All right the US midterms weren’t so bad… unless you count the distressingly large number of places across America where 48% of our neighbors are frantically imbibing Kremlin agitprop and pro-oligarchy koolaid…
…or the desperate dumbness of our friends and allies on the left, for refusing even to talk to Hispanics (especially males) to find out why that essential part of the coalition is drifting away.
Gosh, even amid guardedly good news, the topic always has so many under-examined angles. Perspectives that you never see in the pathetically unimaginative, 2-D punditry, even on the Union side of this phase 8 of the American Civil War.
So let’s just let our hair down this time, while I take you through some off-axis ruminations… much of it about looming class war.
== Better late than never… ==
In The Atlantic, Francis Fukuyama defends the basic premise of his “End of History” notion that liberal democracies, science-based fact-checking, fair argument and reciprocal tolerance will win, in the end.
“Over the years, we have seen huge setbacks to the progress of liberal and democratic institutions, with the rise of fascism and communism in the 1930s, or the military coups and oil crises of the 1960s and ’70s. And yet, liberal democracy has endured and come back repeatedly, because the alternatives are so bad. People across varied cultures do not like living under dictatorship, and they value their individual freedom. No authoritarian government presents a society that is, in the long term, more attractive than liberal democracy, and could therefore be considered the goal or endpoint of historical progress. The millions of people voting with their feet—leaving poor, corrupt, or violent countries for life not in Russia, China, or Iran but in the liberal, democratic West—amply demonstrate this.”
Fukuyama used to be a Republican Party court intellectual. But he is also brilliant and in regular contact with all of the fact-using professions who have become the bêtes noirs of the Foxite risen-confederacy. And hence, like nearly all of the US military officer corps, he has severed those ties.
“The big question mark remains, unfortunately, the United States. Some 30 to 35 percent of its voters continue to believe the false narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and the Republican Party has been taken over by Donald Trump’s MAGA followers, who are doing their best to put election deniers in positions of power around the country. This group does not represent a majority of the country but (because of their own cheats like gerrymandering) is likely to regain control of at least the House of Representatives this November, and possibly the presidency in 2024.”
Francis Fukuyama writes, “Liberal democracy will not make a comeback unless people are willing to struggle on its behalf. The problem is that many who grow up living in peaceful, prosperous liberal democracies begin to take their form of government for granted.”
Well, well. I would add that the non-confederate Union side of this civil war has another problem. So many of its ‘generals’ are so emotionally wedded to their favorite sanctimony-drug TACTICS that they cannot allow them to be questioned, even when it harms our shared, longterm, strategic goals.
== The ongoing Great Cheat ==
Re the recent midterm election and the influence of gerrymandering, Republicans really have been far more aggressive than Democrats. As the political analyst David Wasserman recently wrote for NBC News:
“Thanks to reforms passed by voters, many heavily blue states employed bipartisan redistricting commissions that produced neutral or only marginally Democratic-leaning political maps — including in California, Colorado, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington. And state courts in Maryland and New York struck down Democratic legislatures’ attempted gerrymanders.
“By contrast, Republicans were able to manipulate congressional maps in their favor in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, among others, and the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court blocked lower court orders to draw new Black majority districts in Alabama and Louisiana. In Florida alone, Gov. Ron DeSantis overpowered his own Legislature to pass a map that adds an additional four G.O.P. seats.”
And much in the news (but not discussed here today) is the name given by the Mad Right for the Roberts Doctrine, using the illicitly ratified majority of the Supreme Court to support the ‘Independent State Legislature’ theory. That State Assemblies are the fundamental and final arbiters of electoral sovereignty, even when assembly GOP majorities are won and maintained through outright and flagrant cheating. I’ve discussed it elsewhere, along with ways to possibly corner John Roberts. Ways that I’ve seen no one even try.
Another example of political cheating….Under Bush and then under Trump, the U.S. helium reserve was given away – at steep discount – to Republican Party donors… and now we don’t have enough to run medical equipment.
In contrast, Biden (and Clinton) sold oil from the strategic reserve when prices were at maximum and used those profits to buy and refill the reserve, when prices plummeted. It’s called ‘buy low and sell high” and supposed market enthusiasts should approve! That and deficits that always go DOWN under democrats. Care to wager on that?
== The ??? who would be king? ==
“Arise! You are born of noble blood!” From SMBC, the fantasy of every neo-feudalist, neo-monarchist twit.
I’m sure you’ve heard about this pathetic “Prince Heinrich XIII” who preened at the center of Germany’s equally pathetic, QAnon-inspired, January-6th-wannabe, abortive beer hall putsch to restore both feudalism and Nazism.
