Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Jason Stanley on why Biden is forcing Kamala to wear a burqa

Jason Stanley's next paper is titled 'Should Jews be allowed to join White Supremacist Parties?'- a question few would consider particularly pressing, unless they are going to prison in which case they need to make themselves useful to the Aryan Brotherhood while steering clear of the Skinheads. On the other hand, the Ku Klux Klan says it wants to recruit Jews so Stanley has somewhere to go when, as he fears, Fascism overtakes America.

His most recent article in the Guardian is titled 'America is now in Fascism's legal phase'. Clearly Stanley is weighing up the merits of a flight to Putin or Xi's utopia as opposed to investing in Klan regalia. 

He begins by quoting an anti-Zionist who, however, could write well.
'Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another.”

If we need to be reminded of this, why should we not also be reminded that before a Nobel Prize for Literature can be awarded, there must first be a Nobel Prize. Also Literature would have to exist. Furthermore, a Universe would have to be created such that intelligent life could evolve somewhere within its vast expanse. 

So began Toni Morrison’s 1995 address to Howard University, entitled Racism and Fascism, which delineated 10 step-by-step procedures to carry a society from first to last.

Did the Taliban read that shite? Is that why they have prevailed over the USA? I don't think so. 

Morrison’s interest was not in fascist demagogues or fascist regimes. It was rather in “forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems”.

But those forces soon became as weak as shit if they didn't do things beneficial to some group of people with actual or potential power. The solutions found by 'Fascism' were similar to the solutions found by other 'isms' because it was the fitness landscape that dictated their shape. If the solution didn't work, Fascism disappeared. This turned out to involve a simple rule- viz. 'don't attack stronger countries'. Franco abided by this rule and survived. Hitler didn't and shot himself. 

 The procedures she described were methods to normalize such solutions, to “construct an internal enemy”, 

like criminals who beat and kill and rape people and steal their nice shiny stuff. Speaking generally, this 'internal enemy' is killed or incarcerated- which is like totes Fascist dude. 

On the other hand, for Stanley, the Republicans are the internal enemy, aided and abetted as they are by White peeps, Christians, and other such nasty deplorables.

isolate, demonize and criminalize it and sympathizers to its ideology and their allies, and, using the media, provide the illusion of power and influence to one’s supporters.

This is a fair description of Stanley's own hysterical ravings. 

Morrison saw, in the history of US racism, fascist practices – ones that could enable a fascist social and political movement in the United States.

Fascist parties may have copied the US but America still stomped them but good- unless, like Franco's Spain, they played nice. 

Writing in the era of the “super-predator” myth (a Newsweek headline the next year read, “Superpredators: Should we cage the new breed of vicious kids?”), Morrison unflinchingly read fascism into the practices of US racism. 

She wrote well but wasn't a great thinker. Still, she wasn't Stanley level paranoid or stupid. 

Twenty-five years later, those “forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems” are closer than ever to winning a multi-decade national fight.

Whereas Stanley is closer than ever to a padded cell. It turned out that the shite he studied was utterly worthless. Meanwhile, smart peeps had made money or risen up in useful professions. Fuck you Fascists! Why do you have to be less useless than Prof. Stanley? 

The contemporary American fascist movement is led by oligarchical interests for whom the public good is an impediment, such as those in the hydrocarbon business, as well as a social, political, and religious movement with roots in the Confederacy.

But the Confederacy had its roots in White dudes turning up in America and grabbing the land from the natives and then bringing in slaves from Africa. As for 'oligarchical interests'- they existed even 3000 years ago! Why not simply say 'Contemporary American movements are founded in evolutionary processes stretching back over a billion years'? 

 As in all fascist movements, these forces have found a popular leader unconstrained by the rules of democracy, this time in the figure of Donald Trump.

Very true. On the night of the long knives, Trump had Pence and Pelosi and various Generals killed- right? Then he burnt down the Capitol and blamed it on the Democrats. That's how come he has become President for Life. 

My father, raised in Berlin under the Nazis, saw in European fascism a course that any country could take.

So, he emigrated to America where Mexicans were being deported (Operation Wetback) and African Americans were denied Civil Rights in many States. Hitler had merely tried to copy America. But America stomped his ass- though, no doubt, it was the Soviets who did the heavy lifting. Thus, Stanley's daddy, very sensibly, set off for the good old Right Wing, Racist, Utopia for Whites because he knew that America would nuke any slitty eyed gooks who tried to stand up to it. 

 He knew that US democracy was not exceptional in its capacity to resist the forces that shattered his family and devastated his youth. 

He knew that Jews were classed as White in America. It was the Blacks and Mexicans and indigenous people who were fucked over. I suppose he could have gone to Israel- but Israel was poor and vulnerable to Arab invasion. By contrast, America had no compunction about just nuking or lynching anyone it took a dim view of. 

My mother, a court stenographer in US criminal courts for 44 years, saw in the anti-Black racism of the American legal system parallels to the vicious antisemitism she experienced in her youth in Poland, attitudes which enabled eastern European complicity with fascism.

If she really objected to what she was seeing, why did she not make aliyah to Israel? Perhaps, she felt safer if Blacks and wogs of various descriptions were kept in their place. 

 And my grandmother, Ilse Stanley, wrote a memoir, published in 1957, of her experiences in 1930s Berlin, later appearing on the US television show This is Your Life to discuss it. It is a memoir of the normalization years of German fascism, well before world war and genocide. In it, she recounts experiences with Nazi officers who assured her that in nazism’s vilification of Jews, they certainly did not mean her.

But, reading Mein Kampf would have quickly disabused her of any such notion. She was a good woman and helped get Jews out of Germany. Sadly, the Americans weren't keen to welcome such refugees and so millions perished.

Philosophers have always been at the forefront in the analysis of fascist ideology and movements. 

