The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

If You Want to Beat the Right, Call the Left

So, the protestors who stopped Trump’s Chicago rally were mostly Bernie supporters.

The wishy-right like Mitt Romney, and the neo-Liberal right (Clinton) are worthless against someone like Trump because they represent the status quo, which has been discredited.

And because they won’t actually fight.

I don’t know if Trump will win the election, but I do know that if he doesn’t, he’s only the first to try. As the US economy gets worse and worse for ordinary people, which it will under Hillary Clinton (she is neo-liberal to the core), the followers available will soar and those available to status quo pols will dwindle.

But they will keep increasing–for candidates like Bernie as well.

Only someone who has a platform and personae which is a radical break from politics as usual can compete for these clusters of supporters. And yes, there is some overlap, but it is not complete (are unhappy Latinos going to vote for Trump?).

When I was a boy, in 1970s Vancouver, I told my father “I don’t see much racism.”

My father, a child of the Great Depression said, “Wait till times get bad. You’ll see plenty.”

I see plenty. Most countries are going to have to choose between someone like Trump or someone like Bernie; and that choice will keep being presented till they make the fateful choice.

Once it is made, in many cases, there will be no going back.

You can have your hate and change; or you can have your change with someone like Sanders or Corbyn, who at least makes a real try to help most people.

So far Britain is failing this test. Let’s see how the US goes.

And, again, if you get Clinton, all you’ve done is push back the day of reckoning, and made it worse.

This WILL happen. It is close to inevitable now, because our elites cannot and will not either create a fair economy which works for enough people; nor can they manage climate change.

This only a hair from social physics at this point.

You were warned. And warned. And warned. You were offered people like Dean and Edwards and so on. You refused to take the road away from hell.

Now reap what was sowed.

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A Kinder Logan’s Run?


You Think Trump Is a Fascist, BUT…


  1. markfromireland

    Trump’s political style bears comparison not with Mussolini but George C Wallace, who ran for the presidency in 1968 and 1972 on a conservative populist ticket. Protestors turned up to his rallies, too – and he loved it. Wallace perfected the anti-hippie zinger. When kids shouted “F**k Wallace!” he replied: “Why don’t you try learnin’ some other four letter words – like W.A.S.H. and W.O.R.K.?” The confrontations added to the Alabamian’s appeal, confirming him as “the only guy willing to take on the mob”.

    Wallace ran as a Democrat from the Deep South – a reminder that the history of demagoguery and racist innuendo runs at least as deep in the Democrats as it does the Republicans. Indeed, Wallace was routinely condemned by philosophical conservatives because they regarded him as a liberal with racist sensibilities. Exactly the same dynamic exists between Trump and the intellectual high-priests of modern Republicanism. To the scholars and the pundits of American conservatism, Trump is an interloper in the GOP and a threat to the Constitution. The Right is as alarmed by his authoritarian streak as the Left.


    Trump is a blowhard. His views are unconstitutional, illiberal and sometimes they trigger hate. But he did not take America to war in Iraq on flimsy evidence, establish Guantanamo in contravention of human rights law, licence the torture of enemy combatants, oversee the gargantuan NSA data-gathering operation, launch a dirty war of drone strikes against both terrorists and those unfortunate enough to live near them, undermine the religious freedoms of employers who do not want to subsidise the sex lives of their workers, overrule the states’ wishes on marriage, compel citizens to buy healthcare products or deport thousands of illegals through aggressive round-ups. No: these things were done by “moderate” Republicans and “liberal” Democrats.

    Trump is not new. The violence in Chicago has been a part of American politics for a very long time. The angry nihilism of the far-Right has incubated for decades; the “no platform” tendency of the Left is authoritarianism by any other name. And the slow corruption of American republicanism – the growth of the state and the willingness of politicians to do anything to get votes – began long before The Donald threw his hair into the ring. Trump is not a political crisis in isolation but, rather, a symptom of wider institutional failure. A symptom of American political decline.

    Read in full: Donald Trump is not a fascist – Telegraph

  2. Ian Welsh

    Might be true.

    But he might not be right. A lot of the smart people thought that Hitler was totally not serious about the shit he said: he was just saying what he had to say. Pandering.

    I honestly don’t know.

    What I do know is this, the preconditions for a very dangerous demagogue or man on horseback or whatever are either met, or within a few years of being met.

  3. I support Bernie but I’m not confident he would survive being elected president. I worry that we only have the illusion of a choice. The establishment will accept fascism or neoliberalism and nothing else.

  4. subgenius

    I ask the same question again:

    How do you change a system from within when every facet is controlled by kleptocrats / sociopaths that have entirely subverted it to their needs?

  5. Starveling

    Feel the Bern or burn the field.

    NRO conservatives and NPR democrats are part and parcel the same folks, and they seem to quite dislike actual policies that would help less fortunate citizens.

    I agree with Ian on his point here- and I see more and more people willing to burn it all down if they are not offered a compelling, decent option…

  6. futureman


    I’m glad each can acknowledge each, so to speak. The real Right hasnt even begun to fight back yet. If/when we do, the war will be over in a matter of weeks.

    Think about the poem ‘Wrath of the Awakened Saxon’…you leftists are poking a bear that you should want to remain asleep.

    Far Right Lurker

  7. Greg T

    Points well-made, Ian Hillary may squeeze out a win this November. She will, however, take office as a hobbled president. A significant percentage of her own party doesn’t like her, independents mostly don’t like her and Republicans loathe her. She’s a neoliberal in economics, which means continued strangulation of the middle class. If she runs against Trump, she might win because more voters fear a Trump presidency than like her. Combine that with her aggressive, interventionist bent in foreign policy, the odds of a hot war erupting on her watch are much higher.

    If the GOP forces a brokered convention and nominates someone other than Trump, they will lose hundreds of thousands of their own core supporters, particularly if the nominee is a corporate tool like Rubio or Romney.

    There exists now a moment for a major realignment within the existing parties, or fertile ground for the emergence of a new political party. We actually may be beyond a 1932-style realignment, and are looking at something like 1860.

    We ma

  8. Tom–election.html

    17 year olds can vote in the Ohio Primary if they’ll be 18 this November. Bernie best get them rounded up and to the polls.

  9. cripes

    Yes, the fault lines are cracking wider every day, but the American presidential race is still a big, fat beauty contest. A charade. Trump and Sanders are injecting some actual politics into the mix, but their followers range from vaguely nativist to vaguely liberal to incoherent. A Trump or Sanders presidency is likely to be rendered impotent.

    It’s tragic that black voters may be responsible for putting Hillary over the top. We live in the United States of Amnesia. (hat tip, Gore Vidal) Even that is too generous, by assuming they ever knew enough to forget in the first place.

    The dark state is making preparations for any contingency.

  10. winston smith

    I can’t believe you fell for this false flag. These animals are from Hilary’s camp; she’s hoping the dirt sticks to both Trump and The Bern. We’ve already established that Bern doesn’t have very many non-white supporters.

  11. Lynn

    and now Dean works for PhRMA

  12. Billikin

    “I pledge allegiance to Donald Trump. . . .”

    Das Führerprinzip. Trump denies that that is what it is, but he understands it in his bones. Trump is The Leader in his own mind.

  13. Hugh

    I have been uncomfortable for some time with labels like right and left. I call myself a progressive, but that is largely to distinguish myself from liberals. In the common parlance, liberals equal New Dealers. This is not true. (Part of my thesis that Americans don’t know their own history) FDR was a liberal who adopted populist language and socialist programs, like Social Security and jobs programs, when he needed to and only as long as he needed to to save capitalism. Once that was done he reverted to type, classical liberalism. This was the liberalism of Woodrow Wilson. It was pro-corporate, interventionist, elitist, paternalistic, and virulently anti-populist. Hillary Clinton’s neoliberalism is simply a return of liberalism to its roots under Wilson. Nonetheless this schizophrenic conflation of New Dealism and liberalism persists and goes largely unnoticed.

