Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Ariel/Asadullah

Lest the fate of Narcissus befall the Lion of God
The face his son kisses, not his eyes reward
Everything goes to destruction save that Mirror
Of Father, Son & Heraclitus' river
Envoi-
Prince! Pull down, Paquin, thy whoreson Pride
Thy God & Saviour has divorced his Bride.



Monday, 29 June 2020

Pratap Bhanu Mehta's paradigms of cretinism

The cretin Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes in the Indian Express-
As the border stand-off with China deepens, India will have to think of all possible strategic options that give it leverage in this crisis.
No. India should pour troops into the area and bash things out with the Chinese. This has nothing to do with strategy. Only if China genuinely has a manpower advantage should the next strategic step be taken- viz. to mobilize local people and create an economic incentive- e.g. drug smuggling- along with a religious incentive to kill Chinese soldiers and officials and extract money out of Chinese occupied territory. This can be coordinated with other neighbors of China. The belt and road must be turned into conveyor belt of drugs, dissent, and demographic change such that Han China is pushed back over the next 50 years and encouraged to sink into an opium dream.
One element often discussed in this context is new arrangements with a variety of powers.
A border problem should be solved by looking at what's on the other side of the border and making that side hostile to the enemy.
Many strategic experts are salivating at the prospect of an even closer alliance with the US.
But the US is well known to be a shit ally. Who are these 'strategic experts'? Name and shame them.
This is a propitious moment to mobilise international opinion on China.
Fuck off! What can a cretin like Mehta do compared with Kung Flu? Why not say 'this is a propitious moment to get Beyonce to stop twerking and start dancing bhangra?'
The degree of global alienation with the Xi Jinping regime is unprecedented.
But, cretins like Mehta have spent so much time bad-mouthing Modi that India can't mobilize shit.
But can this be translated into concerted global action to exert real pressure on China?
No. Don't be silly. Cretins like Mehta have failed to get 'global action' against Modi though they have lied their asses off about him. Who will believe them if they start targeting China? The fact is they look like Modi. They don't look like the people in the border regions. The reason it is worth our while to fight the Chinese in the mountains is because we don't want to fight them in the plains where economic damage will be greater.
India should pursue all possible avenues.
No it shouldn't. Allying with Islamic nutters would be a mistake. Stick with Buddhists.
But we should also have a clear-eyed view of the limitations of what new alliances or arrangements can do for India.
Who lacks that? India knows the US is shit. It also knows that if it can't beat the Chinese on the basis of manpower then it has to change its Defence paradigm till India's greater fertility and absolute poverty tells upon its softer, richer, neighbor. China's enemies must learn to live off Chinese land.
It is important to remember that international relations are formed in the context of a country’s development paradigm.
Nonsense! They are formed on the basis of its international relations paradigm. Taiwan and South Korea had the same development paradigm as did India and Pakistan. But they had different international relations paradigms. How come this cretin doesn't know that? Where was he born?
India’s primary aim should be to preserve the maximum space for its development model, if it can actually formulate one.
So, it doesn't have a development paradigm. Good to know. Thus, according to the cretin Mehta, it doesn't have an international relations paradigm. What will this great Savants next discovery be? India is not located in South Asia. Columbus not Vasco da Gama discovered India. Real name of New Delhi is New York. Manhattan is actually located in Karol Bagh.
India is not unique in this respect.
So, there are other countries which don't have a development paradigm and thus don't have an international relations paradigm. Good to know. Obviously developed countries don't have a development paradigm, so they don't have an international relations paradigm. Thus if any country has a development paradigm then its international relations paradigm can't involve developed countries because they lack any such things. Thus the thing is useless. Paradigms exist in Grammar because other people talk the language. There is no point having a paradigm if nobody else speaks it.
The US-China relationship may have had its origins in the strategic attempt to create a Sino-Soviet split. But for decades, this relationship was sustained not by a strategic logic, but by the logic of the political economy of development in both the US and China, where they reciprocally depended on each other.
So, China and the US traded with each other. That's what this cretin is trying to say.
What has changed profoundly in the US is the view that this arrangement largely benefitted big business in America at the expense of its own domestic manufacturing base.
No. China wants to climb the value chain. This threatens the profits of high value adding American industries. So America is fighting back.

The political legitimacy of the development model waned,
Political legitimacy just means the politics of the legitimate Government. Trump is the legitimate President of the US. He has made legitimate what was previously illegitimate. As for 'development models', fuck would America need with any such critter?
and it is this fact that will largely be the driver of the US-China relationship.
There is no fact here at all. There is mere verbiage. What drives US-China relations will be, as it has been in the past, US leaders and their Chinese counterparts and how they get on with each other. Does Mehta think Nixon met Mao because of some change in either country's 'development model'? Why is this cretin considered an 'intellectual'? Has he ever once in his life said anything intelligent?
The question for India is not just whether the US has a stake in India’s development, which it might.
No. The question for India is how much off a biffing at the border does China need to back down? That depends wholly on Indian resolve. Nothing else matters. Either India can mobilize not just soldiers from the plains but local people to fuck up China's supply lines and chop off the heads of its soldiers if they wander out of their camps to take a piss or have a smoke, or else this will be a recurring drama- which may be no bad thing if it boosts Army morale and causes revulsion against India's comfortable, Mehta-type, anti-national bildungsburgertum. 
But it is, rather, to ask whether India’s development needs will fit into the emerging US development paradigm.
The answer is no. The US is not stupid. It doesn't have a 'development paradigm'. It may have a few useless cunts who talk in that way but so does India. We ignore those stupid cunts. So do Americans.

Sanskrit and Latin and so forth had plenty of paradigms. But people stopped speaking those languages. Linguistic Development does not occur in accordance with paradigms. This is not to say that there may be empirically verifiable regularities- e.g. Grimm's Law- but they are not paradigm dependent.
Will the very same political economy forces that create a disengagement with China also come in the way of a closer relationship with India?
Who doesn't know that America will defend high value adding industries from overseas competition? In any case, what 'closer relationship' is desired by India? Do we want to join NATO? Do we want to be part of an endless war against Muslims in Muslim majority countries? Do we want Economic integration such that we provide cheap labor and America takes over all our high value adding services? Fuck off.
Some sections of American big business might bat for India; but the underlying political economy dynamics are less propitious.
Who doesn't know that? Trump has spelled it out in unambiguous language. Why is Mehta getting his knickers in a twist posing a question we all already know the answer to.                     
Will the US give India the room it needs on trade, intellectual property, regulation, agriculture, labour mobility, the very areas where freedom is vital for India’s economy?
No. The US will give India the room it needs for talking bollocks about how Modi is a Nazi.  Concentrate on that. That's what you can get paid in hard currency to do. Give up this pretence of knowing about 'development paradigms' and 'international relations' paradigms.
Will a US hell-bent on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US, easily gel with an “atma nirbhar” Bharat?
'Atma Nirbhar' means self-reliant. India is not importing American jeans and air conditioners etc. It is importing Chinese tat. Replacing Chinese tat with tat manufactured in India poses no fucking problem for the US. Why is this cretin pretending otherwise? The answer is because when he looks out of the window in India he does not see India's poverty. He sees the leaning tower of Pisa and the Eiffel tower and Big Ben. Why? India is actually a European country. Mehta asks the readers of the Indian Express to see things his way-
To see what is at stake, we just need to look at the way in which friction over the development paradigm is driving tensions on trade, taxation and regulatory issues between the US and EU.
This is relevant to India because Mercedes Benz is actually an Indian company. Correct pronunciation of Mercedes is 'Mirchandani'. Benz is a contraction of Bannerjee. Porsche is pronounced Popatlal. Even a child in America is aware of these facts. Why you desis so damn stupid, yaar?
There is sometimes a complaint in the US that India is invited but refuses to come to the table with enthusiasm.
There is no such complaint. Some shitheads may talk bollocks but America doesn't listen to those shitheads any more than India listens to America returned shitheads like Mehta.
There is some truth to this, despite the salutary cultural and political momentum in this relationship.
What fucking relationship? Shitheads talk shite to each other. India needs to stop paying for such shite-fests. We don't need more meaningless drivel. America's great crime against India was its paying for the cretinous Planning Commission's 'turnpike' Development Paradigm. This so impoverished India that we had to use the Planning Commission for the purpose God intended- viz. Corruption.
But the drivers of this have often been legitimate differences over development, including climate change. It has also been that, at various points, that ask was antithetical to India’s other strategic commitments. India was wise to stay out of the war in Iraq, it was wise not to spurn Russia entirely, and it is wise not to throw its weight behind the US’s Iran policy. There is more maturity in the US to understand India’s position. But there is a section of India’s strategic community that sees India’s reluctance to go in with the US, hook line and sinker, as a kind of ideological wimpishness, not a sign of more deeply thought out realism, which it has been.
Fuck the India's strategic community- or rather, let the T.N police shove stuff up their bums till they bleed to death. Don't, for fuck's sake, send them to Ladakh. They will immediately start bending over and demanding that Chinese soldiers stuff things up their bums till they bleed to death. This will cause the Chinese to institute a Magsaysay Award of their own. They will shower such Awards on all our worthless scumbags. What will be the result? India will have to rely on some sadistic cops from T.N to fulfill the exponentially rising demand from our Magsaysay Award type shitheads for more and more things to be shoved up their bum. Needless to say, this is not environmentally sustainable.
It is an odd moment in global affairs, where there is recognition of a common challenge emanating from China, but no global appetite to take concerted action.
Action should not be concerted because of concurrency problems. But it is being taken, the alternative being a debt-trap or else submission in the face of the sort of cyber and other attacks the Australians report.
An interesting example might be the global response to the BRI. Many countries are struggling to meet their BRI debt obligations. Many Chinese loans have become a millstone around the debtor countries’ necks. But it is difficult to see the rest of the international community helping all these countries to wean their regimes away from dependence on Chinese finance.
Why repay the Chinese? Let them take the write-off. You don't wean an addict of opium by getting her on to heroin. Similarly, countries which borrowed money to do stupid shit must be weaned off the habit of doing stupid shit. Meanwhile, the Chinese can whistle for their money.
Similarly, there are now great concerns over frontier areas of conflict like cyber security and space.
Cyber security is an idiographic matter. Concerted action is slow and easier to game. That is why defences in this area should be uncoordinated. Where they succeed they can go viral. Where they fail they don't bring down the network. This applies to Space as well. If one country's satellites are  hacked the others can still function.
It is difficult to imagine concerted global action to create rules in these area, partly because Great Powers like the US and Russia will always want to maintain their exceptionalism. So we are in a paradoxical world where the strategic necessity of the rest of the world to come together on China has never been higher; yet the appetite for concerted action has never been weaker.
Because concerted action suffers from concurrency problems- i.e. everyone wants the other guy to take the costly step.
Fundamentally, few countries are going to put their money where their mouth is.
Thus overall spending on defensive measures of a locally suitable and sustainable type actually increase. The problem with 'concerted action' is that nobody takes essential defensive measures in a timely manner because everybody believes 'concerted action' will occur when required.
The value of global alliances and public opinion in settling our local conflicts has always been limited for two reasons.
No. There is only one reason why gobshittery is useless. It is because it is gobshittery. Any cretin can talk Mehta type bollocks. This puts off those with the will and ability to actually do the needful. Then the crunch comes. Mehta type cretins continue to talk bollocks. But nobody is listening. This means useful stuff either gets done or the whole shooting match collapses.
First, the international community has not been very effective in neutralising low cost asymmetric options exercised by some powers.
For the excellent reason that there is no 'international community'.
This is the tactic Pakistan has used.
But it is a tactic India can and, under Modi, has instrumentalized so as to harm its strategic goals. After all, India's real problem is gobshittery of various types. Pakistan and China have helped India by letting us disintermediate gobshites. America did the opposite. That is why we must never get close to those boring, vacuous, gobshites.
Second, what military options India can exercise, fortifying defences, gaining strategic leverage in areas where we can, is for military experts to decide.
They are doing a good job. It remains to be seen whether India needs to go on the offensive by using asymmetric tactics. I doubt it.
But don’t count on the fact that the world will support an Indian escalation beyond a point.
There is no 'world'.
The efforts of the international community, in the final analysis, will be to try and throw cold water on the conflict; no one has a serious stake in the fate of the terrain India and China are disputing.
The people who live there do. Sooner or later they are going to want to chop of Han heads. Demographic change is going to turn the Belt and Road into a dagger pressed against the heart of Han hegemony. This is the story of the next 50 years.
At the end of the day, India has to manage China and Pakistan largely on its own.
And it has plenty of human resources to do so. What it can't afford is gobshites of Mehta's stamp.
The logic of the Chinese opening so many fronts together is baffling.
Nonsense! Their military needs real time info for their own war-gaming.
Reassuringly, it could mean China is overreaching.
No. Doing this during COVID means there is little risk that things will escalate.
Less reassuringly, it could mean that rather than displaying strategic coherence, China is now a regime that, like so many authoritarian regimes of the past, is willing to damage itself and the world.
Which regime embraced 'Mutually Assured Destruction'? Who did Al Wohlstetter and Herman Kahn work for? National Defence requires a 'threat point' against not just the Enemy but the World. This gives everyone an incentive to not fuck with you.
Such regimes are always harder to handle because it is not straightforwardly interest that drives them.
Which fucking regime has this cretin handled? Why is he pretending he knows what he is talking about? America was never driven by 'straightforward' interests. Until the Seventies, the USSR pursued realpolitik. Then it went crazy and started dumping arsenals on Ethiopia and getting sucked into Afghanistan and so forth. But that was because its leaders were either brain dead or as stupid as shit.
Even as we deal with the military situation on the border, the test of India’s resolve will be its ability to return to some first principle thinking about its own power.
We? Is Mehta secretly a soldier who spends his weekends fighting the Chinese?
The test of India's resolve is its soldier's resolve to biff Chinese soldiers while being biffed by them. That's it. That's the whole story.