No. Second rate ideologues went in for this. But they couldn't compete with people like Koestler or Orwell who had literary talent. However, it turned out that ideology didn't matter. Either a country did sensible things- which caused a virtuous circle such that there was a convergence to what obtained elsewhere in other prosperous countries- or else it did stupid shit and thus became more and more of a shithole such that smart people ran away. 

In keeping with a tradition that includes the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Theodor Adorno,

both of whom were shite

 I have been writing for a decade on the way politicians and movement leaders employ propaganda, centrally including fascist propaganda, to win elections and gain power.

But that writing has been hysterical shite. It defeats its own purpose. Has Stanley helped anybody win elections and gain power? Sure. Trump and his clones have benefitted. Clearly the eggheads in the Universities have completely lost the plot. 

The fact is that effective propaganda is stuff which looks like whatever type of advertising works best, given the target audience. Feedback from focus groups etc changes the propaganda. Your enemies may accuse you of using Fascist propaganda but that can backfire. One reason Churchill lost the 1945 election was because he got drunk and compared the Labor Party to the Gestapo on BBC radio.

Often, those who employ fascist tactics do so cynically – they do not really believe the enemies they target are so malign, or so powerful, as their rhetoric suggests. 

So 'negative campaigning' is a 'fascist tactic'. But, in that case, saying Fascists are bad, is itself a Fascist thing to do. 

Nevertheless, there comes a tipping point, where rhetoric becomes policy. Donald Trump and the party that is now in thrall to him have long been exploiting fascist propaganda. They are now inscribing it into fascist policy.

Because Biden is their puppet- right? 

Fascist propaganda takes place in the US in already fertile ground – decades of racial strife

decades? Centuries! But that 'strife' was so asymmetrical, it only exists at the margins- e.g. prisons.

 has led to the United States having by far the highest incarceration rate in the world. 

I think Drug laws and prison terms for failure to pay child support and perverse incentives in some jurisdictions have led to this outcome. This has nothing to do with 'racial strife' though, no doubt, there is systemic discrimination against African Americans and poorer people who can't afford bail. 

A police militarized to address the wounds of racial inequities by violence, 

does not exist.

and a recent history of unsuccessful imperial wars have made us susceptible to a narrative of national humiliation by enemies both internal and external.

Stanley is certainly susceptible to all sorts of paranoid shite. But that's because his discipline turned out to be utterly worthless. 

As WEB Du Bois showed in his 1935 masterwork Black Reconstruction, there is a long history of business elites backing racism and fascism out of self-interest, to divide the working class and thereby destroy the labor movement.

He was writing at a time when the mass resettlement or deportation of African Americans to Liberia or some such place was discussed by both White and Black intellectuals. As for the 'labor movement'- it was plenty racist. Only when labor market conditions tightened during the War did wage discrimination decrease.

The novel development is that a ruthless would-be autocrat has marshalled these fascist forces and shaped them into a cult, with him as its leader.

FDR was accused of the same thing. Nixon definitely subverted the constitution. At one time he was considered charismatic. But then Reagan too was accused of being a crazy cowboy who would start World War III because he believed in the 'Rapture'. Obama, of course, was accused of being a Kenyan Communist whom the KGB had infiltrated into America. It seems there are no 'novel developments' when it comes to paranoia. 

 We are now well into the repercussions of this latter process – where fascist lies, for example, the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, have begun to restructure institutions, notably electoral infrastructure and law. 

In other words, Trump can do crazy and make it work for him whereas Stanley's misology can only bring his own discipline into disrepute. 

As this process unfolds, slowly and deliberately, the media’s normalization of these processes evokes Morrison’s tenth and final step: “Maintain, at all costs, silence.”

If Stanley had maintained silence we wouldn't know that his discipline had turned to shit. 

How did Stanley go about
Constructing an enemy

such that he was bound to go barking mad? 

To understand contemporary US fascism, it is useful to consider parallels to 20th century history, both where they succeed and where they fail.

No it isn't. Fascism arose where there was a clear and present danger of Communist insurrection. That condition never obtained in any English speaking country- which is why Moseley was laughed at- more especially when he whined about his beefy Black shirts getting beaten up by little Jewish tailors. 

Hitler was a genocidal antisemite. 

As opposed to Stalin who just liked killing lots of people- especially if they were Jewish and had been foolish enough to become Bolshevik. 

Though fascism involves disregard for human life, not all fascists are genocidal. Even Nazi Germany turned to genocide only relatively late in the regime’s rule. 

Quite true. I suspect that guys sent to Poland and other occupied territories didn't want to kill actual Reds because then they might themselves be killed. So they claimed to be serving the Reich by eliminating an entirely innocent population. On the other hand, this may have been popular with some of the local people. 

And not all fascists are antisemitic. There were Italian Jewish fascists.

And Indians and other dusky folk in the Waffen SS

 Referring to the successful assimilation of Jews into all phases of Weimar era German life, my father warned me, “if they had chosen someone else, some of us would have been among the very best Nazis.” 

As Sarah Silverman points out, if there had been any sizable Black population in Germany, the Jews would have been spared. What is interesting is that some of the best Communists and anti-Communists were Jewish. Sadly, they were not effective as anti-Fascists. 

We American Jews feel firmly at home.

They may find themselves even more at home in Israel if its rise as a knowledge economy continues apace.

 Now, where the fascist movement’s internal enemies are leftists and movements for Black racial equality, there certainly could be fascist American Jews.

There are plenty of right-wing Jewish intellectuals. But this is equally true of African Americans. 

Germany’s National Socialist party did not take over a mainstream party. It started as a small, radical, far-right anti-democratic party, which 

was coopted by the Army as  a 'force multiplier' and way to get around the Versailles Treaty's restrictions on troop levels. 

faced different pressures as it strove to achieve greater electoral success.

The Communists decided that the Social Democrats where their real enemy. This forced the SD's to let the President to rule by decree. After the Allies refused to refinance the Weimar Republic, it was inevitable that the Army would take over. Ludendorff was too crazy. Schleicher had made an enemy of Blomberg who, after the night of the long knives, got the Army to swear loyalty to Hitler. The only surprise in all this was that a Corporal, not a General, became the dictator. 

