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22 November 2016

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kao_hsien_chih

Codewords of all types are becoming widespread, along with justification that "If our side does it, it's great. If the other side does it, it's fascism." I was first amused then alarmed at the way Democrats/liberals in U.S. were justifying and giving excuses for the less-than-sanguine actions taken by Obama, and earlier, by Bill Clinton (most of which were in foreign policy realm, but also in some domestic arena). Many of the same excuses were used by the Republicans for GW Bush. But, among the people who use the right "codewords," they are completely different and one is pure, honorable, noble, and even courageous, while the other side is unmitigated evil, even though they haven't done anything yet, just because they don't use the right codewords.

It's not just an American or even Western European phenomenon. I heard about something similar taking root in Russia, both under the Soviets and after the fall of the USSR. I know for fact that this is true in places like Venezuela and South Korea (which the exchange above with PA reminded me.) To those in one bubble (not just left or the right thing, but equally applicable to both), their idol is, whether they are named Chavez, Roh, Obama, Trump, or Park, a hero of epic proportions; to those in the other bubble, they are a villain of equally epic proportions, usually without much explanation or even actual evidence. I hate that sort of cult of personality, but this seems to crop up everywhere--and the activists in each bubble act exactly the same, use identical lingo, but disagree on everything in exactly same manner, for seemingly exactly the same reasons, insisting that they are totally different--somewhat like a tragic, not very funny version of the scene from "The Life of Brian."

It's not just that there is a big hole where the old Left used to be. There's a big hole where both old Left and Right used to be. Their intellectual bases have completely collapsed. The insiders, left and right, know their lines and where their place on the stage is, and just play their roles of disagreeing with each other on the script, and do their part. But the script makes no sense to the outsiders, but, not knowing what they are supposed to do, they rely on "charmismatic" (itself an ambiguous term, I suppose) who give the appearance of knowing what they are doing. Do they really know what they are doing? Hard to tell. To use the South Korean example, both Roh, who used Trump-like tactics, complete with uncouth language and bullyboy tactics relying on angry mobs, and Park (the new one) who had nothing to offer other than a famous and controversial name, turned out to be utter failures (and their fanaatical fans blame the other for messing up--since their hero is so great). Chavez's movement made a mess of Venezuela, but his fans don't tire of blaming machinations by their political enemies as the root of all evil. Clinton's fans keep blaming the rubes, the Russians, whatever they could think of, other than themselves. When Trump falls, who will they blame? Presumably not Trump or themselves. And when they can't even talk to each other, because of "code barriers," what'll the world come to?

MRW

And crying rooms. And crayons. University-funded shrinks provided to deal with their stress and grief. Days off. Exams postponed.

This is to be the leading generation? Boomer and Gen X progeny are a disgrace.

Valissa

Thanks MRW! I just put that in my archives next to this related article...

What most struck me about this article was what Stephen Moore, Trumps economic advisor on the trail said here:
“It turned me more into a populist,” he said, expressing frustration with the way some in the Beltway media dismissed the economic concerns of voters in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. “Having spent the last three or four months on the campaign trail, it opens your eyes to the everyday anxieties and financial stress people are facing,” Moore added. “I’m pro-immigration and pro-trade, but we better make sure as we pursue these policies we’re not creating economic undertow in these areas.”

… Moore knows the days of Reaganite conservatism are probably over. “Reagan ran as an ideological conservative. Trump ran as an economic populist,” he said. “Trump’s victory,” Moore added, “turned it into the Trump party.”
---------------

Trump’s GOP: The end of ‘checklist conservatism’ http://nypost.com/2016/11/21/trumps-gop-the-end-of-checklist-conservatism/
There was a telling moment in the middle of the Republican primaries, when a reporter asked Donald Trump to comment on charges that he really wasn’t a conservative. “It’s called the Republican Party,” he answered. “Not the conservative party.” Understand that, and you’ll understand the path Trump took to victory — through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, not through the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) or K Street. It’s something nearly everyone on the left missed, from the academy to fake-news sites like the Washington Post. … He’s a proud New Yorker, at ease with modern society, with same-sex marriage, with Social Security, with the idea that our health care laws should look after the most vulnerable Americans.