There are no 'first principles' involved in the exercise of power.

How does it create the space for accelerating its development — in the long run, the only cornerstone of a defence policy?
'Create the space'? India already has geographical space. It needs to junk stupid labor laws and corrupt inspectorates so as to get out of the way of Growth. Everybody knows this. Development happens when you get young girls out of the countryside into huge factory dormitories. Boys can be sent to biff the Chinese of the Pakis or whoever. They need a different type of discipline. We don't want them spending their time beating up the H.R manager in factories. We want girls to work there. No doubt, some men are averse to beating H.R managers. They too can get factory jobs. But thymotic youth should be biffing Chinks in healthy locations.

In any case, there is zero correlation between economic development and defensive capacity. A poor country has low opportunity cost for deaths in combat. That is why Vietnam prevailed over America and why Afghanistan became neither a Soviet, or American, satellite. Military morale and esprit de corps matter. That is why Mehta-type gobshites should be shat upon. Only courage under fire should be celebrated.
How does it stay true to its greatest strength, its political identity as a liberal, pluralistic democracy?
If this is India's greatest strength, it should simply surrender to the Chinese right now.
How did India, in its quest for global prestige, manage to lose its own neighbourhood?
This is a question which could only have been asked in 1962. It was only then that India was seeking 'global prestige'. Then China attacked while Pakistan was forced by the US to sit quietly. Burma was ethnically cleansing Indians. Ceylon would soon demand India take back the plantation workers. The emerging Nations of Africa decided to emulate China and go down the one Party route. Gandhi-Nehruism became a sick joke.
India learned its lesson then. Don't kill Mehta type gobshites but don't listen to them either. Let the Army biff the Paks and the Chinks by their own methods. Get off the teat of US aid and tell the Yanks to go fuck themselves if they make themselves obnoxious. Also lock up mindless agitators if they defy Parliament.
Our major vulnerabilities are all at home, and so are the solutions.
Mehta represents a major vulnerability that we have at home- viz. utterly cretinous public intellectuals who influence Congress and the Left. But the solution is to disintermediate all deracinated clowns- no matter how dynastic.  Don't listen them, save to mock their stupidity. Appoint them to high Academic positions by all means. How else advertise the worthlessness of the Academic Credentials they peddle?

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Rashid Khalidi & Palestinian 'Erasure'

Earlier this year, the Intercept published this excerpt from Columbia historian Rashid Khalildi's latest book which the Wall Street Journal refused to publish.
THE ERASURE OF the Palestinians on display this week as President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a one-sided “vision for peace” might have been an unusually blatant act of disregard, but it was in no way new.
Khalili is right. The Israelis produce useful things- they may be the first out of the gate with a COVID vaccine- and thus are well regarded. The Palestinians have evoked pity but also terror and disgust at the criminality, corruption and cretinism of its politicians and public intellectuals. This is not to say that there aren't plenty of excellent Palestinian Doctors and Scientists and Entrepreneurs and Artists. Nor can anyone deny that Palestinians, as hard workers and good neighbors, have been a blessing for any Western country where they have emigrated. But, whereas there are some things every country needs to import from Israel, there is nothing Palestine, as a political entity, exported which wasn't poisonous. Consider Zia's Pakistan. It supported the PLO. Yet the PLO sold anti-aircraft missiles to Bhutto's sons who wanted to bring down Zia's aircraft. Why did they do so? How did it help the Palestinian cause? It was sheer mindless thuggery. The PLO wasn't even making much of a profit on the transaction. It's just that if some stupid, evil, shit was going to go down in Pakistan, the Palestinians wanted to be in on it. At one time, Israel too would train anyone who could pay, but they moved up the value chain. That's why they are well regarded whereas the Palestinians are neglected.

Khalili reverses the relevant arrow of causality, He thinks it is because Palestinians, as forming a polity, are given a wide berth that there is conflict. If only everybody said nice things about the Palestinians and invited them to their birthday parties and insisted they take a Permanent Seat on the Security Council and accept a Prize for being the Best and Mightiest Nation ever; then and only then would there be no conflict. Also, the Jews could kindly convert to Islam- or Christianity at the least- and confine themselves to shining the shoes of the Palestinians. That would put an end to conflict, sho' nuff.

Would history have been different if Palestinians had been consulted at every stage? No. Khalili makes this clear by telling us about an ancestor of his who basically told Herzl to c'mon over and get comfy- Palestine was their ancient patrimony- though, obviously, they'd need to square the indigenous folk and grease plenty of palms.
The omission is the essence of the conflict. I was reminded of this back in the early 1990s, when I lived in Jerusalem for several months at a time, doing research in the private libraries of some of the city’s oldest families, including my own. I spent over a year going through dusty worm-eaten books, documents, and letters belonging to generations of Khalidis, among them my great-great-great uncle, Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi.
Through his papers, I discovered a worldly man with a broad education acquired in Jerusalem, Malta, Istanbul, and Vienna. He was the heir to a long line of Jerusalemite Islamic scholars and legal functionaries, but at a young age, Yusuf Diya sought a different path for himself. After absorbing the fundamentals of a traditional Islamic education, he left Palestine at the age of 18 — without his father’s approval, we are told — to spend two years at a British Church Mission Society school in Malta. From there, he went to study at the Imperial Medical School in Istanbul, after which he attended the city’s Robert College, recently founded by American Protestant missionaries. For five years during the 1860s, Yusuf Diya attended some of the first institutions in the Middle East that provided a modern, Western-style education, learning English, French, German, and much else.
With this broad training, Yusuf Diya filled various roles as an Ottoman government official: translator in the Foreign Ministry, consult in the Russian Black Sea port of Poti, governor of districts from Kurdistan to Syria, and mayor of Jerusalem for nearly a decade. He was also elected as the deputy from Jerusalem to the short-lived Ottoman parliament established in 1876, and he did stints teaching at the Royal Imperial University in Vienna.
So, the Palestinians had a representative as smart as the Jews. They weren't 'subaltern'. They weren't 'aborigines'. There was no big difference in color or education of material civilization.
As a result of his wide reading, as well as his time in Vienna and other European countries, and from his encounters with Christian missionaries, Yusuf Diya was fully conscious of the pervasiveness and virulence of European anti-Semitism. He had also gained impressive knowledge of the intellectual origins of Zionism, and he was undoubtedly familiar with “Der Judenstaat,” or “The Jewish State,” by the Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl, published in 1896, and was aware of the first two Zionist congresses in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897 and 1898. Moreover, as mayor of Jerusalem, he had witnessed the friction with the local population prompted by the first years of proto-Zionist activity, starting with the arrival of the first European Jewish settlers in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
Frictions? Did the Jews enter peacefully and pay for what they bought? In any case, Zionism was repulsed by Jerusalem and the mendicant habit of its Jewish community. Initially, Zionism was a 'back to the land' movement interested in acquiring and cultivating marginal land.
Yusuf Diya would have been more aware than most of his compatriots in Palestine of the ambition of the nascent Zionist movement, as well as its strength, resources, and appeal.
It had little strength, few resources and its appeal only increased as both the US and the UK clamped down on Jewish immigration. Ottoman officials expected that a Jewish exodus from Christendom would follow the same trajectory as that of the Sephardim. It is important to remember that the Jews were not considered a martial people till the second half of the Twentieth Century.
He knew perfectly well that there was no way to reconcile Zionism’s claims on Palestine and its explicit aim of Jewish statehood and sovereignty there with the rights and well-being of Palestine’s Indigenous inhabitants.
This is foolish. The Ottoman Empire wasn't militarily negligible. It might want more Jews in Palestine to counterbalance Christians in Lebanon. But talk of 'Zionism's claims' would have been laughed at. It would be like the Iyer claim to Ireland. Or the Lesbian claim to Libya.
On March 1, 1899, Yusuf Diya sent a prescient seven-page letter to the French chief rabbi, Zadoc Kahn, with the intention that it be passed on to the founder of modern Zionism.
The letter began with an expression of Yusuf Diya’s admiration for Herzl, whom he esteemed “as a man, as a writer of talent, and as a true Jewish patriot,” and of his respect for Judaism and for Jews, whom he said were “our cousins.” He understood the motivations for Zionism, just as he deplored the persecution to which Jews were subject in Europe. In light of this, he wrote, Zionism in principle was “natural, beautiful, and just.” He added, “who could contest the rights of the Jews in Palestine? My God, historically it is your country!”


