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Comments by b-psycho
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On “Eric Levitz: The Case for Countering Trumpism With ‘Left-Wing Economics’ – New York

The mere idea, let alone observable reality apparently, that one has to explain to people that an Old Money oligarch whose spent the last several decades slapping his name on everything & living in a gold encrusted tower does not care about the working class... I'm slackjawed at this.

America gets an F in Basic Class Consciousness 101.

On “Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

If the globalists actually believed in inalienable & individual rights then they would strongly oppose anything that involved overriding such rights when asserted by others.

In practice, they don't.

This is what I refer to by it being a false distinction. It wasn't an America First open national interest type that supported, for example, the coup in Honduras -- it was Hillary Clinton. If that's what the "globalists" do, then the difference is marketing, not principle.

A true globalist view would start with a default position towards the world of respect and peace, and respond to the internal politics of other countries with "there's no legitimate reason for us to override anyone". That is, it'd be a perspective that actually sees the globe as populated with equals, rather than seeing it as something to be bent to a particular will.

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"America First" vs globalism is IMO an argument on false grounds to begin with. The assumption that both start with is that the conduct of the US abroad has been selfless & for the greater good of the world as whole, whether they think the status quo is good and should stay or they think that the US is somehow getting a Raw Deal out of it & should renegotiate more favorable terms.

A lot about how the world reached this point and the motives of those who drove it here is either omitted or outright lied about for most people. It hasn't been selfless at all, rather it's been led with a focus on Western centered transnational capitalism & the maintenance of such, including trade terms & security of resource extraction: Capital First, more like. What the "America First" crowd is doing (even if they don't specifically intend to) is using the existence of common people in the US who have not been sharing in the spoils to say "you're losing because America is losing", sliding what could've mushroomed into a class issue into the blanket of nationalism. The default "globalists" meanwhile see America First nationalism as merely vulgar -- The maintenance of Western power & transnational capital needs to keep cosmopolitan makeup on its face & eloquence on its tongue in order to do the job. Neither actually brings up who in the grand scheme of things has filled the Winners & Losers boxes in the context of Why.

The still dominant international order has worked great for a few people in the world beyond ones wildest dreams. It has at times placated some others to varying degrees by way of how the wealth extracted from it has been distributed. But it has been willfully brutal to the periphery, in continuance of what they faced from foreign powers prior in all but name.

When people in other nations talk of putting their country first, unless their proposal for such happens to not particularly undermine the current global system much, America (or rather its political elite) tends to frown upon that.

On “No One Can Say: Absurdifaction (OAG #4)

His mouth is basically connected straight to his colon. No brain involved.

On “Jennifer Rubin: Trump voters: We did hear you; we just thought better of you – Washington Post

Yet another "we need a centrist party" piece...

The US already has one, it's called the Democratic party. What the US needs is a Left.

On “Ross Douthat: What the Right’s Intellectuals Did Wrong – NYTimes.com

Anarchism being consistent & honest about about anti elitism (that no one should rule anyway, period), as compared to conservatism pretzeling itself over how to sell stiffer class & social roles to a broader base than the country club set, I would say sets it apart.

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"More Intellectually serious populism" suggests a measure of the same elite whittling of acceptable opinion that populism classically reacts against. The conflict of American Conservatism between nods towards majoritarian cultural protectionism & praise of (ideologically defined...) Common Folks on one hand, versus defense of social & economic hierarchy to the extent of assumption that elites are essential to civilization itself on the other -- it regenerates even in attempts to somehow destroy it. That snake will never go hungry off its own tail.

In a way, the weird neo-monarchist type fringe of the fringe of alt-right has a point: if you like hierarchy so much, rulers might as well have crowns. Normal conservative thought continues this "let's have hierarchy & tight social rules but call it liberty" dance instead.

On “John Harris: Whoever the leader is, Labour may never recover from this crisis – The Guardian

Could you imagine if the US had a parliament system? Similar currents here but it looks like Hillary's coronation is right on schedule...

On “2020 contenders struggle to maneuver around Trump – POLITICO

Trump suggested Cruz' dad was in on the Kennedy assassination. If that isn't too much to wave off, then WTF is?

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

Would you say that, based on your interpretation of "the political" as inherently othering, and the related view that it cannot thus inherently be bad to do so, the more realistic hope (maybe the only one) is to restrain such impulses? That is, to keep that Other sentiment from leading to oppression and slaughter?

On “Conservative Neo-Imperialism vs Jacksonian Neo-Isolationism

Less war would be a change, though yes I would prefer none.

