What if an American Scientist was murdered inside America? What would be the punishment for the responsible party, who hired thugs to do their dirty work? StephenKMackSD
In reply to Koln
Do better!!! I’m in America not in Tehran, and I have voiced my opinion, just like you have! Iran threw off the yoke of Imperial Oppressors. A coup conducted by BP and Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA removed the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, and put the Shah, and his secret police in power: this was the incubator of the mullah’s that you now inveigh against. The Iranians come by Anti-Americanism and Anti-Britainism via the route of the machinations of the American National Security State and British Petroleum to deny the sovereignty of a state because Mossadegh said he would Nationalize Iranian Oil. ‘The West’ is the object of Iranian rage for very good reasons as I have mentioned. The final question in my post still stands unanswered. Because the answer is clear!
Thank you for your comment. Regards, StephenKMackSD
Headline: Meet the Proud Boys — Trump’s unofficial militia spoiling for a fight
Sub-headline: Sporting Fred Perry shirts and heavily armed, the American far-right group the president refused to condemn is on patrol at his rallies
‘ I initially thought McInnes’s list of Proud Boy “degrees” of membership must be another one of his jokes. Initiates must swear allegiance to the fraternity, get beaten up until they can recite the name of five cereal brands, adhere to a “no wanks” pledge (so young men stop watching porn and meet actual women, Aaron explained) and get a Proud Boy tattoo. It made them sound like a bunch of incels (involuntary celibates). Could this be for real, I asked Aaron, who, like Mike, is 33 and single. Yes, the rules were rules. He took my question about the ban on masturbation well — “It does wonders for your determination, energy levels and productivity” — but denied they were incels. “That’s just a cheap lowball insult,” he said. Nor were they misogynists, he insisted. “We do venerate housewives, though we respect women who work. We want to put women back on their pedestal. They have a cherished role in western civilisation.” In fact, he was off to see his girlfriend in Seattle this weekend, a black foreign exchange student from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I’m not a racist, 100%,” he added. Aaron went on to remind me that there was a further “degree” for members — “getting into a physical altercation with Antifa”. He fulfilled that pledge in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in August when there was a violent clash with the far left. He sent me a video link. “It was wild,” he said. As he slugged it out with Antifa, he got hit in the face with a street sign. If there is election chaos after November 3, as Trump has predicted, Aaron will be back on the streets with his Ruger AR-566 — all in the name of “self-defence”. If they are going to play at being Trump’s vigilantes, it will be a terrible joke on the American electorate.
Sexual Puritanism & Violent Reactionary Politics, if the Freudians still enjoyed cultural/psychological currency they would … If only Eric Ericson and his clique! Add to the ‘Proud Boys’ the ‘Bugaloo Boys’ and ‘The Oath Keepers‘ that represent an American political nihilism, that dwarfs ‘Antifa’ and ‘BLM’ that leads inexorably to the question: will America’s Second Civil War begin on November 4, 2020?
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.
If ‘Social Science’ is ‘sovereign’ then ‘The Bell Curve’ partakes of that sovereignty? When one of its underpinnings is ‘Mankind Quarterly’?
The Tainted Sources of ‘The Bell Curve’
What sort of “stuff” could Murray mean? Surely the most curious of the sources he and Herrnstein consulted is Mankind Quarterly—a journal of anthropology founded in Edinburgh in 1960. Five articles from the journal are actually cited in The Bell Curve’s bibliography (pp. 775, 807, and 828). But the influence on the book of scholars linked to Mankind Quarterly is more significant. No fewer than seventeen researchers cited in the bibliography of The Bell Curve have contributed to Mankind Quarterly. Ten are present or former editors, or members of its editorial advisory board. This is interesting because Mankind Quarterly is a notorious journal of “racial history” founded, and funded, by men who believe in the genetic superiority of the white race. Mankind Quarterly was established during decolonization and the US civil rights movement. Defenders of the old order were eager to brush a patina of science on their efforts. Thus Mankind Quarterly’s avowed purpose was to counter the “Communist” and “egalitarian” influences that were allegedly causing anthropology to neglect the fact of racial differences. “The crimes of the Nazis,” wrote Robert Gayre, Mankind Quarterly’s founder and editor-in-chief until 1978, “did not, however, justify the enthronement of a doctrine of a-racialism as fact, nor of egalitarianism as ethnically and ethically demonstrable.” Gayre was a champion of apartheid in South Africa, and belonged to the ultra-right Candour League of white-ruled Rhodesia. In 1968, he testified for the defense at the hate speech trial of five members of the British Racial Preservation Society, offering his expert opinion that blacks are “worthless.” The founders of Mankind Quarterly also included Henry E. Garrett of Columbia University, a one-time pamphleteer for the White Citizens’ Councils who provided expert testimony for the defense in Brown v. Board of Education; and Corrado Gini, leader of fascist Italy’s eugenics movement and author of a 1927 Mussolini apologia called “The Scientific Basis of Fascism.”
