Andy Divine depends on the ignorance of his readers, Episode MCCVII: On Concentration Camps & more pressing Evils. Old Socialist comments

I’ll bypass the first two installments of the Mr. Divine’s encyclical of June 21, 2019:

The Next Step for Gay Pride

The Trump Code

I’ll just read this next segment of moral shaming with which Andy confronts his readers:

The Totalitarian Nightmare the World Is Ignoring

I don’t want a new Cold War with China. But it is, in my view, an evil regime, and we should have no illusions about that. Twitter has been having a great time this past week parsing whether detention camps for illegal immigrants in the United States should be called “concentration camps.” In China, this debate might seem somewhat beside the point. Over a million Muslims who have crossed no border and committed no crimes are being taken from their homes en masse and subjected to brainwashing in vast camps and compounds from which there is no escape. Watch this excellent new BBC piece on these “thought transformation camps” — and feel the fear everywhere. The BBC was given access to a show camp, which is creepy enough. We can only imagine what goes on in the hidden ones.

Somehow Andy has become an expert on ‘concentration camps’: now Andy isn’t very adroit about his attack on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and her very welcome plain speaking on the concentration camps used by ICE to hold the Mestizo Hordes ,that are invading the land of Anglo-Protestant virtue, as articulated by that American political hysteric Samuel P. Huntington: in his Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. The separation of children/infants from their parents , not to speak of caging these human beings, is an action used by Trump and his minions: ‘Give me your tired,your poor ,your huddled masses…’! An utter betrayal of ‘American Values’ ?

Andy likes to engage in the time honored tradition of One-up-man-ship pioneered by Stephen Potter. Virtue signalling is the current term of abuse, but Potter’s old stand-by fully describes Andy’s dull-witted practice . His argument:  You’ve averted your eyes from the ‘Evil Chinese Regime‘  for too long -its Human Rights abuses! In sum, the Concentration Camps used by ICE are by comparison to the Chinese Regime’s forms of oppression/re-education are evil, while the human rights abuses practiced by ICE are subject to a kind of pseudo- apologetic! In sum,  the crimes of ICE are minimized in comparison to the Chinese.


On the left, we worry about Islamophobia, or we expend our energies protesting the oppression of Palestinians by Israel’s occupation. On the right, we talk of religious freedom too often as if it only applies to Christians or Jews.

Yet, here is a man and writer whose moral/political enthusiasms for ‘The Bell Curve’ and the War in Iraq are facts that Andy can’t overcome. At least with his readers whose memories reach back to Andy’s reprehensible political past.  Andy achieves his ends by means of hectoring moralizing, in service to Andy’s pathological egotism, wedded to his political nihilism.

Old Socialist


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The tedious ennui of a Posh Boy: in honor of Janan Ganesh.The Ghost of Joris-Karl Huysmans comments

Headline: Save me from the tyranny of choice

Sub-headline:In a world of cacophonous information, the absence of it is life-improving

Here is the key paragraph of Mr. Ganesh latest feuilleton:

Good. If they went yet further, and did not tell us what we were eating, either verbally or via a paper menu, all the better. In a world of endless choice, expert curation is precious. In a world of cacophonous information, the absence of it is life-improving.

His essay resembles not the cloyingly sweet Pavlova but,  the ‘wildly over the top’, Spanische Windtorte: the recipe :

The last paragraph is so larded with overwrought  descriptors e.g. : ‘the Cartesian order of Washington’  that its a pastiche of a pastiche!

Outside Mãos, having made no decisions for three hours, I brave the coiled entrails of the London street system, or anti-system, with its myriad permutations, so unlike the Cartesian order of Washington or the numbered right angles of New York. Complexity can be designed out of our lives, as those places show. When it comes to the built environment, as much is lost as is gained. When it comes to the humdrum consumption that takes place within it, I see no cost, just a kind of emancipation. I want to be led so I can be free.

Best regards,

The Ghost of Joris-Karl Huysmans



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment on the New Democrats and the straw-man of ‘Fringe Leftist’. Old Socialist comments

In the first five paragraphs of his essay Mr. Ganesh reminds me of almost any James Pinkerton column I read, when he was a columnist on the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times! Complete with Mr. Pinkerton’s hysterical obsession with McGovern. Quite a while ago: it only makes it utterly plain that Ganesh is a greenhorn in terms of American Political History and its internecine ideological conflicts.
The Nixon/McCarthy/Mundt /McCarran clique repeated the charge against the New Deal, after the War, of A Generation of Treason against that New Deal, even though Truman dropped the Bomb twice on Japanese Civilians.

