attacks are coming from a particular branch of the "White Right" which has been talking upon Satanic Judaism and killing Jews–and targeting synagogues–for quite a while.

Zenobia van Dongen , November 18, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Fascinating article by Max Blumenthal. Max Blumenthal rightly denounces Italy's fascist Casa Pound party but fails to report that Casa Pound is on excellent terms with Hezbollah, as reported by the Italian daily Repubblica in 2015. According to Repubblica, the European Parliament declared Hezbollah a terrorist group on 10 March 2005.

On 26 September 2015 a convention called "Mediterranean Solidarity", "the first international convention of solidarity [among] identities" was held in Rome attended by Rima Fakhri, member of Hezbollah's politburo and Sayyed Ammar Al Moussaw, responsible for Hezbollah's international relations, as well as by top Casa Pound leaders like Alberto Palladino, who was seen in the Donbass during fighting between Russia and the Ukraine, Franco Nerozzi, who was convicted of international terrorism in Verona after taking part in a failed coup detat on the Comoros islands, Casa Pound leader Giovanni Feola, and Luca Bertoni, representing the Lombardy-Russia Association, who always accompanies Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right Lega, on his trips to Moscow.

"Italian right-wingers have consolidated relations with the most fundamentalist and militant Islamic groups. In 2013 the City of Rome refused permission to the Syrian Uodai Soso Ramadan, also invited to the congress, to hold a pro-Assad demonstration. At the time he was staying at CasaPound."

Source: Roma, la strana coppia Hezbollah-Casapound insieme al convegno, di Corrado Zunino, Repubblica, 20 settembre 2015
https://roma.repubblica.it/cronaca/2015/09/20/news/roma_convegno_mediterraneo_solidale_iniziativa_fascio-islamica-123310960/

tom metzger , November 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm

The article on the neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine is very interesting. I am a white working-class white separatist with some longtime following. Even though this article had both lies, truths and maybes. It was well done. However, when it says there is no other side in the US with another view, you are wrong. I have experienced the attempted and sometimes successful penetration of the right wing by CIA types for many years and gotten rid of 2 serious penetrations in years past.

I have warned those that listen not to involve themselves in the Ukraine situation. In fact, don't travel to other countries. Where you do not really know the score and may be fighting on the wrong side anyway.

I am aware that anything the State Department involves itself in is totally suspect and probably criminal. Even if you don't acknowledge it there are other factions that are pretty much out of the right wing, but are still very strongly White separatists . In fact, my politics have moved to the left on several important issues. It would appear to me that the powers that be are attempting to design a right wing alleged neo-Nazi movement somewhat patterned some what after ISIS.It is obvious Blumenthal's article has a lot of truth in it, but his mindset tends to get in the way . When he uses the old dog whistles like Trump when labeling people. Tom Metzger

Geo , November 18, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Curious why you are a White Separatist? Is there any logical reason because the best I can gather from the many separatist commenters that have littered threads like these over the years is that they're too fragile to get by in an ethically equal society. It seems that they're greatest problem is that others have rights now so it's harder for these White Separatists to succeed seeing as how they must do so on merit instead of birthright.

Be curious to find out if there is any justification for ethnic separatism other than petty whining because of some mythical birthright you feel you're being denied?

rosemerry , November 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Notice that they admit the connection goes back at least to 2014. We never hear much about the overthrow of the new pro-Russian government in Ukraine after the Russians had worked for four years with the pro-Western lot. Only when Nuland/Yats and co interfered did the new "government" with its Nazi links become powerful with the help of the EU and of course USA. The whole continuing insistence on Russia being an enemy has no basis in reason or sense. To support Ukraine now just because it is fanatically against Russia after decades of cooperation in the USSR is not justified by any possible link with "national security of the USA" or of Europe.

O Society , November 18, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Sadly, white nationalism is a thing the United States enjoys exporting. It's an existential crises. https://opensociet.org/2018/11/16/the-rise-of-trump-is-white-america-dying/

Bruce Gagnon , November 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm

See this video of Obama's ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt going to visit training base in western Ukraine where Nazis brought into the then newly formed National Guard are still being trained by US Army Special Forces from Fort Carson, Colorado . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxeZFS9hTUg

Patrick Lucius , November 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Let's not forget that the illegal coup in Ukraine and ensuing civil war was pushed by Obama/Hillary. It was HRC who promoted Dick Cheney's chief foreign adviser, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of European Affairs, and it was Nuland who was caught on tape discussing how to "midwife this thing" in Ukraine.

Nuland is wife of chief neocon Richard Kagan, founder of PNAC. This essentially restarted the cold war between Russia and America. Obama tarnished his presidency primarily by working with Clinton, including the destruction of Libya. Where were the Democrats to object to such shenanigans? I don't know where they were, but I do know where they are now–charging Trump with colluding with the Russians. I thought it was fascinating that Trump, when he secured the Republican nomination, insisted that the Republicans remove from their platform the promise of military aid to Western Ukraine, to fight the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainians. Where were the Democrats to applaud this anti-war mongering? I know where I, as a Democrat was–I was leaving the party and becoming a Trump supporter.

Martin - Swedish citizen , November 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Thanks, these are important points, is about the neocons.
On our smaller Swedish scale ,
I was similarly disgusted with the support by the once much more ethical Social Democratic Party for the US- and EU-supported coup in Kiev.

lucius , November 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Lots of room for disgust In America, the traditional Democrats and Republicans both are backing the neocons' stance with just about no questioning or examination. It seems to be a tribal thing, or some sort of group response, like geese in flight, or buffalo running off a cliff

Jesse , November 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

Thank you for providing a platform for Max Blumenthal's reporting.

Wayne Mclaughlin , November 18, 2018 at 10:35 am

Very good article except for the line " .. Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the failure of the EU and NATO to prevent it ." I always take issue with that representation because it implies an aggressive and forceful action by Russia when in fact Crimea seceded from Ukraine after the western backed and illegal coup of the democratically elected government.

Skip Scott , November 18, 2018 at 2:11 pm

One of the definitions of annexation is "the adding of new territory". I believe this is the way the word is being used in this article. It has come to mean "forceful acquisition" to many folks, and this leads to confusion. To those of us who know a little history, maybe a better word would have "rejoining", since Crimea was part of Russia until the early 1950's. When Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine it was still part of the USSR, so it was really no more than a gesture. The Russian naval base in Sevastopol has been there since the 1700's.

Martin - Swedish citizen , November 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Very good point!
Wording is important, and accepting the word annexation without clarification may be a step towards buying the lie.

Joe Tedesky , November 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Great point Skip. Joe

dale t hood , November 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

thank you wayne

torture this , November 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

It must be a terrible feeling to know you can't compete with people that you believe are inferior. Nice to have some fellow losers to commiserate with, I suppose.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 18, 2018 at 8:33 am

Ah, America, land of liberty!

Is there anything you won't do in your rabid efforts to dominate the planet?

Of course, when you think about it, these Ukrainian thugs are no worse than other outfits America heavily supports, from the mercenaries of Syria and the government of Saudi Arabia to the King of Bahrain and the government of Israel.

A couple of these last – Israel, Saudi Arabia – kill more innocent civilians than any terrorist organization could dream of doing.

And no one says a thing.

mike k , November 18, 2018 at 8:27 am

Max Blumenthal does a valuable service shining a light into the dark places of Nazi Fascism in the US. Anyone who thinks these groups are too small to be important, should recall how small the movement that gave us Hitler was in it's beginnings.

mike k , November 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

Pro Nazi sentiment has never died in the US Oligarchy. The CIA is essentially a fascist organization pretending to be protectors of democracy. Worship of violence and authoritarianism is endemic to the American Spirit. All the better for being the world's greatest bully, pretending to be the guardians of the highest values. Those in high places here are the evil scum of the universe.

(Thanks for the new font! So much better.)

John A , November 18, 2018 at 7:57 am

The US is now funding a schism in the Orthodox church between Ukraine and Russia. The evil of the US knows no bounds.

rosemerry , November 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Of course, "good ole Americans" like Mike Pence claim to be Christians, and many other US Christians blame the Russian Orthodox church for not being as modern as they are and ready to accept LGBTQ..

Realist , November 18, 2018 at 4:14 am

Not surprising that some Americans think that racial bigotry is okie dokie when both political parties in Washington, especially the one that bases its platform on membership in certain favored identity groups, practice it routinely against anyone or anything Russian or Iranian. They have a few other fall guys as well, but those are the two blamed for everything these days.

No question but that Ukraine is one of the most ethnically prejudiced and fascist regimes on the planet, though that doesn't seem to bother Washington, as long as they are frenetically Russophobic. Neither does Israel's rampant anti-Arab, anti-Persian and anti-Muslim Zionism bother the bigots in DC in the slightest.

Yet they get into a lather when the small nations of Eastern Europe, especially those in the Visegrad countries (plus Austria, Slovenia and Croatia) constituting most of the Intermarium that the author alluded to, which happen to have both small populations and low birthrates, reasonably fear that their native populations will be swamped out within a couple of generations if they are forced by the EU to take in significant numbers of Islamic migrants from the lands thrown into turmoil by the U.S.-instigated wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Hungary's Viktor Orban is vilified in the West as some sort of new Hitler (must be Putin's twin brother) for implementing on a much smaller scale what Donald Trump is trying to institutionalise in the enormously larger United States.

Rather than force all these sociological "side effects" to its catastrophic wars on its putative "allies," perhaps Washington should finally see the light and do the right thing by winding down the carnage and aiding the resettlement and rebuilding of the war-torn countries by their displaced citizens. But they won't–they have overtly refused, at least until none of America's debts can be paid with devalued petrodollars, because that would let Russia off the hook, whom Washington wants to see crushed as badly as der Fuehrer did–I think it's trying to complete his mission. Plus the glorious new war against Iran would have to be cancelled. They used to say, "all roads lead to Rome." They oughta re-write that for the modern world as, "all strife traces from Washington."

mike k , November 18, 2018 at 8:19 am

Excellent comments Realist.

Joe Tedesky , November 18, 2018 at 10:55 am

Like our 'Big Pharma Over Medicated Society' we in the West would rather beat the hell out of the symptom rather than cure the cause, is our American hegemonic trademark. Similar to tightening the screw so tight the fragile glass begins to crack so you fix it with a hammer. It appears our leaders love spreading their chaos. None of this shows signs of ever ending well, but yet we overdose the symptom to the extreme that the side affect is what finally kills us. In the end it only matters how it shows on a profit and loss sheet.

rosemerry , November 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

An excellent contribution-thanks realist.
The USA has steadfastly refused to rebuild their devastated victims' lands even when UN legal demands clearly demanded it eg Nicaragua.

Jean , November 18, 2018 at 3:01 am

Short sited or planned.

michael weddle , November 18, 2018 at 1:44 am

Excellent reporting, Max! I'm curious. Is there any connection with present or former Eric Prince mercenary soldiers, or soldiers from other private mercenary organizations, with these fascist movements?

Joe Tedesky , November 17, 2018 at 11:15 pm

This fascist trend should go well with Operation Timber Sycamore, where the U.S. armed the terrorist jihadist. When will our American leaders learn, that if you play with fire you will get burned. The rise of the Nazi is one more reason that we Americans should focus on this type of news as Max Blumenthal reports. Furthermore the American Jewish who do not support the Israeli apartheid state should join good thinking Americans to put down this disgusting happening. So thank you Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pratt, and the rest of this sick and insane DC bunch, because without you where would our Homeland Security budget be?

Think it can't happen here . the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter lived 4 blocks from me. Btw these racist don't vote, they just hate. And 'no' I didn't know him, but I know of others sick birds all of them.

And especially a warm thank you goes out to Max Blumenthal for his courageous reporting. Bless you Max. Joe

Bob Van Noy , November 18, 2018 at 10:32 am

Thank you Joe. The larger picture and insanity of the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" Philosophy, is and always has been totally without moral responsibility. Interestingly, it seems to be a fundamental aspect of post WWII organizing by our own OSS, who became the CIA in 1949. Alan Dulles was busy organizing this kind of activity before that war ended.

Thanks to you Joe and of course Max Blumenthal for addressing this subject. I'll include a link to the early heritage of this bizarre and illegal concept here. Many thanks Consortium News.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-08-18/why-ukraine-crisis-west-s-fault

Joe Tedesky , November 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

Thanks Bob reading John Mearsheimer well defined portrayal of what led up to the fall of the Ukraine as we once knew it, is reminiscent of reading Robert Parry's many articles on this subject. If you recall Parry was deeply into this U.S. led NATO aggression. Through the MSM of the West the tables were turned to point the finger to instead Russian aggression. Putin is never shown in light of his policy achievements nor are his speeches calling out to the world for sensible detente where needed ever covered, but instead Putin is demonized to no end.

Little is remembered, or even known by those in the West of another time where American and British capitalism hugged the very nature of Nazism, while the Russians even back then were too the target of this type of Western aggression. Who's needs history when dreams of speculative profit should cloud their eyes?

[Nov 17, 2018] Macron -- Not the Nationalists -- is Stuck in the 1930s by Scott McConnell

Notable quotes:
"... Treason of the Intellectuals ..."
Nov 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It's in Europe's elite that we find the spirit of appeasement that once enabled fascists and communists. November 16, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron has a new go-to rhetorical trope: alarm over the return of the horrors of the 1930s. Last summer, he decried the reappearance of populist governments "rising like a leprosy, throughout Europe," as well as a "resurgent nationalism" and the emergence of governments that support the closing of frontiers and don't respect "even the right to asylum."

Macron's targets are the newly formed government of Italy, along with Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, all resistant to the flow of migrants into Europe. He returned again to the analogy earlier this month, telling an interviewer he was "struck" by the present's similarities to the 1930s and calling again for resistance to the "nationalist leprosy." He went on this tear yet again while hosting the Armistice Day centenary commemorations, where he contrasted the "generous" France of "universal values" with the shallow nationalism of nations that look out only for their own interests, a remark widely interpreted as a rebuke to President Trump.

To punctuate his point, he added a reference to Julien Benda's Treason of the Intellectuals , published in 1927, which decried burgeoning nationalist sentiments among Europe's intellectuals as a whole and certain French conservatives in particular. It closed with a paean to Franco-German cooperation, the European Union, and the United Nations.

Macron is surely correct that the 1930s were generally a terrible decade. That's true even if what he said is not all that different from the commonplace left-wing view that all conservatives who think about anything more than reducing taxes can be safely decried as fascists and Nazis and deserve no platform in our political system. But the analogy to the 1930s deserves unpacking. Whatever lessons might be learned from history, they're not nearly so straightforward as Macron seems to believe.

First of all, there was not one but two active murderous totalitarian movements popular in the '30s: fascism and communism. Communism came first. The Soviet government had probably killed 10 million innocent people before Hitler came to power. By the 1930s, huge slices of the intelligentsia in Britain, France, and, yes, the United States were head over heels in love with Stalinism. These thinkers produced reams of tributes to the bloodthirsty Soviet system, and were far more dominant in Western intellectual life than the targets of Benda's ire in the 1920s. Second, because Bolshevism came first, it acted as an accelerant, perhaps even a major cause, of fascism. One definition of fascism -- from my thesis supervisor Bob Paxton, probably the greatest American expert on the subject -- is "hard measures by a frightened middle class."

What they were frightened of, of course, was Bolshevism. And rightly so, even if pursuing violent and anti-democratic means in defense of property and order had a cost in suffering just as horrific as those they had feared.

Additionally, among the large numbers of people who were neither fascists nor communists, nor fellow travelers to either, there were significant currents of opinion hardly conducive to maintaining democratic peace. In early 1933, the Oxford Union held one of its most famous and historically significant debates: aye or nay on the motion "that this House will in no circumstance fight for its King and Country." The motion carried by a nearly two-to-one margin, a result noted and commented upon all over the world.

Some of the arguments made in favor of "aye" were standard communist fare, i.e., "It is no mere coincidence that the only country fighting for the cause of peace, Soviet Russia, is the country that has rid itself of the warmongering clique." But it's likely that the vast majority of the students who supported the motion, the bright and favored sons of Britain's establishment, were motivated by pure disgust at the horrendous toll, paid for no terribly good reason, in the trenches of the Western Front. In any case, the sentiment was widespread enough in Britain's ruling circles to buttress the arguments for appeasement made a few years later. It certainly contributed to Hitler's view that Britain and France were soft, unwilling to resist him.

Macron Trash Talks "America First" In Defense of Ethnic Nationalism

So if one of the evils of the '30s was the extreme nationalism and fascism that Macron decried, another was communism. And the combined energy of both led to a spirit of appeasement on the part of those attached to neither far left or right but unable also to summon much energy to defend an imperfect bourgeois order. It's this spirit that's most analogous to the regnant attitudes in contemporary Europe.

For as world leaders and press descended upon Paris to commemorate the end of World War I, one could see that desire for appeasement take a new form. Last week, a middle-aged Pakistani Christian woman, a farm worker named Asia Bibi, was freed after eight years on death row for the charge of "blasphemy." Her conviction was overturned by Pakistan's supreme court, a decision that immediately provoked mass demonstrations by fundamentalist Muslims demanding her death. Her attorney fled the country for his safety. Her family requested asylum in Britain, a request that was reportedly denied because the British government feared it would provoke "unrest" among Muslims.

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, those wordy celebrants of Europe's asylum generosity, have uttered not a word in support of Bibi, even as both (particularly Merkel) have facilitated entry into Europe of millions of young Muslim men as "refugees." In contrast to them, Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini has said that Italy would welcome Bibi and her family -- who at this writing are still unable to leave Pakistan.

It's a telling moment -- the government indirectly accused by Macron of harkening back the dark days of the 1930s is ready to open its arms to a genuine political refugee, while the governments of Theresa May, Macron, and Merkel opt for social peace -- a "paix bien Munichoise" as a writer for the French journal Causeur aptly describes the establishment's accommodating stance towards fundamentalist Islam on European soil.

The Bibi case brings to mind the fascinating story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch woman of Somali origin who became a member of parliament and then, after 9/11, a critic of Islam. Because of threats of murder from Dutch Islamists, she was first forced to live under police protection and eventually had her citizenship withdrawn by the Dutch government. She moved to America, becoming, as Salman Rushdie put it, "maybe the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust."

But in Macron's view, and the view of others from the West's Davos-style establishment, the threat to Europe's core values can come only from "nationalists" like Hungary's Victor Orbán, Italy's Salvini, and the likes of Donald Trump. In his famous poem written at the outbreak of World War II, W.H. Auden famously called the 1930s "a low dishonest decade." The attitudes that made it so are very much alive in Europe's ruling classes today.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Nov 17, 2018] Crosstalk: Nationalism by RPI Staf

Nov 17, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Was French president Emmanuel Macron correct at the WWI commemoration over the weekend when he asserted that patriotism is the opposite of nationalism in a pointed dig at US president Donald Trump? RPI Board Members Lew Rockwell and John Laughland join scholar George Szamuely on RT's Crosstalk to debate whether nationalism is the bogeyman that Macron and others make it out to be. Or is blaming nationalism just a way to further destroy national sovereignty and bring about an unelected permanent globalist empire?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_aOfBdbCqU0


Copyright © 2018 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

[Nov 15, 2018] Trump Understands The Important Difference Between Nationalism And Globalism

Nov 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Raheem Kassam, op-ed via The Daily Caller,

President Macron's protests against nationalism this weekend stand in stark contrast with the words of France's WWII resistance leader and the man who would then become president: General Charles de Gaulle.

Speaking to his men in 1913, de Gaulle reminded them:

"He who does not love his mother more than other mothers, and his fatherland more than other fatherlands, loves neither his mother nor his fatherland."

This unquestionable invocation of nationalism reveals how far France has come in its pursuit of globalist goals, which de Gaulle described later in that same speech as the "appetite of vice."

While this weekend the media have been sharpening their knives on Macron's words, for use against President Trump, very few have taken the time to understand what really created the conditions for the wars of the 20th century. It was globalism's grandfather: imperialism, not nationalism.

This appears to have been understood at least until the 1980s, though forgotten now. With historical revisionism applied to nationalism and the great wars, it is much harder to understand what President Trump means when he calls himself a "nationalist." Though the fault is with us, not him.

" Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism By pursuing our own interests first, with no regard to others,' we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values," President Macron declared from the pulpit of the Armistice 100 commemorations.

Had this been in reverse, there would no doubt have been shrieks of disgust aimed at Mr. Trump for "politicizing" such a somber occasion. No such shrieks for Mr. Macron, however, who languishes below 20 percent in national approval ratings in France.

With some context applied, it is remarkably easy to see how President Macron was being disingenuous.

Nationalism and patriotism are indeed distinct. But they are not opposites.

Nationalism is a philosophy of governance, or how human beings organize their affairs. Patriotism isn't a governing philosophy. Sometimes viewed as subsidiary to the philosophy of nationalism, patriotism is better described as a form of devotion.

For all the grandstanding, Mr. Macron may as well have asserted that chicken is the opposite of hot sauce, so meaningless was the comparison.

Imperialism, we so quickly forget, was the order of the day heading into the 20th century. Humanity has known little else but empire since 2400 B.C. The advent of globalism, replete with its foreign power capitals and multi-national institutions is scarcely distinct.

Imperialism -- as opposed to nationalism -- seeks to impose a nation's way of life, its currency, its traditions, its flags, its anthems, its demographics, and its rules and laws upon others wherever they may be.

Truly, President Trump's nationalism heralds a return to the old U.S. doctrine of non-intervention, expounded by President George Washington in his farewell address of 1796:

" It must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of [Europe's] politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities."

It should not have to be pointed out that the great wars of the 20th century could not be considered "ordinary vicissitudes", but rather, that imperialism had begun to run amok on the continent.

It was an imperialism rooted in nihilism, putting the totality of the state at its heart. Often using nationalism as nothing more than a method of appeal, socialism as a doctrine of governance, and Jews as a subject of derision and scapegoating.

Today's imperialism is known as globalism.

It is what drives nations to project outward their will, usually with force; causes armies to cross borders in the hope of subjugating other human beings or the invaded nation's natural resources; and defines a world, or region, or continent by its use of central authority and foreign capital control.

Instead of armies of soldiers, imperialists seek to dominate using armies of economists and bureaucrats. Instead of forced payments to a foreign capital, globalism figured out how to create economic reliance: first on sterling, then on the dollar, now for many on the Euro. This will soon be leapfrogged by China's designs.

And while imperialism has served some good purposes throughout human history, it is only when grounded in something larger than man; whether that be natural law, God, or otherwise. But such things are scarcely long-lived.

While benevolent imperialism can create better conditions over a period of time, humanity's instincts will always lean towards freedom and self-governance.

It is this fundamental distinction between the United States' founding and that of the modern Republic of France that defines the two nations.

The people of France are "granted" their freedoms by the government, and the government creates the conditions and dictates the terms upon which those freedoms are exercised.

As Charles Kesler wrote for the Claremont Review of Books in May, "As a result, there are fewer and fewer levers by which the governed can make its consent count".

France is the archetypal administrative state, while the United States was founded on natural law, a topic that scarcely gets enough attention anymore.

Nationalism - or nationism, if you will - therefore represents a break from the war-hungry norm of human history . Its presence in the 20th century has been rewritten and bastardized.

A nationalist has no intention of invading your country or changing your society. A nationalist cares just as much as anyone else about the plights of others around the world but believes putting one's own country first is the way to progress. A nationalist would never seek to divide by race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference, or otherwise. This runs contrary to the idea of a united, contiguous nation at ease with itself.

Certainly nationalism's could-be bastard child of chauvinism can give root to imperialistic tendencies. But if the nation can and indeed does look after its own, and says to the world around it, "these are our affairs, you may learn from them, you may seek advice, we may even assist if you so desperately need it and our affairs are in order," then nationalism can be a great gift to the 21st century and beyond.

This is what President Trump understands.

[Nov 14, 2018] Macron Trash Talks "America First"

Notable quotes:
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In a rebuke that bordered on a national insult Sunday, Emmanuel Macron sniped at Donald Trump's calling himself a nationalist.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism; nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism," Macron said.

As for Trump's policy of "America first," Macron trashed such atavistic thinking in this new age: "By saying we put ourselves first and the others don't matter, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."

Though he is being hailed as Europe's new anti-Trump leader who will stand up for transnationalism and globalism, Macron revealed his ignorance of America.

Trump's ideas are not ideological but rooted in our country's history.

America was born between the end of the French and Indian War, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the ratification of the Constitution in 1788. Both the general who led us in the Revolution and the author of that declaration became president. Both put America first. And both counseled their countrymen to avoid "entangling" or "permanent" alliances with any other nation, as we did for 160 years.

Were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson lacking in patriotism?

When Woodrow Wilson, after being re-elected in 1916 on the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War," took us into World War I, he did so as an "associate," not as an Allied power. American troops fought under American command.

Emmanuel Macron: The New King of Europe? When 'America First' Becomes Negotiable

After that war, the U.S. Senate rejected an alliance with France. Under Franklin Roosevelt, Congress formally voted for neutrality in any future European war.

The U.S. emerged from World War II as the least bloodied and least damaged nation because we stayed out for more than two years after it had begun.

We did not invade France until four years after it was occupied, the British had been thrown off the Continent, and Josef Stalin's Soviet Union had been fighting and dying for three years.

The leaders who kept us out of the two world wars as long as they did -- did they not serve our nation well, given that America's total losses were just over 500,000 dead, compared with the millions that other nations lost?

At the Armistice Day ceremony, Macron declared, "By saying we put ourselves first and the others don't matter, we erase what a nation holds dearest its moral values."

But Trump did not say that other countries don't matter. He only said we should put our own country first.

What country does Emmanuel Macron put first?

Does the president of France see himself as a citizen of the world with responsibility for all of Europe and all of mankind?

Charles de Gaulle was perhaps the greatest French patriot of the 20th century. Yet he spoke of a Europe of nation-states, built a national nuclear arsenal, ordered NATO out of France in 1966, and, in Montreal in 1967, declared, "Long live a free Quebec" -- inciting French Canadians to rise up against "les Anglo-Saxons" and create their own nation.

Was de Gaulle lacking in patriotism?

By declaring American nationalists anti-patriotic, Macron has asserted a claim to the soon-to-be-vacant chair of Angela Merkel.

But is Macron really addressing the realities of the new Europe and world in which we now live? Or is he simply assuming a heroic liberal posture to win the applause of Western corporate and media elites?

The realities: in Britain, Scots are seeking secession, and the English have voted to get out of the European Union. Many Basques and Catalans wish to secede from Spain. Czechs and Slovaks have split the blanket and parted ways.

Anti-EU sentiment is rampant in populist-dominated Italy.

A nationalism their peoples regard as deeply patriotic has triumphed in Poland and Hungary and is making gains even in Germany.

The leaders of the world's three greatest military powers -- Trump in the U.S., Vladimir Putin in Russia, and Xi Jinping in China -- are all nationalists.

Turkish nationalist Recep Tayyip Erdogan rules in Ankara; Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is head of India. Jair Bolsonaro, a Trumpian nationalist, is the incoming president of Brazil. Is not Benjamin Netanyahu an Israeli nationalist?

In France, a poll of voters last week showed that Marine Le Pen's renamed party, Rassemblement National, has moved ahead of Macron's party for the May 2019 European Parliament elections.

If there is a valid criticism of Trump's foreign policy, it is not that he has failed to recognize the new realities of the 21st century. It's that he has not moved expeditiously to dissolve old alliances that put America at risk of war in faraway lands where no vital U.S. interests exist.

Why are we still committed to fight for a South Korea far richer and more populous than the nuclear-armed North? Why are U.S. planes and ships still bumping into Russian planes and ships in the Baltic and Black seas?

Why are we still involved in the half-dozen wars into which Bush II and Barack Obama got us in the Middle East?

