gideon.rachman@ft.com : attempts to rehabilitate The Clash of Civilizations. Philosophical Apprentice comments

For a country of genocidal, land and mineral stealing Immigrants ,not to speak of racists, to have produced an Imperialist Operative  like Samuel P. Huntington is no surprises. The fact that he wrote ‘Clash‘ in a Post Cold War environment, that needed a New Enemy, Huntington’s paranoia writ large was made to order!

See Edward Said’s withering examination of the Clash:

 

 

The identification of Western Civilization with the Western Christianity (Catholic-Protestant) was not Huntington’s original idea, it was rather the traditional Western opinion and subdivision before the Cold War era.[15] 

Critics (for example articles in Le Monde Diplomatique) call The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order the theoretical legitimization of American-caused Western aggression against China and the world’s Islamic and Orthodox cultures. Other critics argue that Huntington’s taxonomy is simplistic and arbitrary, and does not take account of the internal dynamics and partisan tensions within civilizations. Furthermore, critics argue that Huntington neglects ideological mobilization by elites and unfulfilled socioeconomic needs of the population as the real causal factors driving conflict, that he ignores conflicts that do not fit well with the civilizational borders identified by him, and they charge that his new paradigm is nothing but realist thinking in which “states” became replaced by “civilizations”.[16] Huntington’s influence upon U.S. policy has been likened to that of British historian Arnold Toynbee’s controversial religious theories about Asian leaders during the early twentieth century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington

And his racist tract  Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity’ a polemic that sounded the alarm about the Mestizo Hordes about to engulf America’s Anglo-Protestant Virtue. But not to forget his Political Order in Changing Societies:

Huntington argues that, as societies modernize, they become more complex and disordered. If the process of social modernization that produces this disorder is not matched by a process of political and institutional modernization—a process which produces political institutions capable of managing the stress of modernization—the result may be violence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington 

The honest writer would mention Mr. Huntington’s status as ‘a valued advisor to the South African regime’

During the 1980s, he became a valued adviser to the South African regime, which used his ideas on political order to craft its “total strategy” to reform apartheid and suppress growing resistance. He assured South Africa’s rulers that increasing the repressive power of the state (which at that time included police violence, detention without trial, and torture) can be necessary to effect reform. The reform process, he told his South African audience, often requires “duplicity, deceit, faulty assumptions and purposeful blindness.” He thus gave his imprimatur to his hosts’ project of “reforming” apartheid rather than eliminating it.[11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington

The Idea that the vexing questions that Mr. Rachman raises in his essay- that are somehow answered by Huntington’s ‘Clash’, is to say the least problematic, even if the reader takes them as simply descriptive of a problem, or set of problems that are solved, explained under the rubric of the ‘Clash’! But those problems are not solved by resort to the explanatory frame of the ‘Clash’!  Like another utterly passe essay published in a Foreign Policy Journal, Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’: both in their own way seemed to answer the questions raised by the end of the Cold War, and then became bloated best selling books, Fukuyama’s a monument to Starussian historical mendacity,that have since become irrelevant museum pieces. Except to columnists in need of a rhetorical framing devises for their Political/Cultural animadversions. Edward Said’s lecture might be a beginning for Mr. Rachman’s reappraisal?  

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there were endless discussions about a “clash of civilizations” between the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. It is no longer quite so fashionable to discuss the concept. But something that looks strikingly like a “clash of civilizations” is emerging nonetheless.

Political Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/12cf16a0-335d-11e9-bb0c-42459962a812

 

 

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The Financial Times proclaims the Anti-Semitic abuse of the gilets jaunes! Almost Marx comments

Headline:French anger at anti-Semitic abuse during ‘gilets jaunes’ protests

Sub-headline Writer Alain Finkielkraut verbally assaulted on fringes of Saturday march in Paris

The perfect marriage Macron and Neo-Conservative, i.e. Zionist Apologist, Alain Finkielkraut, a union made in the 9Th Circle! Look to the desperation, or better yet the political hysteria of these Defenders of Zionism, in sum, a European Settler State which practices Genocide-on-the-Installment-Plan against the indigenous Palestinians, while the world watches!
Even New Historian Benny Morris in his notorious Haaretz interview of 2004, and a more recent one defends Israel’s ‘ethnic cleansing’:

2004 first:

This is almost an identical repeat of what he said to Ari Shavit in a 2004 interview. There, he said:

If [David Ben-Gurion] was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country – the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.