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I'm not sure where you're getting the idea of Obama representing a philosophy of withdrawal when we've not actually seen significant withdrawal on the part of the US under him. He may have won in 2008 on the specific example of Iraq, but the actual existing president has long proven those who backed the candidate for that reason to be fools. There's even still troops there!

Re: military force as a tool of liberal ideals... I'd say that gives the advocates for it credit they don't deserve, but even that would leave aside whether their motivation is even in good faith in favor of just assuming they're incompetent or naive. There comes a time after someone keeps reaching a result that's terrible for most people on the ground when it is safe to consider that was the plan all along.

On “Sean Trende: Your Republican Nominee Straight Outta Compton – RCP

With how much cultural and political sorting has tended to be reflected by geography, the Republican party Die-Hard in The Hood must be an odd duck indeed. There's gotta be profiles of such people out there.

On “Philip Gordon: Obama Should Have Bombed Assad… – The Atlantic

The action he says should've been taken up along with his rhetoric adds a contradiction on top of the usual points of objection: if using chemical weapons is such a heinous act that it demands violence by a 3rd party to punish it in the name of "international law", how does it not justify overthrow then? More specifically, how could bombing a side in the civil war of another country be played as not an expression of picking a favor, if such attack were significant enough to have meaning?

That said, considering that the CIA has been involved with anti-Assad elements since before the shooting war started, it's doubtful that the alternate world Obama that was a Yea vote on such bombing would've been all that concerned about not going for regime change anyway. Claims of wanting to just protect civilians led to a full air war campaign & regime change in Libya after all.

Not that I'm particularly ruffled if Assad goes, mind you. The decision is no one but Syrians to make though, it's their country. The global power agendas of outsiders should rightfully be as relevant to how they live as tissue paper is to the path of a hurricane.

On “Defense and Defense Mechanisms

That disproportion of wealth & capital you mention, what would you suspect as far as a reason for that?

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Question of why the west is terribly important to that region & whether that should continue would be welcome. Perhaps even discussion about that history & where things appear headed on this continued course, conducted between the people of that region and of the west, could be of value.

Pity there's all those damn gatekeepers & rulers in the way...

On “Goodbye, Reaganism, too?

A know nothing egotistical billionaire, promising to save the frustrated masses from selfish incompetents of the ruling class by way of punching down Now More Than Ever, as if mining for The Good Old Days in the bodies of the rest of the world... The turn threatens to become an ouroboros.

Have they ever considered maybe the good old days were not all that great for more people than they're willing to admit? Or that to extent they were for who they were good for, they were a fluke?

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The existential fear is all that keeps it going because that's all that appeals to the folks outside of the country club or the financiers banquet. Accept the browning of America & stop worrying about The Jihadi Under the Bed & the only ones left for the lower classes to throw bricks at are the elites.

I get the feeling conservatism in Europe is less precarious only because they can trace their aristocrats so far back that they've become kitsch. National inside jokes don't quite inspire the pitchforks...

On “Why Discuss Anti-Modernist and Anti-Democratic Literature?

So they believe in equality & individual liberty? That people should by default be FREE regardless of ethnicity or faith?

If so, what is "alt-right" -- or even "right" -- about them?

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Is that even possible with such a topic? How do you dispassionately study & analyze a philosophy that essentially says that considering some people as less than human & deserving of being dominated is good?

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CK:

If we find Roland’s extemporaneous answer somewhat self-contradictory or otherwise unsatisfactory, and if we do not expect the Third Reich or the South or other defeated “Alts” to rise again, why study anti-modern and anti-democratic discourse?

I'd say the best reason for such a study would be to prevent the emergence of the *next* such society, and note the signs of infection of such within the society we currently live in. "Know your enemy", in other words.

On “Only the Right Believes in Class Conflict Anymore

It's like the Right skinned the (nominal) Left & is walking around wearing it.

On “Only a Zombie Walks in L.A.

Brisket? I recall you said you didn't eat pork.

As for booze, for the most part, I never understood the high end stuff. Sometimes I see at liquor stores a bottle of ridiculously aged whiskey in a box like it's a gift or something, with a 3 digit price, and wonder just who in the world would buy that. One property of hard liquor is that the more of it you have, the less you care about its perceived worth. The farthest I go price wise is the occasional white whiskey (aka moonshine), and that's because I actually think it can taste better than the aged at times.

On “Confederates in Love

Diving off a cliff that you know has a body of water at the bottom with the intended goal of safely landing in the water below counts as a reason. I'd say it's brave to do even though I would absolutely never do it myself -- it's the kind of activity that makes my mind leap to picturing unintentional gory death. Tend to avoid such things.

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