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

You Can Always Get Half the Population To Hate The Other Half

So, there was a lot of violence, relatively speaking, during the Trump administration, though most of it was cops beating BLM protestors. (Generally violence erupted after police started it, though there were exceptions.)

There is going to be more during the Biden presidency, because Republicans don’t believe that Biden won legitimately. These numbers seem to be around 70% or so. Meanwhile Biden is unlikely to fix the economy, though hopefully he will get Covid get under control (an effort which will be hampered by the incompetence and stupidity of Governors, including many Democratic ones like Cuomo,)

My voice is small, the heyday of the blogs is done, but I will gently suggest that “cooling it” might be wise over the next few months. The fact is that the election wasn’t stolen. If it was, I would say so. You simply cannot get to the votes Trump needs with fraud allegations. The worst things the Dems did were actually voter suppression of third parties (keeping them off the ballots with specious bullshit), but Republicans routinely engage in totally egregious voter suppression of their own.

Biden is not going to be a bad President for Red America. He’s bending over backwards to try and appease Republicans. A lot of Democrats think this is a mistake, but this is how it is.

America is strongly polarized. Terribly so. Stories of family members turning in relatives for the Capitol storming are routine.

This is BAD. When you get to the point of families narcing each other out, you’re in a really bad place nationally.

Both sides are convinced that they are in the right. Republicans are, yes, wrong, but we live in media bubbles. I saw a stat that after Fox called the election for Biden it then continued calling the election in doubt hundreds of times. West coast elite techies came down on the side of Democrats, which is going to pay some awful dividends even if it was the right decision (because this has made them a partisan branch of government making decisions that should be made democratically. Places like Faccebook, YouTube and Twitter are Commons, and that they are privately owned does not change that fact.)

If you don’t want this to spiral out of control, find a way to cool it. I am one of the few blogs left who is read by both sides, even though I’m a left winger.

The people who are responsible for this are the people who have spent 40-50 years dividing America. Fox and conservative talk radio started it, places like MSNBC continued it by creating partisan media for centrists (there is no left wing media of significance, Jacobin and WSWS don’t cut it.). Matt Taibbi’s summary of how this happened is essential reading.

Right and center and left have been divided into tribes by the masters. The simple fact is that there is only one enemy, and that is the oligarchy. Everyone who isn’t in the top three to four percent is oppressed by them. They have used culture war to divide. The elites who supported Trump don’t want regular people to be better off: they’re willing to give them anti-abortion policies, sure, but they don’t genuinely want to pay them more or give them more rights.

The same is true of the elites who support centrists: the “Resistance”. Silicon Valley regularly engages in activities meant to suppress wages (the late, sainted, Steve Jobs put together an agreement they wouldn’t hire each other’s engineers, for example.)

Almost no members of the oligarchy support the left: BLM and Antifa have little actual support. They get some nods, but note that Democratic Mayors and Governors, with few exceptions, still let the cops crack down on them terribly and Biden’s response was “we should give the cops more money.”

If the people who stormed the capitol had been successful in overturning the election, it would just have been a victory for one set of nasty elites over another set of nasty elites.

The actual problem in America is people aren’t sharing a reality any more. This isn’t just isolated to Republicans; they’re wrong about the election, yes, but Liberals (centrists) have been terribly propagandized too. Remember the BS story about how Russia was paying bounties for the Taliban to kill American soldiers. It was obvious BS, at the time, and still treated seriously. There have been many such stories floated in the Liberal press, keeping Liberals in a frothing rage at Russia and Trump for the entire Presidency; insanely angry and unable to think even as Democrats voted for almost all of Trump’s bad bills and Democratic governors like Cuomo fucked up the Covid response terribly.

Killing each other; hating each other, at the behest of oligarchical factions is insane. Doing a coup based on lies (as opposed to a revolution based on truth) is insane and self-destructive.

You have an enemy. It is only your fellow Americans because they have been lied to for 40 years. This doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous to you now, of course, but remember the cries of the Capitol protestors; their anger,  when they realized that most of the cops were still willing to fight them.

The cops work for the oligarchy. The red-teamers thought the cops were on their side. Oh, they’re more sympathetic, yes, but they work for the Man.

Divide and keep conquered is the oldest playbook in the hands of ruling classes. America has been riven by it and may be destroyed by it.

Look past the hatred (often well deserved) and see the enemy: the one that manipulated you into hating each other so you wouldn’t go after them. The one who stole $26K in wage increases from you over the last two generations.

Someone’s pulling your strings, and you’re dancing like puppets.