Despite its radical start, the Nazi party dramatically increased its popularity over many years in part by strategically masking its explicit antisemitic agenda to attract moderate voters, who could convince themselves that the racism at the core of Nazi ideology was something the party had outgrown.

This simply isn't true. Anti-Semitic measures were popular. What surprised the Nazis- indeed, what surprised Europe- was that Kristallnacht was welcomed by the people. Previously, it had been thought that hooliganism of this type was a turn off for the middling sort. It turned out that the mob likes nothing better than the sound of breaking glass- provided it isn't their own windows which are being smashed. 

 It represented itself as the antidote to communism, using a history of political violence in the Weimar Republic, including street clashes between communists and the far right, to warn of a threat of violent communist revolution.

There had already been a violent communist putsch in Bavaria. Over the course of the Twenties and early Thirties a steady stream of refugees from the east confirmed fears of that type of craziness. 

 It attracted support from business elites by promising to smash labor unions.

Fascism succeeded because it was 'Corporatist'- i.e. Labor was coopted.  The same could be said of FDR. 

The Nazis portrayed socialists, Marxists, liberals, labor unions, the cultural world and the media as representatives of, or sympathizers with, this revolution. Once in power, they bore down on this message.

The Tory party in England does the same thing. The BBC is their favorite target. But it isn't a Fascist party. On the other hand, Chavez and Maduro claimed to be pro-labor but the number of trade unionists killed skyrocketed under their reign. It seems a leadership which is against the oligarchs does not turn a country into a worker's paradise- unless, of course, it does sensible things.

In his 1935 speech, Communism with its Mask Off, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels described Bolshevism carrying “on a campaign, directed by the Jews, with the international underworld, against culture as such”.

The Morning Chronicle, the newspaper read by the King Emperor, made a similar claim in 1922. So what? England did not become Fascist.

 By contrast, “National Socialism sees in all these things – in [private] property, in personal values and in nation and race and the principles of idealism – these forces which carry on every human civilization and fundamentally determine its worth.”

The problem was that the Nazis kept robbing people of their property and trampling on their personal values. It was a gangster regime which did stupid shit. 

The Nazis recognized that the language of family, faith, morality and homeland could be used to justify especially brutal violence against an enemy represented as being opposed to all these things. 

But everybody has always known that saying 'the bad guys want to break up your family, rape your wife, and steal all your nice shiny stuff' is the way to go. 

The central message of Nazi politics was to demonize a set of constructed enemies, an unholy alliance of communists and Jews, and ultimately to justify their criminalization.

Then the good guys demonized those bastards and slaughtered them mercilessly and occupied their country and reduced its territory substantially. 

Contrary to popular belief, the Nazi government of the 1930s was not genocidal, nor were its notorious concentration camps packed with Jewish prisoners, at least until the November pogrom of 1938. 

The Nazis were extorting money from the Jews- that is true enough. Those too poor to pay for an exit permit, or those with family responsibilities (e.g. to elderly parents) were left behind. Sadly, many of them were killed so that evil bureaucrats could pretend they were serving the Reich rather than evading front-line service where they might have got shot.

The main targets of the regime’s concentration camps were, initially, communists and socialists. 

The first target was Hitler's own enemies within his own camp. 

The Nazi regime urged vigilante violence against its other targets, such as Jews, separating themselves from this violence by obscuring the role of agents of the state. During this time, it was possible for many non-Jewish Germans to deceive themselves about the brutal nature of the regime, to tell themselves that its harsh means were necessary to protect the German nation from the insidious threat of communism.

This is certainly an argument they made- but only after the war, when it was in their interest to do so. 

Violent militias occupied an ambiguous role between state and non-state actors. 

Because the German Army, post Versailles, was using these militias as a 'force multiplier' and a way to get around restrictions imposed by the Treaty.

The SS began as violent Nazi supporters, before becoming an independent arm of the government. The message of violent law and order created a culture that influenced all the Nazi state’s institutions. As Yale historian Timothy Snyder writes in On Tyranny, “for violence to transform not just the atmosphere but also the system, the emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion have to be incorporated into the training of armed guards.”

But the Nazi party, ab ovo, was an undertaking of the German Army. Ludendorff, not Hitler, led the Munich putsch. But Ludendorff was completely crazy. He hated Catholics as much as Jews and later founded his own Religion. Also he refused to go to jail and so Hitler became the head of the Nazi party. Later he got the better of General Schliecher and thus became the Man of Destiny who implemented the Army's maximal plan. The reason the Jews had to suffer was because of the Army's 'stab in the back' theory. The plain fact is that Germans believed they would starve unless the Army could grab land in the East. Guess where they got that idea? J.M Keynes. That cretin, in his 'Economic Consequences of the Peace', told the Germans that America would become a net food importer. France and Britain would get by on food from their colonies. Germans would starve. 

During the First War, the German bureaucracy had killed all the pigs- accusing them of being 'co-eaters'. This meant that pig manure became unavailable and so agricultural output fell and many Germans starved. Similarly, Jews and other minorities were considered 'parasites'- or, at least, 'co-eaters'- and thus Malthusian reasoning prevailed. 

All this has nothing at all to do with contemporary America or Europe where there is no danger of a food availability deficit. 

In the US, the training of police as “warriors”, 

as opposed to what? Rent boys? 

together with the unofficial replacement of the American flag by the thin blue line flag, augur poorly about the democratic commitments of this institution.

Defund the Police! Wouldn't that be cool? Let the local cartels handle law enforcement in between slaughtering each other.

For a far-right party to become viable in a democracy, it must present a face it can defend as moderate, and cultivate an ambiguous relationship to the extreme views and statements of its most explicit members. 