As Peterson expatiates about the dangers posed by the tribe and tribalism of the ‘Left’, as a failure attributed to a dogmatism , a tribalist Mr. Shapiro, nods in excited approval! What is the difference between the ‘tribalism’ of the ‘Left’, and Mr. Shapiro’s belief in his own tribalism? Each are attachments to a closely held ‘belief’, not to statistically testable data. Nor Peterson’s fixation about women being the bearers of ‘chaos’.
Reading Mr. Colvile’s most recent essay, on the G7, conjured, in my political imagination, Mr. Puff from the Sheridan play, comic silliness, as cover for a self-serving manipulative cynicism. The reader might wonder at an utterly humorless Thatcherite resorting to ‘satire’ as his weapon of choice. Read the first two paragraphs of his essay and wonder at his targets: ‘G7’, ‘those strange things that exists because it exists’, ‘the leaders of a slightly miscellaneous group of countries’, ‘not quite the richest or the largest or the most democratic, but pretty close on all three counts’, and in the second paragraph ‘the royal family’, ‘Labour Party’
The G7 is one of those strange things that exists because it exists. Every year, pandemics permitting, the leaders of a slightly miscellaneous group of countries — not quite the richest or the largest or the most democratic, but pretty close on all three counts — get together to solve the world’s problems. Their wives (and nowadays even some husbands) get a separate little outing, the modern equivalent of leaving the menfolk to chew the fat over port and cigars. There is plenty of awkward small talk and a profusion of awkward photo ops. If the press is lucky, there may be a fight.
All of which makes Britain a perfect host for this year’s summit. We lead the world in things that exist because they exist — institutions that you’d never invent today but that stick around because they’re already here. Like the royal family. And the Labour Party. And, you might say, our status as a global power.
In the following paragraph Mr. Colvile attributes this collection of toxic thoughts to ‘the two lines of attack made by the Brexit sceptics.’ Are they the villians in his collection of surmises? With the bit between his teeth, he is at full gallop! In an instant my Mr. Puff becomes Don Quixote, or should it be The Grand Inquisitor? Have I reached to point of rhetorical fracture? Our writer reaches deep for the ‘actors’ in his melodrama, a collection, at random, of Mr. Colvie’s telling one-liners.
“global Britain” as a blustering exercise in imperialist nostalgia, the diplomatic equivalent of the middle-aged man who buys a sports car after splitting up with his wife but loses the house.
In the old days you might hang out with the same friends every day, a rigidly defined group that dressed the same, talked the same and listened to the same bands
Britain can stand with Nato on security and with the “D10” (the G7 plus Australia, India and South Korea) on containing China.
the freewheeling Boris Johnson. His vision of Brexit is not about bringing it all back home.
On the economy as well as diplomacy, the Brexit gamble is that we can position ourselves to take maximum advantage of future opportunities; that we are better off dining à la carte than from the set menu.
As The Economist recently pointed out, of the 43 firms worth more than $100 billion established in the past half-century, only one is from mainland Europe.
The great challenge of Brexit Britain to the EU is therefore not so much financial as philosophical — or even theological.
What if it is better to be a solo act in small stadiums than part of the chorus — especially when no one can agree on what they’re meant to be singing?
Headline: The US needs a little nudge theory to boost its jab campaign
Sub-headline: Biden’s administration wants not medical, management or data science, but social science instead
Cass Sunstein, a leading behavioural scientist who helped to popularise the concept of the “nudge”, a policy technique that steers people towards certain actions, has written that Biden’s plan to embrace evidence-based policymaking incorporates “an explicit endorsement of behavioural science — and it calls for much more of it”. Sunstein himself has been hired by the Department of Homeland Security.
Sunstein is part of a faculty that are listed as lawyers, not behavioral scientist! I checked, all were lawyers, except for the designation of ‘Clinical Professor of Law’? 138 faculty of this Program, not one behavioral scientist! Ms. Tett is usually a more careful reporter! All this to comment upon ‘to boost its jab campaign’ !