But notice – Morris is changing his euphemisms. He used to call the ethnic cleansing of Palestine “transfer” (although he had a Freudian slip on “cleanse” with Shavit) but now, with Aderet, he’s calling it “separation of populations”. This is precious, really. It also points a dark and sinister finger at the notion of “separation” which has become a very central code-word for Zionist leftists and centrists. This “separation”, suggested also by other more colorful euphemisms such as “divorce”, has also been a central talking point for people like the late Amos Oz. So here, Morris, who also wants to somehow be known as a leftist, is making clear that “separation” is part of a genocidal scheme. He would not call it genocidal, and he denies that what he’s describing is ethnic cleansing, but that’s what it really is.

From 2019

In a long interview with Ofer Aderet in Haaretz (published in English today), Morris says:

If the War of Independence had ended with an absolute separation of populations – the Palestinian Arabs on the east side of the Jordan River and the Jews on the west side – the Middle East would be less volatile and both peoples would have suffered less over the past 70 years. They would have been satisfied with a state of their own, not exactly what they wanted, and we would have received the whole Land of Israel.

https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/historian-advocacy-cleasning/

It looks like the complainants are Macron, Finkielkraut, Zaki Laïdi and anonymous  ‘Paris prosecutors’ with the help of the editors of The Financial Times. What shall the reader make of these News Stories?

Headline: Anti-Semitism doesn’t bother Benjamin Netanyahu if it comes from his political allies

Sub-headline:Why Israel is cozying up to Viktor Orban’s Hungary and overlooking Poland’s Holocaust law

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now joined the likes of his sworn enemies, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by engaging in Holocaust revisionism to promote his own political interests. The leader of the Jewish state signed an agreement with Poland late last month that absolves Poland of its role in the extermination of its Jewish population during World War II, despite ample evidence of passive and active collaboration — as was the case throughout Europe.

Netanyahu spun the accord as a sign that he had forced Poland to soften its law about the country’s role in the Holocaust, but it really shows that maintaining power matters more to Netanyahu than fighting anti-Semitism.

And it’s only the latest example.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/07/13/anti-semitism-doesnt-bother-benjamin-netanyahu-if-it-comes-from-his-political-allies/?utm_term=.151a8e58aa63

_________________________________________________________

Headline: An unlikely union: Israel and the European far right

Sub-headline: Israel has been engaging far-right groups and parties across Europe, ignoring their anti-Semitism. 

In November 2017, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) hosted a gala dinner in New York City honouring Stephen Bannon, US President Donald Trump‘s then-chief strategist.

That Bannon and his media outlet Breitbart News were, and still are, seen by many as anti-Semitic was of no consequence to Zionist leaders from the US and Israel, who were in attendance.

There were, however, some critical voices from within the Jewish community who denounced the ZOA for its decision to invite Bannon. One of them was former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Bret Stephens, who dedicated a column in the New York Times on the issue.

“Just as there are anti-Zionist Jews, there are also anti-Semitic Zionists,” Stephens wrote. He then went on to condemn Bannon’s indirect link to neo-Nazi Richard Spencer who, according to Stephens, advocates a “factitious theory that Israel is the sort of ethno-nationalist state he’d like to see America become.”

While Stephens was right to be outraged about the gala dinner, he is wrong to claim that Israel is not an ethnonationalist state.

Just recently, the Israeli government endorsed the Nation-State Bill, which among many racist provisions, calls for the establishment of Jewish-only towns. This bill alone should be enough to settle the silly debate on whether Israel can be both a Jewish nation-state and a democracy.