This is equally true of a centrist party. That's why all parties tend to choose good looking, well spoken people to present their views. They don't hire smelly homeless dudes who babble about shape-shifting Lizard People in between bromides on the need for better Corporate Governance. 

It must maintain a pretense of the rule of law, characteristically by projecting its own violations of it on to its opponents.

Very true. If you fart in a crowded lift, the thing to do is to point at your enemy and say 'Dude! Not cool! Fuck have you been eating?' Anyway, that's what happened to me the one time I got on an elevator with Amartya Sen. 

In the case of the takeover of the mainstream rightwing party by a far-right anti-democratic movement, the pretense must be stronger. 

Unless no such thing has actually happened. Still, you can't tell me shape-shifting Lizard people aren't disguising themselves as me and letting out really stinky farts all over the place. The result is that I no longer get invited to dinner parties though I am much in demand at outdoor barbeques- just in case the propane fails and my farts have to be lighted up to grill the meat. I'm kidding. Nobody invites me even to outdoor barbeques. Sad.

The movement must contend with members of that party who are faithful to procedural elements of democracy, such as the principle of one voter one vote,

unless it is a vote for the other Party in which case everybody gerrymanders the fuck out of constituency borders.

 or that the loser of a fair election give up power – in the United States today, figures such as Adam Kinzinger and Elizabeth Cheney. 

Kinzinger, poor fellow, can't run in 2022 because the Democrats have abolished his District to benefit their own. Cheney, another Conservative, faces an equally uncertain political future. 

A fascist social and political party faces pressure both to mask its connection to and to cultivate violent racist supporters, as well as its inherently anti-democratic agenda.

All political parties need to mask who exactly is financing them. Agendas are inherently anti-democratic for a reason explained by McKelvey's Chaos theorem. Essentially, making a policy space multi-dimensional (which is what happens when no single peaked Social Choice functions obtain for strategic reasons) means that 'Agenda Control' can yield any outcome regardless of preferences. 

In the face of the attack on the US capital on 6 January, 

We understand that the Capitol Hill Police had shit leadership.

even the most resolute skeptic must admit that Republican politicians have been at least attempting to cultivate a mass of violent vigilantes to support their causes. 

Why must we admit that Cheney and Kinzinger- Republican politicians both- are doing any such thing? It simply isn't true. 

Kyle Rittenhouse is becoming a hero to Republicans after showing up in Kenosha, WI as an armed vigilante citizen, and killing two men.

One of whom was a child molester. The other had a gun. Both were White and older than Kyle. Why did they think it a good idea to go after a kid with a great big gun? The proper course of action is to shit yourself and run away. 

 Perhaps there are not enough potential Kyle Rittenhouses in the US to justify fear of massive armed vigilante militias enforcing a 2024 election result demanded by Donald Trump.

But this cretin must pretend otherwise to write this shite.

 But denying that Trump’s party is trying to create such a movement is, at this point, deliberate deception.

Or just plain stupidity- as in Stanley's case.

Black rebellion, white backlash

It is a lie to say that African Americans have broken the law or attempted to overthrow the State. They have not rebelled or mutinied or participated in an insurrection. If you are an evil, racist, liar, you may pretend otherwise. But why stop there? Why not speak of 'Black cannibalism, White backlash' instead? 

Street violence proved invaluable to the National Socialists in their path to power. 

But it proved fatal to the Communists. Why? The Communists had the shit kicked out of them. 

The Nazis instigated and exacerbated violence in the streets, then demonized their opponents as enemies of the German people who must be dealt with harshly.

Till they were demonized by people who slaughtered them and occupied their territory. 

 Trump’s rise followed Black protest, at times violent, of police brutality in Ferguson and Baltimore. More recently, the murder of George Floyd and a historic protest movement in the US in the late spring has given fuel to fascist misrepresentation.

And Stanley's misrepresentation which is foolish, if not Fascist. 

All of these recent developments take place as only the latest in a long US history of Black rebellion against white supremacist ideology and structures, and a parallel history of white backlash.

There has been no 'rebellion' save that of the Confederacy- which didn't end too well for the good ol' boys. 

White vigilante groups regularly formed in reaction to Black rebellions, to “defend their families and property against Black rebellion”, the historian Elizabeth Hinton 

who is gorgeous. If Stanley looked like her, I'd give him a pass. 

writes in her recent history of these rebellions. Hinton shows that police often acted in concert with these groups. For decades, the instigator of these rebellions has typically been an incident or incidents of police violence against members of the community, following a long period of often violent over-policing that exacerbated these communities’ grievances.

I suppose it is true that rioting benefits the indigenous criminal class. But this need not be a racial issue. The hoodie riots in the UK are an example. Interestingly, Asian shop-keepers, in some parts of London, banded together to beat the fuck out of the youngsters who wanted to rob them. The Police were slow to react- apparently because they didn't have Blackberries. 

Street movements in the US have often been accompanied by vigorous campus protests, from the protests against the Vietnam war of the 1960s, to recent campus protests for racial justice that attracted media rebuke (paradoxically, for “chilling free speech”). 

Students be kray kray. Still, in America, a student who kidnaps and beats a guy will get a criminal record and get deported. That's what happened to Lalit Modi. Had he gone to College in India, he could have risen rapidly in politics for showing such enterprise. 

Politicians in both parties have feasted on these moments, using them to troll for votes.

Why? Because students doing crazy shit, or poor people burning down their own neighborhoods, aren't popular with the tax paying public. 

 During these episodes of protest and rebellion, US politicians from Barry Goldwater onwards, placing campus protests together with Black rebellion against over-policing, have encouraged harsh law and order policing and crackdowns on leftists. John Ehrlichman, one of Nixon’s top advisers, said that Nixon’s campaign and administration “had two enemies: the anti-war left and Black people”, and invented the drug war to target both:' You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.'

