Unserious

Antifa flatter themselves that they are what stands between the United States and fascism or Nazism. This is, obviously, absurd. It’s pure tribalism: President Obama authorized the extrajudicial killing of American citizens as a national-security measure; President Trump is an angry tweeter. But it is the latter rather than the former that apparently presages the rise of a Falange Americana. That is how you know that this is a fundamentally unserious point of view.

Yeah. . . We all saw the photos coming out of Yemen. They are horrific. And it wasn’t Trump but our wonderful, non-racist president Obama who contributed to making that happen. If it were Trump, we’d be hearing that he’s genociding “brown people” on purpose because he’s such a Nazi.

I understand the desire to spice up one’s sated life with fantasies that one is saving the planet by posting crap on Facebook. I wouldn’t have any beef with it if only people didn’t start co-opting words like Nazism, fascism, and totalitarianism for the purposes of increasing their enjoyment of this game.

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17 thoughts on “Unserious”

  1. “One might get a feel for the level of maturity at play here by meditating on the fact that a grown-ass woman of legal voting age was walking around drinking chocolate milk.”

    I drink chocolate milk and I resent that!

    For the record, most Antifa people hate Obama too, and they did complain about him “killing brown people overseas.” These are far left people, not Democrats. Not that their hate for Obama is equal to Trump; they’ve bought into the same “fascism is on the way!” bullshit everyone else has.

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  2. Transcript of Macron’s speech at the Arc de Triomphe on the centenary of Armistice Day in front of 70 heads of states [in French]
    What do you make of this?

    English speaking news media keeps emphasizing one paragraph like it’s about taking potshots at Trump and it’s not the primary thought.

    Macron is obviously using “nationalism” as code for something else and is talking to other people besides Americans and America’s role in NATO.

    I haven’t read the obviously thousands of thinkpieces about what he’s trying to say about reaffirming French commitment to the EU on top of actually remembering the Great War and not falling into historical amnesia.

    Of course Macron quote tweeted himself, so he thinks it’s key.

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  3. Great article on Sherrod Brown, don’t want to wait until the next link roundup:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/want-beat-trump-2020-look-sherrod-browns-latest-big-win-ohio-100008235.html

    “Other, higher-profile Senate populists — Sanders and Warren — tend to view the world through an anti-Wall Street lens. Brown sees everything from a pro-worker perspective. To the casual listener, Sanders and Warren can sound as if they’re bashing billionaires or bankers because they’re billionaires or bankers — a message that might resonate in liberal enclaves like Vermont or Massachusetts but doesn’t play as well in middle America.

    In contrast, Brown is always careful to remind voters that the real problem isn’t corporate profits per se — it’s that “workers are no longer sharing in the wealth they help create.”

    For me, this is what sets Brown across from most progressives. It’s why he’s well suited to Ohio in a way they aren’t.

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  4. Somebody argues American workers’ bargaining power is about to rise because of demographics and the populist surge against immigration:

    http://hipcrimevocab.com/2018/11/04/help-wanted/

    // I have a hunch that business leaders knew this day would come eventually, hence the massive push for immigration we saw beginning in the 1990’s under the Clinton administration. Business leaders–whose job it is to look ahead, after all–could see that the demographic “cliff” of the 1970’s would eventually constitute the heart of the workforce. In order to prevent a serious potential worker shortage in the future, something drastic needed to be done. They likely knew this a long time ago.

    And indeed, here are the immigration numbers. Note the timing of the spike (starting after 1980)

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  5. Interesting:

    Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world

    The word has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names the reigning ideology of our era – one that venerates the logic of the market and strips away the things that make us human.