But relations between Israel and its lobby groups and racist, neo-Nazi and fascist organisations go way deeper than a one-off gala dinner with Steve Bannon. In fact, in Europe, Israel is actively pursuing alliances with far-right groups and parties as a state policy.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/union-israel-european-180716085952930.html

There is no ‘French Anger over Anti-Semitic Abuse’ but the manufactured propaganda supplied by the hysterical Neo-Con Finkielkraut, fellow traveler Macron and academic Zaki Laïdi, with help from anonymous ‘Paris prosecutors’ and the editors of The Financial Times: all inveigh against the Anti-Semitism of the gilets jaunes, while Netanyahu makes alliances with the most notorious of European Neo-Nazis!

Almost Marx

https://www.ft.com/content/4fd5c71c-32a2-11e9-bb0c-42459962a812

 

 

 

 

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My reply to @bobopapal

@bobopapal

Thank you for your comment.  Americans are perpetually ‘optimistic’  its part of the American Mythology.  You offer threadbare, not to speak of ersatz metaphysics, in lieu of actual argument! Quantify ‘optimism’ ! How does this ‘optimism’ manifest itself in one’s weekly paycheck? At least two answers below.

From 2016

Headline: Ludicrous Economic Numbers: 40% Of Americans Make Less Than The 1968 Minimum Wage

Occasionally, in the more politicised corners of the economic conversation, we come across numbers that create that double take, that looking into the fourth wall, of amazement. Not so much that someone could get the number itself wrong, but that they could put it forward with a straight face, could actually believe it themselves. And so it is with a discussion of how badly the American economy has been doing in recent decades over at Salon. Just anyone with any basic awareness of the general numbers would know that this is wrong.

The quote is here:

Since the late 1970s, labor productivity in the U.S. has risen 259 percent. If the fruits of that productivity had been distributed according to the post-World War II shared prosperity social contract the average person’s income would be more than double what it is today. The actual change?

Median income adjusted for inflation is lower today than it was in 1974. A staggering 40 percent of all Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, adjusted for inflation. Median middle-class wealth is plummeting. It is now 36 percent below what it was in 2000.

To walk through the errors here. Sure, productivity has risen. And average wages haven’t risen as much (although there’s a fascinating little fight within that story, you only get this result if you use two different inflation measures, one to measure productivity, another to measure wages

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/07/ludicrous-economic-numbers-40-of-americans-make-less-than-the-1968-minimum-wage/#233be37e4d8a

From 2018

Headline: For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades

On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated in early 2010, and 1.5 million just since the beginning of the year.

But despite the strong labor market, wage growth has lagged economists’ expectations. In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

StephenKMackSD

https://on.ft.com/2BBEnQ2

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edward.luce@ft.com Ocasio-Cortez vs Incrementalist New Democrats & ‘Free Market’ Republicans. Old Socialist comments

Title this Ocasio-Cortez vs Incrementalist New Democrats! A sample of Mr. Luce’s utterly forgettable political chatter: in the heyday of print this would be lining a birdcage tomorrow, but in The Internet Age it will live forever!

The chief exhibit is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. By any measure, her bill is preposterously extravagant.

The Depression of 2008, and the utter failure of the Self-Correcting Market to appear, and rescue America from the greed of the  1% and impoverishment of the 99% , evades Mr. Luce’s grasp of the reality of this political moment. Occupy Wall Street and Piketty won that debate in the prehistory to this political moment.

Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand

These ‘Incrementalist Democrats’ call them the waste product of the New Democrats’ embrace of Reaganism. Warren who, with some political courage, could have been the only viable candidate, in a field dominated  by Neo-Liberal hacks, now looks like more of the same.

Posh Boy Luce then engages in a sport usually practiced by David Cameron, against the pleb Jeremy Corbyn, class bias or just ordinary snobbery, is one of the mainstays of this newspaper’s hirelings. A cheap shot that speaks volumes about Luce and his employers! Call this by its name political desperation.

The fact that a 29-year-old former bartender has gone from zero to ubiquitous abbreviation in a few months tells us something about America’s appetite for change.