Why was this quote not published when Ehrlichman was alive and in a position to refute it? His family says the whole thing is made up. Stanley may believe this quote is genuine but why does he not mention that serious doubt has been cast on its veracity? This is 'suppressio veri'- i.e. dishonest. 

Politicians have shown less interest in addressing the underlying conditions that lead to violence in poor Black urban communities – the widespread availability of guns, the massive and persistent racial wealth gap and the effects of violent policing and mass incarceration. 

Why not tackle the problem at is root? Why not get rid of melanin? Also we should abolish money because its existence correlates with inequality of Wealth and Income. 

And why should they? As long as these underlying conditions persist, politicians of either party can run for office by milking fear and promising a harsh law and order response.

Yup. That's what got 3 strikes Biden and District Attorney Harris elected, right enough. By contrast, Trump sent nobody to jail though a lot of his associates ended up there. Still, that's a guy with an incentive for defunding Law Enforcement and putting an end to penal incarceration. 

 Morrison’s 1995 address is a warning that these conditions are ripe for harnessing by a fascist movement, one targeting democracy itself.

If so conditions are always ripe for the victory of Fascism, Communism, or the return of the British monarchy. 

In its most recent iteration, in the form of the reaction against Black Lives Matter protesters and the demonization of antifa and student activists, a fascist social and political movement has been avidly stoking the flames for mass rightwing political violence, by justifying it against these supposed internal enemies.

In other words, there are liars and fantasists on Stanley's opposite side. Why not let them just pull each other's hair and scratch each others' eyes out? 

Rachel Kleinfeld, in an October 2021 article, documents the rise of the legitimation of political violence in the US. According to the article, the “bedrock idea uniting right-wing communities who condone violence is that white Christian men in the United States are under cultural and demographic threat and require defending – and that it is the Republican Party and Donald Trump, in particular, who will safeguard their way of life.”

Which community does not condone violence in self-defense or, indeed, to gain something valuable? Does Biden say 'vote for me and I won't defend you.' ? Does Harris explain to White women that she wants to watch them get raped by gangbangers with huge cocks? If not, why not? Is it due to Fascism? 

This kind of justification of political violence is classically fascist – a dominant group threatened by the prospect of gender, racial and religious equality turning to a leader who promises a violent response.

As opposed to what? Baking cookies for rapists while they get on with the arduous job of violating every kid in the kindergarten? Even Mahatma Gandhi endorsed India's first war with Pakistan. 

How to topple a democracy

Afghanistan was a democracy till very recently. Then Biden pulled the plug on it by referring to its President as 'Mr. Ghani'. America certainly has a lot of experience in creating and destroying democracies. 

We are now in fascism’s legal phase.

Because Biden and Harris are Fascists and have taken power- right? 

 According to the International Center for Not for Profit Law,

which tracks evil actions by Governments such as COVID lockdowns

 45 states have considered 230 bills criminalizing protest, with the threat of violent leftist and Black rebellion being used to justify them. 

This is not true. No legislator has used the term 'Black rebellion'. In any case, the big problem now is the anti-vaccination nutters. In any case, Legislature are always considering bills of this sort in some context or the other. 

That this is happening at the same time that multiple electoral bills enabling a Republican state legislature majority to overturn their state’s election have been enacted suggests that

the ancient American art of gerrymandering is alive and well. But the Democratic machine is just as effective. 

 the true aim of bills criminalizing protest is to have a response in place to expected protests against the stealing of a future election (as a reminder of fascism’s historical connection to big business, some of these laws criminalize protest near gas and oil lines).

How shocking! We should be encouraging poor people to set fire to 'gas and oil lines'. Wake up sheeple! The Fascists were against arson. The only way we can defeat Fascism is by burning everything down! Why did the Capitol Hill mob not burn down that Reichstag? It's coz they woz totes Fascist- innit? 

The Nazis used Judeo-Bolshevism as their constructed enemy.

Coz Jews and Bolsheviks loved and wanted to cuddle and kiss Herr Hitler but he, 'constructed' them as his enemy just to get votes- which was very naughty of him. 

 The fascist movement in the Republican party has turned to critical race theory instead.

But that shit makes peeps wot study it stooooopid. That's why we're against it. How about teaching the 3 Rs instead? 

 Fascism feeds off a narrative of supposed national humiliation by internal enemies.

Stanley certainly has lots of 'internal enemies'. But those enemies held power when his parents migrated to the US. He too had a choice as to whether to remain in America or emigrate to Europe or Israel. 

 Defending a fictional glorious and virtuous national past, 

As opposed to saying 'we are descended from inbred nitwits who used to eat their own feces' 

and presenting its enemies as deviously maligning the nation to its children, 

because it is a good idea to depict your enemies as doing evil shit. 

is a classic fascist strategy to stoke fury and resentment.

So, Stanley is using what he believes to be a 'classic fascist strategy' to attack his 'internal enemies'. 

 Using the bogeyman of critical race theory, 29 states have introduced bills to restrict teaching about racism and sexism in schools, and 13 states have enacted such bans.

Will this cause educational standards to collapse in those 13 states? No. Don't be silly. 

The key to democracy is an informed electorate.

No it isn't. It is enough to have information about the next best alternative in any choice situation. This 'limited arbitrage', as Chichilnisky has shown, is enough for allocative efficiency. 

An electorate that knows about persisting racial injustice in the United States along all its dimensions, from the racial wealth gap to the effects of over-policing and over-incarceration, will

want those disparities to persist because they are the foundation of such felicity as American enjoy

 be unsurprised by mass political rebellion in the face of persistent refusal to face up to these problems. 

If those 'mass political rebellions' only fuck up the poor- who stupidly set fire to their own neighborhood- then this may be an occasion for hilarity amongst those who saved up money and got the fuck out of the ghetto. 

An electorate ignorant of these facts will react not with understanding, but with uncomprehending fear and horror at Black political unrest.

If they are burning down their own neighborhood, good luck to them. One may hope that the thing will cause suburban land prices to rise as urban 'gentrification' comes to an end. 