Here are Mr. Sunstein areas of academic responsibilities at Harvard , he is now on leave:
Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities. In 2020, the World Health Organization appointed him as Chair of its technical advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President’s Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy. He serves as an adviser to the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom.
‘It’s All for Your Own Good’ by Jeremy Waldron of October 9, 2014 issue:
Mr. Waldron reviews two books:
Why Nudge? The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism by Cass R. Sunstein & Richard Thaler
Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas by Cass R. Sunstein
These two paragraphs, of the review, help the reader to understand the Sunstein/Thaler Soft-Core Authoritarianism:
Nudging is about the self-conscious design of choice architecture. Put a certain choice architecture together with a certain heuristic and you will get a certain outcome. That’s the basic equation. So, if you want a person to reach a desirable outcome and you can’t change the heuristic she’s following, then you have to meddle with the choice architecture, setting up one that when matched with the given heuristic delivers the desirable outcome. That’s what we do when we nudge.
All of this sounds like a marketer’s dream, and I will say something about its abusive possibilities later. But Sunstein and Thaler have in mind that governments might do this in a way that promotes the interests of their citizens. Governments might also encourage businesses and employers to use it in the interests of their customers and employees. The result would be a sort of soft paternalism: paternalism without the constraint; a nudge rather than a shove; doing for people what they would do for themselves if they had more time or greater ability to pick out the better choice.
In reply to critical mass
Let me say that Ms. Tett’s ‘A debt to history?’ is one of the most important examples of journalism to appear in this newspaper! Read it again. I used it many times during the Greek Crisis to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the Germans. https://www.ft.com/content/927efd1e-9c32-11e4-b9f8-00144feabdc0 Regards. StephenKMackSD
In reply to everyday paper
I read Mr. Harford’s essay and found it awash in the manufactured Russophobia allied to Putin hysterical paranoia. The ‘as if’ is that the American National Security State hasn’t been busy, since the First Cold War, with ‘Radio Free Europe’ and ‘Radio Liberty‘ , NATO and the ubiquitous, and a unceasing war against any manifestation of ‘The Left’, or even ‘Moderate Reform’. An example, the Iranian Coup of 1953! And its ‘blowback’ in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
Sunstein & Thaler are Soft-Core Authoritarians! ‘We’ need to be Managed by benevolent Masters? Kant offered, in the 18th Century, his self-emancipation from tutelage. Yet the ‘experts’, favored by Walter Lippmann, now morphed into Think Tank Technocrats, in there propaganda guise, pioneered by Edward Bernays: offer not a faith in the American Experiment, and its expressions of faith in the good will, of committed civic actors, who view each other as equal partners in the flourishing of ‘our’ shared endeavor!
Some selective quotation from Mr. Rachman’s essay, with my comments. This paragraph makes clear that The New Cold War is the business of America. Lets include in The Enemies List Iran, North Korea, not forgetting Political Islam in all its iterations/permutations. Nor the burgeoning Left Wing governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba etc. The Global South is the perpetual enemy of ‘Uncle Sam’ ! Recall ‘Pentagonism: A Substitute for Imperialism’ by Juan Bosch of 1969?
For Joe Biden, on his first trip overseas as US president, it is an opportunity to demonstrate that America is back. Biden has made it clear that he intends to rally the world’s democracies in pushing back against Russia and China.
The political sloganeering of ‘America is back’ is about that ‘New Cold War’. The ‘Biden Team’: Harris ,Blinken, Nuland, Rice, and Power represent the return of the Neo-Cons and R2P Zealot Power.
The ‘rallying cry’ of the Biden Foreign Policy is reiterated as ‘pushing back against Russia and China’. That New Cold War takes shape as a defensive maneuver against Global Bad Actors.
For Joe Biden, on his first trip overseas as US president, it is an opportunity to demonstrate that America is back. Biden has made it clear that he intends to rally the world’s democracies in pushing back against Russia and China.
This reader has to wonder were Mr. Rachman has been, concerning the vexing question of America’s ‘inexorable decline’. Two American, and one British writer on the decadence question!
December 8, 2013 :
Headline: The Decay of American Political Institutions
Sub-headline: We have a problem, but we can’t see it clearly because our focus too often discounts history.