A page of the letter Yusuf Diya sent to Theodor Herzl.

Image: Central Zionist Archives

But the former mayor of Jerusalem went on to warn of the dangers he foresaw as a consequence of the implementation of the Zionist project for a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine. Whatever the merits of Zionism, Yusuf Diya wrote, the “brutal force of circumstances had to be taken into account.” Palestine “is inhabited by others.” It had an Indigenous population that would never accept being superseded, making it “pure folly” for Zionism to plan to take Palestine over. “Nothing could be more just and equitable” than for “the unhappy Jewish nation” to find a refuge elsewhere, but, he concluded, “in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone.”
Why did he write this letter? Was he hinting that the Ottoman Empire was so weak that a bunch of Jews could take over Palestine? No. He was saying something subtle- too subtle perhaps- which had to do with 'don't trust whoever it is has been taking your money at the Sublime Porte. You are being cheated. Send your people here and they will be hostages. You will have to pay through the nose to avoid 'spontaneous' pogroms.'
Herzl replied—and quickly, in a letter on March 19. His letter was probably the first response by a leader of the Zionist movement to a cogent Palestinian objection to its embryonic plans for Palestine.
It was a letter from a guy with no power whose people were being killed to a guy with a little power under an Empire which was on the brink of turning Turkish Nationalist and downgrading Arabs like himself. It is foolish to read anything into it. The fact is Herzl did not like Jerusalem. Jews who went there would demand alms to pray. They would be a financial drain. Herzl wanted young people to cultivate the land and turn into a muscular yeomanry. He looked to the are around Jafa or the mountains or even the Negev. The slogan was 'a land without people for a people without land'. The last thing Herzl wanted was for Jews to become artisans and middle-men serving an agricultural population.
Herzl simply ignored the letter’s basic thesis, that Palestine was already inhabited by a population that would not agree to be supplanted.
For the excellent reason that the indigenous population was subject to an Emperor who didn't give a shit about them. If he wanted Jews in Palestine, that's what he'd get. Anyone who tried to make trouble would be slaughtered.
Although Herzl had visited Palestine once, in an 1898 visit timed to coincide with that of German Kaiser Wilhelm II, he (like most early European Zionists) had not much knowledge of or contact with its native inhabitants.
 He was put off by the smell.
Glossing over the fact that Zionism was ultimately meant to lead to Jewish control of Palestine, Herzl deployed a justification that has been a touchstone for colonialists and that would become a staple argument of the Zionist movement: Jewish immigration would benefit Palestine’s Indigenous inhabitants. “It is their well-being, their individual wealth, which we will increase by bringing in our own,” Herzl wrote, adding that “no one can doubt that the well-being of the entire country would be the happy result.”
Sadly, this may well be the verdict of history. The average income of Arab Israelis is 13000 dollars, of West Bankers less than 4000 dollars- about the same as Jordan. But in Syria it turned negative. Gaza, of course, is a disaster zone. There can be little doubt that Arab Israelis would be materially better off now, if they had accepted Jewish refugees- Zionist or not.
Herzl’s letter addressed a consideration that Yusuf Diya had not even raised: “You see another difficulty, Excellency, in the existence of the non-Jewish population in Palestine. But who would think of sending them away?”
The idea that the territory would be better off without its indigenous inhabitants is quite recent. Palestinians do well when they live in countries under the rule of law. They haven't done well in Gaza under their own elected leaders. This was not the outcome most would have predicted twenty years ago. But then who foresaw Syria?
But Herzl had underestimated his correspondent. From Yusuf Diya’s letter, it is clear that he understood perfectly well that at issue was not the immigration of (as Herzl put it) “a number of Jews” into Palestine, but rather the transformation of the entire land into a Jewish state.
Khalili is either a cretin, or he is lying. Yusuf Diya never dreamed that the Jews would create a powerful military State which Turkey dared not mess with.  Nobody, at that time, had any such notion. It was only when the Ottomans entered the War against England that Jabotinsky could start dream of a militaristic, 'maximalist' Zionism.
Instead, Herzl offered the preposterous inducement that the colonization, and ultimately the usurpation, of their land by strangers would benefit the people of that country.
Did Herzl say to an Ottoman official, "I'm gonna conquer a piece of your Emperor's territory and colonize it and usurp your rights in it?' No. He wouldn't have been thrown in jail for doing so. He'd have been locked up in a lunatic asylum. Why is a Professor of History writing such nonsense? It is because his immersion in Palestinian politics has turned his brains to shit. He believes that Jews have supernatural powers. They know the future. For some mysterious reason, they choose to get massacred. But it is all just a ploy. Their real aim is to turn up and grab our ancestral land which very generously our ancestors assured them they had a historical right to. Just because the Zionists got their shit together and turned into a proper State does not mean that it is totes unfair that Palestinians who did not get their shit together and who ran around like headless chickens spreading terror aren't being treated as their equals.
Herzl’s reply to Yusuf Diya appears to have been based on the assumption that the Arabs could ultimately be bribed or fooled into ignoring what the Zionist movement actually intended for Palestine.
 Some people were fooled into thinking the Palestinian cause was worth supporting.  Bur doing business with Israel has not proved foolish. Intellectuals must no longer be bribed or fooled into backing Palestinian leaders whose actual intentions for Palestine and its neighbors are nothing less than an exercise in criminal psychopathy.
This condescending attitude toward the intelligence, not to speak of the rights, of the Arab population of Palestine was to be serially repeated by Zionist, British, European, and American leaders in the decades that followed, down to the present day.
Sadly, there was no intelligence to condescend to. There was just corruption and criminality.
As for the Jewish state that was ultimately created by the movement that Herzl founded, as Yusuf Diya foresaw, there was to be room for only one people, the Jewish people.
Whereas anywhere the Palestinian leaders established hegemony turned into a shit-show- till the Palestinians were expelled. This does not mean there are plenty of hard working Palestinians in Israel or Jordan or elsewhere. But, the misdeeds of their leaders have caused them to be expelled even from places like Kuwait and the Gulf States and, after Saddam's fall, even Iraq. Jordan has taken plenty of refugees from Syria. The one group they don't want is Palestinians. In Lebanon, a Palestinian can't even bequeath his own property to his children. A Doctor who qualified in Lebanon, can't legally practice medicine there if she is Palestinian. Apparently, such Doctors can't even migrate to the Gulf- whereas Hindu Indians and Confucian or Communist Chinese are welcome! This is the situation facing Palestinian youth in an Arab country. Yet this stupid Professor is obsessed with what Herzl said to his great great grand uncle!

As for the others, “sending them away” was indeed what happened, despite Herzl’s disingenuous remark.
'Sending them away' worked for Jordan and Kuwait and so forth. 'Not letting them in' works too. Yet, there is no one in the Middle East who would deny that Palestinians are excellent workers, good neighbors, and produce excellent Doctors and Scientists and Architects and Entrepreneurs. Many of their politicians are actually quite good. But when they are bad, they are awful.
Herzl’s letter referred to Palestinian Arabs, then roughly 95% of Palestine’s inhabitants, merely as its “non-Jewish population.”
Herzl said that Jewish immigration would raise the material standard of living for the non-Jews. He was right. Non Jews in Israel are better off than they would be under Palestinian or other Arab rule.
The Jewish state, Herzl wrote in “Der Judenstaat,” would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.”
He was a true prophet. By contrast, Sirhan Sirhan- a Palestinian Christian- shot Bobby Kennedy. Then the PLO really got its act together and with things like the Munich massacre brought barbarism back to Hitler's first playground. At the time, terrorism looked cool. But anyone can do terrorism. It isn't a high value adding industry. Israel did State building properly. Its Army pays for itself by being a technology incubator. It exports high value technology vital for Global Peace and Security.

Indians used to hate Israel. Then President Kalam pointed out that they were giving Africa and Asia desperately needed water conversation tech for free. Did Israel lose by this generosity? No. Indian States started paying Israeli a lot of money for customized solutions. Meanwhile, nobody needs the Palestinians to train them to be terrorists. The Pakistanis can do it much more cheaply.  As for genocidal psychopathy, the Palestinians even at their craziest were simply too nice. The Caliphate and Boko Haram have raised the bar too high.
Herzl’s imperious disregard of the Palestinians has been replicated over the decades in much discourse in the United States, Europe, and Israel; indeed, it was clearly audible from the White House as recently as this past week.
What worries young Palestinians is not Trump's 'imperious disregard' for Palestinians, but that of their fellow Arabs who want them to shut the fuck up, take one for the team, and let a Saudi-Israeli alliance fight the Iranians.

Why won't Palestinian savants help their own people? What is Khalidi's major malfunction? Part of the answer is that he has been seduced by a metaphor- Palestine was 'colonized'. Everything be Whitey's fault. Comparing his country to India he writes

Khalidi does not know that Curzon, a well read man, was repeating the words of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the Mughal Ambassador to London, who lobbied for unrestricted British immigration into India by using precisely this argument. Roy got his wish- the 1833 Charter Bill was passed- and died in Bristol. His spiritual mantle passed to Dwarkanath Tagore, the grandfather of the poet Rabindranath. Thus Curzon was echoing what 'natives' had told, and would continue to tell, the Imperial overlord.

There was never any question of Whites 'supplanting' natives in India. The Tagores and other compradors just wanted enough of them around to spread European ideas and values. One reason the Indians wanted to get rid of the British was that their rule was too Oriental. Having lost faith in their own Christianity, they were willing to lend adherence to crazy Theosophical shit. They had even begun to babble about 'Aryanism' and enforce a stupid caste system amongst themselves. Anyway, Pax Brittanica had only been tolerated when it was cheap- i.e. when the Royal Navy was unchallenged. But the First World War was expensive. So the Indians refused to pay for any military expedition outside their own territory. This meant that Britain ran up a huge debt to India during the Second World War. Of course, India could have become independent much before that. Indeed Warren Hastings, in 1818, thought the day not distant when the only relationship between India and England would be that of trade. But, because Indians were divided and showed little interest in developing a Navy of their own, they preferred a cheap night-watchman state financed by low caste or tribal people growing indigo or opium or tea or coffee in areas which had never previously yielded much revenue to the Elites.