Sometimes, you trace a fascist movement to its genesis in Nazi influence on its leaders, as with India’s RSS. 

Which was set up in imitation of the Congress Seva Dal which was in fact inspired by Mussolini's Black Shirts. No one had heard of Hitler back then though, later on, Govind Vallabh Pant described Gandhi as the 'Fuhrer and Il Duce' of India. 

In the United States, the causal relations run the other way around. 

As Germans well knew. Still, Stanley's parents chose to emigrate to racist America.

As James Whitman shows in his 2017 book, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law, the Jim Crow era in the United States influenced Nazi law.

And American eugenic legislation and legal judgements influenced Scandinavia. They had compulsory sterilization for some classes of disabled people till the Seventies. They Myrdals supported this which is one reason why their son, Jan's, bitter denunciation of them had bite.

 In 2021, legislators in 19 states passed laws making access to the ballot more difficult, some with specific (and clearly intentional) disparate impact on minority communities (as in Texas).

So, this really is the case of there being nothing new under the Sun. America follows its own traditions. It is unaffected by some political system which briefly held sway in Stanley's ancestral Europe. 

 By obscuring in our education system facts about this era, one can mask the reemergence of legislation that borrows from its strategies.

The reverse is the case. By showing that what made America prosperous was systemic racism, minorities learn to shut the fuck up and not burn their own neighborhood down just coz some Professors will have an orgasm contemplating this 'Black Rebellion' which, hopefully, will involve super-sized African American dongs jizzing on their upturned and grateful faces. 

Indeed, the very tactic of restricting politically vital information to schoolchildren is itself borrowed from the Jim Crow era. Chapter 9 of Carter G Woodson’s 1933 book, The Mis-Education of the Negro, is called Political Education Neglected. In it, Woodson describes how history was taught “to enslave the Negroes’ mind”, by whitewashing the brutality of slavery and the actual roots and causes of racial disparities.

Very true. To set the record straight he published a paper on free Black slave owners in the 1830s. Incidentally, Kamal Harris has free Black slave-owning ancestry. 

 In Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, Jarvis Givens documents the strategies Black educators used to convey real history in the constricted environments of Jim Crow schools, strategies that, tragically, will again become necessary for educators to take up again today.

The problem here is that the 'Talented Tenth' quite like the idea that they are of superior 'caste' and owned slaves and lived in mansions. The question is whether African Americans- or Women for that matter- will favor 'in-group' transfers? Sadly, they prefer to gain a rent by claiming to represent their disadvantaged kin. 

As for educators- if they can't teach STEM subjects or useful skills- all we ask is that they don't jizz over their students. 

Fascist ideology strictly enforces gender roles and restricts the freedom of women. 

So do many other ideologies. On the other hand, when economies become market-oriented, an incentive compatible mechanism for gender equality becomes increasingly available- provided women get to learn useful stuff rather than 'woke' shite. 

For fascists, it is part of their commitment to a supposed “natural order” where men are on top. 

Whereas Stanley is interested in bottoms- or the brown stuff that comes out of them. 

It is also integral to the broader fascist strategy of 

beating the fuck out of anybody who look at them crossways. Not

winning over social conservatives who might otherwise be unhappy with the endemic corruption of fascist rule. 

They soon learn to look very happy indeed because the alternative is having your head kicked in. 

Far-right authoritarian leaders across the world, such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Hungary’s Viktor Orb├ín, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have targeted “gender ideology”, as nazism targeted feminism.

But it was women, during the early Seventies, who targeted Feminists and made them have nervous breakdowns and either go the road of Shulamith Firestone or get a nice perm and a well padded bra and reinvent themselves as glamorous 'Women who have everything'. 

Men have a herd instinct to get behind a ranting nutter. Women are simply too smart to be taken in. Tell them about your Aunty who perished in Auschwitz and they will start moaning about their last period till you vomit and run away. 

 Freedom to choose one’s role in society, when it goes against a supposed “natural order”, is a kind of freedom fascism has always opposed.

Nonsense! Fascists stop opposing things if there is a good chance they will get their head kicked in. Franco became as nice as pie once Hitler & Co were dead. He used to corner any foreign Ambassador he met and gas on about he how he himself had Jewish blood (or Moorish blood when talking to a Muslim). 

According to National Socialist ideology, abortion, at any point in pregnancy, was considered to be murder. 

Abortion was only made legal in Northern Ireland in 2020. The fact is Stalin banned abortion which Lenin had legalized. There was no country at that time where the thing was legal. Some countries still won't allow abortion to save the mother's life. This has nothing to do with Nazism. The fact is the Weimar Republic had reduced punishment for abortion but had not legalized it. 

Just as it was acceptable to murder disabled people and other groups whose identities were considered dangerous to the health of the “Aryan race”, it was acceptable to perform abortions on members of these groups. In the first six years of Nazi rule, from 1933 to 1939, there was a harsh crackdown on the birth control movement. Led by the Gestapo, there was a punitive campaign against doctors who performed abortions on Aryan women. 

While in England and America, it was the Police who arrested abortionists and Judges who sent them to jail. 

The recent attack on abortion rights, and the coming attack on birth control, led by a hard-right supreme court, is consistent with the hypothesis that we are, in the United States, facing a real possibility of a fascist future.

Or a Soviet future. Stalin criminalized abortion in 1933. But why stop there? Why not suggest that America is going to become like Ceausescu's Romania? How about suggesting that Biden is going to convert to Islam and make Kamala wear a burqa? After all, the Taliban has banned abortion. 

If you want to topple a democracy, you take over the courts. 

But then the Legislature overrides the courts and changes their composition. Sadly, it appears that Biden is backing down from this course of action. Still, he won't be the first President to do a U turn within 18 months. 

Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by almost 3m votes, and yet has appointed one-third of supreme court, three youthful far-right judges who will be spending decades there. The Roberts court has for more than a decade consistently enabled an attack on democracy, by hollowing out the Voting Rights Act over time, unleashing unlimited corporate money into elections, and allowing clearly partisan gerrymanders of elections. There is every reason to believe that the court will allow even the semblance of democracy to crumble, as long as laws are passed by gerrymandered Republican statehouses that make anti-democratic practices, including stealing elections, legal.

Biden has a mandate to reform the Judiciary. Perhaps, if something unexpected happens and the Dems win big in mid-terms, he will pack the Bench to his own satisfaction. The problem is that he is a very old Catholic man who probably doesn't think killing fetuses is cool or a way to endear yourself to St. Peter- who he is likely to meet sooner rather than later. 

There has been a growing fascist social and political movement in the United States for decades.

No. The Catholics now provide the brains for the Christian majority. But Catholicism is not Fascist

 Like other fascist movements, it is riddled with internal contradictions, but no less of a threat to democracy.

Why not simply say 'White Christians are a threat to Democracy. So are African American Christians. Actually, everybody is a fucking threat to Democracy because my Daddy told me that lots of Jews would have become Nazis if only Hitler had let them. 

 Donald Trump is an aspiring autocrat out solely for his own power and material gain. 

Whereas Jason Stanley is an aspiring Anarchist solely concerned with the destruction of America's power and prosperity. He hopes 'Black Rebellions' will destroy Capitalism and then jizz upon his upturned face. 

By giving this movement a classically authoritarian leader, Trump shaped and exacerbated it, and his time in politics has normalized it.

Stanley has normalized idiocy in Philosophy Departments. What is the point of comparing Trump to Hitler? Trump is a billionaire living large. Hitler shot himself after destroying his country. 

Donald Trump has shown others what is possible. 

Actually, it was Obama who showed that anyone who could communicate clearly could become President. It is said that Trump only decided to run for office after Obama taunted him. What makes Trump unique is that he never held any sort of Government job- whether as a Legislator or a soldier- before taking the top job. 

But the fascist movement he now leads preceded him, and will outlive him. As Toni Morrison warned, it feeds off ideologies with deep roots in American history. It would be a grave error to think it cannot ultimately win.

Stanley himself has shown that everything we see in America has, as we would expect, deep roots in American history and none at all in some stupid political movement which briefly fucked up Germany or Italy eighty years ago. It would be a grave error to think that Stanley can think. However, it would be an even graver error to think that Stanley can't stink up the place with a well-timed fart. This is why I must refuse to debate him though I too have been nominated for the Presidency of the Farting Fools Federation. 

4 comments:

Sir Treeball said...

Heaven hi, Mr. Iyer.

So I've been reading your stuff for a few months now and I've gathered that it just might be possible that you're a Hindu (just as it might be possible that you have a low opinion of Amia Srinivasan), and that according to a recent youtube video, you iz bleck. (Looking very dapper at your age, too!)

Anyway. Could you refer me to, or write a sufficient number of posts elaborating your perspective of your own Hinduism? And are there any books on Hinduism which you could recommend me?

To give a little background on my own understanding of the world, which might sound foolish, insane, or worse—annoying—to a very wise man whose characteristic equanimity and equipoise I hope to avail myself of: I'm atheistic, but out of a self-cancelling, negative henotheism. I believe that outside the knowledge-landscape of our reality is the domain of infinity (I think of it as the Aprobable Void, where anything which has not seen empirical instantiation is therefore nonsensical to the conceptions of Earthly probability, and remains a part of the black caul of Mystery until it exits Ignorance into our expanding reality)—and so our reality is infinity plus one, a sort of Midas with a muddy touch. I also believe that it is this reality which is—for subjective creatures as we—the only one relevant to Good Works.

This is because I believe that all gods are real or will be real at some point, which also means that all anti-gods are real, and thus obeying the Christian God will always result in Heavenly Reward just as it will always result in Hellish Damnation. That in between Truth and falsehood (Truth being matter and falsehood being models claiming to analogise a state of matter—when in fact the model makes palimpsest of it) there is a gradient of every shade of deceit, which means that a god can Lie, that there are infinite gods and anti-gods; and that at any instant there are infinite teleologies which we are always fulfilling either in accordance to the grand design of deceit or sincerity of a benevolent god; or the grand design of deceit or sincerity of a malevolent one.

The only Universal God is not exclusive but all-inclusive, it is He who encompasses all matter, all life and unlife, all gods loving of humanity and all gods antithetical to our very existence—including broken stalagmites and space whales and soteriological hamsters and whatnot we cannot presently imagine—and due to this self-cancelling infinity of wills and powers, He is simultaneously Omnipotent, Omniscient and at least to our meaningful prehension—inert.

Existence is purpose. I believe that anything which can happen will happen, and that there is not reincarnation but infinite incarnation—at least insofar that "there is no repetition in God's self-disclosure". In a sense, my atheism, which had always been a sort of negation of anything which is not empirical and alethic—an agnosticism which refused to waggle its tongue about that Aprobable Void, of which it cannot speak and therefore must remain silent; an agnosticism which rather than paint graffiti and palimpsest over the black walls of Mystery with the crude drawings of our own shape, would rather admit ignorance and attend to alethic ambassadors from Mystery—my passive atheism has been sidegraded into a more active variety, which rather than disbelieving in any claims about the Unknown, instead believes positively in the Unknown's infinity—

Sir Treeball said...


—That was very lengthy. I apologise for the confusing ramble, but hopefully you have now a better idea of my illiteracy when it comes to religion (I was essentially born an angry atheist) and might be able to tackle me more appropriately (or inappropriately, ayyo) and recommend something I could read which would enrich my understanding of your worldview, and indeed my own, and in so doing cleanse myself of my little follies, my sloppy henidical ideas and thought diseases, etc.