Why do we not have the "America first" foreign policy we voted for?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Nov 14, 2018] Is Orwell overrated and Huxley undertated?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Orwell grew up in a time of increasing scale, Managerialism, and atomization. His thinking narrates the moral discourse shaped by that anti-social environment and its effects (mass wars) but dresses it up in an emancipatory narrative. One is immediately struck by his lack of foresight in predicting how power would operate as the 20th century wore on (Foucault and and Huxley are a lot closer the truth), and his inability to grapple with the essence of power and its moral and conceptual implications as a whole. ..."
"... Orwell proceeds to demand by implication we view the ancestral efforts which secured our position in the present day as illegitimate, since they conformed to emergent anthropological patterns of conflict and conquest instead of categorical laws plucked out of thin air by self-styled 'enlightened' big-brains during the 18th century. ..."
"... Had we actually lived by these 'standards', those of us left would be a marginalized set of tribes pushed to the far north of Europe, regularly getting shafted by whatever Magian civilization moved in. As a matter of fact, that's happening right now as these self-critical ideas have installed themselves within our cultural substrate. ..."
"... But if you have a decline and you have a desire to assert yourself to arrest the decline, and you have to apologize to yourself about even having the idea of assertion to arrest decline, you're not going to get anywhere, are you? ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Lord Lemur , 7 hours ago

Orwell's intellect is overrated, and his aphorisms have become thought-ending cliches. Look at the string of assumptions in quote above. Do individuals really 'choose' to 'sink' their consciousness into a greater body? What makes far more sense is that at the 'core' of I there is a 'we', which is conditioned by prior forms of particularity - religion, ethnicity, language, race, and culture. This is the basis of a harmonious common good, and a meaningful lifeworld.

Orwell grew up in a time of increasing scale, Managerialism, and atomization. His thinking narrates the moral discourse shaped by that anti-social environment and its effects (mass wars) but dresses it up in an emancipatory narrative. One is immediately struck by his lack of foresight in predicting how power would operate as the 20th century wore on (Foucault and and Huxley are a lot closer the truth), and his inability to grapple with the essence of power and its moral and conceptual implications as a whole.

In reality, power is a moral imperative, and its acquisition and application the inaugural raison d'être of the state and the concomitant society. Hence, the cogito subject at the heart of Orwell's evaluative presuppositions is itself a product of prior systems of power, upstream from personal judgment and value sets.

Orwell proceeds to demand by implication we view the ancestral efforts which secured our position in the present day as illegitimate, since they conformed to emergent anthropological patterns of conflict and conquest instead of categorical laws plucked out of thin air by self-styled 'enlightened' big-brains during the 18th century.

Had we actually lived by these 'standards', those of us left would be a marginalized set of tribes pushed to the far north of Europe, regularly getting shafted by whatever Magian civilization moved in. As a matter of fact, that's happening right now as these self-critical ideas have installed themselves within our cultural substrate.

These pious set of mere assertions are deployed by the ruling globalist cabal to justify the replacement of Western founding stocks. Yet they are so ingrained among our senior cohort, when their *own people actually under attack* seek to affirm themselves without contradiction in *response*, they are viewed as the root menace. But if you have a decline and you have a desire to assert yourself to arrest the decline, and you have to apologize to yourself about even having the idea of assertion to arrest decline, you're not going to get anywhere, are you?

Those who feel uncomfortable about this should have worked harder to prevent the erosion of the historic American nation, and if there is nothing they could have done against the DC Behemoth, abstain from opposing the instinctive response of the cultural immune system.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 7 hours ago

I beg you pardon, O neocon scion of the WASP elite. and what did you ever do for the "historic America?"
Lord Lemur -> Pat Lang , 7 hours ago
I'm not American, but i'm 5th generation in an Anglo-setter nation. The implication here is that i'm an ungrateful you whipper-snapper who just doesn't grasp the sacrifices and horrors of the 20th century. Exactly when does my generation get the moral cachet entitling us to input directions into the civilizational compass? Arguments predicated on commitment to a cause haven no inherent validity. I'm certainly not disparaging or denying here, but you're putting us in a position where our ambit of choice is circumscribed by the ideology that justified post-War US hegemony (for which people from my community were still dying until very recently in Afghanistan).
Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 6 hours ago
I have long thought that NATO should have been abolished after the fall of the USSR. Go your own way. I am not concerned with you foreigners in Europe or anywhere else. I am concerned with the state of mind of my own people who should wise up and forget about Europe except as a trading partner and a tourist destination.
Lord Lemur -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Well, I would love to do that Col., but unfortunately Western civilization as a whole goes the way of Washington, New York, Brussels, and maybe Paris and Moscow. What happens to weaker power centres without the strong ones? What has happened Tibet, that's what.

Thinking in terms of elites tied to specific nations is no longer a good model to conceive of politics. Formal institutions like NATO are an expression of that. We have to address transnational networks of soft power that bind together and enculturate the ruling class. I have more in common with a Trump voter from flyover country and he with me than either of us with our respective 'national' elites.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 5 hours ago
Blah Blah. At least you did not tell me about your hero grandpa.
JJackson , 13 hours ago
An important distinction, thank you for forcing us to consider the difference.

The two are not always easy to distinguish and a 'My country right or wrong' mindset seems to be dangerously on the rise. I was considering the use of the national flag on homes in the US and UK. It surprised me how common it seemed in the States and assumed it was a show of Patriotic fervor when I see it in the UK it sends a shiver down my spine as (with the exception of major international sporting events) I interpret it as extreme Nationalism often associated with racist or Neo-Nazi sympathies. Conflation of the two seems much the same as that of Anti-Israeli, Anti-Zionist and Anti-Semitic again three very distinct mindsets.

Degringolade , 13 hours ago
... Look, mostly this whole patriotism/nationalism word game is just sadly funny. You are a patriot if you think like me. You are a nationalist if you don't. Patriotism is good, nationalism is bad. If I am a patriot, I am good, if you are a nationalist, you must be bad.

I think that the wisdom of Humpty Dumpty when speaking to Alice fits here:

"When I use a word..it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is which is to be master -- that's all."

[Nov 14, 2018] Nationalism vs partiotism

Highly recommended!
Nov 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

[Nov 14, 2018] Nationalism and Patriotism

It's probably more complex and there is not solid boundary between nationalism (love of your own country or ethnicity at the expense of other) and patriotism (just love of you own country). Envy is a very human trait (Great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin said that it is the sister of competition, so it comes for noble family) and if you love you country you definitely can envy other countries and this feeling complicates things -- bridging the gap between the patriotism and the nationalism.
The two are not always easy to distinguish and a 'My country right or wrong' mindset seems to be dangerously on the rise. Also often this whole patriotism/nationalism word game is just sadly funny. You are a patriot if you think like me. You are a nationalist if you don't. Patriotism is good, nationalism is bad. If I am a patriot, I am good, if you are a nationalist, you must be bad.
Ukrainians has a saying that reflect this deep feeling of envy " God I do not want any specific favors for myself, but please make it so that my neighbor house was burned out"
Notable quotes:
"... I long ago decided that Nationalism as these two great minds defined it was a bad thing and that I hoped the United States would not descend to such a depth of false pride as to become nationalistic in this sense. I have lived to be disappointed in this. ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

George Orwell wrote in "Notes on Nationalism," that "By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality ."

I have tried to act as I imagine a patriot should and in a way that Kedourie and Orwell might approve. I long ago decided that Nationalism as these two great minds defined it was a bad thing and that I hoped the United States would not descend to such a depth of false pride as to become nationalistic in this sense. I have lived to be disappointed in this.

In general I support Macron's expressed view on this subject but it should be said that much of his vehemence on this subject is caused by his own search for approval in France and reluctance to see Europe deprived of the post WW2 economic benefits and subsidized defense against the USSR long provided by the United States. From my point of view Macron appears a self serving politician in this matter.

We should all be careful not to confuse Patriotism and Nationalism. pl

smoothieX12 . , 12 hours ago

Chesterton comes to mind immediately:"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
Lord Lemur , 7 hours ago
Orwell's intellect is overrated, and his aphorisms have become thought-ending cliches. Look at the string of assumptions in quote above. Do individuals really 'choose' to 'sink' their consciousness into a greater body? What makes far more sense is that at the 'core' of I there is a 'we', which is conditioned by prior forms of particularity - religion, ethnicity, language, race, and culture. This is the basis of a harmonious common good, and a meaningful lifeworld.

Orwell grew up in a time of increasing scale, managerialism, and atomizaton. His thinking narrates the moral discourse shaped by that anti-social environment and its effects (mass wars) but dresses it up in an emancipatory narrative. One is immediately struck by his lack of foresight in predicting how power would operate as the 20th century wore on (Foucault and and Huxley are a lot closer the truth), and his inability to grapple with the essence of power and its moral and conceptual implications as a whole.

In reality, power is a moral imperative, and its acquisition and application the inaugural raison d'être of the state and the concomitant society. Hence, the cogito subject at the heart of Orwell's evaluative presuppositions is itself a product of prior systems of power, upstream from personal judgement and value sets. Orwell proceeds to demand by implication we view the ancestral efforts which secured our position in the present day as illegitimate, since they conformed to emergent anthropological patterns of conflict and conquest instead of categorical laws plucked out of thin air by self-styled 'enlightened' big-brains during the 18th century. Had we actually lived by these 'standards', those of us left would be a marginalized set of tribes pushed to the far north of Europe, regularly getting shafted by whatever Magian civilization moved in. As a matter of fact, that's happening right now as these self-critical ideas have installed themselves within our cultural substrate.

These pious set of mere assertions are deployed by the ruling globalist cabal to justify the replacement of Western founding stocks. Yet they are so ingrained among our senior cohort, when their *own people actually under attack* seek to affirm themselves without contradiction in *response*, they are viewed as the root menace. But if you have a decline and you have a desire to assert yourself to arrest the decline, and you have to apologize to yourself about even having the idea of assertion to arrest decline, you're not going to get anywhere, are you?

Those who feel uncomfortable about this should have worked harder to prevent the erosion of the historic American nation, and if there is nothing they could have done against the DC Behemoth, abstain from opposing the instinctive response of the cultural immune system.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 7 hours ago

I beg you pardon, O neocon scion of the WASP elite. and what did you ever do for the "historic America?"
Lord Lemur -> Pat Lang , 7 hours ago
I'm not American, but i'm 5th generation in an Anglo-setter nation. The implication here is that i'm an ungrateful you whipper-snapper who just doesn't grasp the sacrifices and horrors of the 20th century. Exactly when does my generation get the moral cachet entitling us to input directions into the civilizational compass? Arguments predicated on commitment to a cause haven no inherent validity. I'm certainly not disparaging or denying here, but you're putting us in a position where our ambit of choice is circumscribed by the ideology that justified post-War US hegemony (for which people from my community were still dying until very recently in Afghanistan).
Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 6 hours ago
I have long thought that NATO should have been abolished after the fall of the USSR. Go your own way. I am not concerned with you foreigners in Europe or anywhere else. I am concerned with the state of mind of my own people who should wise up and forget about Europe except as a trading partner and a tourist destination.
Lord Lemur -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Well, I would love to do that Col., but unfortunately Western civilization as a whole goes the way of Washington, New York, Brussels, and maybe Paris and Moscow. What happens to weaker power centres without the strong ones? What has happened Tibet, that's what.

Thinking in terms of elites tied to specific nations is no longer a good model to conceive of politics. Formal institutions like NATO are an expression of that. We have to address transnational networks of soft power that bind together and enculturate the ruling class. I have more in common with a Trump voter from flyover country and he with me than either of us with our respective 'national' elites.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lord Lemur , 5 hours ago
Blah Blah. At least you did not tell me about your hero grandpa.
JJackson , 13 hours ago
An important distinction, thank you for forcing us to consider the difference.

The two are not always easy to distinguish and a 'My country right or wrong' mindset seems to be dangerously on the rise. I was considering the use of the national flag on homes in the US and UK. It surprised me how common it seemed in the States and assumed it was a show of Patriotic fervor when I see it in the UK it sends a shiver down my spine as (with the exception of major international sporting events) I interpret it as extreme Nationalism often associated with racist or Neo-Nazi sympathies. Conflation of the two seems much the same as that of Anti-Israeli, Anti-Zionist and Anti-Semitic again three very distinct mindsets.

Degringolade , 13 hours ago
I can truthfully state that I am either fish, nor fowl, nor good red meat on this one. It seems to me to be a standard bit of verbal "wanking" so beloved by the folks in the political arena.

I think that mostly this is a in your face dig at Trump, same tenor, same sneering superiority that was displayed by the urban democrats who are currently in their third year of an extended tantrum over Trump's taking their shiny ball from them.

Look, mostly this whole patriotism/nationalism word game is just sadly funny. You are a patriot if you think like me. You are a nationalist if you don't. Patriotism is good, nationalism is bad. If I am a patriot, I am good, if you are a nationalist, you must be bad.

I think that the wisdom of Humpty Dumpty when speaking to Alice fits here:

"When I use a word..it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is which is to be master -- that's all."

Pat Lang Mod -> Degringolade , 9 hours ago
If you see life as a zero sum game then you would be right. I do not see it that way. I never did.
Eugene Owens , 12 hours ago
Self serving
Eugene Owens , 12 hours ago
Self serving, yes. As are all politicians.

But I suspect he also does not want to see another Verdun. Or another Douaumont charnel house where the unidentified bones of 130,000 French and German soldiers reside.

https://www.atlasobscura.co...

Eugene Owens -> Eugene Owens , 8 hours ago
Or he does not want another Zone Rouge like the two million acres around Verdun that remains forbidden territory even now. The only ones allowed in are the EOD techs of the Département du Déminage that are still digging out unexploded ordnance 102 years later. Much of that UXO contains mustard, phosgene, or chlorine. All of it is badly corroded and volatile. French EOD pulls out hundreds of tons every year.

https://orionmagazine.org/a...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Pat Lang Mod -> Eugene Owens , 7 hours ago
I just heard that ignorant swine pansy Jesse Watters say that the French have not known military glory sine Bonaparte. Too bad we cannot deposit him in that contaminated zone to find his way out.
Rob Stevenson , 13 hours ago
Somewhat related: Trump's refusal to stand in the rain on that solemn 100th anniversary spoke more of the man than anything previous. Didn't want to get rained on! That war, those trenches, the rain, the rain, the rain. He probably cannot spell infantry, much less describe what it is. There is the Commander In Chief in all his glory. We are lost.
Eric Newhill -> Rob Stevenson , 9 hours ago
Rob,
That was the fake news take on it. The reality is that the Secret Service wasn't prepared to get him there in a vehicle. The original plan was to arrive by helo. He was there the next day in the rain. Fake news is the enemy of the people.
A.Trophimovsky -> Rob Stevenson , 9 hours ago
"That war, those trenches, the rain, the rain, the rain...." Play Hide
Pat Lang Mod -> A.Trophimovsky , 7 hours ago
Inform us of your military record.
A.Trophimovsky -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
No military record here, sir, I am a civilian, born in peace time, even at a time when military service was no more mandatory....But no unaware of war fatigues, since here in Europe we have had almost all relatives who fought the great war....Granpa was a partisan then....

Just read that about the trenches and the rain...and remembered this film....I hope you all can enjoy it....It´s good to watch this kind of films, especially for us who had the great fortune of never being there...

Pat Lang Mod -> A.Trophimovsky , 5 hours ago
I am always amused when civilians tell me about their soldier relatives. you are not your "grandpa." Grow up.

[Nov 13, 2018] Imperfect they might be, national goverments are the only mechanism we have for protecting citizens' rights and freedom to pursue a path of development independently of the dictates global monopoly capitalism is trying to impose on the world.

Nov 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Nov 13, 2018 12:47:39 AM | link

b sez:

It did not learn a single lesson from its fake reporting that led the Iraq War

Eh? They learned everything from it. They got away with it. Subsequent wars and aggression in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Georgia could not have happened without Iraq paving the way. Self professed liberals and leftists cams out in favour of, or remained indifferent to, all of these assaults on national sovereignty. What is under attack here is the concept of independent and sovereign nation states and national governments. Imperfect they might be, but they are the only mechanism we have for protecting citizens' rights and freedom to pursue a path of development independently of the dictates global monopoly capitalism is trying to impose on the world.

[Nov 12, 2018] War has become USA's 2nd nature above beyond the very essence of the military use, which should be to protect the nation's sovereignty

Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

All Risk No Reward , 52 seconds ago link

>>Johnstone: The Best Way To Honor War Veterans Is To Stop Creating Them<<

Preach!

The military defends Money Power Monopolist Mega-Corporate Fascist Global Empire, not America, and definitely NOT the Constitution. The New Deal effectively wiped out the Constitution, which was the "Old Deal."

Syria and Iran aren't threats, they are countries that don't have debt-based money systems controlled by the Money Power Monopolists.

"In a sense, there is no "future". Currently, you note a consolidation of the few remaining countries without a "central bank" ...and how rapidly this is occurring. Look for Syria next to fall, and fall quickly. North Korea has already cut a deal under the aegis of China...feit accompli. Cuba has also agreed to the North American integration once Fidel "passes". That leaves IRAN. And biblical prophesy. The fallout from that conflict sets the stage for the true new world order as has been broadcast in the media for the last 13 years or so." ~Unnamed Rothschild

The establishment of central banks is ALWAYS a necessary first step of subjugation of geographically congregated bloodlines. Note that Libya's first official act, before even the corpses turned stiff...was the establishment of a central bank. Those rebel forces were certainly well schooled by someone! ~Unnamed Rothschild

Amazing how Libyan rebels took time out of their daily war duties to establish a CENTRAL BANK! Imagine the paperwork in getting that done on the battlefield! Those rebels are a well educated lot! Laughing out Loud! Seriously, don't the serfs notice things like this? ~Unnamed Rothschild

The financier of the military makes it clear they are attacking Western countries - monetarily and economically.

"Remember, the equity and bond markets exist only to remove fiat from circulation!" ~Unnamed Rothschild

https://ia802300.us.archive.org/8/items/rofschildv1/IAmARofschildAxeMeAQuestion.html

BitchesBetterRecognize , 14 minutes ago link

Difficult to argue the points made in the article, despite the author's background...

War has become USA's 2nd nature above & beyond the very essence of the military use, which should be to protect the nation's sovereignty

Golden Showers , 21 minutes ago link

Our soldiers joined, were trained, given orders. The best way to honor veterans is to quit putting it on them. This is the government we have because it is the government we want. It's the government we allow. This is on all of us . I think it's time for people who are dissatisfied with the treatment of veterans, with the voter fraud, with the lies and theft of elected officials, local, state, and federal, tired of the media lying to us and creating fake events... perhaps it's time to peacefully strike. Perhaps it's time to say No to vote fraud, to say No to lies and deceit.

Perhaps it's time to peacefully petition the government for redress of grievances. That's a Constitutional Right guaranteed to Citizens of the United States. That requires an active, constructive peaceful assembly. Everyone has had it up to the eyes with this ******** and this con-game we're being fed.

I'd rather get stomped to death than live on with this never ending slow coup against We The People. We hold the power. Just us. We designate that power. It should be here to protect us. That social contract deserves respect. You may be watching the only chance in your life that you could do anything about it, given the current President and his attitude. I really think that. It's not enough to watch the Proud Boys punch an Antifa in the jaw. That doesn't do it for me. That's theatre.

My girlfriends father is old army security. I'm paying the bill at Dennys and he says, let me put my military discount on that. So he's behind a guy in an Operation Iraqi Freedom jacket. He says, hey; I like your jacket. The guy looks at him and he says, nice hat. Army Security Agency. The military deserves more than a discount at ******* Denny's. They deserve a country. So do I. So do you. But there's not going to be any country if we don't peacefully come together to hang every last traitor scumbag lying trasonous seditious bastard by just saying NO! Arrest these traitors! I don't want my vote raped. I don't want my speach raped. Or yours! I don't give a **** about illegals or their kids because I take care of my kids legally and lawfully and didn't put them in that **** expecting a parent of the century award.

I don't ******* care what you call yourself. But if it's more important than your right to call yourself whatever you want, you are my enemy and I tell you no.

If it's legal to vote and legal to be off work to vote, to peacefully assemble, it should be legal to redress government. It's time to show out. It's time to say we want this ******** to stop. We have paid very well for the lifestyles and presidential libraries and foundations and kept all the traitors in good health. But we reserve the right to cut you off if you abuse our sacrifice to you and our votes to you. We reserve the right without prejudice to say NO. That's our right. And until we say NO! our silence equals consent.

I say NO. I say **** THE SEDITIOUS TRAITORS trying to hold on to rape us of all our Rights. And I say long live Trump for giving our country back to us at inauguration. That's what's up. Let's peacefully **** these people up. USE IT OR LOSE IT.

Hubbs , 22 minutes ago link

A quiet tribute to the Vets from Dire Straits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5JkHBC5lDs

And from a movie that says the futility of it all: "We fight because we are here." Imagine dying in the trenches of WWI or in a shithole like the trenches of Korea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nPdVJQaci0&t=186s&list=LLMCbuscsdXrwVsvALbKO5pw&index=19

@3:16

The least we could do is to learn what really happened and why. I realize I was taught an endless string of lies about history, especially US History, WWI, WWII, Vietnam war.

Be very careful and informed before joining the military.

Mike Rotsch , 42 minutes ago link

Libtards don't really know much about anything, so it seems. Here's the deal:

As long as there are assholes in the world, there will be wars.

I don't have a problem with that. It's the world that I live in. It's been the case throughout all of human history. A world without wars is pure ******* fantasy. It will never happen. It's high time that libtards start accepting the world that they live in.

The problem that we're having , is that we're shooting the wrong assholes instead of the right ones. But you know what? All of human history shows that problems like that are always remedied as well. And if you're doing some soul-searching, trying to figure out who the assholes are, they're probably going to be any group of people, who can't leave other groups of people the hell alone .

Not surprisingly, the 20th century seems to be characterized by assholes fighting each other.

Buddha 71 , 43 minutes ago link

Our psychopathic dna as a nation comes mainly from england, one of the most, if not the most murdering countries in history. england cruelly colonized Asia and Africa, and literally never stopped murdering the innocents. Now as our ALLY, among the other killing nations, such as France and Germany, we the USA can kill literally any country or countries for any reason or no reason.

we as the american people will be blamed for all the monstrous destruction and innocents deaths. separation of our country and our politicians would be necessary if we are to have a future. looking dim. why are we still dirty, and killing innocents, why are we allowing saudi and israel to mass murder innocent women and children ?

no one cares enough yet. you would think by 2018 we all would have banned war and conflict, we have not. this makes me sick. I am a vet.

vic and blood , 43 minutes ago link

"since the end of the second world war..."

No matter how they were presented at the time, ultimately, neither world war served the cause of freedom, either.

vic and blood , 51 minutes ago link

No more wars for Zionists.

punchasocialist , 56 minutes ago link

Happy 99th ARMISTICE DAY everyone!

kudocast , 1 hour ago link

http://www.untoldhistory.com

LeadPipeDreams , 1 hour ago link

Hmmm...what about Israhell and the ZioNazi tribe of the Talmud? Don't they deserve a mention?

hangemhigh77 , 1 hour ago link

I'm actually thinking of not watching football anymore the war propaganda is constant. I went to a game and it was like walking into an armed camp. Hundreds of cops and military. Every five minutes they're marching around and everyone has to "honor" them. It's disgusting. All the players are told to kiss every soldiers ***. The Army are the terrorists. They all make me want to puke.

khnum , 1 hour ago link

In Australia at the moment the suicide rate is a shocker among those coming back from Afghanistan, Iraq and places unknown, the solution they are proposing is for priority airport treatment and more medals and other stuff along the model the US has, which is an insult as it does nothing to financially support or mentally cure, its a cop out.

warpigs , 50 minutes ago link

Yes, it is ******** Khnum.

Very few wars are even about righting some amazing wrong. They merely tend to be about treasure i.e. nat gas, oil, rare earth materials, diamonds, water, blah blah blah. And, if there happens to be some fight, ala WWII, then you can bet your *** on it that all corporate assholes are funding and benefiting from the war....on both sides of the coin i.e. backing each side until a peace is called.

I don't have an answer to the human condition or our propensity to be violent and fight etc., but I sure as **** am not cool with sacking places, and killing kids, over ******* things. We're better than this.

I have 2 kids myself. You can all be on notice that if a bomb were to be dropped on my house, and if my kids were killed, I would likely devolve and start picking off the low hanging fruit i.e. the zombies shuffling in and out of said bomb makers companies, and wasting them 1 person as a time. I'd slowly, if still able, work my way up to the execs. Hopefully, and along the way, I'd be able to wipe shareholders off of the grid, also.

Overfed , 5 minutes ago link

When you go off to fight for "freedom", and arrive home to find that you have little to no real freedom and essentially live in a police state, it's a shocking blow.

halcyon , 2 minutes ago link

You get what you sign up for. It's not like the soldiers didn't know.

kudocast , 56 minutes ago link

Yeh I go to games, it is completely disgusting how the NFL promotes the military at the games.

https://www.facebook.com/DenverBroncosCheerleaders/photos/pb.85485353285.-2207520000.1542000250./10156691022423286/?type=3&theater

They look like a bunch of Nazis.

hangemhigh77 , 1 hour ago link

This sounds like something I would write. And even the damn CHURCHES honor the veteran "serving" his country. What a crock of ****. I tell the pastor that he will be judged harshly when his time comes. And I tell Christians that because they support the rampant murder of millions that when they die and are standing before Jesus for judgement they will be soaked in the blood of the innocent and he will ask you why did you support this? Why did you not speak out against it? Then I look at them and say "good luck because you're gonna need it".

LightBulb18 , 1 hour ago link

The world is not ruled by pure evil yet. In Brazil A nationalist was elected, in Italy and much of eastern Europe other nationalists were elected. You think the Chinese protected the Italian and Brazilian right to free and fair elections? You think Russia is the arsenal of freedom? You think the EU upheld the votes of the people, allowing Britain to vote on leaving the EU and Italy and eastern Europe? You think the unelected rulers of the EU respected other peoples right to vote? Look out onto the world, and recognize that as of today, the nations of the world have A group to join if they chose to fight for liberty, capitalism and all the other virtues, and that group is grounded and guaranteed by the United States of America. In G-d I trust.

stonedogz , 1 hour ago link

Hopeful thinking for a hopeless reality. Truth is tyrants never fall by their own swords. It always takes someone else's. The modern problem is a bit more complex when we make the tyrants that we later topple. The toppling is where the bucks are... just ask any of the the last 4 Presidents and their respective Congresses.

minionz1 , 1 hour ago link

I am eagerly waiting the time when they replace Veterans Day with Peace Day.

Oldwood , 1 hour ago link

So war is just an American problem, something we just invented? Do we read much history or is it all PBS specials now. War has ALWAYS been fucked up. Violence has been a major contributor to immigration for all of history. Like it or not, we live in dangerous times. We can ASSUME that if America shrank it's military and ended all interventions that world peace would magically appear....but it won't. We can pray that while we retreat behind of big screen TVs that China will end their territorial expansion and military programs, but they WON'T.

I'm all for reigning in our interventions, but let's not pretend that America is to blame for human evil and aggressive behaviors....just because we are good at it..

There is an endless stream of history illustrating the absolute brutality and evil that had persisted since the beginning of time. We should avoid embracing it but we should avoid thinking we have the power to end it. More arrogance to be used for destructive purposes.

halcyon , 3 minutes ago link

Nah, it is just that USA has made forever war such a profitable and ongoing mega-business. The degenerate banker and royal families of Europe would only fight every generation or two. You fight all the time and try to start new ones, before you finish off with the old ones, and print global toilet paper to pay for it all. Because it is good business. **** laws, lives and human decency.

And then you have Hollywood make ****-for-brain movies about just wars, war comradery and heroic sacrifice and spread that **** all over the world.

So yeah, you got all the reasons for being hated for your war business.

PuttingIsLikeWisdom , 1 hour ago link

"..nerd somewhere in Washington.."?? 'Washington' is beholding to Netanyahu's ilk.

OZZIDOWNUNDER , 1 hour ago link

The only way to honor veterans, really, truly honor them, is to help end war and make sure no more lives are put into a position where they are on the giving or receiving end of evil, stupid, meaningless violence

A bit too close to the Bone for the average American to appreciate. A well thought out & articulated article.

minionz1 , 1 hour ago link

I predict, one day soon, this Zombie Nation will soon awaken. Great Song by Kernkraft 400: Zombie nation - woah oh oh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRbuvKYKI54

Pooper Popper , 1 hour ago link

Well,Well,Well,,,,,,,, Bomb Scare at Fort Lauderdale Airport....... "Suspicious Package Found" Provisional Ballots,,,,,,,,,,,

https://twitter.com/Richard...