Khalidi, despite being a Professor, thinks Indians suffered the same fate as the Tasmanian aborigines. They didn't. Neither did the Palestinians. Their population went up during British rule. Christians, in particular, came up. Khalidis and Husseinis and other families did well. But they had not loyalty to the British and were divided among themselves. Grand Mufti Husseini chose Hitler during the War. The Jews had no choice but to fight for the Brits. But this meant they were on the winning side. They'd get a bigger share. However, the crucial factor was that their State was financially viable. Palestine was not. Thus Egypt and Jordan took bites out of what should have been their land. Both would regret doing so. Palestine could not pay its way. It still can't. It is a basket case. Some politicians and intellectuals can make a good living out of the Grievance industry. But it is at the cost of the rising generation in Arab lands.

Only the truth can help the young. Repeating stupid lies, in the age of Wikipedia, only causes people to think you are a stupid liar- not an 'engaged' intellectual. Still, Khalidi is well paid and I suppose, from that point of view, it is a case of 'nice work, if you can get it'. But the rising generation can't get that sort of work. The money for Grievance Studies is drying up. So, for an educator, it really isn't nice work at all.

Singer & Lindauer's philosophical argument for charitable giving

Peter Singer & Matthew Lindauer won a competition for the philosophical argument reading which causes people to donate more money to charity.

Their argument consists of a series of factual, not philosophical, propositions and concludes with two value judgments derivable from Utilitarianism.
Many people in poor countries suffer from a condition called trachoma. Trachoma is the major cause of preventable blindness in the world. Trachoma starts with bacteria that get in the eyes of children, especially children living in hot and dusty conditions where hygiene is poor. If not treated, a child with trachoma bacteria will begin to suffer from blurred vision and will gradually go blind, though this process may take many years. A very cheap treatment is available that cures the condition before blindness develops. As little as $25, donated to an effective agency, can prevent someone going blind later in life.
How much would you pay to prevent your own child becoming blind? Most of us would pay $25,000, $250,000, or even more, if we could afford it. The suffering of children in poor countries must matter more than one-thousandth as much as the suffering of our own child. That’s why it is good to support one of the effective agencies that are preventing blindness from trachoma, and need more donations to reach more people.
The problem here is that the 'factual' statements don't support Utilitarianism which does not distinguish between human beings no matter how they were produced or what purpose they will pursue in life.

Poor countries have too many poor people who are making babies who are going to be very very poor. That isn't a good thing. The right thing to do is to invest money so that rural girls get to move to factory dormitories and go on to have just one or two kids who will get good health care, nutrition, and education. Sadly, such investments will be profitable. Even if profits are repatriated, local Collective insurance and 'club good' provision boosts property values. A snobby vernacular middle class comes into existence. The more retarded of their scions end up as Professors of shite subjects clamoring for the overthrow of the entire Social System which spared them trachoma growing up.

It is not good to support virtue signalling cretins. "Effective Agencies' cook the books to make out that they are doing a billion dollars worth of good with just a 99 cent contribution. Why not simply sell indulgences? For just a thousand dollars down you can escape 9,999,999,999,999,999 billions of years in Hell with a red hot poker shoved up your bum.



Heidegger on Holderlin- part II

Holderlin ends his poem 'Homecoming' by saying that the poet has to take care to craft his poem. But others don't have to take care deciphering the poem. Their appreciation of it should be blithe and care-free.

Similarly, we expect a savant or an inventor or a cook or a craftsmen to take great pains with their work. But we want to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor without any further labour of our own. I want my computer to work. I don't want to know about the technical details about how it works.

There are some degenerate research programs where, no matter how hard you work or how much you puzzle your brain, you can't achieve anything because what you are doing is silly. All you can do is endlessly explain why the thing is so difficult and yet so important precisely because if only it could be done then everything else could also be done- including getting pigs to fly.

Heidegger makes heavy weather of everything he reflects upon because he thinks devoting your life to silliness isn't silly.

This is what he thinks should happen when a poet, returned home, recites a poem at the family dinner table-
Who are "the others" to whom the abrupt "not" is spoken? The poem which closes in this way begins with the ambiguous dedication "To Kindred Ones." But why should the "homecoming" first be spoken to the countrymen, who have been in the homeland forever? The homecoming poet is met by the hurried greeting of his countrymen. They seem to be kindred to him, but they are not yet so—i.e., not related to him, the poet. But assuming that the "others" named at the end are those who are first to become the poet's kindred ones, why does the poet explicitly exclude them from the singer's care?
This is silly. When you return to your small town there are hurried greetings with acquaintances. Nobody stops you for a long chat because they know you are anxious to get home to kiss Mummy and hug Daddy and so forth.
The poet may recite a poem at the dinner table. He has taken care over it but those who listen to it do so in a carefree manner. A younger sister may tease him about it. Mum will frown but secretly be glad. Poetry is all very well, but a job with the Municipality would be better.  Of course, it is always possible that the poem isn't a dreary lucubration. If your own family thinks it good then you are on to something. This could be breakthrough you've been looking for.
The abrupt "not" does indeed release "the others" from the care of the poetic saying, but it in no way releases them from the care of listening to what "the poets meditate or sing" here in "Homecoming."
Bullshit! If others have to puzzle over your poem then you are a shite poet. Consider a career move into Cost and Management Accountancy.
The "not" is the mysterious call "to" the others in the fatherland, to become listeners, so that for the first time they may learn to know the essence of the homeland.
Holderlin already inhabited what Goethe called 'World Literature'- anyone anywhere could access the essence of Greek 'Kalokagathia' or French 'esprit' or English 'humour' by reading the acclaimed poets of those countries.

 Heidegger is relegating this school chum of Schelling and Hegel's to the illiterate Germania of Tacitus. He is turning a scholar-poet who translated Sophocles into a rhapsodist for some rustic branch of the Hitler Youth.
"The others" must first learn to reflect upon the mystery of the reserving nearness.
Why? Even if this makes for better poetry- which is the business of the poet- how does it make for better carpentry or ditch digging?
Such thinking first forms the thoughtful ones, who do not hasten by that precious find which has been reserved and committed into the words of the poem. Out of these thoughtful ones will come the patient ones of a lasting spirit, which itself again learns to persist in the still-enduring absence of the god. Only the thoughtful ones and the patient ones are the careful ones. Because they think of what is composed in the poem, they are turned with the singer's care toward the mystery of the reserving nearness. Through this single devotion to the same theme, the careful listeners are related to the speaker's care; they are "the others," the poet's true "kindred spirits."
Heidegger is saying that he himself is Holderlin's 'kindred'- a plausible claim because Holderlin received a philosophical education uncommon amongst poets of the first rank. His mental illness gives his work an oracular 'outsider' quality which Rilke and Celan found inspiring. But does Heidegger really rise to the poetic heights of either? Is he really reading Holderlin or is he reading himself into something utterly alien to him- viz. a henotheistic Pietist's cautious raptures?

Perhaps, there is a political angle to Heidegger's misprision. Holderlin wrote the poem in 1801 on returning home from Switzerland. The French had just beaten the Second Coalition. Napoleon had won the battle of Hohenlinden in Bavaria. Holderlin, the student of Fichte, would naturally conceive 'care for the fatherland' as a duty to defend it and preserve its ethos.

It is certainly possible to read 'Homecoming' in this way. Soldiers return home on leave. Those 'on the home front' have their own worries. But, for a moment, there is a respite from care. There is a banquet. There is good cheer. There is oratory. There is song. Divine protection is collectively sought. But there are also individual, private, acts of- not desertion, not headlong flight- but 'internal migration', the seeking of a private armistice, a mental demobilization and return to childhood's tranquil havens.

Germany's frontiers had to contract, its Army had to turn to shit- they now do rifle drill with broomsticks painted black- before the Heimat of Holderlin became safe from its Hitlers. Heidegger's Holderlin was one danger that Heimat had to escape- or rather gratefully permit Occupying Powers to beat out of its pedants and pundits.

Shit Academic Departments- Literature, Philosophy, Social fucking Anthropology etc- may need the nitwit Heidegger to explain why their incessant polishing of the silver and setting of the table 'creates a space' for a Barmecidal feast which some future God will turn into real meat and real wine. But this has nothing to do with poetry- which either pleases the public or eases the plight of the poet. It is one thing to be unloved. It is another to be loveless. A poem is a placeholder for the heart. It may become part of world literature, as Holderlin's poem has done, because the God we want has a place for the mad, the sad & the too thouroghgoingly dull to dignify as bad.

Lisa Nandy's silly Israel statement

Daughter of the Indian Marxist, Dipak Nandy, Lisa Nandy was a surprise choice for Shadow Foreign Secretary. It appears that her support for the two state Solution- which has prompted her to call for an import ban on products from occupied or 'annexed' territory- is Starmer's way  of keeping a balance between resisting anti-Semitism (for which Rebecca Long Bailey has just been sacked) while supporting the Palestinian cause.

Sadly, this balancing act shows that Labour is living in the Past. Nandy thinks ' Britain has a “unique moral responsibility and must step up. Should we fail to do so, the world will pay the price for a long time to come."

The fact of the matter is that Britain did once have a 'unique moral responsibility' as the Mandatory power in Palestine. But Britain was rejected by both the Arabs and the Jews. It failed. Why? Britain saw that a two state solution would require the Jews to subsidize and otherwise help the Arab population who simply could not go it alone. But the Arabs rejected this. They did not say they could be a separate state. Instead Egypt took Gaza and Jordan took the East Bank. The Jordanians realized too late that they had put their head in noose. Still, when some Palestinians ran amok, a previously absent Jordanian sense of nationalism suddenly materialized and so the Palestinian leadership was ejected. Other Arab countries soon had their own problems with Palestinians. Currently, Saudi Arabia wants Palestinians to show their Arab Nationalism by forgetting their quarrel with Israel and focusing on Iran as the common enemy.

In other words, there is no support for a two state solution in the region. The Palestinians remain divided and the regional patrons of their various factions are even more divided. Nobody in the region- except a diminishing number of Left-Liberals in Israel- still believes in a plan which Arafat sabotaged twenty years ago.

Lisa Nandy seems to want to return to Robin Cooke's stupid foreign policy which consisted of saying no issue can be bilateral if Britain had once ruled that territory. Everything had to go through the British F.O. The Indians kicked him in the crotch. Blair saw that Cooke's silliness stemmed from the belief that Europe the new center of moral gravity. So he ruthlessly got rid of him.