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Laura Poitras Fired From The Intercept


The Philosophy of Decline and Collapse


  1. Lex

    Worth noting that the comment section for Tiabbi’s piece immediately descended into exactly what he was arguing against. You’re absolutely right, Ian. But it’s too late to save us. My take in 2008 was that the US needed it’s Gorbachev to avoid the collapse of the empire. And by “Gorbachev” I simply meant someone who did not necessarily want to throw out the whole system but at least recognized its failures. (Someone will argue that Gorby destroyed the USSR, but in reality the coup did that and they ended up with Yeltsin.) we didn’t. In 2008 we got Khrushchev, pretending that a few bad apples didn’t really spoil the bushel. That was the chance. We missed it. And we got our Yeltsin with Trump. I’m not saying we are the USSR, or these are exact replicas. I use these examples because people have some understanding of them in the context of imperial/state collapse trajectories and most Americans refuse to believe that it can happen here. Which is why it’s happening here.

  2. Adam Eran

    You make some good points, and thank goodness you call out the Democrats’ complicity in the division of the electorate.

    For more about that, take a look at Robert Caro’s Means of Ascent. He describes how LBJ used unlimited corporate money to steal his senate seat from the Texas Abe Lincoln (Coke Stephenson). Karl Rove needed no further instruction.

    The first post-World War II austerity promoter: Edmund Muskie, the opponent Nixon didn’t want to face.

    Then there’s Obama, who not only didn’t prosecute the war crimes of Bush / Cheney (which were what got him elected), he promoted the people who supervised torture and prosecuted the whistle blowers.

    His response to what’s arguably the largest theft in human history–the subprime/derivatives meltdown–was absolutely supine. No one went to jail. Heck, no one lost his job. The Fed extended $16 – $29 trillion in credit to the financial sector (note: no tax rise, no inflation), and Obama was convinced that reducing Social Security was the solution to the “deficit problem.”

    These people are heinous disappointments, but as long as they are all that’s on offer from the political class, what’s an American to do? As Boss Tweed used to say “I don’t care who people vote for as long as I can select the candidates.”

    Here’s the best summary I’ve seen of why 70 million voted for Trump:

    Says Thomas Greene (from Noteworthy): “Trump will not be defeated by educating voters, by exposing his many foibles and inadequacies. Highlighting what’s wrong with him is futile; his supporters didn’t elect him because they mistook him for a competent administrator or a decent man. They’re angry, not stupid. Trump is an agent of disruption — indeed, of revenge…..Workers now sense that economic justice — a condition in which labor and capital recognize and value each other — is permanently out of reach; the class war is over and it was an absolute rout: insatiable parasites control everything now, and even drain us gratuitously, as if exacting reparations for the money and effort they spent taming us. The economy itself, and the institutions protecting it, must be attacked, and actually crippled, to get the attention of the smug patricians in charge. Two decades of appealing to justice, proportion, and common decency have yielded nothing.”

    The reasons to elect a saboteur remain in place, and Biden’s promised more of the same (but let’s give the guy a chance…so did FDR).

  3. Jason

    Thank you Ian.

    It seems so hopeless sometimes. I mean, they’re putting all this energy into strikes and wage demands…for $15/hr. In many places where they have gotten $15/hr, it’s phased in over a period of years. So, maybe by 2025 you’re actually making the $15, cost of living having gone steadily up the entire time. In reality, losing ground

    It’s hard to live on $40,000 a year in America, and that’s $20/hr for a 40-hr week. This is like the type of “negotiating” the Democratic Party allegedly does. This is Nancy Pelosi type stuff. This is “the left” in 2020.

  4. Jason

    this is the left in 2021.

  5. Ian Welsh

    I suspect the main reason I still have right wing readers is because I called out Obama and Clinton’s bullshit and crimes in real time, over and over again.

    The Democrats aren’t my friends and neither are the Republicans. I’d suggest that most Americans who think either party is, are wrong.

  6. Ché Pasa

    Every now and then it’s good to offer Ian a Bravo! This is one of those times. If I ever see one of those “stimulus checks”, it might be a good time to chip in, too.

    A data point:

    While I was at the hospital the other day getting my semi-annual survival treatment, my nurse said her husband was a state police officer assigned to the state capitol building at least through the inauguration and maybe longer depending on how crazy the crazies got. She was worried sick. She said he told her he thought he would be OK, but he has to stay up there anyway and won’t see her until the festivities are over.

    Meanwhile, in the next bed getting his treatment from the same nurse was a retired corrections officer who was on call for DHS. He’d been assigned to protect the federal courthouse — until the festivities were over. He was a full on Trumpie, believed the election was stolen, said we’d never know how much Trump won by because of the Dem cover up, and if he could have, he would have been in DC storming the Capitol, too. The nurse tried, gently, to argue with him, but didn’t press it.

    After he was hooked up, he watched one of the rightist news and propaganda serviced on his phone till he was done.

    So it goes…

  7. Ché Pasa

    And for those who may have missed it, Corey Ryan Forrester has a thing or two to say to the Good Ol’ Bois who stormed the Capitol.