I’ll skip to the last two revelatory paragraphs of the Ganesh essay:

Mr Trump’s failure to enact that mandate has given his enemies an opening they are refusing to take. Perhaps, outside the anti-American fringe left, Democrats still cherish the idea of America as a redemptive force in the world, which somehow muddled along in the void before 1776. Even if they were not scarred by past elections, they would regard quietism as simply beneath the nation’s dignity.

The candidates for the 2020 election are facing the future on almost every subject. On the one that counts most, they are stranded in time.

The real question is this: will the New Democrats finally emancipate themselves, from ‘Wilsonian Idealism’, another name for violent American Paternalism, from a leader who segregated Washington D. C. ,in the year of my mother’s birth 1912? Add to this  Mr. Ganesh’s dismissal of  ‘the anti-American fringe left’, his not so sub rosa attack on Sen. Sanders. In the Blarite, Neo-Liberal World View, the ‘Left’ always plays the role of the reviled Other: the perpetually unworthy outsider.  Ganesh unknowingly re-inhabits the journalistic ghost of Pinkerton Past.

Old Socialist writing as ‘Fringe Leftist’


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@georgegalloway: regarding the Hillary Clique

It is way past time to purge from the Democratic Party the ‘New Democrats’ i.e. the Neo -Liberals who brought us Welfare Reform, Prison Reform, awash in political euphemisms, and the ultimate expressions their Reaganite Agenda Gramm-Leach-Bliley, that repealed Glass-Steagall! It took 9 years from Gramm’s passage to the 2008 Depression and its watershed the ‘Gig Economy’ : the institutionalization of Randian hack Alan Greenspan’s ideal of ‘worker insecurity’ !
The Clintons and their coterie will insure that Trump is re-elected, because, again, they will engage in a campaign of defamation of Sen. Sanders and his actual Reform Agenda.
To defeat the Neo-Liberals will take a transgenerational commitment to actual Reform: The New Deal, in its present incarnation, the Green New Deal is not an inevitability. Too late for anything but plain speaking. Long ago The Republic was swallowed whole by the imperatives of the National Security State: but perhaps we can, at the least, reclaim our allegiance to that plain speaking, as one of the most important tools of actual reform?

Best regards,



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Midwife of Trump, Andy Divine, takes the political measure of the political creature he helped to birth! Political Observer comments

When this essay first appeared it’s headline offered Trump as a political Svengali, an evil creature of his own making. But the editors of this magazine have toned down the political hysterics, in the interest of political verisimilitude?
‘The Apprentice’ starring Trump lasted fourteen seasons. A concept by Television Garbage Man, Mark Burnett. This ‘Reality Television’ established in the public mind Trump as a decisive leader,via his tag-line ‘You’re Fired’ . Trump was sold like toilet paper and hemorrhoid creme, that is the function of Television.

The rest of Andy’s  essay is devoted to the jejune political/historical  speculations, of a self-infatuated scribbler, whose ‘credibility , for those with a long enough political memory, is  expressed only in the negative! The last two paragraphs are indicative of the return of that Svengali, once subject to the erasure of editors, looking to secure their respectable bourgeois political respectability! Nor can Andy resist the mention of another Svengali Putin! Hysterical Melodrama is Andy’s specialty, its as if Aaron Spelling , that other Television Garbage Man, who relied on scripts, were still here among the living! The beauty is that Andy writes his own scripts!

He will do anything, we have to understand, to protect his psychic attachment to his own self-interest. Anything. I’ll repeat what I believe: He will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020. He’ll fight — and rally his supporters to fight with him. He’s not Nixon. He’s Erdoğan. When, since becoming president, has Trump conceded anything?

A tyrant’s path to power is not a straight line, it’s dynamic. Each concession is instantly banked, past vices are turned into virtues, and then the ante is upped once again. The threat rises exponentially with time. If we can’t see this in front of our own eyes, and impeach this man now, even if he will not be convicted, we are flirting with the very stability of our political system. It is not impregnable. Why is Putin the only person who seems to grasp this?