He’s not in any way a bigot, and the only blinkered folks who would think he is are people who can understand the world only through the prism of race and gender, and who moreover are eager to smear their opponents. Here’s what Trump isn’t: a right-wing ideologue, a member of the Republican Party of Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz, of checklist conservatism and of the idea that 47 percent of Americans are “takers.” That party died in 2012, a victim in part of its own heartlessness.
---------------

The battle for what it means to be a "Republican" is on! Has the long lost moderate Republican archetype been resurrected? How will Paul Ryan deal with Trump's new direction for the party? Is Pence savvy enough to have Trump's back when it comes to the classes with Ryan?

As the identity of the Republican party changes, how will this effect the identity of the Democratic Party be?

Fascinating times.

Dubhaltach

In reply to Balint Somkuti, Phd 24 November 2016 at 02:56 AM

Attemtpting to fix your unclosed html tag which is making reading everything below your comment a strain on the eyes.

Babak Makkinejad

IN some classes, at the same said university, students are encouraged to state their gender-specific way they wish to be known.

MRW

Valissa,

g.r.e.a.t. post.

Babak Makkinejad

The more liberal parts of North Africa?

Where, pray do tell me.

Morocco? - Police snuffing any whiff of contrary opinion.

Tunisian? - the exporter of largest number of jihadists to Syria.

Algeria? - under military dictatorship.

Egypt? - Murdering 2000 people in a single day.

Eretria? - a giant concentration camp for Muslims and Christians both.

Somalia? - Yes, a bastion of Liberalism - the "Best Damn Liberals" outside of Virginia.

Djibouti? - wholly owned by Saudi Arabia.

Iran does not need laudatory statements from Western states.

But since so many in the West are wearing their hearts on their sleeves, caring about foreign people for whose tradition and culture they demonstrate scant empathy, perhaps, such people, might get it through their evidently very thick skulls that the only hope for Muslim polities lies in that experiment called "The Islamic Republic of Iran".

Not that I expect them to admit that they have been wrong and have been wrong for a very long time.

But I state my opinion on this forum in this respect with the hope that perhaps someone Western who actually does care about the status and experience of actual women in a place such as Afghanistan or in Pakistan or in Yemen will get an inkling of a thing called Reality.


Paul Escobar

Tyler,

I have this vague recollection of Mr. Lang referring to the President-Elect as an: "incipient Mussolini"

If he did, would you accuse him of "virtue signalling" & playing "goodwhite"? Don't think you would.

I think you would answer (as you have in other contexts) that you don't mind that particular outcome. You've decided it's necessary & glorious or whatever.

Fair enough. I get where you're coming from. You seem to misunderstand where I'm coming from, so I'll clear up one point of confusion...

You misconstrue my calls to "vigilance" as some obstructionist tactic. With the ultimate aim of impeding President Trump's ability to deal with the opposition's excesses.

If that is the case, you are wrong. I am working from the assumption that President Trump & his Republican allies have secured power. That law enforcement & border agents now have firm allies. And those in violation of the law have their days numbered.

You think that progressives organizing & authors writing can somehow stop the correction? They'll complain to Don Lemon when BLM are incarcerated. They'll march down a street when illegals are deported. They'll have little sit-in's when Christians take back the Supreme Court.

...and then they'll go home. Because deep down they know. It's worth virtue-signalling over. It's not worth really fighting over.

But there is something truly worth fighting over. Or at least getting the hell out of Dodge over. Trump's right. There's some bad hombre's out there.

Stay woke!,
Paul

MRW

And everyone absolutely has to read the article Valissa linked to:
http://nypost.com/2016/11/21/trumps-gop-the-end-of-checklist-conservatism/

MRW

Here’s another one, Valissa:
http://blog.dilbert.com/post/153559105081/a-lesson-in-cognitive-dissonance

TonyL

Thanks Origin for very thoughtful post.

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Thank you.