    Some things need to be said before we cool it.

  8. Willy

    The right wingers here seem more like “missionaries” to me, not the least bit confused about what’s confusing them, that America has always been all about the raping.

    So which is worst, the rapist, the rapee, or the bystander? Should the raper learn to control themselves, the rapee to defend themselves, or the bystander try to stop the raping?

    The answer seems obvious to me.

  9. Thomas Golladay

    Sorry but the evidence from 7,000 Affidavits from both Republicans and Democrats, video evidence, sample audits by a democrat in Arizona that was shut down when he found an 11% error rate, the Antrim Forensic Examination of the Dominion Machines, the kicking out of observers and challengers, blocking audits, etc is overwhelming proof the election was stolen.

    The DNC has been rigging primaries for years to keep real Populists out. It was just a small step to rig the national election with the help of the Establishment GOP.

    Your willful blindness on this is stunning.

    No matter, the Establishment is going down and it will come from the Right, not the Left because you can’t get it together and go after the Establishment who has coopted you into attacking small business owners and innocent bystanders.

    If you want the Establishment destroyed, join the Right, otherwise get out of the way.

  10. Hugh

    “The actual problem in America is people aren’t sharing a reality any more.”

    Well, right now the right is having a psychotic break. There is no possibility to make common cause with them because you have to buy into their whole fantasy land, and it’s hard to even know what that is because it keeps changing. And yes, they’re angry but a lot of that anger comes from their finally realizing they are a minority. Their response is not to forge new alliances. It’s to rage against elections and black and brown people voting.

    The Democrats/center are bad, but at least they have some concept of reality. We can at least argue with them about problems and solutions. With the right if there is a problem, climate change, wealth inequality, the coronavirus, they simply deny its existence. For me, the Democrat center is a problem. The right is a dead end.

  11. Feral Finster

    You say that Biden will not be a bad president, but it’s not as if the man who spent decades in Congress as the Senator from MBNA is going to start to challenge entrenched interests or even be his own man.

    Bending over backwards to appease Team R is not what is needed. No, that doesn’t mean that Team D is the answer, either. Rather, doing whatever can be done without provoking civil war to rein in oligarch and PMC power is what is needed.

  12. Hugh

    Yes, Ché Pasa, sometimes we need to call BS on some of this just to preserve our sanity.

  13. Mr Jones

    Why is the society producing so many “rapists” in the first place? What’s the quickest way to stop the production?

  14. Joan

    I definitely think what is needed right now is to attempt to make connections and have discussions with people on the economic issues we have in common, rather than the divisive issues of the culture war. The culture war reduces people to emotional responses and they ignore the fact that the bottom 80% of the population wants to survive but is being crushed and thus has that economic impetus in common.

    So I can speak with someone, rationally, about economic populism, with respect. If they push through some social issue from the culture war and get it on the local ballot, and I’m against it, then I’ll show up to outvote them and rally my friends and family to do so as well. (Some rights are universal and should not be up for a vote, but I feel like America is in a period wherein anything can be put on the table.)

    Honestly, economic relocalization is not a left-wing or right-wing issue. It’s just common sense and it’s something every American has in common, aside from the top percentiles of rich people who are globalists.

  15. Willy

    The Democrats/center are bad, but at least they have some concept of reality. We can at least argue with them about problems and solutions. With the right if there is a problem, climate change, wealth inequality, the coronavirus, they simply deny its existence. For me, the Democrat center is a problem. The right is a dead end.

    I thought that was well worth repeating. I debate with a few wingnuts, mostly of the religious persuasion, both overtly and covertly if you know what I mean, not to be all tricksy and false but to try and learn more about cult psychology.

    Ian is correct when he states that intelligence frequently comes from an ability to sustain emotional pain. I’d add that it’s sorta like powerlifting. It isn’t necessarily painless during or after, but if the discipline is done properly you will get stronger.

  16. Willy

    Mr. Jones, Edward Bernays has an answer.

  17. Ian — do you maintain that US election have always been legitimate, or do you think this most recent one was exceptionally clean? Considering the quackery going on with the various electronic voting machines (which appear to be universally hackable by 12 year olds), and the strange goings on in the democratic primary that made Biden (polling at 10%) and Harris (dropped out because her numbers were so ridiculously low) our new administration, I find it hard to believe. Go back to the 2016 elections when Sanders was rallying 25-30k people when Clinton struggled to gather 3k supporters, and then look at who the nominee was. It takes a serious game of mental twister to conclude that this was a clean process.

    If our elections are so clean, where does the disconnect between the desires of the masses and the actions of the political class occur? As an oligarchy by definition, it’s got to happen somewhere, and has been increasingly bad in recent decades.