Lisa Nandy too will go the way of Cooke. She is living in the Nineties. She thinks Europe matters. It has supernatural powers. Only it can set right all that is amiss with parts of the world over which it once ruled. But this is a pipe dream.

Suppose Israel is first to develop the COVID vaccine. Which country would be fool enough to impose a gesture political export ban on it? Nandy thinks Israel is a banana republic. We can get it to give up territory by saying 'we won't buy bananas from the plantations you have stolen'. But this is not the case. Israel is a knowledge economy. Banning Academics, or products, from there hurts us. It does not hurt Israel. It pushes it up the value chain so that it concentrates on stuff which no one else has but everybody needs. Meanwhile the Palestinians can offer nothing- not even terrorist training camps. Arafat well and truly destroyed the hope he created of a viable Palestinian state. Still, he died richer than any Israeli leader. Perhaps that is the true yardstick of success applicable to Arab politicians.

Corbyn, like Cooke, thought Britain should interfere in things like the Palestinian or the Kashmiri issue. But Corbyn, it turned out, was an utter cretin. More low income Britishers voted for BoJo than they did for him. Nandy, to her credit, had been part of the Shadow Cabinet rebellion against Corbyn. Starmer should get rid of her before another such event.

Politics is a service industry like plumbing. We may have to tolerate a good plumber lecturing us on Immigration as he fixes the boiler. But we don't have to tolerate a useless political party pretending that Brittania still rules the waves and therefore has some unique moral responsibility to talk nonsense. Cooke thought he had Europe behind him and that Europe could indeed develop into a counterpoise to the US. Nandy appears to share some such delusion. She said she would oppose a trade deal with US till America accepted the Paris agreement. This is the ethical foreign policy of an ostrich whose head is firmly buried in the sand while its feathers are plucked out leaving it with a naked bum. One may admire its unique moral position but only after laughing one's ass off.

Still, it is good to know that Lisa Nandy will make as great and fundamental a contribution to her natal country as her father did to his.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Our City of God was built on Greed

Even our Cities of God were built on Greed
 Our basilicas reek of the barracoon
 Faith's Life's a fraud on all in Need
Who turn to seek Lot's wife's boon

Friday, 26 June 2020

Benjamin Studebaker & the Sith Order

The one lesson the Econometric elucidation of Global Economic History imparts is that, absent massive coercion, factor mobility and combinability are independent of regime type or ideology. Mimetics matters. Geography matters. Gulags and Gestapos matter- or rather the return on coercion matters. But Political Economy does not.  The Rule Set does not matter save in terms of cost of enforcement. No magic ideological wand exists.

This was not always obvious. However, we can see that if particular sets of productive forces can, absent coercion, combine and  thrive for wholly geographical reasons, then it will do so even under the appearance of unchanged political regime or 'relations of production'. This is because, at the margin, it can 'pay for itself'- i.e. generate side-payments.

On the other hand, type of regime and ideology can affect expectations- but only in the short to middle term. Ultimately, factor mobility is exogenous though its local reproduction rate may have endogenous features. Short run, Capital may look more mobile than Labour, though the reverse may also appear to be the case. What matters, medium to long term, is the mobility of the factor which combines the other factors and whose reward is for taking on Risk.

Reducing Knightian Uncertainty is important in this context. But Entrepreneurship can be wholly divorced from Ownership. Coase's theorem applies. But, this means, as we have learnt, that network effects predominate at the high value adding end of things. Economic theory has a solution- Tiebout sorting- i.e. regions should have their own fiscal mix and concentrate on things in which they have a comparative advantage. That way they survive by adapting to structural changes. Hirschman saw that Trade & Growth theory had been fundamentally misleading. Any sort of Stolper Samuelson magical thinking is bound to fail. Economic Growth is idiographic, not nomothetic. Political Economy is an oxymoron. One may as well speak of Theological Operations Research.

Sadly, this type of thinking does not seem to have filtered down to Econ 101 courses. This has damaged the Left. The gerontocrats are being replaced by young people who may as well have studied at Hogwarts or spent their entire time preparing to battle, with light sabers,  the Sith Orders in the Star Wars Universe.


As a case in point, Aeon has just published an essay titled ' The ungoverned globe' with the sub-heading -The end of the liberal order would unleash chaos; its continuance means unconstrained economic suffering. What to do? The author is a young Academic named Benjamin Studebaker. I imagine we will be hearing more from him because he appears to be driven by conviction not careerism.

However, every single sentence he has written is false, mischievous or both false and mischievous. This is sad. This young man does not strike me as either a mischief-maker or a lazy, facile, liar. Blame must go, if such indeed has been the outcome, to the Academo-Journalistic availability cascades of the last thirty years ago. There is a supposed hadith- 'the sins of the savants are the darkness of the age'. Longer life-expectancy and the end of compulsory retirement for tenured Professors, on the grounds of 'ageism', has contributed to this epistemic catastrophe.

Consider the following sentence-
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the administrations of presidents Franklin D Roosevelt and then Harry S Truman in the United States led in the construction of the liberal order – a set of international institutions agreed upon by nation-states.
When I was in College, few Professors would have endorsed it. Why? They had lived through the period. Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, were part of Truman's and Eisenhower's 'free world'. So was Apartheid South Africa. The US supported Dictatorships. There was no 'liberal order' anywhere. The CIA spent money like water to keep the Commies from coming to power in France, Italy, Greece, Iran and everywhere else. The Korean War happened because the corrupt regime in South Korea was actually more crap and more homicidal than Kim the First.

What of the notion that there were a 'set of international institutions agreed upon by nation-states'? Suppose I had stood up and said that in a Class Room at the LSE back in the Seventies or early Eighties. What would have happened? People would have literally shat themselves laughing. The notion that the IMF or the Security Council or anything else had been set up with the informed consent or rational agreement of 'nation-states' was entirely risible.

True, some welcome changes had occurred. The Republic of China, representing a fifth of humanity, had got Taiwan's seat- thanks to Nixon. McNamara's World Bank had begun to help Deng's China's extraordinary ascent. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, America could get rid of Apartheid. Yes, in the Nineties, there was a moment of triumphalism- Fukuyama's Kojevian 'End of History- and Soros and so forth could speak of a Liberal, 'Rules based World order'.  But, that 'ordoliberalism' became a word of hate after the financial crash of 2007-8. Obama and Merkel did nothing to change that. Thus the best we can say of the 'Liberal world order' was that it represented a brief 'Tulip Mania' of the intellectuals at a time when it was not obvious that 'sub prime' condos and sheepskins did not impoverish those foolish enough to acquire them. Studebaker got his first degree- that too from Warwick- in 2013. By then the mood had changed. But narratives had got stupider and for a dozen years young activists have wasted their own and everybody else's time. Maybe Studebaker is Social Media savvy and can make a living for himself. But what of his students? They are going to believe shite like this-
The goal was to sustain peace and prosperity in the decades after the devastation of the war, and in doing so prevent both communism and fascism from spreading.
Fuck off! Everyone had the same goal. Economic Reconstruction, massive investment in Defence related R&D and wars of attrition in distant parts of the globe so the greater portion of the costs of reconstruction fall upon thin, brown, people.

Fascism was well entrenched in Franco's Spain. Fuck did anybody do to stop Falangism spreading its tentacles deeper and deeper into recently conquered soil such that Franco became more, not less, secure? He restored the fucking Monarchy! That well and truly buried Spanish Republicanism.

Who protected Salazar's Empire? Who overthrew Mossadegh and put in a Shah whose Dad had been exiled by the Brits because he was pro-Axis? Who was behind the Greek Colonels? Who toppled Australia's Gough Whitlam? Where in the world could you find 'the Liberal world order' opposing any sort of anti-Communism, or, indeed, anti-Americanism?

Studebaker lives- as young people may choose to do, if they want to remain ineffectual- in a parallel reality. He thinks something happened in 1970- presumably, Nixon's election, or the rest of the World's rebellion against 'Bretton Woods'- which turned everything to shit. The problem with this view is that it took fifteen years for Bretton Woods to get formalized. What went before was more like ad hoc bilateralism. But Bretton Woods started to fail almost immediately. It was barely limping along. As for Nixon- the fact is he could have become President in 1960. Kennedy's 'Missile Gap' may have given him the edge. But, as Galbraith noted, Kennedy wasn't really Keynesian. Nixon was. He tried a Prices & Incomes Policy briefly. He had well and truly lost the plot. That was an excellent reason for him to go.

Studebaker, who wasn't alive during most of the period, writes-

But over the last 30 years of the 20th century, the liberal order changed.
Things did change in the mid Sixties. Blacks and Gays and Women and so forth escaped statutory discrimination and injustice in the U.S. Europe too began to move in this direction. This was a good thing but it had no international ramifications. Maybe it contributed to a 'Silent Majority' backlash.
It is no longer primarily about protecting the West from communism and fascism by pushing up wages, creating large social programmes, and building strong safety nets.
America would protect its sphere of influence from Communism. Fascism was fine. However, during the 1950's all countries saw increased wages and better social services. It was by no means certain that Krushchev's boast that the Eastern block would end up with higher living standards would prove farcically incorrect. Interestingly, at one time Franco's Spain was growing fastest while Communist Poland appeared to be ahead in terms of improving living standards. It would be foolish to say that America faced any internal Communist threat- McCarthy did his job too well. Fascism had no appeal in that country because there were no Commies who needed beating in the streets. Italy and France did have large Communist parties but their flourishing was independent of rising real wages. Some Warsaw pact countries did see rising living standards and perhaps this blunted the fanaticism of their leadership. Yugoslavia was quoted as an example of Tinbergen's 'convergence thesis'. Albania, which remained poor, turned to Maoism, even breaking with China after the fall of the gang of 4.

There was no connection between the post-War drive for Reconstruction and higher real wages and the fear of Communism or Fascism. What existed was fear of another Great Recession and a foolish obsession with Unemployment. However, as inflation rose- for both monetary and 'cost-push' reasons- two dramatic reversals occurred at the end of the Sixties
1) The working class lost its taste for 'redistribution'. Labour's share of factor income peaked and started to fall. This was perfectly logical. Only 'economic rent' can be redistributed. But factor supply becomes elastic in the medium to long term- thus economic rent ceases to be available for redistribution. Thus the burden of fiscal transfers falls on the working class. Even in Scandinavia they repudiated 'solidarity wages'. The 'Labour Aristocracy' wasn't going to share productivity gains with the unskilled lumpen element.
2) The natural rate of unemployment rose or, rather, even the Army realized that a good tenth of the population was unemployable- they had negative marginal product. Programs targeted at breaking 'the cycle of deprivation' failed because drugs were getting better and promiscuity had become the norm.

