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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Bret Stephens as hectoring Public Moralist, episode DCCVII. Philosophical Apprentice comments

That Mr. Stephens thinks that his opinion matters on the vexing question of a Nobel Prize being awarded to Handke: he ignores the fact that the two most famous/infamous philosophers of the 20th Century, Sartre, a Nobel Prize winner, & Heidegger ( The Black Notebooks, a record of his idée fixe of the Jewish World Conspiracy) are still read, studied, and written about.
Mr. Stephens is an American provincial, but also a committed ideologue, that is, he is the natural inheritor of an etiolated Straussian philosophical mendacity. Strauss re-wrote the philosophical tradition, not as an act of explication, but an act of ideological vandalism! Mr. Stephens is another member of the New York Times’ staff of ersatz public moralists, whose hectoring signals what is acceptable, as defined by the measure of the only thing that matters, the cultivation of  bourgeois political respectability.

Philosophical Apprentice





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My reply @WendellMurray

@WendellMurray @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment. I tried to read that Wolfe doorstop ‘A Man in Full’ which a friend gave to me, she hadn’t sent in her Book-of-the-Month Club notice in time: how long ago was that? Its style, such as it was, reminiscent of Cosmo Magazine under the able editorship of Helen Gurley Brown.

On Bellow:  I read ‘Herzog’, in a paperback, I bought at the corner liquor store along with Mailer’s ‘An American Dream’ in 1965  or  ’66.  ‘Herzog’ was written partly in French, a nod to the literary cognoscenti , as indicative of ‘American sophistication’?,  which is how he communicated with his girlfriend Ramona, and his compulsively tedious letter writing to persons historical and contemporary.

I found at that time the fiction of J.D. Salinger and John Knowles less concerned with the plight of a grumpy old man,  surveying his losses, allied to his general dull-witted relations with his fellow humans, that failed to strike a cord ! Even entering my 75th year I don’t feel anything like the remembered  bitching of Herzog. Kant’s imperative of ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’ is the very engine of hope!

Bellow wrote an even more boring and pretentious novel, his last, ‘Ravelstein’, an homage to the hysterical self-appointed Platonist and Straussian Allen Bloom. ‘The Closing of the American Mind’ for which Bellow wrote an enthusiastic introduction, as I mentioned in my post – its titled purloined/ adapted by two of the current crop of Anti-Student hysterics, New Democrat propagandist,  Professor of Ethical Leadership specializing in ‘the psychology of morality’ Jonathan Haidt and CEO Greg Lukianoff. The toxic alliance between the Neo-Liberals and the Neo-Conservatives is a threat to the future of human life and the planet Earth.

While I might have read Wolfe,  I was  busy reading Children of the ArbatFear and Dust and Ashes by Anatoly Rybakov. And ‘Life and Fate’ by Vasily Grossman or Balzac and Victor Hugo etc., etc.



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@JananGanesh on Harold Bloom. American Writer comments

Headline:Harold Bloom’s lessons for left and right

Sub-headline: The late American scholar reminds us that not all opinions are equal

Is it Mr. Ganesh’s argument that there is a commonality between Harold Bloom , Allen Bloom and Saul Bellow other that their Jewishness? That being the rescue of  the Western Canon as their common project?  Allen Bloom’s hysterical anti-student manifesto , The Closing of the American Mind,  published in 1987, whose star players were narcissistic, not to speak of rock and roll addled students, for which Bellow wrote its introduction. And subsequently wrote his final novel, a roman a clef  of Allen Bloom’s  life  ‘Ravelstein‘. For the reader who might be interested Robert L. Stone collected a series of answers to Allen Bloom’s book titled Essays on the Closing of the American Mind in 1989. I have ‘Closing’ and ‘Essays’ on my desk, the breakfast table.

It was a child of migrants from the Pale of Settlement who stuck up for the western canon. It was another descendant of foreigners, Allan Bloom, no relation, who made a similar case with The Closing of the American Mind seven years earlier. Saul Bellow, a Russo-Canadian, could never cram enough canonical references into his novels, either.

Just where might the regular reader put Mr. Ganesh’s enthusiasm for the late Tom Wolfe’s scribblings ? Even though his last, ‘The Kingdom Of Speech’, is his ideologically fueled attack on Chomsky and Darwin. See Jerry A. Coyne’s review of ‘Kingdom’:

Headline: His white suit unsullied by research, Tom Wolfe tries to take down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky

If  the reader of American writing can name Hemingway as a ‘Field and Stream’ writer, might that reader name Wolfe to be an example of the now dead ‘New Journalism‘, and his doorstop novels as its literary twin?