    At least when the deep state simply shot the candidates or politicians they didn’t like (JFK, MLK, RFK, etc), one could still suppose that the selection of the remaining choices may have still been legitimate.

  18. @Thomas Galladay — I think you’ve nailed it. The democrats have given a sigh of relief now that they no longer have to fear the evils of Trumpism, and are settling in for their long winter’s nap while the right becomes increasingly livid. They will be the revolutionaries who will replace neoliberal corruption with fascist corporatocracy. Perhaps they’ll revive the old Pinochet practice of “helicopter rides” for leftists. I know of at least one who proudly quotes Pinochet and would undoubtedly love to play a role in shaping our new government.

  19. Hugh

    The evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, wondered on Facebook what the 30 pieces of silver were that got 10 Republican House to vote for Trump’s impeachment. (1.) He’s saying that no one could vote against Trump in good faith, even when (2.) Trump was fomenting insurrection. (3.) Graham is accusing these 10 of somehow benefiting from a vote which in fact will cost them politically and puts them at risk personally. (4.) He’s also making a very pointed reference to these people as Judases. And (5.) the flip side of this is that they are betraying their Messiah, Trump.

    Remember he, a minister, is saying something he knows is inflammatory and he’s doing it in defense of someone who is a lying racist whore-chasing crook. But on the right, wild contradictions are taken as completely normal, and unremarkable. Pouring gasoline on a fire is even praiseworthy, if it is one they started.

  20. Rosa Klebb

    There is no shortage of bloggers and commentators, like Ian, who analyze and present truthful information that puts political trends and events into perspective. It’s great that there are people who dedicate their time to explaining things to those of us who don’t always have the time or inclination to do this ourselves.

    But something has been bothering me lately. What is the point of analyzing, talking and arguing about politics and related issues if that is where it ends? There is a famous quote form Karl Marx that goes “ The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” It seems to me we are stuck in the interpretation phase.

    Knowledge is power only when it is put to use in service of an end goal. When slaves in pre-civil war America taught themselves to read they didn’t do so because they thought it would be an interesting way to pass the time. No, they did so in order to understand the ideology of their enslavers and to come up with ways to subvert the system and to free themselves from oppression. Knowledge for its own sake was a secondary benefit.

    Contemporary westerners are not physically enslaved in chains and ropes but we do live in a political and economic system that is slowly but steadily destroying our societies. If present trends continue things will deteriorate to a point of no return (if we are not there already). But we are not doing anything about it. Yes, it’s important to know what’s going on and how TPTB think but that should only be the first step.

    Without follow-up action, reading and writing political blogs is basically a form of entertainment, a way to pass the time. It’s not easy, of course, to confront a dysfunctional system and force it to respond to citizens’ needs. But I see very few, well none actually, bloggers or YouTube hosts talking about the need for effective action. When action does happen, in the form of protests like Occupy Wall Street and the BLM protests last summer, it ends in chaos and the state shutting it down because no concrete and non-negotiable demands are made. Nobody is going to man the barricades indefinitely and risk losing their livelihood, let alone life and limb, for “capitalism sucks” or “defund the police.”

    Ironically, it was the right-wing Tea Party that came closest to getting what it wants by putting the Republican Party under sustained pressure. They weren’t seeking to overthrow or regulate capitalism and they stayed well within the system but the left could probably learn a thing or two by studying their tactics. I wonder if the left, as it presently exists, even wants change. The working-class have largely abandoned the left (why that is isn’t talked about much) and “leftist” college educated professionals and PMC strivers live reasonably comfortably no matter how much they like to pretend they are working-class. Their idea of hard times is different from a wage earner who takes a big socioeconomic hit as soon the paychecks stop coming in.

    Today’s left completely ignores the traditional working-class. It will talk about teachers but not about the school janitor or cafeteria staff. It will talk about the “importance” of more women CEOs but not about raising the wages of caregivers or retail store clerks. If the left is to be more than a talking shop for hobbyists and anxious professionals it has to confront these issues. There is little point in a left that can’t even organize a piss up in a brewery.

    People who read and write about the news and contemporary politics know how deeply entrenched neoliberalism is in the societies it holds sway over. We know how difficult it is to force this system to change. Maybe it has to run itself up on the rocks a bit further before it can be successfully pressured to change. Shouldn’t the left be talking about these things?

    Prepper advice, which has been cropping up on more leftish blogs lately, can be useful but it’s hilarious how a prep advocate who posts on this very blog forgets that many people rent or live in apartments and can’t add a cellar or make major modifications to their homes. Besides, prepping is another one of those “…and then what?” things. A bit like encouraging people to emigrate before the shit really hits the fan. This is not a feasible solution for the vast majority of Americans and, what, you’re going to cut and run without even putting up a fight and trying to save your country first? And it’s not like Canada or Mexico are getting away unscathed when the US begins seriously imploding.