The G7 summit will also send an indirect message to China. The propaganda line pumped out from Beijing is that the west is in inexorable decline.
The success of the G20 in organising international action to avert a global depression seemed to confirm that the G7’s moment had passed.
It is the Biden administration’s renewed determination to push back against Moscow and Beijing that has provided the G7 with a renewed reason to exist.
File this under the rubric of ‘understatement’ :
But the fact that the G7 no longer represents most of the global economy — and is skewed towards the Euro-Atlantic region — remains a problem.
On the question Chatham House, these two paragraphs begins answering vital questions, unexplored by Mr. Rachman’s reference this Think Tank, and its historical/political ideologies.
It never really achieved its stated goals, remaining wedded to imperial-internationalism, elitist in character in ‘educating’ newly-awakened ‘public opinion’, and supportive of a racialised world view wedded to Anglo-Saxonism. At the core of the Chatham House project lay the aim of an alliance with the United States as Britain’s imperial power declined. Such attitudes were on full display at the Paris Peace Conferences in 1919-20, where Chatham House was conceived as the British branch of an Anglo-American institute of international affairs.
Saturated with a haughty attitude to inferior colonials considered incapable of self-government, Chatham House elites looked down on an increasingly assertive organised working class, galvanised by the experience of bloody trench warfare, and inspired by the dramatic effects of the Russian revolution, and Lenin’s calls for workers to get out of the war and overthrow ‘their’ governments.
As Renata Dwan of Chatham House, a UK think-tank, points out, in the 1970s the G7 nations accounted for some 80 per cent of world gross domestic product. That is now down to about 40 per cent.
The G7 are political actors who now seek , from within their decline, to build bridges to Asia:
To compensate, the group have invited four guests to the summit: Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea. The fact that three of these guests are Asian countries underlines the group’s role in pushing back against Beijing.
The ‘West’s Last Chance to Lead‘ is steeped in the shared arrogance, of American and European Technocrats: who still think its 1843, to borrow the date, when The Economist began its life as the voice of a ‘Liberalism’, based on racial superiority, and the notions of social class as the predictor of moral/political worth.
How long do ‘we’ console ‘ourselves’ with some portion of the toxic Kennedy Myth? His opposition to Vietnam War was always one critical comment, followed by an ignominious retreat, in the guise of ‘clarification’! Mort Sahl had a great routine, using his blackboard, describing Bobby’s mercurial Politics: from Right-Wing Social Democrat to a Left-Wing version, to the Right-Wing version, or just his ‘hover’ over the whole, that disguised his political opportunism. Or should it be characterized as an ambition, unrelated to an actual ability to govern, if such exists? In ’68 Wallace got 9 million votes, some of these voters were former Bobby supporters : does that astound? I say this with all due respect, to what you have stood for over the years!
The reader just has to read this first sentence of Luce’s latest Biden apologetic, as not just comic, but resembling a Jerry Lewis comedy, post Dean, tinctured in The Marx Bros. ? Another choice might be a Corporate Political Melodrama, that rehabilitates the black and white screen of 1952, featuring a carefully edited version of ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’?
Conflict was always destined between Joe Biden the healer and Joe Biden the agent of change.
Unsurprisingly , the reader notes that Luce continues to trade in clichés, the next sentences:
Conflict was always destined between Joe Biden the healer and Joe Biden the agent of change.
To govern is to choose.
In the coming days, Biden will have to decide which of his two personas matters more.
It is a measure of the tension between the two Bidens that we still cannot be sure which way he will turn.
The sense of emotional release after Donald Trump left office produced many overwrought — and premature — verdicts on the nature of Biden’s presidency.
To break the monotony, Luce then appeals to authorities: Francis Fukuyama being one of a number. Note that Fukuyama is an acolyte of Leo Strauss, author of a mendacious re-write of vast portions of Western Philosophy. Fukuyama wrote a tract declaiming:
The Decay of American Political Institutions
We have a problem, but we can’t see it clearly because our focus too often discounts history.
In his essay Fukuyama attacks the whole of the meliorist politics of the American 20th Century. What possible interest can Fukuyama have, in or about, American Democracy? The possibility of being considered an historian of the caliber of Henry Adams ?
After some some current Political History Made to Measure, Luce returns to the more serviceable cliché:
Biden’s second barrier is himself. Great presidents of both parties — from Roosevelt to Reagan — personify the country’s change of era.