American Writer



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment post debate commentary of October 16,2019. Old Socialist comments

Headline: The surprising rebound of Bernie Sanders

Sub-headline: The senator could harm Elizabeth Warren’s chances of grabbing the Democratic nomination

More of the same horse-race coverage of the debate from Mr. Luce, except for some back handed and maladroitly handled comments aimed at Anti-Capitalist Sanders:

The Washington Post revealed that Mr Sanders had also picked up the endorsement of the Democratic party’s youngest star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If the 30-year-old Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s contrasting youth does not inject energy into the senator from Vermont’s campaign, the grassroots popularity of the congresswoman from New York will surely help.

There doesn’t seem to be a paucity of ‘energy’ in Sanders campaign , except for  his period of recuperation from his heart attack, Mr. Luce won’t let go of this, as the next paragraph demonstrates. Luce ought to know that Eisenhower had a massive heart attack in 1955, and went on to win the 1956 election. Some of us were alive in those years, and recall it with no prompting!  The Anti-Capitalist candidate needs to be stopped, and the operatives of the Corporate Press, Mr. Luce being one, are here to perform that  task!

The left field is less crowded. But the dynamics are similar. It is very hard to imagine that Mr Sanders could become the Democratic nominee. The odds are stacked against elderly socialist heart patients. But he is strong enough to make life difficult for Ms Warren. Having come close to depriving Hillary Clinton of the nomination in 2016, and wounding her in the process, Mr Sanders is threatening to make Ms Warren’s journey just as hard.

The real high point of the evening was Tulsi Gabbard calling out both CNN and The New York Times:

Headline: Tulsi Gabbard Calls Out CNN And New York Times At Debate Hosted By CNN And New York Times       

During the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday night, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii attacked both CNN and the New York Times, calling them “completely despicable” for how they have covered her and other veterans.

Gabbard was initially discussing foreign policy and how the mainstream media praised the dictatorship of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey. She then pivoted, calling out mainstream media outlets that often attack her for holding isolationist views.

New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war. Just two days ago the New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.

Mr. Luce knows the Party Line by heart, as he is one of its many authors, and ex-temporizers on its themes. Warren is the anointed candidate, who has professed her Capitalist Faith and has paid her obedience to the Zionist State. And above all to the Clinton Coterie which holds the levers of power in the party. The first Super Tuesday will be March 3, 2020.

Old Socialist





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Niall Ferguson and The Financial Times discover the ‘political virtues’ of Elizabeth Warren, with the help of Preemptive Stalinist Erasure. Old Socialist comments

Niall Ferguson’s column, of October 13, 2019, offered some rather cynical, not to speak of self-congratulatory speculations on the Warren candidacy, at the good grey Times:

Headline: Elizabeth Warren: the worse, the better for Donald Trump’s female foe

Sub-headline: The Massachusetts senator could win in 2020 if she surges and the economy stutters

Lauren Fedor of The Financial Times and Mr. Ferguson rely on the RealClearPoltics polling data. But predictably for Corporate Media, Sanders is simply mentioned in Fedor’s essay as raising $25.3m to Warrens $24.6m: yet Warren is considered ‘the front runner’ via polling data. Ferguson however ignores the money raised by Sanders, as he hits full rhetorical gallop, from his aerie at the Hoover Institution.

Note too that  ‘Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who was press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign’ and ‘Stephanie Cutter, a Democratic strategist who served as deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2012’ are integral parts of  The Democratic Party i.e. New Democratic loyalist, as is ‘Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist’ . 

After Warren’s profession of faith in Capitalist Theology, and Sanders denial of any such faith , the Corporate Media  has now anointed a candidate that the Party can rally around, long before the first primary. That offers more of the same Neo-Liberalism, in the drag of ‘Progressivism’! Again, Sanders is rendered insignificant, by a media that simply ignores him, not just hoping he will go away, but by rendering him invisible. Or just call it Preemptive Stalinist Erasure?

Old Socialist



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‘Liberal’ Gideon Rachman advocates Europe as a ‘power project … shaped by might, rather than law’. Old Socialist comments

Headline: The EU needs to be a power project

Sub-headline: The emerging world order will increasingly be The emerging world order will increasingly be shaped by might, rather than law

The advocate/apologist for The Post-War Liberal Order, Mr. Rachman, and its rhetorical cognates, shares, not only with Guy Verhofstadt, but with incoming foreign affairs chief  of the EU Josep Borrell, as reported by Yahoo News, via The Telegraph newspaper, but signals a bellicosity, usually reserved for the context of the nation state, now writ large for the setting of the European Super State.