    The prevailing leftist attitude seems to be one of okay let’s talk endlessly about how crappy things are, let’s parse the minutiae and do frame by frame analysis of speeches and riots, let’s talk about how corrupt public figures are and let’s really really hope that talking about this stuff will eventually get the system to spontaneously change into something we find more palatable. If that doesn’t work, build a bunker under your house (if you own one) or hightail it to a more “moderate” country (if you have the money and connections).

    Maybe I’m wrong and the left isn’t as useless as it seems. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. But if we’re going to indulge in pipe dreams and fantasies I wish for a massive magical EMP that knocks out the internet and TV/radio in every country for 18 months. Now that is a great reset that would do the world some good.

  21. nihil obstet

    Changes cannot come to a society without a reasonably widespread understanding that there are alternatives and a sense of what those alternatives might be. Otherwise, most people will continue focusing on what they know. We live in a propaganda state. Reading and interacting with blogs helps us avoid being supporters of the propaganda. After all, Marx simply wrote.

    I read lots about the failings of “the left”. Who’s the left? Most descriptions I see of it seem to think that the DNC is practically socialist. Someone who’s more concerned about women CEOs and the pay of teachers than of the other staff sounds to me like a suburban Republican woman.

    I’d love for “the left” to use the tactics of the Tea Party — we get lots of corporate money in an astroturf organization to promote the image of grass roots demands. Unfortunately, corporate money doesn’t swing that way, so it’s not a tactic available to the left. Notice that it hasn’t been around lately. Occupy and BLM have had far more reaching effects in public awareness.

    How do the lefty causes/groups that you work with proceed?

  22. Astrid


    Better a bunch of losers who recognize the system is stacked against them, than a “winner” bullying retail clerks for funzies or monetizing the last bit of flesh off of the New Deal/Great Society corpse. There is value in upholding ideals even when one is powerless to implement them.

    Being prepared for hard times is about making educated guesses about the hard times ahead and doing what you can to cushion against them. People in different circumstances, different beliefs, and with different finances will have to work out their own solution. Don’t assume any preparation (that includes billionaires with New Zealand bolt holes) will let you off Scott free. It’s just mitigation and even people who are able to emigrate elsewhere aren’t guaranteed safety, just better odds of survival, with consciousness of leaving friends and family behind.

    Unlike right wing preppers, I hoped I never have to live through a total social breakdown. I come from a country that saw more than its share of partial social breakdowns in the last 100 years. Survival is a matter of luck and circumstance, combined with doing the (hard) right thing at the right time. Stuff and social relations may not get you through. Having a truly useful skill is your best bet, but very few people have that.

  23. NR

    Sorry Ian, but there can’t be any common cause with right-wingers so long as they continue to push the false “stolen election” narrative and say and believe things that are demonstrably, provably false (such as “the courts never looked at any of the evidence of election fraud”, which has been said multiple times by right-wingers in the comments here).

    Any hope of common cause with right-wingers has to begin with them acknowledging reality. And if the commenters here are any indication, they simply aren’t prepared to do that.

  24. js

    The thing about prepping is most people are pretty mentally consumed with “prepping” just to survive in the current system, to survive the long bouts of unemployment between jobs etc., never even mind pandemics.

    Even if it’s bound to all collapse eventually, you never chose this system in the first place but you have to live in it, and it can survive longer than you EVER can betting against it. So prepping would just be with whatever minimal energy is even left after that.

    However, getting out of the country is even less feasible as you really need privilege for that, either to be young with a very in demand skill set and most people only get such a skill set if they come from economic privilege, or if older you need to be rich.

  25. Hugh

    I have suggested a contract: Progressives choose one or two issues. We say to any candidate, this is our position on them. You undertake in writing to fight and leave your blood on the floor for them. Then we will support you. Refuse and we are gone. We will not vote or support you. Weasel or renege on your undertaking and we will never vote for you again.

    Do it now. Do it with plenty of time before the next election.

  26. @ Thomas Golladay

    No matter, the Establishment is going down and it will come from the Right, not the Left because you can’t get it together and go after the Establishment who has coopted you into attacking small business owners and innocent bystanders.

    If you want the Establishment destroyed, join the Right, otherwise get out of the way.

    Well, after listening to firebrand John Fredericks, the Republican base in Georgia are so spitting mad about the ‘election’ there that they’re ready to primary any and all Republicans involved letting the steal proceed, unmolested. I think he’s not even from Georgia (I think Virginia), but he’s the one that announced, on War Room Pandemic, primary challenges for 3 of the Georgia biggies. I think their governor and SoS, plus one other. In the meantime, four Republicans who stood up for election integrity got stripped of their committee assignment. Ah, but that should make the Republican base even madder.