The stagflation of the Seventies was a time of disillusionment. Liberalism seemed to have dug its own grave. Reagan and Thatcher showed that the upper working class would tolerate long and persistent unemployment. This meant only the supply side mattered.

The unexpected demise of Communism did give an opening for a sort of Liberal triumphalism but there was no New World Order because the West was still cautious in interventions. Sadly, that was to change leading to a blowback millenials are familiar with. But we commonly fix the blame on the neo-cons, not 'Neoliberalism' for this outcome.

Instead, it has become an engine for globalisation, economically integrating the whole world into a singular system.
The world has always been integrated. Stalin's Russia was very comfortably in bed with big American Corporations in the Thirties. China did keep exporting under Mao- it just didn't get very much in return. Deng's big idea was to emulate countries like Singapore. But Singapore was scarcely Liberal. Even now, the punishment for chewing gum in Singapore is either a 50,000 dollar fine or penal incarceration for 2 years. Why speak of 'the liberal order' when the Chinese Communists, in the Eighties, insisted that they were following Marx's dictum 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution'. Markets and property rights only disappear after scarcity disappears. Thus the Chinese were pursuing a Marxist, not a Liberal, course- but this was not obvious to Western commentators.
The liberal order has transformed from a means of defending liberalism into a means of exporting it everywhere.
We may speak of Victorian England, or Teddy Roosevelt, exporting the liberal order and supporting Liberal political movements overseas. But all that stopped when it became obvious that World Wars wiped out wealth. They put an end to Liberal shibboleths- e.g. a volunteer, not conscript, Army. It was only after the threat of World War receded, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that, for about a decade, Liberal triumphalism could bask in the Sun. Still it was the ex-Trotskyite neo-cons who took the next step- invading Iraq and putting an end to the 'New World Order'.
The contemporary liberal order does this by making two things mobile: capital and labour.
Both capital and labour have always been mobile. In the 1930's, an Indian working for Dow Chemicals moved to the Soviet Union as part of a trade deal. Plenty of Indian Communists got shot by Stalin, but this Indian chemist lived high on the hog married to a nice Russian girl. This is an example of both labour and capital mobility. The Indian preferred Russia because he was well paid and not subjected to racial harassment. It would have been illegal for him to marry a White girl in many American States at that time.
Capital mobility enables assets and businesses to move to different locations where different sets of economic rules exist.
Capital moves because rules sets don't matter. Contract enforcement does. If Deals are non-coercive and self-enforcing then Capital is as mobile as Information. But, something like this has always happened. Isolationist Empires still have their cosmopolitan crony capitalists.
When capital is mobile, capital controls don’t prevent individuals and firms from moving their assets out of a particular economy, and trade barriers enable businesses to operate offshore without facing imposing tariffs.
 'Capital controls' only work in the short run. They are soon subverted. Even preventing people from crossing borders by shooting them did not work. The efficiency gains of mobility are such that the incentive to prevent it quickly dries up.
Labour mobility is about moving workers from place to place, in pursuit of the jobs that are relocated through capital mobility.
No. Labour mobility is driven by life-chances which in turn depend on Social, not Financial, Capital and Network effects.
The liberal order enables rapid flows of investment and people from place to place.
No. Imperialism had that quality. The liberal order does not. Why? Liberalism requires migration controls to preserve National ethos.
These flows facilitate economic growth and reduce the cost of consumer goods, but they also produce instability.
Economic growth reduces instability. Why? Because it creates a market for arbitrage and risk pooling. A stagnant economy has more instability- not less. But it also features Exit of higher marginal product factors. This means it goes into secular decline.

Moving too much money too quickly into any particular part of the world generates bubbles.
Stupidity causes bubbles even in poor, stagnant, economies. 'Hot money' flows can be sterilized. F.D.I does not necessarily cause bubbles. This is an idiographic matter.
Taking too much money out too quickly produces credit crunches.
No. A 'Credit Crunch' means Expectations have suffered an exogenous shock. Financial flows are irrelevant. Only Expectations matter.
Adding too many people to a region too quickly strains its public services and potentially pushes down wages.
Actually, if the thing is done quickly, the problem is solved quickly because the shorter the time you have been in a place the quicker you can relocate.
Taking too many people out of a region too quickly produces brain drain, starving the region of the skills it needs to thrive.
Who 'takes people'? Slavers? The Emperor of Assyria? The truth is people may indeed flee a place with great expedition. But, that's because it has no future.
The order keeps capital and labour mobile, and maintains the flows.
No. Both money and men go where they can get a better return. This has always happened. Liberal countries may be able to afford to put up barriers to migration but, over time, migration will happen anyway.
But it doesn’t govern them, and that means the flows can get out of hand and cause trouble.
An 'order' which does not 'govern' is not an order. The Order of the Teutonic Knights once ruled territory. The Order of the Knights of Malta does not rule anything at all. It is purely ceremonial. This 'Liberal Order' of Studebaker appears to be even less substantial than the Knights of Malta. It is like the 'Order of the Exalted Servants of the Dawn' which keeps the Sun mobile and thus ensures Night will end. But the Order doesn't govern the Sun and that means the Sun can get out of hand and cause trouble. This explains Global Warming- right?
The liberal order exists on three levels: the global, the regional and the national.
Just like the Order of the Exalted Servants of the Dawn. The Global level ensures that the Sun is available for our planet to circle around. The Regional level ensures Dawn occurs when it should for our Time Zone. The National level coordinates the Regional levels and liaises with the Global level. Thus if Dawn failed to occur in California, the Regional level reports to the National level which then asks the Global level to very kindly persuade the Sun to rise over California.
At the global level, the order consists of large international organisations that mainly focus on the regulation of trade, borrowing and investment, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
But both are irrelevant save with respect to failed or failing states.
At the regional level, the liberal order creates tighter trade relationships, through agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – now the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – and block organisations such as the European Union (EU). In the case of the EU, the regional institutions also provide free movement of people, a currency union, and a common set of fiscal rules and regulations.
But similar agreements exist where there is no Liberalism. Economic cooperation occurs if it is mutually advantageous regardless of the type of regime. The Sun rises with or without an Exalted Order of the Servants of the Dawn.
At the national level, the liberal order is embodied by the political parties that are committed to defending and maintaining it, including most of the traditional centre-Right, centrist and centre-Left parties.
China is a one-party State. It seems to have no difficulty doing a lot of trade and investment and so on. On the other hand, it has banned the Exalted Order of the Servants of the Dawn. This means it is in perpetual Darkness.
To put it another way, the liberal order consists of a lot of economic integration,
All human societies- even neolithic ones- displayed a lot of economic integration including exchanges of brides.
but this economic integration still depends on the continued commitment and participation of nation-states.
No. Economic integration depends on the possibilities for and potential gains from Comparative Advantage based Trade. Nation-states can cease to exist. Economic integration persists. In many ways, the Common Market was harking back to pre 1914 Economic integration.
The institutions that exist at the global and regional level don’t have direct connections to voters. They rely on the ability of the national parties that support the order to remain politically competitive on their home turfs. As the liberal parties weaken, the order weakens.
The opposite is the case. If global and regional institutions create problems, not opportunities, for voters then the status-quo supporting politicians, irrespective of their political party, get the order of the boot. We have just seen that happen in the U.K.
In the 12 years since the global economic crisis of 2008, the liberal order has been besieged from all sides.
As has the Exalted Order of the Servants of the Dawn.
On the Left, traditional social democratic parties have been weakened, displaced or captured by radical insurgents. Bernie Sanders disturbed the Democratic Party’s equilibrium in the US.
But he lost first to Hilary and then to Biden. What disturbed the 'equilibrium' of the Democratic Party was no-drama Obama's not appearing to have accomplished anything at all save pad the pockets of the rich.
Jeremy Corbyn did the same for the Labour Party in the UK.
And will go down in history as the man who caused the 'Red Wall' to crumble. More low income people voted for BoJo than for him. That is a remarkable accomplishment.

The truth is the Left is crap because it was nurtured on Campuses with crap Professors of worthless subjects.
In France, the Socialist Party has been displaced by the more radical La France Insoumise.
Which has sunk without trace. Its leader is 68.
Greece’s traditional centre-Left party, PASOK, was overtaken by the more radical SYRIZA.
Which was even more crap- though not as corrupt. God alone knows what the next incarnation of Left imbecility will be called.
On the Right, Donald Trump staged a hostile takeover of the Republican Party in the US. In the UK, the Conservative Party took the country out of the EU. The Republicans in France have been challenged by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (previously the National Front). And in Germany, the Right-wing Alternative für Deutschland is now the largest opposition party. In Italy, the centre-Left Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement joined together to form a Right-wing coalition government. All of these parties and movements are interested in revising, exiting or performatively ignoring the liberal order. Russia cheerleads the order’s decay, while China has begun constructing alternative institutions of its very own. Vultures circle.
So, there is no 'liberal order'. There was an availability cascade but nothing in reality corresponded to it. Vultures may circle a dying man. But there is no carcass here for them to feast on.

When I was young, there were some elderly racists who would bemoan the good old days when Whiskey was cheap and women liked getting black-eyes and niggers knew their place. The 'order' they were lamenting had never existed. Women didn't like getting beaten. Black people knew their proper place was wherever their own talent and hard work put them.

