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Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min

October 13, 2018
Beautiful Country Burn Again

Ben Fountain recounts the 2016 election and explores where he thinks the country is headed today.

The Great Depression required reordering society with a social democratic state, strong anti-monopoly laws, a robust social safety net, collective bargaining, and strong unions. In the 1950s Americans got a higher share of the fruits of productivity.
Grover Norquist doesn't realize what holds him up.

Progressive government gave us clean water and raised life expectancy. FDR was elected in a democratic movement. Our politics has been degraded in the past 18 years. Americans are working more hours; corporate profits soar and wages haven't risen since the 1970s.

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Right Wing Populism and the Social Question 13.Nov.2018 15:02

Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner

Right Wing Populism and the Social Question
by Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner, 11/4/2017, socialeurope.eu


Right-wing extremists only gain traction because the left let them: in the Great Depression of the 1930s German social democrats actively supported austerity and thus deep cuts in the welfare state. Rudolf Hilferding, the prominent Marxist, social democratic intellectual and one-time finance minister, rejected Keynesian demand policies as "un-Marxian". He hoped the economic crisis would be the harbinger of revolution. While social democrats clung to their fantasy of the proletarian revolution, the only party to actively campaign for Keynesian demand management to overcome the crisis and bring people back to work were the Nazis. They could present themselves as the only alternative both to unfettered market fundamentalism and abstract Marxism.

This might be the lesson for today: Social democrats have to regain credibility in the social and economic area and not cling to their neo-liberalism "light" if they want to stop right-wing extremism. Simply branding right-wing extremists as racists in the hope voters will be scared and stop voting for them will not work as long as people feel they have lost control over their lives.

About Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner

Fabian Lindner is an economist working at the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. He studied in Germany and France and holds master degrees in political science and economics. He also writes columns on the blog Herdentrieb of the German weekly Die Zeit. Nikolaus Kowall is Managing Director of the Forschungsinstitut für Gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung (Research Institute for Societal Development) in Düsseldorf, Germany. He holds a doctorate in Economics, having focussed on competitiveness of economies.


apparently Kowall and Lindner ^ *get it* (and perhaps ?? marc1seed too?) 13.Nov.2018 21:35


the lesson for today: Social democrats have to regain credibility in the social and economic area and not cling to their neo-liberalism "light" if they want to stop right-wing extremism. Simply branding right-wing extremists as racists in the hope voters will be scared and stop voting for them will not work as long as people feel they have lost control over their lives.

( or — in the ^ above quote for the specific other case of the United States —
substitute, "the opposition" or "Democratic Party" for the words 'Social democrats' )

the 'opposition' to any 'right wing populist' Movement or Candidate must rest on an actual


of policy, stated goals, or ___________ [ <—— You fill in the blank ] Standing For *something* of substance.

Identity politics, 'privilege checking', handwringing-hysterical rhetoric cries of 'Racism!' / 'Fascist!' Et Cetera on their own are not nearly enough.

On Rhetoric And Strategy In Social Justice And Leftist Spaces

It is time to check privilege checking. D'Arcy discusses the concept of privilege throughout his piece and how the shift towards examining interpersonal communications and relationships has enhanced the visibility of checking people on their acquired privileges. This has its place without a doubt; people have to realize that humanity is more of an ongoing dialectic rather than particular blocks of time existing in one vacuum or the other, and the particular qualities about one's life is in many ways dependent on how that dialectic has shaken out for their community of origin. So yes, people should be made aware of how their privilege manifests in its various forms. But how do we do that? An article originally written for The Daily Mississippian that was reprinted for TIME's Ideas section seems to suggest one way that is growing in popularity: simply tell a person "check your privilege" and then wipe your hands of the situation. After all, it is now their problem, right? And you do not have time to educate anyone, because what do you look like? Google? That approach is cathartic, self-satisfying, and it even gets you pub in an international news outlet! But does it really do anything more than that? Do you remember the last time someone so harshly dismissed you? Did it make you any more likely to listen to anything that person had to say? Yeah, me neither. As D'Arcy puts it, "There is a certain optimism in the idea of 'consciousness-raising,' or the concept of 'the people,' that seems naive and unconvincing to many of today's activists. The shift from 'consciousness-raising' to 'calling out,' for instance, reflects (and encourages) a loss of confidence in the capacity of people to learn about, understand and oppose forms of inequality that do not adversely impact them as individuals." Ngoc Loan Tran suggested a different format of corrective suggestion that they termed as "calling in", where we approach those who transgress with the kind of humanity that we feel they lacked in their actions. While recognizing that calling out can still be of importance, Tran also recognizes the consequences of implementing that particular strategy in every situation. Tran, however, limits this practice to those we care about and share community with, since a rupture there can obviously have a profound effect on our efficacy as organizers (and if Tran did not make that clear, Mia McKenzie erases all doubt about the intended audience in a postscript). I love the concept, but disagree with the narrowness of scope: this should really be standard operating procedure amongst leftists. We have to recognize the difference between a mistake, a difference of opinion, and an action undertaken with harmful intent, and broadening the concept of "calling in" outside of our particular circles begins the process of doing that.