    Meanwhile, Jimmy Dore has been furious with “the Squad” for not forcing a vote on Medicare for All. He’s gotten such a following that prominently Democratic partisans were spanking him. However, I saw a headline recently suggesting he had shamed AOC back into line. (Though too late to do any good, according to Dore. Dore reports that AOC’s speaking fees are $75,000 – $150,000, and her priorities are likely not with the little people.)

    So, election integrity is more on the radar of Republicans, though as Steve Bannon keeps reminding us, the percentage of Democrats who view the 2020 election as stolen is non-trivial. (I think 15% or so.) But Medicare for All is popular with 80% or so of Democrats. Dore says also 50% of Republicans (though that sound suspiciously like the figure for a public option from 2008).

    One reason Dore got furious about forcing the vote for Medicare for All is that he helped Justice Democrats (including AOC) get publicity, early on – in fact, he says he was the first person to do a (radio?) interview of AOC. While Justice Democrats have been a disappointment, their emphasis on primaries is/was correct, and I’m sure that Dore will not have lost sight of that.

    So, I see passionate reformists on left/right, who are able to be intelligently strategic, and thus not waste their passion.

    After listing to Pam Popper’s interview by Spiro Skouros, about the very trans-partisan issue of health freedom, I was overjoyed to get the working hypothesis of my Voter’s Revenge app validated. The ONLY thing that politicians respond to are primary challenges, speaking from her experience. Not emails, phone calls, or petitions. (Well, she has a 2 pronged strategy also including lawsuits which, she’s learned by bitter experience, challenge the “emergency” interpretation of covid challenges, as opposed to constitutional challenges, which have all failed.)

    Popper has a methodology that may not scale quickly, under normal circumstances, but that works. However, these are not normal circumstances. There are other famous health advocates who have large followings, but not the political IQ of Pam Popper. If you can turn them into evangelists, well, 2022 might turn into the sort of populist ascendancy that Steve Bannon has been predicting, but with left and right both acquiring real power.

    OTOH, squirrely voting machines and processes still cast a shadow over any sort of reformist position. In fact, an article I read the other days cast more shade, on US Senate races, at Republicans than Democrats. see “Hey Trumptards, HERE Is the real Evidence of Election Fraud” @


    Peter Navarro has dropped his 3rd installment on the the 2020 Presidential election steal, @, but I think it’s just an elaboration of the first 2 reports.


    Robert Barnes has stated that Sydney Powell made a number of false claims regarding smartmatic, and believe she will be bankrupted from getting sued by them. She’s probably very good at whatever form of law she normally practices, but had very little civil litigation experience. I feel bad for her, because while her lawsuits were reportedly long term, criminal case types, she apparently rushed to get them out to better frame the civil case lawsuits filed by the Trump team.

    It was probably Barnes’ intervention that resulted in the Trump legal team distancing themselves from Powell.

  27. Chiron

    @Rosa Klebb

    I don’t think there is a real united Left movement in the US or the West and is more of (dis)union of convenience between different progressive factions to put a front to a increased radicalized Right. Some people might say that indentity politics killed the Left as a working class force but right now is the only thing keeping the Left alive.

    Whatever happens in this decade I expect that by 2030 will see a generational change in politics and maybe new openings for the Left as the American Empire ends.

  28. Stirling S Newberry

    Larry Summer now thinks it ok for an overheating economy. It has to be the Biden hookum.

  29. Joan

    @Rosa Klebb,

    “A bit like encouraging people to emigrate before the shit really hits the fan. This is not a feasible solution for the vast majority of Americans and, what, you’re going to cut and run without even putting up a fight and trying to save your country first?”

    As an emigrant, I’d say yes, exactly. I’ve washed my hands of it. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to say it’s not my country to save anymore.

    As a leftist, I eventually realized I was in danger if I stayed in America, so I moved somewhere where the Overton Window easily covers me and I’m considered normal. Also, I was one of those Millennials riding my bicycle around who had close calls with cars and realized “My people want to kill me.”

    My only regret in emigration is that I didn’t manage it sooner, though I’d been planning on it since my adolescence and began my attempts as soon as I left home at 18. I was one of those 90s kids who grew up smack dab in the middle of the American Dream, looked around and realized I couldn’t stand it. Americans and I have fundamental disagreements on land management, urban planning, and what makes a healthy society, and since I wasn’t going to convince anyone, it was best that I left and supported a society where things made more sense.

    Anyway, there are already civic groups even in your town where people are meeting and talking about these things. I’d encourage you to look at old-school civil societies rather than political organizations. Rotary, Kiwanis, the Masons (for men), and such are groups focused on self improvement and the stability of their communities. You’re also likely to find people all over the political spectrum who are possible allies. Good luck.

  30. Lefty

    Thank you Rosa Klebb.

    Reading and interacting with blogs helps us avoid being supporters of the propaganda.