Half of Biden is stuck in romantic attachment to a bipartisan era that no longer exists.
There are no deals to be struck on preserving US democracy.
For things to remain the same — Biden’s dearest wish — everything must change.
Title this: Larry Summers finds an ally in Wolfgang Schäuble?
A promising approach for Brussels to take would be a eurozone debt redemption pact, similar to the sinking funds devised by Robert Walpole and Alexander Hamilton. As the first Treasury secretary, Hamilton obliged the new US states in 1792 to deposit good collateral, practise budgetary discipline and reduce their debts. That was the crux of the oft-cited “Hamilton moment”, not the mutualisation of debts sometimes recommended for the EU.
The debt redemption plan worked and could work again today. It provides a mixed strategy of “carrots and sticks” like that pursued by the IMF — another legacy of Keynes. I am confident that Europe will be wise enough to also follow the British economist in this aspect of his doctrine.
Robert Walpole , Alexander Hamilton and just a ‘soupçon of Keynes’. Who could cavil at such a stellar casting for Mr. Schäuble’s political/economic melodrama. This reader is reminded of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s ‘The Critic: or, a Tragedy Rehearsed is a satire’.
The apologetics for the ‘Free Market’, that inconveniently Crashed in 2008 from Greed exercised exponentially: should that be placed under the rubric of ‘doing no wrong’. Or does my comment fall under ‘public vitriol’ ? What is interesting about the Cult of Smith is that his intention with his ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’ and ‘Wealth’ was to construct a ‘Science of Man’ with the aid of Hume. And that Marx, no matter his ‘failed project’ , not to speak of his writing for Capitalist Newspapers that employed him, all this a mere sketch. That eventuated in Keynes and his project to save Capitalism, while he played ‘The Market’ from his bed. And published The Economic Consequences of the Peace. The utter complexity of Economics, from its Political Economy to the Science, held afloat by data and models, that simply acts as reinforcement of that Political Economy. And its particular metaphysical constructs like ‘The Free Market’ which has proven to be based on acts of faith of Hayek/Mises/Friedman and its College of Cardinals, The Mont Pelerin Society.
Like most Americans of certain generations ‘we’ received our inoculations in Public Schools. In a time when Public Health was a prime consideration. That in a time that sees ‘our’ infant mortality rate, that now ranks 33 out of 36 countries.
According to this year’s America’s Health Ranking AnnualReport, the U.S. infant mortality rate is 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live infant births, while the average rate of infant mortality among the OECD countries is 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Compared with other OECD countries, the U.S. ranks No. 33 out of 36 countries
The direct result of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, that places Profit and the worship of the Market above the imperative of Public Health! ‘Governability’ is the straw, that this commentator reaches for, out of desperation, to make a connection between politics and the actual trust that American’s place in their Public Institutions.
Not everyone is a Rand Paul nor Janan Ganesh! His essays, of late, seem more out of touch with the Political Present. Regrettably, even his epigrams are absent, that were the rhetorical gems, that the reader could once depend upon to break the monotony of his misbegotten political chatter.
Headline: How the Mideast Conflict Is Blowing Up the Region, the Democratic Party and Every Synagogue in America
Here are the first two paragraphs, of Mr. Friedman’s hysterically framed comment, on the Zionist Faschist State’s blitzkrieg against the Palestinians:
Lord knows, I sympathize with President Biden’s desire to avoid getting dragged into mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas made something crystal clear to me: Unless we preserve at least the potential of a two-state solution, the one-state reality that would emerge in its place won’t just blow up Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; it could very well blow up the Democratic Party and every Jewish organization and synagogue in America.
Yes, that’s what I learned last week.
Note the ‘the 11 days of fighting‘! As Friedman frames the Israeli blitzkrieg! But the prediction of a ‘blow up’ that reaches the very cogs of The American Empire: the Democratic Party, ,every Jewish Organization and synagogue in America. Hysteria mongering ,to give it it’s rightful name! It’s as if Friedman asks the reader to accept the political fiction that he not a loyal partisan of Zionism! Or that the Settler Movement has not rendered ‘The Two State Solution’ a dead letter.
None the less Friedman treats the ‘Two State Fiction’ as viable. And describes the potential battles between ‘Centrist Democrats, in sum Neo-Liberals, and the Progressives, certainly not the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party? More like the Bernie Sanders wing?
Next comes the bruising battles in the synagogues of America, that ends in ‘And anti-Semitism will flourish under the guise of anti-Zionism.’ In sum, BDS is by definition Anti-Semitism!
