Has the #FascistTrumpFear social movement created space for a radical anticapitalist movement? Part I


Triumph of the Ruling Class

Certainly there’s been no surfeit of ink spent on ‘how to fight #FascistTrump’ by self-declared anti-fascists, and millions have taken to the streets to either oppose him or depose him; pre-impeach him or ‘wait him out cuz: ‘Next: Dems will rule™; ‘we need better Dems!’.  Now whether or not you believe that the millions were largely Dem Libruls or not, this ‘crisis of democracy’ arguably might lead to something radically different that ‘a return to Ole Obama Days’ (more about that theme in Part II), it does seem that the resulting now weaponized chaos is at or near an inflexion point of Inverted Totalitarianism, the condition, according to Sheldon Wolin, when government is subservient to corporations, especially of the multinational sort.  He has written that what’s been left for a long, long, time in this country is a “managed democracy’ by elections the corporate kleptocrats and their minions totally control; he traces the beginning of the trajectory back to the Axis Powers fighting the Cold War since the 1940s.

To me, the crucial questions concerning the many marchers and protests across the US and world are i) are they reformists and ii) if most are that, can they learn to see that a radical, revolutionary polity must grow from the grassroots up, and that  #FascistTrump is just the naked, bald, demagogic and vulgar face of what may be the last gasp of end-times capitalism that  ‘even’ Obama and other Ds have wrought?  And as well,  iii) how many of the true leftists understand that at the same of a potential Great Awakening…that creating a better world in our local communities is paramount, as the Panthers did in a way with their free breakfasts and such, but even more widely, and not only put our bodies into the gears of The Machine as Mario Savio called for on the steps of Spruel Hall so very long ago.

Update:  In his ‘The Resistance and Its Double’, CJ Hopkins calls it a war between the neo-nationals and the Neoliberal Liberation Army, and notes that “…the so-called “resistance” to Trump is centered around issues like racism and misogyny, rather than any kind of cogent reading of the global political dynamics at play here.”  He hopes that by the time Herr Trump’s official war on Islam is launched, that:

“…The Withering Gaze and the Pussy Hat People (most of whom had zero qualms about Obama bombing seven Muslim countries to serve the interests of the neoliberal establishment that has been aggressively restructuring the Middle East since the end of the Cold War with total impunity) will have morphed into an actual revolutionary army, one that doesn’t get decommissioned whenever a Democrat moves into the White House, but I kind of have my doubts about that.”

Oh, yes; it’s deeply analytical, funny, cynical and…I love it.

A Rabble class-friendly transformative movement has to be based on what it’s for, not just what it’s against, so not only do activists on the ground need to meet and kick around ideas, and especially: listen, but to work to feed, clothe, and shelter their precarious and immiserated brothers and sisters.

There are boatloads of epistles out there in the vein of “Oh, leftier-than thou ___ fill in the blank’; I’ll feature this one for now, and iirc, it’s first title was just that, as it was originally a Facebook rant by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor published at socialistworker.org.  But it’s made it all the way to the Guardian now, small wonder.

Think the Women’s March wasn’t radical enough? Do something about it; It might not have been as black, brown or working class as many might have liked. But criticizing it from the sidelines doesn’t help anyone’

“The United States has just experienced a corporate hijacking. If Trump’s inaugural speech did not alert you to the fact that they intend to come after all of us, then you are not paying attention.

The scale of the attack is as deep as it is wide, and this means that we will need a mass movement to confront it. To organize such a movement necessarily means that it will involve the previously uninitiated – those who are new to activism and organizing. We have to welcome those people and stop the arrogant and moralistic chastising of anyone who is not as “woke”.

The women’s marches in Washington DC and around the country were stunning, inspiring and the first of a million steps that will be needed to build the resistance to Trump.

But look around social media, and you can read critiques and even denunciations of the marchers: where were all of these people before? Why are they only getting involved now? Why doesn’t the march have more radical demands? Why did march organizers, who are politically liberal, allow only … liberals to speak?

All this is a sign of a political immaturity that continues to stunt the growth of the American left.”

Now leaving aside the author’s implication that ‘corporate hijacking’ was a Trump invention, he or she notes that all radicals began as liberals who were frustrated by their experiences with the System, and calls out those radicals who dismiss those whose consciousness is less developed infantile, and says Pfffft to them, and by that, I mean: me, s well.  I’d ask: if Obama’s Reign didn’t radicalize one, what would?  Well, maybe Trump will, is the implication.  He/she also notes that no challenge to Herr Trump will be beneficial unless it’s anti-racist, and more brown people and working class trade unionists show up.

But he/she does end with calls to meet, learn together, facilitate debate, and notes that:

“Revolutionary socialists have a long and rich tradition of building united fronts, which seems more real now that 3 million people were in the streets.”  (his/her essays at Socialist Worker)

In a way, this is omewhat related: ‘The Nature of Mass Demonstrations’ by John Berger at Counterpunch, originally published in 1968 at New Society

This article by John Berger, who died this month at the age of 91, originally appeared in New Society, 23 May 1968. Many thanks to Bill Ayers for bringing it to our attention.–JSC”

A few noteworthy outtakes, again: from 1968:

The truth is that mass demonstrations are rehearsals for revolution: not strategic or even tactical ones, but rehearsals of revolutionary awareness. The delay between the rehearsals and the real performance may be very long: their quality – the intensity of rehearsed awareness – may, on different occasions, vary considerably: but any demonstration which lacks this element of rehearsal is better described as an officially encouraged public spectacle.