    That’s all well and good, but how much and for how long? And instead of what?

    After all, Marx simply wrote.


    Karl Marx is one of “the left’s” biggest problems. Constant referrals back to Marx, by grown adults no less. Their thought is filtered through the Marxian lens much more than they themselves realize or care to admit.

    Proudhon responded to one of Marx’ letters by basically saying, “Hey man, I’m with you, but there’s a whole world out there and I’m going to enjoy myself while I’m “fighting the good fight.” Ian’s recent re-post says essentially the same thing. This is normal. This is human. But Marx never wrote back to Proudhon after that because Proudhon wasn’t going to commit the entirety of his being to Marx’ inane plan for the world.

    There is a lot of truth to the mantra that Marxism is just a way to break down cultures, nations, and societies. Read a bit of Marx and similar leftist thought and you may find yourself starting to hate everything that is “you.” Perhaps this is by design.

    Marx is a perfect example of someone who thinks too much. Religion isn’t the opiate of all the masses, but even if it was, so what? Marxism would seem to be the opiate of most Marxists. A better drug? I think not. In fact, Karl Marx could have used some drugs. Huxley’s “doors of perception” is something a Karl Marx type desperately needs to experience.

    Culture and the little things are so much more important than Karl Marx. Marx and his ilk’s grand ideas produce more alienation, not less. Produce workers, not cultured human beings. By design. Don’t fill yourself with Marx. Fill yourself with life.

  31. Lefty

    I many ways, Marx is no different than an authoritarian religious leader.

  32. S Brennan

    Ian, a lot of untruths in this post…way too many.

    “The fact is that the election wasn’t stolen. If it was, I would say so.”

    Just like during the constant pre-election Trump & SARS II posts by you, my attempts to throw facts upon the burning pyre of partisan campaign driven untruths, never saw you “say so”. In fact, still unspoken…….

    >>>The biggest factor is that the USA is the largest air-travel/traffic destination in the world with almost as much as the rest of the world put together and after China no longer allowed air traffic within it’s borders in Dec 2019, the USA had far more than the rest of the world combined. For those too lazy to look-up stuff before posting, China is #2 at about half the USA. These facts were widely known, making Fauci’s “no reason to worry” statement in late February 2020 sound either 1] delusional 2] diabolical*. Again, air travel is the largest single factor in the spread of ALL infectious disease. Something I worked on back in the early 90’s. And yet I have yet to see one post that acknowledged this factor…instead it was 24/7 Trump mismanagement is why the USA has such bad SARS II numbers. An example of air travel & SARS II, four young guys who weren’t feeling well left New York to party in New Orleans, they alone account for over 80% of the cases found on the gulf coast as of late June 2020. What made that possible? Air Travel, they would have been too sick to party by the time they arrived in NO had they taken the train. The NYTimes itself said that 3/4ths of all infections nationwide were traceable to New York City.<<<

    *[I am sick of pulling the link to the March/April Newsweek Article that showed Fauci was personally involved in funding the Wuhan Labs research that took viruses found in nature and genetically "enhanced" them to make them infectious to humans. And that there were official State Department reports that recommended defending Fauci's efforts because the facility was considered unsafe for a variety of reasons.]
    Air Traffic and Fauci's deep ties to the Wuhan Lab developing a virus into something "just like SARS II" should have been front and center for those who wanted to "say so", but that didn't fit the campaign narrative and so…well…even though indisputably true, you never did "say so" Ian. And to this day, Fauci is free to "investigate what happened in Wuhan", which is kinda like putting Heinrich Himmler & Theodor Eicke on the panel of judges at Nuremberg…or sending George Bush [the 2nd] on a hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

  33. S Brennan

    “official State Department reports that recommended defending Fauci’s efforts” Should have read:

    “official State Department reports that recommended defunding Fauci’s efforts”

    and yes that was a spellcheck correction…not Google/Tweeter/Amazon trying to be “helpful”

  34. Chicago Clubs

    >The Democrats aren’t my friends and neither are the Republicans. I’d suggest that most Americans who think either party is, are wrong.

    America is hopeless because you couldn’t say anything about Trump without a right-winger going, “what about OBAMA” and you couldn’t even open your mouth without a liberal screaming, “TRUUUUUUUMP!!!!” It never occurs to 99% of people that maybe “both sides” suck ass, and if you actually manage to espouse that belief liberals just shout “whataboutism!” and reactionaries get glassy eyed and refuse to engage.

  35. different clue

    We may have to learn a form of perception equivalent to “chameleon vision” . . . the vision which the Old World Chameleons possess. They can independently move and rotate their two separate eyes independently of eachother. So they can look in any two directions at once.

    We may have to try learning to “see” the same way. We may have to point one eye sideways to watch the right-beside-us enemies who have been engineered into existence right beside us, because they will remain a material threat and menace to us. And we may have to point the other eye straight up so we can see the upper class and overclass enemies who engineered this division in order to rule and prosper by means of it.