Mr. Luce, in his exercise of his political desperation, makes the non-argument that trivializes the contest between the two bankrupt political parties, and the outsiders that  are causing shock waves in the respectable bourgeois press and media.

Third, Americans seem to crave a choice. There was a time when US elections could be caricatured as Coca-Cola versus Pepsi — incrementalist Democrats versus free-market Republicans.

On the vexing question of ‘shock waves’ watch Rep. Ilhan Omar’s grill Neo-Con and convicted criminal Elliot Abrams on his ‘truthfulness’ :

That three women Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Harbi Tlaib can cause ‘shock waves’ in the American political system demonstrates, beyond doubt, its utter malleability, even its fragility!

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/1149a140-2fa4-11e9-8744-e7016697f225

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James Shotter reviews Radoslaw Sikorski’s new book. Political Observer comments

Mr. James Shotter presents a workman like review of Mr. Sikorski latest book. Mr. Sikorski has deep ties with a generation of Posh Boys like Osborne ,Cameron and Johnson as he attended Oxford University.

See Mr. Sikorski Wikipedia entry for the particulars :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rados%C5%82aw_Sikorski

His career as journalist was at notably conservative publications. What is missing from this ‘review’ is supplied by The Economist dated June 23, 2014:

Headline: Sikorski in hot water

Sub-headline: Radek Sikorski said in January in a private conversation that he viewed Poland’s alliance with America as “worthless”.

MORE illegal recordings are destabilising the Polish government this week. The juiciest revelation so far is that the foreign minister, Radek Sikorski (pictured), said in January that he viewed Poland’s alliance with America as “worthless”.

Mr Sikorski’s comments were made in a dinner conversation with the former finance minister, Jacek Rostowski, which was illegally recorded and printed in Wprost, a Polish news weekly. During the often vulgar conversation, Mr Sikorski said the alliance with Washington “is complete bullshit. We’ll get into a conflict with the Germans and the Russians and we’ll think that everything is super because we gave the Americans a blowjob. Losers. Complete losers.”

The conversation took place before Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for an armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which has prompted a noticeable warming in Poland-American security ties. Warsaw has also become more critical of Germany, as the German government has been reluctant to impose tough sanctions on Russia and is lukewarm about shifting NATO troops to central European states worried about the perceived Russian threat.

American officials stated in public that ties with Poland were not affected. “I’m not going to comment on alleged content of private conversations. As for our alliance, I think it’s strong,” tweeted Stephen Mull, the American ambassador in Warsaw. Mr Sikorski said the “government has been attacked by an organised group of criminals. We still don’t know who is behind this.” Polish law forbids the recording of a conversation without the knowledge of the participants.

Wprost did not say much about who made the recordings, writing only that they had been supplied by a “businessman” who dubbed himself “Patriot” when sending along an e-mail with a link to four recordings. Gazeta Wyborcza, a newspaper, reported that waiters at several exclusive Warsaw restaurants frequented by senior officials and businessmen may have been making recordings for about a year and then selling them back to those who had been bugged. The paper said the political recordings had been taken over by someone else.

https://www.economist.com/eastern-approaches/2014/06/23/sikorski-in-hot-water

The reader must also note that Mr. Sikorski is married to historian and journalist Anne Applebaum, a prominent New Cold Warrior.

Political Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/9939e514-2b90-11e9-88a4-c32129756dd8

 

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On RFI’s anti-gilets jaunes political hysteria mongering! Almost Marx comments

Headline: Violence against France’s institutions – how far is too far?

Sub-headline:  An arson attempt on Saturday at the residence of France’s Speaker of the Assembly has put the spotlight on similar acts of vandalism aimed at France’s public institutions.

 

Paragraph heading : No evidence of ‘Yellow Vest’ motive

The attempted arson, which took place on the same day as the 13th Yellow Vest protests, was initially suspected be linked to the movement’s hardline demonstrators.

But according to Jean-Philippe Recappé, public prosecutor of Brest (Brittany), no evidence of this has been found.

“There was no graffiti, demands or other signs that link the arson with the gilets jaunes”, said Recappé. “A window shutter and pane exploded, that was it.”