Still, everyone can agree that the first step to the return of whichever order we idealize is cheaper whiskey. I'd feel a lot more liberal and charitable towards whoever it is who screwed up the Economy and rotted the brains of Academia if I were able to get drunk for a quid.
This is not to say that the order is defenceless. Global and regional institutions do have the ability to inflict economic hardship on voting populations.
In which case they are disintermediated. They get defunded and have to go back to Academia or the NGO circuit.
The EU, IMF and World Bank can deny states access to needed funds, threatening them with economic crisis if they fail to toe the line.
They can only do this to countries which have screwed up their finances. But, equally, until the unscrew their finances, nobody can really help them.
Governments know they won’t survive the next election if these organisations visit financial chaos upon them.
Governments know that screwing up the finances of the Nation will hurt them at the polls but some of them just go ahead and do it anyway. That's how Stupidity works.
In 2015, for instance, Greece attempted to resist the EU’s austerity demands, threatening to leave the eurozone’s monetary union if the EU refused to offer more financial support. But leaving the euro would badly damage Greece’s economy in the near-term, and Brussels knew it. The EU called Greece’s bluff, and Greece retreated.
SYRIZA came to power by claiming it could get a better deal for Greece. It failed spectacularly. The country was a lot worse off. So the Greeks turfed it out of office.
Last summer, SYRIZA was trounced by New Democracy, Greece’s traditional centre-Right party.
This creates a difficult situation for political parties.
No. It is bleeding obvious that screwing up your country's finances will boomerang on you. It is not difficult at all to spot that a Varoufakis is a clown. Don't listen to him.
The liberal order has brought about economic integration, and that integration has often been politically disadvantageous.
No. Economic forces brought about economic integration by paying power wielders to let it happen overtly rather than covertly. Voters went along with this when the going was good. But profligate Governments could still screw up the Nation's finances. Moreover, there was corruption and 'Agency Capture' such that Regulatory regimes catalysed the catastrophes they were meant to prevent. Elites grew complacent. They pretended they belonged to the Exalted Order of the Servants of the Dawn. Without their pi-jaw, the Sun would cease to rise. All would be Darkness.
In the post-2008 era, global and regional institutions have pushed many states to cut public spending, eliminating social programmes and weakening public services and infrastructure.
Because these things were unaffordable.
In many countries, living standards for the ordinary voter have stagnated or even backslid.
Because previous gains were based on fraud. Madoff's clients thought they were very well off. Then they discovered they had been conned.
Capital mobility makes it easy for billionaires and corporations to rapidly move their assets all over the world,
This is like saying 'physical mobility makes it easy for people to move about'.  Global Corporations had branches in Stalin's Russia back in the Thirties. Money has moved around the globe since there was money and a method to get around the globe.
and that means they have a lot of leverage over national governments.
When has this not been the case? True, a Corporation can no longer get a Government to topple a regime in some far off country if it nationalizes their assets. But then, regime change no longer seems a swell idea.
If a government raises taxes to support public services, the people and firms it attempts to tax might simply move away, depriving the country of both the tax revenue and the jobs and investment that those people and firms once supplied. The ensuing recession could swiftly cost that government the next election. To attract investment, governments are forced to compete with one another for the favour of oligarchs and transnational corporations. That means keeping taxes and wages low, and regulations and labour laws weak.
The same is true of individuals. If you demand to be paid a million dollars an hour with a blow-job thrown in every 15 minutes, you may find yourself unemployed. You may feel deeply aggrieved that you are forced to compete with others for the favour of employers but how else could this story pan out?
Some political parties talk about trying to trap investment before it can escape, with capital controls and trade barriers.
But the physical capital would have been financed by a local bank. You end up picking your own pocket.
A few talk about funding social spending with monetary sorcery, using quantitative easing to support flagging social programmes and fabulous new infrastructure. But even the prospect of a party of this type winning power is enough to encourage corporations to take their custom elsewhere.
But it is also the case that a guy who talks of using magic to do his job won't get hired. As a devout Wiccan, one may feel that this shows a lamentable prejudice on the part of employers. But, seriously, how else could this story end?
Throwing up trade barriers quickly breaks supply chains, without giving the economy an opportunity to gradually reorganise the affected sectors. The shock of a sudden severance would be severe, sending the cost of goods and services soaring until new arrangements can be made. During that time, inflation would be elevated even without radical monetary policy. Adding it on would just make things worse.
Trade barriers create rents. They are not necessarily inflationary. But there is a 'deadweight' welfare loss.
Governments aren’t willing to take the risk of capital flight. The anticipated economic consequences are too severe, and economic consequences mean electoral consequences. How, then, do they placate their voters?
Why not tell the truth?
The voters remember a time, not so long ago, when public services were strong and their lives were getting better.
But then 'Baumol cost-disease' set in'- why not explain this? Voters aren't utterly stupid. They understand that there's a lot of stuff which one could afford twenty years ago but which is now out of reach. But there are other things which have got cheaper. One must adjust one's life-style and tighten one's belt if necessary.
While they wish for the economic malaise to end, for things to return to the way they once were, their governments cannot deliver it. If states can’t make voters happy, they have to find a way to direct voter resentment elsewhere.
Voters aren't sheep. Their resentments may be entirely rational. It is up to politicians to identify mechanisms to undo the causes of resentment.
So instead of directly challenging the liberal order,
How would one do so? Send around your seconds with a challenge to a duel? But what is the address of the liberal order? The Order of the Knights of Malta has an address. The Exalted Order of the Servants of Dawn can be reached at my humble abode. But this 'liberal order' is wholly fictitious.
national governments point the finger at the order, while largely continuing to align with it economically.
Nobody has said 'naughty liberal order! Boo to you!'. Why? This 'liberal order' has no existence in anyone's imagination outside some shite University Department.
Trump is very good at this bait and switch. He abandoned Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in favour of tariffs, but the purpose of the tariffs is to achieve with a stick what Obama sought to get with a carrot – the moving of firms and investment out of China and into the economies of the Pacific allies of the US. Trump frames the tariffs as an attempt to challenge the liberal order and force jobs to return to the US, but the tariffs don’t actually achieve this – instead, they push businesses to move to neighbouring states, such as Vietnam.
But with the US Corporations doing the high value added stuff and reaping the rewards. This means high paid jobs in the US. There would also be some manufacturing jobs and more money to pay for them from 'Optimal tariff theory' which was all the rage when Trump was at Wharton.
This is their true purpose: redirecting investment away from China toward US allies. It is the same purpose that animated TPP but, while TPP appears to further grow the liberal order, the tariffs appear to defy it.
TPP was silly. It created a multi-dimensional policy space with all sorts of criteria like Human Rights, Environmental sustainability etc. It represented Obamaism at its most cretinous.
Trump gets away with continuing to support the liberal order by opposing it in public while continuing to maintain the economic relationships that are its foundation.
In other words, Trump transacts business in a business like way. But that's how all business is transacted. Some Professors of Poli Sci may gas on about Liberal orders but nobody listens to them. As the Chinese say 'Science Students look down on Arts students. Arts students look down on Poli Sci students. Poli Sci students look down on their teachers'.
Trump didn’t simply suspend trade with China, because his purpose is not to end US dependence on cheap foreign imports.
Suspend trade with China? Is this guy crazy?
Instead, he wishes to perform strength for the home audience. By vilifying China and gradually discouraging US firms from doing business there, Trump can appear to stand up to the liberal order while simply exchanging one set of East Asian trading partners for another.
With the crucial difference that the high value added stuff gets done in America, not China.
In this way, he gets the political credit for appearing hostile to the order, without taking action that would substantially raise the cost of goods and services in the near-term.
This guy does not get that America exported a lot of high value added stuff to China while it did the low value added grunt work. Now the Chinese want to do the high value adding and are themselves offshoring to South East Asia. But Trump wants to hamstring their high value adding sectors so as to preserve America's higher real wages. This is perfectly sensible.
Trump performed a similar dance with NAFTA. Initially, he declared his intention to leave the agreement, only to proceed to ‘renegotiate’ it. The renegotiated trade agreement, USMCA, is broadly similar to NAFTA but, because it contains minor cosmetic concessions to the US trade position, Trump appears to have meaningfully challenged the liberal order without really doing anything at all. The Mexican government becomes a convenient bogeyman, but trade relations with it go on much as before.
 If this guy liked TPP, he should like USMCA which Democrats have turned into a stick to force Unionization on the Mexicans. It is a dog's breakfast, true enough.
Voters want the catharsis of antiestablishment rhetoric, but they don’t want to pay the price for antiestablishment policy. Trump – who has always been a good showman – is happy to oblige. He walks a tightrope, appearing to fight the liberal order without actually fighting it.
Because it doesn't exist.