A demonstration, however much spontaneity it may contain, is a created event which arbitrarily separates itself from ordinary life. Its value is the result of its artificiality, for therein lies its prophetic, rehearsing possibilities.

A mass demonstration distinguishes itself from other mass crowds because it congregates in public to create its function, instead of forming in response to one: in this, it differs from any assembly of workers within their place of work – even when strike action is involved – or from any crowd of spectators. It is an assembly which challenges what is given by the mere fact of its coming together.”

“Demonstrations express political ambitions before the political means necessary to realise them have been created. Demonstrations predict the realisation of their own ambitions and thus may contribute to that realisation, but they cannot themselves achieve them.

The question which revolutionaries must decide in any given historical situation is whether or not further symbolic rehearsals are necessary. The next stage is training in tactics and strategy for the performance itself.”

Now I’ll grudgingly link to ‘Revolt Is the Only Barrier to a Fascist America’ , Jan 22, 2017, by Old Sourpuss Chris Hedges at truthdig.com, partially cuz he sees the Trajectory to Trump and mentions the necessary street cred of helping the immiserated on the ground.  Of course, Hedges has been Revoltin’ for a long time, most recently in 2014.  ;-)

“The destruction of democratic institutions, places where the citizen has agency and a voice, is far graver than the ascendancy to the White House of the demagogue Donald Trump. The coup destroyed our two-party system. It destroyed labor unions. It destroyed public education. It destroyed the judiciary. It destroyed the press. It destroyed academia. It destroyed consumer and environmental protection. It destroyed our industrial base. It destroyed communities and cities. And it destroyed the lives of tens of millions of Americans no longer able to find work that provides a living wage, cursed to live in chronic poverty or locked in cages in our monstrous system of mass incarceration.”

“Our only hope now is an unwavering noncooperation with the systems of corporate control. We must rebuild … democratic institutions from the ground up. We must not be seduced into trusting the power elites, including the Democratic Party, whose seven leading candidates to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee demonstrated the other night at George Washington University that they have no interest in defying corporate power or backing democratic populism. We must also acknowledge our own failures on the left, our elitism, arrogance and refusal to root our politics locally in our communities. Rosa Luxemburg understood that unless we first address the most pressing economic and physical needs of the destitute we will never gain credibility or build a resistance movement. Revolt, she said, is achieved only by building genuine relationships, including with people who do not think like us. Revolt surges up from below, exemplified by the water protectors at Standing Rock.

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. The movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, suffragists, labor movement, communists, socialists, anarchists and civil rights and labor movements—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power is threatened does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.”

One last link for Part I; Part II will be more radical, I promise.  ;-)

Our Streets: The Story from the Front Lines & How We Fight’, by Eleanor Goldfield, occupy.com via popular resistance, Jan. 26, 2017

(58 minutes was far 2 long for me 2 watch) but:

“This week on Act Out!, in a special hourlong episode, we not only fill you in on the actions from the streets of D.C. last weekend, we more importantly discuss, analyze and project a path forwards. Local D.C. musician, activist and writer Jason Yawn will join me to talk tactics, what to do now, and the role of artists in the movement.

A particular focus of their conversation was the black bloc tactics used by some of the protesters. Goldfield correctly points out we need to constantly rethink our tactics in order to measure our effectiveness and build people power. Black bloc tactics are put into the context of the weekend, which included actions at every security checkpoint that led into the inaugural march that were quite varied in themselves, as well as the mass Women’s March.

Goldfield and Yawn also put the black bloc tactics [wd here: Chris Hedges’ “the Cancer in Occupy”] into the context of the violence many face in the United States and many more face from the United States around the world. Why is it violent for a Bank of America window to be broken and boarded up, but not violent when Bank of America forecloses on a family, forces them to move and their windows are boarded up? Why is it not violent when tens of millions of people in the United States face food insecurity and poverty every day?

Yawn points out that condemning black bloc tactics divides us and that we should not limit ourselves to only permitted protests. He asks: what violence would have to be done to you before you fight back? Is that being done to others in our country? Is it being done by the United States to others around the world? With these questions in mind he points out that opposing black bloc tactics comes from a place of privilege, the privilege of not suffering violence at the hand of the state.

Goldfield raises the question, is there such a thing as a useful tactic that does not disrupt anything? Yawn responds that he is against permitted marches because we do not have to ask permission to protest, it is a human right and one already protected in the US Constitution. These types of tactics are not engaged in to be cool, they must be carefully considered and thought through: will they be effective, is the danger worth the risk, does this protect the lives of others or will they make them worse? What kind of political discussion will come from these tactics? Will there be law enforcement blow black that will do more damage? Will these tactics justify police violence and turn people against the movement?

These are difficult questions that must be considered. We know from the history of successful social movements that movements that succeed are mass movements. Fringe movements fail. We also know that a mass movement needs to build and draw more people to it. If black bloc tactics are not clearly justified, they can have the effect of pushing people away from the movement. We also know that over the last 100 years broad-based movements weaken the power structure by pulling people from the power structure to the movement. The group that has the biggest impact when they join the movement, or when some of their members do so, are law enforcement and the security state. When they come to the movement, the existing power structure has lost. Do these tactics help achieve that goal?”

“The real show of solidarity and people power is yet to come. What happens now is what people do next.

There is much more in the discussion, and also a discussion of the important role of art in the popular movement. I urge you to listen to it. And, there are some great photos and videos worth seeing.”

(the black bloc video doesn’t seem to be embeddable.; it’s from Facebook, at the end here; not so much about art, as far as i can tell.)

Bonus #1:

(Deray of  the blue vest  had retweeted: “This.” by @rosesurnow  “I guess my favorite thing about the @BarackObama administration was being able to sleep at night.”

And a gag-worthy irony alert from “It was worth it” Alldark as deep as a dungeon:

 Bonus #2: a quote from Jeffrey St. Clair:

“Suddenly the once chilling notion of a “deep state,” the permanent shadow government that really runs the show, is being viewed by many liberals in a more comforting light, as a stabilizing force, a hedge against Trump’s mad impulses. How else to explain the hyperventilating reaction of elites to Trump’s amusing rant at Langley, as if he had somehow sullied the reputation of the CIA.”

(hat tip jason)

36 responses to “Has the #FascistTrumpFear social movement created space for a radical anticapitalist movement? Part I

  1. kiss my grits, “pierre”.

  2. “We need you now: final easement for DAPL appears imminent”, sacredstoneccamp.org

    • A movement continuing to move toward significant confrontation if the vets stand firm. Force is all the Trump administration commands at this point.

    • ‘Chase Iron Eyes among 76 arrested after DAPL protesters attempt to set up new camp on private land’, kvyrtv.com

      baffling tactic if it were indeed ‘company land’: “Many of those who had abandoned the old camp in the floodplain moved to higher ground, which happens to belong to the company building the pipeline.
      Law enforcement converged on the new camp with humvees and front end loaders to push protesters back on Highway 1806.”

      • update from censored news: ladonna allard reports that without warrants, sacred stone camp has been raided by tribal councilmen ben harrison, frank white bull, bia police, army corps reps, fish and wildlife police, and that it’s a betrayal by their own nation. agents are claiming the the lower part of camp, the yurt village, is in the flood plain. health and safety issues, yanno?

        apparently some members of the red warrior society are at sacred stone, and reminds us that sitting bull was killed…by his own people. she had video up, including this one (hard to hear).

        the 76 arrestees from yesterday will be spending another night in jail.

  3. To your title question about opening political (“market of ideas”) space for radical anticapitalist movement(s), the answer is “Yes of course”. There always is space for such a movement. The problem is that it is often small in audience and subject to violent suppression.

    But what the Trump administration is doing is rapid application of the shock doctrine to disorient his opposition because it is difficult to read where the next blow is coming. Consequently, the mood is one of confusion and chaos with Trump seeking to build his new order out of the resulting chaos by controlling the narrative, resources of government, and having the backing of enough of the military and most of the police in the country. And enough popular consent to have a veneer of legitimacy.

    The potential radical anticapitalist movement (at the moment it is a bunch of people waiting for their moment and hardly a movement, yet) are stuck in their received ways of analysis. And this is a situation that requires some new thinking about how to move forward.

    First, there is the assumption that the Democratic Party is not fundamentally a rump party in federal and state government that cannot regain power. That is based in the assumption that the American political process still turns on elections. With the election in 2010, legislative actions at the state level have maximally gerrymandered Democrats out of power. Since 2010, the polarization between progressive Democrats, liberal Democrats, New Democrats, and Blue Dog Democrats at the local and state level have left Democrats with complete control of only six states and Republicans in control of 25. That allows Secretaries of State in states the latitude to suppress targeted voters (generally minorities) through registration caging, voter challenges, differential allocation of polling stations and sites, and other techniques reminiscent of the urban machine era or the 1920s. The options for a radical anticapitalist movement are (1) enlist one or more of the disaffected Republican factions; (2) enlist one or more of the disaffected Democratic factions; (3) enlist one or more of the disaffected subcultures of independents; (4) create its own form of local resistance; (5) passively wait to see if either party disappears opening a much bigger political space; (6) sit out awaiting the collapse of capitalist civilization from stripping public infrastructure for private profit; (7) await the propitious moment for armed struggle. The bottom line is that each locality and state will have a different situation of chaos that requires a different response. Relitigating everything that happened before November 9 is a waste of time when the Trump administration is moving rapidly to close off the exits. My reading is that the Democratic Party is structurally dead and is increasingly limited to the inertia of the incumbents still in office and the local leaders fighting any transformation that would undo their sources of campaign funds. Putting the donkey on your sign guarantees defeat; enter the period of “stealth Democrats”.

    Second, when a forceful radical anticapitalist movement appears, it has to avoid some historical baggage in which the dynamics of political form led an anti-capitalist movement into a state capitalist regime in the name of socialism. The Trump folks likely do not know yet what to do beyond a laundry list of popular reactionary policies that will create a contradictory and potentially dysfunctional, if not catastrophic, transformation to something dramatically different from the world that existed on November 8. One possibility for an radical anticapitalist movement that actually takes power (movements finally want to affect society and that inevitably requires at least a starting set of policies) is repeal of state corporation laws. That would be the shock that would create a whole lot of chaotic backing and forthing. Of course, states rights would be the first defense. But beyond that what do you replace a heavily corporate-friendly state government with: there are justice issues in terms of who to sue for liability. There are contradictions with federal law on some issues but not on others. There is the fact that that act would also get rid of liability protection for non-governmental organizations that include homeowners associations and cooperative production organizations. Knowing what comes next so that the shock and agenda while everyone else is in chaos is not something that I see happening with radical anticapitalist activists. Much of what is happening is reactive to their reading of the Democratic establishment, the corporate powers-that-be, the military and police, or the reactionary movements from the 1960s that fly the Republican Party, conservative, or libertarian flags.

    Trump’s actions to the extent it creates chaos and opens up new possibilities opens up possibilities for the radical anticapitalists as well as for anyone else. It puts the immediate situation up for grabs with the Trump forces having gamed out their miraculous deliverance of the situation from chaos on their terms. That is likely more direct control of the government by those previously hidden behind lobbyists and stoking popular enthusiasm for their bringing an end to gridlock.

    • bless your heart for such a well-considered comment, THD; i’d begun to think that this diary might have had anthrax powder on it. ;-)

      but i had another mishap last night, and for now, it’s kind struck me dumb, as in: mute, but i guess the other meaning as well. as soon as i can get myself together, i’ll be back. thank you.

      • News that Clinton is publishing an inspiring book of quotations and listing with the Harry Walker Agency is having a lot of fretters thinking that she will position herself for a rematch.

        There are significant problems with that media-fed speculation:
        1. She is a two-time loser, once in a primary in 2008; then in the general in 2016. No Democratic two-time loser has ever won the highest office.

        2. She will be 73 years old–remarkable old to still be a viable candidate.

        3. Most importantly, the grassroots distrusts her, and the Democratic brand does not turn out people in a panic of Trump election.

        4. Schumer and Pelosi’s “tickle me Donald” strategy in Congress will end the Democratic grassroots altogether; structurally the policies will hit hardest on the Democratic grassroots. By 2020, shock and anger will have given away to sullen acceptance.

        If her book deal and her speaking engagements don’t bring in enough money, maybe she still has the legal chops to defend evolution in Dayton, TN.

    • good groundhog day to you all.

      “chaos” seems to be the most widely used term to describe the time since nov. 8, and more esp. since inauguration day. J20 was it? i think i know what you mean about the historical baggage, including the many brands of socialism and communism still alive, but wee, extant in this country. arguments abound, and i can’t follow the rhetoric, so don’t even try. ‘purity’ memes abound, arrgh.

      dunno how various anti-capitalists see the possibility of gaining new ground, but one very small group, afik, that i’ll feature soon indeed i calling for armed revolution.

      ‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.’ ~yeats

  4. Great questions raised in your piece, wendye. I was struck by the suggestion that not being able to raise a revolution against Obama, Trump would be an easier ‘target’.

    I really think there is a misread of Trump that is causing many wellmeaning folk to rush to the barricades in opposition to him. I was struck, as you were, by the strange actions of my hero, Jill Stein, in the face of the electoral results – and it caused me to do a rethink. What would have happened had she, against all odds, won. Facing the kind of onslaught anti-change, who would be a better leader?

    I will leave it at that. I said a bit more over at M of A.

    Thanks for tackling the subject of opposition in such careful detail.

    • mornin’, juliania. for me, the larger is that few even minded most of what obama did, and now that herr t’s running a lot of the same plays, albeit on greater scale in some cases, we now seem to have a live ‘pink pussy hat’ revolution brewing. if this is ‘fourth wave feminism’, i’d say it’s very partisanly narrow, nationalistic in that it doesn’t include caring about most of the women and children that the Imperium has been killing, oppressing, and ending into diaspora for the last eight years. having read a few analyses of the women’s march by what i consider more ‘global’ feminists, i must say i find their critiques valid. when ashley judd and (honduran) america ferrera on the stage are paying homage to condi rice, hillary clinton, and van jones said that something died in him when obama left the white house (as did ta-nehisi coates and a few others…), steinem is remembering the 60s ‘when things were worse’ (for whom, one wonders)… we’re through the looking glass, imo.

      but as others have noted, some of T’s loose cannon mouth tweets and schemes seem designed to be almost by way of ‘the fog of war’. but i’d rather see protests to specific policies, issues, confirmations, etc., like with rev. barber on racist sessions, or on betsy devos for ed. sec. (not that arne duncan, et. al., weren’t big on school choice and privatization. but multi-billionaire devos is a theocrat as well, apparently, and erik prince’s sister as well. T’s police state looks like it’ll be worse than O’s, too.

      ah, well, we’ll see. herr T says a lot, so he can take it back later? time will tell, but i do hope ordinary people wake the hell up to decide what sort of world they want to build. yeah, time to cue the:

      “we are many, they are few…rise like lions from your sleep.” gettin’ a bit hackneyed, but still… ;-)

      • Fog of war, most certainly, and I don’t mean to imply that Trump is the president we would all wish to have in the best of all possible worlds, because he surely isn’t. The chaotic anti-Trump protests sort of remind me of the ladies in woolen bathingsuits (I was one of them briefly in high school, believe it or not) trying to swim as their suits turned into ballast. The suits being neoliberal falsehoods like Obamacare that must on no account be ever changed into truly liberal (freeing) policies. For example, the proposed debate between Ryan and Sanders on the above – they can’t let go of those damned bathingsuits! (Excuse my language.)

        • Just want to add that I’ve been disheartened by thedailyblog in NZ of late – they wailed at Obama’s departure and shuddered at Trump in the best of neoliberal götterdammerung-eze. Rather surprising. RT did feature today that Trump hung up on the Aussie pm. I’d say for good reason.

  5. Some relevant links that tangentially touch on this topic:
    David Bollier, Boston Review, “Reclaiming the Commons”

    J, Lester Feder, Buzzfeed, “How Steve Bannon sees the world”

    • i’ll give one ago: bollier’s, but pretty doggone long; never finished. but yes to most, dunno about this…maybe i do. ““Of course markets also generate important benefits. The question is how to achieve a more humane and productive balance between commons and markets—…” stir into the mix:

      ‘Republicans move to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, sparking rallies’;
      Land totaling the size of Connecticut has been targeted in a new bill in the Republican House, uniting hunters and conservationists in opposition

      ‘Beware Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan; Democrats think they can work with Trump to repair the country’s roads and bridges. But there’s a hitch. By David Dayen

      “Does this sound familiar? It’s the common justification for privatization, and it’s been a disaster virtually everywhere it’s been tried. First of all, this specifically ties infrastructure—designed for the common good—to a grab for profits. Private operators will only undertake projects if they promise a revenue stream. You may end up with another bridge in New York City or another road in Los Angeles, which can be monetized. But someplace that actually needs infrastructure investment is more dicey without user fees.

      So the only way to entice private-sector actors into rebuilding Flint, Michigan’s water system, for example, is to give them a cut of the profits in perpetuity. That’s what Chicago did when it sold off 36,000 parking meters to a Wall Street-led investor group. Users now pay exorbitant fees to park in Chicago, and city government is helpless to alter the rates.” and so on…

      and hilariously synchronous: ‘Turbulent Times? Here’s The Most Important Things A Leader Can Do’ by the disney institute voice

      i was there for this bullshit:

      i’ll try to be back later; if not…tomorrow.

      • nice. ACLU & Silicon Valley. what could wrong? i foresee the ACLU writing user-agreements for cell phones & such so that all the data aggregation & spying goog types do can be done w/no violations to user privacy.

        The ACLU assures you: no constitutional rights were violated in this hijacking of your personal data. maybe the ACLU can sell some kind of certification?

  6. let me ax a question: so this trump 7 country immigration ban, i mean, it’s hard to keep up w/this crap, but this is essentially the ban that’s been in place since fairly early on the in the bush jr admin.

    is that correct?

    now let’s think about this for a moment. take a big ol’ rock of anti-muslim/anti-immigrant hysteria & heave it into the pool of swirling nonsense called public perception/opinion, w/o a shred of history or context…and voila!

    we’ve got a martyr! in the DOJ, stepping down from qualms of conscience. (let’s follow her career & see which cushy donkey-oriented law firm she lands at. after a media tour & maybe a book deal.)

    look at all these democrats & their virtue performance! who knew that immigrants had a hero in Seed of Chuckie, Senator Schumer?

    and here’s a wall, a wall b/n half the country: the half who are “for” the immigration ban, and the half who are “against” it. staring each other down in hostility & fear over a bureaucratic wall.

    and WTF is building a gigantic wall but a big-G FDR style make work program? that lasts forever?

    people, people, take it easy, please. and w/the shrill rhetoric. if trump is hitler, then just who the hell was obama again? so all that idealism & labor & rhetoric about him, all vanity & pissing into the wind, right? etc., etc.

    • Important point to remember. We are only 12 days into the Trump administration, 1/8 of the way to his mythical 100 days.

      At this point Clinton had tried to gay equal rights and was in the midst of moving to a compromise of DADT in the military and dropping a lot of the rest.

      At this point, Obama’s cabinet was completely sworn in. He had ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison, overturned by Congress, sent Holbrook to AfPak and Mitchell to the Middle East, discussed economic issues with Congressional leaders, announced openness to diplomatic discussion with Iran, signed an executive order to spur fuel-efficient cars, encountered opposition from “reluctant Republicans” for his economic program, started wrangling in Congress over the stimulus package, signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, created a “Working Familes Task Force”, met with Hu Jintao, opened dialog with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Kinda the normal boring start to an administration. Little real drama yet. Still working off the campaign promises. Really few accomplishments of note, just openings. And all “no drama Obama”.

      Trump is doing a lot of the same things but with a “shock and awe” attitude transgressing one norm after another. The Resistance ™ organized a Women’s March that got taken over by a revitalized women’s movement that won’t exactly do what the leaders of the past want and outnumber the size of the crowd that the Resistance ™ could turn out on its own there was a lot of resistance amid the Resistance ™ niceties of a permitted march. Because of Trump’s past and personality, women will continue to oppose him.

      Beyond the established Democrats, you don’t turn your back and threaten to roll right over 65 million voters without pushback. The Democratic establishment could disappear (something it’s jolly well succeeding at right now) and there would still be pushback. Unless there is a major change of approach by the administration, pushback is going to continue. And so will Democratic electoral losses.

    • i haven’t followed it all that closely, jason, but one of the points of fury seems to be that some ‘muslims’ with green cards were trying to get back into the us, but had to undergo extreme vetting…or something like that. a headline at RT recently said that ‘herr T says that will last only 90 days’, whatever the F that means.

      the wall. hmmmm. well, there is already a wall, and remember, they went to ‘virtual wall’ in the hard sections. sensors, cameras, but they didn’t really work. in any event, da wiki says that more people starting coming up through the tohono ‘o’odam rez and many were dying of thirst,, hunger, likely robbery. and this wall will break up various landholdings,including that rez and maybe others. is this the wall you say half of amerikans want? “they’re stealing our jobs, depressing wages”? that’s what reality checker kept saying.

      border patrol says it saved hundreds of lives, and herr T has deployed triple the agents already. perhaps to save more lives? i don’t think that many of those fleeing persecution in central amerika were allowed to attain asylum status; remember the chirren locked in dog kennel cages? but sure, as the economic pie gets smaller and smaller, the ‘other’ is seen as the culprit.

      • it’s like a zen thing, man, it’s crazy! is the wall of a home? or of a prison? what’s inside the wall? what outside? who decided?!?!?

        the great wall of china wasn’t built in a day either. it all started w/one security camera, i mean sentinel, i’m sure. talk about your boondoggle big guv’t make work programs. once this wall is done, we’ll build more walls, and have to maintain those walls, and guard them. we can build walls around hawaii & guam. Greenland looks ready for a “green dawn” invasion scenario. wall up the atlantic! that’ll get the economy at full employment.

  7. Another tangential piece of analysis.

    Juan Conatz, libcom.org, “A Popular Front of the Right?”

  8. This might appear radical to some, but important to others – comment on nakedcapitalism.com today:

    February 2, 2017 at 9:42 am
    Re Supreme Court pick, Indian Country Today notes that Gorsuch is versed in sovereignty principles and has ruled for tribes in several cases, including one against financial looting by the Blob.

    “Indeed, the harm to tribal sovereignty in this case is perhaps as serious as any to come our way in a long time,” Gorsuch wrote, referring to the prosecution of Lesa Jenkins, an Ute citizen, who the tribe claimed was racially profiled. He ultimately ruled that state court prosecutions of tribal citizens for offenses committed on tribal lands “strongly suggest[ed]” county officials in eastern Utah were involved in “a renewed campaign to undo the tribal boundaries [already] settled” by higher courts.

    “Gorsuch also wrote a 2013 decision that renewed a historical accounting lawsuit aimed at benefitting Osage Nation citizens.”


    Happy Groundhog Day, wendye; hope you are feeling better. (It’s kinda the secular version of ‘Candlemas’, which comes halfway towards the equinox – I’ve got crocuses aplenty now.)

    • that is encouraging, juliania, and the tension between tribal police and county sheriffs, etc. have long been an issue. it would seem that the fort duschene utes (northern utes, i guess) must have their own force. but if any of the water protector suits ever made it to scotus, and he were a judge, he might not be ready to ask for any treaty lands returned (fort laramie treaty, 1868 might not cover all the tribes, but many), which is one of the core issues. as it is for their collective refusal to accept the billions in blood money from the gummint for stealing their holy black hills.

      looks as though he’s a mixed bag on religious freedom and freedom of expression i just saw. but big po-po supporter, and herr T has already issued warnings to black police state protestors, back to stop and frisk, all that horrid nonsense. but who knows where gorsuch might come down on all of that, eh?

      yeah, i think he’ll be suckoid prez, but what’s new? and again, as mumia: “if it takes trump to defeat clintonian neoliberalism, so be it”. now he may end up doin’ a different version of that, and i am concerned about his ‘private/public infrastructure’ schemes, but right now, there’s a lot of conjecture about that. michael hudson for one (on trnn, irrc). i kinda kept away from all the post-election hysteria, myself, so i’m only now playing a bit of catch-up.

      ah, feelin’ better w/ my brain-slosh, but when ya ain’t no spring chicken, accidents take longer to heal.

      i’m glad b’s covering the fukkery of poroshenko’s nazis attacking the donbass area. heh. one piece of good news i did see was that mr. T said NO nuland. in his stable; i loved it. tell him to quit bombing all those nations, though! that beautiful child nora al-awlaki was killed by a seal team. six? is that the team that allegedly assassinated bin ladin?

      p.s. you think I would care about swear words, lol?!?

  9. Wendy,

    Have you taken into consideration the issue of these protesters being paid up to $35/hr to protest? During the campaign season, a number of well-funded organizations were advertising for protesters, paying them, and busing them in from out of town in order to produce video that would make Trump appear a better “law and order” candidate. One could argue (badly, but even so) that this was misguided policy, except that it happened over and over, indicating that whoever was doing it wanted Trump to appear good. I haven’t seen indications of paid protest since, but it’s possible that many of these occurrences which embarrass the left and make Trump look reasonable by comparison are, like Hillary herself, similarly sourced.

    • mornin’, high arka. i guess i’m not following your thinking here. while it’s easy to believe some of the protestors were paid, why would larger numbers aid in making trump look like ‘reasonable in comparison’? certainly the women’s march had a wide swathe of funding sources, more than this barbara maclean list.

      now i can more readily see that some of the ‘black bloc’ violent protestors at milo’s attempted talk at UC bezerekely were agents provocateurs, myownself, since it makes more sense to me: “see, these free speech libruls are anything but!” but i may be misinterpreting your theory.

      • Throughout the entirety of his life, Trump has been a Zionist and a Jewish-connected businessman who ran a degenerate game show and married all of his adult children into the ethnically Jewish FIRE sector and the ethnically Jewish entertainment media (sic). And yet, he won a presidential election by appealing, albeit indirectly, to white nationalist sentiment.

        How do you make a New York and Hollywood Jew appear to be a friend to the openly- or unconsciously-racist white conservative, traditionalist, and/or laborer? Imagine that you are faced with that task: what can you do to make such a rabid Zionist, and frequent divorcer, appeal to conservative rural whites?

        Consider also that Trump is pro-gay and pro-transsexual. What tools of perception could you possibly employ to make those same racist, sexist, homoaverse and transaverse groups believe that Trump is, nonetheless, on their side?

        Besides running a crooked, unpleasant harridan against him–one who was wounded during the campaign process by a Jewish man with much better policies who later bowed out and “endorsed” said harridan–you could pay mobs of mestizos to act violently against Trump’s “white nationalism.” Trump is nothing of the sort, and has always been expressly pro-Jewish and anti-racist, but juxtaposing him against a bunch of rioting mestizos, queers, and/or blacks, suddenly makes Trump look like a lesser evil, and indeed, a savior.

        Mitt Romney advocated for building a border wall and repealing Obamacare, and no one really noticed. If Trump and Clinton had just run randomly against each other, without the riots and protests, Trump would’ve been more easy to identify as what he is: a non-traditionalist, pro-gay, pro-multikulti television degenerate. With those rioting Mexicans getting vast coverage for complaining about him, though, he suddenly seemed like a great white hope.

        I was disappointed in how the left largely adored Obama early on, and I’ve been similarly disappointed in how the right is doing the same for Trump. I would’ve thought it would’ve been obvious to the left how Trump was helped out by all of the staged events during 2016, and I’m a bit surprised to see how they’re still in the dark, believing that opposition to Trump is “mistaken” or “overdone” rather than purposeful. It’s like when Karl Rove planted the phony AWOL papers for Bush, let the news find them, then debunked them, and it made most normal citizens think that the AWOL issue had been debunked already.

        • i’m having to try not to read this comment, high arka, as your being anti-semitic’, ‘anti-mestizo’, whatever that implies. which ‘mexicans ‘rioted’, by the by? many immigrants from the south did protest obama’s deportation policies, but none rioted. of course, it ended in the ‘split the baby’ dream act.

          i hadn’t known that trump is jewish, but that’ of small matter to me although yes: zionist is a whole ‘nother matter. declaring he’d move the US embassy to jerusalem was so stupid and dangerous even israel aid no…at least for now. that he doesn’t give a good goddam about new settlements, nor does he intend to play any part in some sort of I/P settlement shows his colors, but then…he says a lot of things he backs away from later.

          i dunno that it was only white nationalists who voted for him, as with Brexit, but likely ‘neo-nationalists’ would fit. some just wanted O’s wall street genuflections over-turned, and truly believe T will ‘create more jobs’. i doubt it, or at least good ones.

          there already IS a border wall, though some of it was made “virtual”, and didn’t work. obamacare was essentially romney care, according to many.


          i’m not at all clear on who you believe in this ‘left’ of which you speak are “still in the dark, believing that opposition to Trump is “mistaken” or “overdone” rather than purposeful.”. for me, it’s all down to those who call T a fascist w/o pausing to consider what O’s policies have been, and what insane levels of unitary executive power and military policies he bequeathed herr trump. his EO handing him the keys to carte blanche snooping were an added benefit, imo.

          so no, i guess your argument fails with me on those many grounds.

          • In High Arka’s defense, “Zionist” is not “Jewish”. Trump is closely tied into the FIRE sector in New York City. (Trump is also closely tied into the casino, construction, and organized crime–what do we call these folks, these days, “informal sector” wealthy figures like Steve Flynn.)

            High Arka’s question about how you run a character like Trump as an ally of white supremacist Christian “family values” folks is a valid one. The current answer to that question seems to be that you have different messages for different folks delivered through different narrow-casted, psychometrically-targeted communications media and social media. And you have Steve Bannon as a strategist.

            “Harridan” is an unpleasant, arrogant, bossy woman. That surely describes the persona that Clinton and her campaign orchestrated this go-round.

            Like you, the rest is baffling. Especially the part about rioting anyone.

            And the accusation of paid protesters is a dead giveaway. I think of all the money I missed out on because I didn’t know of these lefty slush funds. The fact that people get a little pissed when their human rights are taken away never seems to enter the discussion, does it. It is always ulterior motives for any departure from TINA.

            • ha; no, certainly zionists aren’t all jewish, ethnic or practicing religious. fundie demagogue john hagee of CUFI, christians united for israel being the prime example. come to think of it, some of mr. wd’s fundie xianists are major herr T supporters.

              but as far as people spontaneously getting pissed when their human rights are taken away and the #women’s march and the spontaneous #letthemin protests, all i can say is that as regards the former, in the main, they were (most likely willfully) partisanly blind to facts of the obama presidency that led to this horrid face of duopoly capitalism, and to the latter, how many of O’s and clinton’s Imperialist foreign debacles/putsches, etc. created so many citizens in diaspora, not to mention that herr T simply expanded on O’s extant immigration programs and protocols.

              yesterday i’d read most of ‘The Rise of Islamo-Christian Civilization’, by Eric Walberg, feb. 9

              his deconstruction and historical narrative was pretty good (w/ reservations), but when i read the end of it this morning, i laughed aloud at:

              “The two strands in the Trump phenomenon — a renewal of morality, an end to foreign wars — should be the focus of American (and Canadian) Muslims. We can find common cause with those who want to renew American along ethical, peaceful lines.”

              morality and an end to foreign wars? the latter was, yes, a campaign promise, but er…not so much.

              on edit: he also said this: “Trump appealed to the Evangelicals during the election, but he is not one himself, having been raised a Presbyterian.”

          • Hey wendy.

            Q1) Issue raised by wendy: “which ‘mexicans ‘rioted’, by the by? many immigrants from the south…”

            A1) I hope you’ll understand that one can be a Mexican and an American, by holding dual (or more) citizenships. Calling someone a Mexican does not mean they’re not also American, but it does mean they are subject to the Mexican government, and part of Mexican culture. During 2016, I recall seeing videos of large groups of mestizos assaulting smaller groups of whites, including isolated white women and people who appeared to be under eighteen, whom they apparently believed to be associated with Trump events in the area (usually correctly). If you don’t feel that these kinds of sustained group assaults against a political event, against public or private property associated with the event, and with people perceived as attending the event, constitute “rioting,” please let me know what term you would prefer.

            Similarly, if you missed these occurrences and don’t want to search for them yourself, I can get you some 2016 links documenting the violence against Trump rallies, and citations to some of the protesters being paid and transported.

            Q2) Issue raised by wendy: “i hadn’t known that trump is jewish, but that’ of small matter to me although yes: zionist is a whole ‘nother matter. declaring he’d move the US embassy to jerusalem was so stupid and dangerous even israel aid no…at least for now.”

            A2) Trump may or may not be Jewish; he should send in for a public 23andme. His family, though is Jewish; all three of his children married genetic Jews and had genetically Jewish offspring. Trump is a lifelong Zionist and supporter of Israeli expansion.

            Q3) Issue raised by wendy: “i dunno that it was only white nationalists who voted for him, as with Brexit”

            A3) Certainly it wasn’t, anymore than it was only blacks who voted for Obama. The genetic component of the Trump vote speaks for itself, though; as many feminists recently complained, white women “betrayed the movement” by voting for Trump.

            Q4) Issue raised by wendy: “i’m not at all clear on who you believe in this ‘left’ of which you speak are “still in the dark, believing that opposition to Trump is “mistaken” or “overdone” rather than purposeful.””

            A4) I contend that this includes you. The falsification of Iraq WMD reports was done deliberately, not accidentally. You understand that, I suspect, and you understand the benefit it produced to some people. Similarly, paying people to riot against Trump, and cause whites to feel threatened, therefore increasing race-based support for Trump, allowing a Republican to plausibly win an election against a Democrat.

            For TarheelDem, Trump spent his entire campaign speaking about doing good things for American citizens of all sexes, genders, sexualities, gender-self-identifications, races, backgrounds, skin color, et cetera. The people he wanted to “take human rights” away from were non-citizens. Clinton, by contrast, spent a great deal of time talking about how bad white citizens were, how bad male citizens were, and how she was going to reduce their rights to benefit other groups. Her language was often explicitly racist and sexist, whereas Trump was a consistent civic nationalist.

            It’s rather astounding seeing the American right sound more coherent and sensible than the American left on this issue. Do you expect to have the right to enter Nigeria at will? Switzerland? Japan? Malaysia? To vote in those countries’ elections and to claim benefits reserved for those countries’ citizens? Why, then, should any non-American be able to claim those rights in America?

            It’s perfectly understandable why Trump was able to obtain a majority of white votes of both sexes, particularly when the white bourgeoisie was being so snottily ignorant of the statistical and visceral realities of living in predominantly black and mestizo communities.

            Even so, the massive expenditures in wealth and blood that Americans have been making on behalf of Zionism these past decades might have caused the BDS movement to increase, or a demand to stop alienating the entire rest of the world by voting in Israel’s favor against several hundred other countries. By producing mobs of mestizos stopping traffic and complaining about the right to enter America at will, though, white Americans can be made to consider Trump a savior by comparison.

            Particularly as Trump keeps enthroned the Fed behind so much of it, and puts Mnuchin and Kushner in charge of the economy, the need for mass mestizo action is necessary to make people believe Trump is a lesser evil.

            • first, mestizos aren’t those w/ dual citizenship unless that happens to be true as well as this: “In the United States, Canada and other English-speaking countries and cultures, mestizo, as a loanword from Spanish, is used to mean a non-white of mixed European and Amerindian descent exclusively, generally with connection to a Latin American culture and/or of Latin American descent”. now my preference would be ‘latinex’, as easier than latinas/latinos, and most of them just might agree.

              the light finally switches on: you’re not saying that folks on the (radical) left can’t twig to the *fact* that it was purposeful, as in funded by koch and their ilk billionaires. well, for one, i guess that implies that those ‘mestizos’ of whom you speak, were so corruptible and/or poor that they took the gigs, and that they were willing, as well, to ‘bet up white women’ for pay. i reckon i find that hard to swallow, myownelf. but i’m glad for now to let THD have a try with your comments about immigration.

  10. i’ll not likely be back today. from what mr. wd’s sister is saying, their father’s death will come soon, so our attention is turned that way, both in thought and communication.

    and may he cross over tonight.

    • Lightspring embrace. When you get back, please note that “latinex” (or “latinx”) is offensive for several reasons:

      1) Indios: people of pure Siberian-American blood, whose descendants did not mate with Europeans, should not be called anything “latin” related, as it implies they are part European. It’s kind of like Mormons baptizing dead homosexuals.

      2) Mestizos: people of part Siberian-derived blood whose descendants did mate with Europeans did not necessarily mate with Europeans from countries with a thorough grounding in “Latin.” While Latin did spread through conquest, and did influence many of the languages in occupied areas, many of the subject peoples never spoke Latin.

      3) Northern North America: Siberian-derived peoples who were at one point conquered by the English are not part of “Latin” America in the sense of being part of a Spanish empire, and should not be slurred with an epithet mistakenly meant to target those from South or Central America.

      4) Sexual Identity: people with presumed roots in South or Central America who transition should not be insulted by the use of a mathematical variable, e.g. “x,” standing in for the identity they have worked so hard to cultivate. Using an “X” would imply that a so-called “Latino” or “Latina” was indistinguishable from others of all sexes and gender identities belonging to that person’s group, and that their choice or effort to transition to identification with any established sex is voided merely because another person wants to avoid adding a few words.

      5) Implied European Supremacy: using a blanket term derived from a European language to identify the descendants of the European colonial sphere, rather than forcing the development of a pre-Spanish-arrival South American/Siberian-American language term, implies that the people who might be called “Latinx” have no interest in reclaiming the lexicons of their ancestors, and/or that those languages are not sizable or descriptive enough to be used in conversing about or recording events that happened from 1492 forward.

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