He also underlined the absence of danger for Mr Ferrand.

“This is not a main residence”, Recappé said. “No one was in the house”.

http://en.rfi.fr/france/20190210-yellow-vests-gilets-jaunes-richard-ferrand-republic-violence-institutions

‘Destroying public property, attacking journalists and elected officials, violating the intimacy of their homes and urinating on France’s institutions.’

Austerity is Violence! Macron Jupertarian Politics, another name for Authoritarianism, must go!

Almost Marx

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From the Versailles Dining Room of The Hoover Institution, episode CCXXI Niall Ferguson on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Green New Deal . Old Socialist comments

It can’t be anything like a surprise that Neo-Conservative Mr. Ferguson attacks, again, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Green New Deal (GND) in his regular Sunday Times column:

Last week I began to understand how the Democrats will lose the 2020 presidential election. The reality is that they are not one party, but two: a liberal and a socialist. The former can beat Trump — but not if it is associated with the latter. Socialism is a term for so long regarded as anathema in the US that it used to be avoided altogether: instead of “socialism”, one said either “progressive” or “the s-word”.

These days, however, the s-word is no longer taboo. The Democrats, in their eagerness to recruit a new generation of young voters, have admitted a faction of radical ideologues into their midst.

Exhibit A is the Green New Deal unveiled on Thursday by the Bronx’s very own La Pasionaria, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and the rather less glamorous 72-year-old Massachusetts senator Ed Markey.

Mr. Ferguson backtracks just a bit, in the interest of maintaining something resembling bourgeois political respectability, perhaps his comments on Keynes were a valuable object lesson to him, on the Environmental Question?

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not in denial about climate change. Yes, the evidence is pretty compelling that manmade emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases are causing average temperatures to rise and the weather to become more volatile.

Mr. Ferguson fails to see the relevance another key part of this GND:

But I am not quite sure how this is “related” to the “large racial wealth divide” and “gender earnings gap” referred to in the Green New Deal on page 3 or the “systemic racial, regional, social, environmental and economic injustices” on page 4.

The Green New Deal asserts that climate change has “disproportionately affected indigenous peoples, communities of colour, migrant communities, deindustrialised communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities and youth”.

The Ferguson myopia is based not in the facts of contemporary life for the 99%, who do not share the ratified air of a Think Tank, where 1929 went to live. The collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, and the destruction of the institutions of the Welfare State through Austerity, and the fact that the poorer and the darker you are has relevance to your exposure to the pollution, and garbage of our collective Consumer Society.

But never at a loss for a self-serving pseudo-argument, that is argument’s  place-holder:

However, this drearily familiar list of the victims of patriarchy and white supremacy bears only a tangential relationship to the real Americans who were killed or lost their homes in last year’s Californian wildfires.

Mr. Ferguson is an unapologetic Imperialist, and try as he might that Imperialism cannot be separated  from White Supremacy! The British Empire was based on ‘White Man’s Burden’ : to civilize the heathens!  The victims of California wildfires, mere self-serving divertissement, to put it in highfalutin terms.

More of Ferguson’s project of self-rescue  awaits the patient reader:

The measures proposed in the Green New Deal to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” are breathtaking. More nuclear power stations? Er, no. Comrades, we’re talking about a “10-year national mobilisation” on the scale of the Great Patriotic War . . . sorry, I meant the Second World War. By the end of the Green Leap Forward, 100% of US power demand will be met from “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources”, which means geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. Nukes are out, according to the FAQ sheet on the “10-Year Plan” released by AOC’s office.

The Green New Deal, as conceptualized by Ferguson, is Stalinist! But Mr. Ferguson polemic seems never ending, as he seeks to include all that he deems relevant to the current political moment, and GND as an utterly alien idea. Ferguson cannot be unaware of FDR’s New Deal, his polemic demands that that history and the evolution of that New Deal, over time, retains its status as alien that demonstrate the imperative of the Propagandist.

Old Socialist

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/the-s-word-will-scupper-democrats-2020-hopes-wfhfv7kh3

 

 

 

 

 

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