    Traditional conservatism is dead. It was small government, pro-corporate, states rights, and isolationist. The libertarian Rand Paul perhaps came closest, but not really. Modern conservatives and libertarians pay lip service to “small government”, but look past the rhetoric and they want big government just with different priorities, like a big military. But why have a big military if you are isolationist? Neoconservatives are more coherent, if less conservative, on this point. They want a big military because they are interventionist. In fact, they never met a war they didn’t like. Modern conservatism also includes groups that were really never a part of traditional conservatism, like the movement conservatives who support conservative social values, which are, of course, whatever their social values happen to be. Modern conservatism is, if anything, even more schizophrenic than modern liberalism.

    And none of this gets into the contradictory nature of the Presidential candidates themselves. Trump is the egomaniac billionaire populist. Cruz is the sleazy evangelical. Rubio is the Establishment empty suit. Clinton is the pragmatic grifter, and “Folds like a cheap lawnchair” Sanders is the great progressive hope and accidental nonrevolutionary revolutionary.

    All this is a long way round to saying that I am not sure that left and right mean much anymore, neither offer much of anything to most Americans, and Trump and Sanders supporters have a lot in common. They are both screwed with conditions as they are. What I see from neither Sanders nor Trump though is a coherent, over-arching vision of the kind of a society they want, and how their various proposals would fit into that society.

  14. Tom W Harris

    Hey futureman,

    Last time there was a real showdown, you got whomped. Mostly by Russia of course. And the USA chipped in as well. Here’s a musical reminder:

  15. highrpm

    your missive on labels is as cutting as ian’s missive on the decline and fall of post war liberalism.

    the collective (wall street corporate/ church/ political party/ skull & bones/ zioners/ whatever) always wins. the small guy? good luck [and don’t get caught in the belongers’ convenient use of labels for propagating propaganda].

    the current state [of affairs] is only as good as the dollar.

  16. V. Arnold

    To say this is a unique campaign, is too vastly understated, when the reality is clear. The violence is unprecedented in my lifetime.
    Ray McGovern was silently standing, in the back of an auditorium where Clinton was speaking; he had his back to her in protest. Ray was viciously beaten by two security guards and handcuffed as he was taken out. He sustained some serious injuries.
    So, Clinton joins the Donald in the behavior of her handlers.
    I wonder, if the violence gets much worse (and I think it will), it will be used as an excuse to delay the elections? IIRC, Nixon was angling for that possibility with the anti-war protesters, so, not out of the realm of possibility.
    Here\’s a link to the video of Ray being assaulted;
    Ugly, ugly, ugly…

  17. Um, it’s TRUMP who’s attributing this to Bernie. This isn’t what we Bernie people do. We’re fed up and furious, yes, but not violent. We’re the good guys.

    If anti-Trump protests are being organized by anyone, my first guess would be Trump. Painting himself as a victim forced to cancel rallies gets him a new form of attention and, from some misguided souls, sympathy.

    If he isn’t behind it, how about the ever-sinister Kochtopus? Even Hillary, whom somebody mentioned already, can be a dirty-tricks player. Bernie just isn’t. That’s why he’s Bernie.

  18. Let’s see. There are people who are preventing Trump from being able to hold rallies and address his supporters, and media makes Trump the bad guy because he does not welcome their prevention of him from speaking.

    No, no, no, I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. Far from it. I shudder at the thought. But I remember when there was at least a trace of sanity in the media as it presented our political process. The media is presenting Trump as a bad guy for not being welcoming of the protestors that disrupt his rallies.

    When Sanders wins a state the media cannot report that without adding, “but he still cannot win the nomination because…” and giving all the reasons why Hillary is inevitable. The media cannot mention Sanders at all without explaining why he cannot win the nomination.

