gideon.rachman@ft.com on Liberalism, Populism, Trump, Johnson, with special guest appearance by Malcolm X. Old Socialist comments

Mr. Rachman having been born in 1963 has no actual memory of Malcolm X, yet some of his readers do possess that memory. Could the fact that Rachman spent part of his childhood in apartheid South Africa have any bearing on his mention of Malcolm X? As a touchstone of ‘ends justify means’ mentality, that plays a part in his latest essay? The political ghost of Malcolm X is strong political medicine, of a kind!

Once you have asserted that the end justifies the means, then any tactic is logically permissible. It is telling that “by any means necessary” was a slogan originally adopted politically by Malcolm X, the African-American activist of the 1960s, who was frustrated by the non-violent methods of the civil rights movement.

Mr. Rachman’s latest polemic in favor of ‘Liberalism’ and against the ‘Populist Menace’, and  its  two villains Trump and Johnson – Mr. Rachman hasn’t read Liberalism, A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo published by Verso? Populism is a long American Tradition: William Jennings Bryan, Teddy Roosevelt (Bull Moose) , Huey Long, Father Coughlin , Benjamin Spock, George Wallace, Ross Perot.

In his search for villains Mr. Rachman ignores the fact that Liberalism capitulated to Neo-Liberalism long ago: New Labour and the New Democrats! These two political hybrids were the midwives of Trump and Johnson!

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/a8cc15d8-e35a-11e9-9743-db5a370481bc


 

@-jswift @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment. “State of the Union” is one of Capra’s better movies, as opposed to his usual American Kitsch. Its one of my favorites, its political realism is one of its charms, seeing Hepburn playing Hepburn is always like viewing a one of a kind personality in action- she is fascinating to watch! She thinks so too! She’s an America Yankee Aristocrat. But a young Angela Lansbury, as the conniving political adviser, seducer, to Spencer Tracy almost steals the show! Kudos for using  “State” to frame your insightful, not to speak of  devastating comment.

‘Incessant rants about populism just reveal an unlimited ignorance of history.’ 

Best regards,

StephenKMackSD

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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