As the past two weeks demonstrated, every Jewish organization and synagogue in America will be heatedly divided over this question: Are you willing to defend a one-state Israel that is not even pretending to be a democracy anymore, a one-state Israel whose leaders prefer to rely on the uncritical support of evangelicals than the critical support of Jews?
Finally, Jewish and non-Jewish students on every college campus also will be forced to wrestle with this question or run as far away as possible from the debate. More and more will abandon Israel. You can already see it happening. And anti-Semitism will flourish under the guise of anti-Zionism.
Should it surprise the reader, that Friedman writes a History Made to Measure, based upon some actual information, of two weeks duration? Carefully embroidered with the speculation of a Zionist Partisan, about the toxic motives of the BDS organization. Is sum, BDS is, in the reductivism of Mr. Friedman, Anti-Semitic prima facie. The reader is then presented by the prescriptive Friedman, in just 620 more words!
The first two paragraphs of Mr. Ganesh’s exercise in History Made to Measure utterly disappoints: where are those arresting aperçus, that at times make his essays resonate with an intensity, that directs the readers attention away from its political content. The reader is swayed by mere stylistic embellishment. Not so in this essay, that is not just a undeveloped Polaroid of FDR’s New Deal, but of a possible ‘Jazz Age meanness’ , and an actual Hollywood prudery.
Even the greatest democratic leader of the past century chose his battles. As Franklin Roosevelt shaped a New Deal in economics, he preserved much of the old deal in culture. The cause of civil rights was deferred for another generation. Tight immigration laws were retained, even as Europe’s huddled masses petitioned for entry. If there was a post-Jazz Age meanness in the air, it did not confine itself to Washington. Hollywood, the other capital, began to enforce its code against risqué themes.
It is hard to account for the blend of material reform and cultural retrenchment in those years. But one theory suggests itself. There is only so much change a society will bear at one time. If the rules of economic life are in flux, people crave stability and even regression in other areas. Seen from this angle, the strife of the 1960s might be read as the spasms of a nation attempting too much change on too many fronts in too little time.
The proffered choice between cultural and economic radicalism is self serving. Mr. Ganesh cites ‘evidence’ for his claim, roughly described by this collection. Note that ‘French philosophes took a postmodern turn in the 1960s’ are not just the precursors, but, indeed, gestators of American Identity Politics. The Rainbow Coalition was born of Post-Modernism?
Violent crimes have been going up in US cities… At the same time, the country’s southern border has been the site of anguish and disarray for much of the year. …a third source of cultural insecurity … there is the inchoate set of issues that come under the neologism of the day, “woke”, with all its implications for the first amendment right to free speech. Even taken together, these social rumbles hardly constitute a revolution. … Identity politics has been gestating inside the western left since French philosophes took a postmodern turn in the 1960s.
There is a blurring of the lines of argument, he presents his economic/cultural :
Americans are being asked to absorb a break in economic doctrine at the same time as the social context changes.
Mr. Ganesh continues to construct his essay about the politically unpalatable ‘too much radicalism’. Not, of course, mentioning the utter collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle’s in 2008, whose point of fracture began with the Clinton/Summers/Biden final straw of Gramm-Leach-Bliley ?
Even a quote from Gustave Flaubert can’t save Mr. Ganesh’s essay from its weak duel radicalisms premise, via his self-serving History Made To Measure.
Gustave Flaubert’s rule that a person can only take so much radicalism (“be regular and orderly in your life”, said the writer, “so that you may be violent and original in your work”) applies as much to the body politic. Had Biden won one of those landslides, such as 1932 or 1980, when the public audibly demands a new course, he might have the license for all-round change.
The Landslides of 1932 and 1980: FDR, transformative reform, in response to the Depression vs. Reagan, political/cultural reaction against the Civil Rights Era. It’s compelling, that Mr. Ganesh can’t quite exercise the political imagination, to consider that this is Joe Biden’s last act: what he offers is a pastiche of reform/radicalism. The reader need only consider that Biden’s Radicalism, as argued by Mr. Ganesh, will not include Medicare For All, a $15.00 minimum wage, Debt Forgiveness, a Corporate Tax rate of 90%, an end to Foreign Wars, and a slash of 50% to the Pentagon budget, or Police Reform at a Federal level. These imperatives would define an actual political radicalism in America!