Hmmmmmmmmmm?

WWG1
WGA

DarthVaderMentor , 1 hour ago link

The machine is not the problem. It's like a gun. Guns are just mechanical devices and can't kill until people aim them and pull the trigger. It's people that kill by forcing the machine to do their terrible evil bidding.

It's the business and political leaders that build, guide and enable the machine and facilitate the infrastructure and culture to wage war.

Blue Boat , 1 hour ago link

Absolutely! No more freaking WAR. Instead, death to the MIC, globalists and Marxists. Thank you!

Handful of Dust , 1 hour ago link

Democrats love War as we saw with LBJ, Bill Clinton (bombing the hell out of and destroying Yugoslavia), Obama and Hillary Clinton. Democrat McNamara was one of their finest! McNamara's Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2VwFDV4-g

PS: I will add, the Deep State and Neocons are not much better.

kudocast , 1 hour ago link

It's both Republicans and Democrats - George Bush I's Desert Storm, Panama; George Bush II invading Iraq, Afghanistan; Reagan invading GRENADA!, Nixon in Vietnam, assassinating Salvador Allende in Chile, bombing Laos and Cambodia; Eisenhower started in Vietnam, installed a dictator in Guatemala in 1954, installed Batista in Cuba, Kennedy was going to withdraw from Vietnam and part of the reason he was assassinated; and on and on and on.

FrankieGoesToHollywood , 1 hour ago link

Thank you veterans for the cheap oil.

[Nov 12, 2018] The Best Way To Honor War Veterans Is To Stop Creating Them by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Veterans Day is not a holiday to honor the men and women who have dutifully protected their country. The youngest Americans who arguably defended their nation from a real threat to its shores are in their nineties, and soon there won't be any of them left. ..."
"... Every single person who has served in the US military since the end of the second World War has protected nothing other than the agendas of global hegemony, resource control and war profiteering. They have not been fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, they have been fighting and dying for imperialism, Raytheon profit margins, and crude oil. ..."
"... Veterans Day, like so very, very much in American culture, is a propaganda construct designed to lubricate the funneling of human lives into the chamber of a gigantic gun. It glorifies evil, stupid, meaningless acts of mass murder to ensure that there will always be recruits who are willing to continue perpetrating it, and to ensure that the US public doesn't wake up to the fact that its government's insanely bloated military budget is being used to unleash unspeakable horrors upon the earth. ..."
"... Your rulers have never feared the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the terrorists, the Iranians, the Chinese or the Russians. They fear you. They fear the American public suddenly waking up to the evil things that are being done in your name and using your vast numbers to shrug off the existing power structures without firing a shot, as easily as removing a heavy coat on a warm day. If enough of you loudly withdraw your consent for their insatiable warmongering, that fear will be enough to keep them in check. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The US will be celebrating Veterans Day, and many a striped flag shall be waved. The social currency of esteem will be used to elevate those who have served in the US military, thereby ensuring future generations of recruits to be thrown into the gears of the globe-spanning war machine

Veterans Day is not a holiday to honor the men and women who have dutifully protected their country. The youngest Americans who arguably defended their nation from a real threat to its shores are in their nineties, and soon there won't be any of them left.

Every single person who has served in the US military since the end of the second World War has protected nothing other than the agendas of global hegemony, resource control and war profiteering. They have not been fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, they have been fighting and dying for imperialism, Raytheon profit margins, and crude oil.

I just said something you're not supposed to say. People have dedicated many years of their lives to the service of the US military; they've given their limbs to it, they've suffered horrific brain damage for it, they've given their very lives to it. Families have been ripped apart by the violence that has been inflicted upon members of the US Armed Forces; you're not supposed to let them hear you say that their loved one was destroyed because some sociopathic nerds somewhere in Washington decided that it would give America an advantage over potential economic rivals to control a particular stretch of Middle Eastern dirt. But it is true, and if we don't start acknowledging that truth lives are going to keep getting thrown into the gears of the machine for the power and profit of a few depraved oligarchs. So I'm going to keep saying it.

Last week I saw the hashtag #SaluteToService trending on Twitter. Apparently the NFL had a deal going where every time someone tweeted that hashtag they'd throw a few bucks at some veteran's charity. Which sounds sweet, until you consider three things:

1. The NFL's ten wealthiest team owners are worth a combined $61 billion .

2. The NFL has taken millions of dollars from the Pentagon for displays of patriotism on the field, including for the policy of bringing all players out for the national anthem every game starting in 2009 (which led to Colin Kaepernick's demonstrations and the obscene backlash against him).

3. VETERANS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO RELY ON FUCKING CHARITY.

Seriously, how is "charity for veterans" a thing, and how are people not extremely weirded out by it? How is it that you can go out and get your limbs blown off for slave wages after watching your friends die and innocent civilians perish, come home, and have to rely on charity to get by? How is it that you can risk life and limb killing and suffering irreparable psychological trauma for some plutocrat's agendas, plunge into poverty when you come home, and then see the same plutocrat labeled a "philanthropist" because he threw a few tax-deductible dollars at a charity that gave you a decent prosthetic leg?

Taking care of veterans should be factored into the budget of every act of military aggression . If a government can't make sure its veterans are housed, healthy and happy in a dignified way for the rest of their lives, it has no business marching human beings into harm's way. The fact that you see veterans on the street of any large US city and people who fought in wars having to beg "charities" for a quality mechanical wheelchair shows you just how much of a pathetic joke this Veterans Day song and dance has always been.

They'll send you to mainline violence and trauma into your mind and body for the power and profit of the oligarchic rulers of the US-centralized empire, but it's okay because everyone gets a long weekend where they're told to thank you for your service. Bullshit.

Veterans Day, like so very, very much in American culture, is a propaganda construct designed to lubricate the funneling of human lives into the chamber of a gigantic gun. It glorifies evil, stupid, meaningless acts of mass murder to ensure that there will always be recruits who are willing to continue perpetrating it, and to ensure that the US public doesn't wake up to the fact that its government's insanely bloated military budget is being used to unleash unspeakable horrors upon the earth.

The only way to honor veterans, really, truly honor them, is to help end war and make sure no more lives are put into a position where they are on the giving or receiving end of evil, stupid, meaningless violence. The way to do that is to publicly, loudly and repeatedly make it clear that you do not consent to the global terrorism being perpetrated in your name. These bastards work so hard conducting propaganda to manufacture your consent for endless warmongering because they need that consent . So don't give it to them.

Your rulers have never feared the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the terrorists, the Iranians, the Chinese or the Russians. They fear you. They fear the American public suddenly waking up to the evil things that are being done in your name and using your vast numbers to shrug off the existing power structures without firing a shot, as easily as removing a heavy coat on a warm day. If enough of you loudly withdraw your consent for their insatiable warmongering, that fear will be enough to keep them in check.

This Veterans Day, don't honor those who have served by giving reverence and legitimacy to a war machine which is exclusively used for inflicting great evil. Honor them by disassembling that machine.

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 06, 2018] The sad reality is that the delusion Americans suffer from (result of their universal cradle-to-grave brainwashing that I mentioned earlier) is too deeply rooted as a core component of their identities.

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

Russ , Nov 6, 2018 1:48:22 PM | link

Circe | Nov 6, 2018 1:27:02 PM | 164

They were saying that Trump didn't promote the economic boom enough. Then they trotted out their economic analyst to tout all the great economic statistics!

Well of course, for the corporate media lying about the economy has priority over any kind of Trump-bashing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selling plutocracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear of the domino effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immune system

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slash-and-burn politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 01, 2018] Angela Merkel Migrates Into Retirement The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism. ..."
"... Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world. ..."
"... "We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold." ..."
"... The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult. ..."
"... Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question. ..."
"... In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Her refugee blunder changed the European continent in irreversible ways for decades to come. By Scott McConnellNovember 1, 2018

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Drop of Light/Shutterstock Whatever her accomplishments as pathbreaking female politician and respected leader of Europe's dominant economic power, Angela Merkel will go down in history for her outburst of naivete over the issue of migration into Europe during the summer of 2015.

Her announcement on Monday that she will vacate the leadership of Germany's ruling center-right Christian Democrats marks the culmination of what has been a slow denouement of Merkelism.

She had seen the vote share of her long dominant party shrink in one regional election after another. The rebuke given to her last weekend in Hesse, containing the Frankfurt region with its booming economy, where she had campaigned extensively, was the final straw. Her CDU's vote had declined 10 points since the previous election, their voters moving toward the further right (Alternative fur Deutschland or AfD). Meanwhile, the further left Greens have made dramatic gains at the expense of Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners.

Long the emblematic figure of "Europe," hailed by the neoliberal Economist as the continent's moral voice, long the dominant decider of its collective foreign and economic policies, Merkel will leave office with border fences being erected and disdain for European political institutions at their highest pitch ever. In this sense, she failed as dramatically as her most famous predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl, succeeded in their efforts to make Germany both important and normal in the postwar world.

One can acknowledge that while Merkel never admitted error for her multiculti summer fling (beyond wishing she had communicated her goals better), she did manage to adjust her policies. By 2016, Germany under her watch was paying a healthy ransom to Turkey to keep would-be migrants in camps and preventing them from sailing to Greece. Merkel's departure will make the battle to succeed her one of the most watched political contests in Europe. She has turned migration into a central and quite divisive issue within the CDU and Germany, and the party may decide that it has no choice but to accommodate, in one way or another, the voters who have left them for the AfD.

Related to the issue of who should reside in Europe (objectively the current answer remains anyone who can get there) is the question of how are such questions decided. In July 2015, five years after asserting in a speech that multiculturalism has "utterly failed" in Germany (without addressing what policies should be pursued in an increasingly ethnically diverse society) and several weeks after reducing a young Arab girl to tears at a televised forum by telling her that those whose asylum claims were rejected would "have to go back" and that "politics is hard," Merkel changed course.

For those interested in psychological studies of leadership and decision making, it would be hard to imagine a richer subject. Merkel's government first announced it would no longer enforce the rule (the Dublin agreement) that required asylum claimants to be processed in the first country they passed through. Then she doubled down. The migrants fleeing the Syrian civil war, along with those who pretended to be Syrian, and then basically just anyone, could come to Germany.

"We can do this!" she famously declared. Europe, she said, must "show flexibility" over refugees. Then, a few days later, she said there was "no limit" to the number of migrants Germany could accept. At first, the burgeoning flood of mostly young male asylum claimants produced an orgy of self-congratulatory good feeling, celebrity posturing of welcome, Merkel greeting migrants at the train station, Merkel taking selfies with migrants, Merkel touted in The Economist as "Merkel the Bold."

The Angela Merkel Era is Coming to an End The Subtle Return of Germany Hegemony

Her words traveled far beyond those fleeing Syria. Within 48 hours of the "no limit" remark, The New York Times reported a sudden stirring of migrants from Nigeria. Naturally Merkel boasted in a quiet way about how her decision had revealed that Germany had put its Nazi past behind it. "The world sees Germany as a land of hope and chances," she said. "That wasn't always the case." In making this decision personally, Merkel was making it for all of Europe. It was one of the ironies of a European arrangement whose institutions were developed in part to transcend nationalism and constrain future German power that 70 years after the end of the war, the privately arrived-at decision of a German chancellor could instantly transform societies all over Europe.

The euphoria, of course, did not last. Several of the Merkel migrants carried out terror attacks in France that fall. (France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls remarked pointedly after meeting with Merkel, "It was not us who said, 'Come!'") Reports of sexual assaults and murders by migrants proved impossible to suppress, though Merkel did ask Mark Zuckerberg to squelch European criticism of her migration policies on Facebook. Intelligent as she undoubtedly is (she was a research chemist before entering politics), she seemed to lack any intellectual foundation to comprehend why the integration of hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim world might prove difficult.

Merkel reportedly telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to ask how Israel had been so successful in integrating so many immigrants during its brief history. There is no record of what Netanyahu thought of the wisdom of the woman posing this question.

In any case, within a year, the Merkel initiative was acknowledged as a failure by most everyone except the chancellor herself. Her public approval rating plunged from 75 percent in April 2015 to 47 percent the following summer. The first electoral rebuke came in September 2016, when the brand new anti-immigration party, the Alternative fur Deutschland, beat Merkel's CDU in Pomerania.

In every election since, Merkel's party has lost further ground. Challenges to her authority from within her own party have become more pointed and powerful. But the mass migration accelerated by her decision continues, albeit at a slightly lower pace.

Angela Merkel altered not only Germany but the entire European continent, in irreversible ways, for decades to come.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Nov 01, 2018] Lame Duck Merkel Has Only Her Legacy On Her Mind

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide. ..."
"... But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here). ..."
"... Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea. ..."
"... Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party she has led for nearly two decades. Yesterday's election in Hesse, normally a CDU/SPD stronghold was abysmal for them.

She had to do something to quell the revolt brewing against her.

Merkel knew going in what the polls were showing. Unlike American and British polls, it seems the German ones are mostly accurate with pre-election polls coming close to matching the final results.

So, knowing what was coming for her and in the spirit of trying to maintain power for as long as possible Merkel has been moving away from her staunch positions on unlimited immigration and being in lock-step with the U.S. on Russia.

She's having to walk a tightrope on these two issues as the turmoil in U.S. political circles is pulling her in, effectively, opposite directions.

The globalist Davos Crowd she works for wants the destruction of European culture and individual national sovereignty ground into a paste and power consolidated under the rubric of the European Union.

They also want Russia brought to heel.

On the other hand, President Trump is pushing Merkel on policy on Russia and Ukraine that furthers the image that she is simply a stooge of U.S. geopolitical ambitions. Don't ever forget that Germany is, for all intents and purposes, an occupied country. So, what the U.S. military establishment wants, Merkel must provide.

So, if she rejects that role and the chaos U.S. policy engenders, particularly Syria, she's undermining the flow of migrants into Europe.

This is why it was so significant that she and French President Emmanuel Macron joined this weekend's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

It ended with an agreement on Syria's future that lies in direct conflict with the U.S.'s goals of the past seven years.

It was an admission that Assad has prevailed in Syria and the plan to atomize it into yet another failed state has itself failed. Merkel has traded 'Assad must go' for 'no more refugees.'

To President Trump's credit he then piggy-backed on that statement announcing that the U.S. would be pulling out of Syria very soon now. And that tells me that he is still coordinating in some way with Putin and other world leaders on the direction of his foreign policy in spite of his opposition.

But the key point from the Istanbul statement was that Syria's rebuilding be prioritized to reverse the flow of migrants so Syrians can go home. While Gilbert Doctorow is unconvinced by France's position here , I think Merkel has to be focused on assisting Putin in achieving his goal of returning Syria to Syrians.

Because, this is both a political necessity for Merkel as well as her trying to burnish her crumbling political throne to maintain power.

The question is will Germans believe and/or forgive her enough for her to stay in power through her now stated 'retirement' from politics in 2021?

I don't think so and it's obvious Davos Crowd boy-toy Macron is working overtime to salvage what he can for them as Merkel continues to face up to the political realities across Europe, which is that populism is a natural reaction to these insane policies.

Merkel's job of consolidating power under the EU is unfinished. They don't have financial integration. The Grand Army of the EU is still not a popular idea. The euro-zone is a disaster waiting to happen and its internal inconsistencies are adding fuel to an already pretty hot political fire.

On this front, EU integration, she and Macron are on the same page. Because 'domestically' from an EU perspective, Brexit still has to be dealt with and the showdown with the Italians is only just beginning.

But Merkel, further weakened by another disastrous state election, isn't strong enough to fend off her emboldened Italian and British opposition (and I'm not talking about The Gypsum Lady, Theresa May here).

And Macron should stop looking in the mirror long enough to see he's standing on a quicksand made of blasting powder.

This points to the next major election for Europe, that of the European Parliament in May where all of Merkel's opposition are focused on wresting control of that body and removing Jean-Claude Juncker or his hand-picked replacement (Merkel herself?) from power.

The obvious transition for Merkel is from German Chancellor to European Commission President. She steps down as Chancellor in May after the EPP wins a majority then to take Juncker's job. I'm sure that's been the plan all along. This way she can continue the work she started without having to face the political backlash at home.

But, again, how close is Germany to snap elections if there is another migrant attack and Chemnitz-like demonstrations. You can only go to the 'Nazi' well so many times, even in Germany.

There comes a point where people will have simply had enough and their anger isn't born of being intolerant but angry at having been betrayed by political leadership which doesn't speak for them and imported crime, chaos and violence to their homes.

And the puppet German media will not be able to contain the story. The EU's speech rules will not contain people who want to speak. The clamp down on hate speech, pioneered by Merkel herself is a reaction to the growing tide against her.

And guess what? She can't stop it.

The problem is that Commies like Merkel and Soros don't believe in anything. They are vampires and nihilists as I said over the weekend suffused with a toxic view of humanity.

Oh sure, they give lip service to being inclusive and nice about it while they have control over the levers of power, the State apparatus. But, the minute they lose control of those levers, the sun goes down, the fangs come out and the bloodletting begins.

These people are vampires, sucking the life out of a society for their own ends. They are evil in a way that proves John Barth's observation that "man can do no wrong." For they never see themselves as the villain.

No. They see themselves as the savior of a fallen people. Nihilists to their very core they only believe in power. And, since power is their religion, all activities are justified in pursuit of their goals.

Their messianic view of themselves is indistinguishable to the Salafist head-chopping animals people like Hillary empowered to sow chaos and death across the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade.

Add to this Merkel herself who took Hillary's empowerment of these animals and gave them a home across Europe. At least now Merkel has the good sense to see that this has cost her nearly everything.

Even if she has little to no shame.

Hillary seems to think she can run for president again and win with the same schtick she failed with twice before. Frankly, I welcome it like I welcome the sun in the morning, safe in the knowledge that all is right with the world and she will go down in humiliating defeat yet again.

Merkel is a lame-duck now. Merkelism is over. Absentee governing from the center standing for nothing but the international concerns has been thoroughly rebuked by the European electorate from Spain to the shores of the Black Sea.

Germany will stand for something other than globalism by the time this is all over. There will be a renaissance of culture and tradition there that is similar to the one occurring at a staggering pace in Russia.

And Angela Merkel's legacy will be chaos.

* * *

Join my patreon because you hate chaos.

[Oct 25, 2018] Entrepreneurs of political violence the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine openDemocracy

Notable quotes:
"... "Violent entrepreneurs" ..."
"... By taking a similarly pragmatic look at the activities of Ukrainian far right, I claim that they should be viewed as political entrepreneurs who are trying to capitalise on their expertise in violence. ..."
"... Azov's network amounts to a far-right "state within a state" – a universe that aims to monopolise the nationalist sector of Ukraine's political field ..."
"... On the national level, this makes Azov's political patron, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the second most powerful person in the country, effectively possessing a private army which once in a while makes ambiguous comments about the possibility of a coup . However, the patronage networks and conflicts go much deeper on the local level. Some of them can be uncovered by analysing the events mentioned above. ..."
"... Many of Azov's public gestures, including incidents involving violence, are aimed at reinforcing the image of an independent movement, opposed to both Ukraine's police leadership and corrupt elites ..."
"... November 2016: Autonomous Resistance's social centre in Lviv is attacked by far-right. Source: YouTube / Kateryna Benjuk. ..."
"... In Kyiv, open struggle against the (weaker) leftists and liberals is the preferred activity of C14 – an organisation headed by Yevgen Karas, a former Svoboda activist who split from the party to become an independent entrepreneur of political violence. ..."
"... Aiming for Ukraine's mainstream patriotic public, C14 positions itself as a group of young and resolute men ready to employ violence for the sake of (national) justice. Their enemies are usually represented as (latent) supporters of pro-Russian separatists, which automatically diminishes their worth in the eyes of the public and amplifies the attackers' heroism. In effect, C14 is trying to take the niche that was occupied by Svoboda before Maidan: relatable and well-meaning troublemakers prepared to break the law for the greater good (by comparison, the agenda of National Corps stresses the values of order). ..."
"... Karas freely admitted to a sympathetic journalist that he cooperates with Ukraine's security services. Among Ukrainian far-right organisations, the activities of C14 are closest to those of Russian online vigilante movements such as "Occupy Pedophily" or "Lev Protiv"; their YouTube channel is consciously crafted to attract audiences (thus literally monetising their violence), and the most popular videos have between 50,000 and 300,000 views. ..."
"... Having created a "municipal guard" officially financed by Kyiv's city council, C14 works towards realising both aims: it gives them a pretext to patrol streets and maximise the probability of violent encounters (which can be publicised), and at the same time provides a "second-best" opportunity to those who could or would not join the structures of Azov. ..."
"... Its advertised readiness to resort to violence was the key to Svoboda's electoral success before Maidan, but this was overshadowed by the efforts of the competing entrepreneurs of political violence in the post-Maidan conjuncture, in which the level of and tolerance to violence has escalated. On the other hand, Svoboda keeps holding on to its hegemony in regional power settings in western Ukraine, even though its relations to nation-wide patronage networks is unclear. All in all, Azov/National Corps seems to be clearly the most successful partner in the big nationalist threesome, receiving the most from this alliance. ..."
"... As I have argued above, Ukraine's far right are taking the logic of "violent entrepreneurship" outside the purely commercial and apolitical realm – and employing it in the domain of political contestation, where illicit violence is a precious resource that can be bought and rented. ..."
Oct 25, 2018 | www.opendemocracy.net

The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis , which cannot fully explain the actions of far right organisations on the ground. Analysing far-right movements' programmes and ideological statements can be useful when combined with a closer look at the actual activities of the movements in question, the way they interact among themselves and the wider social and political context. But judging a group primarily by how it presents itself to the world is misleading.

The lack of primary sources from Ukraine's far-right milieu, as well as the general scarcity of research on non-EU (and non-Russian) eastern Europe, has led to an exoticised perception of central and eastern Europe as whole – and one that is open to politicisation by both liberals and leftists. Public discussion thus tends to degenerate into either liberal denial of the very existence of the far-right problem in Ukraine or sensationalist and exaggerated "anti-imperialist" accounts of the "fascist junta" ruling the country.

To avoid oversimplification, I focus on the grounded context rather than ideologies and programmes of far-right groups. Here, I will try to contribute to a better understanding of the far right in Ukraine by conceptualising them as "entrepreneurs of political violence" – a portmanteau of two established terms from different fields. A "political entrepreneur" is a political actor who pursues opportunistic strategies aimed at gaining popularity and influence, rather than following a specific ideological agenda. Likewise, "Violent entrepreneurs" is the title of an influential study of Russian organised crime by sociologist Vadim Volkov, who analysed post-Soviet mafia as a particular kind of entrepreneurship where violence resources become a crucially important capital asset.

By taking a similarly pragmatic look at the activities of Ukrainian far right, I claim that they should be viewed as political entrepreneurs who are trying to capitalise on their expertise in violence. This can be a more productive lens than engaged approaches which "take a stance" on the far right – approaches that simply acknowledge the gravity of the situation or belittle it. These tend to be accompanied by wider political conclusions, and do not seek to understand the issue at hand.

I give a concise chronology of the incidents of right-wing violence between January and April 2018 (i.e. before the more recent string of Roma pogroms). I will look only at episodes reported in the media, involving violence or a realistic threat of violence by members of various organised far-right groups, directed outside the far right subculture, in peaceful areas of Ukraine. I will then regroup these episodes, interpreting them as several processes that have their own inner logic, but which intersect in time and space.

Chronology of events

The 2018 season of political violence opened in Kyiv on 19 January, when nationalist organisation C14 attacked a demonstration commemorating Russian antifascists Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.

This annual event is a traditional target for the far right , although previous attacks had been led by different forces. C14 activists blocked the demonstration organised by liberal and leftist activists in central Kyiv, shouting down the speakers and attacking them with snowballs and eggs. The Kyiv police failed to create a barrier separating the two demonstrations, advising the antifascists simply "not to provoke" their opponents. Later, the police detained eight anarchists; the arrest was met with cheers from the nationalists, who were free to keep assaulting the demonstrators physically and verbally. After the end of the demonstration, the far right attacked a random passerby whom they mistook for an antifascist – he happened to be a British tourist .

19 January 2018: attack on anti-fascist march, Kyiv. Source: Youtube. Ten days later, an important incident took place in Lviv . On 28 January, a large group of far-right activists, mostly members of the Azov National Corps and its allied group Misanthropic Division, violently attacked a demonstration (organised by the local leftist scene) against the use of animals in circuses. The attackers threw smoke grenades into the crowd and shook hands with police officers, exchanging the motto "White Pride". The police soon intervened by detaining leftist demonstrators in a brutal manner; they were all taken to a police station, where they spent several hours.

On the next day, 29 January, Azov's vigilante organisation National Militia blocked Cherkasy city hall in central Ukraine. Here, they forced city deputies to vote for the self-dissolution of the city council after they refused to approve new members of the executive committee proposed by the mayor. The police did not intervene.

These January events set the trends for the period that followed. On 11 February, Azov fighters violently intervened and stopped a lecture about discrimination in the film industry, held at a cultural centre in Mariupol. On 13 February, a group called Freikorps, which is believed to be close to the Azov/National Corps movement, attacked a lecture on the LGBT movement in Kharkiv in a similar manner. Two days later, C14 and Azov's National Militia clashed with police forces in Kyiv during a bail court hearing concerning Odessa city mayor Gennady Trukhanov, who is facing theft charges.

International Women's Day, 8 March, saw many public events and almost as many attacks by far right groups. Azov assaulted feminists and liberals marching in Mariupol. In Kyiv, attackers from several organisations made use of the benevolent passivity of the police, who were reluctant to protect the marchers . A plainclothes police officer actually helped them steal a feminist banner.

The Kyiv police ignored statements by victims of violence. Instead, they opened criminal proceedings against Olena Shevchenko, the organiser of the Women's March, after nationalists claimed that the contents of the banner were tantamount to desecration of national symbols. The first court hearing was held in the presence of a large nationalist audience, mobilised by C14, Katekhon (a conservative circle tied to Ukrainian far-right political party Svoboda) and Tradition and Order (TiP), a conservative nationalist group. At the second hearing, the defence mobilised their own support, including some diplomats and liberal politicians. With the dignitaries present in the court hall, and with far right waiting outside, the court acquitted Shevchenko. She had to leave by taking a taxi from the court's backdoor.

On the same day in Lviv, members of National Corps physically assaulted visitors at a feminist exhibition and participants of a "Sisterhood, Support, Solidarity" march. When the marchers retreated into a tram, the attackers started throwing cobblestones at it and later burnt one of their banners saying "No means no". The city police, meanwhile, stood by, ready to intervene the moment the leftists would try to fight back. Some of the police exchanged friendly greetings with the far right.

Meanwhile, in Uzhgorod, events took a slightly different turn. Activists of the local organisation Karpatska Sich (KS) poured red paint over a speaker at a local feminist demonstration, which led to a chemical eye burn. Here, the police promptly detained the attackers – though they were released later that day. In the week that followed, Karpatska Sich organised a string of attacks against local leftist and liberal activists. Coincidentally, that week also hosted a wave of anonymous property destruction against cars with Hungarian or other EU number plates. Once again, local police reacted very reluctantly. According to activists, these were preparations for a large demonstration that Karpatska Sich staged on 17 March. In Uzhgorod as well as in Lviv, local police, realising their own inability to control the streets during such big events, simply gave carte blanche to the far right.

A 17 March event in Uzhgorod to honour wartime nationalist anti-Hungarian fighters (Karpatska Sich's namesake) became an event of nationwide importance , gathering a wide spectrum of Ukraine's extreme right, from Right Sector and Tryzub to C14 and Freikorps. Karpatska Sich, the hosting organisation, accounted for a few dozen of the 250 participants. Contrary to the customary repertoire, the marchers readily demonstrated "controversial" symbols like the "Celtic cross" and gestures like the "Roman salute". Normally these are avoided at public events as too "provocative".