    Now groups are shutting down Trump rallies altogether, preventing him from being heard at all, which is about as anti-democratic as anything could be, and the media is cheering the crowds that do so as good guys. I don’t know if they are Sanders supporters. Hell, they could be establishment Republicans. But they are not good guys.

  19. From Tomorrowland. Governor Nix-

    Let’s imagine. If you glimpsed the future, you were frightened by what you saw, what would you do with that information? You would go to the politicians, captains of industry? And how would you convince them? Data? Facts? Good luck!
    The only facts they won’t challenge are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars rolling in.
    But what if… what if there was a way of skipping the middle man and putting the critical news directly into everyone’s head? The probability of wide-spread annihilation kept going up. The only way to stop it was to show it. To scare people straight. Because, what reasonable human being wouldn’t be galvanized by the potential destruction of everything they’ve ever known or loved? To save civilization, I would show its collapse.
    But, how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate eclair! They didn’t fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as video-games, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won’t take the hint!
    In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. So yes, we saw the iceberg and warned the Titanic. But you all just steered for it anyway full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink! You gave up! It’s not the monitor’s fault. That’s yours.

    There are two wolves…

  20. markfromireland


    I think the pre-conditions for a populist movement (or movements) are in existence and that they have been for some time. How about duelling populisms? Trumpism vs. A,N. Other and that other could be anyone from Cruz to a “left” I don’t see Trump as a fascist, or no more so than the American norm which has always included a heavily authoritarian component and a propensity to political violence. He’s a right-wing populist along the lines of a Peron rather than a Hitler.

    There are all sorts of possibilities one of them being that America is heading for a Mexican style situation with something like the PRI dominating a “controlled democracy”.

    In the meantime this Guardian article caught my eye:

    The latest startling phenomenon is the voter who is feeling the Bern, but also has eyes for the Donald.

    This week the Guardian sought out Sanders fans who are contemplating switching their allegiance to Trump if Hillary Clinton secures the Democratic nomination.

    Almost 700 people replied to the call-out, and some 500 of them said they were thinking the unthinkable: a Sanders-Trump switch.

    They explained their unconventional position by expressing a variety of passionately held views on their shared commitment for protecting workers and against new wars, on their zeal for an alternative to the establishment, and on their desire to support anyone but Hillary Clinton.

    As one respondent, a 34-year-old male IT technician, put it: “Bernie and Trump agree a lot on healthcare, Iraq war, campaign finance and trade. I really want to move on to something new, new ideas from outside the box. Maybe Donald Trump can provide that.”

    The Guardian call-out was not a poll, but controlled surveys by polling companies have identified this small but not insignificant slice of the Sanders crowd who would consider backing Trump.

    In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey conducted by Hart Research Associates this month, 7% of Sanders voters said they could see themselves supporting Trump. Some 66% said the same for Clinton.

    A similar proportion of Sanders folk – 8% – gave Trump a positive likeability rating, compared with 48% for Clinton. That figure is unlikely to be causing Clinton campaign aides much loss of sleep.

    “The data does not indicate any meaningful concern for Clinton that if she wins the Democratic nomination large numbers of Sanders voters would head to Trump,” said Jeff Horwitt, a senior vice-president with Hart Research.

    So we are not seeing the birth of a new cross-party force in American politics. But we are seeing an interesting political dynamic. Almost one in 10 Sanders supporters apparently think Trump is next best thing to their candidate, and certainly better than Clinton.

    Read in full: The Bernie Sanders voters who would vote for Trump over Clinton | US news | The Guardian

  21. Tony Wikrent

    To Hugh, regarding left-right political spectrum.

    In 2009, Stirling Newberry posted what I consider one of his classics: , Three Polar Politics In Post-Petroleum America. Newberry explains that there are three loci in American politics today: Progressive, Moderate, and Confederate. It appears to have been reposted twice by Lambert at CorrenteWire, most recently in November 2013, and teh exact original date in 2009 is lost to me.