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Exactly. As Orwell noted full fledged dictatorships are characterized by creating and enforcing newspeak (among others).

English Outsider

"I personally don't see Britain exiting the EU, or at the very least, there is going to be a lengthy postponement leading to a bitterly fought initiative to follow through on the referendum. In either case, the referendum is going to cause a further rise in hard right-wing nationalist organization over there,.."

A late post, and perhaps I ought to leave it because I've already been given my say and this little window I'm typing into is still tricky, but I'm puzzled by the second sentence. "A further rise in hard right-wing nationalist organisation". I assume that you don't mean UKIP, so I'm left wondering how significant these organisations are.

There's a pot waiting to boil over in this country, true enough, and if the politicians don't venture out of the bubble it probably will, but that hasn't yet translated into any specific mass movement. The extremist splinter groups in England make a lot of noise, but does this indicate mass support? Are there any figures?

The BNP successfully tapped into popular anger and resentment and got a lot of votes. Around a million, at the peak. Then it got out that the BNP leadership was inclined to Neo-Nazism and the support just melted away. Where's the BNP now?

There was a recent Neo-Nazi rally or gathering in the East of the country. I watched a video that had somehow been obtained of it. You could call it a beer hall rally, though it looked more like a shed than the beer halls the NSDAP got its start in, but there didn't seem to be a great number of people there. One source - no idea whether it was reliable - claimed 250 attended from this country and to make up the numbers they had to import a crowd of Neo-Nazis from the continent.

Yes, there is a lively trade in Nazi memorabilia and a few MP's and celebrities attend fancy dress parties dressed up as storm troopers but we're scraping the bottom of the barrel if that's to be instanced as a ground swell of support.

If you really wanted to know how many hard core Neo-Nazis we've got you'd have to get the figures from Special Branch, and I doubt they'd be telling. But I don't see any sort of an ideologically coherent movement, and more importantly I don't see any mass support. Croatia, the old East Germany, the Baltic states maybe, in those places you'll get clusters, but I don't see them here. EDL and similar groups do make a showing but that's no ideologically driven mass movement. You could find a more convincing "far right" in the local pub. They're straightforward angry, those of them who aren't in it just for the punch-ups. Read the stuff they put out.

So where are they all? Just asking, really. Maybe you know more about the subject than I do. Wouldn't be difficult. But where are the figures?


The thought occurs to me that instead of going around hunting for swastikas that aren't there and pinning "racist" badges on people who are nothing of the sort, we might do better simply to ask why so many people are so angry.

English Outsider.

LeaNder

It seems to me that you are clearly against nationstates.

No. Hesitant or wondering about the relation of nation states with nationalism, maybe? ... Something in my genes? Germany is a rather "late nation" after all. ...

But not that frightening one which currently rules the minds of eurocrats.

Eurocrats, Technocrats, neo-liberals? I am aware that the European Union was a Utopia or created as such. For some good reason, but initially driven by what seem to be mainly economical reasons or interests and not equally shared power buried beneath the utopia.

Beyond that I would never object to a distrust to bringing it closer together politically, alternatively change the rules so all can agree.

It's not that e.g. I cannot understand the Brits that voted for Brexit. It feels that objections to one-size-fits-all are highly justified. Is there any person beyond the "technocrats", who has the best solution? ... Call me an Utopianist, if you like. Or based on my own country's history hesitant about purely 'national solutions'?

Yes we need an european army, to protect european interests. Like protecting the borders, stabilizing neighboring regions and stuff.

I am not an expert, but that seems to have been the American demand for many, many decades. ...

The Visigrad Group could leave the EU and remain in the Nato. ...

I clearly don't understand enough of matters. Never tried to hide it. But it seems to be a bit hyped over here that e.g. Poland drives the EU-Nato-Russia Confrontation.

Edward Amame

Col Lang

I really hope you are right. I've said this before, but we'll know either way almost right out of the gate if Trump signs a reconciliation bill from Ryan with big new tax cuts for the wealthy, bigger defense spending, and Medicare vouchers.

LeaNder

Ha. Channeling Konrad Adenauer? (when he joked that he's crossing into the wilds of Asia whenever he crossed the Rhein?

sorry kao, more to the point. Didn't want to drift off into attempts to explain the "Schäl sick" (dialect), or the "wrong side" of the Rhine. More complex outside the Köln/Bonn area.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%A4l_Sick

But yes, that avoidance may have made me drift off even more, since it is, historically no doubt, also related to the "Hillige Kölle" (dialect). The "Holy Cologne"... ;)

No doubt "Asia" starts on the other side of the river here in Cologne ;)

turcopolier

Edward Amame

Would a cut in the corporate income tax rate be a tax break for the wealthy? pl

David Habakkuk

LeaNder,

There is a joke which many people have quoted Adenauer as making, in different versions – that Germany had been ruled for too long by drinkers of schnapps from Prussia, and of beer from Bavaria, and it was time that it was ruled by wine drinkers from the Rhineland.

Without giving too many hostages to fortune to Babak, I am tempted to say that the implied message was that, as it were, Carolingians could drink in moderation, and/or ‘hold their drink’.

Origin

Some final thoughts on my post now that the traffic on it has about run its course.

First, the post demonstrates that the progress of free speech is unpredictable.

When I wrote the piece, I had some ideas of where it would go and some came true. I think the last post by kao_hsien_chih on 24 November 2016 at 03:17 PM is a good summary of one of the types of posts I hoped to get. However, there were many other posts expressing thoughts and insights I never would have anticipated. The unpredictability of the discourse was quite creative and informative.

Second, the post demonstrates that the progress of free speech is predictable.

Among the posts, some were simply predictable trolling that added little directly to the topic, but provided substantial information about the posters. A good example of this is Tyler’s posts. While providing very little direct information, they communicated the extreme level of frustration and cynicism that is within the community. Such communication is important to understanding the community.

Third, the post demonstrates that terms such as “racism” and “racist” have many different meanings and are code words that are parsed differently by members of different groups. The same sentence has different meanings depending on who is reading it. The meanings seem to be “loaded” by the reader’s experience. For some here, my mention of “racism” or “white-nationalism” were interpreted as a liberal’s ideological excuse for things that went wrong or a pattern of attack; a haughty excuse for a Coaster Liberal to deprecate the Deplorables. A thoughtful explication of this was set forth by English Outsider:
“English and European ears have been trained pretty well over the past few decades. Not as well trained as American ears, no doubt, because it takes a little time for American usage to become adopted here, but we're not doing badly. We do know the code. It's got a name. It's called the progressive code.

It's the one that invariably calls anything outside a very narrow band of approved discourse "racist". It's the code that shoves large numbers of normal people, irrespective of their abilities or their personal circumstances, into a tight little box labelled "victim", and encourages them live their entire lives inside that little box, simply because they have a skin that is a different colour.”

In my post, I spoke of a warning about racism, not as a liberal attack code term, but as an old habit being resurrected that has not yet been adequately interred.

Examples abound in daily life here. Last Sunday, I was in a conversation with a “fine Christian” white southern Republican Lady (I use the term “Lady” in the classic British sense of a well-bred white aristocratic woman) who was speaking about the election and why the Democrats lost. The gist of one of her sentences after referring to Obama was, “We all ‘know’ why Trump won.” I have heard nearly the exact term, “we all know ---,” ever since Obama was elected.

The term “know” is a code statement of old habits and prejudices politely stated that the Democrats lost because the President is a black and by not using the N word, the fact that the Democrats lost because they have too many blacks and, since I am white, I should knows why, naturally, they lost. The woman’s inability to understand her own level of privilege as a white person is totally lost to her.

Such old, deeply ingrained cultural habits have proven time and time again to be destructive in our twenty-first century polity. Trump engenders a resurgence of the old feelings and habits of privilege that seem to trump all other ideas.

This will be my last post on this thread. I want to thank all of you, even my nemesis Tyler, for your participation in this Committee of Correspondence.

Keep up the posting and have fun!

jerseycityjoan

Why?

Because I saw prices going up in the New York City area and gentrification intensify.