  36. Sam Sosa

    America is hopeless because you couldn’t say anything about Trump without a right-winger going, “what about OBAMA” and you couldn’t even open your mouth without a liberal screaming, “TRUUUUUUUMP!!!!” It never occurs to 99% of people that maybe “both sides” suck ass, and if you actually manage to espouse that belief liberals just shout “whataboutism!” and reactionaries get glassy eyed and refuse to engage.

    The politicians lie and cheat and then when they’re called on it they act stupid or they lie about it. I can’t imagine doing that in my own life. It’s despicable.

  37. Stephen Bartman

    The vitriol and threats from all sides are frightening. I may just have to leave the area.

  38. different clue

    ( I interpret Ian Welsh as hinting that this is the thread for survival-information comments, rather than the Open Thread. And yet, since the Open Thread happens every Saturday, it becomes a predictable place to look for something which begins to appear predictably there.

    So I will wait a decent interval for each Open Thread to get long and stop growing very fast, and then I will offer survival oriented comments as seem indicated. Waiting for a thread to slow down before writing any such comment will avoid the risk of Survivalism-jacking any ongoing discussion.
    If I find myself not admonished to stop doing it, other people might feel passively permitted to do the same after a thread has matured and over-matured. And if it remains permitted, perhaps a reliable Survival Saturday may emerge which could in time draw in other strictly-survival-info oriented readers.)

  39. S Brennan

    Chicago Cubs;

    Pointing out flagrant hypocrisy* has been part of western culture since [at least] Classical Greece some 2500 years ago. Hell, most apes have their form of calling out intellectual cheats…evolve man, evolve!

    * Ref: America is hopeless because you couldn’t say anything about Trump without a right-winger going, “OBAMA” and you couldn’t even open your mouth without a liberal screaming, “TRUMP!” – Chicago Cub

    Easy answer, don’t be an effing hypocrite call your shot, make it drop or give the other man the table.

    And for the record, the number of actual liberals/progressives/lefties in the USA is such a tiny minority…the last time I heard an actual liberal speak [non-hypocritically] was 1979…some 40 years ago. Al From’s DLCers purged** the Democratic party of FDRist

    **See Eric Holder prosecuting Dan Rostenkowski for what I remember was about thirty grand over his 30+ year career.

    Eric Holder, you’ll remember, was the “private” attorney that argued in the late 90’s that CDO’s/CDS’s should not be regulated…that was key in making the 2009 recession as massive as it was. Holder became a multimillionaire through his legal work on “financial derivatives”. Oh yeah…Mr. Holder was Obama’s guy to “investigate” the financial chicanery that caused the Great Recession of 2009 as Attorney General.

    Anybody putting “Chicago” in their handle ought to be able to recite the names without skipping a beat.

    FYI younger viewers, Chicago was, in it’s time, one of, if not the greatest newspaper town this world has ever known. RIP Daily News and Field owned Sun-Times…oh the treasure I found in Daily News Friday and Sun-Times Saturday editions.

  40. different clue

    In line with the ” 2 chameleon eyes – 2 chameleon eye views” theory, here is a picture of what should be looked at out of the side facing eye while looking at the upper class and overclass out of the up-facing eye.

    This can be watched without hatred, and still be watched.

  41. different clue

    I have read that change-seekers tried seeking change through intense internet activity. They discovered that the traditional internet was not able to facilitate that.

    So why bother with internet at all? Because what is learned through internet could possibly in some cases be taken into the analog meatspace real world and put to use or work there.

    About medium-term survival and safety preparations for some possible decline situations: if you can’t even help yourself, you can’t help anyone else either. A possible reason to heighten one’s chances of survival through a survival-challenging situation might be to contribute one’s knowledge or abilities to modest improvement of situations or surroundings after the short-term survival challenge has been survived.

    And some survivalist knowledge might also help people live adequately on far less matter and energy resources than what they now think is needed to live on. Millions of people reducing their own level of consumption and not minding it for the rest of their lives might be in a position to co-ordinate some of their deconsumption activities to achieve certain economic combat and warfare and reform agendas and goals. At some point in time, comments about that aspect of weaponised survivalism for offensive economic-combat purposes might be worth discussing in Tony Wikrent Sunday Roundup threads. At some point in time.

    In the meantime, those who feel any survival know-how or information know-where comment I or others might make is mere escapism are free to not read it.

    God made a scroll button.

  42. Rob K

    Hey Ian, might be a bit late to this particular post but I would be curious if there is a summary I can look to which shows the democratic voting for Trump’s bad bills (I honestly wasn’t even aware he and the republicans had passed meaningful legislation outside of the 2017 tax cuts).

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