1. The “prince’s” supposed line of male succession is pretty minor stuff. The nutter neo-Nazis weren’t able to recruit a Prussian-Hohenzollern heir, or Habsburg, or Saxon or even Bavarian. Unlike Vladimir Putin, who has been kissing the ring of the Romanov heir to the very same vile czars whom Vlad ritualistically chanted curses at, across the first half of his life. Now, as an “ex”-commissar who is using Soviet methods to rebuild Olde Russia, Putin waves czarist imperial escutcheons and erects statues to Nicholas II, the imbecile who first crushed all reformers and workers and then – with his equally idiotic cousin the Kaiser – plunged the hopeful beginnings of the 20th Century into hell and nightmare.
(Fascists seem to quite love royal figureheads. Mussolini, Franco, Tojo… and Hitler’s on-off flirtation with the Prussian noble castes who had conspired to raise him from nothing.)
2. Thuringia is the minor ‘principality’ of that doofus, Heinrich XIII. The region is of interest to some sci fi fans because it is the setting of the Ring of Fire Series of the late (and lamented!) Eric Flint, that Eric gorgeously expanded with many co-authors into fun alternate universe wherein a West Virginia coal town from the year 2000 gets plopped into Thuringia in the year 1632. In that series, the Wettin ancestors of poor Heinrich are portrayed as having some brains. Alas, a balrog must’ve got into the wood pile.
3. And yes, this neo-monarchist crap is reviving all over, subsidized by petro-boyars, oil-sheiks, preppers and all sorts of inheritance brats, who bribe ‘journalists’ to publish articles about jibbering-loco court apologists. I describe this ‘movement’ of nasty, microcephalic poseurs here. And here’s more on this Mencius Moldbug monster I have eviscerated several times, whose incel-hatred of the entire Enlightenment Experiment is totally bald-faced. See my article: Neo-Reactionaries drop all pretense – in their efforts to bring back rule by lords.
The good news is that the oligarchs pushing this nonsense truly do seem to have crap-for-brains and they hire dopes and flatterers, while the enlightenment can call upon modernity’s finest. The bad news is that these would-be putschists are getting desperate, especially as one of the ring-leaders – Old Vlad – is shown to be no super-KGB chessmaster, after all. And any day now he may lose it, and spasm the world down paths that the preppers, despite all their fantasies, are nowhere near ready for. And that won’t be anywhere near as fun as they imagine.
== More evidence of pico-cephalic ‘lords’ ==
It was Ronald S. Lauder, the Estee Lauder cosmetics billionaire who tried talking Trump into buying Greenland. The moronically narcissistic reasons are obvious. But could they really have been so stoopid about execution?
Even given the goal of adding to the U.S. the world’s biggest island (massively inflated on the most-used flat map projections), anyone even remotely sane in this century would have started with a cash and charm campaign at the native Greenlander indigenous community, instead of a coterie of Danish lords.
Not all billionaires are morons. But I’m realizing they DO constitute – clearly – a majority.
And while we’re on the topic… “Climate activists block private jet take-offs at Schiphol Airport…”
If there’s any type of radicalism that must spread round the globe, it is this one! Not just because under-taxed private jets are polluting parasites, symbolic of wealth disparities skyrocketing near French Revolution levels. But also because all forms of transport deteriorate when the rich abandon them.
And so, the radicalism I want to see is mobs descending on those private jet terminals with pitchforks shouting:
“All you lords and rich folk and celebrities, get BACK into 1st Class!
“Sip mimosas in seats only 2x as big as ours!
“Share our airport pain and flight delays and the rest! And if that upsets you… FIX it!”
That level of ‘radicalism’ might waken some of the insipid proto-feudalists to look up words like ‘tumbrel’ and decide NOT to tempt a revival of that kind of ride.
== Where are today’s Joe Kennedys? ==
See “Class War and the Lessons of History.” And yeah, I didn’t even once (till now) in a discussion of Class Conflict, invoke the name Karl Marx. Oh, there’s plenty to discuss! Like how old Karl never imagined that a scion of wealth – FDR – would be smart enough to buy off the workers by leveling the field and inviting them to share in a strong Middle Class. Big mistake. Glaring error! And for a while, Marx seemed consigned to the dustbin…
Only now his tomes are flying off the shelves on almost every university on the planet. Why?
Because our insipid world aristocracy is largely made up of buffoons and ‘preppers’ and inheritance brats unable to read and argue over the historical lessons of class taught by 6000 years of history. Show me one with the brains of that smart crook Joseph Kennedy, who supported FDR for one reason:
“I’d rather be taxed half my wealth so the poor and workers are calm and happy than lose it all to revolution.”
Any aristo who actually, actually thinks the R word is not on the table, amid his caste’s all out war agains increasingly fed-up nerd professions, is truly too smug, dumb and incurious to ever care what ‘tumbrel’ means, until he is riding in one. But it’s a cart that can find you, even deep in your Patagonian prepper fortress.
Though for a good fee, I’ll tell you how to avoid that conveyance!