What is your definition of Middle Class? Does it include $6000 a month apartments? That was the price of a 3 bedroom within a few blocks of me in 2015 and while it was in Downtown Jersey City, it had no views or the amenities of any of the new towers because it was a remodeled small old building.

Here where I am in Pennsylvania now, we are seeing the people fleeing high costs coming here, which is increasing our own housing costs -- in an area where wages are low and resistance is high to raising them and there's no potential for a Servant/Service class to develop.

My question is why you think everything is wonderful for the people with household incomes of, say, $35,000 to $100,000 in the Northeast big cities. It's wonderful if you own property that's in demand or are making six or seven figures and are users of cheap labor.

Let's say I am wrong -- I would only be wrong for a limited time. The US population is due to go from about 325,000,000 today to around 465,000,000 by 2065. The Pew Foundation estimates that over 85% of that population growth will come from immigrants and their descendants.

Have you ever heard of any NYC-area mayors or any one else in government discuss how they will handle all these extra people? Of course not. They are too busy talking about providing affordable housing and their dedication to diversity. Meanwhile, black and brown neighborhoods go rich White Towers with a sprinkle of other Rich racial groups and everybody's supposed to happy about these changes.

What plans are being made for this extraordinary increase as a time when can see that accelerating technological advances will continue to rob us of jobs by the tens of millions?

Tyler

Valissa,

Moderate Repulican was a byword for amnesty, fair trade, and cutting Medicare. In other words, they were cuckservatives.

I would call Trump a populist Republican before I called him a moderate. He's not interested in fighting culture war issues and, as pointed out, would leave the larger question of who wants what to the states.

Tyler

MRW,

Second your thoughts, and especially this Dilbert one, as you can see many of the Fifth Columnists here engaging in their pretzel logic and resisting admitting that their worldview is wrong in any way.

Tyler

Origin,

Saw privilege used unironically, stopped reading.

MRW

Would a cut in the corporate income tax rate be a tax break for the wealthy?

Colonel,

The short answer is no. But this curt answer obscures the issue.

The federal corporate tax should be abolished. There’s no reason for it. The federal government does not need the money: it creates its own currency. Every corporation passes this tax along to its customers in higher prices.

However.

The problem: “The corporate tax cannot be abolished until some method is found to keep the corporate form from being used as a refuge from the individual tax and as a means of accumulating unneeded, uninvested surpluses. Some way must be devised whereby corporate earnings, which inure to individual shareholders, are adequately taxed as income of these individuals.”
Taxes For Revenue are Obsolete, Beardsley Ruml, Chairman of the NY Federal Reserve,1946

Cutting the corporate tax rate can become a tax break for the wealthy…if…the increased profits go to the wealthy shareholders, and are not shared with labor, as was the case post-war and thru LBJ.

That’s why you need strong unions as existed in the Eisenhower era. (I’m not talking about the subsequent mafia-soaked unions that took advantage of the system, used them to launder money and run protection threats on company brass, or the tired, blanket Reagan anti-union message that was music to business ears when interest was 19%.) Unions can make sure that workers share fairly in the increased prosperity of the company—that’s their job—and when acting properly can ensure good working conditions, investment in plant and material, and proper R&D.

[Starting in 1980 with a change in tax laws, upper management’s bonuses were tied to the price of the stock. Fastest way to do that? Take your public company private. Stock share goes up. Big bucks to the big guys at the end of the year. No need to invest in new markets, why risk it? No R&D. Get same bang for the bonus buck by privatizing the company and scarfing up the profits for yourself. So upper management did just that while selling the hoi polloi on the ‘magic of privatization’. The latter fell for it, and have never realized since how their lives and futures were compromised, even though wages since 1980 reflect it.]

Those cuts in the corporate tax rate can go to higher worker wages, R&D, equity investing—and contribute to the ongoing economic growth of the country—or they can go to the shareholder (rentier) bank accounts of people (typically the 1%) who are not producing the product, pay only capital gains, and who hoard their unnecessary surpluses to the detriment of economic growth of the companies they have invested in, and the country.

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