Featured

All the News that’s Fit to Kill (OAG #8)

The Post appears to be promising to narrate the death of democracy – or, if unconsciously, to be revealing an intention to embody it.

Posted in Featured, Internet, Journalism, Operation American Greatness

Thesis on the Great Trumpian Victory (OAG #6)

… that the great victory of the Trumpists would be in the destruction of faith in the American system, now approaching the consensus position.

Posted in Featured, Operation American Greatness

Si Vis Bellum, Part 1: “Militarism” and “Interventionism”

The un-clarity or confusion, or confusion of confusions, regarding the meaning of these two terms is typical of this historical moment, which in one sense can be thought to have simply befallen us, having never been willed into existence by anyone, but in another sense can be viewed as the predictable and desired product of choices made over the course of at least two or now three presidential elections, in as self-conscious a manner as a mass democratic system is able to undertake.

Posted in Featured, Neo-Imperialism, Political Philosophy, War

Operation American Greatness

Ironic how Trump apologists, especially certain types of “American Conservative” paleo-cons, self-styled republican constitutionalists, and diverse fellow travelers all the way extending to everyday “Deplorables” drunkenly hurling foul epithets at campaign reporters, have adopted a main strategic rationale of the despised Neocons and Globalists.

Posted in Featured, Neo-Imperialism, notes, Operation American Greatness, Politics, War Tagged with: , , ,

An Alliance of Digital Artists (Art and Work in the Age of Instant Reproducibility)

If the Digital Artists Alliance never amounts to more than a temporary reference point, the basis for a gesture of respect by some site operators toward an ideal, then that will be enough for me, but I invite anyone interested in exploring larger possibilities to join me.

Posted in Featured, Web Design Tagged with: , , ,

Subtweet (American Conservative Eschaton)

With less and less semblance of temperamental conservatism, ever more self-destructively, nominally conservative Americans have sought in vain to immanentize as eschaton the non-immanentization of eschaton.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics, US History

Subtweet

The absolute evil for politics as politics is the introduction of the question of absolute evil into politics, as the dissolution of politics. This rule is of the same form as the prejudice of philosophy against the entrance of prejudice into philosophy.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy

Comment Elsewhere: To @BurtLikko under “How to Fix a Broken Elephant: Prologue”

Every other re-othered, just like we like it.

Posted in Comments Elsewhere, Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: ,

Conservative Neo-Imperialism vs Jacksonian Neo-Isolationism

As for Trumpism vs. Bushism, one will be no less dependent on “populist nationalism” than the other, to whatever extent it is also successful: In a mass electoralist national system under popular sovereignty, the winner will always be the truest national populist, by definition, if not necessarily the purest national populist according to some external or merely intellectual standard.

Posted in Featured, Neo-Imperialism, Politics Tagged with: , ,

Comment at American Creation on Strauss and the Problem of Belief

A remark about philosophers is not the same thing as a philosophical remark, and considering it philosophically is different from considering it in terms of, say, intellectual history.

Posted in Anismism, Featured, notes, Philosophy

From the Featured Archives

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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