    I think Newberry’s “tri-polar” schema is far more accurate than a left-right bi-polar schema, but I also believe that Newberry’s three poles can be further refined by applying Thorstein Veblen’s bi-polar schema of Producers versus Leisure Class, or, in the terminology I prefer, Producers versus [economic and financial] Predators. There are, for example, many Confederates and Moderates and even Progressives who are entirely in thrall to the financial markets and the FIRE sector in general. As Newberry once put it: there are many people who have never known any other way of making a living than dipping a cup into the Niagara of financial flows. particularly noteworthy, there are also many Confederates and Moderates who are solidly based in the productive half of Veblen’s schema, such as people in agriculture, forestry, and especially the oil and gas industry. What I think is particularly important to understand at this point in history is what Veblen called pecuniary culture, which I think would give us a broad, general foundation on which to apply Veblen’s schema to Newberry’s.

    Here is something I wrote on pecuniary culture in January 2011.

    I would also note that I think Ian’s ongoing formulations of good and bad societies and economies encompasses all this in terms that are probably easier to understand for most people.

    Jon Larson of Real Ecomics developed a graphic representation in the 1980s of Veblen’s analysis; more recently, Larson has used new graphics software to refine his work, and presented it at his blog, Real Economics: Illustrating a class theory. (Please be sure to take the time to watch the short, 1980s video Larson has placed there.)

    Veblen’s 1898 classic, The Theory of the Leisure Class is not easy reading, but Veblen offers much better insight into the nature and problems of class in modern industrial societies than does Marx. While Marx’s offers very little when it comes to understanding why socialist societies also ended up developing authoritarian political and economic structures as bad as, or even worse, as any authoritarian structures developed under capitalism, Veblen’s analysis very easily applies to this phenomena of socialist societies becoming authoritarian.

  22. Ian Welsh

    Yes, I read it. It is a small percentage, but it is unsurprising that poor whites would be willing to switch to Trump rather than Clinton. They correctly understand that Clinton will be terrible for them.

    That said, it is also the Bernie supporters who are willing to risk actual violence and injury to stop Trump. It sure isn’t Clinton supporters.

    I think the level of racism Trump has whipped up is beyond the level which is normal for America domestically, significantly beyond. And I am no youngster, I have been watching American politics for a long time.

    Aside to others: The police DID NOT tell Trump to shut down his rally, he chose to himself. There were some minor scuffles, there was no riot. If you think that was a riot, you don’t know what a riot is.

    The difference between this and other violence at Trump’s rallies is that this time the protestors went in numbers. What some of you want is for protestors to let Trump’s followers beat them up without being able to fight back.

    No. If they want a fight, let them fight people who are ready to fight and in sufficient numbers.

    Trump repeatedly encouraged violence against protestors. This is well established, it is not in question.

    Ok then.

    I know MFI doesn’t see Trump as a fascist, but those who do are seriously saying “Don’t disrupt his rallies?”

    They wouldn’t have done shit against Hitler or Mussolini. Don’t kid yourselves.

  23. Donna

    I’m a Sanders woman. If he doesn’t win this country will be up the ick creek without a paddle. Even if he does win we’re going to have to butt-kick congress all the way.

    I keep waiting for the pitchforks to spring out but all I see are members of the 99% kicking at other members of the 99%. I would prefer if we all turned our eyes to the 1% and… well, there’s this saying I’ve heard of – “Eat the rich!” This is class war.

    @futureman – You still haven’t realized this isn’t left/right. It’s class war. Our pitchforks should be on the same side but make no mistake, you point that pitchfork at me and you’re going to get a real surprise.

  24. Ian Welsh

    I should add that I don’t much care if Trump becomes President, though I would prefer Bernie. But with the level of blatant racism he’s encouraging I sure as hell am not going to tell those who he is inciting hate against that they can’t fight back. And don’t even try to pretend he hasn’t incited hate against Muslims, Latinos and Blacks.