17 March: Karpatska Sich hosts a march in honour of wartime anti-Hungarian fighters, Uzhgorod. Source: Karpatska Sich. On the eve of this gathering, the regional police chief refused to take measures to protect a roundtable on discrimination and hate crimes organised by an LGBT organisation, and strongly advised them to cancel it. Upon receiving this information, the hotel that was to host the event revoked its agreement. Rank-and-file police officers were better disposed to the organisers and helped them leave the town safely.

The town's leftist/liberal milieu reacted to these events by organising a demonstration "For a European Uzhgorod" on 31 March. Their opponents occupied the same square with their own demonstration,"For traditional family values". The city council tried to forbid all demonstrations on that day, citing public safety considerations. However, a local court did not prohibit the gatherings. Notably, Karpatska Sich was not officially present at the counter-demonstration: it was formally organised by a KS-allied group "Black Sun", Social-Nationalist Assembly (SNA) and a few less significant organisations. Karpatska Sich militant activists were present next to the square, but there was no violence on that day. The police did their job, efficiently separating the two demonstrations.

On 19 March, the far right blocked two events organised by liberal NGOs: a roundtable on countering discrimination and hate crimes in Vinnytsia and a lecture on gender-sensitive words in Ivano-Frankivsk . In Vinnytsia, around 40 far right introduced themselves as ordinary citizens, blocking the entrance and demanding to be let inside. The police created a corridor to evacuate the participants of the roundtable. In Ivano-Frankivsk, the lecture was sabotaged by Karpatska Sich and their partner organisation, Sokil. KS promised to repeat such interventions in the future.

Unlike Right Sector, which tried and failed a strategy of violent confrontation with the post-Maidan government, Azov's leadership has opted for a "long march through the institutions"

On 23 March, a special police squad conducted searches at Kyiv's ATEK factory, which is used by Azov as its headquarters and training grounds. Police chiefs explained that the intervention had nothing to do with Azov, but the latter nevertheless quickly mobilised around 1,000 supporters, including members of parliament from Svoboda, to block the work of the police and expel them. On that day, Azov leader Andriy Biletsky mentioned that "a considerable part of the military will support in their hearts" a hypothetical coup d'état.

Three days later, 26 March was marked by far-right violence against a lecture about the dangers of the far-right violence in Kyiv: Right Sector, Svoboda and Tradition and Order, altogether around 40 people, invaded a cultural centre and tore down posters bearing the slogan "Respect diversity". The police pushed them outside, where they verbally attacked people coming in. Two hours later, the police evacuated the building due to an anonymous report of a bomb threat.

On 29 March, several dozen National Militia members broke into the Mykolayiv regional council and demanded that the deputies impeach the regional governor. The deputies did not comply with this request, but the next day the governor himself asked the president Poroshenko for temporary suspension.

On 16 April, an art exhibition dedicated to the far-right violence, which was opened at the premises of a university in Kyiv under heavy police protection, had to close down . The exhibition's curator insisted on shutting it down, citing the risk of aggression from far-right groups; the administration of the university put additional pressure, accusing the artists of a provocation.

On 18 April, C14 organised an anti-Roma raid at Kyiv railway station. The Roma, who had been staying at the station for a few days, had become the subject of a moral panic in the mainstream Ukrainian media a few days before. On 20 April, Hitler's birthday, a voluntary "municipal guard" consisting of C14 activists violently expelled a Roma camp from a Kyiv park, burning their possessions in the process. Their report, illustrated with picturesque photos, received a very enthusiastic feedback from the wider public on social media. The city police chief said they had not received any official violence complaints, and that the municipal guard had simply burnt some garbage left by the Roma.

A few days later, when a news website published a video of men chasing Roma families and attacking them with pepper spray and stones, the police said they had opened two criminal proceedings into hate crime and hooliganism.

Connecting the dots

Can this intimidating but chaotic sequence of events be disentangled and regrouped into several distinct plots, each having its own main characters and dynamics even while intersecting with others? I will try to do so below.

The main character of the first thread to be found here, and indeed of the far-right political scene in Ukraine as a whole, is the extended network of various structures known under the general Azov movement brand . Unlike Right Sector, which tried and failed a strategy of violent confrontation with the post-Maidan government, Azov's leadership has opted for a "long march through the institutions", extending local patronage networks with criminals and politicians and building a wide network of organisations and side projects.

Azov's network amounts to a far-right "state within a state" – a universe that aims to monopolise the nationalist sector of Ukraine's political field

The creation of the Azov Civil Corps was the first step in this direction. This structure, formally divorced from the Azov National Guard regiment, decided on a more pronounced public political face. The Civil Corps served the double purpose of keeping Azov military regiment veterans busy while also spreading Azov's hegemony among the far-right audience. This was followed by creating the National Corps political party, the network of Azovets children's summer camps, the Sports Corps, the veterans organisation Zirka, the nation-wide vigilante network of National Militias and other outlets. Azov's network thus amounts to a far-right "state within a state" – a universe that aims to monopolise the nationalist sector of Ukraine's political field.

Azov has become an important umbrella brand for Ukrainian far right organisations. On the national level, this makes Azov's political patron, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the second most powerful person in the country, effectively possessing a private army which once in a while makes ambiguous comments about the possibility of a coup . However, the patronage networks and conflicts go much deeper on the local level. Some of them can be uncovered by analysing the events mentioned above.

For instance, the March 2018 incident at the ATEK factory in Kyiv. Here what's at stake is the struggle for ownership rights to this factory, which currently hosts Azov's headquarters. The factory previously belonged to Oleksandr Tretiakov, a politician and owner of a Ukrainian lottery operator which allegedly benefits from the National Corps' violent raids directed against competing lottery outlets under the pretext of a campaign against illegal gambling. Tretiakov's old political partner, Ukraine's former justice minister Roman Zvarych, helped Azov establish itself at the factory's premises in November 2014.

At the time, the factory was at the centre of a corporate conflict. As reported by Hromadske , a former lawyer for one of the parties to the factory dispute, KVV Group, claimed he paid $195,000 to Sergey Korotkikh, Azov's head of intelligence, to occupy the factory on KVV's behalf. However, after Azov did this, they refused to permit KVV to enter. Instead, according to KVV's former lawyer, Azov advised KVV to discuss financial matters with Svitlana Zvarych, whose charity foundation demanded 45.5m UAH ($3m) in order for Azov to leave the premises. Svitlana Zvarych refutes this claim. Meanwhile, Azov started converting the factory to produce military equipment with an eye on attracting government orders, while Azov Civil Corps, headed at that time by Roman Zvarych, politicised the conflict by staging street protests "in defense of the factory" .

Many of Azov's public gestures, including incidents involving violence, are aimed at reinforcing the image of an independent movement, opposed to both Ukraine's police leadership and corrupt elites

In October 2016, the co-owner of KVV Group, having spent two months in prison on charges of financing separatism, surrendered his ownership rights to Zvarych's charitable foundation. However, in the same month, according to Svitlana Zvarych, she was kicked out of the factory by Azov's forces after refusing to give a share in the company's capital to Sergey Korotkikh and Vadym Troyan, Kyiv regional police chief and former Azov battalion commander.

This context allows us to better understand Azov's apparent overreaction to the police visit in March 2018 in contrast to their official explanation, which stated that the ""unreformed" police wanted to plant weapons at Azov's base and then disband them. Indeed, Azov's official version helps them mute their ties with Avakov, posing for the nationalist audience as victims of the regime.

Many of Azov's public gestures, including incidents involving violence, are aimed at reinforcing the image of an independent movement, opposed to both Ukraine's police leadership and corrupt elites. Azov's clash with Odessa mayor Gennady Trukhanov's hired thugs and, more importantly, with the police, is one such publicity stunt which "cleanses" the image of National Squads from allegations of Avakov's patronage.

Azov's involvement in the incidents in Cherkasy and Mykolayiv, on the other hand, seems to be connected with its involvement in patronage networks. Cherkasy city council was torn by a conflict between city mayor Anatoliy Bondarenko and city council secretary Oleksandr Radytsky. The latter, supported by the president's Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the nationalist Svoboda party, commanded the majority of votes in the assembly and paralysed the budget confirmation process. The mayor asked the parliament to dissolve the city council and call a new election.

Here, the sudden intervention of Azov's National Militia, sporting balaclavas and firearms cases, turned the tide in the mayor's favour. The city council passed the budget and then voted for its own dissolution. Whether or not the claims about Avakov's political interests in Cherkasy are true, this episode shows that the local configuration of power is often more important than broad political agreements on the national level. Azov played into the hands of the forces belonging to a different camp on the national scale, against fellow nationalists and formal partners from Svoboda.

In Mykolayiv, the official reason for the intervention of Azov's National Militia were accusations against regional governor Oleksiy Savchenko, whose corrupt ways allegedly motivated the suicide of the local airport director, a war veteran. However, according to another interpretation , this is an episode of a wider conflict between Azov's patron Arsen Avakov and Ukraine's former general attorney, police general Vitaliy Yarema. The latter is gaining influence on president Poroshenko, putting his trusted men, former policemen, to important positions in the regions – and Oleksiy Savchenko is one of Yarema's protégés. For Avakov, who wants to monopolise influence on the Ukrainian police force, this situation is perceived as a threat.

Finally, the Mariupol episodes demonstrate the behaviour of Azov in their "base" city close to the front line. As any large industrial city, Mariupol has a lot of powerful local and regional interests , such as the important metallurgical assets belonging to the country's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov -- these would normally dwarf the influence of the likes of Azov. But the war, given the city's strategic importance and reasonable doubts about the political loyalty of its population, has made Azov a more influential player.

Mariupol's Azov movement feel enough at home to have installed a statue of medieval prince Sviatoslav (a central figure in post-Soviet anti-Semitic mythology) in the city centre, despite the lack of official permission from the city council, and to organise regular torchlight marches there. A soldier from Azov, who killed a man in the street after a political argument earlier this year, was released by the local court , which sentenced him to a fine. Even if they do not possess a complete monopoly on violence, Azov has certainly established political control of the streets in Mariupol. To maintain this control, they have to react violently, even if not officially, to any public event which diverges sufficiently from their political agenda.

The struggle for hegemony in Lviv

The contested hegemony over street-level political activism is the common rationale behind the acts of far-right political violence in Lviv. This western city, Ukraine's "national Piedmont", has always been considered the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism.

As early as 2010, Svoboda gained an absolute majority in the city council and relative majority in the regional council. At that point, the party was in the control of an energetic militant movement, Autonomous Resistance (AO). Founded by the former Hitlerist leadership of the now defunct Ukrainian National Labour Party, it was headed by Svoboda deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, whose PhD thesis dealt with the history of NSDAP and Mussolini's PNF. The militant movement, which followed Strasserism , borrowed its political style from the German autonomists. After a bitter conflict with Mykhalchyshyn in 2013, Autonomous Resistance cut ties with Svoboda and gradually slided leftward politically. It played a prominent role during Maidan in Lviv, occupying the regional council and fighting Svoboda deputies. Coming from a right-wing background, AO paid attention to the development of combat skills of its membership. It created its own MMA training facility, which is the core of a social centre that hosts lectures and presentations. An online shop selling imported athletic clothing previously provided the organisation with an independent source of income.

The peculiar political face of AO – their eclectic left nationalist ideology, commitment to key nationalist symbols and figures, and active participation in the military conflict in the east – has allowed them to survive politically, unlike most other leftist organisations which have failed to find a winning strategy in the post-Maidan environment. A number of splits gave birth to several other organisations, less nationalist but very active, possessing street violence skills and maintaining partnerships with AO. This meant that the street politics of the most important city in western Ukraine was dominated by a leftist milieu.

The first far-right organisation that attempted to contest this situation was Right Sector. In 2015, its local cell forcibly blocked the 1 May "Social march" organised by AO, in order to "prevent a neo-Bolshevik revanche". However, after a series of splits, Right Sector lost its mobilising potential, as did Svoboda. Over 2016-2017, Lviv has seen a string of dramatic incidents of right-wing violence: a mobilisation against a Festival of Equality which intended to tackle LGBT rights issues; a brutal attack on an AO march by several hundred Nazis; attacks at a Publishers Forum because of two books allegedly promoting LGBT and leftist politics. However, Right Sector did not figure prominently in these incidents. Most of these far-right mobilisations were to a large extent anonymous, featuring "patriotic youth" instead of specific political brands.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/36K3dSkfaWk

November 2016: Autonomous Resistance's social centre in Lviv is attacked by far-right. Source: YouTube / Kateryna Benjuk.

The same lack of clear authorship is also true of violent incidents in 2018. However, in personal communication to me, activists who were present on the ground clearly indicate the leading role of Azov's National Corps in these attacks. According to them, Right Sector today constitutes an alternative to Azov only as a military unit in eastern Ukraine, but politically the latter "has swallowed up both Right Sector and Svoboda". Most participants of the 2015 blockade have since then either joined National Corps, or military battalions allied to Right Sector or the police force. Having consolidated the local far-right scene, Azov is trying to clean the political field of its leftist competitors. The Lviv police rank-and-file, which is infiltrated by the far right according to local activists, do not prevent, or even choose to help them to achieve this aim.

Why then is the National Corps reluctant to lead the struggle in Lviv as openly as it does elsewhere? Several hypotheses can help answer this question. First, it cannot afford to lose publicly. In November 2016, a potent coalition of several hundred Nazis joined forces to physically destroy the organised left in Lviv – activists arrived from different regions, representing Azov's Civic Corps, Right Sector and Karpatska Sich. Amazingly, they lost: failing to penetrate the gates of the office under attack, eventually they had to retreat. For political reasons, this kind of loss is unacceptable for an ambitious movement like Azov. Therefore, they will not lead the fight officially unless they are guaranteed to win.

The second hypothesis concerns competition between the agencies of state violence. Both 2016 and 2017 have seen attacks on the Lviv left scene organised by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). According to persons involved, these investigations seem to have been partially motivated by SBU's own strategic aims, partially by the request of a local developer, and partially by the personal revenge of Yuri Mykhalchyshyn (who now works for the SBU as a consultant). Whatever the exact reasons in each specific case, Azov's National Corps would hardly consider it expedient to be seen voluntarily helping the state institution which is traditionally hostile to their political patron Arsen Avakov – and to give other far right groups even more grounds to talk about their subservience to "the regime".

Finally, Azov's hegemony over the local extreme right may still not be quite consolidated yet. Their relations with Svoboda may be too complicated for open involvement in Lviv at a scale similar to other cities which have less competitive far-right scenes.

Challengers in Kyiv

In Kyiv, open struggle against the (weaker) leftists and liberals is the preferred activity of C14 – an organisation headed by Yevgen Karas, a former Svoboda activist who split from the party to become an independent entrepreneur of political violence. Compared to the other far right organisations mentioned above, C14's profile has less to do with quietly establishing informal domination and engaging in illicit activities for material gain, and more with mediatised activities oriented at a wider audience.

Aiming for Ukraine's mainstream patriotic public, C14 positions itself as a group of young and resolute men ready to employ violence for the sake of (national) justice. Their enemies are usually represented as (latent) supporters of pro-Russian separatists, which automatically diminishes their worth in the eyes of the public and amplifies the attackers' heroism. In effect, C14 is trying to take the niche that was occupied by Svoboda before Maidan: relatable and well-meaning troublemakers prepared to break the law for the greater good (by comparison, the agenda of National Corps stresses the values of order).

C14's profile has less to do with quietly establishing informal domination and engaging in illicit activities for material gain, and more with mediatised activities oriented at a wider audience

This orientation is obvious from a Facebook poll in which C14 asked their audience which politician associated with the old regime they would like the group to beat up (so far they did not manage to target any of the persons mentioned in the poll). In line with this strategy, Karas freely admitted to a sympathetic journalist that he cooperates with Ukraine's security services. Among Ukrainian far-right organisations, the activities of C14 are closest to those of Russian online vigilante movements such as "Occupy Pedophily" or "Lev Protiv"; their YouTube channel is consciously crafted to attract audiences (thus literally monetising their violence), and the most popular videos have between 50,000 and 300,000 views.

The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms fits this strategy very well: it has produced immense positive feedback in the form of online comments from non-politicised "regular citizens", enhancing brand recognition for C14. Roma can hardly pass as "separatists", but their marginalised status makes them a perfect aim for this kind of strategically calculated violence. Notably, the first anti-Roma raid at Kyiv railway station was a reaction to swelling public demand (heated up by a moral panic in the media), rather than C14's own ideologically dictated initiative. Meanwhile, the attack on the Kyiv antifascist rally in January 2018 is the continuation of C14's more traditional political style – attacking easy targets that can be represented as the "fifth column".

The 2018 feminist march in Kyiv also proves the selective approach of C14: it did not figure prominently among the counter-protesters on 8 March, but afterwards it seized the opportunity to inflate the hysteria around the feminist banner, claiming that the symbol of Azov's National Militia on it looked too much like Ukraine's national symbol, and was located too close to the woman's anus. Characteristically, the National Militia ignored the story, but C14 did its best to mobilise its activists to attend the court hearings.

Here, though, there is a deeper calculation: consolidating Kyiv's far-right scene behind C14. Just like Azov, C14 combine generic "healthy patriotic" message with subtler hints which can be easily deciphered by members of the subculture (such as the symbolic date of the Roma pogrom on Hitler's birthday or indeed the very name of the organisation). Similarly, people belonging to politicised subcultures understand very well that the antifascists who were attacked in January 2018 were not Kremlin agents, but old political enemies who cannot be allowed to grow stronger. Having created a "municipal guard" officially financed by Kyiv's city council, C14 works towards realising both aims: it gives them a pretext to patrol streets and maximise the probability of violent encounters (which can be publicised), and at the same time provides a "second-best" opportunity to those who could or would not join the structures of Azov.

The desire to dominate the local far-right milieu is also apparent behind another series of violent acts by C14, not mentioned above because they were directed against the participants of the far-right scene. Dmitry Riznichenko, a prominent veteran of Ukraine's far right scene and former member of C14, left the organisation after Maidan. After serving in the Donbas volunteer battalion, Riznichenko created his own organisation, more socially liberal than is custom among today's far right. (Some have gone as far as declaring him a leftist.) Whatever Riznichenko's actual political views, the important thing is that he, along with another "erring rightist" organisation ChorKom (Black Committee), maintains openly friendly relations with Lviv's AO and openly challenges the hierarchy within the scene. Struggling to defend its authority, C14 launched an intensive campaign of brutal physical attacks against Riznichenko.

"Anti-gender" ideology as a universal mobiliser

Even though neither Azov nor C14 explicitly mobilised for International Women's Day on 8 March, the demonstration did encounter violent far-right counter-protesters, aided and abetted by some rank-and-file policemen belonging to the same political milieu.

The most prominent violent proponent of the "anti-gender" agenda in the post-Maidan years has been Right Sector. Its ideological face was always more "fascist" or "Francoist" than the white supremacist/Hitlerist Azov or LePen-like Svoboda. Inside the movement, Right Sector was the main engine behind violent mobilisations against LGBT events such as the Equality March in Kyiv. On the wider scale, it contributed to popularising and reinforcing the dichotomy between pro-EU, pro-Poroshenko liberals and revolutionary conservative nationalists.

Today, this dichotomy is a common-sense understanding. The "anti-gender" ideology has turned from an exclusive feature of Right Sector into a generic far-right set of ideas, which can be used by anyone. This is one reason behind the anonymity of some attacks and blockages: their authorship is known inside the relevant milieu, serving as one of the criteria for building subculture hierarchies.

It is also noticeable that Azov has never officially participated in any "gendered" violent actions. Even in their "home" town of Mariupol, attacks are not formally done on behalf of the movement. Partially, this can be explained by their special relationship with the state leadership, which was dying to hide all visible manifestations of xenophobia, homophobia and other signs of lack of social progress from the eyes of the EU, which could have reacted by backtracking on the visa-free regime, politically important for Ukrainian government.

However, this type of violence also generally does not fit Azov's strategy of publicity. They like repeating that they fight "real and strong" enemies – Russians and separatists, but also corrupt officials and other powerful figures within the society, almost ignoring some classic rightist scapegoats.

Instead, the "anti-gender" violence scene has recently seen the rise of two new aspiring actors, which stand behind all recent "gendered" episodes in Kyiv. One of them, Katekhon, is a conservative Orthodox group, somewhat resembling the Russian Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers with their aggressive fundamentalist style. This group is headed by Yuriy Noyevyi, a politician from Svoboda. Not long ago, in 2012-2014, Noyevyi and his comrades were active in a different niche: their organisation Ukrainian Student attempted to become a far-right student union, competing for the influence with the anarcho-syndicalist union Priama Diya (Direct Action). When the latter ceased to be an important political contender, Noyevyi's interests shifted from university syndicalism to religious fundamentalism. Effectively, Katekhon is the rebranded Ukrainian Student, serving the same technological purposes – promoting the interests of the party in the spheres which are considered the most promising at the moment.

The second ambitious newcomer at the market of gendered political violence is Tradition and Order (TiP). This party was created in the second half of 2016, and took Revanche, a group of admirers of Italian fascism, as its basis. The creation of the party was facilitated by political technologists involved in the patronage circles of the president's political party, Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Today, the perception of TiP as "pro-Poroshenko" is widely shared in Kyiv's marginal political subculture. Most likely, their task is to try and create an alternative centre of gravity among the far right that would balance the influence of Azov (whose political patron is not unconditionally loyal to Poroshenko) and the remaining authority of Svoboda and Right Sector.

Thus, people violently fighting against "gender propaganda" shoulder to shoulder were brought together in the same place by very different, and sometimes mutually exclusive, considerations. In March 2017, National Corps, Svoboda and Right Sector signed a "National Manifesto", pledging to coordinate their efforts in a joint struggle against the government; however, in reality this political field is full of conflicting interests as well as ambitious newcomers with powerful patrons.

The regional monopoly in Uzhgorod

There is one more far right group actively and violently fighting against "gender ideology" in Ukraine – Karpatska Sich (KS), whose area of activity is mostly confined to Uzhgorod. Unlike Azov, they are not tied by the limitations imposed by high-status patrons and parliamentary political ambitions, and do not shy away from certain topics, catering to all possible audiences in the regional far-right milieu.

This group is a financially self-sufficient political and criminal unit, functioning in a border region where smuggling and similar petty criminal activities are an important source of income for a large part of the population. The leadership of KS are founders of a charitable foundation that receives goods confiscated at the customs for free, pledging to deliver them to soldiers at the eastern front. However, among the goods thus obtained there were two tonnes of marble and women's lingerie , which can be hardly considered a useful material aid but can be profitably sold. One of the founders also figures in cases of illicit land allocations by Uzhgorod city council.

Simultaneously, KS has successfully established its exclusive control over street-level violence in Uzhgorod. The publication of the information on their illicit activities by a local anti-corruption activist was followed by a string of attacks against him and his colleagues by KS. On the other hand, the nature of their relations with the police and local government is markedly different from the situation in Kyiv and Lviv. In this case, there is hardly an infiltration or benevolent attitude on the part of rank-and-file policemen; rather, the police and the state apparatus are too weak to persecute KS as severely as they perhaps would like to. In 2017, the leader of KS Taras Deyak was included in the list of 100 most influential people of the region – this is very unusual, and suggests the depth of the group's involvement in local criminal networks.

This influence is used to expand the clout of KS among the far-right scene and reap benefits in high politics. The list of organisations which participated in the 79th anniversary march was telling. It did not include either National Corps or Svoboda. Instead, it featured C14 (whose sphere of influence is geographically divided from KS) and the Social-National Assembly. According to some rumours , the leader of SNA Oleh Odnorozhenko (who was previously Azov's main ideologue) is drifting closer to Oleh Lyashko and Igor Mosiychuk – people who left Azov in 2014. Lyashko's Radical Party is an influential player in mainstream politics, and he personally enjoys high rankings in presidential polls, opposing both Avakov and Poroshenko. Odnorozhenko's frequent visits to Uzhgorod and participation in joint events may be a prelude to the inclusion of SNA and KS into Lyashko's electoral machine.

Hegemony toolkit: Dosing violence, choosing friends and victims

The first and most important of the plots we have been able to discern above is the establishment of the Azov movement as dominant in Ukraine's far-right scene on the national level – and as a significant political player in the mainstream political scene.

The key factors that have allowed Azov to rise to these positions are its strategic choices to maintain a reserved but not hostile public attitude towards the government and to maintain close patron-client relationships with certain factions both on the national level and in specific regional and local configurations. The third factor is Azov's military background, which grants it access to the infrastructure of violence (arms, training facilities etc.) and ensures its legitimacy both in the eyes of the wider public and of the nationalist scene. This legitimacy hinges on the balanced demonstration of the resources of violence available to the movement and its discretion in using them.

This combination is unique among the major far-right structures in Ukraine. Right Sector has a strong military component, but its decision to choose an openly confrontational path in its relations with the governing factions of the ruling class has prevented it from gaining access to important physical and symbolic resources. In this situation, Right Sector's bet on their clientelist relations with an opposition faction of Ukraine's haute bourgeoisie (Ihor Kolomoisky's Privat Group) and revolutionary image did not pay off. Now this movement seems to be in decline.

Svoboda, meanwhile, was too compromised by its perceived proximity to power during and immediately after Maidan. The creation of Svoboda's own volunteer war units appears to have failed to neutralise the lack of radicalism and militarism in its public image. Its advertised readiness to resort to violence was the key to Svoboda's electoral success before Maidan, but this was overshadowed by the efforts of the competing entrepreneurs of political violence in the post-Maidan conjuncture, in which the level of and tolerance to violence has escalated. On the other hand, Svoboda keeps holding on to its hegemony in regional power settings in western Ukraine, even though its relations to nation-wide patronage networks is unclear. All in all, Azov/National Corps seems to be clearly the most successful partner in the big nationalist threesome, receiving the most from this alliance.

As mentioned above, Azov's success hinges partly on the measured dosage of violence in the public space, which should project an image of a force conscious of its superiority in terms of violent resources – but still using it sparingly. This is why National Corps prefers semi-anonymity when acting in situations where its single-handed superiority is not guaranteed a priori, like in Kyiv and Lviv. Its interpenetration with the police forces helps it establish its hegemony in a covert manner. The efforts of National Corps to dominate street politics in Lviv are the second plot.

The third plot concerns the activities of C14 in Kyiv. This movement is closer to a classic vigilante group, generously using violence against commonly recognised "public enemies", i.e. subjects of moral panic like the Roma or alleged pro-Russian fifth columnist. In their activity, they appeal to two audiences: the wider public with its patriotic and anti-Roma instincts and the far-right political subculture able to see more nuanced details. The first dimension makes C14 a structural analogue of Russian vigilante groups with their commercialised online platforms; the second dimension, oriented inside the far-right scene, has elevated C14 to the position of a co-organiser of the annual nationalist marches on 14 October, on a par with the much more powerful Azov, Svoboda and Right Sector.

The use of "anti-gender" ideology is the fourth theme. The cases analysed here show that this mobilising subject is used as a self-promotion arena by two competing groups: Katekhon, trying to restore Svoboda's once leading positions in the scene; and TiP, aimed at creating there a separate gravitation pole embedded in Poroshenko's patronage network. On the other hand, Azov/National Corps seems reluctant to invest too much effort in forcing the topic.

Finally, a separate plot is unfolding in Uzhgorod, where the locally entrenched political and criminal structure Karpatska Sich is overtly competing with the state apparatus for influence on the regional level and is struggling to build alliances on the national scale. These alliances, if constructed successfully, will be able to undermine the dominance of Azov/National Corps by creating a patronage network of comparable capacity to compete with it politically and otherwise on all levels.

As I have argued above, Ukraine's far right are taking the logic of "violent entrepreneurship" outside the purely commercial and apolitical realm – and employing it in the domain of political contestation, where illicit violence is a precious resource that can be bought and rented.

Ukrainian Nazi movements thus exist on the intersection of several worlds (criminal, commercial, military, marginal-political, mainstream political) and are prepared to mobilise their violent resources for advancement of their own positions, up to and including displacing former patrons and stepping into their shoes. The skillful and measured management and use of these violent resources is the key to success in this strategy.