This balancing act is difficult to maintain. If a government pushes it too far against the liberal order, the order will call its bluff, exposing its lack of willingness to pay the price for genuinely opposing the order. This is what happened to the Left-wing SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras in Greece.
Does this cretin really think the USA is similar to Greece?
Its confrontation with the EU was too direct for the EU to tolerate, and the EU forced Greece to either accept the economic consequences of withdrawal from the order or acknowledge its lack of willingness to follow through. Once Tsipras’s bluff was exposed, his party was discredited.
A previous Greek Government had got a big bailout by threatening to hold a referendum at a time when contagion risk existed. Tsipras, misled by Varoufakis, held a referendum when there was no contagion risk. Moreover, Varoufakis had made an utter fool of himself at the Finance Minister's Conference. But this was stupidity, not bluff.
At the same time, if a government avoids bombastic rhetoric and tries to manage down expectations, it might not even appear to be a threat to the liberal order in the first place. This is what happened to Theresa May in the UK. As prime minister, May’s rhetorical style wasn’t very aggressive, and the Brexit deal she proposed didn’t make large changes to the UK’s trading arrangements with the EU. This caused the more antiestablishment wing of her Conservative Party to rebel, replacing her with Boris Johnson. Johnson immediately scored an electoral victory running a much more openly antiestablishment campaign, with far more bellicose anti-European rhetoric. Once Johnson won, he implemented a Brexit deal that was nearly indistinguishable from May’s, and the UK’s trading relations with Europe continue largely unchanged for now.
Cameron and May both gambled on strengthening their hand by going to the voters. Both miscalculated and had to go. BoJo got in because Corbyn shat the bed. That's it. That's the whole story. We don't know what the final deal will be. That depends on purely economic considerations. It has nothing to do with any supposed 'Liberal Order'.
Investors know that the relationship is secure for the time being, and Brexit hasn’t yet brought about any major increase in the cost of goods and services. The performance is what matters.
Economic performance depends on stuff Economists study. This Poli Sci guy with his talk of some imaginary 'Liberal Order' is muddying the waters.
From the point of view of the liberal order, this strategy is suboptimal, and it works only from the premise that the liberal order doesn’t enjoy much legitimacy. It’s a defensive strategy, aimed at maintaining an international order that no longer inspires people of its own accord. The order would prefer to restore its legitimacy and get populations enthusiastic about further integration. By maintaining itself through allowing national governments to performatively mock it, the legitimacy of the liberal order is further corroded. It becomes even less credible and even less inspiring. This means that governments have to go further and further with their performances of defiance to continue to please ever more grouchy voting populations.
Bollocks! There may have been some politicians who thought the EU and the WTO and so forth were a bulwark against beggar my neighbor protections. But those politicians are gone. They were stupid and fucked up and are now forgotten.
In time, this could produce a government that’s not just performing defiance, but actually defiant.
Like Venezuela or Zimbabwe. Defiance just means screwing up your country's finances. If you don't do this then economic forces will ensure that everything works out. The only story here is 'look after the economy and the politics will look after itself'. Defying the Sith Order with light-sabers is not required.
If that government comes to power in a nation-state that is strong and has a lot of power, the order could struggle to contain its rebellion.
Which is why it must make an alliance with Voldemort.
It’s one thing to threaten Greece with economic oblivion. It’s another thing to threaten Germany or the US.
Greece screwed up all by itself. Germany could screw up all by itself if it elects Green nutters. The US could screw up all by itself if Police forces are defunded all over the place. There is no need for the Sith Order or the Liberal Order or the Order of the Exalted Servants of Dawn to threaten anybody.
If Trump was more than a performer, if he really believed the nationalist narrative he sells, all this would suddenly become deadly serious.
No. If Trump hadn't turned out to be a shrewd businessman rather than a loony toons, then the anti-Trump hysteria would have been justified.
The risk is that, by performing defiance today, Trump clears the way for a US administration that’s genuinely defiant five or 10 years down the line.
Just as no-drama Obamas not performing defiance cleared the way for Trump who may have cleared the way for the even older Biden.
Very often one generation’s electoral strategy becomes the next generation’s deeply felt beliefs.
No. A successful program affects expectations. If something has worked well, people believe more of it may work even better.
Trump won’t rip the liberal order apart, but he creates space for the person who will. To prevent this from happening, the liberal order needs governments to find a better, more sustainable electoral strategy that doesn’t undermine the ability of the order to restore confidence and legitimacy.
So, the liberal order needs Governments not to attack it. Thus, it is dependent on Governments. But, that means, from the point of view of Political Science, it has no independent existence. It is merely a metaphor for a common orientation amongst a set of Governments. But that common orientation was based on a particular understanding of the economy. When that understanding failed, the common orientation disappeared. So the real story here is that there was no 'liberal order' there was only a sort of complacency and inertia which has sunk the political careers of those who subscribed to it.
Democratic theorists have lately turned to radical democratic reforms as a means of restoring a sense of sovereignty or autonomy. While the nationalists mock the liberal order, directing resentment further up the chain, radical democracy tries to make citizens feel involved in decision-making by moving more decisions downstream, to the local level. Importantly, this doesn’t take back control from the liberal order. The liberal order still handles economic integration, maintaining the flows of capital and labour. Instead, the nation-state takes the powers that remain in its possession and decentralises them, enabling local communities to feel more involved without giving them control of anything that meaningfully threatens the liberal order.
What does this rigmarole actually mean? Democratic theorists are stupid and childish. Some silly people in every town can be persuaded to prance around talking of citizen's democracy and the need to raise awareness of the difficulties facing neighborhood cats with issues re. sexuality and gender identity. This sort of silliness aint going to change anything at all. So relax and let the nutters have at it.
This decentralisation can take many forms. Nation-states such as the UK, France and Spain might devolve more and more powers to their regional and local institutions. Some of these regions might become politically independent. In the US, the federal government might push more responsibilities on to state governments, and those states might in turn push more responsibilities on to municipalities. More radically, governments might begin making use of ballot initiatives, referenda, citizens’ juries and public assemblies to make ordinary people feel more involved in the process while at the same time divesting the national government of its own responsibility and culpability for decisions.
This results in Tiebout sorting and can be a very good thing. On the other hand, if you are too set in your ways to move to a place which caters to your brand of crazy then get prepared for long discussions about cats with gender identity issues or some other such nonsense.
In this way, the radical democracy strategy becomes an inversion of the nationalist strategy.
No. There is no strategy here. There is only Stupidity.
Both the radical democrats and the nationalists would create a situation in which the nation-state cannot meaningfully be blamed for the consequences of the liberal order.
Because what's really important is not having a good life but blaming someone of the other for the naughtiness of the Sith Order or the Liberal Order or the Exalted Order of the Servants of Dawn.
The nationalists accomplish this by blaming the order, performing subversion while continuing to obey.
Nonsense! Nationalists blame the Jews and the Gays in the Media and the Wall Street bankers and the men in black helicopters for everything.
The radical democrats accomplish this by creating new institutions that make the people themselves feel responsible for their own situations. They attempt to ‘responsibilise’ ordinary voters.
It's your fault your neighbor's cat is having to struggle with gender-identity issues. You shouldn't have called it 'pussykins'. That was a totally Fascist action, Mummy. Fuck off and die you old whore.'

The nationalist strategy’s weakness is that it maintains the liberal order by condemning it, undermining the very thing it maintains.
People used to write shite like this in the Sixties. Who reads Sartre now? Studebaker's strategy's weakness is that it maintains the very strategy whose weakness it is, yet, ironically, does not maintain its own maintenance as weakness if only in a strategic manner even though this leads to complex gender-identity issues amongst the neighborhood cats- which is like totally Fascist, dude, and so not cool.
The radical democrats completely divert attention from the order by making politics about the local level – about you. You become the one responsible for the order, for the flows, and for any instability those flows bring to your community.
Meanwhile cats are subject to complex gender-identity issues because you are all a bunch of fucking Fascists!
These local institutions, however, cannot actually alter the flows. This responsibility is built on lies and misdirection. It functions as an elaborate way of forcing the citizens to internalise the political system’s failures as their own.
Very true. But Netflix does the same. It greets you by name and has suggestions for your viewing pleasure. But this is just an elaborate way of forcing you to internalise the failings of the Werewolves or Vampires in the show you are watching as your own. This is why so many cats have complex gender-identity issues.
Radical democrats would give citizens the appearance of direct power without the fact of it, obscuring where the real power lies – with the liberal order.
Not the Sith Order as Disney would have you think. Incidentally, the series 'The Mandalorian' is totally a rip-off of R.K Narayan's Malgudi days. Also the correctt title is 'Mangalorean'. That said, the series is an accurate reflection of life in a sleepy South Indian town in the Nineteen Seventies.
That would suit the order just fine. But radical democracy wouldn’t deal with the substance of the grievances that have led so many voters to grow frustrated. It would enable the order to continue disappointing people by convincing them that they are the ones disappointing themselves.
The truth is radical democracy will cause the local economy to collapse. If lots of local economies collapse, National and then International economies collapse. So steer clear of that brand of Stupidity unless it is pure 'Tiebout Sorting'.
Opponents of the liberal order have substantive grievances.
Like how come their tin-foil hats aren't working so good any more.
Rapid, ungoverned flows of capital and labour destabilise their lives.
Whereas they want to destroy, not just destabilize, their lives by governing not just capital flows but also utterly Fascist behaviour- like calling a cat 'pussykins' and thus causing it to experience complex gender identity issues.
The nation-state cannot take back control of the flows, and radical democracy provides only an illusion of control. To truly govern the flows, the liberal order itself must be made directly responsible to the people whose lives it affects.
Moreover, the Sun must be democratically elected and should commit itself to inclusive dialogue with the neighbor's cat on complex issues of gender-identity.
As long as the liberal order is organised through global and regional institutions that have no direct links to voting populations, it will be mediated through networks of nation-states.
In other words, so long as there is no World Government we won't, as a planet, be able to hold the Sun accountable for its actions. The Exalted Order of the servants of the Dawn will be able to continue their oligarchic rule over the Solar System.
As economic integration increases, those nation-states lose the ability to meaningfully represent their populations in the order’s institutions. The more economic power the liberal order has, the more vestigial the nation-states become. The nation-states attempt to obscure this reality with nationalism and radical democratic reforms, and in doing so they enable themselves and the order to go on, but at a cost of completely stripping the public of any meaningful say. The nation-state continues, but only as a shell of itself, unable to represent anything. The liberal order continues, but with no legitimacy, at best surviving by pitting individuals and groups against each other in local fights with no practical stakes.
The Sun is even worse. It has lit up battle-fields since time immemorial. Also, it once watched me pee on the neighbor's cat. That's just perverted.
Alternatively, we could decide that the only way to govern a global economy is to have global political institutions. The radical democrats scale down, situating politics far beneath the level where the crucial decisions are taken. The nationalists pretend politics still exists at the level of the nation-state, cathartically denying a reality that they themselves implicitly recognise. The other option is to scale up and make a genuine effort to build some kind of global polity.
So, this silly man who couldn't get elected rat catcher wants to build a 'global polity'. Good luck to him.
The trouble is that there are few people who want to do this. Part of what makes both nationalism and radical democracy appealing is that these strategies emphasise our national, individual or group distinctiveness. Global political institutions collapse distinctions, making singular decisions for the whole world. We don’t want a one-size-fits-all model. But unfortunately for us, the liberal order has already given us one. In the liberal order’s one-size-fits-all model, we must all accept ungoverned flows of capital and labour and, if we try to resist those flows, economic devastation is visited upon us. We have no say in the model, because the nation-states that are meant to represent us are increasingly moribund.
Why not emigrate to Venezuela?
So we are faced with a terrible choice. We can continue to embrace the nationalist strategy of keeping the liberal order alive by creating the conditions under which it will die.
A good Nationalist strategy is one which raises productivity within the Nation. This attracts trade on the basis of comparative advantage. Factor mobility is not essential but certainly helps. That's it. That's the whole story. Economic forces will bring about Economic integration while Poli Sci figures out how to deal with cats with complex gender identity issues.
That will end in the dissolution of the order, collapsing economic growth, with massive increases in the costs of goods and services.
No it won't. During the Great Depression, discretionary tariffs caused only ten percent of the decrease in trade. It was the monetary shock and liquidity crunch which did the major damage. But we now have far more sophisticated markets and arbitrage mechanisms.
Our living standards will be dramatically reduced. The nation-state will make a comeback, but at the cost of the prosperity that we have been building since the Second World War.
Nonsense! The collapse of all Trade agreements would have about as much impact as the COVID crisis. It would be a supply shock without much hysteresis effect. Fairy stories about the Great Depression have long been exploded by Econometric research.
Or we can embrace radical democratic reforms, and attempt to convince ourselves that they will empower us, or at least give us the satisfying feeling of empowerment. We can retreat into localism, even as the critical decisions are taken far away from us. We can build a realm of illusions, where the institutions we participate in are not the ones that shape our lives.
For people teaching Poli Sci, it is certainly true that they inhabit a jerrybuilt realm of illusion. So what? We are grateful if they don't masturbate in public. More should not be asked of them.
Finally, we could try to salvage the order by constructing institutions that enable us to meaningfully govern it. But to do that, we’d have learn to do politics with people who are different from us. Can that be done? Probably not. And that means either the nation-states will kill the liberal order, or they will find a way to disguise it in democratic daydreams. The liberal order might not last much longer.
There was no 'liberal order'. There was an academic availability cascade based on ignorance and complacency but that was back in the days when people thought getting a degree in Poli Sci would enable them to get a decent job. Meanwhile, people continue to economize. If they find a smarter way to do so, then they garner 'gains from trade'. Economic forces will continue to connect and coordinate Economic activities. Meanwhile a few Poli Sci pundits will earn an exiguous living provided they don't masturbate in public and discourage their students from so doing. The fact is, there is a global market for stupid shite. It is small. It is not well regarded. But, it exists. I wish young Studebaker luck in his finding a niche within it.