McCarthy’s unusually actually reasonably conservative conservative foreign policy

  1. “Liberal democracy depends on empire, but there are strict limits to what empire can achieve” @ToryAnarchist‘s essay deserves a careful read 10:19:07, 2014-07-17
  2. #pt Schmitt (of ’36!)1 v Hegel-Kojève-Fukuyama, Strauss hovering benignly, neo-cons, isolationists, leftists shunted aside.. @toryanarchist 10:39:20, 2014-07-17
  3. realize I didn’t link @toryanarchist‘s essay earlier discussed: 11:39:19, 2014-07-17


  1. actually ’38, in The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes – a book taken by Schmittians to mark failure of Schmitt’s Nazi project and retreat from practical politics. []

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2 comments on “McCarthy’s unusually actually reasonably conservative conservative foreign policy

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  1. It is a good essay. One quibble:

    Liberal democracy is unnatural. It is a product of power and security, not innate human sociability. It is peculiar rather than universal, accidental rather than teleologically preordained

    The use of “natural” throws things in the wrong direction, as it frequently does. It appears to present a binary of the natural, apparently here this means, human sociability, the universal and teleological, and the unnatural, meaning the specific (ie the contingent), power and security.

    If the universal is natural, it must be contingent. Otherwise, like God, it is apart from, beyond, the natural.

    In the context of the essay, this may be nit-picking, but in the context of previous discussions here, it seems worthwhile to point out.

    • I agree that at points McCarthy slips in his attempt to overthrow Hegel et al, and that specifically the opposition natural/contingent isn’t sustainable. For parallel reasons, the question arises whether a liberal democracy or any community that doesn’t believe in itself as a mediation of a universal good (or of eternity or of the immortal or transmortal) can sustain itself as a community or politically. He at times seems aware that “we” are not and cannot be ready to give up on ourselves in this way, but seems to hope that for practical purposes enough of us can go on believing anyway.

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So, does Mitchell make any money on the work, which has been shared so many times? He uploaded a high-res image of the symbol and granted permission for anyone to use it personally for free. But for those who want to support his work or simply want something readymade, you can also buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and journals emblazoned with the symbol through Threadless.“I really just want to spread the image as much as possible and cement it in history,” Mitchell says. “In all honesty, the amount I’ve made from my Threadless shop so far is still less than my hourly rate, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. If you look at my Twitter, half the replies are people wanting to know where they can buy a shirt. Threadless is happy to help them out with that, and so I’m happy to let that happen.”Now that the symbol has flooded our streets and our timelines, Mitchell just has one request: “Impeach this idiot already,” he says.

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This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance. They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.

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One seasoned Democrat told me that among the reasons Trump won in 2016 was that a long year of Crooked Hillary talk, about emails and Goldman Sachs and the like, had steadily demoralised and demobilised the liberal base. If sustaining fury at Trump helps keep those same voters energised, so they eventually turn out to defeat him, it’ll be worth it, he says.

But it can’t just be in the form of world-weary, if witty, tweets. What’s needed is a coherent argument, one that explains why Trump’s repulsive behaviour matters. For Americans, that will surely centre on the state of their society. The civic realm is being degraded by Trump’s lies, vanities and insults. The national conversation is being coarsened. The basic democratic assumption, that disagreements can be resolved through discussion rather than coercion and violence, is being eroded from the very top. Note the language of Scaramucci’s outburst: “I want to fucking kill all the leakers.”

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