Political Observer





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The Posh Boys & Girls @TheEconomist ‘discovers’ ‘Donald Trump’s presidency has moved America left’. Old Socialist comments

The Posh Boys & Girls @TheEconomist have not forgotten about ‘The Right Nation’ by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. Here is the first excerpt posted at The National Review:

But, for whatever reason, the editors of National Review  have decided that the other excerpts are no longer worthy of being read.
The collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, made this pseudo apologetic for Free Market dogmas offered by Bush The Younger. And his confederates, until Henry Paulson’s exercise in Keynesian interventionism, in the face of a economic crisis, not seen since 1929. All carefully managed by a Congress populated by Free Market dogmatists.

Followed by Obama’s etiolated version of the same, with Larry Summers as his initial political operative, were the first and second act of an American Political Melodrama, that produced the Carnival Barker Trump, that has made the careers on the dreaded ‘Left’, in the political imaginations of the bumptious Economist hirelings/fellow travelers:

Headline: Donald Trump’s presidency has moved America left

Sub-headline: The Right Nation was last this enthusiastic about left-wing policies in 1961

‘The Right Nation’ becomes an integral part of the latest Anti-Left hysteria of  the Posh Menage :

Public opinion is contradictory: many more Americans describe themselves as conservative than as liberal; yet Americans prefer left-leaning policies to right-leaning ones, even when these are accompanied by the promise of higher taxes.

It pains this conservative collective to even entertain the idea/fact/notion that the Neo-Liberal Collapse and its ‘Gig Economy’ has inaugurated a Leftward political migration,  in an argued ‘Conservative Electorate’ ! What is offered is almost comically mechanistic:

The American public’s preferences on policy have long shown an allergy to whatever the occupant of the White House is trying to do. In this respect public opinion is like a thermostat: when policy gets too hot, Americans turn the temperature down. When the government drifts too far right, Americans want to move back to the left, as happened in the 2018 mid-term elections.

In terms of temperature, to follow the lead of these writers, the Free Market Mythology is not just stone cold dead, but utterly bankrupt: while the policies of Sanders, Omar,Ocasio-Cortez, Gabbard, Tlaib and The Green New Deal are the alternatives to Republican political irrationalism. Led by Trump and his minion, ‘Mule Piss’ Mitch McConnell. Not to mention the utterly sclerotic New Democrats under the tutelage of the rapacious, nihilistic  Clinton coterie. 

Old Socialist


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Old Socialist comments on the Financial Times as apologists for Uber and Lyft!

The ‘Gig Economy’ is the child of the Neo-Liberal collapse of 2008, rooted in the greed of unscrupulous ‘Entrepreneurs’: who thought they could, at will, subvert laws governing the carriage of passengers for money,with the dull-witted notion of ‘ride-hailing service’, as somehow different than a Taxi Service ! The very notion of law, as the exercise of pro bono publico, is antithetical to the Neo-Liberal dogmatists, and their allies, the a fore mentioned ‘Entrepreneurs’.
A close friend of mine had a daughter who was identified as an ‘independent contractor’ by her Temp Agency , yet when it came to the IRS they ruled that she was an employee.
This whole issue is about money, and the ability of ‘Entrepreneurs’ to exploit the desperation of workers, to earn some kind of living, in the watershed of 2008! And The Financial Times ‘coverage’ of the issue is, as always, with the Plutocrats, identified by the shopworn Neo-Liberal Hero the rapacious Entrepreneur ! Some selective quotation from this ‘news story’ is revelatory:

Classifying workers as contractors has kept labour costs down for Uber and Lyft, but the practice has drawn legal claims from workers who want better terms and invited scrutiny from regulators around the world. Both companies listed a change in driver classification as risks in their registration documents ahead of their recent initial public offerings.
“It’s also no secret that a change to the employment classification of ride-share drivers would pose a risk to our businesses,” the companies wrote in Wednesday’s opinion piece.

“Any widescale reclassification of drivers to employees would be a material negative for ride-hailing and further put into question the long term profitability of the industry,” they wrote in a note to clients this week.

Daniel Ives, equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, said he had been fielding questions from investors about the risks of the proposed California law.

“The biggest risk to the Uber story is the contractor to employee issue . . . It’s gone from background noise to a real issue which is why they need to step up publicly” with the joint proposal, he said. “California is a precedent setter and other states may follow. It could have a ripple effect.”

The challenge to the Gig Economy, and its panicking practitioners ,based on the mythical model of independent contractors, will come from a revitalized Union Movement: that will spend a generation organizing  for these workers, or they will become utterly irrelevant.

Old Socialist

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