Hope Against Despondency: Interpreting Class Post-Trump
Enclosing Trump as a solitary force for bigots, racists, misogynists would be politically tragic, as it is simplistic, in that it fails to recognize the manoeuvres of such narratives. There is a more imperative underscore of why and who elected this candidate that must be teased-out.

Today it is clear that much work needs/is to be done. An immediate and important aspect of this effort is to recognize how our contemporary class consciousness is currently being expressed. As evident, it is a class-identity channelled through an autonomous individuation associated with self-interest rather than a body correspondingly divorced from the means of production and consequentially exploited. It is essential that a clear understanding of where one sits in relation to the distal structures of power be grounded in a recognition of the State and the means of production. What then needs to be taken off the shelf is a class consciousness of shared-relation(s); a collective recognition of alienation as a class rather than a singular neoliberal by-product (or subject).

It's Class, Stupid, Not Race

A Critical Analysis Of Some Left-Liberal Reaction To The Recent Election

Liberal Brains Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics
A "grab them by the pussy," racist, sexist white man has grabbed the White House, and the polite class is twirling in outrage like dervishes approaching oblivion.

This insult to the "dignity of the office" and the "nation" is more shocking than the action of the black man who took the Nobel Peace Prize and then proceeded to bomb seven countries.

Liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics are unwilling to recognize in the politically incorrect catastrophe of Donald Trump's victory the blowback to the ferocious economic plunder by the neoliberal order, backed by decades of wanton and unchecked military aggressions.

What Is To Be Done? Looking Past Trump's Tyranny
author: David Rosen 04.Nov.2018 19:48

The Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, The Worthless "Left," And Liberal Delusions
The Democratic Party's stunt has nothing to do with the foregoing, absolutely nothing. The Democratic Party's commitment to Identity Politics is not a commitment to the real issues and questions that are the basis for Identity Politics, it is a commitment to marshalling people's energy around these issues and questions to the imperatives of finance capital globalism and American imperialism. It's not an accident that the heroes of this Democratic Party/Identity Politics "feminism," such as Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow, are so open and bloodthirsty about their militarism.

Portland Indymedia Jan 2014 vs Jan 2017, NAFTA and Trump

The Silent Death Of The American Left

Prospects For An Alt-Left
and excerpt —>  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/11/433865.shtml#448976

'Intersectionality': Set Theory of the Left

Robert Reich (on CNN): Berkeley Protesters Were 'Right Wing'

White Males Conduct, Orchestrate Vandalism / Property Destruction In Downtown Portland

Establishment Candidate LOST, And You Protest THAT?!

Hillary Clinton was strongly supported in the 2016 presidential campaign by American fascist elements

Obama's Imperial Presidency

Barack Obama's Great Tower of Nothing: Gentrification on a Presidential Level

Democrat Party: Alliance of Wealthy Whites + Low Income Ethnic Minorities

The Progressive Movement Is A PR Front For Rich Democrats

Self-Righteousness And Left-Activism

Neoliberalism propogated by DEMOCRAT Party.
06.Nov.2018 18:15

[Must-Read FOR ALL] Donald Trump and the American Left 13.Nov.2018 21:53

author: Rob Urie


August 3, 2018

The election of Donald Trump fractured the American Left. The abandonment of class analysis in response to Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism left identity politics to fill the void. This has facilitated the rise of neoliberal nationalism, an embrace of the national security state combined with neoliberal economic analysis put forward as a liberal / Left response to Mr. Trump's program. The result has been profoundly reactionary.

What had been unfocused consensus around issues of economic justice and ending militarism has been sharpened into a political program. A nascent, self-styled socialist movement is pushing domestic issues like single payer health care, strengthening the social safety net and reversing wildly unbalanced income and wealth distribution, forward. Left unaddressed is how this program will move forward without a revolutionary movement to act against countervailing forces.

As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.'

This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump's racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning.

The future could be open and dynamic and not closed and static 14.Nov.2018 06:36


Harry Kravitz, a buyout artist who "earned" $35 million a year and has six homes, sold portions of companies with money borrowed from the govt and never paid tax on his earnings. Closing the tax havens and ending tax competition are vital for a fair tax system/ Trump is a symptom and not a cause of an inverted or upside down economy where only the super-rich profit and workers and nature fall by the wayside!

Generalized corruption, selective perception, spineless branches of govt, path dependency and internalized cowardice all combine to make the US into a "one-dimensional" country without a critical and independent educational system! The left must become inclusive and positive or it falls into irrelevance. May the blue wave symbolize a new commitment to the future that is open and dynamic and not closed and static!

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