  25. realitychecker

    Ian, your other recent posts are very good and insightful, and I thank you for them, but this last comment of yours constitutes a sudden sharp turn into the stupid. Most blacks are solid for Hillary, and the BLM folks who represent the cutting edge of black activism nowadays are the lowest, most self-centered scum in the the entire political spectrum right now; they live for and thrive on confrontation, and they are proud of that, and they make no bones about it.

    If you hate violence, hate the BLM. If you think the Trump supporters couldn’t beat the shit out of any number of BLM folks who showed up at his rallies, you have really lost your mind, my friend.

    May I propose a simple solution for a better start? Let’s just agree to turn our backs forever on any and all liars, and any and all who choose to INITIATE violence. Then we can probably do great things with whatever is left.

  26. realitychecker

    FYI, I see you made another comment while I was typing. My above comment refers to your comment that ended with the “Hitler or Mussolini” language.

  27. Jerome

    I’d like to see some interviews of the Sanders supporters that would turn to Trump, and what of, in the opposite case, the Clinton supporters turn? To Trump as well?!?

    Trump is subsiding, slowly, but surely. Cruz is only 90 delegates back now. There was an interesting reaction from a beltway Republican openly mocking that a Dem strategist would rather face Cruz than Trump. It really gives you an insight as to how out of touch the GOPe is from the voters, and non-voters.

    That’s the real wildcard here in the USA. We’ve got nearly 50% who don’t vote in the GE, many of them poor”losers” in the economy, and if they turn out to vote, it’s only to bring it all down, especially in the GOP.

    I still am at the stage of denial, as far as Trump goes, and keep waiting for the next Tuesday primary when there is finally a break of the Republican voting insanity.

  28. Tim

    Liberals are cowards. They’ve built a social system that selects for mendacious, risk averse “organization kids,” who believe that social sanction is the same thing as physical sanction.

    In other words, they believe that John Oliver taking the piss out of a blue collar Trump supporter with bad grammar, is the same thing as physically stopping that person from assaulting a person of color.

    Cowards. They’re goddamn cowards. I can’t say that often enough.

  29. Hugh

    Tony, what is the revelance of Veblen to 99% of Americans or adding yet more labels and categories? People don’t need to be classified. Indeed nowadays classification is just a set up for class war where we in the lower 80% of the population fight, fear, and hate each other, according to our classifications, while the top 20% watch in comfort and the top 1% make out like the bandits they are.

    If we wish to stop being duped and dupes, we need an over-arching vision of the society we want and how it will operate. So we have something to measure against and judge the proposals we are being offered. Otherwise, we will have what we have now, an assortment of third-rate hucksters willing to fill the void and fleece us for them and theirs with a host of contradictory lies and cons.

  30. Bill

    Trump isn’t going to win the election. The demographics don’t support him. What you see at his rallies are generally older white males. You can’t win an election in the US with (mostly) older white males. Trump has alienated Latinos, blacks, Muslims and women. Trump’s popularity is the last gasp of the racist Dixiecrats and with it the ill thought out Southern Strategy. This is not 1930s Germany. Hitler could appeal to a majority. Trump has no majority. If your scapegoat is big enough to sit on you, it’s not an effective scapegoat. The elite Republicans knew they needed the Latino vote (hence, Rubio and Jeb) but for too long they inflamed racial rancor to keep (Appalachian) whites from waking up to the fact that the elite’s economic policies were never going to trickle down to them (“it’s not because we moved the factory to China and hobbled the unions and gave ourselves insane tax breaks; it’s because that illegal brown person exists). Now minorities, women and people under 35 make up 81% of the electorate. You cannot alienate this much of the electorate and still hope to win in order to set up your fascist regime. The next man on the horse will have to appeal to minorities to win a majority and then who will be left to blame.

    Wall Street will start funding Clinton over Trump (markets prefer stability), but Sanders may do better than polls suggest because Millennials seem to be underrepresented in polls (they don’t own landline telephones). If Sanders manages a win in Ohio and Illinois then things could get interesting. Super delegates will be wary of overriding a delegate majority.