[Oct 22, 2018] There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Oct 21, 2018 11:17:43 AM | link

Noirette @ 3

Not to worry. Brexit is rather a textbook example of the political/economic dichotomy to which I speak @ 5.

There will be no Brexit in economic or political reality. It isn't even remotely possible, even in the unlikely event the EU collapses in the short term. There may be a pseudo "Brexit" for political face-saving purposes, true, which will consist of a similar sales effort as Trump is making to hold onto his own age-depressed plebes in flyover USArya.

"Brexit is coming! Brexit is coming! Tariffs are easy! Tariffs are easy! Hold on a bit longer, we are just trying to get it right for you little people not to suffer anymore." Lol.


dh , Oct 21, 2018 10:58:45 AM | link

@6 "Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own sovereign democratic institutions."

I see it more as a neoliberal desire to belong to some vague bigger global entity. Plus the fact that since WW2 nationalism has become equated with fascism.

Britain has never been totally part of Europe....geographically or politically.

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Oct 21, 2018 10:16:20 AM | link
@dh-mtl: True that. Sadly many left wing ppl prefer EU neoliberal anti democratic, corrupt rule over their own souvereign democratic institutions. It was the national state (with its additional regional democratic institutions) that brought us democracy, not the neolibs EU. But that truth hurts, and many prefer empty slogans against the evil national state over a honest analysis.

@B: Inoreader cant find new feeds for some days, something is broken!

dh-mtl , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:55 AM | link
@2 Noirette wrote: 'England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism'.

The alternative to sovereignty is dictatorship from abroad. And a foreign dictatorship is never good for a country or its people.

You only need to look at Greece to see the results of 'dictatorship' by the EU. And Italy is currently fighting this dictatorship (see https://gefira.org/en/2018/10/19/the-european-financial-establishment-has-just-declared-war-on-italy/), in order to arrest the continuing destruction of Italy and the impoverishment of its citizens under E.U. rule.

With Brexit, the U.K. is trying to save itself before it collapses to a state similar to Greece.

The E.U., because it is essentially a financially based dictatorship, and is fatally flawed, will break apart. And, in this sense, I agree with you that the U.K. is ahead of the curve.

laserlurk , Oct 21, 2018 9:36:46 AM | link
Abandoning nuclear treaty is just a diversion to steer away eyes off Khashoggi case, latter being even more important as it wedges in the very depth of an internal US political demise.
UK barks there on Russia to steer its own downfall into spotlight of an importance on a world stage that is close to null. UK didn't even sign anything with Russia as basically nobody else did from within NATO, so one can render that INF as outdated and stale.
Will they come up with a new one that suits all or we will just let it go and slip into unilateral single polarity downfall of West? Answers are coming along real soon.

Right now US and a few vasal allies left are getting into dirty set of strategic games opposing far more skilled opponents and it will come around at a really high price. EU has lost many contracts lately in mid east due to America First, so a lots of sticks in US wheels are coming up. It is going to be a real fun watching all that and reading b. and others on MoA..

Noirette , Oct 21, 2018 8:41:29 AM | link
The UK will most likely crash out of the EU. Of course, one can't exclude that some last minute holding action, temp. solution, or reversal can be found - but I doubt it.

Northern Ireland will break away. The analysis of the vote has been very poor, and based on an 'identity politics' and slice-n-dice views. Pensioners afraid to lose their pension, deplorables, victims of austerity, lack of young voter turnout, etc.

NI and Scotland are ruled by a tri-partite scheme: 'home rule', 'devolution' - Westminster - and the EU. The two peripheral entities prefer belonging to and participating in the larger group (see also! reasons historical and of enmity etc.) which has on the whole been good for them. England prefers a return to some mythical sovereignity / nationalism, getting rid of the super-ordinate power, a last desperate stab at Britannia (hm?) rules the waves or at least some bloody thing like traffic on the Thames, labor law, etc. The UK had no business running that referendum - by that I mean that in the UK pol. system Parliament rules supreme, which is antithetical to the referendum approach (in any case the result is only advisory) and running it was a signal of crack-up. By now, it is clear that the UK political / Gvmt. system is not fit for handling problems in the years 2000.

Why NI and not Scotland (which might split as well ..)? From a geo-political pov, because geography bats last - yes. And also because NI is the much weaker entity. EU has stated (Idk about texts etc.): if and when a EU member conquers, annexes, brings into the fold some 'other' territory, it then in turn becomes part of the EU. Ex. If Andorra chose to join Spain it would meld into Eurolandia, with time to adjust to all the rules. Perhaps Macron would no longer be a Prince!

However, Catalonia *cannot* be allowed to split from Spain (affecting Spanish integrity and the EU) and if it did it would crash out of the EU, loosing all, so that doesn't work. Scotland is not Catalonia. NI has had a special status in many ways for a long time so it is easier to tolerate and imagine alternatives. The EU will pay for NI...

The UK is losing power rapidly and indulging in its own form of 're-trenchment' (different from the Trumpian desired one) - both are nostalgic, but the British one is more suicidal.

The only alternative interpretation I can see (suggested by John Michael Greer) is that the UK is ahead of the curve: a pre-emptive collapse (rather semi-collapse) now would put it in a better position than others 20 years or so hence. That would also include a break-up into parts.

[Oct 19, 2018] Brexit Knives Out for Theresa May (Again) Over Extending Transition Period

UK as US hand grenade tossed at EU ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road. ..."
"... Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike. ..."
"... DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock . ..."
"... Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited". ..."
"... Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative ..."
"... Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise." ..."
"... Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU) 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. ..."
"... It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road.

As we'll get to later in this post, the press has filed more detailed reports on the EU's reactions to May's "nothing new" speech at the European Council summit on Wednesday. The reactions seem to be more sober; recall the first takes were relief that nothing bad happened and at least everyone was trying to put their best foot forward. Merkel also pressed Ireland and the EU to be more flexible over the Irish border question but Marcon took issue with her position. However, they both then went to a outdoor cafe and had beers for two hours .

May's longer transition scheme vehemently criticized across Tory factions and by the DUP . Even pro-Remain Tories are opposed. The press had a field day. From the Telegraph :

Theresa May was on Thursday evening increasingly isolated over her plan to keep Britain tied to the EU for longer as she was savaged by both wings of her party and left in the cold by EU leaders

The move enraged Brexiteers who said it would cost billions, and angered members of the Cabinet who said they had not formally agreed the plan before she offered it up as a bargaining chip. Mrs May also faced a potential mutiny from Tory MPs north of the border, including David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, who said the proposal was "unacceptable" because it would delay the UK's exit from the hated Common Fisheries Policy.

From The Times, Revolt grows over Theresa May's handling of Brexit talks :

Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike.

And Politics Home, DUP reject moves to extend Brexit transition period in fresh blow for Theresa May Politics Home:

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock .

His comments came after Tory MPs on all wings of the party also rejected extending the transition period.

Former minister Nick Boles, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, told the Today programme: "I'm afraid she's losing the confidence now of colleagues of all shades of opinion – people who've been supportive of her throughout this process – they are close to despair at the state of this negotiation."

Brexiteer MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Back in July, myself and 36 colleagues signed a letter to the Prime Minister setting out our red lines – and that was one of them. It's completely ridiculous."

Scottish Tories say they would veto an extension to the Brexit transition period in support of their fisherman.

And apparently the European Council didn't take the extension idea seriously. City AM reported that European Council president Donald Tusk said it wasn't discussed after May left .

And members of the hard-core Brexit faction are also up in arms about May conceding that an Irish border backstop can't be time limited. From The Sun :

Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited".

But a fudge could cost Mrs May two eurosceptic Cabinet ministers, with Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom threatening to resign if there's not a set end date.

Merkel pushes for more Brussels-Ireland flexibility while Macron disagrees . I am at risk of seeming unduly wedded to my priors, but Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative . While Merkel is correct to point out that no-deal = hard Irish border, an outcome no one wants, she does not appear to comprehend that the "sea border," which is politically fraught for the UK, is the only alternative that does not create ginormous problems for the EU. Merkel's seeming lack of comprehension may reflect the fact that EU nations don't handle trade negotiations. From the Financial Times :

At an EU summit dinner and in later public remarks, the German chancellor expressed concerns about the bloc's stand-off with the UK over the Irish "backstop", a fallback measure intended to ensure no hard border divides Ireland if other solutions fail. This has become the biggest outstanding issue in the talks.

Three diplomats said that at the Wednesday night dinner Ms Merkel indicated that the EU and the Republic of Ireland should rethink their approach on Northern Ireland to avoid a fundamental clash with London.

Ms Merkel also signaled her concerns in a press conference on Thursday, highlighting that if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal a hard border for Northern Ireland could be inevitable.

"If you don't have an agreement you don't have a satisfactory answer [to the border issue] either," she said, noting that on Northern Ireland "we all need an answer" .

Diplomats said the German chancellor was more forceful about the issue at the Brexit dinner, although some other leaders remained puzzled about the chancellor's intentions.

The Financial Times also said that the UK and Germany would meet Thursday to "discuss a way out of the Brexit impasse." Given that Barnier has offered a lot of new ideas in last month, it is hard to see how anything new could be cooked up, unless the UK hopes to sell Germany on its already-rejected techno vaporware idea.

Macron made clear he was not on the same page. Again from the Financial Times:

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise."

Vardakar also made a statement after the dinner that reaffirmed the importance of the EU affirming the principles of the single market. From The Times :

The European Union would have "huge difficulties" in agreeing to extend the Northern Irish backstop to the rest of the UK, the taoiseach has warned. Leo Varadkar said he did not think "any country or union" would be asked to sign up to an agreement that would give the UK access to the single market while also allowing it to "undercut" the EU across a range of areas including state aid competition, labour laws and environmental standards.

"I would feel very strongly about this, as a European as well as an Irishman: you couldn't have a situation whereby the UK had access to the single market -- which is our market -- and at the same time was able to undercut us in terms of standards, whether they were environmental standards, labour laws, or state aid competition. I don't think any country or any union would be asked to accept that," Mr Varadkar said in Brussels.

Robert Peston deems odds of crash out high; sees only escape route as "customs union Brexit" . Robert Peston, who is one of the UK's best connected political reporters, described in a new piece at ITV how May has at best a narrow path to avoiding a disorderly Brexit, and that is what he calls a "customs union" Brexit. I am sure if Richard North saw that, he'd be tearing his hair, since he has been describing for months why a customs union does not solve the problem that virtually everyone who talks in up in UK thinks it solves, namely, conferring "frictionless trade".

One key point in his analysis is that the UK will also have to accept "a blind Brexit," meaning a very fuzzy statement of what the "future relationship" will be. The EU had offered that in the last month or so, presumably as a fudge to allow May to get the various wings of her coalition to agree to something. But Peston says it's too late to do anything else. From ITV :

Hello from Brussels and the EU Council that promised a Brexit breakthrough and delivered nothing.

So on the basis of conversations with well-placed sources, this is how I think the Brexit talks are placed (WARNING: if you are fearful of a no-deal Brexit, or are of a nervous disposition, stop reading now):

1) Forget about having any clue when we leave about the nature and structure of the UK's future trading relationship with the EU. The government heads of the EU27 have rejected Chequers. Wholesale. And they regard it as far too late to put in place the building blocks of that future relationship before we leave on 29 March 2019. So any Political Declaration on the future relationship will be waffly, vague and general. It will be what so many MPs detest: a blind Brexit. The PM may say that won't happen. No one here (except perhaps her own Downing St team) believes her.

Erm, that alone may be a deal killer. We quoted this section of a Politico article on October 10 :

5. Future relationship – Blind Brexit

Opposed: Brexiteers, Tory Remainers, the Labour Party, Theresa May

I'll let our astute readers give their reactions to Peston's recommendation to May:

3) There is no chance of the EU abandoning its insistence that there should be a backstop – with no expiry date – of Northern Ireland, but not Great Britain, remaining in the Customs Union and the single market. That would involve the introduction of the commercial border in the Irish Sea that May says must never be drawn.

4) All efforts therefore from the UK are aimed at putting in place other arrangements to make it impossible for that backstop to be introduced.

5) Her ruse for doing this is the creation of another backstop that would involve the whole of the UK staying in something that looks like the customs union.

6) But she feels cannot commit to keeping the UK in the customs union forever, because her Brexiter MPs won't let her. So it does not work as a backstop. And anyway the Article 50 rules say that the Withdrawal Agreement must not contain provisions for a permanent trading relationship between the whole of the UK and the EU. Which is a hideous Catch 22.

7) There is a solution. She could ignore her Brexiter critics and announce the UK wanted written into the Political Declaration – not the Withdrawal Agreement – that we would be staying permanently in the customs union. This is one bit of specificity the rest of the EU would allow into the Political Declaration. And it could be nodded at in the Withdrawal Agreement.

8) But if she announces we are staying in the Customs Union she would be crossing her reddest of red lines because she would have to abandon her ambition of negotiating free trade deals with non-EU countries. Liam Fox would be made redundant.

9) She knows, because her Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has told her, that her best chance – probably her only chance of securing a Brexit deal – is to sign up for the customs union.

10) In its absence, no-deal Brexit is massively in play.

11) But a customs-union Brexit deal would see her Brexiter MPs become incandescent with fury.

12) Labour of course would be on the spot, since its one practical Brexit policy is to stay in the Customs Union.

13) This therefore is May's Robert Peel moment. She could agree a Customs Union Brexit and get it through Parliament with Labour support – while simultaneously cleaving her own party in two.

Finally, in an elegiac piece, Richard North contends that the UK didn't need to wind up where it is:

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Yet it is precisely because Mrs May seems to have chosen an adversarial route rather than a consensual process that I have projected her failings in militaristic terms..

In reality, it would have been best to approach the Brexit process not so much as the end of a relationship as a redefinition, where the need to continue close cooperation continues, even if it is to be structured on a different basis

Here, though, lies the essential problem. The EU, as a treaty-based organisation, does not have the flexibility to change its own rules just to suit the needs of one member, and especially one which is seeking to leave the Union. Yet, on the other hand, the UK government has political constraints which prevent it making concessions which would allow the EU to define a new relationship

But, having put herself in a position where she is demanding something that the EU cannot give, she herself has no alternative but to adopt an adversarial stance – if for no other reason than to show her own political allies and critics that she is doing her best to resolve an impossible situation.

If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, it sure looks like the headlight of an oncoming train, the Brexit end date bearing down on the principals.


PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

I can't help but wonder whether the proposed time extension was proposed mischievously by EU negotiators precisely to set off divisions among the Tories. While Barniers no.1 aim is a deal, the close to no.2 aim must surely be to ensure that in the event of no deal (or a clearly clapped together bad interim deal), 100% of the blame goes to London. So far, they are doing a good job with that.

Its a little concerning that Merkel was so off-message, even though she is obviously correct that a no-deal means a hard border, which is a failure by any standard. I'm pretty sure we won't see any overt disagreements among the EU 27 as they won't want to give the UK the satisfaction of having sown dissent. However, that doesn't mean there won't be frantic background pressure from some (probably pushed by business) to do some sort of deal, even a bad one. That will inevitable mean leaning heavily on Dublin, if it is seen as the last obstacle. Any such pressure will be private, not public I'm sure.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:33 am

The damage limitation is there, for sure, but it's always aimed on rest of the world (i.e. all but the UK, where the EU will be target in any outcome). TBH, I'm not sure how much that's needed now..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:10 am

I wonder if the various negotiating teams are reminded of that nursery rhyme I learned as a child -- "and the wheels on the bus go round and round ".

As line one of section one of Article 50 explicitly states (and would therefore be given substantial weight in any reading of the Article itself):

Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU)
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

The U.K. government cannot change the constitutional settlement for Northern Ireland without the agreement of the people of the six counties and the Republic and the rest of the U.K. "Nothing about us, without us" in popular parlance. And Republicans need to give their consent for any change affecting devolved matters (which is enforceable via a Petition of Concern). EU laws and directives are devolved matters. Constitutionally, no one can force anything on anyone in the province.

What the EU is asking the U.K. to do is impossible.

What the U.K. is asking the EU to do is impossible.

A hard border is also impossible, both as an outcome of treaty obligations and also as a practical matter.

Therefore a no-deal Brexit is inevitable. Therefore, so is a hard border. Which is an impossibility -- politically and operationally.

No wonder this can got kicked down the road last December. But now we have, oh, look, what's this here? Who left this can lying around?

David , October 19, 2018 at 7:27 am

I'm not sure. I had always read that sentence as meaning "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements for withdrawing from treaties in general" ie much more narrowly focused. Normally, any government has a sovereign right to withdraw from treaties, but it could be the case, for example, that in some countries parliament has to be informed, debates have to be held etc, and that's the case that's being covered here. Not to say that my interpretation (if correct) makes the situation any easier.
I posted a long comment on the French media reporting of Wednesday's talks yesterday. If I have a moment, I'll look to see if there's anything fresh today. One thing to look out for will be signs of tension between Paris and Brussels.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:41 am

I would need a lawyer well versed in international treaty interpretations to give a proper opinion and ultimately a court to rule on this.

What the wording definitely does not say (we can all read it for ourselves) is anything along the lines of " may initiate " or " may invoke its right to withdraw " or suchlike followed by the bit about constitutional adherences. Thus the requirements to act constitutionally must likely be expected to apply to Article 50 in their entirety. Apart from any lawyerly parsing, this is also common sense.

The section says a Member State may withdraw and it has to (this is so stating the obvious the treaty drafting must have had this specifically in mind to mention it) be constitutional about it. The EU cannot ask a Member State to conduct its withdrawal unconstitutionally.

disillusionized , October 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

No, that's not what it means – what it means is that as far as EU law is concerned, EU law ends there. It's wholly up to the withdrawing state to define and consider.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:50 am

Yes, and the Member State can't act unconstitutionally in respect of its own withdrawal proceedings. The EU is reserving the right not to accept any instruction in the matter of a withdrawal from the EU from the said Member State which is unconstitutional for that Member State. Nor can the EU foist unconstitutional acts onto a Member State in respect of the withdrawal. Its a basic principle of any legal system and any law and any jurisprudence that Party A cannot induce Party B to break the law as a result of an agreement between them and for that agreement to then remain valid.

As a simpler example, I draw up an agreement that says you'll pay me £100 in a week's time and you must get the money by whatever means possible. Fast forward a week and you don't have the £100. I can't use our agreement as an excuse for you to commit an unlawful act (say, go and steal someone's wallet) "because we've got an agreement you'll pay me, so that makes it okay no matter what, so long as you give me the money". Nor can you use your being party to the agreement to say "sorry, I don't have the money, but you can steal it from my Aunt Flossie, she's never gonna know you took it".

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I have a suspicion we are (nearly) saying the same thing. See the separate thread below. A country that signs the Lisbon Treaty accepts that any decision to withdraw will have to be taken according to its own constitutional arrangements. This is a national obligation, but I don't see how the EU could refuse to accept the notification on the basis that it had been unconstitutionally arrived at, or what standing they would have. I've never heard of anything similar happening elsewhere.
To rephrase your example. My partner and I lend you £100 and you say that we can have it back any time we want. I ask for it back, and you refuse to give it to me on the basis that, in your view, this has to be a joint request from my partner and me.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

I buy this only partially, as Scotland has some freedom to set taxes, and NI has also diverged from other UK laws (the infamous abortion rights).

Of course, from that, to staying in single market is quite a jump, but one could argue that since majority of the NI voted "remain" (by some margin) they clearly DO wish to stay in the single market.

Also the "the rest of the UK" is dubious – it's really "without the say so from the Westminster Parliament". See Scottish Indy referendum – I didn't notice they run it in England as well? (if they did, I suspect Scots could have been independend by now).

That said, even the above can still be done by a single poll that NI republicans actually already called for i.e. if there's a hard-border Brexit, NI should get a reunification vote.

TBH, that's MY suggestion to the impasse. The backstop becomes a reunification referendum. Not time limited – once the transition period is done, it's done, nor really challengable. You want SM, you go European, or you stay within the UK. I'd like to see DUP to froth on that..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:57 am

It's stated right at the top of the Good Friday Agreement absolutely explicitly:

It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other.

Treaty texts rarely get so unarguably clear.

This is why I suspect there was such a push in February to get Stormont up and running again. Without it, everything was stuck in constitutional limbo and lacking any possibility of constitutionally-authenticated approvals. Similar any possibility of a border poll. Without a vote in the Assembly, how can the U.K. government have any pretence (that would withstand a UKSC challenge) that it was responding to a democratic imperative issued by NI?

Of course, the U.K. government could do whatever the heck it likes by a reintroduced Direct Rule. At which point the Good Friday Agreement is toast (and the Republic would have to explicitly buy-in to Direct Rule being initiated). This must be one of the DUP's main game plans. They really don't care that much about borders in the Irish Sea if they can get rid of the Good Friday Agreement. The DUP would be quite happy to paint the Garvaghy Road emerald green from end to end if they could rip that up for good.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:23 am

An additional complication to this though is the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference , which explicitly gives the Irish government a say in non-devolved matters, including the Common Travel area and EU matters. So at least in theory, the British government must (if the Irish government insists on reconstituting the Council, which they haven't so far) engage with the Irish government for any change – including Brexit – to be constitutional.

Its been speculated here that Varadkar has not called for the BIIC to be held in order not to inflame matters with the DUP.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

Yes, I think this holds a lot of water. Especially since the Republic amended its constitution to facilitate the GFA, it shows how seriously it took the matter. While politically it may be gruesome for the U.K. to contemplate that it would not be possible to leave the EU without as a minimum consulting the Republic, I too think there is at least a possibility it was in fact legally obligated via the GFA to do exactly that.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

I read that entirely differently again – my (completely laymans) interpretation is that it means a countries request for withdrawal must be internally constitutionally based. In other words, a rogue leader can't simply say 'I'm launching A.50' in defiance of his own Parliament or courts. Or put another way – the EU can refuse to accept an A.50 application if it can be argued that it was not generated legally in the first place.

David , October 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

I think that's right, though most treaties like this contain some ambiguity in their wording. Interestingly, the French text gives a slightly different impression.
"Tout État membre peut décider, conformément à ses règles constitutionnelles, de se retirer de l'Union," which would be translated as "Any member state may decide, in accordance with its constitutional provisions, to leave the Union." The commas make it clear that, in French at least, the only decision that has to be taken constitutionally under the Treaty, is the decision to leave (alinea 1). Once that decision is taken the states has to inform the EU (alinea 2). Of course, there's a standing general requirement on governments to behave constitutionally, but that would be a matter for the domestic courts, not the EU. It must also be true that they should respect their constitutional rules during the negotiation process. Interestingly, Art 46 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties deals exactly with your point from the other end – what happens if a state signs a treaty without going through the proper procedures. I've seen some suggestions on specialist blogs that Art 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was inspired by the arguments about this point.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:57 am

Agreed, except it would be a matter for the CJEU if it was the EU (e.g. the Commission) which was doing the asking (or telling) of the Member State.

jabbawocky , October 19, 2018 at 8:24 am

The answer to your question has to be those that voted Leave in the referendum left the can lying around.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Rubbish. The U.K. government had every right to hold a referendum. It was advisory of course. But Parliament had every right to invoke A50 as a result of the result.

What the U.K. government had no right whatsoever to do was to pretend that the Good Friday Agreement obligations could or should be fudged away. Nor that the EU or the Republic should tolerate this or go along with it. The fact that they did is, well, their bad. I'm still shaking my head as to why Barnier et al were dumb enough to go along with it at the time. There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Phillip Allen , October 19, 2018 at 9:29 am

There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Now there's some optimism and faith. Our erstwhile leaders have done very little to justify it, in my completely jaded and cynical option.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

I was being perhaps overly generous -- there's also an awful lot of bad reasons I can think of, too.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

A year or so ago there was a little discussion of this in some parts of the Irish media. The thinking seemed to be that the government at the time (pre-Varadkar) had calculated that it was too divisive (in terms of the potential impact on NI politics) to be seen to be taking too aggressive a stance over Brexit (with hindsight, this was very naive, the DUP don't need outside help to be divisive).

FG was also very worried about giving any electoral help to Sinn Fein.

With hindsight, I think this was a major miscalculation on a number of levels – I don't think they anticipated that the stupidity of the London government would force them to take such a strong stance on the border issue, they thought it could be finessed by way of taking a more neutral stance.

begob , October 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

I think these are May's options:
1. Canada+++ with backstop – the DUP say NO! and she loses a vote of confidence.
2. EFTA + EEA without CU – she comes back in triumph – "No CU!" – but she loses DUP and Ultras so needs Corbyn, who will probably cry "No CU!" with contrary sentiment.
3. CU with backstop – Labour says it fails test #2 (at least), but she hopes their remainers defy the whip.

Peston is at option 3, but omits the backstop.

bold'un , October 19, 2018 at 7:22 am

Labour could help vote through a {blind brexit' with an extended Transition} in exchange for a post-deal General Election. This could suit May in that it would be risky for the Tories to change leaders in an election atmosphere. The British Public can then decide WHO best can negotiate the future Trade relationship (though sadly not the WHAT as it must be negotiated).

The Rev Kev , October 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

You wonder what is in it for May to stay in her job as Prime Minister. All indications are that she is a perfect example of the Peter Principle which is how she ended up with the job. You think too that she would be tempted to chuck the whole business and say "Here Boris – it's all yours!" with all the joy of throwing a live grenade. Maybe, in the end, it is like Milton had Satan say once – "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven".

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

An Irish politician once said that she was advised by an experienced colleague 'your worst day in government is better than your best day in opposition' . This is why politicians are so often incapable of turning down offers of coalition.

I don't believe it has occurred to May for one minute to resign or step aside. Power is what drives people like her (i.e. almost all politicians). Its the nature of the beast.

David , October 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

Macron's official statement after the European Council is here Interestingly, only about a third of the text was devoted to Brexit, and much of that was in turn a restatement of EU priorities – especially unity and the Single Market – and confidence in Barnier. All the technical solutions are known, said Macron, and it is for the UK to come up with some new ideas for compromises. The hope was to reach an agreement in the next few weeks, including "necessary guarantees for Ireland." The French media has essentially confined itself to reporting what Macron said.
What this shows, I think, is an increasing irritation among European leaders that Brexit, which should have been sorted out long ago, has been taking up the time that should really have been devoted to more important subjects, like migration and the deepening of economic and financial cooperation The British are regarded as a major irritant, incapable of behaving like a great power, paralysed by internal political splits and capable of doing a lot of collateral damage. The EU seems increasingly unwilling to devote any more time to Brexit until the UK comes up with some genuinely useful ideas – hence the cancellation of the November summit.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

Thats probably true, but if so, its very shortsighted. If the UK crashes out, for several months there will be nothing else on the plate of western Europe to deal with, there will be deep implications certainly from Germany to Spain. And if it causes more wobbles in the already very wobbly Italian banks, it'll be even more of a headache, to put it mildly.

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I agree, but I think it's at least partly the UK's doing. A modicum of common sense and political realism could have avoided this situation. The problem is that Brexit, as a subject, has the nasty twin characteristics of being at once extremely complicated and politically lunatic. I think EU leaders are focusing on the second, and in some ways May has become almost light relief. But jokes stop being funny after a while, and I think Macron is reflecting a wider belief among national leaders that only the UK can sort this out: you broke it, you fix it.

If there were issues which, whilst difficult, were potentially fixable then I think a lot more effort would have gone into the negotiations from EU leaders. But they must feel they are trapped in some Ionesco farce or (to vary the metaphor) trying to negotiate with the Keystone Cops.

Except the Keystone Cops happen to be playing with hand grenades. There's no doubt that European leaders are taking a crash-out seriously (the French have published a draft bill giving the government emergency powers to deal with such a situation) but I think there's a also widespread sense of helplessness. What can the EU actually do that it hasn't already done? All they can hope for is an outbreak of common sense in London, and I think we all know how likely that is. In the circumstances, you might as well concentrate on subjects where progress is actually possible.

MichaelSF , October 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Would Dunkirk be a better comparison?

[Oct 09, 2018] Brexit Crunch Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself Is That Even Possible

Oct 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Brexit Crunch: Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself? Is That Even Possible? Posted on October 8, 2018 by Yves Smith The UK press is all over the map on the state of Brexit. That makes making sense of things even harder than usual.

At a minimum, it show that the EU's thumping of May at last month's Salzburg conference has led to an uptick in activity, as the EU27 leaders set an earlier deadline for the UK to serve up something realistic than the UK had previously thought it had (October versus November).

But it's far from clear that all the thrashing around and messaging amounts to progress. As we'll discuss, some press reports claim the EU is showing more flexibility, but the changes appear to be almost entirely cosmetic. If so, it would represent a cynical calculation that MPs are so illiterate about technical details that adept repackaging will get the dog to eat the dog food.

Another thing to keep in mind is that negotiators are always making progress until a deal is dead. The appearance of momentum can create actual momentum, or at least buy time. But here, time is running out, so the question is whether either side has made enough of a shift so as to allow for a breakthough.

One thing that may have happened, and again this is speculative, is that more key players in the EU are coming to realize that a crash out will inflict a lot of damage on the EU. A transition period is actually much more beneficial to the EU than the UK. It would not only allow the EU more time to prepare, but also enable it to better pick the UK clean of personnel and business activities that can move to the Continent in relatively short order.

By contrast (and not enough people in the UK appear to have worked this out), the UK will crash out with respect to the EU in either March 2019 or the end of December 2020. There's no way the UK will have completed a trade deal with the EU by then, unless it accedes to every EU demand. Recall that the comparatively uncomplicated Canada trade agreement took seven years to negotiate and another year to obtain provisional approval. And Richard North points out another impediment to negotiations: " .the Commission has to be re-appointed next year and, after Brexit, it will not be fully in operation until the following November." Now there are still some important advantages to securing a transition agreement, and they may be mainly political (who wants to be caught holding that bag?) but the differences may not be as significant for the EU as the UK. The UK will wind up having the dislocations somewhat spread out, first having to contend with falling out of all the trade deals with third countries that it now has through the EU in March 2019, and then losing its "single market" status with the EU at the end of 2020. But will the UK also be so preoccupied with trying to stitch up deals with the rest of the world that it loses its already not great focus on what to do with the EU?

That isn't to say there won't be meaningful benefits to the UK if it can conclude a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and win a transition period. For instance, it has a dim hope of being able to get its border IT systems upgraded so as to handle much greater transaction volumes, a feat that seems pretty much unattainable by March 2019.

Two more cautionary note regarding these divergent news stories. The first is that we've seen this sort of thing before and generally, the optimistic reports have not panned out. However, they have generally ben from unnamed sources. While we do have a very thin BBC article with Jean-Claude Junkcer saying the odds of a deal had improved and Tusk making cautiously optimistic noises, Leo Vardarkar was more sober and the piece even admitted, "However, there is still no agreement on some issues, including how to avoid new checks on the Irish border."

Second, they appear to be mainly about claimed progress or deadlocks on the trade front. Recall that Article 50 makes only a passing reference to "the future relationship," which is only a non-binding political declaration. However, these issue seems to have assumed more importance than it should on the UK end, because it has become a forcing device for the coalition to settle on what sort of Brexit it wants .and it remains fundamentally divided, as demonstrated by last week's Conservative Party conference. By contrast, there seems to be little news on the real sticking point, the Irish border.

So to the rumors:

The EU has offered the UK a "Canada plus plus plus" deal . Even if you take the Guardian story at face value, there is less there there than the breathless reactions in the UK would lead you to believe.

First, recall that "Canada plus plus plus" has long been derided by the EU as yet another way for the UK to try to cherry pick among the possible post-Brexit arrangements. Boris Johnson nevertheless talked it up as a preferred option to May's too-soft Chequers scheme at the Tory conference . and May did not mention Chequers . Did EU pols take that to mean May had abandoned Chequers to appease the Ultras?

However, as we read things (and we need to watch our for our priors), Donald Tusk appears to be mouthing a pet UK expression to convey a different idea:

Tusk said the EU remained ready to offer the UK a "Canada-plus-plus-plus deal" – a far-reaching trade accord with extra agreements on security and foreign policy.

That reads as a Canada style free trade agreement plus additional pacts on non-trade matters. That is not what "Canada plus plus plus" signified on the UK side: it meant the UK getting a free trade deal with other (typically not specified) goodies so as to make it "special" and more important, reduce friction.

The Ultras were over the moon to have Tusk dignify Johnson's blather, even as the very next paragraph of the Guardian story revealed the outtrade over what "Canada plus plus plus" stands for:

Boris Johnson and other hard Brexit Tories seized on Tusk's remarks, arguing they showed it was time for May to immediately switch tack and abandon her Chequers proposals for remaining in a customs union for food and goods. "Tusk's Canada-plus-plus-plus offer shows there is a superb way forward that can solve the Irish border problem and deliver a free-trade-based partnership that works well for both sides of the channel," Johnson said.

If you managed to get further into the story, it sounded more cautionary notes:

Some Brexiters overlook that the EU's version of a so-called Canada deal incorporates a guarantee to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, which would keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union and single market. "Canada plus-plus-plus" is also a fuzzy concept that has no formal status in EU negotiating documents. Michel Barnier, the bloc's chief negotiator, mentioned the idea in an interview with the Guardian and other papers last year.

"I don't know what Canada-plus-plus-plus means, it is just a concept at this stage," Varadkar said, adding that it did not negate the need for a "legally binding backstop" – a guarantee to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if there is no agreement on the future trading relationship.

EU to let UK super fudge on "future relationship." Another Guardian story reported that the EU might let the UK sign an even less committal version of the "future relationship" section , allowing the UK to "evolve" [gah] its position during the transition period. Frankly, this seems to be allowing for a change in government. I don't see this as that meaningful a concession, since this statement was never legally binding. However, given that Parliament must ratify the final agreement, formally registering that that section isn't set in stone probably would facilitate passage as well as any future change in direction. And if you suspect this is a big dog whistle to Labour, you be right:

An EU source said: "The message to Labour is that the UK could move up Barnier's stairs if the British government changes its position in the transition period. Voting in favour of the deal now would not be the last word on it."

May whips Labour for Chequers . You thought May gave up on Chequers? Silly you! She just had the good sense to go into her famed submarine mode while Boris was having yet another turn in the limelight. From the Telegraph :

Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal risking open warfare with the party's own MPs.

The Government's whips' office has spent recent months making contact with the MPs as a back-up option for when Theresa May's Brexit deal is put to a vote in Parliament in early December, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

News of the wooing operation has infuriated Eurosceptic Tory MPs who are now threatening to vote against elements of the Budget and other "money bills" to force Mrs May to drop her Chequers plan.

If true, this is very high stakes poker. Brexit Central says there are 34 Tory MPs who have already declared they will oppose any "deal based on Chequers". And, to change metaphors, they appear ready to go nuclear if they have to. From the Times:

Brexiteers have issued a last-ditch threat to vote down the budget and destroy the government unless Theresa May takes a tougher line with Brussels -- amid signs that she is on course to secure a deal with the European Union.

Leading members of the hardline European Research Group (ERG) last night vowed to vote down government legislation after it was claimed the prime minister will use Labour MPs to push her plan through the Commons.

I turned to Richard North's site after I had pretty much finished this post, and he finds the Telegraph story as peculiar as I do :

Reporting of the key issue of our times gets more bizarre by the day. The latest contribution to the cacophony is the Telegraph, telling us that Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs "to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal".

That approaches are being made to Labour MPs is not news, but the idea that attempts to sell them the Chequers deal confounds recent indications that the prime minister is preparing to roll out "Chequers II", with enough concessions to all the Commission to conclude a withdrawal agreement.

If we are looking at such a new deal, then it cannot be the case that anyone is attempting to convince Labour MPs of the merits of the old deal. And, even if Ministers succeeded in such a task, it would be to no avail. Chequers, as such, will never come to parliament for approval because it will never form the basis of a deal that can be accepted by Brussels.

That should consign the Telegraph story to the dustbin now piled high with incoherent speculation, joining the steady flow of reports which are struggling – and failing – to bring sense to Brexit.

EU to announce "minimalist" no-deal emergency plans . Interestingly, the Financial Times has not had any articles in the last few days on the state of UK/EU negotiations. It instead depicted the EU as about to turn up the heat on the UK by publishing a set of "no deal" damage containment plans. I've never understood the line of thought, which seems to be taken seriously on both sides of the table, that acting like a responsible government and preparing for a worst-case scenario was somehow an underhanded negotiation ploy. 1 The pink paper nevertheless pushes that notion:

Brussels is planning to rattle the UK by unveiling tough contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit that could force flight cancellations and leave exporters facing massive disruption if Britain departs the EU without an exit agreement in March.

Subtext: it's the EU's fault all those bad things could happen .when it is the UK that is suing for divorce. Back to the story:

Against expectations in London, the plan is likely to encompass a limited number of initiatives over a maximum of eight months, diplomats who have seen the document told the Financial Times.

Notably, the EU is not planning special arrangements for customs or road transport and only limited provisions for financial services -- a decision that, if seen through, would cause long queues and operational difficulties at ports and airports.

The minimalist emergency plan, designed to be rolled out should there be no breakthrough in Brexit talks, would increase the pressure over already fraught negotiations between the UK and the EU ahead of a summit on 17 October. EU plans would then be firmed up by December .

The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated

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The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated.

And then we have the stories that are head-scratchers. The Sun reports that Barnier says a deal is nigh .based on:

Hopes of progress have been fuelled by expectations that Theresa May has come forward with a compromise solution to the Irish border.

The PM will propose keeping the whole of the UK in a customs union as a final fallback but allowing Northern Ireland to stick to EU regulations.

The EU has rejected having the UK collect EU customs post Brexit. Moreover, a customs union, as we've said repeatedly, does not give the UK its keenly-sounght frictionless trade. Making Northern Ireland subject to EU regulations means accepting the jurisdiction of the ECJ, since compliance is not a matter of having a dusty rule book, but of being part of the same regulatory apparatus. Aside from the fact that this solution won't be acceptable to the DUP, it would also result in a hard land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. So are we to take this as incomprehension on the part of the Sun's reporters, or that the Government's negotiators continue to be as thick as a brick? Sadly, the Guardian tells a similar tale :

Ministers expect to discuss Brexit in a week's time when some hope that officials will have clarified how the UK proposes to handle cross-border regulatory checks if no progress is made on agreeing a free trade deal with the EU.

There has been speculation that this solution could involve the whole of the UK agreeing to be part of a common customs area with the EU in order to avoid the possibility of an invisible border separating Northern Ireland from Great Britain, in the event that no long-term deal is signed.

Richard North has the best take. He points the rumors from the UK side come from people who present themselves as being on the inside but probably aren't, or not enough to have a good feel, and continues :

Yet nothing seems to be leaking from No.10, with officials saying merely that proposals would emerge "soon". Says the Guardian, these are likely to form the basis of technical negotiations with Brussels "as officials scramble to find a form of words for the withdrawal agreement that the UK proposes to sign with the EU".

Any such timing will, of necessity, rule out any formal consideration by the October European Council. Those who understand the detail will know that, before anything can be considered by the European Council, it must first be agreed by the General Affairs Council, meeting as 27.

Currently, this is scheduled for 16 October (Tuesday week) – a day before the Article 50 European Council which starts its two-day session on the 17th. On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be enough time to factor in any last-minute proposals from London, especially as details must first be circulated to Member State capitals for comment.

This does nothing, though, but confirm that which we already know – that if there is to be a final showdown, then it is going to come at the special meeting in November (if this actually happens), or even the meeting scheduled for 13-14 December.

Even the rumor mills don't give much reason to think there is a solution to the Irish border. If May really hasn't abandoned Chequers, all the fudging to come up with a content-free "future relationship" section will be to the detriment of UK citizens, since the Government will keep holding on to a Brexit plan that the EU will never accept. But the best interests of ordinary people have gotten short shrift all along.

[Oct 09, 2018] How to Maliciously Smear Your Critics (and Not Get Away with It) by C.J. Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Because that is precisely how the smear game works. The way it works is, the smearers bait the smearee into defending himself against the defamatory content of the smears. Once the smearee has done that, the smearers have him. From then on, the focus of the debate becomes whether or not the smears are accurate, rather than why he's being smeared, how he's being smeared, and who is smearing him .

This is the smearers' primary objective, i.e., to establish the boundaries of the debate, and to trap the target of the smears within them. If you've followed the fake "Labour Anti-Semitism" scandal, you've witnessed this tactic deployed against Corbyn , who unfortunately fell right into the trap and gave the smearers the upper hand.

No, the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale), is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible . It is difficult to resist this temptation, especially when the people smearing you have significantly more power and influence than you do, and are calling you a racist and an anti-Semite, but, trust me, the moment you start defending yourself, the game is over, and the smearers have won.

Peasant , says: October 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT

@Justsaying The evidence is that before Cockburn died Counterpunch would routinely publish articles which were basically honest about Israel (ie not terribly flattering) and now does not (as it states in the article above viewpoints of the extreme left and right ie genuine critique will not be tolerated so only critique from inside established paradigms will be allowed-just like every other media outlet).

Counterpunch used to be outside of the Jewish paradigm (ie it was genuinely leftist) but now will be just another gelded publication. Cockburn did a good job of fending off criticism-Counterpunch was a rather niche publication so it flew under the radar of the Jews.

Counterpunch was routinely critical of the neocons and even pointed out their Jewishness but a lot of liberal Jews did not like the neocons. Israel was and is the real litmus test.

The Guardian always had Alan Rusbridger who I beleive was Jewish. It is not exactly funded by Jewish money- it mainly subsists off of government departments advertising public sector jobs. Before the rise of the internet and gumtree etc it was mainly funded by sales of autotrader a car trading magazine (lol at the nost po faced anti pollution newspaper being funded by the sales of cars).

What changed is that the Jews are no longer able to control the narrative- they used to feel they could afford semi-critical comments about Israel before but not any more. This has gone hand in hand with increased efforts to censor the internet. The Jews were able to infiltrate BDS and subvert it, they were able to use their explicit power to pass anti BDS laws but they were not able to really turn the tide of public opinion. They have resorted to outright censorship.

As you say it is not suprising that Counterpunch was taken over any publication/organisation that wants to work outside of established Jewish limits on intellectual discourse will eventually be subverted. Just look at the British Labour party. Corbyn is an old school lefists (ie he wants to give people options other than the new labour globalist neo liberalism) and a very principaled one. He stands up for the Palestinians (some people say he just does this because of his Muslim constituents but that is not the case-he has always stood up for them) and as a result has been smeared time and time again by the Jewish press.

There is a power struggle in the Labour party (Muslim ethnics weight of numbers vs Jewish money) and it looks like the Jews will win.

It's very sad and like I said I hope the new Counterpunch will fold leaving Cockburn's histroy of excellent journalism unsullied.

[Sep 23, 2018] European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed Theresa May appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

Sep 23, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/22/euro-s22.html

From the Super Schadenfreude Press:

"UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffered political humiliation in Salzburg, when European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed her appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

May was given only 10 minutes to address EU heads of state Wednesday, after dinner at the informal summit, during which she appealed to her audience, "You are participants in our debate, not just observers."

She said she had counted on at least supportive noises for her "serious and workable" plan, given that she was seeking to head off a potential challenge from the "hard-Brexit"/Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party. She warned that the UK could be torn apart -- with respect to Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as by social tensions; that if her government fell, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party could win a general election; and cited the potential damage to the EU itself of lost trade, investment and military support from the UK.

Instead, her address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be "unworkable.

No matter how these conflicts play out, Britain and the whole of Europe face a worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU apart. The growth of both inter-imperialist and social antagonisms found dramatic form in Brexit, which the dominant sections of the City of London, big business, all the major parties and Britain's allies in the US and Europe all opposed. Yet two years later, May is fighting a desperate struggle against her anti-EU "hard-Brexit" faction, the US is led by a president who has declared his support for the breakup of the EU, and numerous far-right governments have taken power in part by exploiting popular hostility to EU-dictated austerity."

"worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU-(and hence NATO)- apart. " .

:O)

[Sep 22, 2018] A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington

Sep 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Euractiv with AFP: Belgian inquest implicates UK in phone spying
https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/belgian-inquest-implicates-uk-in-phone-spying/

A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington, it was revealed on Thursday (20 September).

The report, which summarises a five-year judicial inquiry, is almost complete and was submitted to the office of Justice Minister Koen Geens, a source close to the case told AFP, confirming Belgian press reports

The matter will now be discussed within Belgium's National Security Council, which includes the Belgian Prime Minister with top security ministers and officials.

Contacted by AFP, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office and the cabinet of Minister Geens refused to comment .
####

NO. Shit. Sherlock.

So the real question is that if this has known since 2013, why now? BREXIT?

[Sep 21, 2018] On Brexit, UK Negotiators Have Adopted a Hard Bargaining Strategy

Notable quotes:
"... The EU is not perfect and has costs, but measured against what it has achieved, it is a great success. ..."
"... The EU has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful). ..."
"... You're funny. The EU makes war by other means. The burden of disease in Greece, health loss, risk factors, and health financing, 2000–16: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(18)30130-0.pdf ..."
"... The mortality rate for Greece is up approximately 50,000. All so Merkel in Germany, and Sarkozy and Hollande didn't have to go before their electorates and admit they were bailing out French and German banks through the backdoor. ..."
"... I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia and Bosnia and such, are not wars -- but then those are layable at the feet of NATO (that collection, as I recall it, of what, now, 29 member countries including all the Great Powers of the West) and the US imperium. ..."
"... The NATO establishment is about "making war," ..."
"... All of which is linked in significant ways to the economic "health" of the EU, from which lots of weapons flow in exchange for favors and money from the Destabilizers. ..."
"... In the meantime, the various stages are set, the players in the game of statism and nationalism and authoritarianism and neoliberalism are on their marks, the house lights are going out, and the long slow rise of the curtain is under way ..."
"... The period from the end of WWII to the Balkan Wars is still the longest period of peace since the Romans. I doubt you have ever lived through a war so I can't expect you to appreciate the difference between the Horrors of the Brussels Bureaucracy and the Horrors of Shelling and Bombing. ..."
"... I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it. ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... Ultimately, it's that simple. Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, and whoever else among the EU elites who chose to be complicit in killing substantial numbers of people so they could maintain themselves in power are scum. They are scum. They are scum. ..."
"... Fine, our elected leaders are all scum, but why does this mean that the EU is evil specifically. Why single it out? Why not advocate the overthrow of all centralized or unifying government? Move out to Montana to a cult and buy lots of guns or something. ..."
"... Ons should be very aware that EU directives comes mainly from the member states and that especially bad things that would never fly past an election could – and often is – spun by local government as "Big Bad Bruxelles is forcing poor little us to do this terrible thing to you poor people". Ala the British on trade deal with India and immigration of east-european workers. ..."
"... The EU does not have that much in the way of enforcement powers, that part is down-sourced to the individual member states. When a member state doesn't give a toss, it takes forever for some measure of sanctioning to spin up and usually it daily fines unto a misbehaving government, at the taxpayers expense (which of course those politicians who don't give a toss, are fine with since most of their cronies are not great taxpayers anyway). ..."
"... The solution is, patently, Tories out of power. Which I think will happen, certainly between now and 31 March 2019. Now would be better. Anyone thinking strategically in other parties in the UK (an oxymoron of a formulation, to be sure) would call for a no confidence vote the instant May's feet are on British soil. ..."
"... I doubt that this is personal, but what do I know. May is a nincompoop. The other heads of state patently, and quite rightly, don't respect her. Her presence has been useful to them only insofar as she could deliver a deal. ..."
"... I'd agree with your analysis of what happened – just glancing through the news today it seems that Macron in particular just lost patience, and the other leaders were happy to help him put the boot in. The EU has been trying to shore May up for a long time – the December agreement was little more than an attempt to protect her from an internal heave. This is a common dynamic in the EU – however much the leaders may dislike each other, they will usually prefer the person at the seat than the potential newcomer. ..."
"... But I think the EU has collectively decided that May is simply incapable of delivering any type of agreement, so there is no point in mincing words. They simply don't care any more if the Tory government collapses, or if they put Rees Mogg or Johnson in power. It makes absolutely zero difference to them. In fact, it might make it easier for the EU if the UK goes politically insane as they can then wash their hands of the problem. ..."
"... A colleague told me today he knows of several Northern Irish Republicans who voted leave, precisely because they thought this would create constitutional havoc and lead to a united Ireland. It seems at least some people were thinking strategically . ..."
"... British politicians apparently were supposed to negotiate Brexit among themselves. And once they had reached a (tentative) consensus the foreigners (the EU) were apparently supposed to bow down and accept the British proposal. ..."
"... Which means I never understood why the British media was treating the Chequers proposal as a serious proposal? And spending lots of time and articles discussing on how to convince the EU / the member states. ..."
"... As a Scot can I point out that it is English politicians who are responsible for this mess? ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. While the specific observations in this post will be very familiar to readers (you've said the same things in comments!), I beg to differ with calling the Government's Brexit negotiating stance a strategy. It's bad habit plus lack of preparation and analysis.

And the UK's lack of calculation and self-awareness about how it is operating means it will be unable to change course.

By Benjamin Martill, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Dahrendorf Forum where he focuses on Europe after Brexit. He is based at LSE IDEAS, the London School of Economics's foreign policy think tank. The Dahrendorf Forum is a joint research venture between LSE and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Originally published at openDemocracy

But is this the best strategy for advancing British interests? Here is the argument based on the findings of a recent Dahrendorf Forum working paper .

All eyes in British politics are on the negotiations between the UK and the EU over the terms of the forthcoming British withdrawal from the Union, or Brexit. Surprisingly, questions of bargaining strategy – once the preserve of diplomats and niche academic journals – have become some of the most defining issues in contemporary British politics.

The New Politics of Bargaining

Cabinet disagreements over the conduct of the negotiations led to the resignation of David Davis and Boris Johnson in early July 2018 and the issue continues to divide the ruling Conservative party. Theresa May's most recent statements have all addressed the question of how hard she has pushed Brussels in the talks.

But is the hard bargaining strategy appropriate, or will it ultimately harm the UK? The salience of this question should occasion deeper analysis of the fundamentals of international bargaining, given the extent to which the course of British politics will be determined by the government's performance (or perceived performance) in the Brexit talks.

Driving a Hard Bargain

A hard-bargaining strategy isn't necessarily a poor one. To the extent it is workable, it may even represent the sensible option for the UK.

Hard bargaining is characterised by negative representations of negotiating partners, unwillingness to make concessions, issuance of unrealistic demands, threats to damage the partner or exit the negotiations, representations of the talks in zero-sum terms, failure to provide argumentation and evidence, and withholding of information. From diplomats' portrayal of the EU as an uncooperative and bullying negotiating partner to a set of demands recognised as unrealistic in Brussels and Britain alike, the UK's approach to the Brexit negotiations scores highly on each of these measures.

The consensus in the academic literature is generally that hard bargaining works only where a given party has a relative advantage . Powerful states have an incentive to engage in hard bargaining, since by doing so they will be able to extract greater concessions from weaker partners and maximise the chance of achieving an agreement on beneficial terms.

But weaker actors have less incentive to engage in hard bargaining, since they stand to lose more materially if talks break down and reputationally if they're seen as not being backed by sufficient power,

So which is Britain?

Power Distribution

The success of hard bargaining depends on the balance of power. But even a cursory examination would seem to confirm that the UK does not hold the upper hand in the negotiations. Consider three standard measures of bargaining power: a country's economic and military capabilities, the available alternatives to making a deal, and the degree of constraint emanating from the public.

When it comes to capabilities, the UK is a powerful state with considerable economic clout and greater military resources than its size would typically warrant. It is the second-largest economy in the EU (behind Germany) and its GDP is equal to that of the smallest 19 member states. And yet in relative terms, the combined economic and military power of the EU27 dwarves that of the UK: the EU economy is five times the size of the UK's.

Next, consider the alternatives. A 'no deal' scenario would be damaging for both the UK and the EU, but the impact would be more diffuse for the EU member states. They would each lose one trading partner, whereas the UK would lose all of its regional trading partners. Moreover, the other powers and regional blocs often cited as alternative trading partners (the US, China, the Commonwealth, ASEAN) are not as open as the EU economy to participation by external parties, nor are they geographically proximate (the greatest determinant of trade flows), nor will any deal be able to replicate the common regulatory structure in place in the EU. This asymmetric interdependence strongly suggests that the UK is in greater need of a deal than the EU.

Finally, consider the extent of domestic constraints. Constraint enhances power by credibly preventing a leader from offering too generous a deal to the other side. On the EU side the constraints are clear: Barnier receives his mandate from the European Council (i.e. the member states) to whom he reports frequently. When asked to go off-piste in the negotiations, he has replied that he does not have the mandate to do so. On the UK side, by contrast, there is no such mandate. British negotiators continually cite Eurosceptic opposition to the EU's proposals in the cabinet, the Conservative party, and the public, but they are unable to guarantee any agreement will receive legislative assent, and cannot cite any unified position.

Perceptions of Power

But the real power distribution is not the only thing that matters. While the EU is the more powerful actor on objective criteria, a number of key assumptions and claims made by the Brexiteers have served to reinforce the perception that Britain has the upper hand.

First, on the question of capabilities, the discourse of British greatness (often based on past notions of power and prestige) belies the UK's status as a middle power (at best) and raises unrealistic expectations of what Britain's economic and military resources amount to. Second, on the question of alternatives, the oft-repeated emphasis on 'global Britain' and the UK's stated aim to build bridges with its friends and allies around the globe understates the UK's reliance on Europe, the (low) demand for relations with an independent Britain abroad, and the value of free trade agreements or other such arrangements with third countries for the UK. Third, on the question of domestic constraint, the post-referendum discourse of an indivisible people whose wishes will be fulfilled only through the implementation of the Brexit mandate belies the lack of consensus in British politics and the absence of a stable majority for either of the potential Brexit options, including the 'no deal', 'hard', or 'soft' variants of Brexit. Invoking 'the people' as a constraint on international action, in such circumstances, is simply not credible.

Conclusion

Assumptions about Britain's status as a global power, the myriad alternatives in the wider world, and the unity of the public mandate for Brexit, have contributed to the overstatement of the UK's bargaining power and the (false) belief that hard bargaining will prove a winning strategy.

Britain desperately needs to have an honest conversation about the limits of the UK's bargaining power. This is not 'treasonous', as ardent Brexiteers have labelled similar nods to reality, but is rather the only way to ensure that strategies designed to protect the national interest actually serve this purpose. Power is a finite resource that cannot be talked into existence. Like a deflating puffer fish, the UK's weakness will eventually become plain to see. The risk is that before this occurs, all bridges will be burned, all avenues exhausted, and all feathers ruffled.

The arguments in this blog are based on the findings of a Dahrendorf Forum working paper by Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger titled ' Cultures of Negotiation: Explaining Britain's Hard Bargaining in the Brexit Negotiations '.

The opinions expressed in this blog contribution are entirely those of the author and do not represent the positions of the Dahrendorf Forum or its hosts Hertie School of Governance and London School of Economics and Political Science or its funder Stiftung Mercator.


larry , September 20, 2018 at 10:30 am

I tend to agree that there is no real strategy on the UK's part. May resembles a broken record, where she says much the same thing over and over again, seemingly expecting a different response each time. Although Einstein said that he probably never made the claim about what insanity consists of, it is often attributed to him -- doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. How the government expects that this sort of behavior will bring desirable results is beyond me.

Schofield , September 20, 2018 at 10:35 am

Both UK and EU politicians are talking past each other. Neither side understands there are two key issues. Firstly, not understanding the economic effects stemming from the failure to understand how money is created and how it can be manipulated for global trading advantage. Secondly, that the UK is high up the list for "cultural tightness" and the reasons for this.

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6df109_a5da34d6a9ae4114be82ccf4b024a2b2.pdf

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

The other element of course of a negotiation is getting potential allies to roll up behind you. At the start of this the UK had a series of potential 'friends' it could call on – eurosceptics governments in Eastern Europe, close historic friends and political like minded governments in Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland. And of course non-EU countries like India or the US with historic links.

