Sacred Fascist Fount – now on video (you asked for it, Mr. Miller)

(In response to more on Hitchens at Corey Robin’s joint:)

Hitchens was right about the war on terror, just wrong about who the real enemy was… Not “clash of civilizations,” but a defining moment of the clash or crisis within civilization – whether the final crisis of the American Neo-Empire or a premonition of it, still an epochal shift to be confronted with one’s whole being whether one likes it or not. The enthusiasm for war follows in the wake of a joyous casting off of the merely reasonable: The personal, national, and civilizational mid-life descents become indistinguishable from each other: Hitchens adopts and formally obtains an American citizenship in the same way that another man in his 50s might drop an old wife for a young one, or take up sky-diving, or both, and much more, while the head-shaking judgments of peers and progeny provide welcome opportunity to demonstrate how invigorating he finds rejecting their influence and opinions. Greater or anyway historically more significant minds than Hitch’s have succumbed to that temptation, and the assertion from any of us “I would never” is always premature – and very likely self-falsifying. The turn to religion, or for some to an unskeptically absolute skepticism that amounts to the same thing, comes next, as night follows day (intimation of mortality, the starting point).

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

12 comments on “Sacred Fascist Fount – now on video (you asked for it, Mr. Miller)

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  1. I would say he’s more like Hemingway, or the fictional equivalent, Rich Blaine, a man who had seen the enemy in Ethiopia, and in the Spanish Civil War.he had opposed the Gulf War, because of the realpolitik he saw in Baker and co, but he felt deeply for an agrieved people like the Kurds, which had barely survived the ravages of the Anfal. He saw rather clearly, the dark face of the Saud, his colleague Martin Amis similarly saw things clearly, One would think the fine ash and the stench of burning bodies and jet fuel would be enough to incur emnity, but I suppose not,
    Had it not been for one astute Customs agent, Gomez Menendez, the Capitol building would have become a charnel house,

  2. OT, the season finale of Homeland is coming up, from the clips, it appears the MacGuffin, turned out to be a piece of misdirection, Brody is moving to a decapitation strike, not unlike the one seen in that Fesperman book about Jordan,
    and Carrie may not be able to stop this simulacrum of a return to sender from a drone strike, the President is a fan of
    the show, interestingly enough.

  3. Gonna replace the video with a version where the volume is higher. Trying to develop a rough/don’t-get-mental facility with producing these, but I think the original’s a bit low…

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Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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