  31. Tony Wikrent

    Hugh askes: “what is the revelance of Veblen to 99% of Americans or adding yet more labels and categories?”

    Well, for one thing, if people understood Veblen’s explanation of how the Lesiure (Predator) class gains and enforces its rule through fraud, deceit, force, and the corrupting influence of pecuniary culture, liberals and the left generally would not present such a pathetic spectacle of push-overs. Jeebus effing Christ, allowing Ayn Rand’s and the Koch’s libertarianism to thrive and succeed as a public philosophy? That could only have been accomplished by rejecting the Enlightenment and actively forgetting the heritage of the American Revolution: the idea of public virtue, meaning citizens willingly curb or even surrender their private interests when the public good requires it.

  32. Hugh

    If we want to fight kleptocracy and class war, we don’t need Veblen to explain them or validate our ideas on them. All we have to do is look around and see who’s running the world and for whose benefit. If we want something better, then we should be asking each other, and not Veblen, what kind of a society we want to live in and live with.

    Some of the forgotten heritage of the American Revolution was the sanctification of slavery at the heart of the American republic for 70 years. Washington and Jefferson were slave owners. How exactly would you explain their public virtue to their slaves? Or is the point moot since they are all safely dead? Washington and Jefferson began a process which changed how we view the nature of government, but they were still very much men of their times. And those times were not democratic. They constituted a government dominated by the upper echelons of the property owning men of their class and insulated from the demands of the mob, i.e. the public. This instituted another process, a conflict between the haves and have-nots, between the few and the many, which has continued down to the present.

  33. And achieve what? Chaos, confrontation and destruction – that’s what, as the youngsters find out for themselves what they should have learnt had they been paying attention in class.

    The primary objective for any moderate politician and statesman is to build and maintain a cohesive society. That can come from unity against a common enemy of course, but these days the enemy is more likely to take the form of internal stresses. Your concerns about falling living standards and widening income and wealth gaps, exacerbated as they are by high levels of unskilled immigration, is just such a challenge on both sides of the pond. Only time will tell whether moderates or extremists will prevail. If the latter, and I include Sanders and Corbyn in that group, then history will indeed repeat itself.

  34. V. Arnold

    I would suggest that anybody who thinks this rotten, broken system can be fixed from the inside, is deluded and stuck in the status quo.
    This from Zero Hedge;
    And this from Nassim Taleb;
    “People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment.”
    That is where the U.S. is at this moment in time.
    Zero Hedge is a good headline read, but rarely more than that. Having been physically disconnected from the U.S. for 13 years, I’m out of touch with the present. But those I know, in touch, would agree with Taleb’s read. The status quo 13 years ago hasn’t budged and inch from the same narrative, like the proverbial broken record. I’d say, wake up, but what’s the point?
    Sanders and Corbyn extremists? Oh please…

  35. someofparts

    The producer/predator template may line right up with feminist political theory.

    If one thinks of women as Producers, with a producer’s investment in and concern for that which we produce, that would make the Abrahamic, goddess-effacing codes the work of Predators.

  36. To someofparts

    Veblen’s distinction between the industrial and leisure classes, between Producers and Predators, was based on the probability the that the original Producer Class (and the purest manifestation) came with the invention of agriculture. Since the women were the gatherers in a hunter-gatherer society, he posited that agriculture was likely the invention of women. Because agriculture can only be practiced under conditions of peace, the division between the peaceable Producers and the warlike Predators became obvious.

    Veblen, because of this and other factors, was embraced by many of the feminists of his day.

  37. kj1313

    @futureman Hahahahaha Thanks I needed the laugh.

    Trump has stoked this response since he went full Mussolini on the campaign trail. And the response seems to be that he doubles down on his antics with more outrageous soundbites. I still think that if we are to get a Man on Horseback He or She would need to be a tad more subtle. Trump is way too much PT Barnum.

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