They somehow managed to anger or frustrate nearly all of those though its heavy handed negotiations or laughable lack of political empathy.

It must be emphasised that the current Irish government is ideologically and instinctively very pro-London. And yet, today RTE is reporting about the latest meeting between May and Varadkar:

The source said there was "an open exchange of views" between both sides, with the Irish delegation emphasising that the time was short and "we need to get to the stage where we can consider a legal text" on the backstop.

The source described British proposals so far as "only an outline, and we haven't seen specific proposals from the British side."

This can only be translated as 'what the hell are they playing at?'

The Indians of course were amusedly baffled by the British assumption that they would welcome open trade (without lots of new visas for Indian immigrants). Trump just smelt the blood of a wounded animal. The Russians are well

Jim A. , September 20, 2018 at 12:40 pm

"an open exchange of views" Which is a diplomat's way of saying that there was a shouting match and no agreement.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

I imagine it as being a little like this (not work safe if you have audio on).

HotFlash , September 20, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Mercy! I will save and share this. Thank you, Pu-kun.

Fazal Majid , September 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm

The British cited the EU's inability to conclude a free-trade agreement with India as one example of the EU's failings a revitalized Global Britain would no longer be shackled by. That's quite rich considering the FTA was torpedoed when the British Home Secretary vetoed increased visas for the Indians. Her name was Theresa May.

HotFlash , September 20, 2018 at 8:34 pm

True? Comedy gold!

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 5:20 am

They somehow managed to anger or frustrate nearly all of those

Somehow?

The brits basically said: We are special people, much, much better, richer and stronger than you sorry lot of Peons to Brussels(tm), so now you shall see sense and give us what we want this week; you can call it your tribute if you like (because we don't care what you like :)

Half the Danes are fed up with the whole thing and the other half would be egging on a hard Brexit if only they could – knowing it will likely take out at least some of the worst and most overleveraged (and gorged with tax-paid subsidies) Anti-Environmentalist Danish industrial farmers, their bankers too. And diminish the power of their lobbyists: "Landbrug & Fødevarer"!

The good part is that: the British and the Danish governments have managed to make "being ruled by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels" look like a pretty much OK & decent deal, considering the alternative options: Being ruled by our local crazies, straight-up nutters and odious nincompoops (a word i like), half of whom, to top it up, are probably mere soulless proxies for those ghouls that are running Washington DC.

Tom Stone , September 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

Always bet on stupid.
Because human stupidity is infinite.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 11:30 am

Though it often fits neatly into one of four categories, described here:

"The basic laws of human stupidity,"

http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/

Seems we humans are pretty good at inventing negative-sum games that we belieeeve are zero-sum

Watt4Bob , September 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm

It seems more and more to me, that never ending class warfare, and its current emphasis on austerity, leaves us unable to envision alternate routes to economic health.

The neo-liberal consensus mandates that our ruling class never questions its own tactics, ie dog-whistle racism to distract and divide the lower classes to enable all the looting.

So on both sides of the Atlantic, the rulers of English speakers stir up resentment amongst those at the bottom in order to secure votes, and maintain power, while never intending to follow through on promises to provide tangible material benefits to their constituents.

The looting goes on, the trail of broken promises grows longer, and the misery deepens.

The issue being ignored is that the folks at the bottom have reached the limit of their ability to maintain life and limb in the face of downward economic pressure.

We've finally reached the end game, we in America have been driven to Trumpism, and in Britain they've been driven to Brexit by the clueless efforts of pols to maintain power in the face of electorates who have decided they have had enough, and will absolutely not take the SOS anymore.

So we have the nonsensical situation of pols on both sides of the Atlantic flirting with economic collapse, and even civil war rather than moderate their irrational fixation on making the insanely rich even richer.

In both cases we have a cast of alternating villains robbing and beating us while waving flags and loudly complaining that we aren't showing the proper level of enthusiasm.

Which leaves me with one question for those villains;

Where you gonna hide.

Hayek's Heelbiter , September 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Yup.

Why no one, especially the punditocracy seems to realize this, is astonishing.

I also cannot believe the Old Gray Lady killing millions of trees in its shrill efforts to prove the Russians cost Hilary the election and nary a word about how totally fed up and voiceless (with the exception of a single presidential vote) are those in the Great Flyover.

Also find it amazing that the Beeb with rudimentary linguistic forensic analysis identified Mike Pence as almost certainly the author of the scathing anti-Trump memo the NYT published anonymously, without a single mention of this now widely-known fact.

disillusionized , September 20, 2018 at 12:28 pm

The problem is that brexiteers, almost to a man, thinks that the EU and the UK are equals.
That's what determines UK negotiating strategy, the ones who don't want to play hardball can't see the point in leaving, and the ones who wan't to leave, can't see the point of negotiating.
for all intents and purposes this is a accession negotiation in reverse, "then Sir Con O'Neill, the chief negotiator at official level in 1970-2, who commented that the only possible British approach to existing Community body of rules was 'Swallow the lot, and swallow it now'."

On a related note, while this was about the tactics of leaving, there has been some movement on the end state front, though not by the UK. Rather it seems that the EU has made up it's mind, and in my mind definitively scrapped the EEA option.
Several EU leaders (Pms of Malta and the Czech republic) have clearly stated that they wish to see a new referendum, and Macron said the following:
"Brexit is the choice of the British people pushed by those who predicted easy solutions. Those people are liars. They left the next day so they didn't have to manage it," Macron said on Thursday, vowing to "never" accept any Brexit deal, which would put the EU's integrity at risk.

I think the bridges have been burned, now it's surrender or revocation that's left to the UK, or stepping off the cliff edge.

tegnost , September 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm

The problem is that brexiteers, almost to a man, thinks that the EU and the UK are equals.
from a very great distance this does seem to be the case

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 12:35 pm

It is astonishing to see that the UK still does not accept that the EU doesn't want it to go on principle more than for practical reasons. May and the others cling to the notion that without Great Britain, the EU will collapse or something. This is the same nation that has been foot-dragging on everything about Europe and slagging off the continent at every turn while pretending they are a Great Power and the BFF of the US. Trump does not care about Great Britain unless he needs some sort of zoning permission for his gold course, in which case he will cut a deal on trade or arms with May.

The Irish Border, assuming it remains open, is a massive concession and likely to lead to future problems as other EU nations try to have open borders or trade with their pet countries.

Brits on the Continent are worried about many things ranging from driver's licenses to residency visas! Not every Brit wants to live on that damp little island! Some like the sun and Continental cuisine.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Is the EU a Great Idea to be Protected and Advanced, one that will inexorably result in ever greater benefits for the common people of the fainting nations that have been cat-herded into submitting to the "political union" that many very personally interested parties are always working toward? Like NATO is a Great Idea, not just a mechanism for global mischief and chaos? NATO gives "warfighters" a place to sit and play their games. Brussels gives "rules," at least some of which are sort of for public benefit, until the regulatory capturers work their magic. Profit and impunity, always for the few.

What is the organizing principle in all this? Likely can't be stated. Just a lot of interested parties squabbling over gobbets from the carcass torn from the planet

Maybe the 14th Century was not so very horrible after all? If one looks in "A Distant Mirror" at it, given where humanity seems to be, on the increasingly fleshed-out timeline of collapse?

OF course, one can always summon up the demoness TINA, to trump any efforts to take different paths

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

NATO was created to make war. The EU was created to make peace and prosperity. Comparing one to the other is unjust.

The EU is not some sacrosanct construct that must be worshiped, but it has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful). It has also promoted trade and prosperity. Europe has been even farther ahead of economic and regulatory integration than the US (phones and credit cards come to mind). Free movement of labor and travel have dropped costs for businesses and individuals immensely.

Now, whether or not human foibles enter into it is really another discussion. Is Brussels at times a giant Interest Machine and Bureaucratic Nightmare? Yes, but that is the negative face we see portrayed by anti-Europeans like the Brexiteers. The EU does a terrible job of self-promotion; citizens rarely know just how much the EU contributes to their lives. Perhaps the EU is afraid of drawing attention to itself. But the people making up the EU are not extraterrestrials; they are Europeans who make the same mistakes and commit the same fraud on a national level.

Many Americans criticize Europe while vaunting their own Federation. Why should California and Alabama share a currency, a passport and a Congress? There are more differences between those states than between France and Belgium or Italy and Spain.

The EU is not perfect and has costs, but measured against what it has achieved, it is a great success.

Mark Pontin , September 20, 2018 at 6:54 pm

The EU has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful).

You're funny. The EU makes war by other means. The burden of disease in Greece, health loss, risk factors, and health financing, 2000–16: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(18)30130-0.pdf

The mortality rate for Greece is up approximately 50,000. All so Merkel in Germany, and Sarkozy and Hollande didn't have to go before their electorates and admit they were bailing out French and German banks through the backdoor.

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 7:22 pm

If you want to start accounting for economic death by economic war, we can look at the US as recently as the financial crisis, though I doubt there are studies on the Homeland of this sort. Or US embargoes of vital medication and food in Iraq which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. And so on.

My point is not that the EU is perfect, but there has not been a war in Western Europe since 1945. You are welcome to spin and fiddle and search for anything you like (Gosh, all that free travel led to increases in traffic deaths! Ban the EU!). Of course, we would also need to examine what the EU has done for Europe and how many lives have been saved by improved infrastructure and exchange of information.

I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it. Let's see how Great Britain does and then we can discuss this in a few years.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia and Bosnia and such, are not wars -- but then those are layable at the feet of NATO (that collection, as I recall it, of what, now, 29 member countries including all the Great Powers of the West) and the US imperium.

The NATO establishment is about "making war," largely now displaced to other Woggish and Hajji places where the huge number of refugees that are moving into Eurospace are coming from (as a result of the largely economically driven (oil and other extraction interests) and Israeli and Saudi-enhanced large scale destabilizing war prosecution.

All of which is linked in significant ways to the economic "health" of the EU, from which lots of weapons flow in exchange for favors and money from the Destabilizers.

Yes, the EU notion of reducing the conflict generators of the past seems to be a good one. But surprise! In practice, you got your German hegemon and your French strutters and now of course the British bomb throwers pointing out, along with the renascent nationalism triggered in part by the hegemon's bleeding of other nations via Brussels and EU institutions, like Greece and Spain and Italy and so forth.

And of course the warring that the seamless economies of the EU (that includes their particpation in NATO) foster and participate in that drives the exodus of mopes from the Mideast and Africa. And how about the fun and games, with possible nuclear war consequences, that are playing out with EU and NATO and of course US Imperial Interests activity in Ukraine? And I see that the Krupp Werks has delivered a bunch of warships to various places (hasn't that happened a couple of times in the past? Thinking how particularly of Dolphin-class submarines paid for by Uncle Sucker, as in the US, and delivered to the Israel -ites who have equipped them with many nuclear-warhead cruise missiles? And thanks to the French, of course, and other Great Nations, the Israelis have nuclear weapons in the first place.

It's nice that the science parts of the EU structure are sort of working to keep US-made toxins and genetically modified crap and other bad stuff out of the Holy EU Empire. But hey, how many VW diesel vehicles on the road (thanks to some combination of corruption and incompetence on the part of the EU?) equals how much glyphosate and stacked-GM organisms barred by EU regulations? Lots of argument possible around the margins and into the core of the political economy/ies that make up the EU/NATO, and the Dead Empire across the Channel, and of course the wonderful inputs from the empire I was born into.

I guess the best bet would be to program some AI device to create a value structure (to be democratically studied and voted on, somehow?) and measure all the goods and bads of the EU, according to some kind of standard of Goodness to Mope-kind? Naw, power trumps all that of course, and "interests" now very largely denominated and dominated by supranational corporations that piss on the EU when not using its institutions as a means to legitimize their looting behaviors that sure look to me like an expression of a death wish from the human species.

There are always winners and losers in any human game, because at anything larger than the smallest scale, we do not appear wired to work from comity and commensalism. You sound from the little one can see of you from your comment as a person among the winners. Which is fine, all well and good, because of that "winners and losers" thing. Until either the mass vectors of human behavior strip the livability out of the biosphere, or some provocation or mischance leads to a more compendious and quicker, maybe nuclear, endpoint. Or maybe, despite the activities of the Panopticon and the various powers with forces in the polity to tamp it down, maybe there will be a Versailles moment, and "Aux Armes, Citoyens" will eventuate.

In the meantime, the various stages are set, the players in the game of statism and nationalism and authoritarianism and neoliberalism are on their marks, the house lights are going out, and the long slow rise of the curtain is under way

tegnost , September 20, 2018 at 10:45 pm

a worthy parlimentarian rant if I ever heard one

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 4:07 am

I suggest you read up on your recent European history. Czechoslovakia split entirely peacefully and it had exactly zero to do with either NATO or USA.

Yugoslavia had its problems ever since it was Yugoslavia in early 20th century – all Tito managed was to postpone it, and once he was gone, it was just a question of when, and how violent it would be. Serbian apologistas like to blame NATO, conveniently ignoring any pre-existing tensions between Croats and Serbs (not to mention ex-Yugoslavian muslims). Did NATO help? No. But saying it was the cause of the Serbo-Croat war and all the Yugoslavian fallout is ignorance.

What gets my goat is when someone blames everything on CIA, USA, NATO (or Russia and China for the matter), denying the small peoples any agency. Especially when that someone tends to have about zilch understanding of the regions in question, except from a selective reading.

Yep, CIA and NATO and the Illuminati (and Putin, to put it on both sides) are the all-powerful, all seeing, all-capable forces. Everyone else is a puppet. Right.

Lambert Strether , September 21, 2018 at 4:37 am

> I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 6:34 am

The period from the end of WWII to the Balkan Wars is still the longest period of peace since the Romans. I doubt you have ever lived through a war so I can't expect you to appreciate the difference between the Horrors of the Brussels Bureaucracy and the Horrors of Shelling and Bombing. From your lofty armchair, they might be the same but then again, perhaps you blame the socialists when your caramel latte is cold.

JTMcPhee , September 21, 2018 at 10:19 am

Lofty armchair? I actually volunteered and got the opportunity to go be a soldier in an actual war, the Vietnam one. So I have a darn good idea what War is in actuality and from unpleasant personal experience. And I don't have either the taste or the wealth for lattes. And forgive my aging failure of typing Czech instead of Yugo -- my point, too, is that the nations and sets of "peoples" living and involved in United Europe do in fact have "agency," and that is part of the fractiousness that the proponents of a federated Europe (seemingly under mostly German lead) are working steadily at suppressing. Not as effectively as a Federalist might want, of course.

Mark Pontin , September 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm

TheScream wrote: I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it.

Wake up. I'm talking about what the European elite in the real world deliberately chose to do.

They chose to do a backdoor bailout of German and French banks specifically so Merkel, Sarkozy and Hollande and the governments they led didn't have to go to their electorates and tell them the truth. Thereby, they maintained themselves in power, and German and French wealth structures -- the frickin', frackin banks -- as they were. And they did this in the real world knowing that innocent people in Greece would die in substantial numbers consequently.

This is not a counterfactual. This happened.

There's a technical term for people who plan and execute policies where many thousands of people die so they themselves can benefit. That term is 'scum.'

Ultimately, it's that simple. Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, and whoever else among the EU elites who chose to be complicit in killing substantial numbers of people so they could maintain themselves in power are scum. They are scum. They are scum.

Don't get me started on people who defend such scum with threadbare waffle about 'I am not defending poor governance per blah blah it is facile and fun to criticize blah blah.' Nor interested in whataboutery about US elites, who as the main instigators of this 21st century model of finance as warfare are also scum.

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

Fine, our elected leaders are all scum, but why does this mean that the EU is evil specifically. Why single it out? Why not advocate the overthrow of all centralized or unifying government? Move out to Montana to a cult and buy lots of guns or something.

My point is not that EU leaders are charming people working exclusively for the good of the people. My point is that the EU is not as bad as most of you believe and no worse than most other governments. It is simply an easy target because it is extra or supra-national. We can get all frothy at the mouth blaming Nazis and Frogs for our woes and ignore our personal failures.

I would love to insult you personally as you have insulted me, but I sense you are just ranting out of frustration. You hate the EU (are you even European or just some right-wing nutcase from America involving yourself in other's business?) and take it out on me. Go for it. Your arguments are irrelevant and completely miss the point of my comments.

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 7:09 am

The EU does a terrible job of self-promotion; citizens rarely know just how much the EU contributes to their live

The EU is, very simplistically, set up like a shared Civil Service. Civil Services are to be seen rarely and never heard, less they take shine and glamour from the Government they serve.

What "Bruxelles" can do is to advise and create Directives, which are instructions to local government to create and enforce local legislation. The idea is that the legislation and enforcement will be similar in all EU member states.

Ons should be very aware that EU directives comes mainly from the member states and that especially bad things that would never fly past an election could – and often is – spun by local government as "Big Bad Bruxelles is forcing poor little us to do this terrible thing to you poor people". Ala the British on trade deal with India and immigration of east-european workers.

The EU does not have that much in the way of enforcement powers, that part is down-sourced to the individual member states. When a member state doesn't give a toss, it takes forever for some measure of sanctioning to spin up and usually it daily fines unto a misbehaving government, at the taxpayers expense (which of course those politicians who don't give a toss, are fine with since most of their cronies are not great taxpayers anyway).

ape , September 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

"Maybe the 14th Century was not so very horrible after all?"

Hopefully sarcastic?

Dude -- black plague! 75 to 200 million dead! At a tie with a world population of 400 million, and 40 million of those may as well have been on Mars! China, ME, North Africa and Europe depopulated!

Time to really reconsider one's assumptions when one wonders whether the 14th century was "that bad".

JTMcPhee , September 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Dude, yes, sarcastic. And ironic. Doesn't change the horribleness of the present, does it now? Or the coming horrors (say some of us) that may have been inevitably priced in to the Great Global Market, does it

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

And in todays news:

Chequers Plan is Dead, says Tusk as Macron calls Brexiters Liars.

Donald Tusk, the European council president, has ratcheted up the pressure on Theresa May by rejecting the Chequers plan and warning of a breakdown in the Brexit talks unless she delivers a solution for the Irish border by October – a deadline the British prime minister had already said she will not be able to meet.

The stark threat to unravel the talks came as the French president, Emmanuel Macron, broke with diplomatic niceties and accused those of backing Brexit of being liars. "Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be all right, and that it's going to bring a lot of money home are liars," he said.
"It's even more true since they left the day after so as not to have to deal with it."

The comments came at the end of a leaders' summit in Salzburg, where May had appealed for the EU to compromise to avoid a no-deal scenario. She had been hoping to take warm words over Chequers into Conservative party conference.
Tusk, who moments before his comments had a short meeting with the prime minister, told reporters that he also wanted to wrap up successful talks in a special summit in mid-November.

But, in a step designed to pile pressure on the prime minister, he said this would not happen unless the British government came through on its commitment to finding a "precise and clear" so-called backstop solution that would under any future circumstances avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

"Without an October grand finale, in a positive sense of this word, there is no reason to organise a special meeting in November," Tusk said. "This is the only condition when it comes to this possible November summit."

It seems the EU leaders aren't even pretending anymore. Its pretty clear they have run out of patience, and May has run out of options. I wonder if they'll even bother with having the November summit.

begob , September 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

He didn't call May a liar, so we'll have to see how her life support algo in the Daily Mail responds to this new input.

vlade , September 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

If there's no November summit (which would make no-deal Brexit almost certainty), then the game becomes fast a and furious, as sterling will drop like a stone – with all sorts of repercussions. TBH, that can already be clear after the Tory party conference, it's entirely possible that that one will make any October Brexit discussions entirely irrelevant.

I think that EU overestimated May in terms of sensibility, and now accept that there's no difference between May and Johnson (in fact, with Johnson or someone like that, they will get certainy, so more time to get all ducks in row. Entirely cynically, clear no-deal Brexit Johnson would be better for EU than May where one has no idea what's going to happen).

Either way, this crop of politicians will make history books. Not sure in the way they would like to though.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Announced post-summit in Salzburg: no November summit absent a binding exit deal on the table by the end of October. So no: no November dealing.

I don't know that EU politicos overestimated May. She is what they had, and all they had, so they did their absolute best to prop up Rag Sack Terry as a negotiating partner, hoping that they could coax her to toddle over their red lines with enough willingness to listen to her hopeless twaddle first. She just shuffled and circled in place. So they've given up on her ability to deliver anything of value to them. One could see this coming in June, when she couldn't even get the sound of one hand clapping to her chipper nonsense over dinner.

I think that deciding heads in Europe have accepted the probability that crashout is coming. That was clear also in June. If something better happens, I suppose that they would leap at it. Nothing in the last two years engenders any hope in that regard, so hard heads are readying the winches to hoist the drawbridge on We're Dead to You Day.

If the Tories fall, which I think and have long thought is probable, it would be up to a 'unity government' to either initial a settlement surrender and keep the sham going, or flinch. My bet has been on pulling together some kind of flinch mechanism on aborting exit. It's the kind of year, as I model these, where wild swings of such kind are possible, but I couldn't predict the outcome anymore than anyone else.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

My feeling for a while is that the government would never fall, whatever happened, simply because the Tories (and DUP) fear a Corbyn government too much, so would never, ever pull the trigger, no matter how bad things got. But if May falls at the Party Conference and is replaced with a hard Brexiter, I don't think its impossible that there may be a temptation that to see if they could whip up a nationalistic mood for a snap election. Some of them are gamblers by instinct. Anything could happen then.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

I think Tory Remainers bolt, choosing keeping their own wallets rather than handing those over to the worst of their lot with everything else. But they would find a unity coalition more palatable than passing the microphone to Jerry the Red, yeah, so that's a bit sticky. A snap election is the worst kind of crazy town, and wolldn't improve negotiating or decision outcomes in the slightest -- so of course that may be the likeliest near term course! Won't get settled in a few weeks. Probably not until 20 March 2019.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm

This is just wowsers. Tusk, Macron, and Merkel baldly state that Chequers is mated -- "unacceptable" -- and furthermore gave the Tories a drop-dead date of 31 October to initial the divorce settlement. The process is a flat abandonment of Theresa May, concluding the obvious, that she and her government are incapable of negotiating exit. Going over her head to Parliament and public, in fact if not in pre-consisdered intent. -- And about time. I was worried that the EU would eat fudge in November with the Brits again on another pretend-to-agree accord like that of December 2017, which, as we have seen did nothing to induce the Tories to negotiate a viable outcome.

What was May's reaction? That she's perfectly prepared to lead Britain over the crashout cliff if the EU doesn't see fit to capitulate. I'd roll on the floor laughing but I can't catch my breath.

The next two weeks are going to be lively times in Britain indeed. I can't see how 'Suicide Terry's' government can survive this situation. -- And about high time. Put the poor brute out of her misery; she's delusional, can't they see how she's suffering? Push has come, so it's time to shove. Crashout or Flinch, those are the outcomes, now plainer than ever. All May can do is thrash and fabulate, so time to bag the body and swear in another fool; lesser or greater, we shall see.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Yes, I wonder was that planned, or (as is suggested in the latest Guardian articl e), motivated by anger at Mays criticism of Barnier?

EU sources said the move had been made on the bidding of Macron, who urged taking a hard line over lunch. The French president had been infuriated by May's warning earlier in the day to Varadkar that she believed a solution on the issue could not be found by October, despite previous promises to the contrary.

The tone of the prime minister's address to the EU leaders on Wednesday night, during which she attacked Michel Barnier, is also said by sources to have been the cause of irritation.

This obviously makes her very vulnerable at the party conference. Its hard to see what she can do now. She is toast I think.

I can only think of two reasons that they've closed the door firmly in her face. Either they have simply lost patience and now accept there is nothing can be salvaged, or they have lost patience with May personally, and hope that a new leader might do a deal out of desperation. The latter seems highly unlikely – a sudden Tory challenge is more likely to bring a hardliner into power.

Whichever way you look at it, things look certain to come to a head very soon now. The EU may have a hope that the UK will blink when staring into the abyss and agree to the backstop, but I don't see how politically this a capitulation is possible, at least with the Tories in power.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:44 pm

The solution is, patently, Tories out of power. Which I think will happen, certainly between now and 31 March 2019. Now would be better. Anyone thinking strategically in other parties in the UK (an oxymoron of a formulation, to be sure) would call for a no confidence vote the instant May's feet are on British soil.

I doubt that this is personal, but what do I know. May is a nincompoop. The other heads of state patently, and quite rightly, don't respect her. Her presence has been useful to them only insofar as she could deliver a deal. Macron looked at his watch and the date said, non on that. Just looking at his ambitions and how he operates, I would think he wanted to go this route quite some time ago, but the 'softly, softly' set such as the Dutch and Merkel wouldn't back that, and he was too smart to break ranks alone. That the Germans have given up on May is all one really needs to know. This was May's no confidence vote by the European Council, and she lost it over lunch.

PlutoniumKun , September 21, 2018 at 4:19 am

I'd agree with your analysis of what happened – just glancing through the news today it seems that Macron in particular just lost patience, and the other leaders were happy to help him put the boot in. The EU has been trying to shore May up for a long time – the December agreement was little more than an attempt to protect her from an internal heave. This is a common dynamic in the EU – however much the leaders may dislike each other, they will usually prefer the person at the seat than the potential newcomer.

But I think the EU has collectively decided that May is simply incapable of delivering any type of agreement, so there is no point in mincing words. They simply don't care any more if the Tory government collapses, or if they put Rees Mogg or Johnson in power. It makes absolutely zero difference to them. In fact, it might make it easier for the EU if the UK goes politically insane as they can then wash their hands of the problem.

ChrisPacific , September 20, 2018 at 5:20 pm

At this point it might actually be a blessing if that happened. There is likely to be a great deal of practical difference between a no-deal Brexit with six months of planning and preparation and a no-deal Brexit that takes everyone by surprise at the very last minute. (Yes, they will both be a nightmare, but some nightmares are worse than others). All this pretense that the other side is bluffing and will roll over at the 11th hour is starting to look like a convenient excuse for not facing reality. I don't think either side is bluffing.

Comments like "Britain desperately needs to have an honest conversation about the limits of the UK's bargaining power" might very well be true, but they're also irrelevant at this point. Certainly it would have been very useful if it had happened two years ago. Right now it's time to break out the life jackets.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Most Brits don't seem capable of mentally accepting how irrelevant they actually are internationally. They are NOT a 'power' in any other respect than that they have nuclear weapons under their launch authority (which they are never going to use). They have no weight. The City is, really other people's money that predominantly foreign nationals at trading desks play with, loose, steal, hide, and occasionally pay out. The UK economy isn't of any international consequence. Brits are embedded in the international diplomatic process, in a dead language speakers kind of way, which makes them seem important. But they are not.

So there was never going to be a reassessment of the weaknesses of Britain's negotiating position, nor will there be now exactly, because most in Britain cannot get their heads around the essential premise to such a discussion, the Britain is now essentially trivial on the power scale rather than of any real consequence. The Kingdom of Saud has more real power. Turkey is a more consequential actor. Mexico has more people. &etc.

orange cats , September 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm

If one is to accept the convictions of master bloviator Niall Ferguson and other Brexiteers, the issue is issue. Brexit is about immigration, period. The EU claims it will not bend on free movement of people, Brexiteers will not accept anything less. There was such a huge outcry when May mentioned the possibility of 'preferential' treatment for EU citizens back in July she threatened any further public dissent in the party would result in sackings. The EU insists there can be no trade deals, no freed movement of goods without free movement of people, for good reasons. Hard to imagine them climbing down.

vlade , September 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

No.

There's about as many reasons why people voted Brexit as there's different Brexits they wanted. Immigration is just one of the convenient scapegoats peddled by both sides, although for different reasons.

If you want a better (but still not complete) reason, try decreasing real income.

orange cats , September 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

I'd like to know what those "many different reasons" are. Sovereignty? Well, that rolls off the tongue more easily than "immigration" which, leavers know, sounds a bit racist. "Control of borders" works for leavers like Nigell, although he went on at great length about how it's all about immigration, after talking to all the 'real' folks in the provinces.

