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

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent comments.


Understanding and Surviving the Post-Prosperity Era


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 18, 2022


  1. NR

    This is a very sad story from Michigan. A man became so wrapped up in QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy theories that he shot his wife and daughter because they refused to go down those rabbit holes with him. His wife was killed, though his daughter survived. The neighbors called police, the man shot at them too, and they returned fire, killing him.

    Just another reminder that the propaganda being pushed by all these right-wing social media influencers has real, and devastating, consequences.

  2. mago

    Everybody’s butt hurt
    Nobody gives a damn
    Everybody’s self absorbed
    Nobody gives a damn
    Everybody’s talking no one’s listening
    Nobody gives a damn
    But whatcha gonna do when it happens to you?
    Cry it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to?
    You would cry too if it happened to you.
    Yeah. It’s happening to you and me too and everyone else
    So whatcha gonna do?
    Double down or get down with the brotherly motherly love approach?
    There are mineral hot springs in Idaho
    group soup pools where urban Mormons mix with rancher spawn shedding toxic cells one and all and it’s not sexy for anyone but everyone keeps on trying to make it something that it ain’t.
    Thanks for providing a platform to vent Ian.
    Rooting for you.

  3. NR — Perhaps I’m a left-wing conspiracy theorist, but I’m very skeptical of the origins of Q-Anon. I’m inclined to believe that they’re a US gov’t psy-op. Like most similar operations, a bit of truth is mixed with fantastic “revelations”, thus lending them some credibility.

    This should come as news to no one, but the elites have long made a habit of keeping the proles divided, particularly when they fear armed revolt. This prevents the opposition from uniting against them. In fact, I remember seeing a copy of a British slaveholder’s manual produced for their Caribbean holdings, where they instructed owners to keep their slaves in rough groups of three (I believe it was white indentured servants, older groups of slaves, and newcomers from Africa), and to bestow disproportionate favors amongst the groups to purposefully sew dissent and distrust.

    In this light, I see Q-Anon as much the same as the hyper-woke promotion of gender non-conformity, terms like “white privilege”, and the like. Biden’s recent speeches calling Trump voters essentially enemies of the state was done for the same purpose. The current administration’s promotion of anyone that’s dark skinned, gay, or transgendered is done to achieve the same goal — enraging social conservatives.

    They’ve convinced many on the left that the right is made up of KKK/skinhead bible thumpers who would like to send anyone with darker skin to a concentration camp and force all kids to study the bible above all else, while the right is convinced that the left secretly wants to make their kids gay and sneak in some gender-reassignment surgery. Neither, of course, is actually representative of either group.

  4. NR

    David Veale – It’s certainly understandable to be cautious about things like this, given that the police have a history of infiltrating left-wing organizations and movements. And as anyone with experience in those sorts of movements will tell you, the first person who suggests violence is always the undercover cop.

    However, in this case, we know exactly who got QAnon started and who has been pushing it, and it’s not government psyops. See here: It was two moderators from 4chan, Paul Fruber and Coleman Rogers, as well as Tracy Diaz, a right-wing Youtuber. They were the ones who were initially responsible for pushing QAnon to a wide audience. There’s also significant evidence that Fruber was the original author of the QAnon posts.

    And as for who’s pushing QAnon and other conspiracy theories today, it’s a plethora of right-wing social media influencers. Most of these people’s identities are public and again, they’re not government psy operatives. QAnon and the many other right-wing conspiracy theories out there, like the false assertions that the 2020 election was stolen, are purely a product of the right-wing social media industry. And some people out there are so steeped in it that they’re willing to murder their own families when they don’t go along with the insanity.

  5. NL

    @David Veale

    Agree with almost everything and add that racism is also artificially stroked and subtly encouraged, because otherwise the poor whites and blacks would quickly find a common cause and the common enemy. I think it is Jamaica that has the slogan “from many people one” — we don’t subscribe to that. I think it was bruce wilder who nicely formulated that politics is simulacrum. The simulacrum is meant to distract, consume time and jam proper thinking. Some people break away from that, but what’s after that? Many fall victims of the ‘conspiracies’, which are laid out for them.

    But ‘politics as simulacrum’, is this something new? Obviously, not. It has existed forever. The Nazi Germany, the Soviets, the English, the Romans and kings and churches, they all have had their ‘worldview’, propaganda and ‘people’s technologies’. And so does our state/oligarchy.

  6. Z

    In a country that contains hundreds of millions of humans with free will there is going to be an anecdote to amplify almost any position on any issue. The story that NR links to is a tragedy for the people involved and the folks who cared about them but I don’t see any signs that this sort of behavior is sweeping the nation.

    The most dangerous far right groups in the U.S. are the police, the intelligence agencies/surveillance state, and the military-industrial complex; basically what many would refer to as the Deep State plus their mercenary infantrymen on the front lines, the police.

    And almost every time a far right wing plot against the government is “uncovered” by the FBI you later find out that overambitious FBI agents were working undercover on the inside of it cajoling some dim bulbs into acting.


  7. multitude of poors


    I hope your ‘silence’ is because you’re taking a well deserved break, or working on something lengthy; versus some further bad event that occurred. I really wish I could send you some money, to you and so many others: the homeless; those crippled by inability to get medical care, and/or criminal medical debt; renters and the about to become homeless or renters.

    I hope you’re as well as possible.

  8. Ian Welsh

    Not to worry. Genuinely, the type of cancer I have almost never kills anyone if treated. That said, for the next 5 weeks or so I’m going to be in the hospital almost every day, and I may be tired a lot for about 2 months (unclear, different people react differently), so there may be less posting. Not a sure thing.

    If there is any genuine bad news, I’ll let people know (perhaps in a comment in an open thread) but I truly don’t expect any.

    Don’t worry about inability to donate. I was touched that quite a few came in after Friday’s post and appreciate them greatly, but I was also surprised (though in retrospect I shouldn’t have been.)

    I never want anyone to give me money if they themselves are short.

  9. multitude of poors

    Thanks so much for the response. So glad you’re not in an emergency alert; but very sorry about those five weeks or more. I have had cancer myself, for quite a while now, and have come to hate going to the hospital I’m stuck with (very rotten CEO, and here I thought the last one was a nightmare), but have never had to go repeatedly for that many days at a time. Thankfully I did a ton of homework, particularly from a wonderful Doctor in Milan (whose name I’ll provide later if I find the time to locate my notes on his studies). As I recollect, one of his studies was on using the NSAID (non-steroidal anti inflammatory) Naproxen vs. opiates for surgeries—results: safer and far less expensive. I opted for a treatment that was non-standard in the US, but standard in the UK. I’m very happy I made that choice.

    I hope you have someone to be there with you for those appointments, especially to be your second set of eyes and ears, with a notebook and pen at hand.

    Take care.

  10. Astrid


    Not sure if I mentioned before, but you may want to buy a bottle of Betadine Cold Defense. We’ve been using it in conjunction with N95 masks for an extra bit of protection. It may be particularly helpful in situations where you can’t wear a mask indoors.

    It’s only available in Canada and it is easier to use than the Israeli product (yes, totally going against my beliefs, I’m a PMC hypocrite…)

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén