64

(Neo)Liberalism and its Discontents

Frank Lee

FROM CLASSICAL LIBERALISM TO NEO-LIBERALISM

The contemporary neo-liberal coalition consisting politically of a centre-left, centre, and centre-right – what we might call the neo-liberal blob – has always co-existed in an uneasy relationship with collectivist and communal political movements and philosophies; moreover both traditional (or classical) liberalism and neo-liberalism are acutely aware of the actual and potential power of nationalism, sovereignty and – horrible dictu – socialism.

Liberalism, therefore, has been obliged to engage in an unending struggle against these possible threats to its hegemonic practices and ambitions, and also in its belief in its own unchallenged and God-given right and duty to rule. But firstly, it should be understood that nationalism and national sentiments can be either reactionary or revolutionary.

Hitler and Mussolini were reactionaries in one sense of the term but the Vietnamese National Liberation Front (NLF) and the Algerian anti-colonial struggle against French occupation, Le Front Liberation Nationale (FLN) were national liberation, anti-colonial political movements, which could hardly be described as being reactionary.

OPPOSITION CURRENTS

But in the contemporary world, neo-liberalism or liberal elitism has supplanted classical liberalism and transmuted into a specific and virulent type of reactionary theory and crusade.

This being said it behoves us to ask why liberalism, whether traditional or elitist, is weak when weighed against the challenge of nationalism? Well because,

…nationalism is more in sync with human nature than liberalism, which mistakenly treats individuals as utility maximisers who only worry about their own welfare rather than as intensely social beings. Nationalism, which is predicated on the correct belief that individuals invariably have a strong sense of loyalty toward their own group, is better at addressing several critically important human needs. This is why nationalism is a ubiquitous force in the modern world and liberalism is not.” [1]

Outside of the elites and the professional classes, however, liberalism has never had a mass following or popular base. This applies to the United States in particular where only 61% of registered voters actually voted in the most recent Presidential election.

Moreover, the US political parties made sure that smaller party representation was excluded by their rigged system of voting. This was the same in the UK. A first past the post two-party cartel with each party being elected by a minority of the population, and the additional role of corporate funding which results in the same situation in the US.

The mass of the population, however, tend to be disinclined to peruse the self-centred trash novels of someone like Ayn Rand, or stand transfixed in awe of Jeff Bezos qua rugged individualist.

Nonetheless, the PTB have been able to construct and control the political, economic and ideological ruling paradigm to great effect. Instrumental in this project has been the coalition of the mass-media, the political and economic structures in addition to the system of education.

However, when the ruling elite cannot win by argument – which invariably they cannot – they resort to lies, calumny, mind-control bribery and straight mafia gangsterism, including high-level assassinations.

NEO-LIBERAL IDEOLOGY

Liberals (of the woke variety) the sort that read the Guardian, Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post tend to be cosmopolitan, rootless, and obsessed with individual rights which they hold to be universal.

Class struggle, however, is something alien to them as are all and any ideas of collectivism and national sovereignty. But it should be borne in mind that when push comes to shove, liberals will be positioned on the other side – viz., the oligarchy – in the class struggle.

In sociological terms, liberals are a floating group with weak social moorings unable and/or unwilling to commit themselves to anything which smacks of social collectivism (socialism) and social obligations. This could easily be extended to include significant elements of the ruling class proper.

Unfortunately for liberals, human nature seems more compatible with nationalism than liberalism – liberalism being a doctrine which treats the human being as homo economicus, utility maximisers who are self-centred and preoccupied with their own welfare often to the exclusion of others and the wider community around them.

This reaches a toxic form in the works of somebody like the aforementioned Ayn Rand. The Russian-American Ms Rand is an over-rated self-publicist much in the style of Salvador Dali, but minus the talent. See below.[2]

Nationalism and sovereignty, however, is predicated on the view that individuals are members not only of nations, but various other groups and share rights and duties and indeed would be prepared to forfeit their lives to their national sovereign state in time of war. Liberalism is as weak as straw against this force. A fact that George Orwell correctly noted.

One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognises the overwhelming strength of patriotism and national loyalty. In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain levels of civilization it does not exist, but as a positive force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power in their own countries very largely because they could grasp this fact and their opponents could not.” [3]

John Mearsheimer also writes on this connection:

It is because liberalism fails to provide individuals with a sense of community that it cannot provide the glue to hold a society together. It does not make them feel a large and vibrant group that is special and worthy of esteem. This is important to people psychologically as well as for keeping a society intact.

This problem derives partly from liberalism’s particularist strand – one that rivets on atomistic individuals who have rights but few duties and obligations – and partly from its universalist strand: its emphasis on inalienable rights, which apply to all people, not just the members of a particular group.

In fact, liberalism does not simply fail to provide the bonds that keep society intact; it also has the potential to eat away at those bonds which ultimately damage that society’s foundation.” [4]

BELIEFS AND REALITIES

In Plato’s Republic the Hitler and Mussolini regimes would have been compared to the Spartan model, termed Timarchy: a warlike and warrior creed ‘who preferred war to peace. It will admire the tricks and stratagems which are needed in war, which will be its constant preoccupation.’ this differed from oligarchy which is what traditional liberalism has morphed into in our own time. The description of an oligarchy in Plato’s estimation seems quite simple: ‘A society where it is wealth that counts … and where political power is in the hands of the rich and the poor have no share in it.’[5]

Times don’t seem to have changed much!

Such is the nature of elitism. Liberal or more precisely, neo-liberal elitism is a distant cousin of its fascist version, but there is the familiar and shared social and political division: society is characterised as consisting of a ruling elite caste and a mass of irrational and unstable populace who need control and guidance. But taking liberalism at face value we can examine its claims, theory and practise to see precisely how it lives up to its own portrayal.

Liberalism is the tendency of an individual to privilege liberal political policies such as a free press, freedom to vote, free trade, equal liberties and so on.

Liberalism considers the individual to be the first unit and main constituent of a group. It also considers the group to be the sum of its members (individuals).

Consequently, society arises as a result of a voluntary or involuntary agreement between individuals. The main factor that drives the individual to engage in a community is their desire to be preserved and protected throughout a system – that system being the society.

Moreover, the society is systemised spontaneously and without deliberated planning. This systemised community or society, which is a sum of individuals, permits a person to benefit according to his own needs. This in turn subsequently benefits the whole society.

Furthermore, a balanced society is similar in its function to the function of the market economy. The thought of classical liberal figures such as John Locke, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Giuseppe Mazzini, and John Stuart Mill share these basic liberal principles.

Such are the theoretical claims of Liberalism. The practice, however, is somewhat different. A free press? Hardly, free-trade? Try mercantilism and state capitalism. Freedom to vote. Yes, but this must be qualified. Votes must be cast for the ‘correct’ party.

See the Brexit experience! Equality of opportunity!? Yeah right!

I think I will stop at this point since all of these claims, lack substance, are purely theoretical and/or fatuous. It seems patently obvious that classical liberalism or neo-liberalism does not in any sense live up to its overblown claims.

Its salient features and political trajectory has been determined by a ruthless imperial realpolitik abroad and a reassertion of naked exploitative power over its ‘citizens’ at home. The definition of oligarchy seems more appropriate at the present stage of historical development.

I remember once we spoke of ‘Actually existing socialism’ as opposed to purely theoretical socialism. This term was initially coined by the East German dissident Rudolf Bahro in his book [6] containing his critique of the political system in the German Democratic Republic – Stasi and all.

I think it would now be realistic to think of the western empire as being ‘Actually existing liberalism’ instead of the genuine article – viz., the liberalism of John Stuart Mill, particularly in essays such as ‘On Liberty’ one of the great political tracts, which should be compulsory reading for everyone.

‘Actually existing liberalism’ is overtly authoritarian and de facto oligarchic given to displaying gangsterist features. We may take the United States as the prototype of this development. Recent studies have confirmed what most American people already know and what is common knowledge even outside of the USA, namely,

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”[7]

Having been to the US and seen cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Hoboken NJ, Richmond and Savannah this much was self-evident and doesn’t require any further explanation. The neo-liberal virus is complemented by globalization (i.e., neo-liberalism writ large), or the Washington Consensus, call it what you will.

GEOPOLITICS AND NEO-LIBERALISM

Suffice it to say that neo-liberalism qua globalization is the key component in present-day global geo-politics, economics and culture. A transnational elite (TNE) led by the United States began to emerge in the immediate post-war period together with the Bretton Woods system.

That system began to break up circa 1975 due to the sustained and ongoing decline of post-war capitalism and the Bretton Woods system. During this interregnum – the Reagan-Thatcher interlude – an altogether new form of rule, in terms of politics, geopolitics and geo-economics, began to be established which we now call neo-liberalism. This period lasted until the collapse of the Soviet system in 1991 and the fall of the Berlin wall in the same year.

These events led to a complete destabilization of the Soviet/American geopolitical deadlock. The US unipolar moment had arrived complete with the neo-liberal baggage with which we are now familiar.

All of which was heady stuff for key elements in US ruling circles i.e., the neo-conservatives. American dominance was to be established and confirmed in the Wolfowitz Doctrine 1993 and the end-of-history thesis enunciated by the likes of the over-rated Francis Fukuyama.

The US’s hegemonic ambitions were unleashed on a global scale: first target, Russia, which was on its knees, and would be kept on its knees with the US puppet – Yeltsin – at the helm.

Second target, the global south and its aspirations and struggle for freedom. This was to be stopped, by all means possible, including assassinations (Allende, Lamumba, Arbenz, Qaddafi, Hussein) and removals (Sukarno, Nyrere, Manley, Milosevic) to name a few.[8]

Third target: the systems of social welfare which had been set up during WW2 and carried on into the civilian economies throughout Europe and to a limited degree in the United States itself (The New Deal) and East Asia.

Peter Gowan wrote back in 1999:

The 1990s have been the decade of globalization. We see its effects everywhere: in economic, social and political life around the world. Yet the more all-pervasive are these effects, the more elusive is the animal itself. An enormous outpouring of academic literature has failed to provide an agreed view of its physiognomy of its location and some reputable academics of the Right and Left even question its very existence.

Anglo-American journalists and politicians insist, that a mighty beast which savages all those who fail to respect its needs. They assure us that its gaze (‘blank and pitiless as the sun’) has turned on the Soviet bloc, the European social model, the East Asian developmental model, bringing them all to their knees.

For these pundits, globalization is the bearer of a new planetary civilization, a single market-place, a risk society, a world beyond the security of states, an unstoppable, quasi-natural force of global transformation.”[9]

In addition to these institutions whose purpose was to promote the interests of the Transnational Elites, there was the propaganda apparatus pouring out its daily, weekly, monthly unipolar and neo-liberal message.[10] This message could have come straight out of any number of economics textbooks which form the basis of the economics curricula at universities throughout the world.

The theory, briefly summarised, runs as follows: Barriers are bad. National barriers, Institutional barriers, economic barriers or indeed anything which obstructs the free flow of capital are bad, or in the neo-liberal vernacular, produce market distortions.

Therefore it follows that trade unions are bad since they produce such economic distortions, the economy will be free to work without obstruction and will produce optimal output if such market distortions are not allowed.

Similarly, borders which establish sovereignty and the ability to control and guide the economy are bad. Borders represent another market distortion since they deny the free movement of labour, commodities, and capital.

The Maastricht Treaty established in February 1991 was a prime example of these policies. This treaty was designed to abolish such institutional barriers as the Keynesian practice of state intervention to secure full employment and a large welfare state that ring-fenced minimal social welfare criteria for the population as a whole.

In addition, the liberalisation of capital account – i.e., movements of capital flows in and out of the country – was absolutely necessary since as things stood preventing these flows constituted a ‘barrier’ to both labour and capital market flexibility and therefore reduced competitiveness. This process was carried forward by the subsequent formation of the Economic and Monetary Union and Eurozone (1999-2002).

This ‘single market’ signified neither the integration of peoples, nor the integration of States, but just the integration of ‘free’ markets. Additionally, these liberalised markets meant not just the unimpeded movement of commodities, capital and labour, but also ‘flexibility’ i.e., the elimination of barriers to the free formation of prices and wages, as well as curtailing of the states’ control of economic activity. It was Wolfgang Streeck who opined that ‘once markets operated within states, but now states operate within markets.

Thus in the interests of ‘competitiveness’, the European social-model has degenerated into a kind of Americanized Europe where income and wealth inequality is increasingly skewed toward the American system.

In terms of geopolitics the same structural assimilation is taking Europe into a subaltern position vis-à-vis, the US global hegemon. The EU, through membership of NATO has been and continues to be used as a military occupation zone and potential battlefield in a possible conflict with Russia.

And leading the pack of EU-quislings and vassals have been the UK (of course) the Baltics (combined population lower than London and shrinking all the time) Romania with its hospitality demonstrated by providing a base for US nuclear missiles. Likewise, Poland, probably the most craven, crackpot, and destructive political force in Europe. More Catholic than the Pope, that is in a political, not actual sense.

THE WHEEL OF HISTORY TURNS

It would appear that the American strategic project of a global empire – always a long shot – is entering very choppy waters. The end of the unipolar moment has become a fait accompli.

The global south is becoming restive, China’s rising power and the re-emergence of Russia is tipping the balance in favour of an anti-hegemonic bloc. The sanctions war against America’s defined enemies has now spread to a sanctions war against its putative allies, Turkey over the purchase of S-400s, and Germany over Nordstream-2.

These are more than simply straws in the wind. Regime change policy, colour revolutions and wars of choice are becoming more difficult to execute, let alone win. The imperial elan of the 1990s is now turning into a de facto hysteria in the 2020s. History is such a bitch!

But the fundamental problem with the Anglo-American ideological system – neoliberalism – is that most people around the world are not enamoured of its reputed ‘benefits’ – benefits which are said to include borderless states (a contradiction in terms) free movement of capital, labour and commodities, a global monoculture based upon consumption and the ‘American way of life’ and a destruction of indigenous cultures, identity politics and Randist post-modernism.

All of which only appeal to small sectors of the global population. The masses simply don’t want it. Globalized capitalism is hitting a brick wall.

ALIENATION AND ANOMIE: MARX AND DURKHEIM

ALIENATION: In the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 Marx (1818-83) outlined his theory of Alienation and outcome intrinsic to the workings of capitalism. Briefly stated this involved whereby a subject (worker) suffers from a dependence on an apparently external agency (capital) that was originally his own product.

Making an analogy with religion and capitalism Marx stated: ‘Man created God in his own image, and then treated himself as being dependent on his own creation.’

Similarly, Labour’s product – capital – confronts its maker as something alien (and hostile) as a power independent of the producers. What Marx seems to have in mind is the inverted relationship between labour and capital.

He writes:

All these consequences are contained in the definition that the worker is related to the product of his labour as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful the alien objective world becomes which he creates against himself, the poorer he himself – his inner world – becomes, the less belongs to him as his own.” [11]

Capital is only objectified labour and the workers in effect continue to reproduce the conditions of their own subservience. Furthermore, following the treatment of alienation of the worker in his product Marx develops the theme of the alienation of labour itself:

If then the product of labour is alienation production itself must be active alienation, the alienation of activity, the activity of alienation, labour is external to the worker, that is to say it does not belong to his essential being … in his work therefore, he does not affirm himself, he denies himself, does not feel content but feels unhappy, does not develop freely, his mental and physical energy, but mortifies his body and ruins his mind.” []

His labour is not free labour but forced labour. Sounds familiar.

I am reminded of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber: ‘Is your job one that makes the world a better place? If not, it is probably bullshit, part of a system that is keeping us under control.’ Graeber’s research found that more ‘than not had either bullshit jobs or part-time bullshit jobs, delivering pizzas, or no jobs at all.

Such are the labour conditions under late capitalism. We are not quite the downtrodden proles of Engels Condition of the Working Class in England first published in 1844, but we seem to be getting there.

Little wonder therefore that neo-liberal capitalism doesn’t seem to have any appeal to the masses who increasingly turn to short-term palliatives – drugs, alcohol, pornography, junk-food, junk-culture – to ease their conditions of life.

ANOMIE: Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) hailed from the same part of the world as Marx, the Moselle Valley which borders Germany and France. He is also, like Marx, a product of the Jewish intellectual rabbinical tradition. Durkheim’s works include, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, The Division of Labour in Society, Suicide: A Study, The Rules of Sociological Method.

The bulk of Durkheim’s work consisted of a total repudiation of liberalism. Turning liberalism on its head he argues that man did not create society, on the contrary society created man.

Man was not the celebrated Robinson Crusoe figure of the liberal imagination but a creation of social forces (culture) which moulded him into their same image. Society (social facts) had a reality over and above the individual. He writes,

When I perform my duties as a brother, a husband, or a citizen and carry out the commitments I have entered into, I fulfil obligations which are defined in law and custom and which are external to myself and my actions.

Even when they conform to my own sentiments and when I feel their reality in me, that reality does not cease to be objective, for it is not I who have proscribed these duties; I have received them through education.

Moreover, how often does it happen that we are ignorant of the details of the obligations that we must assume, and that, to know them, we must consult the legal code and its authorised interpreters.

Similarly the believer has discovered from birth, ready fashioned, the beliefs and practices of his religious life; if they existed before he did, then it follows that they exist outside him.” [13]

In the same vein The Division Of Labour in Society was a polemic directed against the liberalism of Adam Smith. The primacy and presupposition of society prior to and over the individual was not merely an ethical question but an existential one. Thus:

The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the common or collective consciousness … By definition it is diffused over society as a whole but nonetheless contains specific characteristics that make it a distinctive reality … Individuals pass on but it abides … it does not change with every generation but, on the contrary, links successive generations to one another. Thus it is something totally different from the consciousness of individuals, although it is only realised in individuals.” [14]

The socially atomised, liberal society will unleash centrifugal forces which will weaken that society’s cohesion to the point of breakdown. Morbid self-destructive social phenomena will make their appearance.

In his most famous work – Suicide – Durkheim referred to this tendency as anomie (normlessness) where anything goes and social order becomes increasingly undermined. In searching for a causal explanation Durkheim makes reference to the levels of social integration.

The weaker the levels of social integration the higher the levels of self-destructive acts such as suicide. Interestingly enough he points out that catholic countries have lower suicide rates than more developed protestant countries. This in spite of the fact that protestant countries of northern Europe are generally richer than those in southern Europe.

My own view is that there is always going to be a tension between the individual and society; which is to say that the individual creates society just as society creates the individual. Which came first? Well, that’s the chicken and egg dilemma.

Given, however, the overwhelming preponderance of the liberal position Durkheim’s views contain more than a grain of truth and deserve a wider audience.

That’s it for now. We live in interesting times.

La Lotta Continua.

NOTES:-

[1] John Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, p.107

[2] Rand’s novels promised to liberate the reader from everything that they had been taught was right and good. She invited her readers to rejoice in cruelty. Her heroes were – like her – superior beings certain of their superiority. They claimed their right to triumph by destroying those who were not as smart, creative, productive, ambitious, physically perfect, selfish, and ruthless as they were. The mood of her books is one of “optimistic cruelty.”

They are selfish, vain and self-centred, and they have a happy ending—that is, the superior beings are happy in the end. The novels reverse morality. In them, there is no duty to God or one’s fellow-man, only to self. Sex is plentiful, free of consequence, and rough. Money and other good things come to those who take them. Rand’s plots legitimize the worst effects of capitalism, creating what has been called “a moral economy of inequality to infuse her softly pornographic romance fiction with the political Eros that would captivate a mass readership.

[3] George Orwell – The Lion and the Unicorn – Collected Essays, Vol.2 1940-43

[4] John Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, p.107 op.cit.

[5] Plato – Imperfect Societies – The Republic

[6] A study carried out by Political Scientists Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of North-western, modestly titled, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

[7] Rudolf Bahro – The Alternative in Eastern Europe (1977).

[8] See William Blum – Rogue State: A guide to the world’s only super-power. Passim.

[9] Peter Gowan – The Global Gamble – Washington’s Faustian Bid for World Dominance, p.3

[10] These included the IMF, World Bank, GATT (superseded by WTO) BIS, OECD, together with the emergence of trade blocs such as the EU, NAFTA, Mercosur as were smaller groups around the world. Moreover, the private sector propaganda apparatus was extremely significant in its effects on public opinion and attitudes during this period. Too many to list but here are some from the Anglo-American world, the BBC. The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Economist, the Times, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, US Cable TV Stations, and so forth.

[11] K. Marx – Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts 1844, p.70

[12] K. Marx – Op.cit.

[13] E. Dukheim – The Rules of Sociological Method, p.50

[14] E. Durkheim – The Division of Labour in Society, p.39

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BigB
BigB
Jan 6, 2020 3:22 PM

Excellent Frank: I only wish I had been around to join the discussion. You seem to be on a parallel journey post-election …Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and for me, Debord and Baudrillard. inter alia.

A couple of quick points: never underestimate Ayn Rand as a bargain basement Marquis de Sade. She was and is a hugely influential neoliberal ideologue. Not least for the coterie of hugely influential people – including the brothers Koch and a young ‘T-Rex’ Tillerson.

The ‘TNE’ is, for me, the TCCS – the Transnational Corporate Civil Society. Where the exercise of a defining freedom is mediated through the ’embodied’ (incorporated) agency of the state and the corporation – the incorporated state. The defining characteristic of neoliberalism was the subsumption of the rights and freedoms of the People – the natural persons of the state – into the free market mediated supranational rights and market freedoms of the multi-national corporations – operating ‘offshore’. This bifurcation was accompanied and afforded by the market bifurcation into a M-C-M’ productive economy and a financialised derivative M-M’ debt money from debt money unproductive economy. Plus the global transformation of the labour market and internationalised division of labour (trans-continental class structure). Which has resulted in a disproportionate distribution of not just wealth, but natural resources South to North. The bourgeois societies of the Eurocentric North are the product of the ecological debt we owe the Global South. Post-colonialism is the financialised amplification of colonialism.

There is no “common or collective consciousness” that is not itself the product of the collective cognitive consciousness. The relative proportions to emerge from cognitive neuroscience are 2%/98% in the favour of the unconscious. Which favours the Freudian ‘Iceberg’ model and Lacanian “unconscious structured like a language” being updated with empirical research. The structures of the entire world and its classification and categorisation emerge fully formed which is what consciousness is the consciousness of.

Social anomie is the individual: capitalisms greatest industrialised market product. In one of its greatest inversions: the individual is the globalised market state collective. One that is so naturalised and commoditised that no one ever ventures to ask: WTF is an independent individual? And why have we so institutionalised our equiprimordial category error as a sole source of identity, organisation, and being?

Answers in a multi-media email to the Society of the Spectacle; PO Box $$$$; the transnational Bourgeois developed world.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 5, 2020 10:25 PM

BREAKING.NEWS.ALERT.BREAKING.NEWS.ALERT.BREAKING.NEWS.ALERT.BREAKING.NEWS

ZeroHedge: “Iran offers $80 Million USD for Trump’s head.”

EAT.POPCORN.DRINK.COKE.EAT.POPCORN.DRINK.COKE.EAT.POPCORN.DRINK.COKE.EAT

MOU

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 9, 2020 1:29 AM

Clearly a crowd source campaign would exponentially and quite illegally increase that many fold. Do not touch the orange man.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 9, 2020 1:44 AM

Zero Hedge is a market bookie telegraphing odds & gains on statements made by news media. It’s not crowd sourcing.

MOU

Gall
Gall
Jan 5, 2020 8:14 PM

Neo-liberalism is basically updated medieval feudalism by another name. Instead of being serfs the majority are turned into debt slaves or are left homeless.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 5, 2020 10:34 PM
Reply to  Gall

I used to be a debt slave. Now I’m homeless & one emergency away from complete total destitution & indigent status. On the bright side my area councillor is neglecting to pick up the municipal residential waste in my area of our nation’s capital backwater suburban ghetto and municipal election is just round the corner too.

I just told the area councillor that I would run against him if he did not pick up the municipal waste on my street and he wrote back to encourage my entry to the election race.

Regional councillors are fearless feral animals now IMHO.

I’ll have to up my game now. Damn.

MOU

Gall
Gall
Jan 5, 2020 11:33 PM

My sympathies. Here in the “Land of the Free Fire Zone” most people are one paycheck away from being homeless. Also the money extorted from us doesn’t go to social services, roads, general infrastructure or Treaty Obligations but to the ravenous War Machine that just recently gobbled up over a trillion dollars under the recently passed NDAA.

Not only that but we are giving almost eleven million dollars a day to the Terrorist State of Israel which is basically a blank check of money that they can use to fund their social services including universal health care, built prison walls around the West Bank and Gaza strip so they can continue their apartheid Theocratic statehood by imprisoning the indigenous population in what amounts to a concentration camp.

But that’s not all. Since with no restrictions on how this money that has been extorted from the American public is used they can also use it to influence our elections here by extravagantly funding “candidates” who swear fealty to Israel.

Thus the real subversion of our political system has nothing to do with the Russians but the Israelis.

That said though I could say so much more. I think it is important that those who are independent should run for office.

Thus I think you should run against his sorry ass.

Back here I already know who I’m voting for in the next election and it won’t be some Repugnican or DemonRat clown ass but will be Mark Charles:

https://www.markcharles2020.com

Best

G

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 5, 2020 11:57 PM
Reply to  Gall

I fully agree that the Corporation of Israel is behaving as an Apartheid State, and state sponsor of terrorism, but I’ll never criticize them for ethnicity or religious affiliation as that is off bounds in CANADA as far as I’m concerned. In CANADA we all realize that we are in a pluralist situation given multiculturalism & ethnic diversity throughout bureaucracy & tertiary ed. Parliament is eager to become gender neutral by achieving gender parity with respect to members of Parliament.

In CANUCKISTAN we have to battle winter so we all learned to get along just to shovel snow out of parking spots without killing one another armed with snow shovels, or hockey sticks. On the National Post the other day there was a story of two CANUCKS that had to be hospitalized due to a hockey stick fight that got ugly.

Israel should act more like CANUCKS IMHO.

It’s a poorly run corporation with really bad & incompetent leadership.

Somebody has to step up to the plate in Israel & America as leadership leaves one wanting.

Cheers, MOU

Gall
Gall
Jan 6, 2020 10:25 AM

If you thought that hockey stick fight was bad. You should see road rage when it gets out of hand here. I suggest wearing kevlar and packing a 45 when venturing on the 4 or 5 “Freeway” as we call it ’cause it 4 or 5 hours to anywhere that should take 20 minutes to get to like say LAX. “Do You know the Way to San Jose?” Ain’t just a song. It’s a way of life.

Seems GM and later car manufacturers have worked out the perfect way to keep the populace disengaged from politics or anything else other than driving on the Freeway and looking at brake lights.

I read our sister city Phoenix the least “liberal” city in the South West had a huge protest against the possibility of war in Iran while here in the alleged “Liberal” center of the Universe next to Berserkly of course not a boo peep. . I mean what’s up with that?

Maybe they were stuck in their cars. Who knows?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 6, 2020 2:02 AM
Reply to  Gall

I looked at Mark Charles Policy Platform for Immigration but that was the only policy plank he had on his website for POTUS. He cannot compete with the Superpacks that Republicans & Democrats have ringfenced American politics & jurisprudence with, Gall.

I respect the vote but the Zero Sum game in American politics is the Superpack money conundrum, eh. My logic is to merely go with the centrist party closest to secular Marxism/Socialism given that Ronald Reagan’s Trickledown Macroeconomics/NeoLiberal Chicago School dogmatism never filled my bank account quite like it filled Deutsche Bank’s & JPMorgan Chase.

Wall Street ethos guides D.C. policy, bills, & Congress.

Kill or be killed is D.C. & Wall Street.

NATO is mere planning & enforcement wing of gubbermint like Butler attested to in D.C. in the Hooverville Demontrations.

MOU

Gall
Gall
Jan 6, 2020 10:29 AM

Personally I don’t care I’m voting for him anyway. Now it’s Anybody But Trump after he turned into a Neocon slut. Whereas Clinton would have been a train wreck for sure. Trump has actually turned into a slow motion train wreck.

Dimly Glimpsed
Dimly Glimpsed
Jan 5, 2020 6:45 PM

Political philosophy is an attempt to deal with the deeply-rooted Jekyll and Hyde aspects of homo not-so-sapiens. We all possess empathy. But we all also possess the imperative to survive. We love. But we are selfish. We say we value taking the long view, but act without foresight. Political, social and educational systems should be designed to nurture the Dr. Jekyll side of humanity. Sadly, Mr. Hyde seems to be in the drivers seat of our present-day world.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:14 PM
Reply to  Dimly Glimpsed

We do not ‘all’ possess empathy. The psychopaths ie the ruling Right, do not, or possess only empathy for their own class or tribe, and relative or utter antipathy for others.

Dimly Glimpsed
Dimly Glimpsed
Jan 7, 2020 4:36 PM

Empathy No Longer Divides Humans And Chimps. What Now?
source

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jan 5, 2020 5:39 PM

More Catholic than the Pope …

These days, that describes an awful lot of people–what with Pope Frank down in the Amazon worshiping Pachamama and all!

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:42 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

You’re in deep do-doo if Pachamama turns out to be You Know Who. Still, I’m sure She’ll forgive you.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Jan 5, 2020 4:27 PM

(“‘Actually existing liberalism’ is overtly authoritarian and de facto oligarchic given to displaying gangsterist features. We may take the United States as the prototype of this development.”) -the author couldn’t be more accurate in this observation.

The social forces and mindset which currently constitute the “liberal” segment of the American political class – the Clinton/Obama/Clinton Democratic Party establishment class – distinctly differentiate themselves from their odious “conservative” Republican political class brethren essentially in one very specific way.

Today’s American “liberal” is at pains to be sure to refer to you by “your preferred gender pronoun” just as he/she drone strikes and obliterates you, and your family, and your nation, or just as he/she unleashes our head-chopping “moderate jihadists” to do the job for us – whereas today’s American “conservative” would shamelessly ignore such important pleasantries.

This constitutes an important theological “distinction” to some, as it essentially outlines the actual extent of differentiation regarding “foreign policy” – as that now exists – between the two American parties that front for our lawless, amoral, permanent-war-state.

To add yet an additional level of absurdity to such obvious lunacy, in common American media discourse and public commentary today, the “Clinton/Obama/Clinton Democratic Party establishment class” is routinely referred to as – “the Left” – thereby relegating the word “Left” to a well deserved place in the latest edition of Orwell’s “Newspeak” dictionary.

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 5, 2020 9:15 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

This was a scathing condemnation and very educational. Where does liberal socialists fit in this? Where is the ever elusive left I ask? Wsws?

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Jan 6, 2020 7:48 PM

I share your questions David regarding America’s – “liberal socialists.” It was a rather sobering moment, when one year ago in his response to the Orange One illegally naming “Random Guaido” as the new leader of Venezuela – that our vaunted “democratic socialist” presidential candidate Bernie Sanders felt it important to recite an absolute litany of CIA ‘regime-change propaganda’ talking points – before finally stating the U..S. shouldn’t get involved. Hardly an inspiring performance of socialist solidarity and one that any regular reader at OffG could easily have debunked.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:47 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

I believe phony Bernie called Chavez a ‘dead communist dictator’ or something similar. He’s a real beaut is our Bernie-100% fraudulent, to his core. The Pied Piper to lead the Leftish young into the desert of impotence, while Creepy Joe gets the nomination, and Trump, the elite’s choice, wins the prize, again.

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 9, 2020 12:29 AM

Let’s dumb that down. You can have a centrist Bernie or a right wing Biden or Trump. I think Trump will win given those options. Preferences are irrelevant.

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 9, 2020 12:26 AM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

Is Bernie the great white hope of rational America? It seems to be a choice thrust upon the thinking American
If that is the case he seriously needs his feet put under the fire.
His goal is a major shift in the political spectrum but can the left put aside identity politics and unite for the common good?

We shall see. He is a convoluted man that plays a nuanced game. What can he push? He plays a game of persuasion.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 5, 2020 3:50 PM

Frank, Frank, Frank… just as I think we might be getting somewhere …

Do you deliberately write an extralong piece which gets most of us nodding along in agreement and then slip in a piece of dogmma that we don’t? Like some insurance salesmans script?

In what way are the collective protections and regulations of the level playing field of the EU WORSE than the HARD brexit, that you seem so keen on & we are guaranteed in 25 days?

How are we going to be better off as Trumps bitch? Are you happy with the additional shitshow we are going to be faced with now out of the EU, now that the Empire has kicked the crib over in the ME?

This is the EU that refused to join in with the neocons in the WMD lies and the post cold war ME never ending war planned in the 90’s and triggered with 911.

Is that prominent in this narrative?

Fuck Hard Brexit. Fuck Hard Brexiteers. Fuck the Referendum & Election cheaters. Fuck the dying Empire and it’s lying minions.

Amen.

Tom
Tom
Jan 5, 2020 6:11 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I don’t understand why some people believe EU is independent from USA. The EU is with the Americans on sanctions against Venezuela and about everything else. EU’s economic model is extreme liberalism, like the US. CIA contributed to the creation of EU even.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 5, 2020 7:36 PM
Reply to  Tom

You don’t understand?

You think the EU needs or wants to pay the yanks 2% of GDP?

You think the US sees no threat in the €?

You think Nordstream and closer economic ties between EU and Russia are welcome by the US?

Do you think the EU approved of the US/UK war on terror and WMD lie?

And today do you think the EU is going to support the US in it’s attack on Iran and more war?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:19 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

They will support it, tacitly and cravenly, by doing nothing to oppose it. The Zionists who control them will demand it. Just look at the EU’s filthy cowardice in not opposing the Washington destruction of the JCPOA on orders from Netanyahu. Gutless hypocrites.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:17 PM
Reply to  Tom

Exactly. The EU is just the economic appendage of NATO that is Washington and the neoliberal Washington Consensus. And utter slaves to the Zionists.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 6, 2020 2:57 PM

Are you for real tricky or just a professional sarc?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:49 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

All of the above, but am I wrong, or am I wrong?

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Jan 5, 2020 11:05 AM

Start by saying that no London hospital taking any money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is allowed to employ any women on its Board or as Medical Consultants and the only men allowed to work there must have demure and submissive wives dressed suitably back home where they exist without a driving license.

Call it ‘obligations to uphold female equality’.

They could of course refuse to take any misogynist hyper-rich money and make do with more principled payments, which would allow them to hire wimmin of the female supremacist persuasion as they currently do in their world of hyper-hypocrisy and MI6 infiltration.

No chance of the Royal Brompton Hospital actually acting in a principled manner. Only money talks there…..

How about obligations which say that London spies who steal from the regions lose the right to work forever if they tell those they stole from that they are useless?

High time no employment in London were allowed for anyone in the Security Services: nor should any US citizen be allowed to reside here being a registered Democrat or Republican voter, as that means they actively condone/support mass genocide over 70 years since WWII. They must also issue a public statement, sent to the US Ambassador in London, that they consider the US Deep State to be unacceptably pathological, a disgrace to the US Constitution and incompatible with any right to diplomatic immunity.

Obligations to uphold decency, the right to life and international law, you know. Incompatible with being Nancy Pelosi, Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton, Phillip Zellikow etc etc etc.

I think your greek analogies should focus on Augean Stables, how to clear them and how to keep them clean afterwards.

London is after an organised crime syndicate and you can only join it by being a criminal spy, a drug dealer, an embezzler or all of them.

You will get nowhere thinking you can change them: you either expel them, exterminate them or enslave them.

The question is whether you will transmogrify into them by adopting such ruthlessness, brutality or elitist entitlement…….

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 9, 2020 12:40 AM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Popper’s paradox then? Total war?

Willem
Willem
Jan 5, 2020 10:35 AM

Thanks for sharing this article.

‘Liberals (of the woke variety) the sort that read the Guardian, Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post tend to be cosmopolitan, rootless, and obsessed with individual rights which they hold to be universal.
Class struggle, however, is something alien to them as are all and any ideas of collectivism and national sovereignty.’

This is true! The reason for it is that liberals have the feeling that they, sort of, have earned their place in society. Which is also true! They had to work very hard to conform to all the ballyhoo that divides society into classes. The teaching, the grading, the waiting (for job opportunities), the strategies to be followed within the unwritten rules, and the final achievement.

So naturally they think tha if everyone would behave as they did and do, there would be no class struggle.

That you must have the privilige to come from a family or social country where all this courtiership to power for money and fame is possible, is not seen by liberals. They consider everybody equal. They believe that you (tge individual) can achieve something by hard work only, instead of having the luck to come from high income middle class families or having had the luck to grow-up in a society where, indeed, there was equality until neoliberalism took over and where hard work only could lead to opportunity

A perfect example of a liberal is Dutch former State Secretary for social affairs Jetta Klijnsma. She is severely diasbled (at birth) but was able to make it as state secretary through the collective system NL used to have, where everybody got the same chance to end up in a high paid position. And if you were handicapped, you would get extra schooling, parents would be compensated for not being able to work, etc.

The first thing Klinnsma did when she was appointed as secretary in 2012 was to cut the budget of the disabled! Which means: bye bye chances of eqality for kids who are disabled and a thread of losing economic prosperiteit for mom and dad who are no longer compensated for the fact they cannot work!

Ar the same time Klijnsma imposed the cuts, she was interviewed and boasted on how well she had done, as an individual, in society.

It’s totally unfair, even hypocritical to some point, but the biggest problem IMO is that liberals of the Woke type just don’t see how egoistic they are.

lundiel
lundiel
Jan 5, 2020 1:14 PM
Reply to  Willem

How right you are. Liberals love to pull the ladder up behind the. Tuition fees anyone? I read The Orange Book’, Reclaiming Liberalism esseys which were an eye opener for me. Lansley’s NHS reforms….too little. The criminal justice system…..privatise it. Yet, remain voting fanatics who also claimed to be left of centre found themselves agreeing with and voting for them along with all their austerity and humanitarian intervention baggage.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:21 PM
Reply to  Willem

Dear me-she sounds the perfect archetype of the neoliberal ‘kick away the ladder’ type. What a poltroon.

David G. Horsman
David G. Horsman
Jan 9, 2020 12:43 AM
Reply to  Willem

In summary, liberals generally eat each other and their young. That’s true enough.

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
Jan 5, 2020 9:52 AM

Discusion can be confusing when everything being discussed has the same name. What did John Stuart Mills say that Dukheim contradicts?

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 5, 2020 3:01 AM

The transnational elite (TNE) form one predator club; the other 99.9% are just numbers for them, as money/power is their God.

The only viable solution for the rest is gathering in recognizable family groups -> cultures -> nations and respect each other without being misled into a fight. That includes serious border controls, as much as you have your front door locked.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 7:14 AM
Reply to  Antonym

But you aren’t allowed to invade another’s house, kick the family out, killing a few, then declare that house was gifted you by ‘God’, and start coveting your new neighbours’ houses, too.

lundiel
lundiel
Jan 5, 2020 9:38 AM

Touche!

paul
paul
Jan 5, 2020 3:59 PM

Pity the Palestinians weren’t able to keep their door locked against the Zionist invaders and parasites.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:27 PM
Reply to  paul

They tried, but they were murdered, tortured, expelled, then oppressed for decades, vilified as ‘terrorists’ by the people who boasted of inventing terrorism, dispossessed and treated with brutality reminiscent of the barbarity inflicted by the Nazis et al on the Palestinians’ oppressors. At least the German Nazis did not spend all their time denying their crimes and screeching that the world MUST worship and adore them.

RobG
RobG
Jan 5, 2020 12:41 AM

I would venture that this piece is very out of sync with what’s happening at the moment.

At the moment we have a bunch of psychopaths who are about to launch us into WW3 (I’m so bored with it all that I can’t even be bothered to type out ‘World War Three’).

This is just the same as the bunch of psychopaths who launched us into World War Two.

And just the same bunch of psychopaths who launched us into World War One.

Instead of pontificating about ‘liberalism’, or any other fecking ism, people should get out on the streets and protest.

What happened in Syria in recent years was far worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What’s now happened with the assassination of Qassem Suleimani goes one stage further than this.

The Iranians aside, the Russians and Chinese are not going to put up with this any longer.

People in the West really need to understand what’s going on here.

Mind you, an all-out nuclear strike on the USA will certainly cure the massive homeless problem, and the total lack of healthcare problem, and the drug problem because people live in such a hopeless society. It will also cure the massive corruption, child abuse and murder, and the people who go totally insane by living in such a society.

You can tell that I work for the American Tourist Board, can’t you.

wardropper
wardropper
Jan 5, 2020 2:27 AM
Reply to  RobG

Not much wrong with that as a gut reaction to everything that’s wrecked in the west.
But we really don’t want to go around doing the Old Testament thing on nations we disapprove of.
I’m in favour of your “get out on the streets and protest” idea, but we always have the problem of the majority of the public just not caring enough to do that.
“I’m all right, Jack” still seems to be the prevalent philosophy of our average westerner.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jan 5, 2020 9:53 AM
Reply to  wardropper

The majority of the public, W? The majority of the Pampered Twenty Percent, surely. We’re the ones who can’t be arsed to do anything much to take control of our destiny, because we of the PTP – and that includes virtually the whole population of Britain, despite the chronic stress and struggle of life for so many of us now – are still living easy, pampered, OVER- (sic!) prosperous lives, with lots of seductive toys, and other shitty amusements and distractions constantly poured over us to keep us manageable – and milkable.

For a short while longer…

The Abused and Deprived Eighty Percent of the Earth don’t see things so placidly, I think. And even amongst us of the global PTP, pressure is building, and will continue to build, as the Long Descent away from once-only growthforever hitech industrial ‘civilisation’ proceeds on schedule. As the Synergising Global Crises get worse, lots more of us will be joining the ADEP malcontents of the world, without any alternative option on offer for most of us.

The realworld prospects for us are two: neo-feudalism, already being foisted on us piecemeal by the gics – the gangsters-in-charge*- and their bourgeois neo-libcon servitors; or scarcity-socialism; which we only get if and when enough malcontents stand up en masse, refuse to be manageable, and insist, on pain of ropes and lamp-posts, that we’re having some proper socialist fare-shares, and some proper, real democracy (including honest, non-lying media). Or else! It won’t be given to us. We must wrest it, under threat of terminal mayhem, from the usurpers of the gic-class. The only good gic or gic-servitor is one who’s running for his life, and shitting-terrified of us. That situation usually persuades them to start talking turkey.
_________________

* If in doubt about the gangsterism of ‘our’ rulers, look no further than what’s being done right now to Julian Assange: In plain sight, the smirking, treacherous-comprador state-thugs of this grovelling province of the Anglozionist empire, the damned ukstate, are deliberately subjecting him to slow death by chemical attack and by solitary-confinement torture more generally, prior to delivering him, in full defiance of established British law, to the Western gics’ stronghold, where they intend to complete the destruction, also in scornful defiance of relevant law; though there’ll be a good deal of lawfare prattle applied, as a sort of half-indifferent slipshod sketch of a cover story. It’s noticeable that the gics are hardly bothering to hide their smirks much, any longer. Perhaps they think they’ve got us all so securely under control now that they don’t have to bother dissembling any more. As Patrick Pearse famously put it: “The fools, the fools, the fools…”

wardropper
wardropper
Jan 5, 2020 2:38 PM

I totally get you, Rhisiart, and I happen to belong to a group of friends and acquaintances who DO get off their arses and protest. But I know far too many people who do not, and who never will, simply because they are, as you rightly say, pampered and over-prosperous. And I reckon they constitute a lot more than a slice of your 20% of the population.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems to me that being placid goes much deeper into our society than that. Among the 80% who are not so obviously prosperous, there are many whose life still revolves around being more pampered than their neighbour – what used to be called, “keeping up with the Joneses”… and this is surely the same attitude as the one we see when a multi-billion corporation tries to become a multi-trillion corporation.
It’s the attitude that is sinking us, not the actual level of comfort, or the quantity of toys.
Otherwise, I very much agree with your assessment of our rulers.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jan 5, 2020 4:08 PM
Reply to  wardropper

A lamentable attitude indeed, W. BTW, I think of the PTP as being a global 20%, with the whole populace of Western Europe and most of the populace of NAmerica being members; even the underpaid, over-bossed gig-worker precariat. It’s only when you get down amongst the chronically-homeless mentally-ill. and other similarly-abused unfortunates, that you’re starting to see genuine members of the ADEP, even in Britain. But they are – for the moment – still a very small percentage. The new dickensianism hasn’t really taken off in Britain – yet.

I suspect that it will, though, until we’re finally pissed off enough in sufficient critical-mass numbers to rise up and start taking the gic-class and their hangers-on apart, by revolutionary force. As long as they think they’re winning in the global game of musical resources (now steadily shrinking), they’re not going to agree to do anything truly substantive to safeguard the rank-and-file commoners like us; that was only done, very grudgingly, in the fat times after 1945, which are now going away for most of us, for ever. And as soon as the gics feel any hint that they may be in danger of loosing their privileges, they’ll be even more vicious and dirty than they’ve been recently in preventing Corbyn from getting his hands on government. There’s no level of ruthlessness to which the gics won’t sink, in defence of their WealthPowerStatus piles. Only revolutionary force is going to cleanse the world of their vile influence.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jan 5, 2020 4:11 PM

Whoops! typo. ‘losing’ not ‘loosing’ (as you do with arrows) 🙂

wardropper
wardropper
Jan 5, 2020 4:20 PM

I fear Corbyn harmed himself quite a bit in the run-up to the election… not that he had many choices.
Add to that the very hard-to-believe result, and your scenario unfortunately tallies with the truth.

paul
paul
Jan 5, 2020 4:01 PM
Reply to  wardropper

30 million “got out on the streets” to protest against Iraq 2.
That did a lot of good, didn’t it?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:30 PM
Reply to  paul

‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jan 6, 2020 7:08 PM
Reply to  paul

No, because they weren’t tooled up – or psyched up – to threaten the gics with immediate revolutionary disaster if they didn’t back down; so they didn’t. As previously stated, the only thing that gets serious concessions from the gic class is when its members are acutely aware of immediate, possibly-overwhelming, danger of death or something worse, at the hands of an enraged crowd. Virtually none of the demonstrators in ’03 were were of that mind. I was there. It simply didn’t have the right absolutely intransigent will. So of course the gics pushed it aside and carried on.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 5, 2020 9:36 AM
Reply to  RobG

You should always draw a distinction between the theory spouted by whoever and what they actually do. We could argue about “isms” all night and it won’t matter. What has been happening under the label “neoliberalism” is disastrous for the majority but nobody up there cares about that. They’re quite happy for you to dispute the nuances of the terminology. Just as long as they continue to hold the reins. And the bank bailout of 2008 showed that they were happy to go against their own professed philosophy in the most blatant manner and introduce a bit of “socialism” – as long as it benefitted THEM.

Willem
Willem
Jan 5, 2020 10:41 AM
Reply to  RobG

WW3 is Mass hysteria. I think neoliberalism is a much bigger problem than the ‘assasination’ of a general in Iraq.

In fact the belief that the death of one person can change the world is individualism too, which is part of the neoliberal doctrine

paul
paul
Jan 5, 2020 4:03 PM
Reply to  Willem

I didn’t know Jesus was a neoliberal.

MrChops
MrChops
Jan 5, 2020 10:49 AM
Reply to  RobG

Rather than being out of sync this piece might as well have been written on a tablet of stone. Don’t get me wrong… I have no disagreement with it’s analysis… but with it’s relevance in a post truth era.

Our generation are irrelevant. The world is not ours anymore. One needs to look to what young people believe to be important to see what direction society will take. And by this I do not mean they will decide this direction.

If you want to know the reality of what this will undoubtedly mean then do you own research. Tick tock …… times running out. The Internet is being memory holed as we speak.

So here’s a few pointers……..

Agenda 21, 5G, XR, AI, trans humanism, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

Whilst we have been arguing- ‘left, right, liberal, neo-liberal, brexit, no brexit’ – The future has been decided …….. and WE are not needed.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 5, 2020 2:49 PM
Reply to  MrChops

On the topic of “our generation” – but which I assume you mean those like myself pushing 60 and who therefore got the best of the post-WW2 “boom” period – I agree that the young of today have really been landed in it. I suspect that the glamorous rock ‘n roll rebel culture and obsessing over identity politics of that boom period will come to have less and less appeal to them as they struggle with their zero hour gig economy hell hole. They may look back and see those decades of affluence as a time of irritating stupidity and superficiality. They’d be right.