Also, I've been wondering: What do you think about Iris Murdoch? About Nabokov? Have you read the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake? If you haven't, I recommend it because I've found it to be a gorgeous and sublime experience which is magic itself, filled with lovely characters, the passions in all their clay. Also, are you familiar with Jonathan Haidt, and what do you think about him? And in addition to books on Hinduism/Buddhism, I wonder if there's any material treating Game Theory or economics you can recommend.

I have many more questions actually, but at present I'm blanking as to what they could possibly be and so I'll leave them to their own devices—until they molest me again in the future.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time and exhaustion of patience to read this lengthy post! And thank you for all your clever and funny writings which you have produced so deontically, so egotistically but also so selflessly, like sending out signals in apparent pointlessness out into space—where at least one alien here has received them and liked them very much. I hope, with complete sincerity, that you have a good and happy weekend—and good and happy everything.

windwheel said...

I enjoyed reading your comment which I would describe as perfectly sane, indeed canonical, within the Sufi tradition which itself has parallels in Greek and early Christian thought. India is a little different because Indian Empires were evanescent and so the 'logothete' (bureaucrat), more often than not, works for a small Princedom, or else is competing for patronage in a more populous town, and has to negotiate with others similar (but not culturally identical) to himself against a volatile economic and geopolitical background. Thus, India represents 'spontaneous order' rather than a top down 'homonoia' enforced by an Emperor backed up by a homogenous bureaucracy. India, with a weaker or less coercive State, relied more on 'Schelling focal' solutions to coordination games. However a coordination game, with 'cheap talk' and a pooling equilibrium, will be associated with discoordination games for hedging and because of income effects. Thus what seems to 'the West' to be 'dialectical'- a thesis engendering its antithesis etc- and 'dynamic', is for India, merely a feature of the market and the manner in which it continually resists homogenization for prudential reasons. Hinduism is cluttered up with a lot of 'discoordination' artefacts- casteist nonsense- and our various sects have, often quite hilariously, taken pride in maintaining their separateness through 'distinctions without a difference'. No doubt, some such refer to open problems in Maths but we now think there are many complementary systems of Mathematics which, for any specific purpose, have sound enough, or useful enough, 'univalent foundations'. One reason Hinduism, or indeed Sufism, has gained a new lease of life is that more and more of the old bildungsburgertum (class which rises through education) is employed in IT and thus has a glimpse of the fundamental problems of Category theory or the foundations of mathematics which precipitate exactly the sort of reflections you have so eloquently penned. 'Angry atheist' is good- this is 'virodhabhakti' or 'samrambha yoga'- as of Ravan for Ram- but there is no Ram. Tulsidas gives us 'onomatodoxy'- Ram- the name- is higher than any Ram that existed or could be conceived. God is established by the 'vrat'- the vow- involved in resolving to hate God. Midas with a muddy touch is also very good. There is a famous quote from Andre Weil, a big fan of the Bhagvad Gita, linking expanded knowledge to increased disgust (bibhatsa). Perhaps Haidt learned of this rasa in Orissa where he did research.

Our religious poetry becomes a lot richer if we can see what 'open problem' is being referred to and how rasas like anger and disgust are 'vows' which create Dharma and the Gods that are the gloaming of that path to death. Yet, for the Muni, where else can home be save where night falls on the path?

windwheel said...

I may mention Grothendieck, who seems to have gone mad, who introduced the term 'Yoga' (unification on the basis of greater generality) and linked our dreams to God- but a very strange God. Another such genius was Voevodsky who seems to have had a mystical experience in Salt Lake City before an untimely death while on the verge of...who can tell? For the Hindu, however, there is no Mathesis here which, if glimpsed, kills or drives mad. These are just coordination game based on 'naturality' (i.e. non arbitrariness) in Category theory. The problem is that 'naturality' probably is pretty damned unnatural but Hindus are cool with that because we regard the thing as merely a 'samskar' (convention) which is defeasible and sublatable. This 'Pyrrhonist' element in Indian thinking arises simply because our culture wasn't imposed, it was a 'spontaneous order' (or ubiquitous Babu stupidity) and we have no reason to believe it to be just or good or even 'efficient' or 'optimal'. This means our 'functors' are unnatural and imperfect- Gods with the heads of animals and horrific quirks which turn out to be quite lovable.

You mention Mervyn Peake whom I loved. It is said that his childhood in a very politically volatile China left an inedible mark upon him. By contrast, Lawrence Durrell, born in India at about the same time as Peake, shows no Indian influence at all. Why? India was well governed and deeply boring. Anyway, India choose to become Gandhian and stupid while China went the other way.

Murdoch- who was at Badminton with Mrs. Gandhi- could write quite well before she became an alcoholic but was as stupid as shit. Had she not been an alcoholic, she'd have been encouraged to quit being a Don so as to become a Mandarin at Whitehall. Seriously, the Brits don't rate philosophers unless they are completely idle like Oakeshott or utterly mad, like Parfitt. Bernard Williams was an exception which is why the Americans bought him.

Nabakov had great literary talent but, cut off from Russia, had little substantive to say. This brings me to the question is there actually anything to say? In Hinduism, there is Yama and Yami. Yama thinks words mean things and thus 'niyamas'- ethical injunctions- arise. Thus he dies rather than have sex with his sister who flows on as the Yamuna and is life which, says Sanathkumar, is Viveka- metaphysical discrimination. 'Those are flowers, are you blind/Woe-weeding gardeners of the blind'- what's so bad about pathologies of thought? I recall drinking Tokai for the first time. My host told me that, because of some war of the other, the grapes had been left to rot on the vine. But it turned out to be a 'noble rot'- the wine made from the putrefying grapes was so exquisite the Hapsburg Emperor kept it all to himself.

I can't recommend any books- even those I myself write- because Wikipedia etc has better more up to date information. You have obvious literary talent. You must yourself write the books from which you will learn to read. One way forward is to take a text which speaks to you and do a line by line refutation of it. Then you can put together what it really was that you found meaningful- but it is a meaning you have created.

I hope to hear more from you. Best.