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 4:08 am

I don't do other people's homework – the unwilligness to do so tends to be a reliable indicator of not being open to aruments in the first place.

begob , September 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

My Irish/Brit family's Own Private Brexit: the grandparents are entitled to naturalisation and voted Leave, the children are subjects/citizens and voted Remain (and almost all vote Tory), the grandchildren are compromised subjects/citizens and didn't have a vote. Everyone's happy to be entitled to an EU passport. The Pakistan offshoot has a less complex variation (fewer rights), but I believe their family voted Leave on balance. Life.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:31 pm

A colleague told me today he knows of several Northern Irish Republicans who voted leave, precisely because they thought this would create constitutional havoc and lead to a united Ireland. It seems at least some people were thinking strategically .

Mike Barry , September 21, 2018 at 3:37 am

Not that immigration has anything to do with that,

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 8:27 am

Majority of the drop in real income is NOT driven by immigration. You may find it surprising, but there were times with large (relatively speaking) immigration and the real incomes going up.

orange cats , September 21, 2018 at 10:25 am

I don't believe it is either, you seem to think these views are my own. I am speculating, with some basis, that a majority of leavers think so. Anti-immigration attitudes are entrenched and growing. Just the other day a teacher, no less, spouted off about how immigrants were causing crime and stealing jobs. This is in a blue city in a blue state. I was shocked.

ape , September 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm

People come up with fantasy explanations when they've been reduced from realistic assessments to fantastic ideologies. If there's a clear answer but you are ideologically constrained from considering it, you need to invent some answer, the nuttier the better.

Detlef , September 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm

I think a major part of the problem is that British politicians and media seem to believe that Brexit is mainly (or exclusively) a British topic.
One British politician publishes one proposal, another British politician shoots it down. With the British media reporting about it gleefully for days. Newspaper articles, opinion pieces. Without even mentioning what the EU might think about it. The EU seems to not exist in this bubble.

Just remember the more than 60 "notices to stakeholders" published by the EU months ago. And freely available for reading on the Internet. I´ve read British media online for a long time now but somehow these notices never made any impact. It was only when the first British impact assessments were published (not that long ago) that British media started to report about possible problems after a no-deal Brexit. Problems / consequences that were mentioned in the EU notices months ago.
It´s almost unbelievable. It looks like if something isn´t coming from London (or Westminster) then it doesn´t exist in the British media.

And it´s the same with British politicians.

David Davis and the back-stop deal in late 2017?. He agreed with it during the negotiations, returned home and then said that it wasn´t binding, just a letter of intent. Or Michael Gove a few days ago? Regardless of what agreement PM T. May negotiates now with the EU, a new PM can simply scrap it and negotiate a new deal? Or send government members to the EU member states to try and undermine Barnier as reported in British media? How exactly is that building trust?

Have they never heard about the Internet? And that today even foreigners might read British media?

Brexit supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg might be the MP for the 18th century but surely they know that today there are faster methods for messages than using pigeons?

What about foreign investment in the UK? The gateway to the EU? Japanese car companies?
The drop in foreign investment was reported, to be sure. But after a few days it was immediately forgotten.

T. May according to British media articles apparently developed her Brexit strategy (and her red lines) together with her two closest political advisers back in late 2016 / early 2017. No cabinet meeting to discuss the strategy, no ordering of impact assessments which might have influenced the strategy (and the goals). And apparently – in my opinion – no detailed briefing on how the EU actually works. What might be realistically possible and what not.

The resignation of Ivan Rogers seems to support my speculations. Plus the newspaper articles in early 2017 which mentioned that visitors to certain British government ministries were warned not to criticize Brexit or warn about negative consequences. Such warnings would result in no longer being invited to visit said ministry and minister.

If they actually went through with that policy they created an echo chamber with no dissenting voices allowed.

Which might explain why they had no plan to deal with the EU.

British politicians apparently were supposed to negotiate Brexit among themselves. And once they had reached a (tentative) consensus the foreigners (the EU) were apparently supposed to bow down and accept the British proposal.

And now when the EU hasn´t followed the script they don´t know what to do?

I´m not an expert but it was pretty clear to me that the Chequers deal would never work. It was pretty obvious even when EU politicians were somewhat polite about it when T. May proposed it.

It might have been a good starting point for negotiations if she had introduced it in 2017. But in July 2018? Just a few months before negotiations were supposed to be concluded? And then claiming it´s the only realistic proposal? It´s my way or the highway?

It was obvious.

Which means I never understood why the British media was treating the Chequers proposal as a serious proposal? And spending lots of time and articles discussing on how to convince the EU / the member states.

I really think the EU member states have finally concluded that T. May is incapable of producing (and getting a majority in the House of Commons) for any realistic solution. Therefore helping her with statements to keep her politically alive doesn´t make sense any longer. The EU would probably really, really like a solution that gives them at least the transition period. Another 21 months to prepare for Brexit. But fudging things only get you that far .

The UK apparently never understood that it´s one thing to bend rules or fudge things to get the agreement of a member state. It´s quite another thing with a soon -to-be ex-member state.

I am a German citizen, living in Germany.
The (German weekly printed newspaper) Zeit Online website did have three articles about Brexit in the last few days. Which is noteworthy since they normally have 1-2 articles per month.

And the comments were noteworthy too.

Almost all of them now favor a hard-line approach by the EU.

The UK lost a lot of sympathy and support in the last two years. Not because of the referendum result itself but because of the actions and speeches of British politicians afterwards.

The UK had a rebate, opt-outs and excemptions. All because successive British governments pointed to their EU-sceptic opposition. Now the population voted for Brexit the British want a deal that gives them all (or most) of the advantages of EU membership without any of the obligations. To reduce the economic consequences of their decision.

No longer. Actions have consequences. And if it means we´ll have to support Ireland, we´ll do it. The German commentators quite obviously have lost their patience with the UK.

Anonymous2 , September 21, 2018 at 3:22 am

As a Scot can I point out that it is English politicians who are responsible for this mess?

Yves Smith Post author , September 21, 2018 at 3:25 am

Yes, Nicola Sturgeon has comported herself vastly better than anyone in the Tory or Labour leadership not that this is a high bar.

VietnamVet , September 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

This is the first article that I have seen that talks about power. The ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people. Money has power. It is needed to eat, heal and shelter in the West. But, it is never talked about. This is because it would raise inconvenient truths. The wealthy are accumulating it and everyone else in the West is losing it. The neo-liberal/neo-conservative ideologies are the foundation of this exploitation. It is the belief that markets balance and there is no society. "Greed is good. Might is right." Plutocrats rule the west. Democracy died. There are two versions of similar corporate political parties in the USA. The little people matter not. Politicians are servants of the oligarchs. Global trade is intertwined and not redundant. What will happen will be to the benefit of the very few in power. Donald Trump is raising the price of all Chinese goods shipped into the USA and sold at Walmart and Amazon. A Brexit crash seems inevitable.

Buckeye , September 20, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Amen! It is ALWAYS about power. And the only way to deal with the elites is "Lord of the Rings" style:
their money must be cast into a financial version of Mount Doom, breaking their power once and for all. You folks in the UK need to make douchebag Brexiteers like Nigel Farrage suffer total loss of power for forcing this disaster on you.

RBHoughton , September 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm

There is a huge source of wealth that UK monopolises from Treasure Islands that operate the City's tax havens. That money goes straight back to City banks and flows into the market economy, independently of trade and commerce. It underwrites the derivatives biz that keeps the market economy afloat, paying pensions and profits and Directors' options.

Leaving the EU might have an effect but not a big one. Is that why UK seems so blithely unconcerned?

PlutoniumKun , September 21, 2018 at 4:13 am

The offshore wealth is certainly why the core hard Brexiters are unconcerned, because thats where they store their cash. They don't care if the UK goes down.

But in the longer term, they are under threat – within the EU the UK consistently vetoed any attempts to crack down on internal tax havens. The internal political balance of the EU is now much more firmly anti tax avoidance with the UK gone, so there would be little to stop a series of Directives choking off the Channel Island/Isle of Man option for money flows.

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 8:59 am

Split Brain Syndrome: They seem think that the EU is Lucifer's Army Incarnate and then they apparently also think at the same time, that "The Army of Darkness" once unleashed from the responsible British leadership into the hands of those per-definition also demonic French and Germans will still "play cricket" and not come after their tax-havens ASAP, like in 2020 or so.

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

May now demanding that the EU respect Great Britain. We are back to the beginning again. May has no leverage beyond the EU wanting Britain to stay in . But if Britain goes out, then it's out. The only way for May to get any concessions would be to offer to stay in! And even then I am not sure the EU would accept since it would simply open the way for any member to have a tantrum and demand better terms.

GB should leave, wallow in their loneliness a while and then ask to come back. I suspect that the EU would reinstate them fully without the usual processes. Check back here in 24-36 months.

[Sep 21, 2018] As to the Palestinians, if they indeed face hunger deaths, I'm sure it will backfire, on the USA, and on Israel

Sep 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , says: September 21, 2018 at 7:11 am GMT

Since when was there an international order based on rules ?
Hogwash.
Naked power rules the world, always did.
What we see now is that the USA no longer is capable of exerting that naked power, and that China and Russia have increasing power.
As to the Palestinians, if they indeed face hunger deaths, I'm sure it will backfire, on the USA, and on Israel.
Colin Wright , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 7:11 am GMT
The sooner all the lies and pantomime surrounding the Palestinians are stripped away and the sooner we are confronted with the naked reality of what we are doing, the better.
Miro23 , says: September 21, 2018 at 10:19 am GMT

The Israeli bulldozers sent to Khan Al Ahmar will also launch an assault on Europe and its resolve to defend international law and the Palestinians. When push comes to shove, will Europe's nerve hold?

MIGA, MAGA – Israel's American colonial possession, with its fine collection of Anglo collaborators/traitors is fully engaged in MIGA (Make Israel Great Again) using US $ Trillions of taxpayer debt and 1000′s of American servicemen's lives.

Europe still has some independence (head scratching in Norway as to why Norwegian jets bombed Libya) , and the thing is being fought out on issues like mass immigration and national identity (for example Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban vs. Euro bureaucrat Guy Verhofstadt + the British public with their Brexit vote vs. the same European bureaucrats).

European resistance to Israeli appropriation of Palestinian land is more amorphous – some popular, some semi-official (e.g. Jeremy Corbyn) and some European Parliament – and is way beyond anything in the US.

Johnnie Walker Read , says: September 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
It's funny how Israel has been able to make the Palestinian issue about terror when all along it has been about territory. Territory stolen from the state of Palestine by the fascist government of Israel who has time and again illegally invaded, stolen land, and murdered citizens of the sovereign state of Palestine.
Tyrion 2 , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
International law, like domestic law in the West, has been anarcho-tyrannical for some time. It has not controlled real criminals (that's the anarchy) instead it has tried to control the innocent (that's the tyranny). This is not surprising. It is an outgrowth of domestic arrangements in the West.

Launch indiscriminate rockets into a country for no purpose whatsoever but to kill civilians that's fine, you're the victim, the minority, the oppressed. Just as you are if you rob, rape and cheat at sky high rates.

Indeed, you deserve welfare and affirmative action as much as possible – or humanitarian money, for you and your billion eventual descendants especially from the people you hate. Your righteous hatred means they owe you.

Even better if you've built nothing and achieved nothing. Obviously only their racism could have stopped you. You're a Person of Colour after all or did I mean refugee? Both, in this case, will be inherited by your kids!

Competently defend yourself for many decades, even centuries, and actually win. You're racist! Apartheid! Nazi! Why are your towns so nice and their towns so not nice. You genocidaire!

Heck, your state has Original Sin/paler skin, your founding was the greatest crime ever and nothing but your obliteration will wipe it out. Think of the Natives (Americans)! All progressive wordsmiths agree. All your bases belong to them.

Also, Trump is a monstrous ogre for scrapping international anarcho-tyranny in favour of reality. Cook says so. America belongs to the world. Israel to the Muslims. Europe to the Africans and hopefully Japan and S Korea and Singapore, the last competent countries left, will realize that they're the oppressors too and Cook will feel good. Oh, to feel as good as an international "justice" warrior! It's the warm bath of self-enraptured feelings and unearned magnanimity. It's pathetically self-centered while masquerading as something else

anarchyst , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
Of course "we are all Palestinians now". American "law enforcement" has been trained "lock, stock and barrel" in Israeli military tactics. American "law enforcement" trainers have been given free trips to Israel, to learn firsthand how to handle us "Palestinians".
From barking out commands, demanding immediate compliance, to outright murder of American citizens for merely reaching for one's identification, or not crawling fast enough with one's hands behind his back, it is obvious that us ordinary law-abiding citizens are considered to be the "enemy".
This is all by design, the USA being a "client state" of Israel, with our dual-citizenship politicians getting their "marching orders" straight from Tel Aviv.
Michael Kenny , says: September 21, 2018 at 3:35 pm GMT
A small point of legal history. The rules-based international order doesn't date from WWII. The modern system is usually dated from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 but the concepts underlying it go back thousands of years.

Indeed, the whole concept reflects the natural human desire to delimit what's "mine" from what's "yours".

Thus, there's no way in which either the US or Israel could abolish the rules-based international order without destroying themselves in the process. I've been reading Mr Cook's articles for many years and the weakness in his reasoning is that his bottom line is always the same: "Israel wins again". He never seems to grasp that Israel, with considerable help from the diaspora Jews, is actually digging its own grave.

[Sep 16, 2018] Exaggerated claims about Jews power (Jewocracy) do more harm then good and give a perfect weapon for Zionists to censor critique of Israel

Sep 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Michael Hoffman , says: Website September 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm GMT

Dear KenH

Thank you for describing my work as "meticulously researched and argued."

A point of dissent: I don't know of any "Jewocracy."

I'm cognizant of the power and influence of Zionism and Talmudism, but I would be loathe to generalize about Judaic people under the rubric of "Jewocracy."

On pp. 463-466 of Judaism Discovered this writer attempts to elucidate the rabbinic principle taught to Orthodox youth: " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " ("It is a given law: it is known that Esau hates Jacob").

What does this instruction connote within the broader context of Orthodox Talmudism? It teaches that all goyim are irrevocably Jew-haters and that this hate is irrational and directed at all Judaic persons, whether good or bad, Left or Right, Zionists or not, religious or not. The intent of this deceitful and racist generalization is to unify Judaics and keep them in the rabbinic fold, since it is asserted that they will be hated for no reason no matter what they do, even if they reject the Talmud .

The antidote to this rabbinic propaganda is love for Judaic people and openness in particular to those Judaics who seek a way out of Talmudism and/or Zionism. This is what my books represent and one reason why they are viewed as a mortal threat to the antediluvians.

When terms such as "Jewocracy" are employed then " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " is being fulfilled.

The vast majority of the movement by non-Judaics to critique or oppose the Talmud is almost always grounded in some sort of negative typecasting about "The Jews. " Hence, when the individual Judaic who is trying to get free of the bondage of the Orthodox rabbinate sees generalizations like that, their motivation is subverted and their suspicions that perhaps the teaching imparted to them in their youth was true, is kindled anew.

If we truly wish to convert people into allies of truth and freedom, then we will not replicate their slavemasters' tropes in our discourse. In other words, we will not behave like Talmudists. If on the other hand, our principal aim is to vent our rage and anger at Talmudic supremacy, then reckless disregard for these distinctions will hold sway, along with the continued defeat of our espoused objectives.

There actually is only one fount of racism and supremacy on earth and it emanates from the primeval antecedents of the Babylonian Talmud and the Zohar (Kabbalah), and the cognate "sacred texts" that proceed from them. When the Germans began to worship themselves (something Luther and Nietzsche detested and eschewed), as part of the Nazi praxis, they became rabbis spiritually and psychologically, since the most fundamental constituent of Orthodox Judaism is self-worship .

A sincere and empowered critic of the theology of the Talmud cannot himself be a supremacist or a racist since those mental attitudes and philosophical commitments are part and parcel of the Talmudic mentality. A Talmudist cannot cast out the Talmud (Matthew 12:25-26).

Michael Hoffman
Author: Judaism Discovered
and Judaism's Strange Gods

Tyrion 2 , says: September 16, 2018 at 6:52 am GMT
@Michael Hoffman Dear KenH

Thank you for describing my work as "meticulously researched and argued."

A point of dissent: I don't know of any "Jewocracy."

I'm cognizant of the power and influence of Zionism and Talmudism, but I would be loathe to generalize about Judaic people under the rubric of "Jewocracy."

On pp. 463-466 of Judaism Discovered this writer attempts to elucidate the rabbinic principle taught to Orthodox youth: " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " ("It is a given law: it is known that Esau hates Jacob").

What does this instruction connote within the broader context of Orthodox Talmudism? It teaches that all goyim are irrevocably Jew-haters and that this hate is irrational and directed at all Judaic persons, whether good or bad, Left or Right, Zionists or not, religious or not. The intent of this deceitful and racist generalization is to unify Judaics and keep them in the rabbinic fold, since it is asserted that they will be hated for no reason no matter what they do, even if they reject the Talmud .

The antidote to this rabbinic propaganda is love for Judaic people and openness in particular to those Judaics who seek a way out of Talmudism and/or Zionism. This is what my books represent and one reason why they are viewed as a mortal threat to the antediluvians.

When terms such as "Jewocracy" are employed then " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " is being fulfilled.

The vast majority of the movement by non-Judaics to critique or oppose the Talmud is almost always grounded in some sort of negative typecasting about "The Jews. " Hence, when the individual Judaic who is trying to get free of the bondage of the Orthodox rabbinate sees generalizations like that, their motivation is subverted and their suspicions that perhaps the teaching imparted to them in their youth was true, is kindled anew.

If we truly wish to convert people into allies of truth and freedom, then we will not replicate their slavemasters' tropes in our discourse. In other words, we will not behave like Talmudists. If on the other hand, our principal aim is to vent our rage and anger at Talmudic supremacy, then reckless disregard for these distinctions will hold sway, along with the continued defeat of our espoused objectives.

There actually is only one fount of racism and supremacy on earth and it emanates from the primeval antecedents of the Babylonian Talmud and the Zohar (Kabbalah), and the cognate "sacred texts" that proceed from them. When the Germans began to worship themselves (something Luther and Nietzsche detested and eschewed), as part of the Nazi praxis, they became rabbis spiritually and psychologically, since the most fundamental constituent of Orthodox Judaism is self-worship .

A sincere and empowered critic of the theology of the Talmud cannot himself be a supremacist or a racist since those mental attitudes and philosophical commitments are part and parcel of the Talmudic mentality. A Talmudist cannot cast out the Talmud (Matthew 12:25-26).

Michael Hoffman
Author: Judaism Discovered
and Judaism's Strange Gods I don't buy your cloying and passive aggressive pretense of not hating Jews but being merely interested in their salvation.

I even struggle to imagine anyone who'd be stupid enough to do so.

(Does it help you sell books or is it merely a prop against horrific self-realisation?)

Regardless, it is a shame that even your "scholarship" may be unbooked. Painfully dumb arguments have value. They provide it by contrast.

I am not even particularly interested in that here though. Inevitably there's lots of weird stuff in a milennia old wikipedia and bozos, sorry "revisionists", will read into it what they feel like.

The issue though is very simple. Were any of these effluent theories that take causation to run from Judaism to globalism to actually be true then we would see that the more Orthodox the Jew, the more globalist they would be.

Yet the facts sit precisely opposite.

The very worst Jews, on politics, that I've met or read have never heard of the Talmud. Indeed, the Ultra-Orthodox wouldn't even consider them (or me) actual Jews at all.

That you can't even get this most basic of observations right totally discredits you.

Still, I hope your books get reinstated. I don't care what people who hate me choose to waste their money on and, to be honest, it makes my meagre qualities look good by comparison.

Miro23 , says: September 16, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT
@Miro23 There are useful parallels with Christianity, which went from being powerless and persecuted in its early days under Imperial Rome to eventual domination of Medieval Europe. It was a longish process, but an early small, private and ethical movement did eventually morph into a dictatorial organization that hunted down its own dissidents (heretics).

In this game of power, the church certainly collected great wealth, developed a complex administration, made alliances with temporal (non-spiritual) power holders , and instituted the Holy Office of the Inquisition (or equivalents) to root out dissidents (heretics) or anyone who got in the way.


Green quotes a complaint by historian Manuel Barrios[172] about one Inquisitor, Diego Rodriguez Lucero, who in Cordoba in 1506 burned to death the husbands of two different women he then kept as mistresses. According to Barrios,

the daughter of Diego Celemin was exceptionally beautiful, her parents and her husband did not want to give her to [Lucero], and so Lucero had the three of them burnt and now has a child by her, and he has kept for a long time in the alcazar as a mistress, (Wikipedia).

It was the "higher power" in the form of the Revolutionary Republican Napoleon Bonaparte who finally abolished the Inquisition with the French invasion of Spain, which suggests by parallel that when the US state collapses it will take its Jewish inquisitors with it. Also the Jewish attempt to develop "Holocaustianity" with themselves as the leading martyrs is failing, since Judaism doesn't have the mass appeal of Christianity: 1) it lacks the ethical content 2) it isn't universalist (accepting all races).

Bolshevism (class guilt) was an earlier attempt to found a religion with Saint Trotsky and themselves as the leading martyrs, which did actually (for a while) connect with the public, since they harnessed the rising tide of Socialism/Communism with its fantasy of an egalitarian "workers paradise" (themselves in the leadership role).

Unfortunately Jewish leftism (not to be confused National Democratic leftism) still survives in the West in its bizarre SJW LGBT form, with Jews yet again trying to present themselves as victims – this time of fabricated "White Oppression" – never mind that white America gave them a generous refuge and a home after they were chased out of Central Europe.

However, the search for power through SJWism (race guilt) is being rejected in the West, so realistically Jews can only maintain their ethnic group power through a straightforward coup at the centre (United States) – which they seem to be working on a the moment, with some kind of fabricated Emergency involving Russia/Syria/Iran designed to give them a dictatorship.

And if they get it, it won't be benevolent judging by the mass murdering precedents in Russia and Hungary.

Frankie P , says: September 16, 2018 at 9:54 am GMT
@Michael Hoffman Dear KenH

Thank you for describing my work as "meticulously researched and argued."

A point of dissent: I don't know of any "Jewocracy."

I'm cognizant of the power and influence of Zionism and Talmudism, but I would be loathe to generalize about Judaic people under the rubric of "Jewocracy."

On pp. 463-466 of Judaism Discovered this writer attempts to elucidate the rabbinic principle taught to Orthodox youth: " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " ("It is a given law: it is known that Esau hates Jacob").

What does this instruction connote within the broader context of Orthodox Talmudism? It teaches that all goyim are irrevocably Jew-haters and that this hate is irrational and directed at all Judaic persons, whether good or bad, Left or Right, Zionists or not, religious or not. The intent of this deceitful and racist generalization is to unify Judaics and keep them in the rabbinic fold, since it is asserted that they will be hated for no reason no matter what they do, even if they reject the Talmud .

The antidote to this rabbinic propaganda is love for Judaic people and openness in particular to those Judaics who seek a way out of Talmudism and/or Zionism. This is what my books represent and one reason why they are viewed as a mortal threat to the antediluvians.

When terms such as "Jewocracy" are employed then " Halacha hi beyoduah she'Eisav soneh l'Yaakov " is being fulfilled.

The vast majority of the movement by non-Judaics to critique or oppose the Talmud is almost always grounded in some sort of negative typecasting about "The Jews. " Hence, when the individual Judaic who is trying to get free of the bondage of the Orthodox rabbinate sees generalizations like that, their motivation is subverted and their suspicions that perhaps the teaching imparted to them in their youth was true, is kindled anew.

If we truly wish to convert people into allies of truth and freedom, then we will not replicate their slavemasters' tropes in our discourse. In other words, we will not behave like Talmudists. If on the other hand, our principal aim is to vent our rage and anger at Talmudic supremacy, then reckless disregard for these distinctions will hold sway, along with the continued defeat of our espoused objectives.

There actually is only one fount of racism and supremacy on earth and it emanates from the primeval antecedents of the Babylonian Talmud and the Zohar (Kabbalah), and the cognate "sacred texts" that proceed from them. When the Germans began to worship themselves (something Luther and Nietzsche detested and eschewed), as part of the Nazi praxis, they became rabbis spiritually and psychologically, since the most fundamental constituent of Orthodox Judaism is self-worship .

A sincere and empowered critic of the theology of the Talmud cannot himself be a supremacist or a racist since those mental attitudes and philosophical commitments are part and parcel of the Talmudic mentality. A Talmudist cannot cast out the Talmud (Matthew 12:25-26).

Michael Hoffman
Author: Judaism Discovered
and Judaism's Strange Gods I thank you for that comment. Beautifully put, logically reasoned. Now I want to propose an idea for you to consider. The Orthodox Talmudic instruction that you mention above has morphed well beyond the limitations of the Orthodox rabbinate. You yourself just mentioned Judaics that want to "seek a way out of Talmudism and / or Zionism". Zionism certainly isn't Talmudism; it is blood and soil nationalism of a land that belongs to other people. Couching this original Talmudic instruction as merely a method of keeping Jews in "the rabbinic fold" is inaccurate. The unifiying of Jews through this belief that all goyim are Jew-haters and vilification of those Judaics who break out has grown well beyond the rabbinic fold, and it is present in every manifestation of Judaism, from the secular atheist to the most Orthodox. Indeed, it seems to be the common thread that holds all Jews together.

I thank you again for your ideas, Michael Hoffman. I will visit your website and try to purchase your books, even though I am not a wealthy man.

[Sep 16, 2018] I m delighted we can see the true face of American exceptionalism on display everyday. The last thing I want to see is back to normal.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Most here voted for or supported Obama whose record of incarcerating and persecuting journalists, punishing whistle-blowers, extra-judicial executions including citizens of the United States, placing children in cages, violent regime change abroad, spying on citizens, and expanding the security state was as bad or worse as that of Bush and Trump, in some cases by some margin. ..."
"... The current heroes of the 'resistance' lied America into Iraq or Libya, hacked into the computers of the elected representatives/lied about it, and support torture/enhanced interrogations, all under Obama. 'Liberals' lionize these clown criminals along with 'responsible' republicans whilst embracing open bigots such as Farrakhan. And, yes, if one is willing to share the podium with Farrakhan that's tacit support of his views. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Thomas Beale 09.13.18 at 9:58 am ( 16 )

I'd suggest that the two strains of 'conservatism' that matter are:

a) maintaining oppression/rule over subordinate classes to prevent them up-ending the status quo (the Robin view) and

b) maintaining philosophical +/- cultural values fundamental to a civilised society, typically so-called enlightenment values, freedom of mind, body and property etc. These are understood in a wide spectrum of concrete interpretations, from free-market purists to social democrats, and don't therefore correspond to one kind of on-the-ground politics.

Progressives tend attack a) (a non-philosophical form of conservatism – it's just about preserving a power structure), and usually claim that b) (the one that matters) doesn't exist or isn't 'conservative', or else ignore it.

We have the basic problem of same term, variable referents

Lobsterman 09.13.18 at 10:27 pm ( 40 )

(b) doesn't exist. Conservatives are, as a group, in eager favor of concentration camps for toddlers, the drug war, unrestrained surveillance, American empire, civil forfeiture, mass incarceration, extrajudicial police execution, etc. etc. They have internal disagreements on how much to do those things, but the consensus is for all of them without meaningful constraint. And they are always justified in terms of (a).

ph 09.14.18 at 11:50 am ( 58 )

@40

Most here voted for or supported Obama whose record of incarcerating and persecuting journalists, punishing whistle-blowers, extra-judicial executions including citizens of the United States, placing children in cages, violent regime change abroad, spying on citizens, and expanding the security state was as bad or worse as that of Bush and Trump, in some cases by some margin.

The current heroes of the 'resistance' lied America into Iraq or Libya, hacked into the computers of the elected representatives/lied about it, and support torture/enhanced interrogations, all under Obama. 'Liberals' lionize these clown criminals along with 'responsible' republicans whilst embracing open bigots such as Farrakhan. And, yes, if one is willing to share the podium with Farrakhan that's tacit support of his views.

Conservative as a political category post 1750 works and the basic argument of the OP holds. The comments not so much.