Headline: Incoming EU foreign affairs chief declares Brussels needs more troops and must be ready to intervene

In a bellicosity, that reflects/refracts a belief in the usable myth of  Russian revanchism, forgetting the promises made to Gorbachev:  that finds the reader, with a verifiable historical memory within the  power project advocated by Mr. Rachman, that is familiar political territory: the signatories to the Statement of Principals of the American Project for a New American Century of 1997. Look at the signatories who were the architects of ‘The War on Terror’!

Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld , Paul Wolfowitz—statement%20of%20principles.pdf

The appetite for war is a danger, that now threatens the coal and steel cartel of Monnet, that metastasized into a Super State.  Whose members rarely meet the standards set by its own Eurocrats. Add a standing army to the list of burdens that this state faces, that is if NATO will willingly surrender its claim as the protector of Europe? The American Conservatives will, perhaps, find this ‘defense independence’ an agreeable evolution?  The ‘Liberals’ , the New Democrats and their  R2P fellow travelers, will find the loss of their European purchase, vexing, if not a betrayal of their raison d’etre?

Old Socialist



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The Choice: episode CVII, Andy Divine or Niall Ferguson? Political Cynic comments

Instead of reading full time political hysteric Andy Divine on the Trump Impeachment, under this headline and sub-headline:

The first paragraph defines to political territory of Andy’s comment:

Remember that sultry July day during the 2016 campaign when Donald Trump went in front of the television cameras and asked the Russian government to intervene in the looming presidential election on his behalf? “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails [by Hillary Clinton] that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” We now know, thanks to the Mueller report, that Moscow responded by hacking Hillary Clinton’s server that very day. We also know that the Mueller report itself concluded, after exhaustive examination, that there was no prosecutable evidence of a “conspiracy” between Trump and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. Yet we saw one in broad daylight.


Read the far more literate ,while still being well within the Conservative coterie, Niall Ferguson, at the good grey Sunday Times, on another pressing topic the Rise of China. Note that China became the sweatshop of choice of Western computer and cellphone manufacturers. In sum, Capitalists underwrote the rise of the Chinese, that is now the enemy of the Western Liberal Tradition!

What defines Mr. Ferguson as the readable, even more ‘clubbable’ in the parlance favored by Isaiah Berlin, and his yearning to be a literary critic, or at the least to frame his propaganda in more highfalutin terms, that the rhetorically flatfooted Andy. In which he employs- Mr. Ferguson speaks for himself:

But maybe a more interesting answer can be found in Liu Cixin’s astonishing 2008 sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem, which I read for the first time last week. The “problem” of the title is introduced to the reader — and to the nanotechnology scientist Wang Miao, one of the central characters — as a virtual reality game set in a strange, distant world with three suns rather than the familiar one. The mutually perturbing gravitational attractions of the three suns prevent this planet from settling into a predictable orbit with regular days, nights and seasons. It has occasional “stable eras”, during which civilisation can advance, but with minimal warning these give way to “chaotic eras” of intense heat or cold that render the planet uninhabitable.

Working backward look to Mr. Ferguson’s September 22, 2019 essay that was framed by both Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s ‘We’ as the singular distopian novel.

His essay of September 8 2019 featured :

Friedrich Schiller, Robert Burns, James Hogg among others

From September 1, 2019 he quotes from ‘Beyond the Fringe’

The challenge of millenarianism — as Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore pointed out in my favourite sketch from Beyond the Fringe — is what to do when the end of the world fails to happen.

In his August 25 2019 essay he quotes from ‘Rebel without a Cause’

‘Hey, Toreador! . . . We head for the edge, and the first man who jumps is a chicken. All right?” In Rebel without a Cause, Jim (James Dean) and Buzz (Corey Allen) play the most famous game of chicken in Hollywood history, driving their jalopies at full speed towards a Californian cliff. At the last minute, Jim jumps. Buzz, his sleeve caught on the door handle, plunges to his death.

His essay of August 11 2019, ‘Seven Days in May’, both the book of Charles W Bailey and Fletcher Knebel, first published in 1962, and Movie of 1964.

At the least, Ferguson offers a more sophisticated frame for Conservative propagandizing, in distinction to Andy Divine’s – what to call it ? but his usual hysterical screech about a politician that he helped to birth, Trump. Respectable bourgeois capitalism, and its politicians, have enabled both Trump’s populism and its European variants,and  the rise of the dynamic economic engine of China.

Political Cynic











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