    Last summer, researchers at the International Monetary Fund settled a long and bitter debate over “neoliberalism”: they admitted it exists. Three senior economists at the IMF, an organisation not known for its incaution, published a paper questioning the benefits of neoliberalism. In so doing, they helped put to rest the idea that the word is nothing more than a political slur, or a term without any analytic power. The paper gently called out a “neoliberal agenda” for pushing deregulation on economies around the world, for forcing open national markets to trade and capital, and for demanding that governments shrink themselves via austerity or privatisation. The authors cited statistical evidence for the spread of neoliberal policies since 1980, and their correlation with anaemic growth, boom-and-bust cycles and inequality.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/18/neoliberalism-the-idea-that-changed-the-world

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  6. I read the article about Neoliberalism and it was really good, at last clarifying quite a few things to me and giving numerous interesting historical details. The website has also an article (haven’t read yet) on

    The making of an opioid epidemic

    When high doses of painkillers led to widespread addiction, it was called one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine. But this was no accident.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/08/the-making-of-an-opioid-epidemic

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  7. I don’t care which of your bloody American presidents or which of my bloody UK governments has the most or least responsibility for the carnage and devastation in Yemen, they are ALL culpable. WE are all culpable if we aren’t telling out politicians directly that this has to stop! Yemen is a beautiful country with people who are in the main strong, hardworking and resilient, but they can’t cope with Saudi Arabia bombing, shelling and starving them into the stone age which is what is happening, while some people are more concerned with laying blame.
    I spent part of my childhood living near Aden which is now part of the appalling Yemeni catastrophe. What is the west going to do to stop this?! What exactly is Antifa doing to stop this? Pointing fingers is pathetic and bloody pointless.
    Sorry. Rant over but I am very, very angry.

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  8. Cannot Purdue Pharma and others be forced to pay for treatments of addicted patients? For not medical treatments, I mean, not another drug they will sell. Why were no drug companies punished by losing money after achieving huge profits via knowingly destroying human lives?

    I know it sounds naive, but if there were a political will to make them pay for damage, what would they be able to do? Stop selling in USA? Of course, not. I believe only losing huge sums of money would teach them not to do something similar again.

    It was suitable to read this article after the one on Neoliberalism since the opioid epidemic shows the failure of Neoliberalism, no?

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    1. Obama couldn’t do anything to them because whenever he tried, they threatened to stop paying for his reelection campaigns and the campaigns of other Democrats. That’s why no drug companies were punished, nobody in the banking industry were punished, etc. They pay for political campaigns. Of both parties, obviously.

      We hear every time, “this year there was the most expensive campaign in the history of the US!” Candidates take this dirty money, one of them wins – the companies can’t care less which – and then can’t do anything to his or her contributors and sponsors.

      I don’t believe this is a loss for neoliberalism. I think it’s a feature, not a bug. As more people become redundant, you need to put them somewhere. Make them be profitable in some way that isn’t their labor because nobody needs their labor. That’s a way to make them profitable. They are turned into conduits to suck out the state’s money. Because they buy drugs with state insurance and state drug subsidies. The opioid epidemic is engineered to siphon state money to private companies. I’m paying taxes that will be used to get my neighbor’s kid addicted. That’s the side of it nobody talks about.

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      1. This is why I’m against Cory Booker being the nominee in 2020. Not that other candidates will necessarily stand up to Big Pharma, but with him it’s a guarantee that he’ll roll over for them.

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      2. I don’t want to be cynical but I think a lot of psychotropic drugs serve this function too. It’s not that people don’t need them but nobody is interested in non-drug solutions or altering the environment so who knows how many people are on drugs that would not be if they could use these options?

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  9. The antifa people I have encountered aren’t all that interested in Trump. They are more intent on watching the social media of fringe right-wing and racist groups with guns and intent on physically showing up where the fringe groups show up, on the belief that the government (regardless of whether it’s Obama, Trump, or another administration) is inept to stop those groups, so ordinary people have to stop or at least disrupt those groups. There may be tribalism and self-flattery, but it’s not part of any of the big tribes, and the Nazis they are fighting are modern neo-Nazis, not just some people with a Make America Great hats.


    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.js

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    1. The reality is that these are bored rich kids who are egged on by Putin-sponsored social media to make trouble. Nazis and racists have nothing to do with it. It’s just children of privilege who have read a few too many Kremlinbot tweets.

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