MrChops
MrChops
Jan 5, 2020 3:54 PM
Reply to  George Mc

I am not suggesting for one minute the idea of ‘boomer generation’ guilt. I am suggesting that the future of the world and society has been planned all along – that rock ‘n roll rebel culture, 60’s counter culture et al has been ‘controlled opposition from the start.

The PC and the internet is an invention of the Military and 5G technology is the culmination of that idea which will bring with it the 4th industrial revolution, radically changing what it means to be human. Zero hours contracts will be the least of our children’s worries. The Globalist, one world government connected world is just around the corner and it’s planning has always been based on generational change.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 5, 2020 6:53 PM
Reply to  MrChops

I didn’t mean to point fingers. “We” – as in “the boomers” had it good but didn’t realise it. It’s a case of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone – at which point you realise what it was all about all along. I agree that much of the “counterculture” was controlled opposition – although I don’t go along with the notion that it was all planned in advance. I think of it as an “on the hoof” measure. Consumer capitalism by its very nature sniffs out what is popular and then plays along – superficially of course. Give the people what they want – or at least the appearance thereof.

As for rising generations, I just think they will have less and less time for those fashionable idiosyncrasies that this consumerism played to – and often created in the first place.

I don’t go with this one world government idea. That is in many ways an optimistic notion. I fear that the reality is competing imperialist centres who don’t care how much carnage they create i.e. capitalism which is anarchic by its very nature.

MrChops
MrChops
Jan 6, 2020 7:02 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Hi George Mc,

Thanks for the clarification. I suppose I didn’t really mean one world government- more one world corpocracy. I see governments and countries as mere irrelevant ‘talking heads’ these days. Both Russia and China are rolling out 5G. Whose to say that at the highest level this ‘Internet of things’ AI network will not be connected. The scary thing is when you start looking into cloud point technology to get a glimpse of the real world co- existing with a virtual world.

austrian peter
austrian peter
Jan 5, 2020 3:37 PM
Reply to  RobG

Excellent rant, RobG, all very observant, thank you. I came across this short video the other day which rather sums up the futility of attempting a change to the status quo without first securing the power to do so:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs

I thought it most instructive. I am a left of centre libertarian according to this test which is fun to do even if it is tongue-in-cheek:
https://www.politicalcompass.org/

pasha
pasha
Jan 5, 2020 4:45 PM
Reply to  RobG

@ RobG
Good thoughts about the need for mass protests. But in the good ole USA the reality is somewhat different. Consider: we can ignore the rich, who have no desire to protest, being quite happy with the way things are; they don’t believe that America could lose or even suffer serious damage in any war. The vast bulk of the rest are debt slaves; mortgages, healthcare, the simple necessity of putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. To lose your job is a catastrophe. Thus, only the old, who have their pensions and investments and have nothing to lose, or the young, who don’t have jobs yet and think they’re immortal anyway, can go out on the streets. And they can be ignored or broken very easily. Consider how contemptuously the Deep State smashed Occupy Wall Street and every other organized movement in the last 50 years. In France, the Gilets Jaunes have a different motivation–their futures, as they see it, are under direct threat–and the French still have a dash of Revolutionary spirit anyway. They’ll get a bone or two but nothing of real substance.
I’ll shut up now.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 4, 2020 11:22 PM

Oppositional ideas and identities of their investiture operate as charged polarities of mutually reinforcing and yet mutating forms of transference and exchange.
The weaponisation of mind and therefore language – which includes masking of intention and true account – operates a polarisation of mutually exclusive rather than mutually complementary qualities. And so the true ‘centre’ of balance points that embrace and are in communication and connection within a whole is lost to an ego-centric identity set over and against the other – and the whole – as loss of self.

The fragmentation of self and shadow other is cast out as narrative assertion backed by power struggles that includes power by deceit such as to set the thoughts, abilities or weapons of an enemy against themselves.

My sense of human society is of struggle for survival within or under false premises that are thereby reinforced or in a sense programmed as ‘reality’. But it is also of the capacity within human beings to wake to and thus release a false sense of life for a true – and to that extent share or participate in a presence of being that cannot be quantified and classified into pigeonholes or ‘old wine bottles’.

The mutations of an insanity reinforce themselves by subscription that is effected by allegiance to a reactive identity. An identification set in what is not, in who you are not, or what you hate, fear or are against. These are virtue signalled as ‘right’ set against a wrong that has past association of conditioned grievance or trauma. And so the ‘self’ of such a ‘survival’ automatically aligns in what it identifies as its self-interest.

The current breakdown of the mind leads to a fractured worldview in which issues given priority override former allegiances. But is this not a breakdown by design – resulting from the resort to deceits, narrative controls or psyops – as the normal replacement for what once had some quality of relational communication?

One of the manipulative abilities to to see a trend and position ahead so as to already be in a position to manipulate those who are still figuring out where its all going…

There are many ways to live a life and hence, many of us.
But if we are not relationally connected and truly moved – then we are seeking connection and leverage for what we are alienated from. While it is true that we have a collective self-alienating consciousness development – that gives up psychic participance for an externalised technologism – we still have choices and opportunities within our life times – and in each day – to align in what truly moves us – or to align in defending and reinforcing a masking inhibition of social ‘acceptability’.

The idea that the world should be conformed to what I want it to be is my setting up to suffer. But most of such idea is internalised and invisible in its operation.

The development of ideas is only as sustainable as their capacity to balance in workability. When everything falls apart the need is to go all the way down to a fresh take – rather than seeking to modify or improve the old mis-take.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 4, 2020 11:03 PM

Anomic Suicide is suicide due to normlessness. Egoistic Suicide is reactionary depression manifesting in suicide that is causally linked to the individual’s needs not being met. Bankers that jump to their deaths because they lost money & status is an example of Egoistic Suicide. Altruistic Suicide is losing one’s life to save another when the individual knows they will die doing it.

Durkheim’s Sociological perspective obviously excludes endogenous reasons for suicide which makes it neither all encompassing or fitting as a theory of contemporary suicide. Many suicides are causally linked to biology & neurotransmitter disregulation vis-a-vis reuptake inhibition at neuronal synaptic level et cetera. Biobehavioural Theory is much more apt explanation to satisfy Henry of Ocham’s razor.

Neoliberal Policy was rendered defunct post-Lehman as the Fed backstop of it failed September 16th o8 and liquidity dried up for even the most solid blue chip corporates like GE & Immelt.

Neoliberalism as per the Chicago School is repudiated wholesale since Lehman Moment. Transnationalism is now faced with renewed nationalism and the borders are highly regulated too.
Try flying to another country right now.

I respect your knowledge base, Frank. I will always fight with you though.

MOU

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 4, 2020 10:44 PM

A fascinating analysis Frank.
In the end doesn’t it all come down to the lobotomisation of empathy and consideration by self interest